Virginia hits new COVID-19 milestones, Farmville ICE detainees give up asylum bids to escape virus-ridden detention center, a peanut tax proposal, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• “Virginia logged more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time [last week], the same day the state surpassed 5,000 deaths from the virus.”—Roanoke Times

• Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called President Donald Trump’s phone call pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to change election results a clear effort to “overthrow the government of the United States.”—Mediaite

• A panel of retired judges will meet Wednesday to pick eight citizen members to serve on Virginia’s new redistricting commission.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• There are two new entrants to the state’s ever-widening gubernatorial contest: The General Assembly’s only self-described socialist, Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas, will seek the Democratic nomination. And Princess Blanding, whose brother was killed by Richmond police during a mental health crisis in 2018, says she’ll run under the newly formed Liberation Party.—Associated Press

• More than a dozen detainees at the ICE detention center in Farmville gave up their asylum cases rather than stay at the detention center, which was roiled by COVID-19 and allegations of negligent care. At least one was murdered by gang members upon their return home. Others say they’re in hiding.—Washington Post

• “More than 300,000 undocumented immigrants are eligible to seek ‘driver privilege cards’ after Jan. 1, when a new law will make Virginia the first Southern state to give that population a way to legally drive.”—Washington Post

• The sheriff in Prince William County fired a deputy after a reporter exposed posts on right-wing social media platforms in which he appeared to threaten violence against public officials. The deputy says his account was hacked.—Prince William Times

• “Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, is proposing a statewide tax increase on individual incomes above $150,000 per year to fund raises for law enforcement officers and to establish dedicated funding for school construction.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The Virginia Peanut Growers Association is pushing for a reduction in the state’s tax on the crunchy legume.—WVTF

• Tidal flooding accounts for at least 50 percent of the water in Norfolk’s storm drains at any given moment, according to a new study.—Virginian-Pilot

• Richmond sculptor Edward Valentine created many of the statues that defined Lost Cause mythology. Now his family’s museum is confronting the legacy.—Washington Post

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