Heller McAlpin is a New York-based critic who reviews books regularly for NPR.org, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle and other publications.

VT Scientists named one of the "Brilliant Ten"
4:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Drone-ing for Life in the Atmosphere

David Schmale, Associate Professor of Food Safety and Plant Biosecurity at Virginia Tech

There’s been a lot of talk about “drones,” remote controlled aircraft which fly with no pilot on board.  But drones are being used for more than military operations. 

A scientist at Virginia Tech has been named one of Popular Science’s  ‘Brilliant Ten for 2013” for using them to study micro organisms in the atmosphere, which can have a huge impact on what goes on, on the ground.

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Virginia Association of Museums
4:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Virginia's Top 10 Endangered Artifacts

Illustration for "The Raven" by Artist James Carling, 1884
Edgar Allen Poe Museum, Richmond VA

The Virginia Association of Museums is out with its top 10 list of Endangered Artifacts in the state. The  list is intended to raise awareness about for care for the objects that tell Virginia’s stories.

The annual list serves as a companion of sorts, to the one put each year by Preservation Virginia, highlighting endangered places….the Virginia Association of Museum list though focuses on the items that live inside  museums, galleries and libraries.

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Virginia's Gubernatorial Elections
5:17 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

From the Campaign Trail

Virginia’s gubernatorial election this year will set the political stage for the federal elections next year and beyond. 

That’s the message of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who joined Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli for a fundraiser at the Richmond Marriott Monday.

The two elected officials both focused on the topic of big government versus free enterprise. 

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Government & Politics
10:43 am
Mon September 16, 2013

VaNews for 09.16.13

Plans for a tract of land near Williamsburg and the Fairfax County Library's new strategic plan have been causing controversy.

Stories about both were among the most clicked this past week at the Virginia Public Access Project’s VaNews link.

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Public Art Project
10:32 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Inside Out

The faces of immigration reform can be seen on the outside of a downtown Roanoke building.

Three foot high photos of men, women, boys and girls, are glued onto the wall in nice, neat rows.  It’s part of the Inside Out 11M Public Art Project.  The 11 M stands for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U. S. 

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Science & Technology
4:30 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Information Technology: Securing Privacy

State lawmakers have been learning more about how the Virginia Information Technologies Agency protects and oversees the Commonwealth's most sensitive databases.  

They're finding out that while Medicaid expansion is supposed to help benefit those who need services, the state might not be prepared for the influx of data the expansion would bring with it.

Chief Information Officer Sam Nixon tells the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission that potential vulnerabilities always exist within the system.

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Monarch Butterflies & Weather
7:23 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Monarch Butterfly Migration May Disappoint This Year

Credit www.monarchwatch.org

A fall tradition is to catch the monarch migration in late September and Early October. This year, however, there may not be much to see.

It takes four generations and up to 3,000 miles for the monarch migration to make its roundtrip each year. Virginia is one of the many and varied locations in which one generation of the monarch will breed.

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VA Tech Shootings
6:28 am
Fri September 13, 2013

VA Tech Victim Families Still Seeking Closure

Credit Virginia Tech

Thirty-two sets of families are still dealing with the losses they experienced six years ago due to the Virginia Tech shootings.  And while they have tried to heal in their own ways, two still believe there's an injustice that must be righted. It's why they appeared at the Virginia Supreme Court, where they also heard state attorneys argue why a ruling holding Tech responsible for the massacre should be overturned.

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Jeff Cohen is a proud New Orleans native who now calls New England home. Or at least his second home.

He started in newspapers in 2001 and joined WNPR in 2010, where he is a reporter and an occasional fill-in host for All Things Considered.

In addition to covering state and Hartford city politics, Jeff covered the December 2012 Newtown shootings and the stories that followed.  Much of that work was featured on NPR.  Also in 2012, Jeff was selected by NPR and Kaiser Health News for their joint Health Care In The States project. That work resulted in several national stories, including ones on the Affordable Care Act and medical education.

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