2021-4-6

An Update from the Office of Congressman McEachin

This past month I hosted a series of open forums for my constituents. One of these was a telephone town hall to address tax questions and concerns. As you may have heard, both the federal government and the commonwealth of Virginia have extended the tax deadline until May 17, 2021 for 2020 taxes. With the impact of COVID-19 and relief measures passed by Congress, this is a much-needed extension as taxes have unfortunately become more complicated. I was pleased that Craig Burns, the Virginia Tax Commissioner, and Kimina Harris, a representative of the Taxpayer Advocacy Service, joined us to provide informative answers and offer resources for further information.

In another forum hosted last month on Zoom, we discussed COVID-19 and the vaccination process with Dr. Danny Avula who was selected by Gov. Northam to oversee the process. If you have not yet joined us, I hope you can participate in a future event soon as I continue to host them this year. I would like to use these as an opportunity to hear your concerns and answer your questions. My hope is that we can begin in-person town halls soon as people get vaccinated and the pandemic recedes.

My staff and I are also eager to attend events and hear from you regarding pending issues. You can still voice your opinions on issues at any time by going to my website, mceachin.house.gov to share your thoughts. To invite me or a member of my staff to an event, virtual or in person, or if you are having a problem with a federal agency, please fill out the request form on our website and a constituent services representative will contact you promptly.

Unfortunately, postal issues are still plaguing the district. I have written to the US Postal Service Board of Governors to strongly recommend that Postmaster Louis deJoy be replaced. During his tenure, mail delivery has unaccountably and unacceptably slowed tremendously. These mail slowdowns are simply unacceptable, and I intend to stay intimately involved in resolving this ongoing problem.

In the meantime, President Biden has filled the three vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors. I am hopeful these new members will address the post office and its performance deficiencies with new eyes and implement much needed improvements.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

South Hill, VA (4/5/21) – In Virginia last year, distracted driving caused 17,000 accidents, including 120 fatalities and 9,000 injuries. The good news is accidents due to distracted driving have been on a decline over the past three years. Lawmakers have noticed and finally made driving with hand-held devices not lawful as of January 1, 2021. A texting while driving conviction carries a $125 fine for the first offense and a $250 fine for second or subsequent offenses. Overall, texting and cell phone use account for fewer than 10 percent of distractions.

From the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website, “The three basic types of distracted driving are manual, visual and cognitive, and all three increase crash risk. During visual distraction, drivers’ eyes are off the road, such as looking at another accident or the dashboard. A driver’s hand is off the wheel during manual distraction, such as eating or handling an object. Cognitive distraction poses the highest risk because the driver’s mind is off driving. When a driver’s brain is overloaded by two cognitive tasks, such as driving and talking on the phone, drivers make the phone conversation the main task and driving becomes the secondary task, without recognizing it. Driving is severely impaired as a secondary task, and the impairment can last a long time.”

The average weight of a vehicle is 4,000 pounds. That kind of weight moving 60-70 miles per hour is the reason so many deaths and injuries occur. Janet Kaiser, Emergency Department Director at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) explains, “Being located right off I-85 and near the Route 58 corridor, we see a lot of trauma patients come in from motor vehicle accidents. One life is too many to lose. Please make driving the top priority and save lives.”

If someone is in an accident in Southside Virginia, they have access to VCU Health CMH. The emergency department has 16 private rooms including two large trauma rooms and staff and physicians capable of initiating care for most injuries. Visit vcu-cmh.org for more information.

Karen Ann Gregory

October 24, 1945 - April 03, 2021

Memorial Service

3 p.m. Sunday, April 11

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

 

Mrs. Karen Ann Gregory, 75, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, April 3, 2021. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nelson and Virginia Fuller and a daughter, Valerie Starke Newsome.

Karen is survived by her children, Penny S. Holland (Al), Nelson T. Starke and Barbara S. Wyatt (Danny) and stepdaughter, Rebecca Gregory Taylor (Nathanael); grandchildren, Christopher Holland, Lori Harrup (A. C.), David Wyatt (Lauren), Lance Wyatt (Kelli), Zachary Shannon (Tori), Amanda Butler (Gene), Brandon Holland (Anthony), Danielle Donovan (Brian), Travis Starke and Austin Wyatt (Jill); great-grandchildren, Valerie, Alayna, Presley, Emersyn, Mason, Brad, Broady, Brayden, Elijah, Sydney, Bryn and Wyatt; a brother, Charles Fuller and a special cousin, Charlet Grace.

A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia 23867.

All those attending are asked to please adhere to safety precautions (mask wearing and social distancing.)

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org).

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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