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VPM Daily Newscast March 3, 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, March 3, 2021:

  • Virginia's General Assembly has passed a bill to study the effects of gold mining, after concerns about a proposal in Buckingham County’s Union Hill. It’s just one more battle in the community’s century-long fight for existence.


  • Gov. Ralph Northam is joining calls for an outside investigation into allegations against the current and former chairs of Virginia’s parole board, which include attempts to falsify documents. They appeared in a draft of a report from Virginia’s inspector general, the state government’s internal watchdog. But they were cut from the final report released last summer.


  • Last spring, the federal government turned to banks to distribute over 13 billion dollars of Paycheck Protection Program loans to Virginia companies. Recently, the General Assembly determined those firms could write-off a portion of their loans, a move some experts say could harm Black-owned businesses.


  • The Virginia Department of Health reported yesterday that almost 1,400 people have recently contracted COVID-19. In total, there have been about 579,000 cases in the commonwealth since the pandemic began. We are currently in Phase 1b of vaccine distribution. VDH says over 1.3 million people have received at least one dose, while almost 700,000 have been fully vaccinated. 


  • University of Richmond Museums have been closed for much of the last year. Now, to make some exhibits accessible to the public, they are being made available online. University Museums are offering 360-degree virtual tours of two exhibits now on display on campus. One of them encompasses the art of social justice, while another features a 40-year printmaking retrospective. Virtual visitors will also be able to access gallery talks and interviews with featured artists.


  • Drivers in the West End of Richmond may notice a new traffic light on Grove Avenue near St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon. These kinds of traffic lights provide a safe way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the street, and have been shown to significantly reduce pedestrian crashes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


  • In their January debut taking wagers on athletic events, sports-books actually lost money in Virginia, due to aggressive promotions offered to customers. According to statistics on the launch released Monday by the Virginia Lottery, about $59 million was wagered, with just over $55 million in winnings, but an additional $6 million in bonuses and promotions were also paid out by the operators. As a result, the sportsbooks lost more than $3 million and the state collected less than $40,000 in taxes. Lottery officials say they expect the figures to improve significantly in the coming months as promotions for new customers fade away.
VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.