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VPM Daily Newscast: August 12, 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 Thursday, August 12, 2021: 


  • A new policy making sure transgender students are treated equally in Chesterfield County schools was approved this week. As Ian Stewart reports, by law, school districts have to adopt a policy by the start of a school year.  

  • The Hanover County NAACP is calling the local school board’s decision to not require masks for students and staff “totally irresponsible.”  Despite the superintendent’s recommendation to wear them, the school board voted 4 to 3 against requiring face masks during the upcoming school year. The Hanover County NAACP is asking the board to hold a special meeting to hear from experts -- and is encouraging them to reverse the decision. Students will be going back to school on September 7th. According to the  CDC's COVID-19 data, Hanover County has a “high” level of community transmission. 

  • State lawmakers selected eight new judges this week to Virginia’s Court of Appeals amid criticism that the process was too secretive.  It’s a more diverse bench, with four women and four African Americans. There’s also greater diversity of experience. Brad Haywood is the executive director of Justice Forward Virginia, a criminal justice reform advocacy group, and a public defense attorney. While the negotiations took place behind closed doors, Haywood says lawmakers obviously listened to advocates. The General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year providing the right to an appeal in all civil and criminal cases. Six judges were added to the court to match the increased workload. 

  • Nine state-run correctional facilities will open for in-person family visitations on September 1st. The  Virginia Department of Corrections said yesterday that it anticipates all facilities statewide will be able to resume family visits by October 1. State officials say people who are incarcerated must be vaccinated to have any guests. Visitors 12 and up will be required to wear face masks and take a self-administered antigen test. 

  • One of Virginia’s largest companies is pushing back workplace return plans for U.S. office workers until at least November 2nd. Capital One CEO Rich Fairbank wrote that the Delta variant is responsible for the decision - it’s ability to spread among even vaccinated people has changed the company’s calculus. Another new policy for Capital One, when they do return to the office, is that workers, contractors and visitors must show proof of vaccination. The company will adopt a hybrid model in November and unvaccinated employees may continue working virtually. 

  • Virginia’s special session is over, just over a week after it started. Lawmakers came up with a plan for more than $4 billion in federal stimulus funds and appointed a slate of new judges. VPM reporters Ben Paviour and Whittney Evans break down how the session played out

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