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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 Honey Production Dropped In 2016 As Honey Bee Colonies Continued To Diminish

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reports Virginia honey production dropped significantly last year, as honey bees continue to diminish. “Honey Bees continue to disappear in Virginia and across the nation, and we saw a winter loss in Virginia of about 32% of our colonies,” said Keith Tignor, State Apiarist.

Tignor said, “Bees were hit with a big freeze during the major nectar flow.”

Wason Poll: Gillispie Leads GOP Gubernatorial Candidates, Democrats Split

A Wason Poll released this morning (3/28) shows one candidate dominates the Republican race for Governor, while the Democrats are widely split.

With just more than two months before Virginia’s go to the polls to select their party’s nominees for statewide office, Republican Ed Gillespie has a commanding lead among his party’s candidates for Governor. “We found that he has 38% of Virginia Republican primary voters already,” said the Wason Poll’s Dr. Rachel Bitecofer. “His closest competitor is coming in at only 11%.”

Earthquakes In Virginia Not Uncommon, Expert Urges Preparedness

A Virginia Tech Geophysicist says yesterday’s (3/22) earth quake in central Virginia was not uncommon, but a reminder to be prepared.

The 2.4 quake was a small one and typical of tremors that have been tracked back to the 1700’s. “This earthquake was just are reminder that we have had damaging earthquakes in the past and we’re going to have damaging earthquakes in the future,” said Dr. Martin Chapman, a Geophysicist at Virginia Tech and a world-renown authority on earthquakes.

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.