Northam Wants to Speed Up Timeline for Predatory Lending Protections

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Lawmakers are about to consider a significant change to legislation aimed at cracking down on predatory lending. As Michael Pope reports, an amendment from the governor will speed up the timeline.

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Virginia COVID-19 Cases Jump to 7,491, Northam says Economic Reopening is Tied to Case Data

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Virginia jumped to 7,491 Friday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.  That’s an increase of 602, the largest daily increase since the health department began reporting the data. Nick Gilmore has details from Governor Ralph Northam’s April 17th briefing.

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Advocates Say They Want More Protections for Immigrants With Driver Privilege Cards

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Next week, lawmakers will be considering an amendment to a bill allowing driver’s privilege cards for undocumented immigrants. Michael Pope has the story.

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Opponents of Stay-At-Home Orders Rally at Virginia Capitol

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Even as confirmed deaths from COVID-19 rose above 200 today in Virginia, a few dozen people gathered on Capitol Square to protest Governor Ralph Northam’s stay at home orders. Mallory Noe-Payne was there and has this report.

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Northam Extends Executive Order Closing Entertainment and Recreational Businesses By Two Weeks

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During a press conference Wednesday, Governor Ralph Northam said social distancing is working, and because of that, the state is flattening the curve of COVID-19. But, as Mallory Noe-Payne reports, the governor is continuing an executive order closing many businesses across the Commonwealth.

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A Look at What to Expect from the General Assembly Next Week

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Lawmakers will return to Richmond next week for what’s called a reconvene session, although this one will be done in the age of social distancing. Michael Pope has this preview.

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Northam Extends Executive Order Closing Entertainment and Recreational Businesses By Two Weeks

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Gov. Ralph Northam

Governor Ralph Northam is extending his executive order that closes many businesses in Virginia.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest.

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Coronavirus Sharpens Debate Over Digital Ballot Petitions

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Getting on the ballot is not easy for candidates under normal circumstances.

As Michael Pope reports, it’s now becoming a very difficult hurdle for candidates across Virginia.

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At Chincoteague, Covid-19 Closes Spring Roundup to the Public

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Ponies munching on grass near a pond at the refuge. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Every April, hundreds flock to see the Saltwater Cowboys round up famous wild ponies for a bi-annual health check.

But this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be different.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Pay Cuts for Doctors Due to Pandemic

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It might seem strange, but during this pandemic many doctors and nurses are struggling financially.

Sandy Hausman explains why and what’s being done to help them.

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Protecting Virginia’s Homeless from COVID-19

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For thousands of Virginians without a place to live, staying at home isn’t an option.

Earlier this month, Governor Northam announced $2.5 million in emergency funding to help those experiencing homelessness.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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New Data Provides Deeper Picture of COVID-19 in Virginia

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New models from the University of Virginia show social distancing is helping slow the spread of coronavirus in the state.

Mallory Noe-Payne has the latest.

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Va. News: Two School Districts stay offline, Bedford Restaurant excels during pandemic

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The COVID-19 outbreak is proving to be especially challenging for schools where internet service is spotty. And while many restaurants are laying off staff during there’s at least one that’s been hiring.

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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Northam Signs Several Gun-Control Measures Into Law

governor-northam-official-photo_800New gun-safety laws will be radically changing Virginia’s approach starting July 1st. Michael Pope reports.

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Lawsuit Could Free Some State Prisoners

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Governor Northam has announced plans to free about 2,000 inmates who are scheduled for release from state prisons within the next year.  They must pose no threat to public safety and have good prison records.  About 28,000 more will remain behind bars – even if they’re disabled or have medical conditions putting them at high risk for death if they were to catch COVID-19.  Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit may mean freedom for others as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Congressional Response: Virginia’s Delegation and Their Efforts to Combat the Virus

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Virginia lawmakers aren’t in Washington these days, but they’re working overtime to assist constituents in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic. Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

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Many Localities Across Virginia Facing Tough Budget Decisions Thanks to COVID-19

virginia_flag_map_0Local governments across Virginia are now reassessing their budgets for the coming year. Michael Pope has this report on what to expect.

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Update: Pets and COVID-19

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There’s new evidence that cats can become infected with Coronavirus, but preliminary studies show they do not get sick with the disease, nor are they likely pass it on to people. Robbie Harris reports.

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State Officials Want Better Racial Demographic Information on COVID-19 Cases

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Is the pandemic hitting the African-American community harder in Virginia? As Michael Pope reports, the data on that is missing – for now.

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Northam Suggests Moving May Elections, Pushes Back June Primaries

VDH_logo12 additional Virginia residents have died of COVID-19.

The latest numbers from the Virginia Department of Health also shows more than 300 additional cases, for a total of 3,645. Mallory Noe-Payne has more details.

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Voting in a Pandemic: Should Virginia Move to Mail-In Ballots?

voting_rights_3002112985_80b5a719b1Should election officials in Virginia move to a system of mail-in ballots? The pandemic is raising new questions about how ballots are cast. Michael Pope reports.

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Northam: Virginians Should Wear Face Masks While in Public

VDH_logoVirginia’s reported COVID-19 case count grew by more than 800 over the weekend. And deaths caused by the illness increased to 54. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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COVID-19 Pandemic Shedding New Light on Collective Bargaining Debate

virginia_flag_map_0Governor Ralph Northam is now considering a huge number of bills on his desk, even as he navigates the state’s response to coronavirus. Michael Pope has this report about one issue that’s being hotly debated now.

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Virginia Minimum Wage: Should it Extend to Farm Workers?

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Governor Ralph Northam is now considering hundreds of bills the General Assembly sent him last month, including one that raises the minimum wage. Michael Pope reports that the governor is being urged to get rid of an exemption for one category of worker.

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Online School can mean Unique Challenges for ELL Students

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Even though schools are closed for the rest of the year, teachers are trying to keep their students engaged through distance learning.

Many districts are going online. But, as Cat Modlin-Jackson found, the shift might be especially challenging for English learners.

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Va. News: Election officials in Abington want Absentee voting, COVID-19 hampers Roanoke Democrats

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The Covid-19 outbreak is disrupting elections at every level as governments and political parties adjust.

Stories about the political process have been among the most read over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va. News link.

More now from Fred Echols.

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Virginia Prosecutors Face Deadlines Despite Judicial Emergency

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The Supreme Court of Virginia issued a judicial emergency last month in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Credit: Creative Commons)

Any one charged with a crime in Virginia is entitled to a speedy trial. But, as Michael Pope reports, a speedy trial in the age of coronavirus is proving to be a challenge.

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Museums Try to Reach Visitors and Stay Afloat

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  A sign informs visitors of the closure of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. It also includes recommendations for social distancing in the museum’s outdoor areas.
(Credit Cat Modlin-Jackson)

Hundreds of museums across Virginia have closed, just as droves of field trippers and after-hours crowds were set to gather for spring events.

So what happens now that the lights are out and would-be visitors are stuck at home?

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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What a 2018 Pandemic Simulation by UVA Discovered

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During the COVID-19 crisis world leaders might do well to consult a professor of public policy at the University of Virginia.  In 2018, he developed a complex game called Pandemic.

Sandy Hausman reports on what that simulation showed.

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Wednesday Update: Northam says Virginia Peak Coming in Late April to Late May

VDH_logoGovernor Ralph Northam said models suggest COVID-19 cases in Virginia will peak in late April to late May. In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Northam continued to warn that Virginia’s fight against the illness will last months, not weeks. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

 

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Should Northam Reconsider Renewable Energy Legislation in Light of Pandemic?

General Assembly 2020Governor Ralph Northam is now considering hundreds of bills that were passed by lawmakers before the health and economic crisis. Michael Pope reports on one bill that some are asking the governor to rethink.

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Deadlines Loom for Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly

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Under normal circumstances, lawmakers would be preparing to head back to Richmond in a few weeks to consider actions taken by the governor on all the legislation they passed this year.

But, as Michael Pope reports, this year may end up being different.

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Inmates Worry as Prisons See First COVID-19 Cases

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Three inmates at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women have tested positive for the novel coronavirus along with a contractor at the prison in Goochland.

A guard at the Indian Creek Correctional Center also has the disease, and prisoners around the state are terrified as Sandy Hausman reports.

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Making Sure Kids Get Counted

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(Credit: U. S. Census Bureau)

Now that schools and many offices are closed due to coronavirus, families have more time for other activities, like filling out the Census.

And though door knockers are on hiatus, advocates want every resident counted, especially the little ones with a big impact.

Cat Modlin-Jackson has the story.

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COVID-19 Could Stir New Debate Over Virginia’s Minimum Wage

general_assembly_2020Governor Ralph Northam isn’t just dealing with the pandemic. He’s also considering hundreds of bills lawmakers sent to him last month. And, the economic crisis is shining a new light on one potentially critical decision. Michael Pope reports.

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Monday: Virginia Tops 1,000 COVID-19 Cases, Northam Issues “Stay at Home” Order

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Governor Ralph Northam ordered all Virginians to stay at home as COVID-19 cases passed the 1,000 mark Monday. Mallory Noe-Payne has further details.

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Va. News: Virus Prompts Many to visit Appalachian Trail, Parade for Augusta County Youth

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People who live near the Appalachian Trail are finding it’s not necessarily a place where you can still maintain social distancing. And elementary school teachers and students in Augusta County have seen each other one last time although they won’t be together again this school year. Fred Echols reports.

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

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No Coal Industry Tax Break in COVID-19 Relief Bill

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Many industries are having a hard time right now, and many are seeking help from the federal government.

As Michael Pope reports, the coal industry is no exception.

 

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Forecasting the Pandemic’s Impact on the Virginia Economy

forecastAs unemployment claims mount, many people are worried about the future of the Virginia economy. Michael Pope reports about some potential light at the end of the tunnel.

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Harvard Global Health Institution Projection Shows Virginia Needs More Hospital Bed Capacity

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Is Virginia ready for the potential crush of new patients that may be streaming into hospitals across the Commonwealth? Michael Pope takes a look at the numbers.

You can find more information about the Harvard Global Health Institute projections here.

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Lacking Support, Home Health Workers are on the Frontlines Of a Pandemic

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  Karen Acree with her patient Tyrone Jones.
(Credit: Karen Acree)

Many people with disabilities, or who are elderly, rely on home health care workers to come to their houses and help them stay safe and healthy.

Tens of thousands of people in Virginia work as a home health or personal care aide.

Now those low wage workers are on the front lines of a pandemic. Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Tuesday Update: Two Deaths in Henrico County, First Case in NRV

VDH_logoThe Virginia Department of Health reported at least 290 positive cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, including the first in the New River Valley. The Henrico County Health Department also reported two deaths there. Mallory Noe-Payne has more from Governor Ralph Northam’s press briefing Tuesday.

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Lessons Learned from the 1918 Flu Pandemic in Virginia

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The 1918 H1N1 flu virus (Credit: CDC)

The coronavirus crisis is not the first time Virginia has dealt with a major pandemic. Michael Pope has this look back at the flu outbreak 100 years ago and some lessons of what not to do.

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Coping with Anxiety in the Time of COVID-19

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In just a matter of weeks, life as we have known it has dramatically changed with the arrival of COVID-19.

And while the requirements to self-isolate or stay away from people is challenging our social fabric, people are finding ways to cope.

Robbie Harris has more.

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Increased Restrictions on Businesses, Gatherings go into Effect

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Virginia’s new restrictions on people and businesses begin at midnight Tuesday.

Restaurants can only serve carry out or delivery, gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and any recreational or entertainment business must close.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports.

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Virginia Political Parties Mulling Convention Options Amid Pandemic

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Political campaigns may be on pause right now because of the coronavirus crisis. But all the deadlines for political parties are still on the calendar. Michael Pope reports.

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Libraries Try to Keep People Connected During Crisis

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Kara Goodrow, a circulation clerk at Northumberland Public Library, disinfects a returned book. (Credit Pamela D’Angelo)

Communities are rolling up their sleeves and coming up with ways to deal with the consequences of social distancing and business closings due to the coronavirus.

Public libraries are at the heart of rural communities. They’re a gathering spot, a portal for internet access and a safe place for teens and neighbors to meet up. But the coronavirus has changed all that.

Pamela D’Angelo reports from one rural library in Virginia’s Northern Neck.

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Sunday Update: 219 Cases in Virginia, Six People Now Dead

VDH_logoThe death toll rose to six on Sunday, as the Virginia Department of Health announced an additional three people have died from COVID-19. The three women were in their 80’s and had been hospitalized. One of them was a resident of a long-term care facility. They all resided in the department’s Peninsula Health District. Nick Gilmore has details.

You can find more information here.

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Va. News: Small town objects to Post Office, a Northern VA Water Tower plan is held up – over ravens

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Supervisors in one county are testing the question of whether a locality can overrule the U. S. Postal Service. And a Virginia town must choose between the quality of its mobile phone service and the welfare of two raven hatchlings.

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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UVA Health System Develops Its Own COVID-19 Test

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The turnaround time for the new tests is about 24 hours. That’s much faster than than the five to six days for some tests at commercial labs. (Credit: Sanjay Suchak / University of Virginia Communications)

Testing for COVID-19 is key to getting the pandemic under control, but labs have found it hard to get the elements they need for tests. At the University of Virginia, two doctors pulled out all the stops and have now come up with their own test – one that yields results in 24 hours. Sandy Hausman has that story.

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