News to Know for Sept. 29: Bus driver shortage continues; Final debate recap; How to get a booster shot; Several job opportunities

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:29 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT/AP) - We’re only halfway through the work week, so here’s a quick look at the stories you need to know to get a jump on the day.

A Fall Pattern Takes Hold

Today begins a stretch of three straight “Best Weather Days of the Week”

Beautiful fall weather is in store through the rest of the week... so get out and enjoy it!

Final Debate Recap

Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin got off to a combative start in the second and final debate in Virginia’s closely watched gubernatorial election.

The candidates clashed over vaccination, tax policy and their respective records in Tuesday night’s hourlong debate.

Five weeks from Election Day and with early voting already underway, recent polls suggest a tight race between McAuliffe and Youngkin.

McAuliffe is seeking a second term after his first ended in 2018. Youngkin is a former business executive and political newcomer. Third-party candidate Princess Blanding was not invited to participate in the debate but shouted from the audience about how she had been shut out.

Rewatch the full debate here.

Important Election Dates to Remember

The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration is Tuesday, Oct. 12.

If you want to apply for a ballot to be mailed to you that deadline is Friday, Oct. 22.

You will need to have a witness signature on your ballot if you are voting through the mail.

And Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

How to Get a Booster Shot

The Richmond-Henrico Health District is rolling out vaccine clinics for those who are eligible for the booster shot.

Shots are still by appointment only at the clinics and there are two happening today: one at St. Andrew’s from 9 to 10:45 a.m. and a second at the Eastern Henrico Rec Center from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Find a full list of clinics here.

And remember boosters are only available for those older than 65, people who live in long-term care facilities, adults with underlying health conditions and workers in high-risk environments who got Pfizer’s vaccine.

Fort Lee Hit-and-Run Suspect in Custody

Fort Lee police have taken the man suspected of crashing near an entrance gate into custody.

Before he was apprehended, police asked residents to stay inside with secured doors as they searched for a man, who allegedly stayed in the woods overnight.

It all started Monday night when the man was accused of stealing a personal vehicle from the fire department, crashing it near the A Avenue gate and taking off into the woods. No word yet on who that man is or what charges he may face.

Petersburg Hiring Blitz

Today is the second day of a three-day hiring blitz in Petersburg. The VEC is co-hosting the event.

Today’s interviews are happening at the city’s public library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To participate, register in advance here.

Bus Driver Job Fair

Tomorrow, Chesterfield Schools will hold a bus driver job fair. The district is among several in the area - and nationwide - dealing with a bus driver shortage. And they are even taking to Twitter to highlight the importance of the jobs.

Chesterfield Schools says the shortage has led to many students being picked up or dropped off at home late.

Tomorrow’s job fair is from 4 to 8 p.m. at Manchester Middle on Hull Street Road. Starting pay is more than $20 an hour and there are opportunities for a bonus.

Bus Shortages Elsewhere

Henrico County and Richmond Public Schools are also working to combat a driver shortage.

Henrico was down 100 bus drivers at the start of the year. The district raised wages to $17.15 an hour to attract new hires. There are also incentive bonuses of $1,000 to $3,000 for new drivers and up to $2,000 for current drivers.

RPS is offering a $4,000 retention bonus for current bus drivers and a $4,000 signing bonus for new hires with a CDL. The school system says they need about 11 more drivers to be fully staffed.

Meanwhile, in Dinwiddie, the district is adjusting schedules to help with school bus transportation issues. Starting Monday, Dinwiddie High School and Dinwiddie Middle School will dismiss at 2 p.m., about half an hour earlier. This change will last through the rest of the school year.

VSU to Require Vaccine Proof

Virginia State University is taking its COVID protocols one step further: requiring proof from all visitors to Rogers Stadium and other campus athletic events.

“Right now, our campus has an infection rate below 1%. Our goal is to maintain or even reduce our already low positivity rate in an effort to eradicate the virus on campus altogether,” said Peggy Davis, VSU Associate Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics.

The proof of vaccination applies to all attendees 18 years or older. Plus, masks are still required in all outdoor spaces, except when eating or drinking.

The new guidelines will be enforced at all athletic events, including the upcoming homecoming game.

Fun Fall Activities

The temperatures are (finally) dropping in Richmond, and the leaves changing their colors. From cideries, festivals and orchards - all at most an hour drive from RVA - click here to read what you can do to enjoy the autumn season.

Final Thought

“Life is short. That’s all there is to say. Get what you can from the present – thoughtfully, justly.” - Marcus Aurelius

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