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News to Know for Sept. 17: Early in-person voting; FDA meeting on booster shots; Few showers, storms

Starting today, Virginians can start making their voices heard on who they want as their next...
Starting today, Virginians can start making their voices heard on who they want as their next Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the House of Delegates.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:31 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a peek at our top stories before you begin the day!

Cloudy, With Few Showers

Today will be mostly cloudy with a few showers and storms. Rain spins off a nearly tropical area of low pressure offshore.

Could bring brief downpours. Especially along and East of I-95. Highs in the low 80s.

FDA Booster Meeting

Influential government advisers will debate Friday if there’s enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective — the first step toward deciding which Americans need one and when.

FDA meets Friday to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters
FDA meets Friday to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters

The agency struck a decidedly neutral tone on the rationale for boosters — an unusual and careful approach that’s all the more striking after President Joe Biden and his top health advisers trumpeted a booster campaign they hoped to begin next week.

The U.S. already offers an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to people with severely weakened immune systems.

Community Health Block Party

Brewer’s Cafe, a local black-owned business, will partner with the city of Richmond to host a Community Health Block Party on Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Those who wish to participate can get the COVID-19 vaccine or get tested for COVID-19 for free. People who get vaccinated will receive a free shot of espresso, latte, coffee, or nutritious juice provided by Brewer’s Café.

(wwbt/nbc12)

You will also be able to apply for job opportunities with Richmond Black Restaurant Experience, Richmond Restaurant Group, Soul Taco/Jewfro, and EAT Partners.

There will be live music at the event. For more information, click here.

Flash Flooding In Richmond

Heavy rain and flash flooding caused dangerous conditions all around the City of Richmond Thursday afternoon.

From water spilling over the jersey wall on Interstate 95 south to West Grace Street turning into what seemed like a river, here is a look at photos and videos from the flooding.

Flooding around Harrison and Broad streets.
Flooding around Harrison and Broad streets.

Major flooding on Interstate 95 at Belvidere caused traffic to be diverted due to flooding.

The water was so high on the one side it started spilling over the jersey wall.

New Access Ramp

Today, crews will break ground on a new universal access ramp at Huguenot Flatwater in Richmond.

The city of Richmond says while many people enjoy the James River, the launch site has not been ADA compliant.

Huguenot Flatwater
Huguenot Flatwater(James River Park System)

The new ramp will allow paddlers to enter a calmer section of the James River and then paddle downriver to Reedy Creek, where an accessible take-out is located.

The groundbreaking will take place at 10 a.m. on Sept. 17. Mayor Stoney will be in attendance.

In-Person Voting Starts Today

Starting today, Virginians can start making their voices heard on who they want as their next Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the House of Delegates.

To vote early, you will need to head to your local voter registration office and bring with you proof of I.D. such as your driver’s license, utility bill or a bank statement.

(WHSV)

If you do not have those with you, then you will be able to fill out a provisional ballot, which is not counted until you have a valid I.D. Curbside voting, where workers can bring ballots straight to your car, is also available.

Virginians have until Oct. 12 to register to vote. Early voting runs through Oct. 30. Election Day is Nov. 2.

McAuliffe & Youngkin First Debate

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin clashed over abortion and vaccination policies in Virginia’s first gubernatorial debate of the general election season.

Each sought to cast the other as extreme on major issues Thursday.

McAuliffe, Youngkin meet for first debate on eve of beginning of early voting
McAuliffe, Youngkin meet for first debate on eve of beginning of early voting

Asked his position on President Joe Biden’s sweeping new vaccine mandates, Youngkin called himself a strong advocate for the COVID-19 vaccines but said he thought the president lacked the authority to “dictate” that workers receive one.

McAuliffe criticized Youngkin as failing to show leadership, saying the Republican has undermined vaccine efforts and would unleash the virus by not mandating inoculations.

Report On Feb. Ice Storm

The State Corporation Commission has released its report on the horrific ice storm that caused major electric issues back in February.

The storm caused damage and extensive power outages, impacting people all across Virginia.

Some areas saw up to 1/2" of ice
Some areas saw up to 1/2" of ice

The SCC reports the largest factor at play was trees.

The report notes Southside Electric customers saw the worst of it, and while the report found no issues related to restoration efforts, it did point out issues connected to right-of-way maintenance practices.

Teen Builds ‘Puppy Kissing Booth’

A Midlothian teen built a “Puppy Kissing Booth” as part of his Eagle Scout project supporting Canine Companions, a service dog organization.

Aaron Hamilton joined started Scouts in the first grade, moved to Boy Scouts in 2015, and now at the age of 17, the Midlothian High School Senior is poised to become an Eagle Scout. As part of his project, Hamilton is supporting Canine Companions’ annual ‘Give a Dog a Job’ 5K Run/Walk on Saturday.

A Midlothian teen built a “Puppy Kissing Booth” for the Give a Dog a Job’ 5k Run/Walk.
A Midlothian teen built a “Puppy Kissing Booth” for the Give a Dog a Job’ 5k Run/Walk.(Canine Companions)

The Puppy Kissing Booth Hamilton built is expected to be a big hit during the event. The 5K/walk will be held rain or shine on Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. at Main Line Brewery.

The cost to participate is $35, and walk-up registration is from 8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m., with the race getting underway at 9 a.m. You can learn more and pre-register, here.

Final Thought

Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere - Albert Einstein

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