News to Know for June 8: Primary election begins; Lee statue hearing; George Wythe update

News to Know for June 8: Primary election begins; Lee statue hearing; George Wythe update
Voters across the commonwealth will be making their voices heard today as both Democrats and Republicans head to the polls for the primary election. (Source: WLOX)

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

Partly Sunny, Isolated Storm Possible

Today will be partly sunny, hot and humid with an isolated PM shower and storm possible.

Lows in the low 70s, highs in the upper 80s.

Forecast: Daily hit or miss storm chances the next few days

It’s Primary Day!

Voters across the commonwealth will be making their voices heard today as both Democrats and Republicans head to the polls for the primary election.

Crowds are expected to increase as voting kicks off at 6 a.m. this morning.

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced a plan that will monitor voting locations during the general election.
The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division announced a plan that will monitor voting locations during the general election. (Source: KEYC)

As long as voters are in line at their designated polling location by 7 p.m., they will not be turned away.

Those who are not at their polling place will have to fill out an absentee ballot.

FEMA Assistance From Ice Storm

Communities in Central Virginia hit hard by February’s ice storms will soon get a helping hand from the federal government.

After Governor Ralph Northam declared a natural disaster, VDEM traveled across Central Virginia to assess the damage. In turn, it asked the federal government for financial help. President Biden approved the request last month.

(Source: Steve Ohnesorge/WBTV)

Applicants have until Wednesday, June 9 to submit an official Request for Public Assistance (RPA) in the FEMA Grants Portal to be considered for the program.

For more information, click here.

Lee Statue Hearing

The Supreme Court of Virginia is set to hear arguments in legal challenges to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s plan to take down a 131-year-old statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The high court will hear arguments Tuesday in two lawsuits filed by people who believe the massive statue should stay where it is.

(Source: Steve Helber)

Separate lawsuits were filed by a group of Richmond residents who own property near the statue and a descendant of signatories to an 1890 deed that transferred the statue, pedestal and ground they sit on to the state.

Statues To Be Removed In Charlottesville

Nearly 100 years after they were built, and almost four years since their near-removal sparked a violent white supremacist rally in the city, Charlottesville is getting rid of two Confederate statues from two downtown parks.

The statues of Robert E. Lee in Market Street Park (left) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Court Square Park.
The statues of Robert E. Lee in Market Street Park (left) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Court Square Park. (Source: WVIR/Gray TV)

During Monday evening’s virtual meeting, dozens of people made their opinions on the statues heard, and then at 10:47 p.m. came the unanimous vote to remove the statues

After years of legal battles, the statues’ days are officially numbered.

George Wythe Update

Superintendent Jason Kamras told the board opening a newly built George Wythe High School likely wouldn’t happen until 2027 because of the board’s decision to take control of school construction, instead of partnering with the City of Richmond to do it as they’ve done in the past.

When the superintendent presented his projected timeline, some board members weren’t buying it.

George Wythe High School
George Wythe High School (Source: NBC12)

The City of Richmond said if it was involved in the process, a new Wythe could open by 2024. Right now, there’s a hashtag gaining momentum on social media that says #WytheCantWait.

Right now, RPS is working to hire three people to oversee school construction. Those people are expected to be on board come October.

VCU Vaccines Required

Virginia Commonwealth University announced all students are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for the fall semester. This excludes those with religious or health exemptions.

According to survey results, the majority of students, parents, faculty and staff support the requirement.

(Source: KYTV)

Students who are getting the vaccine must report it to the University Student Health Services no later than July 15.

Students taking summer classes and who are in the Health Sciences must report their vaccinations sooner.

Cooling Stations Open

Richmond has opened up two cooling shelters for residents to get some relief from the heat.

The stations will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday from June 7 to Sept. 30.

Richmond has opened up two cooling shelters for residents to get some relief from the heat.
Richmond has opened up two cooling shelters for residents to get some relief from the heat. (Source: Pixabay)

Anyone going to the shelters must wear face coverings and social distance.

Seating will be arranged for an appropriate distance. Pets, aside from service animals, will not be allowed.

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