More than 100 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Richmond this year; human rights group says lack of air conditioning in 18 Virginia prisons amounts to torture; the sales tax holiday runs this weekend and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• More than 100 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Richmond so far this year, according to police, who released a video imploring residents not to leave weapons in their cars. “Come on, Richmond,” an officer said. – The Washington Post

• U.S. News and & World Report ranked University of Virginia Medical Center the best hospital in the state. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital placed second. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A consultant hired by Portsmouth says a casino in the city could bring in nearly $400 million in revenue a year and be profitable even if a second casino opened in neighboring Norfolk. – The Virginian-Pilot

• Virginia’s back-to-school sales tax holiday runs Friday through Sunday. – Associated Press

• A judge denied a family’s motion to have the Lancaster commonwealth’s attorney removed from a case against a man accused of leaving their son for dead after a boating accident. Allegations of unethical behavior against the prosecutor led the previous judge hearing the case to recuse himself, but the new judge said there are no provisions in state law that allow the family of a crime victim to have the prosecutor removed. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• An Arlington committee reviewing designs for Amazon’s new campus in the county says they like the colors but otherwise find the plan unambitious. – ARLnow

• As the third anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally approaches in Charlottesville, police say residents can expect a “softer” police presence. – The Daily Progress

• Rep. Bobby Scott, D-3rd District, says “at the minimum wage, you can’t rent a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States…a modest, two-bedroom apartment.” Politifact says that’s true. – WCVE

• The Human Rights Defense Center says the lack of air conditioning in 18 Virginia prisons amounts to torture on days when the heat hits the triple digits. “The decision to torture prisoners by subjecting them to heat extremes is almost exclusively an issue in the states of the former Confederacy.” – WVTF

• An annual street festival in Blacksburg trying to excise politics from the mix of craft vendors denied booths to the local Democratic party and a pro-gun group, saying they aren’t a good fit for a “family-friendly street fair.” – The Roanoke Times

• Busch Gardens is building a new roller coaster it says will be the “fastest multi-launch coaster in North America.” – Daily Press

• A Richmond couple plans to open a combo tattoo parlor-haunted house downtown. – Richmond BizSense

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