The Bulletin

Byrd statue slated to come down today, continued problems at Employment Commission, local prosecutor funding and diversion efforts, and more headlines

By: - July 7, 2021 7:59 am
Virginia Mercury

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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

  • Officials plan to remove a statue of Harry F. Byrd Sr. from Capitol Square this morning. The former U.S. senator was a staunch segregationist and led Virginia’s racist “massive resistance” policy to public school integration.—Associated Press
  • “A Virginia man charged with joining the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol told an undercover FBI agent that he belonged to a militia-style group and coordinated ‘surveillance efforts’ on the same building more than a month after the riot, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday.”—Associated Press
  • Legislative auditors reviewing the state’s unemployment insurance program warned that most calls from people seeking help still aren’t being answered and that efforts to hire more staff to adjudicate claims have been hampered by high turnover.—Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Fairfax County leaders are urging the state to rework a formula that sets funding for local prosecutors based on how many felony cases they pursue, an approach they say penalizes efforts to pursue diversion programs like drug courts.—Washington Post
  • Alexandria City Council voted to redirect funding for school resource officers to a plan to hire more mental health professionals to work in schools. A majority of school board members opposed the decision.—WTOP
  • Authorities indicted a member of Roanoke City Council on embezzlement charges, alleging he stole from an affordable housing nonprofit he worked for.—Roanoke Times
  • “The Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to hear the case of a former Liberty University professor who was convicted of soliciting sex from a minor — in actuality, an undercover cop posing as a teenager.”—News & Advance
  • Some wildlife experts believe a mysterious illness that’s killing song birds has spread south from Northern Virginia. Scientists still aren’t sure what’s causing the deaths, which have now been reported in nine states. “I’m not terribly optimistic that they’re going to necessarily know very soon what’s going on, just because there are so many possibilities.”—Roanoke Times

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Ned Oliver
Ned Oliver

Ned, a Lexington native, has been a fulltime journalist since 2008, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. He was named Virginia's outstanding journalist for 2020 by the Virginia Press Association. Contact him at [email protected]