News to Know for July 8: Reopening plans for RPS; Gov. Northam on school name changes; Henrico death investigation; Students online series on race; Storms possible

News to Know for July 8: Reopening plans for RPS; Gov. Northam on school name changes; Henrico death investigation; Students online series on race; Storms possible
Richmond Public Schools will be discussing plans to reopen for the fall of 2020.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a look at our top headlines to get you out the door.

Be Prepared For Some Rain!

Mostly to partly sunny with an isolated shower and storm possible, higher chances for rain south. Richmond likely dry again. Lows in the low 70s, highs in the upper 80s.

Potential heavy rainfall for Thursday as well.

Watching for downpours Thursday and Friday

No Injuries in Early Morning Fire

No injuries were reported in an early morning kitchen fire in Richmond.

Fire crews were called a home on the 6500 block of Erhart Road near Whitehead Road around 4:30 a.m. Flames were under control within 15 minutes.

Two people, a dog and a cat were evacuated out of the house safely.

RPS Discusses Reopening Plans

Richmond Public Schools will be discussing plans to reopen for the fall of 2020.

RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras will be presenting two reopening plans to the school board on July 9.

Plan A will focus on a fully virtual option and a hybrid option that includes 2 days of in-person instruction and 3 days of virtual instruction each week and 5 days of in-person instruction each week for students with greater academic needs.

Plan B offers a fully virtual option and a fully in-person option.

Gov. Northam On School Names and Mascots

Governor Ralph Northam wrote a letter to all the schools located in the commonwealth to change the names and mascots named after Confederate soldiers.

“When our public schools are named after individuals who advanced slavery and systemic racism, and we allow those names to remain on school property, we tacitly endorse their values as our own,” Gov. Northam said in a statewide letter.

The governor also says the financial costs of changing school names are minimal compared to the generations that suffered through American slavery and other eras in our countries history.

Trump Urges Schools To Reopen

President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched an all-out effort pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, arguing that some are keeping schools closed not because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic but for political reasons.

“They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed,” Trump said at a White House discussion on school plans for the fall. “No way. We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.”

Presidente Donald Trump
Presidente Donald Trump (Source: The White House / Shealah Craighead)

The White House’s round-table gathered health and education leaders from across the nation who said schools and colleges are ready to open this fall and can do so safely.

They argued that the risks of keeping students at home outweigh any risks tied to the coronavirus, saying students need access to meal programs and mental and behavioral health services.

Death Investigation In Henrico

A death investigation is underway in eastern Henrico after a body was found in a cornfield Tuesday.

It happened near New Market Road near the Virginia Capital Trail. That’s where police found a woman’s body not far from a car that was partially hidden by the tall stalks of corn.

Police investigating after body found in Henrico
Police investigating after body found in Henrico

A detective from Richmond also arrived on the scene before the Medical Examiner arrived to claim the body.

Police have not yet revealed how they believe it happened but they call the whole situation suspicious.

‘BLM Take It Down’ Written On Monument

‘BLM Take It Down’ was painted around the Soldiers and Sailors monument located in Libby Hill.

The Soldiers and Sailors monument located in Libby Hill.
The Soldiers and Sailors monument located in Libby Hill. (Source: Marc Redmond)

The monument was built in 1894 on 29th Street atop Libby Hill and has a bronze Confederate soldier standing on top of a towering pillar.

The Soldiers and Sailors monument will be one of the eleven Confederate monuments that will be taken down this week.

Anti-Discrimination Resources

Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover Counties will be connecting and helping educate residents on legal protections against discrimination and harassment on a webpage called, ‘Know Your Rights and Resources’.

On June 24 at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Chesterfield County unveiled the Know Your Rights and Resources webpage.

Numerous institutions, many of which operate in the Richmond region, work to educate people about the laws that protect them, advocate for their rights and legally challenge instances of discrimination.

To access the Know Your Rights and Resources webpage, click here.

Online Series On Racism

Henrico high school students will be sharing their perspectives on issues of racism, injustice and inequity during the online series “Community Conversations.”

The virtual discussion series started in response to global protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

During the discussion, which was rescheduled to July 9, a panel of high school students will share their perspectives and talk about ways they’ve promoted a change in their schools and community.

The online discussion will start at 6 p.m.

Final Thought

The world is now too small for anything but brotherhood - Arthur Powell Davis

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