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.
Virginia has been named America’s Top State for Business in 2019 by CNBC. The Commonwealth’s #1 ranking is due to its “world-class workforce, high-performing education system and business-friendly regulations.”
5 Things you need to know today
- Republicans end special session in 90 minutes – Republicans in Virginia’s General Assembly voted to adjourn their special session on Virginia’s gun laws after just 90 minutes on Tuesday. The decision to punt on the issue until after this November’s elections infuriated Democrats and gun safety advocates, who are now all but certain to campaign on the issue leading into November.
- Blackjewel continues to keep 500 employees in limbo – Blackjewel LLC, which owns 10 mining facilities in southwestern Virginia and filed for bankruptcy last week, had faced challenges for years, according to the Virginia Mercury. The company is now trying to find outside financing, but if it can’t, liquidation will be its only option. In the meantime, nearly 500 Virginia employees are stuck in a holding pattern; they did not receive their last paycheck and they’re not currently working, but they’re also unable to file for unemployment since they’re still technically employed.
- Hanover County Supervisor condemns those who condemn the KKK – After Ku Klux Klan members held a recruitment drive in Hanover County last week, there was significant public outrage. That outrage was not quite shared by Hanover Board of Supervisors Chairman W. Canova Peterson, who wrote on Facebook that “If you hate them [the Klan], you’re a hate group too.” Peterson says he rejects the Klan’s message, but that he believes in “citizens of this community and country being able to express their opinions — as long as they do it peacefully.”
- Arlington County considering jail diversion program for people with mental illnesses – Arlington County is considering implementing a new program to divert the mentally ill into treatment instead of jail, according to ArlNow. The proposed program would forego incarceration of those with mental illnesses who are convicted of non-violent misdemeanors if they agree to an intensive treatment program overseen by a judge. The County’s Department of Human Services, which is leading the program, will hold a public meeting on the idea on July 17.
- Fairfax County officials support police body camera program – After police tested body-worn cameras in 2018, several Fairfax County leaders are now voicing support for plans to bring them back permanently, though the cost could prove to be an obstacle. It’s estimated that implementing the body camera program for the county’s 1,200 officers would cost $30 million over the first five years. According to WTOP, proponents of the plan hope to come up with a plan to put before the full board of supervisors in September.
From the Gram