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2017-5-31

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

New laws seek to enhance driver safety

By Yasmine Jumaa, VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND – In 2015, a driver with severe vision problems hit and killed a bicyclist in Hanover County. The motorist was “basically legally blind,” recalled Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler, who represents the county in the Virginia House.

Now the state is about to implement two new laws to help prevent such tragedies. One will require motorists to have a wider field of vision, and the other will encourage health-care professionals to report motorists who have medical problems that may impair their driving. Fowler sponsored both bills, which will take effect July 1.

“The folks at the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons took a look at the vision requirements and came to me and said, ‘You need to do better for the public safety issue,’ and wanted to know if I’d carry a bill in the House, which I told them I’d be glad to do,” said Fowler, whose district includes parts of Hanover, Caroline and Spotsylvania counties.

House Bill 1504sets new standards for obtaining and keeping a driver’s license or learner’s permit. It will increase the minimum field of vision that a driver must have in Virginia from 100 degrees to 110 degrees. That means drivers must have a greater ability to see what is on the periphery as well as what is in front of them.

“Being able to see properly and being able to scan the roads is a very important part of safe driving,” said Brandy Brubaker, public relations and media liaison for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

HB 1514,alsocarriedbyFowler, gives doctors and other health-care professionals civil immunity if they report patients who have vision or other medical problems that may impair their ability to drive safely.

The law will protect health-care practitioners from legal action if they tell DMV that they believe someone has a disability or impairment and shouldn’t be driving. For instance, the motorist could not sue the physician for violating practitioner-patient confidentiality.

“With that act of good faith, if they report somebody to the DMV to be examined, and if they suspect that the person shouldn’t be driving for legitimate health reasons, they will be protected from a legal situation,” Fowler said. He believes the law will foster “a greater reporting of folks that probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel.”

DMV officials said they already protect the identity of people who tell the agency that somebody may be an unsafe driver because of vision or health concerns.

“We get these reports from law enforcement, family members, maybe even neighbors, and we are prohibited to release information on the source for those medical reports that we receive,” Brubaker said.

When DMV receives such reports, she said, “We review cases of drivers who may have health or medical conditions that would impair or hinder their safe driving.”

Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant of Henrico County sponsored companion bills to Fowler’s legislation: SB 1229was identical to HB 1504,andSB 1024wasthesameas HB 1514. The General Assembly approved all four bills during its 2017 session.

Schools must test for lead in water

By Ben Burstein, VCU Capital News Service

RICHMOND – With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, safe drinking water is a high priority nationwide, especially for children. Beginning July 1, schools in Virginia will be required to test their potable water for lead.

Senate Bill 1359, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on March 20, seeks to ensure that local school boards test the drinking water in schools and that it meets federal guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that the level of lead not exceed 15 parts per billion.

Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church is especially concerned about the water in older school buildings that may have lead pipes.

“The water that comes to the school from the water supplier can be fine, and still, because of the pipes inside the school, there will be lead in the water that children drink,” said Kory, who co-sponsored the bill. (The chief patron was Sen. Jeremy McPike of Woodbridge.)

The new law requires testing in all schools but puts an emphasis on schools built before 1986. Each school board must decide how to implement the law. Currently, schools are not required to test for lead.

Testing could be especially important for older school districts in lower-income areas with a deteriorating infrastructure, Kory said.

Testing for lead is complex: The tests must be conducted multiple times and at multiple locations, such as drinking fountains and faucets. If tests find high levels of lead, the school may have to replace pipes and take other actions, including providing bottled water for students and teachers. The problem cannot be fixed overnight.

Kory believes the new law is a step in the right direction to make sure the next generation of Virginians grows up healthy.

As seen in Flint, lead can be harmful to the human body, especially in children. Low levels of lead do not affect the body immediately, but prolonged exposure can damage the nervous system and cause other problems, including learning disabilities and hearing impairment.

Dr. Rutherfoord Rose, a toxicologist and professor of medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, said lead poses a particular problem for young children whose nervous system is still developing.

“The critical point of lead exposure, even though you don’t want it in anybody, is really before they get to school,” Rose said. Most cases of lead poisoning come not from drinking water but from products that contain concentrated levels of lead, such as paint.

Whether the risk is marginal or not, parents are still concerned about lead exposure in their child’s school. Parents naturally want their children to have safe drinking water.

Thomas Amrhein’s 6-year-old daughter attends kindergarten at R.C. Longan Elementary School in Henrico County’s West End. Amrhein is glad for the new law requiring water testing.

“I think it’s urgently important since the problem has been uncovered,” Amrhein said. He said he is happy the testing is being done because the safety of children in public schools is crucial.

If the tests find lead in the drinking water at R.C. Longan, Amrhein is confident that the school will take immediate action to resolve the issue. “I believe they would rectify it in a timely manner.”

RELAY FOR LIFE ~ CAR, TRUCK & MOTORCYCLE SHOW Winners & Special Awards

 

#

AWARD

VEHICLE

OWNER

1

Most Chrome        (Tie)

1957 Chevy Pickup

1957 Chevy Bel Air

James Nicholson     

Connie Jordan

2

Least Chrome

1937 Chevy Sedan

Bruce Tudor

3

Highest Ride

1966 Ford Pickup

Bert Dickens

4

Lowest Ride

1951 Ford Mercury

Ernie & Nita Sydnor

5

Most Original      (Tie)      

1965 Ford Galaxy

1970 Pontiac GTO

Kenny Herrick

Robbie Mack

6

Best Interior

2010 Chevy Corvette

Cindy Vann

7

Best Exterior

1968 Ford Mustang

Chris Ellis

8

Best Engine         (Tie)       

1956 Chevy Bel Air

1967 Chevy Chevelle

James Wrenn

Diane Taylor

9

Best Appearing New Model

2016  Mustang Shelby

James Robinson

 

 

 

 

 

Special Awards

 

 

10

Relay Choice

1967 Mustang Conv.

Susan Harrell

11

Charles Taylor  Memorial

1937 Chevy Coupe

Thurstan Vann

12

David Williams Memorial

1967 Ford Mustang

Jesse Harrell

13

Bennie Acree     Memorial

1986 Chevy Pickup

Justin Smith

  14

George Blick     Memorial

1969 Chevy Impala

Dickie Delbridge

15

Special Interest

1984 Chevy Blazer

Charles Bradshaw

16

People’s Choice

1965 Chevy Pickup

Walter Lynch

 

DASH PLATES SPONSORED BY Link’s Electrical Chris Link. Special thanks for donations from Walter Lynch & Diane Taylor, and all the Support from Volunteers which made this event possible

Relay for Life ~ Calvary Baptist Church

“Praying for a Cure”

 

 

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