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VPM Daily Newscast: December 9, 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 Thursday, December 9, 2021: 

  • Virginia’s pandemic rent relief program has earned national recognition by tenant advocates for its role in helping prevent evictions. But at a housing commission meeting yesterday, lawmakers heard that the program will run out of funds as early as July of next year. Ben Paviour has more

  • The commanding officer of SEAL Team 8 died Tuesday at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital. Commander Brian Bourgeois sustained injuries during a training exercise in Virginia Beach over the weekend. The Navy said details of the accident are under investigation. Bourgeois received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001. He served for over 20 years. 

  • Incoming Attorney General Jason Miyares has chosen the next Solicitor General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. In a press release yesterday, Miyares announced Andrew Ferguson will take the position. Ferguson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and most recently served as Chief Counsel to Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. Ferguson advised McConnell on several legal matters, including the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. In a statement, McConnell called Ferguson a, quote, “brilliant and dedicated lawyer.” Ferguson says he is excited to serve in this role and protect Virginian’s constitutional rights.   

  • Outdoor recreation projects may get a boost as Governor Ralph Northam leaves office. Ian Stewart has the details.  

  • The Supreme Court of Virginia is looking for public feedback on the proposed redistricting maps. The maps were prepared by court appointees, after a citizen committee failed to come to agreements on new districts for the House of Delegates, state Senate and U.S. Representatives.  Two public hearings will be held virtually on December 15 and 17 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. No hearings will be held in-person.  To RSVP, email [email protected]. Virginians can also send written feedback on the maps to that email address.   

  • A long-awaited state plan to deal with sea level rise is finally out. Sam Turken, from our partner station WHRO, reports on the sweeping guide. 

  • Members of Virginia’s Joint Commission on Healthcare have endorsed legislation to require staffing standards for nursing homes – an effort that failed for the last 17 years. According to the Virginia Mercury, the vote won’t immediately result in changes. But new staffing bills will be filed in the upcoming General Assembly session with the commission’s endorsement. Pressure for these standards grew during the pandemic, which caused the deaths of over 4,500 nursing home residents. Virginia is currently one of only 16 states without workforce requirements for nursing home facilities.