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News in Brief

GOP state senator in competitive district to retire

(AP) An outspoken conservative state senator in a competitive district is announcing his plans to retire. Republican Sen. Dick Black said Jan. 2 he would not seek re-election for his Northern Virginia seat. Black’s decision to retire could make it ...

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Smith to lead Troutman’s Richmond office (access required)

Brooks Smith, a veteran environmental and natural resources attorney, has been named managing partner of Troutman Sanders’ Richmond office, the firm reported Jan. 2. Smith succeeds John West, who has led the Richmond office since 2011 and will now chair the ...

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Senior complex sued after fire that killed 3

CHESAPEAKE (AP) An apartment complex for seniors has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit following the deaths of three people in a fire last year. The aunt of 30-year-old Lydia Somerville sued Chesapeake Crossing Senior Community Apartments in December, ...

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Man sues railroad, says his weight scuttled job offer

NORFOLK (AP) A Virginia man is suing a railroad company after he says it rescinded a job offer because he’s overweight. Matthew Sturgill is suing Norfolk Southern, saying the company offered him a conductor job that paid about $70,000 a ...

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Prosecutor to seek indictment of former jail guard

NORFOLK (AP) Prosecutors in Portsmouth say they’ll seek an indictment against a former jail guard over an incident involving an inmate who says he was choked. Portsmouth commonwealth’s attorney spokesman Brandon T. Wrobleski said in a Dec. 27 statement that ...

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Assembly to again consider marijuana decriminalization

(AP) When it comes to marijuana, Virginia has lagged behind many states where the drug has been decriminalized or legalized for recreational use. With lawmakers approving an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program in 2018, supporters of decriminalization are ...

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Part of Chinese-drywall lawsuit revs up in Norfolk

NORFOLK (AP) A class-action lawsuit that claims Chinese-manufactured drywall made American homeowners sick is revving up in Norfolk. About 175 people are suing Chinese companies in a federal court in Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Lawyers for both sides are hashing out ...

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Bills soon to be on table for sports gambling in Virginia

FALLS CHURCH (AP) If he were laying odds, state Sen. Chap Petersen would like the chances that Virginia’s General Assembly will legalize sports gambling. “I’ve talked to a couple people who are not crazy about it, starting with my mother,” ...

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DMV barred from suspending licenses for failure to pay fines

(AP) A federal judge has granted an injunction to stop Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles from enforcing a law requiring automatic license suspensions for failure to pay court fines. U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ordered DMV Commissioner Rick Holcomb to ...

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Governor wants to end license suspensions for unpaid fees

(AP) Gov. Ralph Northam has called on state lawmakers to end the suspension of driver’s licenses of people with unpaid criminal or traffic court debt. During a speech on his state budget plan this week, Northam said people often don’t ...

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