News to Know for June 1: James River search; VEC reform; State Budget vote

Governor Youngkin signs five bills designed to reform the Virginia Employment Commission.
Governor Youngkin signs five bills designed to reform the Virginia Employment Commission.(Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:28 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Did you know today was Global Parents Day? While you’re getting ready for the day take some time to think about the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a parent, and also check out our top headlines!

James River Search Continues

Multiple agencies are continuing their search for Lauren Winstead, 23, and Sarah Erway, 28, who fell into the James River while out with a group on Memorial Day.

The search has concluded for the day but will resume Wednesday, June 1 around 7 a.m.

Twelve people were involved in the original incident at Bosher Dam, which happened around 3:15 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Officials said the group had plans to enter the river at Watkins Landing and travel 10 miles downriver to Robious Landing but passed it until their tubes and inflatable rafts got caught up into the Bosher Dam.

Rescue efforts had to stop once the sun went down but they will be back again this morning at 7.

Friends and families have been making flyers or going to social media - doing everything they can to help with these search efforts.

River Safety

As search efforts are set to pick up this morning, water levels for the James continue to rise - making for unsafe conditions.

While there are some rules and regulations in place to help keep people safe - there’s no way to enforce them.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Henrico Fire, and Richmond Police all patrol the land along the water or have officers on it, but they say they can’t write tickets or stop people from going in the water.

That means it’s up to each person to follow those safety guidelines.

“Anything below 5 feet we recommend that you use lifejackets, especially on children because anything can go wrong with the river but below 5-foot lifejackets are not required but they are recommended,” Mark Irwin from RPD Water Rescue said.

If the water level reaches 9 feet - only professionals are allowed out on the water.

Usually, you can tell if the water is dangerously high because it will be brown and muddy.

Lawmakers Return For Budget Talks

Lawmakers will return to Richmond today to vote on a new two-year budget.

Negotiators took months to create this plan, which includes $4 billion in tax cuts over three years.

It proposes a one-time rebate of $250 for individuals or $500 for families.

The gas tax would not be suspended, and only the station portion of the grocery tax would be repealed.

It also includes a 10 percent raise for state employees and teachers over two years.

Gov. Youngkin Signs VEC Reform

Governor Youngkin signs five bills designed to reform the Virginia Employment Commission.

Those bills will create a sub-committee responsible for overseeing VEC’s management of the unemployment insurance program.

They will also address staffing concerns and provide a way for businesses to give private family leaves to their employees.

To learn more about the bills, click here.

Hot But Not Too Humid

Two more mid-90s days before a Friday cooldown.

Today is going to be mostly sunny with an isolated afternoon and evening shower possible.

Final Thought

“My kid is turning out just like me. Well played, karma. Well-played.” -- Anonymous

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