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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

Freeze Watch Upgraded to Warning

The National Weather Service has upgraded its warning about freezing temperatures tonight.

Yesterday it was a Freeze Watch, now it’s a warning.

Andrew Zimmerman, National Weather Service in Wakefield says those temperatures can kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.

Some farmers in the region have already stacked piles of straw in their fields, and will burn them overnight, hoping the smoke will help keep the cold air off crops, some of which have begun to bloom because of a warm spell in March.

The Warning is out from midnight to nine am.

VMI Environmental Symposium Set This Week In Lexington

The Virginia Tech professor who led a team of researchers that exposed the Flint, Michigan water crisis is among the featured speakers at VMI’s annual environmental symposium this week.

Marc Edwards is a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient and one of the nation’s top experts on water contamination. He will join Governor McAuliffe and others at the 27th annual Environmental Virginia Symposium which begins tomorrow (4/5) in Lexington.

Freeze Watch Issued for Late Tomorrow Night

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch much of Central Virginia from late tomorrow night (4/5) into Wednesday morning.

The National Weather service says a Canadian cold front will be moving in late Tuesday night. Andrew Zimmerman at the National Weather Service in Wakefield says timing is dangerous for crops.

The record low for Richmond for the date is 27. He says we’ll be close to that.

Virginia Agriculture Officials Asks Consumers to Help Save the Bees

The Virginia Department of Agriculture is asking consumers all over Virginia to help restore our honey bee population, which is dying off. Experts say we are losing about 30% of our hives every year, and that’s a problem.

Ironic, in this day of high-tech farming, bees still do it best. But disease and pesticides and something called colony collapse disorder are decimating the population. It is so serious, they are asking consumers to become beekeepers, or at least plant flowers that attract bees, to help them survive.

Union Bank and Trust Plans To Remain at Martin’s, Whatever the Name

Fallout from the impending sale of Martin’s Food Market Stores continues, with the announcement yesterday (3/31) that Union Bank and Trust expects to continue operating inside the Richmond stores, whoever owns them. Union spokesman Bill Cimino told the Richmond Times-Dispatch “We expect the leases to carry over with the new owner.”

There are provisions in the contract for either to terminate the relationship but he doesn’t see that coming.

Lexington Prosecutor Says Graffiti Not Conclusively Anti-Gay

Lexington Virginia’s top prosecutor says he has found no evidence that graffiti, spray-painted on a Washington and Lee building was intended to convey anti-gay sentiment.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Christopher Billias says “we could not conclusively determine the graffiti was directly anti-gay.”

A student has been charged with felony vandalism after the messages were found on the side of student housing and several cars saying “flame boy,” and naming a student who lived there.

George Mason School of Law To Be Renamed In Honor of Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

The George Mason School of Law is set to be renamed in honor of the late US Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year.

The University announced yesterday it has received 30 million dollars in combined gifts to the George Mason Foundation, the largest gift in the school’s history. 20 million from an anonymous donor, 10 million more from the Charles Koch Foundation, which is well-known for its support of conservative political groups.

State Police Open Criminal Investigation Into Chinese Company

Virginia State Police have opened a criminal investigation into a Chinese company’s failed Appomattox factory project.

Lindenburg Industry LLC took $1.4 million dollars in taxpayer funds from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to manufacture industrial clean-air products. The company had promised to spend $113 million dollars to renovate a vacant furniture plant in the town of Appomattox and hire 349 people. It never happened.

And a Roanoke Times investigation discovered lax vetting of the company, which is still promising to pay the money back.

Alpha Coal Asks Asks Judge To Allow It To Break Union Contract

One of Virginia’s largest remaining coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources, has asked a judge to allow it to break its union contract in order to reorganize its finances.

Alpha filed for Chapter 11 bankrupcy in August. Like other coal companies, it is dealing with a glutted global market, competition from natural gas, and increased government regulations.

Alpha has filed a petition asking a judge to allow it to break its union contract and modify its obligations for retiree health care benefits, saying it must cut costs in order to survive.

Keeping Redskins Training Camp To Cost City More

Redskins Summer Training Camp in Richmond is going to cost the city more this year. Four years into the eight-year deal, the cost of keeping the Redskins here is more than $360,000 dollars, up $75,000 over last year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the city’s Economic Development Authority wrote a check this week as part of the city’s promise to provide $500,000 a year to help defray the cost of the team’s training here.

Sponsorships and rental space in a building constructed for the camp have not met expectations.