Dogwood Daily: Killer heat in Virginia

By Keya Vakil

July 17, 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

But First…

It’s very, very hot today, especially in Richmond, and it’s going to stay that way through Sunday. Make sure you plan accordingly.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. Even without citizenship question, Virginia health programs could suffer from census miscount – While President Trump may have given up in his quest to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, experts are warning that the numbers could still be inaccurate. Researchers estimate an undercount of 67,500 Virginians, which could result in the state getting less money than it needs for programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Medicare Part B. Our own Davis Burroughs has the full story on just how damaging a miscount could be for Virginia. – The Dogwood
  2. Killer heat will become common in Virginia without serious action, report finds – Virginia typically sees 31 days per year with a heat index above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but that number could more than double to 75 days per year by 2050, and reach 106 days per year by century’s end, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit science advocacy organization. The report lays out recommendations for governments to take action and concludes that “We have no time to waste to prevent an unrecognizably hot future from becoming reality. We must act now to address the climate crisis.” – The Dogwood 
  3. Virginia to launch two new cross-state bus routes – After a state-run Blacksburg-Washington bus route beat ridership estimates by 275%, Virginia is planning to launch two new routes, connecting Southside Virginia with northern parts of the state. The new lines would serve Martinsville, Danville, South Boston and Lynchburg, with connections to Richmond and Washington. The full cost for the lines will be covered by the Federal Transit Administration at no cost to the state, and the department is hoping to launch the routes in the spring or summer of 2020. – The Virginia Mercury
  4. Federal appeals court strikes down Virginia’s ‘habitual drunkard’ law as unconstitutional – The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Virginia’s ‘habitual drunkard’ law as unconstitutional on Tuesday, in a contentious 8-7 decision. The court reversed a lower judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that the law targets homeless alcoholics because of their homelessness and addiction rather than because they committed a crime. – Richmond Times-Dispatch 
  5. Five Virginia universities create group to fight opioid epidemic – Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, George Mason University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Tech have teamed up with Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services to support opioid prevention and treatment programs. The partnership will also collect and analyze data related to the crisis. – The Washington Post/AP

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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