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COVID-19 in Virginia
VaNews
July 14, 2020
Top of the News

Northern Virginia sees ebb in virus cases while numbers reach record highs elsewhere in state

By DANA HEDGPETH AND JULIE ZAUZMER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Northern Virginia began the week with its average daily novel coronavirus caseload hovering at the lowest point in more than three months. Elsewhere in the state, that number has reached a record high. Virginia’s D.C. suburbs reported 161 new cases Monday as the region’s seven-day average stood at 151 daily cases. Northern Virginia’s daily average is similar to where it stood on April 10 before a case surge through the end of May.


Roanoke County Education Association calls for virtual return to school

By CLAIRE MITZEL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

The Roanoke County Education Association wants Roanoke County Public Schools to return to school remotely, backtracking on its earlier support of Roanoke County’s proposed plan for a partial return to the classroom. Citing rising cases in Southwest Virginia, members determined “there is no safe way to open Roanoke County schools in a face to face setting,” according to a statement released Monday. The union’s position has evolved as “more and better research has been presented” about transmission of COVID-19.


Charlottesville Mayor: UVa reopening plan 'a recipe for disaster'

By NOLAN STOUT, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker on Monday called the University of Virginia’s plan to allow students on Grounds and have in-person classes “a recipe for disaster.” Walker held a virtual press conference with several local officials on Monday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic and safety measures local residents should be taking.


Norfolk Del. Jay Jones says he’s running for Virginia attorney general in 2021

By MARIE ALBIGES, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Norfolk Del. Jerrauld “Jay” Jones, a 31-year-old attorney whose family has a legacy of public service and civil rights in Virginia, announced Monday he is running for state attorney general in 2021. Jones, a Democrat who was first elected to the 89th House District in Norfolk in 2017, said in a press release Monday morning his decision to run stems back five generations, to when his ancestors were freed from slavery.


Dulles Toll Road revenue, key source of Silver Line funding, is way down

By JONATHAN CAPRIEL, Washington Business Journal (Subscription required for some articles)

The relatively smooth commute is a silver lining of the pandemic, if there is one — unless you're the operator of a tolled highway. The Dulles Toll Road generated just under $8.45 million last month, roughly half of what it pulled in during June 2019, according to documents issued by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority ahead of its upcoming board meeting.


In one of Richmond’s highest crime neighborhoods, a plea for police accountability.

By NED OLIVER, Virginia Mercury

On the outskirts of Gilpin Court in Richmond, Leander Vinson stands tall, carries a cane and wears a revolver on his hip. The 56-year-old says he’s watched as construction crews removed Confederate statues around the city, drawing nationwide attention. But like many residents in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, he has other things on his mind.


Under fire after racist posts on Facebook account, Danville Historical Society president resigns

By JOHN CRANE, Danville Register & Bee

Facing scrutiny over a racist social media post that calls the Rumors of War statue in Richmond a "coon on a horse," the president of the Danville Historical Society resigned Monday. The resignation came during an emergency meeting by the society Monday evening — closed to the public — to address the matter.

The Full Report
47 articles, 26 publications

FROM VPAP

From VPAP Maps, Timeline of COVID-19 in Virginia

The Virginia Public Access Project

Our COVID-19 dashboard makes it easy to track the latest available data for tests performed, infections, deaths and hospital capacity. There's a filter for each city and county, plus an exclusive per-capita ZIP Code map. Updated each morning around 10:00 am.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys pledge support for statewide policing and justice reform

By KEN DUFFY, WTOP

Eleven Commonwealth’s Attorneys from Northern Virginia, including some from the immediate D.C. metro area, are pledging their support for aggressive police and justice reform at the state level. In a letter to three Virginia Democratic lawmakers, the prosecutors, who represent almost half of the Commonwealth, outlined several proposals drawn up heading into the General Assembly’s special session later this summer.


Ex-Delegate Ward Armstrong appointed to state code commission

By BILL WYATT, Martinsville Bulletin (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Ward Armstrong’s career in politics and service to the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to mirror that of his predecessor, the late Speaker of the House A.L. Philpott. Earlier this month, Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn appointed Armstrong to a 4-year term on the Virginia Code Commission that began on July 1.

STATE ELECTIONS

Norfolk lawmaker Jay Jones announces run for attorney general

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

A Norfolk lawmaker whose family has a deep history of supporting civil rights is officially running for attorney general next year. Del. Jay Jones, D-Norfolk, announced Monday that he’s seeking the post after deliberating for several months. He’s the first candidate from either party to formally enter the race.


Norfolk Del. Jay Jones announces bid for Democratic nomination for Virginia attorney general

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Del. Jerrauld C. "Jay" Jones (D-Norfolk) announced Monday that he will seek his party's nomination for state attorney general. Jones, 31, the son of a former delegate, won his father’s old seat in the General Assembly in 2017. He quickly rose to prominence in that year’s crop of young Democrats by speaking out on environmental and social justice issues.


Virginia Del. Hala Ayala to announce bid for lieutenant governor

By ANTONIO OLIVO, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Virginia Del. Hala S. Ayala (D-Prince William) plans to announce her 2021 bid for lieutenant governor Tuesday, joining other Prince William County Democrats who helped their party win control of the General Assembly and now want to lead the state. Ayala was part of a historic wave of Democrats who swept into the House of Delegates in 2017 — momentum centered in fast-changing Prince William County.

STATE GOVERNMENT

State official says special education is a ‘core priority,’ but parents and advocates beg to differ

By KATE MASTERS, Virginia Mercury

Cheryl Poe has spent more than a decade as an advocate for students with disabilities in Virginia. She said she immediately identified with a recent report from the federal Department of Education, which found systemic problems with how the Virginia Department of Education oversees special education. But when she read the state’s response — a 10-page letter from Samantha Hollins, the assistant superintendent of special education and student services — she said she couldn’t even muster up disappointment.


Two inmates overpower guard, escape through hole in fence at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center

By STAFF REPORT, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Two inmates of the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center escaped early Monday in what authorities described as the first jail break from the Chesterfield County facility in 20 years. Jabar A. Taylor, 20, convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault, and Rashad E. Williams, 18, convicted of malicious wounding and robbery, were committed to the center by courts in the Fredericksburg area.

ECONOMY/BUSINESS

Washington’s name change happened fast, but it was decades in the making

By ADAM KILGORE AND SCOTT ALLEN, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

On Oct. 2, 2001, two years after he had taken ownership of the marquee NFL franchise in the nation’s capital, Daniel Snyder stood behind the lectern at the center of the head table at a National Press Club luncheon. He began with a speech about why he and other NFL owners had come to decide, weeks earlier, not to play the Sunday after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Snyder then took questions for roughly 45 minutes.


Businesses taking a hit as Busch Gardens Williamsburg remains closed

By NIKO CLEMMONS, WVEC

Busch Gardens Williamsburg remains closed at the height of tourism season. Businesses in that area are already feeling the negative impact. The county is taking a hit as well. In 22 years, Charlie Messina's business has never taken a hit like this. “This is worse than 2008,” Messina said. “There's no traffic at all.”


Amazon hopes to develop 1.75 million square feet of data center usage near Dulles Airport

By NATHANIEL CLINE, Loudoun Times

Amazon Web Services is proposing to build 1.75 million square feet more of data center space in Loudoun County, according to county records. Blue Ridge Group LLC, which is acting on behalf of Amazon, is seeking approval to rezone 100.18 acres at the Chantilly site from Mineral Resource/Heavy Industry to Planned Development-General Industry.


Multi-million dollar data center possibly coming to York County

By JULIA MARSIGLIANO, Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

The York County Board of Supervisors recently approved two grant and infrastructure agreements to possibly create a new data center. Delaware-based T- Rex Ventures LLC plans to build and invest $60 million in a new data center at the York River Commerce Park, according to the York County Memorandum document.


Company with psychiatric facilities in Virginia agrees to pay $117M settlement for alleged false billing

By SARAH FEARING, WRIC

Universal Health Services, the parent company of some psychiatric facilities in Hampton Roads, has agreed to pay a $122-million settlement for allegedly making false billing claims. While UHS did not admit to any crime — the settlement does not determine liability in the allegations against UHS — the company will pay $177 million to settle claims that it billed for unnecessary inpatient behavioral health services, didn’t provide adequate and appropriate services and paid illegal inducements to federal healthcare beneficiaries, according to a Department of Justice news release.


Outdoor dining invigorates Warrenton’s Main Street

By DON DEL ROSSO, Fauquier Now

From the time it opened about seven years ago, the downtown Warrenton restaurant more than covered expenses. “We were profitable from Day One,” said Homin Sehhat, owner and chef of Sunny Hill’s American Grill at 79 Main St. But business couldn’t be better since the town council — in response to the coronavirus pandemic — two months ago approved a series of measures to allow outdoor seating in certain parking spaces and portions of sidewalk, said Mr. Sehhat, 65.

TRANSPORTATION

Loudoun County gets more than $54M toward reducing traffic congestion

By NATHANIEL CLINE, Loudoun Times

Loudoun County was awarded more than $54 million on Thursday from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) as part of the authority's fiscal 2020-2025 Six Year Program. The funds include $36.7 million for the construction of Crosstrail Boulevard (Route 653) from Sycolin Road to the Dulles Greenway (Route 267) and $18 million for the widening of Evergreen Mills Road from Northstar Boulevard to Stone Springs Boulevard.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Virginia sues U.S. over rule targeting foreign students

By JUSTIN MATTINGLY, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Virginia is among states suing the Trump administration over a new rule that says international students in the U.S. must leave the country or risk deportation if their colleges hold completely virtual classes this fall. Eighteen attorneys general, including Mark Herring of Virginia, filed the lawsuit Monday in the Massachusetts federal court against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversee student visas.


Virginia Tech blasts new international student policy; region's congressman defends it

By HENRI GENDREAU, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Virginia is among 17 states and the District of Columbia suing the Trump administration over a policy that requires international students to be deported if colleges move to online-only classes in the fall. The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by 18 attorneys general. Virginia Tech, which hosts roughly 4,000 international students, said in court documents that the policy, if it leads to visa restrictions, would cost the university $100 million annually.


Hampton University suspends fall sports

By JAMI FRANKENBERRY, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Hampton University’s athletes have been benched for the fall, the school announced Monday afternoon. All fall sports — football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and sailing — were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

CORONAVIRUS

Multiple localities set record highs as Virginia reports 972 new coronavirus cases Monday

By SALEEN MARTIN, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Virginia reported 972 new coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the state’s total to 71,642. Monday’s numbers were the fourth straight day of more than 800 positive tests, as Virginia’s number of cases have started to trend back upward, according to data from the Virginia Department of Health.


Va. sees increase in COVID-19 cases for third week in a row

By KATE ANDREWS, Va Business Magazine

Virginia saw an increase in COVID-19 cases for the third week in a row, with 5,540 more cases reported between July 6 and July 13, compared with 3,920 cases the previous week and 3,724 the last week of June. Virginia’s total confirmed and probable cases is 71,642 since tracking began in February. The seven-day positivity rate reported Monday is 6.8%, up from 6.1% July 6.


Fort Monroe to clean staff buildings after employee tests positive for coronavirus

By LISA VERNON SPARKS, Daily Press (Metered Paywall - 1 article a month)

Fort Monroe officials said Monday it will clean four buildings after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The buildings are the Fort Monroe Authority offices on Ingalls Road, the Visitors Center, the Casemate Museum and the Fort Monroe leasing office.


Westmoreland virus cases jump almost 70% since July 1

By CATHY DYSON, Free Lance-Star (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Two recent outbreaks have caused the number of COVID-19 cases in Westmoreland County to surge by almost 70 percent since July 1. The Northern Neck locality had been experiencing one of the slowest increases of virus-related cases in the region until late June, when numbers started to rise more dramatically, from 93 to 100, then to 104, 108, 116 cases. But the spikes during the first days of July pale in comparison to recent developments.


Winchester sees spike in new cases

By RANDY ARRINGTON, Page Valley News

The City of Winchester reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, with another 17 new cases reported in surrounding Frederick County. The Virginia Department of Health reported a total of 64 new cases of the coronavirus within the Lord Fairfax Health District in the last three days. However, the only new hospitalization reported during that time was in Clarke County on Monday. The health district has not reported a new death related to the pandemic since Friday.


Virginia scientists say coronavirus lingers in air; WHO says don’t rule it out

By JACKIE DEFUSCO, WRIC

Under pressure from Virginia scientists and more than 200 others internationally, the World Health Organization has updated its advisory on how the coronavirus could be spreading throughout the air, particularly indoors where masks may not be mandated. At least three professors from Virginia Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering signed onto a letter urging the WHO to take a stronger stance on ‘airborne transmission.’ The WHO’s recent shift in response, albeit a small one, comes as new cases rise in a number of states.

VIRGINIA OTHER

Stuart descendant wants Confederate's statue at general's birthplace in Patrick County

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

A direct descendant of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart wants to "bring home" his ancestor's deposed statue from Monument Avenue to the cavalryman's birthplace in Patrick County in Southwest Virginia. Dr. James E.B. Stuart V, a Richmond orthopedic surgeon, formally asked Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and the City Council on Monday to allow the transfer of the statue to the J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust Inc.


Electoral Board warns against Confederate monument referendum

By ASHLEY SPINKS, Floyd Press

...With regard to placing a referendum on November’s ballot, the Electoral Board urged the Supervisors to “consider the impact of your potential decision on Election Day management.” Asked to further clarify the Electoral Board’s concerns about placing the issue on the ballot, [member Tammy] Belinsky explained that due to the partisan and polarizing nature of the Confederate monument issue, the Board has concerns about potential voter intimidation on Election Day.


So long, First Virginia Regiment monument, we hardly knew ye

By ALEXANDRA ZERNIK, RVA Magazine

Tucked between Park and Stuart Avenue, triangular-shaped Meadow Park now displays only the stone base of what once was a statue dedicated to the First Virginia Regiment. The fifth to be taken down by protestors, the statue was removed sometime during the night of June 19th and morning of the 20th. With the statue gone, Richmond residents can now enjoy their picnic lunch from Garnett’s in the park without the presence of racist symbolism perched above their heads. Though, of course, if at any time one wishes to be reminded of this city’s dubious past, Marcus-David Peters Circle is just a two-block walk away.

LOCAL

Teachers Call for Online-Only Return to School

ArlNow

An increasingly vocal group of parents and teachers are calling on Arlington Public Schools to scrap plans to have most students return to classrooms twice per week. The current APS “hybrid” plan calls for two cohorts of students each going into school two days per week, while wearing masks and practicing physical distancing. It also allows parents and students to opt for online-only learning.


Union calls for Fairfax County police chief’s resignation

By DICK ULIANO, WTOP

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Fraternal Order of Police is calling for the resignation of police Chief Ed Roessler over his handling of an incident involving a white police officer who is accused of using a stun gun last month on a Black man who appeared disoriented and noncombative. Officer Tyler Timberlake is facing three counts of assault and battery for stunning the man, who was rambling and pacing in the street on June 5. Timberlake and other officers on the scene were relieved of duty pending the investigation.


Loudoun Supervisors Weigh In on Police Proposal

By RENSS GREENE, Loudoun Now

Loudoun County supervisors have begun to stake their ground in the debate over whether to creates a police department to take over law enforcement duties from the sheriff. All three of the board’s Republicans have already expressed some measure of opposition, citing the unknown costs of the change and criticizing what they say is a rushed process.


PWEA Asks Prince William Schools to Open 100% Virtually in Fall

By STACY SHAW, Bristow Beat

The Prince William Education Association [PWEA] sent a letter to the Prince William School Division and the Prince William County School Board, Friday, requesting the year open with a 100% virtual option to protect students and educators. “The PWEA calls that once we have prepared our students and workforce for effective and equitable virtual learning at the start of the year, we should proceed to a 100% virtual platform to protect students, educators and families from the incredibly serious risks of COVID-19,” said the letter signed PWEA Board of Directors


New Richmond police chief: 'The question is not defund the police; it's fund the change'

By ALI ROCKETT AND MARK ROBINSON, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Richmond’s new police chief on Monday immediately quashed the idea of defunding his department — one of the loudest rallying cries that has emerged from the city’s recent civil unrest — but voiced support for other popular reforms. Police Chief Gerald Smith said his department needs more money, not less, to achieve the kind of change he believes people are calling for.


Richmond, Henrico Launch Rental Assistance Programs

By YASMINE JUMAA, WCVE

The City of Richmond launched a rent and mortgage assistance program on Monday, that will offer relief to immigrant households that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aims to support city residents who may not be eligible for federal assistance as a result of their non-citizen or mixed immigration status. The $250,000 program is funded through Open Society Foundations, a New York-based nonprofit that focuses on “justice, democratic governance, and human rights.”


Norfolk sheriff takes over 24/7 courthouse security after problems with private guards

By JONATHAN EDWARDS, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Sheriff’s deputies have taken over round-the-clock security at the Norfolk courthouse after a Virginian-Pilot investigation exposed failures that plagued private security guards for years. City Manager Chip Filer is recommending the city spend $200,000 to hire four new sheriff’s deputies who would guard the courthouse on nights, weekends and holidays.


Surprise power shakeup brings Norfolk School Board new leaders

By SARA GREGORY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

An unlikely coalition of Norfolk School Board members banded together Monday to replace the chair and vice chair who led the board during two tumultuous years of bickering and infighting. Saying she’d lost confidence in Noelle Gabriel’s ability to bring the board together, Adale Martin nominated herself for the job as chairwoman and was backed by three members who’ve been critical of Gabriel’s leadership nearly from the start two years ago.


Portsmouth employee tests positive for coronavirus, causing City Hall closure and delayed meeting

By ANA LEY, Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Portsmouth has closed City Hall for cleaning and delayed a council meeting after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The city announced Sunday night that City Hall is closed through Wednesday while crews disinfect the building. Spokeswoman Dana Woodson said it was closed because of the employee’s diagnosis.


Albemarle ‘extended indefinitely’ deadline to respond to public records requests

By JESSIE HIGGINS, Charlottesville Tomorrow

Albemarle County says it is no longer obligated to respond to public records requests within a given timeline. The Board of Supervisors “extended indefinitely” the state-mandated deadlines for responding to Freedom of Information Act requests in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is alarming to watchdog groups that advocate for open government.


Culpeper County Board: it has 'no control' over Confederate flag in public park

By ALLISON BROPHY CHAMPION, Culpeper Star Exponent (Metered Paywall - 20 articles a month)

The initiator of a growing change.org petition (http://chng.it/YLCfHDHj) seeking removal of the Confederate battle flag from Culpeper County’s Lenn Park said having to look at the Civil War banner makes her feel sick. “Do you ever see something that doesn’t sit right with your soul?” asked Culpeper County native Amy Hunter, an African-American wife and mother, in a recent message to the Star-Exponent. “Well, when I see this flag, knowing all it represents, I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach. This flag represents hate—there is no other way around it.”


Most Franklin County students will likely start the school year online as school board takes cautious approach

By CLAIRE MITZEL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

Franklin County students will likely start the school year with students third grade and older in a virtual classroom, and pre-K through second grade students and certain students who utilize special education services in person daily.


Marion totaling costs of multiple protests

By STEPHANIE PORTER-NICHOLS, Smyth County News & Messenger

Many citizens who didn’t take part in the July 3 protests in Marion but observed the massive law enforcement response wondered how much it cost taxpayers. At this point, town officials don’t know. Last week, Marion Town Manager Bill Rush said, “We are just now beginning to put together that cost analysis. To be sure, it will be several thousand dollars.”

 

EDITORIALS

Charter schools close racial gap

Free Lance-Star Editorial (Metered Paywall - 10 articles a month)

Economist Thomas Sowell, 90, has just published a book that one reviewer called “a neutron bomb in the middle of the school-reform debate.” In “Charter Schools and Their Enemies,” Dr. Sowell released the result of his “apples-to-apples” study of public charter schools in New York City.


School board member a font of falsehoods

Virginian-Pilot Editorial (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Chesapeake School Board member Christie New Craig should be embarrassed to have spread incorrect information and conspiracy theories about the coronavirus on social media. Disseminating malicious falsehoods, especially those detrimental to the public health, is shameful. Craig’s defenses — that the posts were shared on her personal page, that they don’t affect her public position and that they were just her opinion — ring hollow.


Washington Redskins' name change is long overdue

Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

We applauded Monday’s news that Dan Snyder, owner of Washington, D.C.’s pro football team, was dropping the offensive team name and logo amid growing calls from Native Americans, players and corporate sponsors. The Times-Dispatch long has called for the team to drop the moniker, “Redskins.” Although many area residents have been lifelong, faithful fans who probably bleed burgundy and gold, most of them have come to agree that the term is racist and needs to be changed.

OP-ED

Herring: We must protect access to affordable health care

By MARK HERRING, published in Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 18 articles a month)

In Virginia, nearly 70,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus since the first confirmed case on March 7. Thanks to our swift implementation and commitment to safety measures, and our successful defense of those measures in court, Virginia is doing better than many other states. Our percentage of positive coronavirus tests remains low, but we are nevertheless facing thousands of new cases each week, and it’s clear that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our commonwealth are far from over. That’s why we must protect access to affordable health care for all Virginians.

Herring is Attorney General of Virginia.


Newman: Wearing a mask can make a difference

By BOB NEWMAN, published in Virginian-Pilot (Metered Paywall - 2 articles a month)

Congratulations, Virginians. We have made great progress in flattening the curve of COVID-19 and prevented our hospitals from being overrun with sick patients. This has come at great economic cost as we shut down our economy. Many have lost their jobs and suffered financially, and more than 1,900 people have died. We do not want to lose ground in this fight, so it is important as we re-open our businesses that we continue to stay ahead of this relentless virus.

Dr. Bob Newman, a University of Virginia Medical School graduate and U.S. Navy veteran, spent more than 15 years in private practice in rural Virginia and 17 years teaching family medicine, most recently at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.


Dooling: We need a compassionate approach to this year’s bar exam

By BRIDGET C.E. DOOLING, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

In about two weeks, the attorney’s rite of passage in Virginia — the bar exam — will take place in Roanoke. There are alternatives to gathering around 1,000 people for two days of grueling testing in the middle of a raging pandemic, but the commonwealth has yet to take them. The Virginia Board of Bar Examiners has shown that it is unable to handle this crisis. It is time for the Supreme Court of Virginia to step in.

Bridget C.E. Dooling lives in Arlington and is licensed to practice law in Virginia.


McGlaun: I'm high-risk, but don't wear a mask for me. Wear it for you.

By SANDEE K. MCGLAUN, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Even for someone living with cancer and used to the challenges presented by chronic illness, the piling on of this recent two-week stretch bordered on the absurd. First a CT scan showed the cancer in my lymph nodes had progressed. Then, while awaiting test results for new treatment options, I was diagnosed with shingles.

Sandee K. McGlaun is a writer, artist and cancer survivor. She directs the Writing Center at Roanoke College.