Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Saturday, March 13

By Brian Carlton

March 13, 2021

Northam calls for a day of remembrance, Virginia Republicans make a decision and the first mass vaccination center opens Monday.

Daily Number

1 – Today’s number highlights a couple of less than serious “firsts” that happened in Virginia. The first college fraternity, for example, started at William & Mary in 1776. On the other side of the state, in 1804, the first college lawn streaking incident happened at Washington & Lee College.

Virginia Republicans Make a Decision

All Republicans won’t be able to choose their statewide nominees this spring. However, the process will be done across the state. Virginia Republicans reached a decision Friday night, with the State Central Committee agreeing to hold an unassembled convention. That will take place May 8 at specific polling locations. 

Now what’s the difference? Well, in a regular convention, delegates gather in one location. But unless things dramatically change between now and then, holding a regular convention would just not be possible, due to Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions. 

In an unassembled version, party officials set up regional polling places across the state. However, just like in the regular version, only certified delegates can vote. Each local party selects these delegates. Then each person has to pay convention dues, typically $35, in order to vote.

Northam Calls For Day of Remembrance

Gov. Ralph Northam is asking people to set aside Sunday as a day of remembrance across Virginia. The Virginia flag will be flown at half-staff at all local, state and federal buildings. This is in honor of the one-year anniversary of the first recorded death in Virginia due to COVID-19. 

Flags will be lowered at sunrise on Sunday and remain at half-staff until sunset. 

Since March 2020, 9,961 people in Virginia have died due to the virus. 

First Community Vaccination Center Opens in Danville

Virginia’s first community vaccination center will open Monday morning in Danville. Virginia Health Department officials announced on Friday they will use the former JC Penney store space in the Danville Mall, located at 325 Piedmont Drive, .

VDH officials hope to vaccinate an estimated 3,000 people each day at the site, which will be open six days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. But there’s one key piece of information here. Walk-ins will not be accepted. If you want to get vaccinated at the Danville site, it’s by appointment only. You can pre-register through the state site or by calling 1-877-829-4682.

#ThisIsVirginia Series Continues For Dogwood

Yesterday’s Trivia Answer: It’s All About The Bees

So yesterday we mentioned that bees, specifically bumblebees, can fly miles up in the air. How high? Well, the hint we gave was Sir Edmund Hillary. He’s best known as the first climber to make it to the summit of Mount Everest.

In fact, bees can fly as high as the Everest summit. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey reported seeing bumblebees flying around there during expeditions in the 1990s and 2000s.

Do We Really Use The Best Option For Criminal Justice?

After police killed George Floyd, communities all over the world demanded criminal justice reform. People asked to create civil review boards and asked elected leaders to push for real, meaningful legislation.

But do we truly use the best option for criminal justice? Or is it time for another way? After several proposed reform bills died in the General Assembly, Dogwood columnist Jennifer Lewis takes a look, using a situation in the town of Waynesboro as an example.

Remember to Vote Before Monday

Hey everyone, just a reminder here that our latest survey expires Sunday night. We’re asking people to tell us what we should ask candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. You just click this link, answer a couple questions or fill in the blanks with your own.

We’ll take those answers, grab the top three and use them in our interviews with candidates over the next two weeks.

Spanberger Asks IRS For Three-Month Extension

Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger is asking the IRS to make a change. In a letter to the agency on Friday, Spanberger asked for an extension. Specifically, she’s asking the IRS to give all residents an extra three months to work on their taxes.

“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, millions of businesses and families across the country
continue to experience financial hardship and uncertainty,” Spanberger wrote. “To address this need and provide assistance to taxpayers struggling to meet the current tax filing deadline of April 15, 2021, I request that you again extend the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2021.”

Currently, you have to submit tax returns by Thursday, April 15.

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