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 …
Congratulations to Andrea Carson Johnson, a 12th-grade English teacher at Salem High School who was named the 2019 Virginia Teacher of the Year. Last year’s Virginia Teacher of the Year, Rodney Robinson, went on to be named National Teacher of the Year, the third time a Virginia educator has earned the honor.
Five things you need to know today …
- Gun policy is top issue for Virginia voters: A Washington Post-Scholar poll finds gun policy is the top issue for Virginia voters just one month before the election. That may bode well for Democrats, who have seized on the issue in the aftermath of the May mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Three of four voters rank gun policy as a “very important” voting issue, and majorities support reforms championed by Democrats, like assault weapons bans and limiting handgun purchases to one per month. -Washington Post
- School officials turn to education, discipline, to reduce teen vaping: Vaping isn’t allowed in Virginia schools and the punishments for getting caught are stiff. But that hasn’t done much to curb teen vaping. “By and large, adolescents still want to make somebody proud … so it’s important that we’re clear about our stance,” said Vance Middle School Principal Amy Scott, one of many school officials trying to change the culture around vaping, which some see as a less-harmful nicotine product than combustible cigarettes. She added, “If we could just get kids to understand that this particular choice comes with multiple penalties — a school penalty, a juvenile court penalty, and an addiction. That’s a lot for a 13-year-old.” -Frederick News Post
- Virginia schools to receive grants for Breakfast After the Bell programs: No Kid Hungry is investing about $30,000 into seven Virginia schools to support alternative breakfast programs, which aim to increase access to breakfast by making it a part of the school day. According to the non-profit organization, one in seven kids in Virginia belong to families that struggle with hunger, which can severely affect children’s health and ability to perform at school. The program differs from traditional school breakfast models by offering meals after school starts, which the organization said helps to ensure everyone who needs breakfast can get it. -WDBJ7
- GOP group hits Luria with negative campaign ads over impeachment decision. She responds by raising money for state Democrats: After a Republican national group began running negative campaign ads over Rep. Elaine Luria’s (D-Va.) decision to support the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Luria pushed back by creating a fundraising committee to support Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly races. The congresswoman, among seven Democrats with a national security background to pen an influential op-ed in The Washington Post announcing their support for an impeachment inquiry, aims to raise $228,000 — the same amount the Republican National Committee is spending on the ads targeting her. -Washington Post
- JMU professor predicts Virginia will lead the nation in renewable energy: Jonathan J. Miles, a professor of integrated science at James Madison University, argued in an op-ed that, “Virginia is positioned to deploy the most balanced and resilient clean energy portfolio in the nation.” Virginia has a trinity of clean energy resources, he said: First, higher elevations with strong winds in the southwest to support wind farms. Second, vast open spaces in the central and eastern regions to support solar, and third, some of the best offshore wind resources in the nation. Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order for 100% carbon-free power by 2050 doesn’t hurt, either. -Richmond Times-Dispatch