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Charles Fishburne

Charles Fishburne's picture

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

VCU Names New Dean For Its Campus in Qatar

Virginia Commonwealth University has just appointed a new dean for the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar. It is the university’s most exotic and distant campus.

Qatar is a small, wealthy, sovereign Arab Country located in Southwest Asia, adjacent to Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Persian Gulf.

VCU has dozens of partnerships around the world, but Qatar is different. Now they have named a new dean, Dr. Akel Kahera.

In a world where cultural differences can make trouble, VCUQatar is making friends.

Henrico Man Indicted for Illegal Cash Transactions in Cigarette Trade

A Henrico County businessman suspected by federal investigators of illegal cigarette traffiicking has been indicted for failing to report cash transactions.

It’s a lot of cash, about $23.4 million.  

Thirty-one year old Maher Mustafa, owner of the Cigarette Outlet, Inc., is accused of conducting more than 350 cash transctions greater than $10,000 from last July to February, and concealed it against federal law.

Virginia’s cigarette tax at .30¢ a pack is the second lowest in the nation. In New York City it is $5.85. That has spawned a lucrative, but illegal trade.

Pipeline Protests at Dominion Shareholders’ Meeting

More pipeline protests as Dominion Resources shareholders meet in Henrico.

Some 100 people picketed outside, one with a poster of a fire-breathing dragon emerging from the proposed 500 mile natural gas pipeline.

Inside, six shareholders spoke against the pipeline. One complained it would bisect her property and make it impossible to build.

President and CEO Thomas Farrell said the pipeline was safe and the company was willing to work with property owners to find the least invasive route.

Two Struck by Lightning At Henrico Soccer Game

Henrico officials say two people are in stable condition at VCU Medical Center after being struck by lightning at a soccer game.

It happened about 5:45 p.m. last night at Pocahontas Middle School, where the two victims were watching their granddaughter play a girl’s soccer game.

Spectators and players had been asked to disperse because of bad weather just before the two were struck.

It was not clear exactly where they were on school grounds when the accident happened.

Names of the victims have not been released.

ACLU Sues Fairfax County Over Collecting And Storing License Plate Data

The ACLU of Virginia is suing Fairfax County over license plates readers and what it calls an illegal invasion of privacy. 

Fairfax County is not the only locality that collects and stores data collected on thousands of drivers through the use of license plate readers, and the suit filed yesterday (5/6) says keeping that data base is illegal.

In 2013, Virginia’s attorney general advised state police that such information is personal under state law and can’t be kept unless it is part of a specific criminal investigation.

Hanover Legislator’s Controversial Facebook Posting

A Hanover County legislator’s posting of a snarling police dog has caused a Facebook backlash that has resulted in his apologizing and taking it down.

Not long after the Baltimore unrest broke out, Hanover County Republican Delegate “Buddy” Fowler posted a photo of a snarling police dog, restrained by a handler in SWAT gear, with a caption that read, “Go ahead and run...he likes fast food.”

Fowler went on to suggest, “I wonder if a few of these would help bring calm to Baltimore.”

Virginia’s AG Says Board of Health Has No Power To Order Retrofit For Abortion Clinics

Virginia’s Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring says the State Board of health does not have the power to force abortion clinics to retrofit to meet higher standards. 

It’s an opinion, a legal one, issued yesterday (5/4) to the state health commissioner.

Those higher standards would treat abortion clinics as hospitals and cover issues such as hallway widths and closet sizes.

VMI Tuition and Fees Up 5.5%

The Cost of VMI has just gone up 5.5 %. The Board of Visitors has just approved tuition and fee increases. The total cost for in-state cadets next academic year will now be $25,202, including tuition, fees and room and board. 

For out-of-state cadets, the cost will increase to $48,216. That is up 4.9%. 

Those increases are effective for the academic year beginning in August 2015. 

NOAA Visits Norfolk To Urge Hurricane Preparedness As The Season Approaches

A federal hurricane awareness tour is coming to Norfolk today (5/5).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration will have hurricane experts, along with a US Air Force Reserve WC-130 hurricane hunter aircraft at Norfolk International Airport.

Norfolk is one of six cities involved in an awareness campaign about the importance of preparing for the upcoming Hurricane Season, which begins June 1st.

And every year, state emergency prepardness officials reminds Richmonders that we are not immune.