McAuliffe Inaugurated as Governor

CNS reporter and photojournalist Dana Carlson documented Saturday’s inauguration of Virginia’s new governor, Terry McAuliffe.

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For Virginia Inmates, Little Hope of Parole

The Virginia Parole Board last year granted parole in less than 4 percent of the cases it considered. Even old men – prisoners in their 70s and 80s who have served decades behind bars – were routinely denied parole.

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Some Howling over Dangerous Dogs Registry

There are more than 400 dogs in the Virginia Dangerous Dogs Registry, a list of animals that have attacked someone or hurt or killed another dog or cat.

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Like its Clients, Drug Center Is Recovering

Rubicon Inc., a substance abuse and mental health treatment center that has served the Richmond community for more than 40 years, is trying to regain its financial footing after nearly having to close its doors last fall.

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Human Trafficking: Modern-day Slavery

Human trafficking survivors and support groups are speaking out and working with state legislators to combat the problem of human trafficking in Virginia.

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Virginia’s Suicide Rate Highest in 13 Years

Virginia’s suicide rate is the highest it’s been in 13 years, according to the state’s chief medical examiner. Experts say the causes may include the poor economy and lack of mental health services.

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Legislative Issues Fueled Partisan Ill Will

An ominous “MLK Day plot.” A proposed overhaul of the Electoral College system. Voter ID legislation. Those are issues that fueled partisanship at the Virginia Capitol this year and turned the bad blood between Republicans and Democrats into one of the most talked-about topics of the General Assembly’s session.

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Virginia Lottery Hits Its Own Jackpot

Lottery winners aren’t the only ones with any luck: The Virginia Lottery saw record ticket sales in the past year, as the economy continued its recovery and several big-name retailers began selling tickets.

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Women Still Lag in Virginia Politics

Just 19 out of 100 Virginia House members are women – a far cry from parity in a state where 50.9 percent of the population is female. Underrepresentation is even worse in the 40-member Virginia Senate, where women hold six seats – just 15 percent.

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07 Feb 2014

Sunday Hunting Bills Progress Through General Assembly

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two bills seeking to allow Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals on private Virginia property and state waters are progressing through the General Assembly. However, hunting with dogs or hunting within 200 yards of a house of worship would be prohibited. The House passed House Bill […]

07 Feb 2014

Revenge-Porn Bill Gains Momentum in House

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND — Revenge pornography is one step closer to criminalization in Virginia after recent amendments to House Bill 326 helped pave the way for the proposed legislation to clear the House of Representatives. Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, is the chief patron of the bill, which would classify the unlawful […]

07 Feb 2014

Bill Seeks Anti-violence Funds Consolidation

By Dana Carlson Capital News Service RICHMOND —  The 53 sexual and domestic-violence organizations in Virginia could serve victims better if a House of Delegates Appropriations committee acts on a bill to streamline the funding these organizations rely on. House Bill 1, the first piece of legislation filed in the 2014 General Assembly session, would […]

07 Feb 2014

Reorganized Senate Committee Passes Abortion Bills

By Chris Suarez Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two abortion-related bills were passed this past week by The Virginia Health and Education Senate Committee a day after the House of Delegates struck down a pair of identical measures in committee. The Senate bills — SB617 and SB618 — introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton — […]

07 Feb 2014

House GOP Debates Medicaid Expansion Rejection Methodology

By James K. Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – House Republicans are echoing national GOP rhetoric in rejecting the Medicaid expansion, strongly backed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Delegate James “Jimmie” Massie, R-Richmond, said Obamacare could likely “implode.” Massie said he handles the “business side” of Medicaid reform. “I would say (it’s not going) particularly […]

06 Feb 2014

Red Light Cameras Remain Legal

By Quinn Casteel Capital News Service RICHMOND – Red light cameras will remain legal in Virginia for at least another year, as the House Transportation Committee defeated a bill this past week that would have forced the discontinuation of such photo-monitoring systems. The committee voted 13-8 against House Bill 973, sponsored by Delegate Benjamin Cline, […]

06 Feb 2014

Democrats Take Control of Virginia Senate

By Eric Luther and Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – Democrats regained control of Virginia’s Senate this past week after Lynwood Lewis, D- Norfolk, assumed the District 6 seat vacated by Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam after an 11-vote victory against his Republican opponent. Lewis’s installation split the state Senate 20-20, with Northam casting […]

06 Feb 2014

Bill Seeks to Restrict Local Agritourism Regulation

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND — An agritourism bill that would restrict local regulation of customary agricultural and farm activities has passed the Senate. Senate Bill 51 would prohibit Virginia counties from regulating the management of agritourism for-profit events; the sale of agricultural or silvicultural (forest) products or related items; the preparation or […]

31 Jan 2014

Tunnel Construction Relief Bills Killed

By Lauren McClellan Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two bills that would have provided monetary relief to Hampton Roads area businesses affected by construction on the Downtown Tunnel have been killed in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 292, introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, D- Portsmouth, would have established the Downtown Tunnel Construction Relief Grant Fund. […]

31 Jan 2014

State Declines Department Of Corrections Study

By Eric Luther Capital News Service RICHMOND – A resolution allowing government agencies to examine employment conditions of penitentiaries statewide was tabled this week by the General Assembly’s Committee on Rules. The resolution, proposed by Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler, D- Jarratt, would have directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to study employee health […]

31 Jan 2014

Cox aide is valued partner in district representation

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND — The aide walked into the giant sixth floor office of House Majority Leader Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, and presented papers to his boss. The two traded a few words, nodded and a decision was made. Legislative aide and chief of staff William J. Flanagan has spent the […]

31 Jan 2014

Bills Seek to Protect Responders from Reckless Driving

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND — “Andrew’s Law,” legislation that would punish as a felony reckless driving that seriously injures or kills an on-duty responder or highway worker, will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee next week. The legislation, a combination of House Bill 1148 and Senate Bill 293, was introduced after […]

31 Jan 2014

Grant Would Fund Active-Shooter Training

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – A bill is advancing through the House that would grant “active shooter” training funds to smaller police forces, which currently have no budget to accommodate the over-time pay to prepare for mass shootings. Delegate Mike Webert, R-Marshall, said the Fauquier County Sheriff Department recently integrated an active […]

30 Jan 2014

Bill Seeks Compensation for Dog-Ravaged Livestock

By Jessi Gower Capital News Service RICHMOND — Livestock and poultry owners in rural areas of Virginia may find some solace in the coming weeks if Senate passes House Bill 54, which guarantees monetary compensation for owners whose livestock and poultry that have been killed or injured by dogs. Virginia is currently home to more […]

30 Jan 2014

Sea of Japan Debate Places McAuliffe, Virginia in Bind

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND — A bill that reflects a nearly 70-year-old tension between two East-Asian countries has pushed the Virginia General Assembly into the middle of an international debate just more than three weeks into session. House Bill 11 passed the House Education subcommittee this week, bringing the commonwealth one step […]

29 Jan 2014

GOP Aims To Uphold Marriage Ban

By Eric Luther Capital News Service RICHMOND — Virginia’s House of Delegates is poised to vote this week on a bill allowing legislators to defend any law the governor and attorney general decide not to uphold on behalf of the state. House Bill 706, proposed by Delegate C. Todd Gilbert, R- Shenandoah, would permit a […]

27 Jan 2014

Climate Change Activists March On Virginia Capitol

By Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – More than 70 activists descended on the Virginia Capitol this past week, calling on Gov. Terry McAuliffe to take a more aggressive stance against climate change. The event was organized in conjunction with Virginia Conservation Network Lobby Day by Appalachian Voice Environment Virginia, the Sierra Club-Virginia Chapter […]

24 Jan 2014

‘Bailey’s Law’ Awaits Senate Vote

By Jessi Gower Capital News Service RICHMOND – More than 100 animal rights activists met on the Capitol grounds Jan. 23 to rally and show support for a pet “lemon law.” Senate Bill 228 would require pet dealers to fully disclose all breeder and health information for each animal, and guarantee that the animal will […]

24 Jan 2014

Trial date set for McDonnells

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND — A trial date has been set for former Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen for July 28, following a Friday arraignment at a Richmond federal courthouse. Both pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges. Federal authorities say the McDonnells repeatedly asked Johnnie Williams, a Richmond […]

24 Jan 2014

Privacy Concerns Table Search, Seizure Bill

By James Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND — A bill that would give Virginia police power to search private computers without a secondary search warrant was tabled after a committee determined the bill’s language failed to protect Fourth Amendment rights. According to Delegate Mike Webert, R-Marshall, who is chief patron of the bill, the purpose […]

24 Jan 2014

Bill Aims to Prorate Waste Disposal Fees

By Jackson McMillan Capital News Service RICHMOND – A bill allowing Southampton County residents to pay monthly waste disposal fees as part of their electric bills is awaiting a hearing in the Counties, Cities and Towns Committee of the House of Delegates. House Bill 62, introduced by Delegate Roslyn Tyler, D-Jarratt, would allow Southampton County […]

24 Jan 2014

Tidewater Toll Revisions Criticized

By Lauren McClellan Capital News Service RICHMOND — Critics of the proposed Hampton Roads tolls are unsatisfied by the new governor’s initiatives reducing – and in some cases eliminating — those tolls, which are scheduled to take effect Feb. 1. This past week Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the Downtown and Midtown Tunnels would not charge […]

23 Jan 2014

Delegate Fowler Begins Legislative Career

By Kate Miller Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. — Delegate Hyland “Buddy” Fowler (R-Ashland) takes a moment to share a laugh with his legislative aide Dale Hargrove Alderman in Fowler’s office at the General Assembly Building in Richmond. Fowler and Alderman joyfully reminisce about Fowler’s time as a legislative aide for Alderman’s father Delegate Frank […]

23 Jan 2014

Homeschool Sports Access Banks on Senate Shakeup

By Colin Kennedy Capital News Service RICHMOND –After nearly a decade of debate, some Virginia legislators are hopeful homeschooled students will soon be allowed to participate in public school sports. House Bill 63, which was proposed by Delegate Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville, progressed through the House of Delegates’ Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee this past week […]

23 Jan 2014

Va. Senate Committee Says ‘No’ To Dreamers

By Chris Suarez Capital News Service RICHMOND — Virginia Senate legislation designed to give in-state tuition to undocumented childhood arrivals was defeated this past week by a Health and Education Committee vote of 6-7. Senate Bill 249, patroned by Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, and known as the Virginia DREAM Act, sparked heated rhetoric on whether […]

22 Jan 2014

Bills Seek E-cig Ban for Minors

By Dana Carlson Capital News Service RICHMOND — Electronic cigarettes could be banned from the hands of minors as Virginia legislators in the House and Senate push for regulation. In response to the growing number of young people experimenting with smokeless tobacco products, Virginia lawmakers have introduced House Bill 1111, House Bill 26, House Bill […]

22 Jan 2014

Tighter Regulations Sought on Cash-For-Phone Kiosks

By Mike Denison Capital News Service ANNAPOLIS – The premise seems simple: drop off an unwanted phone at a recycling kiosk, receive instant cash and keep precious metals out of landfills. Consumers and the environment both win. But, according to some politicians, so do phone thieves. This fear has led some Maryland lawmakers to push […]

21 Jan 2014

Kilgore, Carrico Poll Constituent Priorities

By Liz Butterfield Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. — Southwest Virginians asked for more coal mining jobs, hospitals and drug testing of welfare recipients, and less gun control, in an hour-long telephone town hall conducted this past week by Delegate Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, and Sen. Charles Carrico, R-Galax. Other topics discussed included same-sex marriage […]

13 Jan 2014

McAuliffe Inauguration Renews Campaign Promises

By James K. Galloway Capital News Service RICHMOND – Tight security and steady rain Saturday did not dampen the spirit or the campaign promises of Democrat Terry McAuliffe as he became Virginia’s 72nd governor. McAuliffe, who has never held elected office, won this past November’s nationally watched election against conservative, Tea Party-endorsed Republican candidate Ken […]

05 Dec 2013

Governor-Elect Promises Ethics Reform, Transparency

RICHMOND – Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe said Wednesday that he would push for greater transparency and ethics reforms in state government. McAuliffe spoke to a roomful of journalists after a panel discussion on political journalism ethics and political finance and gift-disclosure organized by the Associated Press. The Northern Virginia businessman said he “would be inclined” to […]

15 May 2013

Ex-Felon’s Voting Rights, and Hopes, Restored

About 12 years ago, Michael Maupin lost his right to vote in Virginia because of a felony drug conviction. But Maupin has hope for the future because he just received a letter from Gov. Bob McDonnell restoring his civil rights.

15 May 2013

Slim Hopes of Parole in Virginia

For the past two years, the Virginia Parole Board has granted less than 4 percent of the cases it has heard.

14 May 2013

Students Waste Money on Textbooks, Poll Says

Students at VCU and other institutions of higher education in Virginia often end up buying textbooks they never use, according to a survey by Virginia21, an advocacy group for college students and other young adults.

14 May 2013

Students Worry about College Loan Debts

Nearly 75 percent of Virginia Commonwealth University students are unsure of their student loan debt payments upon graduation, according to a survey by Virginia21, an advocacy group for college students.

14 May 2013

Should State Publicize List of Animal Abusers?

Virginia already has a registry for “dangerous dogs” – animals that have attacked other pets or people. So how about having a registry for people who abuse animals? That’s what some animal welfare advocates would like.

14 May 2013

Map: Where the ‘Dangerous Dogs’ Lie

This map and data set show the number of “dangerous dogs” in each county and city of Virginia.

13 May 2013

Home Schooling on the Rise in Virginia

The number of home-schoolers in Virginia has increased by more than 50 percent over the past decade, to more than 32,000 children. If they were a school district, it would be the ninth-largest in the state – with almost as many students as the Norfolk Public Schools.

13 May 2013

Data on Home-Schoolers in Every Locality

Here are statistics for the number of home-schoolers statewide and in each school division of Virginia.

13 May 2013

Infographics: The Scope of Home Schooling

These graphics show how home schooling has exploded in Virginia.

13 May 2013

Slideshow: Pit Bull Owner Disputes Stereotypes

Sarah Burns of Chesterfield County discusses the pit bull that she adopted: “She’s really sweet.”

10 May 2013

Blacks, Hispanics Underrepresented in Gifted Programs

A report and data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that African American and Hispanic students are vastly underrepresented among students identified as gifted by the state’s public schools.

10 May 2013

Loudoun School Challenges Gifted Program Norms

Virginia’s only middle and high school for advanced students is challenging the way traditional gifted education is taught.

10 May 2013

Data and Charts on Gifted Education

Here is the data used in this news article. You can access the data as a series of Web pages or view it below.

10 May 2013

You Can Read the VDOE Report Here

Here is the report that the Virginia Department of Education completed in May 2010 about racial disparities in students identified for gifted education programs.

09 May 2013

Recovering from a Stolen Childhood

Elisabeth Corey has repressed memories of the abuse she suffered at the hands of family members while growing up in Northern Virginia. She’s a survivor of family-controlled sex trafficking and endured sexual abuse from male family members.

09 May 2013

Group Offers Haven to Survivors of Trafficking

In 2010, Josh Bailey and his wife, Andrea, founded the Gray Haven Project. The organization helps human trafficking survivors rebuild their lives.

09 May 2013

Human Trafficking: By the Numbers

Here are charts and tables about human trafficking in Virginia and the United States.

08 May 2013

Suicide Rates by County and City

This map and data set show the 2011 suicide rate for each Virginia locality. They also show the unemployment rate for that year.

08 May 2013

Suicides: The Numbers in Virginia

Suicide rates are on the rise in Virginia — and higher than they’ve been in 13 years. Whites are far more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to commit suicide. And men commit suicide far more often than women.

06 May 2013

Transportation Creates Rift Among Lawmakers

No General Assembly session is without its ups and downs, quarrels and disputes. However, the 2013 session may have taken the trophy for the most sparring between Democrats and Republicans – especially when it came to transportation.

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