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Community Lenten Services

Luncheon will be served after each Wednesday Noon Service for a small donation.

April 18 - 7 pm Elnora Jarrell Worship Center Rev. Harry Zeiders

April 19 - 11 am Calvary Baptist Church (Radio Baptist) Various Pastors and Leaders Hour of Prayer

The offering: we have given two $500 scholarships to seniors in the past. We will contact these two students and if they are still at their schools with passing grades, we will give them another $500 each and any money above $1000.00 we be given to Thomas Family Boots On the Ground Outreach.

New Telephone Numbers for the Emporia Police Department

 

The Emporia Police Department has changed several of its telephone numbers. Please use the numbers below to replace any numbers you are currently using. Even though some older numbers may still be working now, they will eventually be removed.

• 911 Communications Center Non-Emergency number:

434-634-7320

• Emporia Police Administrative Offices:

434-634-2121

As always, please use 911 for all emergency calls.

VCU School of Nursing opens accelerated path to a bachelors to Rappahannock and Southside Virginia Community Colleges

RICHMOND, Va. (April 16, 2019) — The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing has partnered with Southside Virginia Community College and Rappahannock Community College to offer accelerated coursework to registered nurses who are students at both community colleges, providing them a faster path to obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Students will be enrolled concurrently at VCU and their respective community colleges.

“We’re looking forward to offering SVCC and RCC nursing students a more efficient path to earn a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, which subsequently will help to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared RNs in Virginia’s health care workforce,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Nursing.

The partnerships are in line with a national push to enhance academic progression for nurses. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report, which recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be educated at a baccalaureate degree in nursing or higher by 2020. Reduction in medication errors, lower mortality rates and positive patient outcomes are linked to nurses being educated at baccalaureate and higher degree levels, according to a recent position statement by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. 

Enrollment will open on May 1 to nursing students at both community colleges and classes will start in fall 2019. Enrolled students will complete six credits of baccalaureate courses during their last year at either community college and subsequently complete the remaining credits online through the VCU School of Nursing.

Both VCU and SVCC aim to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses who might seek employment at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia, and other health care facilities in Southside Virginia, said Michelle Edmonds, DNP, dean of nursing, allied health and natural sciences at Southside Virginia Community College.

“This partnership brings world-class baccalaureate education to the communities of Southside Virginia,” Edmonds said. “Additionally, the partnership will increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to Southside Virginia. I am certain that SVCC and VCU will together advance the health of this region.”

The agreement with Rappahannock Community College will provide nursing students in eastern Virginia with more extensive educational opportunities, said Ellen Koehler, an associate professor of nursing for Rappahannock Community College.

“This concurrent enrollment agreement with VCU School of Nursing is an extraordinary opportunity for the students of the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula region,” Koehler said. “This affords our students the opportunity to enhance their career goals toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a prestigious school that values advancing the profession of nursing.”

Think Tank Warns Against Raising Cigarette Taxes

By Andrew Gionfriddo, Capital News Service

 

RICHMOND -- A new study says local cigarette taxes have adverse effects on low-income citizens and small business owners and rarely raise as much money as government officials project.

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy released the study, which was funded by Philip Morris USA, as the Richmond City Council considers Mayor Levar Stoney’s proposal to impose a local cigarette tax of 50 cents per pack.

“Raising cigarette taxes is not a ‘cure-all’ for resolving budget problems,” said Michael W. Thompson, the institute’s chairman. He said the study found:

  • Over the years after raising cigarette taxes, jurisdictions rarely meet their revenue projections.

  • While it is common for the tax increase to produce more income for the locality in the first year, the income tends to decrease in following years.

  • When cigarette taxes increase, convenience stores and smaller grocery stores see their overall sales on non-tobacco items decrease.

Virginia imposes a cigarette excise tax of 1.5 cents on each cigarette, equating to 30 cents per pack and $3 per carton. Over 90 localities in the commonwealth impose a local cigarette tax.

Stoney said a tax of 50 cents per pack on cigarettes would yield $3 million a year in additional revenue for the city budget. His proposed levy is between the 22-cents-per-pack tax in Ashland and the $1.26-per-pack tax in Alexandria.

Councilman Parker Agelasto proposed an 80-cents-a-pack cigarette tax last year that did not pass, and which the mayor did not support.

“The counties surrounding Richmond have not changed their cigarette taxes so they will be the big winners if City Council adds 50 cents to a pack of cigarettes,” Thompson wrote in a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Henrico and Chesterfield County do not currently impose a local cigarette tax.

Thompson said the tax increase would hinder small businesses in multiple ways.

“Smokers will seek out the best prices for cigarettes, and those will be found a few blocks away in Henrico or Chesterfield counties,” Thompson said.

The Thomas Jefferson Institute’s report cites 2014 data from the National Association of Convenience Stores, drawn from over 3,400 shopping visits to such businesses.

Management Science Associates, a database management company, estimated tobacco was the fourth most often purchased item, with tobacco purchases made on 21% of the visits, according to the report.

The study showed that cigarette smokers visit convenience stores more frequently than nonsmokers and are more likely to buy products such as gasoline and beverages.

Thompson testified before the City Council last year when it was considering raising the cigarette tax.

“I gave them the documents and made my pitch, and they said, ‘Thank you very much -- we’ll read it later.’ They’re disparaging the small guy.”

The Thomas Jefferson Institute says its data also shows lower-income citizens suffer the most from the tax increase.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the institute noted that households earning less than $10,000 per year in the South spend 5.8 percent of their income on tobacco, while households in the same region earning more than $70,000 annually spend only .26 percent of their income on tobacco products. That’s $580 versus $182, respectively.

The Virginia Department of Health study, “Virginia Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-2017,” determined that in Virginia, “the greatest percentage of smokers earn the least amount of money.”

Some local business owners have mixed feelings about the cigarette tax increase.

R.E. Watkinson, owner of Lombardy Market in Richmond, said he is not against raising the tax.

“Of course it’s part of the business, but I don’t want my grandparents or other kids smoking,” Watkinson said.

Watkinson does not think the tax would affect the habits of people who already smoke. “People who are addicted are still going to smoke,” he said.

Watkinson said that when he opened his store, cigarettes accounted for about half of all sales. Now, he estimates they make up around 10%.

He said he believes the cigarette tax would slow down the rate of new smokers. Smoking as a whole has been decreasing nationally, but not in Virginia.

The commonwealth’s relationship with tobacco dates to colonial times. Altria and its Philip Morris USA subsidiary, which produces Marlboro and other cigarette brands, is based in Henrico County.

“Tobacco is such a huge part of Richmond’s history and economy,” said Stephen Hader, a senior fellow with the Thomas Jefferson Institute. “I think Richmond adopting a tobacco tax would have some symbolic impact as well.”

Despite its long history with tobacco, Virginia has been at the forefront of a national push to decrease teenage usage of vaping and tobacco products.

On July 1, Virginia will raise from 18 to 21 the legal age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products.

More than 10 other states have adopted or plan to enact similar laws, according to tobaccofreekids.org.

E-cigarettes such as Juul are currently not taxed by the city or state.

Citizens Expand Efforts to Preserve Historically Black College’s History

By Arianna Coghill, Capital News Service

LAWRENCEVILLE, Va. — “Challenge by choice” was the motto of Saint Paul’s College, which closed in 2013 because of financial problems and declining student enrollment.

Now the citizens of Lawrenceville are living up to that motto — by taking up the challenge of collecting and preserving artifacts documenting the 125-year history of the historically black college.

Lawrenceville residents and other supporters of Saint Paul’s College have opened a museum to showcase the memorabilia — including an original copy of “Adventure in Faith,” an autobiography written by the Rev. James Solomon Russell, who was born enslaved, became an Episcopal priest and founded the school in 1888.

The year-old museum has been such a success that it is ready to expand to a new location.

“We’re trying to create a place that could be a home to the alumni and that they can identify with,” said Bobby Conner, vice chairman of the project.

Conversations about how to keep the college’s memory alive began in 2012 — the year before the school shut its doors.

“We saw the writing was on the wall,” said Sylvia Allen, a member of the conservation effort. Thus the James Solomon Russell-Saint Paul’s College Museum and Archives was born.

James Grimstead is the museum’s chairman and director. He and Conner discussed the idea with Saint Paul’s for a year before officials decided to discontinue the school.

Because there was much uncertainty about whether the college would remain open, Conner was hesitant to raise the subject — but he knew that it was important.

“What could’ve happened is that the university could’ve closed on June 30 (2013) and the creditors could’ve come on July 1,” Conner said. “If the creditors would’ve got involved, this museum would’ve never have happened.”

The school, which was on the National Register of Historic Places, was founded as Saint Paul Normal and Industrial School and then became Saint Paul’s Polytechnic Institute in 1941. The name was changed in 1957 to Saint Paul’s College to reflect its liberal arts curriculum.

    

The college’s demise followed pressure from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which revoked Saint Paul’s accreditation because of “lack of financial stability” and other reasons.

The nonprofit museum opened last April in downtown Lawrenceville, a town of about 1,400 people in Brunswick County, which borders North Carolina. It quickly filled with artifacts dating to the late 1800s. They range from a 1922 college guestbook to a 1973 student newspaper and include decades-old class photos, sports trophies and banners.

According to Grimstead and Conner, if they had not rescued these artifacts, the mementos likely would have remained in the campus’ abandoned buildings, which have weathered over time. Problems like mold would have seriously damaged many of the items.

    

    

Several alumni such as former professional basketball player Antwain Smith have visited the museum — not only to travel down memory lane but also to reflect on the classes before them.

Teya Whitehead, who graduated from Saint Paul’s College in 1998, was devastated when she first heard that the school was closing. She still finds it to be a difficult pill to swallow.

But with the establishment of the museum, the happy memories of her college days will stay preserved.

“My favorite memory was the overall camaraderie that we had together. Many of my lifelong friends are still in contact with me today,” Whitehead said. “The school was a very family-oriented environment.”

With the sheer amount of memorabilia, the museum’s current location has become cramped. There are plans to move the museum to the former Saint Paul’s College Student Center, which now serves as the Brunswick County Conference Center. The grand reopening is scheduled for Aug. 10.

“I never imagined while moving that stuff that we’d be where we are today,” Conner said. “I was just getting it off campus to protect it.”

Attorney General Mark Herring supports bill to make D.C. the 51st state

By Kal Weinstein, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is urging support for federal legislation to make Washington, D.C., the 51st state.

Herring joined 19 other state attorneys general -- all Democrats -- in issuing a “first-of-a-kind” statement in favor of the idea.

The statement was issued Monday just ahead of D.C.’s April 16 Emancipation Day celebration. It cited the holiday as a reminder of limits on the District’s freedom and autonomy.

“The District’s over 700,000 residents work hard, raise families and pay the highest federal taxes per capita, and yet they are deprived of the fundamental right to participate meaningfully in our representative democracy,” the statement read.

U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the nonvoting delegate representing D.C. in Congress, introduced H.R 51 in January. More than 200 House members are  co-sponsoring the proposal.

Holmes has previously introduced legislation to make D.C. a state; however, this marks the first time that state attorneys general across the country have united to support the idea.

“The District’s residents deserve equal voting rights and autonomy under the law. We support Statehood for the District of Columbia and urge passage of H.R. 51 to accomplish this goal,” the statement read.

In the statement, Herring announced he is pleased to stand beside Karl Racine, the attorney general for D.C., and 18 other state attorneys general to support the initiative.

“Washington, D.C., already acts as an important state in so many ways, and it is well past time that their contributions to our country are reflected in statehood,” Herring said. “District residents are hardworking, taxpaying Americans who deserve to have their voices heard and their votes counted.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has also expressed support for Holmes’ proposal.

“Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has been a tireless voice on this important issue, and her introduction of H.R. 51 is a critical step in righting this historic wrong,” Pelosi said.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has pledged to hold a hearing on the bill later this year. If it passes, D.C.’s addition as a state would add two senators and one representative with full voting rights to Congress.

Those who oppose the nation’s capital earning its statehood argue that it would inherently create a conflict of interest for legislators who serve in D.C. to represent constituents back home in their respective states. In the Federalist Papers, James Madison stated that if D.C. were to become a state, its voting members would wield higher power than other states through its proximity to Congress.

In 1971, passage of the 23rd Amendment gave members of the District votes in the electoral college. If renewed support fails to pass H.R. 51 when it comes up for a hearing later this year, the federal government will continue to maintain jurisdiction over the capital city, just as it has since its founding in 1790.

Care Bags for Chemo

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa Collins, Director of Oncology; Julie Smith; Penny Evans, Independent Director of Thirty-One Gifts; Sep Evans, Carleen Wells, Mary Edmonds; and Ronnie Wells.

An incredible outpouring of community support shattered a fundraiser’s goal this year.

In the Chemo/Radiation Care Bag Fundraiser’s third year, care bags were purchased, filled with items, and delivered to the Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center for their patients.

Penny Evans, Independent Director of Thirty-One Gifts, hoped to get 131 bags this year, but ended up with 305.

Evans said she started the fundraiser in honor of her friend Shelley Mayer, who was diagnosed with cancer. Today, Mayer is cancer free.

Members of the community purchased bags for $29, and Evans used the commission of these sales to purchase additional items to go inside.

Teresa Collins, RN, BSN, OCN and Director of Oncology, provided guidance on the needed items for patients, and each of the 305 bags was filled with a pocket planner, chap stick, tissues, socks, hand sanitizer, and candy.

Also placed in each bag was a pen and paper set donated by Touchstone Bank and Mary Kay hand creams, donated by Tanya Baskerville, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant.

A number of community members assisted with filling each bag and delivering them to the center.

Evans was especially appreciative of her husband’s, Sep Evans, help and support, in addition to the community who made this fundraiser the most successful year yet.

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Horse Racing Returns as Gaming Parlors Open in Virginia

By Emma Gauthier, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- Horses soon will race again at Colonial Downs, and Virginians will be able to bet on them and play slots-style machines in a casino-like setting at four other locations across the commonwealth.

The Colonial Downs Group will resume horse racing at its track in New Kent County and offer off-track betting at the other sites under the brand Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.

The New Kent County racetrack, between Richmond and Williamsburg, closed in 2014. Colonial Downs plans to resume horse racing there in August.

But before then, Virginians will have a chance to gamble -- on historical horse racing gaming machines at the Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations. The slots-style machines allow players to bet on horses from past races and also bet against other opponents.

The Colonial Downs Group is set to open a Rosie’s at the New Kent County track on April 23. The company will also open gaming parlors in Richmond, Hampton, Chesapeake and the Roanoke County town of Vinton by the end of 2019.

Rosie’s will generate $25 million in state taxes annually and create 800 jobs statewide, according to Colonial Downs spokesman Mark Hubbard. The Richmond location will employ about 150 people and open in June.

Mayor Levar Stoney has endorsed the venture, which will be in South-Central Richmond.

“We’ve had tremendous support from Mayor Stoney and city leaders,” Hubbard said. “The community in the 9th District is excited about us opening soon, and we’re very excited about bringing a new form of entertainment and fun to Richmond.”

The five Rosie’s facilities will include a total of 3,000 historical horse racing gaming machines. The bets feed into a collective pool that players can win, with various purses.

“The revenues that we generate through the machines will help fund purses at the race track and a portion of the revenues will go to the horse racing industry,” Hubbard said.

The collective purse falls under a type of gambling known as pari-mutuel betting. This type of gaming machine was created in Kentucky to revitalize the horse industry and generate revenue year-round, Hubbard said.

Using the machines, players select three horses (the winners of historical horse races), place a bet and then watch an animated re-enactment of the horses competing. The company calls the machines a “competitive substitute for traditional casino style games.”

The launch of Rosie’s Gaming Emporium coincides with a push in the General Assembly to allow casinos in the commonwealth.

On March 21, Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law a bill that may eventually loosen the reins on casino gambling. SB 1126, sponsored by Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, calls for a study of casino gaming in the state, which must be completed by Dec. 1.

Going forward, localities would be required to pass a referendum to allow casino gaming. The Virginia Lottery Board would regulate the casinos. The board cannot issue any gaming licenses before July 1, 2020.

The new law also gives the Virginia Racing Commission control of racing with pari-mutuel wagering.

The Colonial Downs Group will participate in the study, Hubbard said.

Many Virginians are excited by the idea of casino gambling, but some organizations are worried about a negative impact on communities.

The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling believes that more people will develop gambling-related problems when given more opportunities to gamble.

“As our legislators seek to expand gambling in Virginia, they need to do so responsibly by first assessing the risks and rewards, which hopefully the gambling study the governor is calling for will in part provide, and also setting up safeguards to protect the public from harm,” said the council’s president, Carolyn Hawley.

The Family Foundation, a nonprofit Christian organization, has similiar reservations and also believes that crime increases near casinos. The Colonial Downs Group believes its gaming centers will improve quality of life and possibly decrease crime.

The Rosie’s in Richmond will replace a vacant Kmart lot off Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway. Police regularly patrol the area because of crime, Hubbard said.

“We’re going to add a lot of lighting, surveillance and people coming and going, which will deter criminals,” Hubbard said. “When you bring a fun, lively, very well-lit and secure entertainment facility, that disperses crime.”

Dr. Thomas Guirkin Is VCU Health CMH’s New VP Of Medical Affairs

Good ole’ southern charm is easily recognized, but not easily duplicated. The new Vice President of Medical Affairs at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recognized that charm at CMH and knew he had found a home.

“I was impressed by the sense of community I found here,” Tom Guirkin, Jr. MD, said about him landing in Southside Virginia.

A Richmond native, Dr. Guirkin has spent the past 12 years preparing for his role at VP of MA at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

"I had been moving from position to position, slowly building my fund of knowledge in order to promote public health. That being said, I really am a small town person,” “I found CMH to be a very good fit for me in that respect.” Over the past 12 years, I have worked in some organizations that were not necessarily the most collaborative of workplaces. I am of the opinion that you can be cordial and collaborative at work and accomplish your goals. I see that type of atmosphere at CMH.”

Scott Burnette, CEO of CMH said, “We conducted a national search and had several very qualified candidates.  We were fortunate to be able to recruit Dr. Guirkin to our team.  His training and experience will be a great asset as we continue our efforts to grow services and expand our abilities to treat more patients close to home.”

Dr. Guirkin explained his job at CMH as being not just an administrator or physician but also a resource for the community as a whole.

“I want to be working with doctors, nurses, finance, the lab – pretty much everyone to make things happen, to better meet the needs of our patients and their families, but also help meet the needs of the employees here at CMH,” he said.

Dr. Guirkin has an impressive resume and deep Virginia ties. He is a 1999 Summa Cum Laude graduate of VCU with a major in biology and a focus in chemistry. He then attended the Medical College of Virginia, graduating in 2003. From 2003 through 2006, Dr. Guirkin was at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. where he completed his internship and residency.

“I loved D.C.,” he said of his time at Georgetown and his first job after residency at Mount Vernon Internal Medicine in Alexandria, VA.

After Mount Vernon Internal Medicine, Dr. Guirkin headed back to Richmond where he provided inpatient medical services at Saint Mary’s, a Bon Secour Hospital on a full time basis. While doing his primary practice in the hospital, he continued to maintain his outpatient skills by practicing urgent care and primary care services at Patient First. While at Saint Mary’s, he had his first foray into the business, quality and management sides of medicine when he worked at Intercede Health as an order optimizer consultant.

“I had played with the thought during medical school about getting a Master’s Degree in Business Administration,” he said. “I got my first exposure to process improvement and strategic leadership at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond and decided to go ahead and pursue my MBA.”

While he was attending business school, Dr. Guirkin worked for James River Hospitalist Group in Richmond.

“That was the start of working seven days a week for two straight years,” he said. “Except for a couple of holidays off, I was working all day, every day between my job and business school.” Dr. Guirkin was providing hospitalist support for Chippenham and Johnston-Willis while attending graduate school at VCU.

Following his graduation from business school, Dr. Guirkin began to look for a position that allowed him to utilize all of his expertise. He was offered two different administrative positions but declined these due to their not allowing him to continue practicing medicine. It was at this time he was introduced to the Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This finally afforded him the opportunity to grow as a manager yet continue to practice medicine.

“Saint Francis is a large health system with six hospitals in the Tulsa metro region and I was overseeing a large 60 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) hospitalist group and during my time there it grew to 85 FTEs. It was there I honed my management skills.  I was mentored by a fantastic doctor – Mark Frost, Senior Vice President on many aspects of quality management.”

The original plan was for Dr. Guirkin to eventually move into a more senior role, but providence had other ideas, he said. “I got a chance email from VCU and decided to take a look,” he said. “And it was exactly what I was looking for. I really appreciate the people here and it’s just a great fit for us. I was impressed that CMH maintained its identity during the affiliation with VCU Health. All the names on all the rooms showed me that this was the type of place I wanted to be.”

CMH ran a capital campaign where community members could donate and have naming rights to various rooms in the new hospital and C.A.R.E. Building.

“I will be seeing patients on a limited basis here at CMH,” he said. “Not exactly sure at this point what that looks like, but it was important to me to maintain that aspect of care.”

He also wants to find unique ways to bring medical care to the communities CMH services.

“I’m big on preventive medicine and wanting to make sure everyone has access to care,” he said.

Dr. Guirkin wanted to be closer to his parents who still reside in Richmond.

Dr. Guirkin and spouse Brian Sharp have two four-legged children a pug name Samantha and a Belgium Mallonois named Tucker. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading and working in the yard.

Springtime in Paris From SVCC Chorus

The acclaimed Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus, is bringing “Springtime in Paris” with Harpist, Winifred Garrett to Southside Virginia on Sunday, April 28th at 3:00 PM at the South Hill Presbyterian Church at 914 N. Mecklenburg Ave, South Hill, VA 23970. Admission is free.

The Chorus of the Southside Virginia Community College is fully supported by SVCC, your local community college, and its Foundation. SVCC realizes the value of bringing quality choral music to you in Southside Virginia. Because of the valuable support of the SVCC Foundation, harpist Winifred Garrett from Durham, NC will be performing this Spring with flutes, Dee Pinnell and Laurel Sciortino, both from Boydton. This exceptional concert will be offered at South Hill Presbyterian Church’s accessible space at no cost to you.

Winifred Garrett last played with the SVCC Chorus in December 2015. She is a noted harpist from Durham where she teaches and performs within a full concert and recital schedule. With a career of over thirty years, Winifred has had the privilege of being the first African American harpist to grace the stage in countless performance venues and settings. The Founder/Artistic Director of “The Harp Studio” based in Durham, North Carolina, highlights from her performance career includes appearances with Stevie Wonder at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, performing with Marvin Gaye at Radio City Music Hall, playing the wedding of singer/actress Whitney Houston, and performing with the Boys Choir of Harlem and for the Dance Theater of Harlem. She continues to maintain a heavy performance schedule and is the Principal Harpist for the Fayetteville Symphony. She presently plays for the Umstead Hotel and Spa, one of the prestigious four star/five diamond hotels of North Carolina.

“Springtime in Paris” features a Romantic selection of music for Harp, Chorus, Piano and Flutes with a French accent, composed by Gabriel Fauré, Aaron Copland, and even a Claude Debussy harp solo. Fresh arrangements of, “Angel Band”, tunes by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, “Goin’ Home” by Antonin Dvořák, popular love songs,  and music from “Les Miserablés”, are just a sampling of the repertoire to be presented on April 28.

The SVCC Chorus has been under the direction of Carol Henderson of Buffalo Junction since 2014. And through the support of pianist Sally Tharrington of Boydton, and the inclusion of its great singers, the chorus is growing in vocal beauty. Rehearsals are conveniently located at the crossroads of Highway 58, Route 1, and Interstate 85 at the South Hill Presbyterian Church. The chorus, now 42 members, continues to attract new singers from the surrounding Southside areas. Rehearsals for Fall 2019 will begin on the Sunday following Labor Day, September 8th at 6:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church.

Thorough continued support by SVCC and its Foundation, we are looking forward to plans for 2019-20 season which include brass and carols for Holiday Concerts 2019,  and  a special presentation of  Handel’s MessiahPart 2 with chamber orchestra for Spring 2020. For more information on the SVCC Chorus: NEW! visit:www. southside.edu/svcc-chorus

The SVCC Chorus promises to bring you a concert of excellence and beauty,…and what better inspiration than with music of the classical harp and music from France! Presented on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church, fully accessible, the concert includes a reception. Church lot parking is available, and also, across the street at Benchmark Bank and the neighboring parking lot. You are invited to bring your families, friends and neighbors for “Springtime in Paris”!

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE CAPTAIN EARNS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR 25-YEARS OF DEDICATED & INNOVATIVE PUBLIC SAFETY EFFORTS

RICHMOND – Virginia State Police Capt. Tricia W. Powers is the 2019 recipient of the esteemed Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement’s (MAAWLE) “Lifetime Achievement Award.” Powers (center) was recognized this week at the 33rd Annual MAAWLE Conference in Poconos, Penn. 

“Throughout her 25-year law enforcement career, Captain Powers has consistently distinguished herself through outstanding accomplishments, leadership and contributions not only to the Virginia State Police, but to the nation,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “With a proven record of success, through partnership, engagement and communication, Captain Powers has embraced new challenges and continues to exceed expectations and provide deliverables that have enhanced the overall capabilities of the Virginia State Police. We are excited for her to be selected for this prestigious and most deserving recognition.”

Powers began her career with the Virginia State Police (VSP) on Nov. 1, 1993. During the course of her career, she has worked as a special agent in the Department’s Drug Enforcement Section and Fugitive Apprehension Unit. During these assignments, she also achieved the DEA Site Safety Officer Certification for meth lab processing/investigations and acted as the lead investigator on several methamphetamine lab investigations in the Tidewater area. As first sergeant, she supervised and directed investigations for the Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft programs within the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s (BCI) Chesapeake Field Office.  Later she served as the Area 32 Commander in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area and supervised the third busiest VSP Area Office in the state within the Bureau of Field Operations (BFO).

Upon her appointment to lieutenant, she transferred to the VSP Bureau of Field Operations (BFO) Richmond Field Division. In September 2016, she was promoted to her current rank of captain and became the commander of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS). The CJIS Division is in charge of the Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE), Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), Live Scan, IBR/UCR annual crime report, Sex Offender Registry, Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Firearms Transaction Center (FTC).  Powers oversees approximately 250 sworn and civilian personnel assigned to the CJIS Division.

She is a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy and she is currently First Vice President on the Board of Directors, FBI National Academy Associates Virginia Chapter.  She also represents Virginia as the FBI CJIS Systems Officer (CSO) and is responsible for the administration of the CJIS network with CJIS System Agencies (CSA). 

The MAAWLE Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a law enforcement professional with at least 15 years of experience, who has distinguished herself through outstanding accomplishments and contributions spanning her career in law enforcement. MAAWLE is a professional organization of law enforcement officers and individuals promoting women in law enforcement working or residing within the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson Hired as the Next President Southside Virginia Community College

RICHMOND– Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced today that Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, currently of Mooresville, North Carolina, will become the next president of Southside Virginia Community College. He will assume the role at the beginning of July. Johnson’s selection marks the end of national search that attracted 81 applicants.

“Quentin Johnson brings to the table a strong student services background, and a deep understanding of the needs of nontraditional students – a group that we need to focus on,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “And he believes deeply in what we do. In fact, his son is currently attending one of our community colleges.”

Johnson has worked in higher education senior leadership roles for more than 20 years. That includes, beginning in 2004, serving as the president’s chief of staff and acting vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2011, he became senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Services at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College in West Virginia.

Johnson moved to Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina in 2012 to become the vice president of Student Support Services, the position he holds today. He also has some Virginia experience, previously serving as the assistant dean for Enrollment Management & Student Services at the UVa School of Nursing.

Johnson earned a doctorate from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University; and a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio.

"After a thorough and fruitful search process, our board is delighted that Dr. Quentin Johnson will be the next president of Southside Virginia Community College.  He brings an energy and insight that will prove to be invaluable in taking SVCC to the next level of service in our communities," said Betsy Sharrett, chair of the Southside Virginia Community College local board.

Johnson will succeed Dr. Al Roberts, the college’s fifth president, who announced last fall that he was retiring at the end of June, having served as president for five years.

SVCC serves one small city and spans ten rural counties across southern Virginia. The college offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students.

“(Weather)-2 (Farmers)-1”

One can wager on your favorite team
and there might be times you win
yet if you bet on the weather
your chances are real thin.
 
Yes the weather changes often
leaving many farmers sick
it matters not the crop abundance
if the fields are too slick.
 
It’s a challenge for most of them
needing rain when it is dry
then when it’s time to harvest
it’s too wet to even try.
 
One must give the farmers credit
for all the obstacles they face
each and every year they enter
but only a few will win the race.
 
Farmers never know the ending
though all may start quite well
yes from day to day and year to year
the weather casts its spell.
 
Now the farmer is the backbone
of the good ole U.S.A.
yet the government and the weather
determines what he does every day.
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN):  Provides daily care for patients in transitional and extended stay units. Administers medications according to physician orders. Performs patient assessments. Directs CNAs and other staff to complete daily ADLs, vital signs, baths, and other assignments. Performs wound care, dressing changes, and skin assessments. Properly documents daily activities, physician orders, changes, and other administrative duties. Collaborates with physicians for best course of treatment for residents with change of condition.  JO #1632915

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA):  Performs patient assessments.  Assists residents with ADLs including baths, dressing, and meals. Assists nurses with vital signs, weights, and measurements. Provides nail care and daily grooming. Properly documents daily activities and restorative functions.  JO #1632978

Sales Agent:  Sells, upgrades and renews memberships. Educates and promotes members and potential members on all that Service Provider has to offer: Creates reservations via phone, email and chat for all the locations. Assist members with Internet issues, etc.   JO #1632160

Housekeeping:  Must be able to successfully clean and maintain guest rooms. Must be able to work independently, have a willingness to learn, and prior experience a plus.   JO #1632415

Project Engineer:  Responsible for all aspects of project execution at the facility. Demonstrates strong verbal and written communication skills. Creates and engineers drawings in AutoCAD or solid works for mill projects and maintenance activities. Supports mill compliance with laws and regulations in the design & implementation of projects at the facility. Ensures employee and contractor compliance with mill safety policies, etc.   JO #1629047

          THESE AND ALL JOBS WITH THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT

www.vawc.virginia.gov

The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

Let’s Get REAL about Education for Inmates

By Dr. Al Roberts

I believe in the transformative power of education.

Earlier generations considered high school completion the key to success. Many viewed postsecondary education an extravagance because folks with high school diplomas could secure good-paying jobs. Today, that is no longer the case. Finding a job with family-sustaining wages often requires education beyond high school, whether it be the completion of a certificate program, the attainment of industry-recognized credentials, or earning an Associate’s or higher academic degree.

When it comes to recognizing the benefits of education, incarcerated people are often overlooked. This lapse may be counterproductive. A study completed earlier this year by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality revealed that inmates who received college-level education were much more able to reenter communities successfully upon release. The report concluded, “Expanding access to postsecondary education in prison is likely to reduce recidivism rates, resulting in a decrease in incarceration costs across states of $365.8 million per year.”

Lisa Hudson, Coordinator of SVCC’s Campus Within Walls program, has seen compelling evidence regarding the value of education for inmates. “Our prison college program not only benefits Virginia and makes fiscal sense, it also positively impacts our students. We believe that human beings have value and are capable of making positive life changes. We know that 95% of people in prison will eventually be released.  In Virginia, the 13,000 people released annually from prison represent an opportunity.  Through college classes, we prepare incarcerated Virginians to reenter our communities as educated, employable, and taxpaying neighbors.”

Accessing postsecondary education in prison can pose a challenge, however. Individuals with substantial financial need often receive Pell Grant assistance, but in 1994, federal lawmakers instituted a ban on Pell Grants for inmates. Without funds for tuition, the number of education programs available to people behind bars plummeted. A recent trial program, the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, lifted the ban on Pell Grant eligibility among incarcerated populations at 67 sites across the nation. Data indicate that when inmates access higher education in prison, they are 43 percent less likely to reoffend after release when compared with inmates lacking a similar opportunity.

The 116th Congress is preparing to consider the legislation “Restoring Education And Learning (REAL) Act of 2019” to reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. Because education is one of the best and most cost-effective means of helping former inmates avoid a subsequent term behind bars, its potential is as REAL as its name.

Education remains key in efforts to transform lives, families, communities, and the local economy. SVCC remains committed to the belief that all people should have educational opportunities, and that includes the incarcerated people in our service region.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

Play Golf to Help Jackson-Feild’s Children

Register/Donate or Sponsor with these links.

If you are a golfer and want to help mentally ill children please make plans to play in Jackson-Feild’s 24th annual golf tournament on May 6th.

Funds raised from this event will be used to purchase special psychiatric furniture which is safe and durable for five cottage’s bedrooms.

The tournament will be held at the Country  Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield County. Lunch is served at noon and the shotgun start begins at 1:00.

Jackson-Feild’s mission is to provide high-quality mental health services to children who have suffered severe emotional trauma heal and restore wellness so that they can return home.

If you would like to enter a team or would like to play yourself please contact Terron Watkins at 804-354-6929 or email him at twatkins@jacksonfeild.org to enter or go to Jackson-Feild’s website (www.jacksonfeild.org).

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