Amazon construction begins; Former Portsmouth police chief explains she was forced out; Loudoun County NAACP calls for investigation into a specialized school and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Construction on Amazon’s new offices has begun in Crystal City. — ArlNow

• Vice President Pence will headline a fundraiser in McClean on Wednesday for Virginia Republicans. “Their hope is, this is the first election since 2016 that really isn’t about Donald Trump.” – The Washington Post

• The former police chief of Portsmouth, the first black woman to hold the post, broke her silence to say she was forced out amid racial tensions in the department. “Some quite frankly did not like taking direction from an African American female.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• Prosecutors indicted a dozen members of a Mexican drug cartel accused of distributing cocaine, heroin and marijuana throughout the Shenandoah Valley. – Associated Press

• Days after their school was shut down for two days over threats of racial violence, students in Charlottesville walked out of class “to denounce racism against black and brown students, hire more black teachers and overhaul student discipline policies.” – The Washington Post

• A record 40 percent of students accepted to UVA this year are non-white. – The Daily Progress

• The Loudoun County NAACP called for an investigation into one of the county’s specialized schools after only one black student was accepted. – Loudoun Times-Mirror

• Dominion Energy says it’s permanently retiring 10 power plant units. Most of the units were older, inefficient coal burning producers. All of them had already been placed on reserve. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Gov. Ralph Northam vetoed a bill that would block convicted felons from serving as notary publics. He called the legislation “antithetical to the concept of restorative justice.” – Associated Press

• Northam also vetoed legislation calling for an annual report on misuse of welfare funds. “The only purpose of this bill is to codify a false and discriminatory stereotype about hard-working Virginia families who may temporarily need cash assistance,” he said in his veto statement. – Daily Press

• Two police officers in Lynchburg pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of reckless handling of a firearm for shooting a homeowner in the leg through his front door. A judge sentenced them to probation and community service. – WVTF

• Students at GMU seem to like the fleet of 25 autonomous food delivery robots, which bring breakfast and coffee orders to their dorms. – The Washington Post

• School districts around the state are installing solar panels on their buildings at the urging of environmentally conscious students and to save a few bucks on their power bills. – The Washington Post

• Gloucester County is spearheading an initiative to locate and document the more than 100,000 people who may be be able to claim Pocahontas as an ancestor. – The Virginia Gazette

• The owners of 16 apartment complexes in downtown Roanoke are banding together to DNA test errant dog poop so they can fine owners who don’t pick up after their pets. – The Roanoke Times

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