Six immigrants sue Augusta County company that arranges bonds for ICE detainees; Northam might address extreme heat in prisons; Virginia’s expecting a warm fall and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• SOL pass rates dropped from 97 percent to 28 percent at a Richmond elementary school that had its blue-ribbon status revoked after a cheating scandal was revealed. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Six Central American immigrants sued an Augusta County-based company that arranges bonds for people detained by ICE, accusing them of charging exorbitant monthly fees for constant GPS monitoring. “Libre paints itself as a champion of immigrant rights and in the business of reuniting families,” the lawsuit says. “In reality, Libre is an unlicensed middleman, embracing immigrants only to feed off of them like a parasite.” – Staunton News Leader

• “Attorney General Mark Herring is leading a team of 13 states challenging rules proclaimed this week by his predecessor, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, that would allow the deportation of legal immigrants if they briefly tap legal forms of assistance, including food stamps or housing aid, for which there is no current citizenship requirement.” – Daily Press

• The sole survivor of the 2015 shooting that killed a WDBJ reporter and cameraman live on air is suing the station, accusing it of negligence for hiring the shooter, a former employee who had a track record of employment problems. – The Roanoke Times

• “Two Norfolk Police Department detectives accused each other of bungling a homicide investigation in a ‘ridiculous’ squabble that seeped into a murder trial this week.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam suggested he might put forward a proposal next year to address extreme heat in 18 state prisons that lack air conditioning. “Obviously we want to do everything we can to be humane,” he said. – WVTF

• A conservative activist blasted Virginia Tech for “leftist propaganda” after attending her son’s orientation and hearing students and faculty discussing their preferred pronouns. Tech responded that they welcome students from all walks of life. – The Roanoke Times

• “Lawyers for a trade association are dropping a federal lawsuit alleging that a Virginia distillery has improperly tried to pass off whiskey as Scotch.” – Associated Press

• Forecasters expect fall in Virginia to be warmer and wetter than usual. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Virginian-Pilot is ditching online comments on its website. The announcement drew 200 comments as of Friday morning, mostly expressing despair. – The Virginian-Pilot

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