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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

Petersburg’s Rainy Day Account is Dry

The state required Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal 2016 shows that Petersburg has a way to go to attain real financial stability and to be able to access credit markets at reasonable interest rates.

Petersburg’s Interim Finance Director Nelsie Birch noted the report covers the period from July 2015 through last June.

"The city has a negative $7.7 million dollar fund balance. There is no cash in the general fund and the general fund, essentially, has to borrow from other places or not pay vendors," explained Birch.

Petersburg Pump Station Supervisor Praised

We reported Tuesday (6/20) on the pump failure and explosion at Petersburg’s main wastewater pump station. Now, the Interim City Manager is praising the station supervisor who’s quick action prevented an environmental disaster late Monday night.

Tom Tyrell explained that Fred Satterwhite found the motor on one of three pumps that move wastewater to the South Central Wastewater Treatment Plant had failed.

"As he opened it up, the pump behind him, there was a small electrical explosion and fire. An arc, kind of like lightning inside the building."

Petersburg Names Aretha Ferrell-Benavides New City Manager

Petersburg has officially welcomed it’s new City Manager, scheduled to start the job on the 10th of July.

Mayor Sam Parham said Aretha Ferrell-Benavides had impressed the city council with her clear, precise answers and her 90 day plan of action.

Parham said, “What excites me about the new city manager is that she says ‘I am up for the challenge’.”

Ferrell-Benavides said on her first visit, she realized the challenges Petersburg is facing are an opportunity to make a difference.

Fixating on Pain Increases Likelihood of Opioid Prescription

A study by a VCU Medical student found that female chronic pain sufferers, who fixate on symptoms, report greater pain intensity and are more likely to have an opioid prescription.

Yassamin Sharifzadeh was a researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine when she led the study. She found that catastrophizing pain is more likely to result in an opioid prescription for women than men.

Stony Point Improvements Phase 2 Underway

The Richmond Planning Commission has given its approval for Starwood Retail Partners to go ahead with the next phase of renovations at Stony Point Fashion Park off the Chippenham Parkway.

Things began to change last year as phase one of a $50 million renovation kicked off with upgrades to outdoor common areas.

Bob Koys is Starwood’s Vice President of Development. He said the changes were well received by Stony Point’s customers.

Two Petersburg Sewer Pumps Fail

Not long after a meeting where an ad hoc committee recommended against privatization of Petersburg water system, two of the three pumps at the city sewage station failed.

Acting City Manager Tom Tyrrell explained that the first call came in around 10 and while the water system manager was on site a second pump failed. “Within a few hours we would have had environmental issues in downtown Petersburg with untreated waste flowing into the Appomattox.”

Crews, he said, worked all night to create a bypass of the broken pumps.

Petersburg Schools Investigating Alleged SOL Testing Irregularities

Petersburg Public Schools are looking into alleged problems with Standards of Learning testing.

Without going into specifics, the school system’s Leigh Ann McKelway said they’re working in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Education to investigate the allegations.

"The school system immediately took this appropriate action when an accusation of testing irregularities was received. Everyone involved in SOL testing in Petersburg schools received training on testing procedures before the tests were given to students," said McKelway.

Game and Inland Fisheries Hiring Police Officers

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is looking for a few good officers. Officer Alberto Medina explained that they’re actively recruiting up to 25 conservation police officers for duty stations across Virginia.

"Our officers have statewide jurisdiction to enforce all the laws in the Commonwealth, however, we focus on those laws that affect the wildlife, boating, and fishing," said Medina.

Homeland Security Gives DMV More Time for REAL ID Compliance

The US Department of Homeland Security has granted Virginia’s request for more time work on REAL ID compliance.

REAL ID is a 2005 federal law that dictates the process for issuing identification that’s used for federal purposes.

DMV’s Brandy Brubaker said, "It could be if you need identification to enter a military base, a secure federal facility, and, for most folks, the most important thing is being able to board an airplane using your credential bit the airplane part of it doesn’t take effect until October of 2020."

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