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VPM Daily Newscast: October 21, 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, October 21, 2021: 

  • The Virginia Redistricting Commission has tentatively cancelled its remaining meetings. The members, who were intended to draw and vote on new congressional maps transparently, may now work behind closed doors as a last-ditch effort. Patrick Larsen reports

  • Henrico Police are increasing patrols in parts of the county, after finding suspicious bags filled with KKK flyers. The bags were left in the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Fairfield and Varina over the weekend, the  Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Similar flyers were found in parts of Glen Allen and Hanover County earlier this year. Anyone with information about these flyers is asked to contact Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000.   

  • The Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home to Walter Reed Medical Center, was on lockdown yesterday after a bomb threat. Officials say the facility received a call yesterday morning about a bomb at or near one of the buildings. No bomb was found after an investigation by security personnel and a K-9 unit, according to a spokesperson.  

  • Petersburg will not be mandating its employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. City Manager Stuart Turille, Jr. supports the vaccine, but shied away from issuing a mandate. Instead, the city will allow unvaccinated employees to be tested bi-weekly, according to the Progress-Index. A recent survey of around 630 city employees found that about 25% were unvaccinated. Employees have 45 days to comply before beginning the bi-weekly testing. 

  • In an attempt to escape the pandemic-ridden world people have migrated to the Appalachian Trail. The trail welcomes all, but this sudden increase of hikers might be troubling. VPM News intern Adiah Gholston reports the lack of trail etiquette is damaging hiking paths.  

  • Chesterfield County residents have a chance to comment tonight on proposed changes to over 400 acres nearby Genito Road. Dubbed a “ Special Focus Area” by county officials, the plan calls for substantial upgrades to the River City Sportsplex, including a splash park and four new synthetic turf fields. Other ideas include what to do with Southside Speedway, which was purchased by the county after it closed last year due the pandemic. Tonight’s 6:30 meeting will be streamed on the county’s Facebook page or residents can go in person at the Chesterfield County Government Complex.