SEAL OF VIRGINIA

The Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the basement of the state Capitol.

Voters in SW Va. county say no to courthouse relocation

ABINGDON — Voters in a Southwest Virginia county have defeated a proposal that would have relocated their historic courthouse’s functions to a vacant Kmart building in a strip mall.

Every precinct in Washington County voted against the proposal in a referendum last week, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

The move was proposed because county officials and judges had expressed concerns over security issues and a lack of space and parking. But the idea had drawn derision at previous public hearings.

County Administrator Jason Berry said the result was a “clear message from the people” and that a committee studying the issue will now revisit a 2016 engineering study and potentially consider new options.

Lawsuit against InfoWars can stay in Charlottesville

RICHMOND — A federal appeals court has denied a petition from InfoWars and other far-right defendants and is allowing a defamation lawsuit against them to continue.

The Daily Progress reports the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday denied a petition challenging the location where the lawsuit would be heard. The decision allows the lawsuit to continue at the U.S. District Court level in Charlottesville.

A lower court judge had earlier granted an appeal by the defendants.

Former State Department official Brennan Gilmore sued InfoWars founder Alex Jones and several others for defamation in 2018. Gilmore filmed the 2017 car attack that killed counterprotester Heather Heyer during the Unite the Right white nationalist rally. Gilmore’s lawsuit says Jones, InfoWars and the defendants spread conspiracy theories about him, leading to threats and harassment.

Atlantic states must catch fewer striped bass in 2020

NORFOLK — Fishers will have to catch fewer striped bass in waters along the East Coast next year.

Fishing regulators have mandated an 18% reduction for recreational fishing, The Virginian-Pilot reported. The new harvest cap will likely impact commercial fishing.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Management Board adopted the changes on Oct. 31. It follows a stock assessment that shows striped bass, or rockfish, are being overfished.

States from North Carolina to Maine will submit plans for achieving the reduction goals. States such as Virginia have already taken steps on their own to better protect the species.

Chesapeake doctor accused of doing unneeded surgeries

NORFOLK — Federal prosecutors are accusing a Virginia physician of performing unnecessary surgical procedures on women without their knowledge or consent.

A U.S. magistrate ordered 69-year-old Javaid Perwaiz of Chesapeake held without bond until at least an upcoming detention hearing. Perwaiz was arrested Friday and charged with one count each of health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care matters.

The newspaper reports the FBI started investigating Perwaiz last year after receiving a hospital employee’s tip. An FBI affidavit focuses on four unidentified patients and says Perwaiz repeatedly subjected Medicaid patients to procedures. The affidavit mentions hysterectomies and tubal ligation among others.

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— From wire reports

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