Dominion looks for a congressional assist on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline; ‘Norfolk Four’ reach settlement; Roanoke council threatened again and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere

♦ Dominion Energy is pursuing federal legislation to clear the way for construction of its Atlantic Coast Pipeline under the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trial, which are currently mired in legal challenges. The provision is “tucked into the omnibus spending bill.” Sen. Tim Kaine said he doesn’t support it and doubts it would succeed. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ A Democratic group announced it is donating $1 million to the party’s efforts to win control of the state Senate and House of Delegates in Virginia. (The Washington Post)

♦ After twice being denied special-use permits for a pipeline construction yard in Augusta County, Dominion settled on a location that wouldn’t require a permit because it’s already zoned industrial. (News Leader)

♦ VCU students and faculty voiced frustration at a community meeting on diversity after a professor reportedly called police on an African-American colleague who was eating breakfast in her classroom. (WCVE)

♦ Southwest Virginia state lawmakers say gambling, Interstate 81 and the budget will be top of mind when they return to Richmond next month. (Bristol Herald Courier)

♦ Richmond’s Altria is in talks to buy a Canadian marijuana producer. (Reuters)

♦ The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced more than $13 million in grants to continue Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. (Associated Press)

♦ During a visit Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring scheduled to promote a package of proposed hate-crime legislation, congregants at a historically black church in Alexandria told Herring about a bomb threat they received. (WVTF)

♦ Four sailors wrongfully convicted of a woman’s rape and murder are set to receive an $8.4 million settlement from the state and the city of Norfolk. (Associated Press)

♦ Facebook briefly blocked the profile of a reporter covering the trial of James Fields in Charlottesville. The radio correspondent had shared memes from the accused killer’s social media pages that prosecutors had introduced as evidence. Following press inquiries, the company reversed course and restored two deleted posts. (WTOP)

♦ Hopewell’s outgoing mayor is asking for police to be at the city council’s final meeting of the year after a meeting last month devolved into threats and insults among the council members. (The Progress-Index)

♦ Roanoke City Council briefly suspended a meeting after a man threatened to have the council members shot. It was the second time in 12 years that the man, a council regular, made the threat. Police removed him from the building but did not charge him. (The Roanoke Times)

♦ Charlottesville City Council members voted to ask the General Assembly to pass legislation allowing them to set their own salaries. (The Daily Progress)

♦ Researchers studying responses to the opioid crisis will spend the next two years analyzing Martinsville, which has one the highest overdose rates of any locality in Virginia. (Martinsville Bulletin)

♦ A national shortage of computer science professors is raising questions about how Virginia will deliver on its promises to Amazon to dramatically expand programs at state colleges, with one expert calling the number of hires needed “preposterously large.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ Richmond City Council members voted to create a citizen panel to review a coliseum proposal put forward by Mayor Levar Stoney and Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell. The mayor’s administration opposed the move, saying there was “no need.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ Fairfax County Police rescued a large owl that flew into the road. In a photo shared by the department, the owl and the officer look OK. (The Washington Post)

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