Biden visits Tidewater Community College, lawmakers ask for Employment Commission probe to be sped up, cicadas on the horizon, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth to promote plans to increase federal spending on education and children.—Associated Press

• State lawmakers asked legislative auditors to prioritize a probe into problems at the Virginia Employment Commission, which oversees the state’s beleaguered unemployment insurance program. “When folks need action and they’re not getting it, it’s a fundamental failure.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to drop.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• At the FEMA mass vaccination clinic in Norfolk, supply of shots has far outpaced demand.—Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam restored voting rights to over 69,000 former prisoners.—Virginian-Pilot

• Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke and a leading candidate for lieutenant governor, is one of just a handful of Democratic lawmakers left living in Western Virginia. “I want to prove that even this brown kid from the foothills of Appalachia can get elected and prove that we can all have a seat at the table no matter what our background is.”—Roanoke Times

• Richmond City Council for the first time agreed to dedicate local funding to the public defender’s office, where employees make substantially less than the prosecutors they face in court. The move was opposed by Mayor Levar Stoney, whose administration called it a state problem.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The cicadas of “Brood X” are emerging after 17 years of feeding on tree roots underground. In Virginia, their geographic footprint is mostly limited to the Washington suburbs and Winchester, but scientists want to hear about it if they show up in unexpected territory.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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