Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

When you talk to Virginia Democrats these days, you hear a lot of words like "disappointing" and "frustrating."

That's because the men at the top of state government — and at the center of these scandals — have been well-liked by a lot of people who worked hard to help elect them.

"It really is kind of a hard thing to reckon with — some of your heroes either causing embarrassment or shame or disappointment or anger," said Alexsis Rodgers, president of Virginia Young Democrats.

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Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET

A California woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford in her allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Fairfax has denied the allegation, which first surfaced on a conservative blog and was later described in a report by The Washington Post.

As calls continue for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo on his page in a 1984 yearbook, Virginians who have supported him are wrestling with what to make of the controversy and his insistence on remaining in office.

A few dozen people protested outside the governor's mansion Monday morning. Many in the crowd were the same people who have been protesting the placement of a pipeline compressor station in a historically black community in Virginia. Northam has supported the pipeline.

Updated 7:53 p.m. ET

Resisting calls to resign, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia says he has no recollection of appearing in a racist yearbook photo, despite acknowledging on Friday he was one of two people pictured in the more than 30-year-old image.

The photo shows two individuals, one dressed in blackface and another as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and appears on his 1984 yearbook page from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Updated Feb. 2 at 12:37 a.m. ET

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam apologized on Friday for appearing in a "clearly racist and offensive" costume in his 1984 medical school yearbook. The photo shows a person wearing blackface standing next to another person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe.

Criticism from the right and left mounted Friday night, including calls for the governor to resign.

Northam, a Democrat, said in a statement: "I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now."

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Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists marched through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

But this year's rally comes at a moment when many anti-abortion activists are feeling more hopeful about that goal, on the heels of the confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

When Kirstin Herbst found out she was pregnant last winter, she and her fiancé were overjoyed. But when she went to the doctor for her first ultrasound, she found out she was having a miscarriage.

Her doctor prescribed a medication called misoprostol, which helps the miscarriage to pass. But the misoprostol didn't work right away, and Herbst needed to take another dose.

Herbst was optimistic when she became pregnant again this past summer. When she went in for an ultrasound, she learned she was miscarrying again.

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With a newly configured U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes are high for abortion-rights battles at the state level. Abortion-rights advocates and opponents are preparing for a busy year — from a tug-of-war over Roe v. Wade to smaller efforts that could expand or restrict access to abortion.

Lauren and Zack Blair are kind of the textbook evangelical Christian couple. They met at a Christian college, fell in love, and dated for more than four years — without having sex — before they got married.

Lauren Blair said she grew up with clearly defined expectations about love and dating.

"My mom would talk to me about waiting until marriage to have sex, and she would always tell me, pretty much everyday, 'Lauren, you're worth more than a million bucks. Like, you're so valuable,' " she said.

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Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Mississippi was set for a fairly mundane midterm election runoff next week — deciding who would win the final undecided U.S. Senate seat in a state that easily elects Republicans, until a senator greeted a cattle rancher.

Abortion providers around the country are on edge after a woman convicted of attempting to murder a doctor who performed abortions was released from federal custody on November 7.

In 1993, Rachelle Shannon traveled from Oregon to Wichita, Kan., where she shot Dr. George Tiller and wounded him. Tiller recovered from that attack, but was murdered many years later by another anti-abortion extremist.

Updated 2:00 p.m. ET

A large crowd of Jewish and non-Jewish mourners gathered Tuesday under a vaulted white ceiling, tall chandeliers and stained glass windows inside Pittsburgh's Rodef Shalom to honor Cecil and David Rosenthal. At 59 and 54, the brothers were two of the youngest victims and are among the first of the 11 victims of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue to be laid to rest.

On a recent evening in Houston, under the heavy branches of live oak trees, Doug Pagitt stood before a couple dozen people gathered on blue folding chairs on the Rice University campus.

"You've heard it said that to be a true Christian, you must vote like a Republican," he said. "But we are here to be reminded that just ain't so."

Pagitt, 52, describes himself as a progressive evangelical. He pastors a church in Minneapolis and has been traveling the country by bus, preaching a message that juxtaposes Trump campaign slogans against quotes from the Bible.

Larrecsa Cox is a paramedic, but instead of an ambulance with flashing lights and sirens, she drives around in an old, white sedan.

Her first call on a recent day in Huntington, W.Va, was to a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

"He overdosed yesterday," Cox says. "And I think we've been here before. I'm almost 100 percent sure we've been to this house before."

Cox is the only full-time member of Huntington's new quick-response team — a collaborative project involving law enforcement, the county's medical first responders and several drug treatment providers.

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

During hurricanes like Florence, many people find themselves trapped and needing rescue. Sometimes volunteers step in to help — but emergency managers say some may be creating problems of their own.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump is in the flood-soaked Carolinas Wednesday where, under sunny skies, he is getting a firsthand look at the devastation that has killed dozens of people and displaced many thousands from their homes across the Southeast.

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Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET

President Trump said Wednesday that he only found out "later on" about payments his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen arranged before the 2016 election to try to silence two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.

However, Trump has been heard on a tape with Cohen discussing arranging payment to one of the women.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

As her husband lashed out at his political opponents online, calling them names like "thug" and "hack," Melania Trump was calling for more civility and kindness online Monday morning.

The first lady addressed an annual cyberbullying prevention summit hosted by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

About a dozen top former intelligence officials are speaking out after the White House revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of President Trump.

Also Monday, Trump told reporters that he was likely to revoke clearance for a top Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, "very quickly."

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