Capital News Service

Capital News Service

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University's Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program cover news for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

Key part of Fall Line Trail construction starts next month

By: - September 15, 2023

By Jimmy Sidney / Capital News Service The regional Fall Line Trail is set to officially break ground in Henrico County next month. The 43-mile-long trail will span from Petersburg to Ashland and serve as a counterpart to the Capital Trail. Regional planners see it as a “spine trail” that can connect towns, schools, businesses, […]

Journalism educators, trade organizations endorse bipartisan federal shield law

By: - September 13, 2023

By Emily Richardson / Capital News Service Journalists could have more federal protections if a reintroduced shield law bill can pass Congress this term. The PRESS Act would protect journalists, including citizen journalists, from federal court-ordered disclosure of information about a source. There are a handful of limitations such as information that could prevent an act of terrorism […]

Virginia lawmaker hopes new posthumous diploma law will help grieving families and students

By: - May 16, 2023

By Darlene Johnson / Capital News Service Graduation is a month away for approximately 90,000 Virginia high school seniors. For some, that milestone is cut short by tragedy. When a high school student dies before graduation, it can be difficult for a family to obtain a posthumous diploma. State lawmakers this recent General Assembly session passed House Bill […]

More Southwest Virginia families turn to food banks with end of extra SNAP benefits

By: - April 27, 2023

By Janae Blakeney / Capital News Service A single mother wheeled her cart around a Roanoke Food Lion on a recent Saturday night, plucking a few staples off the shelves for her and her daughter to eat. She selected some eggs, milk, frozen Kid Cuisines and other items for the week and headed for the […]

Youngkin amends bill ending subminimum wage for disabled workers

By: - April 6, 2023

By Ryan Nadeau / Capital News Service Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently recommended the General Assembly accept an amended version of a bill that ends the practice of paying subminimum wage to certain Virginia workers with disabilities. A certificate exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to determine pay for disabled workers based […]

Third attempt to exempt eyebrow threading technicians from licensing requirements fails

By: - March 30, 2023

By Janae Blakeney / Capital News Service A bill to help remove licensing requirements for eyebrow threading technicians failed to pass a House committee during the recent General Assembly session. Eyebrow threading is a method to remove facial hair and eyebrows that began millennia ago in Asia, and gained popularity in Western culture. People interested in […]

Spots still open in academic ‘pandemic recovery’ program ENGAGE Virginia

By: - March 21, 2023

By Chloe Hawkins / Capital News Service There are still some spots remaining in a new academic program that aims to support Virginia public school students after the impact of COVID-19 on education, although a majority have been filled. The Virginia Department of Education and Graduation Alliance launched “ENGAGE Virginia” last month. ENGAGE Virginia will […]

electric vehicle charging station Henrico

Virginia lawmakers mandate electric vehicle fire risk training

By: - March 10, 2023

By Adrianna Lawrence / Capital News Service Virginia firefighters will be required to complete a training program starting next year about the risk of electric vehicle fires. Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington, proposed House Bill 2451 to require the executive director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs to develop a training program for electric vehicle […]

Virginia K-12 enrollment, teacher vacancies increase; homeschool numbers dip

By: - March 2, 2023

By Zahra Ndirangu / Capital News Service Virginia students are returning to K-12 public schools — although enrollment has not returned to pre-pandemic levels — but there are fewer teachers due to an increase in teacher vacancies. The rebound comes after an enrollment decline the previous two years. Enrollment numbers increased by more than 11,300 students […]

Virginia designation of state pony long overdue, says Chincoteague mayor

By: - February 20, 2023

By Samuel Britt / Capital News Service A pony has been the Chincoteague High School mascot as long as anyone can remember, but now it is headed for a bigger arena as the official state pony.  Two Accomack lawmakers introduced bills to designate the Chincoteague pony as the state pony. Virginia will be the 18th […]

Virginia suspends COVID-19 emergency allotment SNAP benefits

By: - February 9, 2023

By Hollyann Purvis / Capital News Service  RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia residents will soon lose Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program COVID-19 emergency allotments, something community organizers say will impact food security for thousands. Enrollment increased from 330,000 state participants when the program launched in March 2020 to 470,000 current participants, according to the U.S. Department of […]

Animal welfare advocates disappointed bill to declaw cats failed

By: - February 5, 2023

By Cassandra Loper / Capital News Service RICHMOND, Va. — A proposal to outlaw the declawing of cats, a procedure that animal rights advocates call cruel and unnecessary, failed to advance from a House subcommittee last month. House Bill 1382 would have made cat declawing a $500 civil penalty for the first violation, $1,000 for […]