Rising tensions ahead of Monday gun rally, Virginia Beach flood study complete, the last Lee-Jackson Day?, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• The FBI arrested three alleged members of a neo-Nazi group that calls itself “the Base” on gun charges. Officials moved to arrest the men “partly out of concerns they might engage in violence at a gun rights rally planned for Monday in Richmond,” which has drawn interest from militias and extremist groups around the country.—The Washington Post

• “The Base is an ‘accelerationist group that encourages the onset (of) anarchy … so it can then “impose order from chaos.”’ The (Counter Extremism Project) says The Base seeks to train members to fight a race war and draws inspiration from the book ‘Siege’ by the neo-Nazi James Mason.”—Reuters

• Violent calls by extremist white supremacist and militia groups have proliferated online ahead of Monday’s rally.—Hate Watch

• Far-left groups, including a local chapter of Antifa, that oppose new gun laws on grounds they criminalize the poor and bolster law enforcement’s power say they plan to participate in Monday’s rally.—Vice

• Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, who says he’s been on the receiving end of death threats for weeks, says he’ll spend Monday away from the Capitol in an undisclosed location.—DCist

• Leaders in Floyd County said they wanted to make sure everyone understands a militia forming there is not government sanctioned.—The Floyd Press

• A five-year, $3.8 million study commissioned by Virginia Beach to prepare for sea level rise concludes the city must “consider multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects, restricting new development in some parts of the city and purchasing properties in danger of flooding.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• Senate Democrats quickly killed a bill that would have allowed Bible classes in public schools. The measure passed the chamber under GOP control last year but never emerged from the House of Delegates.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Advocates are taking a third crack at getting tougher distracted driving legislation through the General Assembly.—VPM

• Black representation in Virginia’s General Assembly peaked in 1869, when 29 African American lawmakers served under a post-Civil War constitution enforced by federal troops. Those gains were decimated under the Jim Crow-era oppression that would follow. Today, a 23-member black caucus is reestablishing its clout. “So few people know that history, they don’t know the long-lasting impacts of that history and how it impacts public policy and communities today.”—WVTF

• The Department of Corrections is still not fully complying with a federal settlement agreement governing the health care of women at Fluvanna Correctional Center, where multiple inmates have died amid allegations of shoddy care.—The Virginian-Pilot

• Martinsville is offering subscriptions to its fiber-optic network as an alternative to slower commercial internet providers.—Martinsville Bulletin

• This might be the last Lee-Jackson Day state workers get off from work as Democrats pursue legislation to replace the holiday honoring Confederate leaders with Election Day.—WVTF

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