Va. potatoes in national spotlight, state Supreme Court rejects executive order challenge, end of school year jeopardizes some unemployment, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Local elections went forward in more than 100 cities and towns around the state. “Some polling places had a new pen for every voter. At others, poll workers cleaned voting stations after each voter. Many … had tape lines spaced 6-feet apart to ensure social distancing.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• President Donald Trump attacked Gov. Ralph Northam for his support of gun control legislation, warning there will be “no one to guard your potatoes.” In response, Northam tweeted, “Our potatoes are fine.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• The Supreme Court of Virginia rejected an injunction request from the owner of a chain of Gold’s Gym franchises who is challenging the executive order that has closed his business. He was represented by two Republican state senators, one of whom said in a statement that the ruling “gives a governor near-dictatorial powers.”—Associated Press

• The feds awarded a massive pharmaceutical manufacturing contract to a brand-new Richmond-based company. The $812 million deal is aimed at “beefing up the U.S. supply chain while manufacturing medicines needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.”—Associated Press

• “Parents claiming unemployment due to lack of child care will not be able to do so once the school year ends in June, Virginia Employment Commissioner Ellen Hess said Tuesday.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “A child in northern Virginia is the first confirmed case in the state of a pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the new coronavirus.”—Associated Press

• Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, filed a defamation lawsuit against former Virginia congresswoman Barbara Comstock. According to the suit: “Inexplicably, the defendant, without any prompting whatsoever, stated that [Morrissey] was ‘a predator when he was in the House of Delegates [and] we had to warn the girls to stay away from him,’ ” the complaint says. “Later in the interview, the defendant repeated that ‘we had to warn the interns to stay away from him.’”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A federal judge in Virginia approved an expedition to recover the telegraph machine from the remains of the Titanic, calling it “a unique opportunity to recover an artifact that will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic.” NOAA opposed the mission, saying the wreckage “should be respected as a grave rather than mined as a museum supply.”—The Washington Post

• “A Caroline County family discovered nearly one million dollars in cash after running over bags filled with bills while on a Saturday afternoon drive.”—WTVR

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