Update from RPD:
Pedestrian Identified in Fatal Collision with Bus
The Richmond Police Department’s Special Operations Division-Traffic Crash Team has identified the woman who died after being struck by a GRTC bus yesterday as Alice E. Woodson, 32, of the 1600 block of Monument Avenue.
According to preliminary information available, at approximately 5:01 p.m., a female was crossing W. Broad St. from south to north, walked into the bus-only lane and was struck by an eastbound GRTC Pulse bus. Early reports indicate the bus had the right-of-way. The investigation continues.
Woodson was pronounced dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.
The GRTC bus remained on the scene and the bus operator was interviewed by detectives. The RPD Forensics unit also responded and collected evidence.
West Broad Street was closed for several hours to accommodate the investigation.
Anyone with further information is asked to call RPD Crash Team Investigator J. Peterson at (804) 646-1511.
Around 5 PM on Tuesday evening a GRTC Pulse bus traveling east on Broad struck and killed a woman crossing the street.
The bus was traveling east at 5 p.m. and police said it appears the bus had the right-of-way. Police believe the woman crossed into the bus lane when she was struck. She died on the scene.
GRTC said it is reviewing video from the bus’ surveillance camera, and the driver is on leave pending an internal investigation.
“The entire GRTC Family is grieved by the accident today which took the life of a pedestrian, and our deepest condolences are with the pedestrian’s family,” GRTC said in a statement. “We are focused on the well-being of our operator who drove the bus and are ensuring they receive care. Per safety protocols, the Operator will be checked at a hospital.”
The bus had eight passengers and nobody on board the bus was injured.
City’s First Pothole Blitz of the Year is in Full Swing
Holey Smokes that’s a lot of potholes.
Fighting potholes is arguably the most Sisyphean task the city faces. No matter how many are filled in new ones are waiting to spring up. The city is currently holding a blitz where they hope to take care of as many potholes as possible in a short amount of time.
DPW Roadway crews are out en masse for the first pothole blitz of the year. Their goal is to clear a backlog of nearly 600 service requests for pothole repairs that are in the system.
In the 2019 calendar year DPW reached a department milestone, fixing more than 31,000 potholes.
The current blitz is expected to last approximately two weeks.
Potholes can be reported by calling Customer Care at 3-1-1 or online at RVA311.com.
We’re Social! For updates on DPW-related projects, activities and events visit us on Twitter @DPW_RichmondVA.
Lombardy Sugar Shack Lease Up in July
We donut know how long they’ll be open but the lease will be up in July.
Karri Pieffer of Richmond.com has the details on the local chain’s flagship location going on the market. So far the doughnuts are still rolling out and folks can get their sugar fix. If you want Sugar Shack gossip and drama head to RVA Reddit.
The leasing company declined to comment, directing the Richmond Times-Dispatch to the public lease listing, which says the 1,200 square foot space will be available beginning July 1. A three year lease is required and the restaurant space is $3,900 a month.
Kelley could not be reached for comment.
Does this mean that Country Style Donuts reign supreme in Richmond? The cinnamon sugar cake donut from Country Style is hard to beat. My favorite and underappreciated go-to donut spot is the Treat Shop on Jahnke. The Treat Shop is also considerably closer to me than Country Style or Sugar Shack so it might have an unfair advantage.
College educators push for better pay, affordable tuition, press protection
More than 30 educators and five students from colleges around Virginia visited almost 90 legislators’ offices this week to advocate for higher education initiatives.
By Jeffrey Knight
More than 30 educators and five students from colleges around Virginia visited almost 90 legislators’ offices last week to advocate for higher education initiatives.
Higher Education Advocacy Day, held Thursday, included faculty from James Madison, George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Union universities as well as community colleges around the state.
Access to affordable higher education was a key talking point. Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposal for the upcoming budget increases financial aid for eligible students by more than $45 million. The governor’s proposal also includes increasing support for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program (TAG), which currently provides up to $3,400 in tuition for undergraduate students attending private, nonprofit colleges in Virginia. The grant would increase to $4,000 per undergraduate student.
“We believe these are important investments in access to higher education and urge the General Assembly to adopt these budget proposals,” organizers said in their talking points.
Another concern for educators was faculty compensation. Virginia’s college faculty salaries are lower than salaries at peer institutions. Organizers said competitive salaries are key to retaining quality educators and researchers.
“If we invest in education, there will be higher returns,” said Patricia Cummins, professor of world studies at VCU.
Educators also lobbied for House Bill 36, patroned by Delegates Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery and Danica Roem, D-Prince William. This bill ensures student journalists the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school sponsored media. Sen. David Marsden, D-Fairfax, introduced the companion bill in the Senate, SB80.
“Journalism is not public relations for a school system,” said Roem, a former journalist for the Gainesville Times and the Prince William Times. “Just because an administration official doesn’t like your story does not mean they should have the ability to censor what you are trying to reveal or what you are trying to report.”
Attendants also advocated for SB220 which allows individuals registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to receive in-state tuition at public colleges. Meanwhile, HB 1179, gives refugees and those with Special Immigrant Visas who reside in the commonwealth the right to apply for in-state tuition at such institutions.
Educators also anticipate there will be bills to address the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision in Transparent GMU v. George Mason University in which the court found that the university’s fundraising foundation is not a public entity and therefore not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
“These bills would make it statutory that a foundation is ‘of the public body,’ and thus subject to FOIA requests,” according to the talking points. “We will support this legislation!”
Event organizers also were concerned about certain bills, including HB 228, sponsored by Del. Nicholas Freitas, R-Culpeper. The bill allows students or student organizations to sue colleges or their employees for violating laws relating to campus free speech.
“Virginia law already protects students’ First Amendment rights, including the right of student organizations with a religious or political mission to limit organization leadership to persons committed to that mission,” stated the talking points. “Presumably students already have the right to seek legal action. Introducing specific language into Code seems to invite judicialization of internal management of student life.”