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COVID-19 in Virginia


Arguments heard over Lee statue’s removal

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

The Civil War itself seemed to be on trial Monday in the former capital of the Confederacy, as a circuit court judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Ralph Northam's effort to take down the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue and lawyers debated the root causes of the nation's most divisive conflict. The suit was brought by a small group of local residents and hinges, in part, on a deed the state legislature accepted in 1889 promising to protect the memorial forever.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Stuart: Amendment 1 is the only way to fair, nonpartisan redistricting

By SEN. RICHARD H. STUART, published in Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

I voted for and support the Redistricting Reform Constitutional Amendment (Question #1) on the November ballot. I believe it’s the only chance for a fair, nonpartisan, and independent redistricting process moving forward.

Stuart represents the 28th District in the Senate of Virginia.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Northam orders independent investigation of VMI's culture

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

Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday ordered an independent investigation of the Virginia Military Institute after Black cadets and alumni spoke out against racism they endured while attending the public military college. A third party will review VMI’s “culture, policies, practices, and equity in disciplinary procedures” and share preliminary results by the end of the calendar year, Northam wrote to the college’s board of visitors.

VaNews October 20, 2020

RPS official says COVID-19 has exacerbated chronic absenteeism

By KENYA HUNTER, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

About 1 in 5 students in Richmond Public Schools are on track to be chronically absent, according to data presented to the Richmond School Board on Monday. As of Oct. 5, 20 days into the school year, 21.2% of students in the school system had missed 10% or more of the school year, up 3 percentage points from last year’s rate. Harry Hughes, RPS’ chief of schools, said much of the data has been driven by 13 elementary schools and one middle school.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Deputies will step up polling place patrols on Election Day

By EVAN GOODENOW, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Local elections officials and police say voter intimidation won’t be tolerated at the polls. There haven’t been any complaints locally since early voting in Virginia began on Sept. 18, and authorities want to keep it that way. Clarke County Sheriff Tony Roper and Frederick County Sheriff Lenny Millholland said they have been in contact with the voter registrars in their jurisdictions and that deputies will be doing extra patrols at the polls on Election Day, which is Nov. 3. In the past, Millholland said deputies primarily focused on parking enforcement, with no intimidation reported.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Richmond judge in Lee statue case says ruling expected in 7 to 10 days

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

The trial to determine the fate of the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue was held Monday in a Richmond courtroom, and it became a wide-ranging discussion on the causes of the Civil War and race relations for the past 160 years. Gov. Ralph Northam called for the 130-year-old statue to be dismantled June 4, but a lawsuit seeks to keep it standing. Circuit Judge W. Reilly Marchant said he expects to issue his ruling in seven to 10 days.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Richmond planners delay vote on turning medians into parks near Lee Statue

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

The Richmond Planning Commission decided Monday to delay its vote on a proposal that would restrict nighttime protests and public traffic on medians near the statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue. The measure is supported by several civic associations concerned about the ongoing demonstrations and related activities that began in May around the Confederate monument.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Second COVID wave requires renewed vigilance in Virginia

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

Data from across the United States suggests the nation is on the cusp of another surge of coronavirus infections, the anticipated “second wave” that health officials have warned of since the pandemic began. While Virginia has reduced most of its metrics since posting some worrisome numbers around Labor Day, this is a critical hour for the commonwealth, one that demands vigilance.

VaNews October 20, 2020

COVID fear caused many 'excess deaths'

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

There is a tendency among some to believe that the grim COVID-19 death numbers in Virginia and the United States aren’t accurate. They’re right. The numbers are misleading. Things are worse than we thought. A macabre statistic called “excess deaths” tells how many people in a certain area are expected to die over a certain period, based on historical data.

VaNews October 20, 2020

Richmond judge hasn’t yet ruled after Robert E. Lee statue trial

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

A judge heard hours of arguments and witness testimony Monday but did not immediately issue a ruling in a lawsuit seeking to prevent Virginia’s governor from removing an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. “It’s a very difficult case. It’s a difficult case for our city, it’s a difficult case for the nation,” Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant said.

VaNews October 20, 2020