Richmond transportation funding, paid sick leave, big aquatic rats, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Seven years after Virginia approved regional transportation funding for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, leaders in the Richmond region are asking for the same power to make joint decisions about transportation improvements and raise fuel and sales taxes to pay for them.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Democratic lawmakers are weighing legislation that would require all employers to give workers five paid sick days a year.—WVTF

• State lawmakers want to give Henry County residents a chance to block Martinsville from giving up its charter and becoming part of the county.—Martinsville Bulletin

• Citizens in Warren County, backed by the sheriff, are pressing the Board of Supervisors to establish a militia, but at least one member of the board said it might be better to give it a different name. “They are to protect us, I understand that, but it just brings on this whole image that maybe I’m afraid … I’m not afraid of anything … but I’m super concerned.”—The Northern Virginia Daily

• “Virginia is joining Maryland to push back on proposed Metro fare increases for long-distance commuters.”—WTOP

•  “A bill is pending in the Virginia General Assembly to pay almost $160,000 to Winston Lamont Scott, who was wrongly convicted of a rape in Fairfax County more than four decades ago.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A state delegate from Virginia Beach is pursuing legislation to create a regional authority to allow the region to cooperatively develop an arena in Hampton Roads.—The Virginian-Pilot

• An 1855–64 “Registry of Free Blacks” was discovered in the attic of Pulaski County’s Wilderness Road Regional Museum — a precious find, according to researchers. “Often, we just don’t know the last names of African Americans before 1865. The registers are really important for that kind of information.”—The Roanoke Times

• Nutria, invasive rodents sometimes likened to big aquatic rats, are eroding wetlands around the southeast corner of the state and along the Eastern Shore, but have surprised state officials by not crossing north of the James River yet. “It doesn’t make any sense to any of us that they haven’t (swum) across.”—The Virginia Gazette

• A West Virginia lawmaker renewed a 158-year-old invitation to neighboring Frederick County, Va., to become part of West Virginia. A county leader told reporters they’re still not interested.—Herald Mail

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.