Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 16

By Megan Schiffres
April 16, 2021

Warner and Kaine introduce a plan to reduce gun violence, Virginia Beach police arrest another suspect in March 26 shooting and we consider what was the first drink besides water.

Daily Number

6 – Yesterday was the anniversary of an extreme weather incident in Virginia. Six is the number of tornadoes that ripped through Southwest Virginia. The strongest was an EF-3 twister that traveled nearly 26 miles from Timberlake to Elon, causing millions of dollars in damage and resulting in a dozen injuries, according to reporting by WSLS.

East Rockingham Deals With Gun Issue

East Rockingham High’s principal sent an email to parents on Thursday. Principal Eric Baylor said he wanted to set their minds at ease, in case students had posted on social media or sent out any messages. Also, if they lived or worked nearby, parents may have noticed multiple law enforcement officers heading towards the school.

Baylor told the parents that everything was ok. According to the email, officers headed to the school after administrators learned that a student brought an “Airsoft BB gun” to class. Administrators learned about the gun around 8:40 a.m., Baylor told the parents. To err on the side of caution, the staff and school resource officer escorted the student to Baylor’s office to talk about the incident.

And that was about the end of it. The student admitted that he brought the gun and turned it over, Baylor told parents. He didn’t say why the student brought the gun, only that no one’s life was in danger.

Warner and Kaine Introduce The Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act of 2021

And that ties in with our second piece of news today. On Thursday, Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine reintroduced the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act. This legislation would federally enact a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia last year. 

According to a press release from Warner and Kaine, these measures include universal background checks, a limit on purchases of handguns to one per month, and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms. The legislation would also hold individuals liable for leaving a loaded, unsecured gun in the presence of a minor. And, it closes the “boyfriend loophole” that allows abusive non-spousal partners to possess firearms. Plus, it would prohibit people convicted of dating violence or stalking from possessing guns. Lastly, the legislation establishes federal extreme risk protection orders which would temporarily remove firearms from people who pose a high risk of hurting themselves or others.

“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” Warner and Kaine said in the press release. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”

You can read the text of the bill here.

Chase Tells Supporters Not to Trust May 8 Results

In December, State Senator Amanda Chase agreed to take part in the Virginia Republican Party’s convention, rather than run for governor as an independent. Since then, however, she hasn’t exactly gotten along with party officials.

That didn’t change this week, as she sent out an email to her supporters, accusing the state Republican Party of providing fake news.

“Do not trust the party to deliver accurate results,” she wrote. “Who should you go to for the proper results? Me and my campaign.”

Chase writes in the email that she and her campaign will be monitoring the voting and data on May 8. If the official results are accurate, they’ll tell voters. However, if not, then it could be back to court.

“If they are not [accurate], I will be prepared to sue in court to force a public count,” Chase wrote.

She also wrote that if Pete Snyder, one of her competitors for the GOP nomination, wins, then people can be sure it’s fake.

Republicans aren’t using a primary to choose their statewide candidates. Instead, they’re going with an unassembled convention. In a regular convention, delegates gather in one location. In an unassembled version, regional polling places are set up across the state. However, just like in the regular version, only certified delegates can vote. These delegates are selected by each local party and then have to pay convention dues, typically $35, in order to vote. 

It’s a crowded field this year. In addition to Chase, the Republican field includes former Virginia Speaker Kirk Cox, former Carlyle Group CEO Glenn Youngkin, former CEO for the Center for European Policy Analysis Peter Doran and current Disruptor Capital executive Pete Snyder. Former Deputy Assist. Secretary of Defense Sergio Del La Pena and former Roanoke City sheriff Octavia Johnson round out the group.

Unlike Democrats, Republicans also declined to hold any debates leading up to the May 8 vote.

Question of the Day: Who’re You Voting For?

Virginia Beach Police Arrest Man In Connection To March 26 Virginia Beach Shootings

Another person has been arrested in connection to the Oceanfront shooting incident that occurred in Virginia Beach on March 26. Ten people were injured during the shooting, which started as an argument between two groups.

RELATED: What Do We Know About The Virginia Beach Shootings?

The newest person charged in connection to the shooting is Raswell Jahkee Steverson, according to a statement by Virginia Beach Police. Law enforcement arrested Steverson, 22, on four counts including malicious wounding, reckless handling of a firearm, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and violent felon possession of a firearm.

Three other people have also been charged in connection to the shootings that night. According to another statement by the Virginia Beach Police Department, these individuals include 22 year old Ahmon Jahree Adams, 18 year old Nyquez Tyyon Baker, and 20 year old Devon Maurice Dorsey Jr.

On the same night and only blocks away, a Virginia Beach Police officer killed Donovan Lynch.

RELATED: Was Donovan Lynch Armed? Questions Remain in Virginia Beach Shooting

#ThisIsVirginia Series Continues For Dogwood

Thursday’s Trivia Answer: Beer

Yesterday we asked you what the world’s first drink besides water was. Well, if you guessed the answer, you just might be craftbeer-ier than other! That’s right – the answer is beer.

And for that, you can thank the ancient Egyptians. Classical Greek writers gave Egyptians the credit for creating beer by 6000 BC. The Egyptians called it Hqt or “heket” and it wasn’t exactly like the type we drink today.

Instead, it was thick, sweet and nutritious, something adults and kids alike drank during meals. The main ingredient was bread, made from a yeasty dough, possibly including malt.

Virginia Man Arrested for Knocking Police Unconscious During Capitol Riot

A Virginia man has been arrested and charged for their role in the US Capitol riot on January 6.

Video evidence show Paul Russell Johnson, of Lanexa, assaulting a US Capitol Police Officer.

According to a statement from the US Justice Department, they’re charging Johnson with inflicting bodily injury on certain officers. He’s also facing charges for obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. The FBI is also charging him with obstruction of justice and Congress, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and acts of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

According to the Justice Department, video evidence shows Johnson forcibly pushing and pulling on the metal barricades which caused an officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. 

The FBI’s Washington Field Office is investigating the case.

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