Madhulika Sikka is Executive Editor for NPR News, a role she joined in January 2013. As Executive Editor, Sikka oversees all desks and reporters, and helps set the agenda for the entire News division.

Business & Industry
5:05 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Growing Virginia's Wine Industry

Credit Chateau Morrisette

Virginia may not be the first place that comes to mind as a winemaking region.  But it is, in fact, the sixth largest wine producer in the country. Vintners here would like to see even more growth in the field. 
 

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Government & Politics
4:52 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Marriage Equality & Politics

On the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Human Rights Campaign and other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations are throwing their support behind the three Democrats running for statewide office.

The candidates pledge that upon being elected to office they'll act to reverse certain restrictions on the LGBT community. But other officials say they will also champion the cause regardless of the election’s outcome.

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Education
3:07 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

VMI English Professor Speaks About Resignations

We told you recently nearly all the professors in Virginia Military Institute’s English Department had quit.  Hear now from one of the profs still there.

Kurt Ayau is one of the few who remains in VMI’s English Department but he’s already let the administration know of his intention to resign, too.  A VMI spokesman says the profs quit after the dean announced a curriculum change, focusing more on writing and less on literature.  But Ayau says that was just the tip of the iceberg.  The impetus for the change in curriculum he says, was a 2011 faculty evaluation.

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Military Voting Issues
8:31 am
Thu July 11, 2013

State Helping Military Personnel Get Their Votes In

While Virginia leaders would like to call the Commonwealth the most veteran-friendly state, they’re acknowledging a major problem with the number of overseas, active-duty sailors, soldiers, Marines, and airmen who actually participate in local and national elections. And with thousands of Virginians deployed elsewhere, their absence at the polls could make a difference in election outcomes. State officials have analyzed why members of the military are not voting … and are launching an initiative to address those problems.
 

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Salvage Solutions
7:44 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Refurbished Flooded Cars Keep Local Business Busy

Credit wheels.blogs.nytimes.com

With heavy rainfall like we have had this year we have seen flooding throughout the area that has inundated cars. Many of these end up as salvage and are auctioned off to automobile recycling centers where not all are dismantled and sold as parts but resold to go back on the road. Flooded cars could be a good value for a wise car buyer.

George Aznavorian runs East Coast Auto Source in Bedford County and he looks for “Flood Cars".

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Science & Technology
4:49 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Spectrum Challenge

Wireless@VT Spectrum Challenge Team
Credit Virginia Tech

Just like a roadway where development has been on the rise, the airwaves too, are getting congested. 

More and more people using wireless devices, is tying up traffic on what’s known as the radio spectrum.

Two teams at Virginia Tech are finalists in a competition to solve this new problem of not enough space ‘out there.’ 

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Adam Davidson is co-founder and co-host of Planet Money, a co-production of NPR and This American Life. He also writes the weekly "It's the Economy" column for the New York Times Magazine.

His work has won several major awards including the Peabody, DuPont-Columbia, and the Polk. His radio documentary on the housing crisis, "The Giant Pool of Money," which he co-reported and produced with Alex Blumberg, was named one of the top ten works of journalism of the decade by the Arthur L. Carter of Journalism Institute at New York University. It was widely recognized as the clearest and most entertaining explanation of the roots of the financial crisis in any media.

Arts & Culture
5:06 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Opera in the Spotlight

Violist Elan Sapir practicing at Castleton Festival
Credit Suri Xia

It’s no secret that opera in America is struggling.  In 2008, only eight percent of adults said they liked opera, and only two percent had been to one in the past year, but here in Virginia that could be changing thanks to summer programs designed to build the base for opera.

It’s not unusual for opera goers to give long and enthusiastic ovations – for cast members to take bow after bow, but people who love this complex art form fear their audience may not always be there.

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Government & Politics
4:31 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Online Voter Registration

Virginians will soon be able to register to vote on-line thanks to a new state system that will “go live” this week.

Residents will still have the option of using standard paper applications … and can still register at the DMV or other agencies. 

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