Air board members won’t be seated before compressor vote; Fields to claim self-defense in Charlottesville attack and more headlines

Gov. Ralph Northam
Gov. Ralph Northam

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

New members won’t vote on compressor permit

Gov. Ralph Northam announced he will not seat two new members of the state Air Pollution Control Board until after a Dec. 10 vote on a compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Patrick Wilson reports.

Northam’s office cited “the compressed timeline the governor’s new appointees face, as well as the level of attention trained on their willingness to serve the commonwealth,” according to the RTD.

Northam had angered environmentalists by removing two board members critical of the compressor station days after they expressed concerns at a meeting earlier this month.


— Attorneys for James Fields plan to argue he was acting in self-defense when he plowed his car into a crowd of protesters in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, killing one and injuring dozens. The preview of his defense came on the first day of his trial as the court attempts to seat an impartial jury, a process the judge called “slow going.” (Associated Press)

— The chairman of the Hopewell Republican Committee has been wearing a gun on his hip while protesting outside the voter registrar’s office, alleging willful violations of state election laws. The tactic has generated civil rights concerns. “If you were voting for the first time and you saw a guy walking up and down the sidewalk with a gun, would you not be afraid?” (Richmond Times-DispatchThe Progress-Index)

— Republicans blame Trump for their congressional losses in the state’s suburbs, but, in Northern Virginia, demographic changes make it unlikely the once-conservative strongholds will swing back in Republican’s favor any time soon. “This is the end of the Republican wave in Loudoun.” (WAMU)

— Recounts in three tight Virginia Beach City Council races are expected to cost more than $100,000. (The Virginian-Pilot)

— The newly sworn-in U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Being in that role was a 15- to 20-hour-a-day position and at any one time we were dealing with issues, difficult issues – in some cases crises – of national importance at the highest levels and so, for me, it was a critical growth experience,” he said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— The Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office declined to release internal reports about a man who managed to shoot himself in the head using a department gun while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car. Officials cited pending litigation, noting the man, who survived, has indicated he plans to sue them. (The Free Lance-Star)

— New state building codes mandate homes in a broader range of coastal areas be built to withstand extreme flooding and storms. As a result, homes on pilings will soon stand alongside colonial-style homes in some historic neighborhoods. (The Virginian-Pilot)

— Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors signed off on a new innovation campus in Alexandria that was announced alongside the Amazon HQ2 deal. (Associated Press)

— Only about half of the 25,000 jobs Amazon brings to Virginia will be tech related, company officials say. The rest will be administrative, HR, custodial and the like. (Washington Business Journal)

— A trial date has been set in a lawsuit accusing the Culpeper County sheriff of holding immigrants in jail past their release dates as part of their cooperation agreement with ICE. (Culpeper Star-Exponent)

— Researchers at Liberty University say they’re studying fungus-resistant salamanders that live in mountains around the school to try to figure out how they avoid die offs that have plagued frogs in Australia. (Associated Press)

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