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The Daily Newscast

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney was sworn in on Monday for his second term. He pledged to focus his next four years on racial justice, after protests swept the city last summer. 

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A self-described socialist has entered the race to become Virginia's next governor. Democratic Delegate Lee Carter is a vocal supporter of policies popularized by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, like Medicare for All. Four other Democrats have formally entered the governor’s race.

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Universities nationwide saw a drop in international education enrollment over the last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. That includes local universities like VCU, University of Richmond, and Virginia State University. Experts say the decrease has both financial and educational impacts. 

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For Virginians looking to save on household costs, experts say it starts with saving energy. A good place to start is home weatherization, ensuring that warm air stays in and cool air stays out. Experts also recommend that residents adjust their thermostats to save on heating costs.

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In 2020, state lawmakers made historic investments in the child welfare system. But in response to COVID-19, more than half of that funding was taken out of the budget. Advocates are pushing for more funding for the system. They say children and families need support more than ever, as substance abuse and economic hardship are on the rise. 

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With the holiday season having come to a close, Virginia residents may be looking for a sustainable way to dispose of their live Christmas trees. 

Annual tree recycling is being offered throughout the commonwealth at no cost.

Megan Brown, the executive coordinator of Keep Henrico Beautiful, says this is a popular service. 

“I think this is just another service that fills a need. There are approximately 10-11 tons of Christmas trees recycled each year and we’re just happy to provide this service for citizens,” she told VPM News.  

Before recycling, all decorations must be removed. Some locations are chipping the trees and offering the mulch for free. 

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National and local governments worldwide are beginning to adopt climate change adaptation plans. Richmond has its own in the works, which is set to take effect in 2022. 
 

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