Democrats weigh Dillon Rule; Virginia Beach approves surf park and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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

• A gynecologist in Chesapeake accused of performing unwanted surgeries to rack up bills on Medicaid patients faced similar accusations 35 years ago but was let off by the Virginia Board of Medicine with a slap on the wrist.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Outgoing House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, warned the incoming Democratic majority to “beware” pressure from the governor. “They want to get things done,” he said. “It’s important they understand our job is to protect the pocketbook.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia Beach is one of a small but growing number of localities saying no to developers who want to build on soggy bits of land they view as unsafe given the reality of sea-level rise and worsening flooding. “It’s a confrontation with reality,” Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said. “Not everybody’s going to be happy.”—The New York Times

• “Norfolk Public Schools officials acknowledged Tuesday they wrongly left a special education teacher in the classroom for two weeks after learning of allegations that she physically abused students.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• Incoming Democrats aren’t proposing a wholesale rollback of the Dillon Rule but are proposing a variety of areas in which they want to give localities more local control, including the power to remove Confederate statues on public property within their borders and to ban firearms in city buildings.—Courthouse News

• Gun supporters swarmed three rural county board meetings to support symbolic “Second Amendment Sanctuary” designations. Pittsylvania County leaders became the third to adopt the measure since Democrats’ General Assembly victories earlier this month, prompting a standing ovation in the packed meeting room. Leaders in Amherst and Franklin counties told large crowds they plan to take similar steps but want to proceed carefully to, as Amherst’s board chair put it, make sure the language “has as much ‘teeth’ as possible.”—The Register & BeeThe Roanoke TimesThe News & Advance

• Virginia Beach City Council unanimously approved a proposal to build a $325 million surf park and entertainment venue in the city’s resort area.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Martinsville leaders sound like they’re ready to give up their city charter and revert to town status. It’s less clear whether leaders in Henry County, which would absorb the town, will come to the table to negotiate a deal.—Martinsville Bulletin

• The state as a whole has added jobs over the past five years, but Virginia’s Appalachian counties saw a decrease in employment.—Bristol Herald Courier

• Fairfax County officials are upset Metro is planning to sell naming rights to a new Silver Line station to an unnamed “Fortune Global 500 company.” The county chairman said, “That’s just not OK.”—WTOP

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