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VPM Daily Newscast June 18, 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.        

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 Wednesday, June 16, 2021: 

  • As of today, Juneteenth is a national holiday celebrating the emancipation of African Americans. It also happens to be World Sickle Cell Awareness Day. The disease affects between 2,500 and 4,500 African Americans in Virginia. But only recently have patients been able to access the care and support they need. As Whittney Evans reports, that lag time is largely due to racial inequality. 

  • Virginia children are less likely to meet school immunization requirements this year due to limited access to health services during the pandemic. Around 96 percent of public school children were adequately vaccinated in the fall of 2019 for things like chicken pox and polio. That number dropped to 88 percent last fall. Virginia Department of Health nurse supervisor LaWanda Dunn stresses it’s important that parents keep track of their kids’ vaccinations to prevent outbreaks. Dunn recommends parents check the new requirements for the upcoming school year, effective July first, with their child’s pediatrician. 

  • Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney released a request for design proposals yesterday in a last-ditch effort to begin work on George Wythe High School as soon as possible. But, he'll need the school board’s consent, since they voted to take control of construction in April. If the board doesn’t agree to work with the city before the R-F-P closes in 45 days, Stoney won’t be legally allowed to proceed with construction. 

  • Housing advocates want Governor Ralph Northam to extend eviction protections for people struggling to make their rent. Statewide measures temporarily bar evictions and force landlords to help tenants apply for rent relief, but these measures are scheduled to expire later this month. Housing advocates say thousands of people could lose their homes if the governor doesn’t extend the protections. 

  • Amazon is committing $125 million to support affordable housing near Metro stations in the D.C. region. The company is also likely to receive as much as three-quarters of a million dollars from Virginia. From partner station WAMU, Ally Schweitzer reports. 

  • We have a correction on a story from earlier this week about the expansion of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It indicated designs for the project would be unveiled at the end of the month. This was in error. The correct information is that the architect will be announced later this month.