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VPM Daily Newscast: November 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.           

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Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Thursday, November 18, 2021: 

  • The last Afghan refugees staying on Fort Lee have been resettled. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the milestone in a statement yesterday. To date, more than 25,000 refugees have found new homes in the United States. Officials say all of the Afghan citizens entering the country have undergone a rigorous vetting process. While the operation at Fort Lee is winding down, there are still about 45,000 refugees awaiting resettlement at seven other military installations across the country.   

  • So far this year, there’ve been a total of 12 infant deaths in Richmond, compared to just five in 2020. According to the Richmond Police Department, co-sleeping was a factor in four of the deaths. Megan Pauly reports. 

  • Virginia’s self-proclaimed “Trump in Heels” is making a bid for the House of Representatives. Republican State Senator Amanda Chase formally launched her congressional campaign yesterday for the 7th District.  Chase was a previous contender for governor and has backed bills opposing abortions and preventing gun control. The seat is currently held by Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer. According to the Virginia Public Access Project, six other Republicans are also vying for the job.    

  • The House Republican Caucus has nominated Paul Nardo to serve as Clerk of the House of Delegates and Keeper of the Rolls of the Commonwealth. Nardo previously served as the clerk for eight years, before the House flipped to the Democratic majority in 2019.  Speaker-elect Delegate Todd Gilbert described Nardo as “scrupulously non-partisan" and willing to help any member of the chamber.  Outgoing Clerk Suzette Denslow was the first woman to hold the post in the House, serving for about two years.   

  • The City of Petersburg has filled the vacant councilor seat in Ward 7. According to the Progress Index, the Petersburg City Council voted unanimously to induct Arnold Westbrook Jr. to temporarily fill the role.  Westbrook is an English Professor at Virginia State University. Previously, he worked for Petersburg Public Schools.  Westbrook replaces former councilor John Hart who resigned earlier this month.