Initial unemployment claims in Virginia fall to lowest level since March, lawsuit planned on behalf of Richmond jail inmates, a Mountain Dew museum in Marion, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Court documents allege a 17-year-old Norfolk teenager was killed to prevent her from testifying in a rape case.—Virginian-Pilot

• Initial unemployment claims in Virginia have fallen to their lowest level since the pandemic began in March, according to new data.—Virginia Business

• A law firm says it’s planning to sue on behalf of Richmond jail inmates who say they were tear gassed over the summer while demanding information about what the facility was doing to protect them from COVID-19.—VPM

• A pair of Republican senators have reintroduced bills to bring more transparency to the Virginia Parole Board.—Daily News-Record

• Data from Northern Virginia schools’ first full semester of online learning is showing drops in literacy, particularly for young students of color and English-language learners.—Washington Post

• In Montgomery County, the number of F’s among middle- and high-schoolers has risen 151 percent.—Roanoke Times

• The Portsmouth School Board voted to rename three schools whose namesakes were tied to racist beliefs. The schools had been named for presidents Woodrow Wilson and John Tyler and a former superintendent who oversaw segregated schools.—Virginian-Pilot

• A 5-year-old boy accidentally took a loaded gun to a Stafford County school in his backpack. Officials said charges are pending against an adult.—Free Lance-Star

• Virginia Tech’s athletics department is cutting its budget by $15 million to address the financial fallout of COVID-19.—Roanoke Times

• Richmond’s first medical marijuana dispensary is open for business.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The town of Marion wants the world to know it’s the real birthplace of Mountain Dew. Some are talking about building a Mountain Dew museum to prove it.—Bristol Herald Courier

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