Justin Fairfax out at law firm; Chris Peace drops nomination pursuit; Great Dismal Swamp cleanup has been “slow” and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is leaving his job at the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He was put on paid leave in February after the two sexual assault allegations against him became public. — The Washington Post

• A North Carolina man was charged with posting an anonymous lynching threat on Twitter toward Qasim Rashid, who is running against Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford. — Associated Press

• A man who killed a store manager in Alexandria was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity because he thought the victim was a werewolf. — NBC4

• A Virginia Beach employee who escaped the city building where a shooter killed 12 people last month was arrested after he became hostile toward supervisors. They wanted to know why he didn’t feel comfortable returning to the building where the shooting took place. — The Virginian-Pilot

• One of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting, Kate Nixon, told her husband well before the event that she had written up the shooter for being disrespectful toward her because she was a woman. So when city officials said the shooter was in good standing as an employee, her husband went looking for answers. — The Washington Post

• Despite the conclusions of the state’s watchdog agency that a mental health system reform effort needs more time and leadership, Virginia’s behavioral health chief said that his department remains committed to completing the reform in the next several years. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Del. Chris Peace, R-Hanover, has dropped his effort to win the Republican nomination for the 97th District seat after a battle with the new nominee, Scott Wyatt. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The cleanup of 3,600 tons of coal from the Great Dismal Swamp has been “a slow process,” a swamp refuge manager said. Crews have started to take soil and water samples to check for contamination. — The Virginian-Pilot

• The Richmond City Council agreed to ban guns in city-owned buildings and public parks, a symbolic vote that won’t take effect unless the General Assembly allows localities to do so in its upcoming special session. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Charlottesville City Council adopted a new goal to reduce 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and totally eliminate emissions by 2050. — The Daily Progress

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Katie O'Connor
Katie, a Manassas native, has covered health care, commercial real estate, law, agriculture and tourism for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond BizSense and the Northern Virginia Daily. Last year, she was named an Association of Health Care Journalists Regional Health Journalism Fellow, a program to aid journalists in making national health stories local and using data in their reporting. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where she was executive editor of The Flat Hat, the college paper, and editor-in-chief of The Gallery, the college’s literary magazine.