COVID-19 surge in Southwest Va. leads to hospital limits, Northam breaks hand, Pulaski park-dweller may be able to stay put, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Harrisonburg officials say the damage from Saturday’s strip-mall explosion is so extensive they might never know the source of the natural gas leak that caused it.—Daily News-Record

• Liberty University launched a website allowing employees and others affiliated with the school to submit confidential tips about possible misconduct by ousted leader Jerry Falwell Jr.—News & Advance

• Ballad Health, which serves Southwest Virginia, says it will limit elective procedures at some hospitals due to a COVID-19 surge in its region.—Bristol Herald Courier

• Half of 59 new COVID-19 cases at Radford University have been linked to a frat party. The fraternity has been suspended.—Roanoke Times

• Gov. Ralph Northam broke his hand while winterizing a boat, but his office says he can still sign bills.—Washington Post

• He signed some Wednesday, including legislation requiring the health department to publish more information about where COVID-19 outbreaks are happening.—Roanoke Times

• The governor recommended changes to another bill that seeks to prevent police from pulling drivers over for minor vehicle issues. Northam wants police to still be able to stop vehicles over problems with headlights or brake lights.—Daily Press

• Virginia Beach is moving forward with plans to renovate the municipal building where last year’s mass shooting occurred, freeing funds that had been put on hold during the pandemic.—Virginian-Pilot

• Two high school football players were stabbed in Chesterfield County after police say they intervened to protect their coach from another player’s father who was upset about his son being dismissed from the team.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Pulaski officials are working on setting up an access road that might allow a former parks and recreation worker to keep living on the parcel of parkland he’s called home for 40 years. Townsfolk had rallied behind the man to stop officials from evicting him.—Roanoke Times

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