News to Know for Dec. 4: RPS virtual learning update; Unemployment backlog; Holiday events in downtown RVA

News to Know for Dec. 4: RPS virtual learning update; Unemployment backlog; Holiday events in downtown RVA
The pandemic has fueled Virginia’s total unemployment number to over 218,000 people as of October, which is almost double the number of unemployed people last year. (Source: WDBJ)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you head out the door.

Heavy Rain Tonight

Friday starts out dry, but rain arrives after sunset and continues Friday night into Saturday morning.

Today will be cloudy with late day rain developing into the evening, which could be heavy at times.

Areas of light rain could develop after sunset. Highs in the upper 50s.

Heavy Rain tonight, then a dry weekend.

Runaway Child

Richmond police are asking for the public’s help in finding a child who ran away.

Amara Sesay, 12, was last seen on Nov. 13 in the 2200 block of Chalfont Drive.

Amara Sesay
Amara Sesay (Source: Richmond Police)

Police said Amara is not familiar with the area and maybe staying in motels along the Midlothian Corridor.

Anyone with information on where he may be is asked to call Major Crimes Detective D.W. Longoria at (804) 510-4192 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

Should RPS Remain Virtual?

Richmond City Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said he will recommend to the school board that the division stay virtual for the second semester.

While Kamras will recommend virtual learning to the school board Monday, he says he understands there are downsides to remote learning.

Richmond Public Schools unveiled a new logo in 2020.
Richmond Public Schools unveiled a new logo in 2020. (Source: Richmond Public Schools)

To read the full update to families, click here.

Mayor Stoney & Dr. Avula’s Expectations

Mayor Levar Stoney and Dr. Danny Avula are setting expectations as a COVID-19 vaccine gets closer to rolling out.

On Dec. 3, Mayor Stoney held a virtual COVID-19 response update stating there are 23 positive COVID-19 cases in the city government and 40 city employees are currently in quarantine.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond/Henrico Health Districts director Dr. Danny Avula give Tuesday update on city's COVID-19 response.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond/Henrico Health Districts director Dr. Danny Avula give Tuesday update on city's COVID-19 response. (Source: NBC12)

Stoney and Dr. Danny Avula spent a lot of time talking about how the vaccine is safe and how communities of color should not be distrustful of vaccines.

Dr. Avula said the 7-day rolling case average remains high.

Backlog On Unemployment Benefits

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) has a five-month backlog in processing unemployment claims.

About 70,000 people are still waiting to collect their unemployment benefits right now.

On Thursday the VEC held a news briefing to discuss the launch of a third federal unemployment benefit program
On Thursday the VEC held a news briefing to discuss the launch of a third federal unemployment benefit program (Source: NBC12)

The pandemic has fueled Virginia’s total unemployment number to over 218,000 people as of October, which is almost double the number of unemployed people last year.

According to some advocates, the department faces a couple of issues such as a 35-year-old computer system and not enough manpower.

RVA’s Downtown Holidays 2020

Due to COVID-19, the city of Richmond will celebrate the 2020 holiday season differently this year. The city’s twinkling lights and holiday music will be viewed in a safe and socially-distanced way.

Whether it’s virtual or socially-distanced, Venture Richmond says the traditions aren’t canceled and in place will be new activities.

For a compiled list of events in downtown RVA, click here.

Final Thought

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans -John Lennon

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