Bills signed into law by Northam, coronavirus in Maryland, vehicle safety inspections may continue, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “A sweeping energy bill that supporters said would make Virginia a national leader in addressing climate change passed the state House Thursday amid warnings by critics that it will carry a steep price tag.”—Associated Press

•  Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation that:

  • Requires public schools in Virginia to adopt policies that safeguard transgender students.—The Washington Post
  • Allows the state lottery to sell tickets online.—Bristol Herald Courier
  • Requires local police departments to adopt policies before equipping police with body-worn cameras.—InsideNOVA

•  Maryland confirmed three cases of coronavirus. All three patients were said to have been traveling abroad and are “in good condition.”—The Washington Post

•  Stores have been picked clean of items like hand sanitizer and face masks.—ARLNow

•  “Virginia lawmakers have announced an agreement on a transportation funding proposal that will double the gas tax in some parts of the state. But lawmakers are rejecting Gov. Ralph Northam’s request to do away [with] annual vehicle safety inspections.”—Associated Press

•  Virginia seafood processors are once again worried that a visa shortage blocking them from bringing in foreign seasonal workers may shut them down before the coming season even begins.—Daily Press

•   “A supporter of President Donald Trump filed a misdemeanor assault charge Wednesday against Virginia Wesleyan University’s director of security following an incident outside a Sen. Bernie Sanders rally at the school.”—The Virginian-Pilot

•   Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, and her former legislative aide settled a lawsuit that accused the lawmaker of hacking her employee’s email and social media accounts. The terms of the settlement are confidential.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

•   Leaders in Danville have been meeting with companies that want to open a casino in the city under legislation legalizing gambling in some localities that’s expected to pass the General Assembly.—The Danville Register & Bee

•   On the heels of approving a new area code for Hampton Roads, the state has begun planning for what will replace 540 numbers, which are also running out.—The Northern Virginia Daily

•   The mayor of Strasburg says he’s running for reelection as he fights allegations he drunkenly crashed an ATV into the town library during a community festival.—The Northern Virginia Daily

•   Authorities blamed a six-story trash fire that broke out at a Suffolk landfill on spontaneous combustion.—The Virginian-Pilot

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.