NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.
• The state’s watchdog agency says it has “substantiated” allegations against the Virginia Parole Board amid concerns that victims’ families haven’t been properly notified about plans to release violent offenders. But officials redacted almost the entire report and the Northam administration has rebuffed calls to make the findings public. “I find the political corruption in Virginia rampant and devastating,” said the sister of a murdered police officer. — Associated Press
• Richmond authorities cleared protest encampments Thursday morning near the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue, removing tents, grills and chairs and making two arrests. — Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Leaders at Virginia Military Institute say they will not take down the school’s Confederate statues, but will reorient some flagpoles, change the location of the oath ceremony and offer diversity training classes. — Roanoke Times
• Trespassing charges filed against two Portsmouth NAACP leaders who protested at a Confederate monument have been dropped. — Virginian-Pilot
• Charles City County is opting to let voters decide whether its Confederate monument should stay or go, becoming one of the first localities in the state to put the question on the ballot. — Richmond Times-Dispatch
• The group that runs New York’s Bronx Zoo apologized for displaying a young central African man, Ota Benga, in its Monkey House in 1906. Benga later lived in Lynchburg, where he took his own life in 1916 after being “robbed of his humanity and unable to return home.” — Associated Press
• Three members of Albemarle County’s Economic Development Authority resigned in protest over having to disclose their financial interests in order to serve on the board. “Welcome to public service, folks,” said Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, who pushed to tighten EDA transparency rules after an embezzlement scandal in Warren County. — Daily Progress
• A photo appearing to show maskless people packed into Blacksburg’s popular Hokie House restaurant led to a social media uproar, attention from Virginia Tech’s official Twitter account and a wave of complaints against the establishment. But the owner says no violations occurred and a health district official wrote it “may be a case of sabotage.” — Roanoke Times
• A Manassas city councilman is launching a treasure hunt venture that will allow participants to search for $10,000 prizes. — WTOP
• Busch Gardens will reopen its doors next month for the first time during the pandemic, but only for a special event where people can drink beer and ride roller coasters. — Daily Press
• Erosion has reshaped Cape Point on the Outer Banks so much that some feel it no longer qualifies as a point. “People are jokingly referring to it as Cape Nub,” said a parks official. — Virginian-Pilot
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