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April 2014

  1. Sappony Ruritan Club Celebrates 50th Years

    The Sappony Ruritan Club located at 9225 Huske Road, Stony Creek, Virginia recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. On April 22, 2014, Ruritan  dignitaries, two charter members, the families of past and present charter members and current club members gathered to share fellowship, memories and a delicious meal served by Purdy Boy Scout Troop #232. Club President Joey Owen along with 50th Anniversary Co-Chairs Charles Owen and Clint Holloway presided over the night’s events. The celebration began with roll call by Club Secretary Keith Davis and the singing of one verse of “America” led by active charter member Abram Norfleet and Club Vice-President Britton Flynn. After dinner, Past Holland District Governor Woody Dunn recognized the special Ruritan officials in attendance. In attendance were National President Elliott Hogge, Past National President Phyllis Lewter, Past National President George Winslow, Past National President Bobby Wrenn, National Director Wally Hudson, Holland District Governor Rod Mustanski, Holland District Lt. Governor Jack York, Past Holland District Governor Woody Dunn, Zone Governor Brooks Johnson, and Zone Lt. Governor Jerry Stivers. Ruritan National President Elliott Hogge  and Holland District Governor Rod Musanski offered congratulatory remarks to the club on their special anniversary. A letter of congratulations from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was received and presented by Club Secretary Keith Davis. The Club was presented a 50th Anniversary plaque and certificate by National Director Wally Hudson. Guest speaker Mr. Bobby Wrenn offered his thoughts on being a Ruritan member and how the actions of club members now will affect future club members. Mr. Clint Holloway presented a brief history of the club. Following his presentation, a candlelight remembrance ceremony was held. Candles were lit by youngest club member Nathan Rideout as member Thomas Rose, Jr. read the names of former members who have passed.  Club Members and invited guests were treated to “A Look Back” by active charter member Abram Norfleet and former charter member Billy Poarch. Each offered favorite memories and quite a few laughs for the gathered group. Following “A Look Back”, Past Club President Robert Poarch introduced Miss Jessie Megan Simmons, who entertained with several musical selections. The night concluded with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Club Treasurer Joe Brucato.

    The Sappony Ruritan Club, located in Sussex County, Virginia, came into being when a group of twenty local civic-minded men, mostly young farmers saw the need to help make their community a better place to live and work. Sappony Ruritan Club was chartered on May 5, 1964 with Mr. Mills C. Luter presenting the charter. The club was sponsored by the Joyner-Gray-Yale Ruritan Club. Charter members were President William O. Poarch, Vice-President William S. Poarch, Secretary Emmett S. Bass, Sr., Treasurer Wilbur Lewis, Director 1 Year O. H. Hitchcock, Director 2 Year R. C. Clarke, Jr., Director 3 Year J. S. Croshaw, Robert S. Barnes, Emmett S. Bass, Jr., Calvin C. Gill, Jr., John H. Kennedy, Jr., Claiborne Lewis, Garnett Lewis, Gordon Lewis, Gene Morgan, Abram E. Norfleet, Jr., Ralph M. Owen, Frank Poarch, Phillip G. Poarch and Louis Warf. Meetings were held once a month in local churches and the wives of members or church groups prepared the meal. The group would hold fund-raising activities to support and fund their community projects.

    In March, 1971, the families of Gordon, Garnett and Roy Lewis deeded land to the Sappony Ruritan Club so that a clubhouse could be built. This generous gift offered the club a permanent place to hold monthly meetings and also be a gathering place for the local community. A loan for $25,000.00 was secured by the Bank of Southside and construction was started soon after. The majority of construction was handled by club members. Once completed, the cement block building contained a kitchen, bathrooms and a large fellowship hall. The men were very proud of their new building and now had a place to call their own.

    Club members have held various fundraising activities throughout its fifty years. Those activities include consignment sales, preparing chicken muddle/BBQ, July 4th celebrations, bingo, Christmas celebrations, a booth at the Pork Festival, frog leg suppers, selling homemade sausage, and most recently, The Wing Fling. These activities have allowed us to support local fire departments in Jarratt, Stony Creek and Old Hickory. Food baskets have been supplied to needy families. Scholarships are offered annually to high school seniors to help further their education. The club supports the Purdy Boy Scout Troop #232 annual pancake supper.

    The Sappony Ruritan Club has continued to grow and make important contributions to the local community. The strength of and organization of a club is measured by the contributions of its members and Sappony Ruritan Club members have and continue to do whatever it takes to make the club succeed.

    Pictured are Club President Joey Owen, Ruritan National President Elliott Hogge, Charter Member Abram Norfleet, Past National President Bobby Wrenn, Past National President Phyllis Lewter and Past National President George Winslow.


  2. Daley Appointed City of Emporia Assistant City Manager

    Emporia, VA – Emporia City Manager Brian S. Thrower has announced the appointment of Dr. Edwin C. Daley as Assistant City Manager. Daley has 40 years of experience in local government management.    He presently serves as Projects Administrator for the City.  

    Thrower believes Daley will do an outstanding job as the City’s new Assistant City Manager.  Thrower states, “Dr. Daley’s educational background and extensive local government management experience make him the perfect choice for the position.”  Mayor Person states, “I look forward to Dr. Daley’s continued work with the City and his leadership on the various projects he is coordinating.  His extensive knowledge in local government will make him a valuable asset to the City of Emporia.”

    Daley is working with other City staff members to coordinate capital projects such as the W. Atlantic Street Neighborhood Improvement Project, East Atlantic Street Widening Project, the Belfield Business District Revitalization Project, the South Main Street Enhancement Project, and the West Atlantic Street Sanitary Sewer Replacement.  He is also assisting staff with coordinating animal shelter improvements, storm drainage improvements at the Emporia Industrial Park, and an emergency power connection for the Municipal Building.  

    Daley and his wife Karen have two daughters and two grandchildren.


  3. Relay for Life is TODAY!


    *Click Here For the Full Relay Night Schedule!

    *Download and Print the Luminaria Purchase Form Here!

    Friday, May 16, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. on the GCHS track starts the 2014 Emporia Greensville Relay For Life.  We will recognize our cancer survivors at 7:00 p.m. and they will start the walk followed by a caregivers walk and then the team walk  We hope to have someone on the track from every team throughout the night and close out the program at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning.  We will have many different walks throughout the night such as our favorite, the teddy bear walk, the duck walk, the patriotic walk, the bad hair walk, the backwards walk, the favorite hat walk and many many more. 

    We will have our luminaria walk at dusk and if you have never seen the luminarias around the track in honor or in memory of a loved one you are in for a treat.  It is one of the most moving ceremonies I  have ever been a part of.  If anyone is interested in purchasing a luminaria in honor or memory of a loved one you can do so by contacting a Relay For Life team or they will be sold at Relay; you may also download the form here and deliver it to any team member (or bring it with you to the Relay).  There will also be a mini auction going on during Relay Friday night!  We will have a Relay T.V., Relay blankets, Kuerig Coffee Maker,  Elliott Sadler items and lots more! 

    Throughout the night Ricky Adams will be our DJ and play whatever music you request and we may just have some karoke funtime as well.  So bring your best voice and come on out for lots of good food, great fun and wonderful friends to hang out with. You just might see Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Moses from The Ten Commandments, one of the kids from High School Musical , our favorite dance teacher from Dirty Dancing or any one from the movies represented by our Relay teams as our theme this year is Hollywood Award winning movies.

    You can also register to win this Fiat at the Relay!  Tickets are $5 each


    Relay for Life night at Bojangles of Emporia on Wednesday night from 5-8pm. A portion of the sales will go to Relay for Life!

    *Click Here For the Full Relay Night Schedule!

    *Download and Print the Luminaria Purchase Form Here!

  4. Belfield Students Visit Jamestown

    Belfield Elementary School recently enjoyed a field trip to Jamestown.  Students visited the English settlement and the Powhatan village, boarded the sailing ships, and toured the museum.


    BRUNSWICK CO., Va. – The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help with locating a missing 15-year-old girl. Shybera Sydnor has long, black hair with brown highlights, and was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, pink flowered shirt, black pants and gray sneakers with pink shoelaces. She does occasionally wear glasses.

    Sydnor was last seen April 19, 2014, when she voluntarily left a residence in the 200 block of Thomasburg Lane in Freeman, Va. The teenager was supposed to stay at that residence temporarily until she could return to her foster home in Greensville County, Va. Sydnor left on foot.

    “This young lady does have a troubled history with running away from foster care guardians in several neighboring jurisdictions,” said Brunswick County Sheriff Brian K. Roberts. “However, she has never been gone for this long and we are now seriously concerned for her safety and welfare.”

    The sheriff’s office has spent the past 10 days circulating fliers and checking with neighboring jurisdictions in an effort to find Sydnor. The sheriff’s office has followed up on several sightings of the teenager reported in Greensville County and Emporia.

    “We have received information that she may be headed for New York, where she has a sibling also in foster care,” said Sheriff Roberts. “We are asking anyone who might recognize Shybera or have any information on her whereabouts to please contact us. She is not in trouble with the law. We just want to make sure she is not in danger or has been harmed in any way.”

    Anyone with information concerning Shybera Sydnor can call the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office at 434-848-3133 or the Brunswick County Crimes Solvers at 1-866-884-5732.


  6. SOUTHERN VIRGINIA REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER Celebrates National Volunteer month


    EMPORIA, VA – Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  This quote sums up the three different volunteer organizations that serve the patients and staff of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC).  They truly are mighty though few!  

    Each year since 1974, the President has signed an executive order designating April as the time to officially recognize those who selflessly give of their time and talents.  As a part of this national movement, SVRMC joins with organizations across the country to recognize the many contributions made by the SVRMC Auxiliary, Inc., the SVRMC Volunteers and the SVRMC Volunteer Chaplains throughout the year that make these organizations an integral part of the SVRMC family. 

    “Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center knows first-hand what volunteers bring to an organization,” said Eric Lachance, CEO. “The services our volunteers provide are invaluable. Through their compassionate and friendly interactions with patients and visitors, and their assistance to our staff, they make a difference in the lives of others each and every day,” he said.

    On Friday, April 11th SVRMC hosted a luncheon for the SVRMC Volunteers and the SVRMC Volunteer Chaplains.  Together, the two organizations have 26 active members (12 Volunteers and 14 Volunteer Chaplains).  While the Volunteer Chaplains do not keep record of the number of hours worked throughout the year, a representative from this group is on call every day to minister to patients and staff as the need arises.   The 12 members of the SVRMC Volunteers perform a variety of functions throughout the hospital in 2013 for a total of 2040.5 volunteer hours worked to SVRMC.

    On Thursday, April 24th, SVRMC entertained the SVRMC Auxiliary, Inc. with a luncheon honoring their service.  This group, originally founded in 1961, currently boasts 34 active members who volunteered 4804.5 hours in 2013.  

    There’s no doubt that volunteers make a difference in the lives of the people they encounter.  If you would like to join one of our volunteer organizations, or for additional information, contact Tracy Mitchell, Director of Volunteer Services, at 434-348-4455.


  7. The Bank by Kahill's Celebrates Ribbon Cutting

    The Bank by Kahill's, Emporia's newest restaurant, celebrated a Ribbon Cutting on Monday, April 28th.  The invitation only event was attended by Mayor Mary Person, members of City Council and many involved with the adaptive reuse of the nearly century old building in the heart of Downtown Emporia.

    City manager Brian Thrower thanked those present who had involvement with the project, including the Architect and those involved in financing the rehabilitation of the building.  Tours of the offices on the second floor of the building were offered by Woody Harris.

    Tom Flowers, the owner, and his staff provided a brief reception.  Flowers, longtime owner of Kahill's in South Hill, is looking forward to serving Emporia for years to come.

    Guests can look forward to Craft Beer (expanding to several selections on tap soon), cocktails and a variety of Local Wines.  The Dinner menu includes an eclectic mix of American fare.

    Starters, ranging from $7 to $15 include a variety of Quesadilla and Pizzeta, Fried Shrimp and Calamari, Seared Ahi Tuna, Crab Cakes, Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Steamed Shrimp.

    In addition to a variety of Entree Salads, Sandwiches and Burgers, the menu also includes several Pasta dishes, as well as Seafood and Pork selections.  King of the menu, though, is the Angus Beef.  There are three options for "Steak & Potato;" Filet Mignon, Ribeye and Sirloin; a Teriyaki Marinated Ribeye; and three options for the Filet.  The Uptown Filet is wrapped with Bacon and served with Bernaise; there is a Filet crusted with Herbs & Bleu Cheese; and lastly, there is Filet Oscar, topped with Lump Crab, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce.

    The Bank by Kahill's is currently open Monday through Saturday for Lunch and Dinner.



  8. Obituary-Franklin Felts Grizzard, Jr.

    Franklin Felts Grizzard, Jr., 56, of Emporia, passed away Monday, April 28, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis C. Grizzard; two daughters, Amy Gordon and husband, Kevin and Brandi Allen; three sons, Jerry W. Allen, Jr. “Bubba,” Gerald Lynch and Dustin Allen; grandchildren, Jody Allen, Chase Rawlings, Lindsey Gordon, Nicholas Gordon, Kennedi Roberts, Dakota Allen, Austin Allen, Regan Allen and Jackson Allen; great-grandson, Aubrey Burke; his mother, Sally S. Grizzard and four brothers, P.Y. Wong, Wayne Wong, Dale Grizzard and Carl Grizzard. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 1at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, May 2. Entombment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Grace Community Fellowship Church, 8014 Little Lowground Rd, Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be made at


    By Jessi Gower, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND-- According to clinical studies, college-aged students are two times more likely to attempt or commit suicide than any other age group, according to clinical studies. And Virginia Commonwealth University students are no exception. The university just recently lost two students, within a five-day period, to suicide.

    On a campus as large as VCU, it’s easy for students to feel lost or helpless. For students these feelings were apparently too much to bear and the two Rams were lost to suicide.

    Before the two incidents occurred, VCU hadn’t suffered a student suicide in several years. Despite this face, some students, such as freshman Sophie Juola, say feelings of anxiety, depression-and even suicide- are often commonplace throughout campus.

    “I think it’s very easy for students to feel depressed on campus,” Juola said. “Schoolwork, more often than not, just becomes a long list of that never really end. That can become really stressful.”

    However, students suffering from these feelings do have help and resources available to them. The VCU University Counseling Services is just one of the many organizations offering a beacon of hope for students struggling with mental, emotional and psychological problems.

    Counseling Services Director Dr. Jihad Aziz says the counseling services are staffed with licensed, clinical psychologists as well as social workers that are available to students.

    “We provide individual and group therapy, as well as psychiatric medication for students,” Aziz said. “They’re free and confidential. And I have some really great clinical staff members working with us.”

    Along with providing therapy and medical consultations, The counseling services also focus on prevention and preventative measures. One of these measures is a 24/7, 365-days-a-year crisis hotline for students who are feeling emotionally unstable or desperate and need immediate assistance. Still, Aziz says there is always room for improvement.

    “We need to think about what we’re doing,” Aziz said. “And we need to think about what more we can do in the means of preventative measures.”

    However, some students say they think the counseling services need to improve in other ways than just prevention.

    “It’s easy to get the first appointment,” Juola said. “Follow up appointments-not so much. I’ve had to wait weeks just for my second appointment. I think they need to work on fixing that.”

    Aziz said the waiting periods for follow up appointments can be lengthy, but it’s generally the same wait time a person would find at a private therapist or psychiatrist office. He also said that although the waiting time for a scheduled appointment can take up to weeks, the counseling service does take immediate walk-ins for extreme scenarios in which the student is highly distressed and/or has potential to harm themselves or others.

    Similar to VCU’s counseling services, ROSMY is an organization in the Richmond area that provides emotional support and resources to Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning LGBTQ youth. Research has found that attempted suicide rates and suicide ideation are comparably higher among this group of teens and young adults than with heterosexual youth.

    “ROSMY continues to be the only organization in the area that directly addresses the unique needs and the healthy social development of LGBTQ youth ages 11-20,” the ROSMY website states.

    The organization says it offers weekly youth support meetings, sensitivity training for professionals, educational resources, youth leadership initiatives and a safe place where all youth are encouraged to value the diverse individuals who make our community a dynamic, exceptional place.

  10. Medicaid Expansion Would Cover 25,000 Va. Veterans

    By Kate Miller, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND — As Virginia legislators continue to debate whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act in the state’s two-year budget, some Medicaid expansion supporters claim more than 25,000 Virginia veterans and their spouses could receive health care coverage if the General Assembly allows expansion.

    In March, hundreds of people gathered at the Virginia State Capitol to rally in support of Medicaid expansion.

    Mercedies Harris, a former Marine from Waynesboro, Va., spoke at the rally.  Harris, who does not have health care coverage and would benefit from Medicaid expansion, told the crowd he has glaucoma and struggles to pay more than $400 a month for his medication.  “Like all veterans, I was proud to serve our country,” Harris said. “So I’m asking you to please don’t turn your backs on us now. We have a shared responsibility to protect and expand opportunity for this generation and for the future generations. The time is now to close the coverage gap.”

    Massey Whorley, a senior policy analyst for The Commonwealth Institute of Fiscal Analysis, co-authored a report called “Left Behind,” which explains the benefits of Medicaid expansion for Virginia veterans.

    Whorley said Virginia currently ranks 48th in per-capita Medicaid spending.  “Virginia has one of the stingiest Medicaid programs in the country,” Whorley said. “It is just hard for adults to get coverage in Virginia to begin with.”

    According to Whorley, veterans health benefits are not guaranteed for all veterans because veterans must have incomes below a certain level, serve for at least 24 months and be honorably discharged to be eligible for VA benefits.  Whorley also said it can be difficult for veterans who have faced traumatic situations abroad to navigate the application process to receive VA benefits.  “They come back and they have a whole host of mental issues they are working through,” Whorley said. “And when you’re dealing with those kinds of things, it can be very hard to navigate a bureaucratic process like the VA benefits enrollment program. I think that makes it all the more necessary for that person to get that care they need. So they’re not living on the streets, and they can contribute and really move ahead.”

    Whorley said veterans can face mental issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead them to be dishonorably discharged and not be eligible for VA benefits.  Veterans who are eligible for VA benefits still can struggle to receive medical care because there are only three VA hospitals in the state, Whorley said.

    Although there are outpatient clinics in Virginia where veterans can receive some VA benefits, Whorley said VA health options still are limited for Virginia veterans, who may have to travel 50 to 75 miles to be treated at an outpatient facility.  “That is no substitute for having access to a primary care physician in your community,” he said.

    Medicaid expansion also would help Virginia’s veterans receive preventative care, Whorley said. According to the report, more than 41 percent of veterans without coverage communicate that they have untreated health needs, and more than a third delay receiving care because of the cost. The report also states that slightly more than 12 percent of veterans with coverage have untreated health needs.  “Veterans who don’t have health coverage, they often go without the care they need,” he said.

    Whorley said Medicaid expansion also would benefit the spouses and dependents of Virginia veterans. The dependents, he said, only are eligible for VA benefits under certain circumstances, such as when a veteran dies in the line of duty or becomes permanently and totally disabled.  “We’re talking about really severe cases for the spouse and dependents to (currently) qualify,” Whorley said.

    According to the report, more than half of veterans’ family members without coverage have untreated health needs and 44 percent delay care because of cost. Sean Lansing, the Virginia state director of Americans for Prosperity -- an advocacy group that promotes the individual right to economic freedom -- says expanding Virginia’s Medicaid program would be unwise.    “We’d be doing a disservice to the most vulnerable citizens in Virginia if we double down on a policy we all know is failing,” Lansing said. “We think it makes sense to take a look at the program, find out what works, find out what doesn’t, and then learn how we can best deliver health care to the people who need it most.”

    According to Lansing, the federal government will not be able to provide the promised funding for Medicaid expansion in Virginia because the federal government is currently more than $17 trillion in debt.  “I have no faith in the ability of the federal government to keep writing checks to Virginia for billions and billions of dollars when they can’t even balance their own budget,” Lansing said. “I think it’s disingenuous of the other side to argue that there’s free money just lying around for the taking. There’s obviously no such thing as free money.”

    Lansing said he and many others do not believe the federal government will fund the commonwealth’s Medicaid program for three years and fund 90 percent of the program after the three year period ends.  “Time and time again, all sorts of government programs, especially at the federal level, start out with good intentions but then, a couple years down the road, somebody has to pay for it,” he said. “A couple years down the road, this program, by expanding it blindly, is going to cost likely billions of dollars.”

    If the General Assembly does not determine a budget by July 1, the Virginia government will shut down.  Lansing said a government shutdown will have a “devastating impact” on the commonwealth, including on the quality of public education and public safety.  “If the governor and those 23 state senators continue to hold the budget hostage over Obamacare and continue to threaten a shutdown,” he said. “It’s going to have a horrible impact on our local governments. It’s going to have a horrible impact on our schools. And it’s going to have a horrible impact on our communities.”

  11. Southside Virginia Community College adopts four families for Easter

    The SVCC Southside Virginia Education Center Student Ambassador Organization adopted four local families in the Emporia/Greensville area for the Easter season.  The Student Ambassadors and SVEC staff put together food boxes and baskets for each of the families. Each family received two food boxes which included ham, potatoes, bread, canned foods, and all the fixings for a hearty Easter meal.  Each family also received large Easter baskets filled with goodies for the children.  This outreach project benefited four families including sixteen children.
    The SVEC Student Ambassador Organization and the SVEC Staff would like to thank everyone who purchased 50/50 raffle tickets and also Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  Participation with these fundraisers helped purchase the items for this great project.  Special thanks to Charles Rullman, Senior Social Worker from Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services for helping with this project and delivering all the food and goodies to the families.


  12. Medicare Expansion Debate Rages on Social Media

    By Dana Carlson, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND — Social media acts as the latest mouthpiece to the General Assembly stalemate, which has left the state budget in limbo and 400,000 Virginians wondering if Medicaid expansion will grant them access to health care.

    With two budget bills still in play more than a month after the General Assembly adjourned, Facebook and Twitter are serving as platforms for Democrats and Republicans to criticize the Medicaid standoff and reach out to the electorate for support.

    "If Twitter is any guide, both sides are milking social media for all they can," tweeted Jeff Schapiro, a Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist.

    Looking for someone to blame for the budget impasse, politicians are turning to social media to blame each other and garner public support.

    "We could have had our work done on time, if not for the governor's new Washington-style tactics in doing business in Richmond," Delegate Steve Landes, R-Verona, vice-chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, stated on Facebook.

    Meanwhile, House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, accused Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Twitter of holding Virginia's budget "hostage.”  "Over 14,000 Virginians have signed the petition calling for a clean budget. Add your name," Howell tweeted when the governor refused to separate Medicaid expansion from the state budget.

    However, Senate Democrats blame the budget impasse on House Republicans, who rejected the Marketplace Virginia proposal that was meant to be a bipartisan compromise created by the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission. "The refusal of the House Republicans to accept federal money to insure 400,000 working Virginians has brought everything to a halt," Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, stated on Facebook. "We are giving up 5 million dollars a day in funds that we Virginians have paid in fees and taxes intended to provide healthcare coverage in Virginia."

    The trending hashtag #IAmTheCoverageGap is being used by Democrats and Medicaid expansion supporters to promote the digital story library, The site gives a face to the healthcare crisis by allowing Virginians to share personal healthcare struggles online.

    Among these stories is that of Lori Piper, a former business executive who lost her health, career and income to an auto-immune disease. "After losing my job I lost my health insurance, and I wasn't able to seek treatment to maintain my condition or improve it," Piper said. "I was so sick, I literally couldn't hold a job."  As a single adult with no income, Piper currently does not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford the treatment she needs to maintain her health.

    Meanwhile, a new Christopher Newport University poll stated that the majority of Virginians now oppose Medicaid expansion and fear a government shutdown. The poll is serving as new ammunition in the House GOP arsenal to pressure Democrats into removing Medicaid from the budget.

    The House GOP Twitter feed cited the poll and stated, "71 percent of Virginians want a compromise to avoid a government shutdown -- that means passing a clean budget."

  13. TopHand Reds sweep championship

  14. SVCC Students in Who's Who

    Christanna Campus Graduates of Southside Virginia Community College were recognized recently at a ceremony on campus.  Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges is one of the most prestigious awards the academic community can bestow.  Students are selected by a college committee based on academic excellence and outstanding community involvement.  The students are (Left to Right) Victoria Wood of Blackstone,Tina Seaborn of Jarratt, Anthony McGhee of Skippers, Sanikkumar Patel of Emporia, Jeff Karow of Emporia, Earl Lee of McKenney,, Allen Kidd of Dolphin, Mason Lumpkin of Emporia, Linda A. Banks-Reese of Victoria and Madison Browder of Lawrenceville.  Not pictured is recipient Michael Smith of Victoria.


  15. Get Money for Your Small Business

    Get the Facts on Government Programs and Local Bank Loans

    The Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority and the Longwood Small Business Development Center invite you to attend a FREE lending forum.  Mary Jo Sisson-Vaughan, Project Manager, Virginia Small Business Financing Authority will be the presenter. The forum is designed to bring traditional and non-traditional lenders together with small business to talk "Money". There will be representatives on hand from the Longwood SBDC, SBA, banks, and other lending sources to discuss your needs.

    Owners of small businesses in need of working capital, money for equipment, and or real estate should attend this forum. This is also the place for start-up businesses.

    The program includes a banker panel discussion moderated by the presenter. She will ask lenders a variety of questions concerning the mistakes borrowers make in asking for funding, making good impressions on the lender and the latest changes and trends in the banking industry followed by a Q & A session.

    This workshop will be held at Southside Virginia Community College, John J. Cavan Workforce Center, Christanna Campus, Alberta, Virginia. Seating is limited. To register, call (434) 848-0248 or e-mail

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    9:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon


  16. Obituary-Richard Earnest Allen

    Richard Earnest Allen, 83, of Emporia, died Saturday April 19, 2014. He was born to the late Henry and Ima Allen, on February 1, 1931.
    Richard was passionate about gardening and lawn care. He spent most of his time enjoying the outdoors.
    Richard was proceeded in death by his brother, Sidney Allen, his sister, Dorothy Harrell, and nephew Wayne Allen.
    He is survived by his nieces and their families; Sue Allen along with her children; Pam Allen (Keith) and son Josh Powell, Melissa Jones (Paul) and children Summer Jones and Nicholas Wozniak, and Brandon Allen, all of Emporia. Brenda Ransom (Timothy) and her children, Corey Williams (Elani) and son Aedan, and Kenneth Ransom, all of Skippers, Va.
    The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for him during his last few months.
  17. Obituary-Peggy Bradley Duncan

    Peggy Bradley Duncan, 74, of Richmond, formerly of Emporia, passed away on April 22, 2014.  She is survived by her daughter Angela Wondree and husband Louis of Fredericksburg, VA; brother Edward Bradley of Newport News, VA; and a grandson Jacob Duncan.  A graveside service will be held on Friday, 11am, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.  Condolences may be sent to

  18. Emporia-Greensville Chamber Celebrates Women in Business

    The Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce held it's annual Business and Professional Women's Luncheon on Wednesday, April 23 at Golden Leaf Commons.

    There were vendors, door prizes, a great meal (catered by Hermie Sadler's FOSHO Bar and Grille and Hermie and Elliot Sadler's Restaurant) and great entertainment from Jonathan Austin, a juggler and comedian from Richmond.

    Here is the slideshow of the event.

  19. Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville Spring Classic

    11th Annual Spring Charity Golf Classic


    Come join us at Lake Gaston Golf Club for our 11th Annual Spring Charity Golf Classic!  This year the tournament will take place on Wednesday, May 7th. Lunch and registration begins at 12:00 p.m. and play begins at 1:00 p.m. We will accept the first 36 teams.

    Three flights will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. $50.00 per player includes 18 holes of golf, putting contest, chipping contest, three hole in one contests, cart, lunch, complimentary range balls, and sodas and snacks.

    Most importantly, all proceeds raised at this event will go towards the YMCA programming. Your participation improves the lives of the community. It keeps the Y open to all, making sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive through the Y. Contact Kristin Vaughan at the Y to sign up or answer any questions!


  20. Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI): Part Two

    A Farm Energy Program for Southside and Southwest Virginia

    Funded by a 2014 grant from the
    Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission
    and is supported by
    VCE Community Viability and the
    Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Department.


    If you should have any questions, please call our local Extension Agent, Brittany A. Council at (434)348-4233 or e-mail her at

    Southside and Southwest Virginia farmers interested in energy efficiency improvements are invited to apply to the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI).  At least 60 farmers in the Tobacco Region who are accepted into the AEEI will be allocated a $5,000 energy account that will provide 1) access to and funding for energy audits and renewable feasibility studies and 2) a cost-share program for retrofit and/or renewable systems.  In addition, participants will have opportunities to participate in educational programs on energy efficiency practices and technologies. 

    Program Guidelines

    Energy Audits, Feasibility Studies, and Retrofit/Renewable Implementation

    Too often efforts to promote energy efficiency fail to lead to implementation.  Learning from the failures experienced in other states, project managers designed a cost-share program in the original  On-Farm Energy Efficiency Pilot Project, funded by the Virginia Tobacco Commission from 2010-2012, which successfully integrated the energy audit process with the implementation of some of the recommendations.  Building upon the successes of the previous pilot, this second phase expands the cost-share program to allocate up to $5,000 per program participant. These funds will be used toward the energy audit process, implementation of energy efficiency improvements, and/or development of a renewable energy feasibility study. 

    Criteria for Participation

    The primary criteria for participating in this program is that the entity is a working agricultural/forestry operation (based on IRS tax returns) within The Tobacco Commission region.

    A.   Energy Audits

    Program participants will be required to have an energy audit, or have one that is less than two-years old that satisfies ASABE S612 Farm Energy Audit Criteria (Completed by an NRCS Technical Service Provider), or ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit (completed by a Professional Engineer or Certified Energy Manager), as appropriate for entity type.  Participants will be encouraged to use any complementary technical assistance programs for which they may be eligible and that may offset audit costs.  For example, EQIP eligible agricultural producers will be encouraged to participate in the NRCS cost-share program to assist in farm energy audit expenses.  Any similar programs offered by utilities or other agencies will also be explored to most efficiently leverage and extend program funds.  However, if no complementary programs are available to offset the energy audit costs for an eligible participant the program will cover 100% of the costs of the energy audit using funds from the maximum $5,000 per participant allocation. 

    (Questions concerning the acceptability of any audit should be sent to John Ignosh at

    B.   Renewable Energy Feasibility Studies

    The cost-share program to partially fund a renewable energy feasibility study may be utilized by producers who completed the energy audit process and, based on the producer’s management goals, have implemented all relevant energy efficiency retrofit opportunities having a simple payback period of less than 5 years.  The feasibility study must

    ·  satisfy the criteria for the USDA Rural Development REAP program,

    ·  be completed by a Professional Engineer that is not affiliated with any particular technology provider, and

    ·  include a project screening model output from the RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software. 

    Upon completion of the feasibility study, program participants interested in implementing the renewable energy project will be informed of cost-share and grant opportunities offered through the USDA Rural Development grant program among any other active programs offered by utilities or other agencies as well as any remaining funds from the original $5,000 project allocation.

    (Questions concerning feasibility studies should be sent to John Ignosh at

    C.   Implementation Cost-Share Program

    Energy-cost saving opportunities identified in the audit report or in the renewable energy feasibility study are eligible for the cost-share program.  Participants will also be encouraged to explore additional cost-share and grant programs for which they may be eligible and that may offset implementation costs.  For example, EQIP eligible agricultural producers will be encouraged to participate in the NRCS cost-share program to assist in partially funding specific energy efficiency improvements.  Similarly, program participants will be informed of additional cost-share and grant opportunities offered through the USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Any similar programs offered by utilities or other agencies will also be explored to most efficiently leverage and extend program funds. 

    Recognizing that significant energy cost savings can be generated by understanding what to pay attention to in a particular production environment, this project proposes to incentivize participation in the educational sessions by offering an opportunity to increase the cost-share percentage.  Individuals that choose to participate in at least one (1) educational program (e.g., online, in-person workshops, via mail correspondence, etc.) and complete a brief assessment will be eligible to increase their cost-share from 25% to 50%, up to $5,000 or the balance remaining in their allocation.  Individuals that do not wish to participate in the educational component are eligible for a 25% cost-share, up to $5,000 or the balance remaining in their allocation.  In no case will the program subsidize the entire cost of the implementation plan or renewable energy study.

    (Questions concerning the application and/or cost share program should be sent to Martha Walker at


  21. Obituary-Leland E. (Lee) Latham

    Leland E. (Lee) Latham, 63, resident of Emporia, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, April 20, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents Leland and Carolyn (King) Latham of Rhode Island. He is survived by his wife; Leandra Latham, step-son Erik Arminger (Montana); step-daughter Taya Arminger (Oregon); six grandchildren Sunshine Arminger (Oregon), Frederik, Thomas, & Emma Arminger and Liam and Anika Kasik (Florida); three sisters Virginia Goldstein (Virginia), Janet Latham (Massachusetts), and Carol Baker (Georgia) and a number of nieces and nephews.
    A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00pm at The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter Day Saints  14951 Governor Harrison Parkway Highway 58 in Lawrenceville, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any contributions be made to assist with final expenses. Online condolences may be made at
  22. Virginia Cooperative Extension Introduces the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI):


    A Farm Energy Program for Southside and Southwest Virginia

    Funded by a 2014 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Revitalization Commission and is supported by VCE Community Viability and the Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Department.

    Southside and Southwest Virginia farmers interested in energy efficiency improvements are invited to apply to the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Initiative (AEEI).  At least 60 farmers in the Tobacco Region who are accepted into the AEEI will be allocated a $5,000 energy account that will provide 1) access to and funding for energy audits and renewable feasibility studies and 2) a cost-share program for retrofit and/or renewable systems.  In addition, participants will have opportunities to participate in educational programs on energy efficiency practices and technologies. 

    If you should have any questions, please call our local Extension Agent, Brittany A. Council at (434)348-4233 or e-mail her at


    The goal of AEEI is to first find these energy-cost saving opportunities and then support the implementation of appropriate on-farm solutions to reduce operating expenses.  Together the outcome will increase the competitive advantage of each participating farm and the region’s production systems.

    • Raise awareness of opportunities to improve energy efficiency resulting in  reduced production costs.
    • Assist farmers in conducting an on-farm energy assessment to identify energy savings opportunities specific to their operation.
    • Provide financial incentives to upgrade to energy efficient equipment and systems identified by the energy assessment.
    • Provide energy efficiency resources required to pursue renewable energy and energy efficiency grants and subsidized loans through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program.  

    INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? . . . Here’s how the program works.

    Decide that you need an energy assessment of your agricultural operation in order to create a more energy efficient process.  Or, if a farm energy audit (ASABE S612 Farm Energy Audit Criteria or ASHRAE Level II) has been completed within the past two years, decide that you are ready to implement the audit’s energy efficiency recommendations.

    If needed, an energy audit will be scheduled for your farm.  Once you receive the report, you will have the opportunity to meet with your Extension agent and discuss the recommendations.

    Energy-cost saving opportunities identified in the audit report or in the renewable energy feasibility study are eligible for the 25% cost –share program. Participants may increase the cost-share to 50% (up to the balance remaining in the energy account) by participating at least one (1) educational program.

    For more information

    Contact Dr. Martha Walker, Community Viability Specialist at walker53@vt.eduor 434.766.6761 orJohn Ignosh jignosh@vt.eduto discuss your specific needs and complete the program application.

    Partners include:

    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

    The NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning to provide technical and financial assistance.  The conservation plans are designed to improve on-farm operations in ways that also improve the natural resource base and associated environmental performance.  NRCS assistance now includes on-farm energy audits to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

    Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF)

    The Natural Capital Investment Fund is a nonprofit, specialized lender for small natural resource-based businesses in central Appalachia. NCIF promotes environmentally sustainable development in economically distressed areas by providing affordable, flexible capital and key management assistance to small and emerging businesses. NCIF is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Community Development Entity (CDE) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC)

    ODEC is a not-for-profit, member-owned wholesale power supplier to 11 member electric distribution cooperatives that provide reliable, affordable electricity to 1.2 million people in 70 counties in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.

    USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

    The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers grants and loans to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.  Energy Assessments are required for ALL energy efficiency projects.  For those efficiency projects with total eligible project costs exceeding $50,000, an Energy Audit is required.  Feasibility studies are required for renewable energy projects with total eligible project costs exceeding $200,000.  Scoring consideration is given for smaller projects that opt to do an energy audit.

    Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME)

    DMME provides state government, the business community, and citizens with a focal point for the development of innovative policies, and for the implementation of comprehensive programs for energy and mineral resources consistent with modern safety and conservation practices.  These programs include incentives for improving energy efficiency.

    Virginia FAIRS

    The Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (FAIRS) assists rural Virginians in developing and advancing their agricultural, economic and social interests to enhance their quality of life.  Virginia FAIRS is a strong partner in providing workshops on grant writing and grant opportunities.

    Virginia Cooperative Extension

    Virginia Cooperative Extension helps lead the engagement mission of Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, the commonwealth’s land-grant universities. Building local relationships and collaborative partnerships, we help people put scientific knowledge to work through learning experiences that improve economic, environmental, and social well-being.  Extension programs are delivered through a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 11 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers.  Our system incorporates the expertise of faculty in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station; as well as the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University.


  23. Obituary-Barbara Jeans Barnes

    Barbara Jeans Barnes, a devoted, loving and caring mother, grandmother and friend passed away peacefully Friday, April 18, 2014.  She was born March 6, 1923 in Franklin County, NC to the late Minnie Bunn Jeans and Nathan Jeans.  She was predeceased by her husband, Furman Kelly Barnes, Sr.; two sons, Rodney Gerald Barnes, Sr. and Furman Kelly Barnes, Jr.
    Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Janet Barnes Syring and husband Don of Waldorf, Md; Melvin Dudley Barnes and wife, Jane of Courtland, Va; seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren; two daughter in-laws Mary Barnes of Superior, Wis. and Barbara Barnes of Woodbridge, Va.; her sister, Lecie Daves of Mebane, NC and her brother, Stafford Jeans and wife Tatsy of Durham, N. C.
    Visitation will be held at Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave.,, Emporia, Va. on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:30 A. M. followed by a graveside service at the Emporia Cemetery at 1:00 P. M..  Donations may be made to the Emporia Rescue Squad.
  24. Hospitals Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicaid

    By Eric Luther, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND — Virginia’s two largest university health systems could forfeit millions of dollars in federal funding if lawmakers do not expand health care coverage to as many as 400,000 uninsured residents as part of the $96 billion biennial budget.

    Signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes extensive reductions to supplemental funding, otherwise known as Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, which help cover the cost of caring for the commonwealth’s most impoverished patients.

    Without some form of Medicaid expansion to offset the cuts embedded in the PPACA, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services estimates safety net hospitals such as Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia health systems could lose approximately $423 million between the 2015 and 2022 fiscal years.

    DSH payments were reduced under the belief that more patients would be covered through Medicaid expansion at the state level, according to a U.Va. Health Systems spokesman.

    Sheryl Garland, VCU Health System’s vice president for community outreach, says depending on how those cuts are allocated, VCUHS’s potential financial loss could total nearly $300 million between 2017 and 2022.  “It is important for the public to know that the Affordable Care Act contains mandatory cuts to providers — many of which are already occurring today,” Garland stated in an email. “If there is no coverage expansion to counteract these cuts, then VCU Health System will be placed in a perilous financial position.”

    Garland also said it is crucial for Virginians to recognize that taxpayer dollars already are being sent to Washington in order to pay for the national coverage expansion effort. If the commonwealth does not expand or adopt an alternative coverage model, these dollars amount to nothing more than “sunk” costs.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe this past month echoed the reality of foregoing taxpayer dollars during an address on Capitol Square, which signified the beginning of the General Assembly’s special session that was called in order to reach a compromise on Medicaid expansion as part of the state budget.  “We’re talking about tax dollars that our Virginia residents have already paid and have sent across the Potomac River to Washington,” McAuliffe said during his address. “I want to bring those dollars back. It is the right thing to do morally and it is the right thing to do economically.”

    During his address, McAuliffe also stressed the greater impact a failure to expand Medicaid services would have on hospitals all across Virginia. According to the governor, many hospitals he visited over the course of the legislative session will cease to exist if the General Assembly does not bring those taxpayer dollars back to Virginia.  “What do we say to those people in that room who are looking at me with tears running down their eyes? They expect us to help them,” McAuliffe said. “That is our job. That is what we were elected to do.”

    VCU and U.Va. Health System representatives have provided testimony to state government leaders, including members of the Senate Finance Committee, House Appropriations Committee and the Medicaid Innovation Reform Commission to address the “perilous” shortfall facing research and safety-net health systems. 

    Additionally, Garland says VCUHS has been actively engaged in the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s advocacy efforts. The system also has met individually with key members of the legislature to caution them about the wide-reaching implications for health systems across the commonwealth moving forward.

    While safety-net providers such as community health centers and free clinics work diligently to support those who fall into the coverage gap, Garland says the number of uninsured individuals seeking care in the commonwealth has increased.

    Without insurance, the growing number of disadvantaged patients likely will delay treatment until their condition has worsened, or patients will seek care at emergency rooms, which are the most expensive health care providers, according to Eric Swenson, public information officer for U.Va Health Systems.

    Hospitals initially will absorb these costs, Swenson says, but those costs ultimately will be passed on to businesses, insurers and other Virginia residents — who will pay for uninsured patients through higher insurance premiums. 

    Multiple reports have been commissioned by VHHA and other health care advocacy groups to study the economic ramifications of opting in — or out — of Medicaid expansion.

    One such study, published by Chmura Economics and Analytics, concluded that a state budget, which accepts federal funds to help Virginia’s most indigent residents gain access to subsidized health care, could save localities millions of dollars currently being spent to care for uninsured patients.

    The independent fiscal and economic evaluation states implementing some form of Medicaid expansion would secure new money for Virginia’s health care industry, add roughly $3.9 billion in new annual revenue to the state’s economy and create more than 30,000 jobs from 2014 to 2019.

    Spokespersons say each university health system has started examining operational changes that may be needed if Medicaid expansion does not occur and how best to absorb costs.

    According to a presentation given by the Senate Finance Committee, each day the commonwealth waits to provide health care for low-income Virginians, the state loses as much as $5 million taxpayers and businesses are sending to Washington D.C.  “The introduction of a coverage option — Medicaid expansion or Marketplace Virginia — would close the existing coverage gap, which is critical to the financial health of many health systems and providers in the commonwealth,” Garland stated.” “Since the VCU Health System is the largest provider of safety net services in the commonwealth, any changes to the levels or complement of services … will create a gap in the state’s service delivery system for the most vulnerable citizens.”

  25. Happy Easter!

  26. Obituary-Sam Patton “Red Rock” Tomlin

    Sam Patton “Red Rock” Tomlin, 66, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, April 17, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Doris C. Tomlin; two daughters, Terry Tomlin-Vaughan and husband, Austin P. Vaughan and Samantha Tomlin and wife, Carla Aphayboun-Tomlin; grandchildren, Korye Aphayboun-Tomlin and Bianca Oliva-Tomlin; a sister, Inez T. Whitby and husband, Richard and two brothers, Temple Tomlin and Willie “Tiny” Tomlin. A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. Monday, April 21 at Owen Funeral Home where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Online condolences may be made at

  27. Obituary-Jerry L. Tew

    Jerry L. Tew, 67., of Emporia, passed away Friday, April 18, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Connie Tew; three sons, Mark, Chad and Ryan Tew; his mother, Ada Mae Tew and a brother, Eddie Tew. A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Monday, April 21 at Forest Hill Baptist Church with interment to follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at church one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Forest Hill Baptist Church, 2103 Pine Log Rd, Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be made at


    Franklin, VA – Southampton Storm Fastpitch will be holding their first annual Community Day on Saturday, April 19, 2014.

    The Community Day will be held at the Armory Drive fields. The 14U Black and 14U Red teams will be scrimmaging teams from the Hampton Roads area. The Community Day is open to the public free of charge and there will be concessions available. The first game will begin at 11:00am and there will be 5 games throughout the day.

    “We play a lot of tournaments that are two hours or more away from our local community”, stated Brenda Johnson, Vice President of the organization. “We thought that having scrimmages in Franklin would be a good way to let the community come out and see our teams compete”

    Southampton Storm is a local non-profit fastpitch travel organization that was formed to create a safe, structured environment where fast-pitch skills and sportsmanship can be taught and girls can experience the joys of fast-pitch while developing into young women of character. The organization currently fields three teams: 18U Gold, 14U Black and 14U Red. The teams compete in one and two day tournaments during the fall, spring and summer in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland. All three teams will be competing in EC Sports Nationals in Wilmington, NC in July 2014.


  29. The Phi Theta Kappa Chapter Induction at SVCC Christanna Campus

    The Phi Theta Kappa Chapter of the Christanna Campus in Alberta, Southside Virginia Community College held an induction ceremony recently to welcome new members.  Membership is extended by invitation and to be considered a student must be enrolled in a two-year college, have accumulated 12 semester credit hours, have achieved a cumulative gpa of not less than 3.5 and exhibit good citizenship.  New inductees are (Front Row, Left to Right) 

    Click image to enlarge. Latonya Harris of LaCrosse, Jamisen Baskerville of Lawrenceville, Kayla Jackson of Lawrenceville, Trinity Harrison of Lawrenceville, Jayla Seward of Lawrenceville, Jenel Lynch of LaCrosse, Beatrice Thomas-Toone of Baskerville, Amelia Paulette of Blackstone, Kristie Lynne Tuck of Virgilina, Chelsey Lynn Suggs of Blackstone, Rachel Leach of Emporia, Katrina Dix of LaCrosse, Edwin Winfield of Brodnax and (Second Row, L to R) Shalonda Moore of Dolphin, Desiray Bennett of Blackridge, Christopher Cousin of South Hill, Matthew Jones of South Hill, Raven Stigall of Blackstone, Taylour Edmonds of Kenbridge, Lauren Seitzinger of Kenbridge, Steven Carrol of South Hill, Damien Taylor of South Hill, Catandra Chavis of LaCrosse, Tiffani Livingston of White Plains, Brandi Bennett of South Hill and (Back Row, L to R)  Marsha Hays of Freeman,  Sheryl Valentine of Petersburg, Antwaun Tucker of Chase City, Daylan Owens of Lawrenceville, Gareetta Johnson of Lawrenceville, Aaron Flynn of Chase City, James Gillispie III of South Hill, Tyler Johnson of Lawrenceville, Victoria Wallace-Williams of Lawrenceville, Katherine gurkin of Lawrenceville, Leslie Edwards of Drewryville, A'nyah McCrae of Lawrenceville and Angel Clark of LaCrosse.


  30. Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville’s Healthy Kids Day® on April 26 Aims to Help Kids Exercise Minds and Bodies

    (Emporia-Greensville, VA) – On Saturday, April 26, the Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® , the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, features games, healthy cooking demonstrations, inflatable and presentations by community partners to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.  

    YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,600 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of-school time for kids’ health. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.

    “One in three U.S. children is obese. This statistic, coupled with the fact that once summer hits, children will be more idle, demonstrates why it’s important to help families develop healthy habits now,” said Kristin Vaughan, Executive Director, Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville. “As part of the Y’s commitment to healthy living, through YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day our goal is to improve the health and well-being of kids and inspire habits they can continue into adulthood.”

    In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

    • High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development.
    • Foster an Early and Ongoing Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
    • Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs. Bike rides, etc.
    • Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
    • Lead By Example – Be a good role model – kids can be influenced by seeing how hard their parents work at home or on the job, and how rewarding that experience is.

    The Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at 212 Weaver Avenue, Emporia, VA 23847 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.and features fun, active play and educational activities. The Sprint for Spring, 5k and 10k fun run and walk will be held that morning. You can register for the run either at the Membership Services Desk, or over the phone at (434) 348-9622.

    MCA’s Healthy Kids Day is supported by

    national media partners Sprout and Lazy Town, who are committed to encouraging kids to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

    For more information, contact the Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville at (434)348-9622 or visit




  31. Christanna Cruisers Relay for Life Team Accepts Donation

    Christie Hales (Left), a member of the Christanna Cruisers Relay for Life Team, accepts checks from Brunswick Insurance Agency's Ray Thomas for the Cancer Fundraiser.  Brunswick Insurance Agency offered to donate to the Relay for Life based on the recent turn-out of the Red Cross Blood Drive sponsored by the Lawrenceville Rotary Club.  The Christanna Cruisers, a team from Southside Virginia Community College, had the most people to donate in their team's name and the other donation was a gift of $5.00 per blood donor. 

  32. GCHS SkillsUSA Attends Leadership Conference

    The Greensville County High School SkillsUSA club attended the 50th Annual Virginia SkillsUSA State Leadership Conference at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke, Virginia April 4-7, 2014. The conference was attended by the following members: Leon Carpenter, Myeisha Howell, Allison Mitchell, Amber Sykes, Dylan Whitby, Jada Brown,  Jameel Adams, Stuart Veliky, and Madison Winningham. The following club advisors were in attendance Jerry Brown and James E.Wright. Students’ competition areas include welding, welding technical exam, prepared speech, outstanding chapter and chapter display.  Amber Sykes, Madison Winningham and Dylan Whitby represented the chapter as voting delegates. The students placed in the following competitions:

    ●     Chapter Display: First Place:  Leon Carpenter, Myeisha Howell, and Allison Mitchell

    ●     Outstanding Chapter: First Place: Jada Brown

    ●     Prepared Speech:  Fourth Place: Jameel Adams

    The first place winners will represent the state of Virginia at the National Leadership Conference June 23-28, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Students will be organizing fundraisers during the months April- May.  Please support the club in their effort to attend the national conference. If you would like to make a donation to support the club, donations should be sent to Greensville County High School SkillsUSA Club, 403 Harding Street Emporia, Virginia, 23847. If you need additional information please contact one of the advisors: Jerry Brown,  Sarah Poarch or James E.Wright at 43-634-2195.  The club would like to extend a special thanks to the GCHS CTE Department, GCHS faculty, Parents, and Plan 5 for their support and donations to the club.


    Left to Right: Mrs. Harrison, Asst.Principal, Jada Brown, Leon Carpenter. Allison Micthell, and Myeisha Howell  Second Row: James Wright, SkillsUSA Advisor, Madison Winningham, Jerry Winningham, Assistant Principal and CTE Director, Jameel Adams, Dylan Whitby, Mr. Edwards, Principal and Amber Sykes.  Also in the photo is Sarah Poarch, SkillsUSA advisor.


  33. Obituary-Elsie Wrenn Woodruff

    Mrs. Elsie  Wrenn Woodruff, age 94, widow of Eugene S. Woodruff, died Wednesday, April 16, 2014.  She was preceeded in death by sisters; Virginia Blick, Hazel Newsome and Margaret Harris; brothers; Horace Wrenn and William Wrenn; she is survived by Emma Wrenn, Stepmother,son, Steve L. Woodruff; brother James W. Wrenn & wife Ann, all of Emporia, Virginia.  Funeral services will be conducted Friday, April 18 ,2:00 P. M.. at the Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, Va.; where visitation will be held Thursday (tonight) from 7:00 to 8:30 P. M.

  34. Greensville Co. Farm Bureau Women’s Committee joins in celebration of 2014 Ag Literacy Week

    Volunteers marked Agriculture Literacy Week March 23-29

    Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program celebrated its fourth Agriculture Literacy Week concurrently with National Agriculture Week, March 23-29.

    Robin Tudor, Debbie Dianis, Jackie Roach, Mary Ann Renner, Teresa Lindberg  and Torri Wray of Greensville County Farm Bureau joined volunteers from 80 other county Farm Bureaus to read books about agriculture in their local schools. Many read AITC’s Book of the Year, What’s in the Garden? by Marianne Berkes, and donated copies to school.  In addition to donating the books to the schools, we also donated copies to our local Doctor’s and Dentist’s offices as well as the local library for children to enjoy.  The book is written in riddle form and introduces children to new fruits and vegetables. It features the artwork of Virginia illustrator Cris Arbo and depicts plant parts and garden creatures.

     “This was a great opportunity to share agriculture with children and help them understand why agriculture is so important to Virginia and their community,” Susan Harrell said.

    Volunteers read in more than 1,500 classrooms statewide and shared more than 1,625 copies of What’s in the Garden? 

     “Having members of the agriculture community in classrooms across Virginia is a great opportunity for teachers and students to learn about agriculture from those who know it best,” said AITC Executive Director Karen Davis.

    Virginia AITC is part of a nationwide effort to help teachers and students understand and appreciate agriculture, which is Virginia’s and the nation’s largest industry. The program provides training and materials to 2,000 teachers and pre-service teachers each year, and its website at provides teachers with Standards of Learning-aligned lessons, literacy activities and more. All AITC services are provided to schools and teachers at no cost.

    The AITC program is funded by donations received through the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. For information on supporting the foundation’s educational initiatives, visit and click on the “Donor” link.

    GreensvilleCounty Farm Bureau is one of 88 county Farm Bureaus in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. With 135,000 members, VFBF is Virginia’s largest farmers’ advocacy group. Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, nonpartisan, voluntary organization committed to protecting Virginia’s farms and ensuring a safe, fresh and locally grown food supply.

    YMCA Preschool: Left to right -  Emerson Vaughan, Grayson Thomas, Ayden Thrower, (Robin Tudor reading), Mason Jones, Saydee Yoder, Avery Lankford

    Brunswick Academy: Left to right – Kacy Lee, Zach Baird, Emma Jones, Lilly Grace Coleman, Landon Edwards and Dawson Clary with Torri Wray behind the students.

    Women’s Committee members displaying the donated book: Left to Right – FRONT ROW: Jackie Roach, Stacie Bradshaw, Susan Harrell, Joyce Lynch, and JoAnn Darden. BACK ROW: Kellie Hafey, Robin Tudor, Debbie Dianis, Mary Ann Renner, and Torri Wray.


  35. Obituary-Michael Roger Wiles

    Michael Roger Wiles, 54, of Jarratt, passed away Wednesday, April 9, 2014. He is survived by his wife, Karen H. Wiles; sons, Michael Wiles, Jr. and Matthew Wiles; daughter, Michelle Wiles; stepsons, Steven Moss and Michael Moss; grandson, Patrick Wiles; granddaughters, Abigail, Taylor, Haley and Gabrielle Edwards; step grandchildren, Steven Moss, Jr. and Ciera Moss; three sisters, Helen Rideout and husband, David, Matilda Adams and Carol Bowman; brother, Tom Wiles and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be made at

  36. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day

    Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) is recognizing Friday, April 18, 2014, as National Lineman Appreciation Day to honor the hardworking line personnel who strive in challenging conditions to keep the power on to the homes and businesses of the members.

    “We recognize electric line workers for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to restore service and protect the public’s safety,” says Vice President of Member and Energy Services David Lipscomb. “This diligent group seldom receives the recognition they deserve. They work all hours of the day and night, often in hazardous conditions, going above and beyond to restore power to our communities. MEC’s line workers, as well as line workers from across the nation, have truly earned this special day of recognition.”

    MEC staff members invite members of the Cooperative to take a moment and thank their line personnel for selflessly meeting the needs of others. Post a comment on Facebook, or write a note of appreciation to show support for the men and women who light our lives.

    Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit member-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna.  For more information, visit or follow Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative on Facebook and Twitter.

  37. Get Your Tickets to the Doggie Fashion Show Now!

    Tickets for the annual Southside Virginia Doggie Fashion Show, presented by the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society are going fast.  This year's show will be on May 3rd at Golden Leaf Commons,  Here is a slideshow from last year's event:

    Order your tickets by calling (434)634-3296 or (434)634-5966!

    Want your Best Friend in the contest?  Call to enter by Thursday, 17 April!


  38. Understanding Student Suicide

    By Liz Butterfield, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND — Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, behind alcohol and drug overdoses. Twenty-four Virginia college students died from suicide in 2012, according to the Virginia Violent Death Reporting System. 

    A student death has a ripple effect on the community that should be addressed, according to Jihad Aziz, Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University’s counseling services director.  “Whenever you lose a student, it has a significant impact on the community in a multitude of ways,” Aziz said.

    Stephan Martin, 21, a junior at Christopher Newport University, said he was in a relationship with a VCU student who died from suicide March 30.

    Hobie Kopczynski, an 18-year-old freshman from York County, Va., wanted to become a cardiothoracic surgeon, according to his hometown newspaper, the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.  Martin said he and Kopczynski began dating in January of 2014 and were very close. Martin recently began weekly grief counseling sessions through CNU's counseling services.  “(Hobie) was such a perfectionist. It seemed like everything in his life went well for the most part,” Martin said. “Everyone liked him a lot. I think he was very kind-hearted ... Sometimes things happen in your life -- or situations -- when you’re not getting the emotional support you need, (and) it overshadows everything else that's going on in your life.”

    This is not the first time Martin has struggled with a tragic death. Martin participated in the Out of the Darkness Walk through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention last year in honor of a friend he said died in 2013.  “Be more upfront about your feelings,” Martin said to those struggling with negative thoughts. “Focus on the positives. I think that whatever it is that you're not getting the support with … (know) someone cares about you and someone wants you to live.”

    VCU’s university counseling services saw almost 2000 students in the 2012-2013 academic year. Aziz said young adults aged 18 to 24 still are developing and mental-health issues may arise during this time. Students, as well as the general population may turn to suicide if overwhelmed by psychological pain, he said.  “We become instillers of hope,” Aziz said. “If we can help instill hope, then it gives students or others, who are struggling with suicidal ideations, options.”

    At- risk people think there are no other options except one that will make the pain go away, according to Aziz.  College communities may offer more support than the general population when dealing with personal issues, he said.  “You have all these people here in a sense of community,” Aziz said, “It (college communities) actually serves as a protective factor to help with students who might be struggling with mental health concerns.”

    The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention works to create understanding and prevention with research, education and advocacy, according to its website. Untreated mental illness and substance abuse may be contributing risk factors to suicide, according to Maggie Mortali, director of the Interactive Screening Program for the AFSP.

    “If you think a friend is at risk for suicide ask them,” she said. “I would encourage all students to open the dialogue about mental health.”  Martin, who plans on attending pharmacy school, is also president of his fraternity, Pi Lambda Phi described how he copes with his mourning.  “I have a hope that I will somehow see (Hobie) again, and that hope will guide me through the rest of the world,” Martin said. “Be cause right now it kind of feels like it's over for me, and I know it's not,”

    If you or someone you know is in imminent danger, you are encouraged to call police. 

    Those struggling with thoughts of suicide also may call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-784-2433.

    Editor's Note-This is part of a series of Articles from the Capital News Service after the VCU community suffered the loss of two students to suicide, and is included on this site to encourage all members of this and every community to be vigilant of the signs.  If you see changes in behavior of a student (even High School students can feel stressed, depressed, unloved and unwanted), a friend, a neighbor or a coworker start a conversation.

  39. Virginia’s Civil War 150 HistoryMobile coming to Brunswick Spring Festival April 19

    Tractor-trailer 'museum on wheels' is filled with interactive exhibits and activities

    LAWRENCEVILE - History is on the move in Virginia as the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile rolls into Brunswick County on Saturday, April 19 for Brunswick Spring Festival. The exhibit, an initiative of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, will be located on Main Street in front of the Brunswick County Clerk’s Office and will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission to the HistoryMobile is free.

    This event is being hosted by the Brunswick County Committee of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, the Brunswick County/Lake Gaston Tourism Association and the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.

    The HistoryMobile uses immersive spaces and interactive exhibits to draw together stories of the Civil War and emancipation from the viewpoints of those who experienced it across Virginia—young and old, enslaved and free, soldier and civilian. 

    Visitors will encounter history in ways they may have never experienced before. The HistoryMobile exhibit is divided into four sections: Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom, and Loss-Gain-Legacy. From the bewildering sense of chaos experienced by soldiers, to the last letter written by a dying son to his father after sustaining a mortal wound, to a hushed conversation between a husband and wife considering the great risks and rewards of fleeing to freedom, the HistoryMobile presents the stories of real people in Virginia whose lives were shaped by the historic events of the 1860s, and invites visitors to imagine, “What Would You Do?”

    More information on the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile and the initiatives of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission can be found at For information on visiting Civil War sites throughout Virginia go to

    Please see the Community Calendar for the full line up for the Brunswick Spring Festival on Saturday, April 19


  40. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Recognizes National Healthcare Decisions Day Set for April 16, 2011

    EMPORIA, VA – In 1990, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act, which gives every person the right to set forth his or her future healthcare wishes in writing with an “advance directive.”  This Act empowers individuals to guide loved ones and healthcare providers regarding their healthcare wishes in a written document known as an advance directive.  In the advance directive, an individual may also name an “agent” to speak on his behalf should he become unable to do so.  This legally binding document can be done without a lawyer, at no cost to the individual and it is easy.  Unfortunately, it is estimated that fewer than 25% of all Americans have an advance directive. 

    Each year since 2008, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC), along with other national, state and community organizations, has joined in the effort to ensure that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions through participation in National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

    “As a healthcare organization, our goal is educate and encourage people in our community to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions with family members and their physician, and to make their choices known in an advance directive,” said Linda Burnette, Chief Nursing Officer at SVRMC.  “In doing so, fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.  Ultimately, we, as healthcare providers, will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis, and we will be able to ensure that we honor the patient’s wishes when the time comes to do so,” said Burnette.

    With healthcare, Your Decisions Matter.  Please join SVRMC in recognition of National Healthcare Decision Day at a Lunch and Learn lead by Molly Huffman, Esq. of Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, P. C. beginning at 11:00 AM on April 16th in the SVRMC Classrooms.  This Lunch and Learn is FREE and open to the public, however reservations are required.   In addition, complimentary advance care planning information and advance directive forms will be available throughout that day in the hospital’s main lobby.  If you would like to attend this informational meeting or for more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, contact Tracy Mitchell, Senior Circle Advisor at 434-348-4455 or visit the NHDD website at

  41. USDA’s Farm Service Agency Officially Announces Sign-Up Date for Disaster Assistance Programs

    Enrollment Begins April 15 for Livestock, Honeybee, Farm-Raised Fish Programs

     WASHINGTON, April 7, 2014 - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014.   “President Obama and Secretary Vilsack made it a priority to begin enrollment for these programs,” said Garcia. “For farmers and ranchers who have been awaiting disaster assistance, help is on the way.”

    The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

    Enrollment also begins on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) in 2011, when the programs expired, through 2014  “Local employees are receiving training this week in preparation for sign-up and will be ready when sign up begins,” states Calvin Parrish, State Executive Director.  “Office employees are eager to assist farmers and will be ready when sign-up begins.”

    ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as wildfires. TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters. LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather and attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government or protected by federal law. LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    “To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to bring records documenting those losses to their local FSA county office,” said Parrish.  Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.

    For more information, producers are encouraged to review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, check out the LIP, LFP, ELAP and TAP fact sheetsonline or visit any USDA Service Center.


    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Thomas Blake Barnes has been chosen the April 2014 Student of the Month.  Blake, a senior, is the son of Thomas and Wendy Barnes of South Hill.  He has one sister, Alex.  Blake has been a member of the JV and Varsity Football team, JJV, JV and Varsity Basketball team and is currently a member of the Golf team.  He is a member of the Brunswick Academy Latin Club and Student Council Organization.  Blake enjoys playing the drums and he can be found most days on the golf course.  He is also an active volunteer at Trinity United Methodist Church.    

    Blake will attend Southside Virginia Community College in the fall and will transfer to Old Dominion University where he plans to study electrical engineering. 



    (EMPORIA, VA) – Thomas Hennessey has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for March 2014.  Mr. Hennessey, who has been employed with the hospital since March 2013, is an Emergency Department Technician in the Emergency Department


  44. Area Students Compete in Richmond

    A student team from Greensville County High School competed in Wednesday's  Governor's Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, held in Richmond. Judi Crenshaw, Communications and Development Director for the Virginia Council on Economic Education wrote, "although they did not prevail in the statewide competition today, the team did an excellent job representing Greensville County. I actually stood in for their personal finance presentation and know it was very well received by the judges."  Ms. Crenshaw's comments accompanied the photos of the students taken during the competition. 
    It was also announced at today's competition that the Teacher from Greensville County High School, Courtney Moseley, was a recipient of a Capital One Teacher's Award, given to the teachers of the top-scoring teams in each region.  Ms. Moseley is to be congratulated and thanked for her extra effort on behalf of the students.
  45. Mecklenburg Electric’s Power Supplier Named 2013 Wind Cooperative of the Year

    CHASE CITY—Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s power provider, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), has been recognized nationally as the “2013 Wind Cooperative of the Year” by the U. S. Department of Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). This award honored only two electric cooperatives from across the United States that demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing wind power. ODEC is wholly owned and governed by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, and 10 other cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

    According to Jose Zayas, director of the Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, “…these cooperatives are taking the steps to ensure that their communities will have renewable sources of energy for generations to come. Through their leadership, they are helping to create a more sustainable planet and support the development of clean energy alternatives.”

    ODEC was selected by a panel of judges from the wind industry, utilities, government, national laboratories and cooperatives based on its corporate leadership, project innovation, and the benefits to its members.  Beginning in 2008, ODEC entered into four contracts to purchase capacity, energy and renewable energy credits generated from wind turbine projects, leading to the addition of more than 260 megawatts of capacity or enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.  As a wholesale power supply cooperative, ODEC generates and procures power to serve the requirements of its 11 member owners, each of which are retail cooperatives.

    “This award reflects our forward-thinking board of directors’ approach to diversifying our cooperative’s mix of resources with our wind projects, especially since we are not subject to a renewable portfolio standard,” says Jackson Reasor, president and CEO of ODEC.

    John C. Lee, Jr., president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, who also serves on the ODEC Board of Directors, comments, “It is our goal to take a justifiable and diversified approach to meeting wholesale power needs of those served by ODEC. Doing so demands a delicate balance between providing alternative renewable energy, and ultimately providing reliable and affordable electricity to our members at the end of the line.  And this recognition is testament that the cooperatives that own ODEC, including Mecklenburg, are dedicated to responsibly serving this region; especially given that similar decisions have been delayed by other utilities until government mandates have forced the provision of such renewable energy.  We are proud to have been recognized nationally by our peers as being progressive in this arena. ”

    The announcement was made at the NRECA TechAdvantage Conference in Nashville, TN, and this year marks the 13th anniversary of the Wind Cooperative of the Year Award.

    About Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative:

    Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit member-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna. For more information, visit

    About ODEC:

    Headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned power supply cooperative. It provides the wholesale power requirements of its 11 member electric distribution cooperatives, which provide reliable, affordable electricity to 1.2 million people in 70 counties in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Learn more at

  46. New Beauty Queen for Emporia?

    The Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit presented their Seventh Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant on Saturday, Arpil 5th.  Contestants faced competitions in Casual Wear and Formal Wear followed by a Question and Answer session.

    This year's contestants were (in program order) Derek Rice as "Dixie Normous;" David Little as "Sharon Little Peters;" Marcos Hernandez as "Shakira;" Micheal Smith as "Peanut Big Top;" Jason Rinker as "Penny Tration;" Jason Jolt as "Sally Smooth Thighs;" Brad Hafey as "Sofanda Cox;" Chester Smith as "Cherry Poppins;" and Timmy Maitland as "Dixie Dripp."  Contestants were judged by Arlene Williams, Phillip Nichols, Dr. Tom Grennell, Brian Thrower and Kimmie Thrower.

    This years winner was Marcos Hernandez's character "Shakira" (shown above with Nancy Turner).  Please join Emporia News in congratulating Emporia's newest "Beauty Queen."

    The event was sponsored by Donations in honor of Jen Dent and Jessi Smiles and contributions from Boars Head Provisions, Moorefarms of Skippers LLC, Boyd Chevrolet of Emporia, Kings Interstate Garage, The Collins Law Firm, Lifestar, Arby's, Monte's Floures and Gifts and Marva Dunn. 

    From the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit: "The 7th Annual Womanless Beauty Pageant was a huge success. This was by far our best year yet. Thank you to all our staff, volunteers, contestants, Judges, entertainment, The community for their support, and Viners. We couldn't have done it without all of you."

    This is the major fundraiser for the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, headed by Nancy Turner.  This group deserves thanks for their many efforts to prevent Family Violence and their unyeilding support of victims of Family Violence and Sexual Assault.


  47. Public Schools Seek Your Input

    As we Plan for the Future of Greensville County Public Schools, tell us what you believe will enable Greensville County Schools to move forward in providing high quality educational services for the children and youth of our community.

    Submit your responses online now using this link

    Please Submit Your Responses on or Before April 18th

  48. Commencement 2014 Fast Approaching

    Commencement  for Southside Virginia Community College will be held Saturday, May 10, 2014 on the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville at 9:30 a.m.  Dr. Glenn DuBois, the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, is the guest speaker for the event.

    This annual event marks the 32nd and last time SVCC’s graduation will be presided over by Dr. John J. Cavan, President.  His retirement is set for July of this year.

    In the summer of 2001 the Virginia Community College System welcomed Dr. DuBois to serve as its new chancellor. Since then, he has led the 23-college system through its first and into its second strategic plan, rising to the challenge of enduring both unprecedented enrollment growth and unprecedented cuts in state operating funds.

    During his tenure, Virginia’s Community Colleges have signed groundbreaking guaranteed transfer agreements with more than two dozen public and private universities; become Virginia’s leading provider of workforce development services, helped Virginia close headline-grabbing economic development deals; diversified community college funding sources, doubling foundation-led private fundraising; and have maintained a tuition rate that is one-third of the comparable rate at Virginia’s universities.

    DuBois received his doctorate in higher education administration, research and policy from the University of Massachusetts. He began his career at a community college in New York.

    An active participant in community college organizations nationwide, Dr. DuBois has chaired the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges.

    An avid, year-round cyclist, Dr. DuBois is also an avid reader and lifelong student of history. Past interest include stints as an umpire for National Little League Baseball, performances in numerous theatrical productions, and beekeeping.


  49. Obituary-William “Billy Ray” Cifers

    William “Billy Ray” Cifers, 41, of Emporia, a former human resources manager at Boarshead Provisions, passed away Sunday, April 6, 2014. He is survived by a brother, Frank Cifers and wife, Michelle; sister, Jennifer Castro; 5 nieces; 5 nephews; 2 step-nieces; a step-nephew; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins and his feline companion, “Fruity B”. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be made at

  50. Obituary-Celia C. Crewe

    Celia C. Crewe, 88, of Omaha, devoted Christian, wife, mother and grandmother died March 21, 2014 surrounded by her sons and devoted neighbor, Sandra Aldy. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, T. Guy Crewe, and is survived by sons, Trent (wife, Maetta) of Wytheville, VA and Ron of New York, NY; grandsons, Chris Newman and Tyler Crewe, both of Wytheville, VA; brother-in-law, Tommy Crewe (wife, Ann) of Emporia; sister-in-law, Mary Rose Trippe of Birmingham, AL; many nieces and nephews; and special neighbors, L.M. and Sandra Aldy, all of whom she loved very much. A graveside interment service will held 11 a.m. Friday, April 11, 2014 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Living Faith United Methodist Church, Omaha, Nebraska or the American Diabetes Association. Online condolences may be made

  51. Business and Professional Women's Luncheon

    The Emporia Greensville Chamber of Commerce will hold it's annual Business & Professional Women’s Luncheon to be held on Wednesday,April 23rd , 11:30 to 1:30 at the Golden Leaf Commons.

    Jonathan Austin will be our special guest entertainer.  In addition to Jonathan Austin, there will be Fun Surprises, Delicious Foods, and Great Vendors for added Shopping Pleasure.

    Ticket prices will remain $20 in advance.

    Please notify the Chamber office the number of tickets you will need and an invoice will be faxed or mailed to you.  Table assignments will be made on a first come, first serve basis as tickets are issued. 

    Jonathan Austin, Entertainer

    If you've ever been to anything fun in Richmond, chances are you've seen Jonathan Austin perform. He's a master juggler - the higher the flame, the better - a magician of first rate and quite the standup comic. And by standup, we mean way up. A 10-foot unicycle factors into many of his acts. (Just getting on the thing is part of the fun; see him do it once, you'll understand.)

    Austin, 40, began performing in his early teens. He's been a professional entertainer since he was 20. He has done his act in 20 states, worked cruise ships and theme parks, juggled through a presidential inauguration (Bill Clinton in 1993) and done more street festivals and schools than you'd believe. His work now is split between private engagements and public appearances, mostly in the Richmond area.

    For table reservations, please call the Emporia Greensville Chamber of Commerce at (434)534-9441

  52. Numerous Animal-Related Bills Pass General Assembly

    By Jessi Gower, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND -- With the 2013-2014 Virginia General Assembly session officially complete, animal activists and lovers around the state can celebrate the legislative passage animal-related bills received over the past few months.

    Four bills dealing with animal/pet welfare and rights were passed this session, including the heavily talked about Senate Bill 228, which also known as Bailey’s Law.  

    The bill, proposed by Sen. Chapman Petersen’s, D-Fairfax, passed unanimously through the Virginia General Assembly and requires pet dealers to fully disclose all source, breeder and health information for each animal sold. This safeguard potentially prevents people from unknowingly purchasing dogs bred in cruel and inhumane puppy mills.

    Sen. David Marsden’s, D-Burke, Senate Bill 42 passed this session as well, making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for anyone in the state to erect or maintain an enclosure for the purpose of pursuing, hunting or killing fox and/or coyote with dogs. The Humane Society of the United States’ Virginia State Director Laura Donahue released a press statement applauding the states’ legislators for passing a bill that is of upmost importance to part of Virginia’s wildlife.  “We applaud the House of Delegates for the passage of this critical bill to crack down on this cruel and inexcusable practice,” Donahue stated.

    The Humane Society also was vocally supportive of House Bill 972. After five years of ongoing debate, the bill was passed this session, stating that protective orders may grant possession of the family pet to the petitioner and prohibit further violence directed toward the pet in domestic violence situations.  The bill strives to not only save pets from domestic abusers but also will save victims who, before the bill’s passing, would rather suffer through abuse than leave beloved animals behind.

    “As a former prosecutor of domestic violence,” chief patron of the bill, Delegate Benjamin Cline, R-Amherst, told the United States Humane Society. “I have seen firsthand the hesitation of victims to leave their abusers without their family pet. This important bill will help provide victims with the security they need to take that important step and successfully escape an abusive relationship.”

    Last, but certainly not least, HouseBill 558 also passed this session, allowing pets and owners to be buried together in the same cemetery under certain circumstances. While this bill doesn’t specifically deal with animal welfare or rights, it brings peace to many owners throughout the commonwealth that wish to be laid to rest with their pets.

    While the passing of this bill is a definite win for pet owners, it also is conscious and respectful to those not wanting to be buried near deceased animals. The bill clearly specifies that owner-pet gravesites must be completely separated and segregated from the cemetery plots devoted to traditional interments.

    “Some people have an extreme aversion to animals, and others have a strong affection for them," the bill’s chief patron, Delegate Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, told The Washington Post. "There are some people who do not want pets or any furry animal buried near them, and that is their right."

    The Virginia General Assembly made great progress this session with legislations dealing with animal welfare issues.  The victories that accompany the passing of these bills are made possible not only by legislators and politicians, but also by animal activists and advocates throughout the state, country and world.  “When we stand together,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO, “we can make a tremendous difference for animals.”

  53. Missing Dog

    Missing Dog - Ruritan Drive/Westover Hills area Mandy is a five year old, tri-color beagle. She was wearing a faded pink collar when last seen.  She is a family pet and our ten year old son greatly misses her.  Please call 348-3385 or 634-5527 if you may have seen her.

  54. Students from Across Virginia Compete April 9th in Governor’s Challenge

    (Richmond)  –  High school teams from across Virginia will test their knowledge of economic concepts and apply their skill in personal finance at The Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance state championship, a day-long competition to be held on Wednesday, April 9th in the Student Commons at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). 

    A record number of almost 3,000 students participated in the online portion of the competition, with 161 students earning an invitation to the championship round conducted by the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), a nonprofit public-private partnership focused on enhancing economic and financial education in grades K-12.  Regional winners in each division and other high scoring teams were invited to participate in the “live” championship event, according to VCEE Executive Director Daniel R. Mortensen.

    Greensville County High School has qualified for the championship rounds of the statewide Governor's Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, to be held April 9th at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. Greensville High School came out on top as Regional Winner in the Adam Smith Division (advanced economics) and Regional Winner in the Personal Finance Division.  A total of 161 students from across Virginia qualified for the state championships and will compete on April 9th.

    Beginning with the students who will graduate in 2015, Virginia high school students must earn a credit in economics and personal finance before they graduate. Virginia is a leader in requiring the full-year course, and The Challenge was launched as a way to showcase and enhance the knowledge students gain. 

    VCEE’s Mortensen explains that The Challenge brings classroom concepts to life for students.  “Learning about the economy and their role in it helps students make more informed decisions,” he said. “They go on to be better employees, entrepreneurs, consumers, and citizens.”

    “We greatly appreciate the financial support provided by lead sponsor Capital One, and by additional sponsors BCG Companies, Dominion, and Virginia Credit Union,” said Mortensen.  “Without their generous support The Challenge would not be possible.  We also want to thank all the teachers who made it possible for their students to participate and the extra effort on their part.”  Capital One Teachers Awards at the event are recognizing teachers with the top-scoring teams in each region.

  55. King Arthur Flour Teaches Blackstone area Students to Bake & Give Back

    On a mission to share the tradition of baking bread at home, The King Arthur Flour Company of Norwich, Vt., will teach 880 students from sixteen schools in the Blackstone area at the Fifth Grade Agriculture Awareness Days at the SPAREC Virginia Tech Research Station Campus April 8-10 to bake fresh, nutritious bread from scratch through its Bake for Good: Kids Bread Baking Program.

    "The Bake for Good: Kids Program has three goals: learn, bake, share," says Paula Gray, Bake for Good: Kids Program Manager. "The cross-curricular program includes math, science, reading, following directions, and more; baking is a practical application of those skills and students are eager to use and share their newfound knowledge by baking for others. Plus, they get to eat some of their homework!"

    Assemblies will take place as follows:

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    Brunswick Academy, Meherrin-Powellton Elementary, Red Oak-Sturgeon Elementary, Kenbridge Elementary, Victoria Elementary and Totaro Elementary

    9:50 am and 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Amelia Middle School, Amelia Academy, Nottoway Intermediate and Kenston Forest

    9:50 am and 12:30 pm

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    Southside Elementary, Midway Elementary, First Baptist School, Sutherland Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary and James River Homeschool

    9:50 am and 12:30 pm


    Following the presentation, students will receive ingredients, including King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, to take home. They are encouraged to bake two loaves of bread – one for them to keep and another to bring back to school for donation to Pleasant Hill Christian Church, Southside Gleaning Network, Lawrenceville Food Bank, Lunenburg County Food Bank, Amelia County Public Schools, Dinwiddle County Food Bank, Crewe Baptist Food Bank, Victoria Salvation Army, James House and First Christian School.

    Now in its 20th year, the free Bake for Good: Kids Bread Baking Program supports King Arthur Flour's mission to inspire and educate bakers of all ages and skill levels. Nearly 200,000 fourth- through seventh-grade students across the country have benefitted from the program.

    King Arthur Flour is America's oldest flour company and premier baking resource, offering ingredients, mixes, tools, recipes, educational opportunities, and inspiration to bakers worldwide. Learn more at



    (EMPORIA, VA) – The Nutritional Services Department of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) recently conducted a community food drive in conjunction with Sodexo’s “STOP HUNGER” program to benefit the local Family Violence/Sexual Assault Prevention Program. 

    As SVRMC’s vendor for food service management, Sodexo serves hundreds of nutritious meals locally and thousands more in facilities across the country each year.  Sadly, there are many Americans, including an estimated 16 million children, who will go the bed hungry tonight.  To combat the devastating effects of hunger in the communities they serve, Sodexo developed the STOP Hunger program.  Through this program, Sodexo challenges their employees, clients and partners to use their talents to help end hunger in America. 

    The Nutritional Services Department of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) issued the Sodexho Stop Hunger challenge to all the departments in the hospital.  SVRMC staff brought in two pallets overflowing with non-perishable food items to benefit the local Family Violence/Sexual Assault Prevention Program.


  57. Obituary-Howard Dennis Harrell

    Howard Dennis Harrell, 48, of Sevierville,Tn, formerly of Jarratt,Va, passed away Friday, March 28, 2014. He was the son of the late Norman S. and Margaret B. Harrell and was also preceded in death by a daughter, Hillary N. Harrell. Survivors include his special friend Robin Shepard; two sons, Jonathan F. Harrell and Justin S. Harrell; grandson Jaiden Harrell; four sisters, Norma Jean Epps(Donald), Brenda H. Lotts(J.D.), Margaret H. Robinson (Mike) and Loretta Rezk (Habeshy); four nephews, four nieces; one great-niece and his former wife Suzanne Black Harrell. A memorial service will be held 3pm Saturday, April 5 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S.Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to service. Online condolences may be made at

  58. SWVA Teens Build Robots with Engineering, Physics Concepts

    By Lauren McClellan, Capital News Service


    RICHMOND – The road from Southwest Virginia to Richmond might not be paved with yellow bricks, but that did not stop a Wizard of Oz-themed robotics team from leading their “Emerald Scorpion” robot –complete with a red bottom, reminiscent of Dorothy’s famed shoes— up that road to compete in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition at the Siegel Center on March 21 and 22.

    This Southwest Virginia team 388 -- “Maximum Oz” -- is composed of students from the four different high schools in the Buchanan County school system: Grundy, Council, Hurley and Twin Valley high schools. 

    Maximum Oz brought their 110-pound robot -- the “Emerald Scorpion” – from the heart of coal country to compete at the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center for the team’s 15th year of competition. At the competition, the team participated in a basketball and volleyball-like game called “Aerial Assist,” where “the objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a 2-minute and 30-second match,” according to FIRST Robotic’s website.

    In order to build the Emerald Scorpion, these students had to learn different physics and engineering concepts during after-school meetings, according to team mentor Kayla Cantrell, a technology and keyboarding teacher at Riverview Middle School.  “For this particular robot, the students had to learn about pneumatic systems and air-pressure sensors,” Cantrell said. “They also had to learn about dead-reckoning systems.” Dead reckoning is a method of calculating position during navigation.)

    The students built their robot out of a kit they were sent from FIRST Robotics.  They also used other materials, such as a large black drain pipe for the claw that is used to pick up the ball. In past competitions, Cantrell said other robots had similar mechanisms made out of Frisbees and Tupperware pieces.

    According to student team leader and Hurley High School student Brandon Sturgill, the robot uses a series of jacks, compressors and pistons in order to move the claws and the back tail.   “The scorpion arm, which catches the ball, is driven by two CIM (a motor used in robots) motors attached to a ToughBox (gearbox) -- which is attached to a sprocket chain, which leads to a larger gear -- allowing us to rotate the robot smoothly, quickly and with enough power to do whatever we want,” said Dustin Stiltner, the team’s robot driver from Grundy High School.

    The robot also uses light sensors to help the team members know if it is safe to shoot the ball. “The sensor will detect the reflective tape on the corners of the goals that surround the ring,” Sturgill said. “The light is bounced back to the sensor and will set off a green strip of LEDs on the back center of our robot that will tell us whether or not we are in shooting distance of the goal.”

    Some of the students joined the team after being in a FIRST Tech Challenge team.  The FTC teams are sometimes feeder teams into the larger, more advanced FRC teams.  According to Cantrell, FTC teams are thought to be junior varsity-level while FRC teams are thought to be varsity-level. “I got involved with this program in sixth grade when one of my teachers told me about it,” said Harlos Stollings, a team member from Grundy High School. “I started on the FTC team and then went to the FRC team.”

    Other Southwest Virginians were at Saturday’s competition. Chris Owens, a science teacher from Haysi High School, helped out with the demonstration area that allowed young children to play with some of the small robots.  “It’s good to see kids excited about math and science,” Owens said. 

    Owens is a team mentor for the Bionic Tigers, an FTC team from Haysi, Va. The Bionic Tigers are funded by Upward Bound, a college preparatory program to help disadvantaged students.

    Some of the Maximum Oz team members want to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields. “Before I got into FIRST robotics, I wanted to be an accountant,” Sturgill said. “I really want to become an engineer now.”

    Samantha Helton, another Maximum Oz team member from Council High School, wants to go into a science-related field. “I want to become a pharmacist,” Helton said, “and then go back and maybe do some teaching.”

    Other team members have not chosen to pursue a STEM-related career, but say they enjoy the program nonetheless.  Maximum Oz team member and Grundy High School student Gracie Bedsole says she would like to major in music education in college, but she said she still has gained valuable experience from the program. “(This program) is not just about robotics,” Bedsole said.  “You meet so many new people, and you become well-rounded.

    Future plans for the Maximum Oz team and its Emerald Scorpion robot involve an activity called “pumpkin chuckin’ ” since the design of the robot lent itself to the activity. “The mentors have guaranteed us at least one day that they will allow us to shoot pumpkins,” Sturgill said.

  59. Memorial Service for James “Jimmy” Millard Jones, Jr.

    A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, April 5, 2014 in Purdy, Va. for James “Jimmy” Jones, Jr. The service will be held at 1:00 p.m. in Church of the Resurrection (formally Grace Church) 9986 Purdy Road, Jarratt.  The Reverend Colin Cooper will officiate.    Jimmy Jr., age 43, passed away February 9, 2014 at his home in Cottondale, Florida. He was born on September 25, 1970 in Richmond, Va. but spent much of his life in Greensville County. Jimmy is survived by his mother Burnette Banks, his father James M. Jones, Sr. (Lisa), his loving wife April Jones; daughters, Brittany Jones, Abbey Jones, and stepdaughters ,Chelsea and Cheyenne Corbin, his brother Tommy Jones (Jennifer), sisters Michelle Jones Powell (Will), and Brynn Jones. Jimmy is the Grandson of the late Tom and Jeanette Jones of Purdy, Va. There will be a visitation and reception immediately following the service for the family to receive and visit with friends.  

  60. New Farm Bill Helps Protect Water Quality

    Emporia, March 28, 2014 – Over the past five years, Virginia farmers have worked hard to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff into rivers and streams by installing conservation practices on their land with help from NRCS and 2008 Farm Bill programs.   Now that we have a new Farm Bill, the future of those efforts looks bright with many resources available to help family farmers manage nutrients to improve water quality while increasing their profitability.

    The Agricultural Act of 2014 consolidates 23 programs into 13 to streamline the application process and add flexibility to address emerging resource concerns.Some of the names will be familiar to you and others will be new but each provides critical tools and resources for farmers in the Commonwealth.   Here is a snapshot of what the new Farm Bill offers:  

    • TheEnvironmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) continues to be the single largest source of funding for basic on-farm practices to protect water resources.  EQIP offers financial and technical assistance to help farmers improve water and air quality, conserve ground and surface water, reduce erosion and sedimentation, save energy and create or improve wildlife habitat. The number of applications for this popular program tends to exceed available funding. 
    • The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is extended to help agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resource concerns like water quality and quantity.  Participants can earn higher CSP payments for better conservation performance.
    • The Conservation Reserve (CRP)/Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) help landowners to restore streams that run through their land by installing conservation measures such as trees and fences.  Trees not only stabilize soil on stream banks to reduce erosion but also create shade to lower stream temperatures for fish.  Fences keep animals (and manure) out of streams.
    • TheRegional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) is a new program that reinforces NRCS’ commitment to targeted investments in family farms, particularly those located in “critical conservation areas” like the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Through RCPP, NRCS and its partners help producers install and maintain conservation activities in selected project areas to increase the restoration and sustainable use of soil, water, wildlife and related natural resources on a regional or watershed scale.
    • The new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) consolidates three former programs – the Wetlands Reserve Program, the Grassland Reserve Program, and the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program.  ACEP offers technical and financial assistance to private landowners to protect agricultural lands from conversion to non-agricultural uses and to create and restore wetlands.  Under the Agricultural Land Easement component, NRCS works with state and local governments and non-governmental organizations to help landowners protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Land easements provide additional public benefits including environmental quality, historic preservation, protection of open space and wildlife habitat.  Under the Wetland Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.  These easements increase habitat for fish and wildlife and improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals.

    While some of these programs will be available immediately, others will take a little more time to set up within the agency.  However, all of these offerings can help farmers protect their land and Virginia’s vital natural resources.  Check for updates online at

    and at your local USDA Service Center.


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