Families of Virginia Beach shooting victims still seeking closure, culture wars in Loudoun, SWVA sheriffs switching affiliations to Republican, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere

• Two years have passed since the Virginia Beach mass shooting, and some families are still seeking closure.—Virginian-Pilot

• “President Biden joined Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at an indoor rock-climbing facility in Alexandria on Friday to tout progress against the coronavirus pandemic in the state and nationwide.”—Washington Post

• A judge found state Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, guilty of two misdemeanor charges arising from a fence dispute with a neighbor.—Loudoun Now

• A 21-year-old asylum seeker from Venezuela missed out on Virginia’s in-state tuition rate due to a technicality in a new law meant to make college more affordable for noncitizens.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Loudoun County gym teacher is fighting a suspension that came after he publicly opposed a policy requiring teachers to use transgender students’ chosen names and pronouns that match their gender identity.—Loudoun Times-MirrorAssociated Press

• Loudoun has become a battleground in the fight over “critical race theory” in schools, drawing significant attention from conservative media over an anti-racist Facebook group’s effort to compile a list of people opposed to diversity and equity programs.—NBC News

• “New evidence the Virginia Attorney General’s Office has characterized as compelling could prove that a fatal Augusta County fire did not happen the way a jury was told it did.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Three Southwest Virginia sheriffs elected as Democrats have switched their party affiliation to Republican.—Bristol Herald Courier

• Some Virginia police dogs are being “forced into early retirement” due to new laws legalizing marijuana and banning stops and searches based only on its smell.—Associated Press

• Nutria, the giant, ratlike rodents known for invading and destroying ecosystems, are pushing further into Hampton Roads.—Virginian-Pilot

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.