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Free Press staff report

Stories by Free Press

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Richmond names new poet laureate

Richmond has its first poet laureate.

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5 city schools get new pianos, thanks to RVA East End Festival

There will be more music in the air at five Richmond schools.

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VLBC retains strength with special election victories

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus gained two new members Tuesday night as the result of special elections to fill vacant seats in the House of Delegates.

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VUU receives $6M grant from Dominion Energy; names new trustees

Virginia Union University has been awarded a $6 million grant from Dominion Energy to enable the school to beef up its offerings in science, technology, engineering and math and improve its campus.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci to address COVID-19 myths on city panel Jan. 8

The nation’s top doctor in the battle against COVID-19 will participate in a virtual discussion of health disparities and the coronavirus on Friday, Jan. 8, that will be open to the public.

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Emancipation Proclamation Day service to take place online

With a stroke of a pen, President Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in the warring South 158 years ago.

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Capital City Kwanzaa festival to go virtual beginning Dec. 26

Like many other holiday events, the Richmond area’s largest Kwanzaa festival is going virtual and also will provide evening shows online during the full seven days of the holiday that begins Saturday, Dec. 26, it has been announced.

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Former Newport News Delegate Mamye BaCote, a member of the Richmond 34, dies at 81

As a student at Virginia Union University, Mamye Edmondson BaCote took part in the lunch counter sit-ins led by VUU students to end whites-only, sit-down service at restaurants and lunch counters in Downtown.

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VCU student delivers main speech at winter commencement

Creativity and a willingness to adapt are paramount.

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Statue of teen civil rights advocate set to represent Virginia in U.S. Capitol

Teenage rebel Barbara Rose Johns, who led a student strike in Farmville that ultimately helped eradicate government-enforced racial segregation in the United States, is recommended to be Virginia’s new statue in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

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VSU, NSU receive multimillion $ bonanzas

Virginia State University just received a gift of $30 million, the largest private donation since its founding 138 years ago. Norfolk State University also received a record-setting gift of $40 million.

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Hampton president to step down after more than 40 years

After more than four decades at the helm, Hampton University President William R. Harvey announced Monday that he will step down in June 2022.

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Food distribution set for Saturday at Petersburg church

A Petersburg church will host the distribution of 5,000 to-go meals in partnership with a Newport News nonprofit that is on the front lines of feeding people.

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Maggie L. Walker’s personal and professional papers donated to NPS

Thirty boxes of letters and other documents from the desk of Richmond great Maggie L. Walker are now in the hands of the National Park Service.

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Minor re-elected president of Richmond NAACP

James E. “J.J.” Minor III will continue to lead the Richmond Branch NAACP.

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Actor Bert Belasco dies in Henrico hotel; no foul play suspected

Actor Bert Belasco, best known for his starring role in the BET comedy series “Let’s Stay Together,” was found dead Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in a hotel in Henrico County.

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CARITAS women’s shelter to open in December

CARITAS is focused on opening its combination headquarters and addiction treatment center and shelter for women in December, according to Karen J. Stanley, executive director of the Richmond region’s largest shelter program for the homeless.

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Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment under the ACA is open

Enrollment is now open to apply for or renew health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including the expanded Medicaid program.

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4 RPS teachers among 18 area winners of R.E.B. Awards

Four Richmond Public Schools teachers are among 18 winners in the Metro Area of the 2020 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence.

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32nd Annual 2nd Street Festival goes virtual Oct. 3 and 4

The 32nd Annual 2nd Street Festival in Jackson Ward will have a twist this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of thousands of people flocking to the Downtown neighborhood to enjoy the history, music, food and art, events will take place virtually.

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Dec. 5 Christmas parade to go virtual

Richmond’s 37th Annual Christmas Parade will be virtual this year because of the coronavirus.

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Tim Reid launches new network “LG/CY of a People”

Internationally known American actor, director, writer and filmmaker Tim Reid has launched a new streaming network called “LG|CY of a People” to tell stories about the diverse people and cultures within the African diaspora.

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GRTC announces service changes beginning Sept. 13

On Sunday, Sept. 13, GRTC will usher in a series of service changes.

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Attorney General Mark Herring to run for re-election

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring has decided he wants to keep his job, rather than making a bid to become Virginia’s 74th governor.

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Kirk Franklin sweeps with 6 Stellar Awards

Kirk Franklin served as a co-host and also walked off with the most awards at the virtual 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards.

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Falwell out as president of Liberty U.

Jerry Falwell Jr. is out at conservative Liberty University.

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Larry J. Bland seriously ill

Larry J. Bland, Richmond’s celebrated gospel choir director, issued an email Tuesday stating that he is suffering from a serious illness and included a request for prayers and privacy.

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Dominion leadership changes lead to promotions for African-Americans, women

African-Americans and women will play more prominent roles in the operation of Dominion Energy in the wake of a leadership overhaul at the Richmond-based energy giant following its abandonment last month of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

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RRHA honors 14 college-bound grads

A new laptop computer, a $500 gift card and a trunk overflowing with dorm room supplies.

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Rape kit backlog cleared

It took five years, but the backlog of 2,665 untested rape kits in Virginia has finally been eliminated, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring has announced.

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Henrico schools to reopen virtually this fall

The Henrico School Board voted unanimously last week to reopen schools this fall using a full virtual learning format for the first semester.

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RPS names 6 new principals

Open High School and five preschool centers will have new principals when Richmond Public Schools begins the 2020-21 academic year.

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Ministers join call for citizen review board

Faith leaders from 35 churches, synagogues and mosques serving Richmond issued a petition Tuesday calling for city political leaders to create a civilian oversight board for the Richmond Police Department.

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Damon Duncan leaves after getting paychecks from two housing agencies

Damon E. Duncan, who began working full time as the executive director of the Montgomery, Ala., Housing Authority in early May before wrapping up his full-time job as CEO of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, has finally quit.

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June 16 deadline approaching for absentee ballot applications

Early voting in the upcoming Tuesday, June 23, primary is underway. Rule changes are making it fairly easy to vote absentee ahead of Election Day in the contests to choose Democratic and Republican nominees to run for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

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Miss local baseball? You can still get the food

With the coronavirus pandemic, fans are missing baseball. And some are missing ballpark food.

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Magistrate Judge Roderick C.Young of Richmond nominated to federal district court bench

Roderick Charles Young started out as a public defender and has risen through the legal ranks to U.S. magistrate judge in Richmond.

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Historic first: A. Benjamin Spencer named dean of W&M Law School

As a University of Virginia law school professor, A. Benjamin Spencer has earned accolades for his knowledge of federal courts and civil litigation.

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General Assembly delays minimum wage hike until May 1

Forget a Jan. 1 raise for the Virginia minimum wage.

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RRHA shuts down food deliveries from Feed More

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority has cut off April food deliveries from the area’s largest food bank, Feed More, to needy families in public housing communities. The cutoff started last week after RRHA found that food deliverers were not wearing masks and other protective items or adhering to social distancing guidelines — keeping a 6-foot distance from other people.

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Disinfecting your home and workspace are critical

In the past, they often went unnoticed, but now janitors, housekeepers and cleaning crews are front and center as the experts in cleaning and disinfecting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bishop Gerald O. Glenn and wife hospitalized with the coronavirus

A prominent Chesterfield County minister and his wife are both being treated at the hospital for the coronavirus.

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Rev. Joseph Lowery, head of SCLC and dean of civil rights veterans, dies at 98

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first African-American president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.

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VCU leads clinical trials on drug to treat COVID-19

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University are participating in a trial of an experimental treatment for patients with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has spread around the world.

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General Assembly elects 2 to area judgeships

A veteran Richmond General District Court judge has been tapped to fill a seat on the city’s Circuit Court, and the daughter of the late Richmond attorney Leonard W. Lambert Sr. is headed to the bench in Henrico County.

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Honoring a civil rights pioneer

More than 100 people were present last Saturday for the dedication of a state historical marker in Gloucester County’s Hayes community honoring the late Irene A. Morgan and her actions to battle racial segregation.

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Louis Draper exhibition, 'Working Together,' opens Feb. 1 at VMFA

A new exhibit focusing on the photography of late Henrico County native Louis Draper and other photographers he worked with in New York will open Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.

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Regina H. Boone photo recognized among ‘100 photos that defined the decade’

A 2016 photograph by Free Press photographer Regina H. Boone of a toddler afflicted by the contaminated water in Flint, Mich., has made CNN’s list of “100 photos that defined the decade.”

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VUU honors Wyatt Tee Walker legacy with new society

Virginia Union University’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology announced the creation of the “Rev. Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker Social Justice Society of Preachers and Prophetic Witnesses” during a formal service Monday in Coburn Hall on campus.

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Va. ranks 10th nationally in cost of dog bites

A dog may be man or woman’s best friend, but that pet’s bite could prove very costly for the owner. In 2018, insurance settlements for 359 dog bites in Virginia totaled $14.38 million, or $40,060 per bite, a new study of insurance companies payments has found. That ranked Virginia No. 10 on the list of the 50 states when its comes to the price tag