Herring still planning run for governor; Richmond schools defies FOIA; Surging bear numbers; A new music festival for Va. Beach and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Polling out of Roanoke College found a plurality of Virginians (44 percent) think Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax should remain in office while he fights sexual assault allegations. The poll also found Gov. Ralph Northam’s approval rating has plummeted to 32 percent, down from 54 in August. – The Washington Post

•  Former Gov. George Allen, a conservative who opposed same-sex marriage, lobbied to make it easier for gay couples to raise children together after seeing his chief of staff go through a long legal battle. – The Washington Post

•  Attorney General Mark Herring is still planning to run for governor. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

•  The General Assembly passed legislation to make it easier for local police departments to shut down illegal gambling parlors that operate as “sham sweepstakes.” – The Virginian-Pilot

•  Virginia Beach is moving forward with plans for a three-day music festival pitched by Pharrell Williams, timed to coincide with college beach weekend, which brings 30,000 to the city annually. – The Virginian-Pilot

•  The co-founder of the Lockn’ music festival in Nelson County is planning to restore a historic auditorium in downtown Lynchburg, saying the festival turned him on to demand for live music in the city. “For every ticket we sold in Charlottesville, we’d sell three or four in Lynchburg.” – The News & Advance

• A proposed compromise to extend late-night Metro service appears to have been scuttled following concerns raised by officials in Virginia and Maryland about the impact on early morning suburban commuters. – The Washington Post

• Richmond Public Schools is still refusing to make public the budget it approved on Monday, telling a reporter to file a Freedom of Information Act Request to get a copy. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A former Virginia Tech professor was found guilty of federal grant fraud. Prosecutors alleged he was applying for funding for research he’d already conducted and using the money on other, unfunded projects. – The Roanoke Times

• Police in Fairfax County are investigating “fully naked” images of high school students circulating on Snapchat. – The Washington Post

• A York County-Poquoson deputy accidentally fired his gun at two William and Mary law students during a traffic stop.—The Flat Hat

• Cities in Southwest Virginia are being encouraged to allow bear hunting within their limits to address surging populations. – The Coalfield Progress

• The state closed the lower portion of the James River to shellfish harvesting because of polluted floodwaters. – Daily Press

• The Richmond-based artists behind a Confederate-imagery-focused exhibit at Mary Baldwin University that was shut down after students called it racist acknowledge they could have handled the opening better but say they though their intent was clear. “Why can’t I use that watermelon? … Who are you to tell me — you non-art person?” – The Washington Post

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Ned Oliver
Ned, a Lexington native, has a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He also has the awards to show for it, including taking a pair of first-place honors at the Virginia Press Association awards earlier this year for investigative reporting and feature writing. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass.