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VPM Daily Newscast: October 22, 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, October 22, 2021: 

  • Richmond Police are trying to identify who defaced a mural of tennis player Arthur Ashe Jr. in Battery Park. The mural was graffitied with white supremacist imagery. Anyone who has seen suspicious activity or has images that may aid in the investigation, contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 . Patrick Larsen has more details

  • The Supreme Court of Virginia won’t reconsider its decision to allow Governor Ralph Northam to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond. A group of area residents sought to block the statue’s removal. But after the Virginia Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last month siding with the governor, the massive statue was cut into pieces and stored. The group requested a rehearing, but on Thursday, the court denied the petition. Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement that it’s time for Virginia to “move away from a past when leaders of a racist insurrection were glorified.”  

  • In a last push one week before Election Day, Terry McAuliffe will be hosting an event with the nation’s highest-ranking Democrat. President Joe Biden will be appearing with the former Virginia governor in Arlington on Oct. 26. This will be the second time Biden has campaigned for McAuliffe. Yesterday’s  announcement comes as polls show a close race between the top two gubernatorial candidates. McAuliffe is aiming to get a second term as Virginia’s top executive, competing against Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin.  Princess Blanding, of the newly formed Liberation Party, is running as a third-party candidate on the ballot.     

  • Tonight at 5 is the deadline for Virginia voters to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them. As Sara McCloskey reports, there are a number of important reminders ahead of the November 2 election.   

  • The fight over the construction of a new George Wythe High School has reached a new impasse. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is withholding a request from the Richmond School Board for almost $11 million needed to start the project due to capacity concerns. Current plans are to build a school capable of holding 1,600 students. But according to a letter obtained by VPM, Stoney says that will leave the school overcrowded on day one. The school board highlights that the figure doesn’t account for students who will spend most of their time at a nearby technical center, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports. Stoney has asked the school board to address capacity concerns by Oct. 27. 

  • Richmond students won’t be going to class the first week of November. Superintendent Jason Kamras wrote in  his newsletter this week, that school staff and teachers have expressed ongoing concerns about burnout. In the interest of employees’ mental health, he says Richmond Public Schools will be closed Nov. 1-5. Some of these closures were already scheduled due to holidays and parent / teacher conferences.  Among other changes, Kamras says he intends to ask the school board to reallocate $3 million from the district’s federal relief funding to increase mental health support for students.   

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