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. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here.
With temperatures dropping and the holidays gearing up, flu season in upon us. Last year, millions of people got the flu and tens of thousands died from the virus, yet most people still don’t get the flu vaccine.
The Virginia Department of Health has released info on steps you can take to avoid the flu, why you should get the shot, and debunks some of the common myths surrounding it.
Five things you need to know today …
- Stolle requests recount– Del. Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) has officially requested a recount in the race for the 83rd House District against Nancy Guy. According to the initial count, Guy won the seat by just 27 votes. The 0.02% margin is under the state’s 1% threshold for recounts, and within the half-percent margin that requires the Commonwealth to pay for it. “With just 27 votes separating me and my opponent, we must make sure that every vote is properly counted,” Stolle said in a statement. -The Daily Progress
- Northam orders new flood-protection standards– Gov. Northam announced that government buildings must be constructed at higher elevations to minimize the risk of flooding. The new guidelines incorporated federal projections for future sea-level rise, and according to Northam, are the most stringent in the nation for government-owned properties. Northam said he made the move because flooding has become an increasingly common— and costly— problem in Virginia as climate change continues to drive sea-levels higher. –The Daily Press
- Former Virginia Beach official indicted– Virginia Beach’s former economic development director was indicted Monday for felony embezzlement. A Virginia Beach Circuit Court grand jury charged Harris with using city funds for personal use. Harris had abruptly resigned last October after spending 11 years in the position. According to an audit released earlier this year, Harris had spent over $57,000 on personal expenses. -The Virginian-Pilot
- Data breach at police department– A data analysis firm notified 500 Fairfax county police employees that their personal information was potentially compromised during a data breach. Full names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers were among the data on a memory stick that has gone missing. The memory stick reportedly contained the entire inbox of a neighboring county’s police chief, although officials were unsure why Fairfax county’s employees’ information was even in his email to begin with. –The Washington Post
- Protest against payday lending– Protesters in Winchester accused car title and payday loan companies of taking advantage of vulnerable borrowers and trapping them in endless debt cycles. The loans have incredibly high interest rates— for example, according to the Consumer Federation of America, the annual percentage rates for a 14 day $100 loan can be as high as 687% percent. The Virginia Poverty Law Center organized the protest to call more attention to the issue and hopefully get Virginia’s legislature to regulate the practice. -The Winchester Star