News to Know for March 26: New vaccine clinic location; Deadly tornadoes; Early morning rain, sunny day

News to Know for March 26: New vaccine clinic location; Deadly tornadoes; Early morning rain, sunny day
At least five people died in twisters that wrecked homes, splintered trees and crumpled businesses.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a look at our top headlines before you start your day!

Early Morning Showers, Sunny & Warm Day

A Strong cold front moves through today, bringing showers in the early morning, then warm and breezy conditions for the rest of the day.

Today we will have showers through 8 am.., then turning partly sunny, windy and very warm.

Highs in the low to mid-80s. The record is 85 set in 1939 is within reach.

Friday Forecast: Early AM Showers, then warm and breezy

Missing Woman

Kayla Whetzel, 18, was last seen in the Libbie Avenue and Monument Avenue area Tuesday, March 23. There have also been reports that she was seen in the 3200 block of N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

Police say she was first reported missing by the group home where she lived in a neighboring county.

Kayla Whetzel, 18, was last seen in the Libbie Avenue and Monument Avenue area Tuesday, March 23.
Kayla Whetzel, 18, was last seen in the Libbie Avenue and Monument Avenue area Tuesday, March 23. (Source: Richmond Police Department)

According to police, Whetzel suffers from a medical condition and is in need of medication. There is also a concern for her safety since she is not familiar with the Richmond area.

If you know where she is, call Major Crimes Detective J. Cartagena at 804-337-4724 or Acting Major R. Edwards at 804-338-2439.

Woman Shot Overnight

Just before 1 a.m. officers were called to the 2200 block of Afton Avenue where they found the woman with a gunshot wound. She was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries and police say she is fighting to survive.

RPD says there is no threat to the community, but they are asking anyone with information to leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling (804) 780-1000 or by using the P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app.

Deadly Tornadoes

Blaring tornado sirens and howling winds roared across parts of western Georgia early Friday as severe storms pounded southern states, including in Alabama where at least five people died in twisters that wrecked homes, splintered trees and crumpled businesses.

The strong storm followed a series of tornadoes that ripped through Alabama on Thursday, including one that authorities said traveled roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) across the state.

Residents survey damage to homes after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Ala. in the Eagle Point community damaging multiple homes, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Authorities reported major tornado damage Thursday south of Birmingham as strong storms moved through the state. The governor issued an emergency declaration as meteorologists warned that more twisters were likely on their way.
Residents survey damage to homes after a tornado touched down south of Birmingham, Ala. in the Eagle Point community damaging multiple homes, Thursday, March 25, 2021. Authorities reported major tornado damage Thursday south of Birmingham as strong storms moved through the state. The governor issued an emergency declaration as meteorologists warned that more twisters were likely on their way. (Source: AP Photo/Butch Dill)

There were several reports of downed trees and power lines.

Several school districts were closed or delayed Friday due to the damage.

Southside Vaccine Clinic Update

George Wythe High School will serve as Richmond’s southside COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

The new location, just off Midlothian Turnpike, will still operate by appointment only, once a week for now.

George Wythe High School
George Wythe High School (Source: NBC12)

Thursday, Richmond health officials announced the change from Celebration Church due to logistical reasons.

The health district, which covers both Richmond and Henrico, says there are about 23,000 people still waiting for a call-in group 1B, and there’s an additional 17,000 pre-registered in group 1C.

Not So Fast!

The Virginia Department of Health is urging people not to travel to vaccination clinics in other health districts unless they already have an appointment there.

(Source: WALB)

VDH says it’s not OK to jump the line out of town.

BRHD is urging everyone to pre-register for their coronavirus vaccine if they haven’t done so already because that impacts how many shots are allocated to this health district.

Name Changes

Virginia State University is parting ways with Confederate leaders and those who opposed integrating schools.

As a statue of former Virginia Governor Harry Byrd is slated to be removed from the State Capitol, VSU is also cutting ties.

(Source: VSU)

“He was a segregationist. He fought against Brown vs. the Board of Education,” VSU Vice-President Tonya Hall said.

She says the school is now renaming buildings that paid tribute to not only Byrd but also educator Joseph Eggleston, Confederate Army Captain Charles Vawter and former Virginia Governor Elbert Trinkle.

Charlottesville’s Mayor

For many, a sore spot with Mayor Nikuyah Walker’s recent poem on Facebook was that she invoked rape in her reflection on Charlottesville.

The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says direct and explicit language about sexual assault can trigger anxiety and trauma responses in survivors.

The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says that direct, explicit language about sexual assault can often trigger anxiety and trauma responses in survivors, even unintentionally.
The Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) says that direct, explicit language about sexual assault can often trigger anxiety and trauma responses in survivors, even unintentionally. (Source: WVIR)

SARA says that it’s not their place to police people’s language but they encourage everyone to be mindful of the effect their words and word choice can have.

SARA has resources available for survivors at all times with a 24-hour hotline. That number is (434) 977-7273.

Virtual & In-Person Graduations For VCU

Virginia Commonwealth University will hold a university-wide virtual commencement, along with in-person ceremonies at the department, school and college levels.

The virtual ceremony will be on May 15, with a “Zoom pre-party for students, video clips and photos from graduates to commemorate their accomplishments while at VCU as well as traditional ceremony elements to celebrate the occasion of their graduation, including speeches and music.”

Students will also be able to register for two commemorative graduation programs and a celebration box.

Final Thought

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on - Franklin D. Roosevelt

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