Richmond endorses major redevelopment; Losing a ‘home’ in Norfolk; Charlottesville schools new dress code bans Confederate imagery and more headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

— Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney endorsed a huge downtown redevelopment plan spearheaded by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell that calls for a $220 million, 17,500-seat arena. (Richmond BizSense)

— While state Democrats kicked off four-days of joint campaigning, Republicans who lack a popular figure at the top of the ticket are sticking to themselves with individual events, a situation one GOP strategist called “certainly not ideal.” (The Washington Post)

— White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is coming to Fauquier County to stump for Republican 5th Congressional District hopeful Denver Riggleman. (The Washington Post)

— Augusta County officials denied a permit for a storage yard for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, saying it was too big and represented a risk to nearby wildlife. (The News Virginian)

— In Northern Virginia’s 10th District, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock is still trailing Democrat Jennifer Wexton in a new Washington Post poll, which suggests Comstock is unlikely to benefit from ticket splitting last year that propelled her to victory even as her district overwhelmingly rejected Trump. (The Washington Post)

— A state Republican Party official tweeted hints that a Project Veritas mole had infiltrated Democrat Abigail Spanbergers campaign a week before the woman was discovered yesterday, but says he was just trying to make his opponents paranoid and he had no prior knowledge. (The Washington Post) The tweets were also reported Thursday by Richmond2Day.

— The Portsmouth police officer charged with shooting a young robbery suspect in the back faces a felony charge of aggravated malicious wounding, which carries a sentence up to life in prison. The officer’s lawyer said the charge is bad for police: “No police officer can go to work now without looking over their shoulder worried they will be charged for simply doing their job.” (The Virginian-Pilot)

— The last lesbian bar in Hampton Roads closed. The city of Norfolk is buying the land and plans to raze the building as part of a revitalization effort. “We’re losing our home,” one longtime patron said.  (The Virginian-Pilot)

— The Charlottesville School Board approved a new dress code that bans clothing with Confederate imagery, citing last year’s deadly white nationalist rally. Parents have pushed for a similar dress code change in Albemarle County Public Schools but were rebuffed. (Charlottesville Tomorrow)

— Gov. Ralph Northam toured a Danville church destroyed by Tropical Storm Michael. (Danville Register and Bee)

— The  number of opioid overdoses in Martinsville and Henry County continue to rise, with the county ranking No. 1 in the state for overdose visits to the ER for three of the past five months. (Martinsville Bulletin)

— Virginia’s Medicaid enrollment hotline fielded a record 6,052 calls on the first day of expanded eligibility. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— Unrelated to expansion, the state found out its Medicaid cost for a new managed-care program for seniors is $462.5 million higher than initially estimated. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

— Two high school students on an archaeological dig at Mount Vernon discovered a 6,000-year-old stone ax. (The Washington Post)

— A wild pony living on Chincoteague Island died of “swamp cancer,” the third member of the herd to succumb to the illness in two years. (Associated Press)