After legislative limbo, $6M in federal funding for Virginia farmers and food banks released

BY: - May 30, 2023

After months of delay, Virginia on Thursday released over $6 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funds to procure food products from local farmers to distribute to food-insecure populations. The root cause of the slowdown in fund disbursement is unclear, as other states began using grant funds as early as March, but one contributing factor […]

Virginia lawmaker hopes new posthumous diploma law will help grieving families and students

BY: - May 16, 2023

By Darlene Johnson / Capital News Service Graduation is a month away for approximately 90,000 Virginia high school seniors. For some, that milestone is cut short by tragedy. When a high school student dies before graduation, it can be difficult for a family to obtain a posthumous diploma. State lawmakers this recent General Assembly session passed House Bill […]

Virginia student homelessness numbers near pre-pandemic levels

BY: - May 10, 2023

As Virginia school divisions investigate increases in chronic student absences, data shows the state’s homeless youth rate is returning close to pre-pandemic levels.  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia recorded about 10,000 homeless youth in public schools annually. Those numbers dropped by nearly 3,000 students in the 2020-21 school year. Since then, however, they have […]

‘Godsend’ caregiver program for Virginians with disabilities set to end this fall

BY: - May 8, 2023

Young, in love and ready to take on the world together, former U.S. Army sergeant Shane Phillips and Emily Siddens tied the knot in 2000 – unaware that a year later, a severe brain injury resulting from a car accident would leave Emily bedridden and completely dependent on others for day-to-day living. For the past […]

More Southwest Virginia families turn to food banks with end of extra SNAP benefits

BY: - April 27, 2023

By Janae Blakeney / Capital News Service A single mother wheeled her cart around a Roanoke Food Lion on a recent Saturday night, plucking a few staples off the shelves for her and her daughter to eat. She selected some eggs, milk, frozen Kid Cuisines and other items for the week and headed for the […]

A pandemic experiment in universal free school meals gains traction in the states

BY: - April 24, 2023

WASHINGTON —  Every public school kid in the United States was eligible for free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of family income, thanks to the federal government. While that’s now ended, a growing number of states across the country are enacting universal school meal laws to bolster child food security and academic equity. […]

Petersburg maternal hub opening reignites discussion over commercial doula benefits

BY: - April 17, 2023

Virginia officials say the expansion of Medicaid coverage to include doula services last year is one of several accomplishments that has made the state a leader in increasing access to maternal health resources.  Now the state’s Health Insurance Reform Commission is weighing whether this coverage should be mandated for commercial insurers as well. In a […]

Youngkin recommends tighter parental approvals for children accessing websites

BY: - April 5, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is recommending changes to a pending state law that would require a parent to approve whether or not their child can set up accounts on social media and other websites that process or sell data.  The extra layer of permission would be on top of the requirements of the original bill, which […]

Help wanted: Women needed for U.S. chips manufacturing plan to succeed

BY: - March 28, 2023

Natalie Bell was thinking about a career in art after college when a welding class and a delivery of four pizzas changed her career trajectory.  “I was taking a delivery out to a construction site and I met an ironworker who I was taking the delivery to,” said Bell, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. “I […]


A meritorious bill to curb kids’ access to online porn has limitations, downsides

BY: - March 13, 2023

It’s a good bet that an election-year bill to crack down on juvenile access to online pornography, which elected legislators of both parties passed overwhelmingly, will become law in Virginia. Penalizing smut purveyors plays well on campaign brochures, ads and websites. Political cynicism aside, however, there is meritorious intent behind Sen. Bill Stanley’s bill to […]


The correlation between guns, school violence and the erosion of American families

BY: - March 10, 2023

By Bill Pike In August of 1975, I started my first teaching job at Martinsville Junior High School in Martinsville, Virginia. Nothing in my education classes, student teaching, or orientation to the school system communicated, “Look out for students who might have a gun.” Almost fifty years later, school systems across Virginia and America are […]

Bill to require additional proof of age for porn sites in Virginia heads to Youngkin’s desk

BY: - March 9, 2023

Virginia lawmakers recently passed a bill with near-unanimous support that would require pornograpy websites to more stringently verify whether a person is 18 before allowing them access to the site. However, some say the legislation raises data privacy concerns while doing little to keep minors out of pornographic websites. Under the bill, verifying the age […]