Dogwood Daily: Happy Thanksgiving!

By Sean Galvin

November 27, 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. We will be off for Thanksgiving after today and will return Monday, December 2.

But first…

Florida, Texas and Massachusetts all claim to have hosted the first Thanksgiving, but a small yet passionate group are seeking to claim Virginia’s ownership to the celebration.

Historian Graham Woodlief, a descendant of the earliest settlers in Virginia, says a group of Englishmen celebrated the holiday in the Commonwealth a full year before the settlers Massachusetts got around to it.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Study recommends “skill game” regulation– A new study on gaming in Virginia is calling for the state to either regulate or ban the so-called “skill games” that have been popping up around the state. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission estimated that there are currently more than 9,000 of the machines in the state, earning somewhere between $83 million to $468 million in untaxed revenue. Earlier this month, Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said the machines were cutting into the lottery’s sales, estimating a loss of $140 million in the last year alone. -Danville Register & Bee
  2. Herring announces human trafficking fight– Attorney General Mark Herring announced a pair of new initiatives aimed at improving how the Richmond region fights human trafficking. The Richmond Regional Human Trafficking Collaborative got $350,000 in grants to help in the effort, with a focus on providing minor victims the resources and services they need. Twenty-two juveniles were identified as human trafficking victims in the state between 2017 and 2018. Herring has made the issue a priority since taking office in 2014, creating an awareness campaign on the issue and making sure those accused were not able to seek bail. – WTVR 
  3. Two prominent positions filled– Two women with long careers in the state government are set to take over as the clerk of the House of Delegates and staff director of the House Appropriations Committee. Suzette P. Denslow, who currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Ralph Northam, has been picked to be Clerk of the House and Keeper of the Rolls. Anne Oman, a fiscal analyst at the Appropriations Committee for 17 years, is set to become staff director of the House’s budget panel. House Speaker-elect, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) announced both appointments to the press on Monday. -Richmond Times-Dispatch 
  4. Radford University criticized— A pro-journalism nonprofit sent a letter to Radford University this week, criticizing how they handled an investigation into stolen copies of the school’s student-run newspaper. One thousand of the 1,500 copies of The Tartan went missing, just hours before a high-profile event hosted by Katie Couric. The newspapers in question had a cover story with the photo of recently-deceased Criminal Justice Department Chairman Stephen Tibbetts that some administrators found to be disrespectful. The school has refused to release the identity of the employee’s name who reportedly admitted to removing the papers. -The Roanoke Times
  5. Judge lays out recount rules–  The recount for the 83rd District’s House of Delegates race is set to begin on Dec. 12th and the final results of the recount will be announced at a hearing with a three-judge panel during the week of Dec. 16. Democrat Representative-elect Nancy Guy holds a narrow victory over Republican Del. Chris Stolle in the district. Virginia Beach Circuit Judge Glenn Croshaw also laid out the preliminary rules for the recount at a hearing Tuesday with the two candidates’ lawyers. -The Virginian-Pilot

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