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VPM Daily Newscast: January 12, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Hosted by Benjamin Dolle, episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.

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 Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of January 12, 2021: 

  • Virginia’s capital city is under a state of emergency following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney requested the declaration of emergency, which City Council approved last night. It comes after the FBI warned that armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and Washington, D.C. through January 20th. So far, Richmond’s state of emergency does not have an expiration date. 
     
  • During the pandemic, the City of Richmond has given homeless service providers millions of federal dollars to offer temporary shelter in motels. Recipients of these services say securing shelter is difficult, inconsistent and anxiety-inducing
     
  • In the aftermath of rioters storming the U.S. Capitol last week, many contrasted the small police response with this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests. As Patrick Larsen reports, experts say that comparison refreshes trauma felt by some
     
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser are strongly encouraging Americans not to come to the nation’s capital for the January 20th Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden. Instead, they want people to participate virtually. In a joint statement released yesterday, all cited security concerns following the violent insurrection last week - and the ongoing deadly pandemic. The leaders said the siege was a “dark moment for our nation,” and that “Together, we will overcome extremism and get back to the work of our residents.” 
     
  • The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a Virginia immigration case. At issue is if those who re-enter the country seeking protections -- after having been deported -- can ask to be released on bond while fighting their new case. Justice Stephen Breyer is part of the court’s liberal wing. He noted the U.S. generally doesn’t keep people in prison for years, without any chance of bail. The justices weighed two laws governing immigrant detention that appear to conflict.
     
  • On Monday, a number of health departments began the next phase of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Health says 11 health districts, primarily in northern Virginia and parts of the Shenandoah Valley, will add vaccination opportunities for these groups: frontline workers, people 75 and older, as well as people being held in correctional facilities and those staying in homeless shelters. 
     
  • Henrico schools’ superintendent says teachers and staff may be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as next week, now that they have been included in the state’s next phase of vaccinations. In an email to staff, Superintendent Amy Cashwell says this includes everyone, from full-time teachers to part-time and temporary employees. Henrico schools sent out a survey to staff to gauge their interest in the vaccine. The school district says this is to plan for how many vaccines Henrico will need from the state, and also to determine the need for personnel to administer those shots. 
     
  • Chesterfield School Board members are meeting today to discuss when students could potentially head back to in-person classes. School officials decided that the majority of students will learn virtually until the end of January -- after COVID-19 cases shot up before the Thanksgiving break. According to the state health department, the average number of cases in the county have nearly tripled compared to November. To comment at the meeting, residents must contact the clerk’s office by 2 p.m. today. To do so, go to the school board section of the district’s website. The meeting starts at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and can be streamed on the district’s website or YouTube Channel.