VDOT plans to remove I-95 Confederate flag, a rise in local militias, ghosts in New Kent County, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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• VDOT is planning to use eminent domain to take down a Confederate flag flying near Interstate 95 in Stafford County. The agency said it acquired the land the flagpole sits on as part of a highway project.—WJLA

• As part of the backlash to Virginia’s political shift toward Democratic rule, at least three counties have passed resolutions endorsing local militias. “Biden’s coming for us; there will be a war,” said the leader of the Virginia Militia Alliance.—New York Times

• A judge handed conservatives a partial victory in a lawsuit over counting late-arriving mail ballots with missing or illegible postmarks.—Associated Press

• With more than 180 of its workers quarantined, Ballad Health says it might not have enough people to respond to a COVID-19 spike in its region. “To put everything bluntly, we very easily could run out of resources for our patients.”—Bristol Herald Courier

• Portsmouth’s former city attorney, ousted in the fallout over a protest at the city’s Confederate monument, is suing Portsmouth’s mayor for defamation.—Virginian-Pilot

• Amherst County officials say they’re concerned the state has abandoned upkeep of the 350-acre Central Virginia Training Center, the former facility for people with disabilities that is now closed to the public. The county is worried squatters and crime are moving into the complex.—News & Advance

• A judge ruled that John Hinckley, the man who tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan and moved to Williamsburg after his release from a psychiatric hospital, can now promote his artwork and music under his own name.—Associated Press

• The Marine Corps is pursuing an attempted murder charge against a Virginia Beach corporal whose family says she’s suffering from PTSD from a sexual assault by a fellow Marine.—Virginian-Pilot

• Loudoun County schools are dropping their numerical academic rankings starting with next year’s incoming class, moving instead to Latin honors. “I think what we’re doing to our children by ranking them is not helping their mental health.”—Loudoun Times-Mirror

• Parts of Southwest and Southside Virginia were under a rare tropical storm warning due to Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall near New Orleans Wednesday afternoon.—Roanoke Times

• A group of paranormal investigators called I See Dead People looked for ghosts at a historic jail in New Kent County. To try to coax out shy spirits, one investigator played Civil War songs on her phone.—Tidewater Review

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