Prof says Northam is overselling offshore wind; Stop involving delegate investigated; A weird tale from Hampton Roads and other headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• An economics professor in Norfolk says offshore wind might be good for the environment, but there’s no way a massive project in Virginia will create the 14,000 new jobs Gov. Ralph Northam cited in an announcement this week.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Christiansburg police say they’re now reviewing an officer’s decision to release Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, from a DUI traffic stop where he blew just over the legal limit. A state senator introduced a resolution to remove a clause from the state Constitution that blocks police from arresting lawmakers for most offenses while the General Assembly is in session, which police said figured into their decision not to pursue charges against Hurst.—The Roanoke Times

• Democrats are advancing a range of bills aimed at improving workers’ lives, including paid family leave, expanded workers compensation protection and eliminating a ban on collective bargaining by public employees.—The Virginian-Pilot

• “Major voting changes approved by Virginia’s House of Delegates Thursday include no-excuse absentee voting and extending the deadline for absentee ballots to arrive and be counted.”—WTOP

• A House committee advanced free speech protections for student journalists over objections from local school boards, whose representative asked the board to remember that they were talking about middle school students. “I ask that you think about the maturity level.”—Associated Press

• “Virginia localities would be able to impose local taxes on cigarettes of up to 40 cents a pack — on top of state taxes — under an emerging legislative proposal for equalizing local taxing authority between counties and city and town governments.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, filed legislation seeking to stop Richmond from dumping raw sewage into the James River when it rains.—Daily Press

• Southwestern Virginia lawmakers are pushing a bill to convert old coal mines into solar, wind and geothermal projects.—Bristol Herald Courier

• Condolences rolled in after a Hampton Roads elementary school principal posted on Twitter that his assistant principal died in a car crash. Except the Twitter user isn’t a principal and no assistants died in a crash. The whole thing is weirding out Hampton Roads area school leaders, some of whom are taking extra security precautions. “It’s disturbing.”—The Virginian-Pilot

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