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VPM Daily Newscast February 4, 2021

VPM's daily newscast contains all your Central Virginia news in just 5 to 10 minutes. Hosted by Benjamin Dolle, episodes are recorded the night before so you can wake up prepared.

Listeners can subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, and Spotify.

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Thursday, February 4, 2021:

  • Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney fell ill from COVID-19 last week. Yesterday, he discussed his symptoms, including chills, aches, a runny nose and a 101-degree fever. Stoney said he is feeling much better, but will continue to quarantine. The mayor is still unsure where he caught the virus and reported that no one from his office was exposed.


  • Sen. Tim Kaine is continuing his call for Congress to pass a COVID-19 relief package, saying it's the best way to honor those who have lost their lives to the virus. Kaine stressed the importance of helping families struggling with loss and the mental health of health care workers.


  • Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Health identified another case of the COVID-19 variant that originated in the U.K. The individual who caught the variant is from the northwest part of the state and has recently travelled internationally. Three other cases of the variant were previously found in Northern Virginia. Early studies suggest the variant, B.1.1.7., is more transmissible.


  • The city of Richmond has opened applications for its new tax amnesty program, which was approved by City Council last week. Mayor Stoney says the program will help businesses and residents get through the ongoing recession. The program applies to real estate, emissions, lodging and meals taxes. 


  • A series of bills to help students with disabilities and their families cleared a House committee on Wednesday. One proposal would simplify the process for determining if a child is eligible for special education programs. It would require the Virginia Department of Education to clarify language in its eligibility criteria. According to the bill, that would ensure special education programs are more consistent statewide. 


  • The Richmond Board of Elections removed the city’s top elections official earlier this week. Now, the city is embarking on its first search for a new general registrar since the mid-90s. The board can appoint any qualified voter from the city to serve in the position. The chair of the electoral board says he’s unsure when they’ll advertise the position, but the city will have to hire an interim in the meantime. According to CBS6, former registrar Kirk Showalter plans to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city.


  • Starting next Thursday, CVS will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine at 28 locations across Virginia. Due to supply limitations, the initial rollout will have only 26,000 doses. The first wave will include locations in Richmond, Norfolk, Fredericksburg and Virginia Beach. The program is expected to expand as more doses become available. 


  • A bill requiring employers to report COVID-19 outbreaks is set to be voted upon by the state Senate. The legislation would require employers with 50 or more employees to notify their local health department if there are five or more cases in the company. Proponents of the bill say it will increase workplace transparency. 
VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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