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The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, August 15, 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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VSU To Host Public Field Day On Industrial Hemp on Thursday, August 17

Industrial hemp, a crop with a long and storied history in Virginia, is the subject of an August 17 public field day at Virginia State University (VSU). This first-of-its kind event will provide a forum for potential producers, researchers, marketing experts and processing industry professionals to discuss the production and economic potential of this crop. The discussions will be useful to Virginia farmers who may decide to grow industrial hemp if legislation changes to make it legal again to do so.

In 2015, Virginia lawmakers authorized the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) to enter into a memorandum of understanding with universities within the commonwealth to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. As a result, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech and James Madison University are currently conducting industrial hemp research that will position the state to provide the necessary information farmers will need to successfully grow the crop should it once again be legalized.

Meanwhile, the popularity of industrial hemp-made products soars. Currently all industrial hemp products sold in the U.S., including food, personal care products, clothing and even construction materials, are imported to the U.S. from Canada, China, Europe and other countries where the crop is legal.

Industrial hemp (Cannnabis sativa L.) is botanically related to marijuana, but with very different properties. While marijuana is rich with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component that makes pot a drug of choice by many, hemp contains only the smallest traces of THC (<0.3%), making it virtually impossible to get high from. But it does produce strong fibers, and the seed has good quality oil that once made it a cash crop for America.

Fiber-type varieties are used mainly for production of fiber that has multiple applications in the textile industry for yarns and fabrics, sail ropes and canvas. The remaining plant parts are used for industrial applications including paper, building material reinforcement, insulation material, bio-energy and more. Hemp seed is also valuable. It contains high quality oil currently used in the food, pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic industries. The seed has a high protein content with a balanced amino acid profile and is used in human dietary supplements. Left-over cake material from oil extraction is a rich protein source used as an animal food supplement.

In fact, hemp fiber was so important to our young nation that colonial farmers were often mandated to grow it. The Declaration of Independence is said to have been drafted on hemp paper, and our nation’s victory in the American Revolution can in many ways be attributed to the patriots’ use of hemp in making their ships’ sails, rope, riggings and more. George Washington grew it, and Thomas Jefferson bred improved hemp varieties. Abraham Lincoln also used hemp seed oil to fuel his household lamps. During World War II, the USDA developed a “Hemp for Victory” film to encourage everyone to grow the crop to support the war effort. The fibers were used for parachutes, rope, shoes, clothes and more.

But during the mid part of the last century, strict legislation was passed that made it illegal to grow this versatile crop in the U.S., largely due to its relationship to its high-THC relative, marijuana. As a result, cultivars that once thrived across the country have been lost or remained unimproved, and no significant work has been done on production techniques and variety developments. Previous processing facilities collapsed and market availability that once drove production and supply has ceased to exist.

“So in many respects, it’s like starting from scratch,” said lead researcher on the project, Dr. Maru Kering. “We are now growing seeds that have been developed in Europe and elsewhere in a screening exercise to determine varieties adaptable to our soils and climatic conditions.”

He explained that it is a learning process to figure out each variety’s performance and potential problems, like weed and pest infestations. “Having such data will be important in developing production management guidelines for Virginia producers to facilitate high yields in the future, if and when industrial hemp becomes legal to grow again in the commonwealth,” Kering added.

The Industrial Hemp Field Day is being hosted by the university’s Agricultural Research Station (ARS), part of the university’s College of Agriculture. The ARS is responsible for carrying out the land-grant university’s mission of conducting scientific agriculture and food production research that will increase profitability for Virginia’s small, part-time and limited-resource farmers. Land-grant initiatives such as these help support and grow Virginia’s $91 billion agriculture and forest industry.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday, August 17, at VSU’s Randolph Farm, 4414 River Road, Petersburg, VA. Participants should register by visiting, and clicking on the event.

For more information or if you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Agricultural Research Station at or (804) 524-5151 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five (5) days prior to the event.

Freeman Community Empowerment Day

Back To School Event in Freeman, VA on August 19, 2017

The 4th Annual Freeman Community Empowerment Day will be held on Saturday, August 19th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Inspiration Center (formerly Meljo’s), 21391 Governor Harrison Parkway, Freeman, Virginia. Hosted by ten partnering organizations, the goal of Freeman Community Empowerment Day is to connect the attendees with important community resources, to help local children prepare for the school year, and to foster fellowship. This family event is free and open to the public. Over 700 backpacks with schools supplies will be provided to area children. Attendees are encouraged to come out and enjoy the cookout, door prizes, clothing giveaway, games, moon bounces, face painting, third annual car show, and live Gospel Stage sponsored by WHLQ 105.5 Hot Joy Radio!

Many community agencies will be represented in the resource fair including Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, Cooperative Extension Office, Improvement Association, NDUTime, Brunswick County Public Schools Family Engagement, Inspiration Center, YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, Southside Virginia Community College, Old Dominion University, Dominion Power, Second Chance, Virginia Housewives of Finance, Litter Control, Longwood Small Business Development Center, Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Turning Point Family Services, DNC, Nutrition & Health, and the VCU Massey Cancer Center's Cancer Research and Resource Center of Lawrenceville and more!

The Fourth Annual Freeman Community Empowerment Day is a collaborative effort of the following churches:  First Baptist Church, First Church of Christ (Holiness) USA, Mount Calvary Baptist Church, New Hope RZUA Church, Pleasant Grove Church of Christ Disciples of Christ, Union Bethel RZUA Church (all of Freeman Virginia), Zion Baptist Church (of Purdy, VA), the Coalition for Delaying Parenthood in Youth and WHLQ 105.5 Hot Joy Radio.

For information, please email Vondrenna Smithers at

Virginians Unite in Wake of Charlottesville Hate and Violence

Rebublicans and Democrats, Liberal and Conservitive, Black and White have all condemed the violence sparked by a planned rally of white supremicists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 11, 2017. Below are the statements from people from all sides.



“The Republican Party was created to end slavery in the mid-1800’s and our Party today continues to stand for equality for all persons regardless of their race or ethnicity. We condemn the hatred and racism on display today in Charlottesville and note that there is nothing conservative about messages of that nature.”

“Virginia Republicans, Democrats and Independents are all unified in rejecting their message.”

Statement from DPVA Chairwoman Condemning

Planned White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville

Richmond, Va. – Today, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement condemning last night’s violent demonstration and today’s planned rally by white nationalists in Charlottesville:

“Last night’s hateful parade by white supremacists in Charlottesville was a cowardly and bigoted attack on every Virginian. I am horrified and personally disgusted by this racist demonstration against the Charlottesville community and our commonwealth’s cornerstone values of equality and fairness. The hate we saw last night has no place in our country in 2017 — and is a direct assault on everything I know and love about our commonwealth.

“The vile protests planned for this weekend seek to divide us — and provoke us — with their hate. I urge everyone to heed the words of Governor McAuliffe and Lieutenant Governor Northam and deny these racist protests the attention they desperately want — and instead stand together as neighbors, citizens, Virginians and Americans to build a more just and inclusive future for our commonwealth in the weeks and months ahead.”


2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie today released the following statement on the events in Charlottesville:

“Having a right to spew vile hate does not make it right. It is painful to see these ugly events in Charlottesville last night and today. These displays have no place in our Commonwealth, and the mentality on display is rejected by the decent, thoughtful and compassionate fellow Virginians I see every day. I know we all appreciate the law enforcement officials maintaining order and protecting public safety there.”

Dr. Northam on Planned Rally in Charlottesville

Richmond, Va. – Today, Dr. Ralph Northam released the following statement regarding last night’s demonstration and today’s planned rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville.

"The cornerstone of what makes our commonwealth a wonderful place to live is all that we share in common, not the things that set us apart. The community of Charlottesville has been asked twice now in recent months to defend our values of openness, diversity, and inclusion against an ideology of hatred and bigotry -- no community should have to bear that burden in 2017.

"White supremacists have descended upon Charlottesville again to evoke a reaction as ugly and violent as their beliefs -- just as they did before, I am urging Virginians to deny them the satisfaction."



WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement in response to the recent displays of violence and bigotry by white nationalists in Charlottesville:

"Virginia has come so far in recent decades to put division behind us. Both Anne and I are so proud of this progress. It's sickening to see the displays of violence and bigotry that were brought to Charlottesville by white nationalists over the last 24 hours, which tragically led to injuries and at least one death today. This is not who we are. Charlottesville is a vibrant community that recognizes the deep scars from our past and has rejected hatred in favor of inclusion.

 "The fact that people like David Duke cited the President to justify their views is a disturbing reminder that divisive rhetoric has sadly contributed to a climate where individuals who espouse hate feel emboldened. As they seek publicity through their hateful tactics, let's pull together--regardless of party, race or religion--to reject hatred in no uncertain terms and stand together. I'm encouraged by the words of leaders on both sides of the aisle who have spoken out forcefully against what has occurred today, and it's critical that we follow up those words with action that builds a more inclusive future.  We call ourselves a Commonwealth because the word signifies community. It's who we are and we won't go backwards."

~ On violence in Charlottesville ~

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement in response to the violence in Charlottesville, VA:

“Virginians mourn the life taken in this morning's events and reject this hateful violence in Charlottesville. We condemn the intolerance behind it and those who would pass it off as a legitimate political movement.

“Those who traveled to Virginia to incite unrest don't understand the Virginia-born values that make our country great.

“I have been in touch today with the Governor's Office and the Mayor, and stand prepared to help connect them with any additional federal resources that might be needed. My thoughts are with the victims, the great people of Charlottesville, and the police and first responders who restored order. I will continue to monitor the situation in Charlottesville and pray for its peaceful resolution.”

House Dems Statement on Violence in Charlottesville

RICHMOND, Va.– House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring today issued the following joint statement on yesterday’s violence in Charlottesville:

“We are sickened and saddened by the actions of thousands of white supremacists yesterday in Charlottesville. Their actions, driven by hate, represent an assault on American values that we hold dear. We grieve for the families of Heather Heyer, killed in an apparent act of domestic terrorism, and Virginia State Police Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who were just doing their jobs in trying to keep us safe. We thank the hundreds of state and local police, medics, emergency personnel, and clergy who struggled mightily on our behalf in response to this crisis. All of our elected leaders, including our President, must condemn white supremacy and domestic terrorism in the strongest possible terms. As we mourn today for those killed, we resolve to honor their legacies by rededicating ourselves to the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusiveness. We urge every Virginia to fight darkness with light, and to find the courage to call out hate when you see it, no matter how polished or disguised.”

Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Statement in the Aftermath of the Unite the Rally in Charlottesville

Racism, hatred and discrimination and deadly violence must not be tolerated in Virginia and will not be acceptable by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. Our forefathers and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. died to fight against such violence and our civil rights.  We must unite and stand for equality for all against white supremacy in our country." Delegate Roslyn Tyler, Chair Virginia Legislative Black Caucus




NAACP Responds to Charlottesville Violence

“As people can see now very clearly, not voting has consequences,” stated Janette Martin, president of the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP. "On numerous occasions the city of Charlottesville has spent thousands of dollars to support KKK rallies - public money that could have gone toward the education of our youth. Today’s actions had nothing at all to do with exercising the right to free speech," Martin added. "These people came here with intent to commit domestic terrorism. Plain and simple. They have been emboldened by the words and vocabulary of elected officials at the highest levels."  Martin concluded, " we commend people of faith here in Charlottesville for working hard to set a moral tone, and sacrificing themselves and their safety to drown out the message of hate.”

“The terrible incidence of violence in Charlottesville is a painful reminder of the  blatant racism, unbridled lynchings and other violence against citizens of African descent that permeated the history of this country,” said Linda Thomas, president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP. "This goes to the very core of the existence of the NAACP and our continuing struggle against forces of hate." 

 "White supremacists and today’s purveyors of hate should find no shadows in which to hide. Our forefathers shed blood so that in 2017, this type of violence would be a footnote of the past." Added Thomas, "We applaud our governor, Terry McAuliffe, who's statement today is in alignment with the NAACP mission. And we encourage the Governor to use the full force of his executive powers to eradicate race based barriers in all areas of life within the state. The Virginia State Conference will remain steadfast in our advocacy and activism as we push forward in our fight for legislative changes, expansion of voting rights and sound public policies that equally serve and protect all citizens within the commonwealth. And we will persist until we drive racism, and racist behavior from our midst." 

“We at the national NAACP applaud and appreciate President Trump’s disavowment of the hatred which bared its ugly face in one of our great American cities today,” said Derrick Johnson, interim president and CEO of the NAACP. “But we caution that his repeated rhetoric has helped to fuel this climate of division and derision, and it has to change. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in Charlottesville. We stand firm with our commitment to acknowledge our differences, to embrace them as the richness of the American mosaic and we’ll continue to lead the fight for the right to peaceably assemble.”

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