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VPM Daily Newscast June 4, 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 Friday, June 4, 2021: 

  • Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger is reintroducing a bill to increase transparency in prescription drug transactions. It targets third-party companies that she says have recently grown to dominate American medicine with little federal oversight. Patrick Larsen has more. 

  • Virginia Commonwealth University has expelled Delta Chi fraternity for violations that allegedly led to the death of a student. The university found that the fraternity violated policies on hazing, alcohol, and COVID-19 in the run-up to the death of Adam Oakes. The 19-year-old was found dead in late February in off-campus housing. A medical examiner later said it was caused by alcohol poisoning. Richmond police are still investigating the case. VCU has hired a consulting firm to issue a report on the school’s Greek life this summer. 

  • Tomorrow is the last day to vote early in-person before the June Primary. Polls at local registrar’s offices are open until 5 p.m on Saturday for voters.  As of yesterday, 83,000 people have already cast their ballots. Data from the Virginia Public Access Project shows more than half voted by mail. The primary is this Tuesday June 8. Virginians can cast their ballots between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

  • Gov. Ralph Northam has set goals for cutting down on pollution going into the Chesapeake Bay. The executive directive sets targets for reducing pollution caused by runoff from lands owned by state agencies and other public institutions around the bay. Environmentalists say Stormwater runoff is one of the most harmful sources of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. The new directive is intended to help Virginia meet its clean water goals by 2025. 

  • Two of Richmond’s largest and most popular festivals are returning in-person this fall. Venture Richmond Events plans to bring back the 2nd Street Festival and Richmond Folk Festival. The 2nd Street Festival will take place October 2nd through 3rd. The Richmond Folk Festival will happen the following weekend. Organizers say both events will follow federal and state guidelines for outdoor gatherings. More details will be released throughout the summer. 

  • This week marks one year since the start of summer-long protests in Richmond, setting off clashes between protesters and police. The Richmond Police Department is now facing several lawsuits over its response. Chief Gerald Smith recently spoke to Whittney Evans about what changes, he says, are underway at the department.