More militia musters, the changing cost of a Big Gulp, an early pollen spike, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Gun activists in Bedford, Campbell and Amherst counties are organizing another round of “militia musters” in response to gun legislation lawmakers are advancing in Richmond. The groups want their local leaders to endorse them with resolutions, but so far officials are keeping them at arm’s length. “With what’s happening in Richmond with their Second Amendment rights, I don’t blame them,” said Charla Bansley, vice chair of the Bedford Board of Supervisors. “I just don’t know if there’s a government role.”—The News & Advance

• Del. Vivian Watts, D-Fairfax, has been tracking the cost of Big Gulps around the state as she pushes to give counties the same taxing authorities as cities. The 30-ounce soda “costs $1.02 in Fairfax County, she said, but $1.05 in Fairfax City and Vienna, $1.08 in Richmond and $1.11 in Hampton Roads.” Fairfax, she argues, deserves those extra pennies.—The Washington Post

• “This month, Democrats shelved a bill that would have restored the possibility of parole for nearly 17,000 inmates — more than half the state’s prison population. Instead, Democrats have focused on more modest efforts to restore parole to older inmates.”—The New York Times

• Lawmakers are advancing legislation that would “allow judges to hold off convicting or sentencing persons with autism or other developmental disabilities.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Chesapeake has surpassed Norfolk to become the commonwealth’s second-most populous city, according to recently released estimates.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• Dominion Energy is buying out the ownership share of one of its partners on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, giving Dominion a 53 percent stake in the stalled effort to construct a 600-mile natural gas pipeline through the state.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The parents of a pregnant woman who died in the custody of Portsmouth police are suing the city for $7 million, alleging the officer ignored the 28-year-old’s pleas for medical help.—The Virginian-Pilot

• “The governing body of Riverside Regional Jail has unanimously accepted the resignation of the facility’s beleaguered superintendent, who was hired just nine months ago to lead the jail in a new direction after it endured judicial criticism for the alleged mistreatment of inmates and state scrutiny for the deaths of prisoners.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “An early spike of pollen is billowing across metro Richmond, thanks to the streak of mild temperatures in recent weeks.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Navy is negotiating for advance screenings of the new “Top Gun” movie.—The Virginian-Pilot

• A high school student in Prince William County started a small electrical fire attempting the so-called “outlet challenge,” a fad on TikTok that involves a cell phone charger, a penny and lots of sparks.—InsideNOVA 

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