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School board votes to implement local mask policy, countering Governor’s order

By HORUS ALAS, Loudoun Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

The Loudoun County School Board voted to pass a measure on Tuesday night that will require the continued use of face masks in Loudoun schools, countering the executive order ending mask mandates in Virginia schools issued by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Saturday. The measure passed 8-1, with sole opposition from John Beatty (Catoctin).

VaNews January 19, 2022

City schools to keep mask requirement but local districts look ahead to one day lifting them

By BRIDGET MANLEY, Harrisonburg Citizen

While the requirement to wear masks in schools will remain in place for the foreseeable future, the Harrisonburg City School Board voted Tuesday night to allow administration officials to explore adopting a path to safely remove the mask mandates — but with some big caveats. This move comes after Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order making masks optional for Virginia K-12 students. That order takes effect Jan. 24.

VaNews January 19, 2022

Local school superintendents respond to governor's executive order lifting mask mandate

By JOSH JANNEY, Winchester Star (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Local school division officials on Tuesday responded to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s executive order that ends the statewide COVID-19 mask mandate in K-12 schools beginning Jan. 24. Frederick County Public Schools Superintendent David Sovine issued a statement that FCPS will continue to require masks until Youngkin’s order takes effect.

VaNews January 19, 2022

Some Albemarle officials want virtual meetings to continue and it's a possibility

By ALLISON WRABEL, Daily Progress (Metered Paywall - 25 articles a month)

Albemarle County is one of few places in Virginia that continues to hold almost all public meetings virtually since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020 and several of its elected officials want it to stay that way. State law allows localities that declared a local state of emergency to continue to hold virtual meetings when it’s unsafe to meet in person and when the meeting is needed to keep government working.

VaNews January 19, 2022

Va. parents file lawsuit, schools vow resistance against Youngkin’s mask order

By HANNAH NATANSON, Washington Post (Metered Paywall - 3 articles a month)

A major showdown over masking in Virginia schools — already involving at least one lawsuit — is brewing between newly minted Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and parents and superintendents across the state he was just elected to lead. Youngkin, who took office Saturday, started his term as Virginia’s 74th governor with an executive order that declares masking optional in school systems statewide, subject to the preference of parents. Although some school districts complied almost immediately, other superintendents promised defiance...

VaNews January 19, 2022

Hamilton Council Urges Support for Speed Camera Bill

Loudoun Now

Nearly every Town Council meeting starts with a discussion from residents frustrated about traffic safety and speeding cars. Although few quick fixes have emerged to address the concerns, the Town Council is hoping for the success of a new state Senate bill. Sen. John Bell (D-13) has proposed legislation that would expand authority to erect speed cameras to all towns without police departments. Currently, the state law permits photo speed monitoring devices in school crossing zones and highway work zones. Motorists caught speeding could be assessed civil penalties up to $100.

VaNews January 19, 2022

FEMA denies Hurley flood victims again

By JOE TENNIS, Bristol Herald Courier (Metered Paywall - 15 articles a month)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has turned down requests for individual assistance for residents of Hurley, Virginia who suffered from severe flooding in late August that resulted in the death of one person. “That’s a devastating blow to us here in our recovery efforts,” Trey Adkins, who represents the Knox Creek area at Hurley on the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors, said. “We kind of expected that. It’s based on each individual home – what they would have qualitied for.”

VaNews January 19, 2022

Roanoke County School Board tables mask mandate for now

By SAM WALL, Roanoke Times (Metered Paywall - 5 articles a month)

Dozens of citizens came out to speak to the Roanoke County School Board Tuesday night regarding the future of mask mandates in the county’s schools, with the majority in support of continuing the directive. The board voted during a Jan. 4 work session to make the school system “mask optional and return to pre-COVID medical policies leaving medical decisions such as testing, quarantining and contact tracing between the doctor, the student patient, and the student’s parent/guardians,” following the reversal of a state mask mandate in K-12 schools by Gov. Glenn Youngkin after he was sworn in Jan. 15.

VaNews January 19, 2022

Kellogg: How Virginia built a future in the cloud

By SHANNON KELLOGG, published in Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

When many Americans hear “tech industry,” they think of Silicon Valley. But in Virginia, we should be reminded of something much closer to home. That’s because all of us, as Virginians, are fortunate to live in a real center of 21st-century technology — the single greatest concentration of data centers on Earth, built as part of a cloud computing industry launched in our own backyard. Want proof of impact? Every day, 70% of global internet traffic moves through the commonwealth.

Kellogg is vice president of public policy at Amazon, where he leads the company’s efforts in support of the Amazon Web Services business in the Americas.

VaNews January 19, 2022

Senate panel votes to speed deadline for Richmond to fix $1.3 billion sewer problem

By MICHAEL MARTZ, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Metered Paywall - 7 articles a month)

A Senate panel wants to accelerate the deadline for Richmond to solve a $1.3 billion sewage problem, without any clear way to pay for it. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-4 on Tuesday to endorse legislation that would give Richmond until 2030 to finally resolve the centuries-old problem of sewage and storm water flowing into the James River during heavy rainfall.

VaNews January 19, 2022