Mail Bag: Answering reader questions about Richmond’s massive arena proposal

BY: - August 12, 2019

Last week we dipped into recently released financial projections detailing how Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney proposes funding construction of what would be the state’s largest coliseum. Richmond considers committing millions in tax revenue to build the state’s largest arena It’s a complicated plan that includes more than a billion dollars in spending, and, not surprisingly, […]

Richmond considers committing millions in tax revenue to build the state’s largest arena

BY: - August 9, 2019

Richmond’s mayor promises taxpayers won’t be left holding the bag and the city’s financial advisers say it’ll fill public coffers, not drain them. But a proposal to build a 17,500-seat arena downtown is fueling deep skepticism in a city where residents have long complained about neglect of basic services like schools and roads in favor […]

After racial bias allegations, Va. apartment complex agrees to end blanket ban on felons

BY: - August 6, 2019

Fair housing advocates hope a Chesterfield County apartment complex’s new approach to screening applicants will serve as a model policy for landlords around the state. Richmond-based Housing Opportunities Made Equal sued Sterling Glen Apartments and Wisely Properties in June, alleging their blanket ban on renting to felons and people with certain misdemeanor convictions amounted to […]

SCC partially approves Dominion rider that will increase bills

BY: - August 5, 2019

Electric bills will go up for Dominion customers after the State Corporation Commission on Monday approved the utility’s request to recoup some of the costs it sank into complying with new federal and state environmental regulations in 2015 — but maybe not as much as the company would have liked. The SCC’s decision allows Dominion […]

Poll: Virginians overwhelming support giving tenants more than a week to pay late rent

BY: - August 2, 2019

Virginia legislators passed seven laws earlier this year aimed at curbing the state’s highest-in-the-nation eviction rates. New polling suggests state residents strongly support going further. Three quarters of residents surveyed by Virginia Commonwealth University last month say they support changing state law to give tenants at least two weeks to pay rent before a landlord […]

Virginian-Pilot alums launch statewide investigative reporting center

BY: - July 26, 2019

Two former staffers at The Virginian-Pilot have teamed up to launch a nonprofit investigative newsroom that plans to partner with media outlets and universities around the state to produce in-depth local reporting. The Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism aims to post its first story within the next month and hopes to begin publishing on a […]


Twelve months of The Mercury

BY: - July 17, 2019

A year ago today, stressed, sleep-deprived, picking over the wording of my introductory column and anxious about our roster of stories, I waited for the Mercury’s website go live. I had left a 13-year career in newspapers for the new world of online-only, nonprofit news, and, as I contemplated the year ahead, the unknowns loomed. […]

After 20 years, RAM Clinic to leave Wise

BY: - July 12, 2019

Remote Area Medical, which has provided free dental, medical, vision and veterinary care to people at a yearly clinic in Wise County for two decades, says starting next year it will pull out of the area to serve “other communities in need across the United States.” Just last month, more than 1,000 people were treated […]

Northam announces assistance for locked-out Blackjewel miners

BY: - July 10, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday announced several relief efforts to assist hundreds of Virginia miners affected by the July 1 bankruptcy of major U.S. coal producer Blackjewel, LLC, which operates 10 mines in the southwestern portion of the state. Describing himself as “deeply concerned by the sudden closure of Blackjewel LLC and the significant impact […]

Neither unemployed nor allowed to work: Virginia’s Blackjewel miners look for relief

BY: - July 8, 2019

WISE — One week after the nation’s sixth-largest coal producer filed for bankruptcy, the almost 500 Virginia miners sent home from work and deprived of their last paychecks still have no answers — and no relief. Information comes only through social media, say miners from Blackjewel, LLC’s 10 Virginia facilities. Their last paychecks, issued June […]

Solar program attempts to bridge rifts left by compressor station fight in Union Hill

BY: - July 2, 2019

By Elizabeth McGowan UNION HILL, Va. — Richard Walker never misses an opportunity to broadcast what he calls his $64,000 question. “How can we have a community solar program here where we save everybody money?” the burly 61-year-old boomed to an audience of more than 30 renewable energy enthusiasts gathered in Union Grove Missionary Baptist […]

A year after Medicaid expansion, hundreds still flock to rural medical clinic in Southwest Virginia

BY: - July 1, 2019

WISE — Nina Black has been coming to Remote Area Medical’s clinic in Wise for at least 12 of the 20 years it’s been running. This year was different: Black was one of about 290,000 Virginians covered under the state’s new Medicaid expansion, making 2019 the first time she’s had insurance coverage in years. “I’ve […]