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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History
5:23 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

The Apple of Fort Wayne's Eye: John Chapman, 170 Years On

Many historians believe John Chapman's burial site is located at Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne.

Wednesday marks the 170th anniversary of the death of John Chapman – commonly referred to as Johnny Appleseed.

Chapman came to Fort Wayne in the 1830s, bringing with him the gospel and a bag of apple seeds. He hoped to make life more comfortable for the settlers by helping them start orchards.

Historian Tom Castaldi says the legend of Appleseed is still an important part of Fort Wayne’s identity.

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News
4:40 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Vera Bradley's Earnings Continue to Drop

Credit Vera Bradley Inc.

Vera Bradley’s sales and profits continued to drop last year. The Fort Wayne-based retailer’s earnings were released Tuesday.

Vera Bradley reported net revenue of at about $500 million for fiscal year 2015– a more than two percent decline from the previous year. Store sales were down 20 percent, and shares fell to a record low.

The report comes one day after the company announced plans to close its New Haven factory which employs about 250 people, citing the increasing cost of domestic manufacturing.

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News
6:00 am
Wed March 11, 2015

The Three Rivers: Industry

Manufacturing is one of the largest sectors in Indiana’s economy. While it’s the source of many  jobs in the state, some claim it also contributes a lot of pollution to our waterways. But not in the  way you might think.

We continues our series "The Three Rivers" with a look at the state of water  regulations for industry in Indiana.

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News
6:00 am
Fri March 6, 2015

The Three Rivers: Levee Management

Map indicating ecological and infastructure priorities along the three rivers.
Credit Biohabitats

Fort Wayne has some grand plans for riverfront development. The City says the first step is to work on riparian buffers – specific areas of plants and soil along the river banks. This land, along with other rocky areas that separate the city from the water, create levees.

But not a lot is known about how to comprehensively improve the levees and environment along the rivers - yet.

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News
3:38 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Foellinger Foundation Grants $1.25 Million For Nonprofit Infrastructure

Credit Foellinger Foundation

The Foellinger Foundation is awarding more than a million dollars in grants to support three nonprofit organizations in Allen County. The announcement was made Thursday.

The grants from the private charitable foundation total $1,250,000. The United Way of Allen County will receive a one-time only grant of $400,000 to help support its operations and dozens of partner agencies.

The  organization has fallen short in its fundraising efforts for the past three years, and  says this assistance addresses short-term and long-term needs. 

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News
6:00 am
Wed March 4, 2015

The Three Rivers: Vegetation

Betsy Yankowiak identifies vegetation on a riparian buffer along the Maumee River.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The banks along Fort Wayne’s rivers serve multiple purposes. Vegetation controls erosion, and helps filter water. Other impermeable areas help with runoff, and  control flooding. We continue our series "The Three Rivers" with an  explainer on an important, but often overlooked feature: riparian buffers.  

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News
5:09 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Home Show Could Point to Economic Recovery

The Fort Wayne Home and Garden show expects up to 50,000 visitors this year.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The 42nd annual Fort Wayne Home and Garden show starts Thursday. The expected high turnout this year could be a sign of economic recovery.

Nationwide, the recovery in the housing market has been slow the last few years, but spending on  home improvement and repair has fared a bit better. That’s according a report released by Harvard  last month, which also projects that type of spending to slow down this year. 

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News
6:00 am
Wed February 25, 2015

The Three Rivers: Reducing Your Pollution

Water not absorbed by the land can collect pollutants around your home and drain directly into the water supply.
Credit North Carolina DENR

There are some large-scale sources of water pollution in Northeast Indiana, but  what we all do at home can make a big impact, too.   We continue our series “The Three Rivers” with a  look at what precautions every resident of Fort Wayne can take to reduce water  pollution. 

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News
6:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

The Three Rivers: Recreation

Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot crew unpack a new tandem kayak.
Credit Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Fort Wayne’s Rivergreenway trail system is drawing an increasing number of  people down to the riverside. But there may also be more folks than ever getting up close and personal with the water. We continue our series The Three Rivers with a look at opportunities for  river recreation, and who’s participating. 

In their winter boots, with snow on the ground, the Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike  Depot crew is unloading dozens of new kayaks. 

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2015 Session
6:15 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Bill Could Reduce Incentives for Solar Energy

Some Indiana lawmakers want to change the way solar panel owners are credited for the energy they produce. 

If an individual or business installs solar panels and generates more energy than  they use, the power company buys it to sell to other customers. House Bill 1320 would reduce how much utilities pay for that excess energy, and  charge those who generate it fees for using the power grid. 

Dave Arland with the Indiana Energy Association says it’s just a matter of fairness. 

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