Miyares snags Republican attorney general nomination, state vaccination rate dipping, a single mother who changed Virginia Beach elections, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, won the GOP nomination to run for attorney general, narrowly beating Chuck Smith, a Virginia Beach attorney with a history of making anti-Muslim comments. It was the first result from Saturday’s convention. Vote counting began Sunday but was briefly delayed after a hotel housekeeper entered the ballroom where ballots were stored overnight, breaking a security seal and prompting hours of investigation. The party ultimately determined that she was simply delivering coffee, water and soft drinks.—Washington Post

• “Virginia’s average coronavirus vaccination rate has dropped more than 15% over the past three weeks, indicating that about 12,000 fewer people a day are getting shots. In mid-April, the state was administering some 78,000 vaccines a day. That average dipped to 66,000 Friday.”—Virginian-Pilot

• In most cases, Virginia businesses are allowed under state law to mandate their employees get vaccinated.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Health officials say a Gloucester woman who died after being vaccinated had COVID-19, but her family disputes the finding, pointing to private autopsy results that found evidence of a blood clot. Severe and sudden allergic reactions after COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be extremely rare.—Virginian-Pilot

• A single mother with no legal background spearheaded a lawsuit that led a federal judge to strike down Virginia Beach’s municipal elections system, ruling it diluted votes of Black, Hispanic and Asian residents. “This win is for all the people of color who have been run out of the city, who have not been able to live equitable lives because of discriminatory tactics that are imposed by the city.”—Virginian-Pilot

• Norton’s chief of police was hospitalized in critical condition after he was struck by gunfire while responding to a report of shoplifting.—Bristol Herald Courier

• A farm in Albemarle County is getting into the natural burial business, replacing caskets and embalming with biodegradable containers. “We’re now looking for an alternative to the sort of conventional, standard, casket-involved burial or cremation.”—Daily Progress

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