Virginia Wildfires: Governor declares state of emergency amid two wildfires


Important Takeaways:

  • State of Emergency declared in Virginia amid wildfires: ‘Additional resources are required to contain these fires’
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently declared a state of emergency as two wildfires broke containment lines earlier in November amid dry conditions and high winds, the Guardian reported, and the fires have continued spreading, with a Newsweek report covering recent updates with a map.
  • As firefighters responded to the original Quaker Run fire in Madison County and the Tuggles Gap fire in Patrick County, “officials said additional resources [were] required to contain these fires and respond to additional fires,” per a press release. Youngkin’s declaration of a state of emergency allows the mobilization of additional resources, staff, and equipment.
  • “This executive order will ensure that the Commonwealth has additional resources and is using every tool at its disposal to keep Virginians safe,” Youngkin said in a press release. “Thank you to our first responders who are doing everything they can to help contain these wildfires in the Commonwealth during this year’s fall fire season.”

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Series of small quakes shake Virginia

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Virginia Quakes May be ‘Foreshock’ for Something Bigger
  • A series of six small earthquakes in Virginia since mid-June has left scientists concerned a larger event may be inbound, with Virginia Tech geophysics professor Martin Chapman warning: “When you see a series of these things in a smaller area, you have to take into account the fact that they may be foreshocks of a bigger earthquake.”
  • The “burst of activity”, as Chapman put it, is unusual in the Old Dominion, with Virginians typically feeling only two or three earthquakes per year.
  • “We [need to] take a close look at it and… monitor our instruments a little bit closer to make sure that we’re not missing any more little earthquakes, because if you see a continuous sequence that’s something that you have to pay attention to,” the professor explained.
  • Virginia suffered its most powerful earthquake since the 19th century in 2011. The 5.8 magnitude quake inflicted up to $300 million in cost on the state and nearby Washington D.C., with homes and schools demolished, a nuclear power plant forced to shut down, and the Washington Monument and National Cathedral suffering serious structural damage.
  • The 2011 quake was not predictable, however, with no “foreshocks” observed before it hit.

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Abortion bans in surrounding states makes Virginia uncomfortable

Leviticus 24:17 “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.

Important Takeaways:

  • Glenn Youngkin said he supports a 15-week ban, something he feels could satisfy both sides.
  • Virginia is about to become one of the last states in the South with broad access to abortion after North Carolina and South Carolina took historic action to restrict the procedure.
  • “I would say Virginia’s abortion laws are kind of more akin to China and North Korea than our neighboring states now,” Todd Gathje of The Family Foundation said.
  • Gathje also worries that Virginia may become an abortion destination for the abortion industry.

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Abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy will be banned in North Carolina beginning July 1

Leviticus 24:17 “Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death.

Important Takeaways:

  • Most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy will be banned in North Carolina beginning July 1 after the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature successfully overrode the Democratic governor’s veto late Tuesday.
  • Abortion is banned or severely restricted in much of the South, including bans throughout pregnancy in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. In Georgia, it’s allowed only in the first six weeks.
  • Stricter bans across the South would heighten Virginia’s role as an access point and create a “ripple effect” as people travel from out of state to seek care
  • Virginia currently allows abortions in the first and second trimesters. An abortion is allowed in the third trimester only if three doctors certify the mother’s mental or physical health is at serious risk.

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Cold blooded: Virginia’s modern day Bonnie and Clyde get 63yrs, 70yrs for slew of charges

Mark 13:12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Important Takeaways:

  • Virginia ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ plead guilty to attempted murder of her ex after she sent him happy birthday texts
  • “These two thought they were the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, but now they’ll have to face the serious consequences people face when they commit violent crimes in Louisa County,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alex Goodman said in a statement.
  • Just hours before Ohse and Poindexter arrived at the home to kill the ex-boyfriend, investigators said Ohse had sent him text messages wishing him a happy birthday.
  • Ohse pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including attempted second-degree murder, malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, attempted armed burglary, and eluding law enforcement.
  • Poindexter already pleaded guilty to many of the same charges in addition to possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
  • Ohse faces up to 63 years in prison while Poindexter could face up to 70 years.

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Gov. Youngkin declares State of Emergency after Virginia flooding

Revelation 16:9 “They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Authorities Report No Deaths in Southwest Virginia Flooding, Clean Up Expected to Take Months
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued a State of Emergency declaration for impacted areas. Residents said their neighborhoods look like a war zone.
  • “Well, it’s just mudslides. Trees in the road. Water in the road. Houses on the road. It’s just a mess,” said Archie White, a flood victim.
  • Flash floods were seen gushing through city streets. Buildings were washed from their foundations and roads were left impassable. In total, more than 100 homes were damaged. The clean-up is expected to take months as crews are still surveying the damage.

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Pro-Life Center in Lynchburg, VA targeted with vandalism

Luke 21:10-11 “Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 Great earthquakes will occur in various places, and there will be famines and pestilence. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Vandals target Virginia pro-life center with menacing graffiti: ‘You ain’t safe’
  • Vandals targeted a pro-life center in Lynchburg, Virginia, with threatening graffiti and broken windows following the U.S. Supreme Court voting to overturn Roe. V. Wade on Friday.
  • “If abortion ain’t safe, you ain’t safe,” red graffiti states on an entrance area of the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center, photos posted by local police show.
  • Lynchburg Police responded to the pregnancy center at about 10:40 a.m. on Saturday. Officers found “that the building had been spray painted with graffiti, and multiple windows had been broken out. Security camera footage shows four masked individuals committing the acts.”

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Fentanyl the leading cause of overdose deaths. Making up 64%

2 Thessalonians 2:11 “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false”

Important Takeaways:

  • Drug overdose deaths up again in Virginia in 2021, fentanyl the leading cause
  • Virginia saw an overall 15% increase in drug overdose deaths from 2020 to 2021
  • The fourth-quarter report shows 2,656 total overdose deaths in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020. Synthetic fentanyl was reported as contributing to the most deaths, with 2,033 deaths recorded. Cocaine proved the second most common contributor to drug overdoses in Virginia in 2021, with 801 deaths reported versus the 650 reported in 2020.
  • The CDC reported a 28.5% increase in overall drug overdoses from 2020 to 2021. Opioid overdoses also saw a nearly 26% increase from 2020 to 2021 nationally, with 75,673 total opioid overdose deaths reported in 2021, according to the CDC.
  • “Fentanyl and fentanyl related substances are fueling the overdose epidemic, killing 64,178 Americans between May 2020 and April 2021 and making up 64% of total U.S. overdose deaths,” the letter said.
  • Approximately 10,586 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the southern border in 2021, with US Customs and Border Patrol reporting a “substantial increase” in fentanyl seizures as of January.

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Thousands without power

Power lines are seen near the Trypillian thermal power plant in Kiev region, Ukraine November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Luke 21:25,26 “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Winter storm: Tens of thousands of Virginia residents without power as more snow looms
  • According to Dominion Energy, the largest electric utility company in the state, around 80,000 residents across the state still didn’t have power
  • The National Weather Service is projecting even more snow in many of the already hard-hit areas.
  • “In some localities, the damage is so severe that some areas are not even accessible by foot, in those cases we are using drones to assess”

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Culture war on education rages in Virginia governor’s race

By James Oliphant, Gabriella Borter and Joseph Ax

McLEAN, Virginia (Reuters) -Suparna Dutta, an Indian immigrant, is incensed that new admissions standards aimed at boosting Black and Latino enrollment at her son’s Alexandria, Virginia high school have resulted in fewer Asian Americans being admitted.

Across town, Marie Murphy, a white mother of an 8th grader, is alarmed by anti-racism discussions at her son’s school, which she believes force white children to feel bad about their race.

In the upcoming election for Virginia governor in November, both women say they will vote for Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, betting he will fight what they claim is a dangerous leftward drift in the state’s public education system. Classroom instruction about race has emerged as a flashpoint in the contest – and a potential harbinger of what’s in store for 2022 nationwide elections to decide control of Congress.

“I don’t want my child to be taught that race is an issue,” Murphy said.

Women are central to the Republican Party’s national strategy to win in the suburbs, where it has lost considerable ground to Democrats in recent years. Gearing up for 2022, Republicans have been test-driving a variety of messages. Pro-gun, anti-abortion, anti-transgender planks aren’t big draws for suburban voters. Neither is Republican criticism of COVID-19 restrictions and vaccines.

But public schools are a huge deal for suburban parents, many of whom moved to quality school districts to give their kids a leg up. Hoping to persuade these voters, Republicans across the country have mounted a campaign against so-called critical race theory or CRT, an academic construct that emerged in the 1970s to examine how U.S. law and institutions have perpetuated racial inequality.

Some Republican politicians and conservative groups have seized on the term to attack all manner of speech and academic policy related to race, denouncing concepts such as “social justice” and “white privilege” as a Democratic-led effort to indoctrinate children into turning against their country. One Alabama lawmaker claimed falsely that CRT called for white men to be sent to re-education camps.

In recent months, states such as Oklahoma and Texas have passed laws to restrict what can be taught in public schools about America’s troubled legacy of race relations.

School districts in Virginia and elsewhere insist they are not teaching CRT. They say critics are misconstruing their efforts to teach America’s history of slavery and civil rights, celebrate diversity, train teachers and promote better outcomes for students of color. Still, angry parents have packed school board meetings here and nationwide to demand that CRT be scrubbed from the curriculum.

For now, it remains unclear whether Republicans’ strategy will succeed in clawing back suburban and independent voters or will simply appeal to the party’s conservative base.

But in Virginia, Youngkin is betting the controversy will propel his candidacy. The former private equity executive recently announced his education plan in suburban Loudoun County, whose school system has been roiled by some of the country’s most virulent anti-CRT protests. He has pledged to replace the state Board of Education and has accused Democrats of lowering the state’s academic standards.

“We have to press forward with having a curriculum that teaches our children how to think, not what to think. We will not allow critical race theory in our schools,” Youngkin said at a campaign event for women supporters last week in McLean, a wealthy Virginia suburb. Attendees erupted in applause.

Once a reliably Republican state, Virginia has slid firmly into the Democratic column, led by suburban voters. Democrat Joe Biden thumped incumbent Republican Donald Trump here by a 10-point margin in November.

Virginia’s gubernatorial race, coming a year after the presidential election, historically has served as a barometer of the public’s mood. It also provides a preview of arguments Democrats and Republicans are likely to make in next year’s midterm elections.

With the U.S. economy recovering, Republican candidates may resort to fighting a culture war, said Bob Holsworth, a longtime Virginia political analyst. He said education issues could resonate with suburban and Asian voters who left the party under Trump over his flame-throwing style of politics.

“If the Democrats have an Achilles’ heel, it might be that,” Holsworth said.

Youngkin’s Democratic opponent, former governor Terry McAuliffe, said Youngkin is emulating Trump with a campaign aimed at spreading disinformation and stoking grievance.

“What he’s doing is dividing us,” McAuliffe told Reuters.

McAuliffe has released an education plan that includes raising teacher pay and eliminating racial disparities in achievement, among other things.

Youngkin’s spokesperson, Macauley Porter, said McAuliffe “mocks parents’ concerns instead of offering them solutions.”

McAuliffe, who held the office from 2014 to 2018 and is running for a second term, is favored by analysts to win the election. But a poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group this month gave him just a 2-point lead, suggesting a close race.

Underscoring the importance of the race to Democrats, Biden is scheduled to campaign with McAuliffe on Friday – more than three months before Election Day.


Last week, some of the women who attended Youngkin’s campaign event in McLean singled out education as their most important issue.

Claudia Stine, an immigrant from El Salvador whose children attended local public schools in Fairfax County, said CRT is “dehumanizing” because she says it “defines people by their skin color and teaches kids to resent and disrespect each other for it.”

While school systems across Virginia have denied criticisms that they teach CRT, state leaders have pushed to promote racial equity in public education. In February, the Democratic-led general assembly passed a law requiring “cultural competency” to be part of teacher evaluations.

Some parents approve. Theresa Kennedy, a mother of two sons in Richmond who works in finance and supports McAuliffe, believes schools should teach more about systemic racism in America.

“It’s hard to see your kids wrestle with stuff, but that’s also how they become full adults,” Kennedy said.

The issue has spilled out of the governor’s race to other contests as part of what Republican officials say is their overall strategy for the congressional midterms.

“House Democrats who embrace Critical Race Theory are doing so at their own peril and will have to answer for it in 2022,” said Samantha Bullock, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the arm of the party that oversees U.S. House of Representatives races. Last week, Republican Taylor Keeney jumped into the race against Democratic U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger, who represents a Virginia district outside of Richmond, considered to be a major battleground in next year’s elections.

One of Keeney’s battle cries: Schools should be “for education, not indoctrination.”


Some are dubious the CRT flap will help Republicans conquer the suburbs because the controversy so far has resonated mostly with the party’s most fervent supporters. Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican strategist in Virginia, predicts its biggest achievement may be to fire up the base in a typically low-turnout, off-year election.

But for Virginians like Dutta, race in the classroom is the single issue now guiding their votes.

Dutta said she built a career in technology after arriving in the United States in 1993 to attend college with just a few hundred dollars in her pocket, and has largely avoided politics. That changed after her son’s top-ranked school, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, last year eliminated standardized admission tests and adopted a “holistic review” process that considers socioeconomic factors as well as grade point average.

The incoming class, announced in May, saw the proportion of Asian-American students drop to 54% from 73% with corresponding increases in the numbers of Black, Hispanic and white students.

Dutta argues the changes have lowered academic standards and amount to targeted discrimination against Asians. The Fairfax County school system refutes that, saying admission remains race-blind and that there has been no impact on the school’s academic standing.

Dutta now chairs an education support group for Youngkin, tasked with seeking out like-minded parents. “Asians typically vote for Democrats, but it won’t be that way this year,” she said.

Fairfax County alone is home to more than 200,000 Asian Americans, the most of any county in Virginia. Asian Americans make up around 8% of the electorate statewide.

Nationwide, Asian-American and Pacific Islander voters supported Biden over Trump by at least a 2-to-1 margin, pre-election surveys and exit polls showed.

Christine Chen, executive director of the nonprofit Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, said studies by her organization have shown that a majority of Asian Americans support affirmative-action policies to help disadvantaged minorities.

And after a wave of anti-Asian violence over the past year, Chen said they also likely recognize the value of incorporating diverse viewpoints into education, including the Asian-American experience — exactly the type of efforts that some Republicans have decried as CRT.

(Reporting by James Oliphant in Arlington, Virginia; Gabriella Borter in McLean, Virginia; and Joseph Ax in Princeton, New Jersey. Editing by Soyoung Kim, Colleen Jenkins and Marla Dickerson)