THE BULLETIN — News to know

Quick hits on the news of the day, odds and ends and commentary.

McAuliffe is saying he might run for governor; Buena Vista explosion kills three; Tornado damages 40 homes in Suffolk and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.• Terry McAuliffe is telling people he’s seriously considering a second run for governor. – Politico• A federal lawsuit targeting West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’ coal mining companies seeks to recover $4 million in unpaid penalties for safety violations, including $646,000 from operations in Southwest Virginia. – The Coalfield Progress• Attorney General Mark Herring met with a group of African American leaders in Leesburg as he works to move past his admission that he wore blackface to a costume party when he was 19. “Virginia has to deal more honestly with its past,” he...
Virginia Mercury

Man dressed as a Union soldier stands before Confederate statue; candy expansion in Stuarts Draft; exotic cat still on the loose in Virginia Beach and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.• The Virginia Board for People with Disabilities is being sued by a former disabled employee alleging discrimination. – Richmond Times-Dispatch• A North Carolina man dressed as a Union soldier spent hours standing in front of the Confederate statue in Charlottesville that became a rallying point for white supremacists. He said it was part of a multi-state campaign to combat civil war myths seeded by groups like the Daughters of the Confederacy. – WVTF• Charlottesville’s tourism bureau launched a new ad campaign: “More to C.” The agency said it’s a reference...

In each of Virginia’s largest metro areas, more than 20% of teachers are burdened by housing costs

Teachers in Virginia’s largest metro areas have a higher cost burden for housing than the national average, according to an analysis of census data.Apartment List, a website that helps people find rental homes, analyzed the cost of housing as it relates to teachers’ incomes the country’s 50-largest metro areas, which includes three of Virginia’s: Washington D.C.-Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.“While teaching has long been a comparatively low-paying profession, rapid increases in housing costs have exacerbated the struggle of teachers," the analysis started. "While rates of housing cost burden among teachers are lower than the national average, they are...

Warner: ‘If this becomes an only one-party struggle, then I screwed up.’

WASHINGTON  — Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is nowhere near ready to move on from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.Warner assailed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and President Donald Trump for their public declarations that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings exonerated the president and that it’s time to move on. McConnell declared “case closed” Tuesday on the Senate floor. “I think that’s outrageous. I think that is not appropriate,” Warner told reporters Thursday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. He warned that Russian agents or...

U.S. House committee votes on party lines to hold attorney general in contempt

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, escalating the war between President Donald Trump's administration and House Democrats.The committee voted 24-16 along party lines to approve a resolution recommending that the full U.S. House find Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with a committee subpoena seeking an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.The lone Virginian on the committee, U.S. Rep. Ben Cline, R-6th, said Democrats are “in search of a smoking gun of collusion, conspiracy...
Virginia Mercury

Virginia Beach faces the billion-dollar cost of sea level rise; state regulators chide Dominion Energy; unexpected festival guests and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from around Virginia.• Leaders in Virginia Beach got a preview of the at least $1.13 billion in infrastructure improvements the city would need to make to protect 45,000 homes from sea level rise. Proposals include a system of high-tech flood gates, expanded seawalls and levee systems. – The Virginian-Pilot• Virginia regulators chided Dominion Energy for telling its Wall Street investors about billions in plans for new infrastructure (with associated bill increases for ratepayers) that it left out of a long-range plan currently under state review. “Dominion knew exactly what they were going to tell...

FOIA Council will study bill that creates rules for disclosing conditions of university donations

The Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council will study a bill that would require universities to share the terms and conditions of donations from private entities.Del. David Bulova, D-Fairfax, introduced House Bill 2386 to create firm rules on when donors to public colleges and universities can be anonymous; what donor information isn't subject to the FOIA law and requiring universities (not their fundraising foundations) to keep a document of any terms and conditions attached to donations, which would then make it subject to FOIA.The bill was left in a House committee this year.The idea came from an ongoing court...
Virginia Mercury

Mercury reporter wins health journalism award

The Association of Health Care Journalists, a leading professional organization dedicated to better reporting on health and health care, awarded our Katie O'Connor second place in its 2018 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.O'Connor was recognized in the organization's investigative, small publication category for her series of articles about a Richmond-based assisted living facility and the cycle of housing instability in which many people with mental illness find themselves trapped.The three articles were published in the Virginia Mercury and the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where O'Connor was formerly a staff reporter.Read the first, second and third installments of the series.

Virginia Planned Parenthood launches new mobile app to expand birth control access

Since October, about 1,000 Virginia patients have accessed either birth control or urinary-tract infection treatment from their smart phones, thanks to the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood's new app.Patients can download the app — which was developed by the national Planned Parenthood organization — and fill out a health questionnaire just as they would if they went into the doctor's office, said Medical Director Shanthi Ramesh. Then a clinician reviews health information within one business day before sending a prescription either to the patient's home or their designated pharmacy if they are eligible for medication."For us, the app was...

Cohen helped Falwell Jr. keep photos under wraps; Income in rural areas is growing quickly; Blacksburg wants to allow dogs at festivals and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.• Donald Trump’s fixer/lawyer says he successfully helped Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. keep racy photos under wraps ahead of Falwell’s endorsement of Trump. “I actually have one of the photos,” Michael Cohen said. “It’s terrible.” – Reuters• A growing backlog in state forensic labs, exacerbated by a rising caseload combined with increasingly complicated synthetic street drugs, has led to delayed cases and long waits in jail for defendants awaiting trial. – The Virginian-Pilot• Judges on the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sounded skeptical of a lawsuit challenging a Native...