Dogwood Daily: 27-year-old Leesburg man dies because he couldn’t afford insulin
By Keya Vakil
August 5, 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…

Two mass shootings took place in 13 hours over the weekend, leaving 29 innocent people dead. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people before being arrested. Prior to the shooting, the gunman published a hate-filled, anti-Latinx manifesto reminiscent of the racist rhetoric used by President Trump, prompting outrage at the President for his role in inciting violence. 

Before the country even had time to process that shooting, another one took place in Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman opened fire at a bar, killing nine, including his own sister, before he was killed by police. 

The massacres have prompted renewed calls for reforming the country’s gun laws, but such reforms continue to be blocked by Republicans.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. Gun violence continues in Richmond, too – While the nation mourns and processes the trauma of this weekend’s mass shootings, the issue of gun violence continues to be a daily one in Richmond. In the first 24 hours of August, there were nine shootings across Richmond’s North Side and East End, leaving three people dead and six more injured. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

  2. 27-year-old Leesburg man dies because he couldn’t afford insulin – Josh Wilkerson, a 27-year-old Leesburg man, died in June after he aged off his parents’ health insurance plan and could no longer afford the insulin he needed. Insulin prices have more than tripled since 2002 and Wilkerson’s cost for his prescription-brand was $1,200-a-month, so he switched to over-the-counter insulin, a lower grade medication that takes as long as four hours to take effect. Shortly after turning to the cheaper drug, he was in a diabetic coma and suffered a series of strokes that proved fatal. – The Washington Post

  3. Racial disparities in school discipline in Richmond area are worse than the national average, report finds – Schools in the Richmond region suspend black students at four times the rate of white students, a gap that exceeds the national average, according to a new study from the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, the local research arm of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education. One in five black students in the region received an out-of-school suspension during the 2015-2016 school year, compared to only 5% of white students. Nationally, it’s closer to 15% of black students and 5% of white students, according to federal data. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

  4. Mountain Valley Pipeline hits new setbacks – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a stop-work order for a 2-mile portion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Montgomery County on Friday, after an inspection found that the company hasn’t adequately controlled erosion issues. The pipeline’s developers also endured another setback on Friday, when a federal court denied their request for a preliminary injunction against two unnamed tree-sitters who have blocked the company from clearing land for construction for nearly a year. – The Virginia Mercury

  5. Virginians support giving tenants more than a week to pay late rent, poll finds – Three-quarters of Virginia residents support changing state law to give tenants at least two weeks to pay rent before a landlord can sue to evict them, according to a new poll from Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently, landlords can sue to remove a tenant with just five days notice. Advocates are fighting to extend that period to 14 days, a measure which they think could lower the state’s eviction rates, which are the highest in the country. – The Virginia Mercury

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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