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VPM Daily Newscast: April 20, 2023

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VPM Daily Newscast

The VPM Daily Newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Episodes are recorded the night before.

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of April 20, 2023:   

'Mind-blowing' pattern of faulty fire alarms at Richmond schools
Reported by VPM News’ Megan Pauly and Connor Scribner

Virginia’s Statewide Fire Prevention Code — which follows National Fire Protection Association standards — requires the annual testing of fire alarm systems. However, numerous Richmond schools were cited by the fire department between 2015 and 2022 for missing documentation of up-to-date alarm inspections — sometimes several years in a row.

VPM News submitted a public records request to RPS for all copies of fire alarm inspections conducted at all Richmond public schools between 2016 and 2020 to verify which alarms were tested, as well as when and by whom. If every school had its alarms tested at least annually over this time period, VPM News should’ve received over 200 inspection reports. But the district only turned up three.

Remembering Richard Stewart, ‘Mayor’ of Pocahontas Island
Reported by VPM News’ Lyndon German

Legacies are often passed down through the stories and relics one leaves behind. That much is true for Richard Stewart, whose passion is rooted in the ground of his beloved of Pocahontas — a former town located between downtown Petersburg and the Appomattox River. Stewart died last week at the age of 79.

It’s where Stewart grew up after he was orphaned at a young age. He was cared for by the community — and he would later become its guardian. Step by step, Stewart breathed life back into the neighborhood by repairing old homes, manicuring lawns and furnishing what would become a makeshift museum.

In other news:

In case you missed it: 

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.