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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

Richmond School Board Votes to Keep All Schools Open

The Richmond School Board voted last night (5/16) to keep schools open, despite a $10.9 million dollar budget gap. The Board voted 6-3 to take the option of closing five schools off the table after a two hour discussion on the budget.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Superintendent Dana Bedden told them, “you will have to cut something,” as administrators present the board with a balanced budget that keeps the schools open, but cuts programs that affect students and how they learn in the classroom.

State Approves $500,000 Dollar Grant To Renovate Ashland Theater

The Town of Ashland has been awarded half a million dollars to revitalize the Ashland Theater. The money had been set aside for months, but held up while the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development reviewed the town’s application for compliance with its requirements under its Industrial Revitalization fund.

But last week it was approved, with the provision the non-profit Ashland Theater Foundation must raise at least $75,000 dollars before the money is dispersed.

The town landmark was opened in 1948 and closed 50 years later.

Governor McAuliffe to Sign Computer Science Education Bill Into Law Today

Governor McAuliffe is set to sign into law today, legislation that mandates computer science be added to the SOL curriculum.

The bill calls for the State Board of Education to incorporate computer science, computational thinking and computer coding into existing SOF curriculum.

Local school boards will also develop and implement a computer science curriculum for students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

The measure was passed unanimously by both houses of this year’s General Assembly and is designed to help prepare students for technology jobs.

State Council of Higher Education To Consider George Mason University Law School Name Change

The State Council of Higher Education will consider a controversial proposal to rename George Mason University’s Law school for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The State Council of Higher Education is meeting today (5/16) in Lexington with the George Mason proposal on the table.

The School announced earlier this year it has received $10 million dollars from the conservative Charles Koch Foundation and another $20 million that was both anonymous and contingent on renaming the school for the late and notably conservative Supreme Court Justice.

Contract Talks To Resume In Verizon Strike

Verizon and union officials representing about 39,000 striking landline and cable workers have agreed to restart negotiations.

Workers in nine Eastern States, including Virginia and in Washington, D.C.,walked off the job April 13th and have been walking the picket lines ever since. They had been working without a contract since last August and negotiations have been unsuccessful.

A key issue is the closing of domestic call centers and sending the work abroad. Verizon already has call-center operations in Mexico, India and the Philippines.

Dominion To Build New 20-Story Office Tower Downtown

Dominion Virginia Power plans to build one, maybe two new office towers in downtown Richmond.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports development plans were filed with the city yesterday (5/12) for a 20-story tower at 111 S. Sixth Street to replace the Richmond Plaza building which will be torn down.

A decision about what will happen to One James River Plaza, where Dominion Virginia Power operates will be made in 2019.

Meanwhile, demolition of the Richmond Plaza building is set to begin in late June and take four months.

Replacing Names on Byrd School Athletic Gear To Cost $26,000

Removing the Byrd name from athletic gear for what will become Quioccasin Middle School will cost the school system $26,000 dollars.

The School Board voted in March to rename Byrd to Quioccasin, but made no provisions to change the name on uniforms. At the time, parents, teachers and students chimed in to ask for help.

Last night (5/12), the board was told replacement costs would be about $26,000 dollars, down from earlier estimates, along with another $13,000 to change the name on buildings, signs, rugs, murals, and stationery.

Homeless Families Up 30% In Nation’s Capital

The number of homeless families in D.C. has soared by more than 30% the past year. For the first time, homeless children and their parents now outnumber homeless single adults, a population that historically has been a problem in the nation’s capital.

Advocates for the poor say the economic downturn and skyrocketing home prices in working class neighborhoods are part of the problem.

Ashland Animal Shelter Wins $150,000 Dollar National Contest For Renovation

An Ashland animal shelter that specializes in rescuing and finding homes for canines, has just won $150,000 dollars to help continue its work.

The Shelter is run by BARK (Bandit’s Adoption and Rescue of K-9’s). It is entirely funded by donations and is staffed by about 100 volunteers who clean kennels, walk dogs and provide medication.

BARK won the makeover money from Animal Planets Pet Nation Video contest and plans to use the money for better heating and cooling, better drainage and a dedicated quarantine area.