Good morning, Historic Triangle! Can you believe we’re heading into our first full week of October? It’s looking like we’ll have some nice temperatures this week – with overnight lows in the 60s and day time highs in the 80s – but we can also expect a decent amount of clouds, with several rainy days.
There’s a lot happening, but The Triangle is breaking down the top local, statewide and national news into a quick, five-minute read.
Let’s get started.
1. WJCC schools are extending their adjusted schedule through the end of the semester.
- The 5-10 minute change in school hours has been successful in reducing school bus delays since it was implemented two weeks ago, the division announced in a statement.
- More than 75% of buses arrived on time last week, WJCC Schools said. The schools are also continuing to hire new bus drivers to try to help alleviate the transportation issues.
- Students at the high schools will attend class between 7:15 a.m – 2:15 p.m. Middle school students will attend from 8 a.m – 2:50 p.m.
- James River, Stonehouse, and D.J Montague elementary schools will be in session from 8:55 a.m – 3:25 p.m. Students at the remaining elementary schools (J. Blaine Blayton, Laurel Lane, Clara Byrd Baker, Matoaka, Matthew Whaley and Norge) will attend from 9:40 a.m – 4:10 p.m.
2. More than 400 WJCC students are in quarantine due to Covid-19.
- According to the WJCC Covid-19 dashboard, 417 students are currently in quarantine and 64 of those have confirmed positive tests as of Sunday. Four staff are also in quarantine, one of whom was confirmed positive.
- A total of 226 cases have been confirmed among students and staff in the division between July 1 and Sept. 30. Most of those cases were recorded after the school year began on Aug. 30, the Daily Press reports.
- Nearly half – 48.7 percent – of those cases appear to be connected to sports activities, WJCC Schools said in a news release.
- The division stated that it is continuing to implement layered Covid-19 prevention protocols, including requiring the use of face masks indoors among students, staff and visitors. Air ventilation systems are also maintained and everyone must keep at least three feet apart at all times.
- York County School Division reported a total of 231 new cases between Sept. 1 – Oct. 1.
1. A combative debate took place among gubernatorial candidates McAuliffe (D) and Youngkin (R) on Tuesday.
- The two candidates clashed over taxes, education policy and vaccines during the final debate in the election.
- With five weeks to go in the closely-watched election, polls indicate a close race between the two candidates. While Democrats have made gains in the state in recent elections, Republicans are believed to have “an enthusiasm advantage.”
- On vaccines: McAuliffe stated he generally supports Covid-19 vaccine mandates, while Youngkin said he does not. Youngkin encouraged everyone to receive the vaccine if they are able, but he argued McAuliffe’s mandates would exacerbate labor shortages. McAuliffe said Youngkin’s failure to embrace a mandate should disqualify him.
- On tax policy: The two candidates clashed about the state’s historic $2.6 billion surplus. McAuliffe said the surplus proves Gov. Northam’s leadership has led to a strong economy in Virginia. Youngkin argued the surplus shows Democrats are over-taxing citizens.
- On education: Youngkin said schools need to engage more with parents and take their feedback into account when making curriculum decisions. McAuliffe retorted: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 28: Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) (R) debates Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (R) hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce September 28, 2021 in Alexandria, Virginia. The 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election will be held on November 2. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
2. Chesapeake-based Dollar Tree announced it will begin selling items costing over a dollar.
- The popular retail chain has thrived for decades on an “everything is $1” business model, but inflation and rising shipping costs are squeezing the company’s profits.
- The company has already started testing higher prices at hundreds of locations in a new store section called “Dollar Tree Plus,” which includes items marked as high as $5. Items above $1 will soon also be mixed in with items costing $1.
- Annual inflation hit 4.2 percent in July, the highest seen in the U.S in 30 years.
- “Our brand promise is that customers get great value for what they spend at Dollar Tree. We will continue to be fiercely protective of that promise, regardless of the price point, whether it is $1.00, $1.25, $1.50,” said CEO Michael Witynski in a statement.
1. Covid-19 cases are surging in New England in spite of high vaccination rates.
- Hospitals throughout the region are seeing full ICUs, according to the AP. Staff shortages are compounding the problem and starting to affect quality of care.
- The five states with the highest vaccination rates are all in New England. Vermont leads the pack, followed by Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. However, states are still reporting record case rates, hospitalizations and deaths – on par with, or exceeding, pre-vaccination highs.
- Public health officials are continuing to plead with the public to get vaccinated if they have not yet received the shots, stressing that the majority of hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among those who are not fully vaccinated.
- “I think it’s clearly frustrating for all of us,” said Michael Pieciak, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation who monitors COVID-19 statistics for the state. “We want kids to be safe in school, we want parents not to have to worry about their child’s education and health.”
2. China is flying warplanes over Taiwan – and the U.S is growing ‘very concerned.’
- China has flown a record number of warplanes – a total of 77 – into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone over the past two days, BBC News reports.
- The incursions consisted of nuclear-capable bombers and anti-submarine warning aircraft, the Defense Ministry says.
- In response to the warplanes, Taiwan issued radio warnings and deployed aircraft and air defense missiles systems. Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warned that the nation is preparing for war with China and urged Australia to assist by increasing intelligence sharing.
- “The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” U.S State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan.”
A Virginia man rescued a woman who was pinned under her car after she crashed into a doctor’s office.
- The Hopewell man immediately rushed to the scene upon witnessing the crash, which left the woman pinned between her car and a work desk, WRIC reports.
- The man, Brandon Hayes, said he was leaving his job at a car dealership when the accident happened. He and two other men climbed through the nurse’s sliding glass window and were able to get the woman out from under all the debris.
- Another man was sitting in the waiting room at the time, and the car “missed him by a couple inches,” Hayes said. Describing the scene, Hayes said he “took out broken parts of the desk, broken ceiling, insulation, broken printers, chairs, everything that would be in an office,” to get to the woman.
- The woman reached out to Hayes to thank him. She was released from the hospital and is reportedly doing well, recovering at home.
Events This Week
Bits and Bridles Walking Tour – Colonial Williamsburg. Daily through November 24 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. $5 in addition to CW admission ticket, membership or Good Neighbor Pass.
Yorktown Art Exhibit – Gallery at York Hall in Yorktown. Features local author, artist and historian Chris Bonin. Daily, Oct. 5 – Oct. 10, 10:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, Oct. 5
JCC Police Celebrate National Night Out – JCC Law Enforcement Center in Williamsburg. Featuring games, displays, an obstacle course, food trucks and more. 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Free.
Thursday, Oct. 7
Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concert Series: Dave Cynar Band – Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Free.
Beyond the Shadows of Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg. Two-hour candlelight tour. 9:15 – 11:15 p.m. $19.
Saturday, Oct. 9
Volunteer Days at the Williamsburg Community Garden – Warhill Sports Complex in Williamsburg. 7:30 a.m – 12:30 p.m. Free.
Fall Market – Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. Features a petting zoo, pumpkin carving demo, seasonal pies and more. 8:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m. Free.
Mark Rogers in Concert. Williamsburg Regional Library. 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. $5; $4 for Friends WRL.
Sunday, Oct. 10
2nd Sundays Williamsburg Street Festival – 205 N. Boundary St. in Williamsburg. Features outdoor art and music. 11:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. Free.
The Golden Age of Yorktown (1710-1760) Walking Tour – Meets at Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters in Yorktown. 1:00 p.m – 2:00 p.m. $10; free for children 12 and under.
Did you know…
that Williamsburg was recently nominated for “Best Historic Small Town” in the USA Today Reader’s Choice Awards? You can vote for Williamsburg here. Voting ends Oct. 25.
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