2020-9-16

Lucy Mitchell Davis

June 4, 1922-September 15, 2020

Graveside Services

September 17, 2020, 11:00 A.M.

Greensville Memorial Cemetery
1250 Skippers Road
Emporia, Virginia

Lucy Mitchell Davis passed away on September 15, 2020 at the age of 98. She was the daughter of the late, Peter and India Mitchell. She was preceded in death by her husband, Emmett L. Davis, sisters, Nell Spence, Elie Smith, Alice Hale, brothers, Shelby Mitchell, Beauford Mitchell, Fred Mitchell. She is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline Gordon of Roanoke Rapids, NC., grandchildren, Donna Dixon (Jimmy) of Chocowinity, NC., Carol Dildy of Roanoke Rapids, NC., great-grandchildren, Kyle Barnes, Brandon Dixon, great-great grandchildren, Ella Blake Barnes, Graham Barnes.

Lucy was a longtime member at Forest Hill Baptist Church, She loved her family, and loved when her church family came to visit.

A graveside service will be held on September 17, 2020, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, at 11:00 A.M., with Rev. Rick Ragan officiating.

Online condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Change Your Future in Weeks

Southside Virginia Community College will offer an 80 hour American Welding Society (AWS) certification program at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia beginning September 28th and running through December 9th.  Classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

According to Dennis Smith, SVCC’s Director of Workforce Development, “These classes are open to anyone interested in gaining this valuable, in-demand skill that can lead to well-paying job opportunities.”

Topics will include safety, general welding shop practice, routine equipment maintenance, metal preparation, OSHA 10, the Gas Metal Arc Welding process (MIG) and more. 

Grants and scholarships are available.  For more information contact Courtney Starke at (434) 949-6614 or visit southside.edu.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SECURES $15.3 MILLION IN DEBT RELIEF FOR FORMER ITT TECH STUDENTS IN VIRGINIA

~ Herring joins CFPB, 47 other state attorneys general in securing $330 million agreement over PEAKS loans at defunct for-profit school ~

RICHMOND (September 15, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has secured an agreement to obtain approximately $15.3 million in debt relief for at least 1,840 former ITT Tech students in Virginia as part of a settlement with 48 attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nationally, the settlement will result in debt relief of about $330 million for 35,000 borrowers who have outstanding principal balances.   
 
The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid. 
 
“Student loan debt continues to be a significant burden to Virginians and their families across the Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Herring. “As Attorney General, I am committed to protecting Virginians from unscrupulous for-profit schools and shady lenders who try to pressure, abuse, and exploit student loan borrowers. I am glad we were able to reach this agreement that I hope will alleviate some of the financial pressure on Virginians who were taken advantage of by this scheme.”
 
PEAKS was formed after the 2008 financial crisis when private sources of lending available to for-profit colleges dried up. ITT developed a plan with PEAKS to offer students temporary credit to cover the gap in tuition between federal student aid and the full cost of the education. 
 
According to the settlement agreement, ITT and PEAKS knew or should have known that the students would not be able to repay the temporary credit when it became due nine months later. Many students complained that they thought the temporary credit was like a federal loan and would not be due until six months after they graduated. 
 
When the temporary credit became due, ITT pressured and coerced students into accepting loans from PEAKS, which for many students carried high interest rates, far above rates for federal loans. Pressure tactics used by ITT included pulling students out of class and threatening to expel them if they did not accept the loan terms. Many of the ITT students were from low-income backgrounds and were left with the choice of enrolling in the PEAKS loans or dropping out and losing any benefit of the credits they had earned, because ITT’s credits would not transfer to most schools. 
 
The default rate on the PEAKS loans is projected to exceed 80%, due to both the high cost of the loans as well as the lack of success ITT graduates had getting jobs that earned enough to make repayment feasible. The defaulted loans continue to affect students’ credit ratings and are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
 
Under the settlement, PEAKS has agreed that it will forgo collection of the outstanding loans and cease doing business. PEAKS will send notices to borrowers about the cancelled debt and ensure that automatic payments are cancelled. The settlement also requires PEAKS to supply credit reporting agencies with information to update credit information for affected borrowers. 
 
Students will not need to do anything to receive the debt relief and the notices they receive will explain their rights under the settlement. Students can direct any questions they may have to PEAKS at customerservice@peaksloans.com or 866-747-0273. They can also reach out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with questions at (855) 411-2372.
 
In June 2019, Attorney General Herring announced that he had secured $9.29 million in debt relief for nearly 1,000 former ITT Tech students in Virginia as part of a $186 million settlement that resulted in debt relief for 18,664 former ITT students nationally. That agreement was with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC, which also offered loans to finance students’ tuition at ITT Tech.
 
Additionally last year, Attorney General Herring and 48 other attorneys general reached a settlement with for-profit education company Career Education Corporation (CEC). The terms of the settlement required CEC to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgo collecting about $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally. In Virginia, 3,094 students will receive relief totaling $8,022,178.
 
In December 2016, the Attorney General announced that more than 5,000 Virginia students formerly enrolled in schools operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. may be eligible for loan forgiveness. This came after the U.S Department of Education found that Corinthian College and its subsidiaries published misleading job placement rates for many programs between 2010 and 2014. Following this announcement, Attorney General Herring urged Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to follow through on their commitment to cancel student debt for students in Virginia and around the country who were victimized by Corinthian Colleges' practices.
 
Attorney General Herring has stood up against the Trump Administration’s numerous attempts to rollback student borrower protections. In January, he urged Congress to reject the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense Rule that fails to protect students and taxpayers from the misconduct of unscrupulous schools. Previously, Attorney General Herring won a victory in federal court when a judge rejected the Trump Administration’s challenge to the Obama-era Borrower Defense Rule, ordering its immediate implementation for students nationwide. This ruling followed a victory Attorney General Herring won in federal court after he and a coalition of state attorneys general challenged the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to abruptly rescind its Borrower Defense Rule which was designed to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers out of billions of dollars in federal loans. The immediate implementation of the 2016 Borrower Defense rule meant that the U.S. Department of Education had to automatically discharge $381 million in loans for students whose schools closed.
 
Students with questions about their rights under the settlement will receive information in the Notices that are sent. Students may also contact Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section:

 
Overall, Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $334 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators. The Section has transferred more than $61 million to the Commonwealth’s General Fund, and following a major reorganization and enhancement in 2016 the Section has been even more effective in fighting for Virginia consumers.
 
Joining Attorney General Herring in announcing today’s settlement are the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

 

A Message from Virginia Chamber President & CEO, Barry DuVal

On Friday, Governor Northam announced that Hampton Roads will re-join the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase 3 of the “Forward Virginia” plan. Over the last six weeks, the Hampton Roads region was placed under targeted COVID-19 restrictions including a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people, a requirement to stop the sale of alcohol at 10:00pm, and a requirement that all restaurants close by midnight. In last week’s announcement, the Governor attributed the easing of these restrictions to the improved health metrics, stating that number of positive cases in Hampton Roads has been decreasing for more than 45 days. More information can be found here.
 
Last month, I announced that the Virginia Chamber Foundation would be partnering with Dominion Energy to bring relief to small businesses in the Commonwealth. Dominion Energy Virginia has pledged $500,000 to help provide energy bill relief for small businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship in its Virginia service territory. The program funding will be covered by shareholders and will not impact customer rates. Qualified businesses may be eligible to receive one-time assistance with their past due Dominion Energy electric bill balances up to $1,000. I encourage our small business community to visit the website to learn more information about this invaluable program and apply today. More information can be found here. I would also like to thank and acknowledge our other partners in this important initiative:
 
  • The Asian American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Metropolitan Business League
  • The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce
  • The Urban League of Hampton Roads
  • The Virginia Asian American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
  • The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
 
This Thursday, September 17, the Virginia Chamber will host our next signature event – The Virginia Conference on Energy Diversity & Corporate Sustainability. Now hosted as a virtual conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from business and policy leaders on how we can make Virginia more competitive through corporate sustainability and a diverse energy portfolio. Follow this link to review the full agenda and register today. 
 
This week, the Virginia Chamber is pleased to recognize Appalachian Power for its continued support of communities across the Commonwealth and nation during COVID-19.  
 
Appalachian Power’s history in Virginia dates back more than 100 years. A part of American Electric Power, the company today provides safe and reliable electric service to approximately 1 million customers in far southwest, southern and central Virginia, as well as portions of West Virginia and Tennessee. Through the work of dedicated employees, Appalachian Power achieves its mission to power the economy, while investing in its communities to help meet economic development, environmental, educational and other needs. Appalachian Power has applied this same approach to helping its customers, employees and communities during the pandemic. 
 
In response to COVID-19, Appalachian Power temporarily stopped all service disconnections for non-payment. As part of its return to standard business operations, the company has since focused its efforts on helping residential and business customers affected by the pandemic find a flexible payment arrangement that meets their needs. The company also put a program together to help business customers fully leverage the CARES Act and brought awareness to other loans and funding available.
 
I want to applaud Appalachian Power for its efforts to help the community and encourage you to learn more about this week’s “Member Spotlight” below. 
 
Best regards,
 
Barry DuVal
President

Virginia Chamber 2020 Event Updates

Due to the COVID-19 crisis and ever-evolving situation, the Virginia Chamber made the decision to postpone all of our scheduled events for the spring. We have secured new dates for each of these events later in the year. 
 
Please find below an updated tentative event calendar for the fall months. Additional details on each event with be released in the coming weeks. 
 
SAVE THE DATE
 

Dominion Energy Small Business EnergyShare Relief Program

Dominion Energy is partnering with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Foundation to temporarily expand its EnergyShare program to assist those small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Dominion Energy Virginia has pledged $500,000 to help provide energy bill relief for small businesses, nonprofits, and houses of worship in its Virginia service territory. The program funding will be covered by shareholders and will not impact customer rates. Qualified businesses may be eligible to receive one-time assistance with their past due Dominion Energy electric bill balances up to $1,000.
 
How to Submit An Application
  • Before submitting an application, please review the eligibility requirements HERE.
  • The application can be downloaded HERE
  • The applicant must submit their completed and e-signed application via e-mail to Foundation@vachamber.com for review. 
  • Applications MUST be submitted with a file name that lists the numerical date and organization name. Ex: 09.01.20 Virginia Chamber Foundation
  • Upon submission of the application, the applicant will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of the materials. Notification of the assistance decision will be made via e-mail within 14 business days.
  • The application period will remain open until the funds allocated to the program are exhausted. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
For more information, please visit our website.

 

 

 

Efforts falter to require schools to provide in-person options

By Sam Fowler, Capital News Service

RICHMOND -- An effort to require Virginia school districts provide in-person classes to students with poor internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic is most likely dead. 

House Bill 5009, introduced by Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, would require public schools to offer in-person classes to elementary, middle and high school students who have substandard internet connections at home. 

The bill was referred in August to the House Committee on Education during the Virginia General Assembly special session, but the legislation still hasn’t been addressed as the legislature nears crossover day—when each chamber must act on bills for them to advance.

“Anything still left in committee, will essentially die. So it doesn’t look like this bill will progress,” Del. Joshua Cole, D-Fredericksburg, who co-sponsored the bill, said in an email. 

Mark Cole’s bill would have required schools to provide in-person instruction to individuals who can’t access an internet speed of more than 10 megabits per second download and one Mbps upload. 

“This is an equity issue,” Mark Cole wrote in an email earlier this month. “Some children do not have access to the internet or internet of sufficient capacity to be able participants in online instruction, primarily rural and poor children.”

More than 1 million public school students were slated to start school in an online-only format, according to data posted in August by the Virginia Public Access Project. That includes Fairfax County, home to almost 189,000 students. More than 269,000 children were set to start school in a hybrid format that offers in-person and online instruction. Many of those students are located in rural areas. Hanover County, which enrolls more than 17,500 students, is the largest school district offering a blended format, according to VPAP. 

Russell County in Southwest Virginia is among the schools offering an in-person and online learning format. The school has set up an internet hotspot on school grounds to help students download material for class, and zip drives to store what they download, according to Janice Barton, a teacher at the school. High schools in the surrounding area have also done the same, Barton said. 

Even though schools are offering ways to access the internet, they’re still not offering high-speed access, Mark Cole said.

“This still puts children without high speed internet at a disadvantage over those that can participate in the comfort of their homes,” he said. “Children have to be driven to a hotspot, often a school parking lot, where they try to receive instruction while sitting in their car.”

Joshua Cole believes children should have an equal opportunity to learn without having to worry about attending online classes.

“If you don’t have internet, if you don’t have high speed internet, if your speeds are low, we want to make sure that your student is not left out,” he said. 

Stafford County gives some students an opportunity to come to school if they need to, said Joshua Cole, who is one of the county’s representatives in the House. The lawmaker said only some students are attending in-person classes in Stafford County, primarily students with disabilities or those without reliable internet access.

“It's not a bunch of students coming in,” he said.

Fredericksburg City Public Schools partnered with business owners in the area who are helping fund internet hotspots for students to access from their homes, according to Joshua Cole.

Many schools that are offering in-person instruction have created spaces to accommodate students and follow social distancing guidelines.

“We have signs in the hallways, in our classrooms. We have it set up 6 feet apart,” Barton said. “We have cleaning supplies, every teacher has that.”

Russell County Public Schools also provide students and teachers with masks, Barton said. 

Senate Bill 5114, sponsored by Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Mechanicsville, had similar wording to Mark Cole’s bill, but it was passed by indefinitely, which means the bill is dead unless the committee takes additional action.

Remains of Tropical Storm Sally Have Potential for Heavy Thrusday and Friday, Flood Watch Issued

Flash Flood Watch

National Weather Service Wakefield VA, 351 AM EDT Wed Sep 16 2020

...Moderate to heavy rainfall expected late Thursday through much of Friday...

Northampton-Hertford-Gates-Pasquotank-Camden-Western Currituck-Bertie-Chowan-Perquimans-Eastern Currituck-Mecklenburg-Lunenburg-Brunswick-Greensville-Sussex-Surry-Southampton-Isle of Wight-Norfolk/Portsmouth-Suffolk-Chesapeake-Virginia Beach-York-Newport News-Hampton/Poquoson-Including the cities of Margarettsville, Ahoskie, Corapeake,Elizabeth City, Horseshoe, Lilly, Sharon, Knotts Island, Quitsna, Edenhouse, Merry Hill, Midway, Windsor, Cape Colony, Edenton, Hancock, Macedonia, Mavaton, Saint Johns, Valhalla, Jacocks, Woodville, Corolla, South Hill, Fort Mitchell, Kells Corner, Arvins Store, Loves Mill, Lunenburg, Nutbush, Rehoboth, Lawrenceville, Emporia, Wakefield, Barham, Gwaltney Corner, Bacons Castle, Chippokes State Park, Hog Island Game Reserve, Poolesville, Booth Fork, Franklin, Carrsville, Lees Mill, Benns Church, Bethel Church, Carrollton, Lawson, Longview, Downtown Norfolk, Ghent, Norfolk International Arpt, Norfolk NAS, Norview, Ocean View, Wards Corner, Chuckatuck, Cleopus,Crittenden, Deanes, Downtown Suffolk, Driver, Elwood, Mount Pleasant, Bowers Hill, Chesapeake Airport, Deep Creek, Fentress, Great Bridge, Greenbrier, Back Bay, Bayside, Cape Henry, Dam Neck, Gallups Corner, Kempsville, London Bridge, Grafton, Tabb, Beaconsdale, Denbigh, Fort Eustis, Hilton Village, Lee Hall, Menchville, Newport News, Buckroe Beach, Fort Monroe, Fox Hill, Grand View, Hallwood, Hampton, and Langley AFB

351 AM EDT Wed Sep 16 2020

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING...

The National Weather Service in Wakefield has issued a

  • * Flash Flood Watch for portions of northeast North Carolina and  Virginia, including the following areas, in northeast North  Carolina, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Eastern Currituck, Gates,  Hertford, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Western  Currituck. In Virginia, Brunswick, Chesapeake, Greensville, Hampton/Poquoson, Isle of Wight, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg,   Newport News, Norfolk/Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, Sussex, Virginia Beach, and York.
  • * From Thursday afternoon through Friday evening
  • * Rain will overspread the area Thursday afternoon as the moisture  from Tropical Cyclone Sally merges with a slow moving frontal boundary. The rain will become heavy at times Thursday night before slowly tapering off to light rain Friday. 3 to 5 inches of rain will be likely with locally higher amounts near the North Carolina - Virginia border. The runoff from this much rainfall will likely result in localized flash flooding.
  • * Potential impacts include rapid rises of water, flooded roads, and flooding of structures in low lying areas near streams.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.


Hazardous Weather Outlook, National Weather Service Wakefield VA, 410 AM EDT Wed Sep 16 2020

NCZ012>017-030>032-VAZ065-066-079-087>089-092-093-095>097-523>525-
170815-
Northampton-Hertford-Gates-Pasquotank-Camden-Western Currituck-Bertie-Chowan-Perquimans-Mecklenburg-Lunenburg-Brunswick-Greensville-Sussex-Surry-Southampton-Isle of Wight-Norfolk/Portsmouth-Suffolk-Chesapeake-York-Newport News-Hampton/Poquoson-410 AM EDT Wed Sep 16 2020

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING...

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for northeast North Carolina, south central Virginia and southeast Virginia.

.DAY ONE...Today and tonight.

Hazardous weather is not expected at this time.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Thursday through Tuesday.

Please listen to NOAA Weather Radio or go to weather.gov on the Internet for more information about the following hazards.

   Flash Flood Watch.

The remnants of tropical cyclone Sally will bring the potential for heavy rain to the region late Thursday through Friday. Flash flooding will be possible.

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