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VPM Daily Newscast Febrauary 12, 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 Friday, February 12, 2021:

  • Next week, Richmond Public Schools will vote on the superintendent’s year-round schooling proposal aimed at helping students who have fallen behind during the pandemic. VPM reporter Alan Rodriguez Espinoza spoke with educators from districts already engaged in year-round school for their thoughts.


  • Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney reflected on a challenging year and spoke about the need for an equitable recovery from the pandemic during his annual State of the City address yesterday. Over 13,000 Richmonders have contracted COVID-19 in the past year, including the mayor. Businesses have also been heavily impacted by the pandemic, leaving the city’s budget nearly $40 million lighter next year. Stoney pointed to the ongoing vaccine rollout as a sign of recovery, and pledged to create an equitable economic recovery scorecard to outline expectations for future development, like promoting living-wage jobs. The city is also looking to increase access to public transit, including a new bike share program starting in public housing communities. 


  • COVID-19 continues to impact Virginia communities, with the Virginia Department of Health reporting an additional 3,700 cases of the virus on Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, 541,000 Virginians have been stricken with the disease. Virginia is currently in Phase 1b of vaccine distribution. According to VDH, 245,000 people have been fully vaccinated, while about 11 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose.  


  • Chesterfield County has taken steps to streamline its vaccine registration process. The county reached an agreement with the Virginia Department of Health for access to the state’s registration data. That allowed the county to collect over 100,000 records and eliminate many duplicates. Chesterfield’s Chief Information Officer says the county will now be able to reach out to all who’ve pre-registered by Feb. 19.


  • A proposal from Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke) to increase funding for Virginia State Police salaries is moving closer to a final vote. The bill would raise vehicle registration fees by $4, using the added revenue to increase state police pay. Edwards says that would help eliminate barriers to recruiting a more diverse police force. The proposal advanced out of the House Transportation Committee and now heads to the Appropriations Committee, where a similar bill was voted down last week. 


  • The General Assembly is still considering multiple proposals, including Edwards’ bill, relating to policing. VPM Courts and Justice Reporter Whittney Evans spoke with Benjamin Dolle about the police reform and criminal justice legislation that she has been following throughout the 2021 legislative session.
VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
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