Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up.
There are only four episodes left of Game of Thrones. If the show’s penchant for killing off key characters is any indication, last night’s emotion-packed hour is likely to serve as a goodbye to many of our favorites. It’s okay, though. We will get through this together. Somehow.
5 Things you need to know today…
- Commonwealth emerges from tornadoes – The clean-up and rebuilding process is underway after a series of tornadoes hammered parts of Virginia. The state saw 11 tornadoes pass through on Friday, from Brunswick to Prince George to Franklin County, which was especially hard hit by a tornado that reached a wind speed of 159mph. There were no reported deaths, but homes and buildings were destroyed and two injuries were reported in Franklin County.
- UVA won’t raise its tuition after all — The University of Virginia is the latest public university in the Commonwealth to announce that it will not increase its in-state tuition rate for undergraduates for the 2019-20 school year. This comes after the General Assembly allocated additional funding for higher education institutions that maintained this year’s tuition rates for the 2019-20 school year. By agreeing to hold its in-state tuition rate steady at the 2018-19 level, UVA will receive over $5.5 million in additional funding from the state. UVA joins Virginia Tech, VCU, Radford and other schools which are also holding tuition rates steady.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden may announce his 2020 run in Charlottesville — Rumors spread like wildfire over the weekend that former Vice President Joe Biden might announce his candidacy for president in Charlottesville this week. Nothing has been confirmed yet and local officials said they had not heard from Biden’s team, but Biden’s candidacy is all but confirmed at this point. The 76-year-old former Vice President would be making his third run for President and would be the 20th Democrat running for the party’s nomination.
- Small dollar donors on the rise for Virginia Democrats – With control of Virginia’s House of Delegates on the line this year, some Virginia Democrats are joining the national chorus in focusing on “small dollar” donations instead of corporate money. According to our friends at the Virginia Public Access Project, many candidates have leaned heavily on donations of $100 or less. Human rights activist Qasim Rashid, who is running against state Sen. Richard H. Stuart (R-King George), led the way with 1,296 small donations. Del. Danica A. Roem (D-Prince William) wasn’t far behind, with 1,224 donations under $100 as she tries to hold off a Republican challenger.
- Opioid strike force expands into Virginia — As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage parts of southwest Virginia, a new federal program is expanding into the area. The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force is a program that aims to identify and investigate health care fraud schemes in the Appalachian region and surrounding areas, and to prosecute medical professionals and anyone else involved in illegal prescription and distribution of opioids.