Northam welcomes refugees; Bloomberg launches campaign in Norfolk; Amazon wants more HQ2 space and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Gov. Ralph Northam wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday to say that Virginia would welcome more refugees, pointedly declining President Trump’s offer to let states and localities veto resettlements.”—The Washington Post

• “Michael R. Bloomberg started his presidential campaign at a hushed diner in downtown Norfolk, Va., shaking hands with a snowy-haired afternoon crowd, drawing a combination of selfie requests and quizzical stares, before strolling to a nearby hotel ballroom and making an efficient statement before a bank of television cameras.”—The New York Times

• U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, says he’s not worried about primary challenges from within his party that followed his officiation of a same-sex marriage. “As far as what anybody says about me, I really don’t give a rat’s.”—The Daily Progress

• A review of Attorney General Mark Herring’s office ordered by Republicans when he was running for reelection found his office actually does a pretty good job.—Daily Press

• A Democratic marketing consultant’s online newspaper, the Virginia Dogwood, wrote dozens of favorable stories about Democratic candidates and then used Facebook to target them to potential voters — a model she plans to export to other states. “It’s suddenly clear that targeting voters through the guise of a media company could provide an important edge over other methods,” she said.—BusinessweekDaily Beast

• Northam told state business leaders what he’s been saying privately for months: that he does “not foresee … repeal of the right-to-work law.”—VPM

• “Jens Soering and Elizabeth Haysom, onetime classmates and lovers at the University of Virginia convicted decades ago in her parents’ brutal killing, have won release from prison.”—The Washington Post

• Environmental groups collectively donated $6 million to General Assembly candidates, making them the largest single-issue donors in this year’s elections.—WAMU

• Amazon offered Arlington County $20 million for affordable housing in exchange for permission to build a bigger headquarters than currently permitted by zoning.—The Washington Post

• The remains of 53 people — mostly African Americans — were returned to Richmond 25 years after they were discovered discarded in a 19th-century well on the campus of VCU’s medical school, which likely stole their corpses from fresh graves to use for medical research.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Three Virginia prosecutors signed a pledge to visit the prisons and jails where they will be sending convicted defendants. “We got to see people as family members and community members first,” said Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales. “We usually encounter people at their lowest point coming into the criminal justice system.”—The Washington Post

• Incoming House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn announced she plans to appoint Suzette Denslow, currently deputy chief of staff to Gov. Ralph Northam, to replace Paul Nardo as clerk of the House of Delegates.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Pittsylvania County woman rescued a special-needs piglet named “Hope” from euthanasia, taking her by private airplane to a veterinary specialist in Pennsylvania. “The pig will undergo a thorough examination,” Jennifer Miller said.—The Danville Register & Bee

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