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VPM Daily Newscast: August 6, 2021

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

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Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Friday, August 6, 2021: 

  • State employees in Virginia must get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 1st. That comes from a directive issued by Gov. Ralph Northam yesterday. Employees who choose not to get vaccinated will have to get tested weekly for COVID-19. In addition to executive branch employees, the new rules also include people who work at the state’s colleges and universities. In total, around 120,000 Virginians work for the state government. According to state officials, around 70 percent of them are vaccinated. 

  • The Virginia Department of Health announced yesterday the first death of a child in the eastern region of the state due to COVID-19 complications. Because of the child’s age, no other details were given. In total, six youth between the ages of 10 and 19 have died since the pandemic began. VDH is also alerting residents of Central Virginia about an increase in cases at childcare facilities and summer camps, as the Delta variant becomes more widespread. Health officials are continuing to encourage Virginians to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and continuing to physically distance when possible. 

  • Democrats will transform the Virginia Court of Appeals in the coming days. And it will largely take place behind closed doors. As Whittney Evans reports, the majority party will fill eight judicial vacancies during the special session. 

  • Regulators have approved the costs of Dominion Energy’s participation in a regional cap-and-invest program for carbon emissions. The goal of the program is to make Virginia’s electric grid carbon free by 2050.  According to the Virginia Mercury, Dominion’s purchased allowances this year could raise the average residential customer’s monthly bill by just over two dollars. It’s Dominion’s first year in the program with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which auctions off allowances for carbon emissions and redistributes the profit from those auctions back to the participating states. In Virginia, 50 percent of those profits will go towards low-income energy efficiency programs, and 45 percent will go to the Community Flood Preparedness Fund. 

  • Yesterday, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation  opened a new round of grants from the Community Flood Preparedness Fund. Towns, cities and counties have until November 5 to apply for the funding, which aims to address the effects of flooding, sea level rise and extreme weather. Flooding is the most common and costly natural hazard in Virginia and the United States. State officials say the fund includes money to serve vulnerable and underserved communities. It was created by the General Assembly in 2020. 

  • This week, Richmond’s public housing authority, RRHA, announced changes to its policy about how it bars certain visitors. The changes were touted as “family friendly.” But as Megan Pauly reports, advocates say many more changes are necessary. 

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