Border between Petersburg and Colonial Heights schools is one of the most striking in the country; pipeline builders try to convince regulators they need it; Blackjewel miners continue to block train full of coal and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Del. Ibraheem Samirah’s protest at Jamestown sparked internal dissent among Democrats, with some worried it “grabbed attention away from more elaborate efforts by members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.” Republicans, meanwhile, launched into a series of gleeful fundraising efforts. “Virginia Democrats are tearing themselves apart,” wrote House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert. – The Washington Post

• A national study of school segregation highlighted the border between public schools in Petersburg (2 percent white) and Colonial Heights (64 percent white) as one of the more striking in the country. Petersburg also receives $3,000 less per-pupil in state funding than its neighbor. – WCVE

• Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says he plans to sue at least one of the two women who have accused him of sexual assault. – WCVE

• State elections officials denied a late request to put Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, on the ballot after he failed to submit paperwork formalizing his candidacy. He says he’ll appeal the decision to the elections board when they meet on Tuesday. – The Washington Post

• William & Mary received a $1 million grant to study “the experiences of people enslaved by the school and the Founding Fathers.” – The Washington Post

• A work stoppage by picketing transit employees in Prince William County and Manassas shut down regular operations of a commuter bus used by thousands of workers. – WTOP

• Roanoke Gas is working to convince skeptical state regulators that it needs the Mountain Valley Pipeline to meet future demand for natural gas. – The Roanoke Times

• The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s developers told federal regulators the protective coating applied to massive pieces of pipe pose no known environmental risks. Advocates raised concern after pieces of pipe were left exposed to the elements for months. – The Roanoke Times

• A Charlottesville judge signaled he’s likely to reject the city’s arguments that state laws protecting Confederate statues were enacted as part of Jim Crow. “I have difficulty reaching back 100 years and saying it was a part of [Jim Crow] because I guess everything was,” he said. – The Daily Progress

• Three former Richmond elementary school teachers accused in a cheating scheme last year have sued the school district for defamation over comments made by the superintendent. “He had already decided that the persons in the Report were guilty as charged and needed to be expelled from RPS,” they said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Blackjewel minors in Kentucky continue to block a 100-car train full of coal worth an estimated $1 million until they get paid. An auction of the company’s assets is scheduled to take place this morning. – WYMT

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