A Different Kind of Church
6:50 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Beers & Hymns: A New Approach to the Sunday Ritual

As churches struggle to keep young Americans in the fold, some are moving their services to surprising places. In Charlottesville, more than three dozen of the faithful assemble at a bar each month to drink beer and sing hymns. 

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Redistricting Trouble
6:40 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Virginia's 3rd District Still Dealing with Redistricting Issues

Virginia's Congressional 3rd District

Three Virginia plaintiffs are asking a federal judge to delay the upcoming June primaries—AND if lawmakers fail to implement a new congressional redistricting plan, impose one himself.  Although the plan was pre-cleared by the U.S. Justice Department, both sides of a lawsuit that alleges gerrymandering began presenting their case. 

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Virginia Cooperative Extension Program
3:53 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Masters of Food

Credit Virginia Cooperative Extension

Increasing interest in locally grown food is spurring a revival of ancient methods of preserving that food.  With all the effort that goes into growing it, the next step is finding ways to store it for future consumption.

 

For decades, few people thought about where their food came from, beyond the grocery store shelf. But that’s changed in recent years and many people are interested in knowing more about the food they eat.  Melissa Chase is the state coordinator for the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Food Volunteer program.

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Arts & Culture
9:01 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Harmonizing on Harmonicas

Jack Hopkins, left, and Frank Jamison, right, jam together at weekly meetings of the Capital Harmonica Club, which Jack founded in 1991.
Credit Eric Shimelonis

It’s said the harmonica was invented by German instrument maker Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann in 1821. Nearly 100 years later, a man was born who would take his passion for the harmonica to another level… and keep it there for nearly another 100 years.

 

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UVA Research
8:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Big Data & Bike Safety

Alec Gosse
Credit Fariss Samarrai

Urban planners in Virginia are trying to make bicycling safer, but they’re hampered by a lack of statistics about who’s riding where.

Alec Gosse rides his bike to work at a Charlottesville company that analyzes data, and this year he was working on a PhD in environmental engineering. Those interests led him to try and solve a problem daunting city planners.

“There was no data for how many bikes were using various roads in the city.  It just didn’t exist.”

Without that information, they didn’t know where to make road improvements for cyclists.

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Making the Festival Rounds
2:44 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Waking Marshall Walker

Few college students expect to end up working with their professors, but one of TV’s leading ladies is now sharing the credits with her mentor – a professor of drama department at UVA. 

Waking Marshall Walker is a short film about a man who owns a vineyard.  His wife has died.  He’s depressed, unable to remember things, and after several caregivers quit, his daughter is frustrated.

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Government & Politics
7:32 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawmakers Learn More Bad News about VA Budget Situation

Credit Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

State lawmakers learned yesterday that if state revenue collections do not quickly improve, Virginia could close out the fiscal year with hundreds of millions of dollars less than expected. May revenues were down 23 percent—or by nearly 300-million dollars in daily deposits from a year ago—and appear poised to dip below the official forecast by June 30th. Kelsea Pieters has more: 

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Economics & Economy
7:12 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Virginia College and University Presidents Among Highest Paid

VCU President Michael Rao
Credit Richmond Times-Dispatch

There were a few surprises in this year’s survey of college presidents’ pay.  The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed more than 250 schools and found Virginia executives faring well.  

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Economics & Economy
1:53 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Roanoke Eatery Enjoys the Sweet Taste of Success

by Beverly Amsler

You may have heard of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other programs where people donate money to help fund a specific project, such as a film.  Roanoke is the first Virginia city to implement a new type of grass-roots crowd sourcing for small businesses. 

Viva la Cupcake is a shop in Roanoke’s eclectic Grandin Village Community.  On a street corner across from an elementary school, it’s the perfect spot for parents and their kids to stop for a sweet treat.  Pennie Ahuero and her husband opened the shop five years ago and now they’re ready to grow.

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Gator Troubles
7:44 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Alligators in Virginia?

Credit www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org

Another sign of global warming could make Virginians especially nervous.  That's because alligators have been spotted perilously close to the state line. 

The Great Dismal Swamp is a 126,000 acre preserve that straddles Virginia’s border with North Carolina.  It’s linked all the way to Florida by the Intracoastal Waterway, and a senior biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says alligators are moving north.

“Used to be about 60 miles south of us.  Now they’re probably within 15-20 miles of our southern border.”

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