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A sign, “Love it? Then lock it!” by Richmond Police was placed at Texas Beach parking lot in Richmond on May 24.

Richmond police are exasperated with residents who fail to lock their vehicles. Earlier this week after two more guns were stolen from unlocked cars in the North Side, a sarcastic social media post from Richmond Police Captain Daniel Minton expressed that frustration: “‘Thank you!’ from RVA thieves ... It is so convenient for people that aren’t legally able to obtain a firearm to take yours from your unlocked car. No background check needed ... Don’t need to take the chance of going to a gun store and having someone make a ‘straw purchase.’ Think about this: Your firearm is stolen from your unlocked car. Your firearm is used in a homicide or is used by a juvenile who accidentally shoots another juvenile, you fill in the nightmare scenario. We may potentially have to subpoena you to court when we make an arrest. You may have to take the stand and testify how the gun ended up in the hands of a criminal.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Lock your vehicles.

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Sept. 11 has been designated as Patriot Day in remembrance of those killed on 9/11. Congress set the date aside as a day of mourning for the 2,997 victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. The Virginia War Memorial will hold its annual Commonwealth’s Patriot Day ceremony this Sept. 11. Gov. Ralph Northam is the guest speaker. The 380th Army Band Ensemble will play a medley of patriotic music. Following the governor’s remarks, sailors from Navy Recruiting Station Richmond will ring the ship’s bell from the USS Virginia and there will be a presentation of memorial wreaths. The ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory at 621 South Belvidere St. The event is free and will be held rain or shine. The War Memorial staff welcomes and encourages the general public to attend.

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Saturday is International Overdose Awareness Day. Every Aug. 31, this global event aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief experienced by families and friends, and imparts the message that overdose deaths are preventable. More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That’s a two-fold increase in a decade. This must stop.

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In RVA, hear how the region is battling the opioid epidemic at the RTD’s next Public Square on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The 78th Public Square will bring together local health officials and law enforcement on how the Richmond region is joining forces to overcome this scourge. Panelists include Dr. Danny Avula, health director, Richmond City Health District; Laura Totty, director, Henrico Area Mental Health and Developmental Services; Edward “Loy” Senter Jr., Fire and EMS chief, Chesterfield County; and Col. David Hines, sheriff, Hanover County. The Public Square will take place at the newspaper’s downtown office, 300 East Franklin St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free, but please register at Richmond.com/Public-Square.

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Well, it turns out that Chinese consumers aren’t so different from Americans. According to The Wall Street Journal, the grand opening of Costco Wholesale Corp.’s first store in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday drew throngs of shoppers who “poured into the store determined to secure grand-opening prices on famous U.S. brands, including Pampers diapers, Ocean Spray cranberries and Samsonite luggage.” Customers dealt with heavy traffic, long lines and elbowing from other shoppers as they attempted to get their hands on coveted American goods. We find the timing of the opening particularly interesting in view of tense trade disputes between the two nations and President Donald Trump’s call for American companies to leave China. Neither seems to have affected the success of opening day.

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The number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high. In 2017, the latest available figures, nearly 940 people were killed by drivers ignoring red lights. That’s the highest death rate since 2008. According to AAA, two people are killed every day in the U.S. by drivers who blow through stop lights. The automotive group is urging drivers and pedestrians to exercise caution at traffic signals. According to David Yang, executive director of AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, “Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger.” We agree. Unless you’re behind the wheel of an official vehicle with a siren blaring, you need to stop just like the rest of us when the light is red.

— Robin Beres and Pamela Stallsmith

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