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Alice Blake Eason

Alice Blake Eason, 92, wife of the late Perry Edward Eason, passed away Sunday March 4, 2018, at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.

Alice was born on July 11, 1925 in Richmond and moved to Emporia at the age of fifteen. She graduated from Greensville County High School in 1943 and attended Pan American Business College in Richmond. After raising her daughters, she went to work at Central Fidelity Bank, retiring in 1990 as Assistant Branch Manager and Customer Service Representative. Following retirement Alice was an active member of Main Street Baptist Church, member of the Order of Eastern Star and Honorary member of Meherrin Quilting Peace Makers Guild.Alice played the violin beginning at the age of six and sang in the church choir for fifty-plus years. She enjoyed sewing, cross-stitching, crocheting, quilting and spending time with her family.

In addition to her husband she was preceded in death by her parents, Henry T. and Ruby Dickerson Blake and a brother Henry T. Blake Jr.

Alice is survived by her loving daughters; Carolyn E. Roach (David), and Martha E. Jones (Woody). Brother; Bernard Hooker Blake, Grandchildren; Lori R. Jarratt (Timmy) and Jeffrey C. Roach (Jackie). Great grand-daughter Carleigh Jarratt, all of Emporia. Step grandchildren; Terry Brown (Kelly) of Colleyville, Texas, Dustan T. Jarratt (Emily) of Emporia, and Lynsey Overstreet (Keith) of Farmville, step great grandchildren; Hudson Jarratt of Emporia, Katherine and Abigail Brown of Colleyville, Texas and Aubrie and Reed Overstreet of Farmville, Alice will also be forever remembered by her six nieces and numerous great nieces, great nephews, extended family and dear friends.

Funeral Services will be held Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Main Street Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Ricky R. Hurst and Rev. Rick Regan officiating. Burial will follow in Emporia Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday from 9:30 A.M. until the time of the service.

Donations can be made to Main Street Baptist Church or Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Online condolences may be left at


Company’s Northeast Division Increases Speeds of Most Popular Tiers By at Least 25% at No Additional Cost

80% of Internet Customers to Have Speeds of 150 Mbps or More

MANCHESTER, NH – March 6, 2018 -- Comcast today announced it is increasing the speeds of some of its most popular Xfinity Internet service tiers – including Blast and Performance Pro – for new and existing customers in the Northeast Division, which includes 14 northeastern states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia. The increases are at no additional cost and underscore the company's leadership in delivering some of the fastest broadband Internet speeds, including Gigabit-speed services for both residential and business customers.

Speed increases will vary based on a customers’ current speed subscription, but the vast majority will see an increase of 50 Mbps. The changes include:

  • Blast tier download speeds increasing from 200 Mbps to 250 Mbps

  • Performance Protier download speeds increasing from 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps

  • Performancetier download speeds increasing from 25 Mbps to 60 Mbps

  • Performance Startertier download speeds increasing from 10 Mbps to 15 Mbps

“With new devices coming online for consumers every day, we’re committed to offering the fastest speeds and the best features and overall experience so our customers can take advantage of the technology available,” said Kevin Casey, President of Comcast’s Northeast Division. “We’ve increased speeds 17 times in the last 17 years, and continue to invest to deliver a fast, innovative and reliable experience in and out of the home.”

New and existing customers can expect to see enhanced speeds this month. Most customers will automatically be upgraded to the new speeds, and will simply need to re-start their modems. Comcast will notify customers who may need to upgrade their modems to receive the new speeds. Those who lease modems from Comcast and require an upgrade can do so for no additional charge by requesting a self-install kit or visiting an Xfinity Store or service center. Those owning modems requiring an upgrade can purchase a new one or lease an Xfinity modem, which includes Xfinity xFi, which is a digital dashboard that lets customers personalize, manage and control their home Wi-Fi experience.

For instance, customers can access xFi features via the mobile app, website, or TV with the X1 voice remote to set up their home Wi-Fi network, find their password, see what devices are connected, troubleshoot issues, set parental controls and even pause Wi-Fi access on their home network during dinner or bedtime. Comcast also recently introduced xFi Pods– small, wireless Wi-Fi extenders that help blanket virtually any home with Wi-Fi coverage even in hard-to-reach areas. These are available in Boston and will continue to roll out across the Northeast Division.

Today’s announcement follows a number of moves, like the introduction of xFi and xFi Pods, that the company has made to enhance its high-speed internet offerings. Comcast has invested billions of dollars in its network, locally and nationally, and delivers in most of the Northeast Division speeds ranging from up to 15 Mbps to up to 2 Gbps for residential customers and up to 10 Gbps for business customers. Comcast’s 1 Gigabit-per-secondspeeds, which began launching to local residential and business customers last summer, are among the fastest and most widely available in the area. The service uses DOCSIS 3.1 technology to make it possible for Xfinity and Comcast Business internet customers to receive gigabit speeds over the communications lines that most customers already have in place. It is currently available across 80% of the division and set to reach almost all areas by the end of the year.

So that customers can take advantage of increased internet speeds at home, Comcast also introduced the fastest in-home WiFi gateway. And on the go, Comcast provides Xfinity Internet customers with complimentary access to more than 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots nationwide. Customers can select "xfinitywifi" from the list of available networks on their laptops or mobile devices and enter their Xfinity ID or email and password.  

In addition to these enhancements, Comcast also offers the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program, Internet Essentials. This program provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month, digital literacy training and discounted computers for low-income Americans.

Dr. King’s Speech ‘Changed My Life,’ Retired Sen. Marsh Says

By Thomas Jett, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Retired Sen. Henry Marsh, the first black mayor of Richmond, saw the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speak in 1961.

“It brought tears to my eyes to see him in action,” Marsh recalled. “I said to myself, ‘Who is this man?’ I’ve been thinking one way, and he’s saying this crazy stuff about if somebody hits you, don’t hit them back, love them … That speech changed my life.”

Marsh reflected on the Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights leader during a discussion last week at Virginia Union University. The state’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission is hosting such discussions around the commonwealth to document and memorialize visits that King made to Virginia before he was assassinated in 1968.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney opened the conversation at Virginia Union. The theme was “MLK Moving Forward.”

“I love the mission of the ‘King in Virginia’ project – to have these conversations about ‘where do we go next?’” Stoney said. “This is an opportunity to recognize those who continue to perpetuate his work each and every day.”

One of the panelists was the Rev. Jamar Boyd II of Saint Smyrna Baptist Church in Georgia. He is a member of the Georgia NAACP and a Virginia Union graduate.

“In 2018, the honest question is not where we are. It’s still, ‘Where do we go?’ It’s still, ‘What do we have to do?’” Boyd said. “It’s 2018, and you still have Jim Crow” in parts of Virginia.

Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, said progress will depend on young adults like Boyd.

“It is up to young people to be equipped, to be the future drum majors of justice,” McQuinn said. “We need the youth to participate in the political process, through contact with their representatives and becoming officeholders themselves.”

Marsh echoed McQuinn’s statement about youth involvement but laid some blame on older generations as well.

“We need to energize young people, and we need to energize ourselves,” Marsh said. “We ought to be ashamed of ourselves” for failing to participate in the political process.

Part of the discussion focused on how to create a beloved community” – King’s vision of a world of peace, equality and prosperity.

The Rev. James Somerville of Richmond’s First Baptist Church offered insight on how to get there.

“We have to believe that the beloved community is possible; I have to believe that the kingdom of heaven can come to Richmond, Virginia,” Somerville said. “Just look around for anything that doesn’t look like heaven, then roll up your sleeves and get to work.”

Chuck Richardson, a former member of the Richmond City Council, was in the audience at Virginia Union. He drew a parallel between a nation and a family.

“Right now, America is without a father. This country is like a family, and that father in that White House is not on the job,” Richardson said. “Nothing that we do today is going to matter until we replace the father in the White House who is no father to the family of America.”

More about the MLK Roundtables

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission is inviting the public to remember King’s life and legacy in a series of roundtables being held in each of the Virginia communities that he visited.

The next event will be 6-8 p.m. on March 13 at Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Panelists will include:

  • Lehman Bates, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church
  • Andrea Douglas, executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center
  • Wesley Harris, who as a student in 1963 helped arrange King’s visit to Charlottesville
  • University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan
  • Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker

Discussions also have been scheduled in Farmville on April 24 and Williamsburg on June 6. The commission is planning to hold roundtables in Danville, Hampton, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Newport News, Norfolk, Petersburg and Suffolk.

USDA Helps Cotton Producers Maintain, Expand Domestic Market

(MEMPHIS, TN, March 3, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced at the 66th Annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking action to assist cotton producers through a Cotton Ginning Cost Share (CGCS) program in order to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton.

“America’s cotton producers have now faced four years of financial stress, just like the rest of our major commodities, but with a weaker safety net,” Perdue said. “In particular, cotton producers confront high input and infrastructure costs, which leaves them more financially leveraged than most of their colleagues. That economic burden has been felt by the entire cotton market, including the gins, cooperatives, marketers, cottonseed crushers, and the rural communities that depend upon their success.”

The sign-up period for the CGCS program runs from March 12, 2018, to May 11, 2018.

Under the program, which is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), cotton producers may receive a cost share payment, which is based on a producer’s 2016 cotton acres reported to FSA multiplied by 20 percent of the average ginning cost for each production region.

Perdue added, “I hope this will be a needed help as the rural cotton-growing communities stretching from the Southeastern U.S. to the San Joaquin Valley of California prepare to plant. This infusion gives them one last opportunity for assistance until their Farm Bill safety net becomes effective.”

The CGCS payment rates for each region of the country are:



Costs of Ginning per Acre

CGCS Payment Rate


Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia.............




Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee.......




Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas




Arizona, California, New Mexico.............................



CGCS payments are capped at $40,000 per producer.To qualify for the program, cotton producers mustmeet conservation compliance provisions, be actively engaged in farming and have adjusted gross incomes not exceeding $900,000. FSA will mail letters and pre-filled applications to all eligible cotton producers.

The program was established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.

To learn more about the CGCS program, visit contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit the USDA’s new website:

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