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.
This upcoming Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. WJLA has all the details if you plan to attend the parade celebrating King’s extraordinary life in D.C.
Five things you need to know today …
- White supremacists discussed where to open fire at Richmond gun rally– The white supremacists arrested ahead of next week’s anti-gun safety law rally in Richmond discussed opening fire from four locations at the Capitol building, according to law enforcement officials. The Wall Street Journal reported that the men, who were arrested in Maryland and Delaware on Monday, made this plan “in the hopes of causing chaos.” –The Dogwood
- Judge rejects gun groups attempt to halt gun ban in Capitol Square- Richmond Circuit Court Judge Joi J. Taylor rejected a bid from gun groups to block Gov. Ralph Northam’s temporary Capitol Square gun ban. The ban was made in anticipation of an anti-gun safety reform rally on Monday. In her ruling, Taylor affirmed the Governor’s authority to make the temporary ban and said the plaintiffs wouldn’t “suffer irreparable harm sufficient to justify the injunction.” The gun groups filed an emergency appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court Thursday night. –Richmond Times-Dispatch
- Democrats plans for marijuana policy– Along with many policy changes in the newly Democratic General Assembly, the future of marijuana in Virginia appears to be inching closer to a friendly approach to the drug. Two weeks ago, Gov. Ralph Northam announced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana in the state. Just this past Sunday, Attorney General Mark Herring attended a Cannabis Summit where he voiced support for legalization. Del. Lee Carter’s (D-Manassas) also pre-filed a bill for the 2020 session, which would decriminalize marijuana and lay the groundwork to grow cannabis legally in the state. –The Dogwood
- Cotton production up, soybean and tobacco down– 2019 was a good year for cotton thanks to good weather but soybeans and tobacco struggled due to the U.S.-China trade war. Cotton production was up 22 percent from the 2018, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in conjunction with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Soybeans production, meanwhile, was down 23 percent and tobacco was down 32 percent. Tony Banks, a commodity marketing specialist for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, blamed the fall for both crops on China’s exit from the market. –Virginia Mercury
- Virginia joins food stamp lawsuit– Virginia has joined with 14 other states as well as Washington, D.C. and New York City in suing to prevent the Trump administration from cutting off food stamps for 700,000 unemployed people. Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring and the attorneys general from other states said the cuts disregarded local labor market conditions. The lawsuit also claimed that state governments would face increased costs due to the “negative health effects of malnutrition and instability.” –The Washington Post