Archive for category Virginia’s News

Voting in a Pandemic: The Debate Over Next Month’s Local Elections

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Next month, voters across Virginia will be heading to the polls to vote in local elections. That’s despite efforts to move those elections to June or November. Michael Pope reports.

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Health Officials Working to Combat COVID-19 in Meat Processing Plants

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A team of federal health officials is expected on the Delmarva Peninsula this week to address growing concerns of coronavirus amidst poultry plant workers. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Virginia Congressional Delegation Wants to Protect Contract Workers, Split on Best Strategy

virginia_flag_map_0Before the global pandemic shut down the economy, President Trump had proposed ship and submarine cuts that were almost universally opposed by Virginia lawmakers. The delegation is now fighting to help the state’s contracting industry while debating how best to do it. Matt Laslo reports.

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Northam Lays Out Blueprint for Loosening Restrictions as Deaths from COVID-19 Surpass 400

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During a news conference Friday, Governor Northam offered the first details on a blueprint for how he plans to reopen Virginia. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Barring Executive Action, Local Elections in Virginia Will Go Forward in May

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Dozens of elections across Virginia are scheduled to take place a few days from now. As Michael Pope reports, efforts to move those elections have failed.

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State Lawmakers to Tackle Definition of “Environmental Justice” Wednesday

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When lawmakers assemble in Richmond Wednesday, they’ll be considering an amendment from the governor to define environmental justice. Michael Pope reports.

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Some State Democrats Want May Elections to Take Place in June Instead of November

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Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a General Assembly with social distancing. One issue that could become a flashpoint is what happens to local elections. Michael Pope reports.

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Monday: Deaths from COVID-19 Reach 300 in Virginia; State Forms Testing Work Group

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In an afternoon news briefing, Governor Ralph Northam announced the formation of a COVID-19 testing work group. The group will be made up of state health officials, as well as representatives from private and community health care providers. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Northam Wants to Speed Up Timeline for Predatory Lending Protections

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Lawmakers are about to consider a significant change to legislation aimed at cracking down on predatory lending. As Michael Pope reports, an amendment from the governor will speed up the timeline.

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Virginia COVID-19 Cases Jump to 7,491, Northam says Economic Reopening is Tied to Case Data

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Virginia jumped to 7,491 Friday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.  That’s an increase of 602, the largest daily increase since the health department began reporting the data. Nick Gilmore has details from Governor Ralph Northam’s April 17th briefing.

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Advocates Say They Want More Protections for Immigrants With Driver Privilege Cards

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Next week, lawmakers will be considering an amendment to a bill allowing driver’s privilege cards for undocumented immigrants. Michael Pope has the story.

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Opponents of Stay-At-Home Orders Rally at Virginia Capitol

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Even as confirmed deaths from COVID-19 rose above 200 today in Virginia, a few dozen people gathered on Capitol Square to protest Governor Ralph Northam’s stay at home orders. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and has this report.

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Northam Extends Executive Order Closing Entertainment and Recreational Businesses By Two Weeks

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During a press conference Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam said social distancing is working, and because of that, the state is flattening the curve of COVID-19. But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the governor is continuing an executive order closing many businesses across the Commonwealth.

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A Look at What to Expect from the General Assembly Next Week

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Lawmakers will return to Richmond next week for what’s called a reconvene session, although this one will be done in the age of social distancing. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Northam Signs Several Gun-Control Measures Into Law

governor-northam-official-photo_800New gun-safety laws will be radically changing Virginia’s approach starting July 1st. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawsuit Could Free Some State Prisoners

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Governor Northam has announced plans to free about 2,000 inmates who are scheduled for release from state prisons within the next year.  They must pose no threat to public safety and have good prison records.  About 28,000 more will remain behind bars – even if they’re disabled or have medical conditions putting them at high risk for death if they were to catch COVID-19.  Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit may mean freedom for others as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Congressional Response: Virginia’s Delegation and Their Efforts to Combat the Virus

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Virginia lawmakers aren’t in Washington these days, but they’re working overtime to assist constituents in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic. Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

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Many Localities Across Virginia Facing Tough Budget Decisions Thanks to COVID-19

virginia_flag_map_0Local governments across Virginia are now reassessing their budgets for the coming year. Michael Pope has this report on what to expect.

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Update: Pets and COVID-19

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There’s new evidence that cats can become infected with Coronavirus, but preliminary studies show they do not get sick with the disease, nor are they likely pass it on to people. Robbie Harris reports.

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State Officials Want Better Racial Demographic Information on COVID-19 Cases

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Is the pandemic hitting the African-American community harder in Virginia? As Michael Pope reports, the data on that is missing – for now.

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Northam Suggests Moving May Elections, Pushes Back June Primaries

VDH_logo12 additional Virginia residents have died of COVID-19.

The latest numbers from the Virginia Department of Health also shows more than 300 additional cases, for a total of 3,645. Mallory Noe-Payne has more details.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Should Virginia Move to Mail-In Ballots?

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Should election officials in Virginia move to a system of mail-in ballots? The pandemic is raising new questions about how ballots are cast. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam: Virginians Should Wear Face Masks While in Public

VDH_logoVirginia’s reported COVID-19 case count grew by more than 800 over the weekend. And deaths caused by the illness increased to 54. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Shedding New Light on Collective Bargaining Debate

virginia_flag_map_0Governor Ralph Northam is now considering a huge number of bills on his desk, even as he navigates the state’s response to coronavirus. Michael Pope has this report about one issue that’s being hotly debated now.

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Virginia Minimum Wage: Should it Extend to Farm Workers?

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Governor Ralph Northam is now considering hundreds of bills the General Assembly sent him last month, including one that raises the minimum wage. Michael Pope reports that the governor is being urged to get rid of an exemption for one category of worker.

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Virginia Prosecutors Face Deadlines Despite Judicial Emergency

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The Supreme Court of Virginia issued a judicial emergency last month in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Credit: Creative Commons)

Any one charged with a crime in Virginia is entitled to a speedy trial. But, as Michael Pope reports, a speedy trial in the age of coronavirus is proving to be a challenge.

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Wednesday Update: Northam says Virginia Peak Coming in Late April to Late May

VDH_logoGovernor Ralph Northam said models suggest COVID-19 cases in Virginia will peak in late April to late May. In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Northam continued to warn that Virginia’s fight against the illness will last months, not weeks. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

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Should Northam Reconsider Renewable Energy Legislation in Light of Pandemic?

General Assembly 2020Governor Ralph Northam is now considering hundreds of bills that were passed by lawmakers before the health and economic crisis. Michael Pope reports on one bill that some are asking the governor to rethink.

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COVID-19 Could Stir New Debate Over Virginia’s Minimum Wage

general_assembly_2020Governor Ralph Northam isn’t just dealing with the pandemic. He’s also considering hundreds of bills lawmakers sent to him last month. And, the economic crisis is shining a new light on one potentially critical decision. Michael Pope reports.

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Monday: Virginia Tops 1,000 COVID-19 Cases, Northam Issues “Stay at Home” Order

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Governor Ralph Northam ordered all Virginians to stay at home as COVID-19 cases passed the 1,000 mark Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne has further details.

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Va. News: Virus Prompts Many to visit Appalachian Trail, Parade for Augusta County Youth

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

People who live near the Appalachian Trail are finding it’s not necessarily a place where you can still maintain social distancing. And elementary school teachers and students in Augusta County have seen each other one last time although they won’t be together again this school year. Fred Echols reports.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VA News link.

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Forecasting the Pandemic’s Impact on the Virginia Economy

forecastAs unemployment claims mount, many people are worried about the future of the Virginia economy. Michael Pope reports about some potential light at the end of the tunnel.

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Harvard Global Health Institution Projection Shows Virginia Needs More Hospital Bed Capacity

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Is Virginia ready for the potential crush of new patients that may be streaming into hospitals across the Commonwealth? Michael Pope takes a look at the numbers.

You can find more information about the Harvard Global Health Institute projections here.

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Tuesday Update: Two Deaths in Henrico County, First Case in NRV

VDH_logoThe Virginia Department of Health reported at least 290 positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, including the first in the New River Valley. The Henrico County Health Department also reported two deaths there. Mallory Noe-Payne has more from Governor Ralph Northam’s press briefing Tuesday.

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Lessons Learned from the 1918 Flu Pandemic in Virginia

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The 1918 H1N1 flu virus (Credit: CDC)

The coronavirus crisis is not the first time Virginia has dealt with a major pandemic. Michael Pope has this look back at the flu outbreak 100 years ago and some lessons of what not to do.

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Virginia Political Parties Mulling Convention Options Amid Pandemic

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Political campaigns may be on pause right now because of the coronavirus crisis. But all the deadlines for political parties are still on the calendar. Michael Pope reports.

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Sunday Update: 219 Cases in Virginia, Six People Now Dead

VDH_logoThe death toll rose to six on Sunday, as the Virginia Department of Health announced an additional three people have died from COVID-19. The three women were in their 80’s and had been hospitalized. One of them was a resident of a long-term care facility. They all resided in the department’s Peninsula Health District. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find more information here.

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UVA Health System Develops Its Own COVID-19 Test

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The turnaround time for the new tests is about 24 hours. That’s much faster than than the five to six days for some tests at commercial labs. (Credit: Sanjay Suchak / University of Virginia Communications)

Testing for COVID-19 is key to getting the pandemic under control, but labs have found it hard to get the elements they need for tests. At the University of Virginia, two doctors pulled out all the stops and have now come up with their own test – one that yields results in 24 hours. Sandy Hausman has that story.

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State Leaders Working to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 in Virginia’s Prisons and Jails

StateSeal00State leaders have provided prison and jail officials with guidance on preventing the virus’ spread within the state’s correctional system. Nick Gilmore has details.

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COVID-19 Leads to Rare Judicial Emergency in Virginia

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The Supreme Court of Virginia’s judicial emergency will suspend non-essential, non-emergency cases in courthouses across Virginia, including eviction cases. (Credit: Morgan Riley / Creative Commons)

Daily life has changed not just at restaurants and gyms. Much of the action in your local courthouse has also been postponed. Michael Pope reports.

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Governments Big and Small Weigh Meeting Options During Pandemic

StateSeal00When should governments decide to overlook requirements that they meet in-person and in-public? Michael Pope reports.

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Some Legislators Call for Virginia General Assembly to Reconvene Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

general_assembly_2020Virginia is in a state of emergency as health officials try to meet the challenge of coronavirus. Does that mean that lawmakers need to return to Richmond? Michael Pope reports.

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Despite Economic Concerns Related to COVID-19, Lawmakers Pass Budget

general_assembly_2020Lawmakers in Richmond gaveled out Thursday on what’s been a historic legislative session. It was the first time Democrats were in charge of the process since the early 1990’s. The final item on their to do list was to pass the state’s two year budget. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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What Criminal Justice Reforms Passed Out of the General Assembly This Year?

StateSeal00Democrats arrived in Richmond for the General Assembly session this year with a long list of agenda items for criminal justice reform. But, many of the more sweeping changes were scuttled. Michael Pope reports.

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State Lawmakers Passed on a Paid Sick Days Proposal This Year

general_assembly_2020The Senate rejected an effort to require businesses to offer five paid sick days. Michael Pope reports.

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Bipartisan Effort to End Financial Exploitation of Seniors Headed to Northam’s Desk

general_assembly_2020Republicans and Democrats are often at each other’s throats at the Capitol. But there is one issue where they are finding agreement: fighting exploitation of seniors. Michael Pope has details.

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State Senate to Weigh In on Milk Definition

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A bill to prevent companies from marketing soy milk and almond milk as “milk” is headed to the Senate floor. Michael Pope reports.

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To Tackle ‘Critical Need’ Lawmakers Fund More Clerks

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Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ

State lawmakers are addressing a shortage of clerks in Virginia’s district courts – after some officials said staffing levels were at a crisis point. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Lawmakers Pave the Way for More Needle Exchanges

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The needle exchange in Wise is run out of the local health department. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Thanks to legislation that’s now on it’s way to the Governor’s desk any Virginia locality will be able to start a needle exchange. The bill also makes it easier to get those new sites up and running. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Reigning in Pipeline Developers is Proving Difficult in Richmond

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Democratic Delegate Chris Hurst of the New River Valley (Credit: Virginia General Assembly)

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would double fines for water-quality violations of companies that build natural gas pipelines. Michael Pope reports other measures to increase oversight have been set aside, though.

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