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2018-4-26

Southside Virginia Community College wants you!!  There is still time to register for classes and  apply for Financial Aid for the upcoming semester starting August 20.  Come by to see us...  Go to SVCC's Christanna Campus in Alberta or the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville or a location  in Emporia, Blackstone, Chase City, South Boston,  or South HIll for individual help or visit SVCC online at Southside.edu.  Now is the time, SVCC is the place!!!!!

DRUG TAKEBACK DAY EVENTS TO BE HELD ACROSS SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA

~Attorney General Herring reminds Virginians to dispose of unused prescriptions, especially opioids, at one of many drop-off sites across the Commonwealth~

RICHMOND (April 24, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring is encouraging Virginians to take advantage of Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to dispose of unused or expired medications, especially prescription opioids, before they can be misused, abused, or accidentally ingested. Law enforcement agencies, community partners, and members of the Attorney General's team will be stationed at dozens of locations throughout the Commonwealth to accept medications for proper disposal. Takeback locations in the Southwide area, which will be open from 10am - 2pm, are listed below, and you can find a site near you by searching here.

"One of the simplest things we can all do to fight the opioid epidemic and make our homes and our communities safer is to get rid of unused prescriptions before they are misused, abused, or even accidentally ingested by a child or grandchild," said Attorney General Herring. "We know that opioid abuse often starts with drugs from the medicine cabinet, not the streets. Taking just a few minutes of your weekend to clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of unneeded medication can be a huge step forward in making your home and you family safer."

There is a strong link between misuse of prescription opioids, opioid addiction, and even subsequent use of heroin once prescriptions become too expensive or are no longer accessible. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

  • Heroin abuse is 19 times more likely among those who abuse prescription opioids.
  • Half of young people who used heroin got started by abusing prescription opioids.
  • One in fifteen individuals who misuse prescription opioid painkillers will try heroin within 10 years.
  • Studies show a link between the availability of prescription and illicit drugs and the likelihood of abuse.

In Virginia, opioid overdose deaths have risen steadily since 2010:

  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 1,060% between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 558.
  • Fentanyl deaths have risen by over 1,500% percent from 2007 to 2017, from 48 to 770.
  • Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 26% between 2007 and 2017, from 400 deaths to 504.

Attorney General Herring has made combating the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic a top priority, attacking the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcementeducation, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal efforts to improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources and made prescription drug disposal kits availableacross the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring recently outlined his recommended next steps for combating the crisis, focusing on law enforcement initiatives, support from the medical community, and recovery, treatment, prevention and education. He is also participating in a multistate investigation into the practices of drug manufacturers and distributors to determine what role they may have played in creating or prolonging the crisis.

Drug Takeback locations include:

DANVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

CENTRA MEDICAL GROUP DANVILLE 
PARKING LOT - WEST END OF THE BUILDING

414 PARK AVE

DANVILLE

VA, 24541

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

MT. HERMON SHOPPING CENTER 
FOOD LION PARKING LOT

4048 FRANKLIN TURNPIKE

DANVILLE

VA, 24540

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE 
IN FRONT OF SHERIFF'S OFFICE

21 NORTH MAIN STREET

CHATHAM

VA, 24531

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

FOOD LION 
PARKING LOT

100 VADEN STREET

GRETNA

VA, 24557

MARTINSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

MARTINSVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT 
FRONT ENTRANCE

65 WEST CHURCH ST.

MARTINSVILLE

VA, 24112

LAWRENCEVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

LAWRENCEVILLE MUNICIPAL BUILDING 
AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENT

400 N. MAIN STREET

LAWRENCEVILLE

VA, 23868

FARMVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT/LONGWOOD UNIVERSITY PD

MIDTOWN SQUARE 
IN FRONT OF CHICK-FIL-A

156 S. SOUTH STREET

FARMVILLE

VA, 23901

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE DIVISION III HQS 
POC: SGT DREW MCCORMICK

240 THIRD DIVISION LOOP

APPOMATTOX

VA, 24522

APPOMATTOX COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

KROGER

7851 RICHMOND HWY

APPOMATTOX

VA, 24522

AMELIA COUNTY SHERFF'S OFFICE

AMELIA PHARMACY INC. 
FRONT SIDEWALK BY STORE ENTRANCE

15412 PATRICK HENRY HWY.

AMELIA

VA, 23002

AMELIA COUNTY SHERFF'S OFFICE

RITE AID PHARMACY 
FRONT SIDEWALK BY STORE ENTRANCE

15105 PATRICK HENRY HWY

AMELIA

VA, 23002

 

From Gun Shows to Capitol Debates, Firearms Are in the Crosshairs

Gun Culture in Virginia

By Kevin Walter Johnson, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Forty days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and a day after nationwide rallies organized by student advocates against gun violence, Virginia’s ninth gun show of the year was held at Richmond Raceway. Standing beneath the Pepsi sign in the food court of the exhibition hall, two men with rifles on their backs discussed current events.

“I’ve been deliberately avoiding the news. They’re lying just to attack us,” one man said. The other replied, “There’ll be a war coming if they keep this up; they’re asking for it.”

That conversation reflected the tone of many people attending the Showmasters Gun Show on March 25. Through the sets of double doors and past the state’s most well-defended hot dog stand, the tables of red, white, blue and camouflage stretched to the back of the room. The expo center held more than 750 vendors, according to the event organizers, selling tactical gear, military history and especially firearms. Attendees of all ages shuffled between the collapsible tables that displayed guns of all calibers. These veterans, hunters and gun enthusiasts offered a glimpse of the modern culture surrounding guns in Virginia.

*****

To understand part of the gun culture in Virginia, consider the results of the 2017 gubernatorial election.

Republican candidate Ed Gillespie ran a campaign emphasizing the importance of the Second Amendment, a message reinforced through donations and advertisements from the National Rifle Association.

To counter this, Democratic nominee Ralph Northam supported gun control legislation and spoke out against gun violence after the Las Vegas shooting in October. In the general election, Northam beat Gillespie 54 percent to 45 percent.

After the election, the debate shifted to the Virginia Capitol, the most prominent battleground for gun-related legislation. Dozens of firearm-related bills were introduced in the House of Delegates and state Senate.

Democrats pushed for gun control bills including efforts to establish universal background checks for gun buying and to ban bump stocks and similar gun modifications. Republicans advocated bills to expand gun rights, including a measure to repeal the prohibition on carrying firearms or other dangerous weapons into a place of worship.       

In the end, almost all of the bills failed in what Gov. Northam characterized as a bipartisan legislative session.

On March 2, the friction over guns and gun legislation boiled over in the House and led to a heated speech from Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper. He admonished the Democratic delegates for their criticism of the Republican Party in the wake of the school shooting, furthering the divide between the two parties on the issue. The Democratic response was similarly impassioned, with many representatives calling for an apology from Freitas.

*****

At the March 25 gun show, another symbol of Virginia’s gun culture stood 30 feet from the entryway, behind a table and handing out stickers that read “Guns Save Lives.”

That table, manned by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, was neatly set with pamphlets and flyers carrying the group’s information. The VCDL spokesman at the gun show, who asked not to be identified, described the group as a “grassroots gun rights organization protecting Virginia citizens’ right to the Second Amendment.” The group has received attention from the news media since its founding in 1994 for attacking many Democratic state officials for their positions on gun control.

“We’re here to provide information and a sense of representation for the gun owners of Virginia,” said the spokesman. “While we lobby through grassroots methods, we are totally bipartisan.”

The group’s website proclaims its philosophy to “go on the offensive.” Information on membership and events are placed between articles decrying the “Dangers of Universal Background Checks” and alleging a media bias against firearms.

*****

While Virginia gun culture is most exposed in the public setting of a gun show, a more hyperactive and radical portion of gun enthusiasts live in anonymity online.

On vaguntrader.com, internet servers provide a home base for more than the buying, selling and trading of guns. The online forum plays host to hundreds of topic boards, organizing site visitors into categories ranging from posts about recent Virginia gun legislation to members’ recent fishing trips to blatant political statements.

In a forum post titled “WARNING!!! Our Governor has us in his sights,” anonymous users attack Democratic legislators and officials both in state and national politics for their efforts to enact gun control measures.

When messaged for a comment on these and similar posts, no site moderators responded. The site’s thousands of members create a web of gun owners in Virginia, hidden in internet anonymity and holding an important role in Virginia’s gun culture.

*****

The NRA’s registration table was the first and last thing visitors saw at the Richmond gun show, placed squarely in front of the entrance. For groups like the NRA and the VCDL, visibility plays a crucial role in their establishment of modern gun conventions in Virginia. These groups act as the face of gun culture in the state, while sites like vaguntrader.comcontribute a buried forum for the spread of far more than weapons.

In the parking lot outside the exhibition hall, the sound of conservative radio host Alex Jones’ show “Infowars” projected from the open door of a Dodge pickup, an older man in the driver’s seat with his rifle next to him. When approached, he refused to speak about the event or his personal views on the culture of guns in the state. He shut his door and turned up the volume.

“These are dangerous times for gun owners,” the voice on the radio yelled. “Be prepared to defend yourself and your rights at any cost.”

2018 SVCC Corrections Awards

Southside Virginia Community College recently hosted the 10th Annual Corrections Awards Banquet  sponsored by Lawrenceville Correctional Center at the Christanna Campus in Alberta.  This night recognizes an officer of the year and employee of the year for Southside Virginia's correctional facilities.  Those recognized are (Front Row, Left to Right) Dora D. Hardy, employee for Baskerville Correctional Center, Officer Kathy Turner for Greensville Correctional Center, Officer Regina Pearson for Lawrenceville Correctional Center, Officer Joyce H. Bruce for Baskerville Correctional, Lt. Cynthia Power for Deerfield Correctional Center, Dinah Kreitz, employee for Lawrenceville  Correctional, Cecilia Presseau, employee for Lunenburg Correctional Center, and Sgt. Elsie Pennington for Lunenburg Correctional and (Back row, L to R) Sylvia Lawrence, employee for Greensville Correctional, guest speaker Warden Eddie L. Pearson of Greensville, Elizabeth Carr, employee for Deerfield Correctional, Sheron Jenkins, employee for Dillwyn Correctional Center, Officer Dolly Scruggs for Dillwyn, Pamela Labriola for Nottoway Correctional Center, Officer Tyrone Craighead for Nottoway Correctional Center, Officer John Towns for Buckingham Correctional Center, and Jennifer Andrews, Employee for Buckingham  Halifax Correctional  #23 was unable to attend but awards went to Officer Jonathan Carey and Rickey Childress, employee. 

USDA Rural Development Innovation Center Launches Interactive Webpage to Share Best Practices for Rural Economic Development

RICHMOND, April 25, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today unveiled a new interactive webpage to identify best practices for building rural prosperity.

“Rural communities need forward-thinking strategies to build strong, resilient futures,” Hazlett said. “USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center is focused on identifying unique opportunities, pioneering new, creative solutions to tough challenges, and making Rural Development’s programs easier to understand, use and access.”

The webpage highlights effective strategies that have been used to create jobs, build infrastructure, strengthen partnerships and promote economic development in rural America.

An interactive feature allows webpage visitors to submit comments on ways USDA can improve Rural Development program delivery. Innovation Center staff will review these recommendations and direct customers to resources, services and expertise that will help their communities create transformative solutions to complex rural challenges.

The webpage also highlights USDA resources that can be used for investments in infrastructure and innovation. These resources include USDA’s Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant ProgramCommunity Connect Grant Program, and Community Facilities Programs.

Secretary Perdue established the Rural Development Innovation Center to streamline, modernize and strengthen the delivery of Rural Development programs. To do this, the Innovation Center is focused on improving customer service to rural communities and increasing rural prosperity through strategic partnerships and capacity-building, data analytics and evaluation, and regulatory reform.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump, which included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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