Dogwood Daily: Judge stops removal of Confederate statues
By Sean Galvin
September 16, 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…

ICE recently deported a Northern Virginia mother who came to the United States 15 years ago to escape gang violence in El Salvador. She had no history of criminal behavior and was in fact a survivor of domestic violence. WAMU 88.5 has her story here.

5 things you need to know today

  1. Judge stops removal of Confederate statues – A Charlottesville Circuit Court Judge issued a permanent injunction, blocking the removal of two Confederate city statues last week, deciding that they do not send a racially discriminatory message. The Charlottesville City Council previously voted to remove the statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, but a group of city residents filed a lawsuit against the council, saying the proposal violated a state law barring the removal of war memorials. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

  2. Herring clarifies race question on marriage applications – Virginia couples will no longer have to identify their race on marriage licenses, the state’s Attorney General Mark Herring announced late last week. The issue came to light after three couples filed a federal lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of being forced to declare their race. Herring said that while circuit court clerks must continue to ask for applicants’ race on marriage applications, the applicants can now decline to answer. Herring also told clerks they must issue a marriage license “regardless of an applicant’s answer or non-answer to that inquiry.” – The Washington Post

  3. Virginia struggles with suicide in jails – Fifty-one inmates have killed themselves in Virginia jails over the past five years, and an Associated Press review found that nearly half of those who committed suicide took their lives in the first ten days of incarceration, a phase in which many inmates are especially vulnerable. While state regulations require inmates to have mental health screenings prior to admission, the standards vary drastically from jail to jail. – Richmond Times-Dispatch

  4. Virginia’s Appalachian women have high cervical cancer rates – Women living in Virginia’s Appalachian counties are more likely to have cervical cancer than women living elsewhere in the United States, according to a team of researchers at UVA. These women’s diagnoses also frequently come after the cancer has spread, decreasing their odds of survival. The researchers are part of a larger $11 million effort by the National Institute of Health dedicated to reversing the trend. The team is focused on curbing contributing factors like smoking, while also increasing access to Pap tests and vaccinations that protect against HPV, an infection that causes 70% of cervical cancers. – The Roanoke Times

  5. Invasive vines present ecological problem – Invasive vines are overrunning Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states, strangling and toppling trees and preventing them from getting adequate sunlight. The vines can also be damaging to rest of the ecosystem—destroying native plants, and in turn, starving the caterpillars who rely on those plants, and the birds who feed on the caterpillars. Park managers, non-profits, and volunteers have fought against the vines for decades, but have had limited success. – WAMU 88.5

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