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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Valerie Richardson

Sebelius shuns new mammogram report

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected an independent panel's advice that breast-cancer screenings be delayed for women in their 40s in the face of a backlash by Republicans, who argued the report is a taste of things to come under a Democratic health care system. Published November 19, 2009

Colorado joins trend to tax medical marijuana

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. on Tuesday directed the state's medical-marijuana dispensaries to pay sales tax and obtain retail-sales licenses, bringing the once-taboo product closer to mainstream respectability. Published November 18, 2009

Washington Blade newspaper shutters

The Washington Blade newspaper has shut down after 40 years, but staffers say they plan another publication to serve Washington's gay community. Published November 16, 2009

'Balloon boy' parents set to plead guilty

The Colorado parents accused of perpetrating the "balloon boy" hoax were charged with felony and misdemeanor counts Thursday and have agreed to plead guilty Friday as part of a plea agreement. Published November 13, 2009

Lawyer: Balloon boy parents to plead guilty

The Colorado parents accused of masterminding the "balloon-boy" escapade plan to plead guilty Friday to both felony and misdemeanor charges and could serve light jail terms as part of a plea agreement designed to keep the family together, according to their attorney. Published November 12, 2009

Gay rights movement sees few gains

Gay rights advocates took some comfort in small victories from Tuesday's elections after suffering a major defeat in Maine, where voters rejected a state same-sex marriage law. Published November 5, 2009

Maine gay marriage ban locked in vote

The vote on whether to affirm or reject same-sex marriage in Maine remained too close to call in Tuesday's early election returns. Published November 4, 2009

Aborted fetus cells used in beauty creams

A San Francisco cosmetics company has ignited an outcry among pro-lifers for including an unexpected ingredient in its anti-aging creams: skin-cell proteins from an aborted fetus. Published November 3, 2009

Historic vote on same-sex unions in Maine

Maine voters will make history next month when they cast their ballots on whether to legalize same-sex marriage in the state — one way or another. Published October 27, 2009

'Balloon-boy' dad told sons to lie, police say

Richard Heene instructed his children to lie to police and involved them in possible felony criminal behavior as part of last week's "balloon-boy" hoax, law enforcement authorities say. Published October 21, 2009

Colo. sheriff bursts story of 'balloon boy'

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden concluded fairly early on that the "balloon boy" saga was nothing but hot air, yet he continued to state publicly that he believed the Heenes were telling the truth. Published October 19, 2009

Sheriff: 'Balloon boy' saga was hoax

UPDATED: The "balloon boy" saga was nothing but hot air, according to authorities, who said the entire Heene family was in on the publicity stunt. Published October 18, 2009

'Balloon boy' family likely faces charges

The Larimer County Sheriff said Saturday that criminal charges would be filed against one or both of the parents of the six-year-old boy who was hiding in his garage attic while authorities thought he was flying through the air in a homemade helium balloon. Published October 18, 2009

Sheriff rechecks family's balloon account

An investigation is under way by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office to determine whether Thursday's balloon-boy episode was real or a hoax. Published October 17, 2009

Boy said to have floated off in balloon found

A 6-year-old Colorado boy who was thought to have flown off in a homemade helium balloon Thursday was found safe in his family's attic shortly before authorities were slated to launch a massive evening search for his body. Published October 15, 2009

Radio host wins pardon for executed great-uncles

Syndicated radio-talk show host Tom Joyner's crusade to clear the names of two great-uncles executed in 1915 for the murder of a Confederate Army veteran ended triumphantly. Published October 15, 2009

Schwarzenegger inks pro-gay bills

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's late-Sunday flurry of bill-signings produced a pair of groundbreaking victories for the state's gay rights community. Published October 13, 2009