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.
In what is likely to become a common occurrence, the Virginia Book Festival in Charlottesville that was scheduled for March 18-22 has been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Organizers are trying to determine a path forward for the event.
Five things you need to know today …
- Eight Coronavirus Cases in Virginia– Several more coronavirus cases were identified in the state today, including one person in Loudoun county and two people in Virginia Beach. The Virginia Department of Health has a running tally of cases on its website. The Loudoun county case is tied to an outbreak in a Washington D.C. church, the Virginia Beach cases to a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt. – WDBJ7
- Amazon Headquarters Coming to Hampton Roads– Gov. Ralph Northam announced that two Amazon headquarters will be built in Hampton Roads, a adding an estimated 1,500 jobs for Virginia residents. The facilities, a multistory robotics center in Suffolk and a 650,000-square-foot processing center in Chesapeake, are projected to be built by 2021. Northam said Virginia has proven itself to be a “prime destination” for Amazon’s continued growth. – ABC 13
- VA Budget Plans for Teachers to get a Raise- In their final budget proposal, Virginia lawmakers approve raises and bonuses for public school teachers and state employees. The $135 billion proposal gives teachers a 2% raise across the next two fiscal years. State employees would receive a 3% bonus this year and next year. – WHSV3
- Ban on Tethering Dogs in Bad Weather Approved- Virginia lawmakers also passed legislation banning the tethering of dogs outside during extreme weather. The legislation expands the definition of “adequate shelter”, preventing dogs from staying outside when the temperature is below 32 degrees and above 85 degrees. It also covers warnings for hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weathers. Animal advocates say the legislation will save dogs’ lives in Virginia’s extreme weather and frequent storms. – WTOP
- VCU Health Will Stop Seizing Wages, Property Liens to Collect Debt- Virginia Commonwealth University’s Health says it will stop seizing patients’ wages and canceled thousands of property liens, some over thirty years old. Both were tactics the hospital previously used to collect payments on unpaid bills. Removing property liens means VCU won’t get payment, sometimes up to thousands of dollars, when homes are sold. VCU Health, however, will not be refunding past liens. The Richmond Times-Dispatch