Remaining social distancing restrictions lifted, Richmond police chief meets with civilian review board, Portsmouth firefighters ask for collective bargaining, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Virginia lifted its remaining social distancing and capacity restrictions this morning. Gov. Ralph Northam plans to meet with President Joe Biden at a gym in Alexandria “to celebrate summer” and the state’s reopening.—VPMWashington Post

• “Washington-area TV station ABC7-WJLA apologized for an anti-Muslim question one of its anchors addressed to a candidate during a televised debate Tuesday.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Richmond’s police chief met with a task force working to establish a civilian review board after he was publicly called out for ignoring their requests, telling the group he opposed any model that would give community members oversight roles.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Southwest Virginia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to occur more slowly than the rest of the state and some sectors — including tourism, restaurants and hospitality — may not return to previous employment levels.”—Bristol Herald Courier

• New unemployment claims dipped below 10,000 last week, about 800 less than the week prior.—Virginia Business

• Leaders in Chesterfield are urging the state to pull inmates from Riverside Regional Jail after a state board that investigates jail conditions recommended the facility be decertified and closed.—Chesterfield Observer

• Virginia Beach leaders are appealing a court ruling that struck down the municipal voting system as illegal and discriminatory.—Virginian-Pilot

• Virginia Beach is one of the first cities to begin implementing the Marcus Alert, which aims to respond to mental health crises by sending mental health professionals alongside or instead of police.—WHRO

• Portsmouth has until the end of August to decide whether to allow its firefighters and dispatchers to fully unionize.—Virginian-Pilot

• “A Norfolk mail carrier was arrested this week and charged with diverting packages filled with marijuana to a drug dealer in exchange for bribes, according to court documents.”—Virginian-Pilot

• AAA is predicting “almost-normal” levels of traffic this summer as the state continues to reopen.—Virginian-Pilot

• A Charlottesville couple is marking Memorial Day by cleaning tombstones in a local cemetery. “We’re going to hit every veteran’s gravesite.”—Daily Progress

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