Month: April 2022

Five takeaways from the landmark Virginia Solar Survey

April 27, 2022

Solar panels on the roof of Powhatan Elementary School. (Sarah Vogelsong/VM) BY SARAH VOGELSONG (VM) – After a slow start, solar has been booming in Virginia.  From having zero large-scale solar farms in 2015, the commonwealth now has 51 in operation, with more than half found in the central and Southside regions. Distributed solar — which […]

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Virginia’s rising syphilis cases are another bellwether of a strained public health system

April 25, 2022

By Kate Masters (VM) – For more than two years, COVID-19 has largely monopolized the time and resources of local health departments across Virginia. But as the virus moves into an uneasy plateau, health officials are turning their attention to another infectious disease with alarming rates of growth. Since at least 2016, cases of syphilis — […]

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Galax, Va., ranked first among 300 high-poverty counties in COVID-19 death rate

April 20, 2022

(VM) – Galax, a small city in southwestern Virginia with less than 10,000 residents, is ranked first among 300 other high-poverty localities for its rate of COVID-19 deaths, a new report found. It’s not the first time the city has attracted attention for the high toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on its community. In the summer […]

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Tiny micro-plastics huge environmental problem for rivers, ocean, researchers say

April 18, 2022

This tray has a half-life in water of at least two years. The plastic bag, exposed to sunlight, has a half-life of more than five years. (Photo by Lisa Sorg) By Lisa Sorg (VM) – If the plastic food container that contained your lunch today winds up in a river, a local creek, or the […]

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Virginia police routinely use secret GPS pings to track people’s cell phones

April 7, 2022

By Ned Oliver  (VM) – Scott Durvin says he faced aggressive questioning from a Chesterfield County Police detective after his friend died of a drug overdose at the end of 2019. What he didn’t know at the time was that police had also begun secretly tracking his whereabouts by ordering Verizon Wireless to regularly ping […]

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Recreational marijuana still isn’t legal in Virginia and medical patients face access challenges

April 4, 2022

By Kate Masters (VM) – While recreational marijuana is technically legal in Virginia, the path to purchasing it in stores is still a long way off. In February, Republicans in the House of Delegates killed legislation that would have allowed limited retail sales later this year. The state’s recreational market is scheduled to begin in 2024, but with […]

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