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Poison hemlock blooming in Virginia, what you need to know

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Poison hemlock blooming in Virginia, what you need to know


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – Virginia is seeing an increase in poison hemlock across the commonwealth.

The Blue Ridge Poison Center says while it can be deadly, there is nothing to worry about.

Poison hemlock can be confused with parsley or wild carrot.

Avery Michienzi, with the BRPC, says if you touch poison hemlock – all you need to do is wash your hands.

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If you accidentally consume it, call the poison center right away.

“We’ve only had two this year. Both we had this year were accidental. One was an accidental ingestion and one was just touching the plant and both people were fine and did not develop any symptoms. It’s really not a commonly seen issue,” said Michienzi.

Michienzi says if you are unsure of any plant near you, or growing in your yard, you can call BRPC at any time to identify it.

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Virginia

In Virginia GOP primary, Trump and McCarthy try to oust House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good

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In Virginia GOP primary, Trump and McCarthy try to oust House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good


Republican voters in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District are going to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to hand another term to House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good or replace him with Virginia state Sen. John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, in a race that has highlighted a divide within the Trump faction of the GOP.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election tracker, rates the race “Solid Republican,” so the winner of the Republican primary is almost certain to win the general election in Southside Virginia.

Good, running for his fifth term, lost the support of both Kevin McCarthy-aligned Republicans in the wake of his vote to oust McCarthy as speaker and former President Donald Trump, after he endorsed the former president’s primary opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Good later endorsed Trump after DeSantis dropped out, but not soon enough for Trump, who posted on Truth Social, “It was too late” — and then endorsed his primary challenger.

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“Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA,” Trump wrote, adding, “I just want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, and the person that can most help me do that is Navy Seal and highly respected State Legislator, John McGuire, a true American Hero.”

At a telerally for McGuire on Monday night, Trump said, “If he’s reelected, Bob Good will stab Virginia in the back, sort of like he did with me.”

McGuire has also been knocking Good in ads for his disloyalty to Trump. In a recent ad, McGuire is holding a rifle while a narrator says, “Trump doesn’t need another backstabber in Congress. He needs John McGuire — a straight shooter who always has his six.”

McGuire not only has the former president’s support but also has been endorsed by other Trump-aligned Republicans including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Freedom Caucus member Warren Davidson. Some of Good’s  GOP colleagues in Washington have come to the district to support McGuire, including Rep. Jen Kiggans of Virginia, who has even helped fundraise for Good’s challenger.

But Good still has a swath of endorsements from congressional Republicans like Reps. Matt Gaetz and Byron Donald of Florida and Virginia Rep. Ben Cline.

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Outside groups, including Club for Growth and the House Freedom Fund, also donated millions to promote Good’s reelection bid while others — some with ties to McCarthy — spent millions trying to oust him. McGuire also narrowly outraised Good, $1.2 million to $1.1 million, according to May federal election documents.

This will be McCarthy’s second attempt to unseat one of the lawmakers who voted to oust him. He did not succeed in dislodging Rep. Nancy Mace, who won her primary last week.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday.



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Virginia Senate returning to Richmond to discuss legislation on skill games, education for military dependents

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Virginia Senate returning to Richmond to discuss legislation on skill games, education for military dependents


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Virginia Senate is set to return to Richmond Tuesday to take up key issues, including skill games and the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP).

Last month, the budget passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Glenn Youngkin made VMSDEP, which waives college tuition for the kids and spouses of qualified disabled military veterans, harder for families to access.

After considerable backlash, Youngkin has called on the General Assembly to repeal the changes entirely. However, Democratic leadership has stopped short of calling for a full repeal. Instead, they favor exempting gold-star families and those wounded in combat from the changes.

“Like I said, I support the issue, I support our military families and our veterans as well, and we will make sure we solve this issue when we get back to Richmond tomorrow,” Sen. Aaron Rouse (D-Virginia Beach) told 8News.

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Also on the docket are bills to legalize skill games in Virginia. Earlier this year, Youngkin vetoed a bill to do just that, after it received bipartisan support in the General Assembly. A spokesperson from Youngkin’s office shared the following statement with 8News in regards to both issues:

Governor Youngkin has been clear that he will not consider any other legislation until the General Assembly has done the right thing for our military heroes, first responders and their families by fully repealing and reversing the VMSDEP waiver changes. The Governor made his position on skill games legislation clear in his amendments and has indicated a willingness to continue the discussion, but only after the VMSDEP issue has been resolved.



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A guide to the competitive races on the Virginia primary election ballot

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A guide to the competitive races on the Virginia primary election ballot


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After months of speculation, tens of millions of campaign dollars spent, and 45 days of early voting, Virginia’s 2024 primary elections will take place on Tuesday.

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All of Virginia’s contested House of Representatives seats—six Democratic and three Republican—and a Republican primary for the U.S. Senate—are up for election, but only a handful of primaries are competitive.

Early voting concluded on Saturday, and 110,044 Democratic voters and 72,857 Republican voters across the commonwealth cast their ballots ahead of June 18, according to Virginia Public Access Project data.

U.S. Senate Republican primary

Five Republican candidates are on the June ballot, seeking their party’s nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. The Republican primary race has seen approximately $5.7 million in spending, including funds from independent groups and withdrawn candidates. Despite the Democratic stronghold label from the Cook Political Report, Republican hopefuls continue to pursue Kaine’s seat.

The top three contenders are Hung Cao, a retired Navy captain who ran unsuccessfully in 2022 and launched a super PAC in 2023, Edward “Eddie” Garcia, a combat Army veteran, and Scott Parkinson, the Vice President for Government Affairs at the conservative non-profit, Club for Growth.

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U.S. House District 5

In the solidly Republican 5th Congressional District, Trump-endorsed state senator John McGuire has challenged incumbent and head of the Freedom Caucus Representative Bob Good. The race has been fiercely fought, with 14,125 Republican voters casting early ballots. An estimated $12 million has been spent, and the primary winner is expected to win the seat in November.

U.S. House District 7

Following Representative Abigail Spanberger’s decision not to seek re-election to Congress in favor of running for Virginia governor in 2025, over a dozen candidates have entered the race for U.S. House District 7. Six Republicans and seven Democrats are on the ballot for the June election. Early voting saw 15,310 Democrats and 9,461 Republicans cast their ballots. The region leans Democrat, but Republicans are aiming to win the seat.

About $4.3 million has been spent on the Republican primary. The top contenders are Derrick Anderson, a former U.S. Army combat veteran, and Cameron Hamilton, a retired Navy SEAL pledging allegiance to the House Freedom Caucus if elected.

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In the Democratic primary, approximately $6.5 million has been spent, and five out of seven candidates remain competitive. These candidates are Eugene Vindman, Briana Sewell, Elizabeth Guzman, Margaret Angela Franklin and Andrea Bailey.

U.S. House District 10

In U.S. House District 10, more than a dozen candidates are running after Wexton chose not to seek re-election due to health reasons. Four Republicans and 12 Democrats will be on the June ballot. 18,453 Democratic voters and 8,455 Republican voters have cast their early votes in the northern Virginia district. District 10 is considered “solidly Democrat” by the Cook Political Report, but some Republicans are hoping to win the seat.

Approximately $746,200 has been spent on the Republican primary. The leading candidates are Mike Clancy, a senior executive and lawyer at a global tech company, and Aliscia Andrews, a Marine Corps veteran who previously won the Republican primary for the 10th Congressional District in 2020. Andrews currently serves as Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin in 2022.

Around $11.1 million has been spent on the competitive Democratic primary in Virginia, with five out of 12 candidates vying for the nomination. The contenders include Eileen Filler-Corn, Suhas Subramanyam, Dan Helmer, Krystle Veda Kaul, and Jennifer Boysko.

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