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]

Study: VCU and UVA hospitals led nation in suing patients before ending practice last year

By: - June 21, 2021

Hospitals operated by Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia filed more lawsuits against patients over unpaid bills than any other large medical groups in the country, according to an analysis by Johns Hopkins University and Axios released this week. Both health systems ended the practice last year amid growing scrutiny of their debt-collection […]

Appointments for help with unemployment claims fill up immediately

By: - June 19, 2021

The Virginia Employment Commission rolled out a new appointment system Thursday to help people struggling to get their unemployment claims resolved. Within hours, all of the available slots in the state’s most populous regions were booked up, frustrating lawmakers who had been urged to share the new appointment system with constituents who have been flooding […]

Morrissey wins restraining order against former president of Virginia Oath Keepers

By: - June 17, 2021

Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, won a two-year restraining order this week against a Rockingham County man with ties to a far-right militia who had filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with his office. The bizarre case involved a violent tweet, a threatening phone call and a long-running feud between the defendant and Morrissey’s biggest […]

Unemployment insurance complaints continue; businesses push for tax bailout

By: - June 10, 2021

Leaders of the Virginia Employment Commission told state lawmakers Thursday they expect to meet the terms of a legal settlement that requires them to resolve 92,000 outstanding jobless claims by Labor Day. But state delegates and senators sitting on the General Assembly’s unemployment oversight committee said their offices continue to face a deluge of complaints […]

Hala Ayala on Dominion donation flip: ‘People change their minds all the time.’

By: - June 10, 2021

Del. Hala Ayala, the newly minted Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, drew harsh criticism in the final days of the campaign for flipping on a promise to refuse campaign donations from state-regulated monopolies. Her campaign ducked questions about the decision last week after finance reports revealed she had accepted a $100,000 donation from Dominion Energy, […]

McAuliffe’s sweep beat expectations that were already sky-high

By: and - June 9, 2021

Terry McAuliffe won Petersburg, the hometown of one of his top opponents, former delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who had accused him of neglecting the majority-Black city during his first term.  He won in Richmond, where Sen. Jennifer McClellan had an advantage due to her strong local following. He won in Nelson County, a hotbed of […]

Democratic primary voters oust some of General Assembly’s most outspoken delegates

By: - June 9, 2021

Primary voters in Virginia delivered a rebuke to the left wing of the Democratic party on Tuesday, sweeping three outspoken incumbents from office and rejecting progressive challengers in all but one race. By the end of the night, voters had booted Dels. Lee Carter, D-Prince William, the General Assembly’s only socialist; Ibraheem Samirah, D-Fairfax, a […]

Homicides in Virginia hit highest levels in two decades

By: - June 7, 2021

Virginia’s murder rate climbed to its highest level since the late 1990s last year, according to crime statistics released by the Virginia State Police this week. Police reported 537 homicides in 2020, up from 455 in 2019, bringing the rate per 100,000 residents to just over six — a number last seen in 1998 as […]

Virginia Mercury

COVID cases fall; Falwell hits back; Supreme Court hears Lee statue case and more headlines

By: - June 7, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere • COVID-19 cases continue to decline even as the rate of vaccinations has slowed.—Virginian-Pilot • Democrats will pick their nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general tomorrow.—Associated Press, Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch • The Supreme Court of Virginia will hear legal arguments tomorrow in a […]

With 17 Va. House incumbents being challenged, Tuesday could be a wild primary night

By: and - June 4, 2021

Del. Ibraheem Samirah, D-Fairfax, pitches himself as one of the most progressive members of the House of Delegates, but in this year’s primary, he’s fending off a challenge from a fellow progressive who says the district could do better. “He has seemed to be an incompetent and ineffective legislator, and I think that is not […]

Campaign finance reports: Ayala flips on Dominion, Youngkin self-funds and a big bundle of shadowy money drops

By: and - June 3, 2021

With Republicans and Democrats alike reluctant to put limits on Virginia’s wide-open campaign finance system, money has been pouring into primary contests in what’s going to be a high-stakes election year. And the batch of campaign finance numbers released this week seemed to have something for everyone not to like. One week out from the […]

Q&A: VMI’s new superintendent on report that says school has been ‘run by White men, for White men.’

By: - June 2, 2021

Virginia Military Institute’s superintendent says he’s not surprised by the findings in a law firm’s scathing report released Tuesday that concluded the school long tolerated institutional racism and sexism. But he pushed back at assertions that leaders of the 180-year-old school were unwilling to change. The Virginia Mercury interviewed Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins about the […]