Democratic lawmakers in Va. call for Trump’s removal, two Virginians arrested for role in Capitol riot, live grenade blamed for Abingdon explosion, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are calling for President Donald Trump to be removed from office while GOP members of the delegation continue to defend their efforts to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s clear electoral victory.—Virginian-Pilot, WVTF

• At least two Virginians, both from Mathews County, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the riot at the U.S. Capitol. They are charged with unlawful entry.—WAVY

• Gov. Ralph Northam recounted the call he received Wednesday from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the siege. “She said they needed help, and I assured her that we had deployed the Guard and we’d sent the Virginia State Police. She said: ‘Ralph there’s glass being broken around me. I’ve heard there’s been gunfire. We’re just very, very concerned right now.’”—Washington Post

• An increasing number of Virginia hospitals are reinstating policies barring most visitors as they brace for a third wave of the pandemic. Health officials in Lynchburg called the ongoing surge “incredibly dramatic and something that I didn’t think that we would honestly ever get to. … We’re starting to get close to the breaking point.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch, News & Advance

• The number of unemployment claims filed last week doubled to more than 25,000, the first substantial increase in first-time claims in months.—WTOP

• The state’s inspector general said it had to scrap reviews of state-run health facilities after learning facility directors were tipped off to what were supposed to be surprise inspections. “Collusion among individual facility directors caused the COVID-19 data obtained by OSIG to be unreliable.”—Virginian-Pilot

• “Richmond Circuit Judge Bradley Cavedo and former GOP U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Gade have reached a settlement in Cavedo’s defamation suit over Gade’s assertion in a debate with Sen. Mark Warner that Cavedo was a ‘racist judge.’”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A broken sewer line in Newport News last week sent 29 million gallons of untreated wastewater flowing into the James.—Daily Press

• Roanoke City Council decided to postpone a planned hearing on whether to ban guns from city hall. “Given what happened [Wednesday in Washington D.C.], we think it’s a good idea to let people slow down a little bit and give everybody a chance to think things through.”—Roanoke Times

• Authorities believe a live grenade purchased at a flea market was responsible for a pre-Christmas explosion in Abingdon that killed a teenager.—WECT

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.