VA Senator Phil Puckett Resigns
7:47 am
Tue June 10, 2014

A Change in Budget Negotiations Following Senator's Resignation


The sudden resignation of Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett has created new dynamics in the three-month-long budget stalemate between the two chambers of the Virginia General Assembly.  The Senate now has 20 Republicans and 19 Democrats, and that could ultimately result in its re-organization with the GOP in charge. Lawmakers took part in active discussions regarding the next steps the Senate should take, and how to move the budget forward. 


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Jefferson and His Maps
7:22 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Thomas Jefferson: More Than Just a President

Thomas Jefferson is well known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and as this country’s third president, but a new book shows him in another important role, as a geographer. 

In the age of GPS, few of us give much thought to maps, but in Thomas Jefferson’s time, they were rarely used to find your way.  More likely, you’d have a series of written directions describing landmarks where you should turn or go straight.  But Thomas Jefferson knew that nations vying to control North America needed accurate, way-finding maps.

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State Senate Race
2:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Politics & the New EPA Rule

The E-P-A’s new rule to drastically curb carbon pollution is now playing a key role in the Virginia Senate race.

It was no secret here at the Capitol the E-P-A was getting ready to roll out its new rule to limit carbon emissions. But that doesn't mean incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Warner is ready to take a stance. "I'm still looking at - I still think we need to look at it. I'm glad they're giving 120 days for the comment because it's obviously very complicated and got huge implications."

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Part 1 of 2
1:44 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Searching for Rare Earth Minerals


Metals known as ‘rare earth elements” are in growing demand worldwide.  They’re vital for many of the high tech devices we all use.  China has been the major source for rare earth minerals, but recently cut its exports. This has geologists in the U.S. searching for domestic deposits. 


If the term ‘rare earths’ is not familiar to you, the high tech devices that depend on them are. From the ear buds for your cell phone, to advanced medical devices like MRIs, and new technologies such as wind turbines, magnetic refrigeration and electric cars

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Government & Politics
8:38 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Democratic State Senator Resigns, Further Complicating Budget Standstill

Credit Bob Brown/AP

As deliberation over the state budget continues with the deadline weeks away, the Virginia General Assembly is facing yet another roadblock. 

Democratic State Senator Phillip Puckett of Russell County is announcing his resignation today, effective immediately.

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Government & Politics
8:08 am
Mon June 9, 2014

VaNews for 6.9.14

Virginia is tying to figure out what to do with a new taxi service that may not actually be  a taxi service, and one of the most extraordinary paintings ever created will be displayed in Yorktown.

Those stories have been among the most read over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project's VaNews link on

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Gaps in Treatment
4:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Children & Mental Health Issues

While the attack on State Senator Creigh Deeds and subsequent suicide by his son have brought more attention to the issue of mental health in Virginia, child advocates say there are significant gaps in how children and adolescents receive treatment.

It’s because since the tragedy last year, the number of young people who are admitted to mental health facilities has risen—but the number of available beds at a specialized facility has not.

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12:15 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

WVTF/RADIO IQ Journalists Honored

Robbie Harris and Sandy Hausman

WVTF/RADIO IQ has claimed four awards recognizing excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

The stations received a national Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists for the feature report, “Wild Goose Church.” Reporter Robbie Harris visited Floyd, Va., to hear the story of worshipers who tell of trading pews for rocking chairs, organs for fiddles, and yawns for songs, creating a dynamic, grass-roots celebration of faith, bluegrass, and potluck.

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Arts & Culture
10:41 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Whatever Happened to Shannon and Tasha?

Roanoke Times reporter Beth Macy wrote a controversial story 21 years ago profiling two African American, unwed pregnant teenagers.  Macy talks about why she decided to revisit the issue for her final story for the newspaper and how it shaped her career.

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Blame Game
1:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Immigration Talk on the Hill

Credit NPR Stock Photo

Proponents of comprehensive immigration reform blame two Virginia Republicans for inaction on the issue in the House.

Virginia maintains some power brokers in the Republican controlled House. Any changes to the nation's immigration laws need to pass through the Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte.  He's been mum on the subject of late.

“I’m was just wondering if there’s any timeline on immigration reform to come up?”

“I do not know of a timeline on it. So I’m not discussing that.”

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