Drugs ‘out of hand’ in Norton; Fretting about anti-Trump sentiment fading; GOP delegate withdraws candidacy; Chicken plant tanks catch fire and more news

Virginia Mercury

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• Residents of Norton were outraged but not shocked to learn pharmaceutical companies had shipped the highest concentration of opioids to their city of any locality in the country. “Prescription drugs got out of hand,” said Joey Collins, 61, the manager at a lumber yard. “My sister wrote a song: ‘Something in these mountains brings you down.’ And I think there’s something to that. I think it’s easy to get down and get depressed. I know that’s not an excuse for the pills.” – The Washington Post

• Gov. Ralph Northam says he’ll roll out a plan to offer free tuition to state community colleges in the next few weeks. – The Virginian-Pilot

• House Speaker Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, said he wants to raise teacher pay to the national average over the next five years and continue a legislative program that paid state colleges to freeze tuition. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Some Democrats are worried that the anti-Trump sentiment that fueled legislative victories in 2017 is wearing off. “That is the big thing I wrestle with every single day: Do we have the same intensity that we had in ’17?” said former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. – Associated Press

• Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, withdrew his candidacy for reelection after failing to submit required paperwork. The move might be part of a plan to create a vacancy that could potentially allow local party officials to simply name him the nominee, sidestepping his filing issues. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Supreme Court of Virginia rejected Democratic Senate candidate Joe Morrissey’s bid to have his law license reinstated. – WCVE

• Metro is taking steps to track fare evasion, which officials estimate costs the agency $36 million a year, or about 1 percent of their annual budget. – WAMU

• The cyclist who went viral for flipping off Trump’s motorcade is campaigning for a seat on the Board of Supervisors in Loudoun County. – The Washington Post

• Richmond Police charged a man with throwing a Molotov cocktail into the parking deck at their headquarters. No one was injured and no property was damaged. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Families in Accomac were warned to shelter in their homes after tanks of peracetic acid and sodium chloride caught fire at a Perdue processing plant. – Salisbury Daily Times

• Parts of Virginia Beach are getting wired for 5G coverage. Not everyone is happy about it. “These poles, they take up space.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• Bob Ross’s entire catalog of paintings is stored in cardboard boxes in a Fairfax County warehouse. They are not for sale, but the Smithsonian is acquiring a few. – The New York Times

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