The Bulletin

Four major new vaccination centers to open, a Democratic gubernatorial debate, an uptick in public participation at virtual meetings, and more headlines

By: - March 17, 2021 8:04 am

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• Four major vaccination centers are opening across Virginia: Danville, Portsmouth, South Chesterfield near Petersburg and Prince William, chosen via an “equity analysis” from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management because of high COVID-19 rates.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “I think that if I had to do it over again, heaven forbid, I think we could have moved sooner, faster and bigger,” Dr. Norm Oliver, the state health commissioner, said in an interview that looked back on the past year of the pandemic, which has killed more than 10,100 Virginians.—VPM

• All of Virginia’s prison inmates have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine, with nearly 16,000 getting at least one dose already.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Roanoke’s City Council voted to ban guns at city-owned parks, libraries and offices, as well as from municipal recreation centers and events in public spaces.—Roanoke Times

• Four of the five hopefuls vying for the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nomination participated in a forum Tuesday night. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the frontrunner, skipped it.—Associated Press

• State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, said Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, wouldn’t “be a governor that supports everyone” because of her leadership in the Legislative Black Caucus. McClellan called it a racist attack. Both women are seeking their party’s nomination for governor.—Associated Press 

• The owners of the existing Transco pipeline are fighting attempts by Mountain Valley Pipeline to site a future extension alongside it. “MVP’s proposed location is simply irresponsible,” they wrote in a court filing.—Roanoke Times

• Gov. Ralph Northam restored the voting rights of 69,000 people convicted of felonies “under a policy change that speeds up the process, no longer requiring former prisoners to go through lengthy probations before qualifying to seek restoration.”—The Washington Post

• Some Central Virginia localities have seen public participation increase as a result of virtual meetings.—Daily Progress 

• Work starts next year on a massive new VA clinic in Fredericksburg.—Free Lance-Star

• The Virginia Military Institute is no longer identifying expelled students during “drum-outs,” when the entire student body is woken up “to the beating of drums and a scripted announcement that a cadet has been expelled for violating the college’s strict honor code.”—Washington Post

• Danville’s Appalachian League baseball team has a new name. It’s the, um, “Otterbots.”—Register & Bee

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Robert Zullo
Robert Zullo

Robert spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at weekly and daily newspapers before becoming editor of the Virginia Mercury in 2018. He was a staff writer and managing editor at Worrall Community Newspapers in Union, N.J., before spending five years in south Louisiana covering hurricanes, oil spills and Good Friday crawfish boils as a reporter and city editor for the The Courier and the Daily Comet newspapers in Houma and Thibodaux. He covered Richmond city hall for the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2012 to 2013 and worked as a general assignment and city hall reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 2013 to 2016. He returned to Richmond in 2016 to cover energy, environment and transportation for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. A former waiter, armored car guard and appliance deliveryman, he is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. Contact him at [email protected]