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Delegate Tyler

From the Desk of Delegate Tyler: Calling All Pages!

It’s that time of year to choose students for the Senate and House of Delegates page program!

Each year the Speaker of the House of Delegates appoints 13 and 14 year-olds from across the Commonwealth to serve as House pages during the regular session of the General Assembly. These young people assist the members of the House of Delegates, the House Clerk's staff, and other legislative staff in the daily duties required for the successful operation of the House of Delegates during the session.

The page workday begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. A lunch break is provided. There is no weekend work except for the last Saturday of session. Pages deliver documents throughout the Capitol complex, and perform errands for members and staff of the House of Delegates during each day's floor session and at committee meetings. Pages are also selected for assignments in specific House offices including the Speaker's Office, the Clerk's Office, the Bill Room, the Copy Center, and the Governor's Office. Pages are trained for these assignments during the first two days of their employment. Every effort is made to provide each page with a variety of work assignments. All work assignments are important to the legislative process and should be performed in a professional manner.

While at work pages are under the supervision of the Clerk and the Information & Communications Services Director, the Page Coordinator and Assistant Page Coordinator, and two Head Pages who served as pages the previous year. After work pages have approximately two hours of unsupervised free time from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. reserved for eating dinner. It is mandatory that all pages reside at the hotel. There are two chaperones on duty at the hotel from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. each day, Sunday through Friday

A mandatory study hall is held at the hotel every Monday through Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Certified teachers supervise the pages and help individual students as needed. Study hall teachers do not provide classroom instruction and do not administer tests and exams. Pages are responsible for arranging with their schools and teachers the preferred method of taking tests and exams. They must also make arrangements with their schools and teachers to maintain their schoolwork, including any tutoring that is required. Pages are responsible for making their own weekend travel arrangements.

It is important that prospective pages understand that they are to conduct themselves in an adult manner and should always be on their best behavior as they are representing their delegates, families, and schools. Serving as a page is a wonderful experience and an educational opportunity. However, it is also a 40-hour per week paid position for which they are making a firm commitment to report to work every day. Requests for time off to participate in extracurricular activities will not be granted. Their commitment requires hard work, initiative, responsibility, and a positive attitude. The Speaker and the Clerk expect excellent behavior from the pages and rely on a strong support network between the pages, their families, teachers, and the Clerk's staff. Pages not conducting themselves in an appropriate manner will be disciplined as required, which may include removal from the program.

The Speaker's Office, Clerk's Office staffs, and Delegates strive to ensure that each page's employment with the House of Delegates is both enjoyable and educational.

The deadline for submission is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Page applicants must be 13 or 14 years old on January 10, 2018 to be eligible. To access more information and applications please visit https://capclass.virginiageneralassembly.gov and search Page Program in the search bar. Please contact my office at 434-336-1710 or email us at rctyler75@verizon.net for any questions, concerns, or nominations. Senate Page applications are also available.

Parents as Teachers Visits General Assembly

LaWanda Fisher, Parents as Teachers Supervisor for The Improvement Association met with Delegate Roslyn Tyler of the General Assembly to discuss the importance of home visiting programs such as Parents as Teachers.

Staff and customers representing home visiting agencies from across the state met with delegates, senators and legislative aides from their local districts. Staff from The Improvement Association gathered at the General Assembly to discuss the importance of home visiting programs and theParents as Teachers approach to building strong families and promoting positive parent-child interaction so children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Parents as Teachers affiliates are dedicated to delivering services to children 0-3 and families that cultivate family well-being and healthy child development.

In Greensville, Emporia, Sussex, and Brunswick, The Improvement Association providesParents as Teachers to more than 68 families per year and conducted 744 visits in 2016. Parents also have opportunities to meet other parents and learn about community resources that support early childhood development and family stability.

For many attendees, this was their first meeting with their elected official. They thanked the legislators for their support and, after a day of meetings, with smiles on their faces, they agreed they will be coming back again next year.

For more information, contact LaWanda Fisher, Parents as Teachers Supervisor, at 434-634-2490 or email lfisher@impassoc.org.

House Bill 1900 – Hunter’s Fine For Stray Dogs Defeated

House Bill 1900 was a bill that would fine hunters a $100 fee for their dogs straying onto neighboring landowner properties. The legislation was opposed by Rural Legislators and the Hunting Dog Alliance.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler, 75th District House of Delegates Representative, spoke against HB1900 on the General Assembly House Floor wearing a blaze orange hat and vest attire in support of hunter’s rights. With the help of Delegate Tyler, the bill was defeated by 48-47, a party line vote.

Delegate Tyler Protects Hunter’s Rights at the General Assembly

Delegate Roslyn Tyler met with the hunters from Sussex, Greensville, Southampton and Dinwiddie County on Capitol Hill advocating on Hunting with Hounds.  Delegate Roslyn Tyler (75th District) is a rural legislator who supports hunting with dogs as part of traditional hunting heritage in Southside Virginia.

Delegate Tyler opposes HB 1900 which would prohibit dog owners from allowing dogs to run at large on property of another landowner and charged with a $100 civil penalty per dog. A bill of this nature is not necessary for law abiding sportsmen. Delegate Roslyn Tyler will continue to protect sportsmen rights and rural Virginia hunting heritage.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact her in Richmond at delrtyler@house.virginia.gov or (804) 698-1075.

Black Legislators Seek to Protect Education Funding

By Jessica Nolte, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – As Virginia faces an estimated $1.26 billion budget shortfall, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus announced that its top priority during the General Assembly’s session is to protect funding for K-12 education.

Additionally, the VLBC will focus on criminal justice reform, job creation, increasing the minimum wage and public safety.

“These are the issues we will continue to fight for because there must be a change,” Del. Roslyn Tyler, a Democrat from Jarratt and president of the caucus, said at a news conference Wednesday.

In November, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration warned higher education officials at Virginia’s public colleges and universities to anticipate a 7.5 percent reduction from the state general fund. The VBLC said it wants to protect the K-12 budget so schools have the money for academic excellence.

The 17 African American lawmakers are all Democrats, but they hope to work across party lines on issues such as reforming school discipline. For example, the VBLC said it supports three bills filed by Republican Sen. William Stanley of Moneta:

●       SB 995, which would reduce maximum suspensions from 364 calendar days to 45 school days and prohibit long-term suspension from continuing on beyond the current school year.

●       SB 996, which would protect students from expulsion and long-term suspension for disruptive behavior except in cases of physical injury or threat of physical injury.

●       SB 997, which would prohibit suspension or expulsion or students in preschool through fifth grade except for drug offenses, firearms or certain criminal acts.

Republican Del. Richard Bell of Staunton has introduced similar legislation in the House: HB 1534to reduce the length of suspensions, HB 1535to prevent expulsion and long-term suspension except in cases of physical injury and HB 1536to limit the circumstances under which preschool and elementary students can be suspended or expelled.

VLBC member Jennifer McClellan, a state delegate from Richmond, cited findings from the Center for Public Integrity that Virginia schools refer students to law enforcement at nearly three times the national rate.

McClellan, who was elected to the Senate on Tuesday, said that African American students were more likely than white students to be suspended and that students with disabilities were more likely to be suspended than those without disabilities.

The VLBC also wants to boost the minimum wage, which in Virginia is the same as the federal minimum – $7.25 per hour.

Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, introduced SB 978, which would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by July 1, 2019.

“When people are working, there is less crime,” Dance said.

She said 19 states, including Washington and California, have already increased the minimum wage.

DELEGATE TYLER 2016 POST SESSION TOWN HALL MEETING

Please join the staff of Delegate Roslyn Tyler, 75th District Representative to the Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.for a 2016 Post Session Town Hall Meeting. The meeting will be held at the office of Delegate Roslyn Tyler, 423 South Main Street, Emporia. On hand to provide session results will be Mary Beth Washington and Tiffany Jones, Legislative Assistants to Delegate Roslyn Tyler.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler Amendment Returns Fines and Fees For Traffic Tickets to Cities and Counties

Thanks to Delegates Roslyn Tyler and Riley Ingram's collaborative efforts this 2016 session, localities can now have additional money for their local budgets after July 1, 2016.

The 2015 state budget reduced the amount of money returned to the counties and cities for traffic violations and fees on Interstates and local roads. Last year according to the Sheriff’s Association survey, 75,969 citations were issued on interstate highways for speeding; 942 charges were made for drug violations; 2.250 stranded or broken down motorist were assisted; 81 DUI’s issued and; 130 apprehensions of persons wanted by the police.

The City of Emporia, City of Hopewell and County of Dinwiddie lost more revenue than any other locality in Virginia. The amount of money loss created a shortfall for law enforcements and Sheriff Departments in the Board of Supervisors’ and City Council’s budgets. The money returned to the localities will provide more money for selective enforcement, education, and utilities.

The following localities in the 75th District loss money for fines and fees for tickets written on the interstate and roads to the state: City of Emporia ($95,115), City of Franklin ($32,553), Greensville County ($41,495), Brunswick County ($2,648) Dinwiddie County ($536,407), Sussex County ($30,963), Lunenburg County ($36,073), Isle of Wight County ($153,929), Southampton County ($29,605), Surry County ($30,963). A total of approximately $989,751 can be saved for localities in the 75th District.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler’s amendment item 3-6. 05 in HB 30 was approved during the Veto Session with a vote of 90 to 10 in the House, 39 to 0 in the Senate. This amendment allows all money for ticket violations to return to local government treasure offices. This amendment effected over 23 localities across Virginia. The greatest victory for was for rural Virginia.

ARE OUR SCHOOLS READY FOR DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS

22 states have officially endorsed digital textbooks, and the White House has set a deadline of 2017 for all students to use electronic materials. Most school divisions continue to use hardback text books due to the expense associated with new technology and internet accessibility. In Virginia, Henrico, Chesterfield, Arlington, Albermarle Counties and the City of Alexandria school divisions are the only areas providing laptops for their students. According to the Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, American students must be prepared to compete in the 21st century and they cannot miss out on the opportunity of the digital textbook.

SB 740 was introduced this year in the General Assembly which (1) creates a legal standard for school systems who uses electronic textbooks in the classroom, (2) requires any school system to have a plan to ensure that every child will have a digital device to take back and forth to school and (3) for each school using electronic textbooks to have a fiber optic connection to the school by July 1, 2019.

SB 740 failed in the state education committee with a 10 to 9 vote. However, next year it will be introduced again. School systems must plan for the 21st century with electronic textbooks and digital devices.

I voted against SB 740 due to the fiscal impact it will have on local governing bodies. However, I am concerned because all children deserve an equitable education. Will the schools in Southside Virginia be ready to provide digital devices for their students by 2017? School Boards are you in the process of developing a plan? I would like to hear from you regarding this issue.  Please feel free to contact my office in Richmond at 804-698-1075 or email delrtyler@house.virginia.gov.

A Report from the Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly has now reached the midpoint of the 2016 legislative session known as the “Cross Over” on February 16, 2016.  A total of 2,798 was introduced during this year session. I would like to inform you of the most important bipartisan legislative actions and updates that was passed in the House of Delegates and now proceeds to the Senate committees. 

 There has been an increasing concerns on Public Safety across the country.  However, with much intensive bipartisan negotiations several public safety legislation was passed to help save lives in the Commonwealth.

 HB 1163 – This piece of legislation requires weapon permits from individuals who enter Virginia from states have a Virginia to honor concealed carry permitting process. It also will preserve the right of Virginia concealed carry permit holders to have their permits honored in states that require mutual agreements.

HB 1386 – This bill will give the Virginia State Police statutory authority to perform background checks on the behalf of private sellers at firearms shows.This bill will require the Virginia State Police to be present at every gun show inthe Commonwealth to perform background checks and the apprehension of those making illegal purchases.

HB 1391– This bill will prohibit a person subject to a permanent protective order from possessing a firearm for the duration of the order.  The bill will require the subjects of the protective order to transfer or sell his or her firearms within 24 hours.   

HB 20 - Requested by the peanut grower extends the sunset of $0.30 per pound excise tax on all peanuts grown in and sold in Virginia from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2021. The proceeds from tax are used for promoting the sales and use of Virginia Peanuts.

HB 1377- Decreases class sizes for elementary grades and at any time the number of students in a class exceeds the class limits, the local school division shall notify the parent of each student in such a class of such fact no later than 10 days after the date on which the class exceeded the class size limit.

HB 46 -Secretary of Education will establish a 21 member Early Education Workforce Committee with the key goal of ensuring an effective professional development and credentialing system for the early childhood education workforce in the Commonwealth.

 Additionally, I submitted budget amendments that are being discussed in the Appropriations committee.   Item 3.6-05 #3h request would delete language that would allow the state to seize a portion of local fines and forfeitures resulting from traffic tickets and over 1 million dollars in funds would return to 33 localities including Sussex ($32,352.58), Greensville ($41,495.97) Southampton ($29,605.47), and Emporia ($95,115.08).  

Item 394 #4Hrequested payment in lieu of taxes from the Department of Corrections for Sussex ($450,00), Southampton( 47,000 and Greensville County (200,000). Item 73 #1h – This amendment provides additional funding necessary to convert the Commonwealth Attorney office in Surry County from a part time to a full time position and lastly, Item 495 #2h would provide $55,000 for the Southampton Historical Society.   A budget is expected to be printed on Sunday, February 21, 2016.

Your help is need to fight for funding for Southside Virginia. Please feel free to contact or email members of the Appropriation Committee and voice your concern.  Always feel free to contact me at my Richmond office 804 698-1075 or email delrtyler@house.virginia.gov.

Delegate Tyler Thanks Electric Cooperatives

The month of October is designated as Electric Cooperative Appreciation Month.  In the 75th District, I have worked with four Electric Cooperatives that provides electricity to over 30,000 residents. 

The four Electric Cooperatives are Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative managed by CEO, John Lee, Prince George Electric Cooperative managed by CEO, Mike Milandro, Community Electric Cooperative managed by CEO, Steven A. Harmon and Southside Electric Cooperative managed by CEO, Jeffrey S. Edwards.  My mother has been a customer of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative for over 50 years and never has she lost her frozen foods due power outages from snow storms or hurricanes, this has made her a very happy customer.

I would like to thank each of the Electric Cooperatives for their expedient responses during electrical outages due to bad storms and hurricanes.  Each of these Electric Cooperatives are commended for providing quality services in keeping the cost of electricity affordable for their residents, additionally they are deeply involved in community services promoting job creation, revitalization projects and educational services.  The Electric Cooperative provides resources and essential information on energy conservation, legislative issues and assistance programs.

Thank you for your many years of dependable electrical service for the residents in the 75th District.

Delegate Roslyn Tyler

Virginia House of Delegates

Delegate Tyler Celebrates Ten Years as Our Delegate

Lt. Governor Northam to Headline Delegate Tyler's Annual Banquet

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam will be the guest speaker at Delegate Roslyn Tyler's 10th Annual Banquet to be held on September 11, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Golden Leaf Commons in Emporia, VA.

Lt. Gov. Northam grew up on the Eastern Shore before attending VMI where he graduated with distinction and was President of the Honor Court. After then graduating from Eastern Virginia Medical School then served eight years active duty in the US Army, rising to the rank of Major. Upon his return from treating soldiers injured in Dersert Storm, Ralph began practicing pediatric neurology at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk. Ralph also serves as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and seventeen years of volunteer sservice as Medical Director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth.

As a State Senator from 2008-2013, Ralph scored numerous major legislative accomplishments, including the prohibition on smoking in restaurants, protecting young athletes who have sustained concussions, improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and shielding our first responders from communicable diseases.

Elected Lieutenant Governor on November 5, 2013, Ralph's top priorities are economic development, strengthening early childhood education, implementing meaningful mental health reform, protecting women’s health care access, and carefully stewarding the Commonwealth’s environmental resources.

Ralph lives in Norfolk with his wife Pam, a long-time Elementary School teacher who currently works for the local conservation organization Lynnhaven River NOW. They have two children: Wes, a neurosurgical resident at the University of North Carolina, and Aubrey, a graduate of the University of Virginia, who works in communications in Hampton Roads.

For more information concerning Delegate Tyler's banquet and attendance to this special event please contact Mary Beth Washington, Legislative Assistant to Delegate Tyler at the office #434-336-1710.

Delegate Tyler Appointed to Joint Commission on Health Care

Delegate Roslyn Tyler was appointed by Speaker of the House, William Howell, to serve on the Joint Commission of Health. The Joint committee on Health Care seek through its research, recommendations, and legislative action to "ensure the Commonwealth as provider, financier, and regulator adopt the most effective and efficacious means to delivery quality health care. " Delegate Roslyn is a physical therapist coordinator at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center- CHS hospital. She has prior experience of serving on former Governor Kaine Healthcare Reform commission. She will be a vital experienced health professional on the Commission representing Southside Virginia and small hospitals.

Funding for Public Safety Officers

The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die signifying the last day of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly Session on February 28th. During this year’s session significant legislation was passed to improve the everyday lives of all Virginians. I worked hard on issues with Republicans and Democrats to support legislation that was important to constituents of the 75th District and the Commonwealth.

Last year, with the closing of correctional facilities and the layoffs of public safety staff, public safety was drastically affected and changed. This year’s legislators recognized the importance of retaining public safety officers and their valuable services and sacrifices on a daily basis to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth. Correctional officers and senior officers are two of the 19 state jobs with the highest turnover rate due to low salaries and hazardous work environment.

As a member of the Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee, supporting and funding our law enforcement officers and correctional officers has been one of my priorities. The 75th District has more correctional facilities (Greensville, Sussex I and II, Deerfield, and Brunswick Private Facility) than any other district in the Commonwealth. l was pleased to vote in favor of the budget that included a compensation package for our state police, deputy sheriffs and correctional officers. The budget allocates $6,939,908 million dollars which will provide a $1000 increase in the starting salaries for correctional officers and 1.5% percent increase for state employees effective August 10, 2015. The budget bills now awaits the signature of Governor Terry McAuliffe.

I would like to thank all public safety officers including our state polices, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, correctional officers and emergency services for their dedication and commitment in making my district and the Commonwealth a safe place to raise our children and families.     

Should you need my assistance, please contact my district office at 434-336-1710.

Delegate Tyler's Report from the Virginia General Assembly

On the first day of the 2015 Virginia General Assembly Session, it was a privilege to offer the opening prayer at the Annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast with over 900 hundred Virginians in attendance.  For the expeditious, short forty six day session, House of Delegates Representatives introduced 978 bills and the Senate introduced 825 bills by the first day of session. The Virginia General Assembly has now reached the midpoint of the 2015 legislative session known as the “Cross Over”.  I would like to inform you of the most important legislative actions and update you on my legislation that was passed by the House of Delegates and the Senate. 

HB 1400 (Budget) – The House passed a  budget bill that did not go far enough to in addressing the areas of pre-k education, increasing teacher’s salaries to the national average or expanding Medicaid that would assist 400,000 Virginians with health care insurance and creating over 30,000 jobs in the process.  However, the proposed budget did include $55 million dollars for a 1.5 percent raise for teachers and employees and an additional pay increase for other state employee.  Additionally, the starting salary ($28,035) for correctional officers was increased by $1000.00 which will benefit new correctional officers employed by the Department of Corrections. The final budget has not been approved. It is now in the conferee committee and will receive the final vote on next week.

Listed below is my legislation that has passed the Senate and House and will become law following veto session and July 1, 2015 after signature of Governor McAuliffe

HB 1288- will allow the Town of Branchville Council Members to be elected in the 2015 November General Election for 4 year terms.    

HB 1374– will allow all disabled veterans with service connected disability to purchase a disabled license plates. Under current law only 100% disabled veterans were allowed to have the special disabled veteran license plate.

HB 1484– will conform the state code to allow all Board of Supervisors and municipalities to approve their school budget by May 15 of each year.

HB 2255– the state has approved a parcel of land that was owned by the Department of Corrections to the Town of Lawrenceville to maintain their water booster and storage tank for future economic development.

Additionally, My budget amendment was included in the state budget to restore the revenue of $190,000 for the coyote control program that is a serious problem in our rural counties.

We have only a week left in session if we finish on time. It is a pleasure to serve you in Richmond. As, always please do not hesitate to contact my office should you have any questions. 

Local Members of the Media Honored

At Delegate Roslyn Tyler's annual banquet, several members of the media in the 75th district were honored for exillence in the field of Mass Communications.  Assisting Delegate Tyler with the awards was Tara Ellis of the Virginia Communications Association. 

Ted Wesley Andrews

Ted was born February 10, 1964 to Alburtha Andrews and Robert Jones of Emporia, Virginia.  Ted was raised by his grandmother Magalene Andrews of Purdy, Virginia.  Ted has been taking pictures for 18 years since 1996.  Ted is married to Rebecca Cain Andrews and they have 5 children Christopher, Markos, Andre’, Laticia and Makayla and one granddaughter, Ezra. 

Ted can always remember having his family and his in-laws around and taking different pictures of them.  When Ted was 19 years old his brother bought him a 35 mm Bell and Howard camera and he has been taking pictures since.  With this camera Ted took many pictures at different family functions and enjoyed it.  And I can remember before we were married my niece and his niece were and still are best friends ~ they invited me to their family reunion.  Ted wanted to take pictures of me and I said no I don’t like taking pictures, but of course he still took them, not knowing we will be married today.  Knowing Ted was preserving a moment in time @ that time. 

Today Ted is still preserving a moment in time ~ because he is now a Licensed Photographer.  He enjoy taking pictures of his children, weddings, family reunions, family gathers, church functions and other auxillaries in the community, everything else and especially his loving wife. 

Ted is happy to have found passion in this craft known as photography.

Theresa Wray-Welsh

Teresa Wray-Welsh is the daughter of Robert Wray and the late Edla Mae Hobbs Wray of Greensville County. She became a reporter on Feb. 22, 1999 and found her niche.

Teresa found out the hard way what it was like to be a reporter. By the end of her first week at the Independent Messenger, staff had decreased from three reporters to just her. It was quite a learning experience for someone with only a high school education.

For the biggest part of her more than 15 years at the paper, Teresa has been the only reporter at the twice-weekly newspaper. While others have come and gone, she has remained.

She has also been published in several magazines, including a story about Emporia and Greensville County in Mecklenburg Electric's Cooperative Living.

She covers everything from schools to board meetings to local events to breaking crime and politics.

Teresa has one daughter, Wendy, and one granddaughter, Kelly. She also has one brother, Roger, who has been a volunteer of the Greensville County Rescue Squad for more than 40 years.

Sylvia M. Allen

Sylvia M. Allen, Dolphin, Virginia - Editor of the Brunswick Times-Gazette, Lawrenceville, Va., sister papers are the Independent-Messenger, South Hill Enterprise, Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer and Warren Record. She joined Womack Publishing Company in July 1997 to cover Brunswick County news for the South Hill Enterprise. When the company bought the Brunswick Times-Gazette she was named Editor, still covering Brunswick County news.

Sylvia covers local government: Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, Lawrenceville Town Council, Alberta Town Council, Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority; and the Brunswick County School Board.

Other affiliations include: Board of Director of the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce, member of the Lawrenceville Rotary Club, member of the Taste of Brunswick Festival Planning Committee, Past Co-Chair of Brunswick County Relay for Life, teacher of ladies’ Sunday School class at Calvary Baptist Church, Deacon at Calvary Baptist Church, supporter of ArtBank of Southside Virginia, member of the Brunswick Garden Club and Board of Directors for the Brunswick-Mayfield Recreation Center.

Sylvia received the Rotarian of the Year Award from the Lawrenceville Rotary Club in 2010,

Sylvia has a daughter, Shannon Parker, who lives in Mechanicsville with her husband, Cliff, and two children Charles Parker, 13, and Ainsley Parker, 11. Her mother, Marie Morgan, lives in Emporia.

Don Koralewski

Don Koralewski is a seasoned journalist, who is no stranger to Southside Virginia. He is currently the editor of the Sussex-Surry Dispatch — covering Sussex and Surry counties.

Prior to that, he served as editor of the Independent-Messenger in Emporia for nearly seven years and as the editor of the Tidewater News in Franklin. He was also the assistant editor of The South Hill Enterprise in South Hill; and, as is a former reporter for the Smithfield Times in Smithfield.

In addition to his work as an editor and a writer for four Southside newspapers, Koralewski has also worked at a daily newspaper in Sandusky, Ohio — the Sandusky Register — and at Soundings, an independent weekly newspaper covering the U.S. Navy community in Norfolk.

Outside of newspaper work, Koralewski has worked as a community relations manager in higher education and as a writer and photographer for the Virginia Beach School System. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran, where he served as a photographer and a photojournalist for a decade.

Don and his wife Nelda make their home in Emporia.

Mr. Kaorlewski noted after accepting his award that the local papers were not as conservative as they might seem, adding that Congressman Forbes has space because he writes every week.  Those in attendance were encouraged to have their representitave write editorials.  He finished by saying letters to the editor, "we need them, we want then, we'll publish them.

Also honored was Jim Wood of WEVA Radio.  Mr. Wood was not present and no further information was available.  His award was accepted by his sister, Arletha Cain.

Delegate Tyler Presents Memorial Resolution to the Family of Robert "Rudy" Conner

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 5068

Offered April 22, 2014

Celebrating the life of Robert H. Conner.

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Patron-- Tyler

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Introduced at the request of the Governor

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WHEREAS, Robert H. Conner, a diligent public servant and successful businessman in Brunswick County, died on April 19, 2014; and

WHEREAS, a native of Brunswick County, Robert "Rudy" Conner was raised in South Hill and graduated from Park View High School; and

WHEREAS, a successful and admired entrepreneur, Rudy Conner and his wife co-owned Conner Claims Service from 1980 to 2006; he also owned a beef cattle farm in Brunswick County; and

WHEREAS, desirous to be of service to the people of Brunswick County, Rudy Conner ran for and was elected to the board of supervisors, where he ably represented the Meherrin District from 1992 to 2011; and

WHEREAS, a certified planning commissioner, Rudy Conner represented the board of supervisors on the Brunswick County Planning Commission; he worked to preserve the area's natural resources by creating the Brunswick County Water Safety Committee and supporting the designation of the Meherrin River as a Virginia State Scenic River; and

WHEREAS, Rudy Conner helped implement efforts to name and map roads to facilitate countywide 911 services and oversaw the construction of the Albertis S. Harrison Courthouse and the development of the Fort Christanna Historical Site; and

WHEREAS, Rudy Conner strove to enhance the community on several local boards and generously offered his time and wise leadership to a variety of civic, service, and peer organizations, including as a master mason with the Masonic Lodge of Richmond and a past president of the South Brunswick Ruritan Club; and

WHEREAS, Rudy Conner also worked to safeguard the lives and property of his fellow residents as a life member of Ebony Volunteer Fire Department, and he enjoyed fellowship and worship with the community as a member of Prospect United Methodist Church; and

WHEREAS, Rudy Conner will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife of more than 50 years, Patricia; sons, Robert and Charles, and their families; and numerous other family members and friends; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Robert H. Conner, a pillar of the Brunswick County community; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Robert H. Conner as an expression of the General Assembly's respect for his memory.

Delegate Tyler Hosts Legislative Banquet

(Photo: The 75th District Choir Performs at Delegate Roslyn Tyler's Legislative Banquet on Thursday, September 11, 2014)

Delegate Roslyn Tyler hosted her annual Legislative Banquet on Thursday evening at the Golden Leaf Commons in Greensville County.  This year's event began with a welcome from Mrs. Linda Richardson, followed by a Moment of Silence in remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  After the moment of silence Mrs. Richardson introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Sister Theresa Gee.

Theresa Gee, a Christian talk radio host in Richmond is best known hosting "Talk Back Live" and "Community Hope;" she also presented the one woman show "Through the Eyes of Coretta," a look at the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of Dr. Martin Luther King's wife, Coretta Scott King.

Following the presentation of the Colors by the Greensville County High School ROTC, those assembled were led in the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

After the National Anthem Dr. Tyrone Brandon, Pastor of Little Zion Baptist Church and the President of the Bethany Baptist Association of Virginia offered words of welcome.  Dr. Brandon related that while many people call on him for various reasons, Delegate Tyler is one person that he will always be there to assist, calling her a woman that "knows where the stones are."

By way of explanation, he told the story of a young Pastor at his first posting out of the Seminary.  This Pastor was eager to impress, and after speaking to more senior Pastors at the Ministerial Association meeting, was invited fishing.  As the boat was leaving the shore, one of the older Pastors remembered that the cooler was in the van.  One of the others volunteered to go back and get it, got out of the boat and walked on the water back to the van.  Upon his return, it was remembered that the lunches were also in the van, so another of the older Pastors offered to go and collect those, also getting out of the boat and walking on the water to the van.  When the group realized that they had forgotten the tackle box, the young Pastor was quick to offer to go back and get it, when he stepped out of the boat, however, he plunged in over his head.  Once rescued and revived, he commented about how the other two Pastors were able to walk on the water and wondered why he did not have the ability.  One of the senior Pastors out his mind at ease by pointing out that the older Pastors were not walking on water, but simply knew where the stones were.

After the welcome from Dr. Brandon, the 75th District Choir began to gather.  Theresa Gee gave a brief history of the group, was began specifically for this annual banquet.  The group is led by Anthony Artis, an officer with the Emporia Police Department, and is accompanied by Rufus Tyler, Jr.  The choir is composed of members from around Delegate Tyler's Districe, including Emproia, Greensville, Sussex, Surry, Southampton, Franklin, Brunswick and Isle of Wight.  The choir performed two selections before Rufus Tyler, Sr, and Bill Cain recognized the guests and sponsors,

The Honorable Charlie Caple, Sussex County Board of Supervisors blessed the meal, which was prepared by A Touch of Elegance Catering with assistance of hostesses and hosts from high schools from across the 75th District.

After the buffet was served, the program continued with the introduction of Delegate Tyler by her husband.  During his comments Mr. Tyler talked about how his wife is a Christian who was born and raised in Greensville County.  Mr. Tyler shared that the Delegate was not only the youngest person to be elected to the Sussex County Board of Supervisors (at the age of 23), she was also the first woman.  She served on the Board for 11 years, and was even selected to serve as Chair.

Delegate Tyler's remarks began with a bit of her history before turning quickly to the changes coming to her District, stating that with the new natural gas power plant being built in Brunswick County that there is finally an "economic engine in the 75th District!"  She also highlited Governor McAuliffe's recent announcement of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring Natural Gas, not only to the new power plant, but to localities throughout the Piedmont, Central and Southside Virginia.  Delegate was rightly proud of the fact that jobs and economic development were finally coming to the 75th District, noting that between the two profect there were 8800 new jobs and $1.42 Billion in economic activity coming our way.  She added that finally our "young people have a reason to stay," with sufficient job opportunities.

She also let everyone know that she was heading back to Richmond on September 18 to debate Medicaid Expansion, noting that Virginia was loosing 5 Million Dollars each and every day that Medicaid Expansion is not implemented here.  "Medicaid is not only for the poor, but for working families that need to work two and three jobs to pay for healthcare," the Delegate continued, adding that resistance to the President's landmark Affordable Care Act, and resentment of "Obamacare" are not good enough reasons to send our hard earned tax dollars to other states to pay for their healthcare.

At the conclusion of her remarks, Delegate Tyler presented two Memorial Resolutions and Honored members of the Media for an "Outstanding Job in the Mass Communications Industry."  Please see the related stories on Monday's Emporia News for details on both the Memorial Resolutions and the Honorees for the Evening.

Ms. Tara Ellis with the Virginia Communications Association assisted with the presentation of the plaques to those honored their contributions to the Mass Communications Industry.  In her remarks Ms. Ellis, who is from Roanoke Rapids and considers Emporia to be just as much home, commended Delegate Tyler for her work on the Commerce and Labor Committee in the House of Delegates.  "Delegate Tyler represents you very well," Ms Ellis continued, adding that the Delegate's "door is always open."  Ms Ellis concluded that Roslyn Tyler is a "great representative for the 75th District, "you are lucky to have her in your corner." 

Medicaid Expansion Town Hall Meeting

Nearly fifty people were in attendance for Senator Louise Lucas' Town Hall Meeting on Medicare expansion last evening.  In addition to Senator Lucas (center), last night's panel included Delegate Roslyn Tyler (center right); Dr. Jennifer Lee, Deputy Secretary of Health & Human Resources for Virginia (center left); Gaylene Kanoyton, President of Celebrate Healthcare (far right) and Steve Ramey, Chief Financial Officer from Southampton Memorial Hospital (far left).  Republican Members of the General Assembly invited to join Senator Lucas were Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Senator John A. Cosgrove, Jr., and Delegate Richard L. Morris.  None of the Republicans even bothered to show up.

After Senator Lucas made introductions Dr. Lee gave a power point presentation outlining the benefits of expanding the Commonwealth's Medicaid Program.  The Power Point included images of a recent Remote Access Medical mission in Wise County, Virginia.  Dr. Lee described how nearly 2000 people spent the weekend in line and sleeping in their cars in order to have access to the only medical appointment they would have THIS YEAR.  The RAM mission also included a dental clinic where 750 people had full mouth extractions.  Those 750 people were entered in a lottery for dentures, only 50 names were drawn.  50 people out of 750 people were able to be fitted for dentures, but those dentures will not be delivered until next year's RAM mission.

Had obstructionist Republicans in the General Assembly allowed Medicaid Expansion to move forward in January, clinics like the one in Wise County would no longer be the only access to medical care for an entire county.

Medicare Expansion is fully paid for by the Federal Government, and will continue to be fully funded until 2016.  Medicaid Expansion is fully funded by a combination of savings and tax increases on people making $250,000 or more per year.  The savings are cuts in funding to hospitals for, among other things,  indigent care; care that would still be covered under Medicaid.  For states that are not expanding their Medicaid programs hospitals are not able to recover the costs of that care.  The Patient Care and Affordable Care Act, as written,  was balanced; until the Supreme Court of the United States made Medicaid expansion optional (in a 5-4 decision along party lines).

As Virginia's Medicaid Programs stands now, only people that make 30% of the Federal Poverty Level, about $8,000 per year for a family of 4, qualify.  Adults without children, regardless of income, are barred from the Medicaid program.  Currently the costs of the program are shared 50/50 by the State and Federal Governments.  Under expansion, any individual making 133% of the Federal Poverty Level will qualify for Medicaid.

After Dr. Lee's presentation Steve Ramey of Southampton Memorial Hospital spoke.  Mr Ramey talked about how fiscally difficult it will be for hospitals to continue to operate in this climate.  Hospitals are still legally and morally obligated to treat patients, but without Medicaid expansion, they are not able to be paid for that care.  The federal funds that would have paid for that care are one of the funding sources for Medicaid expansion.  Mr. Ramey also stated that "every hospital in the state is in favor of Medicaid expansion."

If Medicaid is not expanded, Community Health Systems will loose $1.7 million over the next two years between the hospitals in Emporia and Franklin.  That is nearly one million dollars per year that will be out of our regional economy.  That loss of funding will, ultimately, result in staffing cuts and cuts in services.  Although not related to Medicaid expansion, Emporia has already seen the loss of our Birthing Center.  Several communities, most notably Belhaven, NC,  have already seen their local hospitals close without expansion.

Republican opposition to Medicaid Expansion is not Fiscally Conservative; nor is it Financially Responsible.   There are some that claim Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly are only opposed to Medicaid expansion in an effort to hurt a program that is a cornerstone of Barack Obama's Presidency (what the Washington Post calls "reflexive determination to oppose the Obama administration’s signature policy" ). The official excuse of Republicans in the General Assembly is a supposed lack of trust in the Federal Government.  Not only do they actually think that the Federal Government will suddenly change their minds and stop paying 90% of the costs, they also think that paying %10 an undue burden. 

Weather the opposition stems from some unfounded fear or Republican hatred of the President, The bottom line is that Medicaid Expansion is the only way forward.  The program will be fully paid for until 2016, and after that funding will drop until 2020.  Even after 2020 the program will still be funded at 90%, with the state only paying 10%.  Over the next 8 years the $14.6 BILLION Medicaid expansion will also create 30,000 jobs for Virginians.

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