THE BULLETIN — News to know

Proposed rollback of federal water protection rules would leave wetlands along Chesapeake Bay at risk, report says

President Donald Trump's administration's proposed rollbacks to federal clean water regulations would strip some wetlands, as well as headwater streams, in Virginia of federal protections and leave them vulnerable to pollution and real estate development, a report says.The new rules would redefine which "waters of the U.S." are protected under the Clean Water Act and proposes removing isolated wetlands that are not connected to waterways large enough for vessels like boats and ships to pass.That would revoke protections for the "Delmarva Potholes," about 54 square miles, or 34,000 acres, of wetlands on the Delmarva Peninsula, which is part of...

Jury recommends life sentence for Fields; Methane caused Louisa water scare; Culpeper wants to cap solar farms and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. ♦ A jury recommended James Fields serve life in prison plus 419 years for murdering Heather Heyer and injuring and maiming dozens of bystanders during a car attack last year. Heyer’s mother called the recommendation appropriate. “The bottom line is justice has him where he needs to be.” A judge will ultimately decide Fields’ sentence. A hearing has been set for March. Fields also faces federal hate crime charges, for which he could receive the death penalty. (Associated Press)♦ The state tourism office settled a trademark infringement lawsuit against an...
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Republican House majority leader calls on Herring to resign AG post, citing 2013 campaign promise

House of Delegates Majority Leader Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, is calling on Attorney General Mark Herring to resign from his position now that Herring has said he will run for governor in 2021.Gilbert cited a 2013 Virginian-Pilot article in which Herring is quoted saying he would step down from his post as attorney general should he ever decide to run for governor. The promise followed criticism of then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for governor while he held the post."If he is a man of his word, Mark Herring's resignation will be on Gov. Northam's desk by the end...

Jury recommends life sentence for Fields in ‘Unite the Right’ attack

Our news partners at NBC 12 report that a jury has recommended a life sentence for James Fields for the first-degree murder of Heather Heyer plus more than 400 years for other counts stemming from the Aug. 12, 2017 attack at the 'Unite the Right' rally.Last week, a jury found Fields, who expressed neo-Nazi beliefs and plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death.The judge’s formal sentencing for Fields is scheduled to take...

Groups sue over seismic testing decision that could pave the way for Atlantic oil drilling

A coalition of environmental groups sued the federal government today over its decision late last month to permit seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean, a potential precursor to oil drilling."This extremely loud and dangerous process, which is used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface, is the first step toward offshore drilling," the groups said in a statement."If allowed, seismic airgun blasting would harm marine life, including whales, dolphins, fish and zooplankton – the foundation of the ocean food web."President Donald Trump's administration, in a reversal of President Barack Obama's policy, has aggressively moved...

Sentence expected in Fields trial; Toll lanes changing commuter behavior; Stafford considers bathroom policy; More snow news and other headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. ♦ A jury is expected to hand down a sentence today in the James Fields trial. Psychologists told the jury yesterday Fields has a history of mental illness and bipolar disorder, for which he was twice hospitalized. Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, testified that “Heather was full of love, justice and fairness. Mr. Fields tried to silence her. I refuse to allow that.” (The Daily Progress)♦ The Interstate 66 express lane tolls – the ones that go as high as $40 or more during peak rush-hour for single occupancy...
Virginia Mercury

After fraudulent sleep study clinic operation, Sterling woman sentenced to seven years

Federal investigators say a Sterling woman ran a massive health care fraud operation in which she defrauded Medicare, Tricare, private insurance and the IRS out of more than $10 million by billing for medically unnecessary sleep studies.Young Yi, 44, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the conspiracy, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.The scheme centered around Yi's two entities, 1st Class Sleep Diagnostic Center and 1st Class Medical, both formed in 2005. She allegedly solicited patients who were legitimately referred to her sleep study clinic for supplemental studies — without sending those results to...

Compressor station permit meeting postponed

Today's much-anticipated meeting of the State Air Pollution Control Board, which saw two members replaced by Gov. Ralph Northam as it weighed a crucial permit for a compressor station that is part of Dominion Energy's Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has been postponed because of the snow.The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the meeting will now be held Dec. 19.The compressor station will be sited in a largely African-American community in Buckingham County, and the governor's own Advisory Council on Environmental Justice has said it "may have a disproportionate impact on this predominately African-American community and could be perceived as exhibiting...
The Virginia House of Delegates met Thursday to discuss redistricting, but didn't get far. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Aug. 30, 2018)

Republicans’ request to pause redistricting process denied

A panel of federal judges in Richmond denied a second request to delay work on a remedial redistricting plan by the Republican majority in the House of Delegates.The case is pending a review by the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear an appeal last month.In a terse order published Friday afternoon, the judges cited the reasoning they offered in response to an earlier request for a stay the House majority made upon initially filing the appeal to the Supreme Court."Delaying construction of a remedial plan until after the conclusion of Supreme Court review likely would result in the 2019 elections,...
Virginia Mercury

Possible incentive repayments from Norfolk Southern; French teacher fired for refusing to use student’s preferred pronouns; Virginians already prepping for big snow storm and other news

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.♦ Though Norfolk Southern hasn’t made any official announcements that it will move its headquarters to Atlanta, the city continues to plan for it, most recently by approving a $600 million bond. But should it happen, Virginia and Norfolk could be due for repayment of up to $4 million in incentives it paid the company to keep its headquarters in Norfolk two years ago. (The Virginian-Pilot)♦ James Fields Jr.’s case is now in the hands of a jury, who must decide if he acted with malice when he drove...