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. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here.
5 things you need to know today
- Arlington County removes Jefferson Davis Highway signs– Arlington County work crews began removing the signs reading “Jefferson Davis Highway” on Thursday morning with plans to continue through the upcoming weeks. Officials recently voted to rename the road to “Richmond Highway,” as various groups have increased pressure across the country to remove monuments to Confederate leaders. The highway was first named for Davis, the president of the Confederacy, in 1922, in a time that saw many new Confederate monuments erected. Many historians now see these monuments’ construction as an intentional effort by white supremacists to intimidate the early civil rights movement. -WAMU 88.5
- The Virginia Board of Health considers new rules that would expand abortion access— The Virginia Board of Health is reviewing the rules surrounding specific types of abortion. The move would distinguish between surgical and medication-only abortions, in effect exempting medication-only providers from some of the state’s stricter laws. Pro-choice advocates have expressed hope that, if adopted, the new regulations would provide increased access to medication-only abortions, particularly in rural parts of the state. The board has decided to hold off on a final decision until December, in order to consider public comments and wait for a forthcoming federal ruling affecting the state’s abortion regulations. -Virginia Mercury
- Hurricane Dorian poses environmental threat— Hurricane Dorian, and other storms like it, don’t just pose an immediate threat to human life, they also carry significant environmental risks as well. The flooding that often accompanies hurricanes can lead to erosion, and can potentially come into contact with pollutants like industrial chemicals, coal ash, and agricultural waste. Flooding from previous storms sent toxic waste into North Carolina’s waterways and has led to chemical spills. There are almost 1,100 industrial facilities using state or federally regulated chemicals exposed to flooding risk in the James River watershed alone. -Virginia Mercury
- Rashid and Stuart share debate stage– Democratic candidate Qasim Rashid and incumbent Republican State Sen. Richard Stuart debated Thursday night University of Mary Washington’s Stafford County. The two men faced off on a variety of issues, including road congestion, student loan forgiveness, and gun control. Rashid called for “comprehensive gun reform” while Stuart championed a proposed bill that would set up a hotline for people to contact investigators with psychological backgrounds who, in turn, could then reach out to individuals potentially at risk of committing a crime. Stuart has served in the state senate since 2007, and this is the first time he has faced a Democratic challenger. -The Free Lance-Star
- Richmond program to prevent eviction coming— This Monday Richmond’s city council is expected to approve legislation to set-up a program that aims to help people avoid eviction. The grant from the city would let Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a housing advocacy group, pay a portion of overdue rent for qualifying families and help them establish a payment plan going forward. — Richmond Free Press
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