Virginia’s era as a swing state may be over, districts refuse to reveal schools’ COVID case counts, Danville grapples with its identity, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Don’t expect any presidential candidates to come calling in Virginia this year. Our era as a swing state appears to be over. “There’s really no discussion about the state being in play.”—Washington Post

• Voters stood in line for hours Friday as early voting locations opened. On Saturday, a group of Trump supporters waved flags and chanted “four more years” outside Fairfax County’s government center, prompting concerns from election officials about voter intimidation.—Washington PostNew York Times

• “Sen. Emmett Hanger, a moderate Republican who bucked his party to expand Virginia’s Medicaid program, is launching a political action committee to boost voter support for a constitutional amendment on nonpartisan political redistricting — and test the waters for a possible bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• A Senate panel voted down legislation that would have required police to make closed and cold case files available in response to public records requests.—Roanoke Times

• Both the House and the Senate have passed legislation that would require the state to disclose coronavirus outbreaks at schools, but until it goes into effect many school districts are refusing to share where students, teachers and staff are getting infected.—Virginian-Pilot

• Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent last month, down from 7.9 percent in July but still significantly higher than the 2.7 percent jobless rate here a year ago.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• The state’s community colleges plan to remain online only through the end of the academic year.—Daily Press

• “Three dozen Virginians were temporarily or permanently barred from possessing firearms and/or had their guns confiscated during the first two months of the state’s new ‘red flag’ law, which prohibits residents from keeping or purchasing a gun if authorities can establish they would be a danger to themselves or others.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• With jury trials barred in all but five localities because of COVID-19, judges are starting to get concerned about a growing backlog. “We need to get it done.”—Roanoke Times

• “The Prince William-Manassas Regional Jail will no longer notify U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement about the release of people detained at the jail for misdemeanors.”—Prince William Times

• Danville, long known as the Last Capital of the Confederacy, “was struggling to create a new identity even before the Black Lives Matter movement rose up over the summer. … The reckoning has been building slowly for years.”—Washington Post

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