Trump’s golf course fined in Loudoun County; water quality improving, DEQ says; ACLU calls on state to remove Lee statue and other headlines

Virginia Mercury

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Eastern Virginia Medical School says an advisory board it has established will not, in fact, investigate the racist photo that appeared on Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page. “The revised mission came to light as a Virginian-Pilot analysis found several board members have ties to the governor, some having given thousands of dollars to Northam’s political campaigns and holding administration appointments.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• President Donald Trump’s golf course in Loudoun County is facing at least $600 in fines for cutting down trees in a floodplain without a permit. – The Washington Post

• The Diocese of Richmond has still not directly answered a number of questions from media and refused to release some details that the other Virginia diocese and the national Catholic Church have published in regards to allegations of sexual abuse that were made public last month. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Congress members from Hampton Roads are leading an effort to get $455 million over the next five years for the Chesapeake Bay Program, which has worked on restoring the Bay since 1983. – The Daily Press

• Water quality around the state isn’t necessarily pristine, but it’s improving, according to the Department of Environmental Quality. “We consider these trends a success story.” – Daily Press

• Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney proposed a 7.5-percent increase in real estate taxes and a $.50 cigarette tax, largely to boost funding for schools and road maintenance. – WCVE

• E-scooter rental company Bird paid $20,000 to get back 523 scooters impounded by authorities in Norfolk. – The Virginian-Pilot

• Several Richmond residents are suing an online loan provider that charges interest rates as high as 650 percent. – Daily Press

• The Hopewell Electoral Board voted to fire the city’s general registrar, who tried to put some candidates’ names on the ballot in all caps last year and some in lower case letters, prompting the state to intervene. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Metro ridership was up slightly in Northern Virginia and bus ridership was down. – InsideNoVa

• The ACLU of Virginia called on the state to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond rather than institute permanent restrictions on rallies and protests. “If the Lee monument were not located where it is now there would be no need for these onerous and potentially unconstitutional regulations regarding the use of the grounds surrounding it.” – WVTF

• John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, said he’s the “happiest he’s ever been” living with his mother and brother in Virginia — although he’s had some trouble making friends and finding romantic partners. – Associated Press 

• The National Park Service predicts peak-cherry blossom season will fall between April 3 and April 6. – WAMU

From The Bulletin, the Mercury’s blog, where we post quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.

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Ned Oliver
Ned, a Lexington native, has a decade’s worth of experience in journalism, beginning at The News-Gazette in Lexington, and including stints at the Berkshire Eagle, in Berkshire County, Mass., and the Times-Dispatch and Style Weekly in Richmond. He also has the awards to show for it, including taking a pair of first-place honors at the Virginia Press Association awards earlier this year for investigative reporting and feature writing. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, in Great Barrington, Mass. Contact him at [email protected]
Mechelle Hankerson
Mechelle, born and raised in Virginia Beach, is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications and a concentration in print journalism. She covered the General Assembly for the university’s Capital News Service and was among 12 student journalists in swing states selected by the Washington Post to cover the 2012 presidential election. For the past five years, she has covered local government, crime, housing, infrastructure and other issues at the Raleigh News & Observer and The Virginian-Pilot, where she most recently covered the state’s biggest city, Virginia Beach. Contact her at [email protected]