Virginia joins lawsuit against Purdue Pharma owners; U.S. Rep. Riggleman faces party censure over work visa idea; Bristol gives Pizza Hut a tax break and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Virginia joined at least 20 other states in suing members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma. “While the Sackler family has lived a life of unimaginable wealth and comfort, families across Virginia and around the country have been devastated by an opioid crisis that was fueled by lies and deceit by Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers,” Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement. – Associated Press

• “Virginia’s inspector general is investigating a contract worth up to $1.5 million that the state’s Medicaid office awarded to a company owned by a former U.S. government employee who helped oversee federal oversight of the state.” – Associated Press

• The federal government wants to seize 29 properties in a rapidly redeveloping Richmond neighborhood it says a developer purchased with “crime proceeds,” including a doughnut shop and brewery. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The state says it will add 56 beds to Catawba Hospital in Roanoke County “to keep up with demand placed on the public psychiatric hospitals by a law requiring that they turn away no one in need.” – The Roanoke Times

• Local GOP committees continue to threaten U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson, with censure, this time over a vote to expand a work visa program. A spokesman called the whole thing “a ridiculous notion.” – Rappahannock News 

• “A Charlottesville Circuit Court judge ruled two Confederate statues do not send a racially discriminatory message and issued a permanent injunction preventing their removal Wednesday on the first day of a three-day trial.” – The Daily Progress

• A Virginia company believes its autonomous shuttle in Crozet is the first in the country to offer public rides on public roads. – WVTF

• Bristol agreed to cut $700,000 in tax breaks as part of a deal to land two new Pizza Hut locations in the city, prompting head scratching from some city council members, who wondered why Pizza Huts would need tax breaks to be profitable. – Bristol Herald Courier 

• Virginia launched an “elk cam,” broadcasting live from the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority. – Associated Press

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