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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

Railroads Balk at Disclosing Oil Shipment Information

U.S. railroads will be forced to turn over details of their crude oil shipments beginning June 7th, but some are balking. Three of the nation’s railroads, including CSX, are asking states to sign an agreement not to disclose the information to the public, saying the information is security-sensitive.

Federal officials last month ordered railroads to make the disclosures following a string of fiery tank car accidents in North Dakota, Alabama, Virginia and Quebec, where 47 people died.

Hampton U. Proton Therapy Institute Is Largest Free-Standing Facility In the World

There is a new cancer treatment facility in Virginia with a proton reactor that promises more powerful and more precise control of tumors. Virginia has one of the very few in the nation.

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute is one of only a dozen in the country offering a very specialized form of cancer treatment, Proton Radiation, which seems to offer its greatest promise in pediatric cases where growing tissue is more sensitive and in some other instances like the brain or the eyes where surrounding tissues are critical.

State Official Says CSX Knew About Defect Before Wreck

A State official says that a CSX inspector found a defect in the tracks the day before an oil train derailed in Lynchburg. The Richmond Times-Dispatch says that the state’s utility and safety director told a state rail safety task force about the defect, but could not elaborate on its nature or say whether it contributed to the April 30th accident.

Current regulations require railroads to analyze and act on defects they discover within 30 days. The accident resulted in a 17-car derailment, including three cars, loaded with crude oil, plunging into the James River.

Judge Dismisses Virginia From Student’s $40 Million Suit

A federal judge has dismissed the state of Virginia from a 40 million dollar lawsuit, filed by a UVA student who spent the night detained after being falsely accused of buying alcohol. Elizabeth Daly’s suit says she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, after undercover agents - looking for underage violators - mistook her case of canned water for beer. She was charged with assaulting two of the agents, grazing them as she drove off.

VDH Advises Consumers Not to Drink Tainted Milk

The Virginia Department of Health is advising consumers not to drink Marva Maid Dairy milk in half-pint containers with sell-dates from May 30th through June 2nd. The department issued the advisory yesterday following an investigation that began after it received complaints from the Henrico School District about milk with a bad taste and odor. The schools reported several people feeling sick and stopped serving it.

Both Violent and Property Crime Rates Down

Virginia State Police released the annual state-wise crime report yesterday, that showed violent crime declined by 1.6%, while property crime was down 3.9% from the 2012 figures. The homicide rate remained about the same at 3.84 per 100 thousand. Vehicle thefts and attempted thefts were down six% and robbery was down 3.7%. The exceptions were fraud and drugs. Fraud offenses increased by 7.6% and drug offenses increased for the fourth year in a row, this time by 3.8%.

Supreme Court Rejects Reporter’s Appeal

The United States Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by James Risen, the New York Times reporter who refused to testify against a former CIA officer on the grounds that he has a right to protect his source’s identity. Reporters have long argued they have a constitutional right not to reveal their sources. The government, in most cases, has denied that right exists.

Alliance Says 77,000 Uninsured Virginians Have Mental Health Problems

An advocacy group says Virginia’s response to the needs of mentally ill individuals is insufficient, and more needs to be done to help prevent crises.

There is a graveyard in Staunton, with the bones of 2,900 people, who lived and died at Western State Hospital, in an era when mental illness was considered incurable, and they were simply put away. Attitudes changed and so did public policy and in the 1990’s Virginia, and the nation, began to discharge patients into the community but there was a problem.