Staff Report

Staff Report

Virginia Mercury staff report. For questions, comments or concerns, contact [email protected]

Capitol gun rally: 22,000 attendees, one arrest, no violence

By: - January 20, 2020

Our ongoing coverage of the gun rally at the Virginia Capitol today. View a gallery of photos from throughout the day here. 3:48 p.m. Authorities said an estimated 22,000 people attended Monday’s gun rally, which ended without incident despite fears that far-right extremists were planning to hijack the event. They said approximately 6,000 people entered […]

Governor bans weapons during gun rally, citing threats of ‘violent extremism’

By: - January 15, 2020

As expected, Gov. Ralph Northam has issued a temporary emergency declaration that will ban all weapons, including firearms, from the Capitol grounds in Downtown Richmond in advance of a planned demonstration Monday opposing new gun restrictions lawmakers are debating in the General Assembly. In a statement, Northam’s administration said the emergency order comes after “credible […]

Supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment stand outside of the entrance to the Capitol on the opening day of the 2020 legislative session.

With Virginia poised to pass ERA, Trump administration, Republican AGs move to block it

By: - January 8, 2020

With Virginia expected to be the pivotal 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, a group of Republican attorneys general are seeking to block the amendment. “These same Republican attorneys general are trying to gut health care for millions of Americans, roll back environmental protections, and reverse years of progress in reproductive freedom,” the Democratic […]

Mercury reporter wins government transparency award

By: - September 25, 2019

Mercury reporter Mechelle Hankerson won a first place award from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government this week for her coverage of the Library of Virginia’s struggles to catalog and make public records of former governors. The library is still in the process of archiving the records of Gov. Tim Kaine, who left office in […]

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Immigration eased population loss in 1 of 5 U.S. counties, including Virginia, analysis finds

By: - April 28, 2019

Localities across Virginia staved off population loss due to an influx of immigrants, a new analysis by Stateline, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, found. In 1 of 5 U.S. counties, immigrants “prevented or significantly softened population loss,” the report states. In several Virginia municipalities, immigration either cut population loss by at least 10 […]

Dominion, Facebook announce six new solar facilities in Virginia, North Carolina

By: - April 23, 2019

Dominion Energy and Facebook announced Monday six new solar facilities, three each in Virginia and North Carolina, dedicated to Facebook’s operations. While some are already completed, all the facilities are due to gradually become operational by mid-2020. According to a news release, they’re to help the two companies achieve complementary goals: for Dominion to have […]

Group donates 70-acre blue heron preserve to state

By: - April 18, 2019

One of the largest great blue heron nesting sites in the Chesapeake region is now under the protection of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust dedicated the 70-acre easement along the Potomac Creek to the state agency to expand the 2,942-acre Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford. DCR […]

Virginia’s barrier islands’ normal resilience to sea-level rise is hurt by climate change, VCU researchers find

By: - April 9, 2019

A study from the Coastal Plant Ecology Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University found that a naturally occurring process that has made barrier islands resilient to sea-level rise has been affected by climate change and is making the islands more susceptible to the impact of rising water levels. Typically, Virginia’s barrier islands off the coast of […]

Report: Many cattle aren’t fenced out of waterways, increasing pollution in the Shenandoah Valley

By: - April 4, 2019

After examining Google Earth images of 1,676 livestock farms with rivers or streams in the Shenandoah Valley, two environmental groups determined that 81 percent are failing to fence their cattle out of streams, according to a new report. Allowing cattle to access waterways contributes to high fecal bacteria and pollution not only in local rivers […]

Virginia Mercury

Appeals court vacates Dominion’s James River transmission line permit

By: - March 1, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to follow federal legal requirements when it gave Dominion Energy a permit to build a massive power line and 17 towers across the James River near Historic Jamestowne, according to a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The transmission lines run from Surry […]

Water Control Board sets meeting to reconsider Mountain Valley Pipeline water certification

By: - February 15, 2019

More than two months after it voted to hold a hearing to consider revocation of a key certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, sued by the state over several hundred alleged environmental violations, the State Water Control Board has finally scheduled a meeting for March 1 on the topic. However, the March 1 meeting will […]