Wild ponies, rising health insurance costs and arming teachers a ‘bad idea’

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    Our daily round-up of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

    ACA rates keep climbing

    Insurance companies told state regulators that individual premiums are expected to rise again in 2019, though not as dramatically at the 68 percent increases seen this year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. They told the state to expect rates to go up about 13 percent, increasing the average premium by $100 to about $830.

    The Daily Progress reports that “industry actuaries skated over questions of monopoly markets, spiraling costs and company revenue, and blamed short-term plans and federal changes for rising health care costs in Virginia.”

    More news

    • One of Jason Kessler’s lawyers quit, saying the white nationalist organizer wasn’t paying his bills and was difficult to work with. – Associated Press
    • A herd of wild ponies swam across the Assateague Channel for the 93rd year in a row. – USA Today
    • Gov. Ralph Northam called the Lee County School Board’s vote to arm teachers a bad idea and said he’s waiting for an opinion from Attorney General Mark Herring. – The Washington Post
    • Mountain Valley Pipeline officials say construction will take longer than expected because of legal challenges. – The Roanoke TImes
    • Boat owners in Virginia Beach banded together to form the Pungo Navy to respond to ongoing flooding in the city. – The Virginian-Pilot
    • A federal jury heard testimony that Newport News congressional candidate Shaun Brown’s charity overbilled the government for thousands of meals it did not actually serve to the needy. – The Daily Press
    • Now that the permit request for a second white nationalist rally in Charlottesville has been dropped, the city is reviewing an application from a resident who wants to set up a petting zoo and a dunk tank in the park. – The Daily Progress
    • Henry County leaders rejected a request to open a wildlife sanctuary for wolves, bears and large cats after neighbors said they were concerned about howling and other noises. – Martinsville Bulletin
    • State environmental regulators have faced increased scrutiny amid pipeline projects.  – Richmond Times-Dispatch
    • More than a year after a red panda escaped from the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk, people are still reporting sightings in the area. The zoo investigates them all but says they never check out. –The Virginian-Pilot