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 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 […]

Virginia Mercury

Virginia to receive at least $80 million in Purdue settlement, Stafford County boy dies from COVID-19, rabid fox captured at Busch Gardens, and more headlines

By: - July 9, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Virginia will receive at least $80 million from Purdue Pharma to fund opioid treatment in a settlement deal over the company’s marketing of Oxycontin.—VPM • A Stafford County boy’s death from COVID-19 marks the second fatality for children nine and under during […]

Supreme Court of Virginia orders new trial for 70-year-old woman falsely implicated in attempted strawberry theft

By: - July 9, 2021

The Supreme Court of Virginia says a jury should decide whether a Kroger manager engaged in malicious prosecution when she had shoplifting charges brought against a 70-year-old Staunton woman falsely identified as an attempted strawberry thief. Kroger had argued that it was a simple case of mistaken identity and during a trial last year, the […]

Virginia Mercury

Video shows Youngkin comments on abortion, bye-bye to Byrd statue, Edwards Virginia Smokehouse sells operations, and more headlines

By: - July 8, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • “A liberal activist released a video late Wednesday of GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin saying that he has to limit his antiabortion comments on the campaign trail for fear of alienating Virginia’s independent voters, but that he would go ‘on offense’ if he […]

Helicopters, cash payments and a new public health lab: How state agencies propose spending Virginia’s rescue fund money

By: , , and - July 8, 2021

Virginia has $4.3 billion in federal aid to spend and no shortage of ideas. State agencies hoping to tap into American Rescue Plan funds have submitted wish lists that top more than $18 billion, floating proposals ranging from new helicopters for Virginia State Police to $1,000 cash payments for essential workers.  Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration […]