UVA Medical Center will offer more low-cost care; More women are joining the workforce in Appalachia and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Ending a two-and-a-half-year legal battle, a Charlottesville Circuit Court judge ruled the city of Charlottesville can’t remove two Confederate statues from downtown parks but declined to award any damages for the city’s decision to temporarily cover them with giant tarps. – The Daily Progress

• Less than a week after a couple sued the state to challenge a requirement that they identify their race when applying for a marriage license, Attorney General Mark Herring has opined that while the state must ask, the law does not require an answer. To make that clear, revised marriage license forms add an option for “declined to answer” under the question. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• UVA Medical Center said it will offer more free and low-cost care to patients. “The reality is our practices were too aggressive,” said President Jim Ryan. “We do accept all patients, but there’s a balance there in how you do it. It’s not an easy balance to get right, but I think we’re moving toward a better place.” – The Daily Progress

• House Appropriations Chairman Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, is closing his pharmacy after 34 years, citing the shifting economics of the business. “I’m not blaming anyone, but it’s the current environment.” – Suffolk News-Herald

• GOP officials in Hanover removed Del. Chris Peace’s wife from the local party committee after she posted on Facebook she planned to write in her husband’s name on the November ballot rather than vote for Scott Wyatt, who ousted Peace in a bitter nomination fight. “I’m sorry that my wife still supports me,” Peace said. “We have a good marriage.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Virginia’s 140-year-old menhaden fishery is at the center of an obscure regulatory fight over catch quotas in the Chesapeake Bay. Aboard the boats that launch out of rural Reedsville, crews say they’re the last ones that want to see the populations overfished, but “you have to go where the fish are.” – Daily Press

• Over the past five years, 51 inmates have killed themselves in Virginia jails, a number that has climbed as state-run psychiatric hospitals have closed. – Associated Press

• As coal mines have closed throughout Appalachia, the workforce has shifted in some counties from three-fifths male to majority female. “The mines have shut down and the women have gone to work. It’s not complicated at all.” – The New York Times

• A Bible study group in Charlottesville is holding weekly seminars that reinterpret the city’s Confederate statues as “idols meant to prop up the false religion of white supremacy.” – The Washington Post

• A giant boulder showed up in the middle of a busy roadway in Chesterfield. Police and highway officials moved quickly to squash speculation it might have fallen from the sky. “I mean that’s kind of far-fetched,” said Sgt. James Lamb, Chesterfield’s police crash team supervisor. “A meteorite that size would have made a big hole.” VDOT posited a more likely theory: it fell off the back of a truck. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

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