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2019-2-1

ATTN: GREENSVILLE COUNTY TAXPAYERS

Greensville County Business, Professional and Occupational Licenses for 2019 are now due.  To avoid penalties, please secure your 2019 license from the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office on or before March 1st.  We are located in the Greensville County Government Building at 1781 Greensville County Circle, Rm 132 on Highway 301 North – Sussex Drive.  Our office hours are from 8 to 5 Monday thru Friday.


Martha S. Swenson
Master Commissioner of the Revenue
Greensville County, Virginia

Wilbur Eugene “Gene” Thomas

Visitation Services

Friday, February 1, 5-7 pm

Williams Funeral Home

410 Windosr Avenue

Lawrenceville, Virginia

Saturday, February 2, 11:00 a.m.

Edgerton United Methodist Church

92 County Pond Rd.

Lawrenceville, Virginia

, age 85, of Lawrenceville, VA passed away January 30, 2019.  He is the son of the late Wilbur A. and Bessie O. Thomas and was born and raised in Brunswick County.  He is a Graduate of the University of Richmond and a U. S. Army Veteran.  He was the owner of Brunswick Insurance Agency and was a member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia.  Gene loved his community and served on many boards such as the Old Brunswick Foundation; the Local Board of Southside Virginia Community College; the SVCC Foundation Board; Lawrenceville Brick Board of Directors; Sovran Bank; the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority; and the Greensville Memorial Hospital Board of Directors.  Mr. Thomas also served as president for the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrenceville Jaycees and the Lawrenceville Rotary Club.  He was a member of Edgerton United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday school, was a Lay Leader and Finance Chair; served as Chairman of the Administrative Board and on the Petersburg District Council.  Gene was a proud Red Cross 8 gallon blood donor and a member of the Spider Club.  He is survived by his sons, Michael Thomas and wife Stacey and Ray Thomas and wife Pam; six grandchildren, Ashley, Brooke, Alec, Ariel, Katie and Ellie; six great grandchildren; his sisters, Betty Davis and Lois Clary; and his brother, Ran Thomas.  A graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Edgerton United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, VA.  The family will receive friends Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville.  Memorial contributions may be made to Brunswick Academy, 2100 Planters Rd., Lawrenceville, VA; University of Richmond Spider Club, 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA  23286; Edgerton United Methodist Church, 92 County Pond Rd., Lawrenceville, VA  23868; or the Gene and Mary Alice Thomas Scholarship Fund, 109 Campus Drive, Alberta, VA  23821.

Esther Allen

Visitation Services

Friday, February, 1, 6-8 pm

Owen Funeral Home

303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia

 

Saturday, February 2, 2:00 pm

Greensville Memorial Cemetery

Emporia, Virginia

 

Esther Allen, 81, of Emporia, widow of Bubba Allen, passed away Wednesday, January 30, 2019. She is survived by a special friend, Bob Morris; son, Lawrence Allen, Jr.; daughter, Marilyn Lagiglia and husband, Rick; granddaughter, Brandy Ogburn and husband, Eddie; grandson, Jamie Willis and wife, Margie; great-grandchildren; Dylan, E. J. and Jackson Ogburn and Aiden Willis and numerous nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 1 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held graveside 2 p.m. Saturday, February 2 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to a favorite hospice group. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Charles M. "Chuck" Rullman

Visitation Services

Saturday, February 2, 1 pm

St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church

1351 West Atlantic St., Emporia, VA

Saturday, February 2, 2 pm

St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church

1351 West Atlantic St., Emporia, VA

 

Charles (Chuck) M. Rullman, Jr., of Emporia, entered into the life beyond, January 29, after a brief illness. He is survived by his beloved wife, Debbie; daughter Leah (fiancé Brian) of Hoboken, NJ; sister Peggy (husband Bob) of North Huntington, PA; and brother Don (wife Debbie) of Johnstown, PA.

A native of Johnstown, he was the son of the late Charles M. Rullman Sr. and Anna Moskal Rullman.  Chuck graduated from Westmont Hilltop High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He also earned a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Chuck recently retired from the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church and a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Emporia for many years.

Chuck loved volunteering and helping people, was an avid gardener and steadfast Steeler fan, and greatly enjoyed his two Jack Russells and cats.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. Stephen Bocklage officiating. Burial will follow in the Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 P.M. until service time at the Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church, 1351 West Atlantic St., Emporia, VA 23847

Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

Michelle Ashby – VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Year

Getting a really big surprise twice in one year at your workplace can be disconcerting, just ask Michelle Ashby.

Michelle was named the Team Member of the Month in October 2018 and was shocked then, but was even more surprised to learn she was named the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Star Service Team Member of the Year for 2018.

Michelle’s work as a home health nurse earned her the distinction thanks to her interaction with a patient over many weeks.

“I’ve been in home health for 20 years and it’s great to enjoy what you do and to be honored like this, I just want to thank the patient who nominated me,” she said.

Her patient was glowing in praise for Michelle’s knowledge, friendliness and efficiency.

The patient said, “I am an extreme introvert. The thought of someone I don’t know coming into my home was not a good feeling for me. Add to that, not feeling well and just having been through a traumatic emergency surgery and you can guess how apprehensive I was. But we needed help and I could not have had a better experience.”

She continued, “I never felt like she was rushing to her next home visit even when my questions kept her with me longer than normal. And speaking of normal, she put me at ease many times over my expectations of how long my healing was taking versus how I thought it SHOULD be going. I could ask her absolutely anything health related and knew I would get an honest answer and helpful suggestions.”

Michelle’s supervisor, Megan Gardner, agreed with the patient about Michelle. “In her short time here at VCU Health CMH, Michelle has touched the lives of many patients within our community. She is always thinking ahead on how to improve organizational processes and is more than willing to go that extra mile for her patients. Michelle is an integral part of our home health and hospice team and our organization as a whole is better because she is a part of it.”

By earning the Team Member of the Year Award, Michelle received a special gift from VCU Health CMH, a gift certificate for $200 to spend on a getaway and $300 in spending cash. The patient who nominated Michelle learned about her selection as the Team Member of the Year and said, “I’m extremely happy that she received this well-deserved honor.”

Michelle has been with VCU Health CMH for just over a year. She was recently married to Mike Thomas and Michelle has two children, Daleigh, an RN herself, and Hunter.

She’s a graduate of Lenoir College in Kenston, NC and resides in the Bracey, VA area.

Michelle has experienced a major health issue herself. She broke her neck in two places nearly 10 years ago and understands the impact healthcare can have on a person and how the treatment a patient receives makes such a huge difference in their life.

Other nominees considered for 2018 VCU Health CMH Star Service Team Member of the Year were: Erin Davis, Lovellah Ballesteros, Brian Jones, Laure Gill, Bertha Evans, John Watson, Megan Llewallen, Ashley Wray, Patricia Urda, Mildred Waye and Linda Wilkins.

Bill Would Allow ‘Medical Aid in Dying’ for Terminally Ill

By Rodney Robinson, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Del. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, has firsthand experience witnessing a loved one battling a terminal illness: her father.

Kory said she wants to give patients and their families options to deal with the harsh realities of a terminal sickness. She said that is why she has introduced a bill that she calls the “Death with Dignity Act.”

Under the measure, an adult “who has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal condition and has voluntarily expressed his wish to die may request medication for the purpose of ending his life in a humane and dignified manner.”

“The ability for an individual to decide when suffering becomes unbearable should be a basic human right,” Kory said. “We should respect the wishes of terminally ill adults who have weeks or days to live.”

Kory filed HB 2713 on Jan. 15. The bill has been referred to the House Courts of Justice Committee. However, that panel has not assigned the bill to a subcommittee or scheduled a hearing on it. If the proposal does not win approval from the House of Delegates by Tuesday, it will be dead for the legislative session.

Under Kory’s bill, a terminally ill patient’s request for life-ending medication must be given orally on two occasions and in writing, signed by the patient and two witnesses. The patient also must have an opportunity to rescind the request.

Such laws are called “medical aid in dying” statutes. Currently, MAID is legal in seven states and Washington, D.C.

At Kory’s request, the Joint Commission on Health Care, a study group created by the Virginia General Assembly, looked at how MAID is working in those states. According to the commission’s research, MAID has had a small impact on the total number of deaths.

For example, Oregon had 37.2 MAID deaths per 10,000 total deaths in 2016. That is about one-third of 1 percent of all deaths.

Oregon and the neighboring state of Washington each have had fewer than 200 MAID deaths per year.

For Virginia, “it is likely that the number of people requesting MAID would be quite small for the first few years, gradually increasing to approximately 242 individuals dying from MAID medications,” the health care commission’s study said.

Jud Richland, Kory’s legal assistant, said the legislator is a “strong believer that people have a right to decide themselves how to address their own pain and suffering in their final days.”

MAID laws have stirred controversy. Opponents equate them with assisted suicide and say the laws can be abused, resulting in the deaths of people who are not terminally ill.

The Virginia Catholic Conference, which represents the Diocese of Richmond and the Diocese of Arlington on public-policy matters, strongly opposes assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Jeff Caruso, the conference’s executive director, said he believes that if the General Assembly approves a MAID law, Virginians will be more inclined to think of suicide.

On Nov. 7, after receiving nearly 3,000 public comments, the Joint Commission on Health Care voted 10-6 to take no action concerning physician-assisted suicide, according to Caruso. Comments against assisted suicide outnumbered those in favor 8 to 1, he said.

“Government should prevent — not promote — suicide,” Caruso said. “The purpose of the medical profession is to heal lives, not end them.”

Legislators and Victims Plead for Expansions on Distracted Driving Bill

Katja Timm, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- Teary-eyed parents and supporters of legislation to curb distracted driving filled a small room at the Capitol, some wearing neon yellow traffic vests in solidarity as they offered emotional testimony.

Others held framed pictures of loved ones who died in distracted driving crashes. The press conference was to advocate for HB 1811, introduced by Del. Christopher Collins, R-Frederick. Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Westmoreland, is sponsoring a companion bill, SB 1341, in the Senate.

On Wednesday, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee approved Stuart’s bill on a 13-2 vote with bipartisan support. A co-sponsor of that measure, Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, also attended Thursday’s press conference.

Jennifer Smith, whose mother died in a traffic accident caused by a distracted driver, was among the speakers. Smith tearfully read a letter aloud from another mother whose young son was killed when a driver ran over his stroller.

“Every day, I watch drivers too busy on their smartphones to pay attention to their surroundings,” Smith read from Mindy Schulz’s letter. “Each time I see them, I feel the impact of that SUV ripping my son’s stroller out of my hand as I was helpless to stop one from killing my baby.”

Other stories shared were from a father who suffered brain trauma in a crash and a mother who lost her 19-year-old son.

Collins’ bill would expand current state laws regulating the use of a handheld device while driving. The current law prohibits only the reading of any email or text message and manually entering letters or text in the device as a means of communication, according to a summary by the Legislative Information System.

The legislation promotes a “hands-free” approach and would make it illegal for a driver to use any handheld device while operating a vehicle unless the device is specifically designed to allow hands-free and voice operation, such as using the speaker option on a cellphone. The measure would also require driver’s license examinations to include questions on distracted driving.

“As a former police officer, what’s so hard about enforcing the laws we have now is that I don’t know if you’re texting or Facebook-ing,” Collins said. “I can’t write you for Facebook-ing, but I can write you for texting.”

Advocates encouraged members of the House and Senate to pass the legislation in order to “defend and protect” Virginians.

A subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice Committee last week recommended approval of Collins’ bill. The full committee has scheduled the measure for consideration Friday.

Stuart’s bill may go to the Senate floor on Monday.

If neither bill wins approval in the Senate or House by Tuesday, the issue likely will be dead for the legislative session.

Republicans, Democrats Clash Over ‘Disturbing’ Abortion Bill

By Kathleen Shaw and Daniel Berti, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- Virginia Republicans voiced outrage Thursday to a failed proposal by Democrats that would have expanded abortion rights -- even moments before birth -- as one GOP legislator shed tears and another called the proposal “extremely disturbing.”

“I didn't quite arrive on time, but I lived. Had this legislation been in place, who knows how things could have turned out,” said Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk.

Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, sponsored HB 2491, which would have eliminated certain requirements before undergoing an abortion, such as approval from three physicians and an ultrasound. At Monday’s subcommittee hearing on the bill, a Republican lawmaker asked Tran whether the bill would allow for an abortion to occur when a woman is in labor and about to give birth; Tran said yes. The subcommittee voted 5-3 to table the measure.

On Thursday, Tran corrected herself. “I should have said: ‘Clearly, no because infanticide is not allowed in Virginia, and what would have happened in that moment would be a live birth.’”

Republicans seized on Tran’s initial comments -- and Gov. Ralph Northam’s support for a woman’s right to choose an abortion -- as evidence that the Democrats would allow infanticide.

In an unorthodox move on Monday, House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican from Colonial Heights, stepped down from the House chamber dais to speak in opposition to Tran’s legislation. Cox, who has advocated anti-abortion legislation since 1990, said 61,012,997 abortions have been performed since 1973.

“It was extremely disturbing that essentially you have legislation that does not protect the unborn at all, that you can have an abortion up to the point of birth. And I guess what truly disturbed me was that the other side almost seems to be celebrating that position,” Cox said.

Originally, 23 Democrats co-sponsored Tran’s bill, but some, including Del. Dawn Adams of Richmond, said they would pull their support. The controversy has made national headlines and drawn widespread condemnation from Republicans. President Donald Trump criticized Northam for speaking in favor of Tran’s bill.

Northam and Democratic legislators held a press conference of their own Thursday to respond to the Republicans and to reiterate support for abortion rights.
“We believe legislators, most of whom are men, should not be making decisions about women’s choices for their reproductive health,” Northam said. “We can agree to disagree on this topic, but we can be civil about it.”

Northam said some Republicans were attempting to use the issue to score political points.

Attorney General Mark Herring, who also spoke at the press conference, called Republican efforts to discredit Democrats “desperate” and “ugly.”

“Their political games have exposed a member of the House of Delegates to violent personal threats,” Herring said. “And now, Kirk Cox has taken his caucus completely off the deep end accusing Gov. Northam of supporting infanticide.”

The House minority leader, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax, said Virginia women wouldn’t be intimidated by House Republicans’ scare tactics.

“House Republicans have used their majority to try to shame women -- to try to bully and dictate to women what we can and cannot do with our bodies,” Filler-Corn said. “Virginia women are watching, and Virginia women are paying attention.”

Abortion rights groups such as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws and Progress Virginia continue to support Tran. Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia, said that Tran was a champion for women and that Republican legislators are taking her remarks out of context.

“We trust women to make decisions about their health care needs. Shame on politicians like Todd Gilbert and Kirk Cox for trying to distract us from the real issue here: getting politics out of the doctor’s office,” Scholl said.

Del. Gilbert, a Republican from Shenandoah County, is the House majority leader. At the Republicans’ press conference, he equated abortion to murder. Gilbert said Democrats would allow late-term abortions out of concern not just for a woman’s physical health but also for her mental health.

“It has nothing to do with saving a woman's life. A mental health concern could include anything that you can name that has an identifiable mental health issue -- depression, anxiety, feelings that one gets when one is about to have to care for a child,” Gilbert said.

Brewer co-chairs the Foster Care Caucus and is an outspoken advocate for improving Virginia’s adoption and foster care systems. She received a tissue and support from Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, while tearing up at the news conference. Brewer said her birth-mother could have chosen to abort her but instead saved her life and fulfilled the life of her adoptive parents.

“61,012,997. How many of those were delegates that never had a chance to serve? How many of those were precious children who would’ve made an adoptive parent like mine -- a first-time mom or dad?” Brewer said.

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