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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.

But first…

As the temperatures drop, people have taken a number of creative initiatives to help assist Virginia’s homeless population. If you would like to help, The Lamb CenterNew Hope Housing and FACETS are three excellent places to donate your time and money.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Virginia Senate advances “red flag” gun law–  The Democratic-led state Senate gave preliminary approval yesterday to a “red flag” law that would grant authorities the power to remove guns from individuals deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others. The move came a day after a massive rally against gun safety reform in Richmond. Republicans blasted the decision as an attack on civil liberties, while Democrats said it would both preserve due process and protect people. A final vote on the measure is expected to happen on Wednesday before heading to the House. -WTOP
  2. Virginia Senate votes to make Election Day a state holiday– The Virginia state Senate passed a bill that would eliminate Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday and make Election Day a state holiday instead. Lee-Jackson Day honors Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and is celebrated a week before Martin Luther King Jr Day. Gov. Ralph Northam voiced support for the bill, saying it would improve voter access and make clear Virginia no longer wished to honor the lives of two men who fought to prolong slavery. The bill will now head to the House. -CBS 6
  3. White supremacist group hoped to start race war– Prosecutors say hidden camera footage captured members of a white supremacist group known as the “Base” hoping potential violence at Monday’s rally would spark a civil war. Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews mentioned “hunting people,” and Brian Mark Lemley Jr. discussed shooting civilians at Monday’s protest. The two men were arrested and charged with transporting a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit a felony. The FBI also arrested with William Garfield Bilbrough IV for working with the men and three other members of the Base in other states for conspiring to commit murder. -Richmond Times-Dispatch 
  4. Virginia Senate passes LGBT legislation– The Virginia Senate passed a number of LBGT rights bills, including a ban conversion therapy on children, a repeal the state’s effectively defunct same-sex marriage ban, and voting to implement several policies protecting transgender people’s rights. The bills largely passed along party lines, with a few Republicans crossing the aisle to support the measures. The bills will now head to the House, where they are expected to pass. -The Washington Post     
  5. Northam addresses Monday’s rally– Gov. Ralph Northam made his first appearance since Monday’s anti-gun safety rally, attending an announcement that a business, Traditional Medicinals, is investing nearly $30 million in a Franklin County. Northam said at the event that he is willing to work with Republicans, but his first priority will be keeping Virginians safe. “We can agree to disagree. That’s fine, but at the end of the day, we need to sit down and listen to each other and do what’s in the best interest of Virginia,” Northam said. -10 News