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Charles Fishburne

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Charles Fishburne is a correspondent for WCVE Public Radio. He brings over 40 years experience as a broadcast journalist and news executive in Richmond, Washington D.C. and New York. Charles was also a long-time television news anchor and news director in Richmond.

Articles by Charles Fishburne

Richmond’s School Superintendent Unveils Needs For Next Fiscal Year

Richmond School Superintendent Dana Bedden says he wants to boost employees pay, add 138 full-time positions and embark on a system-wide improvement plan.

Bedden unveiled his estimate of needs for the next fiscal year, that would cost about 298 million, almost 27 more than the current year’s budget.

It anticipates additional cuts in state funding, which has already dropped 12 million since 2009. And it does not address the first phase of a 563 million dollar building plan administration officials have already said is beyond the city’s debt capacity.

Two Shooting Deaths in Petersburg Over the Weekend

It has been a violent weekend in Petersburg, with two people killed in early Sunday morning (12/13) shootings. They were separate incidents.

In the first, police responded to the 1700 block of West Court and founds 21-year old Kwaun Quarles suffering from a gunshot wound, he died later at Southside Regional Medical Center.

In the second, officers responded to a report of a person shot in the 800 block of Rome Street. Twenty-seven year old Mark Barlow was transported to Southside Regional, where he died.

Court-Ordered Redistricting Plan in Federal Court Hearing Today

A court-ordered change in congressional boundaries is headed for federal court in Richmond today (12/14). At issue is whether the federal court, which has already ruled that the current boundaries pack too many black voters in the 3rd Congressional District, should go ahead and lock new boundaries into place, or wait possibly months for the United States Supreme Court to hear an appeal by the state’s Republican members of Congress.

Monday, December 14th Busiest Day For Mailing

The US Postal Service says this is the busiest mailing and shipping day for the holiday. The Postal service expects to deliver about 15.5 billion cards, letters and packages during the next couple of weeks and today (12/14) will be the busiest for mailing.

For guaranteed delivery before Christmas, they recommend tomorrow for standard post, Saturday for first class, next Monday for priority and Wednesday next week for priority express. Military priority express is this Thursday, the 17th.

Busiest day for delivering all of this will be next Monday.

Henrico Planning Commission Rejects Dollar General On Mountain Road

Henrico Planners have rejected a Dollar General Store in a historic Glen Allen neighborhood. The Planning Commission voted unanimously against the proposed Dollar General Store at the entrance to a residential area on Mountain Road, even though the developer promised a Colonial style motiff.

Two hundred people were there in opposition, with an online petition signed by 1,300 more.

Parents Ask Henrico County School Board to Change the Name of Harry F. Byrd Middle School

The Henrico county School Board has been presented a request demanding Harry F. Byrd Middle School be renamed.

Harry Byrd was a US Senator, Virginia Senator and Governor and led the massive resistance movement to combat school integration in the 50’s.

About a dozen parents went before the Henrico school board yesterday (12/10) asking the name be changed, and said they have a petition with 1,000 names on it. One parent said no school should bear the name of someone who thought African-Americans were not worthy to attend the same schools as white students.

Gestures of Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth may have come a bit closer in two Virginia cities this week.

In Roanoke, Corelli Rasheed, accompanied by several members of his Mosque, presented a check for 2500 dollars to a Christian rescue mission, right after the lunch hour rush yesterday. He said, “we are part of this community and we want to do our share.”

Across the state in Virginia Beach, the Human Rights Commission presented a resolution to city council, urging support for refugees, especially Syrians.

Two Men Accused of Plotting Racial War Set for Arraignment Today

The two men accused of plotting to shoot up or bomb synagogues and black churches are due in federal court today.

Arraignment is scheduled for 34-year old Robert C Doyle and 33-year old Ronald Chaney, III on a robbery and conspiracy charged and two firearms counts.

The FBI says the men belong to a white supremacy group and were planning the robberies to buy and stockpile weapons and land to train for a race war.

A third defendant, 30-year old Charles Halderman, Jr., faces to charges and is scheduled for arraignment next Tuesday.

Virginia State University to Introduce New President Tomorrow

Virginia State University will introduce its new president tomorrow.

He is Makola M. Abdullah, currently provost of Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.

The Richmond-Times Dispatch quotes VSU Rector Harry Black as saying of the 200 applicants for the job, “he stood out as a difference maker.”

VSU has seen a decline in enrollment and revenues, and is on a second, six month warning period from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after an internal audit turned up oversight problems with its Real Estate Foundation.

Liberty University President Tells Students Guns In Dorms OK

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., has told his students they are now allowed to bring concealed weapons into their dorm rooms.

Last week, following the shootings in San Bernadino, Califonia, Falwell told a convocation of students to get a gun.

Yesterday, he told them he was ending a “gun free zone on campus,”

He said the guns-in-the-dorm decision was in response to students who had requested it. The schools governing board still must approve the change.