News to Know for May 25: Deadly Texas mass shooting; I-64 widening project; Army base renaming
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - This morning, families in a small Texas town are waking up heartbroken, their lives changed forever. Yesterday, a suspect went to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and opened fire - killing 19 children and two teachers.
Tragedy in Texas
A superintendent and the entire community of Uvalde, Texas are left searching for answers after a gunman opened fire inside an elementary school - killing at least 21 people.
Panicked parents tried to reach the school - desperately seeking confirmation that their children were ok.
Last night, President Biden addressed the nation directly with a passionate plea, urging elected officials to take action now.
”It’s time to turn this pain into action. For every parent. For every citizen of this country. We have to make it clear to every elected official in this country. It’s time to act.”
Biden urged lawmakers to stand up to the gun lobby, saying he’s “sick and tired” of violence and inaction.
Local Reaction To The Shooting
In light of yesterday’s tragedy, Richmond Public Schools will have enhanced searches as students arrive this morning.
In an update to parents, Superintendent Jason Kamras said arrival procedures would take longer than usual.
“To our students, families, and staff: please know that I take your safety extremely seriously – it is truly my number one priority, as both superintendent and a father,” Kamras said in his update to parents.
Kamras said that the division’s Director of Security was asked to update their school-specific active shooter response plans. The work is now complete.
Kamras is also asking families, teachers, staff, and students to be extra vigilant in looking for signs of distress within the community and reach out to resources if needed.
There will also be additional police officers at schools during arrival and dismissal - so parents should not be alarmed.
Flags Lowered To Half-Staff
Governor Youngkin is one of many lawmakers issuing a statement on the Texas school shooting.
Youngkin has also ordered flags to be lowered at half-staff across the state in honor of the shooting victims until May 28th.
Lawmakers Back Widening I-64
It can be a frustrating drive along I-64 - especially getting to the beach - but there’s a plan in the works to widen another stretch of the busy interstate.
There’s a 29-mile stretch from Bottoms Bridge to Lightfoot that is still only two lanes in each direction.
VDOT is pushing for a $750 million project to expand that to three lanes to improve traffic flow, but - they don’t have the money yet.
VDOT has applied for a federal grant to cover it - and it has the support from Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
“We now have the funding that’s at least available from the federal government and I think this project the VDOT grant...I believe we’re going to be successful,” Warner said.
Right now - there’s no timetable for when the project would start if that grant money gets approved.
Army Base Name Recommendations
An independent panel releases its recommendations for new names for several army posts - including some here in Virginia.
Congress ordered those changes because they are currently named for Confederate generals.
The panel proposes Fort Lee be renamed Fort Gregg-Adams.
Fort Pickett would be named after Fort Barefoot.
Fort A.P. Hill would be renamed, Fort Walker.
The commission will send a final report to Congress this fall. The names will likely be changed early next year.
Cool, Cloudy Weather
Cloudy, cool, and drizzly weather today as clouds hang tough through most of Thursday.
Lows in the mid-50s, highs in the low-60s.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” —Desmond Tutu
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