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2018-3-22

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, December 20th, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

 

Career Opportunity

Guidance Counselor

Brunswick Academy, a Pre-School through 12th grade independent school, seek an experienced Guidance Counselor certified in Guidance or related area for grades 8-12.  Possession of a Master’s Degree in School Counseling, Guidance Counseling, or School Guidance and Counseling from an accredited college or university; possession of or eligible for a Virginia Department of Education professional teaching certificate with a guidance endorsement and at least 3 years experience in guidance or related field.

Job duties include but not limited to the following:

  • Provides academic, personal/social, and career counseling
  • Coordinates comprehensive school counseling program
  • Communicates with parents and agency representatives
  • Coordinates teacher and parent conferences as needed
  • Interprets test data and student records for parents and teachers
  • Scheduling of classes
  • Daily attendance
  • Engaged and on task
  • Performs other duties as required
  • Must have a thorough knowledge of the curriculum, instruction and counseling/guidance theory and practice
  • Communication skills, both oral and written, must be highly developed to meet the diverse needs of the clientele, professional staff and other community agencies
  • Must be able to organize and carry out student activity programs; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities
     

Salary discussed during interview session.  Health insurance and 403(b) retirement program available.

Brunswick Academy is an equal opportunity employer and a drug free work place.  Brunswick Academy does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, national origin, race, religion, or sex in employment or education.  Applicants considered for employment must successfully complete the following background investigations/tests: • State Police Criminal History Investigation • Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigation • Tuberculosis Screening/Test.  This position is open until filled.

Please e-mail cover letter and resume to:

Brunswick Academy
Attn:  Kristine Thompson
Guidance Counselor
E-mail:  thompsonk@brunswickacademy.com

WOMEN’S HISTORY and SOCIAL SECURITY

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

March is Women’s History Month. This is a time to focus not just on women’s achievements, but on the challenges women continue to face. In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Knowing this, you can take control of your own rich and independent history, with knowledge you can get from Social Security.

Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for over 80 years. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. With the national average life expectancy for women in the United States rising, many women may have decades to enjoy retirement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a female born today can expect to live more than 80 years. As a result, experts generally agree that if women want to ensure that their retirement years are comfortable, they need to plan early and wisely.

A great place to start is with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and projected earnings to get an idea of how such things might change your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

You should also visit Social Security’s financial planning website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners. It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect your Social Security. 

Your benefits are based on your earnings, so you should create your personal my Social Security account to verify that your earnings were reported correctly. Your account also can provide estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. You can access my Social Security at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

If you want more information about how Social Security supports women through life’s journey, Social Security has a booklet that you may find useful. It’s called Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10127.html.

Census Data Shows Growth in Northern Virginia, Decline in the South

By Ryan Persaud, Capital News Service

Numbers from our region:

 



Virginia locality 2010 census 2016 estimate 2017 estimate Absolute pop. change, 2010-2017 Percent pop.
change, 2010-2017
Absolute pop. change, 2016-2017
Brunswick County 17,425 16,275 16,244 -1,181 -6.80% -31
Chesapeake City 222,306 237,621 240,397 18,091 8.10% 2,776
Chesterfield County 316,239 338,815 343,599 27,360 8.70% 4,784
Dinwiddie County 28,014 28,025 28,208 194 0.70% 183
Emporia City 5,925 5,375 5,282 -643 -10.90% -93
Franklin City 8,580 8,228 8,176 -404 -4.70% -52
Goochland County 21,694 22,475 22,685 991 4.60% 210
Greensville County 12,245 11,551 11,679 -566 -4.60% 128
Hampton City 137,384 135,332 134,669 -2,715 -2.00% -663
Hanover County 99,846 104,347 105,923 6,077 6.10% 1,576
Henrico County 306,868 326,147 327,898 21,030 6.90% 1,751
Hopewell City 22,602 22,619 22,621 19 0.10% 2
Mecklenburg County 32,721 30,786 30,686 -2,035 -6.20% -100
Newport News City 180,963 180,388 179,388 -1,575 -0.90% -1,000
Norfolk City 242,823 245,532 244,703 1,880 0.80% -829
Nottoway County 15,852 15,510 15,434 -418 -2.60% -76
Petersburg City 32,437 31,850 31,750 -687 -2.10% -100
Poquoson City 12,157 11,947 12,053 -104 -0.90% 106
Portsmouth City 95,527 94,997 94,572 -955 -1.00% -425
Powhatan County 28,062 28,398 28,601 539 1.90% 203
Prince Edward County 23,357 23,023 22,703 -654 -2.80% -320
Prince George County 35,706 37,807 37,809 2,103 5.90% 2
Richmond City 204,271 225,288 227,032 22,761 11.10% 1,744
Richmond County 9,254 8,784 8,939 -315 -3.40% 155
Southampton County 18,570 18,019 17,750 -820 -4.40% -269
Suffolk City 84,570 89,294 90,237 5,667 6.70% 943
Surry County 7,065 6,570 6,540 -525 -7.40% -30
Sussex County 12,070 11,426 11,373 -697 -5.80% -53
Virginia Beach City 437,907 451,404 450,435 12,528 2.90% -969

RICHMOND – Population is booming in Northern Virginia and shrinking in many rural localities in the southern and southwestern parts of the state, according to data released Thursday by the U.S Census Bureau.

The population of the city of Falls Church grew 5.2 percent between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, the data showed. That was more than any U.S. county with at least 10,000 residents. (The Census Bureau puts Virginia’s cities in the same geographic category as counties.)

Three other Virginia localities grew more than 3 percent over the past year: Loudoun County and Manassas Park near D.C., and New Kent County east of Richmond.

Since 2010, Loudoun County’s population has increased more than 27 percent, to more than 380,000. That percentage increase ranks fourth among all U.S. counties with at least 200,000 people.

The growth in Northern Virginia is largely due to large employers located there and in Washington, said Hamilton Lombard, research specialist at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, which worked with the U.S. Census Bureau on the population estimates.

“A lot of that is still commuters to D.C., but you have big job centers now in Northern Virginia by itself,” Lombard said. “Fairfax has more people in it than D.C. does.”

Since the census in April 2010, the population of Fairfax County has grown more than 6 percent, to almost 1.15 million, the Census Bureau’s estimates show. The District of Columbia has about 694,000 residents; however, its population has increased more than 15 percent since 2010.

Like the nation’s capital, Virginia’s state capital has shown robust growth after decades of population decline.

Since 2010, the population of the city of Richmond has increased more than 11 percent – more than the suburban counties of Chesterfield (less than 9) percent, Henrico (almost 7 percent) and Hanover (6 percent).

Lombard said Richmond’s turnaround reflects a national trend of more investment in cities.

“It had a higher vacancy rate, a lot of empty homes – it was losing population for decades,” Lombard said. “You get around to the time of the housing crisis, and a lot of people couldn’t buy; they had to rent. That also made Richmond more attractive, because they had more rentals. It’s quite remarkable how it’s turned around and started growing.”

Lombard attributed part of the growth to the redevelopment of historic properties.

“Virginia has a very generous tax credit system that encourages redeveloping historical buildings,” Lombard said. “That’s created a lot of new residential units and really pristine historic areas.”

Of Virginia’s 133 counties and cities, 78 gained population over the past year – and 71 have more residents now than in 2010. Fifteen localities have grown by more than 10 percent since 2010 – including Fredericksburg (17 percent), Prince William County (15 percent), James City County (12 percent) and Charlottesville (11 percent).

In contrast, 62 of Virginia’s localities – mostly in the south and southwestern regions of the state – have seen a decrease in residents since 2010. The population has fallen about 9 percent in Bath and Tazewell counties and almost 11 percent in Buchanan County and the City of Emporia.

August Wallmeyer, author of “The Extremes of Virginia,” which focuses on the economic development of the state’s rural areas, said there are many reasons for the population decrease, such as a lack of economic opportunity and a decline in “low tech” industries such as coal mining, tobacco farming and textile manufacturing.

“The principal reasons are lack of jobs and economic opportunity,” Wallmeyer said. “The jobs part, I think, is related primarily due to the poor public education system that has not prepared people in these areas for modern-day, information-centered, technological-type careers.”

Wallmeyer said younger people are fleeing these areas due to what he sees as poor public education systems that lag far behind the schools in the wealthier areas of the state.

“I quoted in my book the chancellor of Virginia’s community college system as saying that if you looked at the poorer areas of the state, and considered those areas as a state by themselves, in terms of educational attainment, they would be dead last in the nation,” Wallmeyer said, “while the rest of Virginia – the urban quarter, the wealthier part of Virginia – would rank No. 2 in the nation.”

Wallmeyer said efforts by federal and state governments and regional coalitions to improve the economy in these poorer, rural areas have been largely unsuccessful.

“There are some people I have talked to in my research, some public officials, who say, only half-jokingly, ‘In my little county, the last person to leave, please cut off the lights, because there’s nothing left,’” Wallmeyer said.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, Virginia remains the 12th most populous state with about 8.47 million residents. That is an increase of less than 6 percent since 2010 and less than 1 percent over the past year – about the same as the U.S. as a whole.

Lombard said one big takeaway from the new data is how much slower Virginia has grown this decade.

“We’re getting close to eight and a half million, but the growth rate we’re hitting annually is really the lowest it’s been since before the Great Depression,” Lombard said. “The country’s population has been gradually slowing down a little bit just because of the population aging, but Virginia has slowed down a lot more quickly than the rest of the country.”

As for predictions, Lombard expects more people will be living in Northern Virginia.

“By our projection, by 2040, half of Virginia’s population should live in Fredericksburg, or north of it,” Lombard said.

New Law Would Lower GED Age Requirement

By Scott Malone, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — It will be easier for Virginians who drop out of high school at 16 or 17 to earn their high school equivalency diploma if Gov. Ralph Northam signs a bill approved by the General Assembly.

House Bill 803, sponsored by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Washington, would reduce from 18 to 16 the age for taking the General Educational Development tests. Supporters say the measure could save some teenagers time and money in pursuing a GED diploma.

“There’s been young people who have dropped out of school in our region at 16 or 17, and they’ve realized, ‘Hey, shouldn’t have done that. I’d like to get my high school diploma so I can go to work,’ and they’ve had to wait until they were 18,” said Jacob Holmes, O’Quinn’s legislative director.

 “It kind of put them off for a year or two. [O’ Quinn] was trying to find an avenue to allow those kids who’ve made that mistake to get back on the right track.”

Under current law, a GED certificate is available only to:

●      Adults who did not complete high school

●      Students granted permission by their division superintendent

●      Students who are home-schooled and have completed home-school instruction

●      Students released from compulsory attendance for religious or health reasons

●      People required by court order to participate in the testing program

 According to existing law, Virginians as young as 16 can earn a GED diploma if they are housed in adult correctional facilities or have been expelled from school for certain reasons.

If granted permission by their division superintendent, students must complete an Individual Student Alternative Education Plan before they are allowed to take the GED tests.

According to Charles Pyle, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Education, to complete an alternative education plan, a student must:

●      Receive career counseling

●      Attend a high school equivalency preparation program

●      Earn a Career and Technical Education credential as approved by the Virginia Board of Education

●      Complete a course in economics and personal finance

●      Receive counseling on the potential economic impact of failing to complete high school along with procedures for re-enrollment

 HB 803 would allow an individual who is at least 16 years old to take the GED exam without having to complete an alternative education plan.

However, the legislation does not mean students can quit high school the day they turn 16. It “does not amend the commonwealth’s compulsory education statute, which requires attendance in school up until the 18th birthday and describes the circumstances under which a person under the age of 18 can be excused from attending school,” Pyle said.

Holmes added that O’Quinn “was not intending to have an incentive for people to drop out of high school.”

O’Quinn’s bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. Northam has until April 9 to decide whether to sign it into law. Rebecca Blacksten, a 10th-grader at McLean High School in Fairfax County, said she hopes he does.

“I personally feel like it’s a wonderful idea,” Blacksten said. “I think that in a country where education is of the utmost importance, everyone should have the ability to get a GED, even if it is earlier than 18 because of needs they might have.”

Ex-Gov. Wilder Sues VCU Over Assistant’s Harassment Claims

By Fadel Allassan, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Former Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder is suing Virginia Commonwealth University and its government school, which bears his name, claiming his administrative assistant was the subject of verbal harassment.

The complaint was filed in Richmond’s Circuit Court on Monday. It asserts that the dean of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, John Accordino, verbally assaulted and abused Angelica Bega, Wilder’s administrative assistant, last November.

Accordino called Bega “obscene names,” threatened to fire her, accused her of violating human resources rules and “questioned and insulted her intelligence,” according to the complaint.

The complaint says VCU President Michael Rao refused to properly address Accordino’s actions. It says the university’s vice president and provost, Gail Hackett, conducted a “farcical and corrupt investigation” after Wilder met with her and Rao to notify them about Bega’s allegations. Rao and Hackett are both named as defendants.

When Wilder met with Rao, Hackett and Kevin Allison, Rao’s senior assistant, Hackett assured everyone present that Bega did not want to report Accordino to the university, according to the court document. However, the lawsuit says, Bega later denied to Wilder she had ever told Hackett that and stated “unequivocally” that she wanted to move forward with a complaint to the university.

“Upon being confronted with Ms. Bega’s statement, it was conceded Ms. Bega had never stated that she did not wish for her complaint to move forward,” the court document says.

The lawsuit says Wilder told Rao and Hackett that the provost’s office was “compromised and unable to faithfully process” Bega’s complaint. Wilder then reported Accordino’s actions to VCU’s Office of Human Resources as sexual harassment and racial and sexual discrimination.

The suit says Wilder, who holds the rank of distinguished professor at VCU, was not present when the incident between Accordino and Bega occurred, but Kristine Artello, an assistant professor at the Wilder School, notified Wilder of the incident.

Accordino has been the dean of the Wilder School for one year. Before that, he held the position on an interim basis since July 2016.

A spokesperson for VCU refused to comment but said the university has not been served with a lawsuit.

Lady Vikings Win Opening Games

The Lady Vikings opened their 2018 Varsity Softball season at the Dinwiddie Sports Complex on Saturday, March 17, 2018.

The Lady Vikings first game was against Norfolk Academy.  Eighth grader, Emily Roberts was handed the ball to pitch not only our first game of the season, but also her first varsity game.  Emily did great pitching a 6 inning No-hitter.  She struck out 9 batters and only threw 61 pitches. 

Emily got plenty of help from her infield with their great fielding of the ground balls.  Outfielder and Senior Karly Blackwell saved Emily’s no-hitter in the 5th inning with a diving catch in left field.  That catch should have been on the ESPN highlights.  The Lady Vikings bats were full of opening day hits to win the game 10 to 0.

Hitting leaders were:

Peyton Coleman:  2 for 3, 2 triples, 2 RBI

Naomi Sadler:  2 for 2, 1 triple, 2 RBI

Kelsey Holloway:  2 for 3, 1 triple

Paige Jennings:  1 for 3

Skylar Capps:  1 for 2

Kyleigh Capps:  1 for 1, 1 RBI

Jamie Saunders:  4 RBI

Emily Roberts:  1 RBI

Lady Vikings Beat Collegiate School   15 – 4

Junior Jamie Saunders took the mound against Collegiate for our second game of the day.  Collegiate School is a stronger team than the Norfolk Academy team even though both are Division 1 schools.  Brunswick Academy is a Division 3 school.

Jamie pitched well allowing 6 hits while striking out 7. The top 4 hitters in our lineup made things a lot easier for Jamie.  Of course, Jamie is one of those hitters.

Leading hitters:

Jamie Saunders:  5 for 5, 2 doubles, triple, 3 RBI

Emily Roberts:  4 for 5, triple, Homerun, 6 RBI

Naomi Sadler:  4 for 5, double 2 Stolen bases, RBI

Peyton Coleman:  2 for 4, triple, homerun, 4 RBI

Kelsey Holloway:  1 for 5, RBI

2018 Lady Vikings Softball team:

Kelsey Holloway – Senior- Captain, Karly Blackwell – Senior, Jamie Sanders – Junior, Allie Pope – Junior, Skylar Capps – Junior, Bailey Edwards – Sophomore, Kyleigh Capps – Sophomore, Peyton Coleman – Sophomore – Captain, Paige Jennings – Sophomore, Naomi Sadler – Freshman, Emily Roberts – Eighth Grader

"Bless Your Art"

The Downtown Enfield Restoration & Preservation Association (DERP) is sponsoring the third annual Bless Your Art Show and Sale – featuring artists and artisans on Saturday, April 14, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. – rain or shine.  Visitors can meet and talk with exhibiting artists and artisans at Southern Secrets at Mears, a retail gift shop that sells wine, local coffee, honey and specialty foods – with a local-as-possible, made-in-the USA focus – promoting rural North Carolina.  In addition, artwork from local private collections can be viewed at a recently renovated storefront next to Southern Secrets at Mears.

Bless Your Art will feature original works in every medium and price range. For the artists, the show is an opportunity to make connections with other local artists, get to know existing customers and create a new audience for their work. For visitors, the art show is a chance to support local artists, develop a personal connection to the art and to purchase art from new and emerging artists. Bless Your Art will also feature three Early American Antiques dealers, so there’s something for everyone. 

Jennifer Locke McCann, who is a co-chair along with Julia Andrus of the Bless Your Art show, believes it’s important to foster an art community of seasoned artists and new talent, saying “Art is good for the local economy and it enriches the community. At Southern Secrets we are featuring talented artists and artisans who are eager to sell their work locally.” That’s one of the reasons why she opened Southern Secrets at Mears in December 2017. Along with her mother, Gayle Locke, they wanted a venue where local artists and artisans could feature their work – and display their strong ties to rural Eastern North Carolina. While some of the artists participating in the  Annual Bless Your Art Show and Sale have exhibited their work in renowned galleries, alternative venues – like Southern Secrets at Mears – are great outlets for new and emerging artists and artisans. Southern Secrets will have its grand opening this Saturday, March 24.

Eric McRay, a renowned artist from Raleigh, will be giving an art class on Saturday morning, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. The workshop costs $100. In addition to the art show on Saturday, there’s a Bless Your Art Gala on Friday night, April 13. To buy tickets online go to https://www.freshtix.com/events/bless-your-art-gala or you can also purchase your tickets at Southern Secrets at Mears via check to DERP. Presales are $40 per ticket or two for $75. The Rhythm Express Band will be performing and food will be served.

On Sunday, Ira David Wood will be speaking at the 11 a.m. service at the Enfield Baptist Church and Steve Owen (of the Steve Owens Band) will perform. A covered dish follows the service.

To find out more about the show’s sponsor, the Downtown Enfield Restoration and Preservation Association (DERP) – a nonprofit membership organization of business owners and citizens dedicated to supporting downtown revitalization – visit  www.derpserves.org.  Or contact Jennifer Locke McCann at Southern Secrets at Mears at  919-412-4225.

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