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VPM Daily Newscast February 10, 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 Wednesday, February 10, 2021:

  • Virginia is partnering with CVS to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine, but the pharmacy chain’s registration system has led to confusion. The original plan was for CVS to vaccinate people 65 and older who were already registered through the Virginia Department of Health. But Dr. Danny Avula, who oversees the state’s vaccine rollout, says the pharmacy’s registration platform did not match Virginia’s, leading CVS to take patients not on the VDH waitlist. Avula said CVS will now see anyone 65 and older, even those who are not pre-registered with VDH. CVS will begin administering about 26,000 doses of the vaccine each week starting Friday.


  • Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras expressed “serious concerns” Tuesday about Gov. Ralph Northam’s March 15 deadline to open schools for in-person learning. Kamras said Richmond’s schools are not yet ready to welcome students back, citing ongoing projects to update outdated ventilation and bathrooms. He also said most teachers have not yet gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent RPS survey showed most teachers and families preferred staying virtual this semester.


  • Chesterfield County Superintendent Merv Daugherty says middle and high school teachers should receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. Elementary and bus drivers have already been offered their first shot, but those who missed it will have a make-up opportunity soon. Daugherty says all teachers, instructional staff and bus drivers should be fully vaccinated by March 5.


  • Virginia Democrats are on their way to removing mandatory minimum sentences from the state’s law books. The Senate passed a bill that would do away with nearly all such sentences, which range from traffic violations to violent felonies. The House bill strikes mandatory minimum sentences for most drug offenses and lower-level crimes. Advocates say these sentences are used by prosecutors to pressure defendants into taking plea deals instead of going to trial. State data shows Black Virginians are more likely to be imprisoned for offenses with mandatory penalties. Before the legislation heads to the desk of the governor, lawmakers will have to negotiate the differences in the proposals.


  • Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian) filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against her own party. She’s seeking to prevent the state GOP from choosing their next candidate for governor using a convention rather than a primary. Chase argues large gatherings like conventions will continue to be illegal under current pandemic rules. Republicans on the top state committee voted in December to hold a convention, hoping to hold it in multiple locations at once. Currently, the party’s rules bar this, making it unclear how they will proceed.


  • Republican Peter Doran joined a crowded field for the party’s nomination for governor on Tuesday. Doran formerly ran the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on Central and Eastern Europe. In his first campaign ad, Doran says he has spent his career fighting socialism and criticized state Democrats for pushing the state “left.” He is the sixth Republican to announce his candidacy.


  • A member of the Ku Klux Klan who drove through a crowd of protesters in Henrico last summer has been sentenced to more than three years in prison. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Hanover County resident Harry Rodgers pleaded guilty last week to five charges, including assault and hit-and-run. Rodgers was accused of hitting multiple Black Lives Matter protesters with his pick-up truck, before fleeing toward the AP Hill Monument in Richmond’s Northside. Upon his arrest, he bragged to police about being a high-ranking member of the KKK.
VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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