What’s News Today: Budget talks, inclusion discussion

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)

Roanoke City Council will hold a public hearing tonight about school board appointees. This afternoon, council will meet in closed session to interview five people for three open positions.

Roanoke City Council could set a public hearing about a disposable plastic bag tax. If passed, customers will be charged five cents per plastic bag at grocery, convenience and drug stores. Money raised from the tax will be used for environmental cleanup, environmental waste education programs and providing reusable bags to SNAP and WIC recipients. The public meeting could be scheduled for April 19th. If passed, the new tax would take effect on Jan. 1.

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors will hold a budget work session today. The proposed budget is $110.5 million. County staff would receive a five percent pay increase, with taxes remaining unchanged.

Virginia Tech’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity holds a town hall today. Participants will discuss showing support for the Asian- and Pacific Islander-Americans. The discussion begins at 11:30 a.m. on YouTube.

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about increasing the food and beverage tax. The General Assembly now allows for counties to charge up to six percent, up from the previous four percent. If passed, the tax increase would go into effect immediately.

A man, arrested during a violent demonstration in Lynchburg last year, will go before a grand jury today. Several charges against 26-year-old Demetre Wade were certified in court last month. As we’ve reported, a protest started outside Fifth and Federal in May during a nationwide movement against police brutality, after the death of George Floyd. Dozens of people were arrested during the protest.