Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 27

By Megan Schiffres

April 27, 2021

Democratic leadership endorses Hala Ayala for Lt. Governor, and Northam creates a LGBTQ+ advisory board.

Daily Number

1607 – We mentioned this as a bit of a tease yesterday. April 26, 1607 was when three ships of English settlers landed in Virginia. This was a business trip. The Virginia Company of London had sent them to search for gold. Instead, they founded the settlement of Jamestown.

258– Flash forward 258 years from 1607 and you get our second daily number today. On April 26, 1865, soldiers shot and killed John Wilkes Booth. That was 12 days after he had assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Park Officials Call Off The Search For Ty Sauer

Some sad news today, as Shenandoah National Park officials called off the search for Ty Sauer. Park officials said in a statement Monday that a body matching Sauer’s description was found by searchers at 2:55 p.m. The body was two miles from where Sauer was last seen on April 22.

It’s still unclear what exactly happened. The medical examiner in nearby Manassas received the body Monday afternoon and will determine cause of death. Park officials also thanked the more than 20 groups that joined in the search over the last few days. That includes the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Blue Ridge Mountain Rescue Group, Trot Search & Rescue, Old Rag Mountain Stewards and several others.

As of Monday night, all areas that had been closed off in Shenandoah have since reopened.

Democratic Leadership Endorses Hala Ayala for Lt. Governor

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam endorsed Hala Ayala for the position of Lieutenant Governor on Monday.

Hala Ayala is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. She currently represents the 51st District.

“During my time as Governor, we have made extraordinary progress in our Commonwealth, from expanding Medicaid for 500,000 Virginians to passing critical criminal justice reforms,” said Governor Northam in a statement. “We need to continue building on that progress, and that’s why I am so excited to endorse Delegate Hala Ayala for lieutenant governor. Her leadership in the House Democratic majority has been central to these and so many other historic pieces of legislation that are improving the lives of Virginia families. I’ve seen firsthand her indispensable ability to bring people together to make progress, and I know Hala will continue the good work we’ve accomplished to move Virginia forward.

At the same time, Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn also gave her an endorsement. House Majority Leader Charniele Herring also endorsed Ayala Monday.

“During her time in the House, Delegate Ayala has been a tireless advocate for Virginians of every background, and as a member of our Democratic Majority she helped lead the fight to enact long overdue criminal justice reforms, raise the minimum wage, and legalize marijuana,” said Speaker Filler-Corn. “Her leadership on these issues and commitment to serving every single member of our Commonwealth is why I am endorsing her campaign for Lt. Governor.”

Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board Created

Northam also created a new official LGBTQ+ Advisory Board to the governor on Monday.

According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the board will advise the governor regarding the development of economic, professional, cultural, educational, and governmental links between the Commonwealth and the LGBTQ+ community.

The board will have 26 members including 21 non-legislative citizen members and 5 administrative appointments. At least 15 of the citizen members must identify as LGBTQ+. But, the governor himself will appoint each member of the board himself. Representing the administration on the board will be the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Also, the Secretaries of Commerce and Trade, Education, Health and Human Resources, and Public Safety and Homeland Security will also serve on the board.

To apply to serve on the board, click the link here.

Virginia Woman Fired After Racist Remarks Go Viral

A Virginia woman who was caught in a viral video making racist remarks to her Black neighbor has been fired. That’s according to reporting by The Progress-Index.

In the video, the white employee tells the Black resident she is “not the right color.”

The Chesterfield Food Bank (CFB) fired her from her position there.

“In response to this situation, we have terminated this employee,” said CFB CEO Kim Hill. “We remain committed to creating and providing a positive, uplifting, and encouraging environment for our staff, volunteers, and clients.”

Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For April 27
A screenshot of the interaction between the employee and her neighbor posted by her cousin on Facebook

Virginia Trooper Fired For Assaulting Black Man During Traffic Stop

A Virginia State Police trooper who was caught in a viral video assaulting a Black person in 2019 has been fired. That’s according to reporting by The Washington Post.

In the video, Virginia State Trooper Charles Hewitt violently arrests a Black man, Derrick Thompson, during a traffic stop. The troopers mocks Thompson in the video. He says “you are going to get your a– whooped” before assaulting him.

According to the Post, Joshua Erlich, Thompson’s attorney, said the federal lawsuit claiming Thompson had been assaulted and had his constitutional rights violated by the trooper was settled this month for $20,000. But, it included no admission of wrongdoing by the state.

“Mr. Thompson filed this case because Trooper Hewitt’s behavior was unconscionable, and Mr. Thompson is happy with the outcome,” Erlich told The Post. “He thought he deserved, and received, monetary compensation. And although the VSP did not admit to any wrongdoing, Mr. Thompson is heartened Trooper Hewitt is no longer on the street and thinks Virginia is safer for it.”

Monday’s Trivia Answer: A Fluffle

Like the video where I learned this fun fact about bunnies said, if this doesn’t bring joy to your heart nothing will. A group of bunnies as a fluffle!

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