Rebecca León

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06 May 2010

For Ex-Cons, Re-entering Society is Daunting

After they’ve served their time behind bars and are released back into society, prisoners often need education, employment, housing and other assistance – or else they’re likely to return to committing crime. But such help can be hard to find.

05 May 2010

Alumni Connection: Legislators’ Old-School Ties

Twenty-five state legislators – about one of every six – attended the University of Virginia. U.Va. has a bigger delegation at the Capitol than any other college or university, according to a Capital News Service analysis of legislators’ alma maters. The Cavaliers easily outdistanced the two runners-up – Virginia Tech (with 17 legislators) and the University of Richmond (16).

06 Mar 2010

Group Seeks Ban on Bias Against Gays

A bill banning the discrimination of state employees based on sexual orientation was rejected by a House subcommittee last week, leaving one particular advocacy organization outraged. The chief executive officer of Equality Virginia said subcommittee members disregarded public support of Senate Bill 66. He called the decision to reject the bill “outrageous.”

04 Mar 2010

Senate Panel Kills ‘Castle Doctrine’ Bill

A Senate committee has rejected the so-called “castle doctrine” bill, which would have provided immunity from civil prosecution if you used lethal force to defend yourself and your home. The bill was struck down by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on a 9-6 party-line vote Wednesday.

04 Mar 2010

Legislature OKs Tastings in ABC Stores

Virginians soon may be able to try before they buy at their local ABC store. The General Assembly has passed a bill allowing wine and liquor tasting events at the government-run outlets. Read Rebecca Leon’s story on

27 Feb 2010

‘We’re Not Gonna Take It,’ Teachers Cry

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students descended on the state Capitol, waving handmade signs and singing a song by Twisted Sister. They were protesting what they described as devastating cuts to public education by the General Assembly.

16 Feb 2010

Bill to Restrict Coal Mining Is Dead

A bill that supporters said would save the environment but opponents said would cost coal industry jobs is dead for this legislative session. The bill would have stopped coal mining operations that dispose of slurry or other waste materials in any stream.

17 Jan 2010

Slideshow: Gov. McDonnell’s Inauguration

Here is a selection of Robin Hertel’s photos from the Jan. 16 inauguration of Gov. Bob McDonnell.