Hampton Roads Regional Jail may settle third wrongful death suit in two years; Augusta County border collie is up for Farm Bureau Dog of the Year and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Adults possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use will no longer be prosecuted in two Northern Virginia counties, new prosecutors in Fairfax and Arlington said Thursday on one of their first days on the job.”—The Washington Post

• Officials in Tazewell, where county leaders voted to form a militia in response to new gun control measures Democrats are expected to pass, say they’ve been getting lots of inquiries from people interested in signing up. Their stock response: “At the moment … the Board has not called any such militia to arms and prays that such moment never occurs.”—The News & Press

• Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, says he’s received numerous death threats over legislation he’s filed to allow public sector employees to strike without risking termination. Because the legislation exempts law enforcement officers, he says it’s been falsely construed by gun rights activists as aimed at firing police who won’t enforce gun laws.—InsideNOVA

• Hampton Roads Regional Jail is pursuing a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an inmate, which would be the jail’s third in less than two year.—The Virginian-Pilot

• “Reinstating parole, marijuana decriminalization and reducing youth incarceration are just a few of the criminal justice issues Democrats are eager to tackle when they take control of the Virginia General Assembly next week.”—The Roanoke Times

• “Gambling-related issues are set to be one of the hottest topics at the state Capitol when lawmakers return to the Richmond next month to kick off the 2020 legislative session. Lawmakers will decide whether to legalize online sports betting and whether to regulate betting machines that have proliferated in convenience stores in recent years.”—Associated Press

• Transparency advocates are pushing the General Assembly to begin video streaming subcommittee hearings.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “State officials are searching for a location to build a 60-bed juvenile detention center that serves incarcerated youth in the eastern part of Virginia. The project was rejected by local officials in Chesapeake and Isle of Wight. Meanwhile, a Democrat in the House of Delegates is proposing a bill to make that facility smaller.”—VPM

• The Richmond Times-Dispatch sold its downtown office building to a local hotel chain, which plans to use it as office space, for $14.4 million. The remaining 141 employees will remain in the building but consolidate on the top floor.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Hemi, a border collie from Augusta County, is one of 10 finalists for the Farm Bureau Dog of the Year contest. “I just wanted to, in a small way, honor him,” his owner said. “These border collies do a remarkable job, and anybody that works livestock will realize that one dog is worth any number of teenagers in terms of getting the job done.”—The News Virginian

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