Doctors challenge UVA billing practices; Metrobus strike; Taxing rideshare services; Hard Rock Bristol and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Doctors at UVA Health called on their employer to stop suing patients altogether, saying they are “appalled by the revelations of the aggressive, pitiless billing and collections practices” at UVA. “We felt betrayed,” they wrote, “and we had, by extension, betrayed those who had relied on us.”—Kaiser Health News

• A protracted strike by Metrobus drivers “reveals the dilemma with privatizing public services. Metro, facing rising operating costs, turned to outsourcing as a way to save money. Contract workers, meanwhile, soon realized they were doing the same job as better compensated Metro employees.”—The Washington Post

• Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe hired away the executive director of the state Democratic Party to run his political action committee as he weighs a second run for governor.—The Washington Post

• Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, said she wouldn’t caucus with her fellow Senate Republicans, accusing them of failing to live up to the party’s values. Party leaders didn’t seem particularly worried. “We’ve been cleaning up Amanda’s messes for four years and it gets kind of exhausting,” said Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Lawmakers hinted they’re eyeing ways to tax ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.—Daily Press

• Volvo says it’s going to lay off 700 workers at its truck plant in Pulaski next year.—The Roanoke Times

• General Assembly auditors are scheduled to present their report on expanded gambling this afternoon.—VPM

• Developers in Bristol, who touched off the push for expanded gambling last year with an aggressive lobbying campaign, say Hard Rock Café agreed to operate the casino resort they hope to open.—Bristol Herald Courier

• The number of counties that have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” is up to nine.—The Washington Post

• Hundreds of growers jumped on the hemp bandwagon after the state legalized commercial production this year, but finding a buyer can be tough. “The processing capacity wasn’t there for what ended up happening in Virginia this year for growing.”—The Roanoke Times 

• The DEQ approved Appalachian Power Co.’s first solar farm.—The Roanoke Times

• A Fredericksburg man who was canvassing for Sen. Bernie Sanders on Election Day launched an hour-long, impromptu write-in campaign after a voter told him there was an open spot on the local soil and water conservation district board. He won with 21 votes. “It’s up to us to step up and become part of the solution,” he said.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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