White supremacist James Fields asks for “mercy” ahead of his sentencing; Richmond dedicates Arthur Ashe Boulevard; some Virginia Tech freshmen to live in Holiday Inn and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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• James Fields, the avowed white supremacist who killed one and injured dozens in a car attack in Charlottesville two years ago, asked a federal judge for “mercy” ahead of his sentencing hearing his week. Prosecutors counter that Fields has shown no remorse and had long espoused racist ideology, once proclaiming “this is where the magic happened” during a class trip to a concentration camp in Germany. – Associated Press, Daily Progress

• The state GOP voted to affirm Scott Wyatt over Del. Chris Peace as the party’s nominee in the Hanover district Peace has represented for 13 years. Wyatt called it a “strong vote.” Peace hasn’t said whether he’ll challenge the decision in the courts. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• About 2,500 people attended the dedication of Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond. “I’m just overwhelmed with emotion.” said Councilwoman Kim Gray, who led the effort to rename the street in honor of the city native. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Deaths in state psychiatric hospitals have been climbing over the past four years. Officials blamed unintended consequences of the bed of last resort law. – WCVE

• The last time state environmental regulators issued a stop work order for an ongoing construction project was 2002. – The Roanoke Times

• The Norfolk school board bought a member a plane ticket to her vacation to make sure she could attend a meeting and break a tie vote naming an interim superintendent. Some of her colleagues are not pleased: “Imagine the outcry if an employee, parent, or student had a matter before the board and offered a gift or service to a board member they thought friendly to their cause to encourage that board member’s presence for a vote.” – The Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam announced that state agencies would stop asking for job applicants’ salary histories in an effort to reduce pay discrimination. Northam also directed state agencies to begin asking applicants if they have a preferred pronoun. – Daily Press

• Virginia Tech plans to house some members of its massive incoming freshmen class in a Holiday Inn. – The Roanoke Times

• The Red Hen in Lexington asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave a year ago Saturday. The incident prompted a short-lived media firestorm, but has had no lasting impact on the city, with meals and lodging tax revenues increasing. – The Roanoke Times

• A Stafford County wildlife rehabilitator says squirrels will always be her first love, but possums are her passion. “I think they are the most misunderstood animal in all of Virginia.” – The Free Lance-Star

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