News to Know for Jan. 18: State Capitol security; Inauguration update; Phase 1b vaccines begin

News to Know for Jan. 18: State Capitol security; Inauguration update; Phase 1b vaccines begin
Sunday, law enforcement spent time getting final security barriers in place. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you head out the door.

Sunny With Breezy Afternoon

Temperatures remain seasonable all week with mostly sunny skies each day.

Today will be mostly sunny then partly sunny.

Then we’ll have a breezy afternoon with wind gusts around 20 mph likely. Lows near 30, highs around 50 degrees.

Forecast: Mainly dry for next 7 days

Men In Hospital After Shooting

Officers responded to the 1300 block of Coalter Street around 7:50 p.m. after hearing random gunfire. Police say emergency communications also received several calls about random gunfire on Jan. 17.

(Source: Raycom images)

First responders found two men in the area who had been shot. They were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Additional information will be added as it becomes available.

Tight Security Around Capitol

Richmond police are urging people to avoid downtown in the area of the Virginia State Capitol.

Sunday, law enforcement spent time getting final security barriers in place. That includes additional crowd control fencing and dump trucks strategically placed.

The Virginia Department of General Services said all planned permitted demonstrations for Monday, which is Lobby Day, are canceled at Capitol Square.

Both Richmond and Virginia Capitol Police are out on the streets patrolling.

Amtrak Routes Halted

Amtrak Northeast Regional trains will not travel in Virginia next week leading up to the Presidential Inauguration.

Customers will not be able to use Amtrak Northeast services south of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, or Wednesday, Jan. 20.

(Source: Pixabay)

“After last week’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, we are taking extra steps to continue ensuring the safety of our employees and customers in Washington, D.C., and across our network as we prepare for the Inauguration,” Amtrak said in a statement.

The Northeast Regional line won’t be operating in Norfolk, Richmond, Lynchburg or Roanoke on Tuesday or Wednesday. Trains 66, 67, 84, 93, 94, 95, 125, 171, 174 and 176 will not run.

Tensions High Ahead Of Inauguration

U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.

The massive undertaking reflects the extraordinary security concerns that have gripped Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters.

A nation on edge braces for this week's transfer of power.
A nation on edge braces for this week's transfer of power.

It underscores fears that some of the very people assigned to protect the city over the next several days could present a threat to the incoming president and other VIPs in attendance.

Man Arrested For 500+ Rounds Of Ammo

Police said Wesley Allen Beeler, of Front Royal, Virginia, drove up to a security checkpoint at North Capitol Street and E Street Northwest about 6:30 p.m. Friday. Beeler was driving a white Ford 150 truck with Virginia tags and gun-related decals, according to U.S. Capitol Police records.

(Source: Carolyn Kaster)

NBC4 reports that Beeler’s truck was decorated with firearm decals, including ones that said “Assault Life” and “If they come for your guns, Give ‘Em your bullets first.”

Police say Beeler presented a credential that was unauthorized.

According to NBC Washington, when the credential didn’t match up with a list of people authorized to enter the inauguration perimeter, U.S. Capitol Police officers conducted additional searches.

Biden Plans To Appeal To Unity

President-elect Joe Biden will deliver an appeal to national unity when he is sworn in Wednesday and plans immediate moves to combat the coronavirus pandemic and undo some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies, his incoming chief of staff said Sunday.

(Source: AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Biden intends a series of executive actions in his first hours after his inauguration, an opening salvo in what is shaping up as a 10-day blitz of steps to reorient the country without waiting for Congress, aide Ron Klain said.

Klain told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden, in his inaugural address to the nation, will deliver “a message of moving this country forward. A message of unity. A message of getting things done.”

Richmond Offices Closed

City office buildings in downtown Richmond will be closed to the public for MLK Day as well as on Jan. 19 and 20.

This includes offices located in City Hall, 730 East Broad Street and Main Street Station.

City services will still be available to residents.

All DMV offices will be closed for MLK Day also. For a list of Virginia’s 2021 state holiday schedules, click here.

Vaccine In Va.: Who’s Next?

Phase 1b, which starts on Jan. 18, includes frontline essential workers, and per Gov. Ralph Northam, those aged 65+ or have comorbidities now qualify to get the vaccine in Phase 1b, as well.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, this will be the order of frontline essential worker vaccinations:

  • Police, Fire, and Hazmat
  • Corrections and homeless shelter workers
  • Childcare/K-12 Teachers/Staff
  • Food and Agriculture (including Veterinarians)
  • Manufacturing
  • Grocery store workers
  • Public transit workers
  • Mail carriers (USPS and private)
  • Officials needed to maintain continuity of government (includes judges and public-facing judicial workers)

A list of qualifying medical conditions can be found, HERE.

Second Round Of PPP Loans

A second round of money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is about to hit banks across Central Virginia. The Small Business Administration is reopening the program on Jan. 18.

The head of Richmond-based Atlantic Union Bank says during the first round of PPP loans, his bank gave out more than 11,000 loans totaling $1.7 billion. If you got one before, you can apply again.

(Source: Julian Esparza)

Atlantic Union Bank says 85% of PPP loans are under $50,000. If you are applying for forgiveness, Asbury says wait a few weeks because a more streamlined process for that paperwork is coming.

Program details from SBA can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

Final Thought

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up - Thomas Edison

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