The Bulletin

Prison guards strip search 8-year-old girl; Judge set to take up LG Justin Fairfax’s defamation suit; a coal town tries to reinvent itself and more headlines

By: - December 6, 2019 8:26 am
Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Guards at Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn strip-searched an 8-year-old girl, who “was led to believe refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father.” A Department of Corrections spokeswoman called it “deeply troubling” and “a breach in our protocol.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• A pilot from Stafford is hoping to add another world aviation record to his list: circling the globe along the equator.—The Free Lance-Star

• The New York Times visited Southwest Virginia coal country to check in on Grundy’s efforts to remake its economy. “Few places have had as many shots at deliverance,” their reporter finds. “None, so far, have succeeded in stemming Grundy’s inexorable decline.”—The New York Times

• Martinsville’s public hearing on reverting to a town from a city will “go ahead as advertised” amid tensions with Henry County leaders.—Martinsville Bulletin 

• After a report that said it had been over-forecasting its demand for years in order to justify spending on new natural gas facilities, Dominion Energy suspended a request for proposals for 1,500 MW of dispatchable peak capacity in its Virginia territory.—Utility Dive

• Republicans on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors are trying to pass a “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolution before they lose their majority. The county’s incoming Democratic chairwoman has promised to repeal it immediately.—InsideNoVA

• Do the “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions sweeping localities have any teeth? “The short answer is: Not really.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• A teacher at a middle school in Woodbridge has been charged with assault and battery after allegedly “grabbing an 11-year-old girl by the ankles and holding her upside down in a classroom.”—The Washington Post

• The head football coach at New Kent High School has been charged with assault for pushing one of his players while breaking up a locker room food fight.—WRIC

• A federal judge will hear arguments Friday morning in Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax’s defamation lawsuit against CBS. The network, which aired interviews with the two women who have accused Fairfax of sexual assault, is seeking to have the suit thrown out.—Associated Press

•  A study commissioned by a Danville foundation found that a casino there could increase tax revenue, visitors and spending in the city, but also lead to “more crime, problem gambling and jobs that would not pay a living wage to all of its workers.”—Danville Register & Bee

• Richmond firefighters remembered a fire lieutenant killed in a Hopewell shooting on Thanksgiving as “the best of us.” Fire Chief Melvin Carter said: “That this can happen to her, it can, and will, happen to anyone. It’s up to us, as a community, to stand up and do something about it.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Conservation efforts to preserve groundwater supplies for some localities appear to be working.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Workers at Virginia’s largest transit system, the Fairfax Connector, went on strike Thursday. “The strike affected about 90 routes carrying an average of 30,000 weekday riders.”—The Associated Press

• The new House Majority leader, Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, told Virginia Press Association members Thursday that she backs a constitutional amendment creating a new redistricting commission.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Seven Virginia cities and 11 counties are now under a quarantine to contain the spread of an imported fire ant. Soil, plants with roots and soil attached, sod and other articles “are prohibited from moving out of the quarantined area unless certified as free of the ants.”—The Associated Press

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Robert Zullo
Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]