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VPM Daily Newscast: January 6, 2022

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, January 6, 2022: 

  • Today is the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Speaking with reporters this week, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine reflected on the attack. “Two Virginians, Officer Smith and Liebengood died within days after the incident by suicide. It was so traumatic to have citizens of this country for the first time in our nation's history, attacking the capital, an internal attack motivated by their commander in chief to try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” Kaine said. Kaine also says he feels like the only appropriate response is to pass legislation intended to safeguard democracy – by protecting the right to vote. 

  • A major gun rally won’t be returning to Richmond this year. As Ben Paviour reports, the rally’s organizers say new gun control laws limit their ability to hold the event. 

  • Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced former Environmental Protection Agency head Andrew Wheeler as his pick for Secretary of Natural Resources yesterday. Wheeler’s time at EPA was controversial. The former coal industry lobbyist rolled back a series of Obama-era regulations on clean air, water and vehicle exhaust. Another cabinet change - the Richmond Times Dispatch reports state health commissioner Norman Oliver is resigning, following pressure from the incoming governor. His replacement has not yet been identified. 

  • A lawyer representing a man wrongfully convicted of murder is suing the Virginia Department of Forensic Science for not turning over key files. The lawyer, Robert Hall, says the documents will show the state crime lab altered lab test results to help convict his client The lab says they’re not required to turn over the files, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Earl Washington came within nine days of being executed for the 1982 rape and murder of a woman in Culpepper. DNA evidence later cleared Washington of the crime, and another man confessed to it. Washington was pardoned by then-Governor Jim Gilmore in 2000. 

  • Next week, state lawmakers will return to Richmond for this year’s legislative session. One local senator is sponsoring a bill to ban transcript withholding as a form of debt collection for students who attend public colleges and universities. Megan Pauly reports. 

  • The city of Richmond has hired Team Henry Enterprises to dismantle the A.P. Hill monument and the remaining Confederate pedestals in the city. The Newport News-based company recently took down the Robert E. Lee monument on Monument Avenue and several statues in Charlottesville. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the city will pay $1.5 million for the removals. Dates for the work have not yet been set. 

  • Safety officials are urging drivers to be cautious on roadways as another winter storm is expected to hit Virginia. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says people should stay home if it isn't essential for them to travel.  If you do have to go on the road, V-DEM encourages drivers to leave more space between other vehicles – and to not crowd snowplows. Safety officials also suggest keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle with extra warm clothing and blankets.