News to Know for Oct. 29: VEC system upgrade delay; Halloween safety; Heavy rain this morning

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:33 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2021 at 6:41 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a look at our top headlines!

First Alert Weather Day: Rain

Rain could be heavy at times during the morning, with scattered showers and storms this afternoon that could turn severe. Drying by evening.

FIRST ALERT WEATHER DAY: Rain likely during the morning with a few thunderstorms possible. A few scattered showers with a potential storm lingering into the afternoon and evening. An isolated strong storm can’t be ruled out with gusty winds, especially east of I-95. Rain totals between 0.5″-1.5″.

Breezy winds SE 15-20mph with gusts to 25mph.

🎃 2021 Halloween Events 🎃

It’s time for some spooky Halloween fun!

Click here to check out all of these fun events happening around Richmond this year!

Halloween Safety

As the countdown continues for the tricks and treats of Halloween, an infectious disease specialist from VCU Health is advising families to take some precautions to make sure everyone stays safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Suzanne Lavoie, an infectious diseases specialist and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, echoes these same guidelines as long as families keep their trick-or-treating outdoors.


“Going up with a mask to somebody’s house and saying ‘trick-or-treat’ I think is very short exposure,” she said. “I definitely think that kids should wear masks when they’re doing that.”

As for the candy, Dr. Lavoie suggests checking candy to see if the packaging is open and making sure you check it before your kids eat it. Dr. Lavoie’s biggest piece of advice is to stay in small groups.

“I certainly probably wouldn’t recommend that they go in groups, big groups of five to 10 kids together outside of household members,” she said.

Nextdoor’s Treat-Or-Treat Map

The neighborhood social networking site Nextdoor has launched its annual Halloween treat map. The company is urging people to use the map to share their plans for the holiday.

Nextdoor says the map is their most popular seasonal feature.

Nextdoor is urging neighbors to denote their Halloween plans.
Nextdoor is urging neighbors to denote their Halloween plans.(jupiterimages // Canva)

The site says to put the candy icon next to your home if you plan to hand out treats. If you are decorating, use the haunted décor icon to attract fright seekers.

If you’re doing both, select the ghost icon.

VEC Delays System Rollout

The Virginia Employment Commission is now delaying the rollout of its new system to Nov. 8. The system was previously scheduled to shut down on Nov. 1.

The system will be upgraded for the new VUIS.


Virginians will need to get their weekly claims in by 2 p.m. on Nov. 8 in order for them to be processed.

While the site is down for several days, users will not be able to file new weekly claims, access their accounts or talk to agents for help.

Reminder: Early In-Person Voting

The last day of in-person early voting is Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.

Identification is required when voting in person. Here’s a full list of what is accepted by the Virginia Department of Elections.

UNC system student IDs added to list of acceptable forms of ID to vote
UNC system student IDs added to list of acceptable forms of ID to vote

You can find your polling place by entering your information on the department’s website. If you’re voting early, check with your locality’s registrar’s office.

Click here to read the voter’s guide.

Election Cheating Claims

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has asked state Sen. Amanda Chase to give his office the alleged evidence - she claims she has - of cheating in the 2021 election.

During an interview on Wednesday, Chase said, “I know how Democrats are cheating, and that information has been given to the Youngkin campaign.”

Amanda Chase
Amanda Chase(WVIR)

Herring responded to the allegations by sending a letter to Chase asking for any evidence so that authorities could investigate it.

“Let’s be clear: these kinds of baseless, false claims are simply designed to undermine confidence in our democracy and our elections,” said Herring. “If Senator Chase has any evidence of cheating or voter fraud then she has an obligation to bring it to the attention of authorities who can do something about it rather than secretively sharing this supposed ‘evidence’ with political allies.”

Former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton

Former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton died at the age of 98 on Thursday morning.

A statement on behalf of Holton’s children, sent by Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, confirmed his death, saying that Holton died peacefully at his home in Kilmarnock.

Former VA Governor Linwood Holton, who died 10.28.21 at age 98
Former VA Governor Linwood Holton, who died 10.28.21 at age 98(Foster Studio-VA Legislative Photo Gallery)

He had just turned 98 last month.

Holton served as Virginia’s 61st governor from 1970 to 1974. He is also Kaine’s father-in-law.

Utility Relief Deadline

The city of Richmond Department of Public Utilities has begun to accept applications for the CARES utility relief assistance.

For more information and to fill out an application, click here.

Due to funds being limited, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore customers are encouraged to apply immediately.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 29.

The utility assistance deadline for residents in Hanover is also Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.

To apply, you must complete a ‘customer intake form’ that shows you have been impacted by COVID-19. You can drop off forms at the Public Utilities offices at 7516 County Complex Road, Hanover, VA 23069. To access the form, click here.

Jesus Turner Convicted

Thursday, the third man convicted in the murder of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.

Jesus Turner
Jesus Turner(WDBJ)

A jury found Jesus Turner guilty of all counts, including first-degree murder, back in June.

On Oct. 28, Turner was sentenced to 33 years in prison on murder, malicious wounding and gun charges.

Richmond Crime Update

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith will be giving an update on the crime in the city.

According to the last update, Richmond was on track to surpass last year’s homicide rate. Earlier this year, Mayor Levar Stoney and other top officials declared gun violence a public health crisis; however, the homicide rate continues to rise.

RPD Police Chief Gerald Smith
RPD Police Chief Gerald Smith (WWBT)

Nearly 50 of the city’s homicides so far this year have involved guns.

Chief Smith’s briefing is at 2 p.m. and can be watched on the Richmond Police Department’s Facebook page.

Final Thought

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up - Thomas A. Edison

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