News to Know for Sept. 3: Aftermath of Ida; Lee statue removal; Chilly start to sunny day

The Virginia Department of General Services is making plans to quickly remove the statue of...
The Virginia Department of General Services is making plans to quickly remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue. The multi-day removal should start next week.(Steve Helber | AP)
Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:34 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:54 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Take a look at our top headlines before you head out the door.

Chilly Start Since June

Our coolest start (50s) since June leads to another comfortable, low humidity day.

Today will be mostly sunny. Feeling like fall with low humidity! High: 80.

Over 45 People Dead From Ida Impact

In a region that had been warned about potentially deadly flash flooding but hadn’t braced for such a blow from the no-longer hurricane, the storm killed at least 46 people from Maryland to Connecticut on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The National Hurricane Center had warned since Tuesday of the potential for “significant and life-threatening flash flooding” and major river flooding in the mid-Atlantic region and New England.

Death toll rises in Ida's aftermath.
Death toll rises in Ida's aftermath.

In New York, nearly 500 vehicles were abandoned on flooded highways, garbage bobbed in streaming streets and water cascaded into the city’s subway tunnels, trapping at least 17 trains and disrupting service all day. Videos online showed riders standing on seats in swamped cars.

The National Weather Service said the ferocious storm also spawned at least 10 tornadoes from Maryland to Massachusetts, including a 150-mph (241 kph) twister that splintered homes and toppled silos in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, south of Philadelphia.

Lee Statue

The Virginia Department of General Services is making plans to quickly remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from Monument Avenue. The multi-day removal should start next week.

In their unanimous ruling, the state supreme court justices said, “values change and public policy changes too” in a democracy.

A plan for the entire removal process was approved last year, which includes cutting up the statue so they can transport it away. Another phase of the plan deals with the removal of the granite base at a later point.

There will be a public viewing area when this happens. A lot of streets will be blocked off in this area for multiple days. There are also security concerns.

Chesterfield COVID-19 Cases

Chesterfield County Public Schools are one week into the school year and reporting more than 100 cases of COVID-19.

Since last Monday, 140 positive cases have been reported by the school district, according to its dashboard. This includes 117 students and 23 staff members.

(Chesterfield County Public Schools)

On Aug. 30, many cases were reported in the Matoaca area of Chesterfield. Three cases were reported in Matoaca Middle School, three cases were positive in Matoaca Elementary School, and two additional cases were found in Matoaca High School.

So far, the Virginia Department of Health has not classified any of these cases as outbreaks, meaning two or more cases are traced to the same person.

Chesterfield County as a whole has a positivity rate of 11.6%, per VDH.

Missing Woman

Police in Chesterfield are searching for a woman who was reported missing.

Diana Cuthbert was last seen on the evening of Sept. 2 when her family couldn’t find her. She is described as a white female, 5′1″ inches tall and weighs around 125 pounds.

Diana Cuthbert
Diana Cuthbert(Chesterfield Police)

Cuthbert has gray hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing black corduroy pants and a white sweater. She may be driving a white, 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, with Virginia license plates URA1415.

Anyone with information on Cuthbert’s whereabouts should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

Missing Man

Police are searching for a man who they say has a mental health condition and needs medication.

Stephen Harold Cleaton, a 37-year-old man, was riding with a family member and became agitated. Police say the driver pulled over on Interstate 64 in an attempt to calm Cleaton, but he ran from the vehicle.

Stephen Harold Cleaton, 37, is missing from Henrico County.
Stephen Harold Cleaton, 37, is missing from Henrico County.(Henrico County Police Department)

The vehicle was parked on I-64 near mile marker 200, near Interstate 295. Police say Cleaton likely has cuts on his feet.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5000 or your local police agency, if outside of Henrico.

Traveling Safely

Thousands of drivers are expected to hit the road across Virginia ahead of Labor Day weekend. Virginia State Police are urging everyone to put safety first.

According to state police, Labor Day traffic deaths have increased over the past four years. In 2020 during the holiday, 20 people died in crashes.

(Mason Adams/ For the Virginia Mercury)

Troopers will be doing traffic safety and enforcement patrols as part of Operation CARE (Crash Awareness Reduction Effort).

The program starts on Sept. 3 at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Sept. 6 at 12:00 a.m.

RPS Alters Bus Routes

Richmond Public Schools have altered bus routes due to bus driver shortages.

For residents who live in southside or spread out neighborhoods, your route may temporarily have double backs, meaning the driver picks up one round of students, drops them off and then returns for the remaining students.


The second run may arrive after the school day starts. Students will be excused if and when this happens.

To check your child’s bus route ahead of the first day of school, click here.

Final Thought

If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success. - James Cameron

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