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Afternoon News Update, 3/17/21

By Mickey Hutchings

In campus news, two residence halls have been given new signs after their renaming. Dogwood and Elkstone Halls, formerly known as Hoey and Lovill, were renamed in January in response to nationwide calls to remove names of buildings and other locations that were rooted in racist history. Hoey and Lovill got their names from two men who supported the Confederacy and ideologies that oppressed Black people in the 1800s, according to The Appalachian. Dogwood and Elkstone are named after nature, and other new buildings on campus have followed this naming trend, like the new Raven Rocks and Thunder Hill halls that were constructed on the west side of campus last year.

In local news, the Watauga County board of education voted yesterday to bring middle and high school students back to the classroom. 6th through 12th grade students will be returning to their schools four days a week beginning April 12th. The decision comes after Governor Roy Cooper announced that middle and high school students can return to in-person learning five days a week with minimal social distancing. The Watauga Democrat reports that one kindergarten class has had to quarantine since K through second grade classes returned, according to Watauga County Schools superintendent Scott Elliot. Third through fifth grade students will begin in-person instruction March 22nd.

In national news, eight people were killed last night in three Atlanta-area shootings. The New York Times reports that the suspect opened fire in three massage businesses in the city beginning around 5 p.m. At least six of the victims were Asian, according to officials, leading Asian communities to be on high alert. Activists and elected officials have been raising concerns over increased instances of hate crimes against people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China. President Biden called the attacks “un-American.”

And now for your weather update courtesy of Expect clouds to begin rolling in this afternoon, with a slight chance of a late-day shower. Today’s high is 62 degrees and the low is 49 degrees.

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