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RICHMOND – Traveling to spend time with family is a holiday tradition, and as millions hit the road this Thanksgiving, Virginia State Police urges motorists to drive to save lives so everyone arrives safely for the celebration.

Within the past two weeks, traffic crashes in Virginia have claimed the lives of 35 drivers and passengers, and nine pedestrians. From Jan. 1, 2017, to Nov. 16, 2017, preliminary reports indicate traffic crashes statewide have resulted in 710 deaths; compared to 640 deaths during the same timeframe in 2016.

“Tragically, traffic fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We’ve seen an 11 percent increase over this time last year. With so many people estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, we need everyone to help prevent crashes by driving smart, buckling up and never driving drunk or drugged. We want everyone to arrive alive and enjoy the holiday.”

To help prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints. As a participating agency, state police will increase its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017.

During last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, Virginia State Police troopers:

  • Cited 9,235 speeders
  • Cited 2,928 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 132 drunken drivers
  • Cited 824 safety belt violations & 286 child restraint violations
  • Investigated 1,163 traffic crashes, in which eight were fatal

With additional troopers and other law enforcement working on Virginia’s highways this holiday weekend, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law. A life-saving law intended to protect public safety responders and others who have a responsibility to work the roads. Drivers are required to change to another travel lane or, when unable to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law also includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

Enfield NC Home Tour is December 2 - The Craftsman Homes


Downtown Enfield Restoration & Preservation (DERP) is holding its Fifth Annual Christmas Homes Tour on Saturday, December 2. The tour is designed to showcase the architecture of this historic town (founded in 1740). Since so many newcomers have discovered the advantages of living in this sleepy, rural town – people from New Hampshire, Arizona, New Jersey, Long Island, Florida and Indiana – the tour will provide a good opportunity to see what some of these newcomers have been up to in their new town and restoration projects.

In years past, the Christmas Homes Tour has featured several antebellum homes in Enfield – Shell Castle, the Cellars, the James H. Parker House, Strawberry Hill and Myrtle Lawn – all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. These homes were built to inspire and impress – with their floor-to-ceiling windows, imposing staircases, double-door entrances, historic out buildings and formal gardens. The 2017 Christmas Homes Tour is veering in a new direction; this year the tour will feature a homier style: the Craftsmen Bungalow.

The Craftsman style was inspired by the 1850s arts and crafts movement in England. In recent years, the Craftsman style bungalow has regained its popularity. These homes have strong bones, natural materials, handcrafted, built-in cabinetry, big covered porches with tapered (battered) columns on heavy piers that integrate the outside environment with the inside floor plan, deep eaves with knee braces and low-pitched roofs, high ceilings, plenty of double-hung windows and meandering floor plans – with the era of construction being roughly from 1920 to 1930.

What distinguishes the Craftsmen Bungalows on Enfield’s 2017 Christmas Homes Tour? For one thing, the featured homes on the 2017 Christmas Homes Tour are not “kit homes.” Current restoration undertaken by the new owners in Enfield would have revealed several distinctive features of the “kit homes,” such as stamped lumber, Goodwall Sheet Plaster, a square block on molding joints at staircase landings and shipping labels under the staircase.In contrast, the homes on this year’s tour all have plaster walls, indigenous wood, built-in cabinetry and atypical dimensions.

The 2017 Christmas Homes Tour will feature five Craftsman Bungalows along with one “Special Project” – a turn-of-the-century warehouse built in 1919 recently converted into living space, which was singlehandedly designed and built by one of Enfield’s newer residents, Lee Jones. The exposed beams, brick arches, stain glass, heated flooring and open design are all reminiscent of Craftsman design elements but now have an up-to-date twist in this spacious warehouse.

To learn more about Craftsman style, Maggie Gregg, Regional Director, Eastern Office of Preservation North Carolina, will give a lecture on December 2 at 11 a.m. at Bellamy Manor & Gardens. Gregg, who has a “lifelong love of preservation,” was one of the first graduates of Edgecombe Community College’s Historic Preservation Technology Program. The lecture will last an hour.

The tour begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m. Tickets ($25) are available at Aunt Ruby's Peanuts prior to the date of the event. A senior discount ($20) will be given to those who purchase tickets at Bellamy Manor on the day-of-the-event, at 613 Glenview Road, Enfield, where the lecture is taking place. Please arrive at 10:30 a.m. so you can purchase tickets and hear the 11 a.m. lecture. Tickets can also be purchased online at

An evening prayer service will be held at the Historic Episcopal Church of the Advent, 200 Batchelor Avenue, on Saturday, December 2, 5:30. A Community Choir, with organist Sally Mosely and Choir Director Jesse Shearin, will perform during the service. If you plan to stay the weekend in Enfield, the annual Christmas service at Whitaker’s Chapel, a Heritage Landmark of the United Methodist Church and also on the National Register of Historic Places, will be held the following day, Sunday, December 3, at 3 p.m. This year Whitaker’s Chapel will be celebrating its 277th anniversary.

The Downtown Enfield Restoration and Preservation Association (DERP) is a non-profit membership organization comprised of business owners and citizens to strengthen and support downtown revitalization. The organization’s primary focus is stabilization of existing infrastructure, revitalization of abandoned properties through redevelopment, promote Enfield’s natural eco-agri-cultural tourism opportunities and to develop and publish resources and economic incentives to attract and retain business in Downtown Enfield. DERP supports Enfield, “American Made Since 1740.” This past year, DERP has planted 17 Crepe Myrtle trees in the downtown area, installed four new awnings on downtown store fronts and commissioned  Napoleon Hill to restore a mural on a Dennis Street building. For more information about the house tour or the day’s events or DERP, contact Suzann McKiernan Anderson at 252-445-2234.

PHOTO CREDIT: Susanna Martin

Rep. McEachin Announces $2.2M+ Grant for Virginia Department of Health

WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announcedthat the Virginia Department of Health was awarded a $2,285,039.00 Maternal and Child Health Services Grant (MCH) by the Health Resources and Services Administration, to fund access to quality care for women and children in Virginia.

“I am pleased to see this funding awarded to the women and children of Virginia,” said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04). “This grant will provide access to high-quality, affordable care for some women and children who might otherwise have lacked the care they need. This funding will help create a healthier, happier, safer Commonwealth.”

The MCH grant is a Title V block grant that runs through September 2019. The funds are typically allocated to improve access to prenatal and postnatal care, reduce infant mortality, and increase health assessments and preventative care for children.

Congressman McEachin has made the health and well-being of women and children a priority. Rep. McEachin is an original co-sponsor of the Healthy MOM Act (H.R. 2745), recognizing the immediate need, cost-reducing benefits, and lifesaving nature of being able to enroll in a healthcare plan from the moment pregnancy beings. He is also a co-sponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act (H.R. 3773), which promotes child care and early learning.

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