Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

VPM Daily Newscast February 25, 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 25, 2021:

  • Today marks 65 years since former Virginia Governor Harry Byrd called for “massive resistance” to school desegregation. Five years prior, 16-year-old Barbara Johns challenged inequality at her all-Black Farmville school. Johns’ family shared her remarkable story with VPM News Intern Joi Bass.


  • Starting March 1, some pandemic-related restrictions will be eased across the commonwealth. Gov. Ralph Northam announced the changes yesterday, highlighting that COVID-19 cases are decreasing statewide and more residents are getting vaccinated. Private indoor gatherings will still be limited to 10 people, but outdoor gatherings will increase to 25. Capacity for outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will also be increased, and alcohol sales will be extended until midnight. The governor also plans to lift the statewide curfew.


  • Wednesday morning, the Food and Drug Administration found that a new, single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. If the FDA approves Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, Northam says it could be in Virginia as soon as next week, increasing the state’s weekly vaccine supply by around 50,000 doses. Since December, roughly 1.5 million doses have been administered in the commonwealth.


  • A Senate bill that would require all Virginia school districts to offer in-person learning was heavily amended in the House yesterday. Republicans have pushed for the bill to include an emergency clause, meaning schools would have to start offering in-person learning immediately. Democrats, however, have repeatedly rejected this in favor of giving schools more time to prepare. If the bill is unchanged, it will take effect this Summer. House Democrats added paragraphs of clarification to the bill. School districts will now be required to follow CDC guidelines when possible, and schools will be allowed to go back to virtual learning if there’s a COVID-19 outbreak. Those changes now go back to the Senate to be voted on.


  • Lawmakers are working out differences between two bills that would finance electric school bus programs. Dominion Energy has fifty buses in use or planned through such programs, and the Senate’s bill could allow them to bring in up to 1000.The bill would also let the utility use school buses, when not driving, as backup batteries to the power grid.The Senate proposal sends costs to Dominion ratepayers. The House’s language uses taxes instead, writing the utility out of the program. A final version will likely be decided on this week.


  • The Chesterfield School Board is expected to vote tonight on next year’s proposed budget.A big chunk of the superintendent’s almost $760 million dollar budget is devoted to substantial raises for teachers, which he says will bring salaries in line with national averages.Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors agreed to transfer additional money from the general fund to pay for the increases.Tonight’s meeting starts at 6:30 and will be streamed on the district’s website and YouTube channel.


  • Virginia Republicans will choose their next nominee for governor using a drive-in convention at Liberty University on May 8. The decision made by their top committee earlier this week ends months of intra-party fighting over their nomination method. Convention-goers will assemble in parking lots at the Lynchburg school. They’ll use ranked-choice voting to pick nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. Backers of a state-run primary argued it would have allowed more voters to participate.


  • As we approach the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, VPM News is providing an update on the science of staying safe from the virus that's killed over 500,000 Americans. Host Benjamin Dolle recently spoke with Virginia Tech professor Linsey Marr about her research.
VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.
Related Stories