Virginia Alvino

Reporter & All Things Considered Host

Virginia joined WBOI in August of 2013. She works to report on often overlooked stories in the community, and uncover solutions as much as difficulties that we as a community face. Virginia began reporting out of the Statehouse in Salem, OR, and has reported for the Northwest News Network and Oregon Public Broadcasting. Virginia is now the local WBOI host of All Things Considered.

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News
6:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Business Booming for Christmas Tree Farms Still Recovering From Drought

Judy Reifenberg is the co-owner of St. Joe Tree Farm in Fort Wayne.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

By this time of the year, many households that put up a Christmas tree, already have, whether it be fresh cut or artificial. Most fresh trees are grown in Michigan and the Pacific Northwest, but plenty are grown right here in Indiana.

2014 was an interesting year for Hoosier tree farmers, who had a great growing season this summer, but are still recovering from a drought in 2012.

WBOI’s Virginia Alvino head out to the only two tree farms left in Allen County, to find out how this season’s going, and what the future may hold.

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News
4:40 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

No Raises for Fort Wayne Council, Mayor

Credit City of Fort Wayne

Neither the Fort Wayne City Council nor Mayor Tom Henry will get a raise in 2015.

The Council voted six-to-three Tuesday against an ordinance that would have granted them all a two percent pay increase.

City Clerk Sandy Kennedy is the only elected city official who will receive a raise next year.

There was disagreement among the councilmen about the appropriateness of voting on their own wage increases, especially this year. Several members cited the fact that council voted this year to end collective bargaining rights for some city union members.

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News
4:52 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Indiana Workplace Injuries Continue to Drop

The overall nonfatal injury and illness rate in Indiana continues to decline.
Credit Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

Workplace injuries and illnesses in Indiana have fallen to a historic low. The Indiana Department of Labor report was released Monday.

2013 was the second year in a row that nonfatal injury and illness hit a record low.

The agriculture industry saw the biggest decline - 50 percent fewer injuries and illnesses from 2012.

All that’s thanks to the culture of safety that’s developed in many companies across the state – according to Bob Dittmer with the Indiana Department of Labor.

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Business
6:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

New Bravas Restaurant Offers Unique, Gourmet Burgers to Fort Wayne

Bo Gonzalez outside of Bravas, 3412 Fairfield Ave. in Fort Wayne.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Fort Wayne’s restaurant scene is growing, so is its fleet of food trucks. Where that overlaps - is Bravas.

What began as a purveyor of gourmet hot dogs on the street is now a brick and mortar restaurant dedicated to serving up some surprising burgers.

The shop opened Tuesday on Fairfield Ave. in the 46807 neighborhood. 

You can get a burger pretty much anywhere in Fort Wayne. So, why give Bravas Burgers a shot?

“Um. Because they’re more delicious," says Bo Gonzalez.

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News
3:36 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Fort Wayne Sees Record Infrastructure Improvements in 2014

Mayor Tom Henry in the Southwick neighborhood in southeast Fort Wayne.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The City of Fort Wayne invested more than $20 million in local roads and sidewalks in 2014. 

Orange cones, detours, traffic jams --- while construction projects may be a nuisance on our daily commutes, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says they’re good for the city’s economic growth and quality of life. He says this year saw an unprecedented amount of neighborhood improvements, including 50 miles of street paving.

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Zoo News
2:43 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

It's a Girl! Rare Sumatran Orangutan Born at Fort Wayne Kid's Zoo

Tara the Sumatran orangutan and her newborn.
Credit Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo has a new addition. Tara the Sumatran orangutan gave birth early Saturday. 

It’s a girl! New mom Tara delivered her healthy baby unassisted and with no complications - although zookeepers were prepared for any possible outcome.

Tara had been pregnant for about 8 months. Since she’s a first time mom, she spent those months practicing her motherly duties with a stuffed animal. Her trainers were also ready to assist if Tara didn’t take to her role well, or rejected the baby.

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News
4:15 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Ash Skyline Construction Will Continue Through Winter

Rendering of the Ash Skyline project.
Credit City of Fort Wayne

Construction on the new Ash Skyline project in downtown Fort Wayne is on  schedule and will continue throughout the winter. 

Right now it’s a giant hole in the ground – and they’re not done digging yet. 

The future site of a mixed-use development downtown takes up nearly an entire  city block, with work on the city-funded underground parking garage is still  underway.  

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News
6:21 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Number of Unauthorized Immigrants in Indiana Down

Indiana's undocumented immigrant population in 2012 was approximately 85,000.
Credit Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project

A new Pew Research study released Tuesday finds the number of unauthorized immigrants in Indiana fell between 2009 and 2012. The study comes a debate on the isssue between Congress and President Obama heats up.

Nationwide, the unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. plateaued after the Great Recession. But at the state level, the trends vary. 

While the unauthorized immigrant population increased in 7 states, it fell in 14 states others.

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News
2:07 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Obamacare Year Two: What's New and What's Not

Credit healthcare.gov

This year's open enrollment period for insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act started Saturday. From political tensions to technical glitches, last year's period certainly had its ups and downs. To find out more about sign-ups in Allen County this time around, WBOI's Sean Bueter asked reporter Virginia Alvino, who's been tracking the issue since the initial rollout last year. 

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Zoo News
2:13 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

For Zookeepers, Orangutan Birth is About Awareness, Conservation

Tara in August in the orangutan exhibit at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.
Credit Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Fort Wayne is expecting a hairy new addition to arrive by December. One of the Sumatran Orangutans at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is expecting.

A tremendous amount of planning and work goes into the captive breeding of the critically endangered species, and preparing the orangutan to be a mom.

The Indonesian rainforest – one of earth’s most biologically diverse landscapes – humid home to the rare Komodo dragon, pythons, and the endangered Sumatran orangutan.

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