Many equestrian helmets don’t protect against brain injury, new study says

To develop the ratings for equestrian helmet ratings, researchers from the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab conducted testing under real-world conditions at the Alphin Stuart Livestock Area on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. (Credit: Eleanor Nelsen/Virginia Tech)

Horseback riders are at a high risk of getting a brain injury.

The first study that tests equestrian helmets for their ability to protect riders has just been released by Virginia Tech’s helmet laboratory.

Roxy Todd has more.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: A look back at the year that was

2022 is quickly drawing to a close.

Roben Farzad – host of public radio’s Full Disclosure – and Weekend Edition host Craig Wright discuss the events of the year that was, their economic impact and what lies ahead in 2023.

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Virginia nursing homes are struggling to stay staffed

(Credit: Virginia Health Care Association)

2021 was not a good year to work in a nursing home. But it turns out 2022 was worse.

According to a recent survey, 4 in 5 nursing home facility directors say they’re still facing difficulty in filling jobs and shifts.  Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: Llama-at-large, Warm Springs bathhouse finally reopens

Credit: VPAP

The historic bathhouse at Warm Springs is finally open again after more than a year of renovation work. And, a llama-at-large in Fairfax County provided quite a challenge for police before they finally got her back home.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. news link. More now from Fred Echols and Edie Gross with VPAP.

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Should Virginia localities be able to require a license to own pets?

Credit: CDC

The Virginia General Assembly is about to go to the dogs. Michael Pope has this preview.

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What the future holds for Richmond’s former Confederate monuments

Jefferson Davis monument as displayed at the Valentine Museum in Richmond. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / Radio IQ)

Richmond removed the last of its Confederate monuments earlier this year. Heading into 2023, Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at what the future holds for all of the city’s statues now that they’ve come down. 

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Pope & Schapiro: A gift for Jennifer McClellan in Virginia’s 4th District

Voters in the 4th Congressional District have given a gift to one state Senator.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope recap the week that was in politics and state government.

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Analysts: opt-in, automatic absentee ballots could be the difference in close races

Credit: NPR

Recent changes to voting might also have an influence over the outcome in close races. Michael Pope reports.

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In Indigenous communities, some Two-Spirit people are reclaiming their roles

For hundreds of years, Europeans systematically tried to wipe out Indigenous cultures. On the frontline were tribal members who held a sacred status because they had both feminine and masculine qualities. Today, they call themselves Two-Spirits.

VCU professor Gregory Smithers has written about the history of gender and sexual fluidity in Native American history and culture in his new book, “Reclaiming Two-Spirits.”

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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120,000 Virginians quit their jobs in October

New economic numbers are showing a rising number of people in Virginia quitting their jobs. Michael Pope reports that the Great Resignation is still underway in the Commonwealth. 

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Republican delegate on legislation to remove prohibition on gay marriage

Lawmakers in Virginia are about to return to the Capitol and consider new laws and constitutional amendments.

Michael Pope reports one of those constitutional amendments could be about marriage.

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Richmond receives grant for Shockoe Bottom history site

A train shed in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond, Virginia will be used to memorialize and commemorate the history of slavery. (Credit: City of Richmond)

Richmond’s efforts to commemorate and educate about the city’s role in the domestic slave trade have received a large financial boost: 16 million dollars from the Mellon Foundation’s Monuments Project. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the largest chunk will go towards the creation of a new interpretive center. 

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Employers and the struggle to get workers back in the office

While unemployment numbers are low, there are several industries that are having a hard time getting employees back into their workplaces.

Roben Farzad, host of public radio’s Full Disclosure, and Weekend Edition host Craig Wright discuss how employers are feeling about that.

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Previewing the 4th District Democrat firehouse primary

Democrats in Virginia’s 4th District – which includes part of the Richmond area – will head to the polls Tuesday to select a candidate for the special election to replace former Congressman Donald McEachin, who died last month. Michael Pope has a preview.

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Roanoke unveils drawings of future Henrietta Lacks statue

Artist Bryce Cobbs stands next to his life-size drawing of Henrietta Lacks. (Credit: Joe Staniunas)

The story of Henrietta Lacks became a best-selling book and a film. Now, the African American woman, whose cancer cells have been used in medical research for 70 years, will soon have a statue in her hometown. The design was unveiled Monday in downtown Roanoke.

Joe Staniunas reports.

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Poll: Virginians feel just as safe after criminal justice reforms

Credit: Data for Progress

A new poll shows voters support recent changes to criminal justice in Virginia. Michael Pope has the details.

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Va. News: Northern Neck Ginger Ale, exotic animal laws

Credit: VPAP

A Virginia-made soft drink that achieved icon status among its followers has now been out of production for more than two years, but its fans are still working to bring it back. And, recent issues involving exotic animals have one Virginia county looking to change its pet ownership laws.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. news link. More now from Fred Echols and Edie Gross with VPAP.

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Pope & Schapiro: No holiday slowdown for politicians this year

Virginia’s political machines are not coasting into the holiday season.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope recap a fast-moving week in politics and state government.

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In budget presentation, Youngkin says Virginia can afford both tax cuts and investments in services

Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks to the General Assembly money committees Thursday. (Credit: General Assembly livestream)

Governor Glenn Youngkin is kicking off the budget process.

During a presentation to the House and Senate money committees Thursday, Youngkin said he wants to transform behavioral health services, invest in site readiness to attract economic development and cut taxes for individuals and businesses.

Michael Pope has some of the details and reaction.

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The price of life in prison

Virginia spends big money to run its prison system. 

The state provides many of the necessities to incarcerated people.  But those inmates and their families have to spend sizeable sums for snacks, hygiene products and even phone calls.

The charges have gotten so big, the General Assembly is now trying to review contracts and price lists.

Sandy Hausman begins a series of reports on the issue with this story about conditions at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.

When state lawmakers met in Richmond nearly a year ago, prisoner advocates asked them to regulate the price of goods and services offered behind bars. 

They complained of high costs for food from the canteen and noted Virginia prisoners pay four times as much as inmates in another state to make phone calls.

Legislators were concerned and decided to set up a committee that could investigate. 

Sandy Hausman reports on their findings.

People locked up in local and regional jails also have to pay similar fees for phone calls and other items.

And Michael Pope reports it’s been even harder for a General Assembly work group to get a clear picture of costs.

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Youngkin to propose income tax changes in budget plan

Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Virginia’s governor will outline his proposal for the state budget Thursday morning.

Michael Pope has this preview.

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State recommendation: Make dual enrollment classes free

(Credit: Jahd Khalil)

Last school year almost 50,000 Virginia students took one or more college courses while still in high school.

Dual enrollment is a way for those students to get ahead before even starting college.

Now lawmakers are considering how to make access more equitable.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more. 

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Youngkin outlines changes to Virginia’s mental health system

Governor Glenn Youngkin announces his new mental health plan at Parham Doctor’s Hospital in Richmond. (Credit: Governor’s office livestream)

Governor Glenn Youngkin is hoping to transform Virginia’s behavioral health system.

Michael Pope has the details on his plan.

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Unemployment: How low is too low?

Virginia’s unemployment rate has now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

And as Michael Pope reports, the rate is so low it’s raising concern among some economists.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: The business side of RGGI

Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board took another step last week toward pulling Virginia out of a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And while a lot of the debate has become political, there are also business considerations involved.

Roben Farzad, host of Public Radio’s Full Disclosure, and host Craig Wright have more on that.

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Governor Youngkin announces new task force to help with temporary detention orders

Governor Glenn Youngkin is creating a new task force aimed at addressing the mental health crisis in Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia will soon get even more money for expanding broadband access

Virginia is about to receive another infusion of money to help expand access to the internet. Michael Pope reports.

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Poll: Virginians feel just as safe after criminal justice changes

A new poll shows voters support recent changes to criminal justice in Virginia.

Michael Pope has the details.

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Va. News: Bay ship accident investigation, bypassed candidates

Credit: VPAP

The Coast Guard says the pilot of a ship that ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay was distracted by his phone just before the accident. And, thousands of Virginians by-passed the candidates on the ballots in the recent mid-term elections – writing in alternative choices, human and otherwise.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. news link. More now from Fred Echols and Edie Gross with VPAP.

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Virginia’s 60 and older population is growing; what does that mean for aging in place?

Credit: UVA Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

New research from the University of Virginia is shining a light on aging in place. Michael Pope has the details.

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Lawyers representing youth in Virginia climate change lawsuit say they’ll appeal

A climate change lawsuit on behalf of 13 young people in Virginia was recently dismissed, but lawyers and plaintiffs say, they will appeal that decision. Roxy Todd has more.

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Pope & Schapiro: Antisemitism report, COVID changes & Spanberger’s new clout

A new outline to fight antisemitism in Virginia and changes to COVID policies top this week’s action in Richmond.

Jeff Schapiro, of the Richmond Times Dispatch, and Michael Pope recap the week in politics and state government.

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Immersive exhibit brings the words and images of Frederick Douglass to life

Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour—Frederick Douglass, a new exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
(Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was known for his captivating physical presence and compelling public speaking. He was the most photographed person of the 19th century. 

Now an immersive exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts uses actors, screens, and sounds to bring his presence to the 21st century.

Mallory Noe-Payne got a sneak peek and filed this report.

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Girl Power demonstrates the art of the lineman

Mariella Kern learns to scale an electrical pole. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

With the approach of winter, some jobs clearly have more appeal than others.  Utility linemen, for example, will be on call through the winter – ready to battle ice and snowstorms to keep the power on. 

It’s not for everyone, and demand is high. 

That’s why the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative held a special event this month called Girl Power. 

Sandy Hausman was there and filed this report.

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Deer hunting season extended to March in some areas to control spread of chronic wasting disease

(Credit: Meghan Marchetti/Va. Department of Wildlife Resources)

Deer hunting season is in full swing for much of Virginia. This year, hunters are being called on to help reduce the spread of a fatal deer disease, called Chronic Wasting Disease.

The hunting season has been extended to late March in counties where the disease is spreading, as Roxy Todd reports.

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The strange phenomena of rising wages and layoffs

Many workers in Virginia are making more money. But, as Michael Pope reports, that’s only if they can keep their jobs.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Inflation’s impact on holiday spending

Inflation has changed the financial equation in many parts of life.  But how is it impacting holiday shopping?

Roben Farzad, host of public radio’s Full Disclosure, and Craig Wright have more on the early indicators.

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Virginia Board of Elections certifies results, ending congressional midterm election season

Virginia’s Board of Elections certified the state’s Congressional midterm and local November elections Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Youngkin proposes $500 million for economic development site readiness

Lawmakers are about to consider tripling the state budget line-item for prepping economic development sites. Michael Pope has those details.

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Va. News: Newport News food forest, Prince Edward County seal

Credit: VPAP

Prince Edward County has revised its official seal to recognize a landmark event in its history. And, a neighborhood in Newport News will soon have a food forest open to the entire community.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. news link. More now from Fred Echols and Edie Gross with VPAP.

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Some background on Virginia’s 4th Congressional district

The death of Congressman Donald McEachin opens up a seat in the House of Representatives, and voters will choose a replacement in a special election.  Michael Pope has some of the background.

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Should Virginia lower its voting age for local elections? One delegate thinks so

Voters in Virginia could be considering a constitutional amendment allowing 16-year-olds to cast a ballot in local elections. Michael Pope has more on the proposal.

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Pope & Schapiro: McEachin’s legacy and what happens next

Rep. Donald McEachin

Virginia’s political world was shaken by the sudden death of Congressman Donald McEachin this week.

Jeff Schapiro, political columnist with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Michael Pope discuss McEachin’s legacy and what might happen next.

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Richmond couple reflects on 20 years leading the fight to memorialize Shockoe Bottom

Phil Wilayto and Ana Edwards pose with a piece of the asphalt that was once a parking lot over the burial ground in Shockoe Bottom. (Credit: Phil Wilayto & Ana Edwards)

Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom was once the epicenter of the Virginia slave trade, the second largest site of human trafficking in North America.

Experts estimate the majority of Black Americans can trace their ancestry to this spot.

Today politicians and local leaders have thrown their support behind a memorial park and museum here. But two decades ago, this history was buried under a parking lot.

Mallory Noe-Payne caught up with the husband and wife team who have spent 20 years leading the grassroots movement to get this site memorialized.

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State Senator Morrissey says now is the time to ban assault-style weapons

Credit: Virginia Senate livestream

The two recent mass shootings in Virginia are re-energizing the debate over preventing gun violence. And as Michael Pope reports, that’s once again raising talk about banning assault-style weapons.

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“It’s a huge loss,” remembrances pour in for Congressman Donald McEachin

Friends and colleagues of the late Richmond-area Congressman Donald McEachin are mourning the loss of their friend and reflecting on his legacy. Michael Pope reports.

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UVA, Chesapeake shootings renew calls for action on gun violence

Chesapeake officials hold a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 23 to discuss a mass shooting at the Sam’s Circle Walmart the night before. (Credit: Ryan Murphy)

The latest mass shootings in Virginia are prompting yet another round of soul searching. 

And, as Michael Pope reports, they’ve renewed calls for action.

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Full Disclosure Briefing: Food banks face impact of inflation

Food banks often get added attention around holidays.  And they, like all of us, are dealing with the impact of inflation.

Roben Farzad, host of the Full Disclosure podcast, and Craig Wright have more on that.

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Va. News: School community complaints, Tribes reacquire land

Credit: VPAP

Two of Virginia’s indigenous tribes are working to reacquire and preserve more than a thousand acres of their ancestral lands with the help of grant money from the state. And, one of the few U.S. school systems with an ombudsman’s office says community complaints were up in the most recent school year.

Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. news link. More now from Fred Echols and Edie Gross with the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Congressman Bobby Scott reflects on his time as House Education and Labor Committee chair

When Republicans take control of Congress, one Virginia lawmaker will lose a key leadership position. Michael Pope reports.

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