May 2012

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18 May 2012

Students Pass on Local Elections

It’s rare for students to vote in large numbers in state and local elections. Some student leaders say the reason isn’t just apathy: They say VCU students are discouraged from voting because they are divided among various election districts – and can’t flex their political muscles by voting as a bloc.

18 May 2012

W&M Student Elected to City Council

If VCU students want a direct voice on the Richmond City Council, they might look east for inspiration – to Williamsburg. In 2010, students from the College of William and Mary elected one of their own to the Williamsburg City Council.

17 May 2012

Rep. Cantor Amasses Cash for Re-election Bid

Forget David and Goliath. In the money race in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, it’s Wayne and Eric. Democrat Wayne Powell is challenging incumbent Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican majority leader in the U.S. House. From a campaign-finance standpoint, it’s not much of a contest: Cantor has 58 times more money on hand than Powell does.

17 May 2012

Search the Candidates’ Donations

Here are search tools for looking up individual contributions to U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor and his Democratic challenger, Wayne Powell, during the 2011-12 election cycle.

16 May 2012

Advocates Laud Mental Health Settlement

Calling it a “historic opportunity,” mental health advocates are awaiting a judge’s approval of a settlement agreement that would improve the lives of thousands of Virginia’s intellectually disabled citizens.

16 May 2012

Son’s Future Is ‘Constant Worry on Our Minds’

A Mechanicsville family faces uncertainty because of shortcomings in Virginia’s mental health care system. As they age, the parents of 22-year-old Justin Palmore worry what will happen to him – and whether he will be forced into an institution.

16 May 2012

State to Publish College Employment Rates

Under a new law, state officials will publish online the employment rates and average salaries for graduates from each institution of higher education in Virginia. Prospective students and their parents will be able to see the statistics for each program and type of degree at each school.

15 May 2012

Virginia Makes Amends for Wrongful Imprisonment

Thomas Haynesworth spent 27 years in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. He was exonerated last December, and the General Assembly voted to award him more than a $1 million in relief. Is that sufficient compensation for an innocent man locked up for nearly three decades?

15 May 2012

States’ Compensation Laws Are All Over the Map

Twenty-seven states and Washington D.C., have laws to compensate people who have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated.

14 May 2012

ABC Busts Retailers for Selling to Minors

Like other states, Virginia has strict age limits to buy cigarettes and alcohol. But young people often have little trouble purchasing those products: About one of every eight stores inspected by the state sells tobacco and booze to underage buyers.

14 May 2012

Teen Goes Undercover to Nab Illicit Sellers

Jessica Wood understands better than most how easy it is for minors to purchase alcohol and tobacco in Virginia. When she was 15, she had an unusual part-time job – helping undercover agents bust retailers who sell such products to minors.

14 May 2012

New Law Targets Cigarette Smuggling

You soon will face state fines and criminal charges if you buy large quantities of cigarettes in Virginia intending to resell them in a state with a higher tobacco tax. Beginning July 1, a new state law targets people “who possesses, with intent to distribute, more than 5,000 (25 cartons) tax-paid cigarettes.”

13 May 2012

New Law Prohibits Pointing Lasers at Aircraft

A state law that takes effect July 1 makes it a crime to point a laser at an aircraft. Laser strikes are dangerous because they can temporarily blind the pilot and cause a crash. There were 98 laser strikes in Virginia last year.

13 May 2012

New Law Will Improve Breast Cancer Detection

Beginning July 1, women getting mammograms will learn whether they have dense breast tissue that could hide cancer. A new law addresses the test’s failure to detect certain cancers in women with dense breast tissue.

08 May 2012

Studies Say Bullying Is Prevalent, Harmful

Bullying represented about 43 percent of the total incidents against students in Virginia public schools last year, state officials say. They said bullying has a range of negative effects on students’ learning and health.

08 May 2012

No Bullying in Richmond Schools?

The Richmond City Public School system hasn’t reported a single incident of bullying over the past four years. Local school officials have made a judgment call and classified such offenses as harassment instead.

08 May 2012

New Law Requires Anti-Bullying Training

During its 2012 session, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring teachers and other school personnel to receive training on anti-bullying tactics. Gov. Bob McDonnell has signed the legislation into law; it will take effect in July.

08 May 2012

Virginia Ignores Marijuana Reform Proposals

Virginia treats marijuana possession more harshly than many other states, handing down years-long prison sentences to people arrested with small amounts of the substance. Neighboring states have decriminalized marijuana or approved it for medicinal uses, but Virginia legislators this year hardly gave serious consideration to such ideas.

08 May 2012

After 225 Years, This Model Still Turns Heads

Virginia officials recently celebrated the 225th anniversary of the arrival of the plaster-of-Paris model that was the basis for building the state Capitol. Thomas Jefferson, who designed the Capitol in the Roman temple style, commissioned Frenchman Jean-Pierre Fouquet to make the model and ship it to the newly independent United States of America. It arrived on Feb. 28, 1787, and is still on display for the public.

05 May 2012

Obama Kicks Off Campaign with VCU Rally

President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election bid Saturday with a rally at Virginia Commonwealth University, calling the campaign a “make-or-break moment” for the middle class.

05 May 2012

Virginians ‘Fired Up, Ready to Go’ for Obama Campaign

Thousands of Virginians were “fired up” to see Barack and Michelle Obama at the Democratic presidential campaign’s “Ready to Go Rally” on Saturday. Many people who packed Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center on Saturday were college students and local supporters. Others came from across the state.

03 May 2012

Los Mixtecos de Richmond encuentran una barrera de lengua

En la educación pública, la filosofía de hacer lo mejor para el número mayor de gente reina supremo. El programa de inglés como segunda lengua (ESL). del sistema de las escuelas públicas de Richmond es un ejemplo de esta filosofía.

02 May 2012

A Faith Community on the Margins of Society

Even for an immigrant community, the Richmond Mixtecs face many significant cultural obstacles. In the mostly Hispanic Sacred Heart congregation, Mixtecs are still a minority of sorts, considering many are fluent in neither English nor Spanish. Like many immigrant communities, religion plays a major role in the lives and culture of the Mixtecs.

02 May 2012

Mixtec Artisan Co-op Debuts in Richmond

Is the indigenous Mexican culture of La Mixteca marketable? A group of Mixtec women in the city’s Manchester district, seeking to assert themselves and make money for their families, is banking on it.

02 May 2012

Mixtec Indians Face Language Barrier

In terms of language and culture, the casual observer might not notice much difference between Richmond’s Mixtec community and any other Latin American immigrant group in the city. Neither would the average teacher, school counselor or education specialist. For both the Mixtecs and their allies, however, the distinction is all too evident.