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…

In commemoration of Back to School Week, The Dogwood is focusing on education over the next few days. To kick things off, we wrote about a program at George Mason University that helps first generation students transition to college.

5 Things you need to know today

  1. Couple announces $400,000 donation to Powhatan County Public Schools Karla Curtis visited all five of Powhatan’s public schools on Monday to share with educators that she and her husband, Bob Curtis, founder and co-CEO of PIEtech, are making a $400,000 donation to the school district. The couple is launching the Curtis Donor Advised Fund, which will include three individual funds specifically designed to help Powhatan’s students, programs and teachers. This year, the fund will donate $1,000 to every PCPS teacher and school counselor to support their classrooms and students as they see fit. –  The Richmond Times-Dispatch

  2. Southwest Virginia adopts new data software to fight opioid epidemic Governor Northam announced Monday that the Roanoke region would begin using data analytics software to combat the opioid epidemic. The software will take information from various local agencies and combine them into a single database designed to offer new insight on how best to fight the opioid crisis. Roanoke will be the second region in Virginia to use the software after the Shenandoah Valley region launched a pilot version in late 2018. – The Roanoke Times

  3. Virginia first ladies push Virginia legislators to ratify the ERA — Virginia’s first lady Pam Northam and former first lady Anne Holton spoke on the Capitol steps Monday, encouraging state legislators to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. If passed, Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify the amendment— a pivotal hurdle to codifying the amendment into federal law. The ERA guarantees equal legal rights to all Americans, regardless of gender, and could be used as a basis for stronger anti-discrimination laws at both the federal and state level. – The Richmond Times-Dispatch

  4. Outdoor workers at high risk due to increasing temperatures caused by climate change —  As summer temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, outdoor workers are becoming more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. While people working in other sectors can usually minimize their time outside during heat waves, people working outside, often migrants and day-laborers, have no such option. “Those groups often bear the brunt of heat illness during extreme heat events,” said Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, a pediatrician and founder of Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action. – The Virginia Mercury

  5. The Virginia Department of Health confirms three cases of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes — The Virginia Department of Health announced Monday that there have been three confirmed cases of severe lung illnesses tied to the use of e-cigarettes, also known as vaping. Although e-cigarettes are pitched as a less dangerous alternative to cigarettes, experts warn that using them still carries significant health risks. The patients experienced the gradual onset of cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. The VDH has since launched an investigation “to understand the demographic, clinical and laboratory features of the cases.” – The Danville Register & Bee

From the Gram