Couples sue to end requirement to list race to get marriage licenses; Tobacco production dropped 30% this year and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Historic plantations like Monticello and Montpelier have been talking more bluntly and honestly about the lives of the enslaved people who lived there, prompting pushback from some white visitors, who are leaving negative online reviews. – The Washington Post

• A report examining racial equity at Loudoun County Public Schools documented nooses hung from trees, a visit by Ku Klux Klan members, and racial slurs directed at students of color in hallways. – The Washington Post

• Gov. Ralph Northam’s blackface scandal is looking less and less like it’s going to figure prominently in this year’s intensely contested legislative elections. “Six months ago, [Republicans] thought they might be able to run against Ralph Northam, but … he hasn’t turned out to be the silver bullet that Republicans might have been hoping for.” – The Washington Post

• “After years of contention and strife, the legal case over two Charlottesville City Council votes to remove two Confederate statues will go to trial this week.” – The Daily Progress

• Three engaged couples are suing to end a requirement that they list their race on their applications for a marriage license – a relic of Virginia’s onetime ban on interracial marriage. In one county, a couple was asked to choose a race from a list that included “Aryan” and “Octoroon.” – The Washington Post

• Police body camera footage is swamping public defenders offices, where lawyers are ethically bound to review the thousands of hours of video they generate. – The Virginian-Pilot

• When a patient is involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility, the state guarantees them a ride – sometimes hundreds of miles away. But once the patient is discharged, they’ve got to find their own way home. “You can be placed anywhere all over the state, only to be stuck there.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Bristol, once ranked as one of the most fiscally distressed cities in the state, has seen three consecutive bond-rating upgrades since 2017. – Bristol Herald Courier

• A Chesterfield County resident is pursuing trespassing charges against Democratic state Senate candidate Joe Morrissey for parking at the end of her driveway while he was campaigning. – Chesterfield Observer

• Tobacco production is down 30 percent statewide this year, largely due to tariffs and decline in demand. – The Danville Register & Bee

• UVA dropped out of the top 25 of U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings. – The Daily Progress

• Potatoes can produce lethal toxins if allowed to rot for a long time, so when Chesterfield police discovered an abandoned tractor trailer loaded with 40,000 pounds of rotten tubers, they organized a low-speed motorcade to the nearest landfill. – The Progress-Index

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