News to Know for June 8: Push to rename Jeff Davis Hwy; Monroe Park statue down; Man drives through protesters; Best weather of the week

News to Know for June 8: Push to rename Jeff Davis Hwy; Monroe Park statue down; Man drives through protesters; Best weather of the week
A pedestal is all that remains in Monroe Park after the General Williams Carter Wickham statue is torn down. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The best weather of the week is today, so make sure you schedule some outdoor time – after catching up on the top news stories of the day.

Sunny Start to Workweek

Rain chances stay low until Thursday, but the humidity will sneak back before that on Wednesday.

Gorgeous June weather to start the week, then humidity builds

Protests Push Deep Reforms

Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests demanding a reckoning with institutional racism that have sometimes resulted in clashes with police, but many officers took a less aggressive stance over the weekend when demonstrations were overwhelmingly peaceful.

Over the weekend, a majority of the Minneapolis City Council vowed to dismantle the 800-member agency.

Richmond Statue Pulled Down

In Richmond, a Confederate statue in Monroe Park has been removed after protesters pulled it down. The statue of Confederate leader Williams Carter Wickham was pulled down Saturday night.

On Sunday, passerby's stopped for photos of the now-empty pedestal, riddled with Black Lives Matter slogans. Police closed off the park after discovering the monument was pulled down.

VCU Police say the cleanup of the pedestal will be left to the city.

Man Drives Through Protesters

Several witnesses say a driver revved his engine and drove through protesters walking in the road Saturday evening. Harry Rogers, 36, of Hanover County was arrested.

At least one person was injured, but that person was checked at the scene and is expected to be ok.

Call for Unity

In Chesterfield County, Midlothian Baptist Church held a night of prayer for unity and healing - in light of recent police brutality cases and protests.

“We have to have those conversations”: Church holds unity vigil

The church says an opportunity for this discussion at times like this couldn’t be ignored - no matter how hard it may be.

Highway Renaming

Happening today: a push to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway in Richmond.

The Richmond Virginia Branch NAACP and the Jefferson Davis Neighborhood Civic Association will be holding a press conference on renaming Jefferson Davis Highway.
The Richmond Virginia Branch NAACP and the Jefferson Davis Neighborhood Civic Association will be holding a press conference on renaming Jefferson Davis Highway. (Source: nbc12)

The Richmond Virginia Branch NAACP and the Jefferson Davis Neighborhood Civic Association will be holding a press conference on renaming Jefferson Davis Highway.

Last year, Arlington County changed the name of Jefferson Davis US or route 1 to Richmond Highway. The city of Alexandria also made a similar change.

Racism and Injustice Discussion

In response to George Floyd’s death, today Henrico County Public Schools is hosting a virtual panel discussion over racism and injustice to create a safe place for dialogue to support students and families.

It’s from 6 to 7 p.m. on Google Meet, but only the first 250 attendees will be able to participate. Join here.

Coronavirus Alert

More than 110,000 Americans have now died from the virus. Here in Virginia, the death toll stands at 1,472, with cases nearing 51,000.

More than half of the state’s deaths have been at long-term care facilities, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Reopening Nursing Homes

The key to reopening Virginia’s 287 nursing homes lies in dramatically expanded testing for residents and staff, based on recent recommendations from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is recommending phases one and two to prohibit visitors, except in compassionate care situations. Phase three would allow visitors, but only with face masks and continued precautions.

To move to these phases, nursing facilities must perform a point-prevalence survey, have a COVID-19 testing plan for residents and staff, and have the necessary personal protective equipment.

Free Testing Continues

Free coronavirus testing continues this week in Richmond and Chesterfield.

In Richmond, testing will be held tomorrow at Second Baptist Church on Broad Rock Boulevard from 10 to 1. Find more Richmond events here.

In Chesterfield testing is on Wednesday at Falling Creek Ironworks Park at on Jefferson Davis Highway. You are asked to make an appointment for this one, just call 804-318-8207.

Road to Recovery

Planet Fitness is moving into phase two in gyms across Virginia. Like other gyms and fitness centers, Planet Fitness is allowed to reopen at 30 percent capacity.

Clubs are introducing lots of changes, including increased sanitizing stations and touchless check-ins. Find a club near you here.

Put Down Your Phone

Starting tomorrow, anyone caught driving on a public street or highway in the city of Richmond could be found guilty of distracted driving.

There are some exceptions: the ordinance doesn’t apply to emergency vehicle drivers, anyone calling to report an emergency or drivers using a radio-based communications device during an emergency or disaster relief operation.

Final Thought

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

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