VaNews for 02.18.13

Feb 19, 2013

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will reduce the hours of thousands of state workers in response to the Affordable Care Act, and a new report sheds light on how the Commonwealth stacks up against other states on some politically powerful issues.

Those stories were among the most-read newspaper reports this past week at VaNews, Virginia Public Access Project’s daily online compilation of political reporting from around the state. Fred Echols reports.

Virginia could become the first state in the nation to restrict a new class of generic medications.  But drug companies want limits and some pharmacists are concerned.

Amgen is the world’s largest biotech company – a California firm that makes medicines from living cells.  These remedies, known as biologicals, are expensive and protected by patents, but the Affordable Care Act clears the way for cheaper, generic forms of these products.  

The Shape of Things

Feb 19, 2013
Photo: Virginia Tech

An edgy, provocative play, that explores the nature of relationships and art, is opening at Virginia Tech.  Award- winning playwright, Neil LaBute’s, 2003 drama, The Shape of Things, has been called a modern day version of Adam’s seduction by Eve.  Robbie Harris has this preview.

"Fakes"- A Creative Writing Forum

Feb 15, 2013

We navigate the modern world through language:  Texts, tweets, forms, documents and disclaimers of all sorts.  But a new anthology raises a powerful question. question.

Matthew Vollmer reads from the introduction to his new collection titled “Fakes”.

“Fakes” is anthology of short essays by acclaimed writers including George Saunders, Lorrie Moore, Donald Bartleme and others.  Each one, a fictionalized or fantastical take on a familiar form.

“So I’ve been thinking about forms for another form of writing.”

Payday Lending

Feb 15, 2013

Many lawmakers and advocates still have abolishing predatory lending practices in Virginia on their agenda… although it hasn't been discussed much this legislative session. But one organization says that since the General Assembly passed reforms, fewer people have been trapped by the high-interest loans that were supposed to be temporary assistance for those with a financial crisis.

Transportation Bill Update

Feb 14, 2013

The Virginia Senate has voted for a transportation-funding bill that increases the gas tax, removes most of Governor McDonnell’s proposals, and allows Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads to raise extra revenue.  

Killing Lincoln

Feb 13, 2013

On the heels of Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed film about Lincoln comes another movie about the nation’s 16th president - this one airing on the National Geographic Channel February 17th. 

A Valentine's Day Gift of Song

Feb 13, 2013

For many, Valentine’s Day is a time to remember a loved one with a special gift. 

This year a Roanoke firefighter decided to surprise his fiancée a little early with a song. 

Victims of Gun Violence Attend State of the Union

Feb 13, 2013

While the Newtown, Connecticut shooting has gotten the most media attention of late, last night at the State of the Union address two Virginia lawmakers honored the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting.

Peter Read of Annandale, Virginia lost his daughter Mary in the Virginia Tech shooting. He says he was honored to be the guest of Congressman Gerry Connolly at the State of the Union address.

“It’s hugely meaningful to me and obviously for my daughter Mary and for the other Hokie families.”  

State of the Union Reaction

Feb 13, 2013

Democrats in the region like the jobs plan President Obama laid out last evening in his State of the Union address. But Republicans are wary of its price tag.

The president is calling for a lot of investments that could affect Virginia, including transportation, first responders and the state's growing high tech industry. Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott says it’s a plan that will put the economy back on track because it isn’t focused solely on cutting the federal budget like the scheduled sequestration would do.

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