If you don’t have kids you still have to pay the taxes that support public schools, just like everyone else. But Republicans in the state legislature are putting weight behind an educational measure that would change that. A proposed bill would allow parents who send their kids to private school or home-school to get some of their tax money back.

That money wouldn’t go straight into parents’ pockets, but into a savings account that could only be accessed for educational spending.

State lawmakers will soon consider a bill that could make it easier for convicted sex offenders to find employment when they get out of prison.  It passed easily in the Senate, but it may fail in the House, and at least one expert thinks it might not make that much difference.

Actor for Hire

Feb 9, 2016

With the explosion of cable TV, Netflix and the DVD market, there are more opportunities than ever for actors, but movie-making remains a competitive business – a point underscored with humor by a Fredericksburg native in the new film Actor for Hire.  It was selected to show at 22 film festivals including Virginia’s, where it sold out.  Sandy Hausman reports on the man and the movie. 

Lawmakers in Richmond this legislative session are hoping to minimize the risk of gun violence in Virginia's public schools.

One measure that made its way easily through committee this morning would actually allow school security officers who have worked in law enforcement before to carry a gun when working.

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, a Republican from Northern Virginia, says individual school boards would have to sign off on the idea -- but he hopes they will.

"And I think those that do, could one day forestall a terrible tragedy,” said Lingamfelter.


The toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan has some in South West Virginia wondering about pollution hazards here that may also be underestimated by authorities.

In light of what’s been revealed in Flint they say it’s time to take a closer look at air and water in this region that has been deemed ‘safe,’ but may not be. 

A new exhibit at the Blacksburg Children’s Museum features satellite imagery of the area and a real time weather station to show how geography and climate are related.  

The terrain in and around Blacksburg is breathtaking with its mountain ridges, forests and waterways. 

And, the view from hundreds of miles up is a great way to appreciate it. 

Meeting the Real James Madison

Feb 8, 2016

If you sometimes get depressed about the state of politics and government in America, cheer up.  A new biography, Becoming Madison,  suggests government has long been a messy business in this country.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

Author and political theorist Michael Signer was inspired to write about James Madison after visiting the grave of Thomas Jefferson and comparing it to Madison’s final resting place at Montpelier in Orange County.

Anti-fast food ads have been banned from buses in Richmond for being too political...and tension between recreational boaters and oyster harvesters has come to the surface in Virginia Beach. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on vpap.org.

VA News

Virtual Dementia Tour Comes to Virginia

Feb 5, 2016
Second Wind Dreams

More than seven million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease or some other form of dementia caused by damage to nerve cells in the brain.  Symptoms include loss of memory, judgment, language and motor skills.  Because people don’t recover from dementia, we don’t really know how it feels, but an assisted living company here in Virginia is offering virtual dementia tours, designed to give staff and family members a sense for what it might be like.  Sandy Hausman took the tour and filed this report.


What if high-schoolers in Virginia could take a computer programming class instead of French or Spanish? Lawmakers in Richmond are considering allowing that swap, as one way to get more kids into computer science.

With talk of gigahertz and infinite loops, Intro to Computer Programming at Henrico County’s Deep Run High School, certainly sounds like a foreign language class. And if some Virginia lawmakers get their way, it could also count as a foreign language.


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Art Gallery Reception

Spring Exhibit - League of Roanoke Artists

February 19th at the WVTF and RADIO IQ Broadcast Center

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Localore: Finding America

WVTF-RADIO IQ Wins National Competition to Tell Richmond's Story

WVTF-RADIO IQ is one of 15 stations chosen after a national competition to incubate storytelling experiments and expand public media to more Americans. Localore: Finding America was created by AIR, a Boston-based network of independent public media producers, to bring together the most gifted producers and forward-thinking stations in the industry to invent new media models and realize the founding vision of a public broadcasting service for “all of the people.” Principle funding comes from...
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Metropolitan Opera on WVTF

Verdi's Il Travatore

Saturday, February 13th at 1pm

WVTF Book Club

“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” – Gabrielle Zevin

Next meeting Tuesday, February 23rd at 6:00pm. (Note new time.)

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