Jury selection starts in Charlottesville car-attack trial; GOP tries to stave off losses; A jail ‘God pod;’ Va. congressmen take leadership spots and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.


— Jury selection begins today in the trial of James Fields, the man charged with first-degree murder in the car attack in Charlottesville last year that killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens more. The process of winnowing down a pool 360 residents called to serve could take days. (The Daily Progress)

— A Muslim civil rights group is suing Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George, alleging jail staff created a Christians-only unit called the “God Pod.” (Associated Press)

— Republicans in the General Assembly say they’re trying to recruit a diverse slate of candidates and focusing on practical issues in an effort to stave off further losses in next year’s election. (The Washington Post)

— Two solar power facilities Dominion Energy is planning to build for Facebook could cost the power company’s regular rate payers $1 million every year depending on the plants’ performance, state regulators say. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— A stalemate over judicial appointments among Northern Virginia’s delegation in the General Assembly has left several local court seats vacant. (The Washington Post)

— Expecting to be appointed chair of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the census, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th District, says squashing plans to add a citizenship question is his top priority. (The Washington Post)

— Rep. Bobby Scott, D-3rd District, is in line to become chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee. He says he’ll push for a higher minimum wage and improvements to the Affordable Care Act. (The Virginian-Pilot)

— Following a leadership change, the once-tightly controlled Richmond City Democratic Committee is accepting new members. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— How could Northern Virginia possibly get more crowded? Is my rent going up? Who came up with the name National Landing? Arlington County leaders have been holding online chats to answer residents’ questions about the Amazon deal. (The Washington Post)

— A petition effort is under way in Chesapeake to move the city’s local elections for mayor and council from May to November. (The Virginian-Pilot)

— The electoral board in Chesterfield County ordered a review of Election Day problems that included long lines, ballot problems and precincts that opened and closed at the wrong times. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— A federal judge dismissed the Daily Press from a defamation lawsuit filed by the former Newport News airport director over a series of stories reporting the use of $4.5 million in taxpayer money to bankroll an airline that ultimately failed. (The Virginian-Pilot)

— Sentara Healthcare is trying out new surgical protocols that eliminate or reduce narcotic anesthesia and painkillers. After a five-hour surgery to remove an abscess, one recent patient said his concerns about pain were unfounded. “I don’t feel drugged out at all. … It’s the way to go.” (The Virginian-Pilot)

—  A Charlottesville clinic has become the first in the state to offer a treatment program specifically for pregnant women trying to break opioid addictions before they give birth. (The Daily Progress)


CORRECTION: The post has been updated to correct the location of Riverside Regional Jail. 

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