Virginia Tech Storm Chasers
6:13 am
Wed May 22, 2013

The Mystery of Tornados and the Search for Answers

Hokie Storm Chasers

Large killer tornados, like that which hit Moore Oklahoma on Monday, bring the awe inspiring weather phenomena to the fore of conversation.

The United States has about 12-hundred tornados a year, more than any other place on the planet, and scientists have defined conditions like “horizontal vortices”, “mesocyclones” and wall clouds. Yet, while the signs and symptoms of the storms are better understood, the exact cause remains elusive.

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As Senior Editor at NPR, Uri Berliner oversees coverage of business and the economy. He has supervised and edited much of NPR's work on the financial crisis, the auto industry, energy and the workplace. Berliner has helped to build Planet Money, a prize-winnng multimedia team that covers the global economy.

Until recently, Berliner also edited NPR's sports coverage and was part of a team that won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Deadline for Health Insurance Options
4:46 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

State Employees See Insurance Changes

Tens of thousands of state employees will likely see an increase in the cost of their health insurance plans. 

They also face a deadline this week,  as the Commonwealth begins to implement significant changes in its health insurance plans. 

Open enrollment for revising health benefits, investing in flexible spending accounts, adding family members, and other options ends this Friday.

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Focused Ultrasound
4:23 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Parkinson's Study Underway at UVA

Credit UVA/Photographer: Robert Frysinger

The University of Virginia will soon begin a study that could help people with Parkinson’s Disease.  Doctors will use focused sound waves to modify the brain and – they hope – eliminate or reduce tremors.

The University of Virginia is one of many medical centers experimenting with the use of focused ultrasound.  Doctors use soundwaves to destroy unwanted tumors and other tissue they can see using magnetic resonance imaging. 

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Alpha Natural Resources Annual Meeting
3:22 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Coalfields Expressway

People who oppose the proposed “coal fields expressway” are staging a protest in Abingdon Virginia, where coal company, Alpha Natural Resources is holding its annual meeting Wednesday, May 22.

The protestors say they’ll call attention to the company’s role in what’s known as the Coalfields Expressway.  A proposed 50 mile road, supporters say will improve transportation in far southwest Virginia and help the local economy.

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Star Scientific, Trend in Higher Ed
10:56 am
Tue May 21, 2013

VaNews for 05.21.13

A University of Virginia history class that attracted 47,000 students and a look at the career of entrepreneur and politicans’ friend Jonnie Williams were the topics two of the most-read stories over the past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link on vpap.org.

VaNews is a free public service of the Virginia Public Access Project and can be found at vpap.org

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Economics & Economy
6:14 am
Tue May 21, 2013

State Revenues Still a Concern for Lawmakers

State revenues improved a little last month following a dismal drop of 6.1%  in March.  The news reassured members of the House Appropriations Committee, who worry that federal sequestration cuts could have a negative impact on both Virginia’s economy and the state's coffers. 

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Cancer Research
5:46 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Virginia Scientists Predict a Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Histopathology of urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder.

Scientists at the University of Virginia have made a surprising discovery that could mean more effective treatments for a range of deadly cancers.

John Herr is professor at UVA’s medical school - an expert on cell biology, and he’s devoted many years to studying the unique properties of the human egg.  His most exciting find could be good news for people who develop uterine, pancreatic, bladder, renal and ovarian cancers.

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Economics & Economy
3:45 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Sequestration Cuts Affecting Some Meals on Wheels Programs

Credit Local Office on Aging, Roanoke

Sequestration cuts are starting to affect some Meals on Wheels programs throughout the Commonwealth. 

The Local Area on Aging in Roanoke is losing $96,000 from its Meals on Wheels program this federal fiscal year. 

That’s a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses the program is taking around the Commonwealth. 

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Business & Industry
8:38 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Internet Sales Tax May Not Be a Disadvantage

Congress may soon vote on whether to require Internet sellers to collect sales tax on behalf of states.  Proponents argue it’s only fair - that charging sales tax on all transactions will level the playing field for brick and mortar stores, but some experts say the added tax will make little difference - that Internet sellers will still enjoy a huge advantage.  Sandy Hausman talked with one of them and filed this report.

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