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January 2018

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will hold its regular meeting Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

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CApital News Service Returns for 2018

Now that the General Assembly is back in session, the VCU Capital News ServiceThe Capital News Service allows Emporia News readers to follow the highlights of the Virginia General Assembly.

Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students participating in the program provide state government coverage for Virginia’s community newspapers and other media outlets, under the supervision of Associate Professor Jeff South. This year there are 28 Student Journalists and new advisors.

CNS operates as a three-credit course (formally listed as MASC 475) during spring semesters, when the General Assembly is in session. Each CNS student is assigned to serve one or more clients. Students must devote substantial time outside class to CNS — at least 10 hours a week. The students in MASC 475 meet twice a week to discuss and plan stories and work on reporting and writing skills.

During the fall semesters, the CNS system occasionally is used to distribute stories students do for other courses, such as MASC 404 (Specialized/Projects Reporting). Throughout the year, CNS can help newspaper editors find VCU students who can do freelance stories, internships and other assignments.

Wilma Wirt, who has since retired from the mass comm faculty, established CNS in 1994 for two reasons:

  • To give VCU’s journalism students an opportunity to actively cover and write about the Virginia General Assembly.
  • To give the state’s weekly, twice-weekly and thrice-weekly newspapers better access to the legislature — something Wirt deemed important in the everyday lives of all Virginians.

All stories sent by CNS will be published by Emporia News, but not all will be promoted to the front page. To read the stories that do not make the front page, click on the Capital News Service link in the top menu.

Groups Team Up to Count Richmond Area’s Homeless

Proposal Would Boost Suicide Prevention Efforts in Schools

Democrats Vow to Push for Gun Control Laws

Vondrenna Smithers Cool Job Helps Students Reach Career Goals

Vondrenna Smithers’ job is cool because, in her own words, “I help potential students, both traditional and non-traditional, connect to the best training for their career goals at SVCC.” As Southside Virginia Community College’s (SVCC) Advanced Manufacturing Career Coach and Recruiter, she also gets to talk with high school students about Advanced Manufacturing jobs that they may not have considered.  

Smithers became familiar with the great opportunities at SVCC during high school. As a native of Southside Virginia, Smithers attended Brunswick County Public Schools. There, she took college credit while still in high school through the SVCC Dual Enrollment Program.  By completing dual enrollment classes, Smithers was able to attend SVCC and to obtain her Associate’s degree in General Studies in just one year on campus before transferring to the University of Virginia to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

She came back to SVCC as an employee in 2009 and worked in various roles including Adjunct Instructor, Academic Advisor, Student Activities Coordinator and currently as the Advanced Manufacturing Career Coach and Recruiter. As the recruiter, she is able to use her personal experiences to help prospective students begin their path to success at SVCC. Working closely with students from six area high schools, she also helps them explore advanced manufacturing careers as well as academic and training opportunities.

“I have the chance to meet one-on-one with students, provide classroom presentations, and expose students to various career possibilities through holding special events such as the Dream It Do It Advanced Manufacturing Camp we had this summer in Emporia,” she said. Through this 4-day summer camp, local middle and high school students participated in tours and guest lectures from local industry and learned about blueprint reading, 3D design, programming for CNC machines, and use of manual mill and lathe machines.

A career highlight for Smithers at SVCC has been becoming the co-creator/advisor of the Student Ambassadors program. This group of students are tasked with representing the student body of the college at events and conferences, serving on various college committees and taking an active role in recruiting for the college.  

Besides working diligently at the college, Smithers has been back to school herself.  She completed her Masters in Professional Counseling from Liberty University in December  Her husband, Quentin, has been busy with school as well and will complete his Master’s in Christian Leadership from Liberty University.

Having had the opportunity to experience dual enrollment and attending SVCC as a student, Smithers has the experience and expertise to guide others to success…and a Cool Job like hers.

Black Caucus, Bipartisan Group of Legislators Fighting ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’

House Committee Unanimously Kills ‘Netflix Tax’

1.4 Billion Stolen Credentials Uncovered by University

Salamander Wriggling Its Way Into State Law

Republicans Kill Top-Priority Bills Sought by Women’s Advocates

Propelled by #MeToo, Groups Seek to Remove ‘Tampon Tax’

William Martin “Marty” Mozingo

William Martin “Marty” Mozingo, 66, passed away Thursday, January 25, 2018. He was a son of the late Durwood and Martha Mozingo and was also preceded in death by two brothers, Durwood Mozingo, Jr. and Gene Victorin and sister, Minnie Sue Mozingo. Marty is survived by his wife, Deborah H. Mozingo; son, Martin Mozingo, Jr. and wife, Carol, son, Brian Mozingo; grandchildren, Samantha Mozingo and Courtney Mozingo; mother-in-law, Betty Harrell; sisters-in-law, Pam Whitehead and husband, Jerry, Tammy Harrell, Sharon Otten and Beulah Mozingo and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, January 27 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends 1-2 p.m. prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society, 113 Baker St., Emporia, Virginia 23847. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Senate Republicans Reject Medicaid Expansion

Editorial - Why don't we Expand Medicaid?

In the Capital News Service article above this Editorial, Republicans in a Senate Committee killed Medicaid Expansion. It is no surprise that this has happened - it has happened in each of the four years that I have been publishing Emporia News.

This year one of the bills to Expand medicaid was offered by a Republican, and the committee still killed it. Also this year one Republican, Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) cited the need to repair our crumbling infrastructure. Our infrastructure does need work. We have a great many rural communities that have insufficient Broadband Access; we have roads and bridges that need repaired; All interstate highways in the Commonwealth could use a few more lanes in places; Exit 11 is horrible, and needs to be colmpetely reworked to include acceleration and deceleration lanes (lets face it, getting from I-95 south to US58 East is sometimes a quite harrowing experience). With all of these needs, seemingly no major bills or budget amendments have deen offered. Infrastructure is a bit of an arbatrary term when speaking of legislation, but a quick glance at the LIS website shows no major bills of budget amendments for Transportation and the only place where Broadband Communications Infrastructure is mentioned seems to be a bill about how to mark highways during construction of those projects. Even with as random as the term infrastructure is, none of the bills where Senator Chase is listed as Chief Patron or Co-patron will have any impact on crumbling infrastructure.

Here is the impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado, my home state: "A new report examining the economic and budgetary impact of Medicaid expansion in Colorado reveals that, in the two years since implementation, expansion in the state has had a significant positive effect on the economy at no expense to the General Fund. According to the preliminary independent analysis, 'Assessing the Economic and Budgetary Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: FY 2015-16 through FY 2034-35,' Colorado has added 31,074 jobs, increased economic activity by $3.8 billion and raised annual household earnings by $643 due to the state Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. By fiscal year (FY) 2034-2035, Colorado is projected to add a total of 43,018 new jobs, increase economic activity by $8.5 billion and raise average annual household earnings by $1,033."

The Affordable Care Act included the funding to expand Medicaid, and by not accepting that funding, the hard-earned money of Virginia Taxpayers is being used to fund Medicaid Expansion in all the other states that have expanded their program.  Virginians gave states like New York 5 MILLION DOLLARS EACH DAY ($2,839,000,000 - that is Two Billion, Eight-Hundred Thirty-Nine Million Dollars) in the first year alone. Those losses in tax dollars are in addition to the lost economic activity mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

Expanding Medicaid in Virginia, which the Federal Government would pay for (100% now, 90% after 2020), would bring that money back to the Commonwealth, help rural hospitals and help poor families live better lives. Expanding Medicaid is the only Fiscally Responsible - the only Fiscally Conservative - option available to the General Assembly.

Don't read too much into my opinion here. I am not calling for completely re-inventing our current system, I am not saying that we need our own National Health Service like the one in the United Kingdom. All I am saying in this Editorial is that medicaid Expansion would be good for the Virginia Economy. By providing care via Medicaid we are, not only, helping our friends and neighbors get the care that many of them need but helping the Economy. Virginia has a larger population than Colorado (by about 3 Million people), so we stand to benefit even more than Colorado.  Even if there were only 100-150 jobs created in Emporia-Greensville and our economy were to expand by $10-15 Million, our community would be better off with Medicaid Expansion.

At a Town Hall Meeting here in Emporia, hosted by Senator Louise Lucas, a representative from Southampton Memorial Hospital, whose parent company also owns SVRMC, said that Medicaid Expansion would be a good thing for hospitals like SVRMC and that every hospital in the Commonwealth was in favor of Medicaid Expansion. At that August, 2014, meeting it was said that CHS would lose $1.7 Million over two years between Southampton Memorial and Southside Virginia RMC and would most likely see cuts in staffing and services - both of which we are seeing now. Monies that the Federal Government used to Expand Medicaid came from other indigent care programs. Without Expanding Medicaid, hospitals now absorb the cost of that indigent care, raising the cost of care for everyone else in the community, cut back services like birthing centers and surgical care - even sending patients to other hospitals for those services, or close up completely for lack of positive cash flow.

Expanding Medicaid would help more people than you think. In the spirit of full disclosure, I would, most likely) be one of them, as would anyone that makes less than $16,000 each year. Medicaid Expansion would help the "working poor" like those Restarurant Servers (who make $2.13 per hour, plus tips). Perhaps that fear the Republicans have, that feeling that the Federal Government would renege and suddenly stop paying for Medicaid stems from the fact that Republicans in the General Assembly did just that to every locality with a State Prison. The General Assembly agreed to a program called "Payment in Lieu of Taxes" to help those localities that lost parts of their property tax base (since the Commonwealth of Virginia does not pay Real Property Tax); The Republicans in the General Assembly broke their word to those communities (including Greensville County, Southampton County, Sussex County, Brunswick County, Nottoway County and Mecklenburg County) and stopped making those "Payments in Lieu of Taxes" after only one year.

Democrats Tout Bills They Say Would Help Workers

Virginia Republicans Announce Election Review Panel

Gun Control Bills Die in Virginia House of Delegares Subcommittee

Meet the Democratic Socialist Who Ousted a Top Republican from the House

Virginia Lawmakers Stir the Pot on Brunswick Stew Day

2018 Flu Season

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is currently receiving a higher than usual volume of patients in the Emergency Department.  This is causing extended wait times and in some cases diversion to other area hospitals.  This is not just an issue for VCU Health CMH, but for other hospitals across central Virginia.  A principle reason for the high volume is from a very active flu season that is occurring in Virginia and all across the United States.

Gayle Sutton, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Preventionist at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, stated, “I think it is important first for the public to understand the difference between the flu and a cold. A cold often presents with a sore throat that lasts up to 48 hours, followed by a runny nose, cough and congestion.  Fever is not usual in adults but more common in children.  The symptoms usually last about a week and the person is contagious for the first three days.”

She continued, “Flu also presents with a sore throat, but other symptoms include fever, head and muscle aches, congestion and cough.  Vomiting and diarrhea are also associated with some strains of flu.  These symptoms usually improve after a few days, but the person may feel a general malaise for some time.  Flu can be dangerous for people who have a weakened immune system or people who are very young or elderly. It also poses a risk for people with pulmonary or heart problems.”

Sutton recommends people who expect they may have flu to follow up with their primary care physician first and as soon as possible.  Sutton explained that if they come through the Emergency Department at VCU Health CMH, they are put on droplet precaution. The flu is a wet molecule that travels three feet and drops, so anyone entering their room is required to wear a mask. 

Hospital visitation is discouraged if a family member or friend has the flu.  Masks are available upon entry into the Hospital/Emergency Department as well as hand sanitizer.  VCU Health CMH's incidence of flu admission this year has been high. 

She recommends people who believe they have the flu should stay home, get plenty of rest and follow physician orders regarding returning to work, resuming school, etc. 

Good hand washing is still considered the most important defense against the flu; while the vaccine has been proven to have only 10% effectiveness against the strains this season it is still recommended and takes at least two weeks to be effective.  It is still not too late to receive a flu shot. The CDC recommends vaccination prior to the flu season in October, but states that it’s not too late and urges people to receive the vaccine through January.

SRMC FIRST IN TRI-CITIES TO OPEN AN ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY LAB

New Technology Supports Less Invasive Treatments for Patients

Petersburg, VA– Doctors at Southside Regional Medical Center are now able to use an advanced digital X-ray imaging system to see extremely detailed, real-time images of patient anatomy during procedures that require exacting precision.

They just opened their Electrophysiology Laboratory this December. This new equipment will help electrophysiologists and cardiologists at Southside Regional Medical Center treat a variety of medical disorders including diseases of the heart and blood vessels like heart arrhythmias and bradycardia as well as implanting devices to combat heart failure.

The advanced digital X-ray imaging system provides advanced capability for visualizing delicate procedures, such as placing a tiny wire mesh tube (stent) in a patient’s artery to sustain or recover blood flow.

“It is critical for our medical staff to see the anatomy very clearly while guiding catheters, stents and other medical devices to areas needing treatment,” says Debbie Nelson RN, MSN/MHA, EP Lab Director. “Because the new system produces high quality images our staff can perform delicate procedures like balloon angioplasty and blood vessel interventions with accuracy and confidence.”

The new system has a large digital detector, 12 inches square for excellent anatomical coverage. This gives doctors the potential to see more anatomy in a single exam, and as a consequence, complete studies with fewer X-ray images, less X-ray dose and fewer injections of contrast dye than with smaller detectors.

“We are very excited about adding the advanced X-ray system to our technology offering at Southside Regional Medical Center,” says Ms. Nelson.  “By putting this advanced system in the hands of our medical experts, it helps us make significant improvements in the patient care in the communities we serve.”

Bill Calls for a Special Election if a Recount Ends in a Tie

Bill Would Exempt Trade Secrets from FOIA

Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, Civil Rights Giant, Dies

Workers’ Compensation Bills Die in Subcommittee

Stricter Seat-Belt Laws Shelved for 2018 Session

Delegates Tout Bills to Improve Prison Workers’ Jobs

While Governor Decries Gun Violence, Senate OKs Guns in Church

Businesses May Get Tax Credits to Train High School Students

‘Beltway Sniper’ Lee Boyd Malvo Seeks Re-sentencing

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