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.

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 […]

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 […]

With death penalty repealed, two once-condemned men moved off Virginia’s death row

By: - July 2, 2021

With the death penalty formally abolished in Virginia as of this week, death row is now officially vacant, according to prison officials. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney said the two remaining prisoners facing death sentences were moved off death row after the legislation was signed earlier this year. For decades, condemned prisoners have been […]

Youngkin’s campaign says he wouldn’t seek to repeal marijuana legalization

By: - July 2, 2021

GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin’s campaign said Friday he wouldn’t try to repeal legislation that legalized marijuana in Virginia this week. The comment came on Twitter in response to a tweet by Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe, who wrote that “extreme Republicans are determined to make it illegal again. Yet another example of how Glenn Youngkin […]

Virginia announces progress on unemployment claims backlog, but applications keep piling up

By: - July 1, 2021

The Virginia Employment Commission issued its first status report Thursday on its court-ordered efforts to reduce a backlog of claims, reporting that it processed more than half of the 92,000 pending applications for assistance it’s required to adjudicate by Labor Day. But the team of legal aid attorneys representing claimants who have been left in […]

Marijuana is now legal in Virginia. Advocates are already pushing for changes to the law.

By: - July 1, 2021

As of today, marijuana is legal for adults 21 and older to possess, consume and grow in Virginia. But unless a doctor has signed off on a prescription, there’s no legal way to buy it. Lawmakers have set a 2024 target to begin retail sales to recreational users, a runway the legislation’s authors say is […]

What Virginia’s marijuana legalization bill actually says

By: - June 25, 2021

The legislation that will make possession and cultivation of marijuana legal on July 1 is almost 300 pages. But in reality, only a few sections are actually going into effect. That’s because lawmakers included hundreds of pages of rules and regulations they’d like to enact, but couldn’t yet agree on. So, at the end of […]

Virginia has more than a billion dollars in aid for people behind on rent. Here’s how to get it.

By: - June 24, 2021

Update: After this story was published, the Centers for Disease Control announced a final extension of federal eviction protections through the end of July. State and federal pandemic eviction protections come to an end next week, but there’s still help available to tenants who have fallen behind on their rent — hundreds of millions of […]

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 […]