2021-8-24

VCU Health CMH Partners with American Red Cross to Host Community Blood Drive

South Hill, VA (8/23/21) – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Friday, August 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the C.A.R.E. Building, located next to the hospital at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill. The drive will be in Education Rooms 1114 and 1116.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate, call (800) 733-2767 or sign up online at redcrossblood.org with sponsor code VCUHEALTH. Please note you will need to wear a mask and check in as a visitor to the C.A.R.E. Building with a temperature screening and wristband in order to gain entrance to the blood drive.

VCU Health CMH is committed to strengthening our community and helping meet hospital and patient needs through blood donations,” said Christina Duke, Director of Laboratory Services. “This blood drive is our way of giving staff, colleagues and neighbors an opportunity to help save lives.”

Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer blood donors. With someone in the U.S. needing blood every two seconds, blood products must be constantly replenished, according to the Red Cross.

“We urge community members to donate blood and help ensure that patients in local hospitals have a supply of blood ready and waiting before an emergency occurs,” Christina added. “There’s no better feeling than knowing that your blood donation may give someone a second chance at life.”

According to the Red Cross, donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative.

Governor Northam Announces Grants to Replace 83 Diesel School Buses with Clean Alternatives

More than $10.5 million awarded to 19 school districts

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced more than $10.5 million in funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, administered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, to replace 83 diesel school buses with electric and propane buses in 19 school districts across Commonwealth.

By providing funds for clean school buses, the Department of Environmental Quality will help Virginia achieve clean energy goals, reduce air pollution, and mitigate climate change. The grant that provides the money for this initiative came from a Trust funded by the Volkswagen settlement that is working to reduce emissions and support environmental programs.

“We all benefit from transitioning away from diesel school buses and investing in clean alternatives for our transportation system,” said Governor Northam. “I know how important clean air is for children’s health. Since I took office, the Commonwealth has been focused on transforming the electric grid, developing clean energy resources, and addressing the climate crisis through initiatives that allow Virginia to invest in a clean and healthy future.”

Governor Northam announced the launch of the $20 million program in May 2021 to help transition school buses away from diesel and toward cleaner fuels like electricity and propane. The program’s investments in clean alternatives, which are intended to reduce harmful vehicle pollution, have helped accelerate an equitable transition to a cleaner economy for all Virginians.

“It is encouraging to see how successful the funds from the Volkswagen settlement have been in supporting clean alternatives for transportation,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “We have been clear that Virginia's environment is a top priority. I am proud that this settlement is being used to support important causes, like providing clean, safe, and healthy transportation for children going to and from school.”

The attorney general's office announced a settlement with Volkswagen in 2016 that committed $2.7 billion to environmental mitigation. This settlement has provided the funding for many eco-friendly initiatives across the Commonwealth. The attorney general's negotiations of this settlement secured resources for environmental causes for many years to come, and reinforces Virginia’s commitment to a clean economy.

“The Northam administration has remained committed to fighting the impacts of climate change and finding solutions that help Virginians every day,” said Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Matthew J. Strickler. “Replacing aging and dirty buses is not only better for the health of school children, it also saves school divisions tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a bus and helps advance Virginia’s clean energy goals.”

“Virginia’s investments in electrifying the school bus fleets is an important and critical part of our comprehensive approach to reducing pollution,” said Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor. “Collectively, the replacement of these school buses is calculated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10,000 tons per year, and will save one million gallons of diesel fuel, equivalent to removing 2,000 cars from the road.” 

As part of this round of funding, Southampton County will receive $530,000 for two electric busses.

In September 2019, Governor Northam directed $20 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust to support new initiatives aimed at deploying electric school buses across the Commonwealth.

“Many of our families struggle to make ends meet,” said Halifax County Public Schools Director of Transportation Tammy Lacks Moore. “These funds will enable us to replace 10 diesel buses without raising taxes on our already burdened population, all while making sure we are doing everything we can to help improve our community.”

“The clean bus award will make a powerful impact for Essex County Public Schools and advance our transition to an electric fleet,” said Essex County Public Schools Transportation Supervisor Crystal Blowe. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Essex County students to ride the bus to and from school in an emissions free environment.”

“We are proud to set an example for our students and show that we are intently working towards, and contributing to, a brighter environmental future,” said Augusta County Public Schools Director of Transportation Terry Lafon. “With these funds, we will be doubling our fleet of electric buses and replacing 1996 and 1997 diesel buses, which will immediately benefit riders with a major reduction in both noise pollution and carbon fuel emissions.”

“Being selected to receive funds for 10 propane buses expands our ability to provide safe, reliable, and clean transportation for our students who deserve nothing but the best,” said Newport News Public Schools Director of Transportation Shay Coates. “As a major organization within our community, we feel we must set the example in protecting our environment.”

The Department of Environmental Quality is responsible for distributing Virginia’s share of $93.6 million from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust by investing in a diverse range of technologies that provide cost-effective, near-term emission benefits coupled with zero-emission technologies that provide long-term benefits. 

To date, approximately $62 million has been awarded for innovative projects including electric transit, school and shuttle buses, electric equipment at the Port of Virginia, and the development of a statewide electric-vehicle charging network.

The Department of Environmental Quality will begin accepting applications in October for an additional round of funds for public school districts to purchase more propane or electric school buses. Sign up here to receive updates on funding opportunities.

Additional information on the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and efforts to reduce air pollution in Virginia is available on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING OUTLINES UPDATED TENANT PROTECTIONS

~ Herring is outlining current state and federal tenant protections to help Virginians stay in their home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Commonwealth ~

RICHMOND(August 19, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is outlining the various state and federal tenant protections that are currently in place to help Virginians stay in their homes as the deadly COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Commonwealth.
 
“The sad reality is that too many Virginians across the Commonwealth continue to find themselves in tough financial situations because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and they may have a hard time making ends meet or paying their rent,” said Attorney General Herring. “I want to help all Virginians and their families stay in their homes during this ongoing global health crisis, which is why it’s so important to make sure that tenants stay up to date on eviction protections, as they have changed over the past year.”
 
Virginia Eviction Protections Effective Through June 30, 2022
  • If someone in a tenant’s household has experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19, their landlord may not take any action to get possession or evict for nonpayment of rent unless the landlord:
  • Gives tenant a 14-day nonpayment notice informing the tenant about the Rent Relief Program (RRP), and
  • Unless the tenant pays in full, enters into a payment plan, or has already has applied for RRP, the landlord must apply for RRP on the tenant’s behalf within the 14-day period.
  • Landlords must cooperate with RRP applications by providing all information and documents needed.
  • After application for rent relief funds, landlords may not take any action to evict unless:
  • The tenant is not eligible for RRP, or
  • The tenant refuses to cooperate with RRP application, or
  • RRP funds are not approved in writing within 45 days of the first completed application, or
  • For any subsequent application, RRP funds are not approved in writing within 14 days of a complete application, or
  • RRP funds are depleted.
  • If a tenant is complying with a written payment plan, their landlord may not evict for nonpayment of rent.
Virginia Rent Relief Program
  • Tenants may apply for the statewide Rent Relief Program at http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/rmrp.
  • Chesterfield County tenants should apply for rent relief with Chesterfield Emergency Rent Assistance (CERA) at http://actsrva.org/chesterfield-emergency-rent-and-utility-assistance-cera.
  • Tenants in Fairfax County can apply for rent relief through Coordinated Services Planning at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health-humanservices/eviction-prevention
  • Basic eligibility requirements:
  • Household income at or below 80% Area Median Income
  • Rent amount at or below 150% Fair Market Rent
  • Loss of income related directly or indirectly to COVID-19, or increase in expenses related directly or indirectly to COVID-19
  • Required documentation:
  • Rental agreement (valid lease or alternative lease documentation)
  • Tenant/landlord ledger
  • Tenant income documentation
  • Landlord’s Virginia W-9
  • RRP landlord/tenant agreement
  • Rent arrears can be covered back to April 1, 2020, plus current rent and up to 3 months’ future rent for a maximum of 18 months. Payments are made directly to landlords.
  • A landlord that refuses to accept rent relief may be illegally discriminating on the basis of a tenant’s source of funds. You can report suspected housing discrimination to the Virginia Fair Housing Office: https://www.dpor.virginia.gov/FairHousing.

Other State Protections
  • A landlord may not evict a tenant without following court eviction process. That landlord first sends a written notice and next the landlord files an unlawful detainer (eviction) lawsuit. The landlord must get a court order of possession, followed by a Writ of Eviction.
  • Through September 28, 2021, tenants in eviction lawsuits for non-payment of rent can get a case postponed for 60 days by coming to court with written proof of reduced income due to COVID-19.
  • After an eviction lawsuit for nonpayment of rent, tenants have the right to pay to a zero balance on or before the court date and have the lawsuit dismissed. After that, tenants have the right to pay to a zero balance up to 48 hours before a Sheriff’s eviction and have the eviction cancelled. If the landlord has 5 or more rentals, tenants may use these rights at any time. Otherwise, tenants may use these rights only once in a 12-month period.
Federal CDC Eviction Protections Effective Through October 3, 2021
  • On August 3, 2021, the CDC issued a new temporary halt in residential evictions in communities with substantial or high levels of transmission of COVID-19.
  • To qualify for the CDC eviction protections, a tenant must prove:
  • They have used their best efforts to obtain all available government rent assistance.
  • They are below income requirements:
  • Earned no more than $99,000 ($198,000 if joint return) in 2020, or
  • Expects to earn no more than $99,000 ($198,000 if joint return) in 2021, or
  • Not required to report any income to the IRS in 2020, or
  • Received stimulus check.
  • They are unable to pay rent due to income loss or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • They will use best efforts to make timely partial rent payments considering other expenses to be paid.
  • They would become homeless or need to move into close quarters (double up) if evicted.
  • Must provide CDC Declaration to landlord. Note that a previously given CDC Declaration remains in effect as long as information remains truthful and the tenant lives in locality where COVID-19 transmission rate is high or substantial.
  • Current CDC eviction protections only apply to:
  • Counties and Independent Cities where COVID-19 transmission rate is high or substantial.
  • These CDC protections do not apply where COVID-19 transmission rate is moderate or low.
  • A locality which moves into a transmission rate of high or substantial, from a rate of moderate or low, it will immediately trigger CDC eviction protections.
  • A locality which moves into a transmission rate of moderate or low for 14 consecutive days, from a rate of high or substantial, will lose CDC eviction protections after the 14 days.
  • Transmission rates by locality: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.

 Additional Resources

 

 

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