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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

Spotsylvania Supervisors Vote No on Transportation Authority

I-95 between Stafford and Fairfax Counties has been cited as the worst traffic hot spot in America. Spotsylvania Supervisors have voted no on a proposed regional transportation authority for area.

Paul Agnello, the Fredericksburg Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Administrator, said after the vote, “We still have four other localities so it is still possible.”

Interest Expressed in Reopening Colonial Downs Racetrack

The Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent closed at the end of the 2013 season. Now there is apparently a potential buyer in negotiations to re-open the track.

Frank Petramalo, Jr., the head of the Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association said a group in the Midwest has expressed interest.

"We understand that this group has had discussions with the owner of Colonial Downs, Jeff Jacobs. But, we’re not aware of any further details at this point."

Colonial Downs, he said, one of the best courses on the East Coast if not in the country.

Hanover Supervisors Pass Resolution on High Speed Rail Route

The second of a series of five public hearings on an environmental impact study on the route for a federal high speed rail project through Ashland and Hanover was held last night at Patrick Henry High School.

There are three proposals under consideration. A “trench option” running an open tunnel under Ashland; a western bypass through the county; and the 3-2-3 option that would have three tracks narrow to two through the town. Before the meeting, County Supervisors passed a resolution in favor of 3-2-3.

Supervisor Bucky Stanley represents the Beaverdam District.

GRTC Preparing for Major Technology Upgrades

GRTC is getting ready to launch some major smart technology upgrades including improvements in how bus riders will pay their fare.

One big change will retire the GRTC Go Cards. Some older Go Cards, still accepted even though they were discontinued in 2015, will be phased out this month. “They’re the dollar fifty, three, five, and twenty five dollar old Go Cards. Effective October 29th, those will no longer be accepted at the farebox and they will not be eligible for a trade in or a refund because we discontinued them two years ago,” said GRTC’s Carrie Rose Pace.

Petersburg Council Approves Revenue Anticipation Note

At their meeting this week, Petersburg City Council voted to approve a $6.5 million Revenue Anticipation Note, or RAN, to ensure cash flow for basic operating costs like payroll. The city’s last RAN was secured a year ago and they paid a high rate to borrow.

Roland Kooch from Davenport & Company and Dan Siegel, with the Sands Anderson Law Firm, had a positive report for council on this year’s note. Siegel said, “This year they reduced their rate dramatically, the terms are much more normal. I think that they’re on the road to recovery if they keep on the same path.”

Wason Center Poll Finds Richmonders Favor Schools

A poll, commissioned by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, found voter support for a tax increase to build and repair Richmond Public Schools but they weren’t enthusiastic about two other issues.

Dr. Quentin Kidd, Director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, said poll respondents were clear about their priorities. “Generally speaking, yes to schools, no to the Coliseum and the ball park,” said Kidd.

Wason Center Poll Finds Majority Oppose Removing Monuments

The Richmond Times-Dispatch commissioned CNU’s Wason Center for Public Policy to poll people who live in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover on whether Confederate Monuments in the city should be removed. Overall, 55% favor leaving them, 35% support removal.

The center’s Director, Dr. Quentin Kidd, noted that 41% of city voters favor removal 50% are opposed. In the counties 59% are opposed only 27% are in favor, 61% say keep the monuments and add historical context. “67% of county residents favor historical context while only 57% of city residents overall do.”

Game and Inland Fisheries Says No Mountain Lions in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has been getting reports of a flier on social media that claims mountain lions have been sighted in Virginia. They’ve responded with a posting on their Facebook page.

The department’s Paige Pearson said the flier claims the big cats have been spotted in the mountains of Virginia and as far east as Culpeper. “The information has been confirmed by the department to be a hoax, and untrue.”

The flier is, she said, fake news.

Petersburg Council Hears from Robert Bobb and Forensic Auditors

Now that their contract is concluded, The Robert Bobb Group has presented Petersburg City Council with a five year plan intended to keep the city on track for financial stability.

Nelsie Birch, the Bobb Group’s former city financial director, said the plan provides council with the tool box they paid for. “We outlined 15 things that the council absolutely must do, must continue, most support such as having a fiscal 19 budget that is balanced, managing the current fiscal year budget and they must hold city management responsible for those actions.”