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VPM Daily Newscast: September 14, 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 Tuesday, September 14, 2021: 

  • Governor Ralph Northam signed a sweeping voting rights act yesterday in Newport News. The bill aims to prevent voter intimidation and voter suppression. Virginia is the first state in the South to pass a law like this. At the ceremony, a heckler tried to shout down Newport News Delegate Marcia Price. Price introduced the bill in the House of Delegates. 

  • The race for the Governor’s office is heating up in Virginia, with attack ads coming from both major-party candidates. Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin will meet for a televised debate on Thursday evening, less than a day before early voting opens in the Commonwealth. Independent candidate Princess Blanding was not invited to the debate - but continues to campaign on a platform of social justice, highlighting demands made during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests. Also on the ballot this year are lieutenant governor, attorney general, and every House of Delegates seat. 

  • Families across Virginia qualify for a new monthly payment from the federal government. But as WHRV’s Sam Turken reports, thousands are at risk of not getting the child tax credit. 

  • Dominion Energy Virginia and the nonprofit Nature Conservancy announced a plan on Monday to install enough solar panels in Southwest Virginia to power 12,500 homes. The project, which has received support from local and state politicians on both sides of the aisle, will sit on land formerly mined for coal. It will only make up a fraction of the solar and onshore wind capacity Dominion is required to have online by 2035. But representatives say the effort can be a model for future clean energy projects in coal country. Construction is expected to begin by 2025 at the latest, pending approvals from the state’s regulatory commission. 

  • As of yesterday, bus routes 111 and 3B in Chesterfield have merged. This will offer riders continuous service from Brightpoint Community College, formerly JTCC, to Richmond’s Northside. As a result, passengers will no longer have to transfer buses at the Food Lion, north of Chippenham Parkway. The GRTC Transit System says the updated route is part of its continuing efforts to expand lines into the county. Ridership remains free on all buses until June 30th, 2022.