News to Know for Oct. 5: Fiery hit-and-run crash; DMV walk-ins return; Vaccine mandate guidance; Keep rain gear handy
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at the top stories you need to know before starting your day.
Keep Rain Gear Handy
Hit or miss showers and storms are in the forecast for a while.
Today, highs will be in the low-80s. Slow-moving, heavy rain is possible.
Fiery Hit-and-Run Crash
A hit-and-run overnight ended in a fiery crash.
A car was engulfed by flames around 11 p.m. near the intersection of Chippenham Parkway and Midlothian Turnpike.
Police say the car was involved in a crash about half a mile away, near where Midlothian Turnpike and Boulders Parkway meet but didn’t stop.
They say the driver took off, crashed over an embankment before the car burst into flames.
Anyone who may have information about the crash is asked to call Chesterfield Police.
High School Students Assaulted
Today, students at Douglas Freeman High School will see more staff during the morning drop-off.
Henrico police are investigating after two teens reported being inappropriately touched while on school grounds last week.
We’re told the assaults happened in the school parking lot at different times but by the same person.
Each student immediately reported the attack to school officials, who called the police.
Parents were notified and police are working to identify a suspect. Right now, it’s unclear if he was a student or someone in the community.
Anyone with information should call the police.
DMV Walk-in Service Returns
More convenience is returning to the DMV today with walk-in service available after more than a year and a half!
You can now walk into any location to get help on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Other days of the week will still be by appointment only.
The department is still encouraging people to take advantage of its online services, which have grown 10 percent in the last few months.
Social distancings and masks are still required for all appointments.
More than 7,700 new cases were reported over the weekend, along with 102 more deaths.
The positivity rate has dropped to 8.5 percent, and hospitalizations continue trending down - now to less than 1,900.
60.9 percent of Virginians are now fully vaccinated.
Federal Vaccine Mandate Guidance
The White House is rolling out more guidance when it comes to vaccine mandates for federal workers and cracking down on exemptions.
The deadline is just weeks away and officials are making it clear: agencies can deny both medical and religious exemptions if other safety protocols are found inadequate.
If an exemption is denied, the worker must get the first shot within two weeks.
Details on what qualifies as a medical exemption are still being worked out. Some conditions, like multisystem inflammatory syndrome, only warrant a 90-day delay in getting the vaccine.
For now, unvaccinated workers are required to wear masks, social distance and limit travel.
New testing guidance for those who have exemptions approved is expected soon.
Suing Over Cells
The estate of Virginia-native Henrietta Lacks is suing a biotechnology company, saying it’s selling her cervical cells without their knowledge - or consent.
The cells were taken by doctors at Johns Hopkins in 1951 and grown in the lab for scientific research.
The federal lawsuit claims Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. knowingly mass-produced and sold the tissue. The suit seeks an order to permanently ban the company from using the cell lines without her estate’s permission.
We explore the history and ethics of this case in our podcast, How We Got Here:
Richmond Leaf Collection
Now that fall has arrived, Richmond’s annual leaf collection is officially underway.
The department of public works has a few options for you. For bagged leaves, you can put up to 10 bags out for collection on normal trash days. Or for an unlimited number of bags, you can use the sector collection system.
Vacuum collection begins on Nov. 1 and There is a $30 dollar fee per request. Find all the details here.
Looking for a Job?
Today in Henrico, the school district is holding a job fair as they continue to deal with a school bus driver shortage - they’re still down about 100 drivers.
The district raised pay to $17.15 an hour to attract new hires. There are also incentive bonuses of $1,000 to $3,000 for new drivers.
The job fair runs from 10 this morning until 2 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico rec center.
They are also looking to hire teachers and nutrition services members.
“It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
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