THE BULLETIN — News to know

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

Northam, bay state governors propose $1 billion federal investment in Chesapeake Bay cleanup

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam joined other state leaders in the Chesapeake Bay watershed Thursday to call for a $1 billion federal investment in the decades-long cleanup of the nation’s largest estuary, which is facing a 2025 deadline for major pollution reductions.  This “significant and much needed infusion of new funds … will jumpstart the final phase of Bay restoration and put people to work building clean water infrastructure, including green infrastructure that will reduce stormwater and agricultural water pollution, the restoration of natural landscapes and helping us adapt to the impacts of climate change,” the letter touting the “Billion for...

Judge tosses Chase’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Va. Senate censure

A federal judge has thrown out Sen. Amanda Chase's lawsuit seeking to undo the Virginia Senate's vote to formally censure her earlier this year, ruling that the legislative body and its staff are immune from a legal challenge over the decision. Chase, a Chesterfield County Republican who finished third in the party's recent nominating contest for governor, had claimed her colleagues overstepped by censuring her over  comments she made related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Chase at one point called participants "patriots" and offered praise for Ashli Babbitt, a supporter of former President Donald Trump who...
Virginia Mercury

Widespread fuel shortages due to “panic buying,” Virginia leaders’ plans for $4.3 billion in federal aid, fresh glimpses of Amazon HQ2, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • More than half of Virginia’s gas stations had run out of fuel as of Wednesday night, according to crowdsourced data. Officials say the shortage is a result of panic buying after a ransomware attack shut down a major supply pipeline, which came back online yesterday afternoon. “For now, our message is for Virginians to avoid ‘panic buying’ fuel and to avoid any unnecessary travel.”—Virginia Business • Virginia lawmakers say they want to use $4.3 billion in emergency federal aid to provide assistance to small businesses, repair school buildings, extend broadband networks...

After months of refusing to say Biden won legitimately, Youngkin says, ‘Of course.’

In the GOP field of gubernatorial candidates, only one was ever willing to call Joe Biden the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election. It was not Glenn Youngkin, who won the Republican nomination this week. That changed pretty quickly this week as he began his pivot to the general election. His campaign emailed reporters Wednesday a clip from an appearance on a radio show earlier in the day, where he was asked, “When you’re asked the question, flat out, was the election of 2020 legitimate or not, what are you going to say?” Youngkin responded, “I’m saying, of course. He’s our president....
Virginia Mercury

Trump endorses gubernatorial candidate Youngkin, state of emergency after Colonial Pipeline hack, Norfolk employees push to unionize, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Former president Donald Trump endorsed Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial campaign, a fact Youngkin conspicuously did not mention Tuesday as he pivoted toward a general election campaign in a state where Trump is deeply unpopular. In his first speech as the GOP’s nominee, he pledged to reduce tax rates, fight unions and bar schools from teaching students about systemic racism.—Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch • “Former Del. Winsome Sears, who 20 years ago became the first Black Republican woman elected to the Virginia Assembly, made a political comeback Tuesday after winning the GOP nomination for...

State begins rolling out $20 million in Volkswagen money for electric school buses

Although plans to replace Virginia school districts’ diesel buses with electric ones have foundered in the General Assembly, the state is moving forward with bus electrification plans using money from Volkswagen’s so-called “Dieselgate” scandal.  On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office announced it would make $20 million of the state’s Volkswagen settlement funds available for school districts to electrify their bus fleets.  “We have an existing pot of money we’re working to get out the door as soon as possible, and a school bus program is a perfect fit,” said Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Deputy Director Chris Bast. Furthermore, he added,...
Virginia Mercury

COVID case counts at lowest levels in more than a year, Isle of Wight removes Confederate statue, a Norfolk Greyhound station becomes a homeless shelter, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.  • Coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations are at their lowest levels in over a year, with just 336 new infections reported yesterday.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • “The Virginia Department of Health spent $1.7 million in March and April on ads promoting vaccinations and public health measures, according to April 21st data from the department.”—WVTF • Hard-right candidate Chuck Smith, who narrowly lost the GOP nomination for attorney general to Del. Jason Miyares, is requesting a recount.—Associated Press • The family of Isiah Brown, who was shot multiple times by a Spotsylvania County sheriff’s deputy last month, says it’s...

With state certification now in doubt, Charles City gas plant project enters limbo

The future of the proposed C4GT natural gas plant in Charles City County looks increasingly uncertain as the expiration date for a major state certification passes without significant construction and county officials ask plant developers to give back the land on which the facility is planned to be built. Under the terms of the certificate of public necessity and convenience granted by Virginia’s State Corporation Commission to C4GT in 2019, state approval for the project was set to expire on May 3 “if C4GT has not commenced construction of the facility by such date.”  Whether construction of the plant has begun...
Virginia Mercury

Miyares snags Republican attorney general nomination, state vaccination rate dipping, a single mother who changed Virginia Beach elections, and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • Del. Jason Miyares, R-Virginia Beach, won the GOP nomination to run for attorney general, narrowly beating Chuck Smith, a Virginia Beach attorney with a history of making anti-Muslim comments. It was the first result from Saturday’s convention. Vote counting began Sunday but was briefly delayed after a hotel housekeeper entered the ballroom where ballots were stored overnight, breaking a security seal and prompting hours of investigation. The party ultimately determined that she was simply delivering coffee, water and soft drinks.—Washington Post • “Virginia’s average coronavirus vaccination rate has dropped more than...
Virginia Mercury

GOP convention tomorrow, Youngkin campaigns with Ted Cruz, loon finds stardom in Northern Va., and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere. • The Virginia GOP will choose its nominees for statewide office tomorrow. Polls are open to registered delegates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but results aren’t expected until early next week.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • The candidates for governor fit into three categories, according to UVA’s Larry Sabato: “Trumpy, Trumpier, Trumpiest.”—New York Times • Glenn Youngkin spent a day campaigning with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was a key figure in amplifying false claims of voter fraud ahead of the insurrection at the Capitol.—Danville Register & Bee • Six Republicans are vying to become lieutenant governor.—Richmond Times-Dispatch • “The...