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 …

Try a spooky spirit, if you dare. The Virginia ABC has some special offers for customers looking to celebrate Halloween this year including a 20% coupon for online orders and a new Bourbon from the creators of the “The Walking Dead.”

Five things you need to know today …

  1. Richmond’s graduation rate drops again: The capital of Virginia’s already state-low high school graduation rate has dipped again, according to new data from the Virginia Department of Education. Just 7 in 10 Richmond seniors finished high school on time last year, down from 3 in 4 the year prior. The data also shows 24% of students who would have graduated dropped out. -Washington Post

  2. Maple syrup, one of Virginia’s best-kept secrets, threatened by climate change: The sound of spring peeper frogs once signaled the end of maple sugar season. But lately the frogs have stopped peeping, and the trees have stopped sapping, according to two maple syrup farmers in Highland County, whose observations have been corroborated by a recent report from researchers at Harvard, Dartmouth and the University of Virginia. “Climate change will have profound effects on syrup yield across most of [the] sugar maple’s range,” the authors concluded, while also spurring “drastic shifts in the timing of the tapping season” and “declines in syrup yield and higher frequencies of poor syrup production years across most of the U.S. range.” -Virginia Mercury

  3. 24 counties under burn bans as Virginia prepares for potentially severe wildfire season: As each day in Virginia passes without a widespread, significant rain, the risk of wildfires increases. “This is one of the driest falls we’ve seen in Virginia during the past 20 years,” said State Forester Rob Farrell. “The potential for an increased number of fires and more complex fires is significant.” Twenty-four counties across the state, including most counties in southwestern Virginia, are already under a burn ban. With the short-term forecast indicating a continuation of the dry spell, more counties are likely to be added. -WSET

  4. Charlottesville appeals to Supreme Court in Confederate monuments fight: The city of Charlottesville will appeal its defeat in a lawsuit challenging the city council’s decision to remove two downtown Confederate monuments. It will be the first time a Virginia city has petitioned the Supreme Court in defense of its action to remove a Confederate symbol. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

  5. Zombie deer disease spreads to Virginia: Zombie deer are real, and the CDC says they’ve been reported in Culpeper, Frederick, and Shenandoah counties. Zombie deer refers to animals that have contracted chronic wasting disease, a highly contagious and terminal disorder that causes symptoms such as lack of fear of humans, lethargy, and emaciation. It can destroy deer and elk populations and may pose a health risk to humans. -WDBJ7

A chart before you go …