Absentee ballots arriving with confusing instructions, Warner spars with Gade, protests after Breonna Taylor verdict, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Voters in some jurisdictions say absentee ballots are arriving with confusing instructions that say witness signatures are both required and not required. They are not. Elections officials blamed the late change for the confusion. “It’s not as clear as it should be, no question about that.”—Washington Post

• “U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and his Republican opponent Daniel Gade sparred over the dangers of the conoravirus, when to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court and other topics Wednesday during their first debate in a little-noticed Senate race.”—Associated Press

• Protesters took to the streets in Richmond and Norfolk following an announcement in Kentucky that no police officers will be charged in the death of Breonna Taylor.—Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied the Gloucester School Board’s request for a full rehearing in the long-running lawsuit filed by a transgender student. The next step could be the U.S. Supreme Court — where the case had once been destined before the high court sent it back to lower courts three years ago.”—Daily Press

• Richmond police say they’re still investigating a July 1 incident in which police teargassed a large crowd of peaceful protesters with no apparent provocation. Activists called the timeline unreasonable. “If you make it a priority, it shouldn’t take this long.”—WVTF

• Developers of the stalled Mountain Valley Pipeline are asking regulators for permission to resume work after one of three key permits was restored.—Roanoke Times

• “Attorneys for a man accused of killing an Appalachian Trail hiker in Southwest Virginia last year intend to assert an insanity defense, according to a court notice.”—Bristol Herald Courier

• The number of patients seeking treatment for nonfatal overdoses at VCU Medical Center shot up 123 percent during the pandemic, a finding experts say supports anecdotal reports that drug abuse has increased amid the social upheaval caused by the virus.—VPM

• Culpeper’s sheriff doubled down on a widely debunked allegation of violent attacks by protesters in Roanoke in an eight-minute video posted on his department’s Facebook page. Local activists called the eight-minute video “one of the most ignorant posts we’ve ever seen.”—Culpeper Star-Exponent

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