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VPM Daily Newscast: July 8, 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 Thursday, July 8, 2021: 

  • A statue of former governor and segregationist Harry Byrd, Senior was removed from capitol square in Richmond yesterday. Reporters were invited to watch, along with Governor Ralph Northam and Delegate Jay Jones. Whittney Evans was there.   

  • Another wave of gun violence hit Central Virginia last weekend, leaving ten people dead. That includes a girl shot in a shopping center in Henrico County. As Ben Paviour reports, homicides in Richmond and across the state are rising after hitting a low about a decade ago. 

  • The Virginia Air Pollution Control Board met yesterday amid controversy over its lack of public engagement regarding a Mountain Valley Pipeline permit application. Former Sierra Club of Virginia head Glen Besa was one of several commenters who complained about the board’s policies. Board members discussed policy changes, including moving public permit meetings away from the capitol and closer to affected communities, but resolved that such decisions are up to the General Assembly. By the end of the meeting, the board did extend the comment period for its public participation guidelines. 

  • Twenty innovative project ideas in several Chesterfield County schools were recently awarded funding grants by the Chesterfield Education Foundation. The foundation is providing roughly $76,000 to fund teachers whose projects range from creating a sensory path that provides social-emotional support to starting an afterschool program focused on coding and technology for girls. The innovation grants are designed to encourage instructors to think creatively when developing classroom projects and teaching life skills to K-through-12 students. 

  • The remnants of Tropical Storm Elsa are expected to hit the Richmond area today. The storm made landfall in Florida yesterday afternoon. Roman Miller is with the National Weather Service in Wakefield. He says the heaviest rain will come in the late afternoon and early evening. 

  • The Alexandria City Council voted earlier this week to hire more mental health professionals for youth, rather than spend the funds on school resource officers or S-R-O's. From partner station WAMU, Dominique Maria Bonessi reports the decision was made despite objections from the city’s school board.