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.

House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, (right) huddles with other GOP leaders Friday amid a partisan standoff over Executive Branch appointments. (Photo by Graham Moomaw)

Fight over Youngkin nominee intensifies as House GOP blocks 11 Northam appointees

By: and - February 11, 2022

Virginia Democrats’ refusal to confirm Andrew Wheeler, a controversial environmental appointee of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, spiraled into a bigger standoff Friday in Virginia’s divided legislature. As of early afternoon, more than 1,000 of former Gov. Ralph Northam’s outstanding appointments to state boards and executive agencies were in limbo after the Republican-led House of Delegates refused […]

Last week, police began setting up surveillance cameras around downtown Charlottesville.

Virginia lawmakers move to end ban on police facial recognition technology

By: - February 10, 2022

Virginia lawmakers appear poised to repeal a blanket ban on local police use of facial recognition technology, which was among the most stringent restrictions in the country when it passed last year. The law, which only went into effect on July 1, passed with wide bi-partisan support. But now some lawmakers say they only viewed […]

House GOP leadership scuttles bill to bar abortions after 20 weeks

By: - February 9, 2022

Republican leaders in the Virginia House of Delegates say they don’t plan to consider legislation filed by a member of their party to ban most abortions after 20 weeks. House Courts of Justice Chairman Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, said he decided not to give the bill a hearing because he believed it stood no chance of […]

Supreme Court of Virginia punts on first school mask lawsuit

By: - February 7, 2022

The Supreme Court of Virginia denied a petition Monday filed by parents in Chesapeake seeking to overturn Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order ending mask mandates in public schools. The ruling fell on procedural grounds, with the justices writing in a footnote that, “by this dismissal, we offer no opinion on the legality of EO 2 […]

Could a 20-week abortion ban pass the General Assembly?

By: - February 7, 2022

Last week Virginia lawmakers began hearing legislation that would impose a range of new abortion restriction in Virginia. The bills would ban most abortions after 20 weeks, reimpose a 24-hour waiting period, and — in response to an infamous radio interview given by former Gov. Ralph Northam — create felony penalties for doctors who don’t […]

Black Republican denied membership in General Assembly’s Black Caucus

By: - February 3, 2022

The only Black Republican in the House of Delegates voiced frustration Thursday that he was denied membership in the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. First-term Del. A.C. Cordoza, R-Hampton, said the decision came after he told the caucus he disagreed with most of its platform, which skews largely Democratic and progressive. The caucus was recently a […]

Marijuana is still illegal to sell in Va., but that’s not stopping retailers (including a senator)

By: - February 2, 2022

The Lucky Charms cereal bars for sale at Sen. Louise Lucas’ cannabis shop in Portsmouth feature a stoned cartoon leprechaun and a warning that it “contains cannabis, a Schedule 1 controlled substance.” The label, it turns out, is only partially accurate. Lab testing shows the marshmallow treat does contain delta-9 THC — the main intoxicating […]

Virginia lawmakers vote down bills to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms

By: - January 31, 2022

Virginia lawmakers have voted down legislation that would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms, but not before the measure picked up some unexpected bi-partisan enthusiasm. Democrats behind the bill pitched it as a step toward making therapeutic uses of the fungi available to people suffering from depression and PTSD. And groups that testified in support of the measure […]

House GOP blocks bill that would ban police from falsifying documents in interrogations

By: - January 28, 2022

Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates voted down a bill Friday that would have made it illegal for police to forge documents to use in interrogations. The legislation, proposed by Del. Jackie Glass, D-Norfolk, was inspired by revelations that in at least five interrogations police in Virginia Beach had shown suspects fake DNA reports […]

New Attorney General says public universities can’t require COVID-19 vaccine for students

By: and - January 28, 2022

Attorney General Jason Miyares said Friday state colleges and universities don’t have the authority to require students get vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, reversing a legal opinion from his predecessor that reached the opposite conclusion. “Absent specific authority conferred by the General Assembly, public institutions of higher education in Virginia may not require vaccination against […]

Youngkin’s plan to punish cities that defund police would mostly hit small towns

By: - January 28, 2022

A budget amendment proposed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin aims to punish local governments that have reduced funding for police — an idea he railed against on the campaign trail. But state reports tracking local government spending suggest his plan would mostly limit state support for struggling small-town police departments, where budgets fluctuate from year to […]

Va. Senate votes to require police to tell drivers why they were pulled over

By: - January 27, 2022

The Virginia Senate voted Thursday to require police officers to tell drivers why they are being pulled over before requiring them to present their driver’s license and registration. Democrats, who unanimously backed the measure over opposition from Republicans, framed the change as a limited step that could hopefully deescalate traffic stops. “When people are stopped, […]