Dogwood Download: Things You Should Know For Thursday, March 25
By Brian Carlton
March 25, 2021

You can’t just show up for a vaccine. VCU says no to a tuition hike and another school district returns to class.

Daily Number 

1 – The number of medals the Continental Congress gave George Washington on March 25, 1776. Congress authorized a medal after Washington and his troops took Boston, forcing a British evacuation beginning on March 17. A small tidbit. When Washington and his men finally entered the city, he ordered everyone be vaccinated against smallpox, so as not to risk the health of others in the unit. 

Don’t Just Show Up To Be Vaccinated

The story started circulating Monday. People around Danville claimed the newly opened Community Vaccination Center at the Danville Mall had extra doses of the vaccine. They would have to be thrown away unless someone used them. And so as a result, people started just randomly showing up at the location. 

The problem, however, was that it wasn’t true. And while health officials tried to accommodate everyone who showed up, so as not to turn away people seeking the vaccine, they wanted to issue a warning. As a result, on Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Health announced that only people with an appointment or invitation would be allowed inside the Community Vaccination Centers, both in Danville and across the state. 

“Fluctuating registration numbers in the initial stages of site operations have allowed for walk-ins in some isolated instances, but this is no longer the case,” VDH officials said in a statement. “Each clinic in Virginia has a plan for how to administer any unused doses at the end of the day, so that eligible individuals are prioritized.” 

And when you do show up for your appointment, just remember: 

  • Arrive no earlier than 20 minutes before your appointment. This is to avoid crowding. 
  • Bring a copy of your appointment, either through email, text or barcode. 

Anyone in Virginia can go ahead and pre-register for a shot by going to or calling 1-877-829-4682. 

VCU Officials Want to Avoid Tuition Increase

Some good news today for students at Virginia Commonwealth University and especially their parents. The school’s administration said Wednesday they’re recommending tuition stay at the same rate for both undergraduate and graduate level students. That would mark three straight years with no tuition hikes for the Richmond-based university. 

Now to be clear, that doesn’t mean rates will be flat across the board. In order to avoid tuition hikes, leaders propose a $153 increase in mandatory fees. That means fees paid by all students, undergrad and graduate alike.  

“This includes eliminating the online fee and increasing the technology fee by a net $35,” school officials said in a statement to media. “This investment will be applied to more robust technology for learning, teaching and greater access to hardware and software. It also includes increases to the university and health services fees.” 

This means an average in-state undergraduate student, taking a normal 15 hour courseload, would pay $15,028 in the fall. 

Dogwood’s #ThisIsVirginia Series Keeps Rolling

Wednesday’s Trivia Question: It’s All About Congress

So on Wednesday, we asked you about Jeannette Rankin. Who is she? Why is she in the history books?

She was the first woman to be elected to Congress. Now, by itself, that’s impressive. What makes it moreso is that Rankin was elected in 1916, four years before the 19th Amendment. Running as a Republican in Montana, she was elected to the House of Representatives on a platform promoting universal suffrage for women, social welfare and prohibition.

Rankin was one of 50 members of the House to vote against entering World War I. After serving one term, she founded the Georgia Peace Society, worked for the National Consumers League and then ran again for Congress in 1940, winning as a 60-year-old. However, public opinion turned against Rankin after she opposed war with Germany. She didn’t run for re-election in 1942.

We Need To Hear From You In This Poll

Another School District Returns To Class

Photo courtesy of the Virginia Department of Education.

And then there were three. As of Wednesday, only three school districts remain fully remote in Virginia. Two of those three, Sussex County and Portsmouth, now have plans to launch hybrid options within the next month. The third, Richmond City Schools, is still sorting out what they plan to do. 

But while Richmond officials debate, one Shenandoah Valley district is joining the 38 districts already back in the classroom. During their Tuesday meeting, the Harrisonburg School Board agreed to bring kids back on a four-day schedule starting April 26. Students in K-8 will attend class Monday and Tuesday, then Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday serving as a type of teacher workday. The idea is to help students and staff transition back to a full schedule by using that fifth day to plan, identify any issues or determine the best way to help struggling students. 

Families will have the option of staying remote if they want. District officials will be sending out letters by Friday, asking parents to choose. 

U.S. Rep Endorses Jennifer Carroll Foy

Typically we don’t cover all of the endorsements that pour through, but a few rate high enough that we have to take notice. That was the case Wednesday, as Jennifer Carroll Foy got an endorsement from the other side of the country.

California Rep. Katie Porter, a well-known member of the U.S. House, said Foy had her support.

“Jennifer Carroll Foy is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet, go without healthcare, and raise a family as a working mom,” Porter’s statement read. “She is building a grassroots movement that is centered on working families which is exactly what we need right now with special interests trying to gain even more power and influence.”

Foy is one of five Democratic candidates in the governor’s race. You can read more about her here. And you can read about all five, who took part in a debate last night, here.

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