Donors to Democratic Candidates Are Going to Want a Return on Their Investment

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Special interest groups that funded many Democratic campaigns are going to be expecting action in the next General Assembly session. Michael Pope reports.

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Despite Democratic Control, Reigning in Predatory Lenders May Still Be Difficult

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Some are hoping this will finally be the year that lawmakers crack down on high-interest lenders now that Democrats are taking control of the General Assembly. Michael Pope reports.

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Interest Groups: Now is the Time to Better Fund Virginia’s Schools

thumbnail_educationNow that the Democrats are seizing power in Richmond, interest groups are already angling for money from the budget. Michael Pope has this preview of a push for more money for crumbling schools.

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Shortage of Clerks at Crisis Level in Virginia’s District Courts

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If staffing levels aren’t brought up some district courts across the state may have to shorten the hours that customer service desks are open. That would make it more difficult for people to file cases or pay fines.  (Credit Mallory Noe-Payne)

Roughly three million cases a year run through Virginia’s General District Courts. Everything from traffic tickets to homicides.

But according to state staffing models, more than half of those courts are under-staffed. That includes large counties like Fairfax, Chesapeake and Henrico – but also smaller courts in Smyth, Carroll and Rockingham Counties.

Mallory Noe-Payne visited one of those understaffed courts to learn about the impact.

Earlier this fall the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia stood before lawmakers pleading. He was asking for more money so courts across the state could hire more clerks.

According to his office, more than half of the state’s district courts are under-staffed. And that could impact everything from people’s credit to jail-time.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this look at why Virginia’s courts are short staffed and what lawmakers can do about it.

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The Growing Cost of Virginia Elections

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This year’s election for the House of Delegates was the most expensive ever. Michael Pope reports.

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Va. News: Struggling former Coalfields in Southwest Virginia, Martinsville may change to Town status

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Despite years of effort many places in the Virginia coalfields are still struggling to rebuild their economies. And the city of Martinsville is considering becoming a town which is causing some apprehension in surrounding Henry County.

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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“Rumors of War” Unveiling Tuesday in Richmond

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One of Kehinde Wiley’s paintings on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (Credit: Mallory Noe–Payne)

Rumors of War, a statue mirroring and challenging Confederate monuments, will be installed Tuesday at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Mallory Noe-Payne has this preview.

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Virginia’s Congressional Delegation On Opposite Sides of Climate Change Issue

virginia_flag_map_0As the demand to act on climate change mounts, members of the Virginia Congressional delegation are taking a variety of approaches. Michael Pope reports.

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Study: Many Wage Complaints Go Uninvestigated

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When a worker believes they’ve been cheated out of their pay, they can file a complaint with the state.

But Michael Pope reports a new study finds many of those complaints are never investigated.

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Congressman McEachin’s Effort to Get More Young People Enrolled in Health Insurance

399px-Donald_McEachin_portrait_116th_CongressEver since the Trump administration spiked the individual mandate for health insurance back in 2017, young people have avoiding signing up for health insurance. Now, one Virginia congressman is supporting a proposal aimed at getting more young people in the insurance pool. Michael Pope reports.

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New Regulations on Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools Headed to Governor

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Virginia is one step closer to adopting the state’s first-ever set of regulations governing the use of seclusion and restraint on public school students.

As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the proposed rules recently received the necessary approval from multiple state agencies.

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757? Coastal Virginia? — Hampton Roads Considers What’s in a Name

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Localities included in the Hampton Roads Planning District (Credit: hrpdcva.gov)

A community’s brand identity, like Virginia’s Blue Ridge or RVA, can often be a key marketing tool to attract visitors, businesses and new residents.

That’s why a rebranding effort is being considered in Hampton Roads.

Michael Pope has this preview of a report out next week.

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Retail Jobs Drop in Virginia

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(Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Now that the holiday shopping season is underway, new data shows Virginia’s retail trade employment is taking a hit this year.

Michael Pope reports.

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Dominion Energy Outlines Plans to Remove and Recycle Coal Ash

Dominion-EnergyLogo-172x72Dominion Energy is coming up with plans to remove and recycle coal ash from four sites around the state.

Lawmakers got their first update on the new legislative mandate Monday.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Va. News: W&L Students want to alter its Diploma, a Virginia political campaign that cost nothing

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Some graduating students at Washington and Lee University would like an alternate version of the school’s traditional diploma… and in the era of long and expensive political campaigns, one in Virginia lasted an hour and cost nothing.

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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Senator Warner: Let Users Freely Move Their Data From One Social Media Platform to Another

428px-Mark_Warner_113th_Congress_photoShould you be able to move all your cat videos from Facebook to a competing social media platform? Michael Pope explains.

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Could Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants Split Democrats in January?

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Should undocumented immigrants be able to get a Virginia driver’s license? As Michael Pope reports, that’s a question members of the General Assembly will be tackling in January.

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Virginia Senators Hope to Pass Legislation That Would Fix Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund

StateSeal00With Congress mired in impeachment, can anything get done in Washington? Michael Pope has this report about one action item both Virginia senators are hoping will happen before the end of the year.

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State Study of Potential Casinos Raises Concerns for Pamunkey Tribe and City of Norfolk

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Credit: Images Money / taxrebate.org.uk / Flickr

Earlier this year, the city of Norfolk voted to sell waterfront property to the Pamunkey Tribe in the tribe’s latest effort to build a casino.

But a new state report on gaming in Virginia has raised concerns for one city official and the tribe.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Congress Considers Next Steps in Fight Against Opioids

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

Last year a bipartisan group in Congress passed a sweeping law to address the opioid crisis.

But the opioid epidemic continues to rage in states like Virginia and there’s a new Congress, yet the crisis isn’t talked about much at the Capitol these days.

Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington that some lawmakers in the commonwealth want that to change.

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The ERA’s Passage in Virginia Still Faces an Uphill Battle

ERA YEsAs Democrats prepare to take power in Richmond this January, one of their top priorities will be passing the Equal Rights Amendment. What happens after that? Michael Pope explains.

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At Least Two Virginia Lawmakers Want LGBTQ-Related Questions on the 2020 Census

StateSeal00As 2020 draws closer, the debate in Washington about the Census is heating up. Michael Pope has this report on questions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Thanksgiving’s 400th Anniversary… In Virginia

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This week Americans sit down to a big family meal, traditionally connected with the history of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts.

But as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, Virginia has a correction to the Thanksgiving historical record.

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Report: Legalizing Casinos Would Provide Modest Boost

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Credit: Matthew Powell / Flickr

Virginia could raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue if lawmakers choose to legalize casino gambling in several Virginia localities. That’s according to a report presented to lawmakers in Richmond today. Mallory Noe-Payne has more.

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Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom Granted Parole, Will Be Deported

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The governor’s office has written what could be the final chapter in a case that’s sparked controversy for more than 30 years. After months of review, Ralph Northam says he will not pardon Jens Soering, but the 53-year-old prisoner will be paroled. The woman convicted as an accomplice to his crime will also be freed. Sandy Hausman reports.

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Some Local Governments in Rural Virginia Declare 2nd Amendment Sanctuary

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A handful of local governments across Virginia are declaring themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Michael Pope reports the resolutions vow opposition to what some see as an unconstitutional infringement of Second Amendment rights.

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Va. News: Williamsburg teaching Origins of Sexual Orientation in Va., Fluvanna County brands logo

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Colonial Williamsburg has launched an effort learn more about the history of sexual orientation in early America. And Fluvanna County has trademarked its logo after a debate over a rainbow version.

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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Gambling in Virginia? Casinos Will Likely Be a Hot Topic for Lawmakers in January

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Lawmakers in Richmond are about to place their bets on casino gambling. They’ll get a much-anticipated report on Monday. Michael Pope reports.

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As Congress Heads Home, Beyer Holds Impeachment Town Hall

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Rep. Don Beyer

Now that the marathon impeachment hearings have been put on hold as members of Congress leave town for a week, members of the Virginia delegation are hearing from their constituents about impeachment.

Michael Pope has this report from a town hall in Alexandria.

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How the McDonnell Case Could Impact the Impeachment Process

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The case of former Governor Bob McDonnell might end up playing an important role in the impeachment inquiry now playing out in Washington. Michael Pope explains.

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Opponents Think Now is a Good Time for State Lawmakers to Abolish the Death Penalty

virginia_flag_map_0Death penalty opponents are hopeful this is the year they can convince Virginia lawmakers to abolish the death penalty. As Mallory Noe-Payne reports, they’ve spent a decade building a network of support.

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What Research Shows Works, and Doesn’t, With Gun Control

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This week lawmakers gaveled in, and gaveled out, of a reconvened special session. It was an example of how Republican leaders, since losing the majority in November’s elections, have abandoned efforts to pass legislation addressing gun violence. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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New Website Aims to Document Effects of Eastern Shore Poultry Houses

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A truckload of birds is delivered to Tyson’s Temperanceville plant. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

As older chicken houses on the Eastern Shore are being replaced with much larger operations, neighbors and environmental groups have a lot of questions about air and water pollution.

 

Now, a new data tool will give the public a little more information about how the industrial byproduct – poultry manure – is being used.

 

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Could State Democrats Bring Back the Estate Tax?

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About a decade ago, Virginia abandoned the estate tax. Now, some are hoping Democrats bring it back. Michael Pope reports.

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A Night at the Museum: Hopper Exhibit at the VMFA

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(Credit: Mallory Noe-Payne)

The newest exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond takes experiential art to a new level.

The museum has recreated a famous painting of a hotel room, where guests can actually spend a night.

Mallory Noe-Payne checked it out and has this report.

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Tax Analysts to Congress: Consider Helping Low-Income Families in Year-End Budget

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Credit: Rog Cogswell / Creative Commons

As the calendar draws to a close, federal officials in Washington are trying to close out the books. And, that’s creating a whirlwind of jockeying for dollars. Michael Pope reports.

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The Public Expects More from Female CEOs

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  Professor Nicole Montgomery explains findings of two studies showing the public expects more of female CEOS.
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As we approach the 2020 presidential election, some scholars are still speculating over why Hillary Clinton lost her 2016 bid.

At the University of Virginia, two professors at the undergraduate business school have a theory, based on a study of how consumers think about female CEO’s.

Sandy Hausman has that story.

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Va. News: Greene County prosecution seen as Political, Ag tradition upsets some in Floyd County

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A criminal prosecution viewed by many as purely political was called off after Election Day in Greene County.  And the latest culture clash over agricultural tradition in Virginia is happening in Floyd County.

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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Virginia Fights Back Against Trump Administration Climate Change Rollbacks

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  Recent so-called sunny day flooding is happening more frequently around the Chesapeake Bay.
(Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Rollbacks in environmental protection and flood risk management by the Trump administration is forcing states to come up with their own solutions.

On Friday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam mandated one of the country’s strictest standards for state-owned properties in an effort to steer development away from flood-prone areas.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Youth Advocacy Group Points to Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice

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Is justice equal for youth offenders who find themselves caught up in the court system?

Michael Pope has more about a new report that calls attention to some disparities in the system.

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New Democratic Majority Could Work to Give Local Governments More Authority

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Many General Assembly Democrats campaigned on changing the way guns and environmental issues are regulated. Michael Pope reports part of that change may mean giving more flexibility to local governments.

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To Combat Trade War, Northam Announces State-Led Plan

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In Norfolk, Virginia officials announced a long-term plan to increase the state’s international exports.

Governor Northam called it the first ever statewide strategic plan for international trade.

Mallory Noe-Payne has details.

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Youth Advocacy Group Points to Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice

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Is justice equal for youth offenders who find themselves caught up in the court system?

Michael Pope has more about a new report that calls attention to some disparities in the system.

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Virginia Students in Subsidized Housing Often Have to Attend Low-Performing Schools

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As the price of housing skyrockets in areas with good schools, children who live in areas with low-cost housing are stuck with low-performing schools. Michael Pope reports.

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Immigrants Look Poised to Play an Increasingly Important Role in Virginia’s Economy

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Virginia’s population has one of the largest percentages of immigrants in the country. And, they play a key role in the economy of the Commonwealth. Michael Pope reports.

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Statehouse Elections: Uncontested Races had Lowest Turnout

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According to numbers from the Virginia Public Access Project, turnout in last week’s election was record setting for an off year – nearly 40% of registered voters came to the polls. But those numbers vary across the state. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Va. News: Food Deserts in poor neighborhoods, an order for Free Dirt prompts a Lawsuit

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Owners of a grocery store are finding that providing opportunity in an underserved neighborhood isn’t as simple as just showing up… and a homeowner who says she ordered a little dirt ended up with more than she knew what to do with.

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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Virginia Democrats’ Speaker Pick Would be First Woman in Job

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Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (center) and Del Charniele Herring (right) listen to Governor Ralph Northam on Election Night. (Credit Michael Pope)

Virginia is about to get its first female speaker of the House of Delegates.

Michael Pope reports.

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How Much is Too Much for Virginia’s New Democratic Majority?

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Democrats haven’t controlled the House of Delegates for 20 years, so they have a long list of agenda items for the upcoming General Assembly session. (Credit: Michael Pope)

Democrats have a long list of agenda items they want to tackle when the next General Assembly gavels into session. But, they are going to have to think carefully about what they want to accomplish and when. Michael Pope reports.

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Saxis Looks for Solutions to Rising Seas

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Structures made of concrete and oyster shells, like the one in the foreground, are placed in the harbor to create an artificial reef. A homeowner has created their own breakwater in the background, using bricks and concrete debris.
(Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

The tiny Town of Saxis on Virginia’s Eastern Shore is learning to live with water.

Like other communities around the Chesapeake Bay, residents are looking at solutions to the erosion and frequent flooding that comes with climate change.

In part two of her report, Pamela D’Angelo finds out how the town is trying to become resilient.

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