What’s News Today: Lottery jackpot grows, COVID-19 vaccines

Here’s a look at some of the stories we’ll be following today as they make headlines across the country and Southwest Virginia.

What's News Today (WSLS 10)

Get your lottery tickets. The jackpot for tonight’s Mega Million drawing has grown to $600 million. No one has matched all of the numbers needed to win the top prize since September. The jackpot for tomorrow night’s Powerball drawing is $550 million.

The Pulaski County School Board will meet tonight to select a new chair and vice-chair. Afterward, it will hold a public hearing about the school system’s budget for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The Salem School Board meets today and will get an update on academic and extracurricular programs. It will also get an update on the state budget, with a possible decrease in revenue to more than $120,000 due to lower than projected enrollment.

More faculty and staff in local schools will get the COVID-19 vaccine today. In Montgomery County, Christiansburg Middle and High, Montgomery Central and Auburn Middle and High Schools will be closed to students today. Students should complete an Inclement Weather Day Assignment in Google Classroom. In Pulaski County, Dublin, Riverlawn and Snowville Elementary School will be closed. Students will learn remotely. Other schools in both districts will be impacted later this week.

Martinsville City Council will meet today to discuss CARES Act funding. Council will get an update on the expenditures, including the broadband project and utility assistance funding.

The Pulaski County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing about a proposed solar farm near Dublin. An application has been filed to build a 280-megawatt solar facility on nearly 3,000 acres. The project is expected to be built in three phases. Construction could create 350 full-time equivalent jobs and an economic impact of approximately $50 million. If approved, the Board of Supervisors could hold a public hearing and hold a vote later this month.

Blacksburg Town Council will hold a public hearing about banning guns in town facilities. Last year, the General Assembly changed state law, allowing localities to issue bans. The proposed ordinance would ban firearms in town buildings, parks, community centers and public streets during permitted events. If passed, the ordinance would take effect on March 1st.

The Lynchburg School Board will meet today. The administration will give an update on the Return to Learn plan. The Athletic Directors from the two high schools will also provide an update on the Return to Play plan for sports.

Water and sewer disconnections could return to the City of Lynchburg. During last year’s special session of the General Assembly, a moratorium was put in place during the state of emergency due to the pandemic. But, localities could seek to resume them if arrearages exceeded one percent of operating revenues. Right now, the city sits at 1.77 percent. City council will hold a public hearing and could then approve the resolution. If approved, disconnections could resume next month. Those who are behind can apply for money from the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program to be applied to their accounts.