Richmond, VA – A new law governing a critical aspect of criminal court procedure has been approved by Virginia's General Assembly.

The State Senate and House of Delegates went into an unusual special session Wednesday, August 19 to enact the new measure.

The emergency session was in response to a recent US Supreme Court decision governing when and how scientific or forensic evidence can be submitted in a criminal trial.

Richmond, VA – Todd Gilbert is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Shenandoah County. It was in his region that a series of tractor trailer related crashes closed down interstate 81 for more than 12 hours one day late last month.

One of those crashes killed two people when their passenger vehicle burst into flames.

Gilbert says that kind of tragedy has been happening "just too often" in his district.

Charlottesville, VA – Joe Szakos has been a community organizer for more than 30 years. For almost half that time he's headed up the state wide group called the Virginia Organizing Project. In all his years working on a wide variety of highly charged issues, he had never before been arrested.

That changed last week, when Szakos staged a protest against his own health insurance company.

WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with Joe Szakos for some perspective on the highly publicized arrest.

Richmond, VA – Governor Tim Kaine has called for a special session of the Virginia General Assembly.

The Governor has notified members of the State Senate and House of Delegates that the emergency session will begin on the 19th of August.

The purpose of the session -- to respond to a recent U-S Supreme Court decision about the type of testimony that must be allowed in criminal prosecutions.

Harrisonburg, VA – Virginians diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder now have a legal right to help direct their future care. In order to fashion this new law, legislators had to wrestle with something that came to be known as the "Ulysses Conundrum," in reference to the Homeric hero's encounter with the Sirens.

Harrisonburg, VA – The Gulf Stream, which courses through the ocean about 15 miles off of the coast of Virginia, is often called the weather-maker of the Atlantic.

But it also played a pivotal role in the early exploration of the Americas. Sarah McConnell, of the radio program With Good Reason, reports.

Charlottesville – Garnering almost 50 per cent of the vote, State Senator Creigh Deeds beat out two opponents in the June 9th primary to become the Democratic nominee for Governor.

Here is an audio postcard from the Deeds victory party in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville – Creigh Deeds will be the Democratic Party's candidate for Governor this year. He won yesterday's primary vote by an overwhelming margin.

Richmond, VA – Virginia Democrats pick their candidate for Governor next Tuesday.

Some new polling numbers seem to indicate the race is now more competitive than ever.

Richmond Times Dispatch Reporter Jeff Schapiro has been tracking the primary campaign and spoke with WMRA's Tom Graham.

Charlottesville – For most people, a law that would prevent you from spending more than 80 hours a week at work might not seem like much of a problem.

But a new survey shows that just such a regulation is causing concern at medical schools across the country.

WMRA's Tom Graham has the story of a neurosurgeon from Charlottesville who helped designed the survey.

Harrisonburg, VA – June 9th is Primary Day in Virginia.

Political scientist Bob Roberts says if you already knew that, then you are probably a dedicated member of one particular party.

James Madison University professor Bob Roberts spoke with WMRA's Tom Graham about the upcoming election.

Lexington, VA – An 1864 edition of Volume 1 of The War in the Peninsula and the South of France by W.F.P. Napier is nothing special in and of itself, but the story of its theft and return to Washington and Lee University's Leland Library has made it famous.

Richmond, VA – Pat Mullins is a 71 year old semi-retired insurance executive who lives in Louisa County.

He was recently named Chairman of the Virginia Republican Party.

WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with Mr. Mullins to ask about his plans for a political organization that has been torn by internal strife.

Richmond, VA – Ed Ayers is President of the University of Richmond, and an historian who has written many books about 19th Century America.

Recently he spoke with WMRA's Tom Graham about the origins of Mothers Day.

Lexington, VA – The number of confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu in the state is now 11, according to the Virgina Department of Health.

Seven are from the Washington and Lee University community.

Martha Woodroof speaks with Jeff Hanna, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Washington and Lee University.

Richmond, VA – Virginia Republicans meet this weekend to choose a new leader for their state party organization.

However, it's looking like whoever is chosen may not be keeping the job for long.

WMRA's Tom Graham speaks with Anita Kumar, a Washington Post reporter who has been following the story.

Charlottesville, VA – A Charlottesville man would like to challenge your beliefs about the power of the federal government.

Especially if you think exceptional authority coming out of Washington is a new thing.

WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with UVA Historian Brian Balogh, the author of a new book on the history of government power titled, "Government Out of Sight: The Mystery of National Authority in Nineteenth-Century America".

Harrisonburg, VA – With this past Wednesday's "veto session" now completed, Virginia's General Assembly has officially ended its work for the year. So what was accomplished?

WMRA's Tom Graham asked one Republican and one Democrat to share their perspective.

Charlottesville, VA – The latest unemployment figures now show that the number of people out of work across the Commonwealth has just about doubled over the past year.

WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with University of Virginia Economist William Shobe to get some perspective.

Harrisonburg, VA – The Wall that Heals is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which is often referred to simply as the Wall.

The replica was designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Last week, it came to Ralph Sampson Park in Harrisonburg.

Martha Woodroof visited and files this report.

Richmond, VA – State Lawmakers are due to gather in Richmond next week.

WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with Jeff Schapiro, one of the state capitol's best political reporters, to ask what we should be looking for.

Harrisonburg, VA – The Center for STEM Education and Outreach at James Madison University is stepping up its efforts to promote science education and nurture that spark of curiosity we all possess as children.

WMRA's Tom Graham reports.

Charlottesville, VA – Matisse, Picasso, Chagall: an extensive collection of European modern art began a two-year tour around Virginia recently.

This exhibition reunites valuable works from a private collection for the first time in sixty years, and they are scheduled to be on display in Charlottesville, Winchester, Abingdon and Richmond.

Richmond, VA – Earlier this week, Virginia's Governor revealed that the state's budget problems were even bigger than previously thought.

At about the same time, on the national stage, President Obama signed legislation some believed would help states out of their money problems.

So where does Virginia's budget mess stand now?

WMRA's Tom Graham pursued that question with Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger, a key member of Virginia's Senate Finance Committee.

Harrisonburg, VA – Monday, February 16, is president's day. A day set aside to honor Presidents Washington and Lincoln.

Washington, of course, is a recognized Virginian.

And although Illinois calls itself the Land of Lincoln, the roots of our sixteenth president actually run deep into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, as well.

WMRA's Martha Woodroof reports.

Richmond, VA – Cell phones in cars... smoking in restaurants... funding for schools... those issues are all still alive at the state capitol now that the General Assembly has passed crossover day.

James Madison University Politics Professor Bob Roberts has been tracking the legislative process and Tom Graham caught up with him for an overview.

Charlottesville, VA – At the University of Virginia, literary scholarship first went digital with the highly touted Rosetti Archives in 1993, and the University now a hot bed of high-tech literary activity. The challenge of course, is to maintain rigorous academic standards. Martha Woodroof reports on one UVA digital archive that's successfully married 21st Century Technology with exacting Nineteenth century scholarship.

NINES - Nineteenth-Century Studies Online

Richmond, VA – This year's session of the Virginia General Assembly is nearing its midway point.

For analysis on what has be en accomplished so far, WMRA's Tom Graham sat down with Richmond-Times Dispatch political reporter Jeff Schapiro.

Charlottesville, VA – Since World War II, America has seen greater suburban growth and larger and larger houses...until now.

Jesse Dukes looks at the history of the American suburban home.

Richmond, VA – A record budget deficit remains the top priority of state lawmakers, now in their second week of the 2009 Virginia General Assembly.

But Delegates and Senators are also making time for other issues.

In our continuing series of conversations with legislators from across the WMRA region, Tom Graham spoke Rob Bell, Delegate from the 58th district about some of his top concerns.