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.
5 things you need to know today
- Republican committee chair makes homophobic comments – Melvin Adams, Chair of the 5th District Republican Committee, is in hot water after writing a Facebook post saying homosexuality was the result of childhood sexual abuse, overbearing mothers and severe bullying. He even agreed with another user who wrote that “normalizing homosexuality normalizes pedophilia.” Adams’ comments prompted the College Republican Federation of Virginia to ask him for an apology or his resignation, neither of which Adams has agreed to give. – VPM
- Dominion asks for higher profit margins – Dominion Energy asked utility regulators for an increase in its profit margins on Tuesday. Dominion wants to increase its return on equity from 9.2% to 10.75%, saying the company needs more money for capital investments. Consumer advocates, however, said the request was unnecessary and would place an undue burden on tax-payers. The State Corporation Commission’s ruling will determine how much of the company’s excess earnings the company will return to Virginia customers for the four-year period ending in 2021. – Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Virginia’s poverty rate drops – Virginia’s poverty rate dropped one full percentage point in 2017-2018, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Virginia is now tied with Rhode Island as having the 14th lowest poverty rate in the nation and remains considerably below the national average of 12%. – Virginia Mercury
- Groups commit to spending money to help flip Virginia blue – The Democratic super-PAC Forward Majority has committed to spending $500,000 to help elect Democrats during Virginia’s upcoming legislative elections. The group said it is focusing its spending on races for the House of Delegates, because it believes the state Senate is “more likely to flip absent any outside intervention.” The Virginia League of Conservation Voters also announced Tuesday that it will invest $1 million to elect candidates it supports, 49 of whom are Democrats and only one of whom is a Republican. – The Washington Post
- Coal shipment remains stalled by courts – Thousands of tons of coal remain in limbo in Southwest Virginia while a federal bankruptcy judge decides whether the coal, which was mined by Blackjewel LLC, was produced in violation of national labor laws and whether another company that bought the coal should be allowed to move it. Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy in July, but many employees say their final paychecks bounced and that they have yet to be paid. A West Virginia bankruptcy court has yet to rule on these issues, prompting federal Judge James P. Jones to extend a restraining order preventing the transport of the coal until at least Sept. 20. – Bristol Herald-Courier
From the Gram