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VPM Daily Newscast: January 14, 2022

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 Friday, January 14, 2022 

  • Crews in Richmond’s Capitol Square are making final preparations ahead of Saturday, when Glenn Youngkin will be sworn in as the commonwealth’s 74th governor. Another Republican – Winsome Sears – will make history when she’s inaugurated as lieutenant governor. Ben Paviour has more. 

  • Republican Jason Miyares promises to put victims before criminals as Virginia’s new Attorney General. As Whittney Evans reports, that’s his top priority once he’s sworn in at Saturday’s inauguration. 

  • An effort to end solitary confinement in Virginia’s prisons is getting a boost from a Republican state senator. Jill Vogel is co-sponsoring legislation this year with Democrat Joe Morrissey that would limit its use. Advocates, like Rabbi Michael Knopf, point to studies showing the practice can lead to severe mental health issues. Officials with the Virginia department of corrections claim they’ve already ended what they call “restrictive housing.” But critics say they’ve just given it a new name and are pushing the General Assembly to act. A similar bill died in committee last year over concerns about costs.  

  • Three of the white nationalist organizers of the Unite the Right rally have filed motions seeking to overturn a recent federal verdict. According to The Daily Progress, a federal jury found Jason Kessler and two other organizers were responsible for a conspiracy to commit acts of violence at the 2017 rally. An attorney for two of the defendants argued that despite the jury’s decision, the findings failed to prove his clients entered into a conspiracy. The 11-person jury’s decision was based on Virginia conspiracy laws. 

  • The Virginia Department of Transportation was warned of heavy snowfall prior to the storm that shut down I-95 earlier this month, according to the Washington Post. The shutdown left hundreds of people, including Senator Tim Kaine, trapped on the interstate for over 24 hours.  The National Weather service offered 14 briefings about the storm starting in the early morning of January 2. The state also had access to hourly updates from a Minnesota company that provides weather forecasts for transportation services. A VDOT spokesperson says they remained in contact with the National Weather Service as snowfall forecasts increased. The state agency has promised to undergo a multi-agency review to avoid incidents like this in the future. 

  • Two local businesses are raising funds to build a permanent safe space for marginalized communities in Richmond. Meg Schiffres has more.