Dominon leases land near Dulles airport for solar farm; Scabies confirmed in Cumberlund County school; Augusta County cows enjoy bagpipe concert and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.


• A former defense official for President Donald Trump and first-generation American has added his name to the list of Republicans seeking the nomination to unseat U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger in the Richmond suburbs.  The Washington Post

• After a city councilman was sued for moving outside the district he represented, Richmond leaders want to change the city charter to make council residency requirements more clear. That would require General Assembly approval.  VPM

• Dominion Energy leased land from the Dulles International Airport authority with the intent to build a 1,200-acre solar farm. The project still has to be approved but would be the largest solar farm in Northern Virginia if it comes to fruition.  Associated Press

• Pharrell’s inaugural Something in the Water festival in April netted hotels more money than they took in during the same weekend in past years. Next year’s lineup will be announced this week.  The Virginian-Pilot

• A two-floor penthouse in Arlington sold for $1.25 million, the highest sale price in the building in six years since the late U.S. Sen. John McCain’s condo sold for $1.2 million. It’s the first indication of the “Amazon effect”: an increase in area housing prices in response to Amazon’s decision to build its “HQ2” there.  WTOP

• The Army Corps of Engineers has ordered a luxury hotel in Virginia Beach to remove palm trees that are too close to the seawall. The Corps sent the notice after finding the trees during an annual inspection.  WAVY

• Cumberland County school officials said there have been several cases of scabies at Cumberland Elementary School.  WTVR

• The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named 10 acres of shoreline along the southern end of the Elizabeth River one of the best shore restorations in the country.  The Virginian-Pilot

• The James River didn’t get quite as good news this week: The James River Association said increased rain last year caused declines in the waterway’s oyster and shad populations.  Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “The Coast Guard said Thursday it’s changing its tattoo policy for new recruits and current service members to allow ink on more parts of their bodies. The move is intended to increase the number of recruits who would otherwise be eligible to serve if not for their tattoos.”  The Virginian-Pilot

• Lynchburg plumber Jason Light has seen a lot of blockages, but this week was the first time he saw a pet chihuahua stuck in a storm drain. “Princess is fine, just a little worn out. Her family won’t be letting her go anywhere near the storm drains now.”  WDBJ

• “Cows at Jeanne Hoffman’s farm in Swoope enjoyed a free bagpipe concert last week. Carl Donley, a family friend who teaches bagpipes in France, was visiting the farm and decided to play some tunes for the cows. When they heard the music, the cows came running to get a better listen.”  The News Leader

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