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.

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Bill to end Virginia roadway fatalities got zero support in committee

By: - April 7, 2022

By Faith Redd Virginia legislators tabled a bill during the regular General Assembly session that pledged to end roadway fatalities. The move disappointed road safety advocates, but supporters say they’re still committed to advancing policies to protect pedestrians and drivers. House Joint Resolution 100 was a commitment to the Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to […]

Trucking on: How the industry is battling a historic labor shortage

By: - December 28, 2021

By Joe Dodson From hand sanitizer and vaccines to groceries and toilet paper, truck drivers are trucking through the COVID-19 pandemic despite a historic labor shortage. Many industries moved workers home during the start of the pandemic, but truckers worked “to meet the needs of this country.” “The trucking industry has stepped up and delivered […]

Virginia voters identify as moderate but support progressive policies, poll finds

By: - May 12, 2021

Cameron Jones/ Capital News Service Virginia voters in a recent poll ranked themselves as moderate, with a slightly conservative lean, but indicated support of more progressive legislation. The poll, released last week by Christopher Newport’s Wason Center for Civic Leadership, could be a thermometer for the upcoming November election. Virginia voters ranked themselves an average of […]

Graduation plans vary across Virginia

By: - April 27, 2021

By Sarah Elson/ Capital News Service College and high school graduations will still look different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but more Virginia universities are returning to in-person ceremonies. Graduations will be held online, in person or a hybrid format. Gov. Ralph Northam announced last month preliminary guidance for graduation events, which continues to be updated. […]

Will Virginia colleges require COVID-19 vaccinations? Should they?

By: - April 22, 2021

By Hunter Britt/ Capital News Service Virginia universities plan a return to campuses in the fall, but there are questions if the COVID-19 vaccine can be mandated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only authorized the vaccine for emergency purposes, according to Lisa Lee, professor of public health at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The vaccine […]

FOIA bill allows some access to criminal investigation records

By: - April 20, 2021

By Anya Sczerzenie/ Capital News Service A bill allowing the public access to limited criminal investigation records will go into effect in July, along with a handful of other bills related to government transparency. Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg, a former television reporter, introduced House Bill 2004. The bill requires files related to non-ongoing criminal investigations […]

College students reflect on COVID-19 anniversary: ‘I’ve grown up’

By: - March 19, 2021

By Anya Sczerzenie/ Capital News Service Shayla McCartney remembers where she was when the pandemic closed her university. “It was spring break,” said McCartney, a junior at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. “I was at home with my mom, we were marathoning ‘Gilmore Girls.’ We got the email that said ‘don’t come back.’” McCartney said […]

Lawmakers ban gay panic defense in Virginia

By: - March 4, 2021

Cierra Parks/Capital News Service Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation banning the use of a person’s perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity as a defense in court for assault or murder. “It’s done: We’re banning the gay/trans panic defense in Virginia,” Del. Danica Roem, D-Manassas, said in a Twitter post.  Roem’s House Bill 2132 […]

Lawmakers repeal ban on abortion coverage through state exchange plans

By: - February 24, 2021

By Cameron Jones/ Capital News Service The Virginia General Assembly passed two bills that repeal the ban keeping some health insurance plans sold in the state from covering abortions House Bill 1896, introduced by Del. Sally L. Hudson, D-Charlottesville, and Senate Bill 1276, introduced by Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan, D-Richmond, loosen restrictions through Virginia’s health […]

More Virginia colleges scrap traditional spring break

By: - October 20, 2020

By Anya Sczerzenie/ Capital News Service  A growing number of Virginia colleges are announcing that spring break will be canceled or modified in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Virginia Tech, located in Blacksburg, announced plans Monday. The biggest change is that the university will not have a week-long spring break. It will instead […]

Virginia lawmakers pass legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday

By: - October 20, 2020

By Sam Fowler/ Capital News Service Juneteenth has officially become a state holiday after lawmakers unanimously approved legislation during the Virginia General Assembly’s special session. Juneteenth marks the day news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas, which was the last state to abolish slavery. The companion bills were introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, and Del. […]

Bill to hold localities responsible for protest damage stalls

By: - October 1, 2020

By Ada Romano/ Capital News Service A General Assembly bill is likely dead for the session that would have held localities accountable for damages caused by protesters if an adequate police response was not provided. Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, said he proposed House Bill 5026 to assure localities provide proper police protection during protests in […]