News to Know for Dec. 18: Moderna vaccine; Small business grant deadline; Diversity Richmond food drive

News to Know for Dec. 18: Moderna vaccine; Small business grant deadline; Diversity Richmond food drive
The head of the Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday that his agency will move to quickly authorize the second COVID-19 vaccine to fight the pandemic. (Source: Daniel Schludi)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a glimpse at our top headlines to get you out the door.

Morning Flurries, Then Partly Sunny

Flurries, snow showers, and freezing drizzle possible through 8 a.m. Watch for icy spots on roads!

Then Mostly sunny. Highs in the low to mid-40s.

Morning flurries or freezing drizzle, then partly sunny and chilly

School Closings & Delays

Due to inclement weather, some school districts will be closed or operating on delays.

Click here for a full list of school closings and delays.

Missing Richmond Man

The Richmond Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing man.

David Yeatts, 63, was last seen leaving Chippenham Hospital on the night of Sunday, Dec. 6. According to police, he suffers from dementia and has difficulty seeing long distances.

David Yeatts, 63, was last seen leaving Chippenham Hospital on the night of Sunday, Dec. 6.
David Yeatts, 63, was last seen leaving Chippenham Hospital on the night of Sunday, Dec. 6. (Source: Vu, Amy Q. - Police)

Yeatts is approximately 5′ 7″ and weighs about 140 pounds.

Anyone with information on where Yeatts is should call 804-814-4233 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

Moderna Vaccine

The head of the Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday that his agency will move to quickly authorize the second COVID-19 vaccine to fight the pandemic, hours after the shot won the key endorsement of a government advisory panel.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement that regulators have communicated their plans to drugmaker Moderna, which co-developed the vaccine with the National Institutes of Health.

ARCHIVO - En esta foto de archivo del lunes 27 de julio de 2020, una enfermera prepara una vacuna como un estudio de una posible vacuna COVID-19, desarrollada por los Institutos Nacionales de Salud y Moderna Inc., se pone en marcha en Binghamton, N.Y. El jueves 17 de diciembre de 2020, un panel de expertos independientes se reúne para discutir una vacuna hecha por Moderna. La revisión del panel para la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos es el penúltimo paso antes de que la agencia decida si las inyecciones pueden ser usadas en caso de emergencia. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
ARCHIVO - En esta foto de archivo del lunes 27 de julio de 2020, una enfermera prepara una vacuna como un estudio de una posible vacuna COVID-19, desarrollada por los Institutos Nacionales de Salud y Moderna Inc., se pone en marcha en Binghamton, N.Y. El jueves 17 de diciembre de 2020, un panel de expertos independientes se reúne para discutir una vacuna hecha por Moderna. La revisión del panel para la Administración de Drogas y Alimentos es el penúltimo paso antes de que la agencia decida si las inyecciones pueden ser usadas en caso de emergencia. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink) (Source: Hans Pennink)

The announcement came after a panel of FDA advisers, in a 20-0 vote, ruled that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for those 18 years old and up.

Richmond Recovers Grant Deadline

The Richmond Recovers II grant application deadline has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 18.

The city also updated the grant guidelines to clarify that small businesses other than restaurants, retail, and beverage production are eligible to receive grant funds.

Business sign
Business sign (Source: WVIR)

The Richmond Recovers II Grant Program is funded with $2 million from the city’s CARES Act appropriation and will be administered by the Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond.

For more information on full program guidelines and eligibility requirements, click here.

Court Of Appeals Expansion

In his optimistic midcourse revisions to Virginia’s two-year, $135 billion spending blueprint, Gov. Ralph Northam proposed hundreds of millions in new spending for vaccine deployment and pandemic response, including half a billion dollars for public schools upended by COVID-19.

It includes millions more to help hold off an oncoming wave of evictions resulting from job losses from the virus, bonuses for state employees and state-supported local personnel and to push broadband internet farther into underserved rural areas.

Gov. Northam holding a press briefing.
Gov. Northam holding a press briefing. (Source: VPM)

But he drew the wrath of Republicans for $5.1 million he proposes for adding four new judges to the 11-judge Virginia Court of Appeals to expand Virginians’ right to appeal trial court decisions.

The cost of boosting the understaffed court brimming with Republican appointees represents four one-thousandths of 1 percent of the overall two-year budget.

Parking Deck Shooting Suspect Arrested

Capitol Police say a 21-year-old Richmond man has been arrested for a shooting at a state parking deck on Dec. 4.

Whitaker was taken into custody in the afternoon of Dec. 16 by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Capitol police say.

Hakeem Whitaker
Hakeem Whitaker (Source: Capitol Police)

“I am grateful to all of our law enforcement partners for their vigilance and especially to the members of the task force for getting this dangerous individual in custody,” Col. Anthony S. Pike, the Division of Capitol Police Chief, said. “This individual has repeatedly demonstrated a stunning disregard for human life, and he needs to be in a place where he cannot harm the public.”

Don’t Leave Your Pets Outside!

Attorney General Mark Herring is reminding Virginians to take care of their pets as temperatures grow cold.

Herring is reminding pet owners and law enforcement that animals cannot be left out in the cold without adequate shelter and care, and if they are, there can be serious consequences, including animal cruelty charges.

Poor dog left outside in the cold.
Poor dog left outside in the cold.

Under Virginia law, leaving an animal in the cold with no shelter or inadequate shelter can be considered animal cruelty, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

RACC said dog houses and straw bales are available for delivery to any resident in the city that needs them. Residents who need them can message RACC on Facebook or call them at 804-646-5573.

Diversity Richmond Hosting Food Drive

Diversity Richmond is hosting a holiday food drive on Saturday with the goal of helping 500 families.

The food drive will be on Dec. 19 from 9-11:30 a.m. at Diversity Richmond’s parking lot along Sherwood Avenue.

(Source: NBC12)

The drive is contact-free with participants having their trunks filled with supplies for the week.

Feed More is providing fresh vegetables, frozen chickens and hams. Dovin Property Management, Diamonds Direct, Mongrel and Diversity Richmond donors are also sponsoring the event.

Final Thought

In order to write about life first, you must live it - Ernest Hemingway

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