Tommie McNeil

Reporter, Richmond Bureau

Tommie McNeil is a State Capitol reporter who has been covering Virginia and Virginia politics for more than a decade. He originally hails from Maryland, and also doubles as the evening anchor for 1140 WRVA in Richmond.

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A number of studies suggest that young children who enter pre-kindergarten programs develop their learning skills more effectively than those who don't.

That's one reason why state lawmakers recently decided to examine and reform the Virginia Preschool Initiative.   One of the underlying issues is making sure that low-income children have access to—and take advantage of— those programs.

Some of the reasons why children don't enroll include lack of affordability, eligibility, and other challenges.

Virginia's Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources lends an ear to a grassroots organization protesting the possible closure of 283 rural hospitals across the country, including the Commonwealth.

Dr. Jennifer Lee said it's yet another reason why she believes Medicaid expansion could be the answer.

Virginia Supreme Court justices will soon be deciding on a case that could have a significant impact on what state officials can withhold—even when a Freedom of Information Act request is submitted.

Although this case began with one lawmaker asking about how executions are carried out, he also discovered that agencies may have found a way around disclosing pertinent information. 

The women of the troubled Sweet Briar College say the institution is capable of sustaining itself—and all it needs is a second chance. They're hoping that chance comes in the form of a ruling from the state's highest court to grant an injunction and allow the college to stay open while school administrators sort out legal and financial matters.

It's been two years in the making, but now a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Health and Ancestry has allowed the state to digitize the Commonwealth’s vital records-including some that were believed to be lost forever.

State leaders say this is huge: more than 16-million death, birth, and marriage certificates - as well as divorce decrees - have been scanned and digitized and can now be accessed for genealogy and family history research.

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