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.
Northern Virginia health officials are investigating an increase in cyclosporiasis, a foodborne intestinal illness. Anyone experiencing symptoms, which include diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal cramping or bloating, nausea and prolonged fatigue, should visit their healthcare provider.
5 Things you need to know today
- Climate change could cost Virginia billions and put communities at risk, Virginia climate czar says – Ann Phillips, Virginia’s new ‘coastal adaptation and climate czar,’ warned federal lawmakers on Wednesday that unless large-scale federal action is taken to address climate change, it will cost Virginia coastal cities billions of dollars and put communities and military facilities at risk. – The Virginia Mercury
- Sixty-five percent of military suicides in 2017 involved a gun, report says – Sixty-five percent of suicides among members of the military in 2017 involved a gun, according to a new Department of Defense report. The DoD report follows a June 2019 study that found that “firearm accessibility was associated with a significant increase in the risk of suicide” in the psychological autopsy of 135 soldiers. These reports are particularly significant for Virginia, which has nearly 129,400 active duty military members as of March 2019, second only to California. – The Virginia Mercury
- Northam announces plan to make early childhood education accessible to all 3 and 4 year olds – Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday the formation a new state team that will focus on ensuring early childhood education is accessible to all 3 and 4 year olds, particularly those who come from economically distressed families. The Executive Leadership Team on School Readiness team will develop recommendations and work with the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget to expand and strengthen early childhood education, with the goal of implementing a publicly-subsidized care and education option by 2025. – Daily Press
- Virginia jails come under new scrutiny – Portsmouth’s City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton condemned the city’s jail, saying it’s unsafe for human habitation. “The jail and its ancillary offices are housed in a building that is over 50 years old…The building must be vacated,” Patton said. Meanwhile, another inmate has died at the Riverside Regional Jail in Prince George. This latest death comes just a week after the facility was placed on probationary status for two 2017 deaths. – Richmond-Times Dispatch / The Virginian-Pilot
- Mixed reactions emerge to Richmond Public Schools’ plan to merge two schools – While some parents at a majority-white school in Richmond have rallied against a proposal to combine their kids’ school with John B. Cary Elementary School, a majority-black school, others have responded by circulating a petition to support the plan. RPS is holding a series of community meetings this month and in August to allow the public to weigh in on the proposal before making a final decision. – WCVE
From the Gram