Today’s headlines: Redistricting goes back to the courts, Hampton Roads wants a hashtag and donkey awareness

    Virginia lawmakers appear to have formally given up on efforts to redraw 11 racially gerrymandered House of Delegates districts themselves, instead leaving the process to the federal courts.

    After Gov. Ralph Northam said he would veto a Republican plan that maintained the party’s existing partisan advantage, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox cancelled a planned floor session, saying it would be a waste of money.

    The court had set an Oct. 30 deadline for the General Assembly to act.

    More news:

    • Prosecutors in Chesterfield dropped charges against a woman they’d accused of self-abortion after medical experts hired by her lawyers challenged the state medical examiner’s findings. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • Richmond City Council is set to vote tonight on a resolution that would ask the General Assembly to change a state law that makes it illegal for the city to remove Confederate monuments. — WTVR
    • The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts returned a piece of art that had been looted by Nazis during WWII. – The Washington Post
    • Meth has overtaken heroin and opioids as the drug of choice in the Roanoke region. – The Roanoke Times
    • A Lynchburg-area physician opened a family practice where patients pay through an $80-a-month subscription fee instead of insurance. “No billing codes, no metrics, you just work for the patient,” he said. – The News & Advance
    • A first-of-its-kind loan program to help costal property owners prepare for sea level rise by elevating their homes and businesses has been out of money for the past two years. – The Virginian-Pilot
    • State health officials say 38 people have been infected with West Nile virus this year, a record number in Virginia. – Associated Press
    • Richmond-area recycling businesses have started leaving “oops” stickers on bins when they find non-recyclables mixed in, part of a crack-down on bad recycling habits prompted by China’s new stringent regulations on imported waste. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • A large Jewish community center in Northern Virginia was vandalized with 19 large swastikas painted on the side. – WTOP
    • U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine condemned the anti-Semitic vandalism as “insidious.” His Republican opponent in the race, Corey Stewart, faced criticism for spending the day tweeting about the Supreme Court and ignoring the incident. Stewart told a reporter he hadn’t seen the news but is also opposed to anti-Semitism. – The Washington Post
    • The Richmond area has #RVA, Northern Virginia has #NOVA. But Hampton Roads doesn’t have a good regional hashtag, and an economics professor says in a new report it’s hurting the area. – The Virginian-Pilot
    • King George County officials have hired a firm likened to a CSI team to investigate the source of fecal contamination in the Potomac River that has bedeviled regulators for years. – The Free Lance Star
    • The Virginia Donkey Rescue held a donkey awareness event, dubbed Donktoberfest, at Bold Rock Hard Cider in Nelson County. “I got my first donkeys six months ago. I am a pediatric oncologist in Roanoke. My job is not easy all of the time and donkeys make me happy,” said one of the owners. – The News & Advance