Author Archives: Jeff South

Marking the End of Civil War, and Slavery

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The sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War is winding down with events in Richmond and across the state. Virginians are reflecting on the end of the war 150 years ago and how it shaped the state’s history and culture even to this day.

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Civil War timeline in Virginia

A look at war-related events in Virginia

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Assembly OKs a 2-Song Solution

The House of Delegates joined the Senate on Tuesday in approving both “Our Great Virginia” and “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as official state songs. But will Gov. Terry McAuliffe sign the legislation into law?

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From Designer Clothes to Orange Robes

A remorseful Maureen McDonnell stood Friday in a federal courtroom where she had been convicted of taking bribes and asked a judge for leniency. He responded by sentencing the former first lady to 12 months and one day in prison.

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A Portrait of Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell has been painted in two different lights: as a selfless, hardworking, dedicated mother, wife and community leader, and as a hostile and greedy woman responsible for ruining the career of her husband, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, and sending him to jail.

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Maureen McDonnell, In Her Own Words

In her first public statement on the corruption scandal, Maureen McDonnell testified Friday that she was responsible for her family’s political fall from grace.

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Key Documents in Maureen McDonnell Sentencing

Here are some important documents that were filed in U.S. District Court in preparation for today’s sentencing.

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Battered Wife Must Pay Abuser Alimony

A Richmond woman’s harrowing story prompted a state legislator to propose a bill that would prohibit courts from awarding alimony to a spouse who has been convicted of domestic violence. The bill failed.

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FAA Proposes Rules on Commercial Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday proposed rules governing commercial drone use that would open the airspace to thousands of operators nationwide.

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Progress (or Lack of) on the ERA in Virginia

A brief history of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to ratify it in the Old Dominion

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Drug Can Reverse Heroin Overdoses

As opiate overdose deaths rise in Virginia, the General Assembly is moving to approve legislation intended to curb the epidemic.

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Panel Shelves Bill to Change Rezoning Process

The Virginia Association of Counties received its wish when a bill to change local governments’ rezoning process was killed in a House subcommittee this past week.

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Most Virginians Say Bullying Is Serious

Half of Virginians view bullying and harassment as a “very serious problem” at school, and another third think it is “somewhat serious,” according to a statewide poll.

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How Virginians Feel about Campus Safety

How safe are college campuses in Virginia? |Create infographics

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House Republicans Unveil Education Reforms

House Republican leaders outlined their K-12 education agenda for the 2015 General Assembly on Thursday, echoing several goals announced by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe a day earlier.

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Women’s Equality Coalition Announces Agenda

ProgressVA, the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network and other women’s rights and health advocacy groups launched the Women’s Equality Coalition on Thursday, announcing their legislative agenda for the 2015 General Assembly session.

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Parents Seek Funding for Mental Health Services

Central Virginia residents packed a legislative committee hearing Wednesday to call for more funding for child mental health services, more help for individuals with intellectual disabilities and tighter regulations of private homes providing day care.

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Timeline of the McDonnell Case

Bob McDonnell was elected in a landslide and took office as the commonwealth’s 71st governor in January 2010. On Tuesday, just five years later, he was sentenced to prison for corruption. Here are key dates as McDonnell went from a rising star in the Republican Party to the first Virginia governor convicted of a felony.

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Ex-Gov. McDonnell Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison after being convicted of 11 felony corruption charges in September.

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Henrico Residents Seek Leniency for McDonnell

Prominent Henrico County residents wrote letters attesting to former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s character and integrity and urging a federal judge to show leniency in sentencing him for public corruption.

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U.Va. President Seeks Leniency for McDonnell

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is among the more than 400 letter writers urging a federal judge to be lenient Tuesday in sentencing former Gov. Bob McDonnell for corruption.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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Map: Where the ‘Dangerous Dogs’ Lie

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

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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.

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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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Data on Home-Schoolers in Every Locality

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

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Infographics: The Scope of Home Schooling

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These graphics show how home schooling has exploded in Virginia.

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Slideshow: Pit Bull Owner Disputes Stereotypes

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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Human Trafficking: By the Numbers

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

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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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Suicide Rates by County and City

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

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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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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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Storify: Critics See an ‘MLK Day Plot’

When Senate Republicans rammed through a redistricting bill on Martin Luther King Day, critics started grumbling about an “MLK Day plot.”

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Storify: Power Struggle at State Capitol

The power struggle between Republicans and Democrats is one of the most talked about topics in national and statewide politics.

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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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