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2016-3-15

VCU Makes NCAA Tournament as a 10-seed

By Bryant Drayton and Sarah King, Capital News Service

NEW YORK — Just hours after St. Joseph’s robbed VCU of its second consecutive Atlantic 10 Tournament title in a double-digit loss, the Rams had an opportunity to celebrate in Brooklyn.

VCU’s season isn’t over yet — the Rams made the NCAA tournament for the sixth year in a row as a 10-seed on Selection Sunday, following a tough 87-74 loss to the Hawks  in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The Rams now face 7-seed Oregon State on Friday in Oklahoma City.

“We feel a lot better even though the loss is still kind of fresh,” said senior and Oklahoma native Korey Billbury. “I’m excited to get back and play in front of my home town.”

Billbury’s tone was markedly different after the team learned they were an automatic bid in the tournament than just hours prior after the A-10 championship loss.

The transfer player was one of the Rams’ prime offensive assets against St. Joe’s, registering 19 points and a spot on the A-10 All-Championship Team.

“We knew what we were supposed to do,” Billbury said after Sunday’s final game. “It wasn’t them, it was us.”

First-year head coach Will Wade was confident his team would make it to the tournament, even just minutes after the loss in the A-10 final, but said he was thrilled to know the team would be competing in Oklahoma next week.

“Give our guys credit they rallied,” Wade said. “Korey came to us for one season now he gets to play in the tournament in his home state.”

While for Billbury, the first round of the NCAA tournament signifies a homecoming and for Wade, a big moment as a first-year coach -- it is perhaps most symbolic for senior Melvin Johnson, who will be competing in his fourth-straight NCAA tournament.

“Hearing our name called, guys were excited and smiling again,” Johnson said. “It’s a relief to see our name up there as an automatic bid. You have to be really fortunate to be in this position.”

Former head coach Shaka Smart’s team, 6-seed the University of Texas Austin, will also be competing in Oklahoma City on Friday against 11-seed Northern Iowa — meaning if VCU and Texas were to brush paths it could potentially happen in a Sweet 16 matchup.

In the meantime, the Rams are preparing one day at a time. Wade said the team will be sure to get some well deserved rest before turning its attention to March Madness.

“It’s nothing special as the way you prepare,” Johnson said. “It’s not like it’s the World Series. It’s just big time basketball.”

Oregon State finished 19-12 on the season and Beavers return to the tournament after a 26 year hiatus from being selected.

“They are a good team, we will need to play well but we are excited about the opportunity,” Wade said.

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Smoking in a Car With Kids Soon May Be Illegal

By Grant Smith, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – If the governor adds his signature, Virginians could be fined $100 for smoking in a car in the presence of children.

The Senate joined the House by giving final approval to a bill that would make smoking in a motor vehicle with passengers younger than 8 a violation punishable by a civil penalty of $100.

The violation would be a secondary offense, meaning it would affect only individuals who have already been pulled over by police for a traffic violation or other offense.

The Senate passed House Bill 1348 in a vote of 27-12 on March 3. The bill is now in the hands of Gov. Terry McAuliffe. If signed, the law would take effect July 1. McAuliffe has until April 11 to act on the legislation.

The bill’s sponsor, Del. Todd E. Pillion, R-Abingdon, is a pediatric dentist. In support of the legislation, he has cited the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, especially on developing lungs.

When the bill was debated before the House, some delegates voiced opposition to the measure. “We have a tendency here to tell everybody how to live. We tell them what to do, how to act,” said Del. Riley E. Ingram, R-Hopewell.

The legislation defines smoking as any lighted cigarette, pipe or cigar.

“It is unlawful for a person to smoke in a motor vehicle, whether in motion or at rest, when a minor under the age of eight is present in the motor vehicle,” the proposed law states.

Pillion said the bill covers passengers younger than 8 years old because these children already are legally required to be put in car seats. He said this requirement could assist police officers in determining a child’s age.

The House voted 59-38 in favor of the bill on Feb. 12.

Though subject to a $100 fine, individuals found guilty of violating the law would not face court costs or demerit points on their driving record.

Revenue from the fines would go into the state’s Literary Fund. This program provides for low-interest loans for school construction, technology funding and support of teacher retirement.

 

How They Voted

Here is how the Senate voted on HB 1348 (“Smoking in motor vehicles; presence of minor under age eight, civil penalty.”)

Floor: 03/03/16  Senate: Passed Senate (27-Y 12-N)

YEAS– Alexander, Barker, Chafin, Chase, Dance, Deeds, DeSteph, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, McEachin, McPike, Miller, Norment, Petersen, Saslaw, Stuart, Sturtevant, Surovell, Vogel, Wexton – 27.

NAYS– Black, Carrico, Cosgrove, Dunnavant, Garrett, McDougle, Newman, Obenshain, Ruff, Stanley, Suetterlein, Wagner – 12.

RULE 36 – 0.

NOT VOTING – Reeves – 1

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VCU Health CMH Now Offering Self Requested Mammograms

SOUTH HILL, VA– In order to enhance direct patient access to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s screening mammography services; beginning April 1,2016, patients can schedule their screening mammogram without a physician’s order.  Patients can call 434-774-2450 and speak with one of VCU Health CMH’s Patient Access Representatives to schedule an exam. 

Callers should be prepared to provide information including their regular health care provider, when and where their last mammogram was performed and insurance information. It is also important for patients to inform VCU Health CMH of their regular health care provider so the hospital will know where to send the screening results. 

If a potential patient does not have a regular healthcare provider to send their results to, they can choose from our list of providers.  Patients currently experiencing problems or with a history of breast cancer will still require a physician’s order to schedule their diagnostic mammogram.  Our Mammography department is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and ready to provide the residents of southside Virginia and northern North Carolina with their breast imaging needs. 

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