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.

A parking lot outside a UVA dorm was filled with hundreds of state police cruisers on Wednesday afternoon. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 8, 2018)

Police from around the state pouring into Charlottesville

By: - August 8, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE — A dive team. A giant emergency management trailer. Vans and SUVs tagged with the insignia of every major locality in central Virginia. And squad cars — hundreds and hundreds of State Police squad cars. They’re all already on the ground in Charlottesville as of Wednesday afternoon. Their arrival isn’t exactly a surprise. Police […]

State tuition increasing; rent-to-own contracts under fire; and the power of a Board of Pharmacy ID

By: - August 8, 2018

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. State college tuition will go up an average of five percent this year, which works out to about $612 more for an in-state student. – Richmond Times-Dispatch The state booted a Board of Pharmacy member, accusing her of using her board ID to gain access to a […]

From the emergency room to the courtroom: Va. medical providers sued patients for nearly $590 million over past five years

By: and - August 8, 2018

Annie Washington is 60 years old, has diabetes and no insurance. If she needs to see a doctor, she winds up in the emergency room. But while hospitals can’t turn indigent patients away, they can still bill them. And when patients can’t afford those bills, collection lawsuits often follow. “I work at McDonald’s,” the Henrico […]

Roanoke Times sues former sports reporter to get Twitter account back

By: - August 7, 2018

The Roanoke Times wants the keys back to a Twitter account its former Virginia Tech beat writer has controlled for about seven years. The Warren Buffett-owned paper sued Andy Bitter in federal court in Roanoke on Tuesday, asking a judge for a preliminary injunction and restraining order immediately barring Bitter from the account. The suit […]

Dead voter on Shaun Brown petition; Richmond educators resign amid scandal; Central State patient wins judgment

By: - August 7, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our round-up of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere Dead voter appears on petition Reports last week that U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor’s staff helped gather signatures to get an opponent on the ballot were strange enough. Now, several of those signatures have been called into question: One belongs to someone who moved, another […]

What to expect in Charlottesville: Lots of police, an anti-racist rally and few white supremacists

By: - August 7, 2018

The city will be on lockdown. Hundreds of state police officers are pouring in from around Virginia. One source says the governor has already decided to declare a state of emergency. But are any of the white supremacist groups that made Aug. 12 in Charlottesville such a disaster last year planning to return this weekend? […]

Grave-robbing at UVA; Fraudulent crab meat; No separate Metro car for Nazis and other news to know

By: and - August 6, 2018

Corey Stewart gets the The New York Times treatment in this profile that scrutinizes his campaign’s strong appeal to white nationalists, some of whom have served as security at his campaign events. “While Mr. Stewart has disavowed some on the extreme right, interviews with dozens of his friends, colleagues, supporters and fellow Republicans yielded a […]

Red paint covers the base of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Richmond's Monument Avenue. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 4, 2018)

Someone threw a lot of red paint on the Lee Monument in Richmond

By: - August 4, 2018

Capitol Police said someone defaced the the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. It’s easily the largest act of vandalism to target the graffiti-prone statues along Richmond’s Monument Avenue in recent memory. Officials believe whoever did it used a high pressure sprayer — either a fire […]

The deal that brought the Washington Redskins summer training camp to Richmond cost the city more than $11 million. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Redskins say Richmond training camp has been ‘great for the city.’ Does anyone believe them?

By: - August 3, 2018

Redskins management this week called the agreement that brought the NFL team’s summer training camp to Richmond six years ago a “financial windfall” for the city, The Washington Times reports. At this point, not a single city official appears to agree with the team’s assessment. The deal cost city taxpayers well over $11 million and […]

If GRTC doesn’t speed up Pulse, VCU can bail under $1.2M deal

By: - August 2, 2018

A $1.2 million deal to get VCU students, faculty and staff on city buses in Richmond includes a contractual requirement that GRTC Transit System increase the frequency of its new bus rapid transit line, the Pulse. And under the contract, if GRTC doesn’t pull it off, VCU can walk. As launched on June 24, the […]

Can Richmond get the middle class back on the bus?

By: - August 2, 2018

Bus service in Richmond has long been treated like a form of welfare for the very poor, says Ben Campbell, a longtime transit advocate who now sits on the board of GRTC Transit System. And, as a result, he says it’s been funded and operated as such — largely neglected, rarely improved. With the rollout […]

Meth, cocaine overdoses climbing; bringing ‘Dixie’ back and other headlines

By: - August 1, 2018

NEWS TO KNOW Our round-up of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. Meth and cocaine overdoses are climbing The Roanoke Times reports that 398 people died last year from overdoses related to cocaine and 88 people died after using meth. The numbers started rising in 2016, the paper reports, and fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, figured in […]