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VPM Daily Newscast: August 20, 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.           

Listeners can subscribe through NPR One, Apple Podcasts, Megaphone, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts.       

Here’s a recap of the top stories on the morning of Friday, August 20, 2021: 

  • Thousands of Afghan nationals that have worked for or with the U.S. are trying to secure transport to the states. The Department of Defense says it’s ramping up evacuations of Americans and Afghans to safe havens. Patrick Larsen reports many may end up settling down in Virginia. 

  • Two children in Central Virginia have died after contracting COVID-19. One was from Chesterfield, and the Virginia Department of Health says they were between 10 and 19 years old. The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts also reported a child died in the area who was under 10-years-old. Since the pandemic began, a total of ten Virginia children have died from COVID-19. Health officials say getting the vaccine is the best way to prevent serious illness. It’s also recommended for youth to wear masks indoors with people who aren’t part of their household and to practice social distancing. 

  • This week, the White House announcedplans to make COVID-19 booster shots available by the end of next month. Yesterday, the State Vaccination Coordinator explained what the roll out will look like in Virginia. Ian Stewart has more. 

  • The City of Richmond is looking for input on the draft of the Shockoe Small Area Plan. Shockoe Bottom has seen significant growth over the past few decades, and the GRTC Pulse Corridor will be expanding into the area. The city is also in the process of developing a cultural heritage site and museum in the neighborhood - dedicated to enslaved Africans. Residents have until August 27th to provide feedback on the area plan. For more details, head to the Richmond City website and check out the “ Planning and Development Review” section. 

  • More than $10.5 million is going to replace aging school buses in Virginia, with electric and propane models. Governor Ralph Northam said yesterday that the money comes from a 2016 settlement with Volkswagen to provide nearly $3 billion for environmental mitigation projects. As part of the governor’s plan, Chesterfield County will receive about $96,000 to purchase 10 propane powered buses. Overall, 83 diesel-powered buses will be replaced in 19 districts across the state. The program is part of Virginia’s overall goal to provide clean energy, reduce air pollution, and mitigate climate change. 

  • VPM News would like to issue a correction on a story that aired yesterday. We misstated that the University of Richmond is requiring students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated when they return. The university’s policy officially applies when the FDA gives full approval to the vaccines. At this time, more than 90 percent of the students and staff on campus are fully vaccinated.   

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