Dogwood Daily: V-DOT gets stuck on I-81 while traveling to press conference on I-81 traffic
By Keya Vakil
June 10, 2019

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. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But First…

We’re only one day out from the primaries and the U.S. Supreme Court did not deliver a decision on a case that could have upended Virginia’s newly re-drawn House of Delegates district map. This means that tomorrow’s primaries will proceed as planned. 

If you have any questions about tomorrow’s elections, check out our Primary Day FAQs and then make a plan to vote tomorrow!

5 Things you need to know today…

  1. Virginia Beach continues to mourn while gun debate heats up – As the victims of the Virginia beach shooting are laid to rest and remembered, the impact of the tragic shooting continues to reverberate. Family members of one victim are asking the city to release the shooter’s employee records, a 45-person FBI team is reconstructing the attack to try and understand more about the suspect’s actions that day, and local lawmakers are trying to navigate the aftermath of the shooting without wading too deeply into its political ramifications. But they won’t be able to do that for much longer, as Gov. Ralph Northam formally announced that the special session he’s calling to address the state’s gun laws will begin on July 9. 
  2. Charlottesville city council votes to divest from fossil fuel and weapons companies – On Monday night, the Charlottesville city council voted to remove all operating budget investments in weapons and fossil fuel companies and will complete those divestments in the next 30 days, according to WVIR. The decision to divest came after community members spent a month pressuring the council to on the issue, saying that fossil fuels and weapons do not fit with the city’s vision and negatively impact the community.
  3. Virginia’s climate czar sounds the alarm on local funding to combat sea-level rise – Ann Phillips, who is spearheading efforts for Virginia’s coastal adaptation to climate change, is finding that communities aren’t grasping their role in funding resilience to sea-level rise and flooding. Phillips says that homeowners and residents of coastal areas seem to believe a storm disaster will bring some sort of aid, whether local, state or federal, but she’s quick to note that none of that is guaranteed. Instead, as the Free Lance-Star Reports, she’s pushing localities and municipalities to be proactive and take action to prepare for storms and floods. 
  4. Five Virginia nursing homes make the wrong kind of list – Five Virginia nursing homes are among 435 facilities in the United States were designated as “Special Focus Facilities,” meaning they have frequent problems and are in need of corrective action. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the problems in the nursing homes range from patients having scalding hot coffee spilled on them to having their treatment needs ignored by staff for up to two days.
  5. VDot team nearly misses I-81 news conference because of traffic on I-81 – In a delicious bit of irony, Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Stephen Brich was traveling from Richmond to the Roanoke Valley on Friday to talk about congestion relief on I-81 when he himself got stuck in the interstate’s notorious traffic. After three accidents brought I-81 south to a standstill, Brich followed the guidance of flaggers and took a detour onto U.S. 11, a parallel road that got him to his destination in time for the news conference. According to the Roanoke Times, Brich hopes to encourage other motorists to take U.S. 11 as well when I-81 is congested.
  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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