NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.
• Three out of four adult Virginians is fully vaccinated for COVID-19. It’s the highest vaccination rate in the South and the 10th in the nation.—Virginian-Pilot
• Ballad Health, the largest healthcare provider in Southwest Virginia, is worried it will lose hundreds of employees who are unwilling to comply with the federal vaccine mandate. “It’s devastating. Either way, it’s devastating. If you do this and lose even 3%-5% of your nurses, that’s going to have a major effect — we already have a shortage and people feel it.”—Bristol Herald Courier
• Republicans in the House of Delegates made it official, unanimously electing Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, as their designee to serve as speaker next year and Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, as majority leader.—Associated Press
• Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin has been slow to release plans for his administration, instead opting to continue holding rallies with his supporters. “There’s been a little bit of a learning curve,” said one GOP operative.—Washington Post
• Some members of the Ethiopian community threw their support behind Youngkin to show their dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s response to growing conflict in the country. “We have to show we are disappointed in an area that can potentially hurt the Democratic Party.”—Washington Post
• Spotsylvania’s school board plans to revisit its directive to remove all “sexually explicit” books from school libraries after their attorney warned them it was unconstitutional.—Free Lance-Star
• School districts in Hampton Roads are cancelling classes to give teachers extra days off in an effort to combat burnout. Richmond-area teachers are “mentally exhausted and fatigued.”—Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Some Virginia lawmakers are pursuing regulations for delta-8 THC, which is made in labs and widely available as an alternative to marijuana. “Consumers who are purchasing these products really have no idea what they are consuming.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
• Bristol, Tennessee, is making arrangements to provide air purifiers at no cost to low-income residents dealing with odors and fumes from Bristol, Virginia’s troubled landfill.—Bristol Herald Courier
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