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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.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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