Calls to ban Confederate imagery in Albemarle schools; conforming the tax code; coal jobs bottom out and other news

    Virginia Mercury

    Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

    • The National Weather Service said more than five tornadoes touched down in Richmond on Monday. – WVTF
    • A Louisa County man died when his truck was swept into flash flooding Tuesday brought by the remnants of Hurricane Florence. It’s the second weather related death in the state in two days. – The Daily Progress
    • Community groups are continuing to press the Albemarle County Public Schools to ban Confederate images as part of its dress code. School officials said they’ll use instances in which students are wearing potentially offensive clothing as “teachable moments” but will not pursue an outright ban, which they worry would violate the First Amendment. – The Daily Progress
    • The Virginia Supreme Court denied an appeal by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, which is seeking to recover $1.4 million in state money lost in a failed effort to bring a car parts manufacturer to Appomattox. – The Roanoke Times
    • Virginia could be on the hook for more than $200 million in repayments to the federal government in a dispute over Medicaid billing by two state-run geriatric mental hospitals. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants called on state lawmakers to conform the state tax code with new federal tax law to avoid confusion come tax season, backing Gov. Ralph Northam’s favored approach. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • U.S. Rep. Dave Brat is bringing on a tea party activist and longtime adviser to work on the final few weeks of his campaign, a move Brat’s staff insisted is neither a “shake-up” nor an “admission that Brat is in trouble.” – The Washington Post
    • Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is leading Republican challenger Corey Stewart by 20 points according to a poll by the University of Mary Washington. The poll showed 15 percent of Republicans favored Kaine, which analysts called “terrible news for Corey Stewart.” – The Washington Post
    • A former state lawmaker who was the first black Republican woman elected to the House of Delegates is launching a write-in campaign for U.S. Senate, calling her party’s nominee, Corey Stewart, a “charlatan.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • An internal campaign poll released by Democrats showed U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, dogged by a signature scandal, falling behind Democrat Elaine Luria in the 2nd District congressional race. – Roll Call
    • Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, held a workshop to gather ideas for new legislation from constituents and teach them about the process of writing bills. – The Roanoke Times
    • On his visit to Iowa, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he’s not ruling out running for president in 2020, but insisted he was just there to promote Democratic candidates for governor. – Associated Press
    • The number of coal jobs in the state are at the lowest level in a decade, down from 6,000 in 2008 to about 3,000. — WVTF
    • Defense lawyers for Natalie Keepers focused on her mental health as her trial in connection to the killing of Nicole Lovell, a 13-year-old from Blacksburg, enters its second day. – The Roanoke Times
    • Virginia breweries are getting fresh hops airlifted overnight from Oregon to make extra fresh beers. – The Virginian-Pilot.
    • “Booty poppin’. Booty booty poppin’,” is the refrain of a rap video starring Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney Stephanie Morales. She said her 14-year-old son produced it on a bet. – The Virginian Pilot
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