Poll Finds Many Don’t Believe Elections Are Fair And Open

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Voters are a few months away from the midterm elections.

But do they feel confident that their votes will count?

Michael Pope has some new poll results.

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Nonprofit News Site Will Connect Policy to People

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  The Virginia Mercury Staff from left to right: Ned Oliver, Katie O’Connor, Robert Zullo and Mechelle Hankerson.
(Credit: Robert Zullo)

Virginia’s newest media outlet launches today. The Virginia Mercury is a nonprofit state-wide news website.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports the scrappy start-up comes at a time when other outlets are cutting back.

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Is A Generational Fight Brewing Among Virginia Democrats?

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The Republican Party is sharply divided over its controversial candidate for U.S. Senate.

But the Democrats are also divided.

As Michael Pope reports, some Democrats in the House of Delegates are staging an insurgency.

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Va. News: Lawsuit Over Virginia Tourism Slogan, Plans To Alter Richmond Neighborhoods

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Virginia is going to court over alleged misuse of its “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan. And the gentrification battle is again being fought, this time in a pair of Richmond neighborhoods.

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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Could More Mental Health Counseling Improve School Safety?

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 Credit Derek Bruff/Flickr CC

The school shooting in Florida earlier this year caused a new round of discussions about gun safety, although Republicans in the General Assembly say they would rather talk about other ways to make schools safer.

As Michael Pope reports, one of those ways is to look at mental health in the classroom.

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Kaine Makes Point on Trade with Virginia Whiskey

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A frame of video shows Sen. Tim Kaine (D – Virginia) making a point with a bottle of Catoctin Creek whiskey.

A Virginia distillery got some unexpected attention this week/recently when Senator Tim Kaine held up a bottle of its whisky in Congress.

He was making a point about the effects of the Trump administration’s trade war.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Virginia’s Efforts To Restore Seaside Grasses May Be A Worldwide Model

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Harvested eel grass with seed pods (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Sea grass world-wide is in trouble. Losses are estimated at an area the size of a football field every half-hour.

Along the Atlantic, near the very tip of the DelMarVa Peninsula, scientists and conservationists have been working for a decade to restore one underwater sea grass that succumbed to disease and the hurricane of 1933.

Pamela D’Angelo asked, why the big effort?

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Will New Medicaid Patients Be Able To Find Doctors?

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Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr

Hundreds of thousands of people in Virginia are about to gain access to health insurance through Medicaid. But will they be able to find doctors? Michael Pope has details.

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State Democrats Hope Stewart Nomination Will Help Flip Key House Seats

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Credit: Publius2016 at English Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Virginia Democrats are trying to tie vulnerable House members in the Commonwealth to the GOP’s controversial U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Seeking Escape from Violence, She Came to Virginia. Now She’s Fighting to Stay.

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  Abbie Arevalo-Herrera, center, hugs her sister and is embraced by her husband during a press conference at First Unitarian Universalist Church on June 22nd.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

It’s been three weeks since church members in Richmond offered sanctuary to a young mother facing deportation.

She and her daughter came to Virginia from Honduras in 2013, fleeing an abusive relationship and crossing the border illegally.

She’s since married a man here in Virginia and has had another child.

Reporter Mallory Noe-Payne visited her, and has more on how she’s doing.

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Virginia Is Now Above the National Average in Reported Identity Theft Crimes

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Credit: Marcie Casas / Creative Commons

Identity theft is on the rise in Virginia, which now has a rate of reported crimes higher than the national average. Michael Pope explains why.

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Virginia is a National Leader in School Safety, But There’s Still Room for Improvement

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State lawmakers get a security tour of Meadowbrook High School in Chesterfield County. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

Although Virginia has taken school safety seriously, there’s still room for improvement. That’s what members of the Select Committee on School Safety, formed after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, heard today when they met for the second time. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Congressman Taylor Introduces Legislation That Seeks to Stop Continuing Resolutions

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Republican Congressman Scott Taylor

Congress doesn’t have a reputation for managing money well. But these days it seems like lawmakers are unwilling — or unable — to balance the checkbook on time. And, as Michael Pope reports, one Virginia congressman says that poses a danger to national security.

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Citing Safety, Police Scanners Across Virginia Go Silent

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Credit: Paul McCord / Flickr CC

Across Virginia, and the country, police scanners are going quiet — at least for the public. Mallory Noe-Payne reports on the growing trend of encrypting first responder communication.

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Medicaid Expansion in Virginia Could Cut Down on Maternal Mortality Rates

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Credit: Wellness GM / Flickr

When black women give birth in Virginia, they are far more likely to die as a result of the pregnancy than white women. Now, as Michael Pope reports, those numbers might be about to change.

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Charlottesville Civil Rights Pilgrimage Brings Painful Past To The Present

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John Henry James was lynched 120 years ago this week. Now, soil collected from the site of his murder will be delivered to the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
(Credit: Emily Richardson-Lorente)

Two tour buses rolled out of Charlottesville Sunday morning, with about 100 people and one jar of soil aboard.

They’re on a pilgrimage, of sorts, to commemorate John Henry James, a lynching victim who died in Charlottesville 120 years ago this week.

Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

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Local Governments Look To Recharge ‘War On Poverty’

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MBandman/Creative Commons

Cities across Virginia are taking action against poverty.

Michael Pope has the story.

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New Exhibit Explores Richmond’s Monuments

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Richmond’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee along the city’s Monument Avenue. (Credit: Ron Cogswell / Flickr)

One of the recommendations of the recently-released Monument Avenue report is to create a permanent exhibit that takes a deep dive into the history of Richmond’s Confederate monuments. As of this week, those monuments are already getting some historical treatment at Richmond’s Valentine Museum. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Child Poverty Is Rising But Children Getting TANF Benefits Is Declining

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Some fear that the social safety net in Virginia may be crumbling.

Michael Pope explains why.

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Celebrating Independence Day by Becoming American

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Matthew and Zaima Fox with their daughter. (Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne / RADIO IQ)

There may be no better way to celebrate the Fourth of July, then by becoming an American citizen. About a hundred people, originally from 40 different countries, gathered in Richmond Wednesday to take the oath of citizenship.

The naturalization ceremony was hosted by the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and introduces us to one of Virginia’s newest citizens.

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Medicaid Will Expand In Virginia, But Spending Has Been Growing For Years

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MBandman/Creative Commons

Hundreds of thousands of people in Virginia are about to get health insurance as a result of Medicaid expansion.

But as Michael Pope reports, the program has been growing even before the expansion.

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Fundraising Totals Paint An Uphill Battle for Corey Stewart in Senate Race

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Credit: Publius2016 at English Wikipedia / Creative Commons

The campaign for U.S. Senate in Virginia has some seriously lopsided fundraising totals. Michael Pope is digging into the numbers.

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New Tool Seeks to Show Impacts of Defense Spending in Virginia

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Credit: David B. Gleason / Creative Commons

Between 2012 and 2017, defense spending in Virginia fell 20%. This year, however, the Pentagon’s budget is up, and just in time the state has introduced a website where communities can find out what that means for them. Sandy Hausman has details.

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Living History, Richmond’s Slave Trail

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  Janine Bell, president and creative director of the Elegba Folklore Society.
(Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

For generations, the trade of enslaved Africans fueled Virginia’s economy, and Richmond was once the hub of that market.

For those who want to confront that difficult past, there’s the Richmond Slave Trail.

Reporter Mallory Noe-Payne went along on the night time tour, and has this report.

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State Republican Chair Resigns

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Virginia Republicans are in a state of flux right now, a shift that could have long-term consequences for Virginia politics.

Michael Pope has the story.

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Williams Aims to Make History in First Congressional District

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Credit Vangie Williams for Congress

Only four women have ever represented Virginia on Capitol Hill, and never a woman of color.

Now a Democratic candidate in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District is hoping to change that.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Kaine Signs On To Legislation To Decriminalize Marijuana

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Sen. Tim Kaine (Credit: U. S. Senate Photo)

Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine surprised many political watchers when he tossed his support behind a new bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level.

Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

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Va. News: Free AC for Richmond Seniors, Volunteer Rescue Squads Struggle to Keep Staff

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Several hundred Richmond seniors who would have spent the summer without air conditioning are getting some relief…  and volunteer rescue squads are struggling to remain viable all across Virginia.

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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Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction Temporarily Halted

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A section of pipeline construction near Sinking Creek in Giles County. (Credit: Mountain Valley Watch)

Construction work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been temporarily suspended. A statement from the company Friday says recent heavy rain has heightened erosion control concerns. Robbie Harris reports.

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UVA’s Crystal Ball Predicts Trouble for Some of Virginia’s Republican Incumbents

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According to the UVA School of Politics, evidence points to a significant possibility that Representative Barbara Comstock could lose her seat this fall.

The politics of Virginia’s congressional elections may be shifting, according to new projections. Michael Pope explains.

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Congressman Beyer Says Migrant Children Should Be Provided With Lawyers

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  Rep. Don Beyer and other lawmakers speak to reporters outside the Immigration Court in Arlington. (Credit Michael Pope)

The crisis at the border is still playing out in courtrooms across the country, including many immigration courts here in Virginia.

Michael Pope went to one of those courts in Arlington to get a sense of how it works.

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Virginia Joins Other States in Suing Purdue Pharma

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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (Edward Kimmel / Flickr)

Purdue Pharma says it’s ended programs promoting opioids, and they’re disappointed by a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Virginia’s Attorney General. Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Social Justice and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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John and Ruby Laury fear the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will rob them of clean air, clean water and the quiet of their rural neirhborhood. (Credit Sandy Hausman)

Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have warned of possible harm to the environment and challenged Dominion’s right to take private property for this purpose.

Now, another group is coming forward with a different claim as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Warner Tours Virginia Facility Housing Detained Immigrant Children

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  Senator Mark Warner speaks to reporters Wednesday outside the Youth for Tomorrow facility in Bristow. (Credit Michael Pope)

Some of the children caught up in the recent immigration policy enforcement are here in Virginia.

Michael Pope went to one facility in Northern Virginia where more than a dozen children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are being housed.

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New Cabinet Post to Deal with Rising Seas

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According to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, much of Virginia’s coastline will face persistent and chronic flooding by the end of the century.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, a new cabinet member in Virginia is being tasked with fighting the flooding.

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Virginia Lawyers Detail Work With Immigrant Families

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A team of volunteer lawyers from Northern Virginia spent four days interviewing more than 200 undocumented immigrants in Texas who were desperate to be reunited with their children. (Credit: Michael Pope)

A team of Virginia lawyers spent much of the last week volunteering to help more than 200 immigrant parents separated from their children. Michael Pope has the story.

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New Bike Helmet Ratings from VT; Newer Models Better at Preventing Injury

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Megan Bland, a biomedical engineering and mechanics doctoral student, positions a bicycle helmet for testing. Bland conducted most of the research behind new five-star safety ratings that describe how well different helmets reduce head-injury risk. (Credit: Virginia Tech)

Most people know that wearing a bike helmet reduces the chances you’ll be injured if you crash. But until now, there were no ratings that tracked actual, real world head impacts to determine which helmets protect best. Robbie Harris reports.

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Controlled Burns Boost Songbird Populations

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Nikole Simmons (left) and Laurel Schablein count birds following several controlled burns in the forests near Warm Springs.

Year after year, scientists report falling numbers of songbirds in Virginia. One likely reason – changes in the places they like to feed, mate and nest. To provide them with more healthy habitat, the Nature Conservancy is doing something bold – burning large sections of an 18,000 acre forest in western Virginia. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Once Caught In Judicial Stalemate, Virginia Judge Now Considered For Federal Post

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One lost opportunity is turning into a new gig for one Virginia judge.

Michael Pope explains.

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Va. News: Smithfield Hams, Gender-Neutral Graduation Wear in Richmond

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Smithfield Foods is no longer curing hams in Smithfield. And Richmond’s school superintendent says it’s time for gender-neutral caps and gowns.

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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Support for Corey Stewart Inches Toward Suburban and Urban Areas

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Corey Stewart celebrates victory in the Republican primary on June 12. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Voting results in the recent Republican primary for U.S. Senate show some signs that the traditional urban-rural divide may be slipping a bid.

Michael Pope is looking at the numbers.

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Drink with Your Dog Thanks to New Law

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Cooper Vineyards in Louisa (Credit Virginia Department of Agriculture)

Rolling into the weekend you may have plans to relax at one of Virginia’s many breweries or wineries

Mallory Noe-Payne reports that in the future, thanks to a new law, you may be able to bring your four legged-friend with you.

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VCU Marks 50 Years Of Impact On Richmond

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Richmond’s largest employer and one of the state’s biggest universities is marking a major milestone this summer.

Jason Fuller reports on how it’s changed the physical landscape of the city.

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Virginia Politicians Respond to Alleged Abuse at Detention Facility

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Virginia politicians are responding to reports of physical and emotional abuse of immigrant children detained at a juvenile justice center outside Staunton.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Will Tax Incentives Lure Businesses to Struggling Parts Of Virginia?

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Businesses across the country are about to get major new tax incentives to move to some of the poorest parts of Virginia.

But will it work?

Michael Pope reports.

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Garrett’s Independent Streak Flourishes Since Reelection Announcement

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Rep. Tom Garrett

Leaving Congress can be a liberating time in the life of an elected official, a time when lawmakers don’t have to listen to leadership or donors.

Michael Pope has the story of one Central Virginia congressman who says he lived those values his entire time in office.

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Coming Near You? Boozy Baked Goods.

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(Credit: Lush Cupcakes)

Breweries and wineries are booming in Virginia.

And now, thanks to a change in state law, a new alcohol-inspired industry may soon blossom: boozy baked goods.

Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Virginia Students Design the Future of Travel

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  Patrick Welch, a member of VCU’s Hyperloop team, at work at BuildRVA.
(Credit: VCU College of Engineering)

SpaceX, the company run by Elon Musk has made headlines for revolutionizing space travel.

But the company is also focused on travel right here on Earth — a high-speed futuristic train called the Hyperloop.

It doesn’t exist yet, but college students around the world have done their part to inch the Hyperloop closer to reality, by taking part in an international design competition.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports two of the twenty teams that are worldwide finalists are from Virginia.

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New Law Sets Cap on Suspensions

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Credit: jeffrey montes / Flickr

In Virginia, some students are suspended for months, or even an entire school year. A new law that takes effect July 1st, seeks to change that. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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A Civil War Camp for Kids

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Campers will discover not all Civil War soldiers dressed in blue or gray.
(Credit: National Museum of the Civil War Soldier)

Kids heading for summer camp have lots of choice – from conventional outdoor adventures to programs specializing in computers, the science of space travel and plenty of sports.

Here in Virginia, there’s a camp that allows children to experience the American Civil War.

Sandy Hausman traveled to Petersburg to check it out.

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