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VPM Daily Newscast: April 18, 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 18, 2023:   

Petersburg mourns loss of Richard Stewart, ‘Mayor of Pocahontas Island’
Reported by VPM News’ Lyndon German

The 79-year-old was a well-known historian, who founded a museum in a historic town on the north side of the Appomattox River called Pocahontas Island. It's home to one of the oldest Black communities in the United States.

It’s where retired veteran Richard Stewart was raised and would later purchase several properties.

Throughout his adult life, Stewart collected over 200 years worth of artifacts curated at the makeshift museum he created.

His life’s work showcased the triumphs of free and enslaved Black Americans.

While the historic district’s unofficial mayor of Pocahontas is gone, those who knew him say his passion for preserving history will be his legacy.

VA corrections officer accused of choking an incarcerated person, promoted last year
Reported by VPM News’ Ben Paviour

Dwayne Turner, a Virginia Department of Corrections supervisor who allegedly choked an incarcerated person in 2018, was promoted last year to assistant warden, according to an internal email obtained by VPM News.

Video footage obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch showed Turner placing his full hand on the neck of a fully restrained incarcerated person in 2018. The person filming the incident abruptly pivoted away to a wall, leaving it unclear what happened next.

An internal investigation cleared Turner of wrongdoing, and charges weren't pursued following a Virginia State Police investigation.

‘Out of reach, out of sight’: How to protect pets from cannabis poisoning
Reported by VCU Capital News Service

The Virginia Poison Center reported a 286% increase in cases of pet exposure to cannabis from 2018 to 2022. Cannabis is ranked as the No. 9 toxin for pets nationwide, according to the Pet Poison Helpline website.

The Pet Poison Helpline experienced a 735% increase in nationwide THC-related calls from 2018 to 2022, according to Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist and manager of veterinary medicine and professional services for the national Pet Poison Helpline.

THC is the compound in cannabis which creates a “high” for the user. Cannabis ranks as the No. 8 toxin for dogs in Virginia, according to helpline data. Chocolate is the No. 1 toxin for dogs and No. 2 for cats, according to helpline data.

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.