News to Know for April 19: TSA mask mandate lifted; Chesterfield car break-ins; Thomas Clark sentenced

A federal judge in Florida strikes down the recently extended federal mask mandate. Now, the...
A federal judge in Florida strikes down the recently extended federal mask mandate. Now, the TSA says it will no longer enforce the mask requirement.(KY3)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 5:47 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2022 at 5:48 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A return to pre-pandemic life for travelers - after a federal judge in Florida strikes down the recently extended federal mask mandate. Now, the TSA says it will no longer enforce the mask requirement. Let’s dive into what this means and our other top headlines!

What Does This Mean?

Keep in mind, that some local governments or transit organizations like Richmond International Airport and GRTC do have the power to create their own rules, but there’s no word from either of those just yet.

Nationally, United, Delta, American, Southwest, and Alaska, were quick to announce that masks are now optional on their planes.

Amtrak is also no longer requiring masks on trains, and Uber is no longer requiring riders or drivers to wear masks.

However, you still may want to pack that mask with you just in case because you may be told to wear it depending on where you’re going.

For example - someone flying from D.C. to New York could ditch their mask at the airport and on the plane - but would have to wear it while riding a bus or subway there.

It’s important to note - that the CDC still recommends choosing to wear a mask on public transportation.

Lock It Or Lose It!

Residents in the Early Settlers neighborhood - off Robious Road are on high alert. It comes after a would-be thief was captured on surveillance video checking for unlocked cars.

Neighbors reported on the Next Door app that as many as 10 cars could have been broken into at homes on Knollwood Drive, Ferleaf, and Robindale roads.

Cameras or lights didn’t seem to bother the crook, but long-time residents of Early Settlers, like Rudy Field, say it hasn’t stopped him from securing his home with multiple cameras.

“I’ve got three cameras. One right here, one in the kitchen, and one over here,” said Field. “Any movement outside the cameras go off.”

Despite the break-ins, Chesterfield police said they aren’t investigating any car break-ins from this area this weekend because the victims haven’t been reaching out to police.

The big lesson from the police is to lock it up or lose it. In addition to keeping your doors locked, Chesterfield police say you shouldn’t leave anything valuable in your car, and if there is something worth taking, make sure it can’t be seen. Also, be sure to keep your garage doors closed.

If your car was broken into, you should call the police immediately so they can investigate. You can give Crime Solvers a call at 804-748-0660.

Thomas Clark Sentenced

A Henrico man who murdered a beloved mother and VCU employee will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Thomas Clark was handed down three life sentences for abducting, raping, and killing 53-year-old Suzanne Fairman back in May of 2019.

(Source: Family)
(Source: Family)

Before the sentencing, Fairman’s family was given a chance to speak. Her son Scott said one of the most painful things to wrap his head around is that a judge granted the request for Clark’s ankle monitor to be removed just one week before Suzie’s death.

”The most important part about my mother was that she was a loving, caring person, treated everybody with respect, and how to help everybody. And having her torn away from us and the world, it has impacted a lot of people,” Scott Fairman said.

Clark was also given the opportunity to make a statement prior to his sentencing. He stood and said, “I know I’m not guilty of these charges and I’ll take the right to remain silent.”

Clark’s attorney said they will appeal immediately.

There’s A New Police Chief In Town!

Major Troy Aronhalt
Major Troy Aronhalt(Hanover Government)

In Hanover, the town of Ashland will soon have a new police chief.

Major Troy Aronhalt has been selected to lead the department. He will take over as chief this Friday - as the current chief - Doug Goodman departs for retirement.

Major Aronhalt has served under goodman for the last 24 years. An official swearing-in will take place on May 3.

Cool & Breezy Tuesday

Sunshine is back today, but keep in mind today will be slightly cooler with freeze spots likely tonight.

Today will be mostly sunny and breezy with highs in the upper 50s.

Final Thought

“When you make a mistake, respond to yourself in a loving way rather than a self-shaming way.” --- Ellie Holcomb

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