Michael Pope

Virginia Public Radio Reporter

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for NPR, the New York Daily News and the Alexandria Gazette Packet. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. He is the author of four books.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

The Democratic primary for governor is only two months away, and the campaign is heating up. The five candidates seeking the party’s nomination have met for the first televised debate of the primary season.

The General Assembly is full of part-time lawmakers, people who bring their professional experience to the legislature. And that includes former journalists.

This week, lawmakers will be considering an amendment to a bill they sent to Governor Ralph Northam earlier this year that bans guns at state buildings. The governor's amendment creates an exemption for magistrates.

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Lawmakers will be reconsidering a bill on facial recognition technology when they meet next week.

AP Photo / Steve Helber

The coal industry in Virginia is shrinking, and coal tax credits are on their way out.

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