Stoney faces lawsuit for monument removal, COVID infections up in Hampton Roads, Va. Republicans push for in-person school week, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Monuments continue to come down in Richmond, but Mayor Levar Stoney is now facing a lawsuit claiming he lacks the legal authority to remove them so fast. — Richmond Times-Dispatch 

• COVID-19 infections are up in Hampton Roads. Officials blamed lax attitudes toward precautions. — Virginian-Pilot

• Lynchburg officials are reporting a similar COVID-19 surge. — News & Advance

• Republican lawmakers pushed for full, five-day school weeks this year despite the pandemic. Gov. Ralph Northam dismissed their request as “playing politics.”  — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Fairfax County school officials pushed back after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos publicly criticized the district’s reopening plan and called its initial online learning efforts “a disaster.” — WJLA

• A man accused of shooting two Southwest Virginia sheriff’s deputies has been identified as a former Florida police officer with a history of domestic incidents. — Wytheville Enterprise

• A Confederate monument outside the Giles County courthouse has become a factor in a drug case after a lawyer claimed a Black defendant couldn’t get a fair trial in an atmosphere that glorifies “unequal treatment.” — Roanoke Times

• Attorney General Mark Herring announced Virginia has cleared its backlog of thousands of untested rape kits. — Associated Press

• Virginia’s new hands-free driving bill won’t take effect until 2021, but police are already being trained how to enforce it without racial bias. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• More than half of the people arrested in Arlington County last year were Black, despite the county having a Black population of less than ten percent. Police said many arrestees didn’t live in the county. — ARLnow

• A man threw a bowl of food at an Alexandria coffee shop after being told to leave for not wearing a mask. —NBC4

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