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]

Lobbyists load Va. lawmakers onto private jet to kick off push to loosen slots laws

By: - July 22, 2021

A coalition of gambling companies hoping to get slot machines back into Virginia convenience stores and bars kicked off its legislative push this week with a private flight for four lawmakers to Chicago. While the plush jet raised some eyebrows — Virginia politicians have generally eschewed gifts of private air travel after scandal consumed former […]

Virginia Mercury

Youngkin’s property taxes, McAuliffe’s first TV spot, gun violence in Portsmouth and more headlines

By: - July 22, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin got the property taxes on his Fairfax County horse farm reduced by 95 percent last year after petitioning local leaders to have the land designated as an agricultural district. The move lowered the amount he owed from […]

Virginia Mercury

Liberty sexual assault suit; ‘Inequitable’ college funding; Tourism and more headlines

By: - July 21, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • “Twelve women filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Liberty University, accusing the Christian institution of a pattern of mishandling cases of sexual assault and harassment, and fostering an unsafe campus environment.”—Associated Press • Gov. Ralph Northam granted an absolute pardon to a Norfolk man […]

Virginia attorney general announces plan to hire state’s first cannabis lawyer

By: - July 20, 2021

Attorney General Mark Herring says he plans to hire a lawyer dedicated to marijuana law now that the state has legalized the drug. The new addition to his staff would serve as a subject-matter expert as the state’s new Cannabis Control Authority, which Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Monday, begins work developing regulations that will govern […]

Virginia Mercury

Cannabis authority appointed; Slavery museum back on agenda; Baby rhino born and more headlines

By: - July 20, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • A hotel owner, a former agriculture official, a businessman who sold energy bars and the co-founder of a Richmond business incubator are among Gov. Ralph Northam’s appointees to the state’s new Cannabis Control Authority, which will oversee the state’s legal marijuana market.—Richmond […]

Virginia Mercury

Virus decline ending; ‘Let them die’; Unionization in Arlington and more headlines

By: - July 19, 2021

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Researchers say a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases this summer has ended as the aggressive delta variant spreads in Virginia.—Virginian-Pilot • Gov. Ralph Northam wants to use $700 million in federal coronavirus aid to expand rural broadband infrastructure, which he says would allow the state […]

First surprise medical bills head to arbitration under Virginia’s new balance-billing ban

By: - July 16, 2021

Doctors and hospitals are up 2-1 over insurance companies as the first three disputes resolved under the state’s ban on balance billing emerge from arbitration, according to a report released this month by state regulators. The new approach, which went into effect Jan. 1, removes patients from fights between providers and insurers over unexpected medical […]

Virginia Mercury

Jury awards damages to Black woman injured by Petersburg police officer, a secret algorithm transforming DNA analysis, Virginia Tech’s star soil judging team, and more headlines

By: - July 14, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • “A jury in Petersburg has awarded $300,000 in damages to a Black woman who sued a police officer for excessive force and false arrest after she was forced face-down onto the pavement during a traffic stop.”—Associated Press • A Fairfax County robbery trial […]

Virginia Republicans have been warning Democratic control was bad for business. CNBC disagrees.

By: and - July 13, 2021

After Democrats took control of the General Assembly in 2020, a common refrain emerged among Republicans who opposed legislation that raised the minimum wage and added new anti-discrimination protections for employees. “The Democrat majority has done much to diminish Virginia’s reputation for being America’s ‘best state for business,’” said Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James […]

Virginia Mercury

VMI investigation finds big problems with sexism, Northam’s plan to fund small businesses, Smithfield Foods ends slaughter operations in namesake town, and more headlines

By: - July 13, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • An investigation into racism at Virginia Military Institute found sexism might be just as big of a problem at the school. Women “describe an atmosphere of hostility and an expectation of backlash from male cadets if they report being groped or raped.”—Washington […]

Virginia Mercury

Confederate statues removed in Charlottesville, local governments receive $2.9 billion in federal aid, animal shelters see uptick in surrenders, and more headlines

By: - July 12, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Crews removed two Confederate statues in Charlottesville that had become a gathering point for racist protests and violence. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful,” a community activist said of the empty pedestal that used to hold up the statue […]

Five years later, Virginia prison still not meeting terms of court-ordered settlement over shoddy medical care

By: - July 12, 2021

A new court appointed monitor’s first review of operations at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women suggests the state isn’t close to meeting the terms of a five-year-old legal settlement over poor health care and a spate of inmate deaths . The report, filed earlier this year in a federal court case that’s closing in on […]