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May 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. Brunswick County Announces New Company to Create 8 Jobs

    ~New Jobs Coming to Brunswick County~

    Brunswick County, VA - The Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, and the Town of Lawrenceville announced today KASS Foods, a healthy snack food manufacturer, will invest to establish an operation in Brunswick County, Town of Lawrenceville. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and Maryland for the project, which will bring eight new jobs to the region.

    Mike Dotti, Chair of Brunswick County IDA Board said, “It is an easy thing to say Brunswick County is open for business. To create an environment where new business is possible takes the work of a lot of people. We could not have done this without our team. The Board of Supervisors, Carthan Currin, Economic Development Director, C. J. Dean and the Town of Lawrenceville, the Tobacco Commission, the amazing IDA board all moving forward under the proactive leadership of our County Administrator, Dr. Woolridge. A special thanks to Ajay and the fine people of KASS for their investment in our County.”

    “We are extremely pleased that KASS Foods chose to locate their company in Brunswick County,” said Dr. Charlette T. Woolridge, Brunswick County Administrator. “President Sujanani’s business investment results in the restoration of the former Southern States facility, the creation of employment opportunities for Brunswick residents, increased tax revenues, and even more benefits.” Dr. Woolridge also thanked the partners who helped to make this project possible. “I am very appreciative of the collaborative partnership between KASS, the Board of Supervisors and staff, Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority Board, Town of Lawrenceville, Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia’s Growth Alliance and Southside Planning District Commission who were instrumental in making this project a reality.”

    “The Town of Lawrenceville would like to welcome KASS Foods (Ajay and Kareena) to our community. They are bringing much needed jobs to our Town and putting a vacant building back into productive use. We would like to thank all of those involved in bringing this manufacturing facility to Lawrenceville, including the Virginia Tobacco Commission, Virginia’s Growth Alliance and our partners in Brunswick County. Lawrenceville looks forward to the future with KASS and assisting with their future goals and plans,” said CJ Dean, Lawrenceville town manager.

    “We are excited to be a part of Brunswick County and the Town of Lawrenceville. We believe this is the perfect location for our facility,” said KASS Foods president Ajay Sujanani. “The wide support and consistent enthusiasm we have received for our project reassures us that we have made the right choice in selecting Town of Lawrenceville in Brunswick County for our manufacturing plant.”

    KASS Foods focuses on manufacturing of healthy snack products in various segments including organic, children, adult, as well as sweet and savory. Their product portfolio will consist of several European style snacks customized to the American palette. With robust R&D tie-ups with Universities in Germany and US, KASS has various innovative products that will be rolled out in phases once they start operations.

    Tobacco Commission Vice-Chair, Senator Frank Ruff said, "This is exciting news for Brunswick County. Attracting an innovative company like KASS Foods to our region shows that we can compete successfully for manufacturing jobs in any sector. I'm glad that the Tobacco Commission chose to support this project through the refurbishment of the former Southern States building and look forward to the success of KASS Foods in their new home here in Southern Virginia."

    The Tobacco Commission awarded a $447,000 Southside Economic Development grant to assist with the renovation of the building located on the Virginia Tobacco Heritage Trail in historic downtown Lawrenceville.

    With assistance from the Southside Planning District Commission, the Town of Lawrenceville was able to secure a Community Development Block Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for additional building renovations needed for the project.  The Southside PDC, through Lake Country Development Corporation's loan pool program, was also able to assist the client with project financing.

    The company will be located in the former Southern States building adjacent to the Tobacco Heritage Trail.

    This project was developed by Virginia’s Growth Alliance. Brunswick County, along with Amelia, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Greensville, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties and the city of Emporia comprise the Alliance (http://vagrowth.com).

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  2. Social Security Honors The Nation's Heroes on Memorial Day

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

    On Memorial Day, we honor service members who have given their lives for our nation. Social Security acknowledges the heroism and courage of our military service members, and we remember those who have given their lives to protect our country. Part of how we honor these heroes is the way we provide Social Security benefits.

    The loss of a family member is difficult for anyone. Social Security helps by providing benefits to protect service members’ dependents. Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about Social Security survivors benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

    It’s also important to recognize those service members who are still with us, especially those who have been wounded. Just as they served us, we have the obligation to serve them. Social Security has benefits to protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work.

    Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. For example, Social Security will provide expedited processing of disability claims filed by veterans who have a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T). The VA and Social Security each have disability programs. You may find that you qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or that you qualify for both. Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. You can get answers to commonly asked questions and find useful information about the application process at www.socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.

    Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits. The good news is that your military retirement benefit generally does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits atwww.socialsecurity.gov/retirement. You may also want to visit the Military Service page of ourRetirement Planner, available atwww.socialsecurity.gov/planners/retire/veterans.html.

    Service members are also eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you have health insurance from the VA or under the TRICARE or CHAMPVA programs, your health benefits may change, or end, when you become eligible for Medicare. Learn more about Medicare benefits atwww.socialsecurity.gov/medicare.

    In acknowledgment of those who died for our country, those who served, and those who serve today, we at Social Security honor and thank you.

  3. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces April Employee of the Month

    Emporia, VA – Krystal Murrell has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for April 2018. Ms. Murrell, who works in SVRMC’s Intensive Care Unit, has been employed at SVRMC since February 2015.

    Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for April was the All Star Award.  Ms. Murrell’s nomination included the following statement:  “Krystal is an exemplar of professionalism and customer service. She models the behavior of compassion and kindness to both internal and external customers. She maintains a calm demeanor in spite of chaos and robust activities of the unit.  She provides great care for her patients and is very supportive to her co-workers.  Krystal loves what she does and it shows in the quality of care she provides and the warm smile she displays.  We are so very lucky to have Krystal on the SVRMC team.”

    As SVRMC’s April Employee of the Month, Ms. Murrell received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

  4. Elizabeth Leigh Robbins

    Elizabeth Leigh Robbins, 83 of South Hill Virginia passed away on December 27, 2017.  She was the daughter of the late Daisy and Leroy Robbins and sister of the late William K Robbins of Richmond.  She is survived by her niece, Kathryn Robbins Jones  (Phillip), great-niece and nephew, Abigail and Joshua Jones of Yorktown VA and nephew William Robbins of Bracey VA.  For many years Elizabeth was the Food and Beverage Manager of the Holiday Inn in Emporia.  A private memorial service will be held for her at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Richmond on June 6.  Elizabeth was a kind and loving lady who will be missed by many.

  5. Steven Eugene Hueber

    Steven Eugene Hueber died Monday, May 28, 2018 at Johnston-Wilis Hospital in Richmond. He was 61.

    A longtime resident of Emporia, Steve was the son of the late Eugene Arthur Hueber and MayBelle Walker Hueber. A United States Air Force veteran, he was part of the maintenance crew for Air Force One. After the service, Steve worked for many years on all types of engine repair.

    Mr. Hueber is survived by his wife of 36 years Marilyn Bradley Hueber and a son Adam C. Hueber of Emporia.

    Graveside services will be held Thursday, May 31, 2018, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery with Rev. Larry Walczykowski officiating. The family will receive friends Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at Echols Funeral Home from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM.

    Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com

  6. VIRGINIA EXPERIENCES DECREASE IN 2018 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC DEATHS

    RICHMOND – Virginia experienced its fewest number of traffic deaths during the 2018 Memorial Day weekend - the lowest within at least the past five years. Preliminary reports indicate six traffic deaths occurred on Virginia highways during this year’s statistical counting period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 25, 2018) and concluded at midnight Monday (May 28, 2018).

     "This decrease in the Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities and the slowing of traffic deaths for 2018 are both proof that we can save lives on Virginia’s highways by working together,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The Virginia State Police, in collaboration with our local police and sheriff’s offices, will continue our stepped up education and enforcement efforts as we head into the busy summer travel months. We simply ask for Virginians to do their part by always buckling up, complying with speed limits, driving distraction free and never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

    This year’s six holiday fatal crashes occurred in the City of Newport News, and the counties of Chesterfield, Grayson, Nelson, Pittsylvania and Rockbridge. The Newport News crash claimed the life of an adult male operating a dirt bike on Warwick Boulevard. Of the remaining five fatal crashes, four involved individuals who were not wearing seat belts. Three of those unsecured individuals were ejected when the vehicle they were riding in overturned as it crashed.

    During the 2018 Memorial Day weekend, the Virginia State Police once again participated in the Operation Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation CARE is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. As a result of troopers’ increased presence on the highways during the heavily-traveled holiday weekend, 99 impaired drivers were arrested and charged with DUI. In addition, state troopers cited 8,004 speeders and 2,360 reckless drivers. State police also cited 1,038 occupant restraint violations, with 210 of those issued to adults for failing to safely secure a juvenile passenger in a child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt. Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

    The Virginia State Police is continuing its enforcement efforts related to the ongoing “Click It or Ticket” campaign.  The two-week concentrated education and enforcement initiative began May 21, 2018, and runs through Sunday, June 3, 2018. Of the 843 total traffic deaths in 2017 throughout Virginia, 351 were unrestrained.

  7. Southside Physicians Network Opens New Office in Emporia

    Emporia, VA – Southside Physicians Network is pleased to announce a new office located at 702 North Main Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847.

    The new office is now open! The following doctors will have practices located in the new office.

  8. Secretary Perdue Names FSA Administrator

    (Washington, D.C., May 11, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of Richard Fordyce to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). In his role, Fordyce will provide leadership for FSA and its mission to support agricultural production across America through a network of over 2,100 county and 50 state offices.

    “As a fourth-generation farmer, Richard brings firsthand knowledge and experience to this role,” Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “I am confident that he will continue to help USDA become the most efficient, effective customer focused agency in the federal government as he leads this customer focused mission area.”

    Richard Fordyce most recently served as State Executive Director for FSA in Missouri. Prior to his appointment by the Trump Administration, Fordyce served as the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2013 to 2017. In 2015, Fordyce was awarded the Missouri Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award and the Agricultural Leaders of Tomorrow Alumnus of the Year. He and his wife, Renee, have two children and grow soybeans, corn and beef cattle on the family farm.

  9. "Memorial Day"

    It's a day set aside for remembering
    those who before and after have went
    fighting for the need of our country
    wherever they might be sent.
     
    Men and women, young and old
    It mattered not you see
    a highly trained military military
    trying to keep us free.
     
    They have fought in strange surroundings
    and many lives have been lost
    now some were only wounded
    but for us, still paid the cost.
     
    One can't feel pain or anguish
    these men and women all went through
    yet we can honor them for what they did
    for the freedom of me and you.
     
    We can hold in our hearts the memories
    of thousands that have died
    yes and pray for the many wounded
    who lost comarades by their side.
     
    Now war is never over
    and battle never won
    the loss of the lives ere will remain
    long after the fighting's done.
     
    Roy E. Schepp
  10. Brian “Keith” McDilda

    Brian “Keith” McDilda, 40, of Emporia, passed away suddenly on Friday, May 25, 2018. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, C. R. and Helen McDilda. Keith is survived by his parents, Ron and Aileen McDilda ; two sisters, Melissa Bolton (Jim Bolton) and Angela Boyce (Andrew); niece, Chardonay Boyce and three nephews, Cameron Bolton, Austin Bolton and Cassius Boyce. The family will receive friends 2-4 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 29. Interment will follow 3 p.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, 400 College St. NE, Wilson, NC 27893. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

  11. "We Can Do It!"

    Yes, lets all protest together
    about our sad and dreary life
    just forget about the children,
    faithful husband; and gracious wife.
     
    Don't remember your friends and neighbors
    though the numbrs do increase
    fighting battles in some foreign land
    so we may live in peace.
     
    Yes and what about that one that took the job
    you didn't want to do
    he is still working steadily
    and that could have been you.
     
    I think we've convinced our leaders
    and those who one day will do the same
    our students will graduate with honors
    if we only change the schools name.
     
    With this one we have a problem
    for history you do not change
    the good, the bad or the ugly
    you can only rearrange.
     
    Give our protest money to the teachers
    that should make up a good raise
    yes nd if they can teach the students how to use a pencil
    offer them some extra praise.
     
    Roy E.Schepp
  12. VIRGINIA’S ANNUAL CRIME ANALYSIS REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ON VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WEBSITE

    RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2017 is now available to the public on the Virginia State Police website. The annual “Crime in Virginia” report provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.

    Overall, Virginia experienced a 3.9 percent decrease in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) compared to the previous reporting period. The FBI’s figures for 2017 are not yet available. However, comparing the first six months of 2016 with the first six months of 2017, nationwide, violent crimes decreased less than 1 percent (0.8%).

    Property crime in Virginia, including the offenses of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, also decreased when compared to the previous year (- 2.6%). Although the FBI’s data for 2017 is not yet available, comparing the first six months of 2016 with the first six months of 2017, nationwide, there was a 2.9 percent decrease.

    The following 2017 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

    The number of reported homicides decreased from 480 to 455 or (-5.2%). Victims and offenders tended to be relatively young: 48 percent of homicide victims and 64 percent of offenders were less than 30 years of age. Victims and offenders were most likely to be male (72%, 86% respectively).

    Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 3.9 percent compared to the previous year.  Of the 10,223 motor vehicles stolen, 6,438 or 63 percent were recovered. Of all motor vehicles stolen, trucks had the highest frequency of being recovered (73%) followed by automobiles (68%). Recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) were least likely to be recovered (49%, 39% respectively). Of all motor vehicles stolen, 43 percent were taken from the residence/home. The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $86,025,726.

    Drug and narcotic arrests increased when compared to the previous reporting period (15.6%). Where type of drug was known, 71 percent of all drug arrests were for marijuana. Marijuana arrests increased 20.6 percent compared to the previous reporting period. Arrests for heroin and crack cocaine decreased (-3.2%, -3.0% respectively). Arrests for powder cocaine and amphetamines/methamphetamines increased (14.2%, 22.7% respectively).

    Fraud offenses decreased almost 4 percent (-3.8) compared to 2016.

    Of the 809 arsons and attempted arsons that were reported, nearly half (48.5%) reported the location as “residence/home.” Neither the time of the day nor the day of the week appears to be associated with this offense.

    Robbery decreased 10 percent. Of the 4,320 robberies and attempted robberies 42 percent took place between 8 p.m. and midnight. Days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place although more took placeon Friday and Saturday than any other days of the week.

    Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 74.6 percent of homicides and 58.2 percent of robberies. Firearms were used to a lesser extent in the offense of aggravated assault (27.3%).   

    There were 202 hate crimes reported in 2017 representing a 47.4 percent increase compared to 2016. Over half (54%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion and sexual orientation were next highest (22%, 19%, respectively). The remaining 5 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. Of all reported bias motivated crime, 46 percent was associated with destruction/damage/vandalism of property; another 40.6 percent was associated with the offense of assault.     

    The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

    For Group A offenses, between 2016 and 2017, adult arrests increased 4.3 percent. Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses also increased (1.6%). For Group B arrests, there was an increase of 1.8 percent for adults while juvenile Group B arrests decreased 9.9 percent. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 282,987 arrests in 2017 compared to 276,144 arrests in 2016, representing an overall increase in arrests in Virginia of 2.5 percent.

    Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and sent to the FBI incorporating them into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

  13. Five Steps for Social Security Success

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

    No matter how much you’ve planned, there’s no better time than now to think about your future. We’d like to encourage you to take Five Steps toward Your Financial Security. Planning for the future may seem intimidating to many, but we’ve broken the task down into five easy steps:

    Step 1: Get to know your Social Security — You and Social Security are on a journey for life, but there is so much you may not know about the benefits and services we provide. Social Security delivers financial security to millions of children and adults before retirement; including the chronically ill, children of deceased parents, and wounded warriors. Learn more at www.socialsecurity.gov/agency.

    Step 2: Verify your earnings — Your benefits are calculated using your employment records. You can use your personal my Social Security account to verify that your earnings are recorded accurately. Access your account today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

    Step 3: Estimate your benefits — With our Retirement Estimator, you can estimate your future retirement or disability benefits based on your actual earnings record. This can be invaluable as you plan for your future. View our calculators at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/benefitcalculators.html.

    Step 4:  Apply for benefits — You can apply for retirement, Medicare, or disability benefits online through our easy-to-use, secure online application that is convenient to navigate. Read more about benefits and apply now at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits.

    Step 5: Manage your benefits — Social Security puts you in control by offering convenient and secure services that fit your needs. Verify your payment information, change your address or phone number, get a benefit verification letter, and even start or change direct deposit of your benefits. See all the things you can do at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

    Share this information with the people you love. Get to know your Social Security and the many ways we help secure today and tomorrow for you and your family at www.socialsecurity.gov/5steps.

  14. MOTORISTS URGED TO PUT TRAFFIC SAFETY ON THEIR TRAVEL AGENDA THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

    RICHMOND – As travelers plan their vacations and pack their bags for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, Virginia State Police is urging motorists to make sure traffic safety is at the top of their agenda. Already this year, 280 individuals, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists, have lost their lives in traffic crashes. The startling number comes on the heels of an almost 11 percent increase in traffic deaths during 2017.  

    “Last year, 843 people were killed on Virginia’s highways. On average, that’s more than two people a day, 16 people a week and 70 people a month. But no matter how you count these tragic incidents, there are just too many,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The sad fact is that many traffic crashes are preventable, but in order to prevent them we all have to do our part by buckling up, complying with speed limits, eliminating distractions and never driving impaired.”

    To ensure the Memorial Day holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning Friday, May 25, 2018, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2018 Memorial Day statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2018, and continues through midnight Monday, May 28, 2018.

    During the 2017 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, Virginia troopers arrested 109 drunk drivers, cited 10,337 speeders and 2,395 reckless drivers, and issued 250 citations for child seat violations. They also cited 820 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt.

    The 2018 Memorial Day weekend falls during the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, and state police troopers will be vigilant in their efforts to increase seat belt usage for travelers of all ages. The two-week concentrated education and enforcement initiative began last Monday and runs through Sunday, June 3, 2018.

    Of the 843 total traffic deaths last year throughout Virginia, 351 were unrestrained.

    With increased patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.

    From 2008 to 2017 nationwide, 126 law enforcement officers working along the roadside were struck by a vehicle because a driver failed to heed the “Move Over” law.

    To raise awareness of this law and the impact it has on first responders and highway safety workers, Virginia State Police has coordinated the 2nd Annual National “Move Over” Tweet-Along. Over a 24-hour period on Friday, May 25, 2018, public safety agencies, departments of transportation and numerous other local and state agencies from across the country will inundate Twitter with the “Move Over” message using hashtag #MoveOver18. 

  15. ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK HERRING AND HAMPTON ROADS HUMAN TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE LAUNCH NEW REGIONAL AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

    ~ Billboards going up on major highways across Hampton Roads to bring awareness to the realities of human trafficking and engage victims ~

        

    NORFOLK (May 22, 2018) – Attorney General Mark Herring today announced that the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force will launch a new awareness campaign across the Hampton Roads region. Beginning this week, billboards will be placed on major highways across the region encouraging victims or those with information about possible human trafficking to contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center’s hotline. The billboards are estimated to make 2.5 million impressions while they are up across the region. Additionally, the campaign will include bilingual digital advertising which will run in the region. In 2017, Virginia has had thefifteenth highest number of human trafficking cases referenced on the hotline, and experts believe human trafficking occurs in Virginia because of its location on the east coast, international air and sea ports, and large number of major interstates.
     
    “Human trafficking robs its victims of their dignity, their identity, their freedom, and in a tragic number of cases, their childhood,” said Attorney General Herring. “Virginia has made great strides in combating this crime and my team and I have been proud to be a part of those efforts. By raising awareness about the existence and impact of human trafficking and promoting critical resources, we can help restore victims and seek justice against those who perpetrate this dehumanizing crime. I want to thank our Hampton Roads Human Trafficking partners for their continued efforts to combat this heinous crime.”
     
    Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar enterprise worldwide, and is widely considered one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world. The United Nations' International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, with hundreds of thousands of victims here in the United States.
     
    Hampton Roads billboard locations include:
    • 3210 Bainbridge Boulevard, near the intersection of Rosemont Avenue, Chesapeake, VA
    • US 60, near the intersection of Elmhurst Street East, Newport News, VA
    • 3601 Chestnut Avenue, near the intersection of 36th Street, Newport News, VA
    • 2720 Hampton Boulevard, near the intersection of 35th Street, Norfolk, VA
    • 2019 Granby Street, near the intersection of 21st Street, Norfolk, VA
    • 3001 Lafayette Boulevard, near the intersection of Ballentine Boulevard,Norfolk, VA
    • 2561 Airline Boulevard, near the intersection of Victory Boulevard,Portsmouth, VA
    • 3307 George Washington Highway, Portsmouth, VA
    “No one anticipated how prevalent the problem would be, we have opened three new shelters and served over 60 victims since the inception of the program 16 months ago,” said Robin Gautheir, Executive Director, Samaritan House.
    “We know that awareness and outreach are two important tools in identifying victims of human trafficking, and we hope this billboard campaign will encourage the public to report suspicious activity to us,” said Dewey Mann, supervisory special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Norfolk. “One of the task force’s first successful investigations began with a tip to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.”
     
    In November 2016, Attorney General Herring announced a $1.45 million grant that would help fund the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force, which we then launched in January of 2017. The Office of the Attorney General partnered with Homeland Security, Samaritan House, the US Attorney’s Office, Virginia State Police, and law enforcement agencies from Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth and Chesapeake for the task force. Since October 2016, just before the launch of the Hampton Roads Human Trafficking Task Force, there have been a total of 108 new trafficking investigations, 45 arrests, and 76 victims have been identified.
  16. Just in the STROKE of time! Community Out-Reach Education

    South Hill – Stroke is a serious, life-threatening medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.  Every minute the brain is oxygen deprived, brain cells are damaged.  The good news is, if the stroke is treated immediately, brain damage can be minimized. 
     
    As a Primary Stroke Center, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of stroke.  American Stroke Month in May gives us an important opportunity to join together to prevent, treat and beat the number five killer in the United States.
     
    How can a stroke be prevented?  What are clot busting drugs with new clot “retrievers”?  What are ways to beat stroke and manage fatigue and depression?
     
    If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend May’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about stroke.
     
    This FREE program will be on Tuesday, May 29th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center located inside the C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg, Avenue, South Hill, VA.
     
    Dr. Nina J. Solenski will be the speaker for the program.  She is an associate professor in neurology, subspecializing in cerebrovascular disease at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.  Dr. Solenski is a graduate of Jefferson Medical College (Philadelphia, PA ’89).  She received her residency training at Dartmouth Mary-Hitchcock in internal medicine and at University of Virginia in neurology.  She completed an ACGME accredited cerebrovascular disease fellowship training program at UVA in clinical and basic research.  She is currently dual APBN boarded in general and vascular neurology.
     
    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.
  17. A Touch of Elegance Moves to Halifax Street

    A ribbon cutting was held last week for A Touch of Elegance at their new building on Halifax Street. From the founder of the business, Darlene Cain:

    I began directing and decorating weddings many years ago with a friend in Carson. Over time, it truly became my passion. It was she that gave me the vision to open a business. Before then, it was a mere thought.  From there, A Touch of Elegance was birthed.

    In 2008, my husband and daughter stepped in as my business partners. We secured a permanent office location on Main St. in the same year. There we stayed for 9 years.   

    We moved to Halifax St. in January in this year.   Over the years, our business has tremendously evolved.  Initially, we focused on the planning, directing and decorating aspects of a wedding.  It has allowed us to travel for events out of town and even to the Governor’s mansion.   We are now truly a One Stop Shop.  

    We offer a wide range of products and services.   Wedding & Party planning, decorating & directing.  Linen Rentals.  Tuxedo rentals.   Catering.  (Large crowds, family reunions, graduations &  private parties).

    We have quite a few local businesses that continue to support our business.   We’d like to thank Delegate Tyler for giving us our first big break and most recently the Emporia/Greensville Chamber of Commerce for their ongoing support.

    Tags: 

  18. Margaret Hobbs Wright

    Margaret Hobbs Wright died on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at her home in Emporia. She was the daughter of the late Waverly P. Hobbs, Sr. and Sally Newsome Hobbs. 

    She is survived by her husband, Ernest Milton Wright of Emporia; sister, Dora H. Doyle of Emporia; special friend, Kathy B. Tuck of Emporia; and several nieces and nephews. She was a former worker at Southampton Textile.

    A graveside service will be held at Greensville Memorial Cemetery on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Brian Mallary officiating.

    Condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

  19. Greensville County Public Schools Names New Superintendent

    Emporia, VA – Dr. Kim Evans was appointed as the next superintendent of Greensville County Public Schools at this evening’s school board meeting. Her new position will be effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Evans has more than 27 years’ experience working in public education in Virginia. Since 2014, she has served as the assistant superintendent of schools in Hopewell City Public Schools. She has also worked in Dinwiddie County, Colonial Heights, and Mecklenburg County Public Schools.

    “I am excited, honored, and humbled to have been chosen as the new superintendent of Greensville County Public Schools and look forward to working collaboratively with the school board, staff, parents and community,” said Evans. “I’m committed to providing all students with an exceptional educational experience which will assist them in becoming productive members of an ever-changing global society.”

    Rhonda Jones-Gilliam, chairman of the Greensville County School Board, believes Dr. Evans will be a great fit for the division. She stated, “We welcome Dr. Evans to Greensville County Public Schools. Her experience, leadership and professionalism will be a great asset to the division and community.”

    Evans earned a Doctor and Master of Educational Administration and Supervision from Virginia State University, and a Bachelor of Science in business education from Norfolk State University.

    The Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) assisted the Greensville County school board with the superintendent search process

  20. Rose Allen Crowned "Best in Show" at 10th Doggie Fashion Show


     

    Second Runner-up and winner of the Large Breed Group - Luna Taylor owned by Chelsea Taylor is a 5 pound black and white Black Lab Mix weighing 60 pounds. She enjoys tugging on her favorite rope toy, napping and swimming, and performing for treats - she knows how to sit. She loves getting belly-rubs.

    First Runner-up and winner of the Small Breed Group - Bailey Baker owned by Natalie Baker is a white and black Malshie (a mix between a Maltese and Shih Tzu) and weighs 13 pounds. Bailey loves meeting new people (and having them pick her up), the beach, playing in the sand and riding in the car with her mom.

    Best In Show and winner of the Medium Breed Group - Rose Allen owned by Aimee Allen is a red-coated English Bulldog. Rose weighs 43 pounds and is the baby of the family. rose loves to cuddle and be held, going to work with her mom and treats.

    Other winners, not pictured, include:

    Best Costume - Lucy Pitt owned by Ashley and Dane Pitt.

    Best Look Alike - Chevy Watson owned by Nancy Whatson.

    Best Personallity - Vanna White Allen owned by Aimee Allen

  21. FIRST LADY APPLAUDS SVCC GRADUATES

    Group of Greensville County High School students attending SVCC graduation and receiving their degrees, diplomas and certificates.

    Samantha Kery Dickens of Greensville County High School was among the graduates at SVCC.

    Proud graduates from Southside Virginia Community College are (Left to Right) Ingrid Fogg of Kenbridge, David Evans of Lawrenceville, and Melissa Wood of Jarrett.

    “You made it.  Give yourselves a round of applause,” said Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam as a greeting to the class of 2018 of Southside Virginia Community College at Commencement on May 12 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.  Under blue skies and what the Mrs. Northam called ‘Texas Heat’, SVCC celebrated 946 credit graduates along with 238 students receiving workforce credentials.

    “I bring congratulations from the Governor.  We are proud of you as you finish this hard-won journey,” she said.  She noted that change takes courage and reminded the crowd that “Virginians have always been explorers, revolutionaries and innovators.”

    “We are at our best when we challenge ourselves,” she said.

    She also spoke of community colleges being a critical aspect of education and workforce training in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She noted that Virginia is a commonwealth instead of a state meaning that its citizens work for the common good of all. 

    “When you began this journey, it may have seemed like a mission impossible.  I am so happy to celebrate with you…mission accomplished,” she said.

    “Virginia has a history of leading the way, we have a chance to do that again, you are our best asset and greatest treasure,” she concluded.

    Pamela Northam became the First Lady of Virginia when her husband, Governor Ralph Northam, was sworn in as governor of January 13, 2018.  Aneducator,environmentalist and longtimeadvocate,Mrs. Northam has taken a leading role in Hampton Roads and Virginiatoprotectwaterqualityandimprovethehealthof the Chesapeake Bay.

    During the ceremony, the college awarded two Honorary Associate Degrees in Humane Letters.  These are conferred by the State Board for Community Colleges in recognition of distinguished achievement.  These were presented to Dietra Y. Trent, Ph.D., former Secretary of Education for Virginia and a strong advocate and true champion of education.  A native of Halifax County, she has a fondness for the college that serves her community.

    Also awarded was Russell B. Clark.  In his role as County Administrator for Charlotte, he was on the job for 37 years, and worked collaboratively with SVCC, other county governments and many partners through the state for the betterment of the area.  He is a member of the SVCC Foundation Board of Directors, serves on the board for Virginia’s Heartland Regional Partnership, Virginia’s Growth Alliance and the Bank of Charlotte County. 

    Honors program graduates were Katelyn Bryant and Emily Davis. Two students were nominated this year and named to the All-Virginia Academic Team sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa.  These students were recognized as well, Anesia Powell and Sara Ruotolo-Sarnataro.

    Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, conferred the degrees on the SVCC students, shaking each hand as they crossed the stage.






    City of Emporia/Greensville County
    Robert Jeffrey Barrientos Emporia Presley Dakota Walton Emporia
    Ashley Nichole Butler Emporia Adrian Simone Boney Emporia
    TaNyla Niasia Evans Emporia Patrick Jerome Hamp Emporia
    Markeisha Denise Green Emporia Ziaria Renee Dickerson Skippers
    Lori Leigh Hafey Emporia Hunter Christian Smith Skippers
    Chyna Lynette Harrison-Pegram Emporia Madison Drew Whitby Skippers
    Evaughn Unique Hill Emporia Jaden DaVarius Young Skippers
    Haley Sheree Jones Emporia Samantha Kery Dickens Skippers
    Kimberli Michele Lawhon Emporia Leslie Elam Williams Skippers
    Khalill E Lewis Emporia Destini Janea Banks Jarratt
    Quaniyah Ta'Haven Lewis Emporia Kenneth Wayne Skipper Jarratt
    Promise   Long III Emporia Melissa Elyse Wood Jarratt
    Deborah A Mason Emporia Ronlecia Shanaye Tyler Jarratt
    Tyrell Elizah Mays Emporia Gary Arlestus Bryant Jarratt
    Fredrick Cordale Miles Emporia Hunter Steven Rae Jarratt
    Shawn Elizabeth Miller Emporia Lindsey Makenah Gordon Jarratt
    Dana Lashae Mitchell Emporia Ry'shawn Linwood Sykes Jarratt
    Magda Ezzat Mohamed Emporia Kiara Videja High Jarratt
    Dustin Wayne Moseley Emporia Samantha Lynn Richard Jarratt
    Julie Thi Nguyen Powell Emporia Amber Lynn Lowe Jarratt
    Kuldeep Kumar Mahesh Patel Emporia Lisa R Gillam Jarratt
    Patricia Demetria Rice Emporia Rebecca W Adams Jarratt
    Amy Arrington Sloan Emporia Brunswick County
    Akia Sindrea Squire Emporia Kristen Nichole Baird Lawrenceville
    Demona Ky'Asia Stephens Emporia Ahmed Abdelkarem Belghith Lawrenceville
    Dymond Jamilla Sykes Emporia Kathy Marie Binarao Lawrenceville
    Courtney Shakera Turner Emporia Kayla Marie Binarao Lawrenceville
    Victoria Blaire Wright Emporia Tammy Nicole Cypress Lawrenceville
    Kamareye YaQuell Sykes Emporia Albertina Patrice Drumgold Lawrenceville
    Brittney Renee Mason Emporia Cadidra Denise Goodman Lawrenceville
    Alice   Wong Emporia Travis W Jones Lawrenceville
    Eboni Denise Layton Emporia Athena Marie Martin Lawrenceville
    AuBiranna Nicole Mobley Emporia Jordan Nyjah McMillan Lawrenceville
    Tatiyuana Lache Michael Emporia Elois Lorraine Morris Lawrenceville
    Divinity La'Mae Pettaway Emporia Anesia LeNell Powell Lawrenceville
    Qui'Meia Chante' Morrow Emporia Jamarcus Dion Reid Lawrenceville
    Antoine Lavosier Price Jr. Emporia Ayanna Delmari Coleman Lawrenceville
    Twanda Diane Dillard Emporia Bryana Latasha Murphy Lawrenceville
    Shayana Daishanique Tanner Emporia Tyreese J. Fisher Lawrenceville
    Stephon Caderra Cain Emporia David Dacoda Major Lawrenceville
    Jarell Clinton Hines Emporia Justin Nathaniel Jackson Lawrenceville
    Desiree Michelle Whitehead Emporia Aliyah Nicole Mangrum Lawrenceville
    Preston   Battle IV Emporia Shawna Victoria Lee Lawrenceville
    Tyler Mason Prince Emporia Jayvonte KaVon Elder Lawrenceville
    Signora Quinae Wyche Emporia Gavin Ezekiel Rasner Lawrenceville
    Hannah Claire Geist Emporia Shanice Danielle Jackson Lawrenceville
    Nia'Lynn Alexis Lee Emporia Ashley Brooke Roberts Lawrenceville
    Teryeja Monae Parker Emporia Dillion Jammal Preston Lawrenceville
    Dawson T Coker Emporia Tyana Monique Strong Lawrenceville
    Kyle Henry Rodriguez Emporia Destiny Shardaney Smith Lawrenceville
    Taylor Michelle Powell Emporia Tiquan Malik Goode Lawrenceville
    Savanna Alexis Jones Emporia Tracey Lee Edmonds Lawrenceville
    Courtney Renee' Terry Emporia Cody Michael Marston Lawrenceville
    Erikah Dy'Nequa Broadnax Emporia Maygan Effie Clary Lawrenceville
    DeAndre Marquees Anderson Emporia Kenneth Cole Williams Lawrenceville
    Fitzgerald   Marcelin Jr. Emporia Sabrina O'Keefe Burns Lawrenceville
    Sarah Morgan Harvey Emporia Sterling Darrell Meade Jr. Lawrenceville
    Lauren Michelle Totino Emporia Taniah Nichole Easter Lawrenceville
    Stephanie Merritt Ferguson Emporia Colby Alan Crutchfield Lawrenceville
    Laurie-Ashley Elizabeth Sampson Emporia David Tyler Evans Lawrenceville
    Catherine Ann Weaver Emporia Grayson Shea Hudson Brodnax
    Nidhi Milan Brahmbhatt Emporia Herbert Andrew Burgart Jr. Brodnax
    Britney   Saleeby Emporia Angel Michelle-Renee Clark Brodnax
    Sharayquan Marcellous Wood Emporia Jeremey Alexander Goss Brodnax
    Makenzie Nicole Link Emporia Ashley Nicole Jones Brodnax
    Mikayla Gabrielle Harrison Emporia Trinate Sad'e King Brodnax
    Jayquan Arturo Simmons Emporia Stephanie Marie Morris Brodnax
    De'Ja Alexis Mangrum Emporia Katelyn Marie Sharber Brodnax
    Destiny TaLiscia Mangrum Emporia Janizha Kaleah Walker Brodnax
    Omar Tyree Banks Emporia Regina M Warmouth Brodnax
    Laticia Danielle Cain Emporia Dylan Franklin Weed Brodnax
    Jada Denise Brown Emporia Jesse Dallas James Brodnax
    Catherine Camille Robinson Emporia Eric Dwayne Brazeal Brodnax
    Ziliko Zannelle Seldon Emporia Kelci Faith Spence Brodnax
    Gabriel Lorenzo Drewry Emporia Katlyn Rose Sadler Brodnax
    Amanda Leagh Huskey Emporia Danielle Angelica Valentine Brodnax
    Jasmine Leneise Terry Emporia Christopher Wayne Chandler Brodnax
    Kadaja Shante' Tennessee Emporia Kitiko Andrea Davis Jr. Broadnax
    Tiarra Nicole Thomas Emporia Dynasia Margarite Holmes Brodnax
    Brady Lamar Perkins Emporia Margarete Leane Davis Dolphin
    Robert Todd Thorpe Emporia T'zharay Jahmiel Valentine Dolphin
    Brooklyn Shayla Mason Emporia TaNeisha Mae Moore Ebony
    Sabrina Genell Britt Emporia Kashayla Monea Macklin Ebony
    Zaykeese L Dunn Emporia Jazmine Dominque Eccleston Ebony
    Robert SeQuan Mullins IV Emporia Beth Holloway Elliott Freeman
    Zariah Noel Powell Emporia Sherry D Wall Freeman
    Khari Z Carr Emporia Aaliyadriah Love Cleaton Freeman
    Tyshera Janae Bittle Emporia Kelita Arella Trotter Freeman
    Tia Shawane Powell Emporia Corey Lamont Long Jr. Freeman
    Shaquella Jenay Stephens Emporia Torri Marie Long Freeman
    Willie Lee Valentine Emporia Tiara Shantelle Bobbitt Freeman
    Akayla RaShay Benton Emporia Hailey Karissa Roberts Gasburg
    Ziaire Sade Bynum Emporia Ethan Thomas Warwick Gasburg
    Cheryl Kelly Moody Emporia Emily Elizabeth Watts Gasburg
    Markel ShaCoy Threat Emporia Carli Marie Inge Gasburg
    Aikayla Lyshelle Green Emporia Sussex County
    Jermari O'Neal Walton Emporia Austin Blake Lewis Stony Creek
    Jada Chantay Banks Emporia Carter Garnett Lewis Stoney Creek
    Kailee Star Phillips Emporia Southampton County
    Ja'Zona Le'Ann Spates Emporia Sateria Antonia Adams Capron
    Trinitey Divine Myles Emporia
    Nicholas Coletran Wells Emporia
    Caroline Layne Taylor Emporia
    Malik LaDarius Ellsworth Emporia
    Rahmi-Iyl Imamm Jennings Emporia
    Charles Isaac Gregory III Emporia
  22. Meherrin River expected to Crest at 24.6 Feet

    With all of the recent rain here and to our west, the Meherrin River has overtopped the dam and is at of it's banks and we are currently under a Flood Warning.

    Do not attempt to drive through standing water.

    Below is a chart of the flood stages of the Meherrin River at the Emporia Gauge:

    Depth Condition
    36.1 River stage sensor operating limit
    34 Water begins to flow across the Hicksford Ave Bridge.
    33.5 Water reaches the intersection of Center St and High St.
    30 Water reaches the entrance to Meherrin River Park along Hicksford Ave.
    25

    Homes on Center St between Cleveland Ave and Monroe St are inundated.  Homes along Meherrin Park Rd

    begin to flood and the ball fields in the EGRA park are flooded.

    24 Portions of Center St begin to flood and some residential areas are threatened.
    23 Flood waters infiltrate sewer system. The parking lot next to the ball fields in EGRA Park begins to flood.
    20 Water reaches the top of the boat ramp in the Meherrin River Park/EGRA Park.
    19 Water covers the walking bridge in the Meherrin River Park.
    16 Meherrin River Park and Veterans Memorial Park are closed to public access.
    15 Water begins to cover portions of the walking trail in the Meherrin River Park.
    13 Cautionary stage. Water begins to overflow the banks in the Meherrin River Park.
  23. Phi Theta Kappa Honors Sutdents

    The Phi Theta Kappa 2018 All-Virginia Academic Team Awards Program was held recently in Richmond, Virginia.  Two students from Southside Virginia Community College were among the nominees for this award and chosen for the All-Virginia Team.  These students are Anesia Powell of Greensville and Sarah Ruotolo-Sarnataro of Halifax.  Shown in the photo with her medal is Anesia (Center) and Dr. Al Roberts (Left) and Dr. Glen DuBois (Right), Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System.  

    Anesia Powell is a senior at Greensville County High School.  She currently has a 4.1 GPA and class rank is 6 out of 177.  She has been a member of GCHS school’s Beta Club for 3 years and this year she had the honor to serve as president.  She is dually enrolled at Southside Virginia Community College and when she graduates from high school, she will also have an associate degree.   After graduation, she plans to double major in finance and marketing at Old Dominion University in the fall 2018.

  24. State Board Sets Tuition for 2018-2019 Academic Year

    RICHMOND —The State Board for Community Colleges established the 2018-2019 academic year in-state tuition and mandatory fees rate at $154 per credit hour today at its regular May meeting. Beginning this fall, in-state students will pay an additional $3.75 per credit hour – an increase of 2.5 percent – meaning the cost of a typical three-hour class will increase by $11.25, and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will increase by $112.50.

    The new rate keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs of attending Virginia’s public four-year universities.

    Virginia’s Community Colleges will use the tuition increase to pay a share of rising employee fringe benefit costs; strategic enrollment initiatives; costs associated with using various Virginia administrative systems; and facility maintenance and operating costs.

    “Today’s decision requires us to find the balance necessary to advance two different priorities,” said Eleanor Saslaw, chair of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. “College affordability remains essential to the community college mission, and we’ve honored that. Meanwhile, resources are needed to increase student advising and other essential initiatives, like those identified in last fall’s JLARC report on our colleges, to help more students succeed and complete their programs of study. I believe we are honoring those needs too.”

    Out-of-state tuition

    The State Board increased the tuition rate for out-of-state students by $3.75 per credit hour to a total of $351.60 per credit hour.

    Out-of-state students make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

    Tuition differentials

    There were no differential tuition increase requests for fall 2018, meaning that the tuition differential rates remain unchanged from last year for the eight colleges that implement them  (Germanna, John Tyler, Northern Virginia, Piedmont Virginia, Reynolds, Tidewater, Thomas Nelson, and Virginia Western).

  25. Donald John Bowen

    Donald John Bowen, of Emporia, passed away May 14, 2018, at Southside Virginia Regional Medical Center at the age of 65.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Russell (Honey) A. Bowen, Jr. and Olga Ondov Bowen, and two sisters, Dorothy Bowen Leonard of Suffolk, Virginia, and Judy Bowen Jones of Emporia. 

    Donald is survived by his brother, William Bowen of Eure, North Carolina; brother-in-law, Donald L. Jones, Sr. and wife Carol; nephews, Gene C. Leonard, Jr. and Donald (Buck) L. Jones, Jr. and nieces, Sharon Leonard Adkison, Anne Marie Leonard and Mary Beth Bowen Maitland. 

    Donald grew up working in his family’s business, Bowen Gas & Electric.  He graduated from Brunswick Academy in 1972.  In 1997, he started Computer Networking Services, following his love of all things electrical.  Donald will forever be remembered by his dear friends and clients, who were also his family.

    A graveside service will be held at the Emporia Cemetery Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., with the Reverend Robert W. Griles presiding.   Memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.  Online condolences can be made to echolsfuneralhome.com.

     

  26. Joan Liebold Dolloff

    Joan Liebold Dolloff, of Queens, NY, died on Friday, May 18, 2018, at Greensville Manor in Emporia, VA. She was the daughter of the late Herbert Liebold and Margaret Schaffer Liebold. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Craig Charles Dolloff.

    She is survived by her husband, Donald T. Dolloff of Emporia; two daughters, Diane Dolloff of San Francisco, CA and Cynthia Dolloff of Carmel, N.Y.; son, Donald T. Dolloff Jr. and wife Denise of Waterboro, ME; brother, Herbert Liebold of Cresco, PA ;   four grandchildren, Kaitlyn Dolloff, Allison Joan Dolloff, Amethyst Arbore, and Dustin Arbore. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.

    A visitation will be held in the Echols Funeral home Chapel on Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 7:00 P.M until 8:30 P.M. A service will be held in the Echols Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. with Father Joker “Jong” R. Bayta officiating. Interment will follow at the Emporia Cemetery.

    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org or to the Animal Welfare Society of Kennebunk, ME at animalwelfaresociety.org.

    Condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

  27. Stephen Peter Skowronski

    Stephen Peter Skowronski, 68, passed away at home on May 19, 2018. He was preceded in death by one son, Benjamin Andrew Skowronski.

    He is survived by his wife, Gayle Ligon Skowronski, and a sister, Donna Clymer of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is also survived by a brother-in-law, George Benjamin Ligon, Jr. (Mary), sister-in-law, Sandra L. Allen (Kenny), and many nieces and nephews.

    Steve had a love for the game of golf and was an accomplished golf course and turf management superintendent.

    A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 2:30 P.M. at the Emporia Cemetery on Brunswick Ave. in Emporia, VA.

    In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org, by phone 1-800-822-6344, or by mail at: 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

    Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

  28. Brunswick Academy Graduation

        

        

    Baccalaureate Service will be held in the Brunswick Academy Gymnasium on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.  The guest speaker will be Reverend Dan Jarrell of  New Hope Baptist Church in South Hill, Virginia.  Commencement Exercises will be held on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  Thirty-four seniors will be graduating. The valedictorian is Zachary Earle Clary, son of Mr. and Mrs. Rick Clary of Bracey.  The salutatorian is Sydney Nicole Robertson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Robertson of Lawrenceville.  Zachary Clary will be attending the College of William and Mary.  Sydney Robertson will be attending James Madison University.

    There will be two other honor graduates at this year’s graduation.  They are Heather Dianne Thompson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Thompson of  Emporia and Benjamin Wilson Lewis, son of Mrs. Tracy Lee of Jarratt and Mr. F. W. Lewis of Stony Creek. Heather Thompson will be attending the University of Virginia. Benjamin Lewis will be attending Marymount Manhattan College. 

    Seventeen seniors are children of Brunswick Academy alumni.

  29. MAY 2018 BA STUDENT OF THE MONTH JACKSON OWEN COMBS

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that JACKSON OWEN COMBS has been chosen the May 2018 Student of the Month. Jackson, a senior, is the son of Mark and Kerrie Combs of Emporia.  He has one sister, Olivia, also a student at Brunswick Academy. Jackson has played JV and Varsity Football, (Captain) and Varsity Baseball (Captain).  He has received multiple All Conference awards while playing sports at Brunswick Academy.   He was a member of the Student Council Organization and the Spanish Club.   

    Jackson is a member of Boy Scout Troop #232 of Purdy.  He has attained the rank of Eagle Scout.  He is an active member of the Main Street United Methodist Church in Emporia.  He reads scripture during services and has attended 5 mission trips with the youth group at church. 

    Jackson loves to play golf, hunt and go to Lake Gaston.  He recently joined a kickball team with his classmates. 

    He will attend West Virginia University in the fall where he plans to major in Forest Resource Management.

  30. MAY 2018 BA STUDENT OF THE MONTH MATTHEW TYLER HARRISON

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Matthew Tyler Harrison has been chosen the May 2018 Student of the Month.  Matthew, a senior, is the son of Matthew and Patricia Harrison of Warfield.   Matthew has played JJV, JV and Varsity Basketball while at Brunswick Academy.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, The BA Honor Council, Latin Club and Junior Beta Club. 

    Harrison works tirelessly in his family business, Nottoway Restaurant.  In his spare time, Matthew enjoys fishing, the beach and any outdoor activity. 

    He will attend Southside Virginia Community College for two years and then transfer to Virginia Tech.  He plans to major in Business Administration and Management.

  31. Aprill 2018 BA Student of the Month - Benjamin Wilson Lewis

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Benjamin Wilson Lewis has been chosen the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month for April. 2018.  Ben, a senior is the son of F.W. Lewis of Stony Creek and Mrs. Tracy Lee of Jarratt. Ben has one sister, Madison, who is a Brunswick Academy graduate and one step-brother, Ryan Lee. 

    Ben is in the Brunswick Academy Honors Program, which is the most rigourous and challenging program of studies.  Consistently, he has made the honor roll. 

    Since the seventh grade, Ben has been chosen to be his Class President.  He is a member of Junior Beta Club, President of the National Honor Society, Vice-President of the SCO and Secretary of the Honor Council. 

    He participates in AVA Forensics and has received numerous awards since 9th grade. He was the recipient of the BA Varsity Forensics award in 10th and 11th grade.   He took first place in the State of Virginia for the Riparian Woman’s Club Poetry Contest in 2013.

    Ben has been a nine-year member and stage manager of the Brunswick Academy Theatre.  He has held roles in various productions and this year he was the co-star in the production of White Christmas.     

    Since the 8th grade, Ben has been a member of the Junior Classical League (Latin Club).   Within this group he has held the position of Philanthropic chair, Vice-President and currently Co-President.   Ben was a three-year member of the Brunswick Academy Scholastic Bowl team and a three-year member of the Yearbook staff.    Ben led the Public Relations Committee for Brunswick Academy’s “Lone Star Relief Effort” to provide aid for those persons affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.  

    Ben was a Junior Marshal and received the “I Dare You” Award for Leadership at last year’s graduation.   He will be an Honor Graduate for the Class of 2018.  

    In his spare time, Ben takes piano lessons and is a counselor for children for Grades K-5 at the YMCA of Greensville-Emporia.  He was chosen employee of the Month at the YMCA. 

    Ben will attend the Honor’s Program at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.  He will major in Cinema, Television and Emerging Media. 

  32. Replace Your Social Security Card Online

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

    Need to replace your lost or misplaced Social Security card? If you live in a qualifying state, our online application makes getting a replacement card easier than ever. There’s no need to sit in traffic or visit a local office or Card Center.

    As long as you’re only requesting a replacement card, and no other changes, you can use our free online service from the comfort of your home or office. All you need to do is create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

    Your identity and personal information matter to us. We protect your information by using strict identity verification and security features. The application process has built-in features to detect fraud and confirm your identity. Once you have a personal account, simply follow the instructions to replace your Social Security card.

    In many cases, even if you lost your card, you may not need a replacement. Most of the time, simply knowing your Social Security number is enough. Visit our website to find out whether you can request your replacement Social Security card online or what the requirements are in your area at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/.

  33. Ronald Baldwin Hughes, Sr.

    Ronald B. Hughes, Sr., 90, passed away early Tuesday in Virginia Beach. Ron was born in Havre de Grace, MD to the late Clinton and Lydia Hughes.

    Ron was a United States Navy veteran of WWII and he later retired as a District Traffic Manager from the Civil Service. His hobbies include playing golf and duck hunting in the Chesapeake Bay.

    He is also predeceased by his wife, Ethel Hughes. Ron is survived by his son, Ronald B. Hughes, Jr. and a granddaughter, Melanie Hughes.

    A memorial service was conducted at 2pm, Wednesday, May 9, 2018. A private burial will take place at Emporia Cemetery in Emporia, VA at a later date. Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com

  34. Richard Harold Deal

    Richard Harold Deal died on February 6, 2018. He was a native of Emporia and a United States Navy veteran.

    A graveside memorial service, with military honors, will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Emporia Cemetery with the Rev. Brad Barbour officiating.

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

  35. New Nurses Pinned

    Southside Virginia Community College held at Pinning Ceremony for those successfully completing the Associate Degree Nursing Program.  This program prepares students to become Registered Nurses.  Those who attended classes at the Christanna Campus are: 

    1st row left to right:  Brandi Harrell of Baskerville, Beth Holloway Elliott of Freeman;2nd row left to right: Demetria Anderson of Blackstone, Amber Miles of Blackstone, Patricia Rice of Emporia;3rd row left to right: Emily Watts of Gasburg, Victoria Finch of South Hill, Julie Thi Nguyen-Powell of Emporia, Allison Cheely of Blackstone.

  36. Greensville County High School SkillsUSA Wins National Public Relations Media Award

    First row: Jody Kane, CTE Coordinator; Nathanial Grizzard, SkillsUSA member; Samantha Dickens, SkillsUSA Member and President;  LaMeka Harrison, GCHS Principal. Second row: Stephen Wells, Advisor; Joshua Sutton, SkillsUSA Member and Treasurer; Destiny Johnson, SkillsUSA Member and Secretary; Marsha Campbell, Advisor; and James Wright, Advisor.

    The online challenge encouraged local chapters and state officer teams to demonstrate how they showcased SkillsUSA to the news media in ways that highlighted career and technical education opportunities and student success. The purpose of the challenge was to help students grow in their communication and teamwork skills and to promote SkillsUSA to a wider audience. Teams promoted SkillsUSA to a minimum of three audiences in the community and then documented all media coverage.

    The public relations challenge was open from Sept. 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018. The required media coverage period was three months to six months. Coverage included broadcast television, print media, social media and video posts, blogs, and school newspapers.

    The goal of the challenge was to gain positive local media attention for schools, programs, and events. Participation in the SkillsUSA Public Relations Challenge supported the program of work and chapter standards by helping students learn to document and measure efforts. 

    GCHS SkillsUSA received a grant of $300 in recognition of their media efforts this school year. The first-place school winner and SkillsUSA Media Champion was Hueytown High School, in Hueytown, Ala. 

    SkillsUSA’s head advisor is carpentry instructor, James Wright. Remaining SkillsUSA advisors are: Welding Instructor, Jerry Brown; Economics and Personal Finance Instructor, Marsha Campbell; Graphic Imaging Instructor, Dennis Holland; Culinary Arts Instructor, Stephen Wells; and Drafting Instructor, Gerald Wozniak. GCHS CTE Coordinators are Jody Kane and Courtney Mosley. .

    The members and advisors will receive additional recognition at the SkillsUSA National Leadership Conference, June 25-30, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. Students will be sponsoring fundraisers throughout May. Please support the club in their efforts to attend the national conference. Members are currently selling tickets for the Annual Boston Butt until the day of the sale, Wednesday, May 23, 2018.  Please see any member to purchase a Boston Butt party pack for $50.00 or Boston Butt Only for $35.00.

    If you would like to make a donation to support the club, send to Greensville County High School SkillsUSA Club, 403 Harding Street Emporia, Virginia, 23847. If you need additional information please contact one of the advisors: James E. Wright, Jerry Brown, Marsha Campbell, Stephen Wells, Gerald Wozinak, or Brittany Wright at 434-634-2195. Greensville County High School SkillsUSA would like to extend a special thanks to the GCHS CTE Department, GCHS faculty, parents, and community for their continued support and donations to the club.

  37. VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month

    (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Ashley Wray, Registered Nurse in Surgical Services, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for April.  There to congratulate Ashley was Joanne Paynter, Director of Perioperative Surgical Services.

    Ashely has been employed at VCU Health CMH for 13 years.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH.  The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “Ashley has always demonstrated pride in her work at CMH and has exhibited true teamwork.  She has recently taken on working every weekend and also helped in the ER when needed.  Even though this wasn’t her normal area, she remained upbeat and positive through a very busy day.  Ashley definitely demonstrated STAR service by going above and beyond to offer support to another area that she knew was in need.”  “Ashley is a remarkable person.  She is very willing to do whatever is asked of her.  Ashley always represents this hospital well and is a true STAR performer.” 

    In addition to the award certificate, Ashley 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.

    Ashley resides in LaCrosse, VA.

  38. Congressman McEachin to Host 2nd Annual Parent Power Forum

    Petersburg, Va. – SATURDAY, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host his annual “Know Your Rights: Parent Power Forum” at Petersburg High School to provide parents and caregivers with information about their student’s rights in the classroom. Attendees will be able to benefit from a panel discussion and workshops lead by experienced educators, school administrators, parents, and education advocates.

    Who:    Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Mayor Samuel Parham (Petersburg), Mr. Kenneth Pritchett, Chair of the Petersburg School Board, and Dr. William Wynn, Principal of Petersburg High School

    What:  Congressman McEachin’s annual “Know Your Rights: Parent Power Forum” aims to provide parents and caregivers with information about their student’s rights in the classroom with a panel discussion and workshops lead by experienced educators, school administrators, parents, and education advocates. The information will focus on ways to better support the needs of students with special needs and different learning abilities.

    When: SATURDAY, May 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Where: Petersburg High School, 3101 Johnson Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805

  39. COMCAST NBCUNIVERSAL AWARDS $83,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS TO 74 VIRGINIA HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

    Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program Recognizes Students’ Achievements Both In and Out of the Classroom

    Richmond, VA – May 11, 2018 – Comcast NBCUniversal today announced that it has awarded approximately $83,000 in scholarships for the 2018-19 school year to 74 Virginia students as part of its annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program. The program, funded by the Comcast Foundation, is a one-time, $1,000 scholarship awarded to the best and brightest high school seniors for their community service, academic performance and leadership skills. Since 2001, more than $28 million has been awarded to nearly 27,000 high school seniors across the country as part of the Leaders and Achievers Program.

    “All of our Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners show a strong commitment to their communities and academic achievement,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments and look forward to supporting them as they further their education.”

    Comcast, joined by the Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and other elected officials and school administrators, recognized the students at a special event held at the Virginia State Capitol on Thursday, May 10. One student, Tai-Tonia Owens, a senior at Armstrong High School in Richmond was selected to receive an additional $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship — instituted in honor of Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation.

    “Congratulations to all of the recipients of this year’s Leaders and Achievers scholarships,” said Governor Ralph Northam. "And, thank you to Comcast for supporting our future leaders as they continue their education. I am honored to see so many community, academic and leadership achievements from students throughout Virginia.”

    The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students who strive to achieve their full potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools, and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people every opportunity to prepare for the future and to engage them in their communities. The program also demonstrates the importance of civic involvement, and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.
     
    Visit here to learn more.

    2018 Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Recipients from Our Region

    A

    Emporia

    Destiny Mangrum of Greensville County High School

    Sussex County

    Rebekah Shabazz of Sussex Central High School

  40. CSI: Career Scene Investigation

    Special Summer Camp for Middle School Students

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

    A special, one-week, summer camp has been planned for the last week in July entitled, “CSI: Career Scene Investigation” and will focus on the many exciting career opportunities that are available in health care.  Partnering with Southside Virginia Community College, VCU Health CMH will choose fifteen middle school students who have an interest in a health career to attend this summer’s health care camp during the week of  – July 30th  – August 3rd   .   

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

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

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

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

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

    Applications for the camp may be obtained through each school’s guidance counselor, online by visiting vcuhealth.org, from VCU Health CMH’s Education Department or Human Resources.  For more information or for an application, please call Hazel Willis at (434) 584-5438.

  41. ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING ANNOUNCES ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AGAINST UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS

    RICHMOND (May 11, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that he has taken enforcement actions against three unlicensed contractors operating in Virginia. The three unlicensed contractors are Ricky Harmon Pettit, operating under Pettit’s Home Improvement, Ricky H. Pettit Home Improvement, and R. H. Pettit Builders in Central and Northern Virginia; Timothy Oneal White, operating as White Renovation and Construction and White Renovations in the City of Roanoke; and Gerald Lee Whitfield, operating as Whitfield’s Home Improvements in the City of Chesapeake. Each of the unlicensed contractors allegedly committed numerous violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act, which generally prohibits the use of any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation in connection with a consumer transaction.
     
    “No one should have to worry about whether the contractor they have hired to work on their home is licensed or trained to do the work they say they can,” said Attorney General Herring. “These unlicensed contractors are not only lying to consumers they are potentially putting them in danger with shoddy workmanship. My Consumer Protection section will continue to investigate claims of fraud and abuse against consumers and take action where we can to stop it.”
     
    Ricky Harmon Pettit – Pettit’s Home Improvement, Ricky H. Pettit Home Improvement, and R. H. Pettit Builders
    The Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Ricky Harmon Pettit for providing unlicensed contractor work in consumers’ homes in Central and Northern Virginia. The lawsuit alleges that in several instances Pettit offered contractor services to consumers, obtained money before performing those services, and failed to complete those services. Pettit also falsely told consumers that he was insured and licensed with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation Board for Contractors. The Complaint alleges Pettit violated the Consumer Protection Act by:
     
    • Representing that he was a plumber, when he has never held a tradesmen license with a plumbing specialty as required by statute;
    • Taking payments of $2,524.99 from one consumer to install floor and wall tiles in a bathroom, and later install a toilet, pedestal sink, and water heater, and never finishing the work;
    • Taking payments of $21,000.00 from another consumer to renovate the consumer’s kitchen, and never finishing the work;
    • Representing himself as licensed and insured on business documents including an invoice, a business card, a written contract, and his website, when Pettit was not licensed and insured;
    • Making other false statements and unfulfilled promises throughout his transactions with consumers; and
    • Undertaking work without a valid Virginia contractor’s license when a license is required.
     
    Timothy Oneal White – White Renovation and Construction, and White Renovations
    The Attorney General reached a settlement with Timothy Oneal White related to unlicensed contractor work performed in the City of Roanoke. Specifically, the Attorney General alleges that White violated the Consumer Protection Act by, among other things:
     
    • Undertaking work without a valid Virginia contractor’s license;
    • Taking payments of $6,650 from one consumer to complete various renovations to the consumer’s home bathroom including plumbing to make it accessible for persons with mobility issues, and never finishing the work;
    • Representing that he was a plumber, when he has never held a tradesmen license with a plumbing specialty as required by statute; and
    • Making various other misrepresentations and deceptions in his interactions with the consumer.
     
    Under the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, White is prohibited from operating as a contractor without a required license and will have to pay $6,650 in restitution to the affected consumer, $2,500 for civil penalties and $500 for attorney’s fees and expenses. The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance has been adopted and approved by the Roanoke City Circuit Court.
     
    Gerald Lee Whitfield – Whitfield’s Home Improvements
    The Attorney General has reached a settlement with Gerald Lee Whitfield alleging that Whitfield committed numerous violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by:
     
    • Undertaking work without a valid Virginia contractor’s license;
    • Taking payments of $8,796 from one consumer to complete various remodeling projects in the consumer’s home, including framing, hanging drywall, painting, and refinishing floors, and never finishing the work;
    • Describing himself in writing as a “Contractor”;
    • Representing that he was licensed to do electrical work, when he has never held a tradesmen license with an electrical specialty as required by statute; and
    • Making various other false statements and unfulfilled promises in his interactions with the consumer.
     
    Under the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Whitfield will be prohibited from operating as a contractor and electrician and will have to pay $4,398 for restitution to the affected consumer, $2,000 for civil penalties, and $500 for attorneys’ fees and expenses. The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance has been filed for approval with the Chesapeake Circuit Court.
     
    The three matters were handled for the Commonwealth by Assistant Attorney General Stephen John Sovinsky and Investigator Christopher Olson.
     
    Consumers are encouraged to remember these tips when hiring a contractor:
    • Hire only licensed contractors.
    • Verify the contractor’s license status and check on any complaints with the Board for Contractors at http://www.dpor.virginia.gov/LicenseLookup/ or call (804) 367-8511.
    • Get referrals from friends, neighbors or co-workers.
    • Check references and look at past work.
    • Get written estimates from at least three contractors.
    • Don’t automatically choose the lowest bid. Ask for an explanation of price differences.
    • Get a signed contract that includes start and completion dates, payment schedule, all materials needed, any promises or warranties.
    • Limit any down payment.
    • Don’t pay cash.
    • Don’t pay in full before all work is complete to your satisfaction.
    • Keep all paperwork.
    • You have three days to cancel most sales made at your home. If you have second thoughts, consider exercising this right.

     
    If you think you have been a victim of an unlicensed contractor please reach out to the Office through Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963, or file a complaint on its website.
     
    During Attorney General Herring’s administration, the Consumer Protection Section has undergone a significant reorganization and expansion, and recovered more than $243 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.


  42. Answering a Call for Help

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    It starts with a call for help. When an incident causes serious illness or injury, someone makes a phone call. Each occurrence is different. There are traffic-related injuries, workplace accidents, heart attacks, strokes, falls, and countless other events that place life and limb at risk.

    After the call, emergency vehicles respond. Every time I pull over to let an ambulance dash on its way, the occasion reminds me to be thankful for the comprehensive system that exists to ensure that urgent medical care arrives when and wherever it is needed.

    In years gone by, the situation was different. The Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association explains “The system we have in place today was forged one link at time, dating as far back as the Civil War. With widespread trauma, a systematic and organized method of field care and transport of the injured was born out of necessity. It wasn’t until 1865, however, that the first civilian ambulance was put into service in Cincinnati.”

    Our nation’s first independent, volunteer rescue squad was established in Roanoke, Virginia in 1928. Virginia’s first EMT-paramedics were certified in 1976. Today, the existence of emergency personnel waiting to be called into action is so ubiquitous that their presence is easy to take for granted.

    To help raise awareness, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians work together in support of National EMS Week to recognize the contributions of personnel who bring pre-hospital care to people in need. This year, National EMS Week will be observed on May 20-26. On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of SVCC, I offer these dedicated practitioners a wholehearted “Thank you” in recognition of all they do to safeguard the wellbeing of people across our communities.

    Beyond giving thanks, I also feel a sense of pride. Many of the men and women who serve as EMTs and paramedics across the counties that comprise Southside Virginia received their training from programs at SVCC. As Bobby Lester, one of the College’s Emergency Medical Technician instructors explains, “The EMS program is vital to the community because it provides an avenue for our students to provide care to the citizens of our local community. Many of our students become volunteer members at local EMS and fire departments.”

    Ricky Lyles, Instructor of Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services, wants prospective students to know, “SVCC offers a comprehensive slate of courses to prepare students for EMS careers.” These include four Career Studies Certificates and an Associate’s degree in Emergency Medical Services.

    If you want to be prepared to answer someone’s call for help, you can contact Ricky Lyles (ricky.lyles@southside.edu or 434-736-2097) or Bobby Lester (bobby.lester@southside.edu or 434-949-6603) for more information.

    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.

  43. April 2018 Truck Driver Training Graduates

    Southside Virginia Community College graduated a new class from the Truck Driver Training School on April 19, 2018.  They are

     
    Front L-R:  Roger Gholson (Carson), Burt Hurdle (Victoria), Spencer Croner (Pamplin), Darius Jones (Farmville).Back L-R:  Donnie Sisk (Instructor), Doug Kemerer (Instructor), Wilson Treese (Instructor), Thomas McIntyre (Burkeville), Richard Alley, Jr. (Amelia), Byron Moody (Blackstone), Duncan Quicke (TDTS Coordinator) and Don Biggerstaff (Guest Speaker and ATA Road Team Captain, Utility Driver for ABF Freight System, Inc.)
  44. "Ma-Ma Said"

    When Ma-Ma said; we listened
    for wisdom was her game
    this showed up in our livelyhood
    when adults we bacame.
     
    She was always there to protect us
    and keep us from all harm
    yes and many were the day
    I fell asleep on Mother's arm.
     
    Now Ma-Ma fixed the food for everyone
    from sunrise til sunset
    she then washed clothes and cleaned each room
    though her work wasn't finished yet.
     
    No Ma-Ma still had to read a story
    and show us games to play
    when we went to be all were quite tired
    yet for Ma-Ma just another day.
     
    Yes show your love for Ma-Ma
    and all the things that she did do
    don't stop with a one day "Mother's Day"
    why not make it two.
     
    Roy E. Schepp
  45. Electricity Bills Going Down While Transmission Rates and Fuel Surcharges Likely Increase

    Our first stretch of hot temperatures may have some Dominion Energy Virginia residential customers thinking about summer energy bills. Savings from legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Ralph Northam will soon offer relief.

    Customers will see savings in two ways: $133 million in bill credits and $125 million in rate reductions, both taking effect when the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 becomes law on July 1.

    The typical residential customer will receive a one-time credit of approximately $24.50 on their bill and approximately $2.50 per month in an ongoing reduction to our base rates, based on filings currently being prepared for submission to the State Corporation Commission later this month.

    On average, our typical residential customer bill will remain largely unchanged in 2018. Our long record of offering rates below the state, regional and national averages continues, as shown by statistics released by the Edison Electric Institute this week.

    The costs to support our high-voltage transmission system and to recover fuel expenses incurred to run our power stations would go up later this year under a pair of proposed rate changes filed today with the State Corporation Commission. If approved by the SCC, transmission costs will increase the typical residential monthly bill by $4.18 in September. We continue to make major and needed investments in the transmission network to ensure reliability and increase security.

    The fuel rate change will increase the typical bill by $3.36 in July, if approved by the SCC, largely because of this January’s frigid temperatures. Constraints on the pipeline that supplies most of Virginia’s natural gas sent prices soaring from $3 per dekatherm in late December to an all-time record high of $175 in early January. The fuel rate is a straight pass-through of our fuel costs; the company makes no profit on it.

    Dominion Energy Virginia is working to keep fuel costs low in several ways. Our parent company, Dominion Energy, is part of a partnership developing the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina. Construction of the pipeline would improve Virginia’s access to natural gas and hold down that fuel cost.

    We also continue to expand our solar fleet and will open the nation’s largest and most efficient natural gas power station opening in Greensville County later this year.

    Looking to the future, the proposed transmission and fuel cost increases will be mitigated by other savings on the horizon. Dominion Energy Virginia will provide another $67 million credit to customers in January 2019, through the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018. Plus, further savings from federal tax reform will be passed along to customers as they are calculated.

    Weather has a strong impact on energy bills and we encourage our customers to save energy. For example, in these hot temperatures set your thermostat to 78 degrees, use ceiling fans and check and clean your air-conditioning filters. While extreme temperatures can drive up your bill, our goal is to continue our record of stable, low rates and help you keep your overall costs affordable.

    To learn more go to http://www.dominionenergy.com/varates

  46. New Inductees into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at SVCC

    The Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society is an organization of scholars that exists to recognize and encourage scholarship among students in community and junior colleges. New inductees to this society from Southside Virginia Community College are:

    Front row L-R Austin Hancock, Ryan Craighead, Destiny Morgan, Stephanie Apruzzese, Ametria Booker, Robin Falwell, Karen Anderson, Jonathan Byron, Na'shiyaa Robertson, Trent Pettus, Amanda Lenning, Teri McCall; and Back row L-R Dean Dr. Dixie Dalton (Congratulating the new inductees), Doralease Jackson, Sinclair Hargrave, Katie Clark, Nidhi Brahmbhatt, Amanda Pierre, Patrick Fowler, Haley Overton, Chyna Levy, Jalynn Hicks, Salima Wasi, Jessica Laws, Haniya Thomas, Emily DavisI

  47. HERRING FILES SUIT AGAINST "SERVICE DOGS BY WARREN RETRIEVERS"

    ~ Suit alleges violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act in connection with the sale of purported “diabetic alert dogs" ~
     
    RICHMOND (May 8, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that he has filed a lawsuit against Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers, Inc., a Virginia-based company that sells purported service dogs to consumers nationwide, and its CEO, Charles D. Warren, Jr., for alleged violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions law. The suit alleges that Service Dogs and Warren sold so-called “diabetic alert dogs” for tens of thousands of dollars, when they were often delivering poorly-trained puppies with significant behavioral issues and inadequate skills or training to notify a customer of a potentially life-threatening high or low blood sugar situation. Service Dogs and Warren also misled customers and charitable donors about certain aspects of the business’s payment structure, and lied about Warren having served in the armed forces.
     
    “This suit alleges not just dishonest and unlawful business practices, but a recklessness that could have endangered the lives of customers who relied on the claims made by Service Dogs and its owner,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Our investigation shows that, in many instances, Service Dogs was simply selling a $25,000 pet, leaving customers with a huge bill and no protection against a potentially life-threatening blood sugar situation. Customers have a right to rely on the accuracy of a business’s claims, especially when it involves a person’s health and well-being. We will continue to hold businesses to the highest standards and take action whenever necessary to protect Virginia consumers.”
     
    The lawsuit alleges that Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers and Mr. Warren charged $18,000 to $27,000 for a dog that could purportedly identify and alert individuals to life-threatening low and high blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. In reality, the dogs were often poorly trained, ill-behaved, and unequipped to help manage a life-threatening situation, rendering them little more than incredibly expensive pets.
     
    An investigation of customer complaints showed that, instead of the well-trained service dog that was promised, Service Dogs often provided an untrained puppy that showed significant shortcomings such as an inability to properly walk on a leash, inappropriate chewing and destruction, inability to respond when called, jumping on people, fear of noises, and frequent barking or whining. Critically, dogs that were billed as a potential lifesaver failed to alert customers to dangerous high or low blood sugar.
     
    The complaint also alleges that Service Dogs encouraged customers to solicit charitable donations to cover the cost of their dog despite several times not being properly registered to solicit charitable funds, and misled customers about a partnership with or endorsement from JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
     
    Finally, the suit alleges that Mr. Warren lied to customers and donors when he claimed to have served in the United States Marine Corps, to have trained dogs for the military, and to have received a medical discharge because of a diabetes diagnosis. In reality, Mr. Warren has never served in the United States Marine Corps or any other branch of the military.
     
    Attorney General Herring specifically contends that Service Dogs and Mr. Warren violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions law by, among other ways, deceiving consumers about:
    • the testing and training dogs would undergo before being placed in a home with the diabetic person;
    • the skills and abilities dogs would have when assisting a consumer or family member with diabetes;
    • how the dogs could be paid for, and how long consumers would have to pay their balances; and
    • why consumers—or those who donated on their behalf—could not receive refunds.
    In his lawsuit filed in Madison County Circuit Court, Attorney General Herring is seeking restitution on behalf of affected consumers, civil penalties, attorneys' fees, and asking the court to block Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers from further violations of the Consumer Protection Act and Solicitation of Contributions law. He is seeking civil penalties of up to $2,500 per willful violation of the Consumer Protection Act and $5,000 per violation of the Solicitation of Contributions law, with the exact number of violations to be determined during trial proceedings. In addition, Attorney General Herring is seeking an accounting from the company of all funds obtained through unlawful solicitations, and the establishment of a charitable trust so those funds can be provided to an appropriate charitable organization.
     
    During the course of investigating complaints against Service Dogs, Attorney General Herring had to ask a court to enforce a civil investigative demand compelling the company to produce information about its business. The company failed to fully comply with the civil investigative demand for nearly two years, resulting in approximately $90,000 in sanctions against Service Dogs and Warren.
     
    Consumers who believe they have been injured by Service Dogs should file a complaint with Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section as soon as possible. For information about filing a complaint, to get a complaint form, or to submit a complaint online, consumers should go to the Attorney General's website: Online Complaint Form. Consumers with questions or who need assistance can contact us:

    Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section is handling this matter. During Attorney General Herring’s administration, the Consumer Protection Section has undergone a significant reorganization and expansion, and recovered more than $243 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.

    If you have any consumer-related inquiries, the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline telephone counselors are available to assist you with your consumer questions. Please call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area. You can also subscribe to the Consumer Protection Quarterly Newsletter here.

     

     

  48. Sharing Security With Mom on Mother’s Day

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

    Spring is upon us, and it marks two very popular annual events: Mother’s Day and the release of Social Security’s baby name list! There’s no better time to share some security with the people you love.

    While spending time with your mom on Sunday, May 13, you can help her quickly and easily sign up for a free, online my Social Security account. You can do it from home, which means more time doing the things you want to do together.

    Signing up for a my Social Security account will give Mom the tools she needs to stay on top of her Social Security benefits. When she signs up at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, she can do a number of things.

    If she does not receive benefits, she can:

    • Request a replacement Social Security card if she meets certain requirements;
    • Check the status of her application or appeal.
    • Get her Social Security Statement, to review:
    • Estimates of her future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits;
    • Her earnings once a year to verify the amounts that we posted are correct; and
    • The estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes she’s paid.

    If she does receive benefits, she can:

    ·         Request a replacement Social Security card if she meets certain requirements;

    ·         Report her wages if she works and receives Disability Insurance benefits;

    ·         Get her benefit verification letter;

    ·         Check her benefit and payment information and her earnings record;

    ·         Change her address and phone number;

    ·         Start or change direct deposit of her benefit payment;

    ·         Request a replacement Medicare card; and

    ·         Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

    Is Mom not yet receiving Social Security benefits and still planning her retirement? Does she need a little help calculating how her benefit amount fits in with her other income sources in retirement? It’s easy to get instant, personalized benefit estimates, too. Our Retirement Estimator is the only source that provides Mom with Social Security estimates based on her own earnings record. This allows her to receive the most accurate estimate of her future retirement benefits. Visit the Retirement Estimator at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

    Did you know that you and Mom can also share the 10 most popular male and female baby names of 2017? Social Security is the source for the most popular baby names, and we reveal the new names every year to celebrate Mother’s Day. Be sure to check our site around Mother’s Day at www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/babynames/.

    Sharing information about Social Security and helping Mom sign up for a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount is a meaningful gift that shows you really care.

  49. SVCC Nursing Program Wins Excellence in Education Award

    The Southside Virginia Community College  Associate Degree Nursing Program's Student Success Initiative 'Team Up To Dream Up! ' received the Virginia Community College System Excellence in Education Award at the New Horizons Conference.   Dr. Michelle Edmonds (Left), Dean of Nursing, Allied Health and Natural Sciences is shown with SVCC President Dr. Al Roberts (Right).  SVCC won in the category of Integrated Student Support.

  50. Virginia Seeks to Curb Rising Number of Missing Persons

  51. Rural County Accuses Drug Makers of Fueling Opioid Epidemic

  52. Donna Mayo Smith

    Donna Mayo Smith, 53, of Ivor passed away Monday, May 7, 2018. She was predeceased by her parents, Emma and Thurman Mayo; husband, Carl E. Smith; and sister, Deborah M. Crocker.

    Left to cherish her memory are her children, Elizabeth Smith of Clarksburg, WV and Elijah Smith of Emporia, VA; grandchildren, Emma, Ethan, and Elyssa; a brother, Thurman “Al” Mayo of Smithfield, VA; a brother-in-law, Curtis Crocker(Gina) of Ivor, VA; nephews, David and Daniel Crocker.

    Donna worked for the Commonwealth’s Department of Corrections in Sussex County as a Corrections Officer. She loved to cook, animals, and her God. Memorial donations may be made to the Isle of Wight County Humane Society, 13044 Poor House Rd, Windsor, VA 23487. A graveside service will be held in Windsor Cemetery on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 2:00PM. Online condolences can be registered at www.RWBakerFH.com

  53. Latest Heist Highlights Cryptocurrency Trading Risks

  54. May 2018 SVCC Diesel Technology Program Graduates

    The Diesel Technology program of Southside Virginia Community College held a graduation ceremony  on May 3, 2018 to recognize students who completed the two semester program and received a Career Studies Certificate for that accomplishment.  Those completing the program are First Row, Left to Right:Jacob Craven (Dundas), Kevin Matthews (Wakefield), Nick Cundiff (Midlothian), Chase Canter (Gold Vein), James Johnson (Lynchburg).Second Row, L to R:Greyson Hensley (Crewe), Jared Warren (Farmville), Bryan Lewis (Instructor), Thomas Parrish (Blackstone), Tyler Johnson (Burkeville), Travis Weston (Red Oak),  Justin Irving (Spring Grove), Jacob Monger (Prince George), Russ Hicks (Instructor), Billy McGraw (Instrutor).Back Row, L to R: Dillon Harvey (Gladys), Malik Ellsworth (Emporia), Jacob Walker (Smithfield), Nolin Watkins (Chesterfield), William Chilton (Moseley).

  55. Virginia Battles a ‘Crime that Hides in Plain Sight’: Human Trafficking

  56. Virginia Communities, Legislators Breathe New Life into Preserving Black Cemeteries

  57. Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

    L to R:  Dr. Glen DuBois,Chancellor for Virginia Community Colleges; Midge Coward and Emily Coward, board members of Laughing Gull Foundation; Latrisha McCargo, Dr. Tara Blackwell, &  Dr. Al Roberts representing SVCC

     

    Richmond– The Laughing Gull Foundation has received the 13th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The progressive family foundation proud of its’ commitment to justice was nominated for the award by Southside Virginia Community College.

    More than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia have earned the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018.

    Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), the 13th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of $6 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

    Laughing Gull Foundation is a progressive family foundation proud of its’ commitment to justice.  As a steadfast advocate of higher education in prison, the Southside Virginia Community College’s Campus Within Walls(CWW) program appealed to the Foundation.  Targeting higher education in prisons, LGF aimed to increase access to credit-bearing college courses for incarcerated individuals.  Beginning in 2015, LGF awarded scholarships to incarcerated men at the Lunenburg Correctional Center who were involved in the CWW program. Recently, the group awarded additional funding to hire a coordinator to keep the program operational. 

    Keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president & president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, called the community college system “one of Virginia’s greatest inventions.” He also borrowed a passage from a 1903 Teddy Roosevelt speech to underscore the invaluable connection between higher education and opportunity.

    “’Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Our purpose (as donors) is to make sure that prize – meaningful work – the best prize that life offers, remains within reach of every Virginian.’”

    Recipients of the 2018Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy:

    • BLUE RIDGE: Mr. and Mrs. L. Ronald Smith
    • CENTRAL VIRGINIA: Wells Fargo Bank- Lynchburg Region
    • DABNEY S. LANCASTER: Temple Baptist Church and Ovella Worsham Estate
    • DANVILLE: Anita J. Wyatt
    • EASTERN SHORE: Virginia Space and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
    • GERMANNA: Ed C. Dalrymple, Jr.
    • J SARGEANT REYNOLDS: The Lipman Foundation
    • JOHN TYLER: Mr. J. Richard and Mrs. Jeannine Commander
    • LORD FAIRFAX: Nick and Kathy Nerangis
    • MOUNTAIN EMPIRE: Donna Stanley
    • NEW RIVER: Eddie and Kathy Hale
    • NORTHERN VIRGINIA: Northrop Gumman
    • PATRICK HENRY: The Martinsville Speedway and the Campbell Family
    • PAUL D CAMP: Mrs. June Fleming                 
    • PIEDMONT: Wendy Brown
    • RAPPAHANNOCK: Northern Neck Electric Cooperative
    • SOUTHSIDE VA: The Laughing Gull Foundation                                   
    • SOUTHWEST VA: Dr. Charles R. King
    • THOMAS NELSON: Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.
    • TIDEWATER: Elizabeth River Crossings, LLC, The Landmark Foundation
    • VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS: First Bank and Trust Company
    • VIRGINIA WESTERN: Friendship Health & Living
    • WYTHEVILLE: Charles G. Crockett
    • VFCCE: Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Whitt
  58. Virginia Works to Improve Voting Process Before Midterm Elections

  59. Dr. Eric Reinertson Joins VCU Health CMH

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

    Dr. Reinertson is a Board Certified OB/GYN who has devoted his career to providing the best and most complete OB/GYN care for his patients for more than 24 years. He earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from North Dakota School of Medicine in Grand Forks, North Dakota and completed his internship and residency training at Washington University/Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. 

    Dr. Reinertson has spent most of his professional career working in women’s health in Pekin, Illinois.  Most recently he worked as an independent contracted physician in Illinois and Hawaii.  He is skilled in minimally invasive surgery including outpatient hysterectomy, pelvic prolapse and abnormal bleeding problems.  He also provides complete care for pregnant women.

    Dr. Reinertson is currently working at CMH Women’s Health Services located inside the new C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

    Dr. Reinertson joins Dr. Cynthia Austin, OB/GYN and Terry Wooten, Certified Nurse-Midwife, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive gynecologic care to women at every stage of life.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

  60. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces March 2018 Employee of the Month

    Emporia, VA – Zhiquita Adams has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for March 2018. Ms. Adams, who works in SVRMC’s Patient Access Department, has been employed at SVRMC since April 2009.

    Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for March was Customer Waiting.  Ms. Adams’ nomination included the following statement:  “Ms. Adams dedication to understanding the value of our patients’ time in regards to customer waiting is her most valuable asset.  As an outpatient registrar, Ms. Adams recognizes when patients are waiting and makes a concerted effort to ensure that patients are registered in an efficient and timely manner, while not making them feel rushed through the process.  She has a welcoming demeanor and positive attitude putting our patients at ease during their visit.  In addition, Ms. Adams always thanks her patients and manages to lift their spirits and put a smile on their face.”

    As SVRMC’s March Employee of the Month, Ms. Adams received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

  61. ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING ALLEGES ILLEGAL PREDATORY LOANS IN SUIT AGAINST ONE OF VIRGINIA’S LARGEST ONLINE LENDERS

    ~ AG Herring’s suit against Net Credit, one of the largest online lenders operating in Virginia, seeks restitution on behalf of affected consumers ~

    RICHMOND, VA (May 4, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that his Predatory Lending Unit has filed a lawsuit against Net Credit, one of the largest online lenders operating in Virginia, for lending and collections practices that allegedly violate the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit alleges that Chicago-based Net Credit issued loans of $1,000 to $10,000 to more than 47,000 Virginia borrowers between 2012 and 2018 with interest rates from 34% to 155%. In one loan cited in the complaint, a Virginia borrower was responsible for more than $6,000 in repayments for just $2,000 borrowed.

    “We’ve seen more and more Virginians turn to online lenders in a time of need only to find they’ve signed up for a debt trap that is going to cost them hundreds if not thousands of dollars in finance charges and interest,” said Attorney General Herring. “I believe we need stronger laws to protect Virginians from predatory loans, whether issued online or in-person, but until we get those, I’m going to make sure the laws we have are enforced and make sure that companies can’t come into our state and abuse financially vulnerable Virginians.”

    Attorney General Herring’s complaint alleges that Net Credit operated without a license in Virginia and misled borrowers about its licensure status in Utah in an attempt to avoid interest rate caps when loaning money to Virginians. Unless a lender qualifies for an exception, Virginia law caps the interest rate on loans at 12% per year. Instead, Net Credit forced borrowers to repay loans at exorbitant rates that cost Virginia consumers thousands of dollars.

    The Complaint also alleges that Net Credit tried to illegally collect money from borrowers who had filed for bankruptcy and were entitled to protection from collections activities. This conduct allegedly occurred in the form of automatic withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts and collections emails while court-ordered bankruptcy stays were in effect.

    The lawsuit has been filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court. Attorney General Herring is seeking restitution on behalf of consumers who were charged illegal interest, civil penalties, attorneys' fees, and a court order banning Net Credit from further violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

    The Commonwealth is represented in this matter by attorneys in Attorney General Herring’s first of its kind Predatory Lending Unit, which has recovered more than $22 million from online lenders including CashCallMoneyKeyMr. Amazing LoansOpportunity Financial, and MoneyLion. Overall, Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $243 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators.

  62. WARNER & KAINE INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION DEDICATING THE WEEK OF MAY 6 AS PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK

    ~ Virginia is home to one of the highest concentrations of federal employees in the country ~ 

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined a group of Senators in honoring the critical work of federal, state, county, and local government employees and members of the uniformed services by passing a bipartisan resolution designating May 6-12, 2018 as Public Service Recognition Week. Virginia is home to one of the highest concentrations of federal employees in the country, with more than 170,000 individuals that are part of the federal workforce, along with more than 115,000 additional active duty and reserve military personnel.

    “The Commonwealth’s servicemembers and civilian personnel alike are dedicated public servants who so often go above and beyond to ensure our country is operating safely and efficiently,” the Senators said. “We hope this small gesture will help highlight the important work that these exemplary federal employees do every day, often with little recognition, to improve the lives of Americans.”  

    “Every day, our nation’s public servants devote themselves to serving their fellow citizens. They include local first responders, uniformed military serving in harm’s way, and federal employees protecting our borders, curing disease and maintaining the integrity of our financial markets,” said Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “However, the public seldom hears about their successes or the innovative ways in which they are improving service to the American people. This bipartisan resolution is a terrific expression of our thanks and appreciation.”

    For over 30 years, Public Service Recognition Week has been hosted by the Public Employees Roundtable to help honor federal, state, county and local government employees who are critical to the day to day success of our communities and nation. This year marks the 34th anniversary of Public Service Recognition Week. Clickhere for more information about events and ways to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week.

    Sens. Warner and Kaine were joined in cosponsoring the bipartisan Public Service Recognition Week Resolution by a group of 20 cosponsors, including U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Lankford (R-OK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (I-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

  63. Optimizing Postpartum Care, Renewed Focus on Improving Mental and Physical Health for New Moms

    Petersburg, VA – Not long after the world was wowed with photos of Duchess Kate Middleton and her new royal baby, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released guidance to improve mental and physical care for new moms.

    These recommendations set the stage for long-term health for women and infants. The report states, “Postpartum care should become an ongoing process, rather than a single encounter.”  It also advises insurers to cover the costs for new moms to see their doctors sooner and more often. This 11-page report represents a shift from an intense focus on prenatal care to a long-term care plan that includes what’s called the “fourth trimester.”

    Dr. Daphne Bazile-Harrison, MD, FACOG an OB/GYN with Southside Physicians Network says, “I endorse the new recommendations! The relationship a woman makes with her Obstetrician does not end once the baby is delivered.”

    The current standard for postpartum checkups is six weeks from child birth. ACOG now recommends cutting that time in half to three weeks, and for women suffering from hypertension, as little as three days. ACOG also says new mothers should work with their OB/GYN to develop an ongoing care plan and have a comprehensive postpartum visit no later than 12 weeks.

    The comprehensive visit should include a full assessment of the following:

    • Physical, social and psychological well-being (including mood and emotional)
       
    • Infant care and feeding
       
    • Sexuality, contraception and birth spacing
       
    • Sleep and fatigue
       
    • Physical recovery from birth
       
    • Management of chronic disease
       
    • Health maintenance
       

    The days and weeks after childbirth can be a time of particular vulnerability for mothers, with physical and emotional risks that include pain and infection, hypertension and stroke, heart problems, blood clots, anxiety and depression. 

    Here at The Birth Place at Southside Regional Medical Center, we make sure all patients are doing well following delivery. Postpartum visits are made prior to discharge, and our excellent nursing and office staff call to check in on mom once she has gone home,” continues Dr. Bazile-Harrison.

    This should come as welcome news to new mothers adjusting to life with a new baby. Balancing home, work, baby and other family commitments can be overwhelming. These new recommendations allow women to take a step back and say, “Its ok to take care of me.” With as many as 40% of women missing a postpartum visit, this is an opportunity to promote the overall health and well-being of moms.

    Dr. Bazile-Harrison is encouraged and notes, “With these new recommendations, hopefully we can become more proactive in advocating continual good health for our patients and their families.”

    For additional comments or more information contact Dr. Bazile-Harrison at 804-481-0143.

    The full report can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2KhO1dJ

  64. Emporia Police Appreciation Dinner

    The Riparian Woman’s Club honored the Emporia Police Department with dinner recently.

    It was the club’s way of congratulating the EPD on their CALEA achievement, a gold standard award in public service. It involved a lot of hard work under the direction of Chief Rick Pinksaw and it so happens that only a small number of law enforcement departments earn this special award. It is an ongoing effort on behalf of the department to continue its high standards.

    Later in the evening Laura Saunders, Regional President of CALEA, presented the department a framed CALEA certificate at the Emporia City Council meeting. A standing ovation by a full house of citizens expressed appreciation for the department.

    The dinner was another way of the Riparian Woman’s Club expressing its support of the EPD

    who every day and every night protect our community. How fortunate we are for their bravery.

  65. Encouraging Entrepreneurship for Military Spouses

    BY: SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Michelle Christian

    Each May we memorialize the men and women who sacrifice their lives defending our freedom. Often forgotten are the military spouses who give their all to maintain households and raise children. On May 23, 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed the first proclamation declaring Military Spouse Day. Now celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day, National Spouse Day is a day to recognize these heroes of the armed services – the husbands and wives of our servicemen and women. Military families make incredible sacrifices, which includes leaving their careers and career development opportunities due to frequent relocations in support of military commitments.

    The unemployment rate among military spouses is 23 percent, and considering 85 percent say they want to or need to work, that is unacceptable. When the average household relies on two incomes, it should come as no surprise military families find themselves in similar need. I am encouraged by employers who are increasingly looking for ways to attract military spouses through such technology as allowing them to work remotely. I’d like to point out another option supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration – Entrepreneurship: military spouses running their own businesses can be empowering, liberating, and highly adaptable to a mobile lifestyle.

    As SBA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, I am committed to helping more people have the tools and skills they need to be entrepreneurs. We and our partners have online and community-based resources across the country offering access to capital, training, and business opportunities. We even have special outreach specifically geared to military spouses through programs on military installations.

    These programs are available through your local SBA District Offices and our resource partners. Visit SBA.gov to learn more about local resources(https://www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance/districtoffices), and more opportunities from SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development(https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ovbd/resources/1485216).

    As we look ahead, SBA is working with the Department of Labor and Department of Defense to reduce barriers to business ownership and cross-state credentialing for military spouses. For example, if someone has a real estate license or a hairstylist’s license in one state, it should be easier to transition those credentials to another state.

    Today, there are more than a million military spouses – 700,000 active duty and 400,000 reserve/guard. Each has a broad diversity of talents and experiences SBA can help build into careers. We must help military spouses succeed and feel empowered, because they sacrifice for all of us. After all, each and every small business contributes to America’s economic prosperity, which further strengthens this great nation our military is working to defend.

  66. Crater Community Teams Up With Comfort Zone Camp to Bring a Family Grief Program to Petersburg

    PETERSBURG - Crater Community Hospice and Comfort Zone Camp team up to bring a Family Grief Program to Petersburg on May 12, 2018. Working together, these non-profit organizations can support entire families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, while including a focus on children's grief. This community event provides a safe and fun place for families who are grieving to create dialogue, express their feelings and learn coping skills. This family program focuses on how families can work together to remember their loved-ones, create new memories, and care for each other on this unpredictable journey of loss. For more information please contact Patti Cox - pcox@cratercommunityhospice.org About Crater Community Hospice Since 1995, Crater Community Hospice, (CCH) has provided exceptional care and support to over 5,000 patients and their families. Our mission is to help each patient live the fullest, most comfortable life possible. CCH is the only licensed, nonprofit, community-based hospice in the Tri-Cities. We also serve Dinwiddie, Prince George, Sussex, Surry, Charles City, Greensville-Emporia and Chesterfield Counties. For more information about Crater Community Hospice’s programs and services, upcoming events, or volunteer opportunities, call 804-526-4300 or visit our website, www.cratercommunityhospice.org.

  67. Evelyn Bryant Newsome

     

    Evelyn Bryant Newsome, 99, of Emporia, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. She is survived by her daughter in law, Cynthia M. Newsome of Amelia; granddaughter, Kimberly N. McCall and husband Jeffrey of Emporia; grandson, John David Newsome of Amelia; step grandson, Kevin Bryant of Amelia; 3 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren.

    She is preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie Newsome and son Wesley Newsome.

    Evelyn was a lifelong member of Main Street United Methodist Church and a member of the choir for over 75 years.

    Visitation will be held in the Echols Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, May 4, 2018 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.  Funeral services will be held at Main Street United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. with Rev. Tom Durrance officiating. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.

    Condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

  68. Checklist FOR Your Social Security Annual Check-Up

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

    Say “annual checkup” and most people imagine waiting at the doctor’s office. But, there’s another type of checkup that can give you a sense of wellness without even leaving home. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and follow these five steps to conduct your own Social Security annual checkup.

    Your Social Security Statement is available online anytime to everyone who has a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Creating your account gives you 24/7 access to your personal information and makes it impossible for someone else to set up an account in your name. We still send paper Statements to those who are 60 and older who don’t have an account and aren’t receiving Social Security benefits. Your Statement provides information about work credits (you need 40 credits to be entitled to a Social Security retirement benefit), estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, plus a history of your earnings.

    Work Credits Count

    If you have earned 40 work credits, your Statement will show estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. If you don’t have 40 work credits, the Statement shows how many you have and how many you still need to qualify for benefits.

    Review Earnings Record

    Review your history of earnings year by year to make sure each year is correct. This is important because Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. If any years are incorrect or missing, you may not receive all the benefits you are entitled to in the future. If you need to correct your earnings, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please have your W-2 or paystubs when you call.

    Study Benefit Estimates

    Review the section titled “Your Estimated Benefits.” Be sure to review not only your retirement estimate, but your disability and survivors estimates. No one likes to think about disability, but a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age, underscoring the importance of disability benefits. Since the value of the survivors insurance you have under Social Security may be more than your individual life insurance, be sure to check your survivors estimates also. 

    Calculate Additional Estimates

    You can use our Retirement Estimator to compute future Social Security benefits by changing variables such as retirement dates and future earnings. If you want to project what future earnings could add to your benefit, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

    Schedule Your Annual Check-Up

    Each year, make a date with yourself to review the most recently posted year of earnings on your Statement. By checking your record every year, you can be certain when you retire that Social Security will have a correct record of earnings to use when computing benefits for you or your family members.

    Social Security helps you secure your today and tomorrow by providing information to make your financial planning easier. Social Security is more than retirement; it is a family protection plan. For more information about benefits, visit us at www.socialsecurity.gov.

  69. Michael Fields

    Michael Fields will be celebrated with his family on Friday, May 4th at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Nashville, NC.   Visitation will be at 12; celebration of life beginning at 1:00 with homecoming in Battleboro Cemetery.  Please feel free to join us in the celebration of our beloved STAR, Michael.    We will be accepting visitors at our home in Emporia tonight from 6 until; Thursday 12 p.m. until.  Friday, friends will be accepted at 3462 Lonesome Pine Rd, Whitakers, NC 27891 following his celebration.  He loved us all and we love you all.

  70. Nettie Roella McDonald

    Nettie Roella McDonald, 54, of Emporia, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, April 29, 2018. She was preceded in death just last month by her mother, Charlene Owen McDonald. She had been a CNA and more recently was primary caregiver for her grandmother, Roella Hines Owen and her mother until their deaths.

    When Nettie wasn’t taking care of others, she had a love for drawing abstract art, photography and enjoyed doing research in the courts or the library. She also wrote poems and had become a published poet. She had a love for and communicated with all God’s creatures in the animal world.

    She is survived by her siblings, Virginia E. McDonald, John “Chipper” McDonald and Sarah E. Berryman and husband, Steve; two nieces, Jessica Owen Day and husband, Ercell and Farren M. Burchett; an aunt, Geneva Owen Woodard; a number of cousins and her six loving cats.

    The funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends 11-1 prior to the service. A reception for the family will be held at Monumental United Methodist Church following the funeral. A private interment will be held at a later date.

    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

  71. For-Profit Colleges Leave Many Students with Big Debts

  72. ‘Bamboozled’ ITT Tech Grad Saddled with Massive Debt, Subpar Degree

  73. Dozens of Children in Virginia Are Fatally Shot Each Year

  74. Spring 2018 SVCC Nurse Aid Graduates

    Nurse Aide graduates who attended classes sat Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia through Southside Virginia Community College.  Students are from Brunswick, Greensville, Emporia,Mecklenburg and Petersburg areas.  

    First row left to right:Montia Monea´ Gray,Lakesha Danielle Claiborne,Crystal Joy Gillus,Josie Vivian Gordon,Brenda Thompson,Ashley Necole Simpkins,Shavon Yvette Barner, and Natasha Eveliz Ayala.Second/back row left to right: Linda Diane Owen,Jermarus Donnell Cabbins,LaQuechia Qwanchia Carey,Alexus Octavia Parrish,Princess Callie Ellies Rawlings,Gracie Baskerville,Christine Michell Cooper andBrandon Aaron Scott
  75. Celebrating 40 Years of the Meherrin River Arts Council

    SVRMC’s Jay Ewing and Wilson Clary

    Emporia, VA – For one Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center staff member, the connection to the concert series goes much deeper than a corporate sponsorship. Jay Ewing, Facility Compliance Officer, Admin. Director - Laboratory, Cardiovascular, Respiratory & Sleep Services, has enjoyed the concert series from the beginning. But it was his father Jim, a member of the Greensville County Board of Supervisors, who played a big role in helping make the Emporia Greensville Performing Arts Center what it is today. 

    In 1976, it was the vision of Jim, members of the Board of Supervisors and Emporia City Council to build an auditorium for the school that would meet the programming needs of the Meherrin River Arts Council. Jay says, “It means everything to have SVRMC sponsor the shows and be able to continue what he started by supporting MRAC.”

    Local entrepreneur, Wilson Clary, remembers that it was Jim’s idea to add one important part onto the new auditorium. “I always thought it should be called the Jim Ewing Lobby!” The auditorium was a much needed addition at Greensville Elementary School that not only made sense for the students but as a way to grow the concert series.

    The theater boasts comfortable seating, with excellent views from all seats and exceptional sound quality. The stage is even large enough to hold a full symphony orchestra. MRAC has pulled in big names over the years including Boyz II Men, Scotty McCreery, The Beach Boys, and Leann Rimes. Capping off the 40th anniversary celebration on Saturday May 5th is a performance by The Temptations and the Four Tops. There’s one act Jay wishes would make a stop in Emporia, “I’d love to see James Taylor come, I suggest it every year.” Hopefully James Taylor will one day see the sunny skies of Emporia and Greensville County.

    Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center is proud to sponsor the Meherrin River Arts Council. Together we help enrich our communities with exceptional health care and high quality entertainment. You can see a special video tribute featuring Jay and other local supporters at Saturday’s show.

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