Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Friday, March 19

By Brian Carlton

March 19, 2021

A supercell storm hits Virginia, a mass vaccination site starts up and the feds warn about a stimulus scam.

Daily Number 

1 – That’s how many women lawyers there were in America around 1654. Margaret Brent was the only woman practicing law in the colonies at that point. How does she tie into Virginia history? Well, around this date in 1654, Brent received a grant of land from the Virginia governor at the time. It included space that eventually became the city of Alexandria. 

Really? Is That How Court Cases Work?

On Nov. 5, 2020, Joshua Macias and Antonio LaMotta drove a silver Hummer from Virginia Beach to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Before that, Macias had posted on his Linkedin page that they were assembling to “stop the steal”, encouraging others to join.

Philadelphia police arrested both men outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where vote counting was taking place, finding unregistered handguns, an AR-15 rifle and ammunition inside their Hummer. Now, as Dogwood’s Brian Carlton explains, they went to a Philadelphia judge on Thursday, asking for all charges to be dropped. Their reason was an interesting one.

Eastern Virginia Hit By Storm

While parts of Southside and Central Virginia avoided last night’s storm, the supercell system tore through the eastern part of the state. High winds, heavy rain and quarter-sized hail fell on the Eastern Shore, with Newport News getting hit hard. 

As of 1 a.m. today, Dominion Energy said 1,650 people were without power in the area. The company expects to get the lights back on by this afternoon at the latest. 

Virginia Pays Tribute

Flags will fly at half-staff across the Commonwealth until Monday, in honor of the Atlanta spa shooting victims. 

Governor Ralph Northam issued the order Thursday, paying tribute to the eight people who lost their lives on March 16. Six of the eight victims were Asian and seven of them were women. Northam’s order follows a similar one from President Joe Biden, who called for flags to be lowered “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence.” 

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found hate crimes against Asian Americans spiked in 2020 by nearly 150%. Their recent report detailed data from 16 major cities, the closest to us being Washington D.C. The District was a rare positive spot on the report, as the number of attacks on Asian Americans there fell from 203 to 132. 

The flags will be flown at half-staff at all local, state and federal buildings in Virginia until Monday night. 

Who Influenced You? Dogwood Series Continues

Mass Vaccination Center Now Has a Start Date

We now know when the next mass vaccination center will open its doors. Earlier this week, we mentioned a site will be opening at the former Gander Mountain at 14011 Worth Avenue in Woodbridge. Now we know the Prince William County site will go live on Monday.

There are a couple things to mention. First, no walk-ins will be accepted. You can’t just show up and ask for a shot. You have to sign up on the state’s website or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA.

Health officials ask for you to do a couple of things when it is your turn to get vaccinated:

  • Arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before your appointment. You can’t get in early.
  • Again, no walk-ins will be accepted. You will be turned away if you show up.
  • Bring a copy of your invitation (email, text, QR code) and ID, like a driver’s license.

Virginia Teacher Chosen For National Program 

One Martinsville Middle School teacher will work with the Library of Congress this spring to develop educational programs. Officials from the school district announced that Kevan Keane will be one of 120 teachers across the nation taking part in the project. 

The Library of Congress will give the teachers access to its online resources. They in turn will work on developing and supporting historical arguments. Basically, the goal is to look at different ways of teaching and learning different topics. What’s the best way to get kids to respond? What’s the best way for teachers to explain the material? The group will work through the summer before returning to their respective classrooms and testing the material.

Feds, State Warn About Stimulus Scams

RICHMOND- While waiting on your stimulus checks to clear, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for potential scammers looking to take your money. Adding to the long list of COVID-19 phishing scams, these scammers are now posing as federal agents in order to get access to your bank information. 

You don’t have to do anything to get your stimulus check, FBI officials caution. If you qualify, you’ll either see it in your bank account or your mail. That’s the most important thing to know. 

Also, the federal government is never going to contact you so they can send you your stimulus check. They will also never ask you to pay any money for your stimulus check. If they’re asking for money, it’s definitely a scam. 

Show Us Your Favorite Mask, Virginia

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Yesterday’s Trivia Answer: The Honey Mushroom

What is the largest living organism? Well, we kind of cheated with the clue. The answer was in the photo, but it was buried beneath all the trees. Scientists discovered a massive specimen of honey mushroom in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest recently.

And yes, we know we promised it was larger than a dinosaur. It’s hard to imagine a mushroom that big but it’s true. The mushroom stretches 2,385 acres in that forest. How big is that? You would have to stack 1,350 soccer fields together to match it.

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