Dogwood Daily: Sniper drops Supreme Court case against Virginia

By Matt Blair

February 25, 2020

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…

Poor guys! Four bald eagles are currently recovering from lead poisoning in Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce, Virginia. The center encourages hunters to stop using lead ammunition when hunting, as that’s what causes most of the poisonings.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Sniper drops Supreme Court case against Virginia— Lee Boyd Malvo agreed to drop his request for resentencing, which is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, after Gov. Ralph Northam signed a law that allows for the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders serving sentences of 20 years to life. Malvo received four life sentences without parole for his part in the 2002 sniper shootings that he committed at age 17 with John Allen Mohammed. The bill would not affect the six life sentences Malvo received in Maryland. -The Washington Post 
  2. Bills fighting child trafficking pass General Assembly— The General Assembly passed legislation to help social workers fight the human trafficking of minors. The bill grants social workers the authority to interview potential victims without the consent or presence of a parent or legal guardian and were recommended by the Virginia State Crime Commission. Virginia is particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, due to its international airports and location along major highways. -NBC Washington 
  3. Hemp it on up, Virginia!— If you’re in the mood to smoke hemp, you’re in luck. The General Assembly passed legislation that would make it legal for Virginians over the age of 21 to smoke industrial hemp. Del. Danny Marshall (R-Danville) said he wanted to clear up confusion as farmers in his district have started growing the crop, but reportedly told his colleagues he had “no idea…why anyone would want to buy hemp product intended for smoking.” -The Virginia Mercury
  4. Declining reading scores— A literacy summit in Charlottesville yesterday focused on Virginia’s declining reading scores. Nearly 80% of students passed the literacy assessment last year, but passing rates have declined one percentage point every year over the past five years. Superintendent of Public Instruction said the state needs to address the issue now so the trend doesn’t continue. The summit featured speakers, panels, and breakout sessions on best practices on how to beat teach children to read. -The Daily Progress
  5. GMU names new president— Dr. Gregory Washington has been selected as the new president of George Mason University. Washington is currently the dean of the University of California, Irvine’s Henry Samueli School if Engineering, where he has helped launch new graduate and undergraduate programs. George Mason’s board said Washington stood out in a competitive field with his vision for the school’s future. Washington is set to start July 1. -Virginia Business
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