Gun rights activists to descend on capital, two Fairfax macaws’ love affair and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Gun rights advocates and militia members from around the country are urging thousands of armed protesters to descend on Virginia’s capital later this month to stop newly empowered Democrats from passing gun-control bills. What began as a handful of rural Virginia counties declaring themselves ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’ has jumped the state’s borders and become an Internet phenomenon. Far-right websites and commenters are declaring that Virginia is the place to take a stand against what they see as a national trend of weakening gun rights.”—The Washington Post

• Organizers of a gun show outside of Richmond said attendance spiked over the weekend. Why? “Fear — fear of Democrats,” said one attendee.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Lawmakers are proposing legislation to expunge past prostitution charges from the records of human trafficking victims.—The Virginian-Pilot

• A push by the Monacan Indian Nation to stop the construction of a municipal water pumping station on the site of the tribe’s ancient capital is presenting “the first major test of Native American clout in Virginia since six state tribes earned federal protection that year.”—The Washington Post

• Former students around Virginia are working to preserve and commemorate historically black public schools, many of which were abandoned amid desegregation in the 1960s and ’70s.—The Washington Post

• As work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline has stalled, more Virginia landowners whose property was taken for the project are filing lawsuits challenging the private developer’s authority to invoke eminent domain.—The Roanoke Times

• Virginia Beach is considering a $430 million bond referendum to pay for stormwater management upgrades to contend with rising sea levels.—The Virginian-Pilot

• The developers behind a proposal to build a casino in Bristol say a report by state auditors that found it would be the least profitable in the state underestimates the amount they are prepared to spend to build a destination resort.—Bristol Herald Courier

• Flu season in Virginia is expected to peak between now and February.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Schools in Northern Virginia are experimenting with virtual gym class, which allows students to wear school-issued Fitbits that track workouts outside of school hours for credit.—Associated Press

• Two parrots — one a military macaw and one a harlequin macaw — found unlikely love in a Fairfax County pet store, where they reared what is believed to be a one-of-a-kind species.—The Washington Post

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