NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.
• The surrogate grandmother of a murder victim said she was stunned when the Virginia Parole Board, beset by a scandal over its failure to follow state law and its own regulations in releasing inmates, opted to release the killer just one month after voting to deny him parole. “I cried. I was so angry,” said Esther Brown.—Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Virginia has topped 10,000 COVID-19 deaths, with Gov. Ralph Northam declaring Sunday a day of prayer and remembrance for those lost to the virus.—WTVR
• Nearly one million Virginians have been fully vaccinated. More than 1.7 million have gotten at least one dose.—NBC12
• Researchers say the death toll of the pandemic, including both unaccounted for COVID-19 deaths and other fatalities associated with the pandemic, such as the failure to manage chronic disease, is higher than the official tally.—WVTF
• The pandemic has hit working mothers especially hard. “I lost my temper a lot more than I should have. I definitely cried a lot more,” one woman said.—Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Inspections show high rates of mask wearing and social distancing, including walking with “zombie arms” at Virginia Beach public schools. “We’re (keeping schools open) safely. We’re doing it while minimizing the spread of the virus. And we’re seeing that in the information we’re receiving,” one official said.—Virginian-Pilot
• Police in Richmond are investigating vandalism at the city’s famous Hollywood Cemetery. Grave markers in the “Presidents’ Circle,” where James Monroe and John Tyler are buried, were toppled.—NBC12
• The Norfolk and Chesapeake sheriffs are pulling their inmates out of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, which has been plagued by mismanagement, major staffing shortfalls, poor medical care and loss of accreditation. Three of the five cities that pay to send inmates there are now refusing to use the jail.—Virginian-Pilot
• Albemarle Public Schools is replacing school resource officers with “safety coaches.”—Daily Progress
• “Nearly $500,000 from the developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been awarded in grants to promote conservation and outdoor recreation along a stretch of the Appalachian Trail.”—Roanoke Times
• A Los Angeles film company has bought the rights to a book about notorious Bland County drug smuggler Wally Thrasher, “a handsome, dare devil of a man who made millions of dollars flying marijuana into Virginia and Florida from Colombia, Mexico and the Caribbean during the 1970s and early 1980s.”—Wytheville Enterprise
• Firefighters pulled one man and two dozen Yorkshire terriers from a burning townhome last week in Manassas.—Prince William Times
• Meet the Norfolk real estate appraiser who specializes in “the big stuff, the historic stuff, the weird stuff,” calculating values “on everything from airports to the ruins of a house that belonged to the Witch of Pungo.”—Virginian-Pilot
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