New poll says gun policy is a leading issue for Virginia voters; Trade disputes and vaping hurt tobacco production and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Gun policy is the leading issue for voters going into next month’s General Assembly elections, according to a Washington Post-Schar School Poll, which found majority support for “proposals pitched by the Democrats, including statewide bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips as well as limiting gun purchases to one a month.” – The Washington Post

• U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Virginia Beach, returned to her district for her first town hall since announcing her support for an impeachment inquiry. She said if she loses her seat over the decision, “I will have been on the right side of history.” – Associated Press

• Republican candidates Tina Ramirez and Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, staged a pro-Trump protests outside U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s Henrico office. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, facing tough questions from constituents at a diner in Prince William, said he sees “‘no quid pro quo’ in the president’s July Conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.” – Prince William Times 

• Tobacco production has declined sharply in Virginia amid trade disputes and a preference for vaping. – The Washington Post

• The state forensics lab launched a web portal that allows sexual assault victims to track evidence recovered in their case. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The ACLU of Virginia filed a lawsuit against a small medical practice they allege fired two black women because of their race. “In a complaint filed on their behalf, they describe their boss using the n-word in front of a white co-worker. They say he would ask to touch their hair, or point it out to patients.” – WVTF

• Talks planned by Portsmouth officials to address a racial divide in the city never materialized. – The Virginian-Pilot

• A UVA historian’s new book recounts horrific abuse of enslaved people on campus at the hands of students and professors. – The Washington Post

• “The (Alexandria) nonprofit organization that owns the site of one of the most notorious slave pens in the nation has put the building and its basement museum up for sale, after struggling for years to pay for the mortgage, property taxes and repairs.” – The Washington Post

• A Customs and Border Protection staffer reviewing passports at Dulles wouldn’t let a journalist enter until he agreed he writes “propaganda.” – The Washington Post

• A Chesapeake teacher is using Facebook live to read bedtime stories to her students. – The Virginian-Pilot

• The state’s hay crops have been hit especially hard by drought conditions around the state, straining beef and dairy farms. “If you eat anything that eats hay then there’s a problem.” – WVTF

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