Virginia chose not to Pre-treat the Roads before the Snow Storm. Today, there were more than 300 accidents.

By 3:30 PM on January 3, 2022, the Virginia State Police released information that they had responded to more than 2,000 calls for service due to the conditions on the roads from the first major snowstorm to hit Virginia since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are currently no fatalities reported, and most of the crashes only had vehicular damage.

By mid-afternoon, traffic crashes totaled at 600, with equal numbers of disabled/stuck vehicles.

Virginia had chosen not to pretreat the roads prior to the snow storm, and as a result, when the heavy snowfall hit most of the state, the roads had piles of snow and ice on them, making driving highly dangerous.

It is expected that the temperatures tomorrow will be worse, especially considering icing on the roads, and many counties are choosing to remain closed into Tuesday.

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Bristow Man charged with Attempted Murder by Stabbing

On December 28, 2021 at around 4:30 PM, the Leesburg police received communications that a 27-year old woman had been stabbed at the Leesburg Premium Outlets. The suspect was observed to have fled on foot, armed with a knife, towards the Sycamore Hill subdivision, which is behind the mall.

The police located the suspect, a 34-year old man named Corinthian Witcher from Bristow, Virginia, near the intersection of Potomac Station. Drive NE and Lilac Terrace NE. The victim was safely transported by ambulance to a local hospital where she is receiving treatment for injuries to her upper body. The injuries were found not to be life-threatening.

The suspect and the victim do know each other, and there is no further danger known to the public with regards to this matter.

Corinthian Witcher has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated malicious wounding, and bond is not available.

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US Hits New High on Covid-19 Infection

7-day average of new daily cases have risen to 253,245 as of Tuesday, marking a new high, surpassing 248,209 cases on January 12 due to the Omicron variant.

Omicron, although known to be less deadly than the Delta variant, is known to be more infectious. With loosening regulations across the country, the season and time period. Omicron has had an easier time spreading across the U.S. in much faster period than with the original coronavirus or with the Delta.

Many businesses have applauded the government’s efforts to reduce the quarantine time from 10 days to 5 days, but the president of the largest nursing union expects this will boost the number of Omicron infections.

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As Omicron surges, CDC shortens Quarantine to 5 Days

On Monday, the CDC shortened the recommended time for isolation for Americans infected with the coronavirus. The new requirement is 5 days if they are asymptomatic, which is based on new research when people are most infectious.

The omicron variant, which is less severe than the delta variant, nonetheless is highly transmissible and has led to infection levels unseen since last winter. That being said, Airlines and other industry officials had been demanding the CDC to shorten recommended quarantine and isolation times, as the industry leaders claimed that the cancellations this holiday season had to do with employees testing positive and having to quarantine for 10 days. The industry argued that following earlier guidelines would make maintenance of business impossible.

The CDC recommended quarantine for 5 days and then wearing masks around others for 5 days. Those exposed to infection but has received the booster shot, should wear a mask for 10 days; they do not need to quarantine.

The CDC explained that the update is to allow others to continue with their lives and that the decision was driven by scientific research which showed that the transmission occurs in the one to two days before the onset of symptoms and for two to three days afterwards. The officials also recommended getting tested five days after exposure.

As the world begins to realize that it will need to live with the coronavirus rather than exterminate it, policy changes, at least in the U.S., is beginning to reflect this. Maybe it’s more economically motivated than government officials like to admit, however. Whether the change in recommendation leads to what kinds of results is yet to be known.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.

Moderna and Pfizer are Clear Winners vs Johnson & Johnson

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended a preference of Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 booster shots over Johnson & Johnson variable, as Johnson & Johnson continues to struggle with the blood clotting issue, which has since seen nine deaths and several dozen cases of other complications with regards to the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Out of the nine deaths associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 7 of the patients did have underlying health concerns. The other two aren’t clear. Dozens fell sick, and they are also under investigation.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine appeal had to do with it being a single dose vaccine with no special storage requirement. However, it is certainly less appealing due to its lower effectiveness and higher risk in terms of the blood clot issue. Only about 17 million have administered the Johnson & Johnson dosage, whereas the 470 million of the Pfizer and Moderna have been administered.

As Johnson & Johnson did advertise its easy use as one of its main advantages, this will make vaccinating homeless or prisoners more difficult, as their positions are more difficult to reach, and transportation of the other alternatives are harder.

Because of this weakness in Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the CDC, which tends to hold back on having a preferential recommendation, has done so in this case.

Johnson & Johnson continues to remain firm on the quality of their vaccines, but it may become a very special-use vaccine rather than a nationwide one.

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First Korean-American Woman Confirmed to U.S. Court of Appeals

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the appointment of Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is the first Korean-American woman to be serving as a federal appellate judge in U.S. history.

Pres. Biden announced the appointment in September 2021. Most recently, Judge Koh served as a federal judge for the Northern District of California and previously served as California Superior Court Judge for Santa Clara County.

The Asian American community praised this confirmation.

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Northam proposes $250 rebate for taxpayers and gets rid of grocery tax

State of Virginia has seen record financial reserves of nearly $4 billion. Governor Northam is now proposing $250 tax rebates for all individual tax filers in Virginia and eliminating the Commonwealth grocery tax. Northam justified his proposal by claiming that he wanted all Virginians to benefit from the Commonwealth’s strong economic growth, which showed a record surplus of $2.6 billion this year. Northam also emphasized that the lower and middle-income families will see greatest benefit with the $250 rebate and the end of the 1.5% grocery tax.

Northam had called for the end of grocery taxes in 2017. However, he had not made this possible until now. Youngkin, who is to become the next Governor, also campaigned for these reforms.

The nearly $4 billion reserve surplus is nearly 17 percent of the state revenue and is attributed to better than expected revenue growth, federal pandemic assistance and cautious spending. Northam also called for 10% raise for public school teachers, investment in public safety, and millions of dollars for historically black colleges and universities among many others in his 2022 proposed budget.

Youngkin’s transitional aide has expressed generally positive views on Northam’s moves, but also called it “a step in the right direction but not entirely fulfilling.”

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Crucial Antarctic Ice Shelf Failure Possible in less than 5 Years

Ice shelf holding back one of the most dangerous glaciers in Antarctica is weakening. The Thwaites Glacier is a Florida-sized glacier already contributing to 4 percent of global sea level rise annually. However, until recently, the eastern portion flowed more slowly because of the ice shelf holding it back.

However, as the ocean continues to warm at a faster pace, the ocean is eroding the ice shelf from below the surface. There are now several large diagonal cracks along the floating ice. Ice shelf breaking would not be the problem, but what it is holding back will accelerate its movement up to 3 times faster. This will result in several feet of sea level rise and cause major devastation to millions of people living in coastal areas.

Of course, Thwaites isn’t only melting due to the ocean, there is also geothermal activity below causing weakness to the ice shelf. Whether we like it or not, climate is seeing a change, and what has been normal for hundreds of years is shifting.

Appropriate preparation would be necessary and encouraging.

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Supreme Court Commission: Everyone wants Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices

A bipartisan panel comprised of legal scholars prepared and submitted to the White House the final report, which described public support for imposing term limits but not for adding justices.

The current Supreme Court is comprised of 6 conservatives and 3 liberals, three of them having selected during the Trump era. The Commission was unanimous in its support for imposing term limits.

As to whether the Court should be expanded for more seats, this is more split. For example, retired federal judge Nancy Gertner voiced concerns about the Court being effectively packed by one party and remaining unchanged for years if not decades. Constitutional Law expert Laurence Tribe also voiced concerns of the same kind, although he had originally thought the Court need not be expanded.

Of course, there are those that oppose this as well. For example, Thomas B. Griffith, recently retired from U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., saw no issues with the current make up and argued that partisan politics should not sacrifice the federal judiciary.

Whether the Biden administration would actually take any action on these matters is not yet clear. Reforms were called for during the Obama administration but was unsuccessful due to the Republican-controlled Senate.

Just last week, the liberal members of the Court warned that overturning the long precedence of Roe v. Wade would greatly impact the reputation of the Court and make many Americans distrust the institution, especially given the change would be coming after the Court changed membership.

Either way, majority of Americans agree: the Supreme Court should have term limits.

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Cold Front Moving into Greater Washington Area; Snow on the Way

After issuing a wind advisory for today, the area is seeing a cold front moving into the Washington, D.C. region. Temperatures on Tuesday are not expected to go much higher above 40 degrees. Wednesday, there is a high possibility of snow up to 1″ even before Denver this year.

Snow is expected to fall earlier in the day if it does and will likely cause some commute concerns. While it is not yet clear whether snow will actually stick to the ground, slick spots are still possible, especially towards the north and west. Best chance for snow is between 8 and 11 AM.

Areas above Fairfax, Rockville, and Manassas may see some accumulation, but it is not clear that there will actually be any accumulation. Snow will likely stop falling by the midday and later, so it might not hinder commute back home.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole, or part without the express written permission.