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.

The latest on Florence; Roanoke schools stock up on Narcan; Grapes stolen from winery; When casino opens ‘you won’t need drugs to be happy’ and other headlines

By: - September 13, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Governor maintains mandatory evacuations; local officials say wait and see Everyone seems pretty confident at this point that the Florence has veered far enough away from Virginia to no longer pose a major public safety hazard. But, citing the storm’s unpredictability, Gov. Ralph Northam said […]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

Republicans say they’ll put forward redistricting plan that protects incumbents

By: - September 12, 2018

House Republicans said in a court filing Wednesday that they’re in the “advanced stages” of preparing a redistricting plan, rebuffing Democratic leaders who have said lawmakers had reached an impasse and called for the courts to take over the process. In the filing, they write that their goal in any redistricting plan is to avoid […]

Virginia officials relieved by new Florence track and other hurricane news; Stormy Daniels coming to Richmond club; Kaine, Stewart hold town halls

By: - September 12, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Florence now tracking south of Virginia The storm is expected to make landfall in southeastern North Carolina late Thursday or early Friday. Emergency officials in Virginia sound relieved. “It appears to significantly lower our concern about 10 to 20 inches of rain, which is where we […]

State school safety panel recommends bullet-resistant whiteboards, more guidance counselors, more police

By: - September 11, 2018

A special House of Delegates committee floated 54 ways the state could make schools safer from the threat of shootings and violence. Among them: Bullet-resistant whiteboards, more guidance counselors, more school resource officers. The long list – which lawmakers say they still need to price out and winnow down – had something for everyone, with […]

Virginia planning to spend $55 million on hurricane preparation

By: - September 11, 2018

The state is planning to spend about $55 million preparing for Hurricane Florence, said Del. Chris Jones, the House Appropriations Committee chairman. Jones, a Republican from Suffolk, dropped the figure Tuesday as an aside during a meeting of the House’s school safety committee, citing a conversation earlier today with Secretary of Finance Aubrey Lane. “I was […]

Hurricane evacuation is first test of system; Rocky tech breakup continues; Thumb drive could exonerate murder suspect and other headlines

By: - September 11, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Order is first test of evacuation system  As expected, Hurricane Florence is dominating the news today. Northam’s evacuation order is the state’s first test of a zone-based evacuation protocol rolled out last year. But officials stress the storm’s impact won’t be limited to the […]

Virginia Mercury

Hurricane heading our way; State official apologizes for sharing Nike boycott post; Opioid overflow in Henrico and more Dick Black and Syria

By: - September 10, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.   There’s a hurricane headed in our general direction The Richmond Times-Dispatch’s staff meteorologist John Boyer reports it’s still too soon to know whether the storm will bring hazardous weather to Virginia, but the current forecast merits attention and preparedness. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state […]

What would a nonpartisan approach to redistricting look like? Still not great for Republicans

By: - September 7, 2018

Republicans in the House of Delegates reacted with outrage to Democrats’ redistricting proposal last week, arguing it would essentially hand the party five seats currently held by Republicans. “This was clearly a nakedly partisan move across the board – no question about that,” said House Majority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert. His party is currently holding […]

Feeling ‘the love’ for Assad; DOC contests solitary confinement allegations; More pipeline treesitters and other headlines

By: - September 6, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. State Sen. Dick Black, R-Loudoun, made another trip to Syria, where the state news service reported “he sensed the love of the Syrian people for [Assad’s] army and leadership.” – The Washington Post The Virginia Department of Corrections said allegations that a mentally ill […]

State officials say they no longer use ‘restraint chairs’ detailed in immigrant abuse allegations

By: - September 6, 2018

Virginia juvenile justice officials say the state hasn’t strapped a child in their custody to a chair since 2015. “We don’t feel it’s necessary to use things like that,” Andrew Block, the director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, told members of the Board of Juvenile Justice at a meeting on Wednesday. But that’s not […]

Solitary confinement challenged; A ‘desperate smear’ in Spanberger-Brat race; Va. AG takes on opioid pill pushers

By: - September 5, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Mentally ill man held in solitary for 12 years The ACLU of Virginia and the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center are suing the Virginia Department of Corrections, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The suit says convicted murderer Nicolas Reyes’ “mental health has deteriorated greatly over the […]

Virginia may be great for businesses, but a new report says it’s terrible for workers

By: - September 5, 2018

Virginia leaders have long trumpeted the state’s high rankings in lists of states that are good for businesses. Over Labor Day weekend, the state landed on the wrong end of a different kind of list: The best states for workers. Virginia ranked dead last in the report by Oxfam, a left-leaning charity focused on fighting […]