VA's Largest Polluter Scales Back Outdoor Burning

The Radford Army Ammunitions Plant is one of the few places that still burns waste from the making of explosives, outdoors, in the open air. For years, activists have been urging the practice be stopped because of threats to human health and the environment. Now plans are in the works to do that and more. Lt. Col Alicia Masson started her new job as Commander of the Radford Arsenal just six weeks ago. But she says plans to replace open air burning of munitions waste with a new, cleaner type...
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Coloring for Adults, a Work Place Unifier

15 hours ago

In the past few years, hundreds of coloring books for adults have become available. Referred to as 'mental yoga,' the soothing value of picking up a crayon and creating a masterpiece has reached Roanoke – and it seems to have communal benefits. 

Earlier this month we aired a story from Sandy Hausman about AirBnB in Richmond - and how the home-sharing experience is, essentially, illegal there. Another Virginia city, however, has recently embraced the trend.

AirBnB has never exactly been ‘illegal’ in Roanoke, but when the idea of short-term rental was blooming, the City didn’t know what to make of it. River Laker was one of the first in Roanoke to register on AirBnB:

Galax Vies to Break World Record...Again

Jul 28, 2015

The 80th Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention begins next Monday, August 3. On day two, Tuesday, of this year’s week long convention, hundreds of musicians will attempt to assemble the world’s largest mandolin ensemble.

Sound: “One, two, three, play.” (followed by hundreds of mandolins playing “Old Joe Clark.”)

That is the sound of 389 mandolins playing “Old Joe Clark” in the grandstands at Felts Park, home of The Galax Old Fiddlers’ convention.

Sound: cheering

As more wineries are opening in Virginia grape production in the state is not keeping pace…and with many Commonwealth counties looking to replace obsolete courthouses issues of historic preservation may create complications. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on www.vpap.org.

In Virginia, underage sex trafficking is real. That's why the Commonwealth has created new and stronger laws and methods of saving the children being victimized. With these efforts comes the bitter-sweet challenge of the rescue of child and then the recovery.

 

Mom with a Mission

Jul 27, 2015

  Over the past 30 years, rates of childhood obesity in this country have quadrupled.  Eighteen percent of kids and 21% of teenagers are now considered overweight.  It’s a problem that has one Charlottesville mother on the warpath - preaching and writing the gospel of healthier habits.

Shelley Sackier is the slender mother of two healthy kids, so you might not expect her to worry much about the growing number of American children with a weight problem, but she has known - from an early age - that eating too much of the wrong things could have uncomfortable consequences.

Taming Runaway Education Costs

Jul 27, 2015

State lawmakers say they’re determined to find ways that will help reign in the runaway costs of getting a college degree.  Members of the House Higher Education Advisory Subcommittee applaud Virginia’s universities, but say the skyrocketing costs and college loan debt have become a very heavy burden for families. 

The cable TV series “TURN” will be back in Virginia for another season.  Producers of the historic drama about spies during the American Revolution will get about $6 million in tax dollars from the state.

In Richmond, debate continues over the wisdom of giving incentives to makers of films and TV shows.

Critics say taxpayers should not be bankrolling Hollywood, but Andy Edmund, who heads the film office, disagrees.

Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices/Creative Commons

Burning coal to make electricity isn’t its only impact on the environment. The mining process has also been shown to pollute nearby waterways.

New rules proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to protect that water, will be debated over the next several months. Some see them as a potential threat to dwindling coal jobs and others, as not strong enough to protect the environment.

REDIT HARALD HOYER / CREATIVE COMMONS

The ultimate routes of natural gas pipelines that would run through Virginia have yet to be determined.  Among the concerns that raises, is; what effect could pipeline construction have on people’s well water? 

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