Alexandria seminary creates reparations fund; Jerry Falwell Jr. asks the FBI to investigate “attempted coup” and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

•  Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria announced a $1.7 million fund for reparations that, among other things, will provide for “the particular needs of any descendants of enslaved persons that worked at the Seminary.”  – The Washington Post

• “Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said Tuesday that he is asking the FBI to investigate what he called a ‘criminal’ smear campaign orchestrated against him by several disgruntled former board members and employees. … He said the ‘attempted coup’ was partially motivated by his ardent backing of President Donald Trump.” – Associated Press

• House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, has been telling voters he “led the fight to expand Medicaid” as he campaigns for reelection in a district that is now majority Democratic. Politifact rated that claim “half true,” noting that, before a change of heart last year, he “repeatedly helped strip expansion from proposed state budgets.” – VPM

• Advocates are pushing the state to create an east-west passenger rail corridor that would connect Hampton Roads to Richmond to Charlottesville to the Roanoke area. – WVTF

• As the number of solar installations explodes, fierce land-use fights like the one seen in Culpeper County are expected to become more common as citizens weigh electric needs against a desire to maintain pristine landscapes in areas “rich in Colonial and Revolutionary War-era landmarks.” – The Washington Post

• As recycling markets remain in turmoil, some private haulers refuse to say how much of what they collect is actually getting reused. – Charlottesville Tomorrow

• The head of UVA’s health system is leaving for a job in New York, but officials stressed the departure is unrelated to a scathing report on the hospital’s billing practices, which university officials are promising to reform. – The Daily Progress

• The League of Conservation Voters announced plans to infuse between $50,000 and $100,000 into the campaigns of seven Democrats in battleground districts. – Daily Press

• Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration filed to appeal a FOIA ruling that required him to make public documents detailing a massive new coliseum development. The city has already turned over the documents in the case but told the Virginia Supreme Court that the lower court’s decision sets a bad precedent. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Pamunkey Indian Tribe detailed plans for the waterfront casino it would like to build in Norfolk if the state authorizes commercial casinos. – The Virginian-Pilot

• Daimler Trucks says it’s begun testing autonomous trucks on highways in Southwest Virginia. For now, all “automated runs” are overseen by an engineer and a safety driver. – CNBC

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