News to Know for Aug. 16: RPS to discuss vaccine mandate; Chesterfield bus driver shortage; More downpours

(Source: NBC12)
(Source: NBC12)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:10 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top stories before you start your day!

More downpours likely

We could see more downpours this morning, then mostly cloudy skies as scattered showers move through the area.

This week brings more rain chances and high humidity — without the extreme heat. Today’s lows near 70, highs in the low 80s.

RPS discussion on vaccine mandate

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras is recommending that staff be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

He’s making the recommendation to the school board at today’s meeting. Then, the board will vote.

Kamras said more than 250 students have been quarantined due to positive COVID-19 cases, and said he didn’t take the recommendation lightly.

Chesterfield bus driver shortage

Chesterfield County is asking parents to drive their kids to school during a critical shortage of bus drivers.

The county needs about 100 more bus drivers to meet its goal, meaning some routes could go uncovered.

COVID-19 cases in Hopewell, Brunswick schools

In Hopewell, the school district is reporting another case of in-school transmission.

So far, there have been 55 cases within the first three weeks of classes. That’s 46 students and 9 staff members.

In Brunswick County Public Schools, several cases of COVID-19 were reported within the first week of school.

The school district did not say exactly how many cases there are, but did say more people may have been exposed while at school.

Back to school!

Several districts in the area and heading back to school today!

Happy first day of school to students in Caroline, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Essex, Northumberland and Richmond counties.

As a reminder, masks are required in all school buildings, so make sure the kids have one.

If you are driving in those areas, make sure you are on the lookout for school buses hitting the roads again.

Don’t forget to send us your back-to-school pics! Upload them here:

VCU students return

VCU freshmen and some upperclassmen are returning to moving back to campus today, expect some congestion in the Monroe Park area.

Reminder: the registration hold starts today for anyone who has not submitted their COVID-19 vaccination records.

All students and staff must get the vaccine, and masks are required for anyone indoors.

(wwbt/nbc12)

Mother, children killed in house fire

A mother and her two kids were killed after their house went up in flames Sunday morning on Banton Street.

Two other people in the home and a firefighter were hurt.

Officials do not yet know what started the fire, but they say the home did not have working smoke detectors, telling us they had not been replaced since 2002.

Emergency SNAP benefits

Emergency benefits will be added to your EBT cards today.

This is for people who are not already receiving the maximum allotment as part of the regular monthly benefits.

There is no word yet on if benefits will continue in September, but social services will have an update soon.

Last day to apply for cooling assistance

Today is the last day for Virginia residents to apply for cooling assistance through the Virginia Department of Social Services.

There are multiple types of assistance available, including payment of security deposits for electricity to operate cooling equipment and repair of a central air conditioning system or heat pump.

To see if you qualify, click here.

Final thought

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” - Theodore Roosevelt

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