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VPM Daily Newscast April 27, 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.

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Tuesday, April 27, 2021:

  • After years of campaigning, the Richmond Public Defender’s office could finally get the funding it’s been asking for. As the city deliberates the budget, which begins July 1, public defenders say it should keep equal justice in mind. 
     
  • Prince William County Del. Hala Ayala got a boost in her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor yesterday. State Democratic leaders, including Gov. Ralph Northam, gave Ayala the biggest endorsements in the race so far.
     
  • Virginia Republicans will allow observant Jews and other people with religious obligations to vote absentee in their upcoming nominating convention. The party’s top committee made the decision on Sunday night. Their move came after the absentee voting proposal failed to win enough support last week, sparking outrage from some Republicans. GOP voters will choose nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general at a convention on May 8. Only registered delegates will be eligible to cast ballots. 
     
  • Virginia will have a secretary of labor for the first time under a new law passed by the General Assembly. It’s part of a broader change in a state that has started to add more protections for workers.
     
  • Faculty, staff and student workers at VCU announced yesterday they are forming a union. The union kicked off two weeks of public events with a rally in Monroe Park. 
     
  • The Virginia Department of Health recently launched a new dashboard that tracks new variants of COVID-19. The new mutations can spread easier and make some treatments less effective. Currently, 965 infections from five different variants have been reported statewide. Five people have died because of coronavirus variants, including one person from Central Virginia. Health officials say getting vaccinated will help decrease the spread. The dashboard is updated every Friday.