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John Ogle

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John Ogle began his career in broadcast journalism while still in high school. In nearly 50 years on the radio he has worked as a news anchor for the ABC, NBC, and Mutual networks and as News Director of radio stations in Richmond, Miami, Washington, and New York City. After ten years as News Director of WCXR, Alexandria, John returned to Richmond in 1993 and organized The Richmond Times Dispatch Broadcast News Service. In its 12 year history, the network’s programming was heard on 20 radio stations across Virginia. John retired from the Times Dispatch at the end of 2004 but is still heard daily as a freelance Correspondent on WCVE Public Radio and on the ABC Radio Network.

Articles by John Ogle

Environmental Group says Route 460 Project Should Never Happen

A planned bypass of Route 460 around the town of Windsor died during the McDonnell Administration. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing a scaled down version to decide whether to issue a permit to the state.

There is opposition. Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Trip Pollard said the new version of the bypass is as flawed as the original. He said this has been a project in search of justification and this version would pass through farms,100 year old cypress trees and high quality wetlands.

Ginseng Poaching Keeps Authorities Busy in Virginia

Ginseng poaching in the western part of Virginia is keeping state and federal agents busy. Poaching led to the plant’s listing as endangered and could kill it off altogether.

It is legal to grow and harvest ginseng in Virginia if you own the land.

But, ginseng roots sold for around $1,000. per pound last fall and at that price poachers are trespassing on private, state and federal property to get to it.

Bluetooth Credit Card Skimmers Uncovered in Caroline County

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa has deputies checking every gasoline pump in the county and he’s urging people to check their credit card statements.

A new type of card skimmer has turned up. Lt. Travis Nutter said these were not the typical kind of card skimmer found on the outside. These were inside three pumps.

The devices, the lieutenant said, are Bluetooth capable and the Secret Service is helping in the investigation.

He said he was aware of similar cases in Florida and California but, so far, this is the first time they’ve appeared in Virginia.

Federal Grant Will Help RIC Taxiway Rehabilitation

Richmond International Airport will get more than $4 million in a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to help fund the ongoing rehabilitation two crucial taxiways. RIC.’s Troy Bell said taxiway E, that runs across the airfield, and L that parallels the longest of RIC’s 3 runways, had reached the end of their useful lives.

He explained the work is part of $11.2 million in infrastructure projects already underway at the airport.

Petersburg Council Hears from State Finance Director

Petersburg City Council yesterday (8/3) heard from Virginia’s Secretary of Finance about an ongoing audit of the city’s books.

The city dug its self a hole, and Secretary Rick Brown advised Council that it’s time to “stop digging.”

Petersburg has $18.8 million in unpaid bills and council needs, he said, to take action on their adopted budget.

Secretary Brown predicted it will take at least three to five years of concentrated effort.

Workplace Fatalities Increase in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry has released statistics on the number of workplace fatalities in the Commonwealth.

Last year there were 31 on the job deaths in Virginia. That was the same as 2014. But Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Program Director Jennifer Rose noted an alarming trend through the end of last month.

Employers are being urged to be aware of the increase and take steps to improve on the job safety.

For example, organizing a safety and health “stand down” meeting.

VCU and Richmond PD Stage “Active Shooter” Training Exercise

At the Shafer Street Playhouse on the VCU Campus, VCU and Richmond Police took part today (8/3) in an “active shooter” training exercise. The daylong exercise simulated the response to an emergency call.

Armed officers quickly approached and entered the building, shots were heard. A shooter call brings a rapid and extensive response from both campus and city officers.

VCU Police Chief John Venuti said the extensive training is necessary.

Providence Middle School Renovation Moving Forward

Chesterfield Public Schools have settled on a contractor to renovate Providence Middle School.

The first round of bids to renovate Providence came in as much as $5 million above the anticipated cost.

In the second round, Branch Construction bid $22.6 million. Chesterfield Superintendent of Schools James Lane noted that all three second round bids were within $200,000 of each other.

Going forward, Dr. Lane said the new construction team will strive to do a better job estimating actual costs before advertising for bids.

Dominion, Navy, and Commonwealth Agree on Solar Facility

Dominion Virginia Power, the Navy, and the Commonwealth of Virginia have reached agreement today (8/2) to construct a 21 megawatt solar energy facility at Naval Air Station Oceana.

Dominion said this and three other solar facilities in the works will bring not only clean energy, but new jobs to the Commonwealth.

Dominion’s David Botkins said it should be up and running next year. Dominion, he added, believes partnerships like this one help make Virginia a more attractive place to live, work, and do business.

Award Will Establish Molecular Sciences Software Institute at Tech

Virginia Tech researchers have been awarded $19.4 million by the National Science Foundation to help establish the Molecular Sciences Software Institute.

Researchers will develop software tools that create computational models that can simulate chemical reactions.

Theoretical Chemistry Professor Daniel Crawford heads the institute. Simulations, Dr. Crawford said, can examine how new substances may react with parts of the human body too complex to study with a microscope.