Dogwood Daily: Virginia Beach City Council votes to launch independent investigation
By Keya Vakil
July 3, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news 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

*Programming note: We’ll be taking a break from the Dogwood Daily on Thursday and Friday due to the Fourth of July holiday, but we will resume on Monday, July 8.

But First…

Have you procrastinated making 4th of July plans? Are you frantically texting your friends to figure out what to do? Do you want an excuse to flake on your existing plans? No matter what your reason is, if you’re looking for something to do tomorrow, we’ve got you covered.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. Detained migrant children stuck in overcrowded cells, don’t have access to showers or hot food – A new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General describes migrants being detained in standing-room only cells and children without access to showers and hot meals. The report comes as House Democrats uncovered similarly shocking conditions during their tours of several migrants holding centers and has prompted the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees to announce hearings next week into the conditions at detention centers.

  2. Virginia Republicans turn to scare tactics and misinformation ahead of elections – With this year’s elections around the corner, Virginia Republicans are turning to scare tactics and misinformation in their attacks on Democrats. Del. Margaret B. Ransone (R-Westmoreland) said “They want our state,” while state Sen. Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) invoked the homosexuality of Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) while trying to paint him as an extreme liberal who supports infanticide and raising the minimum wage to over $20 per hour. Ebben supports neither, and responded to Reeves’ charges in sarcastic fashion, saying “Apparently I’m a radical homosexual who’s misquoted.”

  3. Virginia Beach City Council votes to launch independent investigation – The Virginia Beach City Council voted unanimously to launch and independent inquiry into the May 31 mass shooting. The council had previously been reluctant to act, but after significant pressure from victims’ families, city leaders changed course and approved the independent investigation. The inquiry, which could begin later this month, will focus on creating a timeline of the shooting, reviewing the gunman’s employment history and analyzing how to prevent workplace violence in the future. 

  4. Former Republican Del. Ron Villanueva sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison – Ron Villaneuva, a former Republican delegate from Virginia Beach, was sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for his role in an $80 million government contracting fraud conspiracy. Villaneuva illegally helped two Virginia Beach companies obtain government contracts they weren’t entitled to receive. Villaneuva, who served in the House of Delegates from 2010 until 2018, must also pay more than $524,000 in restitution.

  5. Virginia’s psychiatric hospitals may run out of room this weekend – Virginia mental health officials expect the state’s psychiatric hospitals to run out of room over the July 4th weekend. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, such a situation would force people experiencing psychiatric emergencies to wait in temporary custody until beds become available in public or private facilities. The shortage is indicative of a larger issue within the system, and one that isn’t exclusive to holidays.

From the Gram
  • 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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