Staff Report

Staff Report

Virginia Mercury staff report. For questions, comments or concerns, contact [email protected]

Fauquier narrows school library book challenges and more Va. headlines

By: - March 21, 2023

• In his first public comments about the death of Irvo Otieno in law enforcement custody at a state-run hospital, Gov. Glenn Youngkin re-upped his call for an “aggressive transformation” of Virginia’s mental health system.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The Youngkin administration’s proposed history standards include the first direct mention of the Readjuster Party, a biracial party that pushed […]

Otieno video to be released and more Va. headlines

By: - March 20, 2023

• The Virginia prosecutor who has charged seven sheriff’s deputies and three Central State Hospital employees in connection to the death of Irvo Otieno is planning to release a surveillance video that other authorities previously refused to make public.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The town of Rocky Mount could become the first Virginia locality to impose term limits for […]

A Norfolk storm protection plan and more Va. headlines

By: - March 17, 2023

• Three former employees of Central State Hospital have been charged in the death of mental health patient Irvo Otieno in addition to seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies. Otieno’s family is now working with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who also represented the family of George Floyd.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • A Northern Virginia man was arrested for allegedly […]

Man who died in Henrico police custody allegedly ‘smothered’ to death and more Va. headlines

By: - March 16, 2023

• Prosecutors said in court Wednesday that 28-year-old Irvo Otieno, who died in the custody of Henrico County sheriff’s deputies as he was being checked into a mental health facility, was “smothered” to death. In a statement, the local police union said its members “stand behind” the seven deputies charged with second-degree murder.—Richmond Times-Dispatch, CNN • “Deaths of […]

Seven Henrico deputies turn themselves in and more Va. headlines

By: - March 15, 2023

• Seven Henrico County sheriff’s deputies turned themselves in on second-degree murder charges in connection with the death of a 28-year-old inmate who died in their custody while being admitted to Central State Hospital in Dinwiddie County.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • Gov. Glenn Youngkin is continuing to stoke talk of presidential ambitions by heading to Dallas next month for […]

Isle of Wight schools ban teaching about systemic racism and more Va. headlines

By: - March 14, 2023

• “Virginia regulators and banks sent a message of reassurance on Monday that the state’s banks are stable and don’t face the risks that caused regional banks to fail in California and New York over a long, stressful weekend.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The Isle of Wight County School Board officially banned teaching about “systemic racism,” adopting a policy […]

State firefighter dies battling Buchanan wildfire and more Va. headlines

By: - March 13, 2023

• General Assembly budget negotiators are hoping to meet this week to work toward ending a partisan impasse that led the legislature to adjourn this year without a new spending plan.—Washington Post • A Virginia firefighter died in an ATV accident while battling a wildfire in Buchanan County.—Associated Press • Virginia’s expansion of passenger rail service is translating […]

Youngkin defends education policies at CNN town hall and more Va. headlines

By: - March 10, 2023

• Youngkin defended his transgender student policies, the state’s new draft history standards and his executive order forbidding the teaching of “inherently divisive concepts” in a town hall hosted by CNN.—Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch • Newport News authorities have officially ruled out charges against the 6-year-old boy who shot his teacher in January. It remains unclear whether the […]

Thirteen grants for lab schools and more Va. headlines

By: - March 9, 2023

• Three Virginia school systems say they’re planning to offer a pilot AP African American studies course that’s drawn scrutiny from Republican leaders like Gov. Glenn Youngkin, whose administration is reviewing the course curriculum.—Washington Post • The Youngkin administration announced 13 grants for K-12 lab schools that will be set up in coordination with colleges and universities […]

A quail comeback campaign, delegate’s felony hit and run and more Va. headlines

By: - March 8, 2023

Virginia Del. Matt Fariss, R-Campbell, was arrested and charged with two felonies after allegedly hitting a woman with his car last week and leaving the scene. The woman later took out a protective order against the delegate. Farris called the charges “false’ and claimed he’ll be cleared in court.—Cardinal News A grand jury indicted a  […]

Execution tapes returned to Dept. of Corrections and more Va. headlines

By: - March 7, 2023

After a news story revealed the existence of execution recordings at the Library of Virginia, the state Department of Corrections asked for the tapes back. The library granted the request, returning materials donated in 2006 by a former prison employee.—Associated Press Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., will play a key role in an upcoming congressional debate […]

Amazon pauses building HQ2 in NoVa and more Va. headlines

By: - March 6, 2023

Amazon is pausing construction on its HQ2 office campus in Northern Virginia, but local officials say they still expect the project to pay off in the long run.—Washington Post University of Virginia board member Bert Ellis apologized for disparaging comments he made that became public through a Freedom of Information Act request. “Those were private […]