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Charles Fishburne

Charles Fishburne's picture

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

Study By Pipeline Proponents Says It Would Save Money

A study commissioned by the companies planning to build a five billion dollar natural gas pipeline says it would lower customers’ bills and increase employment.

The study released yesterday (2/11) says customers in Virginia and North Carolina could save about 377 million annually, and those lower costs could spur 2,200 jobs because businesses would have more money to invest and consumers more money to spend.

The 550-mile pipeline would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina, and has sparked pockets of opposition along its planned path.

Chesterfield To Advertise Property Tax Rate With No Increase

Chesterfield County Supervisors have agreed to hold the line on increasing the property tax rate.

The board moved the budgeting process along yesterday (2/11) by unanimously agreeing to advertise the property tax rate at 96 cents per hundred dollars evaluation, though homeowners would still pay more since home values rose 2.9 percent last year.

CarMax Expands Again, Plans To Hire An Additional 2,500

Richmond-based CarMax is once again expanding its workforce across the nation, this time by 2,500 workers.

CarMax was there first with the concept of used car Superstores and has grown the business to 140 across the county with more than 20,000 employees.

They plan to hire another 80 in the Richmond area, with many more openings in Atlanta, Denver, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Miami.

Both full and part-time positions will be filled. Applications are accepted online only at

Matthew Charged With Murder in Hannah Graham Case

Thirty-three year old Jesse Matthew, already charged with the abduction of UVA student Hannah Graham, has now been charged with her murder.

Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., a person of interest in police investigations across the Commonwealth, has been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of 18-year old Hannah Graham, who disappeared in September 2014 and was found dead in Albermarle County a few weeks later.

Albermarle’s Commonwealth Attorney did not discuss details of Graham’s death or why Matthew will not be charged with capital murder.

Senate Committee Passes Bill For Two New State Songs

A Senate Committee may have found a way restore a state song for Virginia. Actually, not one, but two of them.

The bill includes this song, “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” written by locals Robin Thompson and Steve Basset as the official “popular song.” Written in 1979 it is popular and catchy.

The second proposed state song is titled “Our Great Virginia,” to the melody of Shenandoah, and would be the “traditional” song.

Virginia lawmakers have fought over a new state song since “Carry Me Back To Old Virginny” was deemed racial offensive and retired in 1997.

Council Asks Mayor To Seek Regional Cooperation To Build New Ball Park

Richmond City Council has voted unanimously to ask the mayor to seek regional support to build a new minor league baseball stadium, but there is something new in this resolution.

The original resolution asked for regional participation for a new ballpark in the city, the new one asks for help with a ballpark “at a location within the Richmond region,” defined as Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, and Hanover.

The mayor wanted a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom as part of  a major development project, but could not get city council to go along.

DMV Says Uber and Lyft Can Continue Operating Under Temporary Agreement

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles says ride-sharing companies Lyft and Uber can continue operating in the state until permanent regulations are adopted.

The ride-sharing companies use smartphone apps to dispatch drivers who use their personal vehicles to give people rides.

DMV has reviewed the companies’ compliance with a temporary agreement that requires them to conduct background checks for drivers, document their rates and meet rigorous insurance requirements. 

Four Students at Bird Arrested in Flaming Van Incident

Chesterfield Police have arrested four male students and charged them in connection a van that crashed into L.C. Bird High School and caught fire, shutting the school down for two days. 

Police say the four are students at L.C. Bird, two 16 and two 15. One was arrested Tuesday, the other three yesterday.

They are charged with felony vandalism, grand larceny, hit and run driving and conspiracy, and are reportedly being held in the county juvenile detention home.

City Schools Said to Need $36.5 Million in Repairs

The Richmond School Board has learned that 36.5 million dollars worth of major repairs or upgrades are urgently needed for city schools.

Elkhardt Middle School, which has been ordered shut down because of mold and potential health risks, is just part of it.

Yesterday (2/5), the school board heard that 41 of the system’s 48 schools need major repairs or upgrades this year at a cost of 36 million plus.

The work is included as the first year of a proposed 63 million dollar capital improvement plan.

Richmond Unemployment Lowest in Six Years

The regional jobless rate was down to 4.7% in December, as the labor force contracted and employers added jobs. It was 4.8% in November and 5.1% last year at that time. It puts Richmond in the top 20 of the nation’s largest metropolitan area at number 16.

Once again the City of Martinsville had the highest jobless rate in Virginia at 10.6%, The City of Falls Church was lowest at 2.9%, and the statewide rate was 4.5%.

The numbers are seasonally unadjusted rates.