Designed to Save Money
4:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Passivhaus & Energy Efficiency

The Specht House in Thaxton, VA
Credit www.jetsongreen.com

According to Virginia Dominion Power the average monthly residential electric bill in the state is $119.82 a month. 

With the deep temperatures of winter and depending on our heat source we can find bills for a single month two to three times that amount.

But there's a method of home construction that for one homeowner has cut their electric bill by more than half the state average.

“Our typical energy bill is actually as low as $40 to as high as $62 to $65 so far. Our annual energy usage is so much lower than a standard home’s”  

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Government & Politics
5:28 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Obenshain Conceeds in AG Race

It's over. Senator Mark Obenshain says that seeing the votes for his opponent Mark Herring WIDENING significantly in the statewide recount of the Attorney General's race, he has decided to congratulate Herring and concede.  

The election is the first sweep of statewide offices for Democrats since 1989.

 

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Dan Bammes has deep Utah roots.  Heââââ

20 Essential Habits
4:26 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

How to Succeed in Business by Actually Trying

There’s no doubt that today’s US economy is primarily a service economy. That means the new ‘goods and services’ now translates as plain, ‘good service.’

But not all businesses know how to make the most of their customers’ service experience.

We’re not talking about something as egregious as an employee chatting on a cell phone during your transaction or other clearly rude behavior, but with so much riding on the service in our service economy, it’s the little things that make all the difference. 

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Government & Politics
8:23 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Wolf Retirement Could Lead to Bitter Political Feud

The retirement announcement by seventeen term incumbent Congressman Frank Wolf has campaign analysts predicting a bloody Republican primary and then general election fight in Northern Virginia.

A fairly safe Republican House seat just became the commonwealth’s second battleground district. Wolf has served the tenth district in Congress since 1980, and was able to keep his seat even as President Obama won the district in two thousand eight.

Kyle Kondik is a campaign analyst with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

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Matt Stiles is a data editor for NPR's news apps team.

In this role he is responsible for obtaining and analyzing databases and using them to help the team tell interactive stories on npr.org. He also works with reporters and editors in the newsroom to help them understand the data they encounter on their beats.

Medicaid Expansion
7:32 am
Wed December 18, 2013

State Legislators Working on Medicaid Alternatives

The legislative panel that will determine whether Virginia expands its Medicaid program met Tuesday for a final time this year.  The Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission heard numerous in-depth presentations, including on the unique programs set up by other states, the taxes that pay for Affordable Care Act provisions, and Medicaid fraud and waste.  While no consensus has formed yet on expanding Medicaid, individual lawmakers are working on alternatives that could bridge the gap between supporters and opponents.

 

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Blight Spreads to Virginia
4:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Stemming Boxwood Blight

Spread of boxwood blight to landscape plants following installation of an infected boxwood patio plant
Adria Bordas

Scientists are asking the public’s help in stemming the spread of a blight on the Boxwood bush.  The plant is often used in holiday wreaths and garlands this time of year.

The Boxwood plant is prized for its emerald leaves and slow growing habit. But a blight, first seen in the US in 2011 has spread to Virginia, where it threatens home gardens as well as historic sites. The disease eventually kills the plant. It’s caused by a fungus spread by contact with a diseased boxwood.

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Virginia Colleges & Universities
1:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Immigrants Seek In-State Tuition

Ramiro Vasquez

Last year, the White House issued an executive order barring the deportation of high school students whose parents came to this country illegally.  They were encouraged to apply for a special immigration status that could, ultimately, lead to citizenship.  Now, seven of those students are suing to qualify for in-state tuition at Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

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Government & Politics
12:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Two Year Budget Proposal

Governor McDonnell has rolled out his final two-year state budget, which includes additional funds for major core services and other priorities.

The $95.9 billion budget also injects new cash into the Rainy Day Fund and adds millions of dollars to public and higher education. 

The Governor says he used caution in forecasting revenues—due to the disproportionate impact on the state of potential changes in federal fiscal policies.

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