Archive for May 2011

Are Cell Phones Wasted On State Employees?

Virginia’s state government spends more than $6 million a year on the more than 11,000 cellphones it provides to public employees. But a chunk of that money may be wasted: During a recent six-month period, the state spent almost $1 million on 4,500 unused cellphones – phones that recorded zero minutes.

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Slave Names Will Be ‘Unknown No Longer’

This fall, the Virginia Historical Society will launch a free, searchable online database of Virginia slave names called “Unknown No Longer.” It will allow people, especially African-Americans, to trace their ancestry without compromising their privacy or paying fees.

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The Struggle to Commemorate Slavery

The Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality want to give the African Burial Ground in Richmond the respect it deserves. First, that means persuading Virginia Commonwealth University to stop using the site as a parking lot.

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For-Profit Schools Have High Loan Default Rates

Student loan default rates are especially high among people who attend for-profit colleges and universities. Federal officials have criticized some proprietary schools, saying they are more interested in collecting tuition dollars than in teaching students marketable skills.

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Help Storm Victims, Governor Urges

Gov. Bob McDonnell is encouraging citizens to provide aid for victims of the April tornadoes, after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia’s request for disaster assistance.

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Prepare To Be Prepared: Tornado Safety

An unusually active tornado season has wreaked havoc in Virginia and nationwide. On April 16, for example, tornadoes killed three people in Gloucester. Some simple precautions – mainly having a plan – can help keep you safe.

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New Laws Target Access to Abortion

It will be harder to get an abortion in Virginia because of two laws passed by the 2011 General Assembly. One law will prohibit certain private health insurance plans from covering abortions; the other will require clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital standards or shut down.

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She Is ‘Silent No More’; He Sees a TRAP

Anti-abortion activists are cheering and abortion rights activists are steaming over new laws that would regulate abortions in Virginia. A coordinator of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign says the laws will protect women’s health. But an official with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia says the laws are politically motivated and will restrict abortion access and decrease safety.

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Clinics Brace for Tighter Rules

By September, the Virginia Board of Health plans to announce the regulations that must be met by clinics that provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The clinics then will have until January to satisfy the requirements – or shut their doors.

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