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Career Opportunity


Residential Treatment Facility for youth located fifteen minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks Virginia licensed LPN. Substance abuse treatment experience is a plus.   Full-time position.  Twelve hour first shift (8AM to 8PM).

Compensation package includes employer matching 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screening and criminal background screening.  Position open until filled. EOE.

E-mail, fax, or mail cover letter & resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2018-3
Attn: Chris Thompson
Fax: (434) 634-6237





Psychiatric residential treatment facility for adolescent girls and boys located 15 minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks experienced licensed clinician (LCSW or LPC) to provide therapy and case management services on an inpatient basis.  Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling experience and certification preferred.  Population served includes adolescent girls and boys with complex developmental trauma, co-occurring mental illness, and substance abuse issues.  Position provides individual, group, and family therapy within a psychiatric residential setting. 

Virginia license is required.  Two years’ formal experience counseling adolescents is required.  Residential experience is preferred. 

Seeking experienced candidates.  Highly competitive pay & benefits including employer sponsored Health, Dental, Vision & Life Insurance and employer matching 401(k) retirement plan.

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and drug free work place.  Post offer criminal background and drug screenings required.  Position open until filled.

Submit resume and cover letter to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2018-4
Attn: Chris Thompson
Fax: (434) 634-6237



Joseph “Joe” McCrae Allen

Joseph “Joe” McCrae Allen of Emporia, died Sunday, February 18, 2018. He was born in Franklinton, N.C. and was the son of the late Archie Brown Allen and Cornelia Barbour Allen. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Peggy Dutton Allen; two brothers, A.B. Allen and Bill Allen; and sister, Cornelia Allen Hite.

He was a retired supervisor at Weldon Mills. He is survived by his wife, Rachael Wall Allen; two daughters, Karen A. Epting (Patrick) of Trinity, FL, and Kelli A. Harrell (David) of Jarratt, VA; stepdaughter, Darlene Woodard (Dennis) of Branchville, VA; stepson, Bruce Acree (Sharon) of Jarratt, VA; six grandchildren, McCrae Bennett (Samantha) of Tampa, FL, Bryan Murphy, Jr.(Allyssa) of Gaston, NC, Keith Harrell of Jarratt, VA, Andrew Acree of Emporia, VA, Scott Acree of Jarratt, VA, and Austin Falwell of Emporia, VA; and great grandchild, Liam Murphy of Gaston, NC.

A memorial service will be held in the chapel of Echols Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 6:30 P.M., with Pastor Troy Green of Grace Community Fellowship Church officiating. Family will receive visitors, following the service at daughter, Kelli A. Harrell’s residence, 11330 Henry Road, Jarratt, VA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Grace Community Fellowship Church, 8014 Little Lowground Road, Emporia, VA 23847.

Online condolences may be made at


SVCC Welding Students Enjoy Learning

Two women, claiming each other as kin, take Southside Virginia Community College welding class together at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.  Heather McComb (Left to Right), John Evans, Instructor, and Diane Boaz make quite a team in the welding facility of SVCC in South Hill. 

With a total of three women currently enrolled in the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center,  Southside Virginia Community College’s Arc Welding I class, intergenerational learning and nontraditional are not simply “buzzwords.”  SVCC instructor John Evans’ class at Lake Country Knowledge Center in South Hill notes that two of the women weld in booths side by side, but, in age, they are 50 years apart. 

These women enjoy learning together and supporting the efforts of one another.  And, it goes without saying that women enrolled in a welding class are not the norm.  Typically, one thinks of men as welders; and, women in this field are the minority.  But wearing their protective clothing of a cap, helmet, coat, gloves and boots, they fit right in.

Diane Boaz and Heather McComb are both from Lunenburg County.  Another interesting thing about Diane and Heather is that they are grandmother and granddaughter “by choice.”  They found each other when Heather and her family moved across the road from Diane several years ago.  From the beginning the two were of the same mind. Heather said, with emotion, that she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for Diane and her husband, David.

The Boaz’s have a farm where Diane has been actively working for some years.  Heather has helped with the cows and the farm duties.  For both of them, welding is something they can use to keep the equipment working and in good shape.  Heather will be graduating from high school in May and hopes to find work that offers a great deal of variety.  She knows she doesn’t want to sit behind a desk and really enjoys working outdoors. Ultimately her goal is to farm full-time. Her thinking is that welding skills will give her an employment edge.

A great deal of variety is what Diane has in her work history and a significant amount has been in work that is nontraditional for women.  She once applied for a position as fire fighter for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Unfortunately, she was an inch too short to qualify, but she was the first woman to ever apply.  While her employment in a hospital operating room was more traditional, she was again in the minority as a Pinkerton Security Guard in Charlotte and as a member of a field surveying team in Mecklenburg County. 

Diane began welding in 2015 in two classes also at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center.  She heard about the offering through Heather’s uncle and took the classes with him.  Heather came to observe.  By January 2018 Heather was enrolled as well and Diane signed up to hone her skills. 

Both women have high praises for Evans, “He is a wonderful, patient, kind person and a great instructor.”

For Diane Boaz, welding is more than just a skill to be used to maintain the tillage tools and other farm equipment.  “It means being more self-reliant and self-sufficient as a woman.”  And it certainly isn’t every woman who receives a Lincoln Stick Welder and a welding table as Christmas gifts from her husband!

Virginia Honors MLK with Community Conversations


By Alexandra Sosik, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — The state’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission will commemorate the 50thanniversary of its namesake’s assassination through 12 “Community Conversations” beginning in March, each one at a location the Rev. King visited in Virginia.

At these conversations, community leaders, religious leaders, historians, educators and residents will join members of the commission in reviewing King’s legacy and his time spent in the commonwealth. According to spokesperson Lilly Jones, the conversations will reflect on King’s vision of a “Beloved Community” in each location today and ponder the question he penned in his 1967 book, “Where do we go from here?”

The Perkins Living and Learning Center at Virginia Union University in Richmond will host the first conversation from 6-8 p.m on March 1. Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who chairs the commission, will moderate the panel discussion.

The panel will include Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond; VUU Vice President Corey Walker; VUU graduate student Jamar Boyd II; the Rev. Jim Somerville of First Baptist Church in Richmond; the Rev. Janie Walker of Richmond Hill; and Benjamin Ragsdale, a Richmond resident who met King twice while working in civil rights and anti-war movements.

The roundtable discussions are part of the commission’s larger project, titled “King in Virginia.” In that project, historians, researchers and community members will gather and present information on King’s dozens of visits to Virginia.

King, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign against racism, spent lengthy time in Richmond, often speaking at VUU. In 1960, he led a march on the Virginia State Capitol where he pushed for the reopening of public schools that had closed due to resistance of desegregation.

The “King in Virginia” project will create a public online archive bookmarking the activist’s time spent in Virginia.

Other Community Conversations will be held:

●      At the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell Hall on March 13

●      At First Baptist Church in Farmville on April 24

●      At First Baptist Church of Williamsburg on June 6

●      And on dates to be announced in Danville, Hampton, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg and Suffolk.

All events are free and open to the public. Visit the commission’s website — — for more information.

MLK III Speaks Out Against Gun Violence

By Aya Driouche and Alexandra Sosik, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Decrying America’s “culture of violence,” the oldest son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. praised the survivors of last week’s school shooting in Florida for demanding that government officials implement restrictions on guns in the U.S.

Speaking at Virginia Commonwealth University, Martin Luther King III commended students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were shot and killed on Valentine’s Day, for taking a stand and calling on elected officials to act on gun control.

“Once again, children, young people, lives interrupted forever, of all ages and every ethnic group,” King said. “We could say it’s mental illness, but maybe it’s the climate that exists in our nation. We have certainly created and sustained a culture of violence.”

King spoke Sunday at an event that had been rescheduled from Jan. 21, during VCU MLK Celebration Week, due to inclement weather.

The event came four days after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, according to authorities, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, killing three adults and 14 students. It was the ninth deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

King accused Congress of remaining silent after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where Adam Lanza gunned down 26 teachers and students.

King pointed to the movement to end sexual harassment that has swept the country as an example of positive cultural change. He said he is optimistic that America will soon see the same results with gun control.

“Every week, someone is losing a job because of the tragedy of sexual harassment that should never have happened,” King said. “So I would say even on this issue where people tragically lost their lives, we don’t know where it’s going to lead, but I am hopeful.”

King said he has personally experienced gun violence not once, but twice. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. Five years later, King told the VCU audience, his grandmother, Alberta King, was shot and killed in Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta by a man who intended to kill her husband.

“It did not deter me or distract me because I had to learn to dislike the evil act but still love the individual,” King said.

He also addressed last August’s chaos in Charlottesville, where white supremacists participated in a “Unite the Right” rally against the removal of a Confederate statue. A counter-protester was killed by a man authorities have described as a neo-Nazi.

King said that, in the pursuit of ratings and revenues, the media magnify the number of Americans who commit hate-motivated violence.

“There were 200 white men who marched in Charlottesville, not 200,000,” King said. “But the media would have you think that every white male American was marching with those 200 because they kept, over and over again, running the story on every channel.”

Like his father, King urged people to avoid violence even if it’s to raise awareness for an issue.

“The moment an individual commits violence even for a good cause, that person’s credibility is shredded,” he said. “The quickest way to surrender your dignity and credibility is to engage in violence.”

King wrapped up by encouraging people to not let others discourage them from following their dreams.

“Remember – every great leader, including Martin Luther King Jr., was once a young person who had doubts about what he or she could do, but they persevered with courage. Be courageous. Don’t let anyone make you feel like there’s nothing you can do. Be guided by your dreams, not distracted by your peers.”

At Session’s Midpoint, Black Lawmakers Hail Success

Senators Rosalyn Dance, D- Richmond, and Louise Lucas, D- Chesapeake, discuss legislation at a VBLC press conference.

By Thomas Jett, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – African-American lawmakers said Monday they have been successful this legislative session in addressing the problem of food deserts, funding apprenticeships for high school students and relaxing overly harsh school disciplinary policies.

At a press conference, members of the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus said they generally are pleased with how the session has progressed as it enters the second half.

“In the House and Senate, we have seen legislation advanced to address the long overdue need for an increase in felony threshold so that people are not harmed for life for relatively small mistakes; stop the suspension of drivers’ licenses, which makes it even harder for people to pay for their fines and court fees; reduce the imposition of counterproductive school suspensions for younger students; and tax credits for businesses that train Richmond high school students for good jobs,” said Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, the caucus chair.

The lawmakers said they were pleased that several bills were moving forward:

  • SB 937 would provide a $2,500 tax credit to businesses offering apprenticeships for Richmond high school students. “Once that pilot is successful, we will expand it across the commonwealth because we realize that not everyone is going to college,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond.
  • HB 1600 would reduce the maximum school suspension from 364 days to 45 days with exceptions for aggravating circumstances. “We can’t continue to use access to education as punishment and expect to change the outcomes for our young people,” said Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond. “This is just one important step in dismantling and disrupting the ‘school-to-prison pipeline.’”
  • SB 37 would fund construction and improvements of grocery stores and food retailers in underserved communities known as food deserts. Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, said the bill would help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other health problems related to diet.
  • HB 1550 and SB 105 would raise the threshold for grand larceny – a felony crime – from $200 to $500. The current threshold hasn’t been changed since 1980.

“You just don’t know how many kids and college students, as a part of a dare, or pressure from peer groups go and commit dumb mistakes,” said Del. Joseph Lindsey, D-Norfolk. He said young people convicted of felony theft under the existing threshold suffer lifelong consequences “keeping them away from the ballot box, keeping them away from business opportunities, keeping them away from educational opportunities.”

Despite those legislative successes, caucus members expressed disappointment about the fate of bills such as SB 909. It would have made it illegal in the housing industry to discriminate against people based on their “source of income,” including whether they receive government assistance. A Senate committee voted to put off the bill until next year.

“When I talk about low-income housing, I’m also talking about middle-class housing for our firefighters, our police officers, our teachers that too often can’t afford to live in the communities that they serve,” McClellan said.

House Panel Next to Consider Senate Coal Ash Legislation

By Kirby Farineau, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- A Senate bill extending the moratorium on permanently closing coal ash ponds appears to be the only legislation on the issue poised to move forward from this General Assembly session.

Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, introduced six pieces of legislation on coal ash, and coal ash ponds, where stored ash potentially risks contaminating groundwater.

The lone survivor is SB 807, which  passed in the Senate 37-3 last week. Co-sponsored by Sen. Amanda F. Chase, R-Chesterfield, the bill would extend the moratorium on closing ponds where coal ash is stored until after the next legislative session, and would also require that Dominion Energy, the owners of the coal ash ponds, submit reports  to the General Assembly and governor on the cost of recycling the material. Coal ash is the toxic byproduct of coal-burning power plants

The bill’s next step is to go before a subcommittee of the House Commerce and Labor Committee.

Surovell said he has doubts about Dominion Energy estimates that recycling the utility’s ash would cost more than  $4 billion.

“I'm not convinced that Dominion’s numbers are accurate. I’m hopeful that with the new process we put in place, that the cost assessments for recycling will come down.” Surovell said.

According to Surovell, the Dominion utility rate cap bill  has dominated the session to the point that other legislation, including his own, suffered.

The moratorium  passed with support from environmental groups and Dominion Energy.

Dominion spokesman Robert Richardson said that Dominion has taken several actions to protect the environment since it was ordered in 2015 to resolve the coal ash issue.

Richardson said that Dominion plans to reduce the number of coal ash ponds at the Bremo power station in New Canton to just one within the next six months. The utility has already reduced the number of ponds at Possum Point in Dumfries from five to one. Overall, Richardson said, Dominion will have reduced the number of coal ash ponds under federal regulation from 11 to four.

Richardson also said that Dominion is currently recycling over 700,000 tons of coal ash a year, and is draining water from its Chesterfield power station ponds. He said Dominion stands by “cap in place” practices and that it has followed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.    

“What we are hoping first as far as a priority, is closing these ponds in a way that is fully protective of the environment.” Richardson said

Environmental groups have been skeptical, however, especially after Dominion was found guilty in federal court of violating the Clean Water Act for contaminating Virginia’s Elizabeth River with arsenic in 2017. The judge in the case, however, said the leak was considered small enough that it didn’t pose a threat to public health.

The Virginia branch of the Sierra Club, which filed the Elizabeth River suit, considers “cap in place” unsafe, The organization supports Surovell’s bill.

“Removing the ash or potentially recycling are the only responsible way to deal with toxic waste,” said Kate Addleson, director of the club’s Virginia chapter.  “We feel it’s important to make sure there are ways to evaluate the best way to dispose of the ash properly before moving forward.”

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