News to Know for July 31: Extra unemployment benefits expire; Death investigation; Tree takes down line; Severe storm threat

News to Know for July 31: Extra unemployment benefits expire; Death investigation; Tree takes down line; Severe storm threat
Republicans attempted to extend the $600 a week extra benefit for one week, but Democrats rejected it Thursday. (Source: MGN)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Where did July go? We’re starting summer break’s final stretch with a severe weather threat.

Remember, if you missed it, you can rewatch our morning newscast on the NBC12 news app and website.

First Alert Weather Day

Severe thunderstorms are possible Friday afternoon, with some rain and storm chances through the weekend.

Watching severe storm threat Friday and Isaias impacts Monday

More on the 7-day forecast here.

Isaias Now a Hurricane

Isaias is now a category one hurricane, packing winds of 80 miles per hour. Tropical storm watches are currently in place for parts of Florida’s east coast.

If it stays on its current projected path, parts of Virginia could see an impact from this storm.

Tree Takes Down Line

About 50 Dominion Energy customers were in the dark after a tree fell, taking down power lines in north Chesterfield just after midnight as storms rolled through the area.

Tree down near Kentwood Rd near Hull St Rd, North Chesterfield
Tree down near Kentwood Rd near Hull St Rd, North Chesterfield (Source: NBC12/Eric Everington)

All lanes were blocked at the intersection of Kentwood and Snyder roads - off Hull Street Road. VDOT crews had to wait for Dominion to arrive and cut the power line’s electricity to clear the road.

Henrico Death Investigation

A death investigation is underway in Henrico after a man was shot and killed.

Death investigation on Byron Street, Henrico
Death investigation on Byron Street, Henrico (Source: NBC12/Eric Everington)

Police were called to a home on Byron Street just before 11 p.m. for reports of a shooting. When they arrived, they found a man dead; a suspect is in custody.

Police Reform Discussion Scrapped

Council members were going to take up a request to ban police officers from using certain non-lethal weapons like flashbangs and tear gas, but it has since been scrapped from the agenda.

Extra Unemployment Benefits Expire

Republicans attempted to extend the $600 a week extra benefit for one week, but Democrats rejected it. They’re hoping the block will push Republicans into making a decision on another stimulus package.

Democrats are looking at a $3 trillion proposal; Republicans countered with a $1 trillion package. It’s all happening as numbers were released showing a drastic drop in the gross domestic product - a record-breaking 32.9% annualized.

Talks are expected to continue today and over the weekend.

Virginia Unemployment Fraud

The Virginia Employment Commission is investigating more than 3,000 cases of unemployment benefit fraud across the state. It’s likely criminals have scooped up millions of dollars since mid-March.

Officials say while it’s unknown how much money was sent across the state, they did stop more than $50 million from getting into the wrong hands.

VEC investigating more than 3,000 cases of unemployment fraud

The commission is urging anyone who may suspect fraud to report it to them or their local police.

New COVID-19 Restrictions Start

There will be no alcohol sales after 10 p.m. and all restaurants must close by midnight. Indoor dining will be limited to 50%, including wineries, breweries and food courts. There will also be a ban on indoor and outdoor gatherings of 50 people or more.

Governor Northam will be in Norfolk today, meeting with local health officials at 11:30 a.m.

Dog Rescued During Hike

Nikko the dog being taken dog McAfee Know in a Stokes Basket on a wheel.
Nikko the dog being taken dog McAfee Know in a Stokes Basket on a wheel. (Source: Roanoke County Fire & Rescue Department)

Nikko’s owner called 911, saying the 125-pound dog collapsed, despite drinking plenty of water. They were hiking along McAfee Knob Trail for at least three hours in 90-degree heat.

Crews were able to load Nikko onto a special basket with wheels and bring him down safely. It took about 2 hours. He’s since been given the all-clear by a vet.

Final Thought

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For, after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.” – Charles M Schulz

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