Va. Senate passes omnibus police reform, Pence says Trump respects armed forces in speech at VMI, Fairfax County keeps school bus drivers on the road, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• The Virginia Senate passed its omnibus police reform legislation, which includes bans on chokeholds, no-knock warrants and acquisition of some military equipment. Now House and Senate lawmakers will begin working to reconcile the differences between their bills.—Washington Post

• “Vice President Mike Pence emphasized the respect President Donald Trump has for the armed forces to an audience of cadets at Virginia Military Institute, one week after reports indicated Trump referred to captured and fallen members of the military as ‘suckers’ and ‘losers.’”—Associated Press

• Gov. Ralph Northam lifted regional health restrictions he ordered after a spike in cases in Hampton Roads, saying the region has seen a substantial decline in new cases and hospitalizations.—Virginian-Pilot

• Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who faced two high-profile sexual assault allegations last year, announced he’s seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor. Fairfax denies the allegations and says voters will “see through this kind of destructive, politically motivated politics.”—Associated Press

• Del. Glenn Davis, R-Virginia Beach, says he’s going to run for lieutenant governor again.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Two White council members in Portsmouth may have broken they law by asking for charges in the vandalism of a Confederate statue. It’s the same section of the charter that led a magistrate to issue charges against the vice mayor, who is Black and calls it evidence of a double standard.—Virginian-Pilot

• Virginia’s secretary of education and PTA leaders at an elite public school in Fairfax are battling over plans to increase diversity in the student body.—Associated Press

• A Louisa County judge ordered a large portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee removed from a circuit courtroom ahead of a murder trial. “The court is compelled to conclude that the level of controversy surrounding the image of Robert E. Lee is sufficiently intense that it is foreseeable that it may impair the fair administration of justice.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Virginia Beach school board member walked out of a meeting Wednesday when her colleagues pressed her to wear a face mask.—Virginian-Pilot

• First responders in Virginia Beach are marking Sept. 11 by carrying a 700-pound log along the oceanfront.—WAVY

• To keep its bus drivers on the payroll, Fairfax County Public Schools is requiring them to drive their empty buses along their old routes. School administrators say the goal is to “keep their driving skills sharp.”—Washington Post

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