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Gun-rights activists gear up for show of force in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An unprecedented show of force by gun-rights activists is expected on Monday in Virginia. They are angry over the state's new Democratic majority leadership and its plans to enact a slew of gun restrictions. Thousands of gun activists are expected to turn out. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights. Authorities in Virginia are taking precautions since extremist groups have blanketed social media and online forums with ominous messages and hinted at potential violence.


New sheriff shows family's lawyer video of officer shooting

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — After months of requests, the attorney representing the family of a southwest Virginia man fatally shot by police has been shown video footage of the incident. Attorney John Fishwick is representing the family of Phillip Cameron Gibson II, who was fatally shot by deputies after a 2018 chase in Washington County. Fishwick told The Bristol Herald Courier Friday he had reviewed the video at the sheriff's office but declined further comment. Neither Fishwick nor the family would describe the video or say what they planned to do moving forward. Both Gibson's family and the newspaper had previously been denied open records requests for the video.


Eastern Shore heritage center gets boost from federal grant

PARKSLEY, Va. (AP) — The effort to build a new library and heritage center on Virginia's Eastern Shore recently got a boost in the form of a federal grant.  The project will receive a $500,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities, The Daily Times of Salisbury reported Friday. That money will support the building project to fund equipment, furnishings and technology not included in the construction contract for the new Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center and regional library in Parksley, the library said in a release. Ground was broken in October 2019 and construction is expected to be completed in November of this year.


Remains of fallen US soldier returned to Fort Bragg

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — The remains of a soldier who was killed a week ago in Afghanistan have been returned to his family in the U.S. The Fayetteville Observer reports the family of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin greeted his flag-draped casket at Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg on Saturday. The 29-year-old from Newport News, Virginia, was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Also killed in the attack last Saturday was 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois. After McLaughlin's widow was given a moment to say goodbye, hundreds of other paratroopers lined the roadway to salute as the hearse was escorted away.


Dismal Swamp Canal to be closed to traffic for about 90 days

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — The Dismal Swamp Canal on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway between North Carolina and Virginia will be closed to traffic for about 90 days for maintenance.  The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports the locks at South Mills and at Deep Creek in Virginia have temporarily discontinued operations while the work is being completed. The Army Corps of Engineers says canal gates are removed and restored every 15 to 20 years. The South Mills gates were last rehabilitated in 2002. The estimated cost of the rehabilitation project is $525,000. The work is expected to be completed by the end of March.


National Archives: 'We made a mistake' altering Trump photos

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The National Archives is apologizing for its decision to blur images of anti-Trump signs used as part of an exhibit on women's suffrage. The independent agency is charged with preserving government and historical records and said it has always done so “without alteration.” But the archives acknowledged in a statement Saturday making a mistake after The Washington Post published an online report about the altered images. The archives said the anti-Trump signs were altered to keep the nonpartisan, nonpolitical agency from being drawn into “current political controversy.” It said it will replace the exhibit and review its policies and procedures.


MS-13 inmates sent to restricted unit after prison stabbing

NEW YORK (AP) — The federal Bureau of Prisons is moving some MS-13 gang members into more restricted housing at high-security facilities across the U.S. after an MS-13 leader stabbed a rival gang member at a federal prison in Virginia. That’s according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday. The stabbing happened Wednesday at USP Lee in Jonesville. The people say the MS-13 leader stabbed an inmate associated with the Mexican Mafia. The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that the inmate was injured but survived the attack.


Virginia's highest court upholds weapons ban at gun rally

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's highest court has upheld a ban on firearms at a pro-gun rally in the state's capital next week. The Supreme Court issued its decision late Friday, rejecting an appeal from gun-rights groups that said the ban violated their Second Amendment right to bear arms. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, however. The justices said they did not have enough information to decide whether a lower court judge had ruled appropriately. State officials had asked the court to uphold the ban. Gov. Ralph Northam said officials had received credible threats of "armed militia groups storming our Capitol” during the rally scheduled for Monday in Richmond.