The American Eagle in Virginia: A Great Conservation Story

Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, shows a 3-year-old eagle treated for broken bones and lead poisoning. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

The Wildlife Center of Virginia recently returned three bald eagles to the wild – the last of them in Grottoes’ Grand Caverns Park. 

The recovery of our national bird could be the best conservation story in Virginia, but there’s one thing we must do to ensure their future, as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Pope and Schapiro: Census Data And Redistricting

Population changes and voting districts have been in this week’s political headlines.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch and Michael Pope break down the potential impacts of the Census and redistricting.

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Should Rent Relief Start With Landlords?

Tenants across Virginia who are having a hard time making ends meet are about to get some temporary relief.

But, as Michael Pope reports, many people fear what could be coming when those protections expire.

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Some Localities in Virginia Throwing Shade at Solar Projects

The future’s so bright for solar energy, some local governments want to put on shades. Many planning commissions and county supervisors across Virginia are considering restrictions on solar panels. Michael Pope reports.

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Concerns Over Distribution of Funds for School HVAC Upgrades Heating Up

Schools across Virginia are about to get federal stimulus money to help them pay for upgrades to their HVAC systems. But, some are concerned about how that money will be distributed. Michael Pope reports.

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Can Confederate Monuments Be Recycled?

James O’Neil, owner of the O.K. Foundry in Richmond, poses with the iron chair commissioned by a New York City gallery. (Credit: RADIO IQ)

As cities all over the South remove confederate monuments, most are also debating what to do with  statues that weigh 8,000 pounds or more.  In Charlottesville, members of city council have suggested melting them down and providing bronze to local artists who could make new sculptures from it. 

We asked reporter Sandy Hausman to find out how that might work.

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Asian Fly Threatens Fruit Crops, Vineyards and Everyone’s Back Yard

Credit: Cooperative Extension

Officials are asking for public help in tracking a bug that threatens Virginia’s fruit crops and vineyards. The spotted lanternfly, first seen here in 2018, is on the move – invading counties where it wasn’t found before. Sandy Hausman has details.

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Advocates Lament Lack of Funding for Social Services at Community Schools

Many advocates across Virginia are hoping local community schools could become a hub for social services. But, they’re dealing with a major setback. Michael Pope reports.

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Pope & Schapiro: Mask Mandates And Making Judges

A quick crackdown on masks and the quick confirmation of 8 judges got the attention of the state’s political circles.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Pope talk about this week’s action.

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McAuliffe Not Saying Much About Right to Work… For Now

Labor groups across Virginia are hoping that Virginia joins other states in ditching its controversial right-to-work law, which prevents employers from compelling employees to pay union dues. Michael Pope reports that that’s an issue former Governor Terry McAuliffe doesn’t have much to say about.

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New Poll: McAuliffe Holds a 5-Point Advantage Over Youngkin

Credit: NPR

The August temperatures aren’t the only thing getting hotter. The campaign for governor is heating up as the fall election season draws closer. Michael Pope reports.

Here’s a link to the poll.

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General Assembly Agrees to Budget for ARPA billions

The General Assembly approved a budget compromise between the House of Delegates and the Senate Monday, adding millions for public safety and law enforcement, but which amounted to a small fraction of the $4.3 billion legislators appropriated. Jahd Khalil reports.

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State Democrats Send Eight New Judges to the Virginia Court of Appeals

Credit: Michael Pope

The Virginia Appeals Court is getting a makeover, including new powers and new judges. Michael Pope reports the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate have approved a diverse slate of new judges.

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Virginia Wants Your Climate Change Stories

Ann Phillips, special assistant to the governor for coastal adaptation and protection, talks about increased flooding in Virginia.
(Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

You’ve heard it before. Virginia’s coasts are sinking as sea levels rise and oceans warm, leading to bigger, more frequent weather events and flooding.

The state is now collecting stories from those now bearing the brunt of these changes.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Equity Programs Debate Leads to Fireworks in the House of Delegates

Legislators were in Richmond Monday to make a final decision on $3 billion of federal relief money. But, a debate over equity programs in public schools produced the bigger fireworks. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Righting Past Wrongs And Remembering Black Trailblazers

Virginia could issue a license plate honoring a Black-owned newspaper that campaigned for racial justice a century ago. And Martinsville City Council has asked the governor to posthumously commute the death sentences of seven Black men executed decades ago.

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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School Masks Requirement: What is “Practicable?”

A sign on a door at a school in Hopewell (Credit: Jahd Khalil)

Governor Ralph Northam did not issue a mask mandate for schools in Virginia.

Instead he argued that legislation passed earlier this year requires masks.

Jahd Khalil has this report about mitigation and litigation.

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As Budget Emerges From Conference Committee, Advocates Hoped For More

The House of Delegates chamber (Credit: Jahd Khalil)

Members of the House of Delegates and state Senate have struck a deal to spend billions of dollars of stimulus money.

Michael Pope the latest on the negotiations. 

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Pope & Schapiro: Scenes from the Special Session

Lawmakers are making progress in a special session to spend federal stimulus money and appoint new appeals court judges.

Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch and Michael Pope discuss what’s been done so far.

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Governor: Most State Workers Must Be Vaccinated Or Tested

Gov. Ralph Northam announces the new vaccine requirement. (Credit: Governor’s Office Livestream)

Governor Ralph Northam took a big step Thursday afternoon, requiring state employees to get vaccinated or submit to regular testing.

Jahd Khalil has the details.

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Lawmakers Going Behind Closed Doors to Come Together on State Budget

Many lawmakers were hoping for a lightning fast special session this week. But, now members of the House and Senate are haggling over the details. Michael Pope reports.

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House OK’s State Budget, But Virginia Senate Adds a Few Amendments

Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ

The House of Delegates is moving forward with a massive spending plan to appropriate billions of dollars of stimulus cash. Michael Pope has details.

Members of the Virginia Senate say the stimulus spending plan the governor sent them isn’t good enough, and they’re suggesting a change that would help sheriff’s deputies. Reporter Michael Pope has more on their proposed amendments.

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Redistricting Commissioners Worry About Workload And Timeline

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission during a recent meeting. (Credit: Jahd Khalil)

The commissioners who will redraw Virginia’s voting districts have said in a number of ways that they still don’t have the help they need, or enough time, to complete their work.

Jahd Khalil reports those concerns were evident at the meeting Tuesday. 

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Lawmakers Working to Iron Out Wrinkles in Eviction Protections

Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ

Lawmakers are back in Richmond trying to figure out how to spend billions of dollars in federal stimulus money. Michael Pope reports the spending bill is also expected to have language aimed at helping guard against evictions.

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Garden Stores Swamped by Would-Be Cannabis Growers

Happy Trees in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition offers advice and supplies for growing cannabis. (Credit: Sandy Hausman)

It’s now legal in Virginia to possess small amounts of marijuana, but the only way to get it legally is to essentially grow your own. 

That’s given a big boost to business at local nurseries and garden stores as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Expanded Unemployment Benefit Targeted By Republican Senator

Lawmakers are back in Richmond for a special session.

And as Michael Pope reports, a Republican effort to end the extended unemployment benefit during the pandemic may get some unexpected support.

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State Democrats Pushing for a Speedy Special Session

The Virginia Senate chamber has been outfitted with individual plexiglass boxes for every senator. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Democrats who are in charge of the General Assembly are hoping to oversee a swift special session to spend billions of dollars in federal stimulus money. Michael Pope reports.

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Virginia Lawmakers Convene In Person For Special Session

The House of Delegates prepares to begin the special session. Some members wore masks but many others did not. (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Legislators returned to the Virginia State Capitol for the first time since the spring of 2020. Reporter Jahd Khalil reports from the capitol. 

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Va. News: Helping Hands And Mental Health

An international non-profit is helping a small southwest Virginia town create its first park… And cases involving people with mental health issues may soon be heard in a special court in the Shenandoah Valley.

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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Pope & Schapiro: Looking Ahead To The Special Session

Lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for a special session to spend federal stimulus money and appoint judges to an expanded appeals court.

Richmond Times Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro and Michael Pope break it all down for us in a new weekly conversation about Virginia politics and government.

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Legislators Look To Add Diversity To Appeals Court

Lawmakers are about to appoint a half dozen new appeals court judges.

Michael Pope reports many legislators want to add some diversity to the bench.

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Redistricting Commission Holding Public Hearings

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission during a meeting in July. (Credit: Jahd Khalil)

The Virginia Redistricting Commission is about to start drawing new political boundaries for the Commonwealth.

And Michael Pope reports they’re getting an earful.

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Kaine: Virginia Leads in Rent Disbursements

Almost 50,000 families have gotten rent relief since July of last year.

Jahd Khalil reports that even though Virginia may be doing better than other states, many families are still at risk.

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Virginia Republicans Say They’re Shut Out Of Relief Money Negotiations

Lawmakers are getting ready for a special session to determine how to spend more than four billion dollars of federal stimulus money.

But as Michael Pope reports, some lawmakers are worried they won’t be able to offer much input.

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Special Session Will Remake Virginia Court Of Appeals

Judges of the Virginia Court of Appeals (Credit: Court of Appeals of Virginia Website)

Lawmakers will be back in Richmond next week to figure out how to spend more than four billion dollars of federal stimulus money.

As Michael Pope reports, they’ll also elect several new judges.

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Governor Proposes $250 million for School HVAC Systems

(Credit: Jahd Khalil)

The air children breathe in schools has always been important, but during COVID-19 that importance is especially obvious.

With billions of Federal money coming into Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam proposed a good chunk of that to improve ventilation systems in schools.

Jahd Khalil was in Hopewell for the announcement.

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Va. News: New Names And New Rockets

Rockets have been launched from Virginia’s Wallop’s Island for years. Now they may also be made in Virginia.  And five Virginia community colleges are changing their names.

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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Governor Avoids Mandates Despite Rising New Cases

Governor Ralph Northam on a tour of Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Health Professions on July 22, 2021 (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Governor Ralph Northam said he was going to stick with encouraging vaccination and other safeguards rather than mandating them in a variety of contexts Thursday, despite accelerating new cases. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Federal Pandemic Aid: Advocates Call for More Affordable Housing

Lawmakers will be back in Richmond next week to figure out how to spend $4 billion of federal stimulus money. One agenda item they’ll be debating is affordable housing. Michael Pope reports.

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With Monday Vote, SW Virginia Stays Unrepresented on Redistricting Commission

Members of the Virginia Redistricting Commission meet in Richmond on July 19, 2021. (Credit: Jahd Khalil / RADIO IQ)

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission chose a new member Monday, leaving the commission without a member from Southwest Virginia. Jahd Khalil reports.

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Federal Pandemic Aid: Advocates Push for Eviction Protections

Lawmakers are about to return to Richmond for a special session to determine how to spend more than four billion dollars of federal stimulus money. Some advocates want them to take action to protect people against evictions. Michael Pope reports.

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McAuliffe Promises Ban On Sale Of Assault-style Weapons, High Capacity Magazines

Terry McAuliffe and Gabby Giffords speak during a campaign event Wednesday. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Preventing gun violence is near the top of the agenda for many voters. 

And as Michael Pope explains, it’s already becoming a hot topic in the campaign for governor.

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Interest Groups Lining Up Proposals on How to Spend Federal Funding

Lawmakers are returning to Richmond to figure out how to spend more than four billion dollars of federal stimulus money. Michael Pope has this preview.

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UVA’s Innocence Project Calls on FBI to Take Another Look at 25-Year-Old Cold Case

Julie Williams and Lollie Winans (Credit: FBI)

It’s been 25 years since two women were found dead at their Shenandoah National Park campsite. Now, the FBI has put up posters, hoping to generate new leads, but the Innocence Project in Charlottesville has another idea. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Another Virginia Locality Implements Collective Bargaining Agreements Under New Law

Credit: Arlington County Virginia – Government Facebook Page

Local governments across Virginia are considering entering into collective bargaining agreements with their employees. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: New Police Data And New COVID-19 Treatment Options

A group that provides free medical services in far Southwestern Virginia has brought advanced COVID-19 treatments to the region. And a Virginia law that requires police to compile data on traffic stops has produced some enlightening information.

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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Environmentalists Still Battling Fossil Fuels Despite Clean Economy Act

The Virginia Clean Economy Act has been law in Virginia for a year now. However, many environmental groups are still fighting against natural gas projects. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam Proposal Would See All Virginia Households Connected to Broadband by 2024

Governor Ralph Northam proposed a historic investment in the state’s continued efforts to get Virginians connected to broadband Friday. Nick Gilmore has details.

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Resignations, Injuries at State Hospitals Increasing

The Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents is one of several state hospitals facing a staffing shortage. (Credit: DBHDS)

A state health official updated lawmakers on the dire situation at Virginia’s mental hospitals Thursday, after she she told five of eight state-run hospitals to stop admitting new patients last week. Jahd Khalil reports.

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New Book Explores Why Lack of Broadband Access Has Been a Struggle in Virginia

Credit: MBandman / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/mbandman/23033039562

The lack of broadband connection across parts of Virginia has been a source of concern for years. Now, a new book explores why. Michael Pope reports.

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