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December 2016

  1. Jackson-Feild Homes Promotes Three to Program Coordinators

    Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) is pleased to announce the promotion of three staff residential counselors to the position of Program Coordinator in which they will assist with the day-to-day operation of their respective cottage and in the supervision of the children and residential counselors.

    Ebony Gaither, a graduate of Fayetteville State University, will work with the girls assigned to Gwaltney Cottage.  Michael Stokes, a graduate of Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas will work with the boys in Rogers Cottage. Della Green, a graduate of St. Paul’s College, will work with the girls in Marshall Cottage.

    JFBHS seeks to improve the quality of life for its residents by providing cutting-edge treatment services for their emotional disorders.  At any given time, more than forty children are receiving care on campus.

    All of the children at JFBHS will benefit from the skills and abilities of these newly-promoted staff residential coordinators in their respective cottages. 

  2. SVCC COLLABORATES WITH LOCAL COUNTY PROSECUTORS ON ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING PROGRAM

    Lezlie S. Green (Left) Brunswick County Commonwealth's Attorney and Alfonzo Seward(Right), Assistant Professor of Administration of Justice at Southside Virginia Community College.

    “As prosecutors we are always looking for sentencing alternatives.  Probation and/or incarceration doesn't fit every case, but often these are the only options we have,” said Lezlie Green, Commonwealths Attorney for Brunswick County. 

    Southside Virginia Community College now offers a diversion program, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Attorneys of Brunswick, Mecklenburg, Lunenburg and Greensville counties. The program is for offenders between the ages of 18 through 25 and is designed as an alternative sentencing option for approved criminal offenses.  

    Diversion is an attempt to redirect, educate and rehabilitate young adults that commit and plead guilty to offenses that are approved by the local prosecutor for the diversion program.   Diverting youth who have committed approved criminal offenses away from the system and towards community-based treatment and support options can be a more appropriate response than confinement, and a more productive way of addressing and preventing future criminal behavior.

    Green noted, “The diversion program is a great example of tailoring available resources to fit the needs of the community - criminal justice needs and rehabilitation needs.  Our goal is to move a person from a path which will likely lead to incarceration to a path which will likely lead to job stability and good citizenship.”

    She also said, SVCC  heard our needs and built a program which addresses them, using resources already in place.  This has resulted in a partnership between the college, community corrections and the court house which will benefit not only Brunswick County but the entire SVCC service area.   

    The mission of this program is to rehabilitate, redirect, and develop successful, productive, citizens for an ever-changing global society by using formal education, counseling, discipline and life skills development. Its goals are Personal Responsibility, Reducing Recidivism, Providing Services, Workforce Preparedness, and helping the students obtain Career Studies Certificate.

    Offenders can only participate in the program if referred by the local Commonwealth’s Attorney and the judge that has jurisdiction over their case.  The program will consist of cohorts that begin the program and finish together.  The frequency of when a cohort begins will be determined by the needs of the counties that are participating in the program.

    Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Alfonzo R. Seward, is the program head and various instructors will provide the classroom content.

    Seward said “This is an awesome opportunity if the individual that is accepted into the program takes advantage of it and works to complete it successfully.”

  3. NJ Missing Persons Discovered in Dinwiddie County

    Thanks to an alert Dinwiddie County, Va., property owner, the missing 71-year-old New Jersey woman and her 5-year-old great-granddaughter were located by their vehicle shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 28, 2016). Both were found sitting together against a tree approximately 45 feet from the silver Toyota Rav4 that was parked on private property at least a mile from Nash Road (16,000 block). The property owner had spotted the vehicle from afar and went to check on it, when he found the woman and the child. Ms. Briley was unconscious at the time of her discovery. No foul play is suspected in their disappearance.

    Upon receiving the call from the local resident, the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police immediately responded to and remain on scene. State police is in contact with the lead investigative agency, the Township of Hamilton, N.J., Police Department.

    It appears Barbara Briley turned off of Nash Road and onto a dirt road, which she followed about 3/10 of a mile before pulling off into the woods. At one point, she drove over a small tree, attempted to back up and the Rav4 got stuck in a remote area of the property. Based on evidence recovered at the scene, it appears the two were there for several days but had enough drinks and snacks to sustain them for the duration of that time.

    Barbara Briley was flown by State Police Med-Flight helicopter to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Va., for treatment. She is listed in serious condition.

    Five-year-old La’Myra Briley was alert and appeared unharmed, but has been transported from the scene to the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office for medical evaluation. The child is now in the custody of a family member.

  4. Bryn Montgomery takes her love of baking and does something "sweet"

    Bryn Montgomery, a 5th grade student at Brunswick Academy, has a love of baking.  She decided she wanted to take her hobby and put it toward a good cause.  This Christmas season she took orders for Christmas cookies and cupcakes from family, friends, and community members.  The response was so overwhelming that orders had to be put to a halt!  Selling over 60 dozen cookies and 20 dozen cupcakes, Bryn donated a portion of her proceeds to the Luv4Pawz Animal Rescue co-owned by Mary Beth Vincent (Pictured above with Bryn).  Luv4Pawz Rescue's mission is to save shelter animals and unwanted animals in Brunswick, Greensville, and Southampton, and Mecklenburg counties.  Bryn was able to donate $450 to help towards vet care, food, supplies, etc. for the Rescue.  Bryn is the daughter of Vin and Ann Montgomery of South Hill.

  5. 10 Killed in Four Days over Holiday Weekend in Virginia

    RICHMOND – The Christmas holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one on Virginia’s highways. During the four-day statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, through midnight Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, preliminary reports indicate 10 people died in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.

    The 10 fatal crashes occurred in the counties of Albemarle, Alleghany, Buchanan, Culpeper, Fauquier, Louisa, Prince William and Wise; and the cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk. Three of the deceased were pedestrians (Louisa County, Prince William County and the City of Suffolk). The fatal crash in the city of Chesapeake was a hit-and-run that is still under investigation by the Virginia State Police. Four of the drivers and passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.

    “Tragically, too many families spent their Christmas with family making arrangements for funeral services,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We cannot stress enough the importance for drivers to make smart, safe and sober decisions during the remaining days of 2016. Let us finish out this year by simply doing what’s right when it comes to driving on Virginia’s highways. Please drive to save lives.”

    On Thursday (Dec. 22), within hours of the start of the statistical counting period, two 16-year-old females lost their lives in a Halifax County traffic crash and a 40-year-old male was killed in a Wythe County traffic crash. Then, 50 minutes after midnight Tuesday (Dec. 27), a 27-year-old man was killed in a Chesterfield County crash.

    All drivers are reminded with the New Year’s holiday this weekend to make a commitment to driving sober, driving without distraction, driving buckled up, and driving the posted speed limit.

    Virginia State Police troopers will have an increased presence on highways across the Commonwealth during the New Year’s holiday weekend to ensure the safety of all motorists. Please also be alert to those troopers, firefighters, medics, wrecker drivers and highway maintenance workers working alongside our highways and comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law.

  6. Jane Thorpe Wendell

    Jane Thorpe Wendell, 79, of Emporia, widow of William Henry Wendell, passed away Tuesday, December 27, 2016. She is survived by two daughters, Betty Lou Robinson and husband, Randy and Billie Kay Harper and husband, Rodgers; three grandchildren, Anthony William Tranka and wife, Cathy, Benjamin John Tranka and wife, Sarah-Beth and Christian Harper; four great-grandchildren; brother, John Robert Thorpe and wife, Catherine, sister, Lucille T. Dunlow and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, December 29 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, December 30. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

  7. Emporia Celebrates CornerStone Market BP and Subway with State and National Recognition

    CornerStone Market BP and Subway is now the #1 BP Rewards site in Virginia and #10 in the entire United States for 2016.  This is even more surprising when other BPs in the country have been operating for 11 months while CornerStone Market BP has only been opened 5 months.

    “Our dedication to getting these extra savings to our customers has led us to this nice accomplishment,” said Teresa Simmons, Store Manager.

    For an average customer who buys $25 of gas or diesel on a fill-up, the BP Rewards offer will provide a great savings of approximately 22¢ per gallon on the next purchase of 20 gallons or less.  This equates to $2.63 in total savings on one fill-up.  The program is really this simple and it packs a great introductory Reward for 90 days with an ongoing Reward of 10¢ for each $100 in gas or diesel purchases.

    BP Rewards is a loyalty program that can be used with any credit or debit card and even with cash purchases.   Instead of keeping up with a BP Rewards card, your phone number can be used to access your rewards directly on the dispenser.

    Barry Grizzard of Little Oil Company says “It is the greatest Major Oil Company sales promotion that I have ever seen in my 37 years in the industry and that is why CornerStone Market BP and Subway and its employees are saving local customers money one customer at a time.”

    To become eligible for the promotion, you need to be registered online on or before 12.31.16.  The employees at CornerStone Market BP and Subway will be glad to help you with this registration if you just send us a valid phone number to use to access your BP Rewards.  Email your phone number to emporiacornerstone@gmail.comand you will be set-up with a return email to confirm the set-up.

    CornerStone Market BP employees will assist you by taking you out to the dispenser and showing you how easy the program is to operate and to save you money on future purchases.

    Below is a photo of a customer getting 20 gallons of gas for a total purchase of $2.18 with a price per gallon of 10.9¢.  You can be getting gas for 10.9¢ if you get on the Rewards program and you start saving up your Rewards.

  8. 2016 SVCC Power Line Grads

    Southside Virginia Community College's Power Line Worker Program held its third graduation ceremony on December 20, 2016 at Pickett Park, Blackstone, Virginia. John Lee, Chief Executive Officer for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative was guest speaker.   There are 18 successful members of the program pictured (Front Row Left to Right) Andrew Redd (Chatham), James Jacobs, IV (Goode), William Haymore (Chatham), Al Barker (Montpelier), John Stockner (Amelia), Brad Wike, Instructor, (Second row, L to R) Blaine Cunningham (Madison Heights), Ryan Hewitt (Windsor), Thomas Drager (Chincoteague Island), Walker Sanderson (Charlotte Court House), Patrick Hughes (Richmond), Taylor Connolly (Glen Allen).(Back row, L to R) Nathan Humphrey (Amelia Court House), Ryan Lockner (Saxe), Korey Martin (S. Chesterfield), Jesse Flack (Dry Fork), Joshua Duggan (Farmville), Adam Yeatts (Appomattox), Tyler Noblin (South Boston) and Clyde Robertson Instructor.

  9. SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS – DRIVE TO SAVE LIVES

    RICHMOND – With the holiday season upon us and plenty of festive occasions to attend, the Virginia State Police are reminding all partygoers that the best way to survive the holidays is to drive to save lives.

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 28 people in the U.S. die every day in an alcohol-related vehicle crash - which translates to one person every 53 minutes. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the past three decades; however, the chance of being involved in an alcohol-impaired crash is still one in three over the course of a lifetime. Alcohol-related crash deaths and damages contribute to a cost of $52 billion per year.

    Last year, nationwide, there were 10,265 deaths* resulting from alcohol-impaired traffic crashes, with 241 of those deaths occurring in Virginia.** Another 4,917 persons were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes across the Commonwealth.

    “The fact that alcohol-related deaths and injuries on Virginia’s highways are decreasing is encouraging, but we still need all drivers to get the message,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Drunk driving isn’t a victimless crime. You could kill yourself or someone else, or get a DUI and go to jail. We need every driver to make smart, safe and sober decisions. Let's drive to save lives in these remaining days of 2016."

    It’s illegal in Virginia to drive over the limit of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL). And it might not take as much alcohol as one might think to get there. So the safest approach is to only drive sober. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party, bar, or restaurant, let someone else do the driving – a sober friend, a taxi, public transportation or a Transportation Network Company, like Uber or Lyft

    To detect and deter impaired driving, the Virginia State Police is once again participating in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign by increasing patrols and participating in DUI checkpoints with local police and sheriff’s offices across the Commonwealth.

    In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, it is just as important for everyone to be alert and report a drunk driver to state police by dialing #77 on a cell phone. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” Flaherty said.

    If you plan to drink, then plan to get home safely:

    •Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash.

    •If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving.  Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.

    •If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or just stay put.

  10. VCU Health CMHCardiovascular Diagnostic Services earns IAC Echocardiography Reaccreditation

    South Hill, VAVCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Cardiovascular Diagnostic Services located in South Hill, VA has been granted an additional three-year term of accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Echocardiography in the areas of Adult Transthoracic and Adult Transesophageal. This latest accreditation awarded to VCU Health CMH Cardiovascular Diagnostic Services demonstrates the facility’s ongoing commitment to providing quality patient care in echocardiography.

    Echocardiography is used to assess different areas of the heart and can detect heart disease or signs of serious cardiovascular conditions. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, followed closely by stroke as the fourth highest cause of death. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), more than 2,150 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease which amounts to about one every 40 seconds.

    There are many factors that contribute to an accurate diagnosis based on echocardiography. The training and experience of the sonographer performing the procedure, the type of equipment used and the quality assessment metrics each facility is required to measure, all contribute to a positive patient outcome. IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement.

    Accreditation by the IAC means that VCU Health CMH Cardiovascular Diagnostic Services has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be in compliance with the published Standards thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in echocardiography. Comprised of a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel of medical experts, the IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

    IAC accreditation is widely respected in the medical community, as illustrated by the support of the national medical societies related to echocardiography, which include physicians and sonographers. IAC Echocardiography is supported by the following organizations while operating independently of their activities: American Society of Echocardiography (ASE); Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS); and Society of Pediatric Echocardiography (SOPE).

    VCU Health CMH also announced recently that the hospital is now offering enhanced imaging capabilities withthe Philips EPIQ Ultrasound System.

    “We’re very pleased to be able to offer referring physicians and patients this important advance,” saidDonna Jarrell, VCU Health CMH Rehab Director. “PhilipsEPIQ ultrasound demonstrates VCU Health CMH’s dedication to providing the latest innovative ultrasound solutions to care for patients by pushing the boundaries of image quality, workflow, and ease of use. With the new Philips system, we are acquiring an extremely high level of diagnostic information that can be used to help provide answers for our patients more quickly and easily. In addition, results from the ultrasound exam may reduce the need for more invasive procedures.”

    The advanced capabilities of EPIQ are designed to help provide enhanced clinical information from each scan, fast and consistent exams, and a high level of diagnostic confidence, even for types of patients who have proved challenging to image in the past, such as those with high BMIs.

    For more information about this new capability, please call (434) 447-3151 ext. 3670.

  11. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces 2016 Employee and Managers of the Year

    Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) has named its 2016 Employee and Managers of the Year. Employees and managers are nominated for these awards by their colleagues based on their commitment to patient care, their professionalism, and their contributions on the job. The recognitions are the highest honors hospital employees can receive.

    Employee of the Year

    Central Scheduler Jasmine Redia Harvey has been employed at SVRMC since July of 2014. Ms. Harvey schedules patients for outpatient diagnostic testing, coordinating the scheduling with physician offices and working to ensure requests are completed in a timely manner. Her coworkers had the following to say about her: “Jasmine always wears a smile. She remains calm in all situations and appears the happiest when she is the busiest. She manages her heavy work flow with ease and is always willing to lend a helping hand.”

    Clinical Manager of the Year

    James Ewing, III, Director of Cardiopulmonary, Respiratory, Sleep and Laboratory Services and Facility Compliance Officer, is a long term employee at SVRMC.  He is responsible for the daily activities, including staffing and budgets, of the four aforementioned departments, as well as ensuring that the entire facility and all staff adhere to corporate compliance requirements. Mr. Ewing’s coworkers had the following to say about him: “Jay is respected by all of his peers for the multiple jobs he performs in this facility. He is an asset to the facility as well as to other leaders. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and provide guidance whenever needed. He is a wonderful advocate for our hospital and is very involved with community service. He represents our facility in a very positive way.”

    Non-Clinical Manager of the Year

    Rebecca T. Parrish, Director of Human Resources, has been employed at SVRMC since 2004. She is responsible for planning, coordinating, implementing and administering all human resource policies and practices. Ms. Parrish’s coworkers had the following to say about her: “Becky always goes above and beyond in her duties for this facility, spending many hours planning and participating in events. As a manager, I depend on Becky’s expertise, and she has always gone out of her way to help me with whatever I needed. She always has the answers, and the insight she provides helps me to do my job better.”

  12. Jackson-Feild Receives a Matching Grant from The Cabell Foundation

    In November 2015, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) received word that The Cabell Foundation was offering them a $75,000 matching grant to construct an outdoor recreation center on its campus.  Following a year-long fund raising effort, JFBHS raised the funds required, and The Cabell Foundation recently awarded the grant.

    The recreation center will feature a fenced and lighted multi-sports court plus other amenities to provide residents with a variety of recreational opportunities.  Construction will begin in January, and the goal is to have it up and running by the end of April.

    Established in 1957 by Robert G. Cabell, III and Mrs. Maude Morgan Cabell, The Cabell Foundation supports the needs of charitable organizations in Virginia. The Cabells wanted the foundation to be responsive to human needs in its deliberations and to take the initiative to inspire action.  More than 400 organizations have received grants totaling $85,000,000.

    Jackson-Feild is most grateful to the Board of Trustees of The Cabell Foundation for their support.

  13. Betty Woodruff Jarratt Fitzgerald

    Betty Woodruff Jarratt Fitzgerald, 84, of Waynesboro, VA, formerly of Jarratt, Virginia, was called home to Heaven on Sunday, December 18, 2016. She was born July 21, 1932 in Pitt County, NC. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth C. Fitzgerald; two daughters, Peggy Jarratt Moore and husband, JR and Kay Jarratt Cox; four grandchildren, Heather Fincham and husband, John, Jason Cox  and wife, Tatiane, Crystal Graham and husband, Chris and Kelly Cox and husband, Damiel; four great-grandchildren, Brady and Carly Fincham and Brendan and Chase Riddle; a brother, Onnie Woodruff and wife, Brenda; three sisters, Shelia Pierce and husband, Bob, Ann Floyd and husband, Luke and Evelyn Moore; several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law and a number of nieces and nephews. Mrs. Fitzgerald was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Verna Woodruff; her husband, Arthur Jarratt, a granddaughter; four brothers and two sisters. Betty was a member of High Hills Baptist Church in Jarratt and in the past three years attended Wayside Baptist Church in Waynesboro. A hardworking lady, she managed a grocery store for over thirty years and eventually managed the store she owned. She loved gardening, sewing, singing and dancing and spending as much time as she could with her family and friends. Her smile will be remembered by everyone she knew her as her personality could radiate a room where everyone could feel her love. The funeral service will be held 12 noon on Thursday, December 22 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at High Hills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eight Ave, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001 (www.alzfdn.org.) Online condolences amy be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  14. CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SANITATION SCHEDULE

    CITY OF EMPORIA

    CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY

    SANITATION SCHEDULE

    RESIDENTIAL SERVICE:  TRASH, BULK/YARD WASTE AND RECYCLING

    NORMAL COLLECTION                                     WILL BE COLLECTED

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016                                     Monday, December 19, 2016

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016                                Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    Thursday, December 22, 2016                                    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    Friday, December 23, 2016                                        Thursday, December 22, 2016

    ALL WASTE MUST BE PLACED AT STREET FOR REMOVAL BY 7:00 A.M. ON COLLECTION DAY.

    COMMERCIAL SERVICE

    NO COLLECTION  

    LOOSE LEAF COLLECTION

    NO COLLECTION

    THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT IS ASKING ALL RESIDENTS TO REFRAIN FROM PUTTING TRASH OUT AFTER THEIR NORMAL SCHEDULED COLLECTION.

    Tags: 

  15. SVCC Programs Lead to Jobs

    Southside Virginia Community College offers evening welding classes at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center. Two of the students are employed at American Buildings Company in LaCrosse and are continuing their skills training to be prepared for opportunities. 

    Dr. Chad Patton, Dean of Career and Occupational Technology said, “I really love each of the programs in my division because they lead to good jobs.  I would strongly encourage anyone who likes a challenge and who has a good work ethic to spend a few nights a week learning a professional skill like welding.”

    Patton also said, “SVCC has many success stories and we are proud of each and every one of them.”

    For more information about welding and other classes offered at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center or other SVCC locations, www.southside.edu or call Maki Malone at 434 955 2252.

    Pictured (Left to Right) are John Evans, the instructor, Yasin Jones, Wesley Gregory, Raheem Hayes, Douglas Reed, and Gabriel Drewry.

  16. “Holiday Greetings”

    Well Christmas time is almost here
    And we enhance the joy of giving
    Yes the Christ Child that once in a manger lay
    Has changed our style of living.
     
    Most every yard is lit up
    With bright lights for all to see
    In most every home somewhere you’ll find
    A very special Christmas Tree.
     
    Now the presents will be wrapped up
    So the gifts they do not show
    Yet take it from me, viewing the size and shape
    What it is each youngster will know.
     
    We try to please each child with toys
    For all would like some of those
    Still if we would stick to reality
    The need is for good warm clothes.
     
    The Wisemen three did travel far
    Across the open desert sand
    Guided only by a star
    On their way to a strange land.
     
    They were heading off to Bethlehem
    Bearing gifts along the way
    Searching for a special manger
    In which the baby Jesus soon would lay.
     
    Now Christians all await Christmas Eve
    For then its soon to be Christmas Morn
    Yes and through the excitement don’t forget to remind
    It’s the day our Savior was born.
     
    May all have a blessed Christmas.
     
    Roy E. Schepp
  17. Helen Poole Gibson

    Helen Poole Gibson, 77, of Emporia, passed away on December 18, 2016. She was predeceased by her daughter, Lori Peirce and is survived by her sons, Tony Gibson and wife Debbie, David Gibson and wife Norma, Michael Gibson and friend Jeanette, and Timothy Gibson; sister, Gale P. Moore, 1 brother, William B. Poole & wife Lori; 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be held Wednesday, 11am, at Concord Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

  18. Gene Marshall Johnson

    Gene Marshall Johnson, 74, of Midlothian, formerly of Emporia, passed away on December 14, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Ann Faison Johnson; daughter and son in law, Amy and Jimmy Parks; son, Jay Johnson; grandchildren, Abby and Marshall and special brother in law and wife, Bobby and Sandy Faison. He served as the 8th Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections, appointed by Governor Mark Warner in October 2002 and reappointed by Governor Timothy Kane in January 2006. During his 45 years of distinguished service, he was known for his commitment to the agency. A funeral service will be held 1pm, Monday, at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 2341 Winterfield Road, Midlothian, VA 23113. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, 1pm, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, 1250 Skippers Road, Emporia, VA 23847. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Employee Assistance Fund, Attn: Barbara Reyes, Department of Corrections, P.O. Box 26963, Richmond, VA 23261. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

  19. Trooper’s Father Seeks Support versus Sadness during the Holidays

    RICHMOND – Law enforcement personnel on patrol through Richmond and Hampton Roads will get a “thank you” during the holidays from slain trooper’s father, John Dermyer, and the generosity of Lamar Outdoor Advertising. John Dermyer currently lives in Kansas City and reached out to Lamar Advertising about putting up a billboard during the holidays to thank local and state law enforcement for the service and protection they provide every day to local communities. The billboard advertising company not only agreed to help Mr. Dermyer, but offered to put up four digital billboards in the Kansas City region free of charge.

    Lamar then agreed to do the same in Virginia, where his son served in both the Hampton Roads and Richmond regions as a Virginia State Police trooper. The Virginia digital billboards start Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, and will run through Christmas day.

    Trooper Chad P. Dermyer, 37, was shot and killed while on duty March 31, 2016, as he approached a male subject at a bus terminal in the city of Richmond.

    A Kansas City television station interviewed Mr. Dermyer Dec. 14, 2016, on the billboards: http://www.kmbc.com/article/slain-troopers-father-creates-billboard-with-message-of-support-to-police/8501835

  20. SEN. WARNER’S BILL TO HONOR OSS VETERANS SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE PRESIDENT

    ~ Veterans of the WWII-era Office of Strategic Services will be recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal ~

    WASHINGTON – This morning the White House announced that President Obama has signed into law legislation authored by Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to honor veterans of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their superior service and major contributions during World War II.

    “The members of the OSS were essential to the Allied forces’ victory in World War II, but for many years, their heroic contributions – which included some of the most daring covert operations of the war — remained shrouded in secrecy, their impact largely unknown to the American people. I am pleased that we are finally able to recognize them publicly with the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Sen. Warner, the incoming Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The members of the OSS are part of the proud tradition of American intelligence professionals who have worked tirelessly and quietly in defense of our nation since its founding. They serve in anonymity,  knowing that their greatest contributions to our safety and security may never be made public. We seldom hear about their successes or their sacrifices, but they allow us to go about our everyday lives free from fear of those who wish to do us harm, and for that, we owe these brave men and women not only respect, but enduring gratitude.”

    The OSS conducted critical operations during the war including establishing intelligence networks, training resistance organizations throughout Europe and Asia, and carrying out “mercy missions” at the end of the war to save the lives of thousands of Allied prisoners of war. It was created in 1942 under the leadership of General William J. Donovan to better coordinate and oversee American intelligence operations. At its peak, 13,000 members served in the OSS including notable names such as Julia Child, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Ford, and James Donovan, who was depicted in the 2015 movie, “Bridge of Spies.”

    Sen. Warner is the incoming Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. This summer, he lead an effort to recognize Virginia OSS veteran Stephanie Rader by posthumously awarding her the Legion of Merit.

    The OSS Congressional Gold Medal Act was co-sponsored by 73 Senators, including all 15 members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

  21. 2016 Christmas Program at Brunswick Academy

    Brunswick Academy held a wonderful Christmas Program on Monday, December 5th under the direction of Music and Chorus teacher, Mrs. Alice Maitland.  Students in grades Pre-K through 5th Grades, 7th Grade Music Enrichment, and the High School Chorus participated.  It was a delightful program that put everyone in the Christmas spirit!

  22. WARNER, KAINE PRAISE FINAL PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE BILL

    Legislation authorizes new water infrastructure in Virginia and maintains resiliency efforts in Hampton Roads

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine applauded final passage of the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act), also known as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which authorizes water infrastructure projects across the nation. This bill makes investments in harbor dredging, maintenance of locks and dams, flood control, ecosystem restoration and other water-related priorities. Additionally, the bill includes a package of measures to address the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan, as well as steps to lessen risks for similar communities across the country with aging drinking water infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ biennial infrastructure report card gives Virginia an overall grade of C- for the state of its water and transportation infrastructure.

    “We voted for this bill because it makes overdue investments in many priorities important to Virginia – dredging and port infrastructure, restoration of important ecosystems like the Chesapeake Bay, and resilience to flooding and sea level rise for large coastal communities like Hampton Roads and small rural ones like Chincoteague. This bill also devotes emergency funding to deal with lead-contaminated drinking water for the people of Flint, Michigan. We appreciate the inclusion of Virginia provisions we authored and applaud the bipartisan vote on this commonsense infrastructure bill,” the Senators said.

    The following list includes several provisions for which Warner and Kaine advocated that were included in the final bill:

    • A study of Chincoteague Island evaluating the perennial flooding and erosion challenges facing the region and examining options of how to fix these issues, how much they would cost, and how much the federal cost-share would be. With nearly 2.3 million visitors last year, Assateague Island National Seashore and the adjacent Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge are premiere tourism destinations on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Extreme weather events have occurred frequently in recent years, including last January’s blizzard that caused some $725,000 in damage and nearly destroyed the recreational beach parking lot. 
    • Reauthorization and funding increase for the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration Program, a successful public-private partnership among the Army Corps of Engineers, states, localities, and groups like The Nature Conservancy. This program has helped reverse years of declining oyster populations in the Bay by supporting oyster reef projects in key Virginia locations, such as the Rappahannock, Lafayette and Piankatank Rivers. The additional funds authorized in this provision will help Virginia and other Bay watershed states reach the 2025 pollution reduction goals laid out in the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
    • Section 4013 updates an existing coastal resiliency program to prioritize federal funds for projects in communities threatened by sea level rise while creating an interagency working group to coordinate data on sea level rise across federal agencies. It also requires federal consultation with state organizations working to coordinate resilience investment across federal, state, regional, and local bureaucratic entities. This will promote more informed decision-making about sea level rise planning in key regions like Hampton Roads, while ensuring that resilience-related grants from multiple agencies are serving complementary objectives. This provision will also provide formal federal backing for state-sponsored task forces like the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency – an interagency, cross-jurisdictional clearinghouse for Hampton Roads sea level rise planning co-led by Old Dominion University and William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
  23. Grace and Power Retirement Association Celebrates Holiday Dinner

    The  Grace & Power Retirement Association which was formed by a group of ladies retired from the local branch of Georgia Pacific is more than just talking about old times.  Recently celebrating their holiday dinner with gifts to one another the ladies of GP also is blessing their community.  

    Front row (left to right):  Hattie Vaughan, Grace Hunter, Jackie Scott, and Grace Whitson-Jones; back row (left to right): Hattie Terry, Vivian Mason, Martha Hill, Melba Woodley, and Anna Seaborne. (not pictured Rena Banks)

  24. VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for November 2016

    Todd Howell, Vice President of Professional Services, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Kelvin Baker, Respiratory Therapist, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for November.  There to congratulate Kelvin was Mike Simmons, Assistant Rehab Director, Donna Jarrell, Rehab Director, Teresa Tuck, Respiratory Therapist and Patricia Hall-York, Respiratory Therapist.

    Kelvin has been employed at VCU Health CMH for a little more than a year.  His dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make him a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.   

    The nomination form submitted on his behalf stated, “While transporting a patient to South Wing, I stopped by the nurse’s station and asked for help moving the patient. Kelvin was down the hall, overheard my request, and came to help me.  This is not the first time he has gone out of his way to help move patients.  He is always a big help to the nurses in the ER, and always has a great personality!  Thanks for all you do Kelvin!”  “Kelvin consistently performs his duties with STAR Service in mind.  He creates exceptional experiences by putting the needs of others first. He interacts with all individuals in a warm and caring manner.  He is a great example of what customer service should look like.  I am proud that Kelvin is part of our VCU Health CMH family!

    In addition to the award certificate, Kelvin received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of his choice for the month.

  25. SVCC Encourages You To Panther Up For 2017

    Panther Up at Southside Virginia Community College for a successful new year in 2017.  The SVCC Panthers are recruiting new students to the ranks.  Registration is underway now for Spring semester classes and students can register online, in person or by telephone. 

    Classes for the spring begin January 9, 2017.  Students can register now or in January but the earlier the better according to Bernadette Battle, Student Services Director.  She notes that financial aid, counseling and advising can all be completed before classes start. Call 888-220-SVCC.

    The college will be closed for the Holiday from December 23, 2016 to January 3, 2017.

    Visit the college website to learn more about classes offered at www.southside.edu  Plan now to Panther Up and Have a Great New Year.

  26. College Community Connection - Changing Students’ Lives

    The end of the year and the holiday season have become inexorably linked with gift-giving. Some gifts are purchased, some are homemade. Some get wrapped in boxes, some entail donating one’s time to a cause, and some involve making charitable contributions. In evaluating different kinds of charity, the twelfth-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) described eight levels of giving. He ascribed the lowest rank to giving unwillingly. Giving cheerfully was better, as was giving without being asked. He rated giving anonymously higher still, but Maimonides placed the highest honor on giving that enabled the recipient to become self-reliant.  

    In more contemporary times, Oprah Winfrey made a similar observation, “It's not just about being able to write a check. It's being able to touch somebody's life.”

    Working in education gives me an opportunity to see these principles in action. On a daily basis, I observe faculty and staff members who give their utmost to touch students’ lives. As a result of their influence, I watch students work hard and undergo a transformative process, becoming self-reliant community members and serving as role models for others.

    Here at Southside Virginia Community College, we believe that all citizens should be given an opportunity to acquire an education that develops and extends their skills and knowledge. The college's goal is to provide diverse instructional programs ranging from developmental studies to associate’s degree curricula, and our offerings cover a wide spectrum of academic, technical/vocational, lifelong education, and workforce development classes.

    People who choose to pursue these opportunities often require assistance to cover the costs of education, and SVCC works diligently to give students the support they need. In fact, 94% of beginning students receive financial aid. Much of it originates from federal sources, such as Pell grants. Some comes from state sources. State funds are particularly important to students enrolled in noncredit, workforce development programs. During its 2016 session, the Virginia General Assembly passed a legislative initiative that established the New Economy Workforce Grant Program, a program that can cover up to two-thirds of the cost of courses leading to credentialing in high-demand fields.

    These types of federal and state financial aid do not cover the entire cost of education, however. To help students with unmet financial need, the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation administers scholarship programs that help fill the gaps so that deserving students can successfully reach their education goals. During the most recently completed academic year, the Foundation presented awards to more than 250 students. These opportunities were made possible primarily through the generous contributions of local people and businesses who wanted to help today’s students succeed and become constructive co-laborers who will join in the task of building a better tomorrow.

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

  27. Foundation Grant Will Enable Paul D. Camp Community College to Respond to Growing Demand for Solar Jobs

    RICHMOND — The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is presenting Paul D. Camp Community College with the 8th Annual Valley Proteins Award for Workforce Development. The $10,000 grant is funded by Valley Proteins, and it will help the college create a Career Studies Certificate (CSC) program in energy technology with a focus on solar energy.

    With four large solar farms in various stages of review, approval, and construction within the PDCCC service region, college officials were eager to get the program up and running to accommodate the nearly 500 specially-trained jobs the facilities will require. Paul D. Camp has campuses in both Franklin and Suffolk. 

    “This CSC in energy technology will provide both the entry-level and mid-level solar energy training to support the construction, operation, and maintenance of the burgeoning solar industry currently underway in the rural Hampton Roads area,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois.

    The Valley Proteins Endowment Fund is awarded annually to support workforce development programs at Virginia’s Community Colleges in the areas of environmental science, commercial truck driving, heating and air conditioning, and office technology.

    "We are very grateful to have received this Valley Proteins grant. The goal of our program is to provide the community and industry with the best-trained students possible. This generous grant will provide our students job opportunities in the growing field of solar energy in PDCCC’s service region,” observed PDCCC President Dan Lufkin.

    The process of earning a certificate in energy technology can be completed in one academic year. PDCCC expects to begin offering the Energy Technology Career Studies Certificate program in the fall of 2017. It is anticipated that the success of the first class of graduates will attract even more students to the program.

    This is the second time Paul D. Camp Community College has earned the award. Previous recipients of the annual award include Blue Ridge Community College, Eastern Shore Community College, John Tyler Community College, and Southside Virginia Community College.

    Headquartered in Winchester, Valley Proteins, Inc. is committed to supporting the workforce, particularly in the areas in which it has a business presence. The 66-year-old firm operates plants in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Its processing facilities recycle food waste materials into usable products and bio fuels for feed and industrial applications.

  28. Crater Community Hospice Honors Retiring CEO Brenda Mitchell

    Celebration at Country Club of Petersburg on December 7th 

    Petersburg, December 9, 2016 --- Crater Community Hospice (CCH) honored retiring CEO Brenda Mitchell and welcomed her successor, Karen Cameron, with a gala reception at the Country Club of Petersburg on Wednesday December 7th. 

    Almost 100 people gathered to celebrate the milestone occasion of Ms. Mitchell's retirement after more than two decades in the position. Attendees included colleagues, area officials, supporters, and current and former members of the Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff. Students from Appomattox Regional Governor's School under the direction of Mr. Paul Lindsey provided music.
     
    Tracy L. Taliaferro, Esq., Chair of the CCH Board of Directors welcomed the guests. He noted that "Tonight, we pause to honor the end of an era and to re-commit to our mission as we begin a new era." He reminded the audience of Ms. Mitchell's long history with the organization. "In 1995 the CEOs of our two, local, public hospitals of the time, had a vision to meet the needs of the seriously ill and others within the hospitals' service region who were struggling with end of life.  Their vision was Crater Community Hospice.  Two years later, the board of directors made a wise and impactful choice when they selected Brenda Mitchell to serve as CEO. Brenda grew CCH into an outstanding hospice provider."
     
    Brenda Clarkson, Executive Director of the Virginia Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, (VAHPC) attested to Ms. Mitchell's impact more broadly on the hospice movement.  She reminded the audience that Ms. Mitchell was a founding member of Virginia Association for Hospices (now VAHPC), incorporated in 1987, and has served in many roles including currently as President.  She noted that "Brenda has been a true leader in our field, always being at the forefront of the mission to advocate for quality care for all persons with life-limiting illnesses, to promote hospice and palliative care education and ethical practices."
     
    Jo Ann Glazier, Chair of the CCH Board of Director's Governance committee, presented a legacy plaque and told attendees that the community room at Crater Community Hospice's building - which is utilized for many free public educational programs including monthly Coffee Chats, memorial services, and more - will now be named in Ms. Mitchell's honor.  
     
    Mr. Taliaferro concluded the formal remarks by reminding everyone of Crater Community Hospice's mission. "The American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson authored the phrase, "Life is a journey, not a destination."  Hospice is a celebration of life-a celebration which, when begun in a timely fashion, can provide a person and their family the best quality of physical, emotional, and spiritual support on the most divine of journeys.  Hospice celebrates life. That celebration has been happening every day in the Crater region since 1995."  He thanked Ms. Mitchell again and looked forward to CCH's continued growth and leadership in the community under new CEO Karen Cameron.
  29. SEN. WARNER INTRODUCES THE FAST VOTING ACT TO HELP STATES IMPROVE ACCESS TO VOTING

    ~ Legislation would create a competitive grant program to encourage states to implement election reforms ~

    WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced legislation today to help states make voting faster and more accessible to all voters by making substantial improvements in the administration of their elections. The Fair, Accurate, Secure and Timely (FAST) Voting Act of 2016 would create a competitive grant program in the model of Race to the Top, encouraging states to aggressively pursue election reform. Those states that demonstrate the most comprehensive and promising reform plans will earn a greater portion of the grant funding.

    “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. But during this last election, reports indicated that computer problems, long lines, poorly trained poll workers, and outdated equipment all made it harder for voters in some places to cast their ballots,” said Sen. Warner. “The FAST Voting Act addresses these challenges by encouraging and helping states to make voting faster and more accessible through commonsense reforms like reducing long waiting times, expanding early voting opportunities, and eliminating other obstacles that prevent people from exercising their franchise.”

    In the 2016 election, long lines and voting-machine problems were reported in well over a dozen states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Utah, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Montana, Tennessee, Hawaii, Arizona, Rhode Island, and more.  There were also reports of confusionover new voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin, improper refusals of voter registrations in West Virginia, delayed absentee ballots in Pennsylvania and Alabama, and an absence of required bilingual support in Arizona and Florida.

    The program tasks applicant states with creating a comprehensive and coherent plan to improve their election processes by:

    • Providing flexible registration opportunities, including same-day registration;
    • Providing early voting, at a minimum of 9 of the 10 calendar days preceding an election;
    • Providing absentee voting, including no-excuse absentee voting;
    • Providing assistance to voters who do not speak English as a primary language;
    • Providing assistance to voters with disabilities, including visual impairment;
    • Providing effective access to voting for members of the armed services;
    • Providing formal training of election officials, including State and county administrators and volunteers;
    • Auditing and reducing waiting times at polling stations; and
    • Creating contingency plans for voting in the event of a natural or other disaster.

    The program also requires an assessment of steps the state has taken to eliminate statutory, regulatory, procedural, and other barriers to expedited voting and accessible voter registration. Sens. Warner and Coons first introduced the legislation in November 2012, just after Election Day, and have reintroduced the bill in subsequent Congresses.

    Sen. Warner has long been an advocate for the protection of voting rights and the integrity of the electoral process. He has introduced legislation to restore and advance provisions of the Voting Rights Act that were recently struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Warner has also cosponsored legislation which would remove partisanship out of the often divisive process of drawing congressional district lines.

  30. Florence “Flo” Bernard

    Florence “Flo” Bernard, 74, widow of William E. “Bill” Bernard passed away Tuesday, December 6, 2016. She is survived by her daughters, Janice Randof (Gary Nolf), Patricia Simmons (Jeff); sons, James William Edson, Jr. (Rosa), Richard Edson (Margarita) and Robert Lee Edson (Ana); many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and her beloved canine companions, Fern, Missie and Sadie Mae. Mrs. Bernard was a member of Forest Hill Baptist Church where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, December 9. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends 6-7:30 Thursday, December 8 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  31. STUDENT OF THE MONTH FOR DECEMBER 2016 XUANJIANG GUO (BOB)

     

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Xuanjiang Guo (Bob) has been chosen the December 2016 Student of the Month.  Bob, a senior, is the host son of Travis and Katie Turner of Emporia. He is from Xinjiang China and has one younger sister.  Bob is a member of the National Honor Society and the Brunswick Academy Chorus.  He been a student at Brunswick Academy for 4 years and has volunteered countless hours around the Emporia area. 

    Bob enjoys painting and calligraphy in his spare time.  He has applied to the University of Minnesota, Perdue University, University of Connecticut and Ohio State University.  And he plans to major in Finance and Banking.  Congratulations Bob on being chosen student of the month. 

    WAY TO GO BOB!

  32. Psychologist at Jackson-Feild Presents at the SBCNA Conference

    Dr. J. Michael Griffin, a psychologist who provides neurofeedback therapy at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) recently gave two presentations at the annual conference of the Southeast Biofeedback and Clinical Neuroscience Association.

    Of his two presentations, one – titled “Neurofeedback in an Adolescent Residential Treatment Program” – was the result of a study conducted at JFBHS.  In his presentation, Griffin noted that “adolescents in long-term residential facilities often have histories of abuse, neglect, and family histories of mental illness. Often these youths have received years of outpatient treatment, multiple in-patient psychiatric hospitalizations in acute care facilities, foster placements, and multiple behavioral health residential admissions. Multiple [types of treatment] have been used, including counseling, psychopharmacology, recreational therapy, therapeutic horticulture, equestrian therapy, and others. Despite these interventions, significant acting out behaviors may persist.”

    The study at JFBHS sought to determine whether neurofeedback is an effective treatment to reduce the severity, frequency and duration of acting-out incidents.  Over the course of the study, it was found that children receiving neurofeedback had at least 50% fewer incident reports than in prior reporting periods and those who received an average of four per month had an additional 17% fewer incident reports than those receiving two per month. In addition, staff noted that children had improved self-awareness, greater impulse control and reduced hyperactivity.

    JFBHS is constantly striving to provide better services to help children who have suffered severe emotional trauma, and Griffin’s work and services are much appreciated tremendously beneficial.

  33. End of Year Deadline Approaches for Federal Mortgage Assistance Programs

    Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS) is reaching out to low and moderate income homeowners who are having difficulty keeping up with their mortgage payments. Dec. 30 is the deadline to apply for federal Making Home Affordable programs, including HAMP. This program ends in 2016, and the Dec. 30 deadline is your last chance to apply for this important program.

    HAMP is the cornerstone of the Making Home Affordable program launched by the federal government in 2009.  HAMP lowers monthly mortgage payments for eligible homeowners to a more affordable and sustainable monthly payment for the long-term and helps people stay in their homes.

    Housing Improvement and Preservation is one of the core programs run by VLAS, a nonprofit law firm that provides legal information, advice and representation in civil cases to underprivileged individuals and families in Southside, as well as the Western Tidewater and Central Virginia regions. To contact VLAS, call 866-534-5243 (866-LEGL-AID), 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday.

    To apply for HAMP before it ends, you must submit the following items by the Dec. 30 deadline:

    • A “Request for Mortgage Assistance” (RMA) form
    • IRS Form 4506T, 4506T-EZ, or a signed copy of last year’s tax return
    • The “Dodd-Frank Certification” (which may be part of the RMA)
    • Proof of income (two months pay stubs, bank statements, etc.)

    You can get these forms and more information at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or call the HAMP hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673).  Act quickly and watch out for scams – you should not pay anyone to apply for this assistance. Get help applying from a free HUD-certified housing counselor. Find one at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/find-a-housing-counselor/.

    You can also call VLAS for free assistance but you must act quickly.

  34. Hicksford DAR Supports Literacy at Meherrin Regional Library

    The Hicksford Chapter, DAR presented a donation to the Richardson Memorial Library from their Literacy Committee. Shown are Margaret (Peggy) Jones presenting the check to Krystal Cook-Elliott. The Hicksford Chapter continues to support literacy programs and historic preservation each year.

  35. VCU Health CMH Auxiliary Tree of Love Ceremony

    South Hill—The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary celebrated the Christmas season with their annual “Tree of Love” program and reception on December 1, 2016 in the VCU Health CMH Education Auditorium.

    The “Tree of Love” is an annual fundraising event that raises money for the Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund.  This year 18 scholarships were given out totaling $14,400.00.  Recipients of the scholarships were:  The Bell Choir from the W.S. Hundley Extended Care Facility presented a musical program of Christmas music and celebration of the holiday season.

    During the ceremony recipients of the scholarship fund were recognized.  Including the following:  Pictured:  Jessica Johnson, Nikki Kallam, Stacy Davis    Not Pictured:  Hope Alexander, Jennifer Bradley, Megan Neal, Tiffany Thompson, Caitlin Crowder, Gayle Stamper, Andrea Bagbey, Amanda Palacios and Tamyca Goode.

    To make a donation to the “Tree of Love” Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund, make your check payable to CMH Auxiliary and mail to “Tree of Love” VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, P.O. Box 90, South Hill, VA 23970 or make your gift online at www.vcu-cmh.org and click “Donate Now” at the bottom left of the page.

    Your name and the name(s) of the person(s) in whose memory or honor you give your donation will appear in the newspaper. Also the names of the ones you gave to in memory or honor will be written on the “Tree of Love” Christmas tree, which will be on display in the CMH Main Lobby. If you wish to remain anonymous, your request will be honored.

  36. Farm Service Agency Extends Voting Deadline for County Committee Elections

    Virginia Producers Now Have Until Dec. 13 to Submit Ballots

    RICHMOND, VA Nov. 29, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Virginia Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Dr. Jewel Hairston Bronaugh, today announced that the deadline to submit ballots for the 2016 County Committee Elections has been extended to ensure farmers and ranchers have sufficient time to vote.Eligible voters now have until Dec. 13, 2016 to return ballots to their local FSA offices. Producers who have not received their ballot should pick one up at their local FSA office.

    “We’re extending the voting deadline to Dec. 13 to give farmers and ranchers a few additional days to get their ballots in,” said Dr. Bronaugh. “I urge all eligible producers, especially minorities and women, to get involved and make a real difference in their communities by voting in this year’s elections. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.”

    FSA has modified the ballot, making it easily identifiable and less likely to be overlooked. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Dec. 13, 2016. Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2017.

    Nearly 7,700 FSA County Committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of County Committee seats are up for election each year. County Committee members apply their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support, conservation, indemnity, disaster and emergency programs.

    Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the County Committee election. Approximately 1.5 million producers are currently eligible to vote. Farmers and ranchers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.

    For more information, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. You may also contact your local USDA service center or FSA office. Visit http://offices.usda.gov to find an FSA office near you.

    USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,700 bio-based products through USDA's Bio-Preferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/results.

  37. James E. “Jimmy” Brown

    James E. “Jimmy” Brown, 50, passed away Friday, December 2, 2016. He is survived by his son, Zachary; mother, Janie Brown; sister Debbie Pearce and husband, Randy; niece, Brittney Pearce; girlfriend, Stacy Webb and many aunts, uncles and cousins. A beloved father, son, brother and companion, Jimmy was greatly loved and will be missed. He was plant manager at First Energy Corporation for over 25 years; President of Jarratt Hunt Club, a member of Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department; a past member of Jarratt Town Council and a member of Purdy Baptist Church. The family will receive friends 2–5 p.m Sunday, December 4 at Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Monday, December 5 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Jarratt Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 562, Jarratt, Virginia 23867 or to Boy Scout Troop 232, 614 E. Lane Dr., Emporia, Virginia 23847 or to Jarratt Hunt Club, 583 Scotland Dr., Jarratt, Virginia. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  38. WARNER, KAINE URGE ACTION TO AUTHORIZE DELAYED V-A MEDICAL LEASES BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR

    ~ Delay has kept as many as 11 million veterans from accessing the care they deserve ~

    WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined 16 of their Senate colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter urging Congressional leaders to authorize leases for 24 Department of Veterans Affairs (V-A) medical facilities before the end of the 114th Congress. Congress has not authorized major medical facility leases since 2014, which are necessary to enable the department to deliver vital care and services to veterans in Virginia and across the country. Most of these leases have been pending congressional approval for more than a year.

    “Veterans in each of these states deserve the timely and quality health care benefits they have earned through their service. As such, we ask that you work to include authorization for these leases in the December funding bill, or another appropriate vehicle, to be signed into law this year,” the Senators wrote.

    Under law, the Department of Veterans Affairs (V-A) must receive specific legislative authorization to lease medical facilities with average annual rental payments in excess of $1 million. However, Congress has not, through a regular process, recently authorized any V-A major medical facility leases, hampering the ability of the V-A to provide much-needed health care and services to veterans around the country. Among the leases that are pending is a 155,000 square foot outpatient facility in Hampton Roads, Va., which has one of the fastest-growing veterans populations in the country. Patient visits in Hampton Roads’ service area increased by 30.5 percent from 2011 to September 2014, while the national average across the V-A system was 8.6 percent.

    Full list of leases pending authorization include:

    • Ann Arbor, MI - Outpatient Clinic
    • Birmingham, AL - Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
    • Birmingham, AL - Outpatient Specialty Clinic
    • Boston, MA – Research Space
    • Charleston, SC – Research Space
    • Daytona Beach, FL - Outpatient Clinic
    • Denver, CO - Chief Business Office Purchased Care
    • Gainesville, FL - Outpatient Clinic
    • Hampton Roads, VA - Outpatient Clinic
    • Mission Bay, CA – Research Space
    • Missoula, MT - Outpatient Clinic
    • Northern Colorado, CO - Outpatient Clinic
    • Ocala, FL - Outpatient Clinic
    • Oxnard, CA - Outpatient Clinic
    • Pike County, GA - Outpatient Clinic
    • Portland, ME - Outpatient Clinic
    • Raleigh, NC - Outpatient Clinic
    • Santa Rosa, CA - Outpatient Clinic
    • Jacksonville, FL – Outpatient Clinic
    • Pontiac, MI – Outpatient Clinic
    • Rochester, NY – Outpatient Clinic
    • Tampa, FL – Outpatient Clinic
    • Terre Haute, IN – Outpatient Clinic

    Other Senators who signed the letter are Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

    In September, Sens. Warner and Kaine introduced the Providing Veterans Overdue Care Act, which would authorize leases for medical facilities in 15 states.  

    A signed PDF of the letter is available here.

  39. WARNER & KAINE ANNOUNCE LEGISLATION TO EXPAND PETERSBURG NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD EXPECTED TO BECOME LAW

    ~ Senators, Congressmen applaud inclusion of legislation to triple the size of key Civil War site in must-pass defense authorization bill ~ 

    WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that legislation to add more than 7,000 acres to the Petersburg National Battlefield is on track to be approved by Congress as soon as next week.

    Text of the annual defense authorization bill released by a congressional conference committee includes legislation sponsored by the two Virginia Senators authorizing the National Park Service to acquire additional historic land sites related to the Siege of Petersburg, the longest military event of the Civil War. The National Defense Authorization Act is expected to pass the House of Representatives on Friday, with the Senate projected to follow suit early next week.

    “The Petersburg National Battlefield bore witness to the longest sustained siege in our nation’s military history and draws visitors from all across the country, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy every year,” said Sen. Warner. “Expanding the park will encourage tourism to the region while preserving this important piece of American history for future generations. After working on this legislation for several years now, it’s great news that we are so close to seeing it a reality.”

    “The NDAA ensures that the Petersburg National Battlefield will become the nation's largest protected battlefield,” Sen. Kaine said. “This hallowed ground bears witness to one of the longest, hardest and most decisive contests of the Civil War.   The stories of all the combatants--including more than 16,000 African-American troops--will now be more accessible to the current generation.  I thank my colleagues for their support and acknowledge the work of my predecessor Jim Webb in getting us to this day.”

    “After working for years with my colleagues to secure the expansion of the Petersburg National Battlefield Park, I am proud to be able to say that we have protected these hallowed grounds and ensured that the lands and history of this battlefield will be preserved for future generations,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who introduced the legislation in the House.  

    "Having worked toward this goal for years, I am pleased to see this important legislation being made into law during my final weeks in office,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), who sponsored the House legislation. “The Petersburg area contains so much of history and heritage, and I thank my colleagues in both parties and both chambers for their efforts to protect it.”

    The Petersburg National Battlefield – which injects more than $10 million into the local economy annually – currently protects over 2,500 acres of battlefield and historic buildings that were involved in General Ulysses S. Grant’s 10 month Siege of Petersburg, Virginia in 1864-1865. During the Civil War, Petersburg was an important supply post for General Robert E. Lee’s army and the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia. General Grant’s victory over Lee’s army at Petersburg in March of 1865 directly precipitated Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. This was the longest siege in American military history and was an important event for the United States Colored Troops (USCT) as over 16,000 African-American soldiers served in battle.

    In 2005, the National Park Service recommended modifying the Petersburg National Battlefield to include 7,238 acres of significant core battlefield land. The land identified for inclusion was the site of 18 major battles during the Civil War and are in danger of being lost to development. These sites are not currently protected within the National Battlefield and have been identified by the Civil War Trust as one of the most endangered group of historic battlefields in the country. The Petersburg National Battlefield Boundary Modification Act does not spend any money, only authorizes the National Park Service to acquire the land. The legislation also authorizes one small land transfer between Fort Lee and the battlefield.

    The acquisition – through purchase or donation of the land – would make the Petersburg National Battlefield the largest Civil War historic battlefield in the nation. Several nonprofits, including the Civil War Preservation Trust, already acquired key acreage that will be turned over to the National Park Service to expand the Battlefield.

    In August of this year, Sen. Warner joined the National Park Service on a tour of Grant’s Headquarters at the Petersburg National Battlefield. Photos from that visit are available for media use here.

    Sen. Kaine’s bill to reauthorize and expand the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program was signed into law in 2014, and his bill to create a National Park Service commission honoring 400 years of African American history has passed out of committee and is before the full Senate.

 

 

 

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