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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

Unemployment Flat At 5.5%, Workforce Continues To Shrink

Virginia’s unemployment stood at 5.5% in September. The unemployment rate has been trending up slightly for the past five months. Ann Lang, Senior Economist at the Virginia Employment Commission says the figures are relatively flat and there are indications some people have given up looking for jobs.

The labor force contracted by almost 12,000 in September, and she says Virginia is continuing to feel the effects of federal government spending cuts.

Top Questions This Week From Virginia Department Of Health Ebola Hotline

From the WCVE Newsroom, I’m Charles Fishburne.  Time Magazine is calling it Ebola  Hysteria, the CDC points out 1,532 Americans died of ordinary flu in 2011.  But Virginians are concerned, and this week, the Department of Health has opened a 24 hour hotline to answer questions at 877-275-8343.

Charlottesvile Suspect Indicted in 2005 Fairfax Rape Case

The suspect in the disappearance of a UVa student was charged yesterday with abducting and raping a woman in suburban Washington, D.C. in 2005. The indictment against Jesse Matthew, Jr, was handed up by a Circuit Court grand jury in Fairfax, and includes a charge of attempted capital murder.

Police say in September of 2005, a 26-year-old woman, walking home from a grocery store about 10:00 p.m. was grabbed from behind, dragged into a wooded area and sexually assaulted. The man fled when he was startled by a passerby. The woman survived.

Nurse Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder, Malicious Wounding

A longtime nurse and mother of three has been convicted of second-degree murder charges as the result of a deadly confrontation in a parking lot. Thirty-one year old Jodi Hope will be sentenced today (10/21) by the same all-woman jury that convicted her the night before of second-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding and two firearms charges.

State Council of Higher Education Moves To Facilitate Distant Learning For Online Courses

Virginia higher education officials are making it easier for students to take online classes and for universities to offer them. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia announced the joining of a multi-state reciprocity agreement yesterday that deals with authorization and payment for distance learning education. Colleges and universities that offer distance learning to students in other states were previously required to seek authorization from those states in a process that was both costly and complex.

Virginia’s Tenth District Race Expensive and Contentious

Virginia’s hotly-contested 10th District Congressional race could go down to the wire. Republican Barbara Comstock and Democrat John Foust are competing to succeed Republican Frank Wolf, who is retiring after 30 years. The race is tight.

Comstock is known to political observers for her work in the 1990’s as the Capitol Hill staffer who led much of the opposition research into Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Foust claims she is a hyper-partisan who will only exacerbate the divisiveness in Congress.

Average Price of Gasoline Drops Below $3 Statewide

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in Virginia has dropped below $3.00 a gallon. Triple A MidAtlantic says the statewide average yesterday was $2.98 compared to $3.14 in September and $3.16 a year ago.

In Richmond the price was $2.86, down from $3.05 last month, and among the lowest in the state. Roanoke was $2.95, Charlottesvolle $2.98 and Norfolk $3.02.

Triple A says it’s because of lower demand and uninterrupted refinery production, among other things.

Henrico County Boy Dies From Injuries He Received When Car Crashed Into Family Apartment

Henrico police say a six-year old county boy has died from injuries he received when a car crashed into his family’s apartment. Six-year old Ezekiel Vasquez was described as a happy child who loved school, had friends and was very protective of his younger brother. He died when a car crashed through the wall of his family’s apartment in the 8800 block of  Three Chopt Road and landed on the bed and on top of him. It pinned his mother by one leg, but his brother escaped with minor injuries.

Colonial Downs Racetrack Shutting Down

Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County…and all off-track betting parlors, will be shut down the first of next month.  The Colorado-based owner of the racetrack did not even wait for the Virginia Racing Commission to vote on one last proposal to try to keep it open, but said at the beginning of the meeting it would surrender its operating license.  Jeffrey Jacobs, Chairman and CEO said, “the glory days have faded into memory and Virginia Thoroughbred racing is well on its path to demise.”  The track had been lobbying for fewer thoroughbred races and higher purses as a way to rem