News to Know for Dec. 8: Police staffing, pay; Lee pedestal removal; Cold with spotty rain
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a look at some of our top headlines to start your day!
Cold with Spotty Rain
Expect a cool and cloudy day today with some rain, which will lead to some sunshine Thursday.
Today will be mostly cloudy with light rain during the late morning, midday. Highs in the low 40s, lows in the upper 30s.
Hull Street Road Improvements
Following five pedestrian deaths on Hull Street Road near Turner Road, it looks like Chesterfield County will address the concerns residents have regarding that stretch of road.
The county announced it started a $50,000 road improvement study focused on providing pedestrian improvements on Turner Road/Courthouse Road/Genito Road - where there have been a number of pedestrian crashes.
The study is expected to be complete by next summer, and the county says if all goes well construction would start on those improvements and other road improvements throughout the county.
Police Staffing and Pay
Law enforcement here in Virginia - could see a boost in pay.
Governor Ralph Northam announced a proposal that would give raises to state troopers, correctional officers, deputy sheriffs, and regional jail officers.
This is part of his out-going two-year state budget, which would give new state troopers close to an 8 percent pay raise and increase the starting pay for new correctional officers by 25 percent.
New deputy sheriffs and regional jail officials would receive about a 20 percent pay increase.
If approved by legislators, it would be the largest public safety investment in Virginia history.
Lee Pedestal Removal Update
The physical removal of the pedestal that once held the Robert E. Lee statue will begin today.
On Monday, crews covered the 40-foot pedestal in scaffolding, and today crews will remove it block-by-block.
Crews expect the pedestal to be completely gone by the end of the year, and the Commonwealth will then turn ownership of Lee Circle over to the city.
New Instagram Features
As Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is set to testify before Congress today, the social media platform has launched some new features.
The new “Take A Break” feature urges teenagers to take breaks to stop scrolling if they have been on the photo-sharing platform for a while.
The launch comes as Mosseri faces questions about whether Instagram harms children and teenagers.
New parental controls are also a part of the launch, and parents will be able to see and limit the amount of time their child spends on the social media app.
The new features are set to roll out in March.
VDH Flu Shot Reminder
While people are getting their COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, doctors are reminding everyone to also get their flu shots.
The Virginia Department of Health is reporting a rise in flu cases but says that last flu season was mild due to COVID-19 protocols.
The agency adds that there’s a concern about natural immunity - saying that it is likely lower than average this year.
VDH expects to see the peak of flu season come in February.
Teen Catches Porch Pirate
A family in Utah takes matters into their own hands after “Porch Pirates” make off with their packages.
Justin Bankhead offered a $500 reward to anyone who could find the holiday grinch repeatedly caught on camera taking their packages.
However, his 14-year-old son Cody took him up on his offer and placed an activated “Air Tag” in a decoy box which allowed them to track down the suspect and call the police.
As promised, Cody was able to get the reward money his dad promised.
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