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

Petersburg School Board to Introduce New Superintendent

The Petersburg School Board is set to name a new superintendent today (4/13).

It is a challenging job. Only one of the city’s seven schools has ever been fully accredited, and the system has turned over three superintendents in eight years. And the system is dealing with the same financial crisis that is affecting the entire city.

Former Superintendent Joseph Melvin resigned under pressure in October.

School board members have said they want a leader who can help transform the district and plan to introduce their new superintendent today at 2:00 p.m.

Henrico Board of Supervisors Approves 1,000 Home Subdivision

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors has approved a major housing development just west of Virginia Center Commons. HHHunt plans to build 450 single-family homes, 300 townhouses and 285 apartments in what it calls the River Mill subdivision, with some of the lots along the Chicahominy River.

The 250-acre development is just west of Virginia Center Commons and lies along the path of a planned four-lane extension of Woodman Road.

Construction of the development is scheduled to begin next year.

Richmond City Council Members Submit Budget Amendments To Increase School Funding

Richmond City Council members appear ready to move on increased funding for public schools. Most council members said yesterday (4/12) they have submitted budget amendments that would increase money for the school district, over the mayor’s proposed flat funding for fiscal 2017. Three of them would provide the full $18 million dollars more that was requested by the school district.

Shoosmith Brothers Files Lawsuit Over Landfill Expansion Intro Quarry

Shoosmith Brothers is taking Chesterfield County to court over a proposed landfill expansion at a rock quarry. Shoosmith says the county exceeded its authority in efforts to block the proposed expansion of waste disposal site off Iron Bridge Road to include an adjacent quarry.

The problem goes back to a conditional use permit approved by the board in 1999 to allow the expansion, but is complicated by an additional approval by the Department of Environmental Quality, the county’s signing off on that, and the timeline.

GRTC’s Proposed Rapid Transit System’s Costs Exceed Estimates

The cost of designing and building of GRTC’s proposed rapid transit project down Broad Street will be at least $11.5 million more than expected.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that VDOT issued a notice of intent to award contracts for the so-called Pulse project to Lane Construction for $47.3 million. Lane was the low bidder and the Commonwealth Transportation Board is set to vote on it next week.

Of the total, the federal government will pay $25 million, the city $7.5 million and Henrico $400,000, and those figures won’t change.

Richmond High School Students March to Demand More School Funding

Richmond High School students protested in front of City Hall yesterday, as the school system threatens to shut down five schools unless they get their budget demands.

About 100 students, mostly from Open and Community High, marched to city hall and walked around the building chanting for officials to increase funding for the district.

They were later joined by parents and teachers for an evening rally in advance of council’s first public hearing on the mayor’s budget. And, last night’s public hearing drew overflow crowds.

Petersburg Mayor Weathers Challenge to Have Him Removed

The Mayor of Petersburg has weathered a challenge from another member of City Council to strip him of his mayoral duties.

Another packed meeting at city hall last night as the city continues to deal with aftershocks of a financial crisis.

It resulted in both the city manager and the city attorney leaving, and now Councilwoman Treska Wilson-Smith has filed a motion to oust Mayor W. Howard Myers.

But, interim city attorney Mark Flynn told council members in a special meeting last night that under city law, they don’t have the power to do that, without cause.

Science Matters: University of Richmond Installs Advanced Solar Panels

The University of Richmond has just installed some of the world’s most advanced solar panels. These panels are just four weeks off the assembly line. It’s first installation in North America. The panels produce 25% more electricity.

The deal was part of a solar purchase power agreement authorized as a pilot program by the 2013 General Assembly in which the installer owns the panels and they buy power under a 20 year agreement. The panels go online next week.

DOE Grants for Math and Science Teachers

The Virginia Department of Education has awarded more than $2.4 million dollars to help math and science teachers learn more about their subjects and sharpen their classroom skills.

The department initiated the 13 programs last year with grants from the federal Mathematics and Science Partnerships. The grants incluse $238,000 to VCU and UVA for 85 teachers in Caroline County, Chesterfield, Henrico and Richmond, $98,000 for VCU and the MathScience Innovation Center for 25 teachers in Richmond, and $166,000 for VCU and Virginia state for 65 teachers in Dinwiddie and Petersburg.

Governor McAuliffe and Legislative Leaders Agree on $2.1 Billion Spending Plan for Capitol Square Improvements

Governor McAuliffe and top legislative leaders have agreed on a $2.1 billion dollar spending plan for improvements around capitol square. The money will build a $300 million dollar facility to replace the General Assembly building, and add a parking deck and renovate Old City Hall.

It also provides funding to build a new juvenile correctional center and a new facility for civilly committed sexually violent predators. It ends a standoff over the two-year old plan adopted by the General Assembly, and frees $2.1 billion in money for pending capital projects.

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