Author

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. Contact him at [email protected]

Protesters call for investigation into judge who jailed witness in domestic violence case

By: - September 23, 2021

Protesters outside the Loudoun County courthouse Thursday denounced a local judge who sent the alleged victim in a domestic violence case to jail on a contempt charge. “This judge shouldn’t be on the bench,” said Lisa Sales, a women’s rights activist and domestic violence survivor who organized the gathering of about 30 people. Sales called […]

Many state employees remain unvaccinated despite mandate

By: - September 22, 2021

Last month, Gov. Ralph Northam gave state employees a choice: get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19. Many, it appears, have chosen testing. While comprehensive figures aren’t available yet, a survey of some of the largest state agencies reveals employee vaccination rates range from just over 50 percent at the Department of Corrections […]

In numbers: Virginia’s struggle to distribute unemployment benefits

By: - September 20, 2021

Lawmakers on Monday got their second report from legislative auditors on the Virginia Employment Commission’s struggle to meet the massive demand for unemployment benefits amid the pandemic. Here’s a look at some of the statistics and figures presented in the interim update by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, which plans to wrap up […]

Virginia judge jails alleged domestic violence victim for smoking pot on day of court testimony

By: - September 17, 2021

A judge in Loudoun County interrupted the testimony of the alleged victim in a felony domestic violence trial last week to question her drug use, sentencing her to 10 days in jail for contempt of court after she said she had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. She was then “physically removed from the witness […]

Legal challenge slows rural broadband plans in Virginia

By: - September 15, 2021

Supporters call it a commonsense way to get broadband internet into more homes in rural Virginia. A Culpeper County couple calls it an unconstitutional infringement on their property rights. The fight, which has already halted an $600 million broadband expansion project, does not appear to be going away anytime soon. At issue is a 2020 […]

With Confederates vanquished, what’s next for Richmond’s Monument Avenue?

By: - September 8, 2021

Onlookers cheered as crews lifted a bronze likeness of Robert E. Lee off a 40-foot-tall, state-owned pedestal Wednesday. Officials say they plan to move what had been the country’s largest remaining Confederate statue into temporary storage. From there, its fate is TBD, as are plans for Monument Avenue as a whole — a boulevard built […]

Virginia leads nation in distribution of federal rent relief

By: - September 7, 2021

Virginia has distributed more of its share of federal rent relief money to families struggling in the pandemic than any other state in the country, according to U.S. Treasury data. “This is a great thing,” said Christie Marra, the director of housing advocacy at the Virginia Poverty Law Center. “The whole goal here is to […]

Va. Supreme Court clears way for removal of Lee monument in Richmond

By: - September 2, 2021

The Supreme Court of Virginia cleared the way Thursday for Gov. Ralph Northam to remove the Lee Monument in Richmond, one of the largest Confederate memorials in the state. In two opinions issued Thursday, the Court denied challenges by a small group of neighbors and an heir to the family that initially granted the land […]

Virginia no longer ranked ‘worst for workers’

By: - September 1, 2021

For years, Virginia has been ranked as one of the “best states for business.” And for years, Virginia has also been ranked one of the worst states for workers. This year, however, the state managed to hold onto the best-for-business claim while shedding the unflattering assessment of its labor policies, rising from dead last to […]

Judge declines to dismiss lawsuit over slow processing of unemployment benefits

By: - August 31, 2021

A federal judge says he’s not ready to dismiss a lawsuit over Virginia’s slow processing of unemployment claims, citing among other things ongoing complaints that have been arriving in his own office. “The Court continues to frequently receive telephone calls from individuals reporting difficulties processing their claims and communicating with the VEC,” wrote U.S. District […]

Virginia workplace safety regulators agree to let businesses follow CDC pandemic guidelines

By: - August 26, 2021

The state board that oversees workplace pandemic safety rules agreed to a slate of revisions Thursday, approving new language that will allow businesses to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance in lieu of state regulations. The change was recommended by Gov. Ralph Northam at the urging of the business community and opposed by […]

Virginia Department of Corrections chief paints dire picture of prison staffing

By: - August 25, 2021

The head of Virginia’s prison system, Harold Clarke, told lawmakers Wednesday his department is short 1,500 correctional officers, leaving essential posts unmanned and forcing remaining workers to work double shifts and come in on days off. “We’re doing our best to manage a dire situation,” Clarke said. His comments came during the inaugural meeting of […]