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December 2017

Career Opportunity


Residential Treatment Facility for youth located fifteen minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks Virginia licensed LPN. Substance abuse treatment experience is a plus.   Full-time position.  Twelve hour first shift (8AM to 8PM).

Compensation package includes employer matching 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JFBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screening and criminal background screening.  Position open until filled. EOE.

E-mail, fax, or mail cover letter & resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2018-3
Attn: Chris Thompson
Fax: (434) 634-6237





Psychiatric residential treatment facility for adolescent girls and boys located 15 minutes north of Emporia, Virginia seeks experienced licensed clinician (LCSW or LPC) to provide therapy and case management services on an inpatient basis.  Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling experience and certification preferred.  Population served includes adolescent girls and boys with complex developmental trauma, co-occurring mental illness, and substance abuse issues.  Position provides individual, group, and family therapy within a psychiatric residential setting. 

Virginia license is required.  Two years’ formal experience counseling adolescents is required.  Residential experience is preferred. 

Seeking experienced candidates.  Highly competitive pay & benefits including employer sponsored Health, Dental, Vision & Life Insurance and employer matching 401(k) retirement plan.

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and drug free work place.  Post offer criminal background and drug screenings required.  Position open until filled.

Submit resume and cover letter to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2018-4
Attn: Chris Thompson
Fax: (434) 634-6237




SHELBY JEAN WRENN WRAY, age 77, of Bristow, VA, formerly of Emporia, passed away December 24, 2017, at her home.  Shelby was born April 25, 1940 in Emporia, VA, the daughter of Bessie and Willie Wrenn.  Shelby married James Palmer Wray on July, 20, 1963 and moved to Northern Virginia in 1969.  Shelby was reunited with her loving husband on Christmas Eve.  Shelby deeply enjoyed being a full-time Mom to her daughter Lisa and spent many years providing child care services to some of her closest friends.  Shelby was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Survivors include her daughter, Lisa Linette Dukeman, her two granddaughters, Taylor Catherine Dukeman and Logan Elisabeth Dukeman, and her son-in-law, Thomas Patrick Dukeman all of Manassas, VA.   

Graveside services will be held at Greensville Memorial Cemetery on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 11am.  In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy will be deeply appreciated and can be made in her name at the American Cancer Society of Virginia, or by calling 1.800.227.2345. Condolences may be sent to www.

Michael Wayne Robinson, Jr.

Michael Wayne Robinson, Jr., 35, passed away December 22, 2017.  He is survived by his mother, Margaret Harrell Ball and husband, Anthony; father, Michael Wayne Robinson, Sr.; sister, Ashley; brother, Derrick and wife, Marybeth; nephew, Grant; beloved uncle, Eric; a large extended family of aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces; and his dog, Blazer, whom he loved and was loved by dearly.

Michael grew up in Emporia, Va where he learned the value of hard work from his father on the family farm.  He took an interest in computers at an early age with the guidance of his uncle Eric.  Michael attended Greensville County High School and then Virginia Tech, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science in both Computer and Electrical Engineering.  After college Michael accepted a position at Spreadtrum Communications in San Diego, CA and continued his career there for 13 years.  He had a passion for travel and an unending thirst for knowledge.

Services will be held at Owen Funeral Home on Sunday, December 31st at 2 o’clock with graveside burial to follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at

Delegate Roslyn Tyler Receives Virginia Education Association Legislative Champion Award

Delegate Roslyn Tyler, House of Delegate Representative of the 75th District was awarded the Virginia Education Association 2017 Legislative Champion Award by Kathy Burcher, VEA Director of Government Relations and Research for her legislation HB 2332 which was passed by the Senate and the House.

HB 2332 legislation passed was to increase teacher's salary at or above the national average. This legislation was signed into law by Governor Terry McAuliffe at the State Capitol.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler will be returning to the General Assembly on January 10, 2018 and serves as senior member on the State Committee on Education.

Please feel free to contact her at or 804 698-1075.

Coca-Cola Hosts Pizza Party for Jackson-Feild’s Children

Most everyone would likely agree that there’s not a teen who doesn’t enjoy pizza and a Coke.

The boys and girls at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services were recently thrilled to enjoy an all-you-can eat pizza party compliments of the Halifax NC-based Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated.

A team of volunteers led by sales rep John Lassiter brought pizza, cookies, and Coca-Cola products for each resident in addition to a generous monetary gift for special meals and recreational activities for the residents during the Christmas holidays.

The Coca-Cola folks brought to campus much more than pizzas and sodas.  They brought a special brand of kindness that always puts a smile on a child’s face.  It’s difficult to be away from home during the Christmas holidays, but after an afternoon of simply sharing a Coke, these good friends from Halifax NC left the boys and girls knowing that someone cares about them and that they are valued and appreciated.

The folks from Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated – Halifax (NC) brought the spirit and meaning of Christmas to the children of Jackson-Feild, and everyone on campus is incredibly grateful for their support.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces December Employee of the Month

Emporia, VA – Leroy Smithhas been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for December 2017. Mr. Smith, who works in SVRMC’s Environmental Services Department, has been employed at SVRMC since October 2008.

Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for December was Appearance.  Mr. Smith’s nomination included the following statement: “Leroy is one of the most professional and respectful employees at SVRMC. He has a very conscientious attitude about the cleanliness of the work environment as well as his personal appearance.  He takes pride in his work, ensuring that his equipment is well maintained and in proper working order. He is quick to respond when EVS needs arise and works diligently to ensure that SVRMC shines.  Leroy’s dedication to ensuring that SVRMC is “top notch” does not go unnoticed by anyone.  We are so grateful to have Leroy on our team.” 

As SVRMC’s December Employee of the Month, Mr. Smith received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with his co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

Marvin Wayne Howell

Marvin Wayne Howell, Sr., 66, of Emporia, VA passed away Saturday, December 23, 2017. He was preceded in death by his father, Rufus Howell, Jr. and a brother, James Howell.

Marvin is survived by his wife, Audrey Faye Howell; son, Marvin Wayne Howell, Jr. and wife, Tiffany; daughters, Sherry Lin Jarratt and husband, Ron and Tiffany Nichole Howell; seven grandchildren, Stephanie Powell, Chris Jarratt, Natalie Jarratt, Jordin Jarratt, Logan Howell, Conner Howell and Isobella Byrum; great-granddaughter, Ma’Kenzie Fox; his mother, Peggy Howell; sister, Paulette Howell, brothers, George Bennett Howell, Ricky Howell, Joey Howell and Andy Ray Howell and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 27 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia.

A graveside funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, December 28 at Drewryville Cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at

Shelley Allen Soler

Shelley Allen Soler, 44, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, December 22, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Jonathan N. Soler; two daughters, Avery Allen and Mackenzie Soler; her mother, Sandra Skinner; step-father, Marvin Skinner; step-brothers, Steven Skinner and wife, Annette and Mark Skinner and step-sister, Lorna Emmons.

A graduate of Bluefield College, Mrs. Soler worked as a probation and parole officer with District 38.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, January 6, 2017 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the March of Dimes or to a favorite charity.

Robert Clark, Jr.

On the morning of Tuesday, December 19, 2017, the Lord, our God called home his son Robert Clark, Jr.

On April 30, 1942, Robert was born the 8th child out of 14 children to Robert Clark, Sr. and Beatrice Clark. He joined Rock Mount Baptist Church at an early age.

Robert Jr. was employed at Weldon Mills and Southampton Textile and retired  after over 30 years of service. Later on, he returned to Southampton Textile in  security. He also worked many years in various lawn care services.

Along with his parents, Robert was preceded in death by his beloved son, Marcus Lewis Clark and four siblings; Frances, Jasper, Alice, and Shirley.

Robert Jr. leaves to cherish his precious memories a dedicated wife; Victoria, three beloved children; Frank (Felicia), Angela and Kemeca (George), eight grandchildren; Melonie (Solomon), Paulette, Shawna (Marcus), Dijon (Julia), Montavius, Justin, Jasmine, Alexavier, and Andia, seven great grandchildren, nine siblings; Ivory, William (Shirley), Jean, Marie (Clarence), Fannie (Shane), James, Milton, Theodore (Alice) and Betty, one very special aunt; Nellie Williams, his God-mother; Effie Revis, three devoted friends; Swanson Robinson, Dwayne Thomas and Landis Moody and a   plethora of aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins other relatives and friends.

The family will receive visitors from 9 am to 7 pm on Friday, December 22, 2017 at R. E. Pearson and Son, 556 Hamifax Street, Emporia. Funeral services will be at 2 pm on Saturday, December 23, 2017, at Mars Hill Baptist Church, 11211 Low Ground Road, Emporia, with interrment following at the Mars Hill Baptist Church Cemetary. Professional Services are entrusted to the staff of R.E. Pearson and Son Funeral Service, Inc.

Donna G. Whitby

Donna G. Whitby, 69, went to be with the Lord on December 19, 2017. She is survived by her brother, James Grant (Lynne) of Emporia; special nieces, Tami Reeves, Alyssandra Reeves and Amber Reeves. She is also survived by special friend, Scott Wilkerson. Funeral services and interment will be private. Online condolences may be shared with family at

Santa’s Elves Come to Jackson-Feild

On December 13th members of two different groups traveled far and wide to Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services’ main campus in Jarratt, VA to wrap all the children’s Christmas presents

The volunteers included members from the PEO Chapter C-D-Littleton, N.C. and the Lake Gaston Ladies Club. They both have been actively involved with Jackson-Feild in a variety of ways over the years. This will be the 12th Christmas they served as Santa’s helpers wrapping the presents for the boys and girls.

The day began when the women arrived bright and early in the morning and got right to work. By the end of the day over 250 presents were carefully wrapped with loving by these special ladies. They made sure no presents went unwrapped and each ribbon curled to perfection.

The children are very grateful to these special elves for their wonderful efforts to make Christmas special for children who have never experienced a “real” Christmas.

Making Christmas Better for our Neighbors

Many thanks to some very generous customers and an awesome staff!  The Emporia Branch of Xenith Bank was able to adopt 4 families this Christmas season!

“A Christmas Story”

Many listen for the sleigh bells
That in a far off distance ring
Yet others shout Hosanna’s
For the new born Savior King.
Now Christmas day is celebrated
In many a varied way
For the Christian it’s quite religious
But with non-believers, just a holiday.
The Wise Men traveled to Bethlehem
Just guided by a star
They were bearing gifts for the Baby Jesus
Which all brought from afar.
Today most rely on Santa Claus
And his reindeer overhead
The principal is much the same
But they’re store bought gifts instead.
Yes the stores put out their welcome mat
Two months before Christmas day
Trying to help us fill our shopping list
In a most beneficial way.
We all help them with their efforts
For the needs are much abused
In the corner of room number three you’ll find
Some toys that haven’t been used.
Just throw away the want list
And to all little children bring
Clothes that will keep them all warm
Until the first breath of spring.
On Christmas Eve, fill up all the stockings
So all is ready for Christmas morn
Yes and while opening presents take time to remind
That today the Christ Child was born.
Roy E. Schepp

As the population grays, Alzheimer’s and dementia threat looms

By Jesse Adcock, Capital News Service

Over the next eight years, the number of Virginians with Alzheimer’s disease will swell by nearly 36 percent, to about 190,000, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

It’s part of a global trend: The World Health Organization projects that the number of people living with dementia will triple – from 50 million to 152 million – by 2050.

Why the increase? Because the Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, will be advancing into the age range when Alzheimer’s is more common. This is compounded by the fact that the birth rate during the Baby Boomer years was higher than any other generation since.

The result: In the coming years, the U.S. will face an unprecedentedly large elderly population – people more prone to dementia-related diseases.

“By 2020, they’ll be 70. Typically, we’ll see Alzheimer’s emerge in your 70s,” said Harald Sontheimer, executive director of the School of Neuroscience at Virginia Tech. “It’s not that the likelihood has changed.”

On average, over the course of about four to eight years, Alzheimer’s causes the brain to deteriorate, impairing memory and cognition.

“Particularly, the cortex gets thinner and thinner as more brain cells die,” Sontheimer said. “It really begins with when it impairs the independent ability to live.”

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and causes between 60 and 80 percent of all dementia cases.

According to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, near half a million caregivers in Virginia provide assistance for a family member with dementia. At a projected 519 million hours of care in 2015, this was equivalent to $220 billion in unpaid caregiving that year.

The cost of nursing homes to care for people with dementia can be staggering – between $4,000 and $8,000 per month. So three years ago, the state’s aging-services agency launched a program called Family Access to Memory Impairment and Loss Information, Engagement and Supports, or FAMILIES.

FAMILIES provides counseling and education resources to those with family members suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“Caregivers aren’t getting the information they need,” said Devin Bowers, dementia services coordinator for the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. “The FAMILIES program helps build a support network. It’s meant to delay putting a family member in an institution.”

The FAMILIES program has reached more than 250 caregivers in Virginia over the past three years. Among other benefits, it lowers the incidence of depression among caregivers, according to a survey of families with a loved one suffering from dementia.

“My major concern is that people in the industry are well trained,” said Tina Thomas, director of programs and services for the Greater Richmond chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “People need to know what sort of care is available in their area.”

A Medicare rule put into effect last year allows primary care doctors to bill Medicare for Alzheimer’s and dementia testing. Currently, only 45 percent of doctors regularly test aging people for such disorders. Hopefully, Thomas said, the new rule will make testing more frequent, as early diagnosis and planning are key to financial planning.

“It’s great to have these conversations early on,” Thomas said. “It really comes down to drafting a road map of care.”

Researchers are not certain what causes Alzheimer’s. The most popular theory is that a protein called amyloid plaque builds up on brain cells and causes the disease. However, researchers don’t know whether the amyloid itself causes the disease or if the proteins are a biomarker of another process occurring.

A research trial is currently underway in Colombia with the hope of better understanding Alzheimer’s. Near the city of Medellin, a family carries a mutation that causes some members to develop Alzheimer’s between 45 and 50. They are being given drugs that inhibit the buildup of amyloid plaque, to determine whether the protein is to blame.

According to the World Health Organization, the global costs of dementia total more than $800 billion annually. That is why WHO has launched the Global Dementia Observatory, an online platform to track services for people with dementia and their caregivers.

“Nearly 10 million people develop dementia each year – 6 million of them in low- and middle-income countries,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said in a press release on Dec. 6.

“The suffering that results is enormous. This is an alarm call: We must pay greater attention to this growing challenge and ensure that all people living with dementia, wherever they live, get the care that they need.”

More information on the web

Help is available for families with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related disorders.

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has created a program called FAMILIES, which stands for Family Access to Memory Impairment and Loss Information, Engagement and Supports. To find out more about FAMILIES, email Devin Bowers, the state’s dementia services coordinator, by clicking here or call 804-662-9154.

In addition, in 2016, the department and other organizations launched No Wrong Door, an online platform that stores patient data in one place for easy access by public and private health-care services.

The groups involved include area agencies on aging, centers for independent living, community services boards, local departments of social services, hospitals, nursing homes and organizations providing home care, home repair, transportation, meals programs and other services.

For more about No Wrong Door, email or call 804-662-9354.

About the data in this report - A note from the author

The data for this project was obtained from two sources: the U.S. Census Bureauand the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC maintains a searchable online database called WONDER – Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research. This database provides statistics on the cause of death. I used it to find the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s and dementia in each county and city in Virginia in 2015, the latest year for which data were available.

Besides the number of dementia-related deaths, WONDER also estimated the death rate – the number of deaths per 100,000 population.

In addition, I used the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder tool to pull data from the 2010 census on the number of people age 65 and older in each locality of Virginia. This particular set was chosen because data from more recent surveys are not as complete.

I created maps based on each set of data – both the dementia-related death ratesand the percent of elderly residentsin each locality. Those maps may help readers see patterns. In addition, we have posted on the web all of the data used in this report.


– Jesse Adcock

December, 2017, SVCC Welding Graduates

Recent successful completers of the Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development Welding Skills Certification course December 13, 2017 at the Southside Virginia Education Center.  

This is an 11-week program utilizing the NCCER Curriculum at the accredited training and education facility.  Those finishing the most recent class are shown (Left to Right) Donald Brown of Bracey, Michael Walker of Lawrenceville, Jason Vincent of Emporia, Stacy French of Emporia, Monta' Gray of Skippers, Rasha Green of Emporia, Andre Clary of South Hill, Derrond Vaughan of Lawrenceville and Dr. Marcus Bridges, SVCC Welding instructor. 

Dozens of Virginia Nursing Homes Fined for Violations


By Gillian Bullock and Diana DiGangi, Capital News Service

When we think about where our loved ones will spend their golden years, most of us don’t picture understaffed facilities employing known abusers, or dementia patients warehoused, mistreated and helpless to advocate for themselves. But citations issued by government inspectors paint a grim picture of long-term care at dozens of facilities in Virginia.

Evelyn Lee and her sister were faced with the decision of placing their mother in a nursing home when their mother experienced a stroke. Lee’s mother selected a nursing home that best suited her needs of acute care for her to undergo physical therapy. When Lee’s mother’s health began to steadily decline, Lee and her sister started their search for a long-term care facility.

“We looked to see if there was availability, if the nursing home was easily accessible to my sister, and the general aesthetic such as how the facility looked and smelled,” said Lee, a reverend at First Baptist Church Bute Street. “When looking at facilities, we looked at the state survey and looked to see if any citations were given to the nursing homes.”

Of the 290 nursing homes in Virginia, 72 nursing homes have faced penalties totaling more than $4.7 million since 2014, according to data posted online by Medicare, the government agency that provides health care for elderly Americans.

The facilities that have incurred the most fines are:

§  Montvue Nursing Home in Luray, with more than $600,000 in fines.

§  Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center in Arlington, with almost $240,000 in fines.

§  Harrisonburg Health & Rehabilitation Center in Harrisonburg, with more than $192,000 in fines.

Together, those three nursing homes accounted for about 22 percent of the total amount of fines in Virginia.

Penalties run the gamut of severity. While nursing homes are often cited for relatively minor infractions like failing to post staffing information, many nursing homes across Virginia have been cited in the past several years for more serious violations.

For instance, 116 nursing homes have been cited on 176 counts for failing to either “1) hire only people with no legal history of abusing, neglecting or mistreating residents, or 2) report and investigate any acts or reports of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents.”

One Richmond nursing home, Envoy of Westover Hills, has been cited for that infraction seven times since July 2015. That was more citations than any other facility in the state received during that time period. Envoy’s nursing director could not be reached for comment.

The nursing directors at two other facilities that had been cited multiple times for this same infraction – Culpeper Health and Rehabilitation Center in Culpeper, and Carriage Hill Health and Rehab Center in Fredericksburg – also couldn’t be reached for comment.

Long-term care professionals who are dedicated to their jobs and compassionate to their patients say they struggle to keep going in an industry that often does not hire enough staff for its facilities and underpays its staff.

Jordan James, former employee of Home Elderly Care, says she enjoyed her time at the facility and keeps the memories of her patients close to her heart.

“One of my patients that stands out to me is Mary,” James said. “She taught me sign language, and she would always show me her family albums with pictures of her husband, children, siblings and grandchildren.”

But at many homes, there aren’t enough skilled assistants like James.

“Staffing levels are deficient,” said Gretchen Francis, ombudsman for the Capital Area Agency on Aging. “Most for-private facilities do not have enough staff in comparison to the number of residents on the floor. Will residents have to wait for assistance and be in their bed while they’re soiled, or try to wait for assistance and need help going to the bathroom and fall? The state recommends 15 minutes to respond to residents, but there is no regulation.”

According to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, more than 80 percent of nursing homes are reporting higher levels of registered nurse care to a government-run website for consumers than are reflected in their reports to Medicare.

“As a hospice chaplain, I have seen many nursing homes,” Lee said. “I have seen quality nurses, but facilities were simply understaffed. CNAs [certified nursing assistants] tend to the patient’s personal needs, and they are overworked and their salaries are very low. Their salaries should increase, and they should only have three patients under their care.”

Advocacy by family members can be powerful in ensuring that residents are treated well.

“Residents with strong advocates receive better care,” Francis said.

While Lee’s mother was in a nursing home, she realized how vulnerable the elderly are without someone to act on their behalf.

“I can remember when visiting with my mom and thinking, if I wasn’t there, what would have happened? Whatever nursing home you go to, the family has to be visibly involved and serve as an advocate,” Lee said.

Francis suggested that adult children do their research before they choose a place for their parents.

“Not only look at state inspections but see what kinds of citations were given,” she said. “If there are significant care issues, I would look into that. The type of citation itself can tell you what type of care the resident will receive.”

Both Emporia Manor and Greensville Manor are only rated at one star. Greensville Manor, however, was fined $159,215 on 09/09/2016.

How to track nursing home quality

During the 1960s, elderly Americans were the population group most likely to be living in poverty. The U.S. government responded by creating a national health insurance initiative. Since 1965, Medicare and Medicaid have provided services to almost all Americans 65 years or older.

A federal agency called the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services annually tracks the quality of care at every nursing home nationwide certified by those programs. The agency recently released the latest data for penalties, deficiencies and inspections involving nursing homes.

You can search the datafor information about a specific home or download the entire database.

Over the past three years, nursing homes in Virginia have been cited for 7,658 deficiencies. When citing deficiencies, Medicare & Medicaid Services uses an assessment that determines the severity of each deficiency with a letter of A through L. The most egregious deficiencies are classified as level four. Facilities in Virginia were cited with 20 level-four deficiencies.

Virginia’s state government has an office that can be an advocate for elderly residents who encounter problems receiving long-term care. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman can help bring about changes at the local, state and national levels to improve care and quality of life. More information about the agency is available at

About the data used in this report

Multimedia journalists Gillian Bullock and Diana DiGangi analyzed federal data to examine abuse incidents, penalties, deficiencies, understaffing and inspections of nursing homes in Virginia.

Bullock and DiGangi downloaded data on nursing homes from The two journalists used Microsoft Access to extract the records for nursing homes in Virginia.

Bullock focused on penalties. She sorted the data to identify the Virginia nursing homes that had incurred the most fines.

For deficiencies, Bullock filtered in descending order the nursing homes with the highest deficiencies from A to L. Bullock found that Medicaid categorizes deficiencies into four classes. Class one are deficiencies of A, B and C; class two are deficiencies of D, E and F; class three are deficiencies of G, H and I; and class four are deficiencies of J, K and L. Class four includes the most egregious deficiencies.

DiGangi focused on the datasets involving abuse incidents and understaffing. For instances of abuse, for example, she filtered the data to identify nursing homes that had failed to “protect each resident from all abuse, physical punishment, and involuntary separation from others.”

Keith Prince Sworn In as Emporia City Sheriff

With his parents at his side City of Emporia Sheriff Elect was sworn into office by Clerk of the Circuit Court Bobby Wrenn on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Thanks to a Truck Driver

By Dr. Al Roberts

Santa may rely on a sleigh and reindeer, but other folks who want holiday packages delivered to distant destinations typically rely on trucks. In fact, the entire U.S. economy depends on the trucking industry. Every year, our nation’s truck drivers carry more than 10 billion tons of freight, a total that represents 70% of all shipped domestic tonnage.

Hauling all these goods is a task that requires more than 3.5 million commercially licensed drivers, and the trucking industry currently faces a shortage of qualified job candidates. In October, the American Transportation Research Institute released a study identifying the driver shortage as the industry’s most critical issue. The report noted, “An optimistic trucking industry outlook, based on improving economic growth in the United States, has many in the industry concerned that the demand for truck drivers will further outpace the supply of qualified drivers. To this end, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates a shortfall of 48,000 drivers, with projections that the shortage could increase to 175,000 by 2025.”

Southside Virginia Community College is helping address this need through the continuing expansion of its Truck Driver Training School, which has already educated more than 2,500 students. SVCC’s Truck Driver Training School was established in 1996 at Ft. Pickett in Blackstone. We added a location in South Boston in 1999 and another in Emporia in 2007. More recently, SVCC has entered into a partnership with Danville Community College and Patrick Henry Community College to offer the successful program across a broader region. SVCC’s truck driver program has a graduation rate of 85%, and 75% of program graduates have found employment in the industry. They hold jobs with more than 70 companies in capacities that include long distance (coast to coast), regional, dedicated, and local routes.

SVCC’s leadership in truck driver training is also recognized beyond the borders of our region. Earlier this year, Duncan Quicke, the program’s coordinator, traveled to Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the invitation of Schneider National to participate on their Truck Driver Training Advisory Board, a forum for exchanging ideas and best practices in areas such as safety, training, regulatory compliance, and technology. Schneider is one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, and representatives from only 11 schools around the nation were selected to be included.

Students in SVCC’s Truck Driver Training School participate in a six-week program during which they receive 240 hours of instruction and hands-on practice. The class day mimics a normal workday, and activities include pre-trip inspections, keeping logbooks updated, highway driving, and maneuvering procedures such as twisting, turning, and backing up.

For information about driver qualifications, student prerequisites, and upcoming class schedules, call the Truck Driver Training School at 434-292-1650.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at

Care Advantage Completes Acquisition of Care Solutions

Care Advantage establishes market leadership in Southeastern Virginia

Richmond, VA– December 12, 2017–Care Advantage, a leading provider of home healthcare services in the Mid-Atlantic and a BelHealth Investment Partners (“BelHealth”) portfolio company, announced the acquisition of Care Solutions of Tidewater, LLC (“Care Solutions” or the “Company”).

Care Solutions operates an agency in Hampton, Virginia that provides non-skilled personal care services in the home primarily for private pay patients.  The acquisition strengthens Care Advantage’s presence in Southeastern Virginia and makes Care Advantage a leader in this market after coupling it with the acquisition of Stay at Home Personal Care earlier in 2017.

William Mayes, CEO of Care Advantage, said, “The acquisition of Care Solutions enhances our presence and market share in Eastern Virginia, which is one of our key targeted geographies for growth within our existing footprint. Their reputation for focusing on high quality patient care will fit seamlessly into our culture at Care Advantage.”

Scott Lee, Managing Director of BelHealth and Care Advantage Board Member, added, “Care Solutions is a very strategic acquisition for the platform and strengthens our personal care division. The business has built very strong referral relationships in its service area and further expands our private pay patient census. We are continuing to aggressively pursue add-on acquisitions both in Virginia and other contiguous states to execute on our investment thesis.”

Virginia Rural Center Names Kristie Helmick Proctor Executive Director

Richmond, Va. – Kristie Helmick Proctor has been appointed Executive Director of the Center for Rural Virginia, effective Dec. 4. The rural Virginia native, farm owner and accomplished organizational leader most recently served at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s largest small business association, where she managed a staff that implements and oversees grassroots activities in 17 different states.

Proctor’s experience at NFIB afforded her an opportunity to gain a keen understanding of the issues facing those who live in rural Virginia. In addition, Proctor and her husband both grew up in rural Virginia and recently purchased a farm in Hanover County.

"Kristie brings an enthusiasm and a range of experiences that will help us build on our successes of the past several years as we strive to more effectively promote an improved economy and an enhanced quality of life throughout rural Virginia,” said Senator Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Chairman of the Center for Rural Virginia.

Prior to her role at the NFIB, Proctor served as Public Affairs Specialist at Transurban, a leading international toll road developer and investor. Proctor was instrumental in leading the implementation of a comprehensive public affairs program surrounding the proposed multi-billion dollar I-95/395 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes project in Northern Virginia.

Earlier, Proctor was Public Affairs Specialist, at AAA Mid-Atlantic, the nation’s fifth largest auto club, working as a spokesperson and representing the club at various civic, professional and transportation organizations.

Proctor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Longwood University and Master of Arts degree in Government from Regent University. She holds a Law and Public Policy Graduate Certificate and a Homeland Defense and Terrorism Graduate Certificate from Oxford University. She is also a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

“I am incredibly excited to serve as Executive Director of the Virginia Rural Center, as I am passionate about identifying new opportunities and addressing challenges facing rural Virginians,” said Proctor. “I look forward to building on the Center’s efforts in a number of key areas, such as highlighting small business opportunities, broadband deployment, workforce development, clean energy and stemming the tide of young people leaving our wonderful rural areas – just to name a few.”

The Center is a partnership of the Center for Rural Virginia, a Virginia legislative entity advocating for rural policy, and the Council for Rural Virginia, an entity organized by federal statute that is a conduit for building rural capacity by facilitating the collaboration and creation of coalitions of the key economic regions and sectors of the Commonwealth.

For more information, visit

2018 Inaugural Committee Leadership Announces Theme for the 73rd Inauguration: “The Way Ahead”

Alongside Theme, 2018 Inaugural Committee Launches Website and Logo

Virginians Can Receive Updates Online at

Richmond -- Today, the 2018 Inaugural Committee announced the theme for the 73rd Virginia gubernatorial inauguration: “The Way Ahead.”

The Way Ahead articulates a vision for leading a Virginia with bipartisan, commonsense solutions that lifts up all of its people. Whether its taking advantage of new economic opportunities, finding oneself in serving others, or educating Virginia’s children with boundless potential, Governor-elect Northam believes the best way forward is by working together.

“The Way Ahead is a celebration of the prosperity possible through a unified Commonwealth honoring its diversity and inclusivity,” said Governor-elect Ralph Northam. “Our inauguration will launch an exciting new area of progress for all Virginians -- one in which commonsense solutions, service to others and boundless opportunities for our children’s future rises above all else. By working together as one Commonwealth, Virginians will come together during these troubling times for our country and lift each other up -- no matter who you are or where you’re from.”

Alongside the launch of the theme, the Inaugural Committee also released the logo and 2018 Inauguration website -- -- which will include forthcoming details on events, logistics and ticketing information. 

The 2018 Inaugural logo was designed by Andy Lynne, a native of Ashland.

Government Avoids Shutdown but CHIP Families Still at Risk

By Alan Rodriguez Espinoza, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A stopgap measure designed to avoid a government shutdown includes a provision that will provide the Children’s Health Insurance Program with temporary funding for two weeks. But the program’s fate past Dec. 22 is still uncertain.

More than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women count on Virginia’s CHIP-funded program, the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program, for medical services. State officials began reaching out to their families on Tuesday, notifying them that FAMIS could be terminated on Jan. 31.

“We are hopeful that Congress will once again provide the funding to continue this program,” the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services told families in a letter. “However, because Congress has not acted yet, we need to let you know that there is a chance the FAMIS programs may have to shut down.”

CHIP is an extension of Medicaid that provides government-funded health insurance to children and pregnant women from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance.

Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize federal funding for CHIP.

The problem is “one of benign neglect,” Karen Remley, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a press release. “As efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act dominated the agenda in the Senate, needed attention to CHIP was lost.”

In a letter to the Virginia congressional delegation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “partisan infighting and dysfunction” in Congress have jeopardized the state’s CHIP-funded program. McAuliffe and other Democrats blame Republicans for the problem.

As of Dec. 1, McAuliffe estimated that more than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in Virginia depend on FAMIS to receive medical services such as immunizations, checkups and even surgeries and cancer treatments.

Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services estimates that nearly 1,200 of those children live in Richmond.

In response to McAuliffe, U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia Beach, said that “scaring families via press release is not helpful.”

“It is completely disingenuous to insinuate that I or any other member of the Virginia congressional delegation are ignoring reauthorization of this important program,” Taylor stated in a press release of his own. “In fact, the present delay is a result of a request by the minority party to further negotiations on offsets.”

U.S. senators including Virginia Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have expressed bipartisan support for the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act, or the KIDS Act of 2017. If ratified, it would extend federal funding for CHIP through the 2022 fiscal year.

“Sen. Warner recognizes it is essential that CHIP is reauthorized,” said Jonathan Uriarte, his deputy press secretary. “And the KIDS Act is an imperfect but needed compromise to continue funding these necessary health care services for children.”

But the KIDS Act does not specify where funding for CHIP would come from.

In early November, the House voted 242-174 to reauthorize CHIP under the Championing Healthy Kids Act. Democrats opposed the bill because it would cut more than $10 billion from public health and prevention programs funded by the Affordable Care Act and because it would raise Medicare fees for higher-income recipients.

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, said on the House floor that the Healthy Kids Act would extend CHIP “without adding to our country’s deficit.” On the other hand, Rep. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Richmond, said the bill is “loaded with poison pills that would undermine the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.”

According to the Department of Medical Assistance Services, CHIP in Virginia cost more than $304 million in fiscal year 2017, with most of the money coming from the federal government. McAuliffe said Virginia is expected to exhaust the federal funds by the end of January.

“Unless something changes … enrollment will be frozen Jan. 1,” McAuliffe stated. “By Jan. 31, Virginia will have insufficient federal funds to continue the program.”

The House and Senate must agree on a bill before it can be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

In Emporia City, Greensville County and Brunswick County CHIP serves 289 children. In Franklin City, Southampton County and Sussex County 263 children are served by the program.

“Where Did They Go?’

Where did all the colors go
One used to wear with pride
You used to see them everywhere
In the stands on either side.
The uniforms now on the field
Do no longer represent
True colors of your alma-mater
No matter where you went.
Yes it used to spur your ego
When you knew from where they came
They had beat you good for many years
But lately you’ve won some.
Now you let them see your colors
Which you proudly do display
Hoping when the game is through
A win might come your way.
Well who has changed the color code
I know no one asked me
When something serves so very many
Why can’t they let it be?
Roy E. Schepp

The Action Bible and Jackson-Feild

Thanks to the generosity of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Virginia and the members of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild have brand new Action Bibles!

The best-selling Action Bible – created by a member of Marvel Comics – is designed to be action-grabbing through illustrations full of rich color and bold designs that brings to life the emotions and significance of the stories and figures of the Bible.

Jackson-Feild’s chaplain The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones will use the Action Bible’s four-step lesson path to engage teens at every step. The path starts by setting the stage to help teens feel comfortable with the Bible, and then brings the Bible stories and passages to life through animation. It helps readers make a connection and prompts them to ask questions. The Action Bible helps the boys and girls understand who God is and what they mean to Him, and it helps them develop their own value system.

Everyone involved in the Spiritual Program at Jackson-Feild is grateful to St. Martin’s and the ECW of the Diocese of Virginia for funding the purchase of these Bibles that will help to connect timeless truths to life today.

Brunswick Academy Student to be on Food Network Kids Baking Championshop

Season Premieres Monday, January 1st at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network

Brunswick Academy Sixth Grader Bryn Montgomery will appear on the new season of Kids Baking Championship on Food Network.She is the daughter of Vin and Ann Montgomery of South Hill. Photo: Food Network

NEW YORK – November 29, 2017 – Food Network celebrates the New Year in a big way as Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldmanchallenge the skills of a dozen young bakers with major talent on a new season of Kids Baking Championship, premiering on Monday, January 1st at 9pm ET/PT. Over the course of ten episodes, the contestants (ranging in age from 10 to 13) compete in decadent dessert challenges designed to find the most impressive and creative kid baker in the country. To make it to the top tier of the competition, their baking skills and originality must measure up, as they whip up sweet treats such as cookies, ice cream, and doughnuts. Only one will take the cake and the sweet grand prize of $25,000, a feature in Food Network Magazine, and the title of Kids Baking Champion!

“The return of family-favorite Kids Baking Championship is the perfect sweet note to start the new year with creative confections and delicious desserts from extraordinary young bakers showing off their remarkable talents that will awe and inspire audiences,” said Courtney White, Senior Vice President Programming, Scripps Networks Interactive. 

Throughout the ten-episode season, the kid contestants must tackle new confectionary challenges, from sweet dessert pizzas using traditional savory pizza toppings, to out-of-this-world desserts with freeze-dried astronaut approved ingredients, and to a new twist on the popular imposter dessert challenge featuring lunchbox favorites. On the premiere, the bakers must conquer cookie cakes, but when Duff and Valerie throw them a crazy curveball, one competitor melts under the pressure. On Monday, March 5th at 9pm ET/PT, the championship culminates as one talented baker will rise to the top in the grand finale.

Kids Baking Championship contestants include: Gareth Bennett (Gaithersburg, MD; age 10), Julia Betz (Key Biscayne, FL; age 12), Alex Czajka (Edmonton, AB; age 12), Beverly Hepler (Foster City, CA; age 10), Grady Holloway (Chesterfield, MO; age 11), Luke Jonsson (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; age 13), Linsey Lam (Closter, NJ; age 13), Abby Martin (Franklin, WI; age 13), Bryn Montgomery (South Hill, VA; age 11), Aditya Pillutla (Cary, NC; age 12), Michael Platt (Bowie, MD; age 11) and Soleil Thomas(Livingston, NJ; age 12).

Fans can join the baking banter on Twitter using #BakingChampionship, and can relive the most dramatic, creative, and adorable moments with video and photo highlights, at  They can also go behind the scenes with Duff and Valerie, and discover more baking tips.

Learn About the SVCC Power Line Worker Training Program

Learn more about the Power Line Worker Training Program of Southside Viirginia Community College on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center.  The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the center located at 1041 W. 10th Street, Pickett Park, Blackstone, Virginia.

This session will offer information on admission requirements, schedule, cost, housing, job prospects and scholarships.  Join the over 100 graduate of this program that started in 2016. 

Pizza will be served.  Please register at or call Susan Early at 434 292 3101.

Bridging the gap: Southwest Virginia has the most bridges and culverts in ‘poor’ condition


By Alexa Nash, Capital News Service

It’s difficult to avoid driving over a bridge in Virginia, and motorists often don’t give them a second thought. Drivers are unaware that some of the structures they have come to trust are in a troubling state, especially in the southwestern part of the commonwealth.

Of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s nine districts, Bristol has the highest number of bridges and culverts rated D or lower on the agency’s “health index,” an indication of the overall soundness of a structure. (Culverts are tunnels that allow streams or drains to flow under the road.)

Data obtained from VDOT shows that 451 bridges and culverts of over 3,400 in the Bristol district have that low grade, and 182 structures were deemed structurally deficient, or “poor.” The worst structure, a bridge in Scott County, has a grade of 12 on a 100-point scale – a solid F.

Even so, state officials say motorists should not worry.

“Scary terms aside, if there were a problem out there, [the bridges] would be investigated and closed,” said Michelle Earl, communications manager for VDOT’s Bristol district. “This is nothing we toy around with.”

Many bridges across the state need major repairs and possibly replacement. While the vast, rural Bristol district has more than its share of such bridges, it is aggressively attacking the problem, officials say.

Gary Lester, a bridge engineer for the Bristol district, said there are many reasons for high number of bridges with low grades, but two stand out: Bristol has more bridges than any other VDOT district, and because of the area’s geography, they are built differently than anywhere else in the state.

The Bristol district is a mountainous region with many streams to cross, and winters are harsh. This means that more salt is used on the roads due to snow, which corrodes the exposed steel in the simply designed bridges.

“In the past, we’ve used a lot of steel beams with timber decks because those were the cheapest and easiest for our crews to put in at the time,” Lester said. Most of the bridges were constructed in the early- to mid- 20th century.

The bridges needed to go up fast, so they were designed differently than those in Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg or Hampton Roads – districts that have the fewest structurally deficient bridges. Those bridges have a design life, or the time in which the bridge is structurally sound, of 50 to 100 years. Bridges built with just steel beams and timber decks in the Bristol district have a design life of about 25 years and need costly rehabilitation much more often.

Dr. David Mokarem, research associate at Virginia Tech, said VDOT’s health index is determined by the overall condition of all of the bridge’s parts. He said that traffic, load capacity and the geography of the district are factors in determining the grade.

Age and design life are also important factors. The needs for each district also depends on how much the bridges are used, so it makes sense that the more populous northern and eastern areas of Virginia see most of the funding from VDOT. That doesn’t mean that Bristol’s situation can be ignored.

“If [the grade] is 65 percent, that’s low,” Mokarem said. “They need to be fixed, repaired … something needs to be done.”

Lester is addressing the need in his district by looking at his bridges differently. He said he focuses on the structurally deficient bridges. This means that the bridge either can be crossed only by light vehicles and loads or cannot be used at all until it is rehabilitated or completely reconstructed.

The formula to determining structural deficiency is more accurate than the health index, Lester said. The formula, based on federal guidelines, divides the bridge into its deck structure and substructure and carefully calculates the health of those two parts.

The rating is out of nine. Once a bridge receives a four or below, it is considered structurally deficient and must have signage to advertise its load capability. To put that rating in perspective, a brand-new bridge with a few cracks is given a score of eight.

Every bridge is inspected every two years, and if they are structurally deficient, they are inspected once a year or more, Earl said.

VDOT had a goal over the past five years to decrease the number of structurally deficient bridges in each district by 15 percent. Bristol was the only district to exceed that goal. The district is replacing those bridges with ones that have a design life of 100 years.

“We’re looking at the overall load on a bridge before they go structurally deficient, and we’re looking at the condition of the joints to improve those so they don’t leak any water to get down into the structural elements, which will be a new performance measure,” Lester said. VDOT plans to announce these new performance measures in the next few weeks.

As the measures take effect, Lester said that the number of bridges determined to be structurally deficient should go down each year. The district will continue to work hard to bridge the structural and financial gaps.

“There’s new funding available to help improve bridges,” Earl said. “Public safety is our ultimate goal, so if there was an issue out there, it would get closed.”

In the City of Emporia there are no structually deficient bridges, but the Meherrin River Bridge on Main Street is functionally obsolete. The Meherrin River Bridge on Northbound I-95 is listed as functionally obsolete, but is currently being replaced.

In Greensville County there both the Falling Run culvert on Old Halifax Road and the Fountains Creek Bridge on Hells Island Road are structually deficient and the following bridges are listed as functionally obsolete:

Nottoway River on Purdy Road,
Moores Branch on Nottoway Road,
Fountains Creek on Moore's Frerry Road,
US 301 Soutnbound over CSX Railroad (Replaced).
Cattail Creek on Moore's Ferry Road,
Fountains Creek on US 301-Skippers Road,
US 301 Sounthbound over I-95 Ramp at Exit 12,
Branch on Low Ground Road,
Ramp to US 301-Skippers Road over Interstate 95 at Exit 8
Beaverpond on Pine Log Road.

Deloris Whitfield Success Story

Deloris Whitfield started with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act(WIOA)youth program in April 2017. She has a passion for helping others so she enrolled in the Nurse Aide program in May 2017 attending Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

 While continuing to work on her credential, Whitfield participated in the 2017 WIOA Youth Summer Program and was involved in quite a few activities. She obtained a work experience with the Hazelwood House in South Hill, Virginia as an Adult Day Care worker. From this experience, she received a phenomenal reference letter for her work ethic.

During the summer program, she also completed the Tools for Success work readiness training.  Whitfield participated in the 3-D Imaging Dream It Do It Camp. She was one of the selected winners for her project and presentation of the skills she had learned in the camp.

She completed her CNA training in July of 2017 and successfully completed the WIOA youth program also.  She later successfully obtained her CNA licensure and gained full-time employment with Meadowview Terrace on as a Certified Nurse Aide.  She hopes to further her education with a stackable credential in Medication Aide.

A native of Brunswick County, she now lives in South Hill.

The W.I.O.A. Youth (OSY) program assists eligible students, between the ages of 14 and 24, in reaching the goal of high school graduation or obtaining the GED. We provide a variety of services to assist the student in making reasonable strides toward this goal. These services include tutoring, additional counseling, mentoring, transportation reimbursement, childcare assistance, career exploration, incentives and supply provisions if there is documented need for these services. The funding for this program is provided by the WIOA through the South Central Workforce Investment Board.  The contract for the Youth Programs is awarded to SVCC which provides the direction and coordination of the youth services.

Mrs. Hargrove’s Kindergarten Class Letters to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I want a dirt bike.  I’d also love a Dodge Ram Powerwheel.  I want a toy Lamborghini car.  And a big truck with shiny pipes. 

Thank u,

Isaiah P. 

Dear Santa,

I want a Hoverboard, shoes, clothes and toys. 


Dear Santa,

My name is Arkeyla Porter, and I have been good this year.  I would like for you to bring me some clothes and shoes.  And I would like for you to bring my niece and nephews some clothes and shoes too.  And bring them some toys and lots of love. 


Dear Santa,

I want a Power Ranger, Ninja Turtle and an army man.


Dear Santa,

My name is Jakiyah Nottie Lazae Vaughan.  I know I haven’t been that good this year but I was hopeful of maybe getting some outfits with shoes to match some Doc Mcstuffin toys, a hoverboard, doll house with some dolls, tablet, a baby alive, money and maybe a puppy. 


Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I want a kitchen set and a baby alive doll, shopkins, a bike and a Hatchimal. 


Dear Santa,

I want a dragon toy, Trex toy, race cart, plane toy, dinosaur toy, wolf toy, and Pterodactyl toy. 


Dear Santa,

I want coloring books, a doll baby and a bed for my dollbabies. 


Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I would like Pop the Pig, a football, a toy gun and a fire tablet.   Merry Christmas Santa!


Justin Wright

Dear Santa,

My name is Andre and all I want for Christmas is a Nintendo DS along with some games.


Dear Santa,

I have been good this year.  This Christmas, I wish for train tracks sets so that I can build awesome train stations.  Please give my sister a dollhouse. 



Dear Santa,

I been a very nice girl.  All I want is bike, dollhouse and kitchen set, some boots, dollbabies and some clothes.


Zalilian Green

Dear Santa,

My name is Zy’ire.  For Christmas, I want a PS4, a tablet and a white DS.  I will leave you some milk and cookies.


Dear Santa,

I want candy, toys and presents.


Dear Santa,

I want Frozen dolls and toys. 


Dear Santa,

I want a doll and stroller.  I also want a dollhouse. 


Sandra Hubbard is VCU CMH Fundraiser of the YEAR

One of the three co-chairs of the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 2016-2017 Health Care For Life Capital Campaign was honored in November by the Piedmont Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its Volunteer Fundraiser of the year.

“When Sandra Hubbard agreed to serve on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Health Care For Life Capital Campaign Cabinet in February 2016, she did so with trepidation. She was a quiet listener as the early planning stages of the campaign were ironed out. But out of necessity the campaign was an accelerated version of a traditional capital campaign. And that’s when Sandra began to blossom, bloom, and became an unstoppable force for good,” said Ken Kurz, Executive Director of the Foundation, when nominating Sandra.

Sandra served as one of three co-chairs of the campaign, joined by Dean Marion, the Town of South Hill’s mayor, and Ryan Bartholomew, an Edward Jones investment advisor.

According to Kurz , “this triumvirate presided over an incredibly quick and successful capital campaign that saw an area of less than 100,000 people raise an amazing $3.8 million in just 10 months -from start to finish.”

Kurz added that this campaign was on the heels of a still to be completed 2012 capital campaign for VCU Health CMH. He said that Sandra was approaching donors who still had payments left from the previous campaign. But that didn’t even slow her down.

“Even with zero fundraising experience, Sandra was by far the most successful fund raiser for the Health Care For Life Capital Campaign. Her community connections and persistence paid huge dividends for the CMH Foundation. She also put her money where her heart was and donated to the campaign. She was the perfect messenger to send out to the community. She was engaged, involved and refused to see the campaign fail,”  Kurz added.

Kurz continued, “countless times Sandra brought new donors into the CMH family because she believed in the mission of CMH. She also worked at bringing in additional volunteer campaign workers. To put it bluntly, Sandra was indispensable to the campaign on several levels.”

In the 10-month campaign, we had 22 external cultivation events and Sandra was involved in all but one -when she went on vacation. Sandra was instrumental in making the campaign a success. She played host on three different occasions for these events. She brought in her friends, old and new, who had previously not supported CMH.

When someone is a volunteer, expectations of time involvement are typically fairly modest, according to Kurz.

“Even though we have met our $3.5 million goal, Sandra has not stopped. She continues to seek out new donors to help CMH. Since the campaign’s conclusion, Sandra was instrumental in an additional $25,000 gift and is currently cultivating several additional donors at this time,” he said.

Kurz added that named bricks and other naming opportunities are still available at the new hospital and C.A.R.E. Building. Anyone interested in donating to benefit VCU Health CMH can contact the Foundation office at 434-774-2575.

Charlie Joseph Brna

Charlie Joseph Brna, 82, of Richmond, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Charlie was with the Army National Guard for two years and was Honorably discharged to enlist in the United States Air Force in 1954. He retired from the USAF after 23 years of service as an Audio-Visual Superintendent. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also retired after 21 years from Carpenter Company. Charlie was a member of the American Legion Post 137 and the Farmer’s Hunt Club in Emporia, Va. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Anna Brna. He is survived by his sister, Ellen Dillard; brother, Dr. Theodore Brna; son, Steven Brna; daughter, Rhonda Underwood (Matt); two grandchildren, Kamryn and Rylan; and numerous extended family and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church at 2 P.M., Monday, December 11, 2017 with Rev. Stephen Bocklage officiating. Internment will follow in St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held 1 hour before the Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Building Fund.

Online condolences may be left at


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