Charles Fishburne | Community Idea Stations

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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

Coal Prices Have Rebounded, But Industry Still Struggles

Coal prices have doubled what they were a year ago, and coal stocks have had a revival as President Trump has vowed to roll back environmental regulations, but the industry is still struggling and its workersare still losing jobs.

Coal fired power plants continue to shut their doors, natural gas prices are low and renewable energy sources are growing. And what industry growth there is, doesn’t necessarily mean new jobs in Virginia.

McGuire VA Medical Center Tests Exoskeleton Device for Spinal Cord Injuries

At McGuire VA Medical Center, a veteran who had been confined to a wheelchair is up and walking with an exoskeleton device that offers hope for thousands of others with spinal cord injuries.

Major Terry Labar was a Marine major protecting American embassy personnel overseas when he was injured.

Labar: I was injured in Haifa, Israel, by a hit-and-run driver near the naval base.

Fishburne: You’ve been in a wheelchair for 33 years?

Labar: Yes, I have.

Bitter Cold Weather Boon To Virginia Apple Growers

Virginia’s bitterly cold weather, following bouts of spring-like warmth that brought out the blossoms, could be a blessing to apple growers.

The extreme cold weather yesterday (3/15) and overnight, came at a good time for apple growers. Elaine Lidholme at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said, “One of them told me yesterday, ‘this is just what the doctor ordered.’ The cold weather is keeping the buds from progressing at the fast rate that the warm weather in January and February started them off.”

Chesterfield County Officials Offer Transparency and Access

With Americans’ confidence in government at all levels eroding, Chesterfield County is making an effort to increase both transparency and access.

Since summer, Chesterfield has held 15 community meetings on the budget and three more on resident’s priorities.

There’s a blueprint online complete with comments and joint meetings with the school board, nine community meetings scheduled in March, and today, an open work session begins at noon, in room 502 of the administration building. You’re invited.

Warmer Overnight Temperatures To Result In Rain, Not Snow for Morning Commute

Temperatures were warmer than expected overnight and forecasters this mornin (3/14)g say snow or any icing problems during the morning commute are unlikely.

About 4:30 a.m. this morning, temperatures were above freezing at RIC. Mike Rusnak, National Weather Service says the steady rain will taper off, but some moisture will linger for a blast of wind and cold later today. He says any flurries later today won’t stick.

Look for a slow warmup beginning Thursday.

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.