Marcus-David Peters’ sister blasts ‘watered down’ law at bill signing, a $30 million gift to Virginia State, Lucy the parkway pup captured, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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• The sister of Marcus-David Peters, the namesake of a new law meant to prevent people in mental health crises from being hurt by police, blasted state leaders at a bill-signing ceremony at the Executive Mansion. She called the law “watered down and ineffective.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A person who accused a retired Catholic priest of sexual abuse has recanted the allegation, according to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. The priest has been restored to his previous status in the church.—Associated Press

• With vaccinations beginning, officials say they’re working to build confidence among Black Virginians. Surveys have shown Black Americans are the least likely to say they’ll get vaccinated.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Denouncing Gov. Ralph Northam’s coronavirus orders, a Pittsylvania County supervisor said his family is “going to add some special civil disobedience traditions to our Christmas.”—Danville Register & Bee

• Philanthropist and novelist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is donating $30 million to Virginia State University, the largest donation ever for the historically Black university in Chesterfield.—Progress-Index

• Federal officials seized 5,000 counterfeit karaoke machines in Chesapeake.—Virginian-Pilot

• Lucy the parkway pup eluded animal control in Virginia Beach for two years. A 58-year-old woman was finally able to bring her out of the woods after months of effort.—Virginian-Pilot

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CORRECTION: Virginia State University is in Chesterfield.