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January 2018

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

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  1. Hospitals update visitation policy during flu season

    Starting Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, hospitals and health systems that are members of the Central Virginia Healthcare Coalition are updating their visitation guidelines to protect patients, visitors and health care providers during flu season. 

    VCU Health System facilities including VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, Bon Secours, HCA Virginia, Southside Regional Medical Center, Centra Southside Community Hospital, and Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center are limiting visitors in patient care areas to include only healthy adults who are 18 years or older, and no more than two adults per patient at one time. The guidelines apply to visitors, and do not affect children who need to be hospitalized.

    In close collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the limitations are implemented in years when the flu is a widespread concern. Signs at entryways to the health system facilities will alert the public of the limited-visitation policy.

  2. Greensville County School Board Announces Superintendent Search

    (January 31, 2018)—The Greensville County School Board announced today that it will begin the process of hiring a new superintendent by seeking public input on qualifications.

    The School Board has created a survey related to superintendent criteria, which is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GreensvilleCountySearch and on the home page of the division web site. Hard copies of the survey will also be available at the school board offices, at each school, at the Greensville County Government Office’s reception desk, at the City Manager’s office, and at the Meherrin Regional Library.

    In addition to the survey, the Board will hold a public hearing at 6 pm on February 15, 2018 in the Greensville County High School Media Center.  

    “We want to include and involve as many stakeholders as possible in this process,” said School Board Chairman Rhonda Jones-Gilliam.  “This is a priority for the Greensville County School Board and the Board will work diligently to find the next leader of the school division.”

    The School Board selected the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) to assist the Board with the superintendent search.

  3. Improvement Association to Hold Community Forum “Speed Dating” Style Events

    Each year The Improvement Association conducts a series of community forum events. These forums are designed to seek community input for our Community Needs Assessment and bring valuable community resources to our residents. In fact, every initiative offered by the agency is guided by the Community Needs Assessment and it is a critical piece to provide much needed programs.

    The agency has partnered with area organizations to offer a Kids Corner where children can participate in various activities while parents participate in the forum. Additionally, the local sheriff’s departments will offer child identification kits for parents wanting to ensure the safety of their children.

    This year The Improvement Association will be conducting its community forum event in a speed dating style. Barbie Roundtree, Program Technician stated: “The ‘Speed Dating’ concept was adopted from a training I attended at the National Community Action Partnership Conference last summer. It was much more enjoyable than sitting in a session listening to one person speak. It is also an effective way to gather input from all in attendance.”

    “We’ve also invited several community partners to set up informational tables at the event,” said Steffan. “We realized there are several residents who aren’t aware of the available resources within the community. They may also have difficulty getting to the offices to apply for assistance. By having these community resources on hand, we’re enabling the residents to learn about various assistance programs and apply on the spot.” Some of the resources available include local Departments of Social Services, local Health Departments, areas banks, Southside Programs for Adult Continuing Education and Southside Virginia Community College, District 19, and more. “We’re really trying to focus on helping our residents become self-sufficient, and sometimes you need a bit of help for that.”

    The agency will be offering door prizes and raffle prizes for those in attendance. “We’ve been seeking donations from local businesses to help entice residents to attend. We’ve had great support and will have a variety of items to be given away during the event,” said Steffan. Some donations include gift certificates to local restaurants, bakeries, hair salons, nail salons, auto repair shops, museums, and more.

    All local residents and employees are welcome to attend their corresponding area events. Please RSVP no later than Feb. 16 by calling 434-634-2490 ext. 243 or by emailing lsteffan@impassoc.org. Please be sure to specify what area you will be attending. All events will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the following locations:

    March 1: Greensville/Emporia - 1750 E. Atlantic St. Emporia, VA 23847

    March 8: Sussex - 120 Coppahaunk Ave. Waverly, VA 23890

    March 15: Brunswick - Elm Acres, 100 Raney St. Lawrenceville, VA 23868

    March 22: Dinwiddie - Ragsdale Community Center, 20916 Old School Rd. McKenney, VA 23872

    March 29: Surry - Department of Youth & Family Resources, 11 Lebanon Rd. Spring Grove, VA 23881

  4. Women Call for Action to Help Black Community

  5. Panel Kills Bill Giving Puerto Ricans In-State College Tuition

  6. State Legislators Ask Congress to Improve Interstate 81

  7. Latina Lawmaker Delivers Response to President’s Address

  8. Year After Ruling, 1 in 6 Drivers Still Has Suspended License

  9. Groups Team Up to Count Richmond Area’s Homeless

  10. Proposal Would Boost Suicide Prevention Efforts in Schools

  11. Democrats Vow to Push for Gun Control Laws

  12. Vondrenna Smithers Cool Job Helps Students Reach Career Goals

    Vondrenna Smithers’ job is cool because, in her own words, “I help potential students, both traditional and non-traditional, connect to the best training for their career goals at SVCC.” As Southside Virginia Community College’s (SVCC) Advanced Manufacturing Career Coach and Recruiter, she also gets to talk with high school students about Advanced Manufacturing jobs that they may not have considered.  

    Smithers became familiar with the great opportunities at SVCC during high school. As a native of Southside Virginia, Smithers attended Brunswick County Public Schools. There, she took college credit while still in high school through the SVCC Dual Enrollment Program.  By completing dual enrollment classes, Smithers was able to attend SVCC and to obtain her Associate’s degree in General Studies in just one year on campus before transferring to the University of Virginia to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

    She came back to SVCC as an employee in 2009 and worked in various roles including Adjunct Instructor, Academic Advisor, Student Activities Coordinator and currently as the Advanced Manufacturing Career Coach and Recruiter. As the recruiter, she is able to use her personal experiences to help prospective students begin their path to success at SVCC. Working closely with students from six area high schools, she also helps them explore advanced manufacturing careers as well as academic and training opportunities.

    “I have the chance to meet one-on-one with students, provide classroom presentations, and expose students to various career possibilities through holding special events such as the Dream It Do It Advanced Manufacturing Camp we had this summer in Emporia,” she said. Through this 4-day summer camp, local middle and high school students participated in tours and guest lectures from local industry and learned about blueprint reading, 3D design, programming for CNC machines, and use of manual mill and lathe machines.

    A career highlight for Smithers at SVCC has been becoming the co-creator/advisor of the Student Ambassadors program. This group of students are tasked with representing the student body of the college at events and conferences, serving on various college committees and taking an active role in recruiting for the college.  

    Besides working diligently at the college, Smithers has been back to school herself.  She completed her Masters in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in December  Her husband, Quentin, has been busy with school as well and will complete his Master’s in Christian Leadership from Liberty University.

    Having had the opportunity to experience dual enrollment and attending SVCC as a student, Smithers has the experience and expertise to guide others to success…and a Cool Job like hers.

  13. Black Caucus, Bipartisan Group of Legislators Fighting ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

  14. House Committee Unanimously Kills ‘Netflix Tax’

  15. 1.4 Billion Stolen Credentials Uncovered by University

  16. Salamander Wriggling Its Way Into State Law

  17. Republicans Kill Top-Priority Bills Sought by Women’s Advocates

  18. Propelled by #MeToo, Groups Seek to Remove ‘Tampon Tax’

  19. William Martin “Marty” Mozingo

    William Martin “Marty” Mozingo, 66, passed away Thursday, January 25, 2018. He was a son of the late Durwood and Martha Mozingo and was also preceded in death by two brothers, Durwood Mozingo, Jr. and Gene Victorin and sister, Minnie Sue Mozingo. Marty is survived by his wife, Deborah H. Mozingo; son, Martin Mozingo, Jr. and wife, Carol, son, Brian Mozingo; grandchildren, Samantha Mozingo and Courtney Mozingo; mother-in-law, Betty Harrell; sisters-in-law, Pam Whitehead and husband, Jerry, Tammy Harrell, Sharon Otten and Beulah Mozingo and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, January 27 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends 1-2 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society, 113 Baker St., Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  20. Senate Republicans Reject Medicaid Expansion

  21. Editorial - Why don't we Expand Medicaid?

    In the Capital News Service article above this Editorial, Republicans in a Senate Committee killed Medicaid Expansion. It is no surprise that this has happened - it has happened in each of the four years that I have been publishing Emporia News.

    This year one of the bills to Expand medicaid was offered by a Republican, and the committee still killed it. Also this year one Republican, Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) cited the need to repair our crumbling infrastructure. Our infrastructure does need work. We have a great many rural communities that have insufficient Broadband Access; we have roads and bridges that need repaired; All interstate highways in the Commonwealth could use a few more lanes in places; Exit 11 is horrible, and needs to be colmpetely reworked to include acceleration and deceleration lanes (lets face it, getting from I-95 south to US58 East is sometimes a quite harrowing experience). With all of these needs, seemingly no major bills or budget amendments have deen offered. Infrastructure is a bit of an arbatrary term when speaking of legislation, but a quick glance at the LIS website shows no major bills of budget amendments for Transportation and the only place where Broadband Communications Infrastructure is mentioned seems to be a bill about how to mark highways during construction of those projects. Even with as random as the term infrastructure is, none of the bills where Senator Chase is listed as Chief Patron or Co-patron will have any impact on crumbling infrastructure.

    Here is the impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado, my home state: "A new report examining the economic and budgetary impact of Medicaid expansion in Colorado reveals that, in the two years since implementation, expansion in the state has had a significant positive effect on the economy at no expense to the General Fund. According to the preliminary independent analysis, 'Assessing the Economic and Budgetary Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: FY 2015-16 through FY 2034-35,' Colorado has added 31,074 jobs, increased economic activity by $3.8 billion and raised annual household earnings by $643 due to the state Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. By fiscal year (FY) 2034-2035, Colorado is projected to add a total of 43,018 new jobs, increase economic activity by $8.5 billion and raise average annual household earnings by $1,033."

    The Affordable Care Act included the funding to expand Medicaid, and by not accepting that funding, the hard-earned money of Virginia Taxpayers is being used to fund Medicaid Expansion in all the other states that have expanded their program.  Virginians gave states like New York 5 MILLION DOLLARS EACH DAY ($2,839,000,000 - that is Two Billion, Eight-Hundred Thirty-Nine Million Dollars) in the first year alone. Those losses in tax dollars are in addition to the lost economic activity mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

    Expanding Medicaid in Virginia, which the Federal Government would pay for (100% now, 90% after 2020), would bring that money back to the Commonwealth, help rural hospitals and help poor families live better lives. Expanding Medicaid is the only Fiscally Responsible - the only Fiscally Conservative - option available to the General Assembly.

    Don't read too much into my opinion here. I am not calling for completely re-inventing our current system, I am not saying that we need our own National Health Service like the one in the United Kingdom. All I am saying in this Editorial is that medicaid Expansion would be good for the Virginia Economy. By providing care via Medicaid we are, not only, helping our friends and neighbors get the care that many of them need but helping the Economy. Virginia has a larger population than Colorado (by about 3 Million people), so we stand to benefit even more than Colorado.  Even if there were only 100-150 jobs created in Emporia-Greensville and our economy were to expand by $10-15 Million, our community would be better off with Medicaid Expansion.

    At a Town Hall Meeting here in Emporia, hosted by Senator Louise Lucas, a representative from Southampton Memorial Hospital, whose parent company also owns SVRMC, said that Medicaid Expansion would be a good thing for hospitals like SVRMC and that every hospital in the Commonwealth was in favor of Medicaid Expansion. At that August, 2014, meeting it was said that CHS would lose $1.7 Million over two years between Southampton Memorial and Southside Virginia RMC and would most likely see cuts in staffing and services - both of which we are seeing now. Monies that the Federal Government used to Expand Medicaid came from other indigent care programs. Without Expanding Medicaid, hospitals now absorb the cost of that indigent care, raising the cost of care for everyone else in the community, cut back services like birthing centers and surgical care - even sending patients to other hospitals for those services, or close up completely for lack of positive cash flow.

    Expanding Medicaid would help more people than you think. In the spirit of full disclosure, I would, most likely) be one of them, as would anyone that makes less than $16,000 each year. Medicaid Expansion would help the "working poor" like those Restarurant Servers (who make $2.13 per hour, plus tips). Perhaps that fear the Republicans have, that feeling that the Federal Government would renege and suddenly stop paying for Medicaid stems from the fact that Republicans in the General Assembly did just that to every locality with a State Prison. The General Assembly agreed to a program called "Payment in Lieu of Taxes" to help those localities that lost parts of their property tax base (since the Commonwealth of Virginia does not pay Real Property Tax); The Republicans in the General Assembly broke their word to those communities (including Greensville County, Southampton County, Sussex County, Brunswick County, Nottoway County and Mecklenburg County) and stopped making those "Payments in Lieu of Taxes" after only one year.

  22. Democrats Tout Bills They Say Would Help Workers

  23. Virginia Republicans Announce Election Review Panel

  24. Gun Control Bills Die in Virginia House of Delegares Subcommittee

  25. Meet the Democratic Socialist Who Ousted a Top Republican from the House

  26. Virginia Lawmakers Stir the Pot on Brunswick Stew Day

  27. 2018 Flu Season

    VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is currently receiving a higher than usual volume of patients in the Emergency Department.  This is causing extended wait times and in some cases diversion to other area hospitals.  This is not just an issue for VCU Health CMH, but for other hospitals across central Virginia.  A principle reason for the high volume is from a very active flu season that is occurring in Virginia and all across the United States.

    Gayle Sutton, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, stated, “I think it is important first for the public to understand the difference between the flu and a cold. A cold often presents with a sore throat that lasts up to 48 hours, followed by a runny nose, cough and congestion.  Fever is not usual in adults but more common in children.  The symptoms usually last about a week and the person is contagious for the first three days.”

    She continued, “Flu also presents with a sore throat, but other symptoms include fever, head and muscle aches, congestion and cough.  Vomiting and diarrhea are also associated with some strains of flu.  These symptoms usually improve after a few days, but the person may feel a general malaise for some time.  Flu can be dangerous for people who have a weakened immune system or people who are very young or elderly. It also poses a risk for people with pulmonary or heart problems.”

    Sutton recommends people who expect they may have flu to follow up with their primary care physician first and as soon as possible.  Sutton explained that if they come through the Emergency Department at VCU Health CMH, they are put on droplet precaution. The flu is a wet molecule that travels three feet and drops, so anyone entering their room is required to wear a mask. 

    Hospital visitation is discouraged if a family member or friend has the flu.  Masks are available upon entry into the Hospital/Emergency Department as well as hand sanitizer.  VCU Health CMH's incidence of flu admission this year has been high. 

    She recommends people who believe they have the flu should stay home, get plenty of rest and follow physician orders regarding returning to work, resuming school, etc. 

    Good hand washing is still considered the most important defense against the flu; while the vaccine has been proven to have only 10% effectiveness against the strains this season it is still recommended and takes at least two weeks to be effective.  It is still not too late to receive a flu shot. The CDC recommends vaccination prior to the flu season in October, but states that it’s not too late and urges people to receive the vaccine through January.

  28. SRMC FIRST IN TRI-CITIES TO OPEN AN ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY LAB

    New Technology Supports Less Invasive Treatments for Patients

    Petersburg, VA– Doctors at Southside Regional Medical Center are now able to use an advanced digital X-ray imaging system to see extremely detailed, real-time images of patient anatomy during procedures that require exacting precision.

    They just opened their Electrophysiology Laboratory this December. This new equipment will help electrophysiologists and cardiologists at Southside Regional Medical Center treat a variety of medical disorders including diseases of the heart and blood vessels like heart arrhythmias and bradycardia as well as implanting devices to combat heart failure.

    The advanced digital X-ray imaging system provides advanced capability for visualizing delicate procedures, such as placing a tiny wire mesh tube (stent) in a patient’s artery to sustain or recover blood flow.

    “It is critical for our medical staff to see the anatomy very clearly while guiding catheters, stents and other medical devices to areas needing treatment,” says Debbie Nelson RN, MSN/MHA, EP Lab Director. “Because the new system produces high quality images our staff can perform delicate procedures like balloon angioplasty and blood vessel interventions with accuracy and confidence.”

    The new system has a large digital detector, 12 inches square for excellent anatomical coverage. This gives doctors the potential to see more anatomy in a single exam, and as a consequence, complete studies with fewer X-ray images, less X-ray dose and fewer injections of contrast dye than with smaller detectors.

    “We are very excited about adding the advanced X-ray system to our technology offering at Southside Regional Medical Center,” says Ms. Nelson.  “By putting this advanced system in the hands of our medical experts, it helps us make significant improvements in the patient care in the communities we serve.”

  29. Bill Calls for a Special Election if a Recount Ends in a Tie

  30. Bill Would Exempt Trade Secrets from FOIA

  31. Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, Civil Rights Giant, Dies

  32. Workers’ Compensation Bills Die in Subcommittee

  33. Stricter Seat-Belt Laws Shelved for 2018 Session

  34. Delegates Tout Bills to Improve Prison Workers’ Jobs

  35. While Governor Decries Gun Violence, Senate OKs Guns in Church

  36. Businesses May Get Tax Credits to Train High School Students

  37. ‘Beltway Sniper’ Lee Boyd Malvo Seeks Re-sentencing

  38. Winnifred Lee Everett Reid (Winnie)

    Winnifred Lee Everett Reid, (Winnie), 95, of Emporia, passed peacefully January 19, 2018 at Lucy Corr Village surrounded by loving family.

    She was born at Cedar Dell Farm, Newsoms, VA on February 10, 1922 to the late Caleb Roy Everett, Sr. and Thelma Eley Everett. She was the Valedictorian of the class of 1939, Newsoms High School and received her BS in Home Economics Education in 1943 from Madison College. She was a teacher in Southampton County and Greensville County Schools until her marriage to the late Charles Alexander Reid, Jr. in 1949.

    Winnie was a very active member of Main Street Methodist Church in Emporia, serving in many capacities. She especially enjoyed teaching the third grade Sunday School class for many years. She was the leader of Girl Scout Troop 30, a substitute teacher in Greensville County Public Schools, member of the Riparian Woman’s Club and the Hicksford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

    In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded by brothers, Rev. Caleb Roy Everett, Jr., Joseph Leslie Everett, and sister Anne Everett Mish.

    She is survived by a daughter, Sara Eley Reid Gordon and husband Morris of Chesterfield, VA; grandchildren; Kenneth Bryce Gordon of Midlothian, VA, Anna Elizabeth Faris of Chesterfield, VA, and Thomas Reid Gordon of New York; great grandchildren, Harper Elise Gordon and Alyssa Michelle Faris. The family would like to thank the staff at Lucy Corr Village and The Crossings at Bon Air for their loving care of Winnie during her last years.

    A celebration of her life will be held at 12 noon Wednesday, January 24, at Main Street United Methodist Church with Rev. Tom Durrance officiating. Visitation will be from 11 AM until the time of the service. Burial will follow in Emporia Cemetery.

    Memorial donations may be to Main Street United Methodist Church, 500 S Main St, Emporia, VA 23847 or the Alzheimer’s Association.

    Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com

  39. New Beginnings

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    Many people usher in the New Year with a fist full of resolutions and renewed determination to start afresh toward achieving personal goals. Surveys done by various news outlets report that some of the most common resolutions deal with exercising, losing weight, managing money, changing habits, strengthening personal relationships, volunteering, reading more, and engaging in spiritual practices. Some folks prioritize learning new skills, seeking a better job, and even embarking on a new career.

    Southside Virginia Community College offers a myriad of resources to support people with resolutions focused on education and workforce training. These people include high school students making decisions about their futures, unemployed and underemployed workers looking for improved opportunities, veterans returning to civilian life, mid-career professionals seeking fresh challenges, and retirees who want to try something new.

    If you find yourself plotting a path or adjusting your course, SVCC’s counselors can help you discover which career areas are most compatible with your interests, attitudes, and values. They can also teach you how to look for a job, prepare a resume, navigate an interview, and negotiate a salary.

    The quickest way to launch a new career may be through one of Virginia’s new FastForward credentialing programs. SVCC and more than 20 other workforce training centers around the state offer 145 different programs in areas such as logistics and transportation, healthcare, welding and manufacturing, skilled trades, and information technology. Statistics show that people with workforce credentials are twice as likely to be hired as applicants who lack a credential. Furthermore, credentialed workers typically earn more than their noncredentialed counterparts.

    Other career pathways start with a more traditional, academic base. For example, Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS) degrees prepare students for entry into a wide variety of occupations in fields such as agriculture, business, public safety, and health. Just one example is the Administration of Justice program, which prepares graduates for roles in law enforcement agencies or correctional facilities.

    Still other career pathways involve educational journeys that culminate with baccalaureate or advanced degrees. After spending their first two years of study at SVCC, graduates with Associate of Arts and Sciences (AA&S) degrees generally transfer to a four-year institution with junior class standing. One popular program is the Education Major. It provides core classes that serve as a solid foundation for students who plan to pursue careers in teaching.

    So, if your dreams for 2018 include developing and expanding your skills and knowledge, I invite you to contact SVCC at 434-949-1000. A career counselor can advise you about academic, vocational, and technical programs and explain the array of support services available to help you stay focused on your goals. Let this be the year your successes begin.

    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.

  40. Disappointed by Norment bill, marijuana law reform advocates refocus agenda

  41. Gov. Northam Calls for Raising Teachers’ Salaries

  42. More than 100 Rally for Women’s Rights

  43. Senators Suggest Charging Tolls on Trucks on I-81

  44. VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month

    Photo Caption: (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Rick Clary, Pharmacy Director, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for December.  There to congratulate Rick was Todd Howell, VP of Professional Services.

    Rick has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 32 years.  When asked about his time at VCU Health CMH Rick said, “I started here as a pharmacy technician working for Mr. Berryman in 1985, he hired me as a pharmacist when I graduated from VCU-MCV College of Pharmacy in 1986.”  He was my mentor in my earlier years and shaped me into the person I am today.  I have been so grateful for the opportunities that I have been given by Community Memorial Hospital.  The administrative team at CMH has been very supportive of me over the years and I feel they really care about me as a person.”

    The nomination form submitted on his behalf stated, “Rick served as co-chair for the facility move committee.  He worked with Christy Reese to help coordinate the team meetings with our consultant and at the same time had to work to coordinate the installation of a new medication dispensing system for both acute and long-term care.  All this while planning to move the entire pharmacy operation and all medications in a 48-hour window before opening the new hospital.  His performance was invaluable in effecting the smooth transition to the new CMH.” 

    In addition to the award certificate, Rick 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.

    Rick resides in Bracey, VA.

  45. Thousands Celebrate Anniversary of Women’s March in D.C.

  46. More than 1,000 Attend Women’s March in Richmond

  47. Bill Would Bar Asking Job Applicants About Criminal History

  48. Bill Would Boost Minimum Wage for Restaurant Workers

  49. Bill Seeks to Repeal ‘Racist’ Wage Law

  50. Panel OKs Bill Targeting Child Abusers in School

  51. Advocates to Lobby for Marijuana Legalization

  52. Legislators Push for Workforce Development

  53. Senate Panel Rejects Stricter Seat-Belt Law

  54. NEW YEAR WELCOMES NEW LEADERSHIP WITHIN VIRGINIA STATE POLICE

    New Superintendent & Bureau Director Fill Leadership Roles

    RICHMOND – On Thursday, January 18, 2018, Lt. Colonel Gary T. Settle was sworn in as Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. Settle replaces retiring Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, who served the past 14 years as the State Police Superintendent upon his appointment to colonel in 2003 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner. Lt. Colonel Tracy S. Russillo will continue serving as Deputy Superintendent and Major Timothy D. Lyon will take the position of Director of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, as vacated by Settle’s promotion.

     

    As Superintendent, Colonel Settle leads and manages all aspects of the Department of State Police including the Office of Performance Management and Internal Controls (OPMIC), Office of Internal Affairs, Public Relations Office, Executive Protective Unit, Bureau of Administrative and Support Services (BASS), Bureau of Field Operations (BFO), and Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). State police has an authorized workforce of 2,118 sworn and 848 civilian personnel, and an authorized $340-million general-fund, operating budget for fiscal year 2018. Settle is the Department’s 13th Superintendent since T.K. Sexton was appointed to the position in 1932.

    “I am most humbled and grateful for this extraordinary privilege awarded me by Governor Northam,” said Col. Settle. “As Superintendent, I am committed to not only continuing the Department’s proud traditions and esteemed reputation, but to also prepare and advance our personnel, programs, policies, technologies, training, and equipment to sustain and meet the demands of an ever-changing society. I acknowledge these challenges and will accept nothing less of myself than to serve this Commonwealth and the proud men and women of the Virginia State Police with valor, service, pride, and integrity.”

    During his 32 years of service in law enforcement, Settle has served the Commonwealth of Virginia at the state and local levels in a myriad of public safety capacities. He was appointed to Director of BCI in January 2017 and had served as its Deputy Director since July 2015. The Rappahannock County native graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in 1986 as class president of the 78th Basic Session. His first patrol assignment was in Frederick and Clarke counties in the State Police Culpeper Division. During his tenure with State Police, he has served as a Tactical Team supervisor, narcotics special agent, firearms instructor, and served on the State Police Honor Guard. His assignments have included the State Police Culpeper and Wytheville Divisions. In addition to his progression through the supervisory ranks of State Police, Settle also has the invaluable, administrative experience of having served as Sheriff for Rappahannock County from 1996 to 2000. He earned a Master’s degree in Homeland Security and Defense from the Naval Postgraduate School and a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Criminal Justice from Bluefield College. He is also a graduate of the FBI Executive Management Course and the National Criminal Justice Command College of the UVA School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

     

    Effective Jan. 10, 2018, was the appointment of Major Lyon to Director of BCI. Lyon was appointed Deputy Director of BCI in February 2017 from his position as the BCI commander for the State Police Salem Field Office. Lyon began his career with the State Police upon graduation from the Academy in February 1986. His first assignment as a trooper was in the Wytheville Division and upon his promotion to special agent in 1989, he transferred to the BCI Chesapeake Field Office. During his tenure with State Police, Lyon has progressed through the BCI ranks at the Salem Field Office as a special agent, narcotics task force coordinator, first sergeant and lieutenant in both the General Investigations and Drug Enforcement sections. In 2011, he was appointed to Captain and has served as the commander of both the BCI Appomattox and Salem Field Offices. The Carroll County native graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Police Administration. He is also a 2004 graduate of the FBI National Academy and completed a six-month fellowship with the FBI’s Police Executive Fellowship Program where he served on the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Lyon is a founding member of the Eastern Kentucky University’s Association of Security/Loss Prevention. He earned the Virginia State Police Superintendent’s Award of Merit for his superior response and leadership during the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech massacre and criminal investigation.

  55. Richard Bland To Induct Brian Poarch '92 Into Athletics Hall of Fame

    SOUTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. --Richard Bland College will induct one new member into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday afternoon, January 20, in Statesman Hall.  The school's fifth class inductee is Brian Poarch '92, a member of the men's basketball team from 1990-92.  Poarch will be honored prior to the scheduled 3 p.m. tip-off of the Statesmen game against Wake Technical (N.C.) Community College. 

    "Brian Poarch was an exceptional player for the Statesmen," said Director of Athletics Chuck Moore.  "He is deserving of this honor and he is joining an elite group of former Richard Bland Men's Basketball players.  Not only was he successful on the court as a player, he has become a coach himself while also becoming a successful businessman.  Brian makes the Richard Bland Family very proud and I'm proud to be a part of his induction in our Hall of Fame"

    Poarch led Richard Bland in both scoring and rebounding during 1990-91, averaging 17.6 points and 8.3 rebounds, while named the Team Most Valuable Player.  He led the Statesmen to a record of 14-14, shooting 49% from the field, including 59% on three-point field goals, and 82% at the free throw line.  Poarch led the team in scoring during 1991-92, as well, averaging 17.7 points, while second with his 6.8 rebounds.  He led the Statesmen to a record of 13-15, shooting 43% from the field, including 49% on three-point field goals, and 77% at the free throw line.  Poarch completed his two years with the Statesmen totaling 971 points and 415 rebounds.

    "It was a real pleasure coaching a player as talented as Brian," said Cham Pritchard, his head coach at Richard Bland.  "He possessed a tremendous work ethic.  Brian would spend hours after practice working on his shot after all the other team members had left the gym.  Sometimes the only way to get him to leave would be to cut out the lights and I mean that in a positive way.  I am so proud of Brian as he is being inducted into the Richard Bland College Athletics Hall of Fame, an honor he truly deserves."

    Among his greatest memories at Richard Bland, Brian mentioned a Statesmen victory against Louisburg (N.C.) College during 1991-92, his scoring 42 points during a win past Northern Virginia College with the Christopher Newport University coaching staff in attendance as a sophomore and Richard Bland playing in the Dean Dome during both seasons as a lifelong University of North Carolina fan … making it truly unforgettable.

    The Emporia native continued his collegiate career at Christopher Newport where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fitness Management.  He is currently the Vice President of Operations for Sadler Brothers Oil Company in Emporia.

    Poarch will join previous Hall of Fame selections Cham Pritchard (2014), Brandon Coles Sr. (2015), Fred Gray (2015), Ron Harris (2016), John Thomas (2016), Dr. Eric Cunningham (2017) and Michael Gray (2017).

  56. Democrats Roll Out Voting Rights Agenda

  57. After a Paws, Delegate Is Back With Pet Protection Bill

  58. Tangier Island Recovers From Icy Grip

  59. 10 a.m. Update on VSP Response in Winter Snow

    Highways across much of western and central Virginia continue to be impacted by the falling snow in those regions.

    As 10:15 a.m., Wednesday (Jan. 17), Virginia State Police troopers are responding to 61 traffic crashes and 6 disabled vehicles statewide:

    Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

    Traffic Crashes= 7

    Division II–Culpeper (Fredericksburg/Culpeper/Warrenton/Harrisonburg/Winchester)

    Traffic Crashes=6

    Division III-Appomattox (Charlottesville/Waynesboro/Staunton/Lynchburg/South Boston/South Hill)

    Traffic Crashes=16

    Division IV-Wytheville (Wytheville/Dublin/Galax/Bristol/Vansant/Wise)

    Traffic Crashes=8

    Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

    Traffic Crashes=2

    Division VI-Salem (Lexington/Clifton Forge/Roanoke/Blacksburg/Bedford/Martinsville/Danville)

    Traffic Crashes=17

    Division VII-Fairfax (Prince William/Loudoun/Arlington/Alexandria/Fairfax)

    Traffic Crashes=3

    The majority of the traffic crashes reported only involve damage to vehicles.

    For road conditions, Virginians are reminded to use the VDOT 511 system. Please do not call 911 or #77 to ask about road conditions, as these are emergency numbers and need to remain open to emergency calls.

    Those who do have to travel today are advised to…

    • Make sure all windows and lights are clear of snow before heading out.
    • Always buckle up – driver and all passengers.
    • Drive distraction free – put down the phone and coffee and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
    • Slow speed for conditions.
    • Use headlights to increase your visibility and to help other drivers see you better.
    • Share the road responsibly with VDOT vehicles and emergency vehicles.
  60. Virginia House End Secrecy in Committee Votes

  61. Activists Protest Gov. Northam’s Position on Pipelines

  62. Cold Temperatures Fail to Deter Inauguration Crowd

  63. Inauguration Attendees: ‘I’m Proud of My State’

  64. Virginia Swears In Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General

  65. Northam inaugural ball showcases Virginia regions

  66. Bills Seek to Disrupt ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

  67. Proposals Seek to End Gerrymandering in Virginia

  68. Virginians Disagree on Prohibiting Protests

  69. Senate Panel Rejects Bill Banning Utility Campaign Donations

  70. January 16 & 17 Winter Storm Closings and Delays

  71. Immigrant-Rights Supporters Protest at Inaugural Ball

  72. Senate Panel Votes to Ban Bump Stocks

  73. Dueling Gun Rallies Held at Virginia Capitol

  74. Governor Northam Emphasizes Democratic Priorities, Diversity

  75. Gender Equality Film Coming to the Byrd

  76. KAINE, WARNER, MCEACHIN, CONNOLLY, BEYER, SCOTT ASK TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO LISTEN TO LOCAL VOICES AGAINST OFFSHORE DRILLING

    Legislators: You said “’Local voice matters.’ We couldn’t agree more.”

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Representatives Donald McEachin, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, and Bobby Scott sent a letter to the Trump Administration requesting that Virginia be exempted from its offshore drilling proposal, citing local concerns over the risks to tourism, the watermen’s industry, and the country’s Naval operations.

    The Virginia legislators cited Secretary Zinke’s announcement that drilling off the Florida coast was taken “off the table” after listening to “local and state” voices, and asked that the Trump Administration take similar concerns from Virginians just as seriously. Virginia’s coastal leaders -from the Democratic mayor of Norfolk to the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach and the current Governor and Governor-elect of Virginia - have all voiced opposition to drilling off of the Virginia coast.

    “As Members of Congress from Virginia, we request you remove the Virginia offshore area from your proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. We note your willingness to listen to local voices in Florida with grave concerns over the risks of offshore drilling there. We ask that you likewise consider local opposition in Virginia’s coastal communities as well as opposition from its Governor, Senators, and House members to a new five-year plan at this point,” the group said.

    The full text of the letter appears below.

    Dear Secretary Zinke:

    As Members of Congress from Virginia, we request you remove the Virginia offshore area from your proposed 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. We note your willingness to listen to local voices in Florida with grave concerns over the risks of offshore drilling there. We ask that you likewise consider local opposition in Virginia’s coastal communities as well as opposition from its Governor, Senators, and House members to a new five-year plan at this point.

    The statement from your office announcing the removal of the Florida offshore stated, “Local voice matters.” We couldn’t agree more.

    While many states have long histories of energy production, states like Florida and Virginia have robust economies based on other sectors like tourism, aquaculture, outdoor recreation, deepwater port commerce, and especially Department of Defense infrastructure. Florida is home to some 20 DOD installations, while Virginia’s coastal area alone has more than a dozen across every service branch, including Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval installation. While it is within DOD’s mandate to work with Interior, any look at a map displays vast offshore areas in which drilling could conflict with military activities. In a time of relatively stable prices and booming oil and gas production elsewhere, the risks outweigh the benefits.

    Opposition to offshore drilling is an opinion broadly shared by communities on the Virginia coast, including by the Democratic mayor of Norfolk and the Republican mayor of Virginia Beach. In fact, the city council of Virginia Beach (Virginia’s most populous city) actively voted to shift its prior support for offshore drilling from supportive to neutral, then from neutral to opposed.

    We hope you will take opposition from Virginia coastal communities as seriously as you took the concerns from Florida residents and elected officials.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

  77. Hundreds Celebrate Legacies of Dr. King, VUU

  78. Gov. Northam Delivers Message of Hope in Inaugural Address

  79. Annual Point In Time Count to Assess Homeless Population in Crater Area Community support and volunteers needed to assist with the count in multiple locations

    The Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH) will conduct a census of people experiencing homelessness throughout the Crater area on Thursday, January 25, 2018, from 4:00 a.m. until 2:00pm   The Point In Time (PIT) count covers the CACH localities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Emporia, Greensville, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Price George and Surry.  CACH will collaborate with local police, departments of social services, food pantries, libraries, schools, and numerous other service providers to identify count sites.

    Since 2007, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has required Continuums of Care to conduct an annual count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals.  Results of the PIT directly impact federal funding awarded to regional service providers, and provide direction for future development of services.

    The PIT will not only determine how many are homeless, but who is homeless and what factors led to their homelessness.  It will include and count homeless youth and young adults.

    Volunteer support is needed during the PIT to collect information on the homeless population in the Crater region, using paper survey forms to ask people about their housing situation and what services they use.  If you are aware of unsheltered sleeping sites or encampments in the community, please describe exact location in an email to esingleton@impassoc.org so that we can try to count those people.

    CACH will host volunteer training on January 18, 2018 from 11:30am to 12:30pm at the Hopewell Public Library.  Refreshments will be provided. To register, please contact Erica Singleton at esingleton@impassoc.org or call 434-637-3038.  Volunteers interested in helping with this count must attend the training.

    More than 400 Continuums of Care across the nation will call on volunteers to cover 3,000 cities and counties, and will report their findings to HUD.  The 2017 Point In Time Count revealed that, on a single night, 6,067 individuals in Virginia were experiencing homelessness.

  80. Jackson-Feild Re-Accredited by the Council on Accreditation

    Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services received a three=year re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Founded in 1977, its mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

    Reaccreditation is a noteworthy achievement that demonstrates that Jackson-Feild is recognized as a residential treatment provider who successfully implements high performance standards and delivers high quality services to its children. 

    Accreditation provides an objective and reliable verification that instills confidence and provides credibility to Jackson-Feild’s parents, donors, board members, community partners and stakeholders. 

    The accreditation process involves a detailed self-study that analyses both administrative operations and service delivery practices.  You are “measured” against national standards of best practice. The standards examine Jackson-Feild’s operations and practices to ensure they are accessible, appropriate, responsive, evidence-based and outcomes-oriented.  It confirms that services are provided by a skilled and supportive workforce and that children are treated with dignity and respect.  Accreditation is conferred on the entire organization and not just one specific program or service with the intent to inspire confidence, credibility, integrity and achievement in Jackson-Feild Homes.

    Jackson-Feild submitted a comprehensive self-study in which it addressed every standard. A site team of two reviewers spent three days on campus in September interviewing board members, staff and children. They submitted their report which was reviewed by COA and granted re-accreditation.

    Tricia Delano, President & CEO, noted that “This is a wonderful milestone.  A great deal of time and hard work went into this process but it is well worth the investment of time, energy and effort. I salute our dedicated staff members who made re-accreditation happen especially Tanyah Jones who coordinated accreditation efforts.

  81. Virginia Lewis Buckner Wrenn

    Virginia Lewis Buckner Wrenn, widow of Arthur W. Buckner, Sr. died on January 10, 2018. She was a native of Greensville County, Virginia and the eldest daughter of the late Thomas Edward and Lillian Anderton Lewis of Emporia. She was preceded in death by; her daughter, Carolyn Taylor, son Glen Thomas Buckner, Sr.; and two sisters, Dorothy Taylor and Phyllis Beasley.

    She is survived by; two daughters, Lois B. Rook and husband James of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., Kay B. Lynch and husband R.B. of Emporia; son, Arthur W. Buckner, Jr. and wife Susan of Emporia; three sisters, Frances Leonard of Midlothian, VA, Mabel Gillam of Jarratt, VA, and Nancy Castellow of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; Ten grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; aunt, Mary Moore of Emporia; and a number of nieces and nephews.

    She was former member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church and current member of Independence United Methodist Church. She also attended Main Street Baptist Church in the later years with her second husband, Thomas H. Wrenn, Sr.

    She was a life member of “The Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary” and “The National Americans Ex-Prisoners of War”. She was also a member of “The American Ex-Prisoners of War of The Commonwealth of Virginia”, American Legion Auxiliary, Bella Unit 46 of Emporia, The Woodmen of The World, Lodge 287 of Emporia.

    Services will be held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Jeaux Simmons officiating. Burial will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Thursday, January 11, 2018 from 7:00 P.M.-8:30 P.M.

    Contributions may be made to the Greensville County Volunteer Rescue Squad or the Emporia Fire Department.

    Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

  82. Albert F. “Hammer” Justice

    Albert F. “Hammer” Justice, 84, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sally J. Justice and a brother, Joseph Justice. Hammer is survived by three sons, Albert F. Justice, Jr. “Phil” and wife, Rose, Kenneth C. “Kenny” Justice and wife, Brenda and Clayton Justice and wife, Renee’; six grandchildren, Carson Justice (Becky), Philip Justice (Elizabeth), Kendra Floyd (Brent), Justin Justice, Hunter Justice (Katelyn) and Blake Justice three great-grandchildren, Cameron Justice, Caleb Justice, Bensen Floyd; two brothers, George “Doc” Justice and wife, Faye and Bernie Justice; three sisters, Polly Wyatt and husband, Walter, Annie Justice and Betty Phillips and husband, Buck and a number of nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, January 13 at Fountain Creek Baptist Church where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  83. Jean Lambert

     

     

     

     

     

    Jean Lambert, 75, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, January 11, 2018. She is survived by her husband, Roy Lambert; two sons, George C. Holloway, III “Skeeter” and wife, Stacy, and James Keith Holloway and wife, Karla; daughter, Randi Fajna; three grandchildren, Kaitlin Holloway, Kelsey Joyner and James Fajna; and a brother, Floyd Hobbs, Jr. . The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, January 14 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Grace Anglican Church. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  84. WARNER & KAINE SECURE FINAL PASSAGE OF BILL GRANTING RECOGNITION OF VIRGINIA INDIAN TRIBES

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner secured final passage of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017. Once signed by the President, the legislation will grant federal recognition of six Virginia tribes: the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond. Many of these include descendants of Pocahontas’ Virginia Powhatan tribe. Kaine and Warner worked with Democratic and Republican colleagues to ensure that the bill made it through to final passage. These tribes had received official recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia, but had not received federal recognition, which will grant the tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government.

    U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives from Virginia have pushed for federal recognition since the 1990s, with Senators George Allen and John Warner first introducing this legislation in the Senate in 2002. Kaine and Warner introduced this legislation in the Senate in the 113th and 114th Congresses, and Warner had introduced it in prior Congresses.

    “This is about Virginia tribes that were here and encountered the English when they arrived in [Jamestown] in 1607, the tribes of Pocahontas and other wonderful Virginians. They are living tribes, never recognized by the federal government for a series of reasons. . . . It's a fundamental issue of respect, and fairly acknowledging a historical record, and a wonderful story of tribes that are living, thriving and surviving and are a rich part of our heritage. This is a happy day to stand up on their behalf,” Senator Kaine said on the Senate floor ahead of passage.

    “We and some of the folks who are in the gallery today were not sure this day would ever come, but even here in the United States Congress and the United States Senate, occasionally we get things right. And boy, oh, boy, this is a day where we get things right on a civil rights basis, on a moral basis, on a fairness basis, and to our friends who are representatives of some of the six tribes who are finally going to be granted federal recognition, we want to say thank you for their patience, their perseverance, their willingness to work with us and others,” Senator Warner said on the Senate floor ahead of passage.

    This version, which originated in the House of Representatives and was introduced by Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman, passed in the House unanimously in May.

    Congressman Wittman said, “Today we have taken a critical step forward in correcting the Federal Government’s failure to recognize the ‘first contact' tribes of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Decades in the making, federal recognition will acknowledge and protect historical and cultural identities of these tribes for the benefit of all Americans. It will also affirm the government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Virginia tribes, and help create opportunities to enhance and protect the well-being of tribal members. I want to thank Senators Kaine and Warner for their support to give these tribes the recognition they have long deserved.”

    Once signed by the President, federal recognition will allow Virginia’s tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government. Further, it would allow tribes to:

    • Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes;
    • Repatriate the remains of their ancestors in a respectful manner. Many of these remains reside in the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains; and
    • Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access care.

    These tribal leaders were in attendance in the Senate Gallery for the vote:

    • W. Frank Adams, Chief, Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe
    • Stephen R. Adkins, Chief, Chickahominy Indian Tribe
    • Wayne B. Adkins, Chair of VITAL
    • Dean Branham, Chief, Monacan Nation
    • Lee Lockamy, Chief Nansemond Indian Tribe
    • Frank Richardson, representing Chief Anne Richardson, Rappahannock Tribe
    • Gerald A. Stewart, Assistant Chief, Eastern Chickahominy Indian Tribe
  85. 3 Legislators Call for Stricter Pipeline Standards

  86. Religious Leaders Call for Expanding Health Care

  87. Higher Ed Advocates Lobby Legislators

  88. Virginia Grocery Investment Fund Seeks to End ‘Food Deserts’

  89. Like Florida, Virginia Seeks Offshore Drilling Exemption

  90. Outgoing Governor Urges Lawmakers to ‘Work Together’

  91. A Last-Minute Guide to Governor’s Inauguration

  92. Pastor Preaches Forgiveness at Legislative Breakfast

  93. Legislative Black Caucus aims to help disadvantaged

  94. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Official Portrait Unveiled

  95. WARNER, WARREN INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO HOLD CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES LIKE EQUIFAX ACCOUNTABLE FOR DATA BREACHES

    ~ Bill would establish cybersecurity inspections, impose mandatory penalties, and compensate consumers for stolen data ~

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced today the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs)—including Equifax—accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs, impose mandatory penalties on CRAs to incentivize adequate protection of consumer data, and provide robust compensation to consumers for stolen data.

    In September 2017, Equifax announced that hackers had stolen sensitive personal information – including Social Security Numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, and passport numbers – of over 145 million Americans. The attack highlighted that CRAs hold vast amounts of data on millions of Americans but lack adequate safeguards against hackers. Since 2013, Equifax has disclosed at least four separate hacks in which sensitive personal data was compromised.

    “In today’s information economy, data is an enormous asset. But if companies like Equifax can’t properly safeguard the enormous amounts of highly sensitive data they are collecting and centralizing, then they shouldn’t be collecting it in the first place,” said Sen. Warner. “This bill will ensure that companies like Equifax – which gather vast amounts of information on American consumers, often without their knowledge – are taking appropriate steps to secure data that’s central to Americans’ identity management and access to credit.”

    “The financial incentives here are all out of whack – Equifax allowed personal data on more than half the adults in the country to get stolen, and its legal liability is so limited that it may end up making money off the breach,” said Sen. Warren. “Our bill imposes massive and mandatory penalties for data breaches at companies like Equifax – and provides robust compensation for affected consumers – which will put money back into peoples’ pockets and help stop these kinds of breaches from happening again.”

    The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act would establish an Office of Cybersecurity at the FTC tasked with annual inspections and supervision of cybersecurity at CRAs. It would impose mandatory, strict liability penalties for breaches of consumer data beginning with a base penalty of $100 for each consumer who had one piece of personal identifying information (PII) compromised and another $50 for each additional PII compromised per consumer. To ensure robust recovery for affected consumers, the bill would also require the FTC to use 50% of its penalty to compensate consumers and would increase penalties in cases of woefully inadequate cybersecurity or if a CRA fails to timely notify the FTC of a breach.

    The Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act is supported by cybersecurity experts and consumer groups:

    “U.S. PIRG commends Senators Warren and Warner for the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act. It will ensure that credit bureaus protect your information as if you actually mattered to them and it will both punish them and compensate you when they fail to do so,” said U.S. PIRG Consumer Program Director, Ed Mierzwinski.

    "This bill establishes much-needed protections for data security for the credit bureaus. It also imposes real and meaningful penalties when credit bureaus, entrusted with our most sensitive financial information, break that trust," said National Consumer Law Center staff attorney, Chi Chi Wu.

    "Senator Warner and Senator Warren have proposed a concrete response to a serious problem facing American consumers,” said Electronic Privacy Information Center President, Marc Rotenberg.

    "This bill creates greater incentive for these companies to handle our data with care and gives the Federal Trade Commission the tools that it needs to hold them accountable,” said Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy at Consumer Federation of America, Susan Grant.

    Sen. Warner has been a leader in calling for better consumer protections from data theft. Following the Equifax data breach, Sen. Warner asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine whether credit reporting agencies such as Equifax have adequate cybersecurity safeguards in place for “the enormous amounts of sensitive data they gather and commercialize.” He slammed the credit bureau for its cybersecurity failures and weak response at a Banking Committee hearing with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton last year. Similarly, in the aftermath of the 2013 Target breach that exposed the debit and credit card information of 40 million customers, Sen. Warner chaired the first congressional hearing on protecting consumer data from the threat posed by hackers targeting retailers’ online systems. Sen. Warner has also partnered with the National Retail Federation to establish an information sharing platform that allows the industry to better protect consumer financial information from data breaches.

    To view a fact sheet about the legislation, click here. The bill text can be found here

  96. Celebrating Our Nation’s Diversity

    By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

    January 15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday and a day of remembrance. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to creating and fostering equal rights for African Americans, and he died during his efforts to make his dream a reality.

    Diversity of skills, knowledge, and perspective is what you want when putting together a strong team. In a way, America is a super team of diverse members, all of whom dream of prosperity and success. Many people honor Martin Luther King, Jr. for dedicating his life to showing us that diversity is a strength.

    Social Security’s “People Like Me” website has custom information for preparing for your future. Our diverse country is made up of countless backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities, yet we all want the same thing — a secure future. You can see the many diverse people we serve at www.socialsecurity.gov/people.

    Younger people need to know that the earlier you start saving, the more your money can grow. Our website for young workers at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/youngpeople/saving.html has many resources that can help you secure today and tomorrow.

    Veterans and wounded warriors, as well as their families, sometimes face unique obstacles when saving for their future. Our website has great resources and information at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/veterans.

    Social Security values your diverse skillset and knowledge. That’s what makes our country a world leader. Now you can take the lead and show your friends and family what Social Security has to offer.

  97. Incoming and Outgoing Governors Outline Priorities

  98. Senate Democrats Announce Legislative Plans

  99. New Immigrant Rights Legislation Aims to Protect Undocumented Virginians

  100. Women’s Equality Coalition Releases Legislative Agenda

  101. Transportation Secretary Defends Tolls on I-66

  102. CApital News Service Returns for 2018

    Now that the General Assembly is back in session, the VCU Capital News ServiceThe Capital News Service allows Emporia News readers to follow the highlights of the Virginia General Assembly.

    Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students participating in the program provide state government coverage for Virginia’s community newspapers and other media outlets, under the supervision of Associate Professor Jeff South. This year there are 28 Student Journalists and new advisors.

    CNS operates as a three-credit course (formally listed as MASC 475) during spring semesters, when the General Assembly is in session. Each CNS student is assigned to serve one or more clients. Students must devote substantial time outside class to CNS — at least 10 hours a week. The students in MASC 475 meet twice a week to discuss and plan stories and work on reporting and writing skills.

    During the fall semesters, the CNS system occasionally is used to distribute stories students do for other courses, such as MASC 404 (Specialized/Projects Reporting). Throughout the year, CNS can help newspaper editors find VCU students who can do freelance stories, internships and other assignments.

    Wilma Wirt, who has since retired from the mass comm faculty, established CNS in 1994 for two reasons:

    • To give VCU’s journalism students an opportunity to actively cover and write about the Virginia General Assembly.
    • To give the state’s weekly, twice-weekly and thrice-weekly newspapers better access to the legislature — something Wirt deemed important in the everyday lives of all Virginians.

    All stories sent by CNS will be published by Emporia News, but not all will be promoted to the front page. To read the stories that do not make the front page, click on the Capital News Service link in the top menu.

  103. Learning to live well with Osteoarthritis

    Community Out-Reach Education

    South Hill – Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 27 million people worldwide. Symptoms can usually be effectively managed, although the underlying process cannot be reversed. If you have osteoarthritis, there are a number of things you can do to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. How does Osteoarthritis affect your life?  How can you slow joint deterioration?  Can osteoarthritis be prevented?  How can osteoarthritis be treated?

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

    This FREE program will be on Tuesday, January 23rd at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center; now in the C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Ave, South Hill, Virginia.

    Dr. Rupal Patel will be the speaker for the program.  Dr. Rupal Patel received his medical degree and orthopedic residency education from MS University and Medical College of Baroda, India. He completed preceptorship in sports medicine at Andrews Institute, Gulf Breeze, Florida. He also has completed fellowship trainings in adult hip and knee reconstruction at Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas and Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. He is also an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Medical College of Virginia.  Dr. Rupal Patel practices at VCU Health CMH Orthopedic Service currently located at 140 East Ferrell Street in South Hill, VA. (This practice will move to the C.A.R.E Building on February 12, 2018.)

    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.

    Tags: 

  104. Irene Dianis Shimko

    Irene Dianis Shimko, 92, of Emporia, passed away Monday, January 8, 2018. She was the widow of William J. Shimko and also was preceded in death by her older five brothers and three sisters; a great-granddaughter, Avery Drew Swenson and sons-in-law, Jeffrey Z. Swenson and Frank K. Parker. She is survived by four daughters, Martha S. Swenson, Dorothy S. Bobbitt (Ernest), Marilyn S. LeGrow (Wynne) and Lois S. Parker; seven grandchildren, Jeff Swenson, Kevin Swenson, Scott Swenson, William Bobbitt, Ashley B. Rook, Victoria Powell and Hannah Parker; nine great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Margaret Dianis and a number of nieces and nephews.

    The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff and residents of the Greensville Health and Rehab for their considerate care and loving attention shown to Mrs. Shimko during her time there.

    The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, January 9 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 10 at St. John Lutheran Church with interment to follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

  105. Happy 50th Anniversary

    Please join in the 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration of former Emporia residents Bruce and Phyllis Campbell who were married on February 3, 1968, in Derry, Pennsylvania.  Bruce and Phyllis are both retired teachers from the Corry Area School District in Corry, Pennsylvania.  They have one daughter and son-in-law,  Debbie and Roger Craft. Bruce and Phyllis now reside in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Help us to celebrate this special day by sending a card or note to include a memory or to simply express your good wishes. Cards of congratulations may be sent to 3606 Magnolia Street, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 29577.

  106. Charles E. Bottoms

    Charles E. Bottoms, 85, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Ellen M. Bottoms; two daughters, Vickie B. Taylor and husband, Rowland “Bucky” and Jackie B. Barnes and husband, Billy; three grandchildren, Nikki T. Parker and husband, Brett, Chip Taylor and wife, Meredith and Kyle Barnes and wife, Megan; five great-grandchildren, Brody, Logan and Knox Parker and Easton and Kendley Taylor; brother, Gene Bottoms and wife, Jean. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, January 13 at Emmanuel Worship Center. The family will receive friends at church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Emmanuel Worship Center. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  107. Blizzard hits Hampton Roads; freezing temperatures across Va.

    By Christopher Wood, Capital News Service

    A “bomb cyclone” brought blizzard conditions to Hampton Roads and left frigid temperatures across Virginia on Thursday as it moved up the East Coast.

    The storm dumped up to 12 inches of snow in southeastern Virginia localities, forced the closure of the Port of Virginia and cut power to more than 26,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers in the region. Service to all but a few thousand was restored late Thursday, the utility said on its website.

    Snowfall amounts ranged from 4 to 8 inches in the Williamsburg area and 2 to 3 inches around Richmond, according to the National Weather Service.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon in advance of the storm that struck a broad swath of eastern, central and Northern Virginia.

    As the storm moved up the East Coast it brought blizzard conditions to New England. Boston appeared to record its highest tides in nearly 40 years.

    The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that more than 630 roads were affected by storm and urged caution as wind-chill temperatures from zero to 5 below could make pavements dangerously slick. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for storm-stricken areas.

    Motorists were urged to check www.511virginia.org or call 511 before traveling.

    Virginia State Police in the Chesapeake and Richmond divisions responded to 356 crashes and 409 disabled vehicles. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

    The Virginia Department of Emergency Management advised caution during the continuing cold weather. Before the storm there were at least three weather-related deaths in Virginia, the agency said.

    Citizens in need of assistance were asked to call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 800-230-6977. Out-of-state or videophone users may also dial that number.

  108. VSP Winter Storm Update 4:30 pm

    As temperatures are now on the steady decline and winds are kicking up, State Police are still advising motorists to delay any unnecessary travel into the evening and overnight hours…especially in the Hampton Roads, Tidewater, Eastern Shore, Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Southside Virginia and the Metro-Richmond regions.

    Drifting snow continues to be a serious hazard in the impacted areas, as well as slick, slushy roadways – which will refreeze overnight. Fortunately, there are still no reported traffic deaths and the majority of the crashes continue to only involve only damage to vehicles and no injuries.

    State police in the impacted field divisions – Richmond and Chesapeake - will extend shifts as necessary through Thursday afternoon and evening to ensure the availability of personnel to continue to respond to incidents. Combined, State Troopers assigned to these two divisions responded to 902 calls for service, to include 356 traffic crashes and 409 disabled/stuck vehicles.

    VA State Police Senior Trooper A.D. Montross’ view this morning while responding to a vehicle stuck in a snowdrift on Route 13 along the Eastern Shore. Trooper Montross reported white-out conditions and 50 mph winds.

    VA State Police Trooper C.D. Compton spent his day responding to crashed and stuck vehicles – just like this one- along Interstate 64 in the James City County/Williamsburg area.

    From 8:00 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 3) through 4:00 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 4), the most traffic crashes and disabled vehicles calls for service have occurred within the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division:

    Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

    • Traffic Crashes=218
    • Disabled Vehicles=121
    • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 429

    Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

    • Traffic Crashes=138
    • Disabled Vehicles 288
    • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 473

    As of 4:30 p.m., Thursday:

    Richmond Division troopers are responding to 11 reported traffic crashes and 1 disabled vehicle call.

    Chesapeake Division troopers are responding to 3 reported traffic crashes and 12 disabled vehicle calls.

    We want to remind Virginians to please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org for road conditions and not 911 or #77. We need to keep emergency lines open for emergency calls.

    We are still asking Virginians to delay their travel until later today. But, if you MUST travel…then please take the following safety precautions:

    • Clear off ALL snow and ice from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights            
    • Add extra time to reach travel destination
    • Slow speed for road conditions
    • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
    • Buckle up and don’t drive distracted
    • MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and tow trucks.
  109. Elmer Levi Grizzard

    Elmer Levi Grizzard, 90, of Emporia passed away on January 3, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Vera Lee Pearson Grizzard. He was also preceded in death by brothers, Earl M. Grizzard, Frank E. Grizzard, and Jessie K. “Pete” Grizzard.

    He is survived by his son, Ronnie L. Grizzard and wife Penny; daughter, Sharon K. Morton and husband Mark; grandchildren, Jessica Vick Dunn and husband Cody, Ashley Lauren Grizzard and husband Justin Gibson, Brian “Kirk” Grizzard and friend Stephanie Perez; great-grandchildren, Mackenzie Dunn, Arylee G. Dunn, Adyson K. Dunn, Michael C. Dunn, Jr., and Vera Madison Burke; brother, Benjamin T. “Bubba” Grizzard and sisters, Ethel L. Vick, Polly Grizzard, Willie Mae Harris, Barbara Grizzard, Alease Braswell, and Diane Smith.

    A church service will be held at Calvary Baptist Church on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 3:30 P.M., with a graveside service immediately following in Emporia Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Calvary Baptist Church at 3:00 P.M prior to the service.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church Youth Department or the Calvary Baptist Church Shoe Box Ministry.

    Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

  110. Dominion Energy to Restore All Customers by 5:00 p.m. Friday; 90 Percent Customers to be Restored Late Today

    ♦More than 75 percent of customers impacted by the storm have been restored

    90 percent restored by 11:00 p.m. today

    Restoration workers from around the state concentrated on hardest-hit areas

    RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion Energy Virginia and North Carolina restoration workers and contractors from across the state are out in force today to restore power by 5:00 p.m. Friday to all customers impacted by the high winds and snow impacting customers through Thursday morning, primarily in the eastern part of Virginia and North Carolina.

    90 percent of customers impacted by this event will have power restored by 11:00 p.m. tonight. Customers in Virginia Beach and a few customers in Outer Banks, North Carolina where coastal flooding has limited crew accessibility will be restored tomorrow.

    As of 4:00 p.m., more than 75 percent of the nearly 90,000 customers impacted across our system have been restored after crews performed repairs at 550 damage locations. Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk in Virginia and Outer Banks and Elizabeth City in North Carolina were the hardest hit areas.

    Crews continue to work around the clock to complete repairs. 

    “Being without power during this extreme cold weather can be an exceptional hardship for our customers and we are intensely focused on getting the lights back on as safely and quickly as possible,” said Ed Baine, senior vice president-Distribution, Dominion Energy. “Please stay clear of downed lines which may be partially buried by snow and use extra caution on the slippery roads and to be on the alert for crews working near roadways.” 

    Travel by crews has been impacted by ice and snow, but crews are concentrated in the hardest-hit areas to speed restoration.

    The highest priority for power restoration is always given to public safety and critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency 911 call centers, and municipal water pumping stations; 90 percent of those have been restored.

    We continue to work closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, local officials and the Virginia Department of Transportation to ensure an efficient restoration.

    If you lost power:

    • Do not rely on your neighbors to report your outage. Contact us from any mobile device and report outages at dom.com/outages or call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
    • Additional storm restoration information is available online at https://www.dominionenergy.com/outage-center/report-and-check-outages. Information also is available on the Dominion Energy Facebookpage.
    • When reporting an outage, whether online or via phone, enter a phone number where you can best be reached in case we need more information or to provide an update.
    • Leave a light on so you will know when power is restored.
    • Also, leave a porch light on. This will help our crews patrolling your neighborhood know if your electricity has been restored.

    Safety first:

    • Stay at least 30’ away from downed wires and debris—they could be energized and dangerous. Call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report downed wires.
    • If you are using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, make sure the area is adequately ventilated.
    • Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home, in crawl spaces or in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.
    • Do not hook portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto Dominion Energy’s power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator with the proper-sized extension cords.
    • Visually inspect the area around your electric meter. If you detect or suspect any damage, call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
  111. VSP Winter Storm Update - 8:45 AM

    Virginia State Police continue to advise motorists to stay off the highways as VDOT crews continue to treat and clear highways across Southside Virginia, Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, Tidewater, Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and Metro-Richmond regions. Virginia State Police troopers in these impacted regions have remained busy over the past 12 hours responding to 466 total emergency calls for service – to include 226 traffic crashes and 171 disabled vehicles. There continue to be no reported traffic fatalities, and the majority of traffic crashes have only involved damage to vehicles.

    The view for Virginia State Police Area 36 First Sergeant A.D. Williams as he travels Route 10 in Surry County right now.

    From 8:00 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 3) through 8:00 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 4), the most traffic crashes and disabled vehicles calls for service continue to occur within the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division:

     Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

    • Traffic Crashes=108

    • Disabled Vehicles=50

    • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 193

    Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

    • Traffic Crashes=118

    • Disabled Vehicles = 121

    • Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 273

    As of 8:45 a.m., Thursday:

    Richmond Division troopers are responding to 19 reported traffic crashes and 11 disabled vehicle calls.

    Chesapeake Division troopers are responding to 26 disabled vehicle calls – vehicles that have gotten stuck (i.e. by sliding off the road) but don’t qualify as a crash.

    We want to remind Virginians to please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org for road conditions and not 911 or #77. We need to keep emergency lines open for emergency calls.

     We are still asking Virginians to delay their travel until later today. But, if you MUST travel…then please take the following safety precautions:

    Clear off ALL snow and ice from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights…and use your headlights to make yourself more visible to other motorists

    Add extra time to reach travel destination

    Slow speed for road conditions

    Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance

    Buckle up and don’t drive distracted

    MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and tow trucks.

  112. VSP Winter Storm Update - 6:15 AM

    As the winter storm moves across the eastern, central and northern regions of the Commonwealth, Virginia State Police troopers have remained busy throughout the overnight and early morning hours. Fortunately, no traffic fatalities have been reported as of 6 a.m., and the majority of crashes have involved only damaged vehicles and few injuries. However, disabled vehicle calls are increasing…these are vehicles that get stuck or slide off a road but do not qualify as a “crash.” So…we still have vehicles attempting to drive in adverse and treacherous road conditions.

    From 8:00 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 3) through 5:00 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 4), the most traffic crashes and disabled vehicles calls for service have occurred within the Virginia State Police Chesapeake Division:

    Division I–Richmond (Metro Richmond/Northern Neck/Tri-Cities)

    Traffic Crashes=72

    Disabled Vehicles=22

    Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 123

    Division V-Chesapeake (Hampton Roads/Tidewater/Eastern Shore/Williamsburg/Franklin/Emporia)

    Traffic Crashes=101

    Disabled Vehicles 74

    Total VSP emergency calls for service responded to: 212

    As of 6:15 a.m., Thursday:

    Richmond Division troopers are responding to 21 reported traffic crashes and 9 disabled vehicle calls.

    Chesapeake Division troopers are responding to 6 reported traffic crashes and 18 disabled vehicle calls.

    We want to remind Virginians to please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org for road conditions and not 911 or #77. We need to keep emergency lines open for emergency calls.

    We are still asking Virginians to delay their travel until later today. But, if you MUST travel…then please take the following safety precautions:

    Clear off ALL snow and ice from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights            

    Add extra time to reach travel destination

    Slow speed for road conditions

    Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance

    Buckle up and don’t drive distracted

    MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and tow trucks.

  113. SNOW AND HIGH WINDS TO AFFECT TRAVEL

    Motorists cautioned against driving during winter storm expected to hit eastern and central Virginia

    RICHMOND, Virginia – Motorists in eastern and central Virginia should plan for slick road conditions and poor visibility as snow and high winds are expected to move into those regions beginning this evening. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recommends keeping a close watch on your local weather forecast and staying off roads during this weather event.

    The precise timing of precipitation and accumulation will vary depending on where you are. Snow will likely continue through late Thursday and high winds are expected to persist through Friday night. Due to the nature of the storm, blowing snow may reduce visibility to less than a quarter mile at times in some areas creating dangerous travel conditions.

    VDOT crews have been pretreating roads where appropriate and are mobilizing today to monitor and treat roads as necessary throughout the storm.

    The latest road conditions are available at www.511virginia.org, through the free mobile app or by phone. You can track the location of most snow plows at VDOT’s Snow Plow Tracker. The tracker is activated once snow reaches two inches or more. 

    If you must travel, make preparations ahead of time. With temperatures expected to remain below freezing for the next few days, make sure your emergency winter driving kit is properly stocked and includes items to keep you warm. Allow extra time for the trip, drive at a low speed and stay at a safe distance from other vehicles. If you encounter slow-moving equipment such as snow plows, slow down and give them the right of way.

  114. Winter Weather Advisory

    WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…

    * WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Thursday. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches, with localized amounts up to 8 inches, are expected.

    * WHERE…Portions of southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, including the City of Emporia and Greensville County.

    * WHEN…From 7 PM this evening to 1 PM EST Thursday.

    * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Be prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.

    PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

    A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

    *Please take precautions to protect yourself, family and bring your pets inside. 

    *If you have pipes that are prone to freezing, open the cabinets around those pipes or leave a small stream/heavy drip of water running.

    *If you must be out of doors, dress appropriately.  More thinner layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer.  Don't forget the caps, gloves and scarves.

    *When shoveling snow, take it easy and do not over-exert yourself.

  115. Winter Storm Closings and Delays

    Last updateFriday at 5:30 pm

    Carolyn's Creations - Closed Saturday Due to Poor Road Conditions

    For full lists of Closings see:

    WWBT NBC 12, WTVR CBS 6, or WRIC ABC 8

  116. Governor Declares Emergency As Snowstorm Nears

    By George Copeland Jr., Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – State officials on Wednesday urged Virginians to prepare for a winter storm that could dump up to a foot of snow on parts of the commonwealth over the next few days.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency at 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, authorizing state agencies, including the National Guard and Virginia State Police, to assist local governments in responding to the storm, which may impact roads and bridges.

    The sudden cold snap follows temperature drops across the Southeastern United States, including a rare snowfall in South Carolina. Parts of Eastern Virginia, including Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck and Eastern Shore, are expected to receive the most snowfall – up to 12 inches.

    “With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for the travel disruptions, power outages and other threats to health and safety that could arise during this significant weather event,” McAuliffe said in a press release.

    The Virginia Department of Transportation is already at work, according to Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne.

    “VDOT has already taken measures to pre-treat roads and preposition equipment, crews and materials to treat roads in advance of the storm and will work throughout the storm to plow roads,” Layne said. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous, and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes.”

    State officials encouraged residents to keep track of road conditions by accessing the 511virginia.org website, using the free VDOT 511 mobile app or calling 511. VDOT also has a Snow Plow Tracker that shows the location of most plows.

    Other help and assistance during the storm can be reached by dialing 211 or #77 on mobile phones for vehicular emergencies. Virginians with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then 1-800-230-6977.

  117. Mrs. Rae Doyle Webb

    Mrs. Rae Doyle Webb, 88, a longtime resident of Emporia, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at her home.  She was born in Greensville County, VA and was the daughter of the late Edgar G. Doyle and Mary Phillips Doyle. She was preceded in death by her husband, Carroll Ashby Webb, who died on June 29, 2017. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three sisters, Betty Dunn, Bertha Delbridge, and Celia Grizzard.

    She is survived by; her daughter, Pam Low and her husband Ed, son David D. Webb and his wife Sandy; four grandchildren, Stephanie Whittington and her husband Rick, Stephen Low, Lauren Ashley Collins, and Dylan Allen; two great grandchildren, Abby Whittington and Andrew Whittington; special nieces, Kay Bryant and Debbie Mashburn, and nephew, Barry Grizzard.

    She was a homemaker, and a member and past Deacon of Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia. Services will be held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 3:00 P.M. with Rev. Dr. Ricky Hurst officiating.  Burial will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends at her residence, 307 Echols St. Emporia, VA, on Thursday, January 4, 2018 from 6:30 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

    Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

  118. Virginians Urge Legislators to Expand Medicaid

    By DeForrest Ballou and Adam Hamza, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – A procession of health-care advocates urged state legislators Wednesday to expand Medicaid and increase funding for Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    At a hearing on the state budget that the General Assembly must craft this spring, dozens of speakers expressed support for expanding Medicaid – an idea advocated by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Gov.-elect Ralph Northam and other Democrats but opposed by most Republican lawmakers.

    The speakers included Nichole Wescott Hayes, a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.

    “ACS-CAN is part of a larger coalition of health-care-related agencies, Healthcare for All Virginians. And we are trying to expand Medicaid so that we can cover the gaps of the 300-some-thousand individuals who are without coverage at this time,” Hayes said.

    “The whole ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ is not just about tourism; it’s about helping each other. That’s kind of the bedrock of what Virginia is about.”

    Medicaid, which is funded by the federal and state governments, provides health care for low-income Americans. The federal Affordable Care Act encouraged states to expand Medicaid and promised that the federal government would pay for it. But most Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly fear that the state would be stuck with the bills if it expands Medicaid.

    Health care was the dominant topic at the hearing. Of the 82 speakers, roughly half addressed that issue.

    For instance, Kelly Brookes of Henrico County has a daughter with cerebral palsy. She advocated for more equitable education.

    “My child should not have to prove that she is capable of learning, which she absolutely is,” Brookes said. “She should be able to receive the same education as other kids.”

    Rachel Deane, who works for a nonprofit group called the Legal Aid Justice Center, said it’s important to attend events like hearings on the state budget.

    “I think it’s always just a good opportunity for us to be at a budget hearing and to talk directly to members of the General Assembly about what funding we need for youth to be successful,” Deane said.

    The center provides legal representation for low-income individuals. Deane is the legal director for the group’s program serving children.

    Her goal at the hearing was to ask for funding of programs that could keep children out of the correctional system. She sat alongside a group wearing tan shirts with the words, “Guide us, don’t criminalize us.”

    Mark Strandquist also addressed the legislative panel. Strandquist is the creative director for ART 180, another program run by the Legal Aid Justice Center. During his presentation, he played a recording of children who have been helped by ART 180.

    “We literally view our role as being a megaphone for youth whose voices have been silenced. That’s why I literally played audio recordings made by the youth over the microphone,” Strandquist said.

    The General Assembly will convene next Wednesday for a 60-day session. The major item on the agenda is to write the state budget for the next two years.

  119. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Transitioning to a Free Senior Circle Program

    Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is transitioning its Senior Circle program from a paid membership to a FREE Senior Circle program, beginning in 2018.

    The hospital has sponsored a local chapter of the national Senior Circle Association since 1999. The national organization is closing at the end of 2017, so there will be no national affiliations beginning in 2018.

    “We’re committed to helping seniors in our community live a healthy, active lifestyle and excited to carry on this mission by transitioning to a free Senior Circle program,” said Matt Tavenner, Chief Executive Officer at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center. “Our free membership program will continue to focus on supporting adults age 50 and older, except that now more seniors will have access to the education and activities, since there will be no dues.”

    Tracy Mitchell, Senior Circle Advisor stated the hospital’s future Senior Circle program will include most of the activities and events members have enjoyed:

    • Physician education lectures
    • Lunch and Learn opportunities
    • Social and fitness activities
    • Health fairs and screenings
    • Free faxing and copying of important documents
    • Line dance lessons, Friday bingo and much more

    Information about Senior Circle events are posted on Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s website at svrmc.com.  Members also receive a bi-monthly newsletter and calendar of events.  To join Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center’s Senior Circle Program, call Tracy Mitchell at

    434-348-4455 or e-mail tracy_mitchell@chs.net.

  120. Daphine Perry Ferguson

    Mrs. Daphine Perry Ferguson, 94, of Emporia, died Saturday, December 30, 2017, at Southern Virginia Regional Hospital.

    A native of North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Arthur James Perry and Thelma Mitchell Perry. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husbands, Junius Stallings and Walter C. Ferguson, a daughter, Jean Ferguson Haymes, two brothers, E.V. Perry and James J. Perry.  She was a longtime member of Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia and a former Department Manager at Leggett’s Department Stores.

    Mrs. Ferguson is survived by a son, Jim Ferguson and his wife Sheila of Emporia, a daughter, Bonnie Ferguson Fresch and her husband David of Richmond, Texas, a sister Barbara Barrett of Roanoke Rapids, son in law Eugene Haymes of Roseland, Virginia, and special friend Vicki Haymes of Waynesboro, Virginia; Seven grandchildren, Sherri Robinson, Jamie Ferguson, Neil Haymes, Shannon Dunn, Rev. David W. Fresch, Kimberly Conroy, and Dr. Christopher Fresch, and 13 great grandchildren.

    Funeral Services will be held at 12 Noon on Saturday January 6, 2018 at Main Street Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Ricky R. Hurst officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11 AM until service time at Main Street Baptist Church.

    In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Main Street Baptist Church, 440 S. Main St, Emporia, Va. 23847.

    Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.             

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