State trooper slain; Northam wants private investigator; Medical school apologizes; Circuit City employees reunite; and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• A Virginia State Police trooper was fatally shot during a drug investigation outside Farmville. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Gov. Ralph Northam has toyed with the idea of leaving the Democratic Party and governing as an independent. – The Washington Post

• Northam remains committed to proving he’s not in the racist photo on his yearbook page and plans to hire a private investigator to “examine the circumstances of the picture.” – The New York Times

• Virginia Democrats are taking a wait-and-see approach to the sexual assault allegation against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. “All allegations of sexual assault deserve to be taken with profound gravity,” the party said. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Most members of the General Assembly declined to comment on the Fairfax allegations, saying they were too busy with crossover. – Huffington Post

• Fairfax’s accuser has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford when she brought forward allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. – NPR

• The president of Eastern Virginia Medical School apologized for the racist imagery that appeared in its yearbooks over the decades. – The Virginian-Pilot

• A retired Roanoke plastic surgeon who appeared in black face in the edition that carried Northam’s yearbook page apologized. “I had a lot of great African-American friends, I still do, and they gave me their blessing that this would not offend them.” – The Roanoke Times

• Former classmates of Northam’s who worked on the yearbook were split on whether the racist image could have landed on his page by mistake, as he suggested Saturday. – Associated Press

• You might not have gone down this internet conspiracy rabbit hole, but a Chesterfield man says he’s not the guy in blackface on Northam’s yearbook page despite having worn similar plaid pants in a high school yearbook photo with Northam seven years earlier. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Northam signed legislation finalizing up to $750 million in incentives for Amazon’s new corporate outpost in Crystal City. There was no public signing and Northam’s office did not put out a statement or otherwise acknowledge the move. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• With the General Assembly session at its halfway point, lawmakers have killed or ignored 40 percent of the bills that were filed. – Daily Press

• Interstate 81 legislation passed by the House tees up another study, nixing a bipartisan tolling proposal rolled out at the beginning of the session. – News Leader

• Tax season, basically, is going to be a mess in Virginia after a bill to conform state code to federal code got dragged down in a political fight over how to handle increased tax collections because of Trump’s tax cuts. – The Washington Post

• The House and Senate redistricting reform plans agree that legislative boundaries should be drawn by a commission in public, but that’s about it. – WVTF

• Vice President Mike Pence will visit the U.S. Coast Guard base in Portsmouth today for a briefing on border security threats. – The Virginian-Pilot

• The state’s longest-serving prosecutor, Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert, is retiring. He oversaw prosecution of the beltway sniper, Lorena Bobbitt and “sent more defendants to death row than any other prosecutor in Virginia’s history.” – The Washington Post

• About 250 former employees of Henrico-based Circuit City gathered at a brewery to mark the 10-year anniversary of the once-ubiquitous retailer’s collapse. – Richmond BizSense

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