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Williamsburg Regional Library announces initiative to provide community free internet access

Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily (Metered paywall - 3 articles per month)

For those without access to WiFi, the Williamsburg Regional Library is coming to the rescue. The Williamsburg Regional Library announced Thursday it would be starting a new initiative to supply WiFi hotspots throughout the area.

VaNews April 3, 2020


16 dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Virginia nursing facility

By SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

A Virginia long-term care facility with one of the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreaks announced Thursday that its death toll had reached 16 as new testing confirmed roughly two-thirds of its residents have COVID-19. The Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in suburban Richmond tested all its residents earlier this week after the virus began sweeping through the facility in mid-March, a time when limited supplies and strict policies on who could be tested meant such a response was not possible.

VaNews April 3, 2020


Carroll Co passes emergency ordinance

By ALLEN WORRELL, Carroll News

County Attorney Stephen Durbin opened the discussion at the board of supervisors’ March 23 meeting about a proposed emergency ordinance. ... “Unfortunately, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which governs all of your meetings, your public documents, and the conduct of public business, was not really designed with an outbreak of this nature in mind,” Durbin told Carroll supervisors.

VaNews April 3, 2020


How strictly are Virginia’s social distancing orders being enforced? Court records show just a few citations.

By GRAHAM MOOMAW, Virginia Mercury

For more than a week, it’s technically been unlawful for Virginians to gather in groups of 10 or more people. But since Gov. Ralph Northam issued his main executive order on March 23 to stop the spread of COVID-19, state court records show just two cases of people being formally charged for violating social distancing rules, though those records may not reflect all citations.

VaNews April 3, 2020


Virginia considers delaying raises, minimum wage increase as coronavirus blows huge hole in state budget

By GREGORY S. SCHNEIDER AND LAURA VOZZELLA, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

Gov. Ralph Northam is considering whether to delay raising Virginia's minimum wage and postpone pay increases for public employees as the state wrestles with a coronavirus pandemic that could drain more than $2 billion from its coffers over the next two years. The crisis will cost Virginia hundreds of millions of dollars this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and is likely to carve $1 billion from each year of the two-year budget the General Assembly approved last month, Finance Secretary Aubrey Layne said.

VaNews April 3, 2020


Feds seek breakup of Altria-Juul deal on antitrust grounds

By MATTHEW PERRONE, Associated Press

U.S. business regulators are suing to break up the multibillion-dollar deal between tobacco giant Altria and e-cigarette startup Juul Labs, saying their partnership amounted to an agreement not to compete in the U.S. vaping market. The action announced late Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission is the latest legal headwind against Altria’s investment in the embattled vaping company.

VaNews April 3, 2020


Amundson: What the school lunch program can teach us about distance learning

By KRISTEN AMUNDSON, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

On March 23, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Virginia’s public schools would not reopen until next fall. Virginia is not alone — to date, eight states have closed schools for the 2019-20 school year. Virtually overnight, schools and families have gone from the traditional teacher-in-classroom model of learning to the kids-at-home-on-the-couch model.

Kristen Amundson is the former chair of the Fairfax County School Board and a former member of the Virginia General Assembly

VaNews April 3, 2020


Metro Budget Passes, But Coronavirus Costs Could Force A Re-Evaluation

By JORDAN PASCALE AND MARGARET BARTHEL, WAMU

Metro’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the agency’s fiscal year 2021 budget on Thursday, but major questions remain about its implementation as the agency reacts to the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s sort of surreal to be even doing the budget at this point,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Matt Letourneau, who represents Virginia on the board. The board cast their votes remotely.

VaNews April 3, 2020


Staffing group cuts doctors' benefits as ER volume wanes in 'calm before the storm'

By BRIDGET BALCH, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

A trade group representing emergency physicians in Virginia is condemning actions by medical staffing groups to cut salaries and benefits for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus epidemic. Propublica reported Tuesday that Alteon Health, a medical staffing company that works with more than 125 locations nationwide, including several in Virginia, would be reducing hours ...

VaNews April 3, 2020


Va. Corrections Department eyeing vacant state prison to house COVID-19 inmates

By MARK BOWES, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Access to this article limited to subscribers)

The Virginia Department of Corrections is considering a plan to reopen a vacant prison in Culpeper County to house state prisoners — and possibly inmates from local jails, too — who become infected with COVID-19 if the number of sick inmates becomes overwhelming.

VaNews April 3, 2020