Neo-Nazi murder trial in Charlottesville underway; climate change and its impact on Virginia; a Confederate defender visits African American history museum and other news

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

    —The murder trial of James A. Fields Jr., a neo-Nazi who drove a car into a crowd of protesters at last year’s Unite the Right rally, injuring 35 people and killing Heather Heyer, is underway this week. So far prosecutors have attempted to prove his anger, identifying photos he posted on social media of a car running into a crowd of people, while the defense claims it will show he acted out of self-defense. (The Daily Progress)

    —One witness, who pushed his fiancé out of the path of the speeding car and suffered a broken shin and ankle himself, described Heyer as “a great person” before breaking down on the witness stand. (The Washington Post)

    —Meanwhile, another white nationalist who participated in the violent Unite the Right rally has been harassing freelance reporters covering Fields’s trial. (Mic)

    —Organizers of the 2017 rally in Charlottesville held another demonstration in Washington, D.C., this year and emails showed that Metro Transit was willing to work with white supremacist Jason Kessler to provide special accommodations for his group, suggesting Metro previously understated its role in the demonstration. (The Washington Post)

    —If climate change continues on its current trajectory, Virginia is in for heavy storms with intense rainfall, tides creeping higher and higher, and hot summer nights, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment. “The public health implications of climate change … are underappreciated,” one expert said. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

    —Frank Earnest, an ardent and outspoken supporter of Confederate heritage, visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture this year. “I would gladly drop dead on this floor to do my duty for the Confederacy,” he said. (The Washington Post Magazine)

    —Surprising some opponents of Dominion Energy’s planned natural gas compressor station in a historic African-American community, the state’s NAACP wrote a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam in favor of some parts of the project. (The Washington Post)

    —Elaine Luria, newly-elected representative from Virginia’s 2nd District, voted in support of Nancy Pelosi to become House speaker this week. (The Virginian Pilot)

    —Some residents in Louisa County were evacuated after an unknown gas was found in the town’s water supply. (The Daily Progress)

    —Firefighters in Martinsville are teaching their techniques to members of the London Fire Brigade, specifically how to deal with superheated combustible gases and about smoke safety. (Martinsville Bulletin)

    —Residents in Linden, Va., made frequent complaints to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries due to the bear activity in the area. Turns out, a man was secretly feeding the bears for 10 years. (The Washington Post)