WMRA News

Lawmakers move to protect student information, limit some suspensions, and ensure children won’t be shamed in the lunch line.  Also, coal ash ponds stay open for now, and community-wide conversations on racism begin in Charlottesville.

Courtesy of Point Made Films

A month-long community conversation about racism is going to take place in Charlottesville. And it starts Friday, February 9, with the screening of the documentary, I’m Not Racist… Am I?. The screening is happening, with the filmmakers present, at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville. Some local schools, universities and libraries are also hosting the film, followed by public conversations about racism with the help of trained facilitators. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has this report.

The fiscal effect of making Medicaid recipients work for their coverage.  Adjusting prosecutor’s options for dealing with underage sexting.  New limits on drones.  A gerrymandering solution.  Confronting a troubled past and honoring pioneers at UVa.

While consensus grows on lifting a utilities rate freeze, lawmakers and activists differ on the details. Middle and high school students would learn about boundaries and privacy under a new bill.  The governor and house speaker team up to reduce regulations.  NPR’s TV critic Eric Deggans talks about how media divides us.

Assembly members take on the opioid epidemic.  Paid Family leave struggles in Richmond.  Lawmakers debate whether court fees should keep you from driving but leave women’s advocates hanging.  Kessler’s attackers are sentenced.  Dominion estimates the cost of upgrades.

Lawmakers in Richmond negotiate terms for expanding Medicaid while one legislator proposes an alternative.  The Mountain Valley Pipe Line is put on hold over compensating landowners.  Virginia signs on to a letter protesting offshore drilling.  Charlottesville finally begins forming its first Citizens Police Review Board.

In February the city of Charlottesville will begin considering applicants for its first ever Police Civilian Review Board. The board has been a long time coming, and has been mired in politics. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has more.

Lawmakers in Richmond consider Internet restrictions.  Dozens of environmental bills meet their end in the Assembly, while a gun rights bill stays alive…for now.  Confederate Monuments win protection and sexual harassment training for legislators gets hung up.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Dairy farmers are facing hard times due to a flooded milk market and low prices. At the same time, many hungry families lack quality protein in their diets. Now some congregations in Harrisonburg are hoping to help alleviate both problems with one ministry: cheese. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

WMRA Daily 1/31/18

Jan 31, 2018

Poultry workers in Dayton protest Cargill’s labor practices… A coalition of conservation groups has gone to court to challenge federal regulators' decision to approve the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline … and, a bill to expand Medicaid advances in the General Assembly, but it contains work requirements that Democrats oppose….

Jordy Yager

On Monday afternoon, former White House photographer Pete Souza spoke to a packed University of Virginia auditorium, about what it was like to follow Barack Obama for eight years. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has more.

WMRA Daily 1/30/18

Jan 30, 2018

The Tebow Bill goes down in defeat again in the General Assembly… Virginia Republicans say they’re willing to talk Medicaid expansion, but only with work requirements for recipients… and, President Obama’s photographer remembers his days on the job in a talk at UVa….

WMRA Daily 1/29/18

Jan 29, 2018

Two deputies will not be charged for shooting a man to death last year in Culpeper County… the Atlantic Coast Pipeline clears two more regulatory hurdles in West Virginia and North Carolina… and, Governor Northam continues to push the Trump administration to exempt Virginia from offshore drilling….

WMRA Daily 1/26/18

Jan 26, 2018

You could call it another version of “Kill Bill.”  It was a busy week for the General Assembly, as bills promoting gun control, Medicaid expansion, marijuana legalization, and driver’s licenses for the undocumented all died in committees… But we get away from it all with a tour of Charlottesville’s French sister city, and the citadel of Besançon….

Marguerite Gallorini

Besançon has been Charlottesville’s sister city since 2006. In spite of their cultural differences, Charlottesville and Besançon are set in similar regions, and have similar vibes. There is one tourist attraction that doesn’t have its equal here though: Besançon’s 17th-century military citadel. Marguerite Gallorini was there over the holiday season and paints this picture for WMRA.

WMRA Daily 1/25/18

Jan 25, 2018

One local hospital asks young children not to visit, as the health system deals with the worst flu season in years… In General Assembly news, lawmakers wrangle with making sure that future elections are not determined by the luck of the draw, and take steps toward expanding the use of medical marijuana….

WMRA Daily 1/24/18

Jan 24, 2018

Pipeline opponents launch a “citizens surveillance” group to monitor the Atlantic Coast Pipeline… In response to last year’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia’s attorney general proposes making “domestic terrorism” a state crime… and, state legislators debate giving driver’s licenses to undocumented residents….

WMRA Daily 1/23/18

Jan 23, 2018

Virginia’s African-American lieutenant governor walks away in protest over lawmakers’ traditional recognition of a Confederate general… Tolls for heavy trucks may be coming to Interstate 81… And, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz measures the balance between the rights of panhandlers and the need for public safety….

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Maybe you’ve been seeing more of them: panhandlers out asking for money from drivers stopped at red lights in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, elsewhere. They often stand on medians at busy intersections – and embody an intersection of first amendment rights, public safety and social isolation, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

WMRA Daily 1/22/18

Jan 22, 2018

The federal government shuts down, but the effect on our area, including federal courts, is relatively limited so far… pipeline opponents challenge the state water control board’s certification of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in December… and, bills expanding abortion rights have died in the General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 1/19/18

Jan 19, 2018

The state Senate refuses to extend in-state tuition to Virginia’s Dreamers… but, the chamber did approve a softening of penalties for petty theft… and, electricity demand shattered records as record cold settled into Virginia in December and the first weeks of 2018, and you’ll see the effects on your next electric bill….

WMRA Daily 1/18/18

Jan 18, 2018

Policymakers in Richmond are busy grappling with the effect of the new federal tax law, fighting over electricity rates, and dealing with the opioid crisis… meanwhile, the head of the biggest food bank in our area warns about potential cuts to federal funding for food assistance….

Courtesy BRAFB

President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal last year called for a 25% cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  As members of Congress talk about ways to cut the federal budget, one local food bank leader says that even a 10% cut would hurt those in need. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

WMRA Daily 1/17/18

Jan 17, 2018

Among the bills already dying in the General Assembly are attempts to raise the state’s minimum wage… lawmakers are already complaining about the lack of bipartisanship… and, Virginia joins other states in a lawsuit to block the FCC’s decision to end net neutrality….

Faith E. Pinho

Just over five months after the deadly Charlottesville protests in August, one hour away in Lexington, both Confederate and rainbow flags flew this weekend, as two different groups celebrated the Virginia state Lee-Jackson holiday, and the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. WMRA’s Faith Pinho has the story.

WMRA Daily 1/16/18

Jan 16, 2018

Governor Northam lays out his agenda to the General Assembly, which quickly kills the new governor’s proposed gun restrictions… meanwhile, competing parades in Lexington marking both Lee-Jackson Day and the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, went off without a hitch, or violence, over the weekend….

WMRA Daily 1/15/18

Jan 15, 2018

Democrat Ralph Northam took the oath of office as Virginia’s 73rd governor on Saturday… we have reports from the inauguration and surrounding festivities… as well as the traditional prank the outgoing governor plays on the newbie in office….

WMRA Daily 1/12/18

Jan 12, 2018

Could it be a replay of Charlottesville’s August 12th?  Lexington yet again prepares for a weekend encompassing both Lee-Jackson Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with competing parades again this year… the U.S. Senate finally recognizes Virginia’s Native American tribes… and, we have an exit interview with outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe….

WMRA Daily 1/11/18

Jan 11, 2018

Terry McAuliffe delivers his final State of the Commonwealth address as governor… as the General Assembly convenes for its 2018 session… and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says that if Florida can get an exemption from the Trump administration from off-shore drilling, so should Virginia….

Amy Loeffler

Social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook have had a profound effect on the way we relate to one another, and often the very apps meant to help us feel more connected, leave us feeling isolated and distracted from relationships that really matter.  But one JMU professor is developing an app that gets around that problem.  WMRA's Amy Loeffler has the story.

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