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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

Sweet Frog Founder Plans Water Park in Chesterfield

A proposal by the founder of the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt chain plans to build a water park in Chesterfield County near State Route 288.

Derek Cha, a native of Korea, came to the United States as a child and has founded several successful business ventures, include Sweet Frog which opened with one store in Short Pump and grew to 300 before he sold controlling interest to Boxwood Capital Partners.

Richmond Planning Commission Gives Preliminary Approval For Walker Statue

The Richmond Planning Commission has given preliminary approval to plans for a statue of Maggie L. Walker on Broad Street.

The statue is smaller than the original plans, the live oak tree is coming down, there is a smaller wall behind the statue, and it will be made of granite cobblestones instead of brick--all tweaks in response to public comments on the proposed statue and plaza at Broad, Brook Road and Adams Street.

Maggie Walker was a banker, a business person, a teacher, and a pioneer, paving the way for women and blacks for generations to come.

Declining Revenues Threatens Scheduled Pay Raises for State Employees

Declining revenues could delay or halt a 3% pay raise scheduled for state employees and college faculty members.

Virginia’s Secretary of Finance, Ric Brown said yesterday (5/16) state revenues were trailing projections by about $347 million dollars and if they don’t improve by the end of June, those raises could be put on hold. He remains hopeful that collections of income and sales taxes will improve and early May revenues were up 23% over a year ago.

Virginia’s Attorney General: State Council of Higher Education Has No Authority Over Proposed Name Change at GMU Law School

Virginia’s Attorney General says George Mason University does not need state approval to change the name of its law school for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The State Council of Higher Education was scheduled to vote on the proposal today (5/17).

Staffers said yesterday that a recent opinion from the attorney general’s office concluded that Mason doesn’t need their approval.

Richmond School Board Votes to Keep All Schools Open

The Richmond School Board voted last night (5/16) to keep schools open, despite a $10.9 million dollar budget gap. The Board voted 6-3 to take the option of closing five schools off the table after a two hour discussion on the budget.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Superintendent Dana Bedden told them, “you will have to cut something,” as administrators present the board with a balanced budget that keeps the schools open, but cuts programs that affect students and how they learn in the classroom.

State Approves $500,000 Dollar Grant To Renovate Ashland Theater

The Town of Ashland has been awarded half a million dollars to revitalize the Ashland Theater. The money had been set aside for months, but held up while the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development reviewed the town’s application for compliance with its requirements under its Industrial Revitalization fund.

But last week it was approved, with the provision the non-profit Ashland Theater Foundation must raise at least $75,000 dollars before the money is dispersed.

The town landmark was opened in 1948 and closed 50 years later.

Governor McAuliffe to Sign Computer Science Education Bill Into Law Today

Governor McAuliffe is set to sign into law today, legislation that mandates computer science be added to the SOL curriculum.

The bill calls for the State Board of Education to incorporate computer science, computational thinking and computer coding into existing SOF curriculum.

Local school boards will also develop and implement a computer science curriculum for students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

The measure was passed unanimously by both houses of this year’s General Assembly and is designed to help prepare students for technology jobs.

State Council of Higher Education To Consider George Mason University Law School Name Change

The State Council of Higher Education will consider a controversial proposal to rename George Mason University’s Law school for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The State Council of Higher Education is meeting today (5/16) in Lexington with the George Mason proposal on the table.

The School announced earlier this year it has received $10 million dollars from the conservative Charles Koch Foundation and another $20 million that was both anonymous and contingent on renaming the school for the late and notably conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Contract Talks To Resume In Verizon Strike

Verizon and union officials representing about 39,000 striking landline and cable workers have agreed to restart negotiations.

Workers in nine Eastern States, including Virginia and in Washington, D.C.,walked off the job April 13th and have been walking the picket lines ever since. They had been working without a contract since last August and negotiations have been unsuccessful.

A key issue is the closing of domestic call centers and sending the work abroad. Verizon already has call-center operations in Mexico, India and the Philippines.

Dominion To Build New 20-Story Office Tower Downtown

Dominion Virginia Power plans to build one, maybe two new office towers in downtown Richmond.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports development plans were filed with the city yesterday (5/12) for a 20-story tower at 111 S. Sixth Street to replace the Richmond Plaza building which will be torn down.

A decision about what will happen to One James River Plaza, where Dominion Virginia Power operates will be made in 2019.

Meanwhile, demolition of the Richmond Plaza building is set to begin in late June and take four months.