The Bulletin

Democrats spar over action on abortion rights and more Virginia headlines

By: - December 20, 2021 8:03 am

The state Capitol. (Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury)

• Virginia House and Senate Democrats are sparring over a push by some activists to bring the legislature back to Richmond to take action on abortion rights before Republicans take control of the governor’s mansion and House of Delegates.—Washington PostNew York Times

• Just days after his spokesman told a reporter Gov. Ralph Northam “does not micromanage every action of a multi-billion state government that employs more than 100,000 people” in response to questions about planned layoffs of 14 people who monitor drinking water quality in Virginia, Northam is canceling the layoffs.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Some residents and politicians criticized proposed redistricting maps for Virginia on Friday, telling the state’s Supreme Court that many communities would see their voting strength diluted by seemingly arbitrary political boundaries.”—Associated Press

• A special election to fill the seat held by Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, who is resigning, has been scheduled for Jan. 11.—Virginian-Pilot

• Remember when Kanye West launched a presidential campaign? “At, or at least near, the top of the campaign’s chain was sitting GOP Virginia state senator and veteran political operative Jill Vogel—managing partner at Holtzman Vogel, a heavyweight in the world of conservative politics and dark money groups.”—Daily Beast

• Ralph Northam looks back on four years as governor. “After the yearbook thing, I went on a listening tour, and I learned a lot about inequities … and one that kept coming up was the death penalty.”—Virginian-Pilot

• As COVID-19 case numbers rise again, the highest rates are west of the Blue Ridge.—Cardinal News

• Workers dismantling the pedestal that held the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond may have found the elusive time capsule believed to have been inserted in the base in 1887.—Washington Post

• “Approximately one in six authorized police officer jobs is vacant at the Roanoke Police Department, a high degree of understaffing that has decimated specialized police teams in the thick of a crime wave.”—Roanoke Times

• Police from Washington, Fairfax and Harrisonburg say they have arrested a potential serial murderer they’ve dubbed the “shopping cart killer” and are looking for more victims.—Associated Press

• Video of police in Norfolk tackling a bicyclist to stop him from riding without a headlight at night, breaking his leg in three places, is part of a $1.5 million excessive force lawsuit.—Virginian-Pilot

• Two former Virginia police officers who were charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot are scheduled to be tried in April.—Associated Press

• New “e-ICUs,” which help keep an extra set of eyes on ICU patients, and hallway delivery robots are among the innovations coming to Mary Washington Healthcare hospitals amid staffing shortages wrought by the pandemic.—Free Lance-Star

• Former state senator, gubernatorial candidate and one-time Winchester Star sports editor H. Russell “Russ” Potts Jr. died Sunday at 82.—Winchester Star

• The Washington Football Team has been meeting with Virginia lawmakers to entice support for a new Virginia stadium that will include a “vast commercial complex” in Northern Virginia.—Washington Post

• Expect this year’s high prices and low supply of Christmas trees to linger for a few years. “Eighty percent of the people that plant a Christmas tree never harvest the Christmas tree because of the amount of work and time it takes. It’s labor intensive.” —News & Advance

• Riverheads High in Augusta County, which has fewer than 450 students, holds the longest active football winning streak (50 in a row) in the nation. The Gladiators haven’t lost since Oct. 13, 2018 and are three wins away “from breaking the all-time record in Virginia of 52 held by Phoebus High School in Hampton.”—News Leader

GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.