Distracted driving, rural broadband funding fight, Brunswick Stew Day, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Three of the white supremacists authorities accused of planning violence at Monday’s gun rally in hopes of sparking a civil war had packed containers with food and supplies for the event, according to court records. “We could essentially like be literally hunting people,” one of the men said, according to prosecutors. “You could provide overwatch while I get close to do what needs to be done to certain things.”—Associated Press

• “A Virginia Senate committee on Tuesday advanced measures that would ban offshore drilling as well as hydraulic fracturing in much of eastern Virginia. Similar versions of both measures have been proposed in previous years but died in what was then a Republican-controlled General Assembly.”—Associated Press

• Advocates kicked off a push for stricter distracted driving laws, which have failed to pass the past two years. “It’s your right to use your phone, but it wasn’t this man’s right to take my mother’s life,” said Meredith Spies, whose mom died last year when the driver of a dump truck who was texting crossed into oncoming traffic.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Senate budget panel rejected a push to force additional funding for rural broadband. Gov. Northam has boosted funding for his initiative by $16 million. Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, had asked to increase that to an estimated $282 million — not a realistic figure in the eyes of Finance Chairwoman Janet Howell, D-Fairfax.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Carilion Clinic’s emergency medicine physicians and psychiatrists said they are astonished by the results of a program they started to get ER patients quickly into treatment programs for opioid addictions.”—The Roanoke Times

• Parole reform legislation is advancing.—The Virginian-Pilot

• An alumni group from Arlington’s Washington-Liberty High School, recently renamed from Washington-Lee, is suing over the change, arguing the public didn’t have an opportunity to properly weigh in on the move to strip the Confederate general’s name from the building.—WTOP

• Traditional Medicinals, an organic herbal tea company, announced it’s opening a factory in Franklin County that will employ 56.—The Roanoke Times

• Lake Anna residents are asking for the state’s help in battling persistent toxic algae blooms in the shallow 17-mile body of water created to serve an adjacent nuclear plant.—WVTF

• It’s Brunswick Stew Day. Aficionados of the craft mark the occasion — and Virginia’s claim to be “the original home of Brunswick stew” — by serving free portions to all comers from an 80-gallon cast-iron pot on Capitol Square.—Virginia Lawyers Weekly

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CORRECTION: This post has been updated to correct the party affiliation of Sen. Ryan McDougle of Hanover.