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VPM Daily Newscast: November 16, 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, November 16, 2021:

  • The State Board of Elections finished certifying Virginia’s 2021 results yesterday. Republicans are officially victorious in statewide seats, but as Patrick Larsen reports, their new majority in the House of Delegates could be challenged with recounts. 

  • Democrats and Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates elected their caucus leaders over the weekend. House Republicans unanimously chose Del. Todd Gilbert to serve as House Speaker. Gilbert served as the House Minority Leader for the past two years. Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn was selected as House Democrat's leader and Delegate Charniele Herring as the caucus chair. Republicans hold majority in the 100-seat chamber, with 52 seats. Democrats are eligible for state-funded recounts in a few races because Republicans led by margins of less than half a percent.   

  • In Prince George County, R.W. Vargo won the race for sheriff by six votes.That result was certified by the Board of Elections, but the county registrar’s office confirmed it’s going to recount. Contender Paul W. Burroughs requested another look from state courts and election officials. Since the margin is so close, Burroughs’ campaign won’t have to pay any fees - that’s the state’s responsibility. Elections Commissioner Chris Piper told state board members the race shows every vote counts. 

  • Capitol Police are investigating a racist voicemail left at the office of Democratic Del. Roslyn Tyler. The anonymous message was left shortly before Tyler, who is Black, lost her bid for reelection in Southside Virginia. The caller questioned the intelligence of Black people and made a number of other racist attacks. Da’Quan Love, the director of the Virginia NAACP, says the message shows racism is still a problem in the commonwealth. 

  • A new report tracks the 400-year history of racist policies in Northern Virginia, and how they have shaped 15 census tracts that lag behind in health, wealth and opportunity. Margaret Barthel, from our partner station WAMU, has more

  • Virginia is expanding toll relief for low-income drivers who use the tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth. Ryan Murphy, from our partner station WHRV, has more. 

  • Prince George County Administrator Percy Ashcraft is resigning from the position he has held since 2011. According to the Progress-Index, he is leaving to take a similar post with King William County. County officials say the Board of Supervisors will hold a special closed session Wednesday night to decide on Ashcraft's interim replacement -- and they will start the process to find someone to permanently take the job. Ashcraft's last day in Prince George will be December 3rd.