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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

Petersburg School Division and State Board of Education Agree on Turnaround Plan

Petersburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia have agreed on a turnaround plan for the city’s troubled school system. The State Board of Education unanimously passed a plan yesterday (4/28) spelling out the duties of the Petersburg School Board and superintendent and the state’s role in the process. For the first time, it would withhold some state funds unless and until the district complies with the memorandum of understanding and with a corrective plan of action that lays out directives and timelines that is due this summer.

Council Agrees To Reduce Mayor’s Security Detail

Richmond City Council has agreed to reduce the number of the members in the mayor’s security detail. It was a work session on the budget, and the one thing most did agree on.

The budget for executive protection was up to half a million dollars this fiscal year. Councilman Charles Samuels wrote the budget amendment, noting that on a trip to Denver two years ago, he saw a couple of Richmond police officers protecting the mayor and he didn’t see the need.

Henrico School Board Renames Harry F. Byrd Middle School to Quioccasin Middle School

The Henrico County School Board last night, voted to change the name of Byrd Middle School to Quioccasin Middle School, effective July 1st.

Tuckahoe District Board member Lisa Marshall made the motion. School Board member Roscoe Cooper abstained.

The board decided against naming it for an individual, because there were too many worthy people mentioned to select any one of them.

During the public comment period, there was concern that money had not been set aside to finish the job. But for those who fought for the change, it was a time for gratitude.

Hanover Supervisors Approve RVA Sports Park Complex

The Hanover County Board of Supervisors has just approved a major sports facility, expected to attract 400,000 annual visits and considered unique on the East Coast.

The RVA Sports Park will include 27.5 acres for three outdoor fields for baseball and softball and an 86,000-square foot indoor training facility. It will be located on the Western side of Lakeridge Parkway and include buffer areas around the northern and western borders to shield it from neighborhoods.

Henrico County School Board To Rename Byrd Middle School

The Henrico County School Board is set to rename Harry F. Byrd Middle School today (4/28).

The name change is the culmination of efforts that begin last summer, when some students and residents proposed stripping the name of the man who, among other things, was known as the architect of massive resistance in 20th Century Virginia.

They argued the school, which has a 50% minority enrollment, should not be named for someone who didn’t want them there.

Richmond Area Unemployment Rate Unchanged From March, Down From A Year Ago

The Richmond area’s unemployment rate was unchanged from February, but lower than last year at this time.

Construction and tourism jobs are ramping up…the number of people at work has increased and unemployment is down from last year.

The local rates have not been adjusted for seasonal factors.

The number of people counted as employed increased by 15,820 from March of last year.

Liberty University to Allow Students to Keep Guns In Dormitories

Liberty University will allow students to keep guns in dormitories next Fall.

Liberty President Jerry Falwell announced plans to change the policy in December pending board approval, which it did last week.

It means that beginning in the Fall, students with concealed handgun permits from the state can get permission from the school to keep their guns in safes in their dormitories.

Falwell says the idea is to help students who don’t want to keep their weapons on the glove compartments of their car. The University will provide the safes.

Henrico Board of Supervisors Approves Fiscal 2017 Budget; No New Taxes

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors has approved its budget for fiscal 2017, with no new taxes.

The new budget is based on a 3.2 percent increase in the general fund to about 811 million, up from 786 million this year.

The tax rate remains the same at 87 cents per hundred, making nearly 40 consecutive years property taxes have either fallen or remained flat.

Dominion To Begin Releasing Coal Ash Wastewater Into The James Today

Dominion Virginia Power plans to begin releasing treated coal ash wastewater into the James River at its Bremo Power Station today.

It is part of the utility’s plan to close coal ash impoundment at its power plants. Dominion says it will treat about 240 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water through May 2017 with a multi-step process that includes pumping the water with oxygen, increasing its acidity to settle solids and running it through several filters to make it safe for the environment.

Dominion Virginia Power Brunswick Facility Online This Week

Dominion Virginia Power has just gone online with its newest, natural-gas-fired plant in Brunswick County.

It’s part of Dominion’s push to move from coal to cleaner, more efficient energy production.

The new Brunswick power station took 1500 workers and more than two years to build. It produces enough electricity to power 325 thousand homes.