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.

whitehouse.gov

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.

Advocates of medical marijuana scored another small victory this week in Richmond. 

A Senate committee voted to allow cancer patients to use an oil derived from the cannabis plant - a medication that can already be used, legally, in patients with epilepsy.  Studies suggest cannabidiol may help to fight breast, colon, brain, lung and other cancers while reducing the side effects of conventional chemotherapy. 

The news pleases one Virginia woman who is anxious to have legal access.

Associated Press

The SEC Primary, or Super Tuesday, is upon us – that’s when Virginians will take to the polls to select both Republican and Democratic presidential nominees. A new poll revealing what voters in the Commonwealth are thinking in the weeks before March 1st.

The poll was conducted out of the Roanoke College Institute for Policy and Opinion Research before the Iowa Caucus took place. More than 500 voters were interviewed – and Institute Director Harry Wilson says, Virginian’s aren’t feeling too good about their options:

“We’re not viewing any of the candidates favorably”

Montgomery Co. Sheriff's Dept.

After a tragic event, such as the murder of a young girl, as we saw in Blacksburg last week, how does the healing happen?  For Gil Harrington, it’s come from directing the power of her grief after her own daughter was murdered, toward founding an organization that’s become a national movement. 

Gil Harrington is a former nurse whose life changed in 2009 when her daughter Morgan was murdered in Charlottesville. So she knows of what she speaks.

www.hyperloopvt.com

Business Magnate and Inventor Elon Musk is a man known for his work on transportation of the future, be it space travel or electric vehicles.  His latest quest is something called a “Hyperloop,”  a new kind of super-fast transportation that’s still in the design stage.  At a competition of prototypes this past weekend, Virginia Tech’s entry showed well.  

Some Hokies came home happy from the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition, after taking fourth place out of more than 115 student design teams. Daniel Kimminau is the project manager for Hyperloop at Virginia Tech.

A fight to get access to lifesaving medication enters its second year at the state capitol.  It may be an uphill battle in this conservative state-- because the medication is derived from marijuana.

Last year, Virginia passed a law allowing Beth Collins to give her teenaged daughter, who suffers from severe epilepsy, the one substance that’s successfully treated her seizures -- an oil that comes from marijuana.

“I put it in a tiny dropper, put it under her tongue. Three times a day, she doesn’t like the taste, but it works,” said Collins.

Creative Commons

Virginia Tech is looking to become a leader in inclusion and diversity on campus with new programs and a new person to guide them.

The freshman class at Virginia Tech this year is not only the largest in the university’s history, it’s also the most diverse. Next month a new vice provost for inclusion and diversity will lead the effort to build upon that. 

Menah Pratt-Clarke hales from the University of Illinois, where she held a similar position.  Here’s how she describes her goals.

Crafting a Congressional Scorecard

Feb 1, 2016
NPR

All eyes were focused on Iowa this week as voters showed who they think would be the most effective president.  Here in Virginia, a couple of college professors were fine-tuning their own means of measuring productivity in the U.S. House.  Sandy Hausman reports on how they scored members of Congress, and which political leaders got top ratings. 

Nicole Lovell Case Update

Feb 1, 2016

2/3 UPDATE: The bail hearing for a Virginia Tech student charged as an accessory in the stabbing death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell was canceled today.

Natalie Keepers’ attorney had requested the hearing after she was charged with accessory after the fact, and illegally disposing of Lovell’s body.

A charge of being an accessory BEFORE the fact has since been filed. Another Virginia Tech student, David Eisenhauer, is charged with kidnapping and murder. Both he and Keepers are being held without bail-their next court appearance is set for March 28th. 

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

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