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Virginia's Vacant Buildings Bill Could Revitalize Local Cities

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Under a bill heading to Gov. Bob McDonnell, some historic Virginia cities could get an economic boost without imposing extra taxes on the localities, or getting more funding from the state.

Del. Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg says her vacant building bill will help restore her city and those like it. She says the measure would allow officials to raise registration fees, as well as impose penalties on folks that are not taking care of their properties.

Those penalties would increase the annual registration fee on the owner of a derelict building from $25 to $100. The civil penalty for failing to register that building increases from $50 to $200, and from $250 to $400, if that building is in a designated conservation or rehabilitation district.

Dance says ultimately, the goal is to boost tourism. She adds as many as 15 Virginia cities could benefit from this bill.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

On the first leg of his Asian tour, the president stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant. David Gelb, who directed a documentary about the restaurant, says eating there is amazing and nerve-wracking.
NPR

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
NPR

Reports: FCC Poised For About-Face On Net Neutrality

According to reports, the FCC is set to approve a system in which Internet service providers offer a faster pipe to American homes to content companies willing to pay for it.

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