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Sunshine Week
12:04 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Shining a Light on VA's Death Row

This week civic groups and nonprofits are taking a closer look at the importance of open government and freedom of information for Sunshine week.  

Sunshine is absent in the death chambers of Virginia, where the public has no access to basic information about how inmates are killed. Policies and procedures outlining the process are concealed from view. Training manuals are closely guarded. Even specific details about how executions are carried out are kept secret. 

"I'm not clear what there is to hide here."

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Virginia Festival of the Book.
9:40 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Congressional Gridlock-Busting Plan Outlined by Author

Jason Grumet heads the non-profit Bipartisan Policy Center.
Credit BPC

Washington's partisan political gridlock can be unlocked, according to one of the speakers at the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book.

"The good news is that it doesn't involve a Constitutional convention or a Mars invasion."

That's Jason Grumet, whose new book, City of Rivals, proposes some intuitive solutions, such as more time for Congress to hang out together. And some not-so-intuitive solutions, such as bringing back earmarks, which Congress banned five years ago.

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Economics & Economy
5:32 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Helping Turn Ideas Into Businesses

Twelve Virginia localities are receiving money to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a real business. 

The Building Entrepreneurial Economies program is providing 226 thousand dollars in funding to non-profits and local governments to help develop economies that foster job creation and expansion.  Amanda Pearson is with the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

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Government & Politics
4:35 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Governor Considers Bill Expanding the State's DNA Database

One recently approved bill that’s still under review by Governor McAuliffe arose from the case of murdered UVa student Hannah Graham—and was championed by Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding.  The bill would require collection of DNA from people convicted of certain misdemeanors….with their DNA added to the state’s criminal database.   The governor had raised some objections to the legislation while the General Assembly was still in session.

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Putting Patients at Ease
12:07 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

Spa Day at the Dentist's Office

When it comes to dental care, some Virginians are positively phobic, and few look forward to having a cavity filled… but one Richmond dentist has found a way to deliver care that leaves patients feeling relaxed and glad to have come.

In the lobby of Brent Rusnak’s dental practice, large fish swim peacefully in a pond.  Bottled water is available in a small refrigerator, scented candles flicker, and a video game invites kids to relax before appointments.

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