Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers and was previously editor of the Virginia Mercury. 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. Contact him at [email protected]

Virginia GOP congressmen vote against resolution on Finland, Sweden and NATO

By: - July 19, 2022

Three Virginia congressmen were among a relative handful of House Republicans who voted against a resolution expressing support for Finland and Sweden joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. U.S. Reps. Ben Cline, R-Botetourt, Bob Good, R-Campbell, and Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, joined 15 other GOP members to oppose the resolution, which passed the House Monday with […]

Beagle breeding facility shutting down over violations will be allowed to sell 500 dogs

By: and - June 17, 2022

A federal judge will allow Envigo — which is shutting down a controversial dog-breeding facility in Cumberland County under pressure from federal regulators because of a string of animal welfare violations— to sell more than 500 dogs to labs over the objections of the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal attorneys seeking an injunction to enforce […]


The shadow Jan. 6 still casts: ‘James Madison’s ultimate nightmare’

By: - January 12, 2022

It was not unlike the formulaic false ending in a horror movie. You could have been forgiven for thinking the worst was over when the mob of MAGAns had been repulsed from the halls of the U.S. Capitol and Congress resumed its duty of certifying the presidential election returns last year. But the spectacle of […]

Virginia’s state schools superintendent is stepping down; Youngkin names education secretary

By: - December 18, 2021

As the governor who appointed him winds down his term, Virginia’s superintendent of public instruction is stepping down. Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane, appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam in 2018 to oversee the Virginia Department of Education, is leaving for an undisclosed position elsewhere as Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned on a range of […]

Northam presents final budget, flush with cash, to lawmakers

By: and - December 16, 2021

Gov. Ralph Northam presented legislative budget writers Thursday with his final fiscal blueprint for Virginia government that proposes tax cuts, state employee pay raises, stoking the state’s reserve savings and strengthening the public retirement fund.  Robust tax collections augmented by federal pandemic economic relief funds created unprecedented operational surpluses, even during the  social and financial […]

Courts block prison health care provider’s attempts to contest contract cancelation

By: - December 14, 2021

The Supreme Court of Virginia has blocked an attempt by the company that provided health care in state prisons to continue fighting the cancelation of its contract by prison officials. The court on Saturday denied a motion for a stay and a petition for review filed by Armor Correctional Health Services, which has been battling […]

‘Resilience in the face of horror and pain’: Emancipation and Freedom Monument unveiled in Richmond

By: - September 22, 2021

Just weeks after the last Confederate statue on Richmond’s Monument Avenue was removed, a long-anticipated monument to emancipation was unveiled Wednesday on Brown’s Island. “Resilience in the face of horror and pain is what this day is all about, which is why a little rain and a train are not gonna stop us,” State Sen. […]

Pediatricians join call for masking in schools as conservatives chafe at governor’s ‘mandate’

By: - August 10, 2021

With many students about to head back to classes later this month, the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics says all children, regardless of vaccine status, should wear masks indoors in school. “This is based on the observation that COVID-19 infection rates are rapidly increasing across the commonwealth, the Delta variant is more […]

Mercury reporter wins prestigious environmental reporting award

By: - August 5, 2021

The Mercury’s Sarah Vogelsong took first-place honors in a prestigious contest that recognizes outstanding environmental journalism. Vogelsong won first-place in the “Outstanding Explanatory Reporting, Small” category in the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment contest. The winning entry was “Virginia’s Clean Energy Transition,” a five-part series on the landmark Virginia Clean […]

Court rejects challenge to Virginia’s carbon rule

By: - July 16, 2021

Richmond’s circuit court has a rejected a challenge filed by a group representing Virginia manufacturers who sought to thwart the state’s entry into a regional carbon-trading network. The Virginia Manufacturers Association alleged the state Department of Environmental Quality had violated the state Administrative Process Act when it revised regulations that brought Virginia into the Regional […]


Change the culture of contempt for FOIA

By: - May 20, 2021

One of the coverage areas the Mercury set out to focus on when we launched nearly three years ago was Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act and the issues that perennially swirl around it like the constant cloud of dirt that follows Pigpen from “Peanuts.” Virginia’s open records law doesn’t just suffer from problems with its […]

Groups press for inland water bacteria advisories

By: - May 17, 2021

Environmental groups are again raising alarms about levels of fecal bacteria in Shenandoah Valley waterways from livestock and poultry operations and calling on state agencies to do a better job of warning inland swimmers about the risks, as they do at 46 coastal beaches. Citing Virginia Department of Environmental Quality data, the Environmental Integrity Project […]