VA News Reader

October 10, 2023


Photo by Peter Cihelka for The Free Lance-Star

Author’s search for Anarcha leads him to King George

ByCathy Dyson for The Free Lance-Star

For years, the writer combed through census records, medical journals and 19th-century correspondence, looking for clues about an enslaved woman who suffered through more than 30 surgeries at the hands of a doctor who was more focused on finding fame and fortune than a cure for his patients.

But while the surgeon, Dr. J. Marion Sims, rose to acclaim as the “father of modern gynecology,” the woman whose body he experimented on — without anesthesia — slipped into obscurity. Author J.C. Hallman, who goes by Chris, was determined to change that narrative, undertaking a yearslong search to find the person listed in Sims’ records as Anarcha.

His quest led him to King George County.

Read the full article at The Free Lance-Star.


Photo by Cal Cary for The Daily Progress

Nation’s first black elected governor honored with democracy award

By Faith Redd for The Daily Progress

The nation’s first Black elected governor was recently recognized for his work strengthening democracy at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder was honored as the recipient of the Defender of Democracy Award on Sept. 29. The award highlights Wilder’s achievements while serving in high political positions throughout his life.

Read the full article at The Daily Progress.


Photo by Kendall Warner for The Virginian-Pilot

This large sunflower field in Pungo is drawing attention

By Stacy Parker for The Virginian-Pilot

When Chase and Calli Fulghum bought a house in Pungo four years ago, they marveled at the plot of land next door where strawberries grew.

They watched as their neighbor Tom Baker spent countless hours toiling over the crop and gained a new appreciation for farming.

“We thought it was so cool to live next to a strawberry field,” said Chase Fulghum, 38.

Read the full article at The Virginian-Pilot.


Photo by Randy Walker

Virginia Tech’s Marr wins ‘genius grant’ for COVID-19 research

By Tad Dickens for Cardinal News

Linsey Marr grew up in a family full of stubborn women. It’s been a feature of her grandmother, her mother, her sisters, even her 12-year-old daughter.

“And I’d say I fall into that category,” Marr said.

She needed big resolve when going up against national and international health science powers who refused to believe that COVID-19 spread widely through the air. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not recognize that idea in the pandemic’s early days.

“With this question, I thought it was incredibly important, and I thought I was right, so I stuck with it,” Marr said.

Marr, an environmental engineer at Virginia Tech, and an international group of colleagues proved them wrong and changed the novel bug’s trajectory. On Wednesday, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that Marr had won a fellowship popularly known as a “genius grant.”

Read the full article at Cardinal News.


Photo by Dave Ress for Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia’s first psychiatric ER opens in Hampton

By Dave Ress for Richmond Times-Dispatch

When a mental distress flares up, a hospital emergency room can be a tough place to be: often overcrowded, with lights and sirens flashing and blaring and doctors racing from crisis to crisis.

And thinking about this, Riverside Health System thought there might be a better approach. It opened the state’s first psychiatric emergency department, a model that Gov. Glenn Youngkin incorporated in the behavioral health system reform he announced last year.

Read the full article at Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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