News to Know for Aug. 3: Biles wins bronze; COVID-19 in Hopewell schools; Deadly motorcycle crash
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at our top headlines as you head out the door!
Cool temps and cloudy skies
Temperatures are staying cool today and tomorrow. It looks like the Virginia Beach area could see some rain, but shower chances are low in RVA. See the full forecast here.
Simone Biles wins bronze
American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles won bronze during the balance beam final early Tuesday morning, a week after taking herself out of several competitions to focus on her mental health.
Biles earned her seventh career Olympic medal — tied with Shannon Miller for the most by an American in gymnastics — by drilling a slightly watered-down version of her usual routine.
Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee of the United States finished fifth.
RPS board firm on controlling new George Wythe
Several people stormed out of the Richmond School Board meeting on Monday night after the school board made a firm decision to stick to its plan to control the process of rebuilding George Wythe High School.
Superintendent Jason Kamras followed the wishes of the board, seeking input on how the school should look so they can begin the process of finding companies interested in designing a new school. It’s a process Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has already started, and the bids were due by Monday.
Stoney hoped the school board would take the bids already gathered and move forward so the timeline wouldn’t be delayed. The majority of the school board has said they don’t want the help; they want to control the process on their own, even if it means a delay in construction.
COVID-19 in Hopewell schools
Since the Hopewell school year began, 11 students and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the cases were likely contracted from within the community, but one staff member who tested positive on Aug. 1 likely caught the virus in school.
The school district says its looking for options for families who prefer not to send their children in-person for instruction for the time being.
“We are building out additional instructional programming options right now, and ask for understanding and patience as we do this as quickly as we can.”
COVID-19 in Va. | 6% positivity rate, high transmissions
Virginia’s testing positivity has reached 6%, according to the state’s department of health. From Saturday to Monday, more than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases were reported throughout the commonwealth.
Things are not looking good as more Central Virginia counties are seeing high levels of coronavirus transmission.
Almost all other areas are seeing substantial transmission, the areas in orange.
Nearly 10,000 new cases have been reported in Virginia in the last two weeks.
Overnight deadly motorcycle crash
An 18-year-old Virginia man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Monday night, according to Virginia State Police.
Investigators say a 2019 Yamaha motorcycle crossed the center line on Route 522 in Goochland County when it hit a Chevrolet Silverado around 10:15 p.m.
A woman driving the truck was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.
Water advisory for James River
Water in the James River was tested again yesterday, but in the meantime, health officials continue to urge everyone to stay out of the water.
The testing comes days after a sewer main near River Road ruptured, releasing more than 300,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Tuckahoe Creek which connects directly to the James River.
Clean-up efforts in that area continued over the weekend. We are expecting to hear an update on the health advisory from the Virginia Department of Health tomorrow.
Special Session underway
Monday was the first day of Virginia’s General Assembly’s special session as lawmakers figure out how to spend $4.3 billion from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan.
Spending priorities include broadband, the state’s behavioral health system, increase access to clean water, public safety and fast-tracking critical upgrades to the Virginia Employment Commission.
Drawing Virginia’s voting districts
The Virginia commission in charge of drawing state and congressional districts is holding a public meeting today.
This is the last in-person session before the state gets data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That data will show changes in population size, which will affect the size of legislative districts.
The commission then has 45 days to draw state legislative maps and 60 days to draw congressional maps ahead of state elections in November.
Once they’re drawn - it’s up to the General Assembly to approve them. That meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Pocahontas Building in Richmond.
One final thought
“To win, you have to risk loss.” - Jean Claude Killy, French ski racer and three-time Olympic gold medalist
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