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COVID-19 in Virginia


Women play critical role in 7th District vote

By JIM MCCONNELL, Chesterfield Observer

Two years ago, on the heels of the #MeToo movement and Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, a grassroots coalition of left-leaning Chesterfield women launched an aggressive canvassing operation that took down U.S. Rep. Dave Brat and helped flip a 7th House District seat that had been held by Republicans for the better part of five decades. As Election Day 2020 looms amid a global coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 Americans, the question now facing the Liberal Women of Chesterfield County is:...

VaNews October 29, 2020

Loudoun County Public Schools nixes numerical class rank starting with Class of 2025

By JOHN BATTISTON, Loudoun Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Loudoun County School Board voted Tuesday night to discontinue a numerical class rank system starting with next year’s Loudoun County Public Schools freshman class, opting instead for a percentile-based Latin Honor System. Board member Jeff Morse (Dulles District) was the sole dissenter in the 8-1 vote, which resulted from a motion by Harris Mahedavi (Ashburn District).

VaNews October 29, 2020

Virginia Democratic Party and Richmond election officials working to resolve dispute over voter list

By MEL LEONOR AND C. SUAREZ ROJAS, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Democratic Party of Virginia and Richmond’s top elections official are working to resolve a legal dispute over the release of a list of voters whose ballots haven’t been processed due to errors. A DPVA spokesman said the party has received a list of 97 Richmond voters whose ballots were flagged for errors, and is working with Richmond General Registrar J. Kirk Showalter to obtain the most up to date, complete list.

VaNews October 29, 2020

Martinsville receives grant to expand internet service across entire city

By BILL WYATT, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

By the end of this year, everyone in Martinsville will have access to high-capacity and high-speed wireless internet service. The announcement came at the end of Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the Martinsville City Council, when City Manager Leon Towarnicki told council that the city had the federal money in hand to expand the city’s MiNet internet service and intended to make it happen in six weeks.

VaNews October 29, 2020

Virginia COVID-19 cases rise by 1,345 from Tuesday

By ABBY CHURCH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

The Virginia Department of Health reported Wednesday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 176,754 — an increase of 1,345 from the 175,409 reported Tuesday. The 176,754 cases consist of 164,308 confirmed cases and 12,446 probable cases. There are 3,616 COVID-19 deaths in Virginia — 3,364 confirmed and 252 probable. That’s an increase of 16 from the 3,600 reported Tuesday.

VaNews October 29, 2020

Richmond police chief should release the names

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

So let’s get this straight: Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith established a committee to strengthen relationships and build greater trust between his department and city residents — but he will publicly identify only one of the members. Where is the transparency and accountability?

VaNews October 29, 2020

Northam signs police, criminal justice reform bills

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

Legislation intended to bring reform to policing and criminal justice in Virginia — including a ban on no-knock warrants and stricter training and performance requirements for police officers — will soon become law in the state, after a summer of demonstrations over police brutality and systemic racism. Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday signed more than a dozen measures sent to his desk by the Democratic-controlled House and Senate, which he described as a “tremendous step forward in rebuilding trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

VaNews October 29, 2020

Return Warner to Senate

Daily Progress Editorial (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Virginia voters have the privilege and responsibility next week to elect a U.S. senator, choosing between incumbent Mark Warner, Democrat, and Daniel Gade, Republican. This has been a well-fought campaign, giving voters clear and contrasting pictures of the two candidates.

VaNews October 29, 2020

D.C. region hits 11-week high in coronavirus infections

By DANA HEDGPETH, LAURA VOZZELLA, LOLA FADULU AND REBECCA TAN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

New coronavirus infections across the greater Washington region hit an 11-week high Wednesday, mirroring a rise seen across large swaths of the country as the pandemic’s spread worsens ahead of the cold winter months. The rolling seven-day average of new infections across D.C., Virginia and Maryland stands at 1,949 cases, the most since the average reached 2,001 new cases Aug. 9.

VaNews October 29, 2020

In Hampton, activists ask for tougher open carry restrictions at polling sites

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

Six days before Election Day, Hampton will put out an election safety guide that aims to address possible voter intimidation at the polls. City Council will hear a presentation from the city attorney’s office Wednesday night on state laws that govern election day activities. It will review precautions in place because of the pandemic and offer steps that may be taken, such as alerting an election official if a voter feels intimidated.

VaNews October 29, 2020