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VPM Daily Newscast: October 28, 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 28, 2021:

  • A jury of 12 has been seated in the trial against white nationalist groups who planned the Unite the Right rally. As Whittney Evans reports, opening arguments will begin this morning. 

  • With Election Day less than a week away, Virginia localities are required to start processing early votes in the hopes of reducing post-election delays. Patrick Larsen reports. 

  • Virginia Senator Mark Warner is continuing to monitor ongoing mail delivery issues with the U.S. Postal Service. Some areas that have seen consistent problems include Charlottesville, Richmond and Petersburg. Speaking with reporters yesterday, Warner says one major issue is not having enough workers. Last August, Warner went to a Charlottesville post office to find out why there was a backlog of undelivered mail. He says he’ll be heading back to the area next week to see if things like mail-in ballots, medicines and bills are being delivered on time. 

  • GRTC will be reducing service on Pulse and 8 other routes in December. Under the plan, the Pulse route could reduce its frequency to up to 30 minutes. It currently runs every 10 minutes on average. Other routes could run as infrequently as once an hour. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the cuts come amid a pandemic-related shortage of drivers and mechanics. The service changes are expected to be temporary as the company is planning a hiring campaign to recruit new drivers. GRTC is also spending about $5 million of federal funding for employee bonuses, recruitment efforts and other retention initiatives.   

  • An elected official in the Northern Neck is apologizing after an image was shared on social media of him in blackface, posing as a fictional movie character.  Warsaw Councilman Faron Hamblin later apologized on Facebook after taking down the photo in darkened make up, writing quote: “the post hurt a lot of folks and that was not my intention.” Although Hamblin took down the photo,  according to NBC12, he says he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with wearing the makeup.