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2019-6-20

Log Truck Accident Blocks Traffic

A truck carrying logs lost it's payload on South Main Street at the intersection with Brink Road in the City of Emporia on Tuesday. Luckilly, no injuries were reported.

Tyler Rae Congratulated by Mayor and City Council on Earning Eagle Scout Honor

Whereas, the Boy Scouts of America is a vital force in the development of our youth through its many programs which encourage the ability of its members to do things for themselves and especially for others; and

Whereas, Tyler Rae is a member of Troop 232 and has not only proven himself to be an outstanding member of the Boy Scouts of American, but has attained the highest honor bestowed on a Scout – the Eagle Scout Award; and

Whereas, one of the major objectives in the Scouting program is to develop citizenship through community involvement and in addition to working for citizenship merit badges, Scouts are encouraged to participate in community service projects; and

Whereas, for his Eagle Scout project Tyler coordinated the renovation of the current flag pole located at the Emporia City Veteran’s Park; and

Whereas, the Eagle Scout Award is a distinction that will follow him throughout life and will be a beacon to others of the leadership quality and commitment this young man has shown; and

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that I, Mary L. Person, Mayor and the Council of the City of Emporia, Virginia hereby congratulate Tyler Rae for his many accomplishments and especially recognize him for earning the distinguished rank of contributions and wish him much success in all of his future endeavors.

Done this 18th day of June 2019.

Boozman-Warner Legislation Aims to Expand Outreach, Create Measurement Tool to Improve Effectiveness in Fight Against Veteran Suicide

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation to improve coordination of veteran mental health and suicide prevention services and to better measure the effectiveness of these programs in order to reduce the alarming number of veteran suicides.

The IMPROVE (Incorporating Measurements and Providing Resources for Outreach to Veterans Everywhere) Wellbeing for Veterans Act creates a new grant program to enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct additional outreach through veteran-serving non-profits in addition to state and local organizations.

“Congress has provided significant resources to the VA to decrease veteran suicides, yet the number of veterans who take their own lives everyday remains unchanged,” Boozman said. “We all share the goal of saving the lives of veterans. We must have better coordination of existing programs; a common tool to measure the effectiveness of our programs; and better information sharing, data collection and continual feedback in order to identify what services are having the most impact. Creating a framework for these necessary pieces is essential to empowering organizations to work together in the fight against veteran suicide.” 

“Of the 20 veterans who commit suicide every day in this country, roughly 14 of them don’t receive treatment from the VA,” said Warner. “This legislation will target that group by providing grant funding to private organizations with a proven track record of strong mental health and suicide prevention efforts among veterans. It’s my hope that broad coordination between the VA, state veterans affairs departments, first responders, and local leaders, will allow us to support more at-risk veterans and make a meaningful impact on reducing veteran suicide rates in this country.”

In Fiscal Year 2010, the VA requested $62 million for suicide prevention outreach. In Fiscal Year 2020, that number nearly quadrupled to $222 million. Despite the sharp increase in funding, the rate of veterans suicides has remained roughly unchanged at 20 per day. Only six of those 20 veterans are receiving healthcare services at the VA. This points to a significant need to empower the VA to work through community partners to expand outreach. At the same time, national data indicates there are more than 50,000 organizations that provide suicide prevention services for veterans, yet they are hard for veterans to find, access, apply for and use.

To date, policy makers have assessed capacity and access to services as a measurement for effectiveness. Despite significant capacity increases, the rate of veterans suicides remains the same. There are no shared tools to measure the effectiveness of programming at improving mental resiliency and outlook, which would be indicators of reduced suicide risk.

To address these programmatic gaps, the IMPROVE Wellbeing for Veterans Act will accomplish three broad objectives:

  • Enable the VA to directly or indirectly reach more veterans than it currently does.
  • Increase coordination among currently disparate community resources that serve a wide variety of veteran needs – all of which play a part in reducing the purposelessness that ends in suicide.
  • Create and inspire broad adoption of a measurement tool that will indicate effectiveness of services provided for veterans suicide prevention.

Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are original cosponsors of the legislation.

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