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September 2016

  1. The Improvement Association Breaks Ground on New Workforce Education Center

    Members of The Improvement Association and its Board of Directors recently joined together with local community leaders to commemorate the beginning of a lifelong commitment to the construction of an early childhood education and workforce facility. The ceremony took place at the site of the former Sussex High School on Coppahaunk Avenue in Sussex, Virginia, which was donated to the agency several years ago by Sussex County Board of Supervisors.

    Pursuant to The Improvement Association’s mission of empowering people to become self-sufficient, the agency is constructing a 6,500 sq. ft. Workforce/Education Center (WEC) in Sussex County to develop and prepare a ready workforce to meet future labor market demands. The WEC will operate in conjunction with community colleges, the Virginia Employment Commission, and other community partners. According to the executive director, Rufus Tyler, “This unique center will also include an Early Childhood Education initiative which will serve approximately 51 three and four year olds. The center will also house offices, an adult education center, and a commercial kitchen that will provide nutritious meals for the children enrolled in the Head Start program.

    “We’ve had many hurdles to overcome,” said Mr. Charlie Caple, Jr., Chairman of The Improvement Association’s Board of Directors, “but we’re trying to be good stewards in our community.” Rufus Tyler, the Association’s Executive Director, stated this project was in the agency’s strategic plan for over 25 years and will assist children and families in reaching their full potential.”

    The proposed project is a joint effort between The Improvement Association, BB&T, and various donors who wish to remain anonymous. “This is a great thing for the community,” said Mr. Walter Mason, Mayor of Waverly. This will be a place to hold community meetings and promote community development.”

  2. Winners of 2016 VPF Car Show Announced


    2016 Special Awards

    2016 Dash Plaque Recipient: Roy A. Roberts Jr. “Big Al”






    Most Chrome

    1957 Chevy Bel Air

    Connie Jordan


    Least Chrome

    1919 Ford Model T

    Billy Soles


    Highest Ride

    1963 Ford F-100

    Richard Wrenn


    Lowest Ride

    1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Charlie Robinson


    Most Original            

    1967 Pontiac GTO

    Kelvin Clarke


    Best Interior

    1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Thurston Vann


    Best Exterior

    2014 Harley CVO

    Amy Long


    Best Engine                

    1955 Chevy Bel Air

    James Wrenn


    Appreciation, ’16 Dash Plate

    1961 Ford Conv. Sunliner

    Roy A. Roberts Jr.


    Charles Taylor Mem. Award

    1964 Chevy Impala SS

    Billy & Kathy Rackley


    Pam’s Choice Award

    1974 Chevy Camero

    Roscoe Reavis


    People’s Choice Award

    1988 Chevy Monte Carlo

    Joseph Seward


    Most Club Participation

    Oldies But Goodies     



    Best Paint

    1966 Ford Mustang

    Chuck Floyd


    Best Appearing, Ford

    1962 Ford Galaxy 500

    Tommy Hawkins


    Best Appearing, Ford Truck

    1966 Ford F-100

    Bert Dickens


    Best Appearing, Import

    2007 Subaru WRX

    Eddie Pearce


    Best Appearing, GM Product

    1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Charlie Robinson


    Best Appearing, GM Truck

    1965 Chevy Pick-up

    Walter Lynch


    Best Appearing, Mopar

    1968 Plymouth Rd.Runner

    Doug & Sue Vaughn


    Best Appearing  Mopar Truck




    Best Appearing Antique

    1933 Ford Tudor

    Alan Fibish


    Best Appearing, Motorcycle,  “Daily Rider”

    2011 Harley CVO Soft Tail

    Michael Long


    Best Appearing, Motorcycle

    2009 Suzuki Hogabusa

    Marcus Long


    Best Appearing, New Model

    2015 Chevy Colorado

    Benjamin Torbert


    Best Appearing, Race Car

    1969 Chevy Camero

    Billy Lyles


    Best Appearing, Street Rod

    1950 Chevy Bel Air

    Joe Barnes


    Best Display

    1967 Ford Mustang Conv.

    Susan Harrell


    Best Peanut Display

    1967 Dodge Dart GTS

    Billy Prince


    Billy Harrup Memorial Award “Make a Buck Truck”

    1936 Rat Rod Truck

    Herbert  Smiley


    Top Dog Award

    1965 Chevy CorvetteConv.

    Herbert Tuck Jr.


    Seein’ Nothin’ But Taillights

    1982 Chevy S-10

    Stuart Slagle


    Pro’s Pick

    1959 Chevy Impala

    Don Vtipil


    Virginia Wheels Club Choice

    1957 Chevy Pick-up

    Dave Driver


    Distance Award

    130 Miles

    Marcus Long


    Johnny Pearson Mem. Award

    1962 Chevy Impala

    Cindy Vann


    Billy Hedgepeth Mem. Award

    1965 Ford Mustang GT

    Jason Ellis


    George Blick Mem. Award

    1953 Ford F-100

    Bruce Vecchioni


    Good Guys Award

    1936 Chevy Coupe

    Wright & Cindy Pond


    Special Interest Award

    1937 Chevy 2 dr. Sedan

    Bruce Tudor


    Best In Show, Street Rod                                                   

    1932 Ford Coupe

    Chris Ellis


    Best In Show, Motorcycle

    2012 Road Yamaha

    Johnnie & Debbie Long


    Best In Show, Truck

    1933 Ford Pick-up

    Bill Austin


    Best In Show, Car

    1969 Chevy Chevelle

    Gary Houchins

  3. "Do You Have a Cat?"

    If you ask this question to the most
    Then pay attention to what they say
    You'll find so many will say yes
    But don't k know where it is today.
    Now this is the truth without a doubt
    And the reasoning isn't hard
    Yes if you don't feed them regularly
    They will wander to another yard.
    You can take my word straight to the bank
    For on the subject a specialist I be
    The past eight years I've caught sixty in my yard
    And none of them belonged to me.
    Well my cat loves me very much
    For I feed her every day
    Now this is what each one must do
    Or you'll create another stray.
    Now if we could turn them into tourists
    The city would be so proud
    Yet keeping a cat not spayed or neutered
    Should not be allowed.
    yes each dog requires a license
    And each year must get required shots
    it might be good to do the same with cats
    Causing a cut back in many spots.
    Now I am an animal lover
    But my thoughts on this don't vary
    The many cats loose on our city streets
    Just how much disease do they carry?
    Roy E.. Schepp
  4. The Improvement Association Hosts VML President, Shares Outcomes

    Hon. Rufus Tyler, Executive Director for The Improvement Association; Hon. Kenneth Holmes, Board of Directors member; Hon. Ron Rordam, VML President; Debra Davis, Sussex County Administrator; Hon. Omar Smith, Jarratt Town Council member; and Hon. Mayor Bill Herrington of Lawrenceville

    The Improvement Association recently hosted Ron Rordam, President of the Virginia Municipal League (VML), during its annual planning session. Rordam encouraged local governments and special guests to stretch their imaginations and consider various opportunities to get involved to make our children more successful in the future. He emphasized how early childhood initiatives, such as Head Start, prepares a skilled workforce and promotes economic development throughout Virginia.

    The Improvement Association’s early childhood initiatives include the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and Head Start.

    • The Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Initiative: Established in Greensville, Emporia, and Sussex in 2013, and implementers of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) curriculum, services are available to 68 families, pregnant moms and children from birth up to five years old. PAT helps caretakers understand their role in encouraging their child’s development. It helps children prepare for Kindergarten and ensures they are meeting developmental milestones, as well as passing hearing and vision screenings. Parent Educators also provide information on prenatal health to encourage intellectual development, curiosity, and language development.
    • Head Start: This early childhood education initiative is offered throughout the counties of Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Surry, Sussex, and the City of Emporia. The Improvement Association’s Head Start initiative serves 262 children each school year and is currently 98% fully enrolled. Comprehensive early childhood services include education, health services, nutrition, social and parental involvement services.

    To learn more about any of these initiatives, contact The Improvement Association at 434-634-2490.

  5. VCU Health CMH to Host Annual High Heel Dash

    South Hill- Grab your heels and your friends and come out for a fun evening in support of breast cancer awareness and prevention.  VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is hosting their annual High Heel Dash on Friday, October 7th and everyone is invited to participate; men, women and children. There will be many fun activities for everyone including a 100 yard run/walk in which all participants are required to wear heels. Several different “wacky” awards will be presented in the following categories: highest heels, craziest heels, best dressed individual, best dressed group, pinkest heels, pinkest hair and the overall “Miss/Mr. High Heel Dash 2016” an award going to the participant who goes all out with attire and spirit. There will also be an award for “Little Miss/Mister High Heel Dash” for the child who also goes all out in attire and spirit.

    There will be activities for children and adults including face painting, blood pressure screenings, breast health education and door prizes. Registration is only $5.00 a person and begins at 5:00 pm and the race will start at 6:00 pm.

    The area’s annual High Heel Dash will be held at The Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill. All proceeds from this event will be donated to Susan G. Komen Central Virginia Affiliate.  Grab your heels and your friends and come out for a fun evening in support of breast cancer awareness and prevention! For more information, call (434) 774-2541.

  6. Virginia State Police HEAT program rewards auto theft prevention efforts

    Agencies, individuals recognized at annual law enforcement conferences

    RICHMOND, Va.— The Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program honored the 2015-2016 HEAT Awards recipients at the annual conferences of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association in Tysons Corner on Sept. 13 and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police in Roanoke on Sept. 19.

    The HEAT Awards program is an annual competition open to all Virginia law enforcement entities and employees who work in auto theft enforcement and prevention. Nominees must demonstrate excellence in at least two of the following four categories: enforcement, intelligence gathering, prevention and recovery.

    “Stolen cars are sometimes used to commit more serious offenses,” said Virginia State Police First Sgt. Steve Hall, HEAT program coordinator. “It’s important that we acknowledge some of the work that’s being done to prevent auto theft.”

    Auto thefts in Virginia have declined 62 percent since 1992, but there was a 7.2 percent increase from 2014-2015.

    “It’s a reminder as to why auto theft prevention is important,” Hall said. “Even though the overall numbers are down and it may not seem like an issue, if you wake up tomorrow and your car is gone, that’s going to be a pretty big issue to you.”

    The complete list of HEAT Awards recipients is below. To learn more about HEAT Awards, visit

  7. Fifth Graders Study Native Americans

    Ms. Robinson's and Mrs. Hawkins' 5th grade classes have been studying Native Americans. The students turned in wonderful projects this week including Navajo blankets, totem poles, wigwams and teepees!

  8. SVCC Offers Deal On Welding Testing

    It has been said, “the best things in life are free.”  This does not typically apply to professional credentials, but it does in the Southside Virginia Community College Welding Program. Welder certification is free to all welding students while they are enrolled in welding courses during the 2016-17 school year. 

    In the welding industry, welders performing code quality work are required to pass a skill test to prove that he or she has the skill to make a sound weld.  These tests are called Welder Qualification Tests, and are typically part of the interview process at many companies that hire welders.  The tests are administered in various positions, welding processes, joints and shapes of material.  SVCC offers students the opportunity to take both plate and pipe tests while enrolled in welding courses at SVCC.

    David Braun, Professor of Welding at SVCC, is an American Welding Society Certified Welding Inspector (CWI).  CWIs inspect welds and certify welders through Welder Qualification Tests. 

    Cost can be a barrier for many students in attempting to earn the credential during training, which is why SVCC has removed that barrier.  Welder Qualification Tests typically cost between $150 and $450 elsewhere.  Some students enrolled in the SVCC welding program have passed as many as 12 tests saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 

    For more information about Welding at SVCC, visit the website at  The college offers welding at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston and Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia.

  9. "Do You Know Lonely?"

    Lonely is when no one you see
    for days and days on end
    no one from your family
    and not even a close friend.
    You can go to any rest home
    and this problem will appear
    one don't have to be related
    they are just glad that you are near.
    Their faces will all tell a story
    and time you will see a smile
    you do not need to spend the night
    just visit for  a while.
    Now, all rest homes serve a purpose
    with their very special care
    yet when there you place a loved one
    don't forget that they are there!
    Yes take the time to visit
    for lonely they all are
    it shouldn't cause a problem
    and most likely its not far.
    Roy E. Schepp
  10. Virginia State Police Captain Thomas W. Turner Receives 2016 President’s Award

    Virginia State Police Captain Thomas W. Turner, a 50-year-veteran of the department, is the 2016 recipient of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police President’s Award. Captain Turner was recognized at the VACP Annual Awards Banquet on September 20 at the Hotel Roanoke Conference Center.

    Captain Turner began his career with the Virginia State Police in 1966 as a dispatcher and transitioned to State Trooper just one day after his 21st birthday. From his early days with the department, Trooper Turner made serving the public the focus of his law enforcement career. And as he rose through the ranks, he maintained this priority in his duties and actions.

    Captain Turner’s true talent emerged when he was first assigned to the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) as a lieutenant in 1996, where he later became Division Commander in 2007.

    As the Division Commander, Captain Turner has been on the ground floor of creating data systems for the administration of justice. He is a visionary, capable of not only seeing the needs of criminal justice agencies, but also envisioning how such systems can be used to better serve the administration of justice. Captain Turner has put tools in place to ensure data is retrievable in a variety of formats for countless criminal justice entities so that criminal history data can be used throughout the criminal justice system.

    Virginia has one of the nation’s leading sex offender registries because of Captain Turner’s commitment and tireless efforts. He has been integral to the development of the registry and serves as a ready resource for law enforcement agencies that use the registry.

    Captain Turner’s leadership enabled the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center to grow into a nationally recognized and model program. The center handles the speedy transfer of firearms to non-prohibited persons while maintaining an impressive record of arresting individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

    Captain Turner chairs of the FBI’s Advisory Policy Board, which makes recommendations to the Director regarding policy, technical, and operational issues for the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division programs, including the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

    Captain Turner has served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, and Criminal History Record (SEARCH). He was also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for AFIS Internet, and Vice Chairman of the FBI/Compact Council’s Subcommittee on Policy and Procedures.  He fully recognizes the importance of his role on these national committees and uses his expansive knowledge and expertise to improve criminal justice services to Virginia’s criminal justice agencies.

    Recently, Captain Turner was recognized by the FBI for his pivotal role in solving a series of rape cases in Virginia and Kuwait. His persistence coupled with his latent print database knowledge led the Norfolk Police to make inquiries into recently accessible non-criminal fingerprint files. A latent print taken from a Norfolk crime scene matched fingerprints of a Navy serviceman. The FBI deemed this case the “Biometric Hit of the Year.”

    As a subject matter expert in the vast array of criminal justice information/data, Captain Turner’s knowledge and expertise is often sought by law enforcement officials across the Commonwealth and far beyond. He personally involves himself with other agency’s concerns and provides expert knowledge and direction. In Virginia, most law enforcement executives know that if they have a CJIS question, Captain Turner will know the answer—and he won’t have to do “research” to provide a response.

    In the fall, Captain Turner will retire from the Virginia State Police with 50 years of service to the Commonwealth. He will leave a tremendous void in the agency and across Virginia. His historical knowledge of criminal justice and his overwhelming desire to serve can never be replaced. He will truly be missed, and Virginia law enforcement will never be able to thank him enough for this enduring dedication.

    The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police is proud to recognize Virginia State Police Captain Tom Turner with the 2016 President’s Award.


    Area eleventh and twelfth-grade high school students and their parents are invited to attend “College Day” at Southside Virginia Community College’s Christanna Campus in Alberta on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  This is the Regional College Day program for Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and parts of Lunenburg and Nottoway counties.  Second-year students and graduates of two-year college degree programs are also urged to attend.  Over 50 colleges, universities and special schools will be represented.

    Institutions that should be represented include Averett University, Bluefield College, Chowan University, Christopher Newport University, College of William and Mary, Concord University, Eastern Mennonite University, Ferrum College, George Mason University,  Hampden-Sydney College, Hampton University, James Madison University, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Johnson & Wales University, Liberty University, Living Arts College, Longwood University, Lynchburg College,  Mary Baldwin College, Meredith College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, National University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Wesleyan College,  Old Dominion University, Old Dominion University On Line, Pfeiffer University, Potomac State College of West Virginia University, Radford University, Randolph College, Regent University, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Southside Regional Medical Center, Southside Virginia Community College,  Strayer University, Sweet Briar College,  The Apprentice School, University of Mary Washington, University of Mount Olive, University of Virginia, University of Virginia at Wise, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Wesleyan College and William Peace University.  Also attending will be a representative for the Virginia Tobacco Region Scholarship.

    For more information about “College Day” contact the Admissions Office at SVCC’s Christanna Campus (Phone: 434-949-1014).

  12. Elton Lee Powers

    Elton Lee Powers, age 65, of Skippers, VA passed away September 19, 2016.  He is the son of the late Marvin and Susie Mae Powers.  He is survived by his wife, Donna Marie Powers; three sons, Brian Powers and wife Ginger, Jonathon Powers and Nathan Powers; three grandchildren, Destiny, Joshua and Kaylee; two sisters, Vivian Finney and Brenda Phillips and husband Cecil; and his brother, Wayne Powers and wife Janet.  Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Friday at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville, Va. with interment at Zion Baptist Church, Skippers, Va.  The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home.  Online condolences may be made at

  13. Joyce Brady Taylor

    Mrs. Joyce Brady Taylor, 78, of Drewryville, passed away on Saturday September 17, 2016. She was the widow of the late Henry Thomas Taylor, Jr.; a native of Prince George County, Joyce was the daughter of the late Nelson Dabney Brady and Lucy Alma Watson and stepfather Emil Popoczy. She is survived by two daughters, Sherry Dale Taylor of Prince George and Debbie T. Wilmouth of Chester; son, Henry “Tripp” T. Taylor, III and wife, Tara of Black Creek; grandchildren, Amanda Arnold and husband, Mark, Brady Temple Taylor, Corey H. Wilmouth, Kinsey W. Taylor, Thomas Taylor, Zoe Mathis and husband, William, Alaina Schools, Merea Taylor and Micah Taylor; four great-grandchildren, Devin Pittman, Austin Pittman, Brayden Arnold and Courtlyn Arnold; one sister, Phyllis Brady Warren and husband, David L. of Disputanta. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, September 21 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, September 22 at Thomas Memorial Baptist Church, Drewryville, Virginia with interment to follow at Drewryville Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Drewryville Volunteer Fire Department. Online condolences may be made at

  14. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center to Host Blood Drive

    Emporia, VA – According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. This adds up to about 36,000 units of red blood cells that are needed to meet the daily demand. 

    Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, September 23rd from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM in the SVRMC Classrooms, 727 N. Main Street, Emporia. Whether veteran or first-time donor, the process is quick (usually about 1 hour 15 minutes from start to finish) and easy, and each donation could save up to three lives. Donors are required to provide either a driver’s license or two other forms of identification, be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health to be eligible to donate. 

    For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Becky Parrish at 434-348-4485 or visit

  15. Brunswick Academy 2016 Golf Tournament Winners

    Brunswick Academy held the 7th Annual B.A. Golf Tournament on Friday, September 16th at the Emporia Country Club.  Congratulations to the 2016 tournament winners - (l to r) Eric Barnes, Ryan Short, Jeff Kidd, and Nick Belmonte.  Thank you to all who made this a successful fundraiser for the school.


    ~ Senators will participate in assembling Aftercare Kits that are distributed to hospitals and crisis centers to support victims ~

    ***Event will also be streamed live on Facebook***

    Washington, D.C.On Wednesday, September 21 at 4:30 PM, a bipartisan group of Senators will join survivors and advocates from F2F (Fear 2 Freedom) and RAINN (the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) to draw attention to the continued epidemic of sexual assault on our college campuses.

    F2F is a global non-profit organization founded in 2011 by Rosemary Trible, wife of former U.S. Senator Paul Trible (R-VA). Mrs. Trible is a sexual assault survivor and an advocate for bringing empowerment, hope and healing to other survivors of sexual violence. After Mrs. Trible was assaulted, she learned firsthand that when a victim receives a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) exam, all of their clothing is kept for evidence. Accordingly, they often leave treatment in disposable, hospital-issued clothing. F2F partners with universities, hospitals, and community organizations to provide Aftercare Kits to survivors of sexual assault. Each Aftercare Kit contains clothing, toiletries, a pen and journal for adults and a toy for children, a list of resources, a stuffed animal that serves as a counseling tool, and a handwritten note of encouragement. To date, F2F has provided over 13,000 F2F Kits to sexual assault survivors.

    At the Wednesday event, following a brief speaking program, Senators will participate in a demonstration assembly of Aftercare Kits that will be donated to two local crisis centers for people seeking a PERK exam, and attendees will be invited to pen a note to include in preassembled Aftercare Kits.

    Last year, Sen. Warner and a bipartisan coalition of Senators reintroduced the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S.590), which would reform the way colleges and universities address and report incidents of sexual assault on their campuses in order to improve accountability and protect and empower students, while also protecting the rights of the accused.

    Date:               Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Time:               4:30-5:30 PM

    Location:        385 Russell Senate Office Building

    Who:               U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)

    U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV)

    U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

    U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)

    U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

    Scott Berkowitz, Founder and CEO, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)

    Rosemary Trible, Founder and President, Fear 2 Freedom

    Sexual Assault Survivor Joe Belsterling

  17. Book Signing Set for Sept. 30th

    SOUTH HILL, VA– The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be hosting a “book signing” event featuring Carlos A. Williams, MD on September 30th from 12:00PM-5:00PM in the front lobby of the hospital, located at 125 Buena Vista Circle in South Hill.

    Dr. Williams, Neurologist at VCU Health CMH has recently published a book entitled, “Brain Storming” and will be in attendance to sign copies for the public. This event is free and open to the public and all book sales from the event will benefit the CMH Auxiliary.

    When discussing his book, Dr. Williams stated, “I grew up in a poor country in a poor family earning our existence by doing business with everyone that came through the door, regardless of color or language.  After 28 years there, I became a foreign graduate student in a country where I did have to learn the language and culture in order to be a Neurologist.  I never contemplated living in this country but found myself here.  This is not my work, but a simple account of my encounters with people I have met at the end of their life.”

  18. Chancellor Visits SVCC To Learn Of Best Practices

    The Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System recently visited Southside Virginia Community College in order to learn more about programs that enhance student success.  At SVCC, he heard about the Make It Happen (MIH) Program that benefits African-American Males in their successful pursuit of higher education.  Those participating in the event are (Left to Right) Shauna Davis, Executive Director of VCCS Student Success Center, Dr. John Hicks, SVCC MIH Advisor, Andre Harrell, MIH student, Sharon Morrissey, Vice Chancellor for Academic Services and Research, Kaleb Greene, MIH student, Dr. Glenn Dubois, Chancellor, Anquinnie Lee, MIH student, LaFreda Ogburn, SVCC Local Board member, Jarius Miller, MIH student, Van Wilson, VCCS Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Services, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Dr. Anne Hayes, SVCC Dean of Institutional Effectiveness.

    Dr. Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, recently began a statewide listening tour of best practices related to student success.   He stopped by Southside Virginia Community College on September 13, 2016 to learn more about one of the college’s successful programs as well as facilitate a discussion around barriers to student success within the community college system.

    The SVCC presentation featured students from the Make It Happen (MIH) program who participated in internships and research projects at Hampton University during the summer.  This MIH program began in the fall of 1998 in an effort to enhance the academic success of African-American males at the college.  This comprehensive program provides meaningful activities for participants and establishes an institutional climate of support.

    The students presented information about the Hampton University Minority Men’s Health Initiative.  They participated in this programto promote and deliver the highest quality of research, education, training, and outreach to combat and eliminate health disparities affecting minority men in several areas.  These areas of research included cancer, cardiovascular disease, violence prevention, diabetes and obesity, and melanoma in Hispanics by, transforming cultural lifestyles resulting in healthy bodies, healthy families and healthy communities of minority men and ultimately all Americans.

    The MIH participants who presented during the Chancellor’s visit were Andre Harrell of Brunswick, Kaleb Greene of Brodnax, Anquinni Lee of Nottoway and Jarius Miller of Prince George.

  19. Brunswick Library Presents Coffee Q & A

    The Brunswick County Library will be presenting a new program called Coffee Q & A on the first Tuesday of October, November, and December. Coffee Q & A will be an informal forum and casual conversation with local community leaders from 10:00 am until 11:00 am. All are welcome to visit with these leaders for question and answer sessions about their work and their community. Free coffee and light refreshments will be available.

    The community leaders scheduled are:
    Tuesday, October 4th – Lawrenceville Mayor, Bill Herrington
    Tuesday, November 1st – Brunswick Co. Sherriff, Brian Roberts
    Tuesday, December 6th – Brunswick Co. Schools Superintendent, Dora Wynn

    For more information contact the Brunswick County Library at 434-848-2418, ext. 301 or visit

  20. Brunswick Library seals Time Capsule

    Concluding the Brunswick County Library’s 75th year celebration, the Library of Board of Trustees sealed a Time Capsule to be opened in the year 2040 when the Brunswick County Library will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The Time Capsule contains mementos of the 75th Birthday Party, special thoughts from library patrons, library statistics, a Brunswick Times Gazette newspaper with an article featuring the October 7, 2015 Birthday Party, as well as other special items to be revealed at the 2040 unsealing. The Time Capsule is to be stored and locked in a display case in the Dr. William McCaddin Pritchett Local History and Genealogy Room of the Brunswick County Library. The Library wishes to thank the community for the many years of support and looks forward to serving the community in the years to come. Library Trustees pictured (left to right) Nancy Edwards, John Zubrod, Rebecca Akers, Deborah Davis, Alex Lockerman, Polly Duffey (Library Director), Sherri Bagley, and Elizabeth Grizzard.

  21. Ann F. Pearson

    Ann F. Pearson was born January 2, 1948 to Gilbert and Lillie Pearson and died Sept. 16, 2016.  She grew up in Emporia  She was a proud member of the class of 1966 of Greensville County High School before she graduated from Radford College. She was a charter member of Zeta Tau Alpha at Radford.  Ann taught school in Nottoway County for several years before becoming a warehouse manager for   Phillip Morris until she retired to become the #1 babysitter for the Watson family.  She loved the Red Hatters and the Atlanta Braves.  She is survived by her mother Lillie E. Pearson, sister Gay Taylor  and husband Melvin, two nieces; Patti Watson and husband Rick, Allison Travis and husband Walker and nephew Robert Taylor.  She is also survived by 3-great-neices and 2-great nephews, Jordan Watson, Taylor Watson, Tanner Watson, Lily Travis and Lauren Travis, who were the joys of her life.  Ann also leaves behind many cousins and cherished friends. A visitation will be held Sunday 3:00 to 4:00 at Main St. United  Methodist Church with service to follow at 4:00 P. M. in the church,  with interment to follow at Emporia Cemetery. Donations can be made to her favorite charity, the Golf Society of Radford College c/o Jennie Allman , 1148 Ivy Hill Drive, Forest, Va., 24551.  Condolences may be sent to

  22. Harvest Festival Fundraising Concert & Dance Set for Oct. 1st

    SOUTH HILL, VA– En’ Novation, featuring the extremely popular former members of Casper, is set to perform live on October 1st at the Centennial Park Amphitheater in South Hill, VA.  This is a joint venture between VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Foundation and the South Hill Chamber of Commerce.  Also performing as the opening act is The Big Eddy & Blue Trio featuring artists from Redneck Pool Party.  All proceeds from this concert will benefit programs and services at the new VCU Health CMH (that is currently being constructed) and the South Hill Chamber. 

    To purchase tickets visit the South Hill Chamber or Brian’s Steak House, or call the CMH Foundation at (434) 774-2575.  Tickets for adults are $20.00 in advance or $25.00 at the door.  Children 10 & under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.  There are a limited number of table reservations available on a first come, first served basis.  Refreshments/concessions will be available for purchase at the event.  Coolers (and food) are not allowed and a photo I.D. will be required for alcohol purchase. 

    The event is sponsored by the following:  Gold Sponsors-Benchmark Community Bank, “Beth & Beth” Exit Town & Lake Realty, Biggs Construction, Peebles, Pine View Assisted Living/M.C.’s Kids, Rent-E-Quip of South Hill and Vulcan Materials; Silver Sponsors-American Buildings Company, Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative, First Citizens Bank, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, South Hill Auto Glass, Inc., and Watkins Insurance Agency;  Marquee Sponsor-Town of South Hill; Venue Sponsor-Boyd Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of South Hill; Signage Sponsor-Xtreme Signs & Graphics; Ticket Sponsor-Crowder & Holloway Insurance; Libation Sponsors-Blue Ridge Distributing, Lawrence Distributing, Pecht Distributing, and Rosemont of Virginia; Media Sponsors-Lakes Media US 98.3 WLUS & Rewind 101.9 WKSK and Bobcat 93.5 WBBC .

  23. Armenians Seek Aquatic Advice from VSU

    As part of an eastern U.S. tour agenda, a three-member Armenian delegation will visit Virginia State University’s aquaculture facilities on Sept. 15 to learn about best management practices used to help limited-resource fish farmers utilize water resources more efficiently.

    Armenia is a nation and former Soviet republic located in Western Asia. Under the auspices of a PEER (Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research) grant supported by USAID (United States Agency for International Development), project staffers are working with approximately 20 small fish producers growing trout and sturgeon in Armenia’s Ararat Valley. Fish farmers there are using inefficient water technologies and experiencing a depletion of artesian water resources. Project objectives include developing an educational outreach program and fostering sustainable fisheries that use water resources more efficiently.

    Dr. Brian Nerrie, VSU aquaculture extension specialist who will direct the tour, cites distinct similarities between VSU and Armenian aquatic programming efforts and considers fish farmers concerns to be universal. Nerrie said VSU has worked with more than 300 fish farmers across the state who grow hybrid striped bass, catfish, trout, tilapia and freshwater shrimp.

    The Armenians realize they’re wasting water and experiencing water quality issues, so they seek enlightenment on successful strategies we’ve implemented to address many of the same concerns, said Nerrie. We’ll not only share our accomplishments with them, but demonstrate how they might apply some of the same strategies to address their current dilemma. For more information on the Armenian visit or VSU’s Aquaculture Program, contact Nerrie at (804) 534-5903 or email

    Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

  24. Grants Provide Funds for Jackson-Feild Renovation

    Thanks to the generosity of the Ridley Foundation of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia and Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg  the restrooms in the Robinson/Withers at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Service’s gymnasium have been renovated.

    The rest rooms have needed to be renovated for some time but funds were not available  for the project. Grants from the Ridley Foundation and the Mission and Outreach Committee at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church provided the needed funding for this project and Ridley Foundation provided funding for the renovations.

    Work began in late August and was completed in September.  New tile was  installed on the walls and floors. Commodes were replaced in both rest rooms and a new urinal was installed in the boy’s rest room. Existing partitions in both bathrooms were re-sanded and re-painted. New LED light fixtures replaced fluorescent fixtures in both bathrooms which will improve lighting and save operating costs.

    The children and staff thank the board of the Ridley Foundation and the members of Bruton Parish Church for their wonderful support to complete these much-needed renovations.


    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Samantha Kelsey Woyer has been chosen the September 2016 Student of the Month. Samantha, a senior, is the daughter of Andrew and Margaret Woyer of Alberta.  She has one sister Rachel, a Brunswick Academy graduate and a brother Matthew, a current Brunswick Academy student. 

    Sam is President of the National Honor Society, Co-President of the Latin Club and President of the Student Council Organization.  She has been Vice-President and Corresponding Secretary of her class, a member of the Honor Council, National Art Honor Society and was Chief Marshal at Brunswick Academy’s Commencement last spring.  She has played Varsity Softball and has been a Varsity Majorette since Middle School serving as Captain for two years.  She attended both Virginia Girls State and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership conferences.   Samantha also received the William and Mary College Leadership Award. 

    Samantha volunteers with Vacation Bible School at New Hope Christian Church.  You can find her there each Sunday giving the Children’s sermon lesson.  She also tutors children during her spare time. 

    Her future plans are to attend either the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University or James Madison University.  She would like to pursue a career in Pediatrics.  Congratulations Samantha on being chosen Brunswick Academy Student of the Month.


  26. 50th Anniversary Graduating Class Breaks Records for Virginia’s Community Colleges

    RICHMOND — Virginia’s Community Colleges are off to a promising start in their quest to triple the number of credentials students earn annually by the year 2021. As the VCCS celebrates its 50th anniversary, the 2016 class was the most successful in history, reaching record numbers for both individual graduates and credentials earned. This past spring’s graduations also represented the end of the first year of the VCCS’s six-year statewide strategic plan, Complete 2021, which established the goal of tripling credentials.

    All told, Virginia’s Community Colleges saw a 7.6% increase in degrees, certificates and diplomas earned, from 31,194 to 33,580 – and a 5.2% increase in the number of individual graduates, from 25,562 to 26,899. There were significant increases in certain groups driving those record numbers including:

    • A 14% increase in the number of Hispanic/Latino graduates;
    • An 11.4% increase in the number of so-called traditional-age graduates, those between the ages of 18 and 24; and
    • A 9% increase in the number of graduates who are the first in their family to attend and graduate college – in fact, first generation students earned one out of every five awards earned by the 2016 class.

    There was also a smaller, though notable, increase of 6.5% in the number of men graduating. Traditionally, men pursue and complete postsecondary credentials at rates well below that of women. Today, men make up just more than 41% of the total VCCS enrollment.

    The graduation numbers above do not include the more than 13,000 industry-certified credentials earned by VCCS students in short-term workforce training programs last year. Those programs operate outside of a traditional academic calendar and are counted separately.

    “With a focus on student success, we are helping more individuals overcome the barriers that can prevent them from earning a postsecondary credential, the passport that is essential today to pursuing the American Dream,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Much work remains, however, if we are going to reach that tripling goal of Complete 2021 and truly prepare individuals for the new Virginia economy.”

    No one, perhaps, better personifies that pursuit of the American Dream better than Augusto “Gus” Infantas, 22, who became the first in his family to attend and graduate college when he earned his degree last May from Northern Virginia Community College.

    Infantas was born in Peru but raised in America. The sometimes-frustrating process of obtaining legal residency, and a lack of resources, delayed his pursuit of a college education. Instead, he began working fulltime to support his family. He wasn’t sure what to think by the time he made it to campus.

    “As a very non-traditional student, I was nervous going into college; I was older and working two jobs all through school. But the diversity of people, thoughts and ideas made me comfortable. I was encouraged by faculty and other students to succeed. They motivated me to reach toward my goals,” said Infantas.

    Infantas is now studying finance at the University of Virginia. “NVCC really sets students up for success,” he added. “You just have to be willing to work for it.”

  27. Jackson-Feild’s Public Release for Free and Reduced Price Meals

    Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is eligible and participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. A copy of the policy governing this program is on file at the school and may be reviewed by any interested party.

     The USDA announced that up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create and strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Administered by USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service these annual, competitive grants will help further USDA’s efforts to increase locally owned foods in America’s school meals.

    The program receives support from the Federal government. Although all children receive the meals at no charge, the household size and income will be used to determine the number of children eligible for free or reduced price meals.  The result of this process determines the amount of support received from the Federal government.

    The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination  against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race ,color, national origin, age,disability,sex, gender identity,religion,reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form(PDF), found online at, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA  through the Federal Relay Service at (800)877-8339; or (800)845-6136 (Spanish).

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

  28. Act Today for More Tomorrows

    Cancer robs us of hope, energy and good people daily, but with new discoveries in cancer research and advances in cancer treatment, many types of this disease are being treated successfully or managed more like chronic diseases.  Researchers continue working on finding a cure and immuno-oncology appears to be a promising new approach.  In the meantime, people need to do what they can do now to prevent cancers from developing. 

    “It may take up to 10 years or longer for some cancers to develop into a serious problem,” says Charlotte Litzenberg, Coordinator at the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia located in Danville.  “That amount of time can provide an incredible window of opportunity for medical providers to act and possibly save a life.  We need to educate people about the importance of prevention and the early detection of cancer.”

    To address these points, representatives of Susan G. Komen Central Virginia, the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, PATHS (Piedmont Access to Health Services), and VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Cancer Research and Resource Centers of Southern Virginia, which are partially funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, have been working with major state and local organizations and medical facilities to present a free continuing education program.   Act Today for More Tomorrows, a continuing education program for nurses and EMS will take place on Saturday, September 24.  National keynote speaker Barb Bancroft, RN, MSN, PNP, a Chicagoan with Virginia ties who is always entertaining and informative, will talk about breast and HPV/related cancers.  She will be followed by a panel of local experts.

    Planners for Act Today for More Tomorrows hope to reach as many medical providers as possible in the south central area of Virginia with this information.  Harnessing the power of the Internet, they will deliver this free, high-quality, educational program (4.5 credit hours for nurses) live from Hampden Sydney College in Farmville to five satellite sites, all dotting the Highway 58 corridor, which runs east-west along the southern border of Virginia.  People will be able to view this program in Martinsville, Danville, South Boston, South Hill and Emporia.

    Talking with providers about your family’s medical history and following cancer screening guidelines can lead to the early detection of cancer, which can save your life, so a panel of local experts will also talk about best medical practices:

    Ibtehal Al-Ani, MD, Pediatrician, Prince Edward Pediatrics

    The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that both boys and girls get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by the age of 12.  HPV causes a majority of cervical and anal cancers (91%).  Among other cancers, it also causes cancer of the base of tongue/back of throat (72%), which is on the rise among men.

    Christina Benton, MPH, Every Woman’s Life, Virginia Department of Health

    Every Woman’s Life provides low-income and uninsured women access to free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services. 

    Jerry Lucas, MD, Ob-Gyn, Centra Southside

    Beginning at age 40, all women should talk with their provider about the mammogram plan that is best for them.  At age 21, women should talk with their healthcare provider about when and how often a Pap test, Pap and HPV tests and pelvic examinations should be performed.

    Kara Lamb, RN, MSN, OCN, Oncology Breast Navigator, Centra Health

    A high percentage of people in this area do not have insurance or are under-insured.  Lamb will talk about their options if they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

    The general public is welcome to attend.  Space at each site is limited, so online registration at required by September 20th .  If you have any questions, please call the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia at 434.421.3060.

    Click to enlarge.

  29. Colonial Heights Rotary Donates School Supplies to Jackson-Feild

    The Colonial Heights Rotary Club conducted a drive to collect school supplies for the students at the Edna Hayden Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services.

    The Rotary Club has  been a regular supporter of the children at Jackson-Feild.  They donated 16 bicycles in 2015, provided school supplies and hosted ice cream social to name a few.

    The club will be conducting a drive to collect blue blazers and sports coats for the boys. Dress clothing for girls is not a need but is desperately needed for boys.

    Club president Renette Rawlins and members presents Tod Balsbaugh school supplies collected by the club at its regular club meeting.

  30. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Recognized at SVCC

    2016 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is upon us, September 11  – 17.  Southside Virginia Community College salutes our nation’s truckers and continues to provide training to keep the freight and economy moving. 

    For the past 20 years, SVCC has successfully trained 2,029 people for careers in this industry.  The college’s Truck Driver Training Program is recognized by companies as a topnotch, high quality program to train the employees they want to hire.

    According to Dale Bennett, President and CEO of Virginia Trucking Association in the Richmond Times-Dispatch tabloid, Heroes of the Highway, published Sunday, September 11, 2016, “These drivers delivered nearly 10 billion tons of freight last year, that’s about 70 percent of all the freight moved in the U.S.  Here in Virginia, trucking transports 88 percent of our total manufactured freight.” 

    He also noted, trucking employs more than 150,940 Virginians (one out of every 20 jobs in the state) including 55,100 tractor-trailer and delivery truck drivers.

    SVCC continues to offer this training in three locations:  Blackstone, South Boston and Emporia.  For information, contact Susan Early at 434-292-3101.


    RICHMOND – With the recent appointment of a new Deputy Superintendent, the Virginia State Police has moved forward with appointing a new Director and Deputy Director of the Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS). In August, Lt. Colonel Tracy S. Russillo was promoted from her position as BASS Director to Deputy Superintendent. The BASS Deputy Director, Major Kirk S. Marlowe, has been appointed to fill the vacancy of BASS Director and Captain L.W. “Lee” Miller III, will be moving into the position of BASS Deputy Director effective Sept. 10, 2016.


    Marlowe, 50, was promoted to the position of BASS Deputy Director on Dec. 25, 2015, from division commander for the High Tech Crimes Division (HTCD) within the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). He began his career with state police Aug. 1, 1988, and spent seven years in the Richmond Division as a trooper and special agent before he was promoted to Academy sergeant in 1996. Over the years with state police, he has supervised the Violent Crimes Unit and Staff Inspection Section as a first sergeant. In 2004, Marlowe was promoted to lieutenant of the Richmond BCI Field Office and later transferred to the Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Interdiction (CCI) Unit. He achieved the rank of captain in 2009 and oversaw the Support Services Division before being assigned to establish and supervise the new HTCD. Marlowe is a graduate of the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management. He also graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a master’s degree in security studies and was a valedictorian of the Administrative Officer’s Graduate Course at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.


    Miller, 47, has served as the division commander of the Information and Communication Technologies Division since September 2013. Prior to his promotion to captain, Miller served nine years in the capacities of lieutenant and first sergeant in the BCI Criminal Intelligence Division. He joined State Police as a dispatcher in 1992 and was assigned to the State Police Culpeper Division. He graduated from the State Police Academy in May 1994 with his first patrol assignment in Caroline County. Three years later, Miller was promoted to special agent in the Drug Enforcement Section of the Richmond BCI Field Office. A graduate of Emory and Henry College with a bachelor’s degree in history and geography, he has received numerous service awards during his tenure with the Department and has served on numerous state and national boards and subcommittees related to public safety telecommunications and homeland security. He is also a 2007 graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College.

  32. Danny Gray White

    Danny Gray White, 61, of Emporia passed away on September 10, 2016. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Roberta White. He is survived by his sister, Donna White Massey (Buck); his brothers, Randy White (Janet), Donnie White (Sara), and Ronald White (Frances); his nieces and nephews, Carly Krolak, Lindsay Bradley, Brooke White, Corey White, Carter White, Ty White, Alec White, Patricia White, and Ronnie White and many close friends. Danny was a graduate of Virginia Tech, President of White’s Shoe Store, Officer of Village View, and a member of Emporia Rotary. A funeral service will be held 1pm, Tuesday, at Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at Village View immediately following the interment. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Village View, c/o Nancy Ferguson, 108 State Street, Emporia, VA 23847. Condolences may be sent to

  33. Answering the Call

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    On the morning of September 11, 2001, nineteen people carried out suicide attacks against targets within the United States. Two airplanes smashed into the twin towers of New York City’s World Trade Center and another plunged into the Pentagon. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania without reaching its intended target. More than 3,000 people, including hundreds of police officers and firefighters, were killed during the assaults.

    According to a report by the 9/11 Commission that investigated the horrifying events, casualties at the World Trade Center “were very high among first responders who stayed in danger as they tried to save lives.” The report goes on to note that ultimately, “all but approximately one hundred of the thousands of civilians who worked below the impact zone escaped, often with help from the emergency responders.”

    In honor of the bravery and courage with which men and women faced these strikes against our national security, the U.S. Congress passed bipartisan legislation in 2009 designating September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. By instituting a tradition of charitable service, the commemoration redirects memories of destruction toward the establishment of hope. It encourages people to show respect to the victims, survivors, and first responders by promoting goodwill and unity. The declaration calls people to work together through service motivated by the desire to make the world a better place.

    Our nation’s first responders include a diverse range of dedicated individuals who place their duties and responsibilities ahead of their own personal regard. They are professionals and volunteers; they are our nation’s first line of defense. The National First Responders Organization defines a first responder in this way: “Any individual who runs toward an event rather than the other way.”

    In order to perform their duties, first responders must be well-equipped. They face day-to-day dangers and handle large scale crises. Being prepared includes undergoing readiness training, maintaining mental and physical capabilities, and being able to deploy safety technologies to meet emergency needs. Because they are such skilled leaders, first responders often serve as role models within their communities.

    Southside Virginia Community College takes pride in the part we play in providing instruction and credentialing for people who embrace these vital responsibilities. We offer Associate degrees, Certificate programs, and Career Studies Certificates in the fields of Administration of Justice, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Science Technology. In addition, we offer CPR and first aid training classes.

    If you yearn to answer the call to service, I invite you to visit SVCC’s website ( or call SVCC at 888-220-7822. Admissions personnel can help you to learn about the training opportunities that will qualify you to join the elite cadre of first responders.

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

  34. A library card is the coolest card – September is Library Card Sign-up Month

    Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Meherrin Regional Library System joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most import school supply of all – a free library card.

    Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.

    Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home. 

    Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits to the incorporation of high-tech tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.

    Resources at the Brunswick County Library and Richardson Memorial Library are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement.

    For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville, or the Richardson Memorial Library in Emporia, or visit the library online at


    ~ Only 22 percent of workers at small firms currently have access to a workplace savings plan or pension ~

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, have introduced bipartisan legislation that would reduce duplicative filing costs for small businesses looking to offer retirement plans to their employees and sole-proprietors.

    “Increasing access to workplace retirement plans is a crucial step in providing a secure retirement to millions of Americans,” said Sen. Warner. “When workers have access to a retirement plan through their employer, nearly 80 percent choose to participate – compared to just 10 percent who do without access through their employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the nature of work continues to change, I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Collins to make it easier for small businesses to offer this important benefit to their employees.”

    “Americans simply aren’t saving enough to be able to afford a comfortable retirement. In fact, the Center for Retirement Research estimates that there is an estimated $7.7 trillion gap between what Americans have saved for retirement and what they will actually need,” said Sen. Collins.  “We know that when employers provide their employees with access to retirement plans, approximately 80 percent of them contribute.  Our legislation will help promote retirement security by making it easier and less expensive for small businesses to establish retirement plans, increasing their accessibility to employees and helping to ensure that those who worked hard for decades do not spend their retirement in poverty.”

    A 2016 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that only 22 percent of workers at small firms have access to a workplace savings plan or pension, compared to 74 percent at firms with 500 or more employees. For smaller employers, offering a retirement plan can be expensive and complex.

    S. 3307 directs the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury Department to allow employers and sole-proprietors participating in retirement plans administered the same way to file a single aggregated Form 5500, a required annual return that provides important compliance information to DOL and Treasury.

    Under current law, despite sharing a common administrative framework, each individual plan is still required to file a separate Form 5500 to satisfy reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code. S. 3307 will eliminate duplicative reporting by plan administrators, which will reduce costs for small businesses that maintain retirement plans. To file an aggregated Form 5500, the retirement plans would need to have the same trustee, fiduciary, plan administrator, plan year and investment menu.

    To provide DOL and Treasury time to implement this change, the proposal has an effective date of no later than January 1, 2020. A copy of the legislative text is available here.

  36. David Michael Daniels

    David Michael Daniels, 62, of Emporia passed away on September 8, 2016. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Frances Daniels and brother, Paul Daniels. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Kelly Daniels; step-son, Matthew Dalton Phillips; step-daughter, Caitlin Fox Phillips; brothers, Clyde Daniels and Bill Daniels and wife Judy; sister-in-law, Ann Daniels; 2 nephews, J.L. Daniels and girlfriend Lisa Starling and Billy Daniels and wife Christina; 2 great-nephews, Jade Daniels and wife Chelsea and Hunter Daniels; and great-great nephew, Gage Daniels. A visitation will be held 1pm, Monday, September 12th, at Monumental United Methodist Church followed by a memorial service at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or Lifestar Ambulance Service. Condolences may be sent to

  37. Rosa Adams Gary

    Mrs. Rosa Adams Gary, 91, of Richmond, VA, widow of John Gary, the daughter of the late Raymond and Sadie Adams departed this life on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Richmond, VA. 

    She attended Virginia State College School of Tailoring and worked as a tailor for many years and also worked as a private duty nurse.

    She is survived by three daughters, Teresa, Rosemarie and Joan; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; three sisters, Sallie Morgan, Evoria Scott and Elizabeth Adams; two brothers-in-law; three sisters-in-law, and a host of other relatives and friends.  

    Services for Mrs. Rosa A. Gary will be held 12:00 Noon, Monday, September 12, 2016 at Salem Baptist Church, 800 Brink Road, Emporia, Va.   Interment to follow at the Adams Family Cemetery, Emporia.

    Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Mrs. Gary at

    Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, Va., (804)

  38. John Douglas Jessee

    John Douglas Jessee, 78, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, September 8, 2016.  He was the widower of Merle Jessee.  Also, he was preceded in death by one brother, William G. Jessee.  He is survived by a daughter, Lynn Jessee Moseley and husband Troy, a son, John Douglas Jessee, Jr., one grandchild, Heather Moseley Smith and husband Dave, and one great-grandchild; Freya Lorainne Smith.  The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday, September 12 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, September 13.  Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at

  39. Jerry Nelson Mitchell

    Jerry Nelson Mitchell, Sr. age 84 of Ante, Va. passed away September 7, 2016.  He is the son of the late Josiah and Gladys Mitchell and is preceded in death by his sister, Jane Malone and two brothers, Gorman Jr. and Roy Mitchell.  He is survived by his wife, Nellie Pearson Mitchell; two sons, Jerry N. Mitchell, Jr. and wife Paula and B. Scott Mitchell and wife Kay; four grandchildren, J.N. “Trey” Mitchell, III and Jack Mitchell, Melissa Griffin and husband Josh, and Ashley Lynch and husband Kevin; and two great granddaughters, Riley and Avery Griffin.  Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville with interment at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Ante, VA.  The family will receive friends Saturday form 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.  Online condolences may be made at

  40. Is Your Company Prepared to Withstand Any Disaster Threat?

    Learn how at a series of free National Preparedness Month Webinars

    WASHINGTON – When large scale disasters hit an area, the infrastructure failure is particularly damaging to small businesses. Recent events in West Virginia, Maryland, Pittsburgh and so many others within the mid-Atlantic states point to a hard rule: the key to protecting your assets and becoming resilient in the face of a natural disaster, cyberattack, or random power outage is having a solid business continuity plan. The cost of developing a plan is low, especially compared to the long-term financial losses that could occur when you’re caught off guard by a crisis.

    “The mid-Atlantic region has had more than its share of disasters,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho.  “Smart business leaders prepare themselves, their business, their employees and their customers for whatever may come before, during and after these dire circumstances strike.  Training opportunities through SBA and our partner organizations are a vital part of that preparation process.”

    Learn how to build your own disaster preparedness plan during three free National Preparedness Month (NPM) webinars this month hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery. The series is presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign, and the 2016 NPM theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make your Emergency Plan Today.”

    The hour-long webinars will be presented from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT each Wednesday. 

    These are the topics:

    • September 14: “12 Steps to Preparedness for Any Organization”
    • September 21: “The Top 10 Most Common Mistakes During a Crisis”
    • September 28:“If You Do Nothing Else this Year…” Simple tips to build your organization’s resilience.

    Go to this link to sign up for the webinars:

    The SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies through the “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to check out past webinars and for additional disaster preparedness tools.

    The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit


    ~ Google’s ‘Project Wing’ will deliver food using unmanned aerial vehicles during research flights at Virginia Tech  ~

    WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) celebrated the announcement that Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Project Wing, the aviation division of X, will deliver food using unmanned aerial vehicles during research flights this fall at Virginia Tech.  X is a research and development lab run by Alphabet Inc., which also owns Google.

    “The commercial use of drones for package and food delivery in U.S. airspace is rapidly becoming a reality,” said Sen. Warner. “Beyond the commercial applications, this technology will soon provide us with the ability to deliver lifesaving drugs and medical equipment like defibrillators, and deliver food and other emergency relief to remote areas after natural disasters. I am pleased we were able to work with Project Wing and other partners to leverage Virginia Tech’s outstanding research capacity to capitalize on the tremendous potential in unmanned technology. ”

    The flights will be Project Wing's first tests involving external users in the U.S., and is its first collaboration with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved unmanned aircraft test site. The current phase of research is taking place at a closed site with a small group of students and employees, and is not open to the public. Extended flight tests at Virginia Tech will yield technical, safety, and user-experience data on food delivery via unmanned aircraft. Virginia Tech and Project Wing will share findings from the research with the FAA.

    The Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership was selected by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2013 as one of six national test sites for unmanned aircraft. Since then, researchers have investigated medical supply delivery to remote locations, worked with NASA to research a traffic management research platform for unmanned aircraft, assisted in search and rescue missions, and enabled many other unmanned aircraft applications.



    Transcription (1 minute 35 seconds):

    I am so happy today that, after a lot of work by Virginia Tech, our offices and others, maybe the leading technology company in the world – Google – has announced that they will do their drone testing in Virginia, in partnership with Virginia Tech.

    This offers an enormous opportunity to advance this technology; we still have to sort through issues surrounding privacy, but the incredible ability in terms of delivery, bridge inspection, and a whole host of other areas could all come about by the growth of drone technology. Just as nobody fully saw the opportunities thirty years ago of what could come about from the cellphone revolution, and now we find ourselves using these devices in all kinds of areas, the same possibility exists with drone technology.

    My hope is that this new partnership between Google and Virginia Tech, and our overall Virginia project, will allow Virginia, and specifically Southwest Virginia, to be the leader in research, development, and ultimately production and manufacturing of these drones. This is a great win for Virginia, a great win for Southwest Virginia, and particularly, a great win for Virginia Tech. So, I want to congratulate everybody involved, and Google, which had the opportunity to do this anywhere in the country, and for that matter, anywhere in the world, but chose Southwest Virginia, and chose to partner with Virginia Tech.

  42. Edward Collins Barnes, Sr.

    Edward Collins Barnes, Sr., 86, of Emporia passed away on September 5, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He served in the United States Airforce for 23 years and worked for the United States Postal Service for 35 years. He is survived by his wife, Ann Barnes; son, Edward Collins Barnes, Jr. and wife Denise; daughters, Lelia Slagle and husband Kelly, Kathy Dickerson Allen, and Amy Browder and husband Mitchell; sisters, Marie Thompson and Nancy Harris; grandchildren, Christopher Link (Cristina), Jonathan Link (Ashley), Edward Barnes, III (Sara), Alexa Dickens (Matt), Joshua Barnes (Jennifer), Katie Evans (Derek), James E. Dickerson (Cassie), Ethan Barnes (Rachel), Will Browder (Ashley), Jeremy Barnes, and Meagan Browder; great-grandchildren, Zack Dickens, Austin Link, Aidan Dickens, Jackson Link, Hudson Link, Lillian Barnes, Connor Barnes, Carter Evans, Blake Evans, Olivia Barnes, Cooper Barnes, and Rosa Lee English. Visitation will be held Friday, 10:00 am, at Calvary Baptist Church followed by an 11:00 am funeral service. Interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery will conclude the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to

  43. Elsie Padgett Newsome

    Elsie Padgett Newsome, 73, of Emporia, widow of Thomas P. “Tommy” Newsome, passed away Tuesday, September 6, 2016. She was the daughter of the late Martha F. and Paulous A. Padgett and was also preceded in death by two sisters, Eleanor Seamans and Shirley Jennette Padgett and three brothers, Charles A. Padgett, Arnold Padgett and Glenn Padgett. Mrs. Newsome is survived by her daughter, Tamera Newsome Jarratt; three grandchildren, Brooke Nicole Jarratt, Kayla Loraine Jarratt and Austin Craig Jarratt; two great-grandchildren, Lailah Cheyenne Baylor and Rilee Arielle Baylor; three sisters, Elizabeth “Lou” Harrell, Barbara P. Holloway and husband, Billy and Lovie McQuordale; brother, Clyde Padgett and wife, Mary Lou three sisters-in-law, Diane Newsome Jones and husband, Teeny, Betty Padgett and Juanita Padgett and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, September 9 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Crater Community Hospice, 3916 Crater Rd, Petersburg, Virginia 23805. Online condolences may be made at

  44. Rail Road Crossing Closings **UPDATED**

    CSX will only be working on the Briggs Street Crossing and plan to start Today.  The crossing on Country Club Road will also be replaced. Please plan accordingly.  Detours will be clearly marked. Anyone using Country Club Road (State Route 609) to avoid the closed sections of US 301 will need to follow the marked detours using Interstate 95 South.  All other crossings will be will be upgraded at a later time. Emporia News will update this list of closures as information is received.

  45. Statement of VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois to The former Virginia students of ITT Tech

    RICHMONDGlenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, released the following statement today to the former Virginia students of ITT Tech:

    “Today’s announced closing of ITT Tech affects an estimated 4,500 students in Virginia. For them, this can be an especially emotional and confusing time. What it should not be, however, is a reason to stop pursuing a postsecondary credential.

    “I want former ITT Tech students to know that you are neither abandoned nor alone and that we stand ready to help you continue and complete the educational aspirations you sought at ITT Tech.

    “Virginia’s Community Colleges offer hundreds of industry-certified credentials available through our short-term training programs. In addition, we offer pathways to traditional associate degrees and even bachelor’s degrees through our guaranteed transfer agreements with more than three-dozen public and private universities.

    “Please use the chart below to reach out to your nearest community college so that we can help you on your way as quickly as possible:

    ITT Technical Institute Campus
    (in Virginia)

    Nearest VCCS College

    Toll Free

    Norfolk Campus

    Tidewater Community College


    Northern Virginia Campus - Chantilly

    Northern Virginia Community College


    Northern Virginia Campus - Springfield

    Northern Virginia Community College


    Richmond Campus

    John Tyler Community College


    Roanoke Campus

    Virginia Western Community College



    PETERSBURG, VA – According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, almost 40% of Americans suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). And what many people don’t realize is that it can be treated. Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) offers a specialized procedure called peripheral venous stenting that can help.

    Most common in individuals over the age of 50 and women who have experienced multiple pregnancies, CVI occurs when veins in the legs have difficulty sending blood back to the heart. Blood then pools in the legs, raising pressure in the veins and causing a variety of problems.

    “Symptoms of CVI include heaviness, pain, swelling and discoloration of the legs,” explains Saquib Samee, MD, FACC, RPVI. “Veins that have lost their valve effectiveness become elongated, rope-like, bulged and thickened. In more severe cases of CVI, poor circulation can lead to painful ulcers on the legs and feet.”

    CVI is often treated with compression stockings, elevation and weight loss. Skin ointments and pain medication can also provide some relief from symptoms. In individuals with substantial compression or blockages in their veins, however, these treatments may not be enough.

    During peripheral venous stenting an ultrasound catheter is inserted into the vein through a small incision in the leg. Using imaging from the intravascular ultrasound, the physician places a stent, a mesh-like expandable metal tube, at the point where the vein is compressed or obstructed. The stent opens up the vein, allowing blood to flow normally again.

    Dr. Samee, an interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist, performs this specialized procedure in the cardiac catheterization (cath) lab at SRMC’s Center for Heart and Vascular Care. “We have patients coming from as far away as Maryland and West Virginia to seek this treatment,” says Dr. Samee. “Patients tell me that they feel symptomatic relief immediately, and their ulcers are healed within weeks.”

    In addition to peripheral venous stenting, the cardiac cath lab at the Center for Heart and Vascular Care offers a multitude of services and procedures, including peripheral vascular studies, pacemaker insertions, implantable cardiac defibrillator insertions, heart catheterization and interventions, and emergency heart attack care. SRMC follows the American College of Cardiology’s standards of a 90 minute door-to-balloon time, meaning that heart attack patients are being treated in the cath lab within 90 minutes of arrival in the emergency department. For individuals needing more intensive care, SRMC’s open heart surgery team is available 24 hours per day.  

    Talk to your physician if you are experiencing the symptoms of CVI. To make an appointment with Dr. Samee, call the Varicose Vein & Vascular Clinic at 804.621.7262 (Colonial Heights) or 434.336.1900 (Emporia). For more information on the comprehensive services offered at the Center for Heart and Vascular Care at Southside Regional Medical Center, visit

  47. “Is It Fair”

    In traveling one sees lots of things
    That to most I’m sure amaze
    Yet you wonder how their pets feel
    On those overheated days.
    Now you’re traveling down the freeway
    Or on a scenic tour here and about
    Well you may be enjoying all you take in
    But your pets would like to get out.
    Well of course it’s an inconvenience
    Yet you knew of this ahead
    They didn’t need to make this journey
    For you could have left at a shelter instead.
    Yes I’m sure you’d get an earful
    If your pets could only talk
    Most would like to decide for themselves
    When to get up, lay down, or walk.
    Now they’re not always ready to eat or drink
    Just because that’s what you say
    Yet you’re responsible and have to try
    For form home your now miles away.
    Yes do yourself a favor of sorts
    No matter what you may hear
    Give your pets a vacation too
    And leave them at home next year!
    Roy E. Schepp
  48. History of Labor Day

    Labor Day: What it Means

    Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

    Labor Day Legislation

    Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

    Founder of Labor Day

    More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

    Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

    But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

    The First Labor Day

    The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

    In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

    A Nationwide Holiday



    The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

    The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

    The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

    Original article from the United States Department of Labor appears here.


    Motorists Reminded to Heed Potential for Heavy Rains Related to Hurricane Hermine

    RICHMOND – Summer is winding down, which means thousands of motorists will be heading out on highways across the Commonwealth this Labor Day weekend. Travelers can expect to see more stationary and roving patrols by Virginia State Police troopers as part of the Department’s participation in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program means troopers will increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Friday morning, Sep. 2, 2016 at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

    Last year, Virginia experienced 16 traffic deaths during the four-day holiday counting period. This was an increase from 2014 when 11 individuals lost their lives in crashes during the Labor Day weekend. In addition to investigating 617 total traffic crashes during last year’s holiday weekend, State Police stopped 11,412 speeders and 3,189 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 933 safety belt violations and 336 child safety seat violations.

    Also of concentration this Labor Day weekend is impaired driving. State police is joining nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies to participate in the 2016 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Last year’s Labor Day weekend netted 119 DUI arrests by Virginia troopers.

    “Drunk driving takes a life, on average, every 36 hours in Virginia,” Lt. Colonel George L. Daniels Jr., Bureau of Field Operations Director said at a Checkpoint Strikeforce kickoff press conference in Richmond Thursday. “Drunk drivers don’t discriminate. They put everyone on the road at risk—a painful and never-ending reality for the families of the 241 people who died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Virginia last year.”

    State Police are also reminding motorists to make safety a priority if traveling to and/or from the Hampton Roads region this holiday weekend. With Hurricane Hermine’s path currently forecasted to impact Hampton Roads, there is a serious potential for heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding in the coastal region. Drivers are advised to monitor the weather forecasts throughout the holiday weekend. Motorists are also advised to never drive through flooded roadways or high, standing water, due to the severe threat of your vehicle getting stuck or carried away in the current. When driving in heavy rain, always use your headlights, buckle up, slow down for adverse road conditions, and remain alert to other motorists and high water.

    For more information on storm preparations, safety tips, and advisories related to this storm, go to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management website.

  50. Jean Pair Grizzard

    Jean Pair Grizzard, 79, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, September 1, 2016.  She was the widow of Joel Carlton Grizzard.  Also, she was preceded in death by two daughters, Joanne Whitby and Sandra Daniels; two brothers, Herman Pair and wife Chistine and Roper “Dickie” Pair and wife Jean and one sister, Edith Smith and husband Horace. She is survived by a daughter, Susan Evans and husband Frank, three grandchildren, Penny Harrell and husband Hunter, Joel Ward, and Michael Parks, two step-grandchildren, Frankie Evans and Angela Wright, three great-grandchildren; Haleigh Parks, Brianna Parks and Aliyah Parks one sister, Doris Campbell and husband Johnny and a number of beloved nieces and nephews.  The funeral service will be held 2pm Friday, September 2, 2016 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.  Online condolences may be made at

  51. Winner of Book Bag from CJs Furniture and Pawn

    Cordaryl Pearson is the winner of a book bag and school supplies given away as part of the CJ's Furniture and Pawn Back To School Promotion. This month, CJ's Furniture and Pawn will be giving away $100! See ad on this page for details.

  52. Local Law Enforcement and SVCC Partner for Active Shooter Training

    Numerous law enforcement agencies across the nation have taken extra steps to standardize their first responders’ reaction to active shooter incidents through their agencies and academies. A two-day training session was held recently for preparedness in such an event on the John H. Daniel Campus of Southside Virginia Community College, organized by Sheriff Arthur Townsend of Lunenburg County. 

    Virginia was among the first to implement a statewide plan. In 2007, The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) partnered with Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) to develop and deliver an aggressive state-wide response and prevention model.  This model will allow Virginia’s law enforcement officers to respond, prevent and/or mitigate an active shooter incident implementing ALERRT’s pivotal uniform response standards.  It is critical to the safety of the public as well as the safe and efficient mitigation of active shooters for all responding agencies to be trained to the same set of standards and tactics.  This consistent and proven partnership is and has proven vital to officer survivability and public safety.

    Those participating in the training were the following agencies: Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Department, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department, Nottoway County Sheriff’s Department, Victoria Police Department, Kenbridge Police Department, Virginia State Police and included observation by a member of the administration of Southside Virginia Community College.

    The participants of this training received an overview of the Active Shooter Level I course.  The module covered all administrative requirements including registration, waivers, and training rosters. The course was designed to prepare the first responder to isolate, distract, and neutralize an active shooter.  The course curriculum includes weapon manipulation, threshold evaluation, concepts and principles of team movement (including solo officer strategies), setting up for room entry and room entry techniques, approach and breaching the crisis site, follow-on responder tactics, improvised explosive devices (IED's), and post-engagement priorities of work.  The course will culminate with dynamic “force-on-force” scenarios.  Also included was a post test to assess participant’s base knowledge of the course material.

    SVCC was very appreciative of the time and effort expended by Sheriff Townsend seeking grant funding for this project, organizing the training, and communicating with surrounding agencies inviting participation.

  53. Small Business How-To Column: 4 Tips For Starting Your Own Business

    Michael Duncan, new regional consultant for the Longwood Small Business Development Center, has an addiction problem. But far from drugs or alcohol, Duncan is hooked on starting businesses. Before he worked as a full time consultant for the Longwood Small Business Development Center, Michael Duncan started seven businesses. Of those, he considers 5 to be successes, one a failure and one he terms “an unmitigated disaster.”

    These days, Michael gets the rush of start-up without the risk by offering his expertise free of charge to SBDC clients. Read on to find four of his top do’s and don’ts for small business owners from a man who’s well acquainted with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.

    1. DON’T Over Extend

    As someone who once was juggling over five businesses at the same time, Duncan has learned a thing or two about stretching yourself too thin. For small business owners, the struggle to manage time effectively and make growth-producing decisions is real. When you’re pulled in too many directions, it is easy to be blind sided.

    Duncan recalls what his own experience with attempting to do too much taught him:  “I learned about the power of unintended consequences. Small business owners try to anticipate what needs to happen, what should happen or what will happen, and you often don’t get creative enough analyzing it. Hindsight is always perfect vision. But in hindsight, most of the time you’ve missed a signal.”

    2. DO Talk to Others

    For Duncan, listening to his wife was one thing he wishes he had done more. While fellow business partners may have a good understanding of the specifics of a certain problem, seeking counsel from someone whom you love and trust—who is outside of the situation—can be key. Their advice can be the difference between success and failure.

    Duncan says during a particularly chaotic period, his wife offered some advice. According to Duncan, “She made a couple of nice remarks about me having too much going on and I think you’re losing focus. If I had stopped what I was doing, listened to her, I think I could have avoided a good degree of failure.”

    3. DON’T Lose Focus

    You’ve done the grunt work of carefully figuring exactly what your business will do and what services it will provide. You’ve painstakingly located your target market and you have a plan for growth. Don’t toss away those hours of work by losing the laser-like focus you’ve striven to attain.

    “Once you figure out what it is you want to do and how you want to do it, you have to look at it carefully to figure what exactly you’re doing,” says Duncan. “There’s great joy when it all comes together and it works. There’s always great joy in hard work.”

    The key is keeping your goal clear and your decisions intentional. According to Duncan, for better or worse, small business owners are going to make thousands of decisions a day and each one of those will have consequences.

    4. Remember You Are in Control of You

    “I made a pledge to myself many years ago that I would not be miserable for more than six weeks,” says Duncan. If something is not working, whether in your business or your life, don’t be shy about fixing it.

    “All businesses are a reflection of their owners,” says Duncan. “Especially small businesses. Everything in life and business is interdependent. While you cannot control the world around you; you can control how you respond to it.”

    For more tips on starting your own business, consider attending a free startup class offered by The Longwood Small Business Development Center.  To find one scheduled near you contact us at (434) 395-2086 or visit

    The Longwood Small Business Development Center provides free education, consulting, and economic research for potential and existing businesses throughout Southside Virginia. It is a non-profit organization funded through Longwood University, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and local governments where we have offices.

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