Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Political Headlines from across Virginia

August 12, 2020
Top of the News

College towns fear super-spreader semester as students descend

By BIANCA QUILANTAN, Politico

Earlier this summer, students at the University of Virginia packed bars, rental houses, apartments and fraternity houses as part of Midsummers, a party and reunion tradition of students. Watching the surge in large gatherings on social media and hearing from concerned residents prompted Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker to call UVA's plan to bring students back to campus a "recipe for disaster."


VDH: Mechanicsville restaurant continues to operate despite having permit pulled

By HANNAH SMITH, WWBT

The Virginia Department of Health says a Calabash Seafood restaurant continues to operate even though its restaurant permit was suspended due to COVID-19 guideline violations. A spokesperson with VDH said the Hanover Health Department received about 25 complaints since May 14 regarding employees and customers violating Gov. Ralph Northam's executive orders by not wearing face coverings nor practicing social distancing at the restaurant located along Lee Davis Road.


COVID-19 testing turnarounds stretch to two weeks for some in the Roanoke region

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Results for COVID-19 tests in the Roanoke region are taking anywhere from two days to two weeks, with the lag making it more difficult to curb the spread of the disease, Dr. Molly O'Dell said Tuesday. O'Dell said once the test turnaround time stretches beyond 48 hours, it is harder to identify others who many have come into contact with the person infected with the coronavirus. "The further out we get before starting [investigations], the more chance there is for more spread," she said.


Elite public schools in Virginia, elsewhere seek diversity

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology regularly finds itself at the very top of national rankings, an elite public school in the suburbs of the nation's capital for which families start preparing their children as early as kindergarten. For decades, though, Black and Hispanic students have made up just a tiny fraction of the school's student body.


MicroStrategy buys $250M in Bitcoin as CEO says it's superior to cash

By ANDY MEDICI, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles)

The move came after the Tysons firm's CEO and founder, Michael Saylor, announced his intention to explore purchasing Bitcoin, gold or other alternative assets in an earnings call in late July. At the time he argued that that the returns from cash were fading and that the dollar was weakening. He reiterated these concerns in the announcement Tuesday.


Luray Council censures mayor for 'Aunt Jemima' comment

By RANDY ARRINGTON, Page Valley News

With most of his face covered by a surgical mask, Mayor Barry Presgraves kept his eyes focused on each speaker. "My grandchild came up to me and asked, 'What did he say?'" Maxine Tutt said at Monday's Luray Council meeting. "I told him, and he said, 'That's not too good.'" "How do you explain this to a little kid?" asked Melvin Tutt. "The main difference is you're the mayor; you're the leader. It's just a disappointment to me that we are at this point in 2020."


White supremacists made Charlottesville a symbol of racism. Black residents say it still is.

By IAN SHAPIRA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Her whole life, Dorenda Johnson has endured racism in Charlottesville. Growing up in a city built with the help of enslaved people, she attended integrated schools but often found herself assigned to segregated classes. She spent years working as an administrative assistant in a University of Virginia hospital wing that — until last year — was named after a notorious white supremacist.

The Full Report
60 articles, 27 publications

FROM VPAP

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Va. AG Herring prioritizes mandatory bodycams, ban on rehiring bad officers

By NEAL AUGENSTEIN, WTOP

Virginia Attorney Gen. Mark Herring is pressuring state lawmakers to mandate body-worn cameras on all law enforcement officers, and to ban the rehiring of officers who were fired or resigned for misconduct. Herring has laid out his priorities for criminal justice and policing reforms ahead of the Virginia General Assembly's special session, scheduled to begin on Aug. 18.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS

Rich Anderson aims to transform Virginia's Republican Party

By KARI PUGH, Inside NOVA (Metered Paywall)

The Republican Party of Virginia will choose a new chairman this weekend from among three candidates, one of them former state Del. Rich Anderson, who represented eastern Prince William County for eight years. Anderson served four terms in the 51st District, chairing the House Science and Technology Committee and the General Assembly Military and Veterans Caucus. In 2017, he lost his seat to Democrat Hala Ayala in a blue wave that saw several districts across the state switch from Republican to Democrat. Anderson challenged Ayala last November and lost a second time, 55% to 45%.


Freitas stresses military service in first TV ads for 7th District congressional race

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, is putting his military service and family values at the forefront of his first television ads in his campaign for Virginia's 7th District seat in Congress, a crucial race in Republicans' effort to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.


Kanye West has 10 days to get on Virginia's ballot for president

By MARIE ALBIGES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Kanye West, the singer and rapper who announced in July he was running for president of the United States, has yet to secure a spot on Virginia's ballot in November. But he still has time. The state Department of Elections said Tuesday West hasn't filed the necessary paperwork or collected the required number of signatures to be listed along with Democratic nominee Joe Biden and Republican President Donald Trump on the Nov. 3 ballot.


Virginia leaders on Biden's pick of Sen. Kamala Harris

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Here's how prominent Virginians reacted to Joe Biden's choice of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his vice presidential running mate. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Hillary Clinton's running mate in 2016: "Joe Biden is running for President to offer Americans character, competence, and compassion — and his choice of [Harris] exemplifies those virtues.

STATE GOVERNMENT

State awards $278K to COVID-19 economic recovery projects

By SYDNEY LAKE, Va Business Magazine

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that the state has awarded $278,000 among 18 economic revitalization projects in Virginia as part of the state's COVID-19 economic recovery plan. "Downtown districts are the lifeblood of our communities and our local economies and they need our support now more than ever," Northam said in a statement.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS

On the Eastern Shore, locals hope a 49-mile rail trail will reinvigorate the economy

By WYATT GORDON, Virginia Mercury

Virginia's rural Eastern Shore has been losing residents for decades, but in one aspect of that abandonment, locals see opportunity. Last month, Canonie Atlantic, the company which owns the tracks on the Eastern Shore, petitioned the federal Surface Transportation Board to decommission a 49.1 miles long rail line from the town of Hallwood to Cape Charles.


Toano business apologizes after selling culturally offensive item

By ALEXA DOIRON, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

A Toano-based business has issued a formal apology for selling a mini skirt that featured a Hindu deity on the front. Enlighten Clothing Company started selling a skirt that featured the Hindu deity Lord Ganesh, who is regularly worshiped by those of the Hindu faith, across the middle portion of a wearer's pelvic area.


All Points Broadband, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative partner to extend broadband in northern, western Loudoun

By STAFF REPORT, Loudoun Times

All Points Broadband and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement that company leaders say will support All Points Broadband's efforts to extend fiber-to-the-home broadband service to more than 1,000 homes in northern and western Loudoun County.


Comcast is expanding in Charles City County

By HANNAH SMITH, WWBT

Comcast is expanding its service to more than 2,300 homes and businesses in Charles City County. ..."I am very pleased that Charles City County, Comcast and the Commonwealth of Virginia have partnered to bring fiber-based internet connectivity to Charles City County," said Bill Coada, chairman of the Charles City County Board of Supervisors.

HIGHER EDUCATION

William & Mary leaders take pay cuts as colleges cope with COVID's fiscal impact

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Three top leaders at the College of William & Mary are taking pay cuts, and the school is instituting a voluntary furlough program in an effort to increase financial flexibility amid COVID-19. The moves underscore that as students prepare to return to campus, colleges and universities across the state are juggling financial pressures as they prioritize safety precautions.


Blacksburg Town Council passes 50-person gathering limit, restaurant curfew

By YANN RANAIVO, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The town's reopening was scaled back Tuesday night as its leaders aim to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among the locality's biggest population group — Virginia Tech students. An emergency ordinance approved unanimously by the town council limits public and private gatherings to no more than 50 people and requires that food and drinking establishments not remain open to the public after midnight, among other conditions.


City Council Bans Gatherings Over 50 People

By IAN MUNRO, Daily News Record (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Harrisonburg City Council approved a proposed ban on gatherings of more than 50 people at its Tuesday meeting. "This is something I have been talking to the city attorney about," Mayor Deanna Reed said during the virtual meeting. "I feel like we know that in the next 10 days, we're going to have a tremendous amount of people in the city, so this is just a little guideline for people to still feel safe."


Racial equity requires time, money and resource commitment, UVa report says

By BRYAN MCKENZIE, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

The University of Virginia Racial Equity Task Force is recommending a sweeping set of changes at the school, including removing Confederate and racist symbols, funding scholarships and endowments for minority students and faculty and rooting out procedures and policies perpetuating prejudice.


College history shapes student action, demands for change

By CHARLES COLEMAN AND EMMA FORD, Flat Hat

After 60 years as a Williamsburg native, Shelia Ward still remembers the feeling of abject fear when at the age of five, her parents sat her down and explained what it meant to be a Black woman in America. Recalling her childhood, Ward recounted a Williamsburg where members of the Ku Klux Klan would openly gather on Oak Tree Road near Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que for local Klan meetings, or times where her brother and other neighbors would come home in tears after being chased with sticks and other items by white residents.


Hampton University sues accreditor over fate of pharmacy program

By MATT JONES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

After months of appeals, Hampton University has sued the American Council for Pharmacy Education over the university's pharmacy doctorate program. The ACPE withdrew the Hampton University School of Pharmacy's Pharm.D. accreditation earlier this year, citing low performance on licensing exams and high student attrition. The accreditor put the withdrawal on hold after the university appealed.

CORONAVIRUS

Virginia reports nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases, 17 deaths Tuesday

By MOSS BRENNAN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported 996 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, bringing the state's tally to 101,745. At least 2,344 Virginians have died from the virus as of Tuesday morning, up 17 from Monday.


ICA-Farmville accepted 74 transfers June 2. Next came the largest COVID-19 outbreak in a U.S. immigrant detention center.

By SABRINA MORENO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

His cough is hollow, a raspy effort he said feels like blades scraping his lungs. Whispering into the phone — his one vehicle to the outside world as he grapples with a reality he calls "a hell we're living in" — he recites the horrors he's come to know well at Farmville's immigrant detention center: bugs in food, beds less than 6 feet apart, dust particles in vents he fears will kill him if COVID-19 doesn't, and medical attention that's delayed because nearly everyone at the center has tested positive.


Judge orders ICE to stop transfers into Virginia facility hit hard by coronavirus

By ANTONIO OLIVIO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A federal judge on Tuesday barred the Trump administration from transferring more undocumented immigrants into a Virginia detention center that is home to the nation's largest novel coronavirus outbreak inside such a facility. U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema also said she would decide whether to allow an independent health expert to inspect the Farmville facility after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention delivers a report Friday on testing being conducted there this week.


CDC team is at federal immigration facility to address virus

By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

A federal judge has ordered immigration authorities to halt any transfers into a Virginia detention center that has seen the worst coronavirus outbreak at any such facility in the nation. Government lawyers argued unsuccessfully against the injunction at a hearing Tuesday, saying they have no plans to transfer anyone into or out of the complex at Farmville, where a detainee died last week and more than 80% of the center's 300 detainees have tested positive for the virus.


COVID-19 Continues to Disproportionately Affect Some Areas of Prince William County

Bristow Beat

Prince William localities continue to have some of the highest COVID-19 positive numbers in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and minority neighborhoods have been the hardest hit. As the Governor warns of increases in COVID-19 cases along the eastern shore, Northern Virginia still leads the state in COVID-19 cases.


Galax has less than 10,000 residents. Why was it leading the state in new COVID-19 infections?

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

Around 30,000 people crowded downtown Galax last year during the first week of August, gathering in Felts Park for the city's annual, internationally known Old Fiddlers' Convention. The same week this year, the streets of the small Southwestern Virginia city are quiet. Many of the local businesses, especially the antique shops and art galleries, are closed. The 2020 Old Fiddlers' Convention — its 85th year — was canceled for the first time since World World II.


Reston Hospital Center Sees Decline in Patients During Pandemic

By ASHLEY HOPKO, Reston Now

At the Reston Hospital Center, staff members are seeing a decline in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-related patients. Compared to August of 2019, Reston Hospital Center Emergency Room admissions are down 20 percent and the hospital only had six COVID-19 patients currently, which is the lowest number since May, according to David Jacobs, the chairman and medical director for Reston Hospital Center's emergency department.


On the Peninsula, there's help with substance abuse during the pandemic

By DAVE RESS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

COVID-19 has sent many people on the Peninsula into relative isolation, but one group of people is still going out plenty: dealers with heroin and other opioids. That has the substance abuse treatment team at Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board worried.

VIRGINIA OTHER

Downtown Richmond buildings vandalized during 'Solidarity with Chicago' protest

By HANNAH EASON AND ANDREW RINGLE, Commonwealth Times

Windows were broken at multiple buildings in Richmond on Tuesday night, leaving a trail of property damage behind protesters that circled the downtown area. Protesters dressed in all black gathered at around 9 p.m. in a parking lot at Broad and Crane streets in the East End. VCU sent an alert regarding a "public assembly" off of the MCV campus at 9:39 p.m.


Unofficial historical markers on Monument Avenue are removed by city officials

By ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

City officials on Tuesday removed two unofficial historical markers near the Robert E. Lee statue, as law enforcement continues to more actively enforce city ordinances near the site of protests on Monument Avenue. Around midday Tuesday, about a dozen police officers and city workers arrived in white pickup trucks, dislodged the signs from the ground and removed them, according to videos shared on social media.


Newport News will remove Confederate monument in Denbigh

By JOSH REYES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

The Newport News City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to remove the Confederate monument that stands in Denbigh. Members of the council called it long overdue and the right thing to do, and most of the 13 speakers at a public hearing agreed. Councilwoman Pat Woodbury was the lone vote against removing the monument. She equated removing the monument to erasing history and said it should remain so that people can learn the history of the Confederacy and never repeat it.


Fredericksburg police ticket five protesters for blocking streets

By KEITH EPPS, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Five people who participated in a protest in downtown Fredericksburg Monday evening have been ticketed for refusing to get out of the road, police announced Tuesday, and three of them also face a misdemeanor charge. City police spokeswoman Sarah Morris said police received numerous complaints Monday when demonstrators blocked lanes of traffic during a protest that lasted about two hours. Morris said charges against other protesters are pending.


Reinstalling signs stirs school board, NAACP leader

By JIM RIDOLPHI, Mechanicsville Local

Less than two days after the Hanover County School Board voted to remove the names of two county schools named for Confederate leaders, outdoor signage and nameplates were removed from the two campuses. According to a statement issued Monday, Aug. 3, by the Hanover County School Board, those signs will be going back up "for a brief period of time."

LOCAL

August Has Been a Deadly Month for Opioid Overdoses in Arlington

ArlNow

Arlington County police are again sounding the alarm about opioid abuse and its dangers. In a press release, ACPD says that it is seeing a new "spike" in drug overdose deaths. "In the month of August, the Arlington County Police Department has investigated five deaths as possible drug-related overdoses," the department said in a press release Tuesday.


F.C. Council Votes 6-0 to Adopt Firearms Prohibition Law

By NICHOLAS F. BENTON, Falls Church News-Press

Culminating a grueling 5 hour, 15 minute virtual meeting Monday night, the Falls Church City Council voted unanimously, 6-0, to enact a "Firearms on City Property and Events" ordinance that will go into effect Nov. 1. It prohibits the possession of firearms, open or concealed, in official City-owned locations such as buildings (including City Hall and the Community Center), parks, facilities and streets when City-sponsored events are occurring.


School Board approves inequity-combating changes to Academies of Loudoun admissions process

By JOHN BATTISTON, Loudoun Times

At the recommendation of Loudoun County Public Schools senior staff, the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday approved changes to the Academies of Loudoun admissions process. The action, which the board previously discussed as a potential method to combat systemic racism within the division as well as a means to "promote geographic and socioeconomic diversity," comes following years of concern regarding the underrepresentation of certain racial and economic groups at the Academies.


Richmond's superintendent said that police don't belong in schools; teachers remain divided on the issue

By KENYA HUNTER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

When Richmond schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said last month that he's going to ask the School Board to remove police from schools, Armstrong High School teacher Graham Sturm was distressed. Sarah Hunter, a teacher at Chimborazo Elementary, thought it was the right decision. Where Sturm, who was a sophomore at Virginia Tech in April 2007 when a gunman murdered 32 people, sees protection, Hunter sees a structural problem that cannot be solved without wholesale change.


Richmond Mayor Proposes Broad Gun Ban, Drawing Concerns

By ROBERTO ROLDAN, WCVE

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is proposing a ban on firearms at public gatherings in the city. The proposal comes after months of Black Live Matter protests where some demonstrators have been openly armed. The ordinance proposed by Mayor Stoney would ban the possession of guns on public roads, sidewalks and parks "when a permitted event, or an event that should be permitted, is taking place."


Stoney wants state lawmakers to legalize marijuana

By MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney wants state lawmakers to legalize marijuana when they take up criminal justice reforms during a special legislative session scheduled next week. Marijuana was decriminalized in Virginia beginning last month, after the Democratic-controlled General Assembly stopped short of legalizing the drug earlier this year. In a letter sent to Gov. Ralph Northam a week before the Aug. 18 special session, Stoney said state lawmakers "need to take it a step further."


Henrico school system says it needs $15M more for upcoming school year because of COVID-19

By C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

With Henrico County schools preparing to begin the school year online next month, the school system has requested an additional $15.1 million over its adopted $509.9 million budget for this year. The additional money, which officials said the federal CARES Act would cover, is needed for extra cleaning supplies, substitute teachers, laptops, overtime costs and other expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Students won't be back in class. But some Hampton Roads teachers will have to be.

By MATT JONES AND GORDON RAGO, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

When Erin Stephens-Royster heard school board members in Chesapeake voted to start the year off virtually, she was thrilled — both as a teacher and a parent. She assumed that meant she'd be leading her classes online, too, just as she had in the spring when governor orders closed schools down due to the coronavirus pandemic. But when she got an email a short time later, she learned that wasn't the case. She'd be required to report to work, along with many other teachers in the city.


Virginia Beach parents have until midnight on Wednesday to choose between in-person and virtual learning

By PETER COUTU, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Parents of students attending Virginia Beach schools have until midnight on Wednesday to decide whether they want to commit to virtual learning for a semester or have their children return for in-person instruction when health conditions improve. If families don't make a choice by the deadline, students will automatically be placed in the face-to-face instruction option.


Virginia Beach Correctional Center has a new medical provider

By ALISSA SKELTON, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Beach Correctional Center has a new medical and mental health care provider. The sheriff's office awarded Richmond-based MEDIKO Inc., a contract earlier this summer paying $6.42 million a year. On Aug. 1, the company began offering medical, mental health, dental services and more to the jail's more than 1,000 inmates. MEDIKO is owned and operated by physicians.


Hampton to receive $800,000 in federal and state to aid homeless during pandemic

By LISA VERNON SPARKS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Hampton is on tap to receive $800,000 from federal and state sources to aid people without homes during the pandemic. The Hampton City Council expects to approve the COVID Homelessness Emergency Response Program funds Wednesday to cover costs for emergency shelters and rehousing incurred from April 2 through Sept. 20, 2022. Hampton's social services department will receive $560,000 from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sources and $240,000 from Virginia.


Journalist groups renew push for Newport News to record, broadcast work sessions

By JOSH REYES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Two Virginia journalism groups are urging the Newport News City Council to begin recording and broadcasting its work sessions, a topic that's been simmering among members of the council. Newport News is the only Hampton Roads city or Peninsula locality, including Gloucester and Isle of Wight counties, that does not post video recordings of work sessions. Most localities in the region broadcast their work sessions live, either online or on a public-access television channel.


Poquoson votes unanimously for hybrid start for students from Pre-K to third grade

By MATT JONES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The School Board voted Tuesday to bring some of Poquoson's youngest students back to school buildings starting Sept. 8, putting the city in rare company in eastern Virginia. Almost every district in Hampton Roads, including all of Poquoson's neighboring districts, has elected to start the year virtually.


Stafford residents fed up with poor mail delivery

By JAMES BARON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

After five days of waiting, Brenda Murray finally got mail delivered to her home last Friday. "It was not as much as I expected," Murray said. "And I tell you, we usually get tons of mail every day." Murray, like other residents in southern Stafford County, has experienced a lag, or in some cases, a total lack of mail over the last week or so.


Snow days the latest victim of COVID-19

By BRIAN BREHM, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Brace yourselves for some bad news, kids: There will be no snow days this year in Clarke County Public Schools. In fact, it's possible that snow days for schools throughout the commonwealth could vanish, possibly forever. Blame it on COVID-19. Starting in March, the novel coronavirus forced schools statewide to switch to an online learning model to complete the 2019-20 school year. Now, it's wreaking havoc with the 2020-21 school calendar, as school divisions across the state struggle with offering in-person classes, online instruction or a combination of the two when schools reopen in the fall.


Luray Town Council Censures Mayor Over 'Aunt Jemima' Post

By REBECCA ARMSTRONG, Daily News Record (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Mayor Barry Presgraves was formally reprimanded by his colleagues Monday night following a 90-minute meeting that drew more than 30 speakers, most calling for his resignation. In a 5-to-1 vote, Luray Town Council voted to censure Presgraves for an Aug. 2 post to his personal Facebook page that read "Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick."


Roanoke schools will be online only for most students for first quarter

By CLAIRE MITZEL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Roanoke City Public Schools will be online only for the majority of students through the first nine weeks of the 2020–21 school year. The Roanoke School Board voted 6-1 late Tuesday to approve the district's recommended phased reopening plan, following a four-hour meeting including two hours of rigorous questioning and discussion.


Salem schools modify reopening plans

By RALPH BERRIER JR., Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Salem schools will use a "soft opening" when classes resume later this month. All students who opt for in-person attendance will be in school one day a week, rather than two, for the first two weeks after schools open Aug. 31. Assistant Superintendent Curtis Hicks told the school board during a Tuesday work session that the district decided to reduce the number of in-person days after following guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health.


Roanoke County public safety employees to receive hazard pay

By ALISON GRAHAM, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Roanoke County has allocated more than $1.4 million to provide employees with hazard pay and bonuses after cutting salary increases from the fiscal year 2021 budget. The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize the additional pay. Most of the funding comes from the county's share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which Congress passed in March to help state and local governments pay for COVID-19 related expenses.


Dan River Region school administrators commit to swift notification of positive tests once in-person learning resumes

By PARKER COTTON, Danville Register & Bee

Among the many contingencies that school districts must plan for in the coming school year is the response to a student testing positive for COVID-19 once in-person instruction resumes. That scenario is viewed by some as an inevitability, but school leaders across Danville and in Pittsylvania County believe in a forthright reporting process that alerts parents and the wider school community as soon as they learn of a positive case.

 

EDITORIALS

5 lessons from Falwell's departure from Liberty

Roanoke Times Editorial (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

There is much that can be said about Jerry Falwell Jr.'s abrupt and indefinite departure from the presidency of Liberty University, surely far more than the 47 words in the university's terse formal announcement late Friday afternoon. This being 2020, a lot of those things got said pretty instantaneously on social media.


Long Bridge is still a good investment

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

The good news is that the coronavirus pandemic has not derailed one of the region's most important transit projects: the construction of a second Long Bridge over the Potomac River reserved exclusively for Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express passenger trains. The bad news is that due to revenue shortfalls directly related to the pandemic, the $3.7 billion, 10-year project may be significantly delayed.


Include developmentally disabled Virginians in COVID relief measures

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Group homes for adults with developmental disabilities are struggling to survive as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to wipe out their already inadequate financial resources. Their plight, and their frustration with Richmond's unresponsiveness, serve as a reminder that lawmakers have a daunting challenge ahead of them next week, and that protecting our must vulnerable residents remains elected officials' most important charge.


Richmond should help businesses damaged during protests

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Six months ago, downtown Richmond was bustling. Restaurants were full and sidewalks were crowded. The stretch of Broad and surrounding streets was lined with open storefronts with such offerings as shops, galleries and theaters. In a diverse economy, a cross-section of small businesses brought even more people into RVA, providing a multitude of fulfilling, competitive jobs.

OP-ED

Skaff: Police legislation endangers lives

By WILLIAM SKAFF, published in Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Open Letter to the Virginia General Assembly: I respectfully ask that you vote against prospective State of Virginia legislation that will (1) decrease state funding for local police departments and (2) substantially curtail the ability of police to do their job. The first will result in fewer police on the job or reductions in training and equipment and the second in limiting tactics and protections that will prevent police from engaging promptly and effectively.

Skaff is a retired director of policy analysis for a policy organization in Washington, D.C. He lives in Roanoke County.


Hess: VEC is providing a helping hand to jobless

By ELLEN MARIE HESS, published in Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Six months ago, the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic would have been unimaginable. Today, nearly everyone has been touched in some way by the crisis, and the last thing anyone needs is something else to worry about. For the more than 1 in 5 working Virginians affected by the pandemic, the need for unemployment benefits has never been greater.

Ellen Marie Hess is commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission.


Locke: Virginia Democrats propose sweeping justice reform agenda

By SEN. MAMIE LOCKE, published in Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have given Americans the full picture of the far-reaching problems with policing in America — primarily, the policing of people of color. Many of us are all too familiar with the obstacles and racial disparities of the justice system. The stories of violence against people of color are dominating the news cycle, social media and, for some, the conversations that we have with family and friends.

Locke represents the 2nd District, which includes parts of Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth and York County.


Brabble, Ludwig and Ewing: Wearing a mask in Virginia — historical lessons from 1918

By JESSICA BRABBLE, ARIEL LUDWIG AND E. THOMAS EWING, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

In October 1918, Virginia's first lady, Marguerite Inman Davis, worked as a volunteer nurse fighting the flu in an emergency hospital in Richmond. A photograph published in the Roanoke World-News on Oct. 19, 1918, and republished widely across the United States, depicted Davis "wearing a mask to protect herself from the disease germs." This historical example is relevant today as Virginians deal with requirements to wear face coverings in public for the first time in more than a century.

Brabble is a second-year graduate student in history at Virginia Tech. E. Thomas Ewing is a professor of history at Virginia Tech. Ludwig recently received her doctoral degree in Science and Technology in Society (STS) from Virginia Tech.


Warner: Can summer camps survive?

By ANN M. WARNER, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

...While camps have been able to weather world wars, the Great Depression and even other pandemics, COVID-19 has presented unique challenges that are a direct threat to the continued existence of summer camps. Without diminishing the hardships visited on so many businesses, overnight camps in Virginia have been uniquely and profoundly affected, perhaps more so than any other industry in the state. First, we are the only trade that specifically has been prohibited from operating, regardless of reopening phase.

Warner is owner and director of Camp Mont Shenandoah in Millboro Springs.


Robinson: After the statues come down, let's build a more equitable society

By DAWONE ROBINSON, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The fall of the Confederate statues reminds us that no nation forever can be shackled to symbols that defy its values, subvert its purpose, and cause its people anguish and pain. Removing these statues, though, also creates an opportunity, and focuses us on what we must do to build a just and equitable society. Part of the answer must be to confront the ways systemic racism has put Black people on the front lines of environmental hazard and harm far too often, and for far too long.

Robinson is the northeast/mid-Atlantic director of energy affordability at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Virginia Public Access Project · P.O. Box 1472 · Richmond, VA 23218 · USA

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Photo request for Smith Cemetery



Photo Request

A Find a Grave photo request has just been made in your area.

 

Elizabeth Mackintosh Johnson (202170958)
23 Mar 1667–15 Nov 1699


Smith Cemetery (2272190)
, York County , Virginia
Map available.
 

Requesting contributor: Tim (48895192)toleyar74@gmail.com
Note from contributor: Does the Tombstone actually give a Date of Birth,and what's the Date of Birth if Given?Also does the Tombstone specify whom the spouse was?



Instructions for Photographers
  • Claiming a request alerts other volunteer photographers of your intent to fulfill that request, thus avoiding duplicated effort.
  • To claim this request, click the "Claim Request" button above or visit the memorial by clicking the name above.
  • Once you have photographed the monument, use the 'Fulfill' button found on the photo request or the memorial page to upload the photo and fulfill the request.
  • If you have not fulfilled the request within 14 days of claiming it, the request will be available for others to claim.
  • Before visiting the cemetery for this request, please check to see if there are other open photo requests in Smith Cemetery.


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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Special Saturday Edition

August 8, 2020
Top of the News

Virginia Supreme Court temporarily halts evictions

By LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A sharply divided Virginia Supreme Court on Friday granted Gov. Ralph Northam's request for a statewide moratorium on evictions, extending protections for another month. As state and federal measures against evictions expired last month, Northam (D) asked the court in a letter to suspend evictions through early September to give the state time to come up with a legislative solution.


Canadian dies after being held in U.S. immigration detention centre with COVID-19 outbreak

By TU THANH HA, Globe and Mail

A 72-year-old Canadian has died in hospital after he was held for nearly three months in a U.S. immigration detention centre that had a major COVID-19 outbreak. James Hill had been in custody at the privately run detention centre in Virginia operated on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Farmville Detention Center has made headlines because hundreds of detainees have been infected with the novel coronavirus, amid complaints of overcrowding and poor sanitation.


Bedford County Public Schools remains optimistic about in-person reopening plan

By JAMEY CROSS, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

As school divisions locally and across the state shift to remote learning to begin the upcoming school year, Bedford County Public Schools is moving forward with plans for in-person learning. Division staff reported to the school board at its Thursday meeting that the division is pursuing the reopening plan administrators released in July, which prioritizes in-person learning for its youngest students and mainly remote instruction for older students.


One-day surge in reported COVID-19 cases attributed to data backlog

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

A surge of new COVID-19 cases on Virginia's daily dashboard was attributed to a data backlog earlier this week. The Virginia Department of Health registered 2,015 new cases on Friday — a significant increase from the state's typical numbers, which have largely hovered between 900 and 1,300 daily reported infections since the beginning of August. VDH spokeswoman Maria Reppas said the error originated with the department's "system-managed flow" of data, which queues pending cases before reporting them publicly.


Testing continues in SW Va., positivity above state average

By DAVID MCGEE, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

Concern over COVID-19 isn't taking a vacation during the dog days of summer. On Friday, nurses encased in blue medical gowns, gloves, masks and plastic face shields greeted a steady stream of patients at the city health department's drive-up testing site. Wait times were brief as each nasal swab test took but a few seconds, specimens were sealed into a plastic biohazard bag and the driver pulled away.


Liberty U's Falwell takes leave after social media uproar

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

Jerry Falwell Jr. took an indefinite leave of absence Friday as the leader of Liberty University, one of the nation's top evangelical Christian colleges, days after apologizing for a social media post that caused an uproar even among fellow conservatives. The private university in Lynchburg, Virginia, gave no reason for Falwell's departure in a one-sentence announcement Friday afternoon.


Alexandria remembers a young lynching victim

By PATRICIA SULLIVAN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Benjamin Thomas was just 16 when he was accused in 1899 of trying to assault an 8-year-old White girl who lived next door to him. Thrown in the basement jail of the Alexandria, Va., police station, he heard a crowd bashing through the wooden doors, overpowering the guards, breaking through the iron cell doors and calling his name. The Black teenager hid, either in a fish barrel or a hole. But the mob found him. They threw a rope around his neck and arm and dragged him over rough cobblestones to a lamppost near City Hall.

The Full Report
45 articles, 20 publications

FROM VPAP

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:30 a.m.

STATE ELECTIONS

Virginia Republicans to elect party leader as losses mount

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Facing a decade-long drought in statewide elections, Virginia Republicans will decide next week on a party chairman for the next four years....In the last three election cycles the GOP has lost control of the state Senate and the House of Delegates and the majority in the state's congressional delegation, thanks in part to an anti-Trump wave.

FEDERAL ELECTIONS

Company explains 'major error' that led to half-million erroneous ballot applications in Virginia

By NICK IANNELLI, WTOP

The company that printed a half-million incorrect absentee ballot applications for people in Virginia apologized for its "major error," saying the mistake was made because someone "incorrectly aligned a spreadsheet" that matched voters with their local registrar's offices. "We are keenly aware of the seriousness of this mistake," said Jonathan Shapiro, CEO of Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Co.


Good declined to participate in debate, per Webb

Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Bob Good, the Republican candidate for Virginia's 5th District congressional seat, has declined to participate in the first scheduled debate, according to his opponent. In a news release Friday, Democratic candidate Dr. Cameron Webb said that Good had declined to participate in a debate hosted by Piedmont Virginia Community College and CBS19.

STATE GOVERNMENT

Virginia Supreme Court grants eviction moratorium

Associated Press

The Virginia Supreme Court has granted a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to suspend judicial proceedings related to evictions for tenants who can't pay rent. The court ruled 4-3 on Friday to grant a moratorium on evictions through Sept. 7 as the state grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.


Virginia Supreme Court extends eviction ban until Sept. 7

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday approved a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to extend a statewide moratorium on evictions until Sept. 7, as thousands of cases remain pending in Virginia. The court was split 4-3 on the decision. The majority ruled that the pandemic may "substantially endanger" or "impede" tenants' ability to defend themselves in court.


Virginia Supreme Court declares another ban on evictions at Northam's request

By MARIE ALBIGES, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Evictions hearings will be suspended again starting Monday, the Virginia Supreme Court declared Friday. Thousands of Virginians were scheduled to go to court for unpaid rent, just one consequence of the coronavirus pandemic that upended the state's economic stability and forced people out of jobs. As unemployment rates rose, tenants struggled to make their monthly housing payments, and a previous eviction moratorium ended in June.


Virginia inmate, at odds with prison officials and white supremacist gang, fears for his life

By FRANK GREEN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A state inmate contends his life is in danger after acting as an informant for the Virginia Department of Corrections against the Aryan Brotherhood, a violent white supremacist prison gang. In a pending federal suit and in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch this week, Joshua Wayne Phelps alleges the gang has placed a statewide KOS, or "kill on sight," order against him and that the department of corrections will not place him in protective custody or move him to another state.

CONGRESS

House committee seeks records in coronavirus outbreak inside Virginia immigrant detention center

By ANTONIO OLIVIO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The House Committee on Homeland Security on Friday asked for records related to a widespread outbreak of the novel coronavirus inside a Virginia immigration detention center after a 72-year-old detainee there died while hospitalized with the disease earlier this week. Also on Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's office said the nation's top public health agency has agreed to conduct widespread coronavirus testing at the facility located in Farmville.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS

Jobless residents wait for Congress to deliver relief

By KARRI PEIFER AND MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

It's been about a month since Melanie Bianco first learned she would be losing her job. Now, she's unemployed, frustrated and fed up as she waits for Congress to strike a deal to extend jobless benefits as her mortgage and student loans hang in the balance. The 30-year-old North Richmond resident spent the past seven years planning corporate and group travel for a Richmond-based travel management firm.


The pandemic made telemedicine essential, but will virtual care continue?

By ELIZABETH BELL, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The VCU Massey Cancer Center looked for ways to continuously care for patients while keeping them out of the hospital or clinics during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of setting up multiple face-to-face appointments to monitor cancer patients, VCU doctors used mobile testing services to collect blood samples at patients' homes and video calls to discuss the results.


Survey: A fifth of Virginia military families say they don't have reliable food access

By KATHERINE HAFNER, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Nearly a fifth of active military families in Virginia say they can't reliably afford enough food — and many even experience longer term hunger, according to a survey conducted by the Military Family Advisory Network. Most of those families are concentrated in the Hampton Roads area, the nonprofit said.


Richmond area's hotel occupancy and tax collections down significantly

By GREGORY J. GILLIGAN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on the local and national hospitality industry. Occupancy levels at hotels in the Richmond region fell 40.3% in June compared with the same month a year ago as fewer business and leisure travelers stayed in area hotels and motels, according to data from STR Inc., a lodging industry research firm that is a division of CoStar Group.


Amazon facility opens in Prince George

By SEAN JONES, Progress Index (Metered paywall - 10 articles a month)

A new Amazon fulfillment center has opened in Prince George, bringing 150 jobs to the area. Amazon leaders welcomed new team members on Tuesday, August 4 with a morning of training and activities. The first item shipped from the new facility - Dog and puppy potty training pads.


Virginia-based Contractor Embedded Software in Apps to Track Phones

By BYRON TAU, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

A small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Anomaly Six LLC a Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Mary Washington to start with three weeks of remote learning

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The University of Mary Washington plans to start classes with remote learning for the first three weeks of the fall semester, commencing Aug. 24. Students who will be on campus from Sept. 10 through Nov. 20 and commuting students who signed up for a fall dining plan will be eligible for refunds.


At-home COVID-19 tests: W&M expects students to stick to the 'honor code'

By JULIA MARSIGLIANO, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

William & Mary plans to welcome back its students for the fall semester during the coronavirus but with some requirements. One of them is having students test themselves for COVID-19 prior to coming to campus. . . . All students are required to take the test, which is paid for by the university at no charge to students. But how will William & Mary ensure the credibility of each test? The answer: By giving students the benefit of the doubt and relying on the university's honor code.


UVA Wise will delay fall semester start

By STAFF REPORT, Coalfield Progress

The University of Virginia's College at Wise announced Monday that it will delay the start of the fall 2020 semester by two weeks and will mail at-home COVID-19 test kits to students before they arrive on campus. Classes will now begin on Aug. 26 instead of Aug. 12, and residential students who have not yet returned to Wise will wait until Aug. 19 for their staggered and prescheduled move in to campus housing.


After racy photo, Falwell takes leave from Liberty U.

By SARAH PULLIAM BAILEY, SUSAN SVRLUGA AND JOE HEIM, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Jerry Falwell Jr., an early and prominent supporter of President Trump, will take a leave of absence from leading Liberty University after posting a provocative photo to social media that drew widespread criticism, including from other evangelical leaders. The school issued a brief statement Friday afternoon saying that the executive committee of Liberty's board of trustees met earlier that day and requested that Falwell take an indefinite leave. That committee of eight people includes Falwell, according to the school's website. Falwell's brother, Jonathan Falwell, is also on the board of trustees.


Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. taking leave of absence

By RICHARD CHUMNEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is taking an indefinite leave of absence starting immediately, the university announced Friday. In a statement, the university said Falwell agreed to step aside after the executive committee of Liberty's Board of Trustees requested he take a leave of absence. The university's one-sentence announcement gave no reason for Falwell's departure, but the move comes two days after Falwell apologized for posting — and quickly deleting — a photo on Instagram showing him with his pants partially unzipped and his arm around a woman with her pants also partially unzipped.


Roanoke College appoints independent investigator to review sexual misconduct response

By CLAIRE MITZEL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Roanoke College has retained a Richmond-based attorney to conduct a third-party investigation into whether the college's former Title IX coordinator improperly responded to students' sexual misconduct complaints. Karen Michael will immediately begin an eight-week investigation into the allegations against Dean of Students Brian Chisom, who until 2018 was the college's Title IX coordinator.

CORONAVIRUS

Data backlog pushes Friday spike in statewide COVID-19 cases

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported Friday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 97,882 — an increase of 2,015 from the 95,867 reported Thursday. That spike is due to a two-day backlog of information that should have been reported Wednesday and Thursday, combined with Friday's normal count, the health department said. It caught the issue late Thursday, the result of a "system performance configuration."


Virginia sets record for coronavirus infections after tech problem causes backlog

By DANA HEDGPETH, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Virginia's seven-day average coronavirus caseload surged to near-record levels Friday as the state reported a backlog of infections that should have been counted over two previous days. The 2,015 new daily infections marked the state's highest daily total but included numbers that should have been reported Wednesday and Thursday. Distributing the cases among recent days still lifted Virginia's seven-day average caseload to 1,142 — second only to a record set May 31.


Virginia continues to grapple with testing delays as public officials seek workarounds

By MEL LEONOR, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

As public activity steadily rises and the bustling fall season nears for schools and businesses, lengthy waits for COVID-19 testing continue to plague Virginia....The source of the delays for publicly available testing rests with shortages at national labs, but health officials in Virginia are pursuing workarounds to abate the impact of the impact of the delays. They include a new multi-state agreement to negotiate the purchase of quicker tests, guidance to labs to batch tests for low-risk groups and a new app to help notify people who may have been exposed to the virus.


Local virus cases up among 20-somethings; outbreaks reported at Caroline school and Stafford care facility

By CATHY DYSON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Friday's report from the Rappahannock Area Health District showed an even bigger daily increase in COVID-19 cases than the day before, as another school has been impacted, more young people are testing positive and another long-term care facility is dealing with an outbreak.


District on track for another record month of virus cases

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Ahead of the return of University of Virginia students, Central Virginia is on track for another record month of coronavirus cases as health officials say residents continue to flout social distancing recommendations. The first seven days of August have seen 189 new cases of the coronavirus in the Thomas Jefferson Health District, roughly 38% more than the record set in the first week of July.


Outbreaks lead to increased cases, deaths in and around Lynchburg

By RACHEL MAHONEY, News & Advance (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes, churches and other settings continue to spread COVID-19 to residents in Central Virginia. Data from the Virginia Department of Health indicates since March, there have been 13 outbreaks in the Central Virginia Health District, which includes Lynchburg and the surrounding counties. Of those, five outbreaks have been at long-term care facilities, seven have been at congregate settings and one has been in a healthcare setting.


Roanoke looks for ways to reach Hispanic residents to help curb spread of COVID-19

By LUANNE RIFE, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Roanoke and public health officials Wednesday met with leaders of the city's Hispanic community to figure out ways to spread information about the coronavirus. The disease had disproportionately affected Latinos in both Roanoke and Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health has race and ethnicity data for only about half of the city's 973 COVID-19 cases.


Va. group homes for adults with disabilities feel 'forgotten'

By JESSICA CONTRERA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The letter to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam warned of a crisis within a crisis: The industry built to support adults with developmental disabilities was being financially crushed by the pandemic. Day programs had been shuttered for months. Group homes had sunk hundreds of thousands into attempts to keep their residents from contracting the novel coronavirus. A coalition of service providers, desperate for personal protective equipment and other supports, hoped to alert the governor to their increasingly desperate situation.


For the second time, Virginia erroneously reports coronavirus death of a child

By MOSS BRENNAN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported the death of a child age 9 or younger Friday morning, but in the afternoon, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Health said it was a typographical error. VDH provided no additional information beyond saying the error had been corrected. No children in Virginia have died from the coronavirus.


72-year-old Canadian man dies in ICE custody after being held at Farmville Detention Center

By SABRINA MORENO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A 72-year-old Canadian in custody at an immigration detention center in Farmville - the site of the largest coronavirus outbreak in a U.S. immigration facility - has died. ICE spokeswoman Kaitlyn Pote said the 72-year-old died Wednesday night in a Virginia hospital but said more information is not available at this time, including whether the death was COVID-related.

VIRGINIA OTHER

State panel recommends moving Lee statue from U.S. Capitol to history museum in Richmond

By ANDREW CAIN, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A state panel on Friday unanimously recommended that Virginia's statue of Robert E. Lee at the U.S. Capitol be moved to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond. Historian Ed Ayers, former president of the University of Richmond, made the motion to ask whether the museum wants to take ownership of the statue.


City's Confederate statues now up for disposal

By JEREMY M. LAZARUS, Richmond Free Press

Let the disposal begin. The Richmond City Council on Monday set in motion a plan to finally rid Richmond of most of the city-owned statues and icons of Confederate traitors, although surprisingly, not all. As expected, the council voted 9-0 to approve the permanent removal of the Confederate statues and to start the process to receive bids for 10 of the 12 items under city control.


Marching home? Confederate monument foe works with Stuart descendant to send statue to general's birthplace

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

Richmond City Councilman Michael Jones may seem an unlikely ally for the great-great-grandson of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, but they share a common goal of finding a new home outside of the city for a Confederate monument that no longer stands over Stuart Circle on Monument Avenue. Jones is an African American minister from South Richmond who has led the council effort to remove Confederate statues in the city.


As protests at Robert E. Lee statue continue, nearby residents live in constant state of unrest

By ERIC KOLENICH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

During the past two months, the block surrounding the Robert E. Lee statue has transformed into ground zero for Richmond's racial justice protests. Anywhere from a half dozen to hundreds of visitors have occupied the grassy circle and the nearby median strips 24 hours a day, blanketing the statue's base in graffiti and filling the air with noise, including gunfire.

LOCAL

Data Centers Only Bright Spot in Loudoun Tax Revenue Forecast

By RENSS GREENE, Loudoun Now

Less than a month into the fiscal year, as is customary, supervisors on the county finance committee and county staff members have begun work on the next annual county budget—one that will be shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic's impacts on the economy and tax collections. The county government's main sources of funding—real estate and personal property tax revenues—could both see significant dips as the county and country navigate the pandemic's fallout. In particular, said Chief of Staff Caleb Weitz, commercial real estate values could be vulnerable.


County early-voting system will cost up to $300,000

By DON DEL ROSSO, Fauquier Now

Making it easier for people to vote comes with a price. Fauquier's board of supervisors on Thursday, Aug. 13, will decide whether to designate two county-owned buildings — the Bealeton Depot and the Vint Hill Community Center — as early in-person absentee voting "satellite" polling places for the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections. County Administrator County Administrator Paul S. McCulla put the effort's start-up expenses at about $300,000.


How the Virginia Citizens Defense League won in Rappahannock County

By RACHEL NEEDHAM, Rappahannock News (Metered Paywall)

Gun owners in Rappahannock County can sleep well at night knowing for a fact that their Board of Supervisors plans to leave their firearms in peace. On Monday night upwards of forty Rappahannock residents attended the evening session in support of a measure colloquially known as the "No Local Gun Control" resolution. At least fifteen people in attendance — including some county employees — were not wearing masks, despite Virginia Executive Order 63 mandating that face coverings must be worn indoors at public events.


Charlottesville's stop-and-frisk data largely unchanged by pandemic

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

The Charlottesville Police Department's use of what it calls "investigative detentions" was at an all-time low in June after reaching a six-month high in May. The coronavirus pandemic doesn't seem to have had much overall impact on the department's use of the practice, commonly called stop-and-frisk, although it is changing the neighborhood encounters.


Sheriff walks out on supervisors during questions about budget overages

By RANDY ARRINGTON, Page Valley News

Neither side thinks the other understands. Both sides are calling for better communication. And both blame the other for the confusion and not dealing with the reoccurring problem. The same drama has played out for four of the last five years between the Page County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Chad Cubbage. The sheriff has consistently gone over budget for four of the five budget cycles since being elected in 2015, while the supervisors continue to repeatedly request the sheriff to deal with budget shortfalls sooner and make adjustments, rather than simply reporting a deficit at the end of the fiscal year.


Lawyers guild says Floyd Courthouse's Confederate monument sends wrong message

By MIKE GANGLOFF, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

A small local lawyer's group connected to a long history of civil rights activism took aim Friday at the Confederate monument at the Floyd County Courthouse, calling it a symbol of unfair treatment for Black and other defendants of color — and urging defense attorneys to try to move their cases out of the county. The Southwest Virginia Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild released a statement saying that the statue of a Confederate soldier outside the courthouse's front entrance "sends a message that equal justice under the law will not be administered."


Hillsville's Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show canceled for first time in its 53-year history

By TONIA MOXLEY, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Sandra Terry reckons there's a first time for everything. And this year it's the first time in more than 50 years that Hillsville's Grover King VFW Post 1115 won't sponsor the annual Labor Day Flea Market and Gun Show. "This would have been the 53rd year," Terry said. "This is the first time it's been canceled." And the town is in an uproar over it.


'Now it's in the hands of the citizens:': Casino question officially on November ballot

By CALEB AYERS, Danville Register & Bee

There have not been any formal surveys or polling surrounding the question of a casino done by the city, but Councilman Lee Vogler and Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones said most of the feedback they've heard has been very positive. "I've heard from just very very small numbers of people that were … apprehensive about it," Vogler said.

 

EDITORIALS

No going back

Richmond Free Press Editorial

Confederates don't go easy. When the recent surge began to remove the Monument Avenue statues that tragically honor traitors to our nation and racist slavers who sought to deny our humanity, there was no doubt the blowback would come. We point to recent events in Richmond and Hanover County as examples.

COLUMNISTS

Schapiro: Stoney's path to second term might not be that bumpy

By JEFF E. SCHAPIRO, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

In the West End and in Westover Hills, red-brick neighborhoods where Mayor Levar Stoney has more than his share of critics, yard signs are popping up for Kim Gray and Justin Griffin. Alexsis Rodgers, aiming to harness youthful, progressive hostility for Stoney, is a constant presence on Twitter.

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