Alan Diamonstein, former delegate, dies at 88 years old; State and school systems may have to pay more toward employee pension benefits and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• State prison officials asked a federal judge to toss a lawsuit filed by four news organizations seeking public access to executions, arguing the First Amendment right to witness court proceedings “does not extend beyond the prison door.” – Associated Press
• The Board of Education approved a new funding plan that would allocate more money to school districts with more students living in poverty. However, the changes will only take effect if approved  and budgeted  by the General Assembly when it meets next year. – VPM
• Democrat Cheryl Turpin and Republican Jen Kiggans  the two candidates for the hotly contested Senate seat in Virginia Beach vacated by Frank Wagner  debated for the first time. The exchanges were civil and brief: “The candidates didn’t use all of their allotted speaking time, didn’t interrupt each other and used their one-minute rebuttals mainly to re-emphasize their points.” – The Virginian-Pilot
• The Virginia DMV says it hasn’t received a request for data from the Trump administration, which has asked several states for driver and ID records in an effort to gather citizenship information. – The Washington Post
• A nurse pleaded guilty to a 2016 rape that police solved using a public genealogy database to which his relatives had uploaded their DNA profiles. – The Washington Post
• Alan A. Diamonstein, who represented Newport News in the Virginia House of Delegates for 33 years, died. Colleagues remembered him for his advocacy on behalf of state colleges, people with disabilities and the poor. – The Virginian-Pilot
• The mayor of Strasburg, already fighting a petition to remove him from office after a second offense DUI charge, was indicted by a grand jury on charges he took money under false pretenses and used food stamp benefits without authorization. – The Northern Virginia Daily
• The state retirement system is anticipating lower market returns, meaning Virginia and local school systems might have to pay more toward their employees’ pension benefits. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Alec Baldwin says he’ll visit Virginia next week to campaign with Democratic candidates in Chesterfield, Fredericksburg and Fairfax. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
• A hemp farmer in Christiansburg theorizes that pot dealers are cutting their products with his legal, non-intoxicating product after someone cut a hole in his fence and stole 30 to 40 plants. “They’re trying to stretch their marijuana sales.” – The Roanoke Times

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