Here’s the Virginia news you need to start your day:
- Mueller report summary leaves more questions than answers — The Special Counsel States that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” These words appear in Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s report, indicating that Mueller did not find evidence that Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It’s worth reiterating that this is Barr’s summary of the report, not the report itself. What does this mean for you? Not a whole lot, except that you can expect more political battles over the release of the full Mueller Report.
- Former Portsmouth Police Chief says she was forced out — There were many questions surrounding the abrupt resignation of Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman last week. Now, we have some disconcerting answers. Chapman released a statement this morning, in which she said she was forced out after trying to overhaul the department’s culture of bias and systemic racism: “Having been a member of two other law enforcement agencies, I have never witnessed the degree of bias and acts of systemic racism, discriminatory practices and abuse of authority in all of my almost 30 year career in law enforcement and public safety.” An African-American woman in a position of authority faced resistance while trying to enact change? Color us shocked.
- Republican Del. Brenda Pogge retires — After 11 years representing the Norge area, Delegate Brenda Pogge has announced she will not seek re-election this fall. As an anti-choice, pro-gun, anti-Equal Rights Amendment voice, she was beloved by conservatives. Her seat immediately becomes a pick-up target for Democrats, who have three candidates running in the June primaries: Mark Downey, Rebecca Leser and Chris Mayfield.
- Virginia schools realize solar energy is the future — In yet another example of the economic opportunity behind proactively fighting climate change, Virginia schools are increasingly using solar panels. This comes after years of lobbying by students, who continue to show us the way forward. Solar energy saves money and is better for the environment, which makes this a no-brainer.
- And then there were two — Bad News: The first four days and two rounds of March Madness were objectively boring. There were few truly exciting games and even fewer upsets. Good News: Two teams from Virginia remain. The University of Virginia defeated Oklahoma in the second round, while Virginia Tech overcame fellow in-state school, Liberty University. The Cavaliers will take on Oregon on Thursday night, while Virginia Tech will take on the top-ranked team in the country, Duke, on Friday. Go Hoos and Hokies!