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VPM Daily Newscast: Sept. 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 Sept. 18, 2023:   

Richmond school board to consider specialty school admissions changes
Reported by VPM News’ Megan Pauly

Richmond Public Schools administrators recently recommended changing admissions processes for two of the city’s specialty schools — Richmond Community and Open high schools — as well as the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School.

Currently, one slot for the top performer at each middle school in RPS is reserved for admission to Maggie Walker. Superintendent Jason Kamras’ administration wants to expand that to three slots from each middle school. The regional governor's school has been criticized for its lack of diverse admissions; 8% of students admitted in 2022 were Black.

The proposal — which received pushback from some board members when it was initially presented — represents individual recommendations from members of an equity enrollment commission. It will be up for a vote at Monday’s school board meeting; the district opens the application process for specialty schools in mid-October.

Louisa mobile home residents living in ‘precarious position’
Reported by VPM News’ Keyris Manzanares and Mark Robinson

Six-0-Five Village Mobile Home Park is in the town of Mineral, about an hour northwest of Richmond and 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville. It has about 100 homes situated around a rutted grid of roads that residents said are long overdue for repaving and drainage repairs.

During the pandemic, the park’s longtime owner sold it to Homes of America LLC, a New Jersey-based company linked to the hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The $3.7 million sale, which included Six-0-Five and another mobile home park in Caroline County, closed in 2021, per a public notice on the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s website.

Homes of America has rapidly bought mobile home parks across the country in the past few years, including one in Southwest Virginia. Like other investment firms that have taken an interest in mobile home parks, its purchases have been followed by rent increases that housing advocates said seek to squeeze profits from residents caught in a unique bind.

In other news: 

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