Category Archives: Politics

Commonwealth ‘Pothole Blitz” A Success

By David Preut
VCU InSight

March was pothole “blitz” month in Virginia after Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered the Virginia Department of Transportation to focus on repairing the thousands of potholes pocketing the Commonwealth’s roads.

A record-setting winter left Virginia’s roadways in particularly bad shape this spring. After the first few weeks, V-DOT reported having repaired more than 43,000 potholes statewide, with over 4,000 fixed in Richmond alone.

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Gov. McDonnell Lifts LCI Freeze

By Veronica Garabelli
VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday that he would undo a freeze on an education funding formula that would have taken money from more affluent school districts and given it to less affluent ones.

“The decision to continue to update the Local Composite Index is one that I reached after extensive meetings with my finance staff, legislators, and local government officials,” McDonnell said in a press release.

“Ensuring that we have a fair formula that is implemented without regard to temporary or political considerations is the best means by which to appropriate education funding in the Commonwealth.”

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New Gov. McDonnell Vows to Create Jobs

By Rich Griset and Brittany Daniels
VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – On an unseasonably warm and sunny Saturday afternoon, Robert F. McDonnell was sworn in as Virginia’s 71st governor.

Thousands descended upon Virginia’s capital to witness McDonnell, Lt. Governor William Bolling and Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli take their oaths of office.

“I kept my first promise – I said that it would be warm and sunny on my inauguration day,” McDonnell said.

Colonial Williamsburg Fife & Drum Corps

For a slideshow of photos, click on this picture.

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Virginians Assemble to Watch Ceremony, Parade

By Joanna Moreno
VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – Lou McClellan said he loves Virginia – and that’s why he came to Bob McDonnell’s inauguration as the commonwealth’s 71st governor.

“I think he will unite the state and bring us all together from things that had separated us in the past,” said McClellan, a Richmond resident and longtime Republican.

He was one of thousands of people who converged on the Virginia Capitol on Saturday to see the inauguration.

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Gov. Kaine Delivers Final Address

By Nicole Fisher
VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. – Tim Kaine was still smiling. In his final State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly on Wednesday, he said he was smiling because there is no higher honor than to serve as governor of Virginia.

In his farewell speech, Kaine listed achievements ranging from education to business.

“The Virginia economy today is one of the nation’s most vibrant. We are in the top 10 states in median income and have one of the 10 lowest unemployment rates in the country,” he said. Continue reading

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Slave Trail Seeks to Free City’s History

By Stephanie Power and Anna Yates
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Near the corner of 17th and Main streets downtown is the site of Lumpkin’s Jail, where African slaves arriving at the Manchester docks were held before being sold off.

Down the street, under a parking lot, is an old burial ground for slaves and poor free blacks. There, Gabriel Prosser was hanged in 1800 for planning a slave rebellion.

A few blocks south, among abandoned storefronts and newer buildings, stands a dilapidated brick structure. It was once an auction house where African slaves were lined up and sold as if they were no more than livestock.

Those and other sites helped establish Richmond’s shameful history as a center for the slave trade. Today, the Richmond Slave Trail Commission has created a trail it hopes will lead to reconciliation and understanding.

Burial Ground, on Richmond Slave Trail

Burial Ground, on Richmond Slave Trail

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Filed under Capital News Service, Education, News, Politics, VCU Initiatives

Do Payday Lenders Target the Poor?

By Sara Griffith and Josephine Varnier
Capital News Service
 

RICHMOND – Cruising down Broad Street between Virginia Commonwealth University and suburban Short Pump, you’ll see a string of businesses with names like Cash Advance, Cash-2-U and Fast Payday Loans. They’ll lend you money until your next paycheck – at interest rates critics call exorbitant. 

The 23230 ZIP code boasts one of the highest concentrations of payday lending stores in Virginia, with almost one location for every 1,000 residents. The area is also among the poorer sections of metro Richmond, with a median household income about $10,000 below the state average. 

Opponents of payday lenders often criticize the industry for targeting lower-income people. The businesses’ locations lend credence to such criticisms. 

“These are dangerous,” said Dana Wiggins, responsible lending coordinator of the Virginia Poverty Law Center. “People become dependant on the loans and begin using them for everyday living things.” 

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Filed under Capital News Service, News, Politics, Richmond