News to Know for July 7: Byrd statue removal; Meeting on Henrico violence; Tracking Elsa

A statue of Harry Byrd Sr. in Capitol Square will get signage noting his role as the architect...
A statue of Harry Byrd Sr. in Capitol Square will get signage noting his role as the architect of the state's policy of massive resistance to the integration of public schools.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:17 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you start your day!

Another hot day, Elsa’s remnants tomorrow

Similar to yesterday, today will be mostly sunny, hot and humid. Lows in the low 70s, highs in the mid 90s.

FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Elsa will likely bring rain tomorrow with little wind expected. Rainfall amounts could reach 1-2 inches with locally higher amounts, highest east of I-95.

Byrd statue to be removed from Capitol Square

The Department of General Services will remove the statue of Harry F. Byrd from Capitol Square on Wednesday. It will then be stored until legislators can figure out what to do with it.

Byrd was a Virginia governor and senator and ran the state’s most powerful political machine for decades. He was considered the architect of “massive resistance” to public school integration.

The 10-foot bronze statue will be removed between 8:30 a.m. and noon. Due to safety reasons, the northwest corner of Capitol Square will be closed during the removal.

Planning commission votes for pedestal removal

The City of Richmond Planning Commission voted on Tuesday to move forward with the removal of several empty pedestals that formerly held Confederate statues along Monument Avenue.

After the pedestals are taken away, some sites will be made into green spaces while others will be completely paved over to help with traffic flow.

City council will have to approve the plans in the coming weeks before anything is removed.

RAW VIDEO: Statue of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart removed in Richmond
RAW VIDEO: Statue of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart removed in Richmond

Meeting about violence in Henrico

Today we’re expecting to hear from Henrico’s police chief about the violent 4th of July weekend in the county.

In just 48 hours, Jamirah Washington, 19-year-old Marquan Lane and 27-year-old Steven Whisnant, III, were all killed in separate shootings.

Two more people were also hurt.

Chief Eric English is set to speak around 11:30 a.m.

Violence erupted across Central Virginia throughout the 4th of July, marking one of the most violent weekends in recent memory with nine people dead in eight separate shootings within 48 hours.

Man gets 127-year sentence for sexual assault charges

A man has been sentenced to 127 years in prison on multiple sexual assault charges, including rape.

Justin Harvey of Colonial Heights was sentenced on June 24 following a jury trial.

The charges stem from incidents that happened in May of 2018. Harvey has a long history of charges related to sexual assault which stem back all the way to 2012.

Police arrested Justin Harvey, 26, and charged him with one count of sexual battery for...
Police arrested Justin Harvey, 26, and charged him with one count of sexual battery for allegedly lifting women's skirts on VCU campus. (Source: VCU Police)

Report: VEC only responding to ‘small portion’ of calls

Workers at the Virginia Employment Commission are still responding to only a “small portion” of calls for help related to unemployment benefits. That’s according to a presentation state lawmakers got Tuesday.

The state’s legislative watchdog agency is in the process of reviewing the employment commission, which has faced criticism over its performance amid the pandemic.

The presentation raised concerns about staffing turnover, a technology modernization project, and whether real progress was being made in working through a backlog of claims.


Evictions set to resume

The Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority has roughly 824 households on repayment plans for delinquent balances. That total stands at around $1 million. As of last month, 693 households had fallen behind on those payments.

Evictions could resume as early as August.

“Before this moratorium, RHHA was historically one of the most aggressive eviction filers in the city. I think in 2018, they filed eviction cases against the families living in their communities at a rate of about 43%,” said Victoria Horrock, Legal Aid Justice Center.

Vaccine clinics for Henrico students start today

Henrico County Public Schools and the Virginia Department of Health are partnering to provide free vaccinations to students with their Walk-in Summer Comprehensive Vaccination Clinics.

Students who are 12 or older will have the opportunity to get vaccinated for COVID-19, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, HPV and meningococcal virus.

Tetanus and meningococcal virus vaccines are required for students who are entering seventh grade, and the meningococcal virus vaccine is required for students entering 12th grade. HPV and COVID-19 vaccines are not required for students.

(Source: Gray News)

Final thought

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” - Alan Cohen

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