ROANOKE, Va. – Kick-off conditions across Southwest Virginia bring cloudy skies with a low chance of a light rain shower.
This morning is bringing widespread rain. By 10:00 a.m. or so, a lot of the rain pushes off to the east. However, there will be opportunities to see a few stray showers throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
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If you are planning on firing up the grill this evening for the big game, go for it! Conditions will be mostly cloudy and the air will remain mild and muggy.
We are also keeping an eye on the storm track. Tomorrow will bring more rain… periods of light rain to start, then once the sun sets, we will see a line of storms push through that will likely have some lightning, thunder, and heavy rain associated with it.
While tomorrow’s severe threat is mainly to our south, we could see a couple of thunderstorms enter Southwest Virginia tomorrow night.
Rainfall has been on and off this weekend and will continue to be through Monday. Here is a look at how much rain is still to come.
After Monday night’s front pushes through, our skies gradually begin to clear as cooler and dryer air enters the region. Because of the big differences in air masses, we will see windy conditions for most of our Tuesday. Winds peak around 30-40mph.
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Pittsburgh Basketball: 3 keys to bubble battle home matchup with Virginia Tech Hokies
After five straight wins and finding its way onto the bubble, Pittsburgh Basketball suffered a setback this week, losing by 33 points on the road at Wake Forest. But all isn’t lost, as they have a Quad 2 opportunity at home this Saturday against Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 15-11 on the season but are coming off a blowout win of its own, beating Virginia by 34 points at home.
This feels like a bubble elimination game of sorts, with the loser of this game likely needing the ACC Tournament auto bid to make the Big Dance. The Panthers simply can’t lose this one. Here are the keys to them getting the victory.
The Hokies have one of the best backcourts in the country in Sean Pedulla (15.2 ppg and 4.3 apg) and Hunter Cattoor (14.0 ppg), who combine to shoot around 40% from deep on over 11 attempts a game. If they go off it’s going to be extremely difficult to beat them. That’s the challenge that freshmen guards Jaland Lowe and Carlton Carrington will have to face and against some of the other top guards, they’ve been okay.
But defending well and avoiding foul trouble as well will be a tough task, assuming that Ish Leggett deals with Tyler Nickel on the wing for Virginia Tech. If Lowe/Carrington finds a way to match their production, the Panthers would be in great shape. Just not getting outscored by a ton will be ideal.
The third key contributor for Virginia Tech this season has been a surprise, with 6’10 center Kidd breaking out. He went from 5.0 ppg off the bench a year ago to 13.0 ppg and 6.6 rpg on 65% shooting from the field. He’s had some big games this season, including a 31-point and 11-rebound game against American.
It’ll be up to the center duo of Federiko Federiko and Guillermo Diaz-Graham to slow him down. They had some recent good games collectively but got thoroughly outplayed by Efton Reid and Matthew Marsh in the last game inside against Wake Forest. It might not be as important as the guards but preventing a big game from Kidd will be another key.
On paper, these are two fairly similar teams when it comes to playstyle. One big difference is the rebounding, as the Hokies are fairly weak. They’re one of the worst in the country at rebounding, especially at creating second-chance opportunities. That’s one of the Panthers’ strengths, ranking 12th nationally in offensive rebounds allowed at 7.9 a game.
For a team that can be as potential as Virginia Tech, making sure they don’t get second chances is a big key. A Blake Hinson masterclass scoring game could make this all obsolete but if not, winning the rebounding battle also is going to go a long way to winning on Saturday.
Meteor spotted in DC, Maryland, and Virginia skies Wednesday
WASHINGTON – Hundreds up and down the East Coast, including many in the D.C. region, reported seeing a meteor flash across the sky Wednesday.
The American Meteor Society said it received 225 reports from witnesses as far south as Virginia, to as far north as Canada.
Meteor spotted in DC, Maryland, and Virginia skies Wednesday (Donald Bradner)
The fireball was spotted a little before 7 p.m.
Donald Bradner of Linden, Virginia captured the flash on his security camera.
Paid college internships: A smart way Virginia can ease its youthful brain drain – Virginia Mercury
Virginia needs to keep the Breyana Stewarts who are graduating from our colleges and universities from taking their brains, their energy and their winning personalities to other states.
In May, Stewart will become the first in her family’s line of descent to earn a degree when she graduates from Virginia Commonwealth University. At age 23, she’s smart, optimistic, instantly likable, and looking for a job where she can soon put her new bachelor’s degree in communications to good use.
She is a candidate for a permanent, fulltime, post-commencement job within Virginia. But she plans to search elsewhere, too.
“I just applied for my first communications job,” she said over a latte in a Shockoe Bottom coffee shop this week. “I think it’s a shot in the dark because I haven’t graduated yet, but I want to get the ball rolling.”
Too many newly minted graduates from Virginia’s institutions of higher learning are finding their futures outside the commonwealth, and it’s creating a demographic brain drain that could have economic consequences. That bothers Kirk Cox.
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he was the 55th speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates from 2018 to 2020. A Republican and a career educator who represented Colonial Heights for 32 years in the House, Cox now heads the Virginia Business Higher Education Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of leaders from the state’s business community and higher education institutions.
In an interview earlier this month, Cox was blunt about challenges Virginia faces from other states that are magnets for early-career professionals and recent college grads. And he’s advancing a solution that makes sense: paid internships that build bridges to connect Virginia college students — particularly diverse students and those of limited economic backgrounds — with relevant experience in their fields of study, which can lead to jobs here after college.
“They’ll tend to stay if they get a really good internship. If they don’t, they’re looking for other places to go,” Cox said. “The statistics show — and I think the kids will tell you —[that] if they get a meaningful internship, it’s much more likely that they get offered a job, [and] they’re much more likely to stay.”
The “stay” part has become a problem in the past decade. During the latter 20th century though the first decade of this one, educated, upwardly mobile, young professionals flocked to Virginia for jobs in such numbers that it created uncontrolled suburban sprawl, especially in Northern Virginia. That trend is now in reverse as more of today’s smart, youthful and affluent cohort are leaving for opportunities in other states than are moving here.
One way to track arrivals from other states vis-à-vis departures is Internal Revenue Service year-to-year personal income tax returns. The IRS aggregates data on the number of returns filed each year from within all 50 states and the District of Columbia and the number of individuals represented in them. Recent year-over-year comparisons do not inspire confidence for Virginia.
Thirty years ago, almost 15,000 more people moved into Virginia than left, according to the IRS data for tax years 1994-95.
Returns from tax years 2020-21, however, show that almost 9,300 more left Virginia than moved in. There were 243,217 departures compared to 233,924 come-heres. Twenty-seven states took more people from Virginia than migrated here from those states. Florida alone took in 10,584 more people from Virginians than came to Virginia from Florida, roughly the equivalent of Essex County.
Hamilton Lombard, the chief demographer for the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, said the trend has hit Northern Virginia the hardest. Hampton Roads has also lost more than it gained, he said, but not as sharply. Smaller, less urbanized areas of Virginia, by contrast, have enjoyed net gains, especially since the pandemic popularized widespread use of working virtually from home, Cooper Center research shows.
Another worrisome omen for colleges and businesses in need of their graduates is that enrollment still struggles with pandemic disruptions.
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data from last September shows that undergrad enrollment ticked marginally upward for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but freshman enrollment dipped by 3.6%.
That may be because teens see some recent college grads moving back home with their parents, working gigs as rideshare drivers, pizza deliverers and wait staff to repay college loans and seek work in their degree field. Short-term undergraduate certificate programs spiked by nearly 10% compared with a 3.6% jump in associate degrees and just under 1% for bachelor’s degrees, according to the NSCRC.
The idea of paid internships has done the nearly impossible: united Democratic and Republican policymakers. It’s no mean feat to get Senate President Pro Tem Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, and her frequent nemesis, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, literally reading from the same script as they did in this recent promotional video.
At the behest of the VBHEC and its development campaign, Growth4Va, the program is poised to receive either $24 million (under the Senate version of the budget) or $29 million (in the House version) from the state through June of 2026. Some of that will help small businesses pay for interns.
(Some disclosure is in order here. This initiative is advised by McGuireWoods Consulting, a public policy advisory services firm where I was a senior advisor for more than five years. I did not perform work for the VBHEC.)
Let’s put aside the retail politics as well as the commercial and macroeconomic considerations. Paid internships for all Virginia students stands on its own egalitarian merit because of the way it can improve the lives of kids like Breyana Stewart.
She knew she wanted to work in communications since her elementary school days in Hampton Roads, when she was an anchor of the school’s closed-circuit morning newscast.
“My mom always advocated for me to go to college,” Stewart said. “She was always saying how important it is to get a degree. I knew that when I started college that I would have to support myself … so I’ve always worked since I’ve gone to college.”
Now in her final semester, she works two jobs — one as a receptionist at a clinic and another as a promotions assistant at Radio One’s Richmond stations.
But the big differentiator for her career path is the three months she spent last summer as an intern at the Hodges Partnership, a marketing, PR and media relations shop in Richmond.
“Being able to have an internship that paid me for my time was definitely necessary,” she said. Because of that, she was able to cover her rent in Richmond during that time.
Might she wind up where she interned? Who knows. Stewart said she loved her time at Hodges and stayed in touch with the friends and colleagues she made there. Regardless, just listing experience with such an esteemed company on her résumé gives her an edge wherever her search leads her.
It’s time for Virginia to make paid internships accessible to any kid willing to learn and put in the work the way she did and — with a little luck — keep more of our most promising prospects home.
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