Falwell takes indefinite leave of absence from Liberty, Hampton Roads officials tracking COVID-19 through wastewater, a stellar year for peaches, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is taking an “indefinite leave of absence” from his duties as head of the Christian school after posting a racy photo of himself with his pants unzipped and his arm around a woman who was not his wife.—News & AdvanceNew York TimesWashington Post 

• Fifth District Republican congressional hopeful Bob Good, a former associate athletics director at Liberty, declined an invitation to debate Democratic opponent Cameron Webb, a doctor.—Daily Progress

• Health officials in Hampton Roads have started analyzing wastewater to track the prevalence of the coronavirus, a technique scientists say “could be an early indicator of where the next outbreak could happen.”—Daily Press

• Blacksburg officials are considering adopting stronger social distancing rules — including limiting gatherings to 50 people and requiring restaurants to close at midnight — to limit the spread of COVID-19 among returning Virginia Tech students.—Roanoke Times

• Testing delays continue to be a problem for Virginians trying to figure out if they should see loved ones or open businesses. One woman reported having to wait 17 days to find out she tested negative.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The pandemic-induced state budget freeze means Virginia Beach officials might not get the money they requested to renovate the municipal building where a mass shooting occurred last year.—Virginian-Pilot

• A state commission recommended the Virginia Museum of History & Culture as the new home for the state’s Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol, which Gov. Ralph Northam and others want removed.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

•  The town of Remington in southern Fauquier County has chosen to remove the Confederate battle flag from its official seal.—Prince William Times

• The Richmond City Council is set to finalize a $500,000 grant program to assist businesses affected by recent civil unrest that caused damage to several downtown storefronts.—Richmond BizSense

• The Washington Football Team released running back Derrius Guice shortly after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Loudoun County.—ESPN

•  A 5.1-magnitude earthquake near Sparta, N.C., “shook many residents of Southwest Virginia shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday.”—Roanoke Times

• Though late frosts damaged some trees, peach farmers are reporting a tastier, juicier crop this year. “What we’re picking right now is really, really good.”—Winchester Star

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