Sandy Hausman

WVTF/RADIO IQ Charlottesville Bureau Chief

Sandy Hausman joined our news team in 2008 after honing her radio skills in Chicago.  Since then, she's won several national awards for her reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Radio, Television and Digital News Association and the Public Radio News Directors' Association. 

Sandy has reported extensively on issues of concern to Virginians, traveling as far afield as Panama, Ecuador, Indonesia and Hong Kong for stories on how expansion of  the Panama Canal will effect the Port of Virginia, what Virginians are doing to protect the Galapagos Islands, why a Virginia-based company is destroying the rainforest and how Virginia wines are selling in Asia.

She is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. 

Colin Keldie courtesy EMEC

With so much coastal property, this state could be harvesting the energy of waves, currents and tides to power homes and offices, factories and electric cars.  But Virginia is far from the day when that might happen. 

The Orkney Accordion and Fiddle Club meets weekly to celebrate old fashioned Scottish music and a growing number of enthusiasts on this island between the North Sea and the Atlantic.  73-year-old Innes Wylie is delighted by the newcomers.

It’s been more than 20 years since construction workers at Virginia Commonwealth University unearthed the remains of about fifty people in an old well near the Medical College of Virginia.  Historians believe they were the bones of former slaves, whose bodies were stolen from local cemeteries for dissection by medical students. 

Steve Helber/AP via NPR

On a warm spring night, more than 150 people gathered in Shockoe Bottom, a name taken from the Native American word for a site in Richmond.

This part of town, bounded by I-95 and bisected by railroad lines, was central to a city that prospered from the slave trade.

"The best guesstimate is several hundred thousand people were sold out of Shockoe Bottom," says Phil Wilayto, a leader of the grassroots movement to establish a memorial park here. "Probably the majority of African-Americans today could trace some ancestry to this small piece of land."

In addition to museums, battlegrounds and presidential homes, tourists find history at dozens of plantations that are open to the public. 

Often they learn about the big, elegant homes at the heart of those properties – about the people who lived there, but how do mannerly tour guides introduce the harsh subject of slavery?

Each year, for over a decade, about 30,000 Virginia kids were bused to Richmond’s museum district for a visit to the Story of Virginia, an exhibit featuring the usual portraits and artifacts.  Last year, the Virginia Historical Society closed the show and began a $20 million renovation, creating a modern new museum and a whole new experience for those interested in Virginia’s past. 

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