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2018-6-21

GOODWILL TO OPEN ITS FIRST RETAIL STORE AND DONATION SITE IN EMPORIA

~Newest Location Expands Goodwill’s Footprint into Southern Virginia~

 

EMPORIA, VA (June 19, 2018) - Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia will open its first retail store and donation site in Emporia on June 21. Goodwill converted a former CVS store to create the 5,900-square foot site at 306A W. Atlantic St., just south of Route 58 and less than a mile from Interstate 95.

A ribbon-cutting will take place on June 21 at 9 a.m. at the store. Goodwill will have giveaway prizes to the first 100 shoppers each day on June 21, 22 and 23.

“Our move into Emporia shows our commitment to bringing quality goods at great prices to shoppers in Southern Virginia,” said Bill Carlson, Goodwill’s chief operating officer. “We are excited to open a new store in an area that is currently without a Goodwill presence. We will have an immediate impact on the local economy, bringing new jobs to the area. Also, donors who give their gently used goods will be part of keeping 40 million pounds of goods out of local landfills,” Carlson added.

Goodwill operates six attended donation sites and accepts donations at its 18 retail stores across the Central Virginia region.

For a list of items accepted at Goodwill stores and donation sites, click here.

City Council Passes Budget with no Water/Sewer Increases After All

A public hearing for a Zoning Amendment Request to permit an Adult Day Support Facility on South Main Street occurred just before the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

The request was submitted by Tony Vincent, who plans on turning the building into an Adult Day Care center where clients can come for 6 hours a day for activities, with no overnight care provided. According to the application, clients will receive one hot meal and two snacks each day.

The Planning Commission and Staff both recommended approval of the Zoning Amendment to add “Adult Day Support Facility” to the permitted uses in the City’s C-1 zones.

No citizens spoke during the public hearing.

After the close of the Public Hearing, City Council entered into the regular meeting.

The first order of business after the approval of the agenda, minutes, reports and bills was the presentation of a plaque to outgoing City Manager Brian Thrower. Mr. Thrower is leaving to take a job in Smithfield and this was his last City Council meeting; his last day with the City is June 29th.

After a closed session at the end of the meeting, Assistant City Manager Dr. Edwin Daley was appointed as the Interim City Manager and a search for a replacement will begin.

Old business on the agenda was the passage of the FY2019 budget. The 2.75% rate increases reported on EmporiaNews.com after the June 5 meeting have been removed, and there are now no rate, fee or tax increases in the budget.

The FY2019 budget includes increases to make Emergency Services a full time position, three new cruisers for the Emporia Police Department, a new cruiser and part-time deputy for the Emporia Sheriff’s Department. Also included in the budget was a 2% COLA increase for city employees.

With this budget the City Council has scrapped the idea of a new City Hall and/or Police Station, saving over $7 million.

With the budgets passed, Council moved on to the new business, approving the Zoning Amendment from the earlier public hearing, appropriated some additional sales tax money to Greensville County for GCPS and passed a resolution for the Independence Day fireworks. City Council also heard from the Auditor, and that information will appear as a stand-alone story on EmporiaNews.com at a later date.

During the public comments section, Becky Walker, Director of the Meherrin Regional Library System stood to thank council for their continued support of the Library, both through financing and facilities. Ms. Walker added that there were exciting things happening at the library. The Summer Reading Program started on June 1st and will continue through the summer. During July, the Richardson Memorial Library will participate in the summer feeding program, serving lunch one day a week and snacks two others.

In addition to the Summer Reading Program, the Library has added new online resources, including Ancestry for Libraries, the A-Z Database – a job hunting resource, and Universal Class – online classes that offer continuing education credits in over 500 topics.

Debra Brown, President of the local NAACP and a national board member spoke about polling place issues on Primary Election Day. The polls for Districts 5 and 7 did not open on time. The key that the poll workers had would not open the door and the Fire Chief could not be reached. The polling place was only opened because two fire-fighters showed up at 6:30. After the poll workers, including an member of the Electoral Board finally gained entry to the building, they discovered that the lock was not functioning because it had been taped.

When the General Registrar was able to reach the Fire Chief, it was at his place of business. The response to the concerns of the Director of Elections was “we don’t want y’all” here anyway.

Mrs. Brown addressed the Council directly, “I want to know who are the ‘we’ and who are the ‘y’all’?” She also added that concerns were raised when the polling place for District 5 was moved to that location, stating that the City Council was told then that there would be problems, and the problems have started.

Mrs. Brown reminded Council that while they no longer administered the Volunteer Fire Department, they did continue to fund the operation, adding that the building was a designated polling place and should remain available.

Mrs. Brown also shared a complaint made to her about the practices for renting the fire hall. An African-American family had used the facility for a graduation party, and another African-American family was planning using the facility the next weekend for a birthday party. The second family was apparently told, by the Fire Chief, that they [African-Americans] could not rent the facility on consecutive weekends. Mrs. Brown asked that there be a designated person to handle the bookings for the facility, as is the practice at Veteran’s Memorial Park, Greensville County High School, Golden Leaf Commons and the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Mrs. Brown also had another concern, and asked the Secretary of the NAACP to read a letter to City Council. The text of that letter is here:

This letter is written with great consternation over comments made by Councilman F. Woodrow Harris to Dr. Angela B. Wilson, Division Superintendent of Public Schools in Greensville County, Virginia.

It is reported that during Dr. Wilson’s presentation to City Council, Councilman Harris referred to Dr. Wilson in his pontificating and stated “… what you don’t understand little girl…” As President of the Local Unit of the NAACP and a member of its National Board of Directors, I, along with our membership here in Greensville Emporia, the Commonwealth of Virginia and across this Nation, are appalled at the lack of respect shown to Dr. Wilson.

Mr. Harris’ poor lack of judgement and professionalism reflects volumes on the decorum of City Council and its members. Councilman Harris’ degrading remarks harken back to the days of “Jim Crow” when some Caucasians found it acceptable to refer to grown adult African-American ladies and gentlemen as boy, girl, missy, aunt, uncle or other racially degrading misnomers. The decorum of the whole of City Council is brought into question due to the absence of any member of Council for not admonishing Councilman Harris for his words and lack of respect right then and there when he uttered such drivel for the entire City to hear. Thusly, an outside observer would feel it was the consensus due to the deafening silence from any member of City Council. We can only hope that this is not the case.

We realize that some words are spoken with intent and reflect one’s absolute ignorance and intolerance for others that are unlike them – be it another’s race, color, size, religion, ethnicity or educational attainment however, so much more is expected from the members of this City Council in Emporia, Virginia. In a municipality which currently contains a more than 60% African American population as its citizenry it is Expected, with NO exemption, that all are treated with respect and dignity whatever their station in our community and society.

We are here this evening to request an apology from Councilman Harris to Dr. Wilson. Not just a spoken one, although that is a good start, but an apology that is published in the local newspaper and other media from Councilman Harris as well as an apology from City Council so that its meaning is crystal clear – not all of City Council condones such derogatory and classless comments. It is also recommended that a Code of Conduct be added by to the City’s Ordinances to address any future lack of judgement by any sitting Council member. If you should require assistance in developing said code I will be happy to put you in contact with our knowledgeable and professional legal team serving the NAACP in the Commonwealth of Virginia and our National organization.

It is our sincerest hope that this misstep in addressing a professional employee and citizen of the Greensville Emporia community in such a belittling way can and will be corrected in a satisfactory manner. We look forward to working with the City of Emporia to move our city beyond this regression and join together for a brighter prosperous and respectable future for all its citizens.

After the letter had been read, Mayor Person addressed the concerns about the polling place, stating that they were aware of the issue and were working to resolve it. The Mayor then gave Councilman Woody Harris to respond.

“If I could, I would like to respond, since my name was mentioned, under a point of personal privilege, and I promise to limit myself to three minutes.”

“I find it interesting and fascinating that such comments would be made by anyone about anything that was said in a discussion between Dr. Wilson and me over a school budget. At a time, folks, when our school system is down over 200 kids, when over two dozen teachers have fled to other school systems, when SOL scores for our students are down, when local spending drastically up with nothing to show for it and when most of our schools are not accredited.

I find it astonishing that you would be more concerned about what a fat old councilman says in exchanging repartee with the school superintendent who I’ve known for years.”

“No, there will be no apology, nor is one warranted or needed; and I understand your agenda. I know what you’re trying to do and I think it is laughable to focus on that instead of the serious, legitimate problems that exist with our school system.”

“Thank you, Madame Mayor.”

Mrs. Brown responded, “No, it is not ridiculous. When someone comes before you, you should treat them with respect.” Mrs. Brown went on to add that the major problems with the school system stem from lack of funding and budget cuts, with Councilman Jim Saunders adding that funding for education had increased.

Rev. John Kinsey stepped to the podium to invite the entire Council to a special service to honor city officials at Faith Baptist Church on July 8 at 10:30 am.

After the meeting, Debra Brown stated that the NAACP concerns were “not about the quality of or the funding level (which is woefully inadequate) of the school system. This is about respect for a person who is doing a job that is more difficult than sitting on City Council, a person that is at the very least his [Councilman Harris’] equal.”

VCU Health CMH Presents 2018 Nursing Awards

Teresa Collins, RN, ONC, the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award recipient; Icie McMiller, the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award recipient; Ursula Butts, BSN, MSHA, CNAA-BC, FACHE, the Ursula Butts Nurse Leader Award; and Magen Wright, LPN, the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award recipient.

The Professional Development Council of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital recently recognized four extraordinary people.  One of the council’s goals is to offer recognition to nurses and nurse care partners for their continual commitment to excellence.

VCU Health CMH first gave out these awards on Nurses’ Day, May 6, 2009 and this tradition has continued and grown stronger each year.  This year the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH received numerous nominations, a testament to the many dedicated professionals among the hospital’s staff.  This year’s awards were given to four incredible individuals, whose impact and contributions to nursing at VCU Health CMH have been tremendous.

The three original awards were named after three special people, Dee McMillan, Carol Love and Alice Tudor. These women embodied the values that are respected in nursing: hard work, diligence, kindheartedness, compassion, knowledge, loyalty and support. 

This year the Professional Development Council presented a new award, the Ursula Butts Nurse Leader Award.  This inaugural award was presented to the person for which it was named, Ursula Butts, Vice President of Patient Care Services.  Ursula has been at VCU Health CMH for 41 years.  She has seen and lived many changes, but her compassion for nursing and her vision of giving the best possible care and leadership has never changed.  Under Ursula’s leadership and guidance, VCU Health CMH was able to establish Home Health and Hospice Care.  As a nursing leader, she has stimulated and encouraged many nurses to stay challenged, focused and unwavering in their determination to be the best they could be.

The Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award is named after the late Dee McMillan, who was a true nurse partner for many nurses and nursing staff at VCU Health CMH. She was a person who wore many hats when she worked within the organization. Dee demonstrated commitment in her work and a kindhearted attitude toward everyone she met. This award is presented each year in her memory as the Dee McMillan Nurse Care Partner Award.  This year’s recipient is Icie McMiller.  Icie works in Surgical Services and has been employed at VCU Health CMH for more than three years.  She collaborates with team members all over the campus and beyond to acquire information to provide safe and timely care for our patients.  Icie has a trademark smile and truly values her relationship with patients, families and team members.  Her personality is so engaging that others remember her name.  She is especially talented with the computer system and is a resource to the department.

Carol Love, LPN, was awarded the first LPN Award from the Professional Development Council of VCU Health CMH in 2009 for her leadership, commitment, caring attitude, demonstration of professionalism, and contribution to the Practical Nursing Program.  Thereafter, the award was named the Carol Love Licensed Practical Nurse Award in her honor, and is given each year to an LPN, for their exemplary contribution to nursing at VCU Health CMH.

The recipient of this year’s Carol Love Award is Magen Wright, LPN.  Megan has been employed by VCU Health CMH for twelve years.  She started her career in The Hundley Center and is currently working with our Physician Practices.  Magen is described as being conscientious of patient safety and exhibits empathy and concern for each patient and their family members.  She displays a sense of calmness that puts patients at ease.  Megan always conveys professionalism and a positive impression in both her appearance and demeanor.

The Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award is named after Ms. Alice Tudor, a CMH professional registered nurse. Ms. Tudor always presented with a professional appearance at work, her demeanor was an example of how a professional registered nurse should behave around their co-workers, patients and families. For more than 50 years, nurses looked up to Ms. Tudor and what she stood for as a professional nurse. This award is presented to a Registered Nurse each year in her honor as the Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award.

The recipient of this year’s Alice Tudor Professional Nurse Award is Teresa Collins, RN, ONC.  Teresa has been employed by VCU Health CMH for more than twenty years and is currently in Oncology as the Clinical Coordinator. Theresa is the perfect example of a professional nurse.  She has been a pervious Alice Tudor Award winner. Her co-workers felt that this year she was well-qualified to be nominated again as she continues to display superb professionalism, with patients and families, every day in the Cancer Center.

All 2018 Nursing Award recipients were nominated by their peers or their manager. Each one has demonstrated care and compassion to patients and families and exemplifies excellence in nursing practice and leadership.

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