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Craig Carper

Craig Carper's picture

88.9 WCVE Public Radio News Director.

Articles by Craig Carper

Drone Test Will Bring Medical Supplies to Southwest VA

Pending FAA approval, Virginia is on track to be the first state in the nation to test drones for the delivery of medical supplies and equipment.

Two unmanned flights scheduled for July 17th will bring medicine and other goods to the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Wise County.

It’s a joint venture that will use a remotely piloted NASA aircraft to bring the supplies from Tazewell to Wise and a short range delivery drone built and operated by the Australian company Flirtey to bring the goods the last mile to the Wise County Fairgrounds.

New Law Strengthens Child Pornography Investigation Process

A new law that took effect yesterday will allow law enforcement to keep administrative subpoena’s secret from the targets of child pornography investigations.

When investigators locate a piece of child pornography online, they only have an internet service provider or ISP number assigned to a computer. They don’t have the location of that computer or the owner’s name.

Now administrative subpoena’s can be issued to Internet service providers to get that information without alerting the suspect.

New Laws Target Heroin Abuse

Over three thousand Virginians have died in the last five years as a result of a growing trend of heroin and prescription drug abuse. Several new laws now in effect are hoped to combat this problem.

A new safe reporting law, also called the good Samaritan law, will give limited immunity from prosecution to witnesses who report an overdose in progress, if they themselves are addicts or in possession of illegal drugs.

Michael Kelly, Spokesman for Attorney General Mark Herring says the goal of the bills is to save lives.

Powdered Alcohol Now Illegal in Virginia

A powdered form of alcohol is under development and will soon be commercially available, though as of today it is already illegal in the Commonwealth.

State lawmakers were pro-active this session and banned the possession, sale or importation of powdered alcohol or Palcohol before it hit the market.

Michael Kelly, spokesman for Attorney General Mark Herring.

The maker of Palcohol says it wasn’t created for a nefarious purpose but in order to make alcohol lighter to ship or easier to transport for certain uses like camping and air travel.

New Law Regulates Employer’s Use of Social Media in the Workplace

A new law that takes effect tomorrow (7/2) gives additional protections to employees to maintain privacy from their employers over social media.

The legislation says employees cannot be forced to provide their employers access to their personal social media accounts for work purposes.

Republican Delegate Chris Peace of Hanover patroned the bill.

Peace says the new law reaches a compromise by stating that if social media use is required for work, employees may set up supplemental professional accounts to perform work functions.

New Foodservice Laws Take Effect

Two new laws take effect today (7/1) which aim to keep Virginia on the cutting edge of changing trends in the food industry.

One bill patroned by Democratic Delegate Mark Keam of Fairfax would require every restaurant in the state to have someone on staff who is an expert on food allergies.

Keam says the bill came from a 13-year-old constituent named Claire Troy, who has food allergies. He likes to tell her story.

Restaurant workers can take advantage of existing food allergy training programs to meet state and federal standards.

SCOTUS Redistricting Decision Energizes Reform Advocates

Advocates for redistricting reform say the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that states may redistrict by using an independent commission, should put pressure on Virginia to adopt such a process.

The elections clause in the U.S. Constitution gives states the authority to redistrict. Most state constitutions, including Virginia's, give that power to the legislature, but some grant that responsibility to independent groups.

SCOTUS Ruling on Lethal Injection Drug May Affect Virginia

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow the use of the controversial drug, Midazolam for lethal injections, will affect execution policy in Virginia.

The drug is approved for use in 8 states, including Virginia, as part of a three drug cocktail to execute death row inmates.

Critics say Midazolam does not induce a deep enough coma to ensure inmates experience no pain.

Midazolam has not yet been used in the commonwealth and there are currently no executions pending.

Mixed Reactions in Virginia to Supreme Court EPA Ruling

There were mixed reactions in Virginia to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday that the EPA did not properly consider costs of implementing new mercury and air toxin standards for coal and oil fired power plants.

Benjamin Knotts, Deputy State Director of the Virginia chapter of the conservative tax policy group Americans for Prosperity says the EPA regulations factored into the closure of the Glen Lyn power plant and could have forced others to shut down.