Herring, Northern Virginia Primaries put Marijuana Decriminalization in Spotlight

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for decriminalization of marijuana, adding that the enforcement often unfairly targets African Americans.

Michael Pope has the story.

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High court Lets Virginia Voting go Ahead Under Redrawn Map

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Credit Matt Wade via flickr.com / CC

Justices on the United States Supreme Court rejected a Republican effort to throw out newly drawn maps of legislative districts.

Michael Pope reports.

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State Leaders Seek Community Input on Gun Violence

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State Democratic leaders are touring Virginia, getting feedback from community members on addressing gun violence.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, it’s in preparation for the July 9th special session.

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Va. News: More Economic woes in Wise County, a First for Ferries crossing the Elizabeth River

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A Virginia county that’s gotten all too accustomed to bad economic news has just heard some more of it…and after some four centuries of operation a ferry in Hampton Roads is about to observe a first.

 

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

 

More from Fred Echols.

 

 

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Virginia’s Medicaid Work Requirements Are Still Up in the Air

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Virginia is still waiting on the federal government to make a determination on work requirements for Medicaid expansion. And, new research shows they might be counterproductive. Michael Pope reports.

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Presidential Candidates Attend Annual Virginia Democratic Gala

DPVA_facebookTwo presidential candidates will be in Virginia this weekend. They’re speaking to hundreds of state Democrats at the annual Blue Commonwealth Gala. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Don’t Expect Political Fight Over Guns to End With Special Session

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The gun issue is about to take center stage in Virginia politics as advocates on both sides will try to influence the outcome of a special session next month.

But, as Michael Pope reports, the campaign contributions on the issue may surprise you.

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Senator Warner is Pushing for Expanded Aeronautics Research

428px-Mark_Warner_113th_Congress_photoIs America falling behind the rest of the world in aeronautics? Senator Mark Warner fears that might be happening, and now he’s working with Republicans in Congress to help fund new research capabilities. Michael Pope has the story.

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Mumps Outbreak Grows at ICE Detention Facility in Virginia

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(Credit: ICE)

An outbreak of mumps at an immigration detention center in Virginia is growing.

Authorities say there are now 24 confirmed or suspected cases at the Farmville facility.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, immigrant advocates say it’s part of a larger problem.

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This Week’s Primary Results May Spark Significant Changes to Virginia’s Criminal Justice System

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Two local races in Northern Virginia might have big implications for the criminal justice system in Virginia. Michael Pope explains why.

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Virginia Primary has Lots of Surprise, No Clear Message

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Turnout in primary elections is historically low and it will be a couple days before we get a complete picture of turnout in Tuesday’s elections.

But Democrats and Republicans are already battling it out over who has more energy as they head towards November.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports on Democratic Party efforts to keep the “Blue Wave” going:

Michael Pope reports on some of Tuesday’s primary upsets:

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Subpoena Fight Splits Virginia Democrats in Congress

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Credit: John Brighenti via flickr.com / CC

A growing number of House Democrats have now joined the chorus calling to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

But most Virginia Democrats aren’t singing the same tune, as Matt Laslo reports from the Capitol.

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Virginia Tech Selects a Different Site for Its NOVA Innovation Campus

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Tech’s Innovation Campus in Alexandria is just south of Amazon’s proposed headquarters site in Arlington. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

Virginia Tech is going back to the drawing board with a new graduate school campus in Northern Virginia. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: An Uprising nearly ended Slavery, Chesterfield County deals with old Billboards

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Many people know there was a slave uprising in Virginia in the early 19th Century.

But fewer are aware of how close it came to ending slavery in the state…and when localities try to regulate billboards they sometimes find it’s not quite so easy as they expected.

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.

 

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Analysts: Accepting PAC Money from the Governor Could Have Mixed Results

StateSeal00Under normal circumstances, candidates would welcome money from the governor to help finance their campaigns. But this year, it’s a little different. Michael Pope is following the money.

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More than Ten-thousand mark D-Day Anniversary in Bedford

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Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address. (Credit: David Seidel

D-Day and World War Two veterans marked the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion.

David Seidel reports there were thousands of visitors to the National D-Day Memorial Thursday as well.

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Congressman Scott is Trying to Defend Free or Reduced-Price School Lunches

BobbyScottOne Virginia congressman is fighting against the Trump administration’s efforts to limit free or reduced-price lunches in public schools. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia’s Rural Localities Appear to Be Bouncing Back

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Credit: Census American Community One Year Survey, 2010 to 2017. 

Rural parts of Virginia may have lower average incomes. But that’s only one measure of success. Michael Pope reports on the surprising resurgence across rural Virginia.

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Organization Recognizes Virginia’s Old Growth Forests

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North Bank Park — one portion of the James River Park System (Credit: jamesriverpark.org)

Virginia’s James River Park System, in Richmond, became the latest public green space today to be recognized as part of the Old Growth Forest Network. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Virginia Democrats Search for ‘Electability’ this Primary Season

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  Debra Rodman (left) is running against Veena Lothe (right) for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 12th Senate District.

A lot is at stake for Virginia this November. All 140 state lawmakers are up for election. And Democrats are hoping they can take control of the state legislature for the first time in decades.

But first, they have to choose the right candidates for the job.

Ahead of next week’s primaries, Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at what electability looks like for Democrats.

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Virginia Coastal Adaptation and Climate “Czar” Gets to Work

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  Ann Phillips, Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret.) speaking last year when she was appointed by Gov. Northam. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Last year, Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Retired Navy Admiral Ann Phillips to spearhead efforts for coastal adaptation to climate change.

After nearly 31 years in the Navy where she implemented climate change adaptation plans, she is traveling the state putting together a coastal master plan.

She hopes it will inform a tight-fisted and, in some cases reluctant, General Assembly to fund statewide climate change adaptation and protection when it reconvenes this winter.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Virginia Governor Announces Special Session on Gun Control

StateSeal00Governor Ralph Northam announced Tuesday he will summon lawmakers back to the state Capitol to consider a package of gun-control legislation, saying last week’s deadly mass shooting in Virginia Beach calls for “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.” Mallory Noe-Payne has further details.

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What Impacts Could the Special Session Have In November?

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Lawmakers will be returning to Richmond for a special session on guns. But will anything happen? Michael Pope reports.

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Deadline Approaching for Program to Combat Childhood Hunger

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Hunger is a problem in Virginia schools, and educators say students can’t learn if they are hungry.

But are schools doing everything they can to prevent that from happening? Michael Pope reports.

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Political Operatives Say Response to Virginia Beach Shooting Strikes a Familiar Tone

StateSeal00The shooting in Virginia Beach over the weekend is prompting a familiar discussion about firearms and whether new restrictions are needed. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Job Corps Centers closing in SW Virginia, Incentives for incoming Va. Tech Freshmen to wait

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Virginia Tech’s incoming class has turned out to be a little more than the school bargained for…and a decision to end a federal jobs program in the Virginia coalfields is drawing strong opposition.

These 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.

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The Shifting Identity of Virginia’s Labor Force

laborforceparticipationVirginia’s workforce is losing young people and gaining older people. Michael Pope explains.

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Lawmakers Eliminate State-Funded Abortion Program

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State lawmakers have cut funding for a Department of Health program that pays for certain abortions. The budget amendment slid under the radar during a busy legislative session. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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As Supreme Court Considers Virginia Redistricting Case, Primaries Get Closer

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Voters are about to head to the polls across Virginia, even though the United States Supreme Court is still considering a challenge to a dozen districts.

Michael Pope reports.

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A Scholarship: One Man’s Effort to Fix the Wrongs of Prince Edward County

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Taikein Cooper

Prince Edward County in Central Virginia is known for locking a generation of black students out of education by closing down its public schools. That was during the desegregation battles of the 1960’s.

Now, one man is trying to help right that wrong by starting a scholarship and mentorship program, with a thousand dollars of his own money.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

Any recent graduate of Prince Edward County High School can apply with a video submission.

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Virginia is Facing a Critical Shortage of Mental Health Professionals

StateSeal00As May comes to a close, the issues surrounding mental health continue to resonate during Mental Health Awareness Month. Some parts of the state are struggling more than others. Michael Pope reports.

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C’ville Company Uses Genetics and Big Data to Find Better Medical Treatments

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  Amrie Grammer is co-founder of AMPEL, a company that combines genetics and big data to discover new medical treatments. (Credit Amrie Grammer)

Getting approval for new drugs takes years and costs companies millions of dollars.  What’s more, clinical trials sometimes fail, leaving firms with nothing to show.

Now, however, a Virginia company is taking a different approach – looking at drugs that already have FDA approval to see what other conditions they might treat.

Sandy Hausman explains.

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New Law Makes Accessing Treatment for Autism Easier

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Governor Ralph Northam signs the legislation. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

Across the country, one in every 59 children born today will be diagnosed with autism.

Now in Virginia they can no longer be denied coverage by insurance companies.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Luria Snags A Pair of Legislative Victories for Veterans and Their Families

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Congresswoman Elaine Luria

Just in time for Memorial Day, one member of Congress is delivering some good news to members of the armed services. Michael Pope has the story.

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Drops in Students Pursuing Teaching Profession Worry Former Education Secretary

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Is Virginia headed to a teacher shortage?  Some education leaders in the teaching profession fear so.

Michael Pope reports.

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Beyer Calls for Impeachment Inquiry Against Trump; Will Others Join Him?

Don_Beyer,_official_114th_Congress_photo_portrait.jpegDemocrats in Virginia are divided about whether to impeach President Trump. Michael Pope reports.

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Helping the Disabled Out of Their Homes

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Notes written for the Martin family became a part of their ramp. (Credit: SAW Virginia)

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed almost 30 years ago. And since then public spaces and businesses have become much more accessible. But that doesn’t mean anything to someone who can’t make it out of their home. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Congresswoman Wexton Working to Protect Obama-Era HUD Regulation

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Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton

Should transgender youth be turned away from homeless shelters? One Virginia member of Congress is taking issue with the Trump administration’s position on that question. Michael Pope reports.

Wexton also had this to say on Twitter:

She also posted details related to her bill:

 

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Probe Inconclusive Regarding Racist Photo on Governor Ralph Northam’s Yearbook Page

governor-northam-official-photo_800We just don’t know. That’s the result of a months-long investigation into a racist photo found on Governor Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page. Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest from a press conference today.

Virginia’s political world was waiting for big news from the investigation of the Eastern Virginia Medical School into the blackface photo that appeared on Governor Ralph Northam’s yearbook page. But, as Michael Pope reports, reaction to the investigation was muted.

You can find the full report here.

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Parole, Pardons and the Fight for Reform

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Credit: David Nakayama / Creative Commons

Since Virginia abolished parole in 1995 there’s been just one way for most inmates to win an early release from state prisons – asking for a pardon from the governor.

Sandy Hausman examines the backlog and a new public outreach effort by Virginia officials.

Part 1:

Since Virginia abolished parole in 1995 there’s been just one way for most inmates to win an early release from state prisons – asking for a pardon from the governor.

As a result, Ralph Northam’s team may be overwhelmed by a backlog of cases, and some pleas have languished for years.

Part 2:

Officials have designated this May as “Second Chance Month” for about 37,000 state prisoners.

Those who committed their crimes before 1995 are eligible for parole, and Virginia has been freeing about 12% of them each year, but one high profile prisoner says he hasn’t even gotten a first chance.

Part 3:

Virginia’s Department of Corrections spends over a billion dollars a year to operate 41 prisons where it holds about 30-thousand inmates.  Another seven-thousand are kept in regional jails.

13,000 of them are freed annually after serving their sentence, but nearly one in four will be back after committing new crimes.

Part 4:

This year, Congress approved a series of reforms to the criminal justice system – changes that should reduce the number of people in federal prisons.

In Virginia’s General Assembly, several proposed reforms failed, but Democrats say that could change if they get control of the legislature in November.

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Incumbents in some Key Races Trail in Fundraising

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Campaign-finance numbers show several members of the General Assembly need to play catch up now that the session has ended. Michael Pope has details.

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Virginia’s Congressional Delegation Goes on Record with Climate Change Vote

StateSeal00The politics of climate change are dividing members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation. Michael Pope reports from Capitol Hill.

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Congressman Scott Wants to Eliminate Age Discrimination in the Workplace

BobbyScottShould older workers have a higher burden to prove age discrimination? One Virginia congressman says no, and he’s moving forward with a bill to do something about it. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawmakers Urged to Plan Now, In Case Trade War Hurts Virginia

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Virginia state revenues are looking strong.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, a trade war and heavy debt at the federal level could threaten that.

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State Targets Spanish Speakers for Medicaid Expansion

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Credit: MBandman / Creative Commons

New data from the state shows enrollment in the expanded Medicaid program is on target. And now there’s a new campaign to target Spanish speakers. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Virginia’s Talent Pipeline May Soon See a Big Shift

StateSeal00For many years, young people in Southside and Southwest Virginia have been leaving the area after graduating from college. But, that may not be the case for much longer. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Republicans Back Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration, With Some Reservations

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(Credit: Rog Cogswell via flickr.com / CC)

The Trump administration has sent conflicting messages on its plan for oil and gas drilling off Virginia’s coast.

But it now seems to be moving ahead with plans to explore the reserves sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic.

As correspondent Matt Laslo reports, that’s music to the ears of the state’s four Republicans in Congress.

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Governor Signs Tobacco Free Schools Legislation

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Many of Virginia’s school buildings are tobacco free – but some aren’t.

New legislation signed by the Governor Tuesday will change that. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Riggleman Wants to Track Down Bad Actors in Banking

400px-Denver_Riggleman,_official_116th_Congress_photo_portraitCongress is expected to vote this afternoon on a bill introduced by a freshman Virginia congressman that could provide a much better window into the intersection between banking and terrorism. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Climate Change’s impact on Hampton Roads, Signs banning cursing down in Virginia Beach

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Realization of the potential cost of climate change is hitting home in Hampton Roads. And one of Virginia’s prime vacation spots may soon stop reminding you that it’s illegal to swear in public. 

 

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.

 

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