Author

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]

Lobbyists dodge disclosure, Charlottesville considers an elected mayor and more headlines

By: and - July 24, 2018

Our round-up of headlines from around the state and elsewhere. Sign up for our newsletter for direct delivery to your inbox every weekday morning. Lobbyists dodge disclosure Recently unmuzzled veteran lobbyist and former journalist Steve Haner, who is now a contributing editor to the public policy blog Bacon’s Rebellion, has a column in the Times-Dispatch about a […]

Bon Secours merging with another Catholic health system

By: - July 23, 2018

Bon Secours Health, which operates four hospitals in the Richmond area and three in Hampton Roads — in addition to facilities in five other states — is merging with Mercy Health, the largest health system in Ohio. Once combined, the two entities will “create one of the five largest Catholic health care systems in the […]

Virginia makes more money available for school security grants

By: - July 23, 2018

With Lee County announcing its intention  earlier this month to become the first school system in Virginia to arm teachers, partly because it’s cheaper than hiring officers, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office says an additional $1.3 million is available in grants for police and security. “Ensuring the safety of Virginians, especially of our youth, is a […]

Alternate universe Senate race, update on Unite the Right anniversary and Richmond’s attendance woes, among other headlines

By: - July 23, 2018

A different result with ranked-choice voting? Could instant-runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, have installed Nick Freitas as the GOP Senate candidate instead of Corey Stewart? Marla McKenna at  The Culpeper Star-Exponent quotes Freitas as in favor of the method, calling it “a solid policy” and pledging to support legislation that would give Virginia voters that […]

COMMENTARY

FROM THE EDITOR: Judge us on our journalism

By: - July 20, 2018

As Jim Bacon at Bacon’s Rebellion chronicles ably and fairly here, an email by David Poole, executive director of the Virginia Public Access Project, to the nonprofit’s board of directors that raised concerns about the source of our funding, leaked out to a wider audience this week. Poole had asked me for more information beyond […]

Chincoteague looking for new drinking water, mass transit in Pittsylvania and other Va. headlines

By: - July 20, 2018

Chincoteague looking for new drinking-water wells  Figuring out how widespread contamination at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility from dangerous industrial chemicals used in firefighting foams that made their way into drinking water at the nearby island town of Chincoteague will take years, Sarah Rankin from the AP reports. The Eastern Shore tourist town known for the […]

What a Corey Stewart staffer, a white nationalist Facebook discussion group and an alleged break-in have in common

By: - July 19, 2018

Here’s a weird one that broke Thursday: Virginia GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart says Stephanie Saul, a New York Times reporter seeking an interview with Brian Landrum, a Stewart staffer, entered Landrum’s Woodbridge apartment uninvited, the Washington Post reported. Landrum, who works part-time for Stewart’s campaign as well as for Prince William County, where Stewart […]

Fox-hunting pens shut down

By: - July 18, 2018

Six fox-hunting pens have been shut down in Virginia following a two-year investigation by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s office. Nine people pleaded guilty to a range of charges, mostly misdemeanors but also a few felonies. “Fox penning can become unlawful when operators put illegal foxes and coyotes into a fenced-in area and allow dogs […]

Virginian-Pilot stonewalled on tax information

By: - July 18, 2018

Virginian-Pilot reporter Ana Ley got an earful from Portsmouth’s elected commissioner of the revenue while she was trying to pry loose neighborhood-specific information on meal, beverage and retail tax revenues for a story published Wednesday. “You’ve taken up a lot of time – taxpayer dollars – trying to respond to your request because you want […]

Follow the money

By: - July 18, 2018

The Virginia Public Access Project has the breakdown of mid-year campaign finance reports that were due in by midnight Monday. With a whole year to go before the 2019 state Senate and House elections, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, a Republican from James City County, who has been in the Senate since 1992, had $843,596 […]

A long walk off a short bridge?

By: - July 17, 2018

Dominion Energy, Virginia’s biggest utility with about 2.5 million customers, is banking big on natural gas, in the near future at least. The company has two big new combined cycle gas plants in Greensville and Brunswick counties, one already finished and the other scheduled to begin operation this year. Another eight smaller gas plants were […]

From the state government to the ‘shadow government’

By: - July 17, 2018

Mega-lobbying firm McGuireWoods Consulting added a major player to their formidable bench Tuesday, signing up former GOP House Speaker Bill Howell. “Since it was founded 20 years ago, McGuireWoods Consulting has earned a well-deserved reputation for consistently delivering successful outcomes for clients. Many of my new colleagues there have been friends for years, and I […]