Statewide percent positivity rate dips below 5 percent, Republican lieutenant gov candidate accused of being ‘a gay Democrat,’ restoring ramp populations, and more headlines

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• The percent positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in Virginia dipped below 5 percent for the first time in more than six months.—Virginian-Pilot

• “In Virginia, 2021 was the best chance yet to elect a Black politician — and possibly the first Black woman in any state — to the governor’s mansion. But with five weeks until the commonwealth’s Democratic primary, Terry McAuliffe, its white male former governor, is on track to secure the nomination easily.”—Politico

• Opponents of Del. Glenn Davis in the GOP nomination contest for lieutenant governor are turning to anti-LGBTQ messaging, including anonymous text messages that describe him as “a gay Democrat” and criticize his support for removing a now-defunct constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.—Washington Post

• Policing experts are divided on whether police correctly handled a traffic stop in Windsor that went viral after video showed officers pointing their guns at a U.S. Army lieutenant. “I understand that they probably got their adrenaline pumped up because he wasn’t pulling over right away. But they need to come down off of that high when they get into the gas station.”—Daily Press

• Del. Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, says she plans to reintroduce legislation that would stop local governments from keeping fines collected during traffic stops. “Police are incentivized if they’re going to get money from it just to make more traffic stops, and a lot of time Black and brown folks are the people who are bearing the brunt of this.”—WVTF 

• Appalachian Power customers could see their monthly bills rise by $22 if it secures approval for a series of future rate hikes.—Roanoke Times

• Officials at Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George County are disputing a state panel’s recommendation that the facility be shut down, arguing that inmate deaths “are not always preventable for any jail.”—Progress-Index

• A strike at a Volvo plant in Pulaski County ended. Union leaders said workers achieved “significant gains toward fair pay, benefits and job security protections,” but details of the agreement are not yet public.—Associated Press

• Researchers from Virginia Tech and the U.S. Forest Service are studying sustainable production techniques for ramps, which are at risk from over-harvesting as their popularity with foragers continues.—Roanoke Times

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.