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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

Virginia Tech Brain Scan Shows Criminal or Reckless Intent

A Virginia Tech researcher says brain imagery shows a difference between knowing or reckless behavior in criminal acts, a distinction that can affect judges and juries in sentencing.

Computational Neuroscientist Read Montague, along with researchers at Yale, did a brain scan on 40 subjects to determine if criminal intent might register. It did. “What we did was look at the boundary between knowing you were doing something and simply being reckless,” said Montague.

Full Fourth Circuit Court To Re-hear Prayer in Public Government Meetings Case Today

The full Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear re-hear oral arguments in a key prayer-in-government meetings case today (3/22).

The case comes from Rowan County, North Carolina, where plaintiffs argue the county commissioners prayer practices disparage or coerce attendees to participate in prayers that are overwhelmingly Christian in nature.

The ruling potentially could affect the county and all five states in the Fourth Circuit.

Richmond Region Unemployment Up Almost Half-a-Percentin January

Unemployment in the Richmond region increased by nearly half a percentage point from December to January, in figures released yesterday by the Virginia Employment Commission.

The rates were up for the month, but unchanged from a year ago.

"The unemployment rate for the Richmond metropolitan area for January 2017 was 4.3 percent."

Ann Lang, Senior Economist at the Virginia Employment Commission

"That was up four-tenth of a percentage point from December and the same as a year ago January."

Trump Budget Decimates Funds To Prepare For Rising Sea Levels Off Virginia Coast

Virginia has submitted four applications to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Resilience Grants program, it’s no longer in the budget.

NOAA planned to award $15 million dollars nationwide to help coastal regions plan for and mitigate the effects of rising seas and recurrent flooding. Mark Luckenback says, “The grant proposals that you just referred to, I’m afraid were all submitted to a program, that under the president’s budget, were zeroed out.”

Virginia Department of Emergency Management Plans Tornado Drill Today

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is conducting a statewide tornado drill today (3/21).

That test tornado warning is set to broadcast this morning at 9:45 a.m. on NOAA radios.

Jeff Caldwell Department of Emergency Management says, “In February 2016, five people died and 45 people were injured when eight tornadoes struck in Virginia.” And he says it can happen anytime.

Dominion Expands Solar Presence To Nine States

Dominion is expanding its solar footprint with plans to construct, own, and operate two major projects in South Carolina. Dominion will spend $100 million dollars to bring solar energy to Jasper County, in the South Carolina Lowlands.

In Virginia, five more facilities are expected to begin generating electricity late this year, bringing the total to 260 megawatts, and a goal of 400 megawatts by 2020, enough to power 125,000 homes.

Coal Prices Have Rebounded, But Industry Still Struggles

Coal prices have doubled what they were a year ago, and coal stocks have had a revival as President Trump has vowed to roll back environmental regulations, but the industry is still struggling and its workersare still losing jobs.

Coal fired power plants continue to shut their doors, natural gas prices are low and renewable energy sources are growing. And what industry growth there is, doesn’t necessarily mean new jobs in Virginia.

McGuire VA Medical Center Tests Exoskeleton Device for Spinal Cord Injuries

At McGuire VA Medical Center, a veteran who had been confined to a wheelchair is up and walking with an exoskeleton device that offers hope for thousands of others with spinal cord injuries.

Major Terry Labar was a Marine major protecting American embassy personnel overseas when he was injured.

Labar: I was injured in Haifa, Israel, by a hit-and-run driver near the naval base.

Fishburne: You’ve been in a wheelchair for 33 years?

Labar: Yes, I have.

Bitter Cold Weather Boon To Virginia Apple Growers

Virginia’s bitterly cold weather, following bouts of spring-like warmth that brought out the blossoms, could be a blessing to apple growers.

The extreme cold weather yesterday (3/15) and overnight, came at a good time for apple growers. Elaine Lidholme at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said, “One of them told me yesterday, ‘this is just what the doctor ordered.’ The cold weather is keeping the buds from progressing at the fast rate that the warm weather in January and February started them off.”

Chesterfield County Officials Offer Transparency and Access

With Americans’ confidence in government at all levels eroding, Chesterfield County is making an effort to increase both transparency and access.

Since summer, Chesterfield has held 15 community meetings on the budget and three more on resident’s priorities.

There’s a blueprint online complete with comments and joint meetings with the school board, nine community meetings scheduled in March, and today, an open work session begins at noon, in room 502 of the administration building. You’re invited.