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VaNews for location in Northampton County

Hurricane like Harvey would devastate Hampton Roads, so planners look for lessons in the storm

By DAVE MAYFIELD , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The answer is yes: It could happen here. A storm that dumps more than 50 inches of rain over several days, like Hurricane Harvey has done along the Texas coast, is extremely unlikely in Hampton Roads. Still, “you never say never,” said Jeff Orrock, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office. “The ingredients that you’d need to have an event similar to that, we do deal with those.”

VaNews August 31, 2017

Nearly all of I-64 may have HOT lanes by 2024, VDOT says

By JORDAN PASCALE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

More high-occupancy toll lanes likely are coming to I-64 in Hampton Roads by 2024. The lanes, free for those with two or more in the vehicle or with a sliding toll for solo drivers, would stretch from I-64 on the Peninsula, across the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, through the I-264 interchange and over the High-Rise Bridge to Bowers Hill.

VaNews July 20, 2017

Violent crime went up more than 10% across Virginia last year, including South Hampton Roads

By RYAN MURPHY , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Violent crime went up more than 10 percent across the state last year, increasing in every category between 2015 and 2016. That’s the upshot from the latest crime statistics released by the State Police last week. Homicides jumped more than 25 percent to a total of 480. Forcible sexual offenses increased by more than 8 percent, and robberies went up 7.6 percent. Drug crime rates were up too, reaching their highest level in decades.

VaNews July 13, 2017

In Hampton Roads, offshore drilling opponents gird for another fight

By DAVE MAYFIELD , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

It was a quiet event. No protest chants. Just a couple of dozen sign-carrying opponents of offshore drilling who huddled near the King Neptune statue at the Oceanfront. But Laura Wood Habr, the organizer, felt backed in spirit by millions of others who make the Atlantic Coast their home and who, she’s confident, agree it shouldn’t be exposed to a potential oil spill.

VaNews May 1, 2017

Hampton Roads cities are lining up for $2 billion in pollution-reduction credits – for doing nothing

By DAVE MAYFIELD , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Every time the Hampton Roads Sanitation District clears another hurdle in its proposal to inject as much as 120 million gallons a day of highly treated wastewater deep below ground, some leaders of local cities and counties see dollar signs. The project, called SWIFT – Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow – promises to all but end HRSD’s discharges of treated, but still polluted, water into the Chesapeake Bay. That would earn HRSD a massive amount of pollution-reduction credits that it’s offering to localities to help them dodge toughening standards for stormwater runoff into the bay.

VaNews March 9, 2017

Love it or hate it: Obamacare divides the country and Hampton Roads

By ELIZABETH SIMPSON , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Norfolk youth organizer Karen Bailey loves Obamacare; Virginia Beach business owner Laurie Pocock hates it. It’s a divide that mirrors the country: 47 percent support repeal and 48 percent oppose it, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. President Donald Trump has acted boldly on immigration and defense spending, but he’s been slower to tackle insurance reform, saying it’s “unbelievably complex.” Like people across the country, many Hampton Roads residents are tracking the issue closely, knowing it could affect their health, their pocketbook, their retirement, even their jobs.

VaNews March 6, 2017

Hampton Roads' Trump supporters quietly enjoying Washington's upheaval

By BILL BARTEL , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

While many thousands took to the streets in Norfolk and elsewhere to shout their displeasure with President Donald Trump’s first official acts, Den Black of Chesapeake just smiled. ...For Black and many others in South Hampton Roads who campaigned and cast ballots for Trump, there’s been no compulsion to publicly rally around their man. It’s enough for now to watch as the changes unfold in Washington.

VaNews February 6, 2017

If scored under new program, Beach light rail would not have gotten funding

By JORDAN PASCALE , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Beach light-rail project is dead, but now residents know its categorical merits. Years ago, Virginia offered $155 million for the project, before it began a new transportation funding program called Smart Scale that grades projects using six factors. The light-rail dollars were grandfathered in. Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne had promised to score the light-rail project under Smart Scale to see how it would fare. Those scores were released last week, along with 400 other projects.

VaNews January 23, 2017

"This is a momentous day" and "He's not a leader": Hampton Roads watches the inauguration

By KATHERINE HAFNER AND LEE TOLLIVER , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

As prayers were spoken prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration as the country’s 45th president, Allan Parker and Gene Kline watched from the bar at Chix Seaside Grille and Bar on Atlantic Avenue. On TV, Mike Pence and Trump took their oaths of office. “This is a momentous day,” Kline said. “A Republican is back in office.” The two love plenty about the new president, especially how he’s not politically correct.

VaNews January 21, 2017

Pilot and ProPublica sue VA to get Agent Orange correspondence

By ROBIN FIELDS , Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginian-Pilot and ProPublica filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, accusing the agency of stonewalling requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit, ProPublica’s second against the VA in two months, seeks a preliminary injunction compelling the government to immediately release correspondence about Agent Orange, an herbicide used to kill vegetation during the Vietnam War.

VaNews January 20, 2017