Richmond mulls extending restrictions, unrest at Dillwyn prison, a drive-thru Republican convention in the 5th District, and more news

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Northern Virginia has averaged nearly double the number of daily coronavirus-related deaths in recent days than the rest of the state in a region that contains about one-third of its population.”—The Washington Post

• Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney says he has reservations about beginning to loosen emergency restrictions Friday and is considering joining Northern Virginia localities in requesting that existing rules stay in place. “I continue to believe that we need to be slow and cautious about reopening.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Shopping malls are making plans to reopen as early as Friday.—The Roanoke TimesWTOP

• Beaches will remain closed for now, but with its local tourism industry desperate to reopen, Virginia Beach leaders say they’re hiring hundreds of “ambassadors” to enforce social distancing guidelines on the oceanfront.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Inmates and their family members report unrest at Dillwyn Correctional Center, where some inmates began a hunger strike and, separately, a group of COVID-positive inmates reportedly barricaded themselves into a dorm to prevent officials from crowding more infected inmates into the already packed room. The Department of Corrections has refused to acknowledge the incidents, but Northam’s administration confirmed seven inmates were abruptly transferred to a higher-security facility.—WVTF

• Virginia began distributing federal stimulus money to local governments around the state. The amounts, based on a locality’s population, range from $41 million for Prince William County to $607,000 for Charles City County.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Northam rejected calls from top GOP lawmakers to halt more parole grants while the state inspector general investigates whether the parole board followed state law and policies in a recent decision to release a man convicted of killing a Richmond police officer in 1979.—Associated Press

• Republicans will hold a drive-thru convention to pick their congressional candidate for the state’s sprawling 5th District, currently represented by Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, who is fending off a challenge from a conservative activist.—The Daily Progress

• One of the Navy’s guided-missile cruisers spilled 4,000 gallons of fuel into the York River last week. Authorities say they cleaned it up already.—Associated Press

• “A federal judge has declined to lift his temporary ban on a permitting process for the crossing of streams and wetlands by oil and natural gas pipelines, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”—The Roanoke Times

• “The Air Force flew three planes over the Richmond area and Hampton Roads on Tuesday evening in a salute to front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has never been known for his style. But now, in a succession of very cool face mask bandanas, he has become an unlikely Beltway fashion icon.”—The Daily Beast

• The Inn at Little Washington, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Rappahannock County, has a plan to make its restaurant feel full when it’s eventually allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity: Finely dressed mannequins now occupy half the tables. “Servers will be instructed to pour them wine and to ask them about their evening.”—Washingtonian

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