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

But First…

A lot is changing across the Commonwealth, but some things stay the same — Virginians like to drink. For the 21st consecutive year, Virginia ABC stores set a record in revenue. For fiscal year 2019, sales exceeded $1 billion for the first time ever. Read the story and find out what booze Virginians prefer most in The Dogwood.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. SOL scores spur concerns over achievement gap – Virginia standardized test scores were released yesterday, and education officials were disappointed with the results. Seventy-eight percent of students passed the state reading exam — about the same as last year — but a closer look at the numbers reveals significant achievement gaps between students of color and their white peers – The Washington Post.
  2. Visualization: GOP General Assembly candidates are richer than Democrats – To qualify for the ballot, Virginia state legislature candidates must file conflict-of-interest disclosures that list details of their personal finances. In an analysis of these forms, the Virginia Public Access Project found that by five measures of wealth, such as property ownership, non-incumbent Republican candidates are wealthier than Democratic hopefuls. – VPAP
  3. I-81 improvements not happening soon– Delegates Ronnie Campbell (R-Rockbridge) and Tony Wilt (R-Rockingham) said at a business summit that improvements to Virginia’s congested interstate-81 won’t be coming anytime soon. “It’s a problem we have all heard about year after year, and I’m not sure why it continues to get progressively worse,” Wilt said. – The News Virginian
  4. Feral hogs meme breaks the internet, but wild swine are no joke — Days following two deadly shootings that reignited the national discussion about gun violence, a horde of feral hogs briefly ran away with it via a viral tweet. This is how it started, and this is how it devolved. But this goes beyond memes: According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, feral swine spread disease and are a “four-legged ecological disaster” in the Commonwealth. – The Virginia Mercury
  5. ICYMI – If your license was suspended in Virginia, here’s how to get it back  – Civil rights advocates are concerned that a lack of public awareness over who is eligible to get the driver’s license reinstated and who gets automatically enrolled is causing fewer people than expected to take advantage of the opportunity. The non-profit Drive to Work has a simple message for the public: Don’t assume your license was automatically restored. Read the story on how to get it back. – The Dogwood

From the Gram