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News to Know for April 14: RVA Youth Crime Initiative; Child’s 911 call saves mom; Youngkin signs PERKS law

12 families in central Virginia have had their lives changed forever by gun violence in just...
12 families in central Virginia have had their lives changed forever by gun violence in just the last week.(Colin Baillie)
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 5:54 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - 12 families in central Virginia have had their lives changed forever by gun violence in just the last week. A new grant program is funding area initiatives that offer positive programs for teens in the neighborhoods and schools that need them most. Let’s dive into that and our other top headlines.

2 Men Injured in Double Shooting on Richmond’s Southside

Richmond Police are working to find out who pulled the trigger in a double shooting on the...
Richmond Police are working to find out who pulled the trigger in a double shooting on the city’s southside.(WWBT)

The gun violence continues here in Richmond - two men are in the hospital after a double shooting on the city’s southside.

Police found them on Fairfax Avenue around 2:30 this morning. Both men are expected to recover.

Police have not told us about any suspects yet.

But if you can help, call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

RVA Youth Crime Initiative

Coming off of that violent weekend in Richmond- a local nonprofit is hoping to curb the trend of rising gun violence impacting the city’s youth.

This effort is part of the City of Richmond’s Gun Violence Prevention Initiative. Using nearly a million dollars in city funding from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) grants will be awarded to Richmond nonprofits that can bring programs to the schools and neighborhoods of the city’s most vulnerable youth.

Patricia Clement is a 20-year Petersburg Police veteran who started a nonprofit called Jump Stars which teaches kids how to double dutch.

“Police work is very demanding so after 20 years I just went full time with my business,” Clement said. “We use the power of double dutch to empower youth to set and reach goals.”

Clement started her program back in 2012, but it has been able to grow over the years thanks to support from NextUP. The CEO says Jump Stars can give kids an outlet that can keep them from turning to the streets which have become more violent in recent weeks.

“I know what happens when kids don’t have activities, I know they’ll get in trouble because I was that kid,” Clement said. “The support that they give us is like no other. We’ve never had anyone ask us what we need.”

NextUp RVA is providing micro-grants (up to $1,000) for community-building activities and events. Funding applications are due no later than May 6, 2022.

Vigil Held For Teen Girl Killed in Shooting

Last night, a vigil was held to honor 17-year-old, Samiyah Yellardy. She was shot and killed in the early hours of Sunday morning - and found dead inside an apartment on Afton Avenue.

At George Wythe High School, family and friends gathered to honor the teen’s life. Yellardy is one of four teens shot over the weekend.

“Can we stop having vigils like this? How many have we been to? ... It truly is going to take a village to stop this from happening ever again,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras, Richmond Public Schools. “I know I’m tired of coming to events like this. When I see Mr. Willis text me, my heart sinks.”

A 16-year-old Highland Springs student - Jaheim Dickerson - was also killed over the weekend outside his Henrico home.

Police have not released any information about a suspect or motive in either case.

Gov. Youngkin Signs PERKS Law

Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (WDBJ)

Governor Youngkin has signed two bills into law requiring the storage of physical evidence recovery kits or PERKS for at least 10 years for victims of sexual assault.

Previously, Senate Bill 658 and House Bill 719 both passed the Senate and House unanimously.

The Senate bill requires PERKS to be saved for 10 years or in the case of a minor victims for 10 years - after they turn 18.

They go into effect July 1st.

‘It makes me really, really proud’

6-year-old Jordynn Etheridge was given a 911 Life Saver Award and was recognized as an honorary Hanover communications officer for saving her mom's life.

A six-year-old’s quick thinking in Hanover saves her mom’s life.

Jordynn Etheridge called 9-1-1 after she found her mom passed out on the floor.

Jordynn was able to walk the dispatcher through her mom’s condition and where they lived.

Her mom, Deja taught Jordynn and her sister how to dial 911 through songs and quizzes. A lesson Deja now credits for saving her own life.

“As a mom knowing my kids are going to look out for me like even though I’m supposed to be their protector and knowing that at such a young age they can step in and be my protector is huge,” Deja Etheridge said.

The Hanover County Board of Supervisors awarded Jordynn a 911 Life Saver Award and made her an Honorary Communications Officer.

Jordynn also met the dispatcher she talked to over the phone.

Warm & Breezy with Afternoon Showers

We will have a warm and dry morning and then could see some scattered showers and a few storms likely this afternoon and into the evening.

Today will be mostly cloudy, very warm, and breezy with scattered showers and a few storms afternoon and evening. Many areas stay dry, especially NW of Richmond. Better rain chance to our Southeast. Highs will be in the low 80s.

Final Thought

“Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.” -Sean Higgins

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