News to Know for May 16: Buffalo mass shooting update; RPS leaders to discuss virtual academy; Severe afternoon storms possible
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Today is a First Alert Weather Day and we are on your side monitoring the potential for scattered to severe storms this afternoon. Let’s dive into all of our top headlines.
Tragedy in Buffalo, New York
Police are calling the deadly mass shooting there a racist murder rampage.
10 people were killed and three others were injured when the lone gunman opened fire Saturday at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
18-year-old Payton Gendron from Conklin, New York is charged with first-degree murder.
Investigators say he drove 200 miles to Buffalo the day before the attack to stake out a target before opening fire in the parking lot and inside the supermarket.
The accused gunman was also investigated by police last year for making a threat in high school - but was released after a brief mental health evaluation.
Among the victims - parents, a deacon, a woman who ran a food bank, and retired Buffalo police officer Aaron Salter - the store’s security guard who died trying to stop the shooter.
Two First Responder Vehicles Struck in South Hill
Two volunteer fire department vehicles were hit just after 6:00 Sunday morning while responding to a crash. The department says a driver ran into the command truck before smashing into an engine.
We’re still working to learn the conditions of the seven who were injured.
Virginia State Police are once again reminding everyone to slow down and move over when you see emergency vehicles.
Richmond Awards Grant Money For Early Childhood Education
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is taking a step to support early childhood education.
Seven organizations are getting a portion of the grant in hopes to expand and stabilize early childhood development programs.
The YMCA is one of the organizations receiving a portion of the funds. They say they will use $75,000 to open two new preschools. One will be located at Life Center Church on Bryce Lane and the other at Liberation Church off Midlothian Turnpike.
“Regardless of their neighborhood or their family situation they have access to high-quality instruction to help them get prepared for kindergarten and beyond,” said YMCA Associate Vice President of Youth Development Pam Smith.
Other organizations getting some of the grant money include Fulton Montessori, Woodville Day Nursery, and St. James Children’s Center. The funds will help them rebuild their programs, many of which took a hit during the pandemic.
“In the wake of the COVID pandemic there’s been such a void in that space from providers who have had to close and parents who have had changes in their job situations,” Smith said.
Stoney also says he wants to make universal preschool a reality in the City of Richmond.
Richmond School Leaders Discuss Virtual Academy
RPS’ Virtual Academy will be on the agenda during a school board meeting today. School leaders are looking for feedback from families to help determine the future of the program.
Right now families have access to a survey so they can give feedback about what they want from the district’s virtual learning option.
Board members have agreed they want to keep the Richmond Virtual Academy’s operation as close as possible to the way it currently works.
Tonight, we’re also expecting to hear from superintendent Jason Kamras about the process of restoring the Fox Elementary school building that burned down.
The district says it has a couple of paths it could follow, and now it’s time to take a closer look at those.
It’s A First Alert Weather Day
This afternoon we are watching the potential for a few strong to severe storms possible. The peak time for storms is between 1-5 p.m.
Lows will be in the low to mid-60s, highs in the mid-80s.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
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