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Mark Huffman

Articles by Mark Huffman

Executive Mansion Honored For Accessibility To People With Disabilities

Virginia's Executive Mansion, home of the governor, is being honored for its accessibility to people with disabilities.

The Executive Mansion was designed in the early 19th century, long before consideration was given to people in wheelchairs. But the Paralyzed Veterans of America has named the historic building recipient of this year’s Barrier-Free America Award.

Democrats Target Rural Areas Like The Northern Neck

Virginia Democrats met in a retreat over the weekend to plot strategy, including ways to increase support in rural areas, like the Northern Neck.

The Democratic Presidential ticket carried the Commonwealth last year, but Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who held down the second spot on the ticket, says the party must increase its support in rural areas, which are largely conservative and support Republicans.

Kaine told the Roanoke Times Democrats must show up in rural regions, establish shared values and focus on the economy.

RCC Nursing Program Ranks Second In Virginia

Rappahannock Community College is a small school in the Northern Neck. Yet when an independent company evaluated nursing programs in the state of Virginia, RCC left a very large footprint.

The annual ranking is compiled by This year, it ranked RCC’s nursing program second among all colleges in Virginia, ahead of Radford, JMU, Liberty, VCU and UVA. The program was number one among Virginia community colleges.

Area Enviromentalists and Advocates Fear Trump Administration EPA Budget

For area environmentalists and Chesapeake Bay advocates, the Trump Administration EPA budget proposal was worse than they feared.

Earlier this month The Washington Post reported the EPA budget cut Chesapeake Bay clean up funding from $73 million to $5 million. But when the budget was released at midweek, all $73 million had been eliminated.

Mike Ahart, President of the Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship, a Northern Neck environmental group says, "the impact on the Bay will be disastrous."

VCU and University Of Richmond Rank Highly Among Graduate Schools

Both VCU and the University of Richmond made strong showings in the latest U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Rankings.

Last year, UR's part-time MBA program was ranked 59th in the nation. This year U.S. News ranks it 33rd.

Randy Raggio, director of the program, says the part-time degree program has been the focus of continual improvement in recent years, with the goal of delivering a full-time experience.

Kilmarnock To Open Two New Parks

City and suburban residents may take parks for granted, but in the rural Northern Neck, public spaces are few and far between. The town of Kilmarnock, however, is proving the exception.

The small town of Kilmarnock is opening not one, but two parks this year. Baylor Park, a nature reserve on the edge of town, is already open. A second multi-use park in the center of town will open later this year.

Town Manager Tom Saunders says the parks not only improve the quality of life for residents, but help the town economically.

Chesapeake Cleanup Funds Could Be Cut

Environmental groups are alarmed over the prospect of dramatic cuts in funding for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

The Trump Administration has yet to formally submit a budget, but the Washington Post reports it has obtained a draft proposal that slashes federal funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake clean up efforts.

The Post says funding would drop from $73 million a year to $5 million. Would that make a difference? William Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, says it certainly would.