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]

Virginia Mercury

Democratic primary day, Dublin Volvo plant workers go on strike, a Culpeper account of the Tulsa Race Massacre, and more headlines

By: - June 8, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • It’s primary day: Virginia voters will pick Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general as well as nominees in 17 contested Republican and Democratic House primaries.—Associated Press, NBC12,  Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch • The United Auto Workers began a strike at Volvo’s […]

Virginia Mercury

NAACP calls for special session to address VMI report, Richmond police chief acknowledges mistrust, 260 animals removed from Isle of Wight farm, and more headlines

By: - June 4, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The Virginia NAACP says the legislature should return to Richmond this summer to implement the recommendations of a lengthy report into racism and sexism at the Virginia Military Institute.—CBS19 • Richmond’s police chief, whose department is facing multiple lawsuits over its heavy […]

COMMENTARY

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 […]

COMMENTARY

The Parole Board scandal raises big questions — about the state’s watchdog agency

By: - April 22, 2021

It may not be Teapot Dome or Iran-Contra, but it seems some Democrats would have you believe the nearly year-long Parole Board scandal is nothing more than those ol’ pouncing Republicans seizing on minor procedural mistakes to gin up election-year attacks — even after audio emerged of the browbeating members of Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration […]

All adult Virginians eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, younger homicide victims in Richmond, Volvo workers on strike in Pulaski, and more headlines

By: - April 19, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • A slew of Richmond homicides reveals a disturbing trend: younger victims.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • All adults in Virginia are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.—NBC12 • Homelessness in Norfolk has surged during the pandemic.—Virginian-Pilot • A letter kept by the widow of a murder […]

Virginia Mercury

Officials gloss over crises at Hampton Roads Regional Jail, Richmonders ‘antsy’ to travel again, Bon Air window messages brighten pandemic, and more headlines

By: - March 19, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • You wouldn’t guess the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, which had local sheriffs pull inmates out of its custody because of deteriorating conditions, is beset by numerous crises based on a recent meeting of the governing board. “There were a few jokes about […]

Virginia Mercury

COVID-19 hospitalizations fall in western Va., supporters say no parallel between Cuomo and Northam scandals, the world’s hottest beer(?), and more headlines

By: - March 18, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in western Virginia continue to fall.—WVTF • Some are trying to draw parallels between the crisis facing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gov. Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal, though Northam supporters don’t see the comparison.—Associated Press • A group […]

Four major new vaccination centers to open, a Democratic gubernatorial debate, an uptick in public participation at virtual meetings, and more headlines

By: - March 17, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Four major vaccination centers are opening across Virginia: Danville, Portsmouth, South Chesterfield near Petersburg and Prince William, chosen via an “equity analysis” from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management because of high COVID-19 rates.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • “I think that if I had to […]

Yes, those CDC vaccine appointment emails are real, COVID among Henrico schools and Lynchburg police, McGuireWoods faces scrutiny over Open Technology Fund dispute, and more headlines

By: - March 16, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. •  A former Old Dominion University student was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for his role in a White supremacists’ swatting conspiracy that targeted a Black church, his own university and a cabinet officer, among others.—Associated Press • Those vaccine appointment emails […]

Virginia tops 10,000 COVID deaths, nearly 1 million Virginians fully vaccinated, two more cities pull inmates from Hampton Roads Regional Jail, and more headlines

By: - March 15, 2021

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The surrogate grandmother of a murder victim said she was stunned when the Virginia Parole Board, beset by a scandal over its failure to follow state law and its own regulations in releasing inmates, opted to release the killer just one month […]

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

It never seems to be the right time for campaign finance reform in Virginia

By: - March 5, 2021

St. Augustine — who famously longed for chastity and continence, but not just yet — would recognize a similar spiritual conundrum in Virginia senators on campaign finance reform. Sure thing. Just not right now. Last month, in the waning days of the 2021 General Assembly session, the Senate, on a voice vote, (which means there […]