The Bulletin

Coal ash costs come into focus; Newport News shipbuilding offers buyouts; Commission to review Richmond Coliseum proposal; Another Chincoteague pony dies and more headlines

By: - December 18, 2018 8:47 am

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

♦ Gov. Northam’s budget roadshow continues. Yesterday he announced proposals to dedicate $20 million for student financial aid and grants, $19 million for affordable housing and $2.6 million for legal aid lawyers to represent people facing eviction. Today he’ll present his spending plan to Republican budget leaders, who have expressed skepticism at his proposals, which they note total nearly $800 million in additional spending. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ State regulators estimate that excavating and recycling buried coal ash around the state would cost the average household $3.30 a month over 20 years, about $800 total. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ The Atlantic Coast Pipeline filed a lawsuit against Nelson County in an effort to overturn local officials’ decision to deny zoning permits for floodplain crossings. (The News & Advance)

♦ Challenges to the Mountain Valley Pipeline center around the hundreds of streams and waterways it would cross. (The Roanoke Times)

♦ An industry-sponsored poll found strong support for $2 billion in proposed improvements to Interstate 81, with most favoring a toll on trucks to pay for it. (Bristol Herald Courier)

♦ The judge hearing a lawsuit challenging Charlottesville’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee added a nearby statue of Stonewall Jackson to the suit. The case has taken more than a year, and city leaders voted to remove Jackson after the initial challenge was filed. (The Daily Progress)

♦ Newport News Shipbuilding, which builds nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, is offering buyouts to 2,500 employees, about 10 percent of its workforce. The company says it’s restructuring. (The Virginian-Pilot)

♦ The state settled a long-running lawsuit with its former IT contractor, Northup Grumman, that will cost taxpayers about $40 million. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ A secretary at Langley Air Force Base admitted to faking $1.46 million worth of overtime over 17 years. (The Virginian-Pilot)

♦ The city of Richmond agreed to release data about racial demographics of traffic stops at no cost following two years of pressure from an advocacy group. (WCVE)

♦ Richmond City Council voted to establish a commission to review a coliseum proposal put forward by a group led by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell. The mayor had opposed the commission, arguing it would drag out discussion. (WCVE)

♦ Activists in Charlottesville are pushing city leaders to divest the city’s investment holdings in fossil fuel industries. (C-VILLE)

♦ A new commuter bus line between Haymarket and Arlington opened to dozens of passengers. State officials say bus services will become more and more critical as congestion worsens. (WTOP)

♦ A third Chincoteague pony, 13-year-old Lyra, died of swamp cancer. Four more ponies are infected with the disease, which is similar to a fungal infection. The group that takes care of the wild herd says they’re trying new treatments. (Salisbury Daily Times)

♦ Former Virginia congressman and gubernatorial hopeful Tom Perriello once missed his grandmother’s funeral to help evacuate a five-year-old girl he’d never met from Sierra Leone. Perriello and the girl, who had always wondered about the man who helped her, reconnected for the first-time last week. “For 15 years he’s been a ghost. I never knew his full name.” (The Washington Post)

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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.