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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

Governor McAuliffe Pursues Stone Brewing, Says Virginia “Must Have It”

Governor McCauliffe says he is agressively pursuing a Stone Brewery for Virginia, including installing a beer dispenser at the executive mansion. The governor says he has installed a kegerator that dispenses beer from the California-based brewery and even shared a brew with company officials at the mansion the other night. He said “it’s between us and Ohio, and we’ve got to get it here in Virginia.”

Virginia State Facing Drop In Enrollments, 19 Million Dollar Loss In Operating Budget

Virginia State University will have to cut about 19 million dollars, or 10% of its operating budget, to make up revenue as its enrollment drops. Enrollment last fall was 5,900, this year it is 4,900, and officials say that decline alone has cost the university 17.6 million. Another 1.3 million was lost from a reduction in state revenues.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says the university’s governing board was told yesterday Virginia State will leave vacancies unfilled, cut back food service and make other cuts, about 4.29 million, in academic affairs.

City Auditor Defends His Report On Departing Employee's Pension Plan Controversy

In a motion filed in Richmond Circuit Court, Dalal’s attorneys asked the court to order Judkins to specify the “exact words alleged to be false or defamatory.” Judkins is the former chief administrative officer for finance and administration.

Richmond Commonwealth Attorney Michael Herring reviewed the pension case and found no criminal wrongdoing, but said Byron Marshall made a “mistake” based on bad advice from human resources. Marshall resigned under pressure this month. His reasons for leaving were not disclosed. His severance package is $163,000.

Illinois Supreme Court to Review $10.1 Billion Lawsuit Against Philip Morris Again

The Illinois Supreme Court granted a review yesterday of a case involving a 10 billion dollar lawsuit against Philip Morris, USA. It appeared the case had been settled in 2005, when the Illinois high court dismissed the $10.1 billion lawsuit against the nation’s biggest cigarette maker.

Webb Tells National Press Club He Is “Seriously Looking” At Presidential Bid

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb said yesterday that he is “seriously looking” at a Democratic presidential campaign in 2016. Webb said in a speech to the National Press Club that he has talked to respected advisers about a presidential bid and will continue to have those discussions during the next four or five months. Webb’s potential move would create a challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic front-runner.

ABC Sales Set Another Record

Virginians bought more alcohol in the state's ABC stores and restaurants, and the state agency saw record sales again in the last fiscal year. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says it has seen sales increases to record-breaking levels for the past 16 consecutive years.

Sales at retail stores were up nearly 5%, sales at restaurants nearly 2%, adding up to a total of about 801 million dollars last year.

Republican Speaker of the Virginia House Says He Will Block Some McAuliffe Appointments

Virginia’s Republican House Speaker says he is blocking the appointments of three recently-resigned Democratic state lawmakers who took new jobs in state government. Speaker William Howell’s office said yesterday he would not allow the House of Delegates to confirm the appointments by Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, until he is given guidance by federal prosecutors on whether they are legal.

In a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, Howell said he was motivated to seek guidance because of the federal probe into former Democratic Senator Phil Puckett.

Environmental Impact Study Appears To Doom Proposed US 460 Alternate Toll Road

Proponents of a proposed high-speed roll road alongside US Route 460 through rural Southeast Virginia got a setback yesterday. The Virginia Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers released a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed 55 mile toll road detailing concerns over hundreds of acres of wetlands. Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane says it appears now the state likely would not get a permit to build it.

Dominion Plans To Bury 350 Miles Of Power Distribution Lines Annually

Dominion Resources says it plans to put its most outage-prone power distribution lines underground. It was the Derecho of June 2012 that prompted Dominion to take another look. That powerful series of thunderstorms across five states killed 22 people and resulted in millions of people losing power, some for days.

Dominion says it now plans to bury some 350 miles of power lines annually over the next 10-12 years, with priority based on a 10-year outage history from all regions served by Dominion.