VA News Reader

November 10, 2023


Photo courtesy of Ben Jackson

Carroll County man specializes in finding the fingerprints of slaves in old bricks

By Carolyn Wilson for Cardinal News

Ben Jackson needs no reminder that slavery existed.

Since he was a young Black student growing up in Marion, the retiree has been drawn to his own ties with the legacy of slavery.

He calls himself a “history nut,” but his latest research is more like that of a detective, uncovering pieces of history that have been in plain view for centuries.

The Woodlawn resident has trained his eye to detect the fingerprints of slaves imprinted in handmade brick produced in Southwest Virginia well over 200 years ago.

Read the full article at Cardinal News.


Photo by Lou Cordero for The Free Lance-Star

Spotsylvania doctor launches new idea for primary care: Patients pay a monthly fee with a year commitment

By Cathy Dyson for The Free Lance-Star

As a home health care nurse, Donna Rowe says she’s stuck in the middle because she makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid or free clinics, but not enough to afford health insurance.

The Fredericksburg woman recently ended up in the hospital when her blood pressure got so high, she feared a heart attack. She was given medicine and told to get checked by her primary care doctor.

But without health insurance, she couldn’t find a physician to monitor her condition.

Read the full article at The Free Lance-Star.


The hidden power of China’s pandas — and why the U.S. is losing them all

By William Wan for The Washington Post

Sure, they’re cute and cuddly. But for more than 50 years, China’s giant pandas have also been powerfully strategic — a diplomatic tool methodically deployed to shore up alliances, woo new partners and build goodwill.

“Many people don’t realize it, but there are actually two Chinese ambassadors in Washington: me and the panda cub at the National Zoo,” said Cui Tiankai, China’s then-ambassador to the United States, in 2013, when a pink, wrinkly newborn arrived to widespread jubilation at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

So the imminent departure of all pandas from the United States feels ominous — a sign that this complicated relationship is shifting into a new era, fraught with tension that even the most adorable bear cannot overcome.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


City Elders: National Dominionist Group Puts Down Roots In The Valley

By Ashlyn Campbell for Daily News-Record

Every week, in counties across the Valley, chapters of an organization called the City Elders gather together in churches, public libraries and cafes. They pray and have local leaders speak.

The mission of this organization according to its website is too establish the kingdom of God on Earth.

Local leaders say City Elders is about prayer and getting Christians involved in politics. The national organization is considered to uphold a “dominionist” ideology, the idea that all aspects of modern life should be governed by laws based on Christian teaching. The group has planted its roots in this area.

Read the full article at Daily News-Record.


Photo by Billy Schuerman for The Virginian-Pilot

Coal dust continues to plague Newport News and Norfolk communities. Residents are skeptical change will come.

By Josh Janney for The Daily Press

Residents living in the Southeast Community in Newport News and Lamberts Point in Norfolk have complained for decades about coal dust pollution from passing trains, saying it causes sickness and dirties their homes.

Southeast resident Yugonda Sample-Jones said her son’s health problems arose only after they moved to the community in 2009, when he was in middle school. Within a year, she said he needed to use a nebulizer due to asthma. Sample-Jones said she had a “strong suspicion” that coal pollution played a role.

Read the full article at The Daily Press.

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