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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 Rate Down, Job Growth Sets Record In January

Virginia set a record for the number of jobs gained in January and the unemployment rate is finally inching downward.

The Virginia Employment Commission says seasonally adjusted unemployment is down 0.1 percent after months of stagnation at 4.1 percent.

But Senior Economist Ann Lang says the big news is job growth. “From December to January there was an increase of 14,200 jobs,” said Lang.

Security Checks Will Delay Tax Refunds to 87,000 (or more) Virginians

At least some 87,000 people who filed their taxes early with the Commonwealth of Virginia will nonetheless get their refunds late.

It’s a security thing, so somebody else doesn’t get your tax refund. “Out of 4.2 million returns that were filed, we required additional information on 138,000 returns,” said Paige Tucker, Virginia Department of Taxation. “And denied or reduced refunds on approximately 35,000 returns,” Tucker added.

Chesterfield Budget Holds the Line on Tax Rate, Raises Some Employees

The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors yesterday (3/9) received the county manager’s budget proposals that include no new taxes and pay raises for some county employees.

It was County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey’s first budget that holds the line on the tax rate at 96¢, and boosts starting salaries for law enforcement, raises school employees 2% and leverages state matching funds to improve transportation.

All three were priorities among citizens who have responded to surveys and public meetings going back to last summer.

McGuire VA Medical Center Offers Quick, Effective Treatment for Prostate Cancer

McGuire VA Medical Center is reaching out to veterans across the country who have an aggressive form of prostate cancer, with a treatment that is quick and effective. It is called brachytherapy, and veterans from Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Oklahoma and Puerto have come to McGuire for the treatment.

Snow Possible This Weekend

There is the possibility of snow in the forecast this weekend--possibly heavy.

Computer models disagree and it is March. It definitely can snow in March, but warmer weather makes predictions more problematic.

Larry Brown, of the National Weather Service, says the ingredients are there. It could be just rain, but as for snow, he says, it is not too late.

U.S. Supreme Court Returns VirginiaTransgender Case Back To Lower Court

The Supreme Court is leaving the issue of transgender rights in schools to lower courts, for now.

Gavin Grimm’s case could have resulted in a decision from the high court on whether the constitution protects the rights of transgender students. It did not. “When you leave it up to the states to decide who gets their rights and who doesn’t, people wait a long time to get their rights,” said Grimm.

Henrico Conducts Phone Survey To Determine How Its Residents Get County News

Henrico County has begun a phone survey to determine how best to disseminate news in an era of fake news, social media and a departure from traditional sources.

Henrico hasn’t done this for13 years. “Obviously, since 2004 things have changed dramatically,” said Director of Public Relations and Media Services, Tamra McKinney.

“What we think used to work might not work anymore--what we think people are listening to or watching--they may not be anymore, particularly our younger generation. They have a different way to consume news and to consume information,” added McKinney.

GOP Says Commission to Redraw Contested District Lines “Premature”

Governor McAuliffe yesterday (3/2) called on GOP House leaders to drop their legal fight over redistricting and let an independent, non-partisan panel redraw new boundaries.

In a conference call late yesterday, House Speaker William J. Howell called the Governor’s letter hypocritical and premature.

On Wednesday (3/1), The U.S. Supreme Court instructed a lower court to re-examine whether the Virginia General Assembly unconstitutionally stuffed African-American voters into some districts, that could favor the Republican controlled General Assembly.

President Trump Visits Newport News and Gerald R. Ford Carrier

President Trump took his proposed 54 billion dollar increase in defense spending to a receptive audience at Newport News Shipbuilding yesterday (3/2), and promised a12-carrier Navy aboard the newest, biggest and best, the Gerald R. Ford.

It was a warm reception at the place that builds Navy ships, in a state heavily dependent upon military spending.

His greatest applause came when he talked about his defense budget.

Governor McAuliffe says sequestration cost Virginia $9 billion dollars and 150,000 jobs.

FBI Director James Comey Attends Community Summit in Henrico Over Opioid Epidemic

FBI Director, and former Henrico resident James Comey, came back yesterday (3/1) for a Community Summit at Glenn Allen HighSchool to talk about the opioid and heroin epidemic.

The nation’s FBI Director says it takes more than jail time to stop the epidemic ravaging communities here and across the country. “We cannot arrest our way out of this problem,” said Comey.