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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Once again, the trial over Charlottesville’s statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is postponed. Our democracy reporter, Eileen Goode, is sitting in a pre-trial hearing this morning and she’ll have an update soon.

An crowd of people stand before a statue of a man on a horse
Credit: Mike Kropf/Charlottesville Tomorrow

The trial over Charlottesville’s statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee has been postponed again

This is the third time this trial has been postponed this year. A new trial date has not been set, though all parties will be back in court in June for a status update.

The two Confederate legacy groups who brought the case allege that it was illegal for the city to give its Lee statue to an organization that intended to destroy it. City Council gave the statue to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, which plans to melt the statue and turn the bronze into new pieces of art. We have a little more information about the plaintiffs’ argument in this story.

The legacy groups want the judge to force the Heritage Center to return the statue to the city. If that happens, the City Council would then decide what to do with it, again. At this point, the statue has not been melted, though it has been “disassembled.” Information about its location and exact condition are not public. The judge ruled last year that it be kept confidential. You can read more about that ruling in this Daily Progress article.

While the trial continues, the Heritage Center cannot move forward with its plans for the statue. 

A beagle stands on a bed looking at the camera. Two dogs are laying behind the beagle.

For a little good news, Sen. Creigh Deeds’ dog Mila is home. Our subscriber, Lisa Blackmon, asked about the missing Beagle during the forum Charlottesville Tomorrow hosted between Democratic Senate candidates Deeds and Del. Sally Hudson earlier this month. We had limited time during the debate, so we couldn’t ask. But Cardinal News, a nonprofit news organization in southern Virginia, published a story about the little dog’s journey today. So, I thought it might be a good one to include in the newsletter!

(We’ll try to answer more of the almost 200 questions you all submitted as we report on the election and build the 2023 voter guide. Stay tuned!)

According to Cardinal News, Deeds had taken Mila to a campaign event in the Dunlora area of Charlottesville on April 4, where she got scared and ran away. At that moment, the campaigning stopped. Deeds and all his staff immediately hit the woods in search of the dog. But they didn’t find her.

The search continued over the next few weeks. Deeds purchased trail cams, posted flyers, hired searchers and — importantly — used his substantial social media pages to ask for help. It was the social media, and the strangers who saw his posts, that ultimately brought Mila home.

Read more about the little dog’s journey from Cardinal News.

I hope that story leaves you with warm feelings! And, if you have a fur baby, go ahead and give them some extra love today.

All the best,

Jessie Higgins, managing editor

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