HOUSING, WORKING & BUSINESS

CHRISTIANSBURG — The stark black-and-white sign stands out, even amid the campaign cavalcade of color that, along with the changing leaves, marks October in Virginia. It’s not the absence of the traditional red or blue that grabs the eye so much as the wording: “Elect Dr. Mark J. Matney —...
People in Virginia who take out payday and title loans face interest rates as much as three times higher than borrowers in other states with stronger consumer protections, an analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts released this week concluded.“Virginia’s small-loan statutes have unusually weak consumer protections, compared with most other...
Virginia is one of nine states that saw income inequality jump last year, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau that showed the nationwide disparity between rich and poor hit its highest level in decades.That’s despite a growing economy and low unemployment, notes NPR: The most...
By Jeff Raines In light of dwindling coal resources and shrinking populations, eco-tourism is becoming an alternative source of revenue in the coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia as residents seek to diversify their economies. The Southwestern Virginia coalfields — comprised of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell and Wise counties, alongside...
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...
Two hours into a Sunday afternoon session at Pop’s Bingo World, the hall is less than a quarter full and the charity running the game is on track to lose more than $1,500 after all the jackpots are paid out.Everyone in the room knows bingo — once Virginia’s only...
Southwestern Virginia lawmakers are taking another swing at creating new economic growth in a part of the commonwealth that has lagged far behind Northern Virginia, metro Richmond and Hampton Roads in job creation.They were in Abingdon last week to announce InvestSWVA, a public-private partnership that Will Payne, the project...
FRANKLIN — In the old mill town of Franklin, the streets smell of gasoline and fast food, peanuts by the millions and wood — mostly wood.To some, it’s the smell of money, an indicator of the industry that keeps the local economy going. To others, it’s a reminder of...
A liberal think tank estimates that more than a million Virginia taxpayers won’t receive tax refund checks lawmakers approved as part of a major tax policy change earlier this year.Most of those will be lower-income Virginians, according to a new analysis by The Commonwealth Institute, a Richmond policy nonprofit. "Although...
By Sravan Gannavarapu/ Capital News Service Virginia’s poverty rate has fallen by a full percentage point, to about 10%, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The proportion of Virginians living in poverty dropped from 11.1% in 2015-16 to 10.1% in 2017-18, the data showed. The state’s poverty rate...