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Bobby Wrenn Speaks to Truck Driving Training School Grads

Robert C. Wrenn of Emporia was the guest speaker on August 7, 2015 at the Truck Driver Training School graduation of Southside Virginia Community College in Greensville County.  For information about Truck Driver Training at SVCC, call 434-292-3101.


SBA Announces Funding to Boost Export Opportunities for Small Businesses

STEP Program Awards $17.4 Million to Promote Small Business Global Trade

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded a $578,500 grant to Virginia as part of the State Trade and Export Promotion program, which supports activities to increase exporting by small businesses, August 25, 2015.

"Exports are a central part of America's economic growth; with export-supported jobs paying 15-18% more. Yet, less than one percent of small businesses export; and of those that do, 58 percent only export to one country. Unlocking trade opportunities for small businesses is key to continued growth and expansion,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “STEP ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets.”

The program’s objectives aim to increase the value and number of exports number for small businesses. Expanding the base of small exporters and making the process as easy as possible is one of the keys to the Administration’s National Export Initiative.

STEP 2015 helps states involve small businesses with export related activities and initiatives in line with program objectives; including participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, U.S. Department of Commerce subscription services, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.

“With more than two and a quarter million dollars going to Mid-Atlantic Region states and their export development partners, we’re delivering powerful tools and resources required for small businesses to launch services and products abroad,” added SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “With 95% of consumers living outside of the United States, STEP ensures America's small businesses succeed in the global economy,”

For additional information on the STEP program and the FY 2015 awardees, visit


Lorentz-Velvin Engagement Announced

Mr. and Mrs. Richard David Lorentz, Jr. of Colonial Heights, Virginia are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Jessica Ann Lorentz to Justin Benjamin Velvin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Benjamin Velvin, Jr. of Emporia, Virginia.  The bride –to- be is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School and is a lead teacher at James Child Development Center.  Her fiance’ graduated from Greensville County High School and is a technician at Georgia-Pacific.  The couple is planning a December 12, 2015 wedding.


Southside Regional Medical Center Offers Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers CPR Training

Petersburg, VA - Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) will offer Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers CPR Training on Tuesday, September 1st from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm. The class will be held in SRMC’s A/B Classroom, located at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg.  The cost to participate is $90. The class size is limited and the deadline to register is August 27.  To register for this class or for more information, call 804-765-5729.


Obituary-Margaret Taylor Mason

Margaret Taylor Mason, 78, of Yale, VA, passed away Friday, August 21, 2015. She was preceded in death by both her husbands Edwin Allan Gayle and J.R. Mason; and one sister, Ida Louise Goodman.  She is survived by six children, Katherine Anderson and husband, Bernard, Margaret Goodwin and husband, Lee, Elizabeth “Betsy” Vick and husband, Dennis, Richard Gayle, Matthew Gayle and wife, Barbie; and Mary Futrell and husband, Tim.  The funeral services will be held graveside, 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 25, 2015, at Readville Baptist Church Cemetery, Sussex, VA.  Online condolences may be made at

Obituary-Carolyn Ann Starke

Carolyn Ann Starke, 68, of Emporia, died Friday, August 15, 2015.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Thomas Starke and one daughter Valerie Newsome.  She is survived by her children, Sean Arritt and wife Amberlynne, Barbara Wyatt and husband Danny, Nelson Starke, and Penny Holland and husband Al; one brother Michael Reichert; 16 grandchilddren; 4 great-grandchildren.  A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, August 30, 2015 at First Baptist Church, Emporia, VA.  Online condolences may be made at

SVCC Truck Driving Training School Graduates

Southside Virginia Community College recognized graduates from the Truck Driver Training School located at the Southside Virginia Education center on August 7th.  Graduates were:

Left to Right:  Duncan Quicke, TDTS Coordinator, Bobby Wrenn, guest speaker, David Gwaltney (4.0 GPA, Jarratt), Kevin Phillips (4.0 GPA, Emporia), Jerrell Turner (Emporia), Shaheed Ahman (Emporia), Cleo Malone (Emporia), Trey Martin (Emporia), Harry Woodly (Emporia), Willie Crawley, Instructor, Jason Drinkwater, Instructor.


SVCC Workforce Offers Groundsman Program

Southside Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development is pleased to announce its first cohort has completed the Electrical Utility Groundsman Training non-credit program.  

The class consists of 16 days of instruction (128 hours).  Within the course curriculum, the student receives several certifications necessary for this field of work including, OSHA 10, Work Zone, Flagging, CPR/ First Aid.

The hands-on, high-demand training program affords students the opportunity to utilize various pieces of equipment and tools of the trade. The course prepares the student for an entry level position as an electrical groundsman.

The next class will begin Monday, November 2nd, 2015 and runs through Wednesday, November 25th, 2015. The class will meet Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4PM at the SVCC Occupational Tech Center/Picket Park in Blackstone, VA.

For more information about the upcoming Electrical Utility Groundsman training class, contact Angela McClintock at 434-949-1026 or Pre-registration is required.

On June 29th, Mecklenburg Electric representatives Leilani Todd and Ron Campbell spoke with the SVCC Electrical Utility Groundsman students on safety, job opportunities, and job readiness skills. Pictured (from left to right): Leilani Todd, Joshua Gilbert, William Weston, Stuart Armes, Dakota Rhodes, Robert Uribe, Ken Ashworth, instructor from TCR Management and Ron Campbell.



Kaine visited Emporia, South Hill, Boydton & South Boston

WASHINGTON, D.C.  - Continuing his five-day swing through Virginia today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine made stops in Emporia and South Hill to meet with local leaders and discuss opportunities for economic development and job creation. In the morning, Kaine met with Emporia Mayor Mary Person and went on a retail walk through the town. Photos are available here.

"I sat down with Mayor Person and other local leaders today to hear their advice for ways I can be helpful, from pushing for long-term infrastructure investments to improving K-12 education and workforce training,” Kaine said. “Emporia's strategic location at the intersection of Route 58 and I-95 and the work I saw today to renovate its historic downtown will be critical as they work to attract new business to the city."

Kaine also stopped in South Hill to tour the historic Colonial Theatre with Mayor Earl Horne, Town Manager Kim Callis and other local leaders. Photos are available here.

“I’ve been looking forward to revisiting the renovated historic Colonial Theatre,” Kaine said. “The performing arts play an integral role in community building and local economic development. It’s great that South Hill has such a historic attraction in its town.”

Later in the day, Kaine visited the Microsoft Data Center in Boydton and ABB Halifax in South Boston to take tours of the facilities, met with employees and discussed the importance of investments in career and technical education (CTE) to grow a workforce. Kaine, co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, recently introduced the JOBS Act to expand federal Pell Grants to students who enroll in short-term job training programs, which would help workers afford high-quality training in advanced manufacturing and other industries.




Note of Thanks

On behalf of Josephine Fannin, myself (Tracy Sison), and the entire Fannin family I would like to say a deeply heartfelt THANK YOU for all of the cards, visits, meals, thoughts, prayers and various acts of kindness in between shown to us during the final days of our loved one, Ricky Fannin.  Each of you played a part in making his final days as happy as possible. The overwhelming generosity from all of you allowed the family to focus completely on Ricky and not have to be concerned with anything else.  Thank you does not seem sufficient enough to express how sincerely grateful we are.  Love was, without a doubt, manifest through all of you in our time of need.  We will never forget the love and kindness shown to us, we are overwhelmed by it. God bless each and every one of you!


Amanda Sopko Named R-MC Assistant Softball Coach

ASHLAND, Va. – Former R-MC softball standout Amanda Sopko has been named the program’s first full-time assistant coach.

“’Sop’ was a fantastic addition to our softball program four years ago,’ head coach Kevin Proffitt said. “After an outstanding career here at R-MC, I feel very fortunate to be able to add her to our staff as an assistant coach.

“As a player, she was a committed student-athlete. She played with a great deal of passion and earned the respect of our coaches as well as her teammates. I expect her to hit the ground running and continue to model that same level of passion and commitment as a member of our coaching staff.”

A native of Skippers, Va., and a graduate of Greensville High School, Sopko played both second base and outfield for the Yellow Jackets this past season. She batted .353 and earned All-ODAC Second Team honors. Sopko was tied for second in the conference with 27 stolen bases, third with 38 runs, fifth with 17 walks and seventh with an on-base percentage of .467.

R-MC posted a record of 26-12 in 2015 and won its first ODAC Tournament title. The Yellow Jackets went 4-0 in Salem and Sopko was named to the ODAC All-Tournament Team. R-MC made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament and was runner-up in the Newport News Regional. Sopko earned a spot on the All-Regional Team and was also voted Second Team All-Region.

“I’m excited to be returning from our championship team,” Sopko said. “I hope to work hard so our program can continue to have seasons such as this previous one.”

Sopko played four years for the Yellow Jackets. During her career, R-MC went 115-47 (.710) overall and 51-27 (.654) in ODAC contests. Sopko was All-ODAC Third Team as a freshman and Second Team as a junior and senior. Sopko scored 122 career runs and was successful on 85 of 92 stolen base attempts for a success rate of 92.4%. Sopko is seventh all-time in the ODAC with 85 career steals while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon in 2015 with a minor in communication studies.


Team Mitch Bass Tournament

I am hosting a benefit tournament for a friend of mine.  His name is Mitch Mitchell.  Over the years, Mitch and his family have given and done a lot for the community, always there when called upon, always thinking of others.  Well, now this family needs us.  Mitch has been battling cancer and the medical bills have been pouring in.  I would like to try and ease the burden some but I need your help.  That’s why I’m putting together this fundraiser called “Team Mitch”.  If you want to help a good cause come out August 22 and fish in this tournament.  If you don’t fish or don’t own a boat and still want to help you can make a donation to Team Mitch.  Every little bit will help.  We will be selling hamburgers and hotdogs at the weigh-in and also 50/50 raffle tickets.

Place:             Nottoway River, 258 Landing

Date:              August 22, 2015

Time:              6:30am – 2:30pm

Entry:             $75 (includes big fish)

Size/Creel:     5 Bass Limit (12” length)

Payback:        75% with 25% donated to Team Mitch

For more information contact Bubba Gay @ 434-637-2822 or Tina Pope @ 434-594-4579.

Back-To-School-Splash Party

Lawrenceville, VA August 31, 2015: WHLQ Radio Mix 105.5 FM and Brunswick-Mayfield Recreation Center is hosting a Back to School Splash Party, Saturday, August 29th from 12noon to 6 pm. There will be food, games, swimming, give-a-ways, gift cards, and backpacks filled with school supplies for children.

We are asking individuals, businesses, and churches to partner with us and be a sponsor. We need volunteers, monetary gifts, gift cards, and school supplies. Call Tiffany Vincent at 434-378-3249 or Cathy Fielding 804-596-WHLQ to donate, be a sponsor, or to get more information. To email us write to and or visit WHLQ website at


Be a Part of the Virginia Peanut Festival

The Virginia Peanut Festival is just around the corner.  The festival will begin with the Kick-off Cook Off on Thursday, September 24th.  The Parade will be on Saturday, 26th September.

If you would like to be a part of the Festival, here are the applications you need to fill out.

Parade Application

Food Vendor Application

Information Booth Application

Arts and Craft Application

Car Show Application




Click on image to print Golf Tournament Application

Local Artist Works to Raise Funds for Wounded Warriors

An effort to raise money for Wounded Warriors is ongoing by artist/composer/musician Tom Spivey. Currently he is offering four prints of his work: a) Emporia/Greensville County, $35.00.  b) Resurrection Morn, $15.00.  c) Christ at the Well, $10.00 d)  and Far From Home, $15.00. Contact or Picture Perfect on Halifax Street.

a    b


c    d 



Virginia Housing Development Authority Homeownership Workshop Offered in Emporia

VHDA’s Home Ownership Education Workshop will be offered Tuesday, September 8 and Thursday, September 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office located at 105 Oak Street, Emporia. Participants must attend both sessions in order to receive a certificate of completion.

The workshop is free and being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Greensville/Emporia Office and the Emporia- Greensville Financial Literacy Coalition. It is aimed at first-time home buyers who are financially ready to become homeowners. The workshop covers the educational requirement for a VHDA mortgage and it may also count as first-time home buyer education for other loan programs.

Topics to be covered in this six-hour workshop include: Personal Finances, Credit and Credit Issues, Working with a Realtor, Role of the Lender, Loan Closing and the Home Inspection. Space is limited and registration is required. Please contact the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 by Friday, September 4 to register. You may also register online at A minimum of 5 participants must be registered for class to be conducted.

If you are a person with a disability and require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program, please call the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least five days prior to this event. TDD number is 800-828-1120.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. .



Stream and Download Music and Movies at your Library

Freegal (“Free and legal”) Music and Movies is here for Meherrin Regional Library System patrons! Freegal Music is a downloadable music service that gives library patrons access to over 8 million songs in MP3 format, including Sony Music’s catalog of artists. In total, the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 60 countries.

There is no software to install. Downloaded songs will play in Windows Media Player, iTunes, and other popular music players. They can also be transferred to an MP3 player or an iPod. The Freegal app is free and available through Apple’s App Store and Google Play for use with smartphones or tablets. Freegal Music limits song downloads to 3 per library patron per week, and 3 hours of streaming time per day per patron.

Also use Freegal Movies to view movies and TV shows! Freegal Movies and Television is a streaming video service that allows patrons to access thousands of movies and television episodes from major content providers. Like Freegal Music, no software download is needed, and files are in MP3 format and can be played on any device. Freegal Movies limits movie and TV episode downloads to 3 per library patron per week. Each download can be viewed multiple times during a 48 hour viewing period.

Start downloading your favorite tunes or movies today! Access Freegal Music by visiting or by downloading the Freegal Music app.  Freegal Movies are available at or by downloading the Freegal Movies app. Login to both by selecting Meherrin Regional Library and using your library card number and pin. For more information on accessing Freegal through your library, contact the Brunswick County Library at 434-848-2418 ext. 301 or the Richardson Memorial Library at 434-634-2539.


Read to the Rhythm At Your Local Library

The Meherrin Regional Library System urges families to shake, rattle, or roll to the library for Read to the Rhythm! The Meherrin Regional Library System launches its Read to the Rhythm! Summer Reading Program on June 1st. During the next two months, the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville and the Richardson Memorial Library in Emporia will host a range of free activities for children, tweens, and teens that encourage and support a love of reading. Participants can win prizes for reaching their reading goals.

Themed summer events include a line dancing class with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Zumba with the YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, and a concert from the Richmond Gourd Orchestra. Magician and juggler Jonathan Austin and a fun filled show by the Sundae Puppets are also part of the summer fun.

There is a serious side to summer reading for youth. Research has shown that reading over the summer prevents summer reading loss. “Studies indicate students who read recreationally outperformed those who don’t. Students read more when they can choose materials based on their own interests,” Krystal Cook-Elliott, Youth Services Librarian states. “Our libraries are committed to supporting lifelong learning and educational enrichment for all families.”

The Libraries' Summer Reading Program Registration begins June 1st. To learn more about summer adventure at the library, please call the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville at (434) 848-2418 ext. 301 or the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia at (434) 634-2539 or check out the library’s website at


Bridge near Emporia will be replaced; traffic to be detoured to I-95 during project

GREENSVILLE COUNTY, Va. –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) wants to alert drivers in Greensville County to possible traffic impacts associated with replacement of the Route 301 South (Sussex Drive) bridge over the CSX railroad tracks, about 3 miles north of the town of Emporia. The bridge will close to traffic on May 18, 2015, and will remain closed during the two-year construction project. Crews will first demolish and remove the old bridge, then construct a new bridge in its place.

The contractor will work with CSX railroad personnel to make sure train movements are not interrupted during construction. This project only affects southbound traffic, which will be detoured during construction. Route 301 North will remain open, and access will remain for property owners who live nearby. Access to Country Club Road will also be available during construction.

Detour signs will be posted along the roadside for drivers to follow. Before reaching the bridge closure, drivers can get onto I-95 at Exit 17, and get off at Exit 13 to access Route 301 South. This project is scheduled to be completed by Summer of 2017.

For more information, visit:

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