Norfolk Southern moving to Atlanta; environmental advocates frustrated after coal ash town hall; the intersection of cookies and Capitol Hill and other news

Virginia Mercury
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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

♦ Norfolk Southern is officially moving from Hampton Roads to Atlanta, the company announced Wednesday. It may have a marginal economic impact, analysts say, but the move marks a bigger blow to the region’s image. (The Virginian-Pilot)

♦ Stafford County School Board is considering a policy to allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identities. But some members want to put the brakes on the proposal, claiming they want more input from the community before taking action. (Free Lance-Star)

♦ Sen. Rosalyn Dance held a town hall in her district to discuss Dominion Energy’s coal ash ponds, but she frustrated environmental advocates when she didn’t allow them to ask questions of Dominion, claiming she wanted to hear from her constituents and that the meeting was “not a free-for-all.” (Chesterfield Observer)

♦ Prince William County officials are working on a plan to start a “fast ferry” on the Potomac River between the county and Southwest D.C. (WTOP)

♦ A Lynchburg man is in custody after he allegedly shot another man in downtown Roanoke on Wednesday. (The Roanoke Times)

♦ A Northern Virginia-based immigration and reproductive-rights advocate, Alejandra Pablos, has been stripped of her green card and ordered to deport to Mexico. She says her life will be in danger if she is deported. (The Washington Post)

♦ A new report from the Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services shows that suicides in Virginia increased by 5.4 percent between 2015 and 2016. (Associated Press)

♦ A Fredericksburg woman has taken sanctuary in a Maryland church as her lawyer petitions a Texas court to stay a deportation order. (The Washington Post)

♦ Since 2011, the Alexandria City Council has referred to a new park as Fitzgerald Square, but it’s been newly dubbed “Waterfront Park” after officials expressed concerns about naming the area after Col. John Fitzgerald, who served with Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War and owned slaves. (The Washington Post)

♦ First lady Melania Trump visited the Langley Air Force Base on Wednesday, thanking soldiers for their service. (The Daily Press)

♦ The Virginia Board of Social Services voted to suspend a member of the local board in Pittsylvania County after meeting for over an hour in closed session Wednesday to discuss a months-long investigation. (Danville Register & Bee)

♦ An anonymous donor has given the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts a painting valued at around $40 million. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

♦ Now that she’s been elected to congress, Abigail Spanberger is wondering: Can she still help her daughter sell Girl Scout cookies? (USA Today)

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