Recap: What made news last week across Virginia (2024)

IN THE NEWS

Pipeline gets final approval to begin operations

The Mountain Valley Pipeline was authorized Tuesday to begin operations, the final step in a bitter, decadelong battle between natural gas advocates and opponents.

Approval of the deeply controversial project was granted in a one-page letter released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

A Mountain Valley spokeswoman said the company was pleased with FERC’s approval. “Final preparations are underway to begin commercial operations,” Natalie Cox wrote in an email – while not saying when natural gas will begin flowing through the 303-mile pipeline.

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Recap: What made news last week across Virginia (1)

Mountain Valley and its supporters say the $7.85 billion project will bolster the country’s energy supply and security by transporting up to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from Appalachian shale formations to markets along the East Coast.

Opponents say the buried, 42-inch diameter steel pipe has carved a path of environmental destruction through West Virginia and Southwest Virginia since construction began in 2018.

Study: Ozempic could cure liver disease

A studyfrom the VCU Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health indicates weight loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy can be combined with another medicine to reduce levels of liver fat and inflammation and cease scarring.

Turbocharging the Ozempic through the combination could become a “game-changer” for treating liver disease, said Dr. Arun Sanyal, the principal investigator for the study and the director of VCU’s liver institute.

Recap: What made news last week across Virginia (2)

The combined drug is called survodutide, which has been used for treating liver disease since 2021. Scientists now refer to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis, or MASH.

THEY SAID IT

“Kratom basically saved my life ... If they outlaw kratom, people are going to turn back to addiction.They are going to create more addicts that way if they criminalize it.”

—Jeremy Tillem, who usedkratom to detox from heroin in 2018. He has been sober since 2019 and vigorously opposes the petition to give the chemicals in kratom a Schedule I classification, which would put it on par with heroin and LSD.

“My son plays the drums, and we’re playing incredible jam sessions five times a week. He’s really into it. It has really been great for my playing. It’s wonderful in terms of the father-son relationship; we’re like a little band.”

—Former Police guitarist Andy Summers, who is bringing“The Cracked Lens + a Missing String” - filled with Summers’ attention-getting images and rich guitar improvisations - to Charlottesville’s Jefferson Theater on Sunday evening.

BY THE NUMBERS

11

The number of dispensaries that will be opened by theCannabist Companyin Virginia when the latest one - announced this week - opens in eastern Henrico County. Cannabist Richmond will open at 4320 S. Laburnum Ave. and be available to medically approved patients.

ODDS AND ENDS

LAKE ANNA:The Virginia Department of Health has identified about 20 probable cases of gastrointestinal issues related to Lake Anna in Spotsylvania over the Memorial Day weekend, said Larry Hill, a public information officer with the state agency. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality tested Lake Anna waters last week to evaluate concentrations of bacteria that may be present and to determine if a public health risk may be ongoing.

IN THE NEWS

Virginia ABC lays off 25

TheVirginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authoritylaid off 25 employees at its headquarters in Hanover County on Tuesday in a reorganization aimed at changing how the state-owned liquor monopoly supplies its retail stores and serves its customers across the state.

The layoffs come three weeks before the authority becomes independent of direct control by the governor and General Assembly, while remaining a significant source of revenue for the state budget to pay for core services provided by state government.

Chief Executive Officer Dale Farino, a former alcoholic beverage distribution executive in Virginia Beach whomGov. Glenn Youngkinappointed as CEO six weeks ago, said it’s not clear what independence will mean for the authority, created in 2015 as a semi-independent body after more than 80 years as a state agency.

SPOTSYLVANIA: A former teacher in Spotsylvania County accused of having illegal drugs in her classroom last month received a bond twice Thursday, but she won’t be getting out of jail for at least another two weeks.

Candyce Leigh Carter, 35, was a second-grade teacher at Spotswood Elementary School when she was arrested at the school May 16. Police said they found cocaine and fentanyl in her classroom.

She has been in the Rappahannock Regional Jail since then on charges of possession of illegal drugs, felony child endangerment and felony child neglect.

Defense attorney Ghislaine Storr Burks on Thursday convinced judges in both courts to grant Carter bonds pending trial. But prosecutor Kelly Green appealed both decisions, and Carter will remain in jail at least until the appeals are heard on June 28 in Spotsylvania Circuit Court.

Notable Supreme Court cases of 2024

Review key cases decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2024.

Crime-courts

AP Breaking

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on bump stocks, gun accessories used in 2017 massacre

  • AP
  • Updated

The high court found 6-3 that the Trump administration did not follow federal law when it reversed course and banned bump stocks.

Crime-courts

AP Breaking

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

  • By MARK SHERMAN - Associated Press
  • Updated

The Supreme Court has preserved access to a medication that was used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. last year.

Crime-courts

AP Alert

Supreme Court clears the way for the NRA’s free speech lawsuit against an ex-New York official

  • By LINDSAY WHITEHURST - Associated Press
  • Updated

The unanimous opinion reverses a lower court decision tossing out the gun rights group’s lawsuit against ex-New York State Department of Financial Services Ssuperintendent Maria Vullo.

Crime-courts

AP Alert

Supreme Court finds no bias against Black voters in a South Carolina congressional district

  • By MARK SHERMAN - Associated Press
  • Updated

The Supreme Court has preserved a Republican-held South Carolina congressional district, rejecting a lower-court ruling the district discriminated against Black voters.

Crime-courts

AP Alert

Supreme Court sides with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, spurning a conservative attack

  • By MARK SHERMAN - Associated Press
  • Updated

The Supreme Court has rejected a conservative-led attack that could've undermined the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Crime-courts

Breaking

Supreme Court restores Trump to ballot, rejecting state attempts to ban him over Capitol attack

  • By MARK SHERMANAssociated Press
  • Updated

The Supreme Court on Monday restored Donald Trump to 2024 presidential primary ballots, rejecting state attempts to hold the Republican former president accountable for the Capitol riot.

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Recap: What made news last week across Virginia (2024)
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