In 2011, Richmonders could see smoke from a fire at the Great Dismal swamp 100 miles away. Kathy Barnsdorf at NASA Langley says they have just developed a drone, to spot those fires early, when they can be easily stopped. The drone was the brainchild of a NASA researcher who lives near the Dismal Swamp. The drone, and several more like it, is army surplus. It is simple to operate, cheap to fly, and may soon be turned over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to help in their aerial surveillance of the Great Dismal Swamp.
Articles by Charles Fishburne
A panel of federal judges yesterday declared Virginia’s congressional maps unconstitutional because they concentrate African-American voters into a single district at the expense of their influence elsewhere. Three federal judges ruled 2-1 yesterday (10/8) that the lines of the state's 3rd Congressional District were drawn in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The panel of judges allowed next month's election to proceed under the existing district lines, but ordered the General Assembly to redraw them by April 1, in time for the next congressional election in 2016.
Charles Fishburne reports on Ashland’s long history with trains and an inn along the tracks that’s up for auction.
A Wason Poll released early this morning (October 7) shows Democrat Mark Warner still with a commanding lead over Ed Gillespie, but the Republican Challenger in the U.S. Senate race is gaining ground. The poll shows Warner with 51%, Gillespie with 39%.
The Christopher Newport University Wason Center Poll was conducted September 29th Through October 5th, with 839 phone calls and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.
A report from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the benefits of cleaning up the bay are four-times greater than the cost. In this first-time-ever study, financed by the foundation, bay cleanup will bring in 130 billion a year in economic benefits when the effort is fully funded.
Ann Jennings, Ex Director of the Virginia Chesdapeake Bay Foundation, says the General Assembly needs to fund 50 million per year for cleanup of municipal wastes and another 50 million for farmers to help pay for cleanup projects and concedes money is tight, but the payoff is worth it.
The Navy says self-guided boats that are capable of swarming and destroying potential threats are becoming a reality. It is the nautical equivalent of aircraft drones and the tests are conducted in the James River in Southeast Virginia. The Navy says it has successfully demonstrated the autonomous swarm boat technology, with as many as 13 unmanned Navy boats escorting a high-value Navy ship, with some of those automatically swarming around a simulated threat.
A report just released by the Chronical of Philanthropy says America’s poor and middle-income people are giving a larger share of their incomes to charity, while the wealthiest are giving less. Richmond ranked 17th among the nation’s 50th largest metro areas at 3%, compared to number one ranked Salt Lake City at 5.4%.
Virginians have less than two weeks remaining to register to vote in next month’s general election. The deadline to register is October 14th.
he November 4th ballot features the US Senate race between Senator Mark Warner, and Republican Ed Gillespie, some local and congressional races, including the highly visible 7th district race between Republican Dave Brat and Democrat Jack Trammel and Libertarian James Carr to replace Eric Cantor in the House.
The Richmond area’s jobless rate increased in August for the third time in four months. The Virginia Employment Commission says it is a seasonal thing.
Most other metro areas had higher unemployment in August, as did the state, which was 5.7% on a seasonally unadjusted basis.
Hundreds of Virginia State students rallied on campus yesterday, calling for the resignation of the university’s top administrators as the school faces budget cuts and declining enrollments. The students said they knew classes were larger, programs cut, and dorms closed, but were unaware of the depth of the school’s financial problems until last week’s board meeting when administrators detailed a 19 million dollar budget reduction.