The Bulletin

Virginia tops 10,000 COVID deaths, nearly 1 million Virginians fully vaccinated, two more cities pull inmates from Hampton Roads Regional Jail, and more headlines

By: - March 15, 2021 8:03 am

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

Sign up here to get these headlines and the Mercury’s original reporting delivered to your inbox daily in News to Know, our free newsletter.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Robert Zullo
Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]