What’s News Today: Easter egg hunts, capacity increases

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)

There’s a new law that goes into affect today for those going boating on federal waterway. Boat engine cutoff switches are now required. They are designed to prevent collisions and injuries if a boat operator is ejected overboard.

If you shop in Henry County, you can expect to pay more starting today. The sales and use tax is increasing by one percent to 6.3 percent. The change was approved by the General Assembly last year and passed by voters in November. Money raised from the additional tax will be used for school construction and improvement. The rate increase does not apply to groceries or essential hygiene products.

Roanoke’s Equity and Empowerment Advisory Board will meet today. It will hear from committees on breaking the cycle of poverty, inclusive culture and more. The meeting will be held virtually at 6:30 p.m. You can watch it on the city’s Facebook page.

Mill Mountain Zoo will increase guest capacity today. It will allow 120 guests per hour, with guests required to wear masks. The move follows Governor Ralph Northam relaxing some restrictions. Starting today, entertainment venues can operate at 30 percent capacity with no attendance cap. Indoor venues remain capped at 500 people. Social gathers can now include 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Recreational sporting events are capped at 30 percent, with up to 500 spectators at outdoor events and 100 at indoor.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The City of Roanoke and several community partners are working together bring to create awareness. This year’s theme is Building Brighter Childhoods, with the idea that “everyone has a role to play in helping to prevent child abuse and neglect.” At the Virginia Western Community College Arboretum, Children’s Trust will plant a pinwheel garden. The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention.

Lexington City Council holds a public hearing about its budget for the next fiscal year. The total budget is $35.5 million, an increase of nearly $5.7 million. Taxes are proposed to remain unchanged.

CHIP of Roanoke Valley will hold an Easter Drive Thru today. It features a traditional Easter meal and baskets for children. The Easter Bunny will also be there. Community partners have prepared the baskets for all children enrolled in the CHIP program.

The City of Salem’s annual Easter Egg Hunt will return to the Moyer Sports Complex tonight. Hunts will run every 15 minutes, with 25 children and parents taking part in each. You are asked to wear a mask inside the egg hunt areas and maintain social distancing.

The Run 4 Their Lives Lynchburg Virtual Challenge gets underway today. It encourages you to walk or run 24 miles in 24 days. The race brings communities together, to increase awareness about human trafficking and to encourage advocacy. There’s also a virtual 5K and an in-person 5K, which takes place on April 24th.