Norfolk’s foster care system failing; Metro ridership cratering; New state park focuses on Indians and more headlines

    Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

    • Norfolk’s foster care program has been plagued by mismanagement and poor performance. “If I had documented it, it would be a series or a bestseller tomorrow,” one former Norfolk staffer said. “And I’m not proud of that.” – The Virginian-Pilot

    • A man who was sent to prison for a rape he didn’t commit was exonerated by the State Supreme Court. “It’s been 44 years since I’ve been trying to do this. I told them when this all started I didn’t do it,” he said. “It ruined my life.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    • Metro ridership is at its lowest point since 2000, when the original system hadn’t even been completed. Agency officials pointed to the decline in the federal workforce and an increase in telecommuting but rider advocates say it has more to with chronic problems: too few trains and too many service disruptions. – The Washington Post

    • Virginia First Lady Pam Northam met privately with the eighth-grader whose letter about being handed a cotton ball during a mansion tour drew widespread news coverage, but all parties declined to comment on how the meeting went. – Richmond Free Press

    • Gov. Ralph Northam is replacing all three members of the State Board of Elections. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    • A Loudoun County newspaper publisher and political operative was charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, lying to the FBI and unlawful possession of a firearm. Authorities allege he created phony advertising contracts. – Loudoun Times-Mirror

    • Privatized housing for military families in Hampton Roads have faced a string of complaints over mold, vermin and overall poor maintenance. – The Virginian-Pilot

    • A senior FBI agent on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was named the special agent in charge of the Richmond Field Office. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

    • Facing persistent shootings, officials in Roanoke are convening a citizens group to explore ways to reduce gun violence. “You know there’s only so much we can do on a local level.” – The Roanoke Times

    • Virginia’s newest state park is a waterfront swath of land near the former home of Pocahontas and will seek to tell the story of the state’s Indian populations. – Daily Press

    • Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are frustrated that they haven’t been able to get the State Water Control Board to explain why it decided not to act on water quality concerns. – The Roanoke Times

    • A group of Charlottesville residents suing organizers of the August 2017 rally accused the leader of a neo-Nazi group of stalling in order to avoid turning over documents. – The Daily Progress

    • Liberty University says it won’t kick pregnant students out of their dorms after a campus pro-life group complained. – The News & Advance

    • Local governments in Southwest Virginia have sharply curtailed or eliminated their recycling programs after the last local recycling facility closed. – Bristol Herald Courier

    • Researchers at Virginia Tech are studying ways to help overweight house cats slim down. – WVTF

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