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VPM Daily Newscast: January 20, 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.        

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, January 20, 2022 

  • Governor Glenn Youngkin has chosen a staffer from the conservative Heritage Foundation to lead the state’s diversity efforts. As Ben Paviour reports, the Republican says his pick will focus on economic opportunity and free speech. 

  • Several Hampton Roads cities are asking the General Assembly to allow state funding to care for historic Black cemeteries. These places are marked by decades of neglect. Paul Bibeau, from partner station WHRO, reports. 

  • Employees at Virginia Commonwealth University are no longer required to be vaccinated or report their vaccination status to the university. VCU officials said the  decision came in response to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s recently issued executive orders and directives regarding COVID-19. Daily health screenings and COVID-19 surveillance testing will also no longer be required for employees, though they will be available for free to those who want them. Masks will continue to be required indoors throughout the university and inside health system facilities. 

  • Citing low numbers of average daily patients, the pediatric units at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital will be closing April 1. The unit has been in service for 26 years, according to  NBC12. HCA Virginia officials say the hospital will still provide emergency care for children, but it’ll do so through the regular emergency room. Patients that need to be admitted to a pediatric unit will be transferred to another location. The staff will also work with families to identify a transition plan. 

  • Though “Lost Cause” monuments have been taken down across Richmond, remnants of the city’s glorification of the Confederacy still remain. Meg Schiffres has more. 

  • Charlottesville once again has a new interim City Manager. Michael Rogers was  selected by City Council this week. He’ll be the sixth person to fill the role since 2018. The previous appointee, Marc Woolley, resigned one day before he was due to start late last year.  Rogers is a consultant with the minority-owned Robert Bobb Group. He previously served in administrative roles for both the cities of Washington, D.C. and Petersburg. He will begin working in Charlottesville on January 31. 

  • During this year’s General Assembly session, VPM is taking a deeper look at political issues in a new series we’re calling “Capitol in Focus.” Today, we’re talking about the legislative priorities of Virginia’s new Attorney General. Republican Jason Miyares says some Commonwealth’s Attorneys aren’t doing their job prosecuting crimes. He’s backing legislation that would allow his office to try some criminal cases if local prosecutors won’t. VPM News’ Legal and Criminal Justice Reporter Whittney Evans spoke about Miyares' legislative agenda with our Newscast Editor Sara McCloskey.