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Victim Identified in Stuart Avenue Homicide

At approximately 11:23 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, officers were called to a residence in the 2000 block of Stuart Avenue for a welfare check. Once on scene, they found Smith dead inside the residence.

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The Richmond Police Department has identified the victim of yesterday’s homicide on Stuart Avenue as Charles P. Smith IV, 48, of the 2000 block of Stuart Avenue.

At approximately 11:23 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, officers were called to a residence in the 2000 block of Stuart Avenue for a welfare check. Once on scene, they found Smith dead inside the residence.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

At this time, Richmond Police believe this is an isolated incident and there is no ongoing threat to the Fan District neighborhood.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call Major Crimes Detective M. Young at (804) 646-3926 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Downtown

Businesses Unite to Bring Change to Monument Avenue

“We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.”

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The Monument Commitment is a pledge by Richmond employers to work for change not only along Monument Avenue but in the community.

RVAHub is proud to stand with the businesses below.

If you would like to learn how to add your organization to this commitment email: [email protected]

The pledge reads:

Governor Northam, Mayor Stoney, City Council Members:

We are employers of the Richmond community.

We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.

We ask that you commit to support the respectful removal of all the confederate monuments on Monument Avenue in coming months, and do not repair – other than for public safety – the monuments as they currently stand.

For our part, we commit to confronting racism in our organizations and supporting you in eradicating systemic racism in our community.

It is time to take them all down.

Sincerely,

Please note we created this post on Friday morning and since businesses are being added constantly some businesses might not be on the list above. This is not a statement against those businesses just an inability to keep up. This link will give you the most current list of those that have made the commitment.

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Editorial

Editorial: Made more beautiful

“Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.”

RVAHub Staff

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Originally on Life in 10 Minutes

It’s hard to put into words, but as you can see, I’m trying.

It’s hard to describe to someone who isn’t from Richmond, but I do want to try.

I grew up seeing those statues on a weekly or even daily basis. People from out of town (Yankees, carpetbaggers) don’t realize just how integral they are to this city.

They are not off in some historical park that you visit only on school field trips. Those statues are on a main thoroughfare, a graceful, sun-dappled avenue where many hundred-year old trees have not survived hurricane season and have had to be replanted. And yet the statues remain.

When I woke up Sunday and saw the images of those statues covered in graffiti, my eyes filled. Not in sadness but in pride, love, and hope.

I had to go see them for myself. I had to take my children.

So many different hands transformed them into their new existence. So many different colors of paint. So many perfectly conflicting messages of love, anger, rage, hope, peace . . . all coexisting in a gorgeous cacophony that was somehow utterly perfect.

My heart swelled to see them in person. There were skateboarders doing tricks using the base of the monument as a launch pad. There was a group of Black students protesting peacefully on the steps. There were kids climbing on them, jumping over the felled wrought-iron fences that protected them for a hundred years.

It felt like those statues were being reclaimed by the city that glorified them for too long.

It felt like visiting the Coliseum in Rome. We were there to see an ancient symbol, now in ruins, made more beautiful somehow by their ruining.

I can summon not even one ounce of sadness for the loss of their original state. They are better like this. They finally make sense.

Photos of these statues in their new form may be in history books in 50 years as a symbol of a change, like the Berlin Wall coming down, like protesters pulling over the statue of Saddam Hussein.

Do I exaggerate? That is how momentous it felt to me, a lifelong Richmonder who was raised to revere those statues both as important public art and as symbols of our history. They are new symbols now. They have finally been contextualized.

I grieve for George Floyd. I grieve for Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Marcus David Peters. Trayvon Martin. Philando Castille. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. There are too many to name.

But I do not grieve for the statues. I do not grieve for the Daughters of the Confederacy building. I do not grieve for old ideas. My heart swells with hope; my chest fills with pride.

Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.

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Community

VCU Releases Phased Opening Plans

The fall semester will officially begin on August 17th. Except for Labor Day, there will be no break from August 17th through the last day of classes on November 24th.

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VCU News has announced how the college plans to reopen. Published by Mike Porter’s (VCU University Public Affairs).

In a communication to the university community, VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., said efforts to reopen come as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation reacts to the very public killings of African Americans.

“Both of these issues are, of course, top-of-mind as we plan our return to campus. Our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and mental — of every member of our community,” Rao said.

Rao outlined plans for the return of the health sciences schools and college and research faculty and staff beginning in June. The fall semester will officially begin on Aug. 17. Rao said the announcement fulfills a commitment to students to inform them of Fall 2020 plans in early June.

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