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VPM Daily Newscast: January 21, 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 Friday, January 21, 2022 

  • Governor Glenn Youngkin has  declared a state of emergency ahead of winter weather over the next few days. The storms are expected to hit parts of Central Virginia and Hampton Roads. Executive orders are aimed at streamlining assistance to communities affected by the storm. This includes mobilizing state resources, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation and Department of Emergency Management. Virginians are highly encouraged to stay off roads – unless travel is necessary. Also, drivers should give extra room to snowplows and other crews working on storm recovery.   

  • This year, some Virginia Republicans are attempting to repeal legislation passed when Democrats had full majority of the House of Delegates and state Senate. This includes laws previously approved with the goal of combatting the school-to-prison pipeline. VPM’s Megan Pauly reports. 

  • Chesterfield County’s school board voted yesterday to maintain its masking mandate for students, staff and visitors. Some school board members, including Debbie Bailey, say they need further guidance from the state before making large changes to COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order – eliminating student masking requirements – officially goes into effect on Monday. The Henrico County and Richmond city school districts also plan to keep their face mask requirements. 

  • The eviction of public housing residents in Richmond has been temporarily suspended. Meg Schiffres has been following these developments for weeks and has this update

  • For the first time in history, Petersburg has a fire chief who's a woman. Tina Watkins was selected as the new permanent Chief of Petersburg Fire and Rescue this week after 11 years as Battalion Chief for Richmond Fire and Emergency Services. She’ll be the first permanent chief since Dennis Ruben left the job in 2018. Watkins was selected from a pool of 13 candidates,  according to the Progress-Index. She begins work on January 31.