Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up. And if you’re a fan, there’s more where that came from. Like a lot more. But not TOO much more.
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5 Things you need to know today…
- Virginia Beach victim considered taking gun to work because of concerns about shooter – In a startling revelation, a family attorney for Kate Nixon revealed that his client had considered taking a gun to work on May 31, the day she and 11 others were killed by DeWayne Craddock. Nixon was reportedly concerned about Craddock and another co-worker and spoke to her husband the night before the shooting about whether she should keep her pistol in her handbag. Nixon ultimately opted against it because of city policy barring employees from bringing weapons to work. In the aftermath of Nixon’s death, her family is demanding answers from the city, asking officials to release all records related to the gunman and to launch an external investigation.
- Ken Cuccinelli begins as acting director of America’s legal immigration system – Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is officially the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Trump administration announced on Monday. Cuccinelli, a controversial figure who once compared immigration policy to rat extermination, can avoid a Senate confirmation hearing due to his status as the “acting” director.
- Amazon donates $3 million to affordable housing foundation in Arlington – Amazon will donate $3 million to the Arlington Community Foundation to support affordable housing and fight homelessness, the retail giant announced Tuesday. The donation comes as housing prices are surging in Arlington and advocates and lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va), have called on Amazon to do more to help solve the affordable housing issue. While the $3 million donation will help, it’s still only a drop in the bucket for an area that needs tens of thousands of affordable housing units, according to local governments and housing analysts.
- Democrats call on court to overturn permit that could harm Union Hill community -Twenty-eight Democrats in Virginia’s General Assembly are asking a federal court to overturn a permit granted by the State Air Pollution Control Board for a compressor station that is critical to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. As the Virginia Mercury reports, these lawmakers worry that the compressor station would irreparably harm Union Hill, a historic freedman’s community in Buckingham County.
- Construction underway on I-95 in Northern Virginia – Construction began last week on a 10-mile stretch of I-95 in Northern Virginia, where toll-operating company Transurban is extending the reversible 95 Express Lanes from Route 610 to Route 17 near Fredericksburg. The $565 million project is part of the state’s goal to create a network of more than 90 miles of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in NoVa by 2022. Construction is expected to take three years, but officials say the Fredericksburg extension will increase lane capacity by 66% in the peak direction when the lanes open in late 2022.