WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Michael Pope

Reporter

Pope is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria. He has reported for WAMU, Connection Newspapers, the New York Daily News and the Tallahassee Democrat. A native of Moultrie, Ga., he grew up in Durham, N.C., and graduated high school in Tampa, Fla. He has a master's degree in American Studies from Florida State University, and he is a former adjunct professor at Tallahassee Community College. Pope is the author of Shotgun Justice (2012), Hidden History of Alexandria, D.C. (2011) and Ghosts of Alexandria (2010), all published by History Press in Charleston, S.C.


Articles Written by Michael Pope

WAMU 88.5
What happens when the principles of smart growth collide with transit planning? That's the case on Jefferson Davis Highway in Alexandria, where a new affordable housing complex is planned, but it comes saddled with a paid parking lot. Land-use attorney Duncan Blair presented the application to council members as an unusual sort of "Easter egg." "Probably this is the nu...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is moving forward with an aggressive agenda for the General Assembly session, which he outlined in his 2013 State of the Commonwealth address last night. McDonnell used the speech to urge lawmakers to enact his education and transportation reforms.  "Please do not leave without approving a long-term transportation funding plan for Virginia," M...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia legislators gathered in Richmond Wednesday for an opening legislative session featuring debates on education, transportation, guns and ...
WAMU 88.5
Legislators in Richmond are considering a number of gun-related efforts in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. Many of those efforts face strong opposition from more conservative parts of the state. Arlington Del. Patrick Hope wants to close the gun show loophole. "You can't have nearly half of all gun sales in Virginia subject to background checks, and the ot...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia's Coal and Energy Commission is recommending that the General Assembly consider overturning a longstanding ban on uranium mining this legislative session. The issue may become one of the hottest topics of the year. State Sen. Dick Saslaw does not mince words about his support for uranium mining. A Northern Virginia Democrat who is also the Senate minority leader, Sasl...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia lawmakers are about to consider a new program to train school officials and human service workers in mental health first aid. The bill is a reaction, at least in part, to the shooting tragedy in Connecticut last month. A few months ago, a woman showed up at City Hall in Alexandria and raised alarm bells. The city officials contacted adult protective services, and Sue ...
WAMU 88.5
The American Civil Liberties Union is supporting a Rhode Island attorney's lawsuit challenging a Virginia law that prohibits out-of-state residents from requesting documents under its open records law, reports the Associated Press. The Rhode Island ACLU announced Thursday that it has filed a "friend of the court brief" with the United States Supreme Court in support of Mark ...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia lawmakers are about to consider a constitutional amendment that would allow governors to seek reelection. The commonwealth is currently the only state where governors can not seek a second consecutive term. The role of governor began as a relatively powerless job in Virginia  — one that was subordinate to the legislature. Members of the General Assembly selecte...
WAMU 88.5
City leaders in Alexandria are moving forward with a proposal to allow automobiles to share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists on one street in Old Town. But not everyone's a fan of the plan to lose the curbs. The concept of the shared street has been used in Europe for decades as a way to create a greater sense of uncertainty for drivers, forcing them to reduce speeds b...
WAMU 88.5
Since 2008, the Peer Empowerment Center has been a place to go for people with mental disorders and substance abuse problems — a place to use the computer, watch television, participate in counseling, or just meet people. Chris Torbati suffers from bipolar disorder. When his Arlington caseworker suggested the Peer Empowerment Center might help him, he gave it a try. ...
WAMU 88.5
School leaders in Alexandria are moving forward with a plan to demolish the city's lowest-performing school. Test scores have plummeted at Jefferson-Houston in the past decade, which was originally constructed as an elementary school. Parents have increasingly pulled their children out of the school, prompting administrators to add middle school classes to the building. ...
WAMU 88.5
Legislators in Virginia are gearing up for the upcoming session of the General Assembly. Many are expecting the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. to shape priorities of the session, with both sides of the gun debate galvanized by the tragedy. Last year, the General Assembly overturned a longstanding ban ...
WAMU 88.5
At the graveyard of Woodlawn Baptist Church in southeast Fairfax County, Pastor Travis Hilton stands at the top of the hill and looks out over the graves as cars rush by on the highway below. He says the families of those who are buried there are relieved that a decision has been made to move the road to the south instead of widening it in its place. "That's something that we...
WAMU 88.5
A new report expected tomorrow will detail the financial problems Virginia faces if the federal government goes over the "fiscal cliff." The non-partisan State Budget Crisis Task Force says Virginia could lose almost 123,000 jobs and $7.3 billion in wages. It points out that Virginia has failed to fund its transportation needs for decades, and education funding has been fallin...
WAMU 88.5
A land dispute over the footprint of Arlington National Cemetery could have implications for a planned museum and heritage center commemorating a 19th century village for freed slaves.   The Department of Defense in late October ...
WAMU 88.5
Kyle Rowley was on his way home on a Sunday night in 2011 when he ran out of gas. So the 19-year-old flipped on his flashers and began moving the car out of the road. That's when a driver who was on his cell phone crashed into the teen, killing him instantly. Carl Rowley, the teenager's father, was shocked to find out what happened to the driver who killed his son. "S...
WAMU 88.5
Alexandria's longtime chief prosecutor won't seek a fifth term in office next year.  Randy Sengel was first appointed to the Alexandria Commonwealth's Attorney post  in 1997, when former Commonwealth's Attorney John Kloch became a Circuit Court judge. Since then, he's been elected to four separate four-year terms. Now, Sengel says, it's time to retire after...
WAMU 88.5
Social service providers are seeing record numbers of people using food stamps in Virginia.  The numbers are staggering. In the last decade, the number of people who receive food stamps in Arlington County has doubled. In Fairfax County, the number has tripled. And in the city of Alexandria, it's quadrupled — and not just because of the recession. "We've just go...
WAMU 88.5
An epic battle is brewing in Virginia over whether or not the commonwealth should overturn a longstanding moratorium on uranium mining. Chatham-based Virginia Uranium Incorporated is pushing hard to overturn a moratorium on uranium mining, which has been in place for 30 years. The company donated $147,000 to the George Mason University Foundation to sponsor research outlining ...
WAMU 88.5
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will not seek the Republican Party's nomination for governor of the commonwealth in 2013 after all, announcing on Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign. In a statement announcing his intention, Bolling cited the Republican Party's decision to ...