No more Lee-Jackson Day, narrowed collective bargaining rights, judgeship fights, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• State lawmakers finalized passage of a bill eliminating a state holiday honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and designating Election Day as a state holiday instead.—Associated Press

• A Senate committee advanced scaled-back versions of legislation allowing localities to enact local gun restrictions and governing access to guns by children. “They are a result of negotiation and what could pass,” said Brian Moran, the state’s secretary of public safety and homeland security. “The other side was vehemently opposed, so that makes me comfortable that we did the right thing.”—The Washington Post

• Senate lawmakers are sticking with their plan to expand public sector collective bargaining rights only at the local level and only in cities and counties that vote to authorize it, rejecting a broader House proposal that would grant bargaining authority to all state and local workers.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Both chambers advanced legislation doubling the threshold for a felony larceny charge from $500 to $1,000, which would bring Virginia in line with most other states.—The Roanoke Times

• The General Assembly passed legislation aimed at combating human trafficking by allowing social services departments to interview suspected child victims without parental consent.—Capital News Service

• Lawmakers in the Chesterfield and Roanoke areas are facing unusually contentious and public fights over who to elect to circuit court judgeships as some representatives push for the election of black candidates to increase diversity on the bench.—The Roanoke TimesRichmond Times-Dispatch

• “Virginia Beach’s forests play an outsized role in the city’s fight against flooding by silently managing massive amounts of water every day of the year, according to a new study that will be released this week.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• VDOT is eyeing a study to create a “Valley to Valley” trail that would connect existing pathways in Roanoke, Montgomery and Pulaski counties.—The Roanoke Times

• “Katherine Johnson, the NASA Langley Research Center mathematician who went from ‘hidden’ to hero in her late 90s, died Monday morning at the age of 101.”—Daily Press

• Mount Vernon stopped selling souvenir denture magnets designed to appear wooden after a historian noted George Washington’s plantation home was perpetuating a common myth about the first president. “In reality, Washington’s dentures were made from a variety of materials, including ivory, tin, copper, silver, and the teeth of enslaved people.”—VPM

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.