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]

Virginia lawmakers already discussing speeding up retail marijuana sales

By: - August 17, 2021

Virginia lawmakers are already discussing speeding up the three-year delay between marijuana legalization last month and the beginning of retail sales. “We have legalized the use of marijuana, but we have not legalized the actual purchase of marijuana,” said Del. Paul Krizek, D-Alexandria, during the inaugural meeting Tuesday of the legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis […]

How Virginia plans to spend $700 million on broadband expansion

By: - August 16, 2021

Virginia lawmakers agreed to devote $700 million in federal pandemic aid to broadband expansion, a sum of money they say will allow them to connect every household in the state to high-speed internet. The money is a victory for rural localities that view high-speed internet access as critical to their survival but have struggled to […]

Virginia Democrats reshape Court of Appeals with eight new appointments

By: - August 10, 2021

Virginia Democrats quadrupled the number of Black judges and doubled the number of women on the state’s Court of Appeals with the election of eight new judges Tuesday. Members of the party said the selections would make the court the most diverse in the state’s history. “I think it’s important that when individuals look at […]

Virginia school bus drivers left in limbo as state demands they pay back unemployment benefits

By: - August 10, 2021

Thousands of school bus drivers around Virginia who turned to unemployment benefits to weather the pandemic are being asked to pay the state back — a financial demand drivers say has filled them with anxiety, stress and dread. “How the hell am I ever going to come up with over $7,000 for the state of […]

Facing pressure from lawmakers, DMV says it’s still not ready to resume walk-in service

By: - August 6, 2021

A year and a half into the pandemic, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is still operating on an appointment-only basis. Some state lawmakers, angered by wait times that can last months, say it’s time for that to change. “I get complaints all the time about DMV and people not being able to get in,” […]

Virginia Democrats meet in private to choose finalists for eight Court of Appeals appointments

By: - August 4, 2021

Democrats in the Virginia House and Senate met privately Wednesday to choose finalists for eight open positions on the Virginia Court of Appeals, prompting GOP lawmakers to accuse the party of breaking tradition by holding secret group interviews. “I can’t think of a single instance in which we’ve had a judicial candidate come and appear […]

The Va. House GOP came up with a spending plan. It lasted 2 minutes.

By: and - August 3, 2021

Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates offered their own proposal Tuesday for how to spend billions in federal rescue funds, floating a plan they said would ban door-to-door vaccination campaigns, give $5,000 bonuses to every police officer in the state and limit how students are taught about race and discrimination. After a two-minute floor […]

Virginia moves to restart eviction protections after federal moratorium lapses

By: - August 3, 2021

Virginia Democrats are moving to restart state-level eviction protections one month after allowing them to lapse. The step comes as a federal eviction moratorium ends and President Joe Biden’s administration chastised states for not implementing their own moratoriums. “There is no excuse for any state or locality not to promptly deploy the resources that Congress […]

Virginia Department of Corrections announces plans to de-privatize prison health care

By: - July 26, 2021

After struggling for decades with rising health care costs and complaints about shoddy medical care, the Virginia Department of Corrections plans to end its contract with the private medical provider that serves about half of the state’s prisons. In a letter earlier this month to department staff, Director Harold Clarke wrote that he planned to […]

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 […]