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Saraya Wintersmith

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Saraya Wintersmith has spent the last two years covering Virginia's General Assembly for WCVE. When the Commonwealth's legislature is not in session, she splits her time covering government affairs and the Richmond Metro beat. 

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Articles by Saraya Wintersmith

Richmond Schools Modernization Plan Goes to November Ballot

Here in the City of Richmond, the November ballot will now pose a charter-amending question to voters. The five-part proposition will ask whether the Mayor shall be required to present a fully-funded school infrastructure modernization plan to the City Council.

Richmond City Circuit Court Chief Judge C.N. Jenkins Jr. signed the order authorizing the question to go on the ballot Tuesday (8/15).

WCVE Forum: Lieutenant Governor's Debate

The two candidates running to serve as Virginia's next Lieutenant Governor met in Charlottesville for a debate Wednesday (8/9). Republican State Senator Jill Vogel and Democrat Justin Fairfax participated in an hour and a half-long discussion. The event was hosted by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and begins with the voice of moderator Bob Gibson of UVA's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

McAuliffe, Elected Officials Gather at Richmond Solidarity Vigil

Following violence brought on by white supremacists clashing with counter-prosters in Charlottesville, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and other elected officials appeared at the Slavery Reconciliation statue in Richmond. Governor McAuliffe told the crowd Sunday night, there's work to be done.

"We know in Virginia we've had a horrible history on civil rights issues, and it exists here today," he said to several hundred gathered. "We all have to work together to bring folks together. That's our challenge."

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney Vows To Keep City Residents Safe

In the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is vowing to keep city residents safe.

In a ceremony punctuated by group songs, Mayor Stoney used the words Hate, Bad and Evil to describe the events brought on by rallying white nationalists like David Duke and Richard Spencer.

He then said, if such a gathering were to make its way into the River City, he would protect residents here. “Around the world, around the country, they must know...embrace our diversity and our differences,” said Stoney.

Activists Lambaste Conflict of Interest Determination

Even though officials at the Department of Environmental Quality assert there is no conflict of interest in a Dominion-tied consulting firm helping to review surface water protection plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, environmental advocates have a different take.

Last month, DEQ hired the Mid-Atlantic consulting firm EEE (3e) to assist with reviewing erosion, sediment control, and stormwater management plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. The venture is proposed by Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC - a company formed by Dominion and three other energy companies.

Monument Meeting Intense

The ongoing conversation about what to do with the figures along Richmond’s Monument Avenue intensified last night (8/9) during a public comment meeting.

Mayor Levar Stoney did not attend, but about 40 speakers did. The crowd at the Virginia Historical Society quickly disintegrated into jeers and booing as everything from “take them down” to “don’t touch them,” was expressed.

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Releases Policy Plan On Sea-Level Rise

The 6-point plan described recurrent flooding as a statewide issue in need of a statewide response. The policy roll out was accompanied by an ad that features Gillespie at the Haugue in Norfolk.

Ed Gillespie's Ad Clip: (This area flooded last October and will again this October and every October after that, until we take action, I'm Ed Gillespie, I want to solve problems.) Fades out.

Planned Parenthood Supports Ralph Northam

The Virginia arm of Planned Parenthood is lending resources to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. The group is planning to spend $3 million and knock on hundreds of doors.

Details of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia's campaign support were first reported in Politico and came a day after Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie was filmed telling Planned Parenthood protesters he'd sign a bill to block the group from receiving Virginia tax payer funds.

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