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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

Virginia Joins Effort to Get Veterans Back on the Farm

At Virginia State University, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced two new programs, Homegrown by Heroes/Virginia Grown and a chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Both are designed to strengthen farming in Virginia and help returning military veterans.

The coalition is a non-profit national organization intended to help vets begin successful careers in farming and help expand the supply of locally grown products.

Better Housing Coalition Project Challenged By Lawsuit

Last week the Richmond Planning Commission approved a plan, presented by the Better Housing Coalition, to convert a former hotel on West Broad Street into mixed-use, mixed-income housing. It comes before Richmond City Council tonight (7/24). In December, a developer filed suit regarding that same project.

Stilman Short, who founded the Dominion Diversified Real Estate Group, says the coalition was approached, signed a contract, then wouldn’t meet about it, and finally took the idea.

Fiscal 2017 Petersburg Budget Performed Well

As fiscal 2018 begins in Petersburg, officials say the city is clearly in better shape financially that it was a year ago.

For the first time in more than eight years, the Petersburg budget for 2017 was balanced at $68 million. According to Interim Deputy City Manager Nelsie Birch collections were $72 million.

"From a fiscal perspective, from a budget perspective and from a management of the FY 17 budget, which was a big transitional year for the city. We are really putting a new face on the city of Petersburg."

New Solar Farm in Middlesex Will Provide Power to UVa

The University of Virginia has signed a 25 year agreement with Dominion Energy to buy the entire electrical output of a new solar farm to be built in Middlesex County.

The University acquired the 120 acre site from Charlottesville based solar development company Coronal Energy and it will be called the UVa Puller Solar Facility.

Dominion’s Daisy Pridgeon explained that it will produce 15 megawatts of electricity.

$2 Million in Pleges for Reynolds Culinary Institute

The planned Reynolds Culinary Institute for Richmond’s east end has received $2 million dollar pledges and two challenge grants.

The Virginia Sargeant Reynolds and Lipman Foundations have each pledged a million dollars and the Mary Morton Parsons and Cabell Foundations have issued dollar for dollar challenge grants.

Businessman Steve Markell and his wife are the driving force behind the J. Sgt. Reynolds Community College project.

Ashland Town Council Defers Housing Development

Yancey Jones wants to build a residential development, called Laura Dell on about 52 acres north of the intersection of Route 58 and Chapman Street in Ashland. The town council has voted to grant a deferment, until September, that Jones requested.

Mayor Jim Foley noted that the planning commission voted in favor of the project.

"There’s a water sewer issue with the corner of the property and then there’s some issues on the Vaughn Road extension that runs through the property so they wanted more time to work with the county and us on the issues.

United Ways of Virginia Study Looks at Economic Hardship

39% of Virginia Households deal with economic hardship according to a study by the United Ways of Virginia. The report refers to those who are Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed or ALICE.

Blue Ridge Community College Dean, Dr. David Urso, is a member of United Way’s Research Advisory Committee.

"We see things like gas prices going down but they’re counter balanced by groceries being more expensive, clothes being more expensive, and just the general costs of living to support a family going up."

Petersburg Officials Meet with Standard and Poors Representatives

Petersburg officials met last week with representatives of Standard and Poors to talk about the fiscal perspective in the city.

Interim Finance Director Nelsie Birch said they spent time talking about advancements and improvements that have been made.

"We provided them with a two hour economic development tour to show all of the areas of possibility places of focus that the administration will be working on over the next few months, or even, years."

The Robert Bobb Group team introduced S&P to the Mayor and the new City Manager and Finance Director.

Business and Labor Groups Support Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Three dozen business and labor groups have signed a letter to the six candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General expressing their support for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Chris Saxman is Executive Director of a non profit, Virginia Free, that works with business leaders and labor unions.

"The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will bring low gas prices and energy prices for the poor and the working poor. This also helps people on fixed incomes," said Saxman.

New Petersburg Finance Director Is Optimistic

Petersburg’s new finance manager, in first days in the job, has been working to understand how the city’s finances reached the critical point. Blake Rane says he is optimistic.

Rane says pretty much everything needs to be “cleaned up and corrected.”

Rane also says, “The big challenge is to really truly implement internal controls. The consultants set a budget, they did a lot of the pre work and now my job is to take those controls and, along with the new city manager, make sure that we start livin’ by them.”

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