Sandy Hausman

Sandy Hausman joined our news team in 2008 after honing her radio skills in Chicago.  Since then, she's won several national awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Radio, Television and Digital News Association and the Public Radio News Directors' Association. 

Sandy has reported extensively on issues of concern to Virginians, traveling as far afield as Panama, Ecuador, Indonesia and Hong Kong for stories on how expansion of  the Panama Canal will effect the Port of Virginia, what Virginians are doing to protect the Galapagos Islands, why a Virginia-based company is destroying the rainforest and how Virginia wines are selling in Asia.

She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. 

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A poll by the National Resources Defense Council shows 88% of Virginians want the state to use more wind and solar power, and the federal government has offered the state 47 million dollars to build a couple of turbines offshore, but Dominion Power is hesitant. In part three of our series on the promise of wind power in Virginia, Virginia Public Radio’s Sandy Hausman reports on why the utility is reluctant to begin work on offshore wind, and what it might take for the state to move forward.


Dominion Virginia Power has leased land offshore for a wind park, but it’s not clear when construction might begin.  The company says a demonstration project is needed to guide future development, but the cost to build those turbines offshore is too high.  In Denmark - which has more than 30 years of experience - experts say driving costs down is the name of the game, and they’re happy to share their secrets with Virginia.  


This year, the federal government said it would give nearly $47 million to each of three states hoping to develop offshore wind power – Virginia, New Jersey and Oregon. 

Virginia said it would partner with Dominion Power to build a demonstration project, but the utility now says it can’t get started, because installing a couple of turbines is too expensive.  Meanwhile, Denmark reports it’s getting nearly 40% of its power from wind.  How did such a tiny country do that, and what could we learn from the Danes?

Most Americans know about the Underground Railroad, the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North. Some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, however — in Great Dismal Swamp.

The swamp is a vast wetland in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. In George Washington's time, it was a million acres of trees, dark water, bears, bobcats, snakes and stinging insects. British settlers, who first arrived in 1607, believed the swamp was haunted.

By 1620, some of their slaves may have overcome that fear to find freedom there.

Plenty of people toy with the idea of writing a book, but few will actually get published, and by the time we reach our mid-60’s, those dreams may fade.

The pilot of the military jet that crashed Wednesday morning in Augusta County died in the crash, officials say. No one on the ground was injured, and the investigation continues into the cause of the crash.

The pilot’s name is being withheld until family members can be notified.*

It’s been nearly two months since a train derailed in Lynchburg, sending a fireball into the sky above that city’s downtown and spilling oil into the James River.  Experts said the accident could have been far worse, and many communities along the state’s 32-hundred miles of railroad face similar dangers.

Sandy Hausman has this series on rail safety and why the risks have risen dramatically.

On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond, Va. This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade.

"The best guesstimate is several hundred thousand people were sold out of Shockoe Bottom," says Phil Wilayto, a leader of the grassroots movement to establish a memorial park here. "Probably the majority of African-Americans today could trace some ancestry to this small piece of land."



Educators from around the country have spent the last two days talking about sexual misconduct on college campuses. The conference that wrapped up today at the University of Virginia was billed as a first of its kind. It comes nearly three years after the government issued legal guidelines for universities to deal with such misconduct.

As Sandy Hausman of member station WVTF reports, attendees learned how to better support victims, and students spoke out against stereotypes.