Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Thursday, Feb. 18

Ballot to vote by mail

By Brian Carlton

February 18, 2021

The storm settles in, debate dates get finalized and a political candidate calls for records to be released.

Daily Number

3 feet – The amount of snow that fell Jan. 28, 1772. It still stands as Virginia’s largest one-day snowfall. How do we know about it? George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both recorded it in their diaries.

Winter Storm Arrives in the Commonwealth

Most of us learned the storm was here Thursday morning by the sound of ice hitting the windows. It didn’t take long to make an impression. Conditions started deteriorating around 5 a.m., as ice started forming over the snow that fell earlier.

The Virginia State Police and National Weather Service both ask residents to stay home today if possible. Even if it doesn’t look like much fell outside your house, they’re asking that you just be cautious. While interstate highways and major roads were treated Wednesday, the side roads can still cause problems.

Dominion and Appalachian Power both issued statements, saying work crews are already on standby in case something happens. But what should you do if the power does go out? We provide some answers here.

Candidate Calls for Release of Tapes in Carter Case

Tom Barbour officially announced his candidacy for the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office Wednesday. During his speech, Barbour called on the city’s current CA to release the bodycam footage in the case of Orlando Carter. Carter, a young Black man, was shot three times in the back by Richmond police on New Years Eve.  Here’s our original coverage of the case.

“I will be issuing a statement in the coming days on this particular case and I expect that I will be calling on the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to release the body worn camera footage, to publish the report on its charging decisions regarding not just Mr. Carter, but the officers involved,” Barbour said. 

Barbour said he wants the tapes released because of the differences between statements by the Richmond police department and sworn testimony by their officers which Dogwood reported last week

Question of the Day: Can You Stay Home in a Storm?

Candidates in Governor’s Race Finalize Debate Schedule

Democrats competing for their party’s nomination in the governor’s race will take part in four debates. The Democratic Party of Virginia rolled out the list on Wednesday, highlighting the fact they will be held across the state.

The debates will be:

  • April 6, hosted by WTVR 
  • May 6, hosted by WCYB
  • May 20, hosted by WRC-TV
  • June 1, hosted by WVEC 

There are five candidates in the Democratic field. They include former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, current State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, current Del. Lee Carter and former governor Terry McAuliffe.

In case you’re wondering why there’s no mention of the Republican side’s debates, it’s because their state committee still hasn’t decided how they’ll choose a nominee or settled on a debate schedule. Republicans also have five candidates.

They are former Virginia Speaker Kirk Cox, current Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase,  former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin, former CEO for the Center for European Policy Analysis Peter Doran and current Disruptor Capital executive Pete Snyder. 

Important Dates

  • Feb. 22-High school football starts a six-game season under the new guidelines for spectators.
  • Feb. 24-Free, no appointment drive-thru COVID-19 testing event in Arlington County (from 2 to 6 p.m. at 601 S. Carlin Springs Road.)
  • March 8 – International Women’s Day
  • March 15– All schools in the Commonwealth have to submit a plan to return to in-person learning.
  • March 16 – Freedom of Information Day
  • March 23 – Special election for District 38 Virginia Senate. Democrat Laurie Buchwald will compete against Republican Travis Hackworth.

When The Pandemic Hit, The Sussex Health Dept. Left

A disturbing story today out of Sussex County. There’s never a good time for a county’s health department to close, but the worst is probably during a pandemic. However that’s what the Sussex County Health Department did. In March, the department closed their doors with no warning to local residents. 

Local officials didn’t get a warning either. Dogwood’s Arianna Coghill reports on the state’s explanation, what they’re offering instead and the response from Sussex County.

Fairfax Project Helps Virginia Candidates

If you’re not a fan of people knocking on your door during political campaigns, chances are you’ll like what Bryan Graham recently created.

Every year, political candidates go door to door. There, they collect signatures throughout the various neighborhoods in their district. The signees place their signatures on a petition. Once the candidate gets enough signatures, they qualify for the party primaries.

But with the pandemic, it’s a challenge to get signatures. Graham came up with a solution, as Dogwood’s Amie Knowles explains.

McAuliffe Pays a Visit to Alexandria Homeless Shelter

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Thursday, Feb. 18

The Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria played host to former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday. After touring the facility, he volunteered in the kitchen, serving food to local residents.

McAuliffe, who is running for another term, rolled out a plan last week to address Virginia’s housing problems. The plan would create measures to prevent evictions, expand Virginia’s Fair Housing Office, create a Governor’s Council to Reduce Evictions, increase the supply of Affordable Housing and invest in the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.

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