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VPM Daily Newscast April 7, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. 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 Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

  • Virginians will soon have to apply for two jobs every week to continue receiving unemployment benefits. The requirement isn’t new, but was suspended during the pandemic. The Virginia Employment Commission announced yesterday that it will bring it back. The commission received over 1.5 million claims during the pandemic, a more than 1000% increase from the previous year.
     
  • The Virginia Department of Health is offering assistance to people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing seeking information on COVID-19 and vaccinations. VDH says it recently hired several deaf employees who are fluent in American Sign Language. ASL help is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, seven days a week. Residents can connect by calling a video-phone number or going to the department’s webcam through VDH’s website. For more information, go to vaccinate.virginia.gov.
     
  • We’re beginning to learn more details about what will happen to all of the Confederate monuments Richmond took down last year. City Council is putting together a process to sort through more than twenty proposals.
     
  • The University of Richmond's Board of Trustees has issued a statement addressing controversial comments made by Board Rector Paul Queally. This is in response to the Faculty Senate’s motion to censure him. In a meeting last month, Queally allegedly singled out a Black faculty member and referred to white students on campus as “regular students.” In the statement, the Board said trustees who were at the meeting don’t agree with how Queally’s comments were characterized. The board also announced it would  “suspend” the decision on retaining the names of two campus buildings with ties to slavery and segregation, saying they’re “reviewing options” for a “more inclusive process.”
     
  • Candidates for Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney presented their platforms during a digital forum yesterday, hosted by the University of Richmond School of Law. Tom Barbour, a criminal defense attorney, is moving to unseat Colette McEachin in a June primary.
     
  • After weeks of virtual community meetings and work sessions, the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors will vote today on the county’s proposed annual budget. A big chunk of the more than $800 million budget prioritizes education, public safety and infrastructure projects. Pay raises for police, fire, EMS personnel and teachers are included in the proposal, as is a 2% merit increase for all other staff. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. tonight and will be streamed on the county’s website and YouTube channel.
     
  • After cancelling last year because of the pandemic, the Friday Cheers summer music series is returning to Richmond. Venture Richmond runs the annual event on Brown’s Island. The group released a lineup of seven concerts, starting May 7 with the Chris Jacobs Band and Deau Eyes. There will still be some measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Venture Richmond is selling tickets for pods of 2 to 8 people. Each pod will be spaced 6 feet apart, and concert goers will be required to wear masks.
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  • CORRECTION: An earlier version of the audio file was missing a story. It has been replaced.