Shooting victims’ families want Virginia Beach municipal building torn down; SOL scores reveal deepening gaps between students based on race; ships are getting speeding tickets to protect whales and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Virginia Beach is planning to renovate the municipal building where a gunman killed 12 in May, but family members of the victims and many members of the public say it should be torn down. “I think it is unfair to give the building a facelift when my mother was murdered inside of it.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• SOL scores released Tuesday “revealed persistent and, in some cases, deepening gaps in scores between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers.” – The Washington Post

• State liquor stores topped $1 billion in sales for the first time last fiscal year. The best seller: Tito’s Handmade vodka. “Customers aren’t necessarily drinking more, they’re buying more premium products.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Ken Cuccinelli, now Trump’s immigration chief, offered his own re-write of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty as he defended a new regulation to deny green cards and visas to immigrants who use benefits like food stamps: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” – NPR

• New York mayor and 2020 hopeful Bill de Blasio planned to attend a memorial service marking the anniversary of the fatal white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, but backed out after his campaign learned he wouldn’t be given a speaking role. – Charlottesville Tomorrow

• Widows of the two Virginia State Police troopers who died in a helicopter crash the day of the Charlottesville rally sued the state for wrongful death, seeking $50 million each. – The Daily Progress

• After opposing similar measures earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1st District, said he’ll support tightening firearm background checks after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. – Prince William Times

• No whistle-blowers reported any instances of fraud or abuse to the Office of the State Inspector General during the last fiscal year. – Daily Press

• Leaders in Portsmouth refuse to answer questions about their abrupt condemnation of the city jail. – The Virginian-Pilot

• With everyone from Martha Stewart to Carl’s Jr. hawking CBD as a cure-all, a scientist at Virginia Commonwealth University who analyzes what’s actually in the products says they remind her of the snake-oil scams of the 1800s, “when guys in wagons were selling sham tinctures in glass bottles.” – The New York Times

• The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving ships speeding tickets in the Chesapeake Bay to protect endangered whales. – The Virginian-Pilot

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