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VPM Daily Newscast: Nov. 21, 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 Nov. 17, 2023:

Virginia officials aim to reduce reliance on foster care
Reported by VPM News’ Ben Paviour

In a presentation to the Commission on Youth Danny Avula, the director of Virginia Department of Social Services, highlighted research on the benefits of so-called kinship care. He noted Virginia’s rates of formal placements with relatives have more than doubled to 14% since the state began emphasizing the practice in 2019.

But a 2022 report from the newly created Office of the Children Ombudsman found issues with Virginia’s practice of informally placing children with relatives. It included comments from parents who felt they’d been coerced into giving up their children for an unspecified amount of time, without representation from an attorney.

“My children were kidnapped,” the report quotes one anonymous parent. “There was no court order.”

2024 presidential debates to take place at Texas State, Virginia State, Utah
Reported by The Associated Press

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced that 2024’s presidential candidates will be scheduled to meet Sept. 16 at Texas State University; Oct. 1 at Virginia State University in Petersburg; and Oct. 9 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The announcement comes despite the Republican National Committee mulling rules changes that would force presidential candidates seeking the party's nomination to sign a pledge saying they won't participate in any debates sponsored by the CPD.

CPD was established in 1987 and has sponsored every general election presidential and vice presidential debates since. It is a nonprofit that does not receive federal funding or financial support from any political party or campaign.

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