Tracing the Virginia Beach shooter’s path to mass murder; Richmond opts against school pairing plan; Roanoke bucks gun sanctuary trend and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• The man who shot and killed 12 people in a municipal building in Virginia Beach earlier this year was isolated, paranoid and facing minor problems at work. Reporters couldn’t find a single person who considered him a friend or knew him as more than a passing acquaintance.—The Virginian-Pilot

• “A new report by the Virginia State Board of Education says there remains a persistent achievement gap for certain student groups and the state faces a growing shortage of high-quality teachers.”—Associated Press

• A school in Richmond that caters to students with autism reported secluding students in small padded rooms more often than all other private day schools in the state combined.—VPM

• With a possible expansion of gambling on the horizon, leaders in Danville are looking for someone who might want to open a casino in the city.—The Register & Bee

• Dominion Energy told lawmakers that plans to close 11 coal ash ponds are on track.—Associated Press

• State officials proposed paying some private hospitals more to take involuntary psychiatric payments as a way to ease overcrowding in state hospitals, but the state hospital association says other issues have led its members to accept fewer patients and funding isn’t one of them.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• William & Mary says a $19 million gift from an anonymous alumna will allow it to open an institute focused on conservation and sustainability.—The Virginia Gazette

• Roanoke City Council rebuffed gun rights advocates who wanted the city to declare itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” The mayor said he sees “no need or benefit to any action by this city validating what the Constitution already guarantees.”—The Roanoke Times

• The Richmond School Board voted down a proposal aimed at reducing de facto segregation in the district by pairing a majority-white school with a majority-black school to increase the diversity of both student bodies.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The state liquor authority is holding its annual lottery to determine who can purchase the 2,000 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon it was able to secure this year.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A stubborn leak in the underground wing of the Capitol sends water trickling onto the floor around a statute of the man who designed the original building, Thomas Jefferson. Officials say they’re considering removing the offending skylight if they can’t find a permanent fix.—The Washington Post

• A bald eagle smashed through the plate glass window of an H&R Block in Virginia Beach with its breakfast, a dead seagull, before flying away again through the gaping hole it created on its way in. It appeared uninjured. “It looked like it flew away pretty good.”—The Virginian-Pilot