Meth, cocaine overdoses climbing; bringing ‘Dixie’ back and other headlines

    Our round-up of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

    Meth and cocaine overdoses are climbing

    The Roanoke Times reports that 398 people died last year from overdoses related to cocaine and 88 people died after using meth.

    The numbers started rising in 2016, the paper reports, and fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid, figured in just over 50 percent of the cocaine deaths.

    Officials are unsure why drug dealers or users are combining the drugs.

    Old times there are not forgotten

    Dozens of Washington County residents asked the school board to reinstate “Dixie” as the Patrick Henry High School fight song, according to the  Bristol Herald Courier.

    “I am proud to have been a member of the Patrick Henry Rebel Regiment and to be one of the few with the honor of having to play ‘Dixie’ for the final time at Patrick Henry,” Caleb Rector said as he broke into tears.

    More news:

    • A plan to double the size of Richmond’s fledgling bikeshare system has been delayed indefinitely. Officials would not provide a detailed explanation for the delay, but cited a need to “align a lot of technical elements.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • A tech company named Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta) the 10th most productive state senator in the country. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • Police in Roanoke believe the bullet that struck their station came from a half mile away, where there was a report for random gunfire and a pistol found. – The Roanoke Times
    • The state’s first cannabis dispensaries, which would sell only THC-A oil to people with prescriptions, could open in about a year. – The Virginian-Pilot
    • A congressional candidate in Hampton who runs a nonprofit accused of defrauding the government by pretending to serve meals to needy children told a jury that witnesses who testified against her were lying. – The Daily Press
    • A state program to give away free beehives closed two weeks after it opened this month, receiving 2,700 applications and exhausting its budget for the year. – Staunton News Leader
    • PETA says the annual Chincoteague pony swim should be cancelled after a horse, Butterfly Kisses, died in a freak accident. The fire department that runs it said no way. – The Virginian-Pilot

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