Juneteenth becomes official state holiday, Virginia Beach hires first Black city manager, Republicans upset over Dem-only advisory boards, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that he’s making Juneteenth — a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. — an official holiday in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy.”—Associated Press

• Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney fired the city’s police chief after more than two weeks of unrest that had led to violent clashes outside the police department. “One thing is clear after the past two weeks — Richmond is ready for a new approach to public safety,” Stoney said.—The Washington Post

• Protesters pulled down a third Confederate statue in Richmond — a memorial to the Richmond Howitzers Battalion on VCU’s campus. When it was unveiled in 1892, the keynote speaker offered a full-throated defense of slavery, telling the crowd “the real inequality of the races had made subordination prescriptive.”—VPMVirginia Mercury

• Northam said that despite positive health trends, the state won’t move into phase 3 of reopening this week. He said he’d provide more information about his plans Thursday.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Outbreaks of COVID-19 at five Roanoke-area restaurants have forced more than 100 employees to go into self-isolation. “We are seeing cases definitely from opening up activity, when you have five of our outbreaks in restaurants. We’ve opened up restaurant capacity more, and we are seeing that’s a place where transmission is occurring. The more opportunity for transmission, the more our cases will go up.”—The Roanoke Times

• Senate Republicans are angry that the new Democratic majorities excluded their members from appointments to 14 advisory bodies they say had been bipartisan under GOP control, including the crime commission and regional transit authorities.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia Beach hired its first Black city manager. Separately, city council members are in talks to rebrand the city as more friendly to Black residents and visitors. “The strategy is to acknowledge we’ve got a problem in Virginia Beach,” said Councilman Guy Tower.—The Virginian-PilotThe Virginian-Pilot

• A crowd of 200 parents, teachers and area residents rallied outside the Montgomery County Public Schools head office to protest racial inequality within the district and treatment of Black students.—The Roanoke Times

• The owners of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton — marked by a massive, landmark sign over the city—say they’re going to change the property’s name.—News Leader

• “A 65-pound alligator snapping turtle found in a residential area of Fairfax County has a new home in a Virginia zoo.”—The Washington Post

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