Hands-free driving bill returns; Demands for accountability in Lynchburg; A Christmas ‘Saint’ in King George and more

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Lawmakers will again consider a hands-free driving bill, — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Restaurant owners in Norfolk are worried about casino competition. — The Virginian-Pilot

• More than 600 workers will be furloughed at a coal mining operation in Buchanan County “until a trade deal was reached between the US and China on coal exports.”  — The Bristol Herald Courier

• A wrongful death lawsuit involving a retired Roanoke police officer who fatally shot another driver on the Blue Ridge Parkway has been settled for $100,000. — The Roanoke Times

•  Most of the people injured in a massive chain-reaction crash on I-64 have been released from the hospital. — The Daily Press

• A judge presiding over a wrongful death suit will allow the widows of two Virginia State Police officers killed in a helicopter crash during the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017 to access contracts between the department and a manufacturer of the aircraft. — The Daily Progress

• The legal age to purchase tobacco products is now 21 nationwide, thanks to a bill carried by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — The Loudoun Times-Mirror

• More than 100 people showed up at an auditorium in Lynchburg Monday to demand answers from the city’s prosecutor and police chief after a white teen was found not guilty (by an all-white jury) on murder and malicious wounding charges in a shooting that killed one black teen and left another seriously injured.  — The News & Advance

• Richmond newlyweds are still recovering after being badly burned in a volcano eruption in New Zealand. — The Associated Press.

• Former NFL offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod, who grew up in King George and spent most of his career with the New Orleans Saints, took 30 elementary students shopping Thursday night at the Dahlgren Walmart. “We wanna stress to the younger generation the importance of Christmas, that it’s about being able to give and to receive,” Bushrod said. “And that when you give, that makes your heart feel better.” — The Free Lance-Star