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.
As Virginia commemorated the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival in the state, Gov. Ralph Northam also appointed a commission to study how African-American history is taught in the Commonwealth, saying “we must do a better job” of teaching the “pivotal role” of African-Americans in the state’s history.
5 Things you need to know today
- Skyrocketing insulin prices are devastating the Hampton Roads area – Insulin prices have soared over the last 20 years, and a vial that cost roughly $25 in the 1990s now costs as much as $300. From 2002 to 2013 alone, the price of insulin nearly tripled. This has forced underinsured or uninsured Americans to ration their medication or skip it altogether; a crisis that has hit Hampton Roads particularly hard, as parts of the region have a nearly 20% incidence rate of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. – The Virginian-Pilot
- School segregation still persists in Virginia – More than six decades after the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional, segregation remains an issue in Virginia. Ninety-three schools in Virginia have student bodies that are at least 75% black, the threshold the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s uses to define segregation. Most of these schools are in Richmond, Norfolk, Henrico County, Petersburg, Portsmouth and Newport News. – The Virginia Mercury
- Metro bus drivers in Virginia vote to authorize a strike, if necessary – WMATA bus drivers in Virginia have voted to authorize a strike, if necessary. Drivers at the Cinder Bed Road bus garage in Lorton want the same pay and benefits as other regional bus operators, claiming they make $12 less per hour than other drivers in the area. The Cinder Bed Road bus garage workers service 5% of all WMATA routes, mostly from the Pentagon to Alexandria. The vote to authorize a strike comes after seven months of negotiations stalled. It remains to be seen if the workers follow through with a strike. – WAMU
- Democratic lawmakers push to create legal protections for families in military housing – Virginia’s Democratic lawmakers are pushing reforms to protect military families from problems such as toxic mold, pests, and lead paint that many have encountered in privatized military housing. While military leaders and housing management companies have begun to address the issues, Virginia’s Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-7) and Elaine Luria (D-2), are pushing for regulations that aim to ensure military families have safe housing. – The Virginia Mercury
- Judge blocks Blackjewel from moving coal out of Virginia – A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Friday to block bankrupt coal company Blackjewel LLC from moving thousands of tons of coal in southwest Virginia. The U.S. Department of Labor says that Blackjewel broke the law by not paying the workers who produced the coal and is arguing the company is legally obligated to compensate its workers before shipping the coal. – Bristol Herald Courier
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