Democrats hold onto two House seats, Atlantic Coast Pipeline lays out plans for unwinding project, Richmond health director endorses paid sick leave, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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

• Health officials in Richmond say they expect to begin vaccinating people over 75 and essential workers like grocery store clerks and teachers next month. In Roanoke, officials say they will have wrapped up efforts to vaccinate eligible health care workers as soon as next week.—Richmond Times-DispatchRoanoke Times

• Democrats won two special elections, holding onto House seats vacated by Jennifer Carroll Foy in Prince William, who stepped down to run for governor, and Joe Lindsey in Norfolk, who stepped down to accept a judicial appointment.—Richmond Times-DispatchWashington Post

• “The developers of the now-canceled Atlantic Coast Pipeline have laid out plans for how they want to go about unwinding the work that was done for the multistate natural gas project and restoring disturbed land.” They do not include voluntarily releasing easement agreements it obtained from landowners along the route.—Associated Press

• Two Virginia men facing expedited executions on the federal death row argued for a month delay to give them time to recover from the coronavirus. “Because of Mr. Johnson’s and Mr. Higgs’ COVID diagnoses, the lethal injection protocol is essentially going to waterboard them to death.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Republican senator from Missouri claimed “antifa scumbags” vandalized his Northern Virginia home and threatened his family. Police who responded said they found 15 people peacefully chanting on the sidewalk while holding candles.—Washington Post

• The director of the Richmond and Henrico health departments endorsed paid sick leave legislation that has long stalled in the Virginia General Assembly, saying it would dramatically cut down on the number of workplace outbreaks of COVID-19.—VPM 

• A consultant hired to help Charlottesville find a new city manager told city council members they were too dysfunctional to hire a qualified candidate. “He said that in his many years of doing executive searches, he had never seen a level of dysfunction as profound as what he was seeing here.”—Daily Progress

• “A Virginia Beach police sergeant who wrongly handcuffed and detained an innocent Black man at Lynnhaven Mall last month has been cleared of wrongdoing, but will be disciplined for not wearing a face mask during the incident.”—Virginian-Pilot

• Two Shenandoah Valley men are facing a slew of criminal charges, including two counts of stealing speleothems, for allegedly breaking into Endless Caverns and removing rock formations.—Daily News-Record

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.