April 2020

Quarantine Recipe: Julia Child's Spinach Souffle

I am a cookbook nerd. I have way too many and use them way too infrequently. Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a great read, but one I rarely cook out of. I have a hard copy and a PDF. I have carried this book around for about 25 years and have only cooked three or four recipes out of it, this is one of them. I found both volumes at a little Italian deli in Pueblo, Colorado; I used to stop at this deli for Lasagna or Stuffed Shells to take home for dinner.

Souffles are wonderful things. They move surprisingly quickly and take no special tools to serve; Just plunge a spoon down into the dish and scoop out what you want to serve! Put a simply dressed salad and a piece of bread beside it and you have a surprising meal. If you have a Meat and Potatoes kind of family, it may take some convincing for a recipe like this, but given the possibility of a meat shortage, it might be a handy one to keep around.

For this recipe you may use a Souffle Dish or a Pyrex dish.

Ingredients:

Butter for preparing the pan

About 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese for preparing pan

1 tbsp minced shallots (substitute sweet onions if unavailable)

1 tbsp butter

3/4 c chopped frozen spinach (I use a full box and squeeze dry with my potato ricer)

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 c milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 c grated gruyere cheese (may substitute Swiss, Cheddar, or your favorite melting cheese)

5 egg whites

Difficulty: Moderate. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: None.

Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes, Cook Time: 23-30 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees f. Butter a 6 cup souffle dish and dust it with  the grated cheese as if you were dusting a cake pan with flour; dump any excess cheese out of souffle dish into the swiss cheese. Set dish to the side. Measure out your remaining ingredients.

2.  Squeeze most of the water out of the thawed spinach with a couple paper towels or by squeezing by hand. Cook the shallots and 1 tbsp butter in a saute or frying pan on medium for 1 minute. Add the spinach and salt, stirring and breaking up the spinach until is very dry. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. n a saucepan, melt 2 1/2 tbsp butter. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in milk. Beat with whisk until blended. Return to heat and stir with the whisk until the mixture is bubbling.  When it thickens, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Remove the pan from the heat.

4.  Add the spinach to the egg/ flour base until completely mixed.

5. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until stiff. Stir one-quarter of the egg whites and all but one tablespoon of the cheese into the souffle base. Gently fold he remaining whites into the base, using as few turns as possible to incorporate the two mixtures as completely as possible. Fold by working a rubber spatula all the way to the bottom and "fold" the mixture on top, turn the bowl one-quarter turn and repeat. Fold quickly and gently to deflate the whites as little as possible.

6.  Turn the souffle out into the prepared mold, run your thumb along the edge of the souflle dish to give the souffle a clean edge, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place into the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes. DO NOT open the oven during the first 20 minutes of cooking time. The Souffle is done when there is still a slight wobble in the center and the top is golden brown. For a less creamy souffle that will collapse less quickly, bake 3-4 minutes past the "wobbly center" stage.

Serve immediately.

This recipe is adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One, by Julia Child, Louisette Berthoulle and Simone Beck; Published by Alfred A. Knoph, 1961

Suggested sides: Make a quick salad of fresh spring greens with a classic French vinaigrette like this one.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own recommendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can explain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Update to School Lunches during Coronavirus Emergency

 

Greensville County Public Schools will be providing breakfast and lunch meals, during our emergency closure.  Meals will be provided to all children without charge.  Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided, on a first come, first serve basis.  We will bus meals to certain locations throughout the school district.

Please continue to check the division’s media outlets for updates.

 Meals will be available for pick up at the sites and times as follows:

 

 Location      

  Days of Service

Greensville County High School

403 Harding Street, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–12:00 pm

Old Brink School

Brink Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15 am

Skippers Post Office

5334 Skippers Road, Skippers, VA 23879

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:30 am.–9:45 am

Cain’s Mobile Home Park

299 Liberty Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:50am-10:00 am

Brook Ridge Apartments

1325 Skippers Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:05-10:20 am

Washington Park Store

29 Easter Street, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:30 am.­­-10:45 am

Meherrin River Park

1001 Meherrin Park Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:55 am.–11:05 am

Spring Hill Village Mobile Home Park (Both sides)

Lowground Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 11:10 am.–11:25 am

Falling Run Apartments

South Main Street, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 11:30 am.–11:45 am

Purdy Store

14 Smokey Ordinary Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15am

Jarratt Ball Park

South Braxton Ave, Jarratt VA 23867

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:30 am.–9:45 am

Blanks Lane

Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:55 am.–10:10 am

Greensville Elementary School

1011 Sussex Drive, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:20 am.–10:45 am

Woodruff Store

5559 Pleasant Shade Drive, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:00 am.–9:15 am

Scottsdale Trailer Court

Carter Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:20 am.–9:35 am

MS 58 Plaza

1001 Pleasant Shade Drive, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 9:40 am.–9:55 am

Reese Village

311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:05 am.–10:20 am

Northwood Village

300 Lewis Street, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:25 am.–10:40am

McDonald’s Bus Parking Lot

905 Market Drive, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 10:45 am.–10:55 am

Top Hand Foundation

203 W Atlantic Street, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 11:00 am.–11:15 am

Unkle Odie’s

121 Courtland Road, Emporia, VA 23847

May 4th, May 18th, June 1st, June 15th

Breakfast & Lunch 11:25 am.–11:40 am

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)   Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)   Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)   Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.     

Quarantine Recipe: Chicken Parmesan

Everybody seems to love Italian-American Food. When you have finally had your fill of making basic spaghetti, though, try something a bit different. It still has the same basic spaghetti for the pasta, but it is topped with a crispy, breaded and fried chicken cutlet that is, in turn, topped with Mozzarella Cheese and Marinara Sauce.

You can use your favorite jarred sauce or make homemade sauce. If you want this quickly, jarred sauce is one of the keys.  Honestly, the most difficult part of this dish is timing the pasta to be finished when the chicken is ready, and that can be avoided by keeping the chicken warm until the pasta is ready.


Ingredients:

4 (4 to 5 ounce) Chicken Cutlets

3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon each Salt, Pepper and Italian Seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic (granulated or powder)

2 Large Eggs, Beaten

1/2 teaspoon each Salt, Pepper and Italian Seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic (granulated or powder)

1 cup Panko Crumbs

1/2 teaspoon each Salt, Pepper and Italian Seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon Garlic (granulated or powder)

Oil for Frying

Pasta Sauce-jarred or homemade

Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced if Fresh, Shredded if Block

Pasta, cooked according to package directions

Difficulty: Moderate. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Chicken.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1. Prepare oven for broiling.

2. Set up a breading station. Place the flour and seasonings on one paper plate, beat the egg and seasonings in a glass or disposable foil pie plate, and put the panko and seasonings on another paper plate.

3. Bread the chicken cutlets in the flour, then the egg and then the crumbs. Place on a wire rack.

4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot enough to make a few bread crumbs sizzle. Preheat the broiler at the same time. Fry the chicken cutlets until cooked through. Remove to a broiler save pan and top with a genrous spoonfull of each of sauce and cheese.

5. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbly and begins to brown slightly. Remove from broiler and let rest.

6.  Prepare 4 plates with portions of pasta and sauce, top pasta with cutlets. Serve with garlic bread and vegetable of choice or tossed salad.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Governor Northam Acts to Ensure Liability Protections for Healthcare Workers

Executive order reinforces statutory liability protections for healthcare providers during COVID-19 emergency

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today signed Executive Order Sixty, which reinforces certain existing statutory liability protections for Virginia healthcare workers. Due to COVID-19, public and private healthcare providers are operating with limited resources and may be forced to serve patients outside of conventional standards of care.

“Virginia’s healthcare workers are heroes,” said Governor Northam. “We must ensure that they can continue to provide high-quality and compassionate care during this tremendously challenging time.” 

Virginia’s code offers protections for healthcare workers and first responders in cases of emergency. This order clarifies that these statues protect healthcare workers operating during the COVID-19 crisis. Nothing in this order prevents liability in the case of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

The full text of Executive Order Sixty is available here.

"Where Did Spring Go?"

Now everywhere the greenery
far as the eye can see
yet where did the spring go
would someone please tell me.
 
Yes spring time with the yet cool nights
though signs that summers coming soon
it could be brisk in early morn
but quite warmed up by noon.
 
The trees were shedding all old leaves
and piles were raked where e're you'd go
yet I being from the Midwest
would wait til the wind did blow.
 
Now I know the neighbors were shouting
though it wasn't really at me
I feel they were just excited
at all the new leaves they'd see.
 
Yes springtime I did really miss
after waiting for a year
lets hope when winter next is gone
that springtime will appear.
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Quarantine Recipe: Taco Soup

It really doesn't get much easier than this for a "Taco Tuesday." This evening is supposed to be a bit chilly, so this wuick soup would be the perfect warm up.

 


Ingredients:

1 pound Ground Beef

2 cups Water

1/2 cup diced Green Bell Pepper

1 (16 ounce) jar Picante Sauce or Salsa

1 (14-16 ounce) can Pinto Beans

1 (15 ounce) Tomato Sauce

1 can Yellow Corn with Red and Green Bell Peppers undrained

1 14 &1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained

Tortilla Strips, Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Ground Beef.

Prep Time: 11 Minutes, Cook Time: 18 Minutes

Yeild: 12 Servings

1. Brown ground beef in a Dutch oven or large pot. When beef is  no longer pink, drain and return to pot.

2. Add all of the remaining ingredients with the exception of the garnishes and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occassionally,

4. Serce, garnished with the tortilla strips, sour cream and shredded cheese.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

WARNER, KAINE APPLAUD MORE THAN $1.8 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR RURAL VIRGINIA HOSPITALS

WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) applauded $1,854,974 in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assist the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in supporting rural hospitals across the Commonwealth as they combat the COVID-19 crisis. The federal funding was made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allocated $150 million to assist hospitals funded through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) respond to this public health emergency.

“Hospitals everywhere are being squeezed during this pandemic, but those in rural areas face an additional set of challenges as they strive to make the most of limited resources to treat patients and fight this crisis,” said the Senators. “We are very pleased to see this funding go towards helping rural hospitals in Virginia keep their doors open to the community and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Per the CARES Act, this flexible funding can be used to expand testing and laboratory services as well as to purchase of personal protective equipment to minimize COVID-19 exposure. 

The funding was awarded through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) which helps states support rural hospitals with 49 beds or fewer. SHIP allows small rural hospitals to become or join accountable care organizations (ACOs), participate in shared savings programs, and purchase health information technology (hardware and software), equipment, and/or training to comply with quality improvement activities such as advancing patient care information, promoting interoperability, and payment bundling.

Supplemental Security Income Recipients, Act Now – Go to IRS.gov – A Message from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

Action Needed for People Receiving SSI with Dependents and Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment

“Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who don’t file tax returns will start receiving their automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department in early May.  People receiving SSI benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment.  They should immediately go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Information section to provide their information.  SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly. 

By taking this proactive step to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment.  If people in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, their payment at this time will be $1,200 only.  They would then be required to file a tax year 2020 tax return to obtain the additional $500 per eligible child.

I urge SSI recipients with qualifying children and who do not normally file taxes to take action now.  Immediately go to IRS.gov so that you will receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments you and your family are eligible for.

Lastly, a word of caution.  Be aware of scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. There is no fee required to receive these payments.  Don’t be fooled.

Visit the agency’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ for important information and updates.”

Click here to view the IRS press release about this important issue.

Governor Northam Unveils Blueprint for Easing Public Health Restrictions

‘Forward Virginia’ blueprint informed by diverse health and business stakeholders, includes testing, tracing, and PPE priorities

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today presented the “Forward Virginia” blueprint, which will help guide the Commonwealth on when to safely begin easing public health restrictions. The blueprint includes a phased approach that is grounded in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and has specific goals to contain the spread of the virus through increased testing, personal protective equipment and supplies, and medical capacity.

“We will move forward, but in a way that prioritizes public health and builds public confidence,” said Governor Northam. “Businesses know that customers will return only when they feel that it is safe to do so. Our blueprint for the path forward is data-driven and provides clear guidance, so Virginians will know what to expect and understand how we will decide to when to lift certain public health restrictions.”

Virginia is looking at a wide range of public health data. The Governor emphasized that key indicators will include a 14-day downward trend in confirmed cases as a percentage of overall tests and in reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations. While hospitalization rates have largely stabilized in the Commonwealth, confirmed cases continue to rise.

The Forward Virginia blueprint includes the following priorities:

TESTING AND TRACING

To ensure the continued safety of Virginians, the Commonwealth aims to test at least 10,000 individuals per day. Karen Remley, former Commissioner of Health and current co-chair of Virginia’s Testing Work Group, outlined a four stage approach to meet this goal prior to safe reopening. The expanded testing plan includes hiring contact tracers, who will support local health departments in identifying individuals who may be exposed to COVID-19 and helping them self-isolate.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to ramping up testing, ensuring the safety of healthcare staff, and expanding the medical workforce. Virginia’s PPE pipeline is improving, and hospitals are successfully managing their supplies. The Governor cautioned that safely easing restrictions will require an ongoing stable PPE supply chain across all sectors of healthcare, and ensuring that the supply is regularly replenished.

Virginia has ordered 17.4 million N95 masks, 8.3 million surgical masks, 17.1 million gloves, 1.7 million gowns, and 1 million face shields. This includes a contract signed jointly with Maryland and the District of Columbia for 5 million N95 masks.

Governor Northam announced that a second shipment from Northfield Medical Manufacturing is scheduled to arrive today and will be promptly distributed. The latest shipment includes 3 million nitrile exam gloves, 100,000 N95 masks, 500,000 3-ply procedure masks, and 40,000 isolation gowns.

HOSPITAL CAPACITY AND STAFF

Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are largely stable across Virginia, even as case counts continue to rise. To ensure continued capacity as Virginia move towards “Phase One” of easing restrictions, Governor Northam yesterday extended the ban on elective surgeries through May 1 and expanded the ability of physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement.

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) continues to recruit and deploy medical and non-medical volunteers to bolster the work of local health departments, hospitals, and healthcare providers. The MRC currently has over 16,500 trained volunteers, more than halfway to Virginia’s goal of 30,000.

PHASE ONE OF EASING RESTRICTIONS

Governor Northam outlined key benchmarks Virginians can expect in the first phase, which will begin no sooner than two weeks from now to allow for a 14-day downward trend in confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Phase one includes continued social distancing, teleworking, limits on travel and public gatherings, and recommended use of face coverings. Any easing of restrictions will be informed by public health experts, members of the Governor’s COVID-19 Business Task Force, state and local officials, and other stakeholders.

The Commonwealth is developing two sets of guidance: one with broad based recommendations for all businesses, and another with industry specific recommendations for public-facing businesses like restaurants and non-essential retail. The guidance will be provided to businesses in early May.

The slides from today’s presentation are available here.

Quarantine Recipe: Three Cup Chicken

Like all really good food, there is a legend behind this dish. The way the story from the Song Dynasty goes is that a national treasure of China was captured by the invading forces of Kublai Kahn and torutured for four years. Before the execution of the prisoner, named Wen Tianxiang, a sympathetic warden made him this dish using the few meager ingredients that were at hand.

Speaking from experience, you are not likely to find Thai Basil in Emporia, and every time I look for Italian Basil here, no grocer in town has any-you may consider them optional if you cannot find them.

 


Ingredients:

1/3 c Dry Sherry

1/3 c Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 & 1/2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, large pieces of fat removed and cut into 1 & 1/2 inch pieces

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 inch piece of Ginger, peeled and sliced into thin half moons

6 Scallions, sliced thinly, white and green portions in different dishes

12 clives Garlic, pelled and cut in half

1/2 to 3/4 Dried Chili Flakes

1 teaspoon Corn Starch

1 teaspoon Water

1 bunch Thai or Italian Basil

1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Chicken.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1.  Marinade chicken in sherry, soy sauce and brown sugar for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

2. Cook ginger and garlic in 3 tablespoons oil over medium to medium high heat until golden brown but not burned, about 10 minutes.

3. Add chicken AND marinade and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add scallion whites and simmer for an additional to minutes until chicken thighs are cooked through.

5. Mix corn starch and water together. Make a well in the center of the skillet and pour the corn starch slurry into the well. Cook until thickened.

6. Add the basil leaves (if using), scallion greens, drizzle the toasted sesame oil over the top and serve.

Suggested sides: Steamed White Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

"Twin Sisters" Sharing Upcoming Milesone

On May 15, 2020, the ‘twin sisters’ will celebrate a milestone birthday, turning 90 years old.  Margaret Walker Dilworth and Annie Ruth Kirk Clarke were born during the Great Depression and during a different time in history in the United States of America.

Mrs. Dilworth tells the story that they were born twins but since they were of different races, she was given to a black family to raise and Mrs. Clarke was raised by a white family.  She laughs as she tells how they reunited while attending Brunswick High School basketball games during the years of Bryant Stith’s coaching career.  Stith is married to the former Barbara Dilworth, daughter of Margaret. 

Stith, who played in the National Basketball Association for ten years, calls the ladies ‘twin grandmas’.” 

At the games, the ladies had special seating, first bench behind the scorer’s table.  No one dared take those seats as overseen by then high school principal Mark Harrison.  His endearing term for the ladies was ‘brown sugar and white sugar.’ The two, some of the oldest fans, saw Brunswick through back-to-back-to-back State Championships in basketball. 

Mrs. Clarke was born at home near Dundas in Lunenburg County to Hinda and Luther Kirk.  Her sister, Virginia Kirk, was celebrating her fourth birthday on May 15 when sister Annie Ruth arrived.  As the story goes, Virginia wanted strawberry shortcake, not a sister.  Growing up on a tobacco farm during the Depression, she received a driver’s license at age 14 and graduated Valedictorian of Kenbridge High School after 11 grades.  She moved to Lawrenceville to work for the Brunswick Health Department, met Lloyd Clarke who ran Clarke’s Department Store with his family and they married and ran the store together until his death. They are parents to three children. 

Mrs. Dilworth was born at home in Petersburg, Virginia to Corrine and James Edward Walker as the oldest of three.  She graduated from Peabody High School and she was given the opportunity to study to become a Licensed Practical Nurse at the South Hill Hospital where she was one of three blacks in the program.  She served the Commonwealth of Virginia for 25 years at Central State Hospital in Petersburg.  She had nine children, a daughter raised by her aunt, and later seven boys and a girl with her husband Robert “Bob” Dilworth who  she married in 1950. 

This year’s celebration the twins will not be able to physically get together due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  In year’s past, there have been some great celebrations including an elaborate dinner at Mrs. Dilworth’s house given by her children.  One year, the ladies celebrated a night out to dinner at Nottoway Restaurant and all those dining  that night sang them Happy Birthday.  Mrs. Clarke is currently living at The Envoy of Lawrenceville and visitors are prohibited due the Covid-19 Virus.   Mrs. Dilworth spends time at her home in Lawrenceville or in Norfolk with her daughter. 

Since connecting at the basketball games and realizing the common birthday, the ladies spent much time together, on the telephone or visiting.  Mrs. Dilworth makes a mean sweet potato pie and often brought one over to her twin.  Mrs. Dilworth has continued to visit at the nursing home when able also. 

The beauty of their friendship is evident if you see them together or in the photos that have been taken over the years, they are such friends and share so much love.  It shows when they are together.

As the saying goes, “There are friends, and there is family, and then there are friends who become family.”

Quarantine Recipe: Sunday Roast Chicken

It is never too early to start thingking about what you will cook for Sunday Dinner (or supper). 


Ingredients:

1 Lemon, zested and cut in half

1/2 medium onion

1/2 c butter, softened, divided

3 cloves Garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme, Leaves and Stems

1 & 1/2 teaspoon each Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

1 cup Chicken Broth

1/2 cup Dry White Wine

2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour

2 tablespoons Butter

Difficulty: Moderate. Shopping Needed for Average Household: Short List: Whole Chicken, Garlic Cloves.

Pre-planning needed: None.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Cook Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings with leftovers

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Mix half of the butter with the lemon zest, one half teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, the garlic and thyme leaves. Starting at the neck end begin gently loosening the skin from the flesh of the breast, drunsticks and thighs. Do not detatch the skin completely and be careful to not tear the skin. Gently rub the butter mixture on the under the skin.

3.  Replace the skin over the flesh of the chicken and rub the remaining butter onto the skin. Season the skin with one half teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of one half of the lemon over the chicken.

4.  Place the thyme stems, onion half and both the squeezed and unsqeezed lemon halves in the cavity of the chicken. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5.  Tie the leg ends together and tuck the wings under the body of the chicken. Spray the rack and roasting pan with cooking spray and place the chicken on the rack.

6.  Roast at 450 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 and continue to roast for 55 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 180 degrees. Baste chicken with drippings occassionally and rotate chicken in oven to promote even browining. If necessary, cover with foil to prevent over browning. When done, remove chicken to a platter, loosely covered with foil, to keep warm.

7.  While chicken roasts, mixt together the 2 tablespoons all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons flour. Deglaze the roasting pan with the chicken broth and white wine, scraping up the browned pits off of the bottom and sides of the pan. When the mixture in the roasting pan comes to a boil, begin adding the flour/butter mixture, bit-by-bit until the sauce is thickened to your liking.

 

Suggested sides: Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Governor Northam Extends Ban on Elective Surgeries, Closure of DMV Offices

Virginia State Police also directed to take additional administrative action under expanded executive directive

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today extended the current ban on elective surgeries by one week, until May 1, and the closure of Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) public-facing offices by two weeks, until May 11. Virginia State Police are directed to continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections and take several additional measures through July 31.

The ban on elective surgeries will continue while the Governor and State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA continue to evaluate, in conjunction with hospitals and other medical facilities, how to safely ease restrictions on non-essential medical procedures, and the availability of personal protective equipment.

“My top priority is protecting public health, and that includes ensuring that our frontline medical staff have the equipment they need to stay safe as they treat Virginians who are sick,” said Governor Northam. “We have increased our supply of PPE, but before we allow elective surgeries to resume, we must first be assured that the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who are fighting this virus or conducting emergency surgeries have the necessary supplies. We are working with medical facilities on plans to ensure that we can resume elective surgeries safely and responsibly.”

The public health emergency order does not apply to any procedure if the delay would cause harm to a patient. The order also does not apply to outpatient visits in hospital-based clinics, family planning services, or emergency needs. The full text of Public Health Emergency Order Two as amended is available here. View the Frequently Asked Questions Guide here.

Hospitals continue to treat emergency patients and perform essential surgeries, and Virginians should feel safe going to hospitals if they are experiencing a medical emergency, such as a heart attack. Governor Northam also amended Executive Order Fifty-Seven to allow licensed physician’s assistants with two or more years of clinical experience to practice without a collaborative agreement. The text of the amended executive order is available here.

Governor Northam also extended Executive Directive Seven, which closed Virginia’s 75 DMV offices and its mobile units to the public and extended the validity of driver’s licenses and vehicle credentials that were due to expire. Today’s action decrees that those credentials will be valid through July 31. Virginians who need to renew a license or vehicle registration are encouraged to do so online. Read the full text of Executive Directive Seven here.

Governor Northam expanded Executive Directive Eight, directing the Virginia State Police to suspend enforcement of the time period in which new Virginia residents must get a driver’s license or register their vehicles, the expiration of temporary license plates, and the time period in which temporary residents may operate vehicles with out-of-state plates. This directive continues the suspension of enforcement of motor vehicle inspections by Virginia State Police. While local law enforcement may still issue citations for expired vehicle inspections, Governor Northam encourages them to refrain from doing so during this pandemic. The directive is in effect until July 31. Read the full text of Executive Directive Eight here.

Quarantine Recipe: Spreads

Recipe submitted by: Miriam Osburn (thanks Mom!)

I got this recipe off Food Network and it is easy and versatile. You can add all kinds of ingredients to make it your own. I mix chocolate chips into the dough as well as using them for frosting. I’ve mixed in toffee chips too and then used the reminder as topping on the melted chocolate chips..

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: None.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Cook Time: 15-20 Minutes

Yeild: 12 Servings

Preheat oven to 350 In a large bowl combine: 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup room temperature butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 large egg 2 cup flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup chocolate chips After combined, spread on a large cookie sheet almost to the sides of the sheet, leave room for dough to “spread”. Bake 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Pull out of oven and sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips on hot dough, let melt and spread over cookie. Add whatever toppings you want, I’ve used M&M’s, Heath bars, peanut butter cups, etc. The sky is the limit! Let cool in refrigerator then cut into squares or break into pieces an enjoy. This is a perfect for all occasions.

Adapted from Spreads by Ree Drummond, found on foodnetwork.com.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Greensville Schools to Host Child Find

Due to COVID-19 and the governor’s mandated state wide school closure Greensville County Public Schools and The Improvement Association joint Child Find Registration will involve online registration and take home packets. All children who are 3 or 4 years old on or before September 30, 2020 and residents of the City of Emporia or Greensville County may register.  Pre-applications will be available online beginning April 24, 2020, on the GES Web Page, GES Facebook page, GCPS Web page, GCPS Facebook Page and GES PTO Facebook Page or you call  (434)634-3748 on Monday-Thursday from     9:00 am -2:00 pm to request an application. Upon completing the pre- application online a packet may be mailed to you.  If you have questions about completing the packet call 434 634-3748.

Child Find is registration for Head Start or Virginia Preschool Initiative.

Head Start is a federal preschool program which provides comprehensive services and learning experiences to prepare children for Kindergarten and move families toward self-sufficiency. The program also operates in compliance with IDEA to include children with special needs. All Head Start services are free to children and families.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative, established in 1995, distributes state funds to schools and community based organizations to provide quality preschool program for at-risk four-year-olds. The program offers full day Pre-kindergarten, parent involvement, child health and social services, and transportation to families with four-year-olds at risk of school failure.

“At a later date…“ You need an ADD completed Physical Examination your child’s OFFICIAL birth certificate (NOT a hospital certificate), immunization record, PROOF of residency (for example: a current water/electric bill with YOUR name and address) and verification of household income (for example: paystub, W-2, Medicaid card, TANF, SNAP, WIC, SSI).

If you have questions about completing the packet Contact: Curtis Young (434)634-3748 or Gloria Bynum (434)634-2490 x231

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Social Security Combined Trust Funds Projection Remains the Same Says Board of Trustees

Projections in 2020 Report Do Not Reflect the Potential Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.  The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time. 

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as last year’s estimate, with 76 percent of benefits payable at that time.  The DI Trust Fund is estimated to become depleted in 2065, extended 13 years from last year’s estimate of 2052, with 92 percent of benefits still payable.

In the 2020 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

  • The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds increased by $2.5 billion in 2019 to a total of $2.897 trillion.
  • The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income, for the first time since 1982, in 2021 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period.  As a result, asset reserves are expected to decline during 2021.  Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.
  • The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – the same as last year’s projection.  At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits.

“The projections in this year’s report do not reflect the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Social Security program.  Given the uncertainty associated with these impacts, the Trustees believe it is not possible to adjust estimates accurately at this time,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security.  “The duration and severity of the pandemic will affect the estimates presented in this year’s report and the financial status of the program, particularly in the short term.”

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

  • Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.062 trillion in 2019.  ($944.5 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $36.5 billion from taxation of benefits, and $81 billion in interest)
  • Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.059 trillion in 2019.
  • Social Security paid benefits of $1.048 trillion in calendar year 2019.  There were about 64 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
  • The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 3.21 percent of taxable payroll – higher than the 2.78 percent projected in last year’s report.
  • During 2019, an estimated 178 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
  • The cost of $6.4 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2019 was a very low 0.6 percent of total expenditures.
  • The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.8 percent in 2019.

The Board of Trustees usually comprises six members.  Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security; Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Labor.  The two public trustee positions are currently vacant.

View the 2020 Trustees Report at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2020/.

View an infographic about the program’s long-term financial outlook at www.socialsecurity.gov/policy/social-security-long-term-financial-outlook.html.

Quarantine Recipe: Mustard and Herb Pork Chops

I don't even remember where I found this recipe or how  long ago. I doubt that there are many pork chop recipes that are simpler. There are no amounts listed, as everything is based on the size of the port chops.


Ingredients:

4 Pork Chops

Whole Grain Mustard

Fresh or Dried Herb of Choice (try Rosemary, Tarragon or Sage)

Panko Bread Crumbs

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Pork Chops.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spoon out what looks like enough mustard to cover one side of the chops (there is no need to contaminate the entire jar of mustard). Season chops with salt and pepper, coat with a thin but generous coating of the mustard. Top each with herbs to taste and coat with the Panko.

3. Bake in preheated oven until crumbs are browned and chops are cooked trhough.

Suggested sides: Green Beans and Oven Roasted Potatoes (wedge potatoes and place in a large plastic bag, add enough olive oil to coat and season with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Roast in a preheated oven alongside the Pork Chops).

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

REMINDER: Spring Brings Increased Bear Activity

Richmond, VA- Springtime provides exciting opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing. As the winter months leave and spring approaches both people and wild animals are more active, which allows for unique encounters with wildlife. The spring months are a busy time for wildlife; especially black bears as they emerge from their winter dens hungry and in search of an easy meal. During this time of increased activity it is important for homeowners to secure un-natural food sources to reduce bear encounters on their property.

Natural foods are scarce this time of year, so bears will look for the easiest source of food. Often these sources may be your garbage, compost pile, barbeque grills and pet food stored outside, "The goal is to not make human sources of food easier for a bear to acquire than what nature provides – especially food that is high in fat and calories," said Nelson Lafon, Forest Wildlife Manager for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Bears are naturally cautious of humans, but they can overcome their wariness if people reward them with food - intentionally or unintentionally. Although bears may appear sluggish and thin during this time of the year you should never attempt to feed a black bear found on your property. Take the following steps to avoid attracting black bears to your homes

  • Never feed or approach
  • Clean and Secure Attractants including: garbage, food, grills, recycling
  • Remove pet or livestock food from areas accessible to wildlife
  • Take down bird feeders including seed and hummingbird feeders
  • Clean up fallen fruit
  • Avoid storing food in your vehicle

"By following these steps, people can prevent most problems with bears," said Lafon. "Our staff respond to hundreds of situations involving bears every year, and most are due to these attractants."
For more information on black bears in Virginia, please visit the DGIF website and learn how you can do your part to keep bears wild: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/

If a bear has a visible injury, appears mange-infested, or has been seen in the same location for more than 12 hours, please contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Wildlife Conflict Helpline, toll free at 1-855-571-9003 or if after normal business hours your local Sheriff’s office.

REMINDER: IF YOU SEE A BEAR CUB, LEAVE IT ALONE

Richmond, VA- It is that time of year when black bear cubs and their mothers begin leaving their winter dens and exploring the landscape in search of available food resources. During this time bear cubs can become separated from their mothers for short periods of time. In almost all instances no intervention is necessary and the cubs should be left alone.

When a female bear with cubs perceives a threat, whether due to barking dogs, people in the area, or otherwise, she will often “tree” her cubs. While the cubs are still very small (normally weighing 5lbs or less) they are adept climbers! The cubs will scamper high into the tree tops and await guidance from their mother on when it is safe to come back down. The female will often leave the area, circling back periodically to check for when she feels the area is secure. If you see cubs in a tree and no female in the area, you should leave the area immediately. The female will return (often at night) and call the cubs back down when she feels there is no immediate threat to her or the cubs. Keeping the area free of disturbance (humans and particularly dogs) is critical for the female to be able to return and collect her cubs.

It is not uncommon throughout the spring for black bear cubs and their mother to return to their den, particularly during periods of inclement weather. Outdoor recreationists may come across an occupied den site (either in the winter or early spring) and should always leave the site undisturbed. The female may leave the den if startled by someone approaching the area. Do not handle or take the cubs from the den area. Leave the area immediately as the female will often return once the perceived threat is gone. This is also an important reminder to always maintain dogs on a leash when hiking so that they don’t spook a bear from the den, or attempt to pick up the cubs.

Never attempt to handle or capture a black bear cub found on your property. If the cub has a visible injury, is lethargic, or has been seen in the same location for more than 12 hours, please contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Wildlife Conflict Helpline, toll free at 1-855-571-9003 or if after normal business hours your local Sheriff’s office. For more information on black bears in Virginia, please visit the DGIF website and learn how you can do your part to keep bears wild: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/

USDA Service Centers Open for Business by Phone Appointment Only

The Greensville County USDA Service Center will continue to be open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible.

USDA Service Centers are encouraging visitors to take precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.  All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call to schedule a phone appointment.  

Farm Service Agency: (434) 634-2462 Extension 2

Employees may also be contacted by email at the following email addresses:

Natural Resources Conservation Service: (434) 634-2462 extension 3

Chowan Basin Soil & Water Conservation District: (434) 634-2462 extension 4

Employees may also be contacted by email at the following email addresses:

Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal, various FSA online services and the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway. Through the farmers.gov portal, producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. On the FSA website, customers with an eAuth account can enroll in certain programs and access maps and farm data through FSAfarm+. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway where customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign documents. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in.

For the most current updates on available services and Service Center status visit farmers.gov/coronavirus. 

Gift of Special Bags Brings a Smile

Cancer doesn’t care one little bit about COVID-19, so treatment goes on and Penny, Shep & Jonathon Evans, as well as a host of friends, wanted to make that treatment process a little nicer and received a lot of help making that possible.

Penny Evans has held an event for each of the past several years to benefit cancer patients. She owns Thirty-One Gifts and asked customers and friends to donate so cancer patients at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center could be blessed with a special bag of goodies.

Teresa R. Collins, RN, BSN, OCN, Director of Radiation and Medical Oncology at the Solari Radiation Center/Hendrick Cancer Center, said, “A cancer diagnosis is scary and overwhelming for patients, these care bags are a true blessing and provide joy during such a horrible time. The bags provide our patients with a centralized location to keep appointments, information packets, goodies, and personal belongings as they are coming into the center for treatment. Our patients have voiced multiple times how honored they feel to have so many members of the community supporting them through their journey. As caregivers it is extremely heartwarming to see the smiles that these bags bring to their face. Penny and her team of angels are amazing and we are extremely grateful for her continued support of our cancer program through the years.”

Thanks to generous donors listed below, Evans was able to donate 319 Chemo/Radiation Care Bags to CMH.  “This community is known for its support, especially for cancer patients,” Penny said. “They really did a wonderful job in providing bags for our community.”

Penny wanted to give special thanks to Touchstone Bank, First Citizens Bank and Dance It Out Dancers for providing some of the contents to fill the bags. Also to all those who donated to make this project a reality are listed below.

Platinum Donors (10+ bags sponsored)

  • First Christian School 2/6/20 Chapel Collection - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Airtec -Judy & Jimmy Newman- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Bill & Sylvia Solari - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Fleet & Dennis Roberts - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael & Donna Gregory- In Honor of Donna, my Mom, and Donna's Mom
  • The Pointe Realty Group - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey and Jason Dawson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Gold Donors (5-9 bags sponsored)

  • Karobway Furniture, Robert Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michael and Katie Cieslinski-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle & Scott Edmonds -In Honor of Louise Ogburn, Rebecca Laben, Scott Edmonds, & Michelle
  • Edmonds. In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser.
  • Marcia, JC, & Jaicee Clary-In Memory of Robert H. Reed, Nancy W. Reed, Hazel Luton, Everette Jones and In Honor of Sandra Stephenson
  • Rozier Termite & Pest Control -In Memory of Aunt Virginia Flinn
  • John & Patty Evans-In Honor of Shelia Paynter

Silver Donors (2-4 bags sponsored)

  • Pam & Terry McDaniel-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rosser & Carleen Wells-In Memory of Ann & Donnie Wells and All Cancer Patients
  • Chris & Rebecca Bulluck-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Joyce & Charles Taylor-In Honor and Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tiffany & Mike Dotti-In Honor of Nana Mabel Pulley and in Memory of Sam Bottoms and Lizzie Bottoms Kathy Sims-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Vera Primm-In Honor of Elizabeth, Tara, and Pops
  • Melinda Walker-In Honor of all survivors. In Memory of those we have lost. In honor of friends /family of Cancer Patients. #NoOneFightsAlone
  • Harold Vaughan-In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan
  • Judy & Ed Carroll-In Honor of Ernestine Evans and Sandi Taylor -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts
  • Sharon & Alvin Johnson-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Debbie Moore-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Lynn & Daven Lucy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Margaret Luongo -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Chad Vaughan & Gavin Honeycutt -In Memory of Phyllis G. Vaughan and James G. Honeycutt
  • Mary Hardin-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • The Carpenter's House-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brian's Mechanical, Brian & Tonja Pearce -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan and Steve Creed le-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sarah Hutson-In Honor of Barbara Moore-Cancer Survivor
  • Tiffany & Jeremy Lynch-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tim & Sandra Ittner-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lori Kirkland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sybil McFarland-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mary & Wayne Rawlings-In Memory of Ruth Rawlings
  • Judy Cleaton-In Honor of Mary Carol Kallam
  • Amanda & Brian Calhoun-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jenny Davis-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carolyn & Randy Carter-In Memory of Minnie R. Edmonds &Honor of Cha Ion Swanson
  • Exit Town and Lake Realty-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • New To You Consignment, Mary Edmonds-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Ashley & Adam Lipscomb-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Sheryl & Ricky Thomason-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Penny Glenn Jean Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brittany and Henry Edmonds-In Memory of Joyce Hodges
  • Sheri & Mike Sparkman-In Memory of Nancy Haggerty and Jim Libhart
  • Lynn & Linda Roberts-In Memory of Wanda Jones Beville and Jau Roberts
  • Jannon & Chad Coley-In Memory of Robert Higgins
  • Glenn & Linda Barbour-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betty & Warren Edwards-In Memory of Marilyn Hudson
  • Angie & Lyn Mills-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Virginia Hall-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Martha & Bobby Overton -In Memory of Carolyn Roberts & In Honor of Sandi Taylor
  • Susan & Mike Moody-In Memory of Charles Hudson & In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Jasmine & Todd Cage -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Niki Shingleton -In Memory of Jennie Spielman & Angie Hepner
  • Candy McAvoy-In Honor of All Cancer Warriors
  • Shannon Crutchfield & Joseph Curtis -In Honor of Aunt Diane Kleis and Sylvia Jones
  • Lisa and Mike Pugh -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lisa Graham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • CiCi and Robbie Carroll -In Honor of Melinda Walker & Ernestine Evans
  • Terry Daniels -For Robert Lewis Daniels
  • Tanya Baskerville -Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson & George Baskerville
  • Holly Fadool Painter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennie Inge -In Memory of Earl Newman & Connie King
  • Dr. Desidero & Genevieve Rimon-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marianne & Chris Early -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Ashley and Shawn Hardee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alexa Jackson -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan & Bitty Freeman -In Memory of Eddie Allen & Lois Taylor
  • Jessica & Austin Lafoon -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Danny Mason -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Bronze Donors (1 bag sponsored)

  • Nancy & Kell Fleshood-In Honor of Sandy Adcock Taylor
  • Kaye Bagley-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Charles & Ann Butts-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Teri & Troy Walker -In Honor Ernestine Evans
  • Crystal & Chris Murphy-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy & Steve White-In Honor of Eli Newcomb
  • Jane & Mike Allen-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Stacy & Wade Archer-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy and John Manning-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Katherine Crutchfield-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Mitzi and Tracy Powell-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Peggie and Robert Powell-In Memory of "Jack"Burns
  • Todd Jackson -In Memory of Wendy Boyter Jackson
  • Beth & Mickey Smith-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Alicia & Guy Short-In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Sandi Taylor Brenda Curtis-In Memory of Alice Dawson
  • Judy & Chuck Martin-In Memory of Bobby Garrett
  • Jennifer Allman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Holly & Chris McFarland -In Memory of Earl and Shirley Sasser
  • Candi, Atlas, & Reid Allen-In Memory of Dallas Allen
  • Kris & Scott Walker-In Honor of Our Moms
  • Barbara Moore-In Honor of Sisters-Cancer Survivors Judi Newman & Betsy Quicke Thelma Baird-In Honor of Jimmy Vaughan
  • Ernestine & Billy Evans-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Beverly Edwards-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Janice & Ken Currin -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Karen Myers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Ann Chapman-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Keith Corum-In Memory of Stephanie Kennedy Wilbur
  • Debbie Douglas-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carri lee Spence-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Patricia Rogers-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kim & Brent Evans -In Honor of Ernestine Evans
  • Robin & Tim Newton-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Miki Baird-In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Terry & Shep Moss -In Memory of William Henry Wilson
  • Bonnie Jackson -In Memory of Nancy Lucille Thomas
  • Billy and Kathy Coffee -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelley & Chuck Mayer-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Denny & Cathy Hardee-In Memory of David Hawkins, who lost his battle with cancer on 2/9/20
  • Stacy Farrar -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lynn and Everette Gibson -In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Nancy Jacobs -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Shelia and Calvin Paynter -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Johnna Maurice -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Tammy Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Hope & Tommy Zincone -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Rita & Alvin Parham -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Susan Lucy-In Memory of Lavenia Gibson
  • Gloria & Carrol Roberts -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Janet Hayes -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carol Barker-In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Rose Towell -In Memory of John Towell
  • Sandi & Mark Kidd -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Smith -In Memory of Michelle Roberts Sasser
  • Tina Wells -In Memory of Louise Horne
  • Scott, Devon, Kaisley, & Kyndall -In Memory of Pleas Jackson & Michelle Roberts Sasser & In Honor of Elaine Clary
  • Anita Kallam -In Memory of Greg Upton
  • Helen Gordon -In Memory of Polly Gordon
  • Timi Garcia -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Donna Wall -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Elma Wilkinson -In Memory of Terry Callahan & Rusty Callahan
  • Becky Barnes Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Betsy & Jimmy Clayton-In Honor of Joyce M. Perkinson
  • Diane & Larry Parker -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Dottie Collins -In Honor of Teresa Collins and the CMH Oncology Dept.
  • Diana Crowder -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Kris & Patricia Reed -In Memory of Faye Moseley
  • Debbie Piercy-In Memory Michelle Sasser
  • Vanessa Rudd -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Elaine & Sherman Maitland -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Aileen Lewis -In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Carrie Poythress -In Memory of Sandy Hamer
  • Crissy Carter -In Memory of Mama, Virginia Clark
  • Joy Hofler -In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Candice, Jason, Zoey, & Allie Riggan -In Honor of Mama/Gammy, Shelia Paynter
  • Wendy Pheil -In Honor of JCH
  • Maria Ford - In Honor of Lounell Stallings
  • Angie & Bryant Thomas - In Memory of Maude Thomas
  • Gwen & Steve Hinzman -In Honor of Susan Wilfong
  • Shannon Cunningham- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jeanie Troup - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Jennifer Ellington - In Honor of Laura "Faye" Kniceley
  • Carol & James Johnson - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Michelle Tanner- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Debra & Spencer Crowder- In Memory of Bob Hoover
  • Kathryn & Raymond Bokesch - In Memory of Sandy Hamer & Heidi Semivan
  • Carolyn Saylor - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Kim & Chris Brown - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Brenda Crafton - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Cynthia Oakley- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Sandra Pearce - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Lindsey Satterwhite, Paynter & Paschal -In Honor of Sherry Orman
  • South Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Ladies Aux. - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients Eileen & John Bigley - In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Marjorie Lawson- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • JoAnn Wells- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Michelle Crowder-In Honor of Melinda Matthews Walker
  • Kristy Hooper- In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Joyce Perkinson - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Diane Nichols - In Honor of Shelia Paynter
  • Nichole & David Powell- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients
  • Cheryl Abernathy- In Honor and In Memory of All Cancer Patients

Act Now – Go to IRS.gov – A Message from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul

Action Needed for Social Security Beneficiaries with Dependents and Who Do Not File Tax Returns to Receive $500 Per Child Payment

 “Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who don’t file tax returns will start receiving their automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department soon.  People receiving benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment.  They should immediately go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here section to provide their information.  Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries with dependent children and who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Wednesday, April 22, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.  SSI recipients need to take this action by later this month; a specific date will be available soon.

By taking this proactive step to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment.  If beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, their payment at this time will be $1,200.  People would then be required to file a tax year 2020 tax return to obtain the additional $500 per eligible child.

I urge Social Security and SSI recipients with qualifying children who do not normally file taxes to take action now.  Immediately go to IRS.gov so that you will receive the full amount of the Economic Impact Payments you and your family are eligible for.

People with Direct Express debit cards who enter information at the IRS’s website should complete all of the mandatory questions, but they may leave the bank account information section blank as Treasury already has their Direct Express information on file.

Additionally, any new beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will also need to go to the IRS’s Non-Filers website to enter their information as they will not receive automatic payments from Treasury.”

Quarantine Recipe: Scampi with Angel Hair

While I am not a big seafood person, I do still love Scampi. The flavor of shrimp, shallots and garlic in butter and wine just works. If you don't eat seafood, it works with chicken. I have been making this recipe since I bought the Southern California Beach Recipe Cookbook, written by Joan and Carl Stromquist in 1996. According to a note in the spine on the front end paper, I paid $17.95 for this book and bought it at a wonderful little cook's shop called "The Wooden Spoon" on Union Avenue in Pueblo, Colorado.  The shop is still open under the name "Seabel's" name, even though the Branch Inn blew up a few years ago and destoryed several buildings in the Union Avenue Historic District.

As far as I can remember, I bought this book just for this recipe. My note in the end paper spine only specify when ans where I bought the book and how much I paid. I have a list of recipes written on the inside of the front cover, too.

I have heavily modified this recipe over the years, and am including the modified version here.

 


Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

16 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped

4 tsp Parsley, finely chopped

4 Shallots, finely chopped

1/2 C Scallions, finely chopped

24 Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed

1/4 tsp Paprika

1/8 tsp each salt and pepper

1/2 C Dry White Wine

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1/2 Pound Angel Hair Pasta or Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 Lemon, cut into 4 wedges

Difficulty: Moderate. Shopping Needed for Average Household: Short List-most likely garlic, shallots, parsley, scallions and shrimp.

Pre-planning needed: Thaw Shrimp.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings (6 Shrimp per serving)

1. Marinade the shrimp in the wine, lemon juice and half of the garlic for 30 minutes. Drain through a mesh strainer to reserve the solids and liquids separately. Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta, and cook the pasta in the background as you prepare the main part of the recipe.

2.  In a large skillet, over medium high heat, melt the 1 Tbsp butter and heat the oil. When the butter is melted and the oil hot, add the remaining garlic, shallots, parsley and scallions and saute for 3-4 until the garlic is limp but not yet browned.

3. Add the Shrimp and garlic from the marinade, paprika, salt and pepper. Gently stir the shrimp for 2-3 minutes until the shrimp is half cooked.

4. Add the wine and lemon juice and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half. Remove the shrimp as they finish cooking (they will turn pink, do not let them over cook or they will get tough) and allow the sauce to finish reducing. When the wacue has reduced by half wisk in 1 Tbsp butter to enrich and thicken the sauce slightly.

5. Gently toss the cooked pasta with the remaining butter and divide among 4 plates. Top each serving of pasta with 6 shrimp and pour 1/4 of the sauce over each plate. Serve with a lemon wedge on each plate.

If you substitute Chicken for the Shrimp: Cut chicken breasts or thighs into bite size pieces, do not drain the marinade and increase the cooking time as needed to ensure that the chicken pieces cook through.

Suggested sides: Sauteed Asparagus.

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook or website, please send the publication information for attribution.

Quarantine Recipe: Garlic Chicken

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Butter or Olive Oil
4 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced (About 2 Tablespoons)
1 Cup Apple Juice
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
½ Teaspoon Black Pepper

Difficulty: Easy. Shopping Needed for Average Household: None. Pre-planning needed: Thaw Chicken.

Prep Time: 3 Minutes, Cook Time: 18 Minutes

Yeild: 4 Servings

1.      Melt Butter or heat Olive Oil in large skillet over medium heat.
 

2.       Dredge Chicken in flour and cook in melted butter or heated oil with minced garlic until chicken is done (4-5 minutes on each side), remove from skillet and keep warm.
 

3.       Add apple and lemon juices to skillet with the black pepper.
 

4.       Boil, uncovered, for 4 minutes or until reduced to one-half cup.
 

5.       Pour Sauce over chicken and serve immediately.
 

Suggested sides: Oven Roasted Broccoli and Brown Rice

To submit your own recipe, send it to news@emporianews.com. Recipes may be for any meal or any course. While you may include your own reccomendations for side dishes and wine, please remember to include a brief introduction to the recipe (which I have left off of this first one). This paragraph or two can eplain to readers where you first had the dish, or if it is a family tradition and a favorite of a certain family member. You may also relate any happy memories related to your recipe-is it your annual birthday meal? Reader submitted recipes will be credited to the reader, and you may include a photograph if you like. If your recipe is from a cookbook, please send the publication information for attribution.
 

An Open Letter from Richmond-Area Health Systems: Collaboration is Key to Address COVID-19

“We are all in this together” has never been truer than it is right now in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. In the Richmond area, this means a shared feeling of sacrifice, resilience and endurance. For the region’s major health care providers, it also means our commitment to work together to serve you – our community – and advance the care of all of our patients.

Bon Secours, HCA Virginia, and VCU Health are pledging our partnership during this difficult time to serve the greater Richmond area as we navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. We have been working together over the past weeks to share information and our health system’s predictive analytics models and to build a collaborative forecast tool that is allowing us to align our treatment efforts, expected surge volumes, resource needs, and our plans to address the curve when it reaches its apex.

Our hospitals are also partnering with local and state health and emergency management departments and Governor Northam to speak with one voice and to work as a unified team to face this threat. Our strength is in our shared mission to protect lives, care for the stricken, and work together to face this virus head on using our best scientists, clinicians, and resources.

Our health care teams and administrations are working together. We are supporting one another. We are sharing in the sacrifice—with thousands of our health care workers risking their own health and welfare to protect yours. We will remain steadfast in that commitment for the weeks to come until this COVID-19 threat has eased for everyone.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help. This is not a threat that can be solely tackled within the four walls of a hospital. Success is in our collective hands – yours and ours. Here is what we need you to do:

  • True social distancing. Stay home. Keep your contacts to only immediate family members within your household.
  • Wash your hands. Often.
  • Follow directions from emergency managers and elected officials.
  • If you must go out, only do so for medical care, to buy provisions for a week or more at a time, or for essential work duties. And wear a face mask.

We hope that you will follow these guidelines so we do not have to see you in any one of our area hospitals because you have fallen ill with COVID-19. We don’t want to treat more COVID-19 patients than necessary, and we certainly do not want to add to the stark tallies of those in our Commonwealth who have fallen ill to this virus or lost their lives.

Our hospital systems remain devoted to this community, and we are prepared to care for you and your loved ones if you need us. This is what has allowed us all to play a vital part in keeping our friends and neighbors safe and in good health for decades. We will continue that mission through this crisis and beyond. We are far stronger working together as hospitals and as a community than we could ever be alone.

Sincerely,

Faraaz Yousuf, President, Bon Secours Richmond Market

Tim McManus, President, HCA Healthcare Capital Division

Melinda Hancock, Chief Administrative & Financial Officer, VCU Health

How Va. grocery stores practice safety amid coronavirus, sales uptick

By Zach Armstrong, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia grocery stores have increased efforts to keep stores clean and safe while they remain open to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order as coronavirus cases quickly multiplied in the commonwealth. Grocery stores, considered essential businesses without restrictions, are implementing new service measures as sales spike during the coronavirus outbreak.

 Kroger is cleaning commonly used areas multiple times an hour including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters. Beginning April 7, Kroger will limit the number of customers to 50% of the building code's calculated capacity to allow for proper physical distancing in stores and also plans to add plexiglass. 

Ellwood Thompson’s, a natural food market in Richmond, has upped cleaning practices, closed the salad, hot bar and dining room, and places wax paper throughout the store where there are shared surfaces.The store also provides customers with hand sanitizer stations through the store and no outside food containers are allowed. 

“We are sanitizing all bathrooms, door handles and every touchpoint each hour,” wrote Colin Beirne, marketing director at Ellwood Thompon’s in an email response. Food Lion announced that by the end of the week plexiglass shields at customer service, register and pharmacy counters will be installed at all locations.

Many grocery stores are attempting to prioritize those most vulnerable to the coronavirus. Food Lion, Ellwood Thompson’s, Publix and all Mid-Atlantic Kroger locations have allowed customers above the age of 60 or who are immunocompromised to exclusively shop when stores are cleanest and least crowded. 

“Protecting our most vulnerable neighbors is important to us, so special hours are being reserved for this group,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham in a statement to customers. “These special shopping hours will remain in effect until further notice.”

Not all food markets are reserving certain hours for vulnerable demographics. Wegmans, a grocery store with several locations in Virginia, explained on its website that the elderly are not the only population susceptible to the virus. The company said it doesn’t believe it's a good idea to put highly susceptible people together in one location. 

“There are many wonderful people and community services in every market who can serve as a resource for those who fall in these susceptible populations,” Wegmans stated. “Any customer requiring additional assistance accessing our products or services should visit the service desk.”

Wegmans takes precautions such as markers on the floor to instruct shoppers where to stand for proper social distancing and the checkout belts are sanitized between each customer. 

Stores have modified the hours of operation to allow additional time for cleaning and restocking. Ellwood Thompson’s, Publix, and Harris Teeter now close at 8 p.m., Kroger and Wegmans close at 10 p.m. and Food Lion locations close based on regional curfews that may be implemented. 

Retail food markets are expected to gain substantial revenue from lifestyle changes related to COVID-19. Karen Short, managing director at British multinational investment bank Barclays PLC, told Winsight Grocery Business that between $61 billion and $118 billion is projected to shift from restaurants to grocery stores during the second quarter of 2020. 

Grocery retailers are adding tens of thousands of new employees nationwide. Kroger announced in late March that they hired 23,500 new workers with plans to hire an additional 20,000 in coming weeks.

Grocery store employees have been deemed as essential workers during the pandemic. As demand for their services rises and food retail revenue increases, many grocery store workers have been offered additional benefits. 

Wegmans boosted employee hourly pay rate $2 through March and April. Harris Teeter, which has several locations across Virginia, is offering employees a one-time bonus of $300 for every full-time associate along with a $2 per hour wage increase for its employees through April 21. Kroger workers will be receiving an extra $2 per hour for hours worked March 29 through April 18 in addition to $25 for groceries.

Efforts have also been taken to protect workers from contracting COVID-19. Harris Teeter has provided protective shields at counters and requires customers with reusable bags to pack their own items. At Food Lion, workers may choose to wear protective face masks. Kroger is expecting to give their employees gloves and face masks for protection by the end of the week.

Restaurants are permitted to remain open for takeout, delivery or drive-thru services. Other establishments have come up with creative ways to continue sales. Breweries are doing home delivery and some farmer's markets are accepting pre-orders for weekend pickup.

Non-essential businesses can remain open as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines of a 10 patron limit. The stay-at-home order is effective until June 10. Failing to comply is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Governor Northam Announces Expansion of ‘Virtual Virginia’ to Support Distance Learning During School Closures

New resources available for K-12 schools and teachers

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced a dramatic expansion of Virtual Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education’s existing online learning system, to allow every teacher in the Commonwealth to host virtual classes while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These resources include a platform that enables all Virginia public school teachers to share lessons and activities with their students through June 30.

“While there is no perfect substitute for in-person classroom instruction, this is an unprecedented public health crisis and we must do everything we can to ensure all children have equitable learning opportunities,”  said Governor Northam . “I want to thank our educators, school administrators, and superintendents for their extraordinary efforts to keep students connected and learning. The expansion of Virtual Virginia will help ensure that the closure of schools and interruption of formal instruction this spring does not lead to a widening of achievement gaps.”

Virtual Virginia will expand its offerings to include elementary and middle school content as an option for students to learn content missed this spring. Courses will begin in May and the new course content will be available to any school division that enrolls students and teachers in the program, at no cost to the division.

Virtual Virginia content can be loaded onto devices for use by students in homes without sufficient internet access to support online learning. The expansion does not affect the more than 6,000 students already enrolled in one or more of Virtual Virginia’s 81 high school-level courses.

“The expansion of Virtual Virginia will provide additional options for school divisions to present the instruction and content that they are unable to provide this spring in traditional classroom settings,”  said Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane . “Access to the Virtual Virginia platform will be especially helpful for teachers and students in school divisions without robust distance learning systems.”

The expansion of Virtual Virginia is the third major action the Commonwealth has taken within the last week to mitigate the impact of school closures on students.

Today, Monday, April 13, marks the launch of “VA TV Classroom” by four Virginia public media stations. Blue Ridge PBS, VPM, WETA, and WHRO Public Media worked closely with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to create the programming to provide teacher-led, on-air instruction aligned with the Commonwealth’s academic standards for students who are unable to access other distance learning options.

In an effort to support Virginia educators, VDOE established the Continuity for Learning (C4L) Task Force consisting of more than 120 teachers, leaders, and collaborating educational partners across Virginia. Working with the C4L Task Force, VDOE launched Virginia Learns Anywhere, a hub of resources and recommendations to reinforce much-needed structure while also empowering individual teachers to support students in learning remotely. The C4L Task Force encourages divisions to develop and implement continuous learning plans in partnership with local county health departments, families, staff, and local boards of education.

Virginia Learns Anywhere includes a guidance document for teachers and schools on providing equitable learning opportunities for students and preventing the widening of achievement gaps and meet the social and emotional needs of students while schools are closed. Sample instructional modules cover essential knowledge and skills for all content areas and grade levels and provide recommendations on integrating the skills and attributes known as the “5 C’s” (critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration and citizenship) into distance learning.

A comprehensive list of resources, guidance, and support documents for K-12 public schools in Virginia during the COVID-19 school closures is available here. Find answers to frequently asked questions here.

Governor Northam Signs New Laws to Support Virginia Workers

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam has signed nearly two dozen new laws to support working Virginians, including legislation to combat worker misclassification and wage theft, ban workplace discrimination, and prohibit non-compete covenants for low-wage workers.

The Governor proposes to increase the minimum wage starting May 1, 2021, and to advance prevailing wage, collective bargaining, and project labor agreement legislation then as well. This will ensure workers get the support they need while allowing greater economic certainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every Virginian deserves access to a safe and well-paying job,” said Governor Northam. “These new laws will support workers and help our economy rebound as quickly as possible from COVID-19. I am grateful for the General Assembly’s ongoing partnership as we address these critical issues.”

In addition, Governor Northam is proposing amendments to prohibit apprenticeship discrimination on the basis of gender identity and to create a work-sharing program to support workers impacted by COVID-19.

Governor Northam signed the following bills:

Combatting Worker Misclassification

  • House Bill 1407 and Senate Bill 744, sponsored by Delegate Jeion Ward and Senator Jeremey McPike, respectively, authorize the Department of Taxation to oversee investigations into suspected cases of worker misclassification and levy penalties as appropriate. A 2012 report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) estimated that at least 214,000 Virginians were misclassified as “independent contractors” by their employers.

  • House Bill 984 and Senate Bill 894, sponsored by Delegate Karrie Delaney and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, respectively, create a private cause of action for a misclassified worker to bring civil action for damages against his or her employer.

  • House Bill 1199 and Senate Bill 662, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Tran and Senator Jennifer Boysko, respectively, protect employees or independent contractors who report misclassification from employer retaliation. Employers that are found to have engaged in retaliatory action will be subject to a civil penalty up to the value of the employee’s lost wages.

  • House Bill 1646, sponsored by Delegate Paul Krizek, requires contractors to properly classify all workers as employees or independent contractors. This law gives the Board of Contractors the ability to sanction contractors who are found to have intentionally misclassified workers.

Banning Workplace Discrimination

  • House Bill 827 and Senate Bill 712, sponsored by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senator Jennifer McClellan, respectively, protect workers from discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. This law prohibits pregnancy discrimination, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and childbirth, and creates a private cause of action for workplace pregnancy discrimination.

  • House Bill 1049, sponsored by Delegate Mark Levine, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in a number of areas of law, including employment, public contracting, and apprenticeship programs.

Combatting Wage Theft

  • House Bill 123, sponsored by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, creates a private cause of action for workers to recover unpaid wages lost to wage theft. If a court finds an employer has knowingly failed to pay an employee’s wages, the court may award the employee reasonable attorneys’ fees in addition to triple the amount of wages due.

  • Senate Bill 838, sponsored by Senator Adam Ebbin, creates a private cause of action for workers to recover unpaid wages. Additionally, this new law makes general contractors liable and subject to penalty for wage theft, under certain conditions. 

  • House Bill 336 and Senate Bill 49, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price and Senator Lionell Spruill, respectively, give the Department of Labor and Industry expanded authority in investigating wage theft complaints.  

  • House Bill 337 and Senate Bill 48, sponsored by Delegate Marcia Price and Senator Lionell Spruill, respectively, protect employees who report wage theft or institute proceedings against their employer from retaliation.  

Additional Worker Protections

  • House Bill 330 and Senate Bill 480, sponsored by Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg and Senator Bill DeSteph, respectively, prohibit employers from entering into a non-compete contract with any of their low-wage employees. This new law also creates a private cause of action for a low-wage employee to bring a lawsuit against an employer who tries to enforce a non-compete covenant.

  • House Bill 798, sponsored by Delegate Karrie Delaney, protects workers from retaliation from their employer for reporting violations or suspected violations of state law.

  • House Bill 1201 and Senate Bill 380, sponsored by Delegate Kathy Tran and Senator Jeremy McPike, respectively, allow localities to include criteria in their “invitation to bid” to determine whether a bidder who is not prequalified by the Virginia Department of Transportation is a responsible bidder. This new law will support workers and help local contractors find the best trained and safest workers for their projects.

Governor Northam proposes amendments to these bills: 

  • Senate Bill 548, sponsored by Senator John Edwards, addresses qualifications for unemployment insurance. In light of the current economic crisis, Governor Northam amended this legislation to authorize a work-sharing program in Virginia. Work-sharing programs can help businesses avoid laying off their employees by permitting them to reduce their employees’ hours and allow affected employees to collect reduced unemployment benefits in the form of short-time compensation. The federal CARES Act offers funding incentives for states to build work-sharing programs of this sort.

  • House Bill 1252, sponsored by Delegate Don Scott, prohibits a sponsor of a registered apprenticeship program from discriminating against an apprentice or applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age (if older than 40), genetic information, or disability. Governor Northam amended this legislation to also include protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity. 

  • House Bill 395 and Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Delegate Jeion Ward and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, respectively, raise the minimum wage. Under the Governor’s amendments, the minimum wage would increase beginning May 1, 2021. 

  • House Bill 833 and Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, respectively, address payment of “prevailing wages” by contractors doing business with certain government bodies. Under the Governor’s amendments, this law would take effect May 1, 2021.

  • House Bill 582 and Senate Bill 939, sponsored by Delegate Elizabeth Guzman and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, respectively, permit localities to enter into collective bargaining agreements with local employees. Under the Governor’s amendments, this law would take effect May 1, 2021.

  • House Bill 358 and Senate Bill 182, sponsored by Delegate Alfonso Lopez and Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, respectively, authorize state and local bodies to require project labor agreements for construction, manufacture, maintenance, or operation of public works. Under the Governor’s amendments, this law would take effect May 1, 2021.




 

Coronavirus fund distributes more than $1 million in grants to Central Virginia organizations

By Rodney Robinson, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- Funds are being released from a collective, $4.2 million pool intended to help groups provide resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twenty-five regional organizations are receiving more than $1.1 million in grants. The grantees fall under four categories: safety net clinics, food access organizations, housing and education. 

The pool of money was created through a partnership between the Community Foundation and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, a group of professionals that aims to help local residents dealing with disasters, according to the organizations’ sites. The fund, dubbed the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, was activated in March with an initial gift from the Community Foundation, a Richmond-based organization that manages more than 1,000 charitable funds. 

The fund has raised more than $4.2 million to date from foundations, businesses and individuals across the region, the partners said. An advisory committee will review and distribute grants from the fund on a rolling basis. 

The fund is currently focused on providing support for those most likely to contract the virus or those whose health could be further compromised because of barriers to food access, healthcare or stable shelter. 

“We are currently targeting those on the frontline that need to pivot and adapt quickly to an ever-increasing demand for their services,” Scott Blackwell, chief community engagement officer at the Community Foundation, said in a news release

The groups came together in September 2018 to create a disaster relief fund, according to Sherrie Armstrong, president and CEO for the Community Foundation. With the fund already in place, the two groups activated the COVID-19 response in March and began raising money. 

Organizations receiving grants in the food access category include FeedMore, Neighborhood Resource Center and Sacred Heart Center. The FeedMore funding will support staffing at the organization’s community kitchen, while Sacred Heart Center’s money will provide food, baby formula, hygiene supplies and other necessities. 

Health related organizations receiving aid include Daily Planet Health Services, Jewish Family Services, Richmond Academy of Medicine and YWCA of Richmond. The grants will help with a range of causes, ranging from the production of protective face masks for essential workers to support for a COVID-19 testing site for homeless individuals.

 Richmond Public Schools’ grant will go toward the purchase of 10,000 Chromebooks for students who need them to access education while schools are closed. Armstrong predicted that the RPS funding will ensure “that everyone has access to the internet and technology with everything that’s going on.”

The United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg is providing $100,000 in matching dollars to incentivize new donations made through United Way’s website. The organization was involved in the early conversations of where a fund “might live,” according to James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. As needs continued to grow in Central Virginia, United Way wanted to be “good partners” to help in relief efforts.

“As the response began from a fundraising standpoint, it became clear that the needs were going to continue to grow,” Tayor said. 

 There are 6,171 COVID-19 cases in Virginia as of April 14. There have been 154 deaths and 978 hospitalizations, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The relief is designed to be flexible and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels, organizers said. 

The fund is not taking formal applications, but nonprofits and public agencies can share their needs through this form, according to the Community Foundation’s site. Individuals seeking help are encouraged to call 211 or visit 211Virginia.org for a curated list of local social services.

Contactless Easter Egg Hunt

By Jean Cobb, Riparian Woman's Club Treasurer

It all started with a post on Facebook.  The Wednesday before Easter, I was looking at Facebook and happened to see an ad mentioning the City of Colonial Heights was having an Easter Egg Hunt for the children of the city. The post said people were putting an Easter egg on their front door.

I started to think our City is a lot smaller than Colonial Heights and maybe we could have an egg hunt, too.  I quickly emailed my club members (Riparian Woman’s Club) and asked if they thought we could sponsor an egg hunt, but we needed to act quickly because Easter was only a few days away.  The Riparians endorsed the project, and we decided to donate a nominal amount for prizes.  I then placed a post on Facebook asking the community to get involved. Businesses were also invited to participate. Three people quickly asked to share the post and it took off! From Wednesday evening until Friday night people were emailing and sending messages via FB Messenger they wanted to participate, and they were getting their neighbors, parents, and grandparents to participate. I needed people to contact me so I would know how many Easter eggs were in the hunt, and which neighborhoods were involved.  In all, we had 115 eggs for children to find.

Parents contacted me telling me how excited their children were to be able to go on an Easter egg hunt this year. I think the parents were just as excited, and a number of adults contacted me saying they were going egg hunting, too. I learned that during the hunt, people were sitting on their front porches waving at passersby.

The Community Easter Egg Hunt was held Saturday and Sunday by families riding around town looking for Easter eggs.  They emailed or sent messages as to their children’s names, ages, and how many eggs they found. All in all, I believe this project was a success.  I would like to thank everyone who participated in this project for our community.

Lastly, one person contacted me saying she wanted to donate the prize money because she supports the club work of the Riparian Woman’s Club and wanted to support her community. We would like to thank this generous benefactor.

Winners of the Easter Egg Hunt:

1st Prize:  Makinley (age 4) and Maggie (age 8) Barnes, who found all 115 eggs. (Bracey Barnes, mother)

2nd  Prize:  Emma (age 5) and Norman (age 3) Jessee, who found 119 eggs. (Sarah Jessee, mother)

3rd Prize: Lenleigh Cifers (age 11) and Aubree Seward (age 6), who found 106 and 103 eggs, respectively. (Shannon Seward, mother)

4th Prize: Lucy (age 13) and Vance (age 7) Watson, who found 101 eggs. (Troy and Diane Watson, parents)

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