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. 

Sandy Hausman

Wind farms are now common in some western and Midwestern states, and that form of energy is actually cheaper than power produced with coal. Virginia could see its first wind farm on a ridge near Roanoke, but area residents and environmentalists are raising red flags over plans to install 25 turbines.

Many electric companies are replacing conventional home meters with smart devices that can be read, as well as turned on and off from a remote location.  These devices can also tell customers how much power they’re using at different times of day, and since some companies charge higher rates during periods of peak demand, consumers can adjust their power use to save money.  Dominion Virginia Power has a pilot program that charges customers less for power during times when demand is low.  The firm e-mails prices the night before, but one consumer says Dominion needs to do more if it’s seriou

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Electric companies across the state have been rolling out  new technology, installing home meters that monitor consumer use and send that information, automatically, to the company.  Smart meters also allow utilities to turn power on and off from a remote location.  Utilities say these hi-tech meters will help consumers reduce their electric bills, but one elected official is skeptical, and she’s leading a crusade against the devices.

The city of Charlottesville has a problem - a nine-story structure in the middle of its historic downtown mall.  It was supposed to be a luxury hotel, but the original owner went bankrupt, and construction stopped.  Now, a local artist has come up with one possible solution for what many consider an eyesore. 

AP File Photo/Donna McWilliam

Virginia’s State Fair is less than a month away, and organizers are gearing up to host nearly a quarter of a million people at the Meadow Event Park near Richmond.  

In addition to rides, music and agricultural competitions, the fair will offer its usual selection of junk food – corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy and something new.

“This year we have deep fried butter – a hunk of butter with batter, dropped in the deep fryer.”   

That’s the Farm Bureau Federation’s Kathy Dixon.  She says there isn’t much call for healthier fare.

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