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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

Bill Passes To Allow RMTA to Rebuild and Operate Coliseum

The General Assembly has passed a bill to authorize the Richmond Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build and operate a new coliseum.

It is a first step in replacing the 45-year old coliseum that has hosted everybody from Elvis to Obama,sports, monster trucks, bull riding and Disney shows among other things.

The VCU Rams used it until the Siegel Center opened in 1999. It is owned by the City of Richmond and has been run by SMG, a professional management group.

Petersburg Fires City Manager

Petersburg City Council dropped the formalities and fired City Manager William E. Johnson, III last night.

Council fired the city manager for cause two weeks after agreeing to negotiate an amicable settlement. They did not say what changed, but it was a personnel matter.

A recent audit found seven million dollars in general fund liability overdrafts, overspending of the total general fund budget by 1.8 million, and a deficiency of revenues over expenditures of nearly six million.

Second City Employee Alleged To Have Done Work For Mayor’s Church On City Time

The Richmond Ambulance Authority has severed ties with an employee, after it pursued allegations that she had been performing work for Mayor Dwight Jones’ church during business hours. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports this morning (3/3) that Pamela Branch, chief human resources and legal officer, is the second Richmond government official to come under scrutiny in recent months for doing church work on city time.

Matthew Pleads Guilty, Avoids Possible Death Sentence, Will Spend Life in Prison

A former hospital orderly has pleaded guilty to killing two Virginia college students, Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington, and has been sentenced to four life terms. Jesse Matthew, Jr., entered the plea in Albermarle County Circuit Court yesterday (3/2).

Albermarle County Commonwealth Attorney Robert Tracci said the plea deal is consistent with the wishes of the Graham and Harrington families. It will avoid the anguish of a trial and lengthy appeals, and imprisons Matthew with no possibility of parole.

Snow In The Forecast

The National Weather Bureau this morning (3/3) has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the Richmond area, and says for us to expect some snow tonight. Forecasters say Richmond is right in the track.

Scott Minnick, of the National Weather Service, said early this morning that it will be a narrow band, changing quickly to rain east of Richmond, and smaller amounts 1-3 inches in the Tri-cities area, but even in Richmond, the ground will be relatively warm.

Look for it overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Trump, Clinton Win In Virginia’s Super Tuesday Primary

It was Clinton and Trump winning in Virginia’s Super Tuesday primaries yesterday (3/1). Virginia has emerged as a state to watch and yesterday, voters gave Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the victories they both wanted to help solidify their positions as their likely party’s nominees.

In the Republican primary, it was Trump over Marco Rubio with 35% to 32%, to Ted Cruz at almost 17%. It was major turnout for Republicans, just over one million votes, and showed Trump’s wide-ranging appeal in a must-win state.

City Auditor Says Fired City Worker Racked Up $33,000 in “Questionable” Costs

The Richmond City Auditor says a city worker fired after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud, racked up about $33,000 dollars in “questionable costs” over three years.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says the report shows that Staci Lanea Boone was paid about $12,000 for unapproved absences, was reimbursed for conferences she did not attend, cashed in work plane tickets for new flights to different cities and padded baggage, taxi, hotel, and other expenses.

Senate Passes Bill to Protect Confederate Monuments

Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation designed to prevent localities from moving Civil War monuments. The state Senate passed a measure 21-17.

A law passed in 1998 forbids local governments from removing or damaging war monuments, but Republican Delegate Charles Poindexter, the bill’s sponsor, says a recent court case regarding the removal of the Confederate flag said the law protects only monuments raised since 1998, and his bill would protect the rest.

Republican Senator Thomas Garett said removing monuments is “censoring” state history.

Greenpeace Circulates Video of McAuliffe Deferring To Clinton on Offshore Drilling

Governor McAuliffe appeared to defer to Hillary Clinton in opposing off-shore drilling at a campaign rally on Monday (2/29).

Hillary Clinton left no doubt where she stood on offshore drilling at a campaign rally in Norfolk, and later a reporter asked the Governor about it.

The Virginian-Pilot reports it was crowded and noisy at Lake Taylor High School, but that seven-second clip is being widely circulated by Greenpeace on Youtube as evidence the Governor might defer to Clinton on the issue.

A spokesman says no, he has not changed his mind.