Ned Oliver

Ned Oliver

Ned, a Lexington native, has been a fulltime journalist since 2008, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was named Virginia's outstanding journalist for 2020 by the Virginia Press Association.

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

By: - April 6, 2022

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 his phone’s GPS and report […]

From the ERA to abortion: five cases in which Va.’s new AG changed the state’s legal position

By: - March 2, 2022

Attorney General Jason Miyares is the first Republican to hold the office in nearly a decade. So his office says it’s natural to expect the state’s legal position to change after eight years under the control of Democrat Mark Herring. Asked for a complete accounting of cases in which Miyares directed the state to change […]

House GOP blocks recreational marijuana sales from beginning this year

By: - February 28, 2022

A House of Delegates subcommittee Monday voted down legislation that would have allowed recreational marijuana sales to begin this September. The bill, which had passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, died on a party line vote, with Republicans opposing. “I think this is a bigger issue than we can correct in two weeks’ time,” said […]

Senate Democrats top House GOP in rush to boost police funding

By: - February 28, 2022

Police agencies in Virginia are set to get big budget increases under spending plans advanced by the House and Senate — money law enforcement leaders say they badly need to raise salaries for frontline officers. But who will benefit from the funding boosts depends on what kind of compromise lawmakers from the two chambers reach […]

House panel punts on bill to limit solitary confinement in prison

By: - February 24, 2022

A House of Delegates subcommittee voted Thursday to scrap legislation passed by the Senate to strictly limit how long state prisons can hold people in solitary confinement. Instead, the panel agreed to amended language that directs prison officials to study the issue. Supporters of the legislation, who have been pushing to rein in the state’s […]

Censured Virginia senator says AG’s office took her election fraud claims ‘very seriously’

By: and - February 23, 2022

Fifteen months after the 2020 election, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, is taking her still-unproven claims of election fraud to the office of new Attorney General Jason Miyares, a Republican with the power to pursue alleged violations of election law. In a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, Chase published photos of what she said was a meeting […]

Virginia State Capitol

Senate panel votes down House bill to exempt small businesses from minimum wage

By: - February 21, 2022

Last week, Republicans in the House of Delegates passed a bill to exempt any business with 10 or fewer employees from the state’s minimum wage law. On Monday, Democrats in the Senate voted it down alongside a half dozen other bills aimed at rolling back employee and union-friendly legislation the party passed last year before […]

AG says staff can’t keep up with flood of new criminal appeals

By: - February 21, 2022

Attorney General Jason Miyares says his staff can’t keep up with a surge of criminal appeals being heard by the newly expanded Virginia Court of Appeals. As of 2022, the court now provides by-right appeals in all cases and, in the case of criminal appeals, the attorney general’s office is responsible for representing the state. […]

Virginia Senate passes bill to outlaw animal porn

By: - February 17, 2022

The Virginia Senate voted unanimously this week to make the creation, distribution and possession of pornography involving animals illegal. The legislation also tightens existing laws against having sex with animals, which had been covered under the state’s crimes against nature statute but which lawmakers said were vague and could be difficult to enforce. “I can […]

Delegate responds with poop emoji after prison officials complain about news coverage

By: - February 16, 2022

The Virginia Department of Corrections issued an unusual news release Wednesday complaining about a news story published nearly two weeks ago by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The article had described how lawmakers voted down legislation that would have created a layer of independent oversight over the department. Prison officials complained in their release that the article […]

Virginia Senate votes to allow recreational marijuana sales in September

By: - February 15, 2022

The Virginia Senate voted to speed up the timeline for retail marijuana sales Tuesday, approving a plan that would allow existing medical dispensaries to open sales to the general public in September. And, in what senators framed as a bid to give Virginia farmers a piece of what is expected to be a lucrative recreational […]

‘We saw unprecedented frustration’; General Assembly advances unemployment insurance reforms

By: - February 14, 2022

Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic swamped Virginia’s unemployment insurance program, lawmakers are advancing reforms they hope will address breakdowns that left thousands waiting months for essential aid. “We saw unprecedented frustration and failure,” said Sen. Jeremy McPike, D-Prince William, as he presented the legislation late last month. “I know this is something no one […]