EmproiaNews.com will only have important/urgent updates. I have had a complication from surgery two weeks ago, and am on my way to emergency surgery again. I will resume updates as quickly as possible.

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April 2017

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, August 21, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

  1. Stroke. Treat it. Recognize it. Prevent it!

    Community Out-Reach Education

    South Hill – A stroke is a “brain attack.”  It can happen to anyone at any time.  Approximately 800,000 people have a stroke each year; about one every 40 seconds.  What are signs/symptoms of a stroke?  How important is it to get help quickly?  How can I prevent a stroke?

    If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend May’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about stroke.

    This FREE program will be on Tuesday, May 16th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center Auditorium at 125 Buena Vista Circle in South Hill.

    Dr. Paul Weidman will be the speaker for the program.  He received his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia.  He completed his residency in family practice at Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling, WV.  Dr. Weidman is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.  He is a new member of the VCU Health CMH medical staff and practices at CMH Family Care Center located at 420 Durant Street in South Hill.

    Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org.  Entrance to the VCU Health CMH Education Center Auditorium is to the left of the main hospital entrance.

  2. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces March 2017 Employee of the Month

    Emporia, VA – Margaret Robinsonhas been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for March 2017. Ms. Robinson, who works in SVRMC’s Acute Care Department, has been employed at SVRMC since April 2009.

    Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for March was Customer Waiting.  Ms. Robinson’s nomination included the following statement: “Margaret addresses each family member as they approach the nurses’ station with a smile. She promptly ensures assistance is provided to our patients when answering the call lights. Margaret is a team player and believes in keeping patients updated and works collaboratively with nursing staff and other disciplines to meet the patient’s expectations.”

    As SVRMC’s March Employee of the Month, Ms. Robinson received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

  3. James Cecil Davis

    James Cecil Davis, “J.C.” or “Uncle Dave”, 86, of Southampton County, passed away April 28, 2017.  He was the son of the late James & Lorena Davis of Cleburne, Alabama.  He was preceded in death by his sister Clara Benefield and two brothers, I.R. and Ray Davis.  He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Elizabeth “Ann” K. Davis; brother-in-law James L. Kelly of Prince George; sister-in-law Betty G. Edwards of Franklin (Jimmy); brother-in-law Frank Kientz of Jarratt and several nieces and nephews.  Having no children of his own; he was a beloved uncle to his wife’s five nieces, Lynn Shearin, Susan Grigg, Judy Hoyle, Pam Harris and Linda Pace.  He enjoyed spending time with his great nephews; Charles Grigg, Brett Harris, Hunter Harris, Davis Harris, R.J. Hoyle, Tom Hoyle, and Luke Pace and great nieces Elizabeth Grigg and Abby Pace.  J.C. was a surveyor for the Woodlands Department of Union Camp in Franklin for 37 years.  He served in the United States Navy from 1950-1954 as a Gunner’s Mate.  A graveside service will be held 2pm Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery Fund.  Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  4. Hanging by a Thread

    An auto accident early Thursday afternoon has left several households without power (one of them mine, so Emporia News is updating early today). As of 5 pm, only 5 households have reported the outage.

    A white Chevrolet struck a power pole with a transformer in the 300 block of Hicksford Avenue, snapping the pole in two. The pole is only standing because of the support form the cable connecting it to one of the homes. There are currently no details on whether the driver was injured or charged.

    Dominion Virginia Power crews are on site and, according to dom.com, the outage is expected to be repaired between 6 and 8 pm.

  5. STUDENT OF THE MONTH WILLIAM HUNTER ELLIOTT

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that William Hunter Elliott has been chosen the April 2017 Student of the Month.  Hunter, a senior, is son of Kay and Michael Elliott of Broadax.  He has one brother Colby, also a student at Brunswick Academy.

    Hunter is in the BA Honors program and takes dual-enrollment classes at Southside Virginia Community College.  He is a member of the National Honor Society (Sergeant at Arms), Honor Council, Latin Club and Spanish Club.  Last year, he was a Junior Marshall

    Regarding athletics at Brunswick Academy, Hunter has played JV and Varsity Baseball, JV and Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball, Soccer and Cross Country.   He has also played travel basketball and Babe Ruth Baseball. 

    Hunter is a member of the Boy Scouts of America with troop 221 in Lawrenceville.  He has been active since the 6th grade.  He just completed his Eagle Scout project which is a sign at the Sonny Wholey Park where he played Dixie Youth Baseball.  He has earned 37 merit badges as is a member of the Order of the Arrow. 

    Hunter is a member of the Lawrenceville United Methodist church youth group.  Outside of school he enjoys hunting and fishing.  He is a member of 4-H Wildlife Club. 

    Hunter applied to Lynchburg College, Radford University and Southside Community College.  He was accepted to all schools and plans to attend SVCC.    

    WAY TO GO HUNTER!

  6. Great Expectations at SVCC

    Great Expectations(GE) is a signature initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education that focuses on a college education as the best way for foster youth to succeed beyond high school.  Plan now to attend an Open House at Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) to learn more about the program.  ,

    The program offers a way for those 17-24 years of age to gain employment, achieve independence and become productive members of the community. To apply for Great Expectations, or to find out more, please come to one of the open houses.

    The Great Expectations Open House at the SVCC Christanna Campus is on Friday, May 5, from 12:30-2, in Room B11. The campus is located at 109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA 23821.  There will be a Great Expectations Open House at the SVCC Daniel Campus on Monday, May 8, in Room 20, from 12:30-2.  The campus is located at 200 Daniel Rd., Keysville, VA 23947

    Hope you can come, meet other foster care youth, learn about becoming a GE student, a GE mentor, or a GE adviser. Call Mora da Silva at 434-736-2237 for more information. 

  7. VIRGINIA STATE POLICE EXPERIENCING EMAIL OUTAGE

    RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police is currently working, in cooperation with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Northrup Grumman, to identify, contain and eradicate malware that has impacted the Department’s email network. In order to address this concern, State Police will be unavailable to the public by email beginning 8 p.m. Wednesday (April 26, 2017). The shutdown is anticipated to last through noon Thursday (April 27, 2017).

    Neither the malware nor the email shutdown will affect the Department’s daily field operations in the relation to traffic enforcement, traffic crash investigations, criminal investigations, vehicle inspections, motor carrier safety, Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN/NCIC), Firearms Transaction Program or criminal/non-criminal background checks.

    During this time period, all State Police Headquarters and Area Offices will remain open during normal business hours. Those needing to reach State Police during normal business hours on Thursday, April 27, are asked to contact us by telephone. The main number for the Administrative Headquarters is 804-674-2000. Division and Area Office contact numbers are available on the VSP Website at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov/Office_Locations.shtm.

    Those needing to contact the Virginia State Police in an emergency can still reach our Department at any time on a cell phone via #77.

    State police will also utilize its Facebook and Twitter pages to provide updates.

    The malware has impacted the Department’s ability to actively update the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Children Registry (SOR) website. As new information becomes available, records management and investigative updates related to the SOR are being done offline. As soon as the work stations assigned to the SOR are clear of any issues, the SOR will be immediately updated for the safety and welfare of the public. The public can still safely access the SOR via the State Police Website at www.vsp.virginia.gov.

    The malware has not affected the abilities of the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Investigative Unit from fulfilling its state-mandated duties of conducting on-site residential and work address verifications. Nor does it have any impact on convicted sex offenders’ responsibilities to provide changes to, updates, register, or re-register with the Virginia State Police, as required by state law.

    “We recognize the vital role email plays in regards to communicating with State Police, and appreciate the public’s patience and understanding as we diligently work to resolve this matter,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “While during this period we are required to communicate with the public through alternative means, our level of service should not otherwise be affected.”

  8. Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services Elects New Trustees

    Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services  is pleased to announce the election two members to its Board of Trustees.

    Elizabeth Feild, head of global Management and Professional Development for PAREXEL, has more than 18 years of experience with large scale leadership development.  She holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University, a masters from American, and certificates in leadership development and business coaching from Harvard and Duke. As the great-granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. George W. Feild – donors of “Walnut Grove” – JFBHS holds a very special place in Feild’s heart.  Prior to job relocations to England and then Massachusetts, Feild served on the Jackson-Feild board of trustees.  Now that she and her family are back in North Carolina, Feild is thrilled to once again be actively involved in continuing the mission of JFBHS.

    Stuart C. Leinenbach, Vice President and U.S. Manager for Iluka Resources, served multiple human resources and organizational effectiveness roles throughout his career.  Following a seven-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, he joined Siemens AG followed by Reynolds Metals Company.  Leinenbach holds an undergraduate degree from St. Leo University, and master’s degrees from both Bethany Theological Seminary and George Washington University.  He has served on the Virginia Governor’s Council of Career and Technical Education, and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.

  9. Social Security Helps Small Business

    By Inez N. Loyd
    Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Norfolk, VA

    Two business owners smiling and looking at a laptop computer.

    Social Security is one of the cornerstones of financial security for the nation. So are small businesses. Millions of Americans own and operate small businesses, making the “mom and pop” shop — from retailers to restaurants — one of the nation’s most valuable resources. National Small Business Week started on April 30, making this a perfect time to tell you more about how Social Security helps this not-so-small industry.

    Small businesses can take advantage of our Business Services Online suite of services. These services allow organizations, businesses, individuals, employers, attorneys, non-attorneys representing Social Security claimants, and third-parties to exchange information with Social Security securely over the internet. For small business owners, we’ve made it especially easy to file W-2s online to help ensure the privacy of their employees’ personal information.  You can register and create your own password to access Business Services Online at www.socialsecurity.gov/bso

    Social Security’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) was established in October 1979 pursuant to Public Law 95-507. The law assigned the office the task of fostering the use of small and disadvantaged businesses as federal contractors. To accomplish this, the OSDBU develops and implements appropriate outreach programs aimed at heightening the awareness of the small business community to the contracting opportunities available within Social Security.

    Outreach efforts include activities such as sponsoring small business fairs and procurement conferences, as well as participating in trade group seminars, conventions, and other forums that promote the utilization of small and disadvantaged businesses as contractors.

    The OSDBU encourages buyers and program officials to consider small businesses, and to support all the socio-economic contracting programs in place under the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

    You can learn more about the OSDBU at www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/osdbu.

    Business is booming in America, and you might be a part of the job-creating machine that we call small businesses. You’re strengthening everybody’s future, for today and tomorrow.

  10. KAINE & WARNER TO INTRODUCE RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF VIRGINIA TECH TRAGEDY

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark R. Warner will introduce a Senate resolution commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy, the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which claimed 32 lives and injured 17 others. The resolution honors the victims, offers condolences to their families, and recognizes the resilience of the Virginia Tech community in the decade following the tragedy. Kaine was serving as Governor of Virginia when the tragedy occurred.

    “As I told members of the Blacksburg community on April 16th this year, ten years later I continue to be in awe of the strength of these families and the entire Virginia Tech community, “said Kaine. “Virginia Tech has set a powerful example of resilience in the face of tragedy, and this resolution recognizes that perseverance and honors the 32 beautiful lives that were lost that day and the 17 individuals who were injured.”

    “On that dark day ten years ago and every day since, these families and the survivors have shown incredible courage in the wake of almost unbearable pain and loss,”said Warner. “This resolution remembers those lives lost and recognizes how, in many ways, the huge Virginia Tech community has grown stronger and even closer in the decade since the tragedy.”

    Kaine and Warner have long supported improving mental health policy and passing commonsense measures to curb gun violence, including requiring background record checks prior to gun purchases and improving the number and accuracy of records submitted to the national background check system. Last month, Kaine co-sponsored the CDC Research on Firearms Safety or Gun Violence Prevention Act, a bill that would lift the de facto twenty-year ban on research into firearms safety and gun violence prevention at the CDC. 

    Earlier today, the Senate unanimously passed Sens. Kaine and Warner’s resolution recognizing the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Tech tragedy. 

  11. VA MEMBERS URGE CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP TO TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT MINERS BEFORE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS EXPIRE

    ~ An estimated 10,000 retired coal miners in Virginia are at risk of losing health and retirement benefits in the coming years ~

    WASHINGTON – In a letter today, Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, and Reps. Gerry Connolly, A. Donald McEachin, and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (all D-VA) urged Congressional leaders to take action to protect retired coal miners who risk losing their healthcare benefits as part of negotiations to keep the government funded before the end of the week. Last year, Congress reached a deal to extend government funding and retired miners’ health care benefits until April 28th. In March, retired coal miners and their families began receiving letters notifying them of the impending termination of their health care coverage. 

    “This nation was built on the backs of our workers. Let us not forsake them. We implore you to immediately pass a permanent health care fix for the miners and commit to working with us to finding and passing a solution for the imperiled 1974 Pension Fund,” the members wrote.

    Retired miners are facing uncertainty because the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) 1974 Pension Plan is severely underfunded, still reeling from the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and a series of bankruptcies in the coal industry.

    The Virginia Congressional members pressed for the inclusion in negotiations of the Miners Protection Act, bipartisan legislation which would transfer federal funds to shore up the underfunded health insurance and pension plan.

    “Anything less is merely an extension of the ongoing uncertainty and agony that these men and women have been carrying for years. Anything less is an unacceptable and tragic failure of this body to keep its word to the men and women who powered our nation to prosperity at the risk of their own health and lives,” the members added.

    Full text of the letter can be found here and below.

    April 25, 2017

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell                              
    Senate Majority Leader                                               
    The Capitol S-230                                                       
    Washington, DC 20510                                              

    The Honorable Chuck Schumer

    Senate Minority Leader
    The Capitol S-221
    Washington, DC 20510

    The Honorable Paul Ryan                                          
    Speaker of the House of Representatives                   
    The Capitol H-232                                                      
    Washington, DC 20515                                              

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi  
    House Minority Leader
    The Capitol H-204
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi,

    As you know, at the expiration of the current continuing resolution, 22,600 of our nation’s retired coal miners will lose their healthcare benefits.  In March, these miners received letters notifying them of this impending termination and, sadly, it is not the first such letter they have received.  

    Virginia is home to nearly 10,000 UMWA beneficiaries whose benefits are at risk in the coming years, many of whom will soon suffer the anguish and fear that comes with the loss of these life-saving benefits. 

    While the continuing resolution included a four-month extension of benefits, it did so using remaining funds in the existing Voluntary Employee’s Beneficiary Association (VEBA) plans.  The “extension” was essentially a transfer of funds already belonging to these miners.  In fact, it shortened the timeline for 6,500 of these miners who would have otherwise received healthcare benefits through July.  Additionally, the pension fund that these miners and their widows rely on for life’s basic necessities will reach the point of no return this year if Congress does not act to shore it up.

    This bill is simple – it is the continuation of a longstanding commitment by our government to lifetime health and retirement benefits for our miners.  The Krug-Lewis Agreement was signed in 1946 at the White House in front of President Truman by UMWA president John L. Lewis and Secretary of the Interior Julius Krug.  While the agreement itself was not drafted in perpetuity, Congress essentially codified the promises made in that agreement by subsequently passing the Coal Act. 

    The Coal Act and its 2006 amendments re-committed the government to the health and retirement security of our nation’s miners and their families.  In fact, prior to passage of the 1992 Coal Act, the Dole Commission (appointed by President George H.W. Bush) issued a report stating that, “The UMWA Health and Retirement Funds is as much a creature of government as it is of collective bargaining. There is a line running from the original Boone Report to the present system. In a way, the original Krug-Lewis agreement predisposed, if not predetermined, the system that evolved.” 

    The Miners Protection Act is a responsible, bipartisan solution to an immediate problem that is fully offset and has gone through regular order.  As Congress considers a continuing resolution to keep the government running, we fully expect that such a vehicle will include the permanent health care fix for our nation’s retired miners as promised at the end of 2016 and proposed in the Miner’s Protection Act.

    Anything less is merely an extension of the ongoing uncertainty and agony that these men and women have been carrying for years.  Anything less is an unacceptable and tragic failure of this body to keep its word to the men and women who powered our nation to prosperity at the risk of their own health and lives. 

    This nation was built on the backs of our workers.  Let us not forsake them.  We implore you to immediately pass a permanent health care fix for the miners and commit to working with us to finding and passing a solution for the imperiled 1974 Pension Fund.

    Sincerely,                                                                                                                  

    Mark R. Warner                                                        
    United States Senator            

    Tim Kaine
    United States Senator

    Gerry Connolly
    United States Representative

    A. Donald McEachin  
    United States Representative

    Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
    United States Representative 
  12. Walk In It Brings Mothers and Daughters Closer

    Suffolk, VA.  The Walk In It Mother/Daughter Conference was held on Saturday, April 8 from 9 am to 12 noon at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Suffolk, VA.

    The girls of Ladies of Distinction (L.O.D.) and the women of Raising Excellent Daughters (R.E.D.), both programs of Walk In it, Inc. came together for the annual Mother/Daughter Conference. The event was full of energy and offered moms and daughters times to connect and have fun together. Break-out sessions included empowerment session for the daughters and empowerment discussions for the moms that encompassed parenting tips.

    As a special treat, Dr. Tamara Baldwin, Psychology Professor at Hampton University spoke about striving for excellence in every area of life. She noted that people don’t become excellent by accident, but with intentional and consistent effort. “I think the Mother/Daughter Conference really bridged some relational gaps, empowered the participants, and motivated them to increase the value of their relationships,” said Jennell Riddick, Walk In It Executive Director.

    The Mother/Daughter Conference is sponsored by Walk In It, Inc. Walk In It is a non-profit, 501c3 organization, founded by Jennell Riddick in 2004. Walk In It Inc. is dedicated to the empowerment of girls and women. Whether in the classroom, an after-school club, a conference/retreat, or personal mentorship, W.I.T positively impacts the educational and social lives of its participants. Through a combination of practical life skills and empowering life improvement strategies, W.I.T makes a difference one step at a time. 

  13. "One Breath Away"

    Just a breath away without knowing
    The fate you may soon deplore
    One breath away without knowing
    If the Lord wil give you more.
     
    I was found in this very condition
    Though not knowing really why
    Yes I couldn't find that second breath
    No matter How I'd try.
     
    Well they found a blockage in my heart
    And knew this would relate
    Yet more important were my heart values
    Some pumping early and others late.
     
    They shipped me out of town reall fast
    It was neerly in the night
    The senic scenes one often sees
    Were from my view of flight.
     
    I was told it would be easy
    For so many had went on before
    Yet don't believe for a minute
    Until you're in and out that door.
     
    Nine days of laying
    In some contorted way
    That easy bit that i waas told
    I'm reminded of each day.
     
    Now blessed was the surgeon
    and to have the good Lord standing by
    Yet I falied my religious conviction
    For each day I would ask why!
     
    Roy E. Schepp
     
  14. Greensville County High School Qualifies for Statewide Economics and Personal Finance Competition

     

    Greensville County High School will compete in The Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance, a rigorous statewide competition to be held Wednesday, April 26th at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. 

    The area high school was a high scorer in the Personal Finance division, and will test their knowledge against several other teams from across the state at the day-long competition.  Team members Summer Jones, Cassandra Robinson, Arianna Edwards, and Dawson Butler; taught by Corutney Moseley, earned an invitation to the championship round following an online competition conducted by the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) in association with the Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe.  VCEE is a nonprofit public-private partnership focused on enhancing economics and financial education in grades K-12.  Regional winners in each division and other high scoring teams were invited to participate in the “live” championship challenge, according to VCEE Executive Director Daniel Mortensen.

    VCEE’s Mortensen explains that The Challenge brings classroom concepts to life for students.  “Learning about economics and how it relates to their lives helps students realize they already participate in the global economy,” Mortensen states.  “Applying these concepts leads to more informed buying and saving decisions on the part of students. They make better choices when planning for their future, including college and job choices.”

    The Governor’s Challenge will take place in the VCU Student Commons, 907 Floyd Avenue in Richmond, beginning at 10am with championship rounds and awards beginning at 11:35am.

    “We greatly appreciate the financial support provided by lead sponsor Capital One and the Virginia Credit Union,” said Mortensen.  “Without it the Challenge would not be possible.  We also greatly appreciate the teachers who make it possible for students to participate and the extra effort on their part.”

     

  15. Franklin H. Myrick

    Franklin H. Myrick, 84, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017. He was the son of the late Walter S. and Maggie B. Myrick. He was also preceded in death by his eight brothers and sisters. Mr. Myrick is survived by his wife, Dorothy Myrick; two sons, Homer Myrick and wife, Janie and Joseph Myrick and wife, Deborah; three daughters, Lillian Jones and husband, Raleigh, Agnes Whitehead and husband, Jimmie and Rhonda Myrick Popa and husband, Philip; eleven grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, April 27. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

  16. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Staff Participate in National Nutrition Month

    Emporia, VA – During the month of March, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) staff participated in National Nutrition Month. March has been marked annually as National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This campaign is designed to educate and place attention on the importance of making informed food choices and participating in physical activities. SVRMC participants had the opportunity to wear their favorite jeans for either a $5.00 donation or a donation of 5 canned goods. These donations were given to the Samaritan Helping Hands Home, Inc. Through these efforts, SVRMC staff raised a total of $160.00 and collected 8 boxes of food that will benefit this organization and those in need.
  17. CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE COUNTDOWN BEGINS FOR AMERICA’S FARMERS AND RANCHERS

    WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 – America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

    “The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”

    The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

    “Today, when data are so important, there is strength in numbers,” said Hamer. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services and assistance programs – for years to come.”

    Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

    For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540. 

  18. CSI: Career Scene Investigation

    Special Summer Camp for Middle School Students

    South Hill—No, we’re not investigating crime scenes, we’re exploring the world of health care.  Area middle school students in Mecklenburg, Lunenburg and Brunswick Counties will have the opportunity to attend a unique program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill that will introduce them to a broad range of health careers. 

    A special, one-week, summer camp has been planned for the last week in July entitled, “CSI: Career Scene Investigation” and will focus on the many exciting career opportunities that are available in health care.  Partnering with Southside Virginia Community College, VCU Health CMH will choose fifteen middle school students who have an interest in a health career to attend this summer health care camp during the week of  – July 24th  – July 28th.   

    The camp will be offered at no charge to students.  During this week-long camp, students will spend time with staff from many clinical areas and have “hands-on” opportunities.  They will learn how to apply casts and splints, take x-rays, learn about monitoring the heart, spend time in the Emergency Department, dress in scrubs, see the operating rooms, learn how to suture, work with Rehabilitation Therapists and much, much more!  The week will be fun, interactive and exciting for students and VCU Health CMH staff. 

    “We are very pleased to offer to area students this excellent opportunity to learn about the world of health care,” said Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, Education Department Manager for VCU Health CMH.  “The program will offer a variety of activities that will allow students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment and gain valuable insight into health care careers.  We want to provide a positive learning experience for students and encourage teens to explore health care careers.”

    According to Mrs. Willis, health care careers are the fastest growing, and will be the most in demand careers for the future. Rapid technological and scientific advances in the medical field, along with a large agingpopulation have created high demand for health care professionals.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the growth rate of new jobs in health care professions will be twice the rate of job growth in non-health care professions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts a need for 5.3 million health care workers to fill job openings created by departures and new positions in the next five years.

    The middle school years are the ideal time to reach students and introduce them to career ideas so they can begin to plan a curriculum that includes the necessary sciences and other required courses. 

    A total of fifteen students from local middle schools with at least a “C” average will be selected to attend the camp from applications that include a short essay about why they want to attend the camp, and from teacher/guidance counselor recommendations.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided daily for the students.  Transportation to and from VCU Health CMH will be the responsibility of the students’ parents.  Students will receive a backpack with supplies and a CSI: Career Scene Investigation T-shirt.  Parents will be invited to attend a special graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the week.

    Applications for the camp may be obtained through each school’s guidance counselor, online by visiting vcuhealth.org, from VCU Health CMH’s Education Department or Human Resources.  For more information or for an application, please call Hazel Willis at (434) 447-3151, Ext. 3376.  

  19. A Poem for the Poet

    Our friend Roy E. Schepp is a bit under the weather, and while we pray for a speedy recovery, a reader offered this poem for Roy:

    Hope that your heart
    Gets fixed good as new
    Cause no one writes poems
    Quite like you
  20. A Guide to Richmond Music

    ​Richmond is quickly becoming known as a music town, but for those new to the area or to the scene, knowing where to look can be a bit daunting. This map shows some of the best venues and record stories in the city and is great for newbies. Theaters and bars that often feature live music, as well as thrift stories that sell vinyl, were left off to avoid confusion. (Map by Tyler Hammel of VCU Capital News Service)

    ​​http://tinyurl.com/rva-music-map

  21. Job Fair Returning to SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA EDUCATION CENTER in 2017

    Job Fair is returning to Southside Virginia Education Center on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  The event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College, Crater Regional Workforce and Lakes Media:  WPTM 102.3, WWDW 107.7, WTRG 97.9, WSMY 14000 “All Sports” 995 JAMS, WDLZ 98.3 

    The event is free and open to the public and will be held at SVEC at 1300 Greensville Country Circle, Emporia, VA from 2 to 4:30 p.m.  Those with proof of WorkKeys CRC can gain entrance at 1:45 p.m.  Be sure to dress to impress, bring copies of your resume, a photo ID and copy of WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC).  Companies are: 

    Ameristaff, State Farm Insurance, chase City Health and Rehab, Avon, Greensville Correctional, AmeriCare Plus, Penmack, American Industrial heat, Envoy of Lawrenceville, Community Outreach Family Services, Department of Social Services, Colonial life, Plexus, Personal Touch Home CAre, Walmart, Commonwealth Home Health Inc, Georgia Pacific, Armor Correctional Health Services, Emporia-Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Department of Corrections, Total Image Solutions, Humana, B Bugg Inc, Greensville County Public Schools, Emporia Police Department, Virginia State Police, Personal Touch Home Care Services, Melvil L Davis Oil Company, Smithfield-Hog Production Department, Waverly Health Rehabilitation Center.

    For employers interested in registering, contact Angela McClintock at angela.mcclintock@southside.edu or 434-949-1026

  22. Carrol E. Dunn, Jr

    Carrol E. Dunn, Jr., 83, of Yale, passed away Wednesday, April 19, 2017. He was the son of the late Carrol E. and Lillian H. Dunn. A Virginia Army National Guard veteran, he was an avid turkey hunter and pilot. He was a charter member of Joyner Gray Yale Ruritan Club and a lifelong member of Antioch Baptist Church. Carrol, Jr. is survived by his wife, Vivian Owen Dunn; two sons, Chris Dunn and wife, Shannon and Doug Dunn and wife, Penny; six grandchildren, Tyler, Emily, Ashtyn, Holden, Olivia and Benjamin and a number of nieces and nephews.  The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 21 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22. Interment will follow at Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Antioch Baptist Church. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

  23. SBA Working Capital Loans Available in Virginia

    Following Secretary of Agriculture Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Matthew, Drought and Excessive Heat in 2016

    ATLANTA - The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Virginia as a result of Hurricane Matthew, drought and excessive heat from June 29 through Oct. 7, 2016.

    The SBA’s disaster declaration includes the following counties and independent cities: Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Emporia City, Greensville, Southampton and Sussex in Virginia.

    Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible

    farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.  With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers. Nurseries are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans for losses caused by drought conditions.     

     The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years.  The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.  These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.  The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster.  Completed applications should be mailed to:          U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

    Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than Dec. 12, 2017.

     

    # # #

     

    For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster.

  24. Virginia Youth to Learn Safe Driving Skills at VSP Driver Training Complex; Train as Youth Leaders for Summer Leadership Retreat

    Salem, VA – Members of Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety’s (YOVASO) Youth Advisory Council (YAC), along with college-level Regional Trainers and students selected to serve as youth leaders for the YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat will participate in a special training session at the Virginia State Police Driver Training Complex in Blackstone, Virginia on April 22 and 23. Day one of the training will include a classroom session on vehicle operations including an overview of defensive driving skills, causative factors in vehicle crashes, vehicle maintenance, off road recovery and skid control, and nighttime driving skills. The first day will also include outdoor driver training exercises as students will get behind the wheel with VSP driving instructors to learn advanced driving skills in skid control, braking techniques for accident avoidance, backing skills, parallel parking, shuffle steering, off road recovery, and a four corners exercise.

    The two-day training session will help students improve their own driving skills as well as share the information they learned with other young drivers during YOVASO programs and training sessions in their schools and communities.

    “This training offers YOVASO’s Youth Leaders a unique opportunity to learn important life saving driving skills from certified VSP driving instructors,” said Sarah Westphal, YOVASO Marketing and Training Specialist. “Not only do teens review vehicle operations, but go behind the wheel to experience real world training exercises that enable them to increase their knowledge and skills to be safe on the roadway.”

    In addition to the special driver training lessons, the students will also be preparing to serve as youth leaders for the YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat on June 19-22 at James Madison University.  On day two of the training, students will participate in sessions on leadership skills, team building, ice breakers and other topics to prepare them for this important task.

    VSP troopers in attendance who will be working security for the retreat will have their own training on day two as well. The trooper component will include a security overview; outline roles, responsibilities, and assignments for the retreat; and training for use of YOVASO’s interactive ScanEd Program and VSP’s Distracted Driving Simulator Program.  

    “VSP is excited to be working with YOVASO to help train youth across the Commonwealth to be traffic safety advocates in their schools and communities,” said VSP Sgt. Robert H. Campbell Jr. and Security Director for the 2017 YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat. “In order to see the number of teen car crash injuries and fatalities go down, we must invest in our youth and continue educating them on the importance of being a safe passenger and driver.”

    This engaging and exciting weekend will also feature an evening cookout social and glow stick game on Saturday, April 22 to give the student leaders and troopers an opportunity to get to know one another.

  25. VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month

    (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Patricia (Patti) Turczany, Physical Therapist, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for March.  There to congratulate Patti was Donna Jarrell, Rehab Director and Todd Howell, Vice President of Professional Services.

    Patti has been employed at VCU Health CMH for three and a half years.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “Patti has been my life line over the last seven months.  I experienced a back injury that left me with a bad limp and numbness in my leg.  Patti has helped me to understand what happened and what I had to do to recover.  Prior to seeing Patti, I saw three other therapist in our area that did not have the right experience or knowledge to deal with my injury.  Through word of mouth from prior patients that had worked with Patti, I was able to find her and choose her to help me.  Her expertise, her education level and her ongoing commitment to further her education is outstanding.  Within two weeks of working with Patti, I began to feel like my old self again and when I felt like giving up she supported me during emotional ups and downs and explained that even though recovery would be slow, I would recover over the next 1-2 years.  Her reputation is outstanding; not only her education and ability as a Physical Therapist, but her kindness, her ability to encourage you and her ability to provide you with the emotional support you need to overcome your disabilities.  Patti represents and always shows a commitment to excellence in all she does, as an employee, as a patient advocate, as a provider, as a coworker and as a member of our community.  We are beyond lucky to have her here at VCU Health CMH taking care of us.”

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

  26. Meet the men running for Governor

    Megan Schiffres, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Virginia will elect a new governor this year.

    The governor’s position is one of great power and influence, as the current officeholder, Terry McAuliffe, has demonstrated by breaking the record for most vetoes in Virginia history.

    However, during the last gubernatorial race in 2014, the voter turnout was less than 42 percent, compared with 72 percent during last year’s presidential election.

    While not as publicized as the presidential campaign, the governor’s race will have just as much, if not more, influence over the everyday lives of Virginians. That’s why it’s important to stay informed about who is running and what they stand for.

    The state Democratic and Republican parties will each hold a primary on June 13 to choose a nominee for governor. The general election will be Nov. 7.

    Here is a brief summary of each candidate’s qualifications. We also have developed a quiz to help determine which candidate best reflects your political views.

    Democrats

         

    Democrats Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello

    Ralph Northam is lieutenant governor of Virginia and a pediatric neurologist at the Children’s Specialty Group in Norfolk. He served in the U.S. Army and as state senator for the 6th Senate District, before joining McAuliffe’s gubernatorial ticket in 2013. Northam hopes to continue the work he started with McAuliffe and is focusing his campaign on economic progress. He said his priorities are affordable health care and education and has introduced a plan to make community colleges and workforce training free for what he calls “new-collar” jobs in high-demand fields like health care, cybersecurity and skilled construction trades.

    Tom Perriello, a former congressman, is a lawyer whose early career focused on prosecuting atrocities in Africa. He was special adviser to the prosecution of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and served as special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo under the Obama administration. Perriello’s campaign has focused on his resistance to what he calls the hateful politics of President Trump. He has proposed a plan to make community college debt-free for two years. Perriello has been endorsed by former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont.

    Republicans

              

    Republicans Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner

    Ed Gillespie is a political strategist and former chair of the Republican National Committee. He is deeply connected in both national and Virginia politics and has spent his career working for high-profile Republicans including presidential candidate John Kasich, George W. Bush and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. He served as counselor to President Bush during Bush’s second term of office, co-founded a bipartisan lobbying firm and in 2014 narrowly lost a bid for Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat to Democratic incumbent Mark Warner. Gillespie vows to pursue “timeless conservative principles,” including a 10 percent cut in state income tax rates.

    Corey Stewart is a self-proclaimed “Trump before Trump was Trump.” He co-chaired Virginia’s Trump for President campaign and currently chairs the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, where he implemented “the nation’s toughest crackdown on illegal immigration” and helped remove local fees for getting a concealed weapons permit. Stewart said he is running for governor “to take back Virginia from the establishment and political elites in Richmond.” An international trade attorney, he has vowed to protect Confederate monuments such as statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. “I’m proud to be next to the Confederate flag,” he said.

    Frank Wagner portrays himself as the only Republican candidate who “has built multiple successful, manufacturing businesses in Virginia” and has significant legislative experience. Wagner has represented the 7th Senate District (Virginia Beach and Norfolk) since 2002 and was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1992-2001. He is a Navy veteran and until recently owned two ship repair firms. Wagner supports reducing regulations on businesses and wants to focus on career technical education for high school students and college affordability. A top priority for him is infrastructure development, including transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion in Virginia.

     

    Editor's Note: This story, which originally sent by the Capital News Service on Monday, erred in listing Emmanuel Peter as a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor; he did not make the ballot for the primary. The CNS deleted that information from the article and adjusted the quiz.

  27. Online Quiz: How well do you know Virginia's official emblems?

  28. Career Exploration

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    How many children have been asked the question, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Some want to fight fires, some want to help people overcome diseases and disabilities, and some want to teach. Some have aspirations to play professional sports or to travel in outer space. Although a few may follow one career path without deviation, many change their minds frequently.

    Visiting places of employment provides a unique educational experience that encourages young people to think about their vocational goals and the preparation that may be required to pursue opportunities.

    Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work is a nationwide program that encourages parents and other mentors to help children make connections between school learning and workplace activities. This annual observance falls on the fourth Thursday of April, which will be April 27 this year.

    The Virginia Education Wizard (available online at vawizard.org) is another resource that can open the door to a wide range of career exploration possibilities. Tools available on the website enable young people and others to assess their skills, interests, and values and see how they align with a variety of potential paths. The site also offers information about the education and training requirements of different careers. One interesting area enables visitors to answer questions about envisioned lifestyles to discover the annual salaries required to sustain different ways of living.

    Summer camp programs also provide school-aged children opportunities to supplement classroom learning with hands-on activities. Local schools, along with youth development, faith-based, and mentoring organizations, offer programs across a broad spectrum of options that include science, nature, academics, and fitness. Here at Southside Virginia Community College, we offer summer camps to provide young people participatory experiences that enable them to explore cutting edge topics and technologies, such as 3D printing and robotics.

    For today's young people, it's never too early to explore ideas about potential future careers, but it's also never too late. The question, "What do you want to do?" doesn't disappear at childhood's end. 

    Career planning is an activity for everyone. According to a 2015 survey conducted the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who were born between 1957 and 1964 held an average of 11.7 jobs between the ages of 18 and 48. While some changes may have represented steps along a single pathway, many involved switching careers entirely. Veterans returning to civilian life, unemployed and underemployed workers, and people with evolving interests and needs were all among those who made significant changes in career trajectories.

    If you have questions about exploring career options, for yourself or for a child, contact SVCC at 434-949-1000. Our team of academic and workforce advisors can help you discover an exciting path to the future.

    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.

  29. State budget targets localities in fiscal distress

    By Amy Lee, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND –While a study for local government finances was canned this past legislative session, the new state budget has revived the focus on fiscal stress in Virginia cities and counties.

    Motivated by the city of Petersburg’s financial crisis, Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, filed a bill to study the fiscal stress of local governments during the 2017 session. SJ 278 proposed the creation of a joint subcommittee to review local and state tax systems, as well as reforms to promote economic assistance and cooperation between regions.

    Ultimately, the bill was rejected in the House Finance Committee as members deferred consideration of tax reform for next year’s longer session.

    However, the state budget adopted this February has already begun to enact two fiscal stress preventive measures originally introduced in Hanger’s bill.

    “Currently, there is no statutory authority for the Commission on Local Government to intervene in a fiscally stressed locality, and the state does not currently have any authority to assist a locality financially,” said Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D- Petersburg, who co-sponsored the fiscal stress bill.

    To escalate state intervention, the budget has set guidelines for state officials to identify and help alleviate signs of financial stress to prevent a more severe crisis. A workgroup established by the auditor of public accounts will determine an early warning system for identifying fiscal stress. The system would consider such criteria as a local government’s expenditure reports and budget information.

    Local governments that demonstrate fiscal distress will be notified and may request a comprehensive review of their finances by the state. After review, the state is expected to draft an ‘action plan’ detailing purpose, duration, and the anticipated resources required for the intervention. The governor also has the option to channel up to $500,000 from the general fund toward relief efforts for the local government in need.

    The new state budget also called for the creation of a Joint Subcommittee on Local Government Fiscal Stress, with members drawn from the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations and House Finance committees. The subcommittee will study local and state financial practices such as regional cooperation and service consolidation, taxing authority, local responsibilities in state programs, and root causes of fiscal stress.

    “It is important to have someone who can speak to first-hand experience dealing with issues of local government fiscal stress,” said Del. Lashrecse Aird, D-Petersburg, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “This insight will be essential in forming effective solutions that will be sustainable long-term.”

    While all states hold limited authority to intervene in struggling localities, the level of involvement they actually play in fiscally stressed communities varies greatly. For Virginia, the new budget aims to widen the commonwealth’s powers to intervene, as well as more effectively spot fiscal red flags in an area.

    “Prior to now, Virginia had no mechanism to track, measure, or address fiscal stress in localities,” Aird said. “Petersburg’s situation is not unique, and it is encouraging that proactive measures are now being taken to guard against future issues. This is essential to ensuring that Virginia’s economy remains strong and that all communities can share in our commonwealth’s success.”

  30. You have until Tuesday to file federal taxes

    By Haley Winn, Capital News Service

    Usually, April 15 is the filing deadline hanging over the heads of U.S. taxpayers. But this year, Americans have been granted a slight reprieve: They have until April 18 – this Tuesday – to submit their federal income taxes.

    By law, individual tax returns are typically due on April 15. But when that falls on a weekend or holiday, as it does this year, the deadline is automatically extended.

    In this case, it has been extended to Tuesday because Monday is a holiday in Washington, D.C.: That’s when the district observes Emancipation Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862.

    The Internal Revenue Service offers a number of tips for people still working on filing their 2016 federal taxes. These tipscan help taxpayers avoid errors and ensure that refunds are received as quickly as possible.

    Last-minute filers who still need more time have the option to request a tax-filing extension to avoid late-filing penalties. While this gives taxpayers more time to file their federal taxes, it does not give them more time to pay what they owe.

    State taxes are still due as scheduled on May 1. The Virginia Department of Taxation has online advicefor filing state returns.

    In 2014, the most recent year for which the IRS has provided data, Virginians filed nearly 3.9 million individual federal tax returns. The total amount of income reported was about $284 billion – or approximately $73,000 per return.

    In Virginia, the average income per return ranged from less than $35,000 in Petersburg and Emporia to more than $130,000 in Falls Church and Goochland County.

     
  31. Stop the Leaks!

    Community Out-Reach Education

    South Hill – Bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence (UI), affects women and men of all ages.  The good news is that incontinence is generally a very treatable problem.  Don’t just live with urinary incontinence, learn about the causes and what you can do about it.  How can you decrease leaks and urgencies?  Why do leaks and urgencies occur?  How does lifestyle affect bladder control?

    If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend April’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Rehab & Exercise Therapy Center to learn more about regaining bladder control.

    This FREE program will be on Tuesday, April 11th at 10:45 a.m. in the CMH Rehab and Exercise Therapy Center located at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill.

    Valerie Bender-Werth, DPT, will be the speaker for the program.  Valerie is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the CMH Rehab & Exercise Therapy Center.  She is a board certified orthopedic specialist.  Valerie treats a wide range of patients such as:  post-surgical, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, incontinence and other musculoskeletal disorders. 

    Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2506.

  32. Charles “Charlie” Lee Phipps

    Charles “Charlie” Lee Phipps, age 84, of Lawrenceville, VA passed away April 12, 2017.  He is the son of the late Rufus and Helen Pearson Phipps and is preceded in death by his brothers, Marvin Phipps and Otis Phipps; his sister, Bernice Singleton; and long time companion, Georgia V. Revis. He is survived by his daughters, Bridgette M. Phipps (Frankie) of Jacksonville, FL and Starr M. Phipps of Lawrenceville; his sons, Dwight V. Phipps (Jacqueline)  of Fort Myers, FL and Vaughn L. Phipps (Linda) of Greensboro, N.C.; his sisters, Evelyn Collins (Perry) of Hampton, VA, Maurice Grahm (Thomas) of Hampton, VA, Velma Phipps of Emporia, VA, Helen A. Robinson (Bill) of South Hill, VA, Claudette Lundy of Emporia, VA; a special niece, Marcia James (Dennis) of Norfolk, VA; a host of nieces and nephews; his sister-in-law, Nannie Mae Powell (John) of Lawrenceville, VA; his brother-in-law, Amos Singleton (Bernice) of Lawrenceville, VA; his adopted son, Woodrow Wilson of Hampton, VA; his grandchildren, Mark David Phipps and Sheena Phipps; five great grandchildren; a special great uncle, Elbert Green of New Jersey; and a special friend, William Jones, Jr. of Lawrenceville.  The family will receive friends at the home of Starr Phipps on Thursday evening.   A memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 14951 Governor Harrison Pkwy., Lawrenceville, VA  23868.  Memorial contributions may be made to Brunswick Literacy Council, P.O. Box 891, Lawrenceville, VA  23868. Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville will be handling the arrangements.

  33. Walmart Partners with Local Community Colleges on Workforce Credentials

    RICHMOND – The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) has partnered with one of the nation’s largest retailers to respond to a growing need in the local labor market.

    Thanks to a generous $80,000 grant from Walmart, the VFCCE is pledging to help hundreds of Richmond-area community college students pay for their certification exams.

    The students targeted for assistance through the Workforce Credential Award initiative have completed their studies in a high-demand field like manufacturing, IT, or healthcare but may not be able to afford the cost of the certification exam (average cost of $200). The lack of certification delays their entry into the workforce.

    The target population for the initiative are students at J. Sargeant Reynolds and John Tyler Community Colleges who have completed an industry-recognized and approved credit workforce training program but lack the financial resources to pay for the required certification exam.

    Awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. The grant is expected to fund certification exams for an estimated 360 students. It is projected that 90% of the students who participate in the program will pass the exam and immediately enter the workforce in the Greater Richmond area.

    Dr. Sharon Morrissey, vice chancellor for academic services & research, Dr. Gary Rhodes, president, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Glenn DuBois, chancellor, Peter Johnson, Walmart market manager (north Richmond), Dennis Dickson, Walmart market manager (south Richmond), Robert Davis, Walmart regional general manager, Dr. Ted Raspiller, president, John Tyler Community College.

  34. National Healthcare Decisions Day Set for April 19th

    South Hill –VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making—an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of Wednesday, April 19, 2017 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

    As a participating organization, VCU Health CMH is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and health care providers, and execute written advance directives (health care power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Virginia state laws. 

    Specifically, on April 19, from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, VCU Health CMH is welcoming the public throughout the day at the hospital’s main lobby, with free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms.  Come by and learn how you can protect your health care choices and wishes in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself.  For more information, contact Tammy House at (434) 447-3151 ext. 3730 or visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

  35. Mary’s Café Serves Up Great Food and Service

    Several times a year, staff members at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) are invited to a special lunch at Mary’s Café.

    Supervised by Mary Griffith and Shemille Dennis, on April 6 the students in the food occupations class at JFBHS prepared and served a restaurant-caliber lunch of French onion soup, steak, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and strawberry-topped cheesecake.  Not only did the students plan and prepare the meal, they also performed the duties of host/hostess, and wait staff.

    In the food occupations class, students learn everything about the food service business from ordering food and supplies to preparing and serving, accepting reservations by phone, fulfilling the role of wait staff, and cleaning the dining and kitchen areas. Students are also taught resume-writing skills and job-interviewing techniques.

    The lessons taught by Griffith and Dennis are invaluable to the students.  While Mary’s Café is not open to the general public, the staff members who participated reported that the service was excellent and the meal was as good as any prepared in a commercial restaurant.

  36. Dr. Paul Weidman Joins VCU Health CMH

    South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Paul Weidman to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Weidman specializes in Family Medicine.

    Dr. Weidman comes to VCU Health CMH with more than 16 years of medical experience and most recently operated his own family practice in St. Clairsville, Ohio.  He also has experience as a Medical Director for Amedisys Hospice in West Virginia. 

    Dr. Weidman received his medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, West Virginia.  He completed his residency in family practice at Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling, West Virginia.  He is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.

    He is married and has five children.  In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, his five (four rescued) dogs, bird-watching, fishing and astronomy. 

    Dr. Weidman is currently working at CMH Family Care Center located at 420 Durant Street in South Hill.  He is currently accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-0046.

    Dr. Weidman joins Dr. Rebecca Kirker, Pediatrician, and Teresa Parham, Nurse Practitioner at CMH Family Care Center where they offer complete health care for every member of the family.  To view a full list of services visit:  cmhfamilycarecenter.org

  37. Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools Waives Application Fee for Military

    Colonial Heights, VA– For those interested in a healthcare career, Southside Regional Medical Center Professional Schools (SRMCPS) waives the $70 application fee for military and their dependents. In order to process the credit to their account, the applicant must be able to provide a valid military ID card.

    Dana Swales took advantage of the waived application fee and is a current nursing student at SRMCPS. Upon her husband’s retirement from Fort Lee, they discussed the possibility of her returning to school to follow her dream of becoming a nurse. Dana had visited many of the various nursing programs in the local area. She states, “I ultimately decided on SRMC as it just felt right to me.” Since her enrollment in the program, she discovered that the class size is relatively small which lends to more one-on-one instruction, and faculty members not only encourage you to succeed but are always available to ensure you receive the additional help that you may need. She also states, “The program is as difficult as it should be, but it’s fully worth the hard work!”

    The school is open to any individual 18 years of age or older. Individuals under the age of 18 may be admitted if they are a high school graduate or if they possess a GED or high school equivalent. Students must meet the required program pre-requisites and have graduated from a regionally accredited high school, state-recognized home school or the equivalent.

    Upon completion of meeting specific program education requirements, students will receive an Associate Degree for their program of study: Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing or Radiation Sciences. Following graduation, students are eligible to take national board exams. “In 2016, all three programs achieved 100% pass rates on national board exams. We are so proud of our students,” states Cynthia Parsons, Vice President of the Professional Schools.

    SRMCPS, located at 430 Clairmont Court, Suite 200, in Colonial Heights, is comprised of three academic programs: Nursing, Radiation Sciences and Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The schools have a technologically advanced, 24,000 square foot campus that includes spacious classrooms with audio/video capabilities, a computer lab, SmartBoards, Wi-Fi, a nursing simulation lab with mannequins, two radiography labs and a sonography lab. Since its founding in 1895, the Professional Schools has graduated thousands of students who have made many remarkable and valuable contributions to the communities in which they live and work. SRMCPS is accredited by several organizations and certified to operate by The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). Southside Regional Medical Center is owned in part by physicians. For more information about the Professional Schools, please visit SRMConline.com/ProfessionalSchools or contact the school at 804-765-5800.

  38. Mrs. Clyde M. Daniels

    Mrs. Clyde M. Daniels, 87, of Emporia, widow of Charles R. Chuck” Daniels, passed away Sunday, April 9, 2017. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert “Pudding, Jr.” Matthews and Glenn Thomas Matthews and a sister, Mary Lynn Norsworthy. Mrs. Daniels is survived by a son, Charles R. “Todd” Daniels, Jr.; two daughters, Leslie Jo Lee and Terri Lynn Link and husband, Wayne; seven grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter; three sisters, Virginia Lee Harrell, Patricia Ann Moseley and Louise Matthews “Sister” Allen and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, April 13 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.  Interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

  39. VCU Health CMH Makes List of Healthgrades Top Hospitals for Patient Safety

    South Hill- VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital was named as one of the top hospitals in the nation for patient safety according to a list released by Healthgrades.  This is the third consecutive year that VCU Health CMH has made this list. 

    Each hospital on the list is given the distinction as a Healthgrades 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient. 

    This distinction places an elite group of hospital recipients within the top 10% of all hospitals evaluated for their superior performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stays. Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients were determined by evaluating the occurrence of observed incidents and expected performance for 13 Patient Safety Indicators as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

    “The 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award that CMH received is due to the dedication and commitment on the part of all members of the CMH team.  I am proud of their continued commitment toward making CMH one of the safest hospitals in the Commonwealth and in the country,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health CMH.

    In total, 460 hospitals (21 in Virginia) received the award this year, representing the top 10 percent of facilities in the nation.  VCU Health CMH was the only hospital in the southern Virginia region to earn this distinction.

    Healthgrades said 134,568 patient safety events could have been avoided if all hospitals performed like the winners did.

    Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. Today, more than one million people a day use the Healthgrades website to search, compare and connect with hospitals and physicians based on the most important measures when selecting a healthcare provider: experience, hospital quality and patient satisfaction. For more information about Healthgrades, visit www.healthgrades.com.

  40. Platt Urges Democrats to get behind McEachin K-12 Education Bill

    “63 years after we outlawed unequal facilities, the average Virginia child is going to an obsolete K-12 facility according to national standards. This isn’t the equality we should be looking for!”

    Great Falls, Virginia -- Democrat Susan Platt, a candidate for Lt. Governor in the June 13 primary, called on fellow Democrats “to get behind the potentially game-changing K-12 facility legislation being championed by Democratic Congressman Don McEachin.” The measure, H.R. 922 (a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last February), almost certainly “is the best hope in Virginia history to enable localities to afford modernizing their oldest, undated facilities, a pre-requisite to the equal educational opportunity that Dr. King wanted for our children, that Democrats have long promised the working families of Virginia” said Platt.

    In 2013, then Governor Robert McDonnell order the state’s first-ever K-12 facility review. He found the results shocking. Besides obsolete nature of the average facility, upwards of 40% of Virginia’s K-12 buildings were sufficiently aged to be considered as “historic” structures under federal and state law.

    McEachin’s legislation addresses an unintended anti-education bias in federal law. In 1986, Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill created the “federal rehabilitation tax credit.” It incentivized modernization of buildings sufficiently aged to qualify as historic under the law. But the IRS code contained unappreciated legalese buried in arcane bureaucratese.

    Platt said the Trump Hotel project in Washington provides an easily understood explanation. The Trump Organization modernized a government owned building – the old DC Post Office – into a new Hotel use pursuant to a long-term lease. This enabled the project to take advantage of beneficial “federal rehabilitation tax credit” financing. However, because a local K-12 facility modernization project aims to keep the same use – a local school – it runs afoul of the so-called “prior use” rule. The “prior use” rule says this financing is barred when the post-modernization usage remains the same.

    “This seeming little rule has a huge anti-education impact” said Platt. “Based on current law, it can drive up local school modernization costs by upwards of 33% or possibly even more here in Virginia depending on the particular circumstances of a project.”

    From academia to Main Street, the 40,000 federal rehabilitation tax credit financed projects around the country have been widely praised.

    “Every dollar saved in local construction costs is a dollar available to improve local instruction without raising local taxes or incurring more local debt.”

    Platt pointed out that the Congressional Black Caucus presented Don’s bill to President Trump at their meeting last month.” “Dean Rozell of the George Mason School of Public Policy wrote an article on it, I recommend it to everyone.”

    Platt applauded Congressman McEachin for his efforts.

    “Education is the great equalizer, that’s what Dr. King said and he was so right,” pointed out Platt.

    “Democratic leaders, and thus who want to be Democratic leaders, need to publicly support and get behind Don.”

    The Brown decision was in 1954. After 63 years, “I think the children of Virginia have waited long enough” declared Platt.

  41. Williamsville Wellness Introduces Innovative Program to Treat Addiction

    ~Lifesaving online addiction treatment program is the first of its kind in the country~

    Richmond, VA (April 7, 2017)– Williamsville Wellness, a Richmond-based addiction treatment program is proud to announce the launch of smartIOP, the first online intensive outpatient program (IOP) for drug and alcohol abuse licensed by the state of Virginia. The new online IOP is a new feature of their full comprehensive, holistic treatment program for adults with alcohol and other substance-related addictions.

    “The mission of Williamsville Wellness is to provide holistic, individualized treatment that offers hope and recovery for those addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs.” comments Robert Cabaniss, Founder and Executive Director of Williamsville Wellness.

    SmartIOPis the only online IOP for alcohol and drug addiction licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. On average, the program can be completed in 6 to 12 weeks.

    “To be successful in the treatment of and recovery from addiction, we must make therapy effective, efficient and convenient to live a normal life.” comments Cabaniss.

    With ten years of experience in addiction recovery programs, Williamsville Wellness has the most intense one-on-one therapy program, offering 15+ individual sessions a week plus 18 hours of group education, and participation in on and off-site 12-step and SMART recovery meetings every week. IOPs are recognized by the courts and insurance companies as being more effective than outpatient therapy alone. Judges often use IOPs in sentencing to reduce the chance of another conviction and many addicts can benefit from an IOP before trying a 30-day rehabilitation program. Addiction treatment programs can now be covered by Medicaid.

    “With more people dying from overdoses than car accidents and the rise in alcoholism across the state, the time is now for our community to help those with addictions get the treatment needed stop using and start living.” says Cabaniss. For more information, please visit: www.WilliamsvilleWellness.com.  

    About Williamsville Wellness: Williamsville Wellness is a unique treatment center designed for men and women suffering from compulsive gambling, alcoholism, or drug abuse. Williamsville Wellness provides clients with the essential tools to achieve and maintain abstinence and recovery as well as restore healthy functioning with a sense of balance and well-being. Licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for treatment of Gambling Addiction, Chemical Dependency, & Impulse Control Disorders.

  42. Free Movie Screening of “Being Mortal”

    Bestselling author, Dr. Atul Gwande

    SOUTH HILL, VA– CMH Community Hospice of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is hosting a free movie screening of the PBS Frontline film “Being Mortal” on Thursday, April 20th at 6:00PM in the CMH Education Center auditorium.

    The documentary film is based on the New York Times best-selling book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gwande, MD.  The film explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and their relationships with the physicians who treat them.

    To register or for more information please call:  434-447-3151 ext. 3454.

    CMH Community Hospice is a not-for-profit agency committed to caring for individuals dealing with chronic illness, facing the end of life or grieving the loss of loved ones. Hospice offers comprehensive hospice and palliative care, emotional counseling, spiritual support and other services to the people of Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Lunenburg and Nottoway Counties without regard for race, age, faith, diagnosis or ability to pay.

  43. Josephine Allen Covington

    Josephine Allen Covington, 85, widow of Gordon Covington, passed away, Friday, April 7, 2017. She is survived by her daughter, Jo Gale Covington, goddaughter, Nancy Turner and husband, Joey and their children, Debra, Dwayne and Robbie and their children, Allysa, Jamison and Mallory; one sister, Esther Allen and numerous nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held graveside 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9, 2017 at Fountain Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the church social hall following the service. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

  44. Gov. McAuliffe keeps a perfect veto record

    By Julie Rothey, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Terry McAuliffe not only set a record for the number of bills vetoed by a Virginia governor. He also has a perfect record for the number of vetoes sustained.

    Republicans in the General Assembly failed to override any of the 40 vetoes that the Democratic governor issued on bills passed during this year’s legislative session, including measures that sought to increase voting requirements and make it easier to carry concealed weapons.

    During his four years in office, McAuliffe has vetoed a total of 111 bills – more than any of his predecessors. None of them have been overturned, Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, noted.

    “Whether he is fighting for the rights of women, immigrants, or the LGBT community, Governor McAuliffe has promised to keep Virginia open and welcoming for all its citizens. Thanks to the Democrats who fought to sustain his vetoes, he was able to keep that promise,” Swecker said in a statement.

    “With the help of Democrats in the General Assembly, the Governor has formed a wall of reason to protect Virginians from harmful legislation that would hurt our economy and working families.”

    Republicans see it differently. They say McAuliffe and Democratic legislators have shunned bipartisanship and blocked common-sense legislation that would prevent voter fraud and let Virginians defend themselves.

    For example, McAuliffe vetoed SB 1299, which would have allowed Virginians who are under a protective order to carry a concealed handgun while they wait for their concealed weapon permit to be issued. McAuliffe said, “The bill perpetuates the dangerous fiction that the victims of domestic violence will be safer by arming themselves. It would inject firearms into a volatile domestic violence situation, making that situation less safe, not more.”

    On Wednesday, the General Assembly reconvened to consider the governor’s vetoes and legislative recommendations.

    The Senate voted 23-17 in favor of overriding McAuliffe’s veto of SB 1299, with Democratic Sens. Chap Petersen of Fairfax and Lynwood Lewis of Accomack County joining the 21 Republican senators in voting yes. However, it takes 27 votes – a two-thirds majority – to override a veto in the Senate.

    The bill’s sponsor – Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Winchester – was disappointed. She said the bill would have “allowed law-abiding victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual abuse to carry concealed weapons on an emergency basis so they are not left defenseless while waiting carry permit paperwork. Many other states have passed similar emergency provisions and victims’ lives have been protected. “

    Legislators also sustained McAuliffe’s vetoes of bills that would have required more identification for in-person and absentee voting and increased scrutiny of registration lists. Republicans said such measures would make it harder for people to vote illegally. McAuliffe said that voter fraud has not been a problem, that the bills could prevent qualified people from voting and that the legislation would put a financial burden on local governments.

    In addition to the vetoes, the governor sent 85 bills back to the assembly with recommendations. More than 80 percent of the recommendations were accepted.

    However, the General Assembly rejected McAuliffe’s recommendations to expand Medicaid and to reinstate a law limiting handgun purchases to one per month in Virginia.

    “I remain disappointed that Republicans chose to block our efforts to expand Medicaid and reinstate the one-handgun-per-month rule,” McAuliffe said after Wednesday’s session. “Both proposals are common-sense measures that would save lives in Virginia.”

  45. April is National Alcohol Awareness Month

    This April is Alcohol Awareness Month.  Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) since 1987, this year’s theme is: “Talk Early, Talk Often: Parents Can Make a Difference in Teen Alcohol Use.”

    No other substance is more widely used and abused by America’s youth than alcohol, making alcoholism and alcohol-related problems the number one public health problem in the United States.

    It is important to know that parents play a significant role in preventing and reducing the incidence of underage alcohol and drug use.  Fostering healthy and responsible attitudes, talking openly and honestly, encouraging supportive relationships, and showing children that their opinions and decisions matter, are all ways to help prevent the use of alcohol and drugs.

    In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50% less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have such conversations.

    It can be challenging to develop the communication skills needed to talk with your children about drinking and drugs, but it will be well worth the effort you put into it, as you get to know your children a little better and help them build the coping skills they need to handle the anger, stress, peer pressure, loneliness and disappointment that are part of being an adolescent.

    So, let’s get started.  We can’t afford to wait any longer.  For more information about alcohol education, services & treatment, contact District 19 Community Services Board at (804)862-8002.

  46. VCU Health CMH to Offer Babysitting Training Course

    SOUTH HILL --The Health & Wellness Department of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill will offer the Smartkids 101 Babysitting Training Course this summer.

    The Smartkids 101 is a Babysitting Training Course especially designed for students age 11 to 14.  It teaches essential child care skills needed for responsible babysitters caring for infants, toddlers and older children.

    The class will include child and infant safety, poison control, CPR, first aid and basic child care skills.  At the end of the class students will receive a babysitting certificate, and be certified in American Heart-Heart Savers CPR and First aid.  Students will also be taught to react in an emergency situation and know who to call.  Students will learn about the babysitting business, build self-esteem and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

    This one day, 8-hour course will be taught in the VCU Health CMH Education Center at 125 Buena Vista Circle in South Hill from 8:00AM to 4:15PM on the following dates- May 31, June 19 & 30 and July 14.  The class is free but limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these courses, please contact the Health & Wellness department at 434-774-2541. These classes fill up quickly, so call today!

  47. Certified Welders

    The students pictured here earned the State Level AWS (American Welding Society) Welding Certification while still enrolled at GCHS! 

    Pictured from left to right: CTE Director, LaMeka Harrison; students, Joshua Vaughan, Tyler Prince, and Hunter Cifers; Welding Instructor, Jerry Brown.

  48. GOP rejects governor’s bid to expand Medicaid

    By Maura Mazurowski, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe blasted Republican legislators Wednesday after they rejected his budget amendment to expand Medicaid in Virginia.

    “Virginia Republicans block #Medicaid expansion once again,” McAuliffe tweeted after the General Assembly reconvened to consider legislation that the governor vetoed or wanted amended.

    “400k Virginians remain w/o healthcare. We’re losing $6.6mil every day,” McAuliffe wrote after the GOP-controlled House of Delegates rebuffed his Medicaid proposal.

    McAuliffe and other Democrats reiterated their call for Medicaid expansion after the U.S. House of Representatives last month failed to reach an agreement on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

    That federal law, also known as Obamacare, encouraged states to expand Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income Americans.

    The proposed amendment would have given McAuliffe the authority in October to direct the Department of Medical Assistance Services to expand Medicaid if the Affordable Care Act is still in place. State officials say the expansion would cover about 400,000 low-income Virginians.

    Every year since he was elected in 2013, McAuliffe has advocated expanding Medicaid. And every year, Republican lawmakers have voted against the idea.

    “We rejected expansion in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and again in 2017 because it was the wrong policy for the commonwealth,” the GOP House leadership said in a statement Wednesday. “The lack of action in Washington has not changed that and in fact, the uncertainty of federal health policy underscores the need to be cautious over the long term.”

    Under the Affordable Care Act, states can expand Medicaid to cover people making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $16,640 for an individual. About half of the 31 states that accepted Medicaid expansion have Republican governors. Earlier in the session, Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, outlined the Republicans’ position on the issue.

    “Our Republican caucus believes in minimal government, in government doing only what it must,” Massie said.

    He said Medicaid is the largest entitlement program in the state and costs are rising.

    “As such, we cannot prudently responsibly expand such an entitlement program at this time,” Massie said. “We must reform it and look for the Virginia way. And that is exactly what we’re doing in this house.”

    Delegate Massie has since announced his resignation from the Virginia House of Delegates.

    Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a practicing pediatric neurologist, pushed for McAuliffe’s proposed amendment just before the veto session began Wednesday.

    “We need to do the right thing here in Virginia. We need to go upstairs, both in the House and the Senate, and pass the governor’s amendment to move forward with Medicaid expansion,” Northam said.

    Liberal organizations like Progress Virginia were angered by the GOP’s decision on the matter.

    “Health care is a basic human right. It is beyond outrageous that House Republicans have prioritized petty partisan politics over real human lives by refusing to expand Medicaid,” Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, said in a press release. “These politicians should look in the eyes of individuals they’ve denied health care access and explain their vote.”

    The issue is likely to remain contentious as McAuliffe finishes his term and Virginia elects a new governor in November. Northam is competing with former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello for the Democratic nomination. Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination: Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach; and Corey Stewart, who chairs the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

    “I will continue to fight for access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Virginians along with the Governor and our administration,” Northam said in a statement.

  49. Southside Regional Medical Center Accepting Applications for Summer Junior Volunteer Program

    PETERSBURG, VA  – Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is currently accepting applications for the 2017 Junior Volunteer Program.  Applications can be picked up at the Welcome Center in SRMC’s main lobby or downloaded at SRMConline.com/community under “Volunteering” and must be returned no later than April 28. Teens must be at least 14 years old and show proof of age if they are selected for the program. Junior Volunteers will be required to submit to a drug screening and TB test.

    The Summer Junior Volunteer Program will take place June 21– August 03, 2017.

    Junior Volunteers will be assigned to work in specific departments within SRMC.  For additional information, contact Lisa Mason, Manager, Volunteer & Support Services, at 804-765-5786 or at lisa_mason@chs.net.

  50. Lawmakers blast Trump budget that would cut Chesapeake Bay cleanup

    Photo by TOM HAUSMAN      

    By BRIANA THOMAS,  Maryland Capital News Service

    WASHINGTON - Lawmakers from states surrounding the Chesapeake Bay on Wednesday expressed bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump’s proposal to end federal support for cleaning up Chesapeake Bay.

    “The president’s budget that would zero out the Chesapeake Bay Program is outrageous,” Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, said at a Capitol Hill meeting with members of the Choose Clean Water Coalition. “It’s dead on arrival.”

    Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., said cutting investments for the bay clean up will not help the economy.

    “Our Chesapeake Bay is an economic engine and the cleaner it is the more it produces economically,” he said.

    The nonprofit coalition hosted its fifth annual lobbying day, centered around saving the federally funded Chesapeake Bay Program after Trump last month proposed a “skinny budget” thatwould eliminate the $73 million bay restoration project.

    The Environmental Protection Agency provides the program with monetary support to restore the bay’s ecosystem and reduce pollution.

    Started in 1983, the program is conducted under a six-state partnership with Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and the District of Columbia.

    Advocates from each state attended the meeting with lawmakers.

    “We know how important the Chesapeake Bay is for the entire region,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md. “We are going to fight harder and harder and harder.”

    Ruppersberger said the bay generates more than $1 trillion annually and the restoration of oysters, tributaries and streams is a project that needs to be continued.

    The bay is a source of drinking water for 75 percent of the region’s 17 million residents, according to the Choose Clean Water Coalition.

    The Chesapeake also is the largest estuary in the United States serving as aplace for recreational water activities, as well as a workplace for the commercial fishing and crabbing industry.

    Made up of 225 local, state, and national groups, the Choose Clean Water Coalition has been advocating for a healthy Chesapeake watershed since 2009.

    “The Coalition will work to continue to push back on the president’s proposed budget, and secure the essential funding that is necessary to return clean water to the Chesapeake Bay,” coalition spokeswoman Kristin Reilly said in a statement Wednesday.

    Members of the House and Senate said they were pleased to have bipartisan support for clean water.

    “The Chesapeake Bay is the perfect thing to come together around and serve energetically,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, last year’s Democratic vice presidential nominee.

    He said everyone has to work together to make sure checks and balances are implemented.

    “We have an EPA administrator who doesn’t accept science. If you don’t accept climate science, it’s a fair question to ask if you accept science,” Kaine said, referring to Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA.

    Trump signed an executive order last week to shut downthe Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a program aimed at reducing climate change by cutting carbon emissions from power plants.

    “We are faced with a tough budget battle, but an attitude from the EPA that says we can ignore science,” Kaine said.

    The bay is a valuable natural resource and if Trump wants more jobs, then he should work to rehabilitate the bay, Wittman said.

    The congressman said he was deeply concerned about Trump’s budget plan and wrote a letter to the administration asking to restore resources to the bay.

    Wittman wants more money to help revitalize wetlands.

    “Our wetlands are the nursery for everything that lives in those ecosystems...mother nature is the sponge that absorbs what man puts in it,” he said.

  51. Brunswick Academy Theatre presents Shrek The Musical

    Brunswick Academy Theatre presents Shrek The Musical on Friday, April 7th at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 8th at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9th at 3:00 p.m. in the B.A. Gymnasium.  Tickets are on sale NOW - Adult tickets are $12.00 and Student tickets are $8.00  Don't miss this fun show and talented cast of students.  A great outing for the entire family! Call Kristine Thompson at 434-848-2220 for more information.

  52. VSU Offers Free Workshop on Raising Fish in Pond Cages

    The Aquaculture Program at Virginia State University has scheduled a fish cage-building workshop on April 27 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at VSU’s Randolph Farm, located at 4415 River Road, Ettrick.

    Free and open to the public, the workshop is designed for anyone with a farm pond who is interested raising fish in cages for profit or personal consumption. 

    Participants will learn the basics of cage aquaculture and construct a fish cage. Cage-building materials will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring leather gloves, tin snips, a tape measure, cutting pliers and protective goggles.

    Registration is limited to 20 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit VSU's Cooperative Extension events calendar at www.ext.vsu.edu. For more information or for persons with a disability who desire assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Debra B. Jones at dbjones@vsu.edu  or call (804) 524-5496/ TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

    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,  Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

  53. Dr. Cynthia Austin Joins VCU Health CMH

    South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Cynthia Austin to our family of health care providers.  Dr. Austin specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Dr. Cynthia Austin is a Board Certified OB/GYN who has devoted her career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for her patients for more than 20 years. She earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia and completed her internship and residency training at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where she served as Chief Resident. She was a partner in health for hundreds of women as a top OB/GYN at one of Northern Virginia’s leading health maintenance organizations(HMOs).

    During her 18 plus years of practice, Dr. Austin obtained her Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree in Public Health Management from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and  went on to complete the Healthcare Executives Leadership Curriculum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.   She is a community faculty at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Dr. Austin is passionate about women’s health.  She believes a healthy woman promotes a healthier household, community and world.  She is married and a mother of five children.  In her free time she enjoys reading, teaching, and medical missions.   She is bilingual and enjoys engaging with people from around the world.

    Dr. Austin is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located at 420 Bracey Lane in South Hill.  She is currently accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 447-7765.

    Dr. Austin along with Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  To view a full list of services visit:  cmhwomenshealthservices.org

  54. SBA Administrator Honors Nation’s Top Small Businesses

    Winners to be formally recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 30 – May 1

    RICHMOND– Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announces Corliss Udoema, President and CEO of Contract Solutions, Inc.  

    “It is my honor and distinct pleasure to announce the 54 winners from across the U.S. and its territories,” McMahon said. “These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy. I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

    Contract Solutions, Inc. is 8(a) and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small business that provides professional support services to a wide array of federal and state government agencies and private sector clients. 

    All of the winners have been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C on April 30 – May 1 where they will be honored with their individual award along with recognition of the three runners-up and the naming of the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year. 

    Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  National Small Business Week is set as the first week in May, and this year the dates are April 30 – May 6 with national events planned in Washington, D.C., New York City, Indianapolis, Dallas and Fresno, Calif.

  55. Beck’s Cool Job Let’s Her Work From Home

    Shanetta Beck has a cool job because she is doing what she loves to do.  Beck is owner of her own business, Baskets by Occasion.  She started this as a cottage industry on a part time basis and now has transformed her hobby into a prosperous business.

    Beck, who lives in Emporia, is a graduate of Southside Virginia Community College with an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.  She fondly remembers her mentors from her student years at SVCC, especially Dr. Al Roberts who is now President and Trooper Ron Posey who taught some of her classes. 

    When she attended SVCC, she was working as a Corrections Officer and the degree she worked towards helped her with on-the-job promotions. 

    In her mid-twenties when she returned to school, Beck also already had children.  She wanted to go to college to encourage them to succeed in life.

    “I feel good that I got an SVCC education,” she said and is still involved with the college by using the Longwood Small Business Development Center that comes to the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County and through participation in the Pink Power Celebration at Christanna Campus.

    A breast cancer survivor, Beck is adamant in her support of breast cancer awareness and fund raising for the cause.  Only 35 years old when her cancer was discovered, Beck has been in cure mode for the past four years.  One reason she likes having her own business is she can pace herself; her treatment for the disease took a toll on her energy level.  But, with her enthusiasm for her career and her personality, she seems pretty energetic.

    She works closely with the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce and networks with others there to promote her business.  She offers baskets that are custom made for all occasions including weddings, babies, birthdays, holidays, she plans children’s parties and makes welcome baskets and dipped treats and fruits.  Her shop, located in a tiny house in her yard, is brimming with baskets, filled pocketbooks and other ideas for any occasion.

    Her enthusiasm for her creations is contagious.  She is in her happy place while tucked amongst the many completed baskets and gift items in her shop.  

  56. Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for ‘veto session’

    By SaraRose Martin, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Legislators will return to the state Capitol on Wednesday to consider 39 bills that Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed during the General Assembly’s 2017 session.

    To override a veto, the Republican-controlled Assembly must muster a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate. Because the Democrats hold 34 seats in the House and 19 in the Senate, McAuliffe should have the votes to sustain his vetoes.

    Legislators will vote on the governor’s vetoes of legislation covering a range of topics, including whether to impose more requirements on voter registration, restrict absentee voting and expand access to handguns.

    McAuliffe vetoed a record 40 bills during the legislative session that ended Feb. 25. On the session’s final day, the General Assembly dealt with one of the vetoes – McAuliffe’s rejection of HB 2264, which would have cut off state funds for Planned Parenthood and other groups that provide abortions. The veto was sustained by a 62-33 vote in the House.

    McAuliffe warned at the beginning of the session that he would veto any social-issue bills that he believed may harm the rights of women or the LGBTQ community. Republican leaders in the House have said that McAuliffe has reneged on his pledge to be bipartisan and that his office has been “the most disengaged administration we have worked with.”

    Among legislation vetoed are six education-related bills, such as SB 1283, which would allow the state Board of Education to create regional charter schools without the permission of local school boards.

    McAuliffe also vetoed bills to allow a freestanding agency to offer online education programs to Virginia students (HB 1400) and to require schools to notify parents of sexually explicit material (HB 2191). McAuliffe said these bills collectively would “undermine” the state’s public schools.

    The governor also rejected legislation to expand access to weapons. He vetoed HB 1582, which would allow 18-year-old active members of the military to apply for concealed handgun permits, and SB 1347, which would allow concealed carry of a switchblade knife.

    McAuliffe also turned down bills that Republicans say would prevent voter fraud but the governor said would be obstacles to voting. They included SB 1581, which would require voter registrars to verify with the Social Security Administration that the name, date of birth and Social Security number of voter registration applications. Another vetoed bill, SB 1253, would require electronic poll books to contain photo identification of registered voters.

    Lawmakers will also consider recommendations that McAuliffe made to 74 bills. Notably, the governor has proposed an amendment to the state budget (HB 1500) that would allow him to expand Medicaid, an optional provision of the federal Affordable Care Act. McAuliffe said this has become an urgent issue since Congress rejected President Donald Trump’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act last month.

    Virginians in the coverage gap held a press conference Monday to urge legislators to vote for Medicaid expansion. This expansion would mean 400,000 Virginians who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford health insurance will be able to get covered.

    “Republicans no longer have an excuse for not passing Medicaid expansion in Virginia,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia. “All Virginians deserve to be able to see a doctor when they need one, regardless of income.”

    Republican leaders said that their opposition remains the smart move and that they will reject McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendment. They fear that if Virginia expands Medicaid, the state will get stuck with the bills in the future.

    Agenda for Wednesday’s reconvened session

    McAuliffe vetoed 40 bills from the 2017 legislative session. The General Assembly will take up 39 of those vetoes during Wednesday’s session. They are:

         

    Bill number

    Description

    Sponsor

    HB1394

    Franchisees; status thereof and its employees as employees of the franchisor.

    Head

    HB1400

    Virginia Virtual School Board; established, report.

    Bell, Richard P.

    HB1428

    Absentee voting; photo identification required with application.

    Fowler

    HB1432

    Switchblade knife; exception to carry concealed.

    Ware

    HB1468

    Incarcerated persons, certain; compliance with detainers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Marshall, R.G.

    HB1578

    Students who receive home instruction; participation in interscholastic programs (Tebow Bill).

    Bell, Robert B.

    HB1582

    Concealed handgun permits; age requirement for persons on active military duty.

    Campbell

    HB1596

    Virginia Public Procurement Act; public works contracts, prevailing wage provisions.

    Webert

    HB1605

    Virginia Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts; established, report.

    LaRock

    HB1753

    Local government; prohibiting certain practice requiring contractors to provide compensation, etc.

    Davis

    HB1790

    Administrative Process Act; development and periodic review of regulations, report.

    Lingamfelter

    HB1836

    Spotsylvania Parkway; VDOT to maintain a certain segment beginning in 2020.

    Orrock

    HB1852

    Concealed handguns; protective orders.

    Gilbert

    HB1853

    Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course.

    Gilbert

    HB2000

    Sanctuary policies; prohibited.

    Poindexter

    HB2002

    Refugee and immigrant resettlements; reports to Department of Social Services.

    Poindexter

    HB2025

    Religious freedom; solemnization of marriage.

    Freitas

    HB2077

    Emergency Services and Disaster Law of 2000; reference to firearms, emergency shelter.

    Wilt

    HB2092

    Application for public assistance; eligibility, review of records.

    LaRock

    HB2191

    School boards; procedures for handling sexually explicit instructional materials, etc.

    Landes

    HB2198

    Coal tax; limits aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for employment, etc.

    Kilgore

    HB2207

    Food stamp program; requests for replacement of electronic benefit transfer card.

    Robinson

    HB2342

    Public schools; Board of Education shall only establish regional charter school divisions.

    Landes

    HB2343

    Voter registration list maintenance; voters identified as having duplicate registrations.

    Bell, Robert B.

    HB2411

    Health insurance; reinstating pre-Affordable Care Act provisions.

    Byron

    SB865

    Furnishing certain weapons to minor; exemption.

    Stuart

    SB872

    Absentee voting; applications and ballots; photo identification required.

    Chase

    SB1105

    Registered voters and persons voting; reports of persons voting at elections.

    Obenshain

    SB1240

    Virginia Virtual School Board; established, report.

    Dunnavant

    SB1253

    Voter identification; photograph contained in electronic pollbook.

    Obenshain

    SB1283

    Public schools; Board of Education shall only establish regional charter school divisions.

    Obenshain

    SB1299

    Concealed handguns; protective orders.

    Vogel

    SB1300

    Victims of domestic violence, etc.; firearms safety or training course.

    Vogel

    SB1324

    Religious freedom; definitions, marriage solemnization, participation, and beliefs.

    Carrico

    SB1347

    Switchblade knife; person may carry concealed, exception.

    Reeves

    SB1362

    Concealed weapons; nonduty status active military personnel may carry.

    Black

    SB1455

    Voter registration; monetary payments for registering for another.

    Black

    SB1470

    Coal tax; limits aggregate amount of credits that may be allocated or claimed for employment, etc.

    Chafin

    SB1581

    Voter registration; verification of social security numbers.

    Peake

         

    On the last day of the regular session, the House tried but failed to override the veto of one bill:

         

    HB2264

    Department of Health; restrictions on expenditure of funds related to abortions and family planning.

    Cline

         

     

    On Wednesday, lawmakers also will consider recommendations that McAuliffe made to 74 bills. The most important is the budget bill (HB 1500). Other legislation cover topics ranging from education and health care to tow trucks and government transparency.

         

    Bill number

    Description

    Sponsor

    HB1411

    Privately retained counsel; rules and regulations, client’s failure to pay.

    Albo

    HB1491

    Background checks; exceptions, sponsored living and shared residential service providers.

    Hope

    HB1500

    Budget Bill.

    Jones

    HB1525

    Driver’s licenses; revocation or suspension, laws of other jurisdictions.

    Albo

    HB1532

    Fire Programs Fund.

    Wright

    HB1539

    Virginia Freedom of Information Act; public access to records of public bodies.

    LeMunyon

    HB1663

    Northern Va. Community College, et al.; computer science training, etc., for public school teachers.

    Greason

    HB1671

    Natural gas utilities; qualified projects, investments in eligible infrastructure.

    Morefield

    HB1691

    Widewater Beach Subdivision; DCR to convey certain real property.

    Dudenhefer

    HB1708

    Standards of Accreditation; industry certification credentials obtained by high school students.

    Filler-Corn

    HB1721

    Community Colleges, State Board for; reduced rate tuition and mandatory fee charges.

    Anderson

    HB1791

    Conspiracy, incitement, etc., to riot; penalty when against public safety personnel.

    Lingamfelter

    HB1829

    Teacher licensure; certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    Dudenhefer

    HB1846

    Death certificates; filing.

    Cox

    HB1851

    Assault and battery against a family or household member; deferred disposition, waiver of appeal.

    Gilbert

    HB1854

    Conflicts of Interests Acts, State & Local Government & General Assembly, lobbyist; filing.

    Gilbert

    HB1855

    Court-ordered restitution; form order, enforcement, noncompliance, etc.

    Bell, Robert B.

    HB1856

    Restitution; supervised probation.

    Bell, Robert B.

    HB1960

    Tow truck drivers and towing and recovery operators; civil penalty for improper towing.

    Hugo

    HB2014

    Standards of quality; biennial review by Board of Education.

    Keam

    HB2016

    Electric personal delivery devices; operation on sidewalks and shared-use paths.

    Villanueva

    HB2017

    Virginia Public Procurement Act; bid, performance, and payment bonds, waiver by localities.

    Villanueva

    HB2026

    Property and bulk property carriers; regulation, combines authorities.

    Villanueva

    HB2053

    Direct primary care agreements; the Commonwealth’s insurance laws do not apply.

    Landes

    HB2101

    Health care providers; data collection.

    Byron

    HB2105

    Investment of Public Funds Act; investment of funds in Virginia Investment Pool Trust Fund.

    Byron

    HB2149

    Aircraft; defines ‘unmanned aircraft’ and requires aircraft to be registered with Dept. of Aviation.

    Knight

    HB2163

    Buprenorphine without naloxone; prescription limitation.

    Pillion

    HB2168

    Virginia Coal Train Heritage Authority; established.

    Pillion

    HB2201

    Failure to drive on right side of highways or observe traffic lanes; increases penalties.

    O’Quinn

    HB2245

    Virginia Research Investment Committee; expands role of Committee.

    Jones

    HB2289

    Divorce or dissolution of marriage; award of life insurance.

    Leftwich

    HB2297

    Oyster planting grounds; Marine Resources Commission to post.

    Miyares

    HB2324

    Jurors; payment by prepaid debit card or card account.

    Yost

    HB2336

    Law-enforcement officer; report of officer involved in accident.

    Miller

    HB2367

    Virginia Port Authority; removal of members on Board of Commissioners.

    Lindsey

    HB2383

    Combined sewer overflow outfalls; DEQ to identify owner of outfall discharging into Chesapeake Bay.

    Lingamfelter

    HB2386

    Unpaid court fines, etc.; increases grace period for collection.

    Loupassi

    HB2390

    Renewable energy power purchase agreements; expands pilot program.

    Kilgore

    HB2442

    Collection fees, local; an ordinance for collection of overdue accounts.

    Ingram

    HB2471

    Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; membership, powers and duties.

    Jones

    SB800

    Direct primary care agreements; the Commonwealth’s insurance laws do not apply.

    Stanley

    SB812

    Asbestos, Lead, and Home Inspectors, Board for; home inspections, required statement.

    Marsden

    SB854

    Unpaid court fines, etc.; increases grace period for collection.

    Stanley

    SB864

    Electoral board appointments; chief judge of the judicial circuit or his designee make appointment.

    Stuart

    SB898

    Combined sewer overflow outfalls; DEQ to identify owner of outfall discharging into Chesapeake Bay.

    Stuart

    SB962

    Sales and use tax; nexus for out-of-state businesses.

    Hanger

    SB1008

    Barrier crimes; clarifies individual crimes, criminal history records checks.

    Hanger

    SB1023

    Concealed handgun permits; sharing of information.

    Stuart

    SB1073

    Bridgewater, Town of; amending charter, sets out various powers typically exercised by towns, etc.

    Obenshain

    SB1102

    FOIA; records of completed unattended death investigations, definition, mandatory disclosure.

    Surovell

    SB1116

    Public school employees, certain; assistance with student insulin pumps by register nurse, etc.

    McPike

    SB1178

    Buprenorphine without naloxone; prescription limitation.

    Chafin

    SB1239

    Child day programs; exemptions from licensure, certification of preschool or nursery school program.

    Hanger

    SB1258

    Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority; increases membership.

    Ebbin

    SB1282

    Wireless communications infrastructure; procedure for approved by localities.

    McDougle

    SB1284

    Court-ordered restitution; form order, enforcement, noncompliance, etc.

    Obenshain

    SB1285

    Restitution; supervised probation.

    Obenshain

    SB1296

    County food and beverage tax; referendum.

    Vogel

    SB1303

    Voter registration; deadline for registration by electronic means.

    Vogel

    SB1312

    Conflicts of Interests Acts, State & Local Government & General Assembly, lobbyist; filing.

    Norment

    SB1315

    Foster care; possession of firearm.

    Carrico

    SB1364

    Property and bulk property carriers; regulation, combines authorities.

    Newman

    SB1371

    Virginia Research Investment Committee; expands role of Committee.

    Saslaw

    SB1398

    Coal combustion residuals unit; closure permit, assessments required.

    Surovell

    SB1415

    Virginia Port Authority; removal of members on Board of Commissioners.

    Spruill

    SB1416

    Investment of Public Funds Act; investment of funds in Virginia Investment Pool Trust Fund.

    Newman

    SB1418

    Electric utilities; costs of pumped hydroelectricity generation and storage facilities.

    Chafin

    SB1486

    Law-enforcement officer; report of officer involved in accident.

    Stuart

    SB1492

    Water utilities; retail rates of affiliated utilities, definitions, etc.

    Stuart

    SB1493

    Northern Va. Community College, et al.; computer science training, etc., for public school teachers.

    McClellan

    SB1574

    Virginia Economic Development Partnership Authority; membership, powers and duties.

    Ruff

     

  57. Endorsed by Sanders, Perriello campaigns in Richmond

    By Tyler Hammel, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – In his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, Tom Perriello says he would make community college free, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and confront the Trump administration over its policies on immigration and other issues.

    Perriello – who has won an endorsement from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – discussed those topics Monday night at a town-hall style meeting at Virginia Union University in Richmond.

    Promising to combat President Donald Trump’s administration and help create a “community of conscience,” the Charlottesville native received consistent applause from the crowd.

    He touted his support of the Affordable Care Act when he served in the U.S. Congress in 2009-11. Trump, who succeeded Barrack Obama as president in January, has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA. Perriello gave credit to demonstrations such as the Women’s March on Washington for preventing that from happening.

    “Five months ago, people could have curled up on the couch and cried, and I’m sure all of us did. But instead, people decided to say, ‘No, this isn’t who we are as a commonwealth; this is not something we are going to stand by passively and watch,’” Perriello said. “Because of these efforts, because of the marches, because of the protests, because of the stories, today the Affordable Care Act remains in place.”

    Perriello also discussed his hope to provide free community college to Virginia residents, calling it a good investment. He said trickle-down economics – the notion that tax cuts for the wealthy will generate benefits for poorer people – doesn’t work.

    “What the evidence does show you is when you actually increase wages and invest in people, then you do get growth locally, and more growth for small business,” Perriello said. “This is not something we’re doing out of the goodness of our hearts. We’re doing this because it’s a good investment strategy.”

    A big part of Perriello’s speech was establishing himself as a viable candidate in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

    Perriello announced his candidacy in January, when it appeared that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam would be uncontested in seeking the nomination.

    Perriello encouraged supporters to knock on doors and volunteer on his behalf to spread the word about his campaign. That was a critical strategy at the time: Only one in five Virginians even knew his name, according to a poll published in February by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

    Last week, a survey by the center showed that Perriello and Northam were tied: Each had support from 26 percent of Democratic-leaning voters; almost half of the people polled were undecided.

    At the event at Virginia Union University, Perriello had few critical things to say about Northam. Instead, he mentioned issues on which the two candidates agreed – but Perriellosaid he was the first to take those positions.

    “We came out and led the way on standing up for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. A few weeks later, we saw Ralph and others court that decision,” Perriello said. “Same thing with criminal justice reform and debt-free community college. I think what we need right now is someone who’s actually leading a policy agenda.”

    Perriello echoes many of the positions that Sanders espoused during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. On Tuesday, Sanders issued a statement endorsing Perriello.

    “We need to elect progressives at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump Administration and its Republican allies,” the statement said. “Tom is committed to fighting the rigged economy and income inequality. He was the first major statewide candidate in Virginia to run on a $15 minimum wage and the first to say two years of community college should be tuition-free.”

    Perriello will face off against Northam in the Democratic primary election on June 13. Northam has the support of outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe and most Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly and the state’s congressional delegation.

    On the Republican side, three candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for governor: Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach; and Corey Stewart, who chairs the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

  58. The 44th Annual Virginia Pork Festival

    The 44th Annual Virginia Pork Festival will be held on Wednesday June 14th, 2017 from 4PM to 8PM. This year we have 4 bands that will include The Embers, Strictly Bizzness, Soul Attractions, and the Feature Attraction Band. Food will include  Minced Barbecue, Pit Cooked Barbecue, Barbecued Spareribs, Barbecued Boston Butt, Barbecued Loin Chops, Grilled Loin Chops, Sausage Biscuits, Pork Burgers, Sausage Burgers, Bologna Steak Burgers, Italian Sausage, Pork Meatballs , BLTs, Hot Dogs, Chitterlings, Pigs Feet, & Souse.Sides will include Black Eyed Peas & Stewed Tomatoes, Pork & Beans,  Hushpuppies, & French Fried Sweet Potatoes. Desserts will include Banana Pudding & Strawberry Shortcake. Soft drinks, Water, Tea, Anheuser-Busch Family Beers, and a Liquor Bar will be included. This event is a fundraiser for several non profit organizations in the Southside Virginia community. It is one of the largest single day festivals on the East Coast and grows every year with attendance and events. We have vendor space available at the festival for most businesses, with approval, and they can put there products and services in front of thousands of people. If you can ad this event to your calendars, we would certainly appreciate it! Tickets are available online at www.VaPorkFestival.com and are $35 per ticket.

  59. Emporia Storage Auction Entices Treasure Hunters on April 8

    Tips on how to buy at auction

    EMPORIA, Va. -- The treasure hunt is on as Emporia Storage has a unit auction scheduled at its three facilities in the city beginning at 10 a.m. on April 8, rain or shine.

    The auction will begin at Emporia Storage office headquarters at 315 West Atlantic Street, then move to the units on East Atlantic Street across from Georgia Pacific and finish at its third location at 623 South Main Street across from 7-11.

    "The popularity of hit TV shows like 'Storage Wars' has really heightened interest in storage unit auctions. There's such mystery. You never know what you're going to find," said auctioneer Carla Harris, known to Richmond radio listeners and TV audiences as "Carla Cash."

    Harris offers the following suggestions on what to look for and how to buy a unit at a storage auction:

    • Are items covered in dust? This could indicate that the contents have been there for a long time and that the previous owner considered them worth storing and saving.
    • Is it detailed? Look for ornate carvings, paint, finishes, etchings and scroll work. This could mean the piece is an antique or of fine quality.
    • Are there boxes? This is especially true of jewelry boxes, safes, and metal lock boxes. Boxes may contain hidden treasures that someone felt the need to protect by putting it in a storage unit.
    • Is there a lot of clutter? Don’t be discouraged by this. Yes, you may have to weed through quite a bit of things you don’t want, but you never know what might be hiding underneath those piles or clothes or trash bags.
    • Is it wood? Solid wood furniture is not produced as much as it once was, thus possibly making it more collectible and valuable to some.
    • Is this a potential Pinterest project? Look for furniture that can be painted, refinished and upcycled to suit your style. Your new favorite coffee table or china hutch could be inside a unit waiting for a fresh coat of paint and your imagination.
    • Are items wrapped in newspaper, bubble wrap or some sort of cover? This could indicate something fragile, valuable or collectible that the previous owner considered worth protecting.
    • Can I sell it? There’s truth to the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Perhaps a unit holds only a few things you want for yourself. You may be able to turn the rest into cash.

    Several dozen units are expected to be sold at the April 8 auction. During this cash only sale, the belongings of delinquent storage units are auctioned to the highest bidder to recoup the loss of rental fees.

     

    "Anything could be in a unit. We have people come from all over Virginia and even other states to check out what's inside," said Boyce Adams, owner of Emporia Storage.

     

    Gates open at 9 a.m. for registration. The auction begins at 10 a.m. In this absolute auction, units will be sold "as is, where is" and contents must be removed by the winning bidder by 6 p.m. that day. A buyers’ premium will apply.

     

    The auction will be conducted by Carla Harris, Emporia, Va., (434) 594-4406, VA License # 2907004352, a member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association. For more information, call Carla or Emporia Storage at (434) 634-2919, and visit facebook.com/thatcarlacash for more terms and conditions. 

  60. Transform your ideas about the library: celebrate National Library Week April 9-15

    The Meherrin Regional Library System joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries are transforming their communities every day through the services and invaluable expertise they offer.

    April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians, and library workers.  Libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies.

    Libraries of all types are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve. Elected officials, small business owners, students, and the public at large depend upon libraries and the resources they offer to address the needs of their communities. By providing such resources as e-books and computer assistance, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers, or a safe haven in times of crisis, libraries and librarians transform their communities.

    The Meherrin Regional Library System is transforming by providing computers, printers, WIFI, and copy services in addition to the books, movies, and magazines available to check out. The library offers weekly storytimes and Summer Reading Programs, as well as meeting room spaces. The Meherrin Regional Library’s friendly staff is there to guide and assist the library patrons who visit each day.

    Libraries also offer something unique to their communities - the expertise of individual librarians. Librarians assist patrons in using increasingly complex technology and sorting through the potentially overwhelming mass of information bombarding today’s digital society. This is especially crucial when access to reliable and trustworthy data is more important than ever.

    First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. 

     

    To learn more about your local library, visit the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville or the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia or the library’s Web site at www.meherrinlib.org.

  61. Greensville Schools to host Child Find

    Greensville County Public Schools will sponsor Child Find on Friday, April 28, 2017 from 10 am until 5 pm at Greensville Elementary School.

    Child Find is registration for Head Start or Virginia Preschool Initiative.

    Head Start is a federal preschool program which provides comprehensive services and learning experiences to prepare children for Kindergarten and move families toward self-sufficiency. The program also operates in compliance with IDEA to include children with special needs. All Head Start services are free to children and families.

    The Virginia Preschool Initiative, established in 1995, distributes state funds to schools and community based organizations to provide quality preschool program for at-risk four-year-olds. The program offers full day Pre-kindergarten, parent involvement, child health and social services, and transportation to families with four-year-olds at risk of school failure.

    Parents of all children who are or will be four years old on or before September 30th and are residents of Emporia or Greensville County are encouraged to attend. There will be NO TESTING. Children do NOT need to attend!

    To apply, you must bring your child’s OFFICIAL birth certificate (NOT a hospital certificate), immunization record, PROOF of residency (for example: a current water/electric bill with YOUR name and address) and, because of NEW state guidelines, verification of household income (for example: paystub, W-2, Medicaid card, TANF, SNAP, WIC, SSI).

     

  62. Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus Presents the 2017 Spring Concert

     

    EVENT:

    “American Homeland”

    Spring Concert

    Songs of American Values: faith, courage, beauty, hope and love.

     

    Southside Virginia Community College Chorus

    Directed by Carol Henderson

    Accompanied by Sally Tharrington

    DATE:

    Sunday, April 23, 2017

    TIME:

     7:00 P.M.

    PLACE:

    South Hill Presbyterian Church

    914 Mecklenburg Ave. South Hill, VA  23970

    ADMISSION: Free - Sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College

    The “American Homeland” 2017 Spring Concert will offer songs of American Values: faith, courage, beauty, hope and love. Beginning with the solo, American Anthem by Gene Scheer, sung by soprano Betty Edwards with Sally Tharrington at the piano. This song reminds us of “the dream of a nation where freedom would endure.” How this nation is built on the gifts of each generation and the “quiet acts of dignity” that fortify “the soul of a nation that never dies.”

    Judy Kemp, past Director of the SVCC Chorus for 15 years, will play with Sally in a unique piano duet accompaniment arranged by Mark Hayes of the traditional American song Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal. Judy is the current Program Chair and Vice-President of the South Hill Music Club of the National Federation of Music Clubs.

    Proudly featured in the SVCC Chorus concert, is a new hymn text written by one of the chorus’ members, Rev. Dr. Stephen DeOrnellas, Blessed Is The Nation Whose God Is The Lord. Sung to the Irish tune, Slane and based on Psalm 33:12, we pray for new hearts, wise love, and Christ-like courage. Stephen is the Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Baskerville.

    Other musical highlights by the SVCC Chorus include the Appalachian song, Down to the River to Pray; the new spiritual Order My Steps ( In Your Word), written by Glenn Burleigh and recorded by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, 1996; and from the 60’s, Pete Seeger’s Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season). In Over the Rainbow, the classic, award-winning song from the “Wizard of OZ”, why can’t we fly like the bluebirds, and have our troubles melt away in the clouds?

    The men of the SVCC chorus sing The Quest: The Impossible Dream, the quintessential song of the search for the unattainable, from the “Man of LaMancha.” In Stained Glass, a new song by Joseph Martin and Heather Sorenson, the Artist’s hand picks up the shattered, scattered, broken pieces of our life. “Who would have known that God would make art from glass stained and broken, from lives torn apart.” Also included is the simple truth found in that Sunday school favorite: Jesus Loves Me, arranged by Fred Bock with Debussy’s Clair de Lune.  The favorite of church, community and school choirs across the country: Let There Be Peace on Earth closes out the program of beautiful tunes that lift up the values of our “American Homeland.”

    Singers this spring in SVCC Chorus are from the surrounding communities and include:

    Elizabeth Allgood, Dan Araway, Nancy Bradshaw, Robert Bradshaw, Stephen DeOrnellas, Betty Edwards, Jo Ann Farnsworh, Lloyd Farnsworth, Martha Feagan, Tim Feagan, Mary Hardin, Megan Henry, Patricia Jutz, Becky Laben, John Laben, Kelli Lewis, Jimmy Martin, Judy Moody, Pat Moyles, Louise Ogburn, Guy Pealer, Janie Pealer, Laura Jane Rash, Norma Robertson, Walter Smyre, Jimmie Soyars, Nancy Turner, Debbie Wilson, and Margie Wollenberg. 

    Southside Virginia Community College is proud to sponsor and present the SVCC Chorus in a concert for our “American Homeland.” Please bring your friends, neighbors and families for an inspirational Spring evening of music at South Hill Presbyterian Church on Sunday, April 23rd at 7:00 PM. Free admission.

    For information regarding joining the SVCC Community Chorus, please contact Nancy Turner at Nancy.Turner@southside.edu or Louise.Ogburn@southside.edu.  

  63. ‘My illness is not larger than my world’ Despite pain, student excels in class and in life

    By Dai Já Norman, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Pictures of family members and friends and a British flag cover the walls of her dorm room at Virginia Commonwealth University. Anatomy textbooks, note cards and a Himalayan pink salt crystal lamp occupy her desk.

    On Majesta-Doré Legnini’s nightstand is an assortment of prescription and over-the-counter pill bottles. She takes six pills every evening and one in the morning, along with three vitamin supplements. “I am in pain every second of my life,” the 19-year-old sophomore says.

    Legnini describes the feeling this way:

    “Imagine your legs are stuck between a bed frame and a box spring. And they are under the box spring, and then there’s a mattress, and then there’s an anvil, and then there’s a 500-pound-man sitting on top of the anvil playing a grand piano. That’s what it feels like.”

    Legnini was recently diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome, a rare disorder that afflicts connective tissues and joints. But she has been fighting through the pain as an honors student, a double major (health science and political science) and a community volunteer, working with homeless and mentally ill people.

    Although EDS tries to slow her down, Legnini (pronounced lay-NEE-nee) lives a fast-paced life.

    On campus, she is a member of the VCU Honors College and VCU Globe, a living and learning program that focuses on global education and international experiences. She helps arrange campus tours for the Undergraduate Admissions Office and leads Their Home RVA, a website and student organization dedicated to improving community relations – especially between VCU students and the homeless population.

    Off campus, Legnini is an intern at the Daily Planet, which provides health care and other services to homeless individuals and other people in need. She also is a writer for The Mighty, a website for people with disabilities, diseases, mental illness and other challenges to share their stories.

    Susan Sereke, advancement coordinator for the Daily Planet, said Legnini is a testimony to the power of passion.

    Legnini is driven by “her passion about the issues of health care and homelessness, and a desire to improve the lives of others,” Sereke said.

    About Ehlers Danlos syndrome

    EDS is genetic. Symptoms can range from mildly loose joints and hyperelastic skin to debilitating musculoskeletal pain and aortic dissection, a life-threatening heart condition. At least one in 5,000 people have some form of the illness, according to the Ehlers Danlos Society, a support group.

    Legnini says she has been wracked by pain from her earliest memories. As a child, she remembers crying when she went on long walks. She was always prone to injuries when playing sports.

    Growing up, she sought medical attention numerous times, but doctors dismissed her complaints, attributing them to growing pains. Last May, Legnini’s condition worsened, and she decided to try her luck again by seeing another physician.

    “Pain became more frequent,” Legnini recalled. “I felt weaker. I was getting exhausted by seemingly simple activities. It started to become difficult to concentrate, and most importantly PAIN, PAIN, PAIN. It got more intense, more frequent, and made my life much more difficult.”

    After almost a year of doctor visits and road trips between Richmond and Manassas, a rheumatologist diagnosed Legnini as having EDS. Legnini was already familiar with the illness: Her best friend also has a form of EDS.

    In fact, during high school, Legnini did a lot of research about the disease and even helped raise money for theEDS research center in Maryland. While researching the disease, Legnini thought she might have the symptoms but then rejected that notion as a projection of her friend’s situation.

    Many people, even physicians, are unfamiliar with EDS. So Legnini brings a binder explaining the illness whenever she goes to see a doctor.

    There is no cure for EDS; however, patients can take medication to reduce their pain and lower their blood pressure. (High blood pressure is associated with the disease.)

    Living with pain: ‘I see outside of my illness’

    Because of the constant pain, Legnini often must gauge whether she is well enough to leave her bedroom. When the answer is no, she stays in her dorm and tries to get as much homework done as she can.

    Walking, cooking and writing are things that many people take for granted. But for EDS patients, these tasks are not effortless. However, Legnini has found ways to overcome adversity.

    She is enrolled in some online classes. Also, her older brother, Luciano Legnini, lives across the hall in VCU Globe and can assist her with everyday tasks, such as lifting heavy objects, grabbing items from a high shelf, cooking and cutting up food.

    “She doesn’t want to portray herself as like this dependent,” Luciano Legnini said. “But I am here to help, and I am always willing to help her.”

    Majesta-Doré Legnini begins each day with an elaborate morning routine. It starts with her cracking every joint in her body – a laborious process that alleviates some of the pain.

    “I crack my back first, and then I move my knees and ankles so that they crack a little bit,” Legnini said. “I crack my toes, and then my hands just crack constantly.”

    Then she stretches for 10 minutes, showers and wraps her knees, ankles, and shoulders in KT tape – a tape used for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. She gets dressed and grabs breakfast that meets her diet restrictions – gluten free, sugar free and dairy free – before heading out.

    Legnini says it would be easy to play the victim and wallow in self-pity. She refuses to do so.

    “I am not able to do some things,” she said. “And I know those things, and I don’t do those things. But I am able to learn.”

    Legnini plans to get a joint degree between VCU and the University of Richmond with a master’s in health administration and a specialty in civil rights law. After college, she intends to advocate for inclusive and accessible health care.

    Her goal is to ensure that people from all walks of life have access to the health care system. She won’t let her own disease define her.

    “I see outside of my illness,” Legnini said. “But my illness is inside of everything I do. And so, the world is larger than my illness, but my illness is not larger than my world.”

  64. Heavy Hauls Resume This Week

    Heavy Hauls are scheduled to resume on Sunday, April 2nd 2017 at 10:00PM, weather permitting.

    • Monday, 4/3/2017
    • Tuesday, 4/4/2017
    • Monday, 4/10/2017
    • Tuesday, 4/11/2017
    • Wednesday, 4/12/2017
    • Thursday, 4/13/2017
    • Monday,  4/17/2017 

 

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