Style Weekly's plan, in as much as we had one, was to ignore this whole sequester thing until it went away. But last week we found that position no longer tenable when NBC-12's Ryan Nobles tweeted that it was definitely probably going to happen. Then, on Friday, it turned out Nobles was kind of right.
Forget about potential snow. We're worried about what else local television personalities may get right. Here are four ways they say the sequester-induced government shutdown will affect Richmond.
1. You no longer will be able to afford meat. With the fewer inspectors working in meat processing plants, expect price gouging at the local grocery store. One butcher tells 8 News: "I don't think we'll ever run out of anything. I think what will happen is the meat industry will hike prices in order to basically bide through the time."
2. Cancer. About $21 million in federal funding for research will be cut, Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao warns, "some of which usually supports cancer research at the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research and the VCU Massey Cancer Center." Rao tells CBS-6 that the cuts could result in the loss of 100 to 200 research-related jobs at the school.
3. Toddlers will roam the streets. Richmond school leaders tell CBS-6 that they're prepping for instant cuts to Head Start, an early-childhood education program for children from low-income families. Across the state, the Obama administration says 1,000 children stand to lose access to the program. Additionally, "up to 400 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job."
4. You'll be furloughed (if you manufacture weapons systems). Rachel DePompa Investigates says 2,814 employees at the Defense Supply Center of Richmond stand to lose 20 percent of their pay through mandatory furloughs. The center didn't provide comment, but an unnamed lieutenant colonel tells her that the sequester would mean ruin for Richmond's economy as a result of the employees' reduced spending power. Civilian employees at Fort Lee face a similar fate.