How Tangier is fighting the pandemic, Virginia’s $30 million broadband push, preserving the Great Dismal Swamp, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Virginia is scheduled to receive 140,000 doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day.—Virginian-Pilot

• The pandemic hit remote Tangier Island around Thanksgiving. But while precautionary measures have divided other areas, the largely conservative community has now embraced mask mandates, social distancing and business closures to protect their neighbors, friends and family.—Washington Post

• A Fairfax County judge ordered portraits of former judges, almost all of whom are White, removed from his courtroom after a Black defendant argued they would harm his right to a fair trial. “While to some the issue of portraits might be a trivial matter, to those subject to the justice system it is far from the case,” he wrote.—Associated Press

• A statue of Robert E. Lee that once stood in the U.S. Capitol arrived at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, where it will be displayed in “an exhibit that looks critically at Lee’s place in the national and Southern psyche.”—Washington Post

• “A Richmond judge recused himself from a criminal case involving state Sen. Joe Morrissey after the lawmaker’s support of the judge’s reappointment raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest in Virginia’s system for appointing judges.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia spent $30 million in CARES Act funding to improve broadband access. “It’s like extending an essential public utility to our residents.”—Associated Press

• Inova Health System is planning to build a $1 billion medical campus in Alexandria.—Washington Post

• U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, is pursuing legislation designating the Great Dismal Swamp as a wildlife refuge, a status that could bring funding to preserve the swamp’s history as a safe haven for Native Americans and Black people escaping slavery.—Daily Press

• “Tea Party firebrand and 2012 presidential contender Michele Bachmann will soon lead Regent University’s school of government, where she said she plans to expand the Virginia Beach-based Christian university’s ‘biblical worldview.’”—Virginian-Pilot

• It was a tough year, but a Virginia mailman still pulled it together to deliver 250 personalized Christmas stockings to the dogs on his mail route — a holiday tradition he began in the ’90s. “I know all of their names and they know mine, too. I think they know me better than their owners, sometimes.”—Washington Post

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