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May 2019

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Emporia News needs your help because it is time to replace a laptop and a camera, so that I may continue to bring you a quality site. It troubles me to ask for donations, but without support, Emporia News may be forced to shut down. Thank You.

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Hiring Event at one of Richmond's TOP Workplaces - May 18th

Care Advantage locations, simultaneously across the Commonwealth, are hosting a Hiring Event on Saturday, May 18th from 9am-1pm!

Looking for a new job? Recently voted the BEST Homecare Provider by over 3000 readers of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, AS WELL AS NAMED A Top Workplace in 2019 -  Care Advantage is the largest privately owned home care provider in the state of Virginia.

Since we began in 1988, we have ensured our clients have the care and support they need to remain safe, healthy, and happy in their home environment. “Care Advantage is growing and we need to hire amazing caregivers to fulfill the needs in our local communities. We hope to engage our local counties, cities and towns in the Commonwealth to let them know in these tough economic times, we are here for you. Our senior community is growing fast and they need care, we are ready to provide them with compassionate, excellent caregivers so they can age in place with dignity.” Said CEO, Tim Hanold.

Care Advantage is looking for a variety of positions in all aspects of home health care including (Personal and Skilled Care):

  • Registered Nurses – Richmond and surrounding locations
  • Certified Nursing Assistants – al locations
  • Personal Care Aides – all locations
  • Licensed Practical Nurses – all locations
  • Physical Therapy Assistant - Richmond
  • Physical Therapists - Richmond
  • Occupational Therapists - Richmond
  • Clinical Supervisors - Richmond
  • Office support staff – all locations
  • Corporate Recruiter - Richmond
  • Accounting staff – Richmond, Corporate office only
  • Sales and Marketing - Richmond

Please contact your local office or stop by one of our branches to get more information.

All locations will be hosting a Career Fair & Open House on May 18th, 2019 from 9a-1p. Stop by - we'd love to meet you! Or apply online today athttps://careadvantageinc.applicantpro.com/jobs/. You can also engage with our facebook event: https://business.facebook.com/events/612644405839024/

Office locations include:

  • Alexandria, Virginia
  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Colonial Heights, Virginia
  • Emporia, Virginia
  • Franklin, Virginia
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Mechanicsville, Virginia
  • Midlothian, Virginia
  • Newport News, Virginia
  • Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • Roanoke, Virginia
  • Staunton, Virginia

Sign up for Medicare and Estimate Medicare Costs

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

Affordable medical coverage is something everyone wants, especially as people age. Luckily, our nation has safeguards for workers as they get older. Millions of people rely on Medicare, and it can be part of your health insurance plan when you retire.

Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, as well as younger people who have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, and people with certain specific diseases. Two parts of Medicare are Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medicare Insurance). You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.  Part B usually requires a monthly premium payment.

You can apply online for Medicare even if you are not ready to retire. Use our online application to sign up. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail.

You can sign up for Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare.

If you don't sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment window that begins three months before the birthday that you reach age 65 and ends three months after that birthday, you'll face a 10 percent increase in your Part B premiums for every year-long period you're eligible for coverage but don't enroll. You may not have to pay the penalty if you qualify fora special enrollment period (SEP).If you are 65 or older and covered under a group health plan, either from your own or your spouse’s current employment, you may have a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for Medicare Part B. This means that you may delay enrolling in Part B without having to wait for a general enrollment period and without paying the lifetime penalty for late enrollment. Additional rules and limits apply, so if you think a special enrollment period may apply to you, read our Medicare publication at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/, and visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at Medicare.gov for more information.

Health and drug costs not covered by Medicare can have a big impact on how much you spend each year. You can also estimate Medicare costs using an online tool at https://www.medicare.gov/oopc/.

Keeping your healthcare costs down allows you to use your retirement income on other things that you can enjoy. Social Security is here to help you plan a long and happy retirement at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Golfers Help Jackson Feild’s Children

The winning team L-R: Mike Ellis, Thomas Dodson, Monte Todd, and Dennis Balch.

Larry Pair, Director of Plant Operations at JFBHS

L-R:  Donte Threatt, Elvin Edmonds, and Ronnell Pearson

On May 6, 2019, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was pleased to host the 24th annual Go Golfing for the Kids tournament at The Golf Club at The Highlands.  Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward purchasing molded, high-impact, fire-retardant polyethylene bedroom furniture for our cottages.  According to the manufacturer, the furniture is “solid as a rock, yet features seamless construction with rounded corners for added safety and security. Each piece can be easily sanitized.”

Following a lunch provided by Hardees, nineteen teams from all over Virginia and parts of North Carolina enjoyed a beautiful day on the links.  Following play, the golfers returned to The Reserve at the Highlands to enjoy the awards dinner and find out who won the various raffle prizes donated by a number of restaurants, museums, jewelry stores, and more.  In addition, having the highest bid meant that one golfer took home a gas smoker donated by Parker Oil, and another took home the prize of a week-long vacation at Kill Devil Hills donated by a former JFBHS director of education.

Without the support of a number of sponsors, this tournament would not have been possible.  JFBHS is tremendously grateful to tournament sponsor Boddie-Noell Enterprises, presenting sponsor Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, and awards dinner sponsor Jones LTC Pharmacy. Additional sponsors were Old Point Trust, Virginia South Psychiatric & Family Services, ITA International, WellsColeman, Kim & Steve Winston, Tod Balsbaugh, Partlow Insurance Agency, Inc., Parker Oil & Propane, Boyd Chevrolet, Diamond Springs, Wilson Clary & Associates, Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, The Wilton Companies, Commonwealth Exterminators, Eric Thompson & Family, and Old Dominion Landscapes, LLC.

Planning has already begun for the 25th anniversary tournament to be held in May 2020, and all are invited to sign up to play.  More details will be available at a later date.

John M. “Buz” Norwood, Jr. - Updated Dates

Visitation

Funeral

5-7 pm, Wednesday May 22

Owen Funeral Home

303 S. Halifax Rd.
Jarratt, Virginia

11 am Thursday, May 23

Greensville Memorial Cemetery

1250 Skippers Road
Emporia, Virginia

John M. “Buz” Norwood, Jr, 69, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, May 18, 2019. He is survived by a sister, Connie McKinney (Roger) and brother, Brian Norwood; three nieces, Dawn Jones (Coby), Faith Ash (Rel) and Hannah Godwin (David) and nephew, John McKinney (Chelsea).

The family will receive friends 5-7 p.m. Wednesday May 22 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, May 23 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital (www.stjude.org). Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

"Where Did Spring Go?"

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

Southern Virginia Regional Medical - Here for Emporia

Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is committed to serving our community. Every year, our medical staff, nurses and ancillary personnel provide quality care to thousands of people in Emporia and our surrounding communities. We employ more than 200 staff members, making us one of the largest employers in the area, and our direct impact to the local economy totaled more than $16 million in 2018.

 

We are a strong and evolving provider. SVRMC is focused on growing and supporting our four (4) primary nursing departments – Emergency Medicine, Surgical Services, Medical/Surgical and Behavioral Health. The community need for our services is evidenced by the 100% increase in surgical cases in the last six (6) months. All hospital nursing units have seen increased numbers of patients.

 

Over the past several years SVRMC and Southside Physicians Network (SPN) have recruited 12 new specialists to the area.

Breast Surgery – Dr. Espino

Colorectal Surgery and General Surgery – Dr. Akbari

Ear, Nose and Throat – Dr. Ditto

Ear, Nose and Throat – Dr. Raval

Gastroenterology – Dr. Gilliam

Nephrology – Dr. Lalani

Obstetrics & Gynecology – Dr. Akinsanya

Obstetrics & Gynecology – PA-C Andrews

Obstetrics & Gynecology – Dr. Meyers

Ophthalmology – Dr. Parikh

Orthopedic Surgery – Dr. Patel

Vascular Surgery – Dr. Jun

During the month of May we celebrate National Nurses Week, National Hospital Week and National EMS Week. We thank our associates, medical staff, EMS organizations and many others for their hard work to meet the health needs of our friends and neighbors in Emporia and our surrounding communities. We also thank the patients who put their trust in us every day. SVRMC will be here when you need us the most for years to come.

1,000 BOOKS BEFORE KINDERGARTEN SETS CHILDREN ON THE PATH TO SUCCESS...ONE BOOK AT A TIME

Families are invited to join the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program at the Meherrin Regional Library System at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville or the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a nationwide challenge that encourages parents and caregivers to regularly read aloud to their children. By reading just one book a night, families can reach the 1,000-book goal in three years and provide their children essential early literacy skills.

Research shows that the most reliable predictor of school success is being read to during early childhood. Reading to children from an early age can help close the vocabulary gap and prepare children to enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed. Most importantly, sharing books with children promotes a lifelong love of books and reading.

The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is available to all families with children between the ages of birth and five years. Registration is open. For more information visit http://www.meherrinlib.org/. This program is free of charge.

SVCC Students to Benefit As State Board Holds the Line on Community College Tuition for Upcoming Academic Year

RICHMOND —Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) is among the 23 colleges to benefit from a recent vote by the State Board for Community Colleges.   By a unanimous vote, the Board elected to maintain the current in-state tuition and mandatory fees for the 2019-2020 academic year. The Board’s decision means tuition will remain at today’s rate of $154 per credit hour, and keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs of attending Virginia’s public four-year universities.

Dr. Al Roberts, Southside Virginia Community College president, said, “Maintaining the current tuition rate for attendance at SVCC is a boost to help students continue their educations at affordable rates.  We are grateful for this move to keep prices low.”

“The Virginia General Assembly deserves a great deal of credit for helping us avoid a tuition increase,” said Robin Sullenberger, chair of the State Board for Community Colleges. “Their decision to increase General Fund appropriations gave us the resources necessary to meet the inevitable operating expense increases without asking our students to pay more. We applaud their efforts during the 2019 legislative session.”

Further, the State Board maintained the existing tuition rate for out-of-state students, which is $351.60 per credit hour. The Board approved a technical fee increase for capital cost recovery that applies only to out-of-state students who make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Established in 1970 as a part of the 23-college Virginia Community College System, SVCC is a two-year institution of higher education.  The college operates under the guidance of a local board and is financed by state funds, supplemented by contributions from the participating localities.  The college serves ten counties and one city in southern Virginia.  SVCC is dedicated to the belief that each individual should be given a continuing opportunity for the development and extension of skills and knowledge along with an opportunity to increase his/her role and responsibility in society.

Transferring Success

 

By Dr. Al Roberts

In March of this year, 250 representatives from more than 60 educational institutions across Virginia met to discuss potential obstacles facing students with plans to transfer to baccalaureate-awarding colleges and universities after beginning their postsecondary educational journeys at two-year institutions. Existing pathways involve an assortment of articulation agreements that can be complex to navigate. The Virginia Community College System maintains agreements with more than three dozen public and private colleges and universities. These are supplemented with hundreds of additional agreements between individual institutions.

Legislation addressing this concern led to the development of Transfer Virginia, a three-year initiative to reform the Commonwealth’s transfer system. Goals include improving communication and collaboration among institutions of higher education, more closely aligning academic expectations, and streamlining agreements that facilitate transfers.

Removing barriers to transfer success offers significant financial benefits. When compared with the cost of beginning academic pursuits directly at four-year institutions, students who begin their postsecondary education at a community college can save an estimated $17,000 on the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Part of the savings can be lost, however, if students are unable to apply all earned credits toward their degrees.  According to some estimates, the current system can cost improperly prepared students the equivalent of an extra semester in time, tuition, and fees.

To address these concerns, SVCC offers resources to help guide and prepare students. Transfer Clubs on both main campuses give students opportunities to explore options. Four-year college campus fairs and visits highlight opportunities. Transfer counselors provide one-on-one and group guidance. Added to these efforts, SVCC is playing an active role in the work of Transfer Virginia to develop consistent and uniform transferability between all of Virginia’s community colleges and baccalaureate-awarding institutions. Specific tasks include developing transferrable programs where all courses satisfy lower-division general education requirements, mapping degree program requirements from two-year to four-year programs, ensuring common student learning outcomes in all transfer courses, and exploring dual admission and co-enrollment.

The VCCS Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs, Sharon Morrissey, explains Transfer Virginia’s anticipated results: “Virginia will be better off for the effort, with a higher education system that is more affordable, more efficient, more equitable, and more relevant for students in the 21st century marketplace.” Transfer Virginia estimates that it will result in the Commonwealth’s ability to award more than 6,000 additional baccalaureate degrees annually to transfer students.

SVCC already has a strong record for preparing transfer students for success. The top five destinations for transferring graduates are Old Dominion University, Longwood University, Liberty University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia State University. For more information on how to structure your educational journey with the most efficiently, contact Matt Dunn, Transfer Counselor, at 434-736-2020 or matt.dunn@southside.edu.

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 al.roberts@southside.edu.

Advanced Heart Failure (Treatment Options)

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – You are cordially invited to attend May’s health seminar featuring treatment options for Advanced Heart Failure.

There are nearly five million Americans currently living with congestive heart failure. Many people with heart failure lead normal, active lives. They do so because they have learned to take good care of themselves by better understanding heart failure.

Dr. Nimesh Patel, heart failure expert, will discuss:

  • What is Advanced Heart Failure?
  • What are the warning signs of Advanced Heart Failure?
  • Living with Advanced Heart Failure and knowing your treatment options including LVAD and heart transplant.
  • Learn about what health care decisions you will need to make after discussion with your doctor and family.

Dr. Nimesh Patel is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Vascular Cardiology. He provides comprehensive invasive diagnostic cardiovascular services for adults in his practice, CMH.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, May 21st at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center inside the C.A.R.E. Building located at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

Reservations are required for this program; seating is limited.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 447-0917 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org. All attendees with have a chance to win door prizes and enjoy refreshments!

USDA Reopens Continuous CRP Signup

Extensions also available to Many Expiring Contracts

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.

“USDA offers a variety of conservation programs to farmers and ranchers, and the Conservation Reserve Program is an important tool for private lands management,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”

FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, Fordyce said FSA has carefully analyzed the language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.

Continuous CRP Signup

This year’s signup will include such practices as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved for this program.

Continuous signup enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. Soil rental rates will be set at 90 percent of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for these contracts.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Signup

FSA will also reopen signup for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements. Fact sheets on current CREP agreements are available on this webpage.

Other CRP Signup Options

Fordyce said FSA plans to open a CRP general signup in December 2019 and a CRP Grasslands signup later.

CRP Contract Extensions

A one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter describing their options.

Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.

More Information

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.

Producers interested in applying for CRP continuous practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who need an extension, should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3. To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov. More information on CRP can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.

Community Baccalaureate Service Planned for June 9

Plans have been completed for a Community Baccalaureate Service, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the Greensville Elementary School Auditorium. This community service is for ALL graduating high school seniors, regardless of where they attend school: private, public, home-schooled, or Christian school. It is being sponsored by The Greensville-Emporia Ministerial Association.

Local public schools have not held a baccalaureate in several decades.

The baccalaureate is a religious service and will feature Christian music and prayers. There will be three speakers who will deliver a Biblical message of encouragement and inspiration for the graduates. They include the Rev. Larry Walczykowski, Dr. Muriel Artis, and Dr. Kim Evans. Several other local ministers and lay people will be participating in the service.

GEMA would like to invite all high school seniors who live in the Emporia-Greensville community, regardless of church affiliation, to participate. You do not have to register to participate, nor be a member of a church: simply arrive at the school by 6:30 p.m.

Graduates are asked to wear a white dress shirt, blouse or dress. There will be no distinction among schools. GEMA would like to have all participating students assemble and march in together, then sit together regardless of school affiliation.

The theme of the baccalaureate will be “The 9/11 Generation.” Most of this year’s graduates were born in 2001, the year of the 9/11 attacks. Their world has been changed and will be forever different as a result of that day.

Attendance and participation in this baccalaureate service is entirely voluntary; no participants are sponsored by or endorsed by any government agency; no government funds will be used nor will they be accepted for this service. All expenses are being paid with voluntary contributions by individual citizens and/or the Greensville-Emporia Ministerial Association. Any participation by public school employees or other government officials is voluntary and is done as private citizens.

Anyone wishing to make a donation or needing more information can contact Ed Conner at (434) 637-2879.

2019 Moses Clements VT Scholarship Golf Tournament

2018 Moses Clements Scholorship Recipients

Over the last 20+ years the Emporia/Roanoke Rapids Hokie Club and Alumni Chapter (ERRHC) has supported freshmen entering Virginia Tech with scholarships exceeding $40,000.  These donations have been funded by hole sponsors and teams entering the annual golf tournament as this is the one fund raiser annually.

The tournament is named for Moses Clements, our beloved Hokie who passed away way too early.  The Scholarship Program and the Scholarship Tournament both bear his name – the Moses Clements Scholarship Program and the 2019 Moses Clements VT Scholarship Golf Tournament, in remembrance of his dedicated service to the club and especially the Scholarship Program.  It was his annual joy to review and present the scholarships at the summer dinner.

This year the tournament will be held on Friday May 31st at the Emporia Country Club at noon.  The event will start with a Subway lunch and open driving range.  There will be a shotgun start at 1:00 PM.  The cost to play is $60 per player which includes golf, golf cart, green fees, goody bag, beverages, 2 mulligans, box lunch and hors d’oeuvres after the event at the awards ceremony.

The Emporia Country Club is located at 578 Country Club Road, Emporia.

Hole sponsorships are $100 and should be reserved in the next 10 days as the new signs will need to be produced and placed on the holes.

To enter the tournament or to be a hole or meal sponsor, please contact Barry Grizzard at barry.grizzard@littleoilco.com or 804.929.3146 or any Emporia Hokie Club Board Member – Kevin Swenson, Wilson Clary, Meade Horne, Mike Roach, Jeff Robinson, Hall Squire, Roly Weaver, Katie Richardson or Matthew Lynch.

John A. Newsome

Visitation Services

Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Echols Funeral Home

806 Brunswick Avenue

Emporia, Virginia

Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:00 A.M.

First Presbyterian Church

210 S Main St

Emporia, VA

John A. Newsome., Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army (Ret) passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at the age of 78, after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife Edith, daughters Kimberly Fritz (Mike) of Biloxi, MS, and Pamela Allen (Mickey) of Emporia, VA. He is also survived by eight grandchildren; Crystal Carpenter, Lauren Aldridge, Jessica Aldridge, Katelyn Malone, A1C Stephen Malone, Michael Fritz, Kevin Allen (Loren), and Nicholas Allen. Also survived by siblings; Joanne, Richard, Donald, Frankie, and Butch. John was predeceased by parents Salem I. and Lucy W. Newsome, as well as brothers Irvin, RC (Spot), Albert, Oliver, and Robert.

John was a career Army soldier with twenty-two and one half years of service, much of which was served in Special Forces (Green Berets). His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Valor, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist’s Badge, Laotian Parachutist’s Badge, Special Forces Tab, Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, etc.

John was a carpenter at heart; taught by his Grandfather Williams. He and his wife also established and operated Picture perfect for ten years before retirement. Prior to his illness, he traveled to Panama every summer to fish with military buddies. He was a member of Disabled Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Greensville Ruritan Club.

The family is grateful for the exceptional care from New Century Hospice, especially Brittany Edwards and the Oncology Nurses of SVRMC.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. at Echols Funeral Home. A Funeral service will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:00 A.M., at First Presbyterian Church, 210 S Main St, Emporia, VA, 23847.

In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church.

Online condolences may be made to www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Event to Focus on New, Less-Restrictive Industrial Hemp Laws and the Resulting Opportunities for Virginia’s Agriculture Industry

3rd Annual Industrial Hemp Field Day, Virginia State University, June 25, 2019

VSU’s Dr. Maru Kering (left), the university’s lead industrial hemp researcher, explains to visitors to VSU’s Randolph Farm how different hemp cultivars have fared in central Virginia during a past growing year. 

On July 25, 2019, Virginia State University (VSU) will host its third annual Industrial Hemp Field Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the university’s Gateway Conference Center, 2804 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Colonial Heights, VA.
 
The event will provide a forum for potential growers, researchers, marketing experts and industrial hemp product users to discuss the future of the crop in Virginia and neighboring states. Attendees will receive an update on the legislation governing industrial hemp production in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as learn about the challenges and opportunities for cultivating this crop.
 
Speakers will also discuss the wide variety of products derived from industrial hemp. For example, hemp stalks can be used to produce biofuel, paper, upholstery, fiber for cloth and other textile items, building materials, and industrial products. Industrial hemp seeds can be used to produce animal feed and human food as well as serve as a source of oil for lotion and cosmetic products. Industrial hemp flowers can also be used to produce Cannabidiol (CBD) oil for a variety of medicinal uses.
 
Registration is $50 per person for the first 100 registered. It is $65 per person afterward. Registration includes lunch and is limited to the first 400 registrants. To register, visitwww.ext.vsu.edu/industrial-hemp.

During the 2019 General Assembly session, Virginia lawmakers amended the state’s industrial hemp laws to align with language in the 2018 federal farm bill passed by congress last December. They amended the definitions of cannabidiol oil, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to exclude industrial hemp in the possession of a registered person, hemp products, or an oil containing no more than 0.3% THC. As passed, the bill defines "industrial hemp" as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa that has a concentration of THC that is no greater than that allowed by federal law, and it defines "hemp product" as any finished product that is otherwise lawful and that contains industrial hemp. The bill adds the category of "dealer" in industrial hemp to the existing registration categories of grower and processor.

As a result of these changes, Virginia farmers can now apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for a permit to grow industrial hemp for purposes beyond exclusively for research. VDACS reports that it has experienced a surge in grower and processor applications since December.
 
For more information, or if you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Laverne Morris at lmorris@vsu.edu or (804) 524-5151 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five (5) days prior to the event.
 
The 2019 Industrial Hemp Field Day is hosted by the university’s Agricultural Research Station (ARS), part of the university’s College of Agriculture. The ARS is responsible for carrying out the land-grant university’s mission of conducting scientific agriculture and food production research that will increase profitability for Virginia’s small, part-time and limited-resource farmers. Initiatives such as this event help support and grow Virginia’s $91 billion agriculture and forest industry.
 
This event is held in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

 

 

 

 

From Farm Life to Healthcare: Dr. Richard Alexander’s Passion for Physical Therapy Began on His Family Farm

Emporia, VA - Richard M. Alexander PT, DPT, is the director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services (RTS) at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) and a first generation healthcare provider in his family.  He grew up in agriculture, working long summer hours raising tobacco, peanuts, and grain on his family’s farm in northeast North Carolina – a farm that has been in his family for 5 generations. Farm life taught him his strong work ethic and the value of hard work. It was also where he developed an appreciation for mechanical operations, something which he applies to the human body in his practice at SVRMC. Dr. Alexander says, “The body is the ultimate machine.  I love understanding the relationship between the moving parts and being able to use that knowledge to repair system failures and restore optimal performance.”

Dr. Alexander’s passion for healthcare and physical therapy can be pinpointed back to a moment in his life that sparked his drive to help people recover from injury. He explains, “My grandfather was involved in a severe car accident when I was a child and his unique injuries required unique solutions to restore his mobility.  Although I always gravitated towards healthcare, this was my first encounter with physical therapy and watching how they engineered and tailored specific interventions to his complex problems. This stuck with me from that point forward.”

Dr. Alexander brings his hometown service to the Emporia, VA, community. He is passionate about bringing top quality care to Emporia, VA; the difference, he says, is that it is delivered with small-town values and a customer service centered focus.

Dr. Alexander says the average patient is typically treated by therapy services 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, he says, specialty healthcare services all too often gravitate towards bigger cities serving metropolitan populations; it becomes unfeasible for the average patient to make such trips with that frequency.  Dr. Alexander says, “It’s not enough for us to strive to be as good as clinics in larger areas, we must be better.” 

Rehabilitations Therapy Services at SVRMC cares for the full spectrum of rehab patients, utilizing the latest treatment techniques and equipment.This program offers a full array of therapy services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. The clinic is fully equipped to meet all therapy needs of Emporia and the surrounding areas. It is the only full service clinic in the area able to offer all of the aforementioned services in one place.

Physical therapy treats patients with diverse conditions, everything from heart attacks and strokes to joint replacements, sports medicine, neck and back pain, balance disorders and vertigo. For more information on how Dr. Alexander can assist you with recovery from injury, cardiac surgery, or pain management, contact Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC at 434-348-4871.

VCH Health CMH Nursing Awards

The 2019 Nursing Awards winners this year include (pictured left to right) Margie Bartlett, Certified Surgical Tech, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Dee McMillian Nurse Partner Award recipient; Tracy Bailey, RN, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award recipient; Cheryl Newcomb, LPN, VCU Health CMH’s 2019 Carole Love Practical Nurse Award recipient; and Mary Hardin, CNO, VCU Health CMH’s Ursula Butts Leadership Award recipient.

Every year during Nurses Week, VCU Health CMH presents awards to 3 deserving employees. New this year there is the addition of a fourth award for leadership.

The Dee McMillian Nurse Care Partnership award is named after the late Dee McMillian who was a true nurse partner for many nurses and nursing staff at VCU Health CMH.

The Carole Love Licensed Practical Nurse award is named in honor of Carole Love, RN, BSN, for her exemplary contributions to nursing at CMH.

The Alice Tudor Professional Nursing award is named in honor of Alice Tudor, RN, for the dedicated, professional and passionate care she provided to patients at VCU Health CMHfor over 50 years.

The Ursula Butts Leadership award is named for Ursula Butts, MSHA, in appreciation and recognition to an outstanding leader for her visionary guidance and exemplary leadership.

Also during the event, Erin Davis, RN, BSN, was recognized for the first VCU Service Excellence award and Hillary Tackett, RN, was recognized for the VHHA 1st Safety award.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center and the Family YMCA of Emporia – Greensville Partner to Provide FREE Health Fair for Community

Emporia, VA – On Tuesday, May 21, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) employees will be volunteering their expertise and medical services to the YMCA for a health fair from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Nurses and hospital staff will be offering health screenings and have information and refreshments.

The health fair will be inside the YMCA located at 212 Weaver Ave in Emporia in Group Fitness Studio 2. This event is free and open to the public.

Care Advantage Continues to Grow with the acquisition of Capital City Nurses.

Care Advantage expands presence into Maryland, Delaware and Washington D.C.

Richmond, VA – May 13, 2019 – Care Advantage, Inc. (“Care Advantage”), one of the Mid-Atlantic’s largest private owned, homecare servicing companies and a BelHealth Investment Partners, LLC (“BelHealth”) portfolio company, announced the acquisitions of Capital City Nurses and Coastal Home Care today. The award-winning Care Advantage continues to build on the momentum of the last 24 months by growing its presence throughout the Mid-Atlantic. The addition of Capital City Nurses and Coastal Home Care broadens Care Advantage’s footprint into Washington DC, Maryland and Delaware for the first time.

This union of capability and talent, their largest to date, further demonstrates a commitment by Care Advantage, Inc. to their mission by offering exceptional services to its clients, a nurturing environment to their nursing teams and employees, and making a positive contribution to the communities they serve.

Headquartered in Chevy Chase, MD, Capital City Nurses was founded by Sue Rodgers, a nurse, over 40 years ago and currently operates six offices throughout Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington D.C. The company provides personal care services in the home primarily to private pay clients and maintains a staff of over 500 caregivers consisting of RNs, LPNs and CNAs.

Tim Hanold, CEO of Care Advantage, said, “This is an exciting acquisition for Care Advantage, and I am thrilled to welcome the Capital City Nurses team to our home care family. Our businesses complement each other well from a cultural standpoint and both from a geographic and service mix. Capital City Nurses is exactly what we were looking for in a partner. We believe this acquisition positions Care Advantage well for continued growth not only in our stronghold of Virginia but across our Mid-Atlantic footprint. I couldn’t be more excited about the future.”

Brian Rodgers, COO of Capital City Nurses, added, “Ever since my first meeting with Tim and BelHealth, I could tell that I’d be partnering with a like-minded home care company that prioritizes client care and home care leadership. The Capital City Nurses and Coastal Teams are thrilled to be joining the Care Advantage Family and excited to leverage the resources of our larger and collective organization. While, this merger marks a momentous moment in our company’s history. It is important to emphasize that Capital City Nurses and Coastal Home Care remain committed and focused on our clients and referral partners.”

Care Advantage is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s leading privately held home healthcare providers. The Company specializes in “one-on-one” quality nursing care in the home and is a one-stop shop for home healthcare services. Corporate headquarters are in Richmond, and there are 24 branch locations throughout Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington D.C. The Company provides a mix of Medicaid and self-pay nursing and personal care services such as bathing, dressing, and companionship and also provides “skilled” services primarily by licensed nurses and therapists.

Brunswick Academy Graduation

Brunswick Academy will hold its Baccalaureate Service on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 6:00 PM.  The guest speaker will be Reverend Greg Hand of Pleasant Hill Christian Church in Gasburg, Virginia.  Commencement Exercises will be held in the gymnasium on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.  Twenty-nine seniors will be graduating.

 

The valedictorian is Jonathan Davis Paul, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Paul of Emporia, Virginia.   Jonathan will be attending The University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The salutatorian is Courtney Ann Walton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joey Walton of Lawrenceville, Virginia.  Courtney will be attending North Carolina State University’s College of Engineering.

There will be seven other honor graduates at this year’s graduation. They are, listed below in alphabetical order:

Kyleigh Faye Capps, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tim Capps of Littleton, North Carolina.  Kyleigh will be attending Halifax Community College.

Taylor Brooke Capps, daughter of Ms. Crystal Capps of Lawrenceville, Virginia. Taylor will be attending The University of Virginia.

Jacob Brady Farmer, son of Brad Farmer of Lawrenceville, Virginia and Heidi Smith of Lawrenceville, Virginia.  Jacob will be attending The Cormier Honors College at Longwood University.

Savannah Paige Greene, daughter of Mr. C.K. Greene of Dolphin, Virginia and Mrs. Tammy Greene of Lawrenceville, Virginia.  Savannah will be attending the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Morgan Elizabeth Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Moore of Emporia, Virginia.  Morgan will be attending the Honors College of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Lucy Holloway Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith of South Hill, Virginia. Lucy will be attending Radford University’s School of Nursing and Honors College.  

Hannah Nicole Waller, daughter of Mrs. Jenni Oakley of Brodnax, Virginia.  Hannah will be attending The University of Virginia.

Twelve seniors are children of Brunswick Academy alumni.

Doggie Fashion Show Marks 15th Anniversary of the Emporia Greensville Humane Society

They come every year.

Every May Golden Leaf commons is filled with celebrities – movie stars, rock stars, and super heroes.

Elvis was here one year. Batman and Superman have been here, too.

It’s not an invasion, though, just time for the Doggie Fashion Show. The best part is that there is still time for you go get your tickets.

The Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon is the premier fund-raiser for the Emporia Greensville Humane Society, and this year marks the 11th time that the show has been presented.  According to Peggy Malone, the money raised by the Doggie Fashion Show “goes to benefit the animals.  The Doggie Show has made it possible to continue to do our work for the animals.”

The other fundraiser for the organization is a Boston Butt Sale each year.

It has been 15 years since the need for additional services for animals in need of rescue and forever homes was addressed. The Emporia Greensville Humane Society started with a cattery for stray cats and moved soon included a shelter for dogs.

Since their founding the Emporia Greensville Humane Society has saved and adopted over 900 dogs and cats and one rabbit. They were the first rescue group in this area. When the group started 15 years ago animals were not saved instead they were euthanized in the shelters. The Emporia Greensville Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, and while some animals are still are euthanized that number is significantly lower than it once was.

The Emporia Greensville Humane Society claims responsibility for having the gas chamber removed from the shelter from animal shelter then shared by the City and County.

From the group’s Facebook page: “I am very proud of the changes that EGHS has brought forward for the animals in our area. We need your support to continue our work.” For information call or to donate or adopt the newest member of your family, call (434)634-3413.

Mortality Rates for Breast Cancer Reflect Health Disparities

By Rosemarie O’Connor, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — “Oh my God, I’m going to die.”

On March 19, 2018, Margrietta Nickens was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Over the next five months, she had six cycles of chemo. After that, she had surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from her breast.

“When you’re diagnosed with something as devastating as cancer,” Nickens said, “you look at it as a death sentence.”

Nickens is one of thousands of people diagnosed with cancer in Virginia. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be over 45,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in the commonwealth in 2019. That number includes 7,000 cases of breast cancer.

Cancer was the leading cause of death in Virginia in 2017, with over 15,000 people perishing from the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of every four deaths in the United States is due to cancer.

“My first emotion was panic and fear,” Nickens said. “From fear, I got very angry.”

She asked herself over and over again: “Why me?”

Nickens had to stop working after her diagnosis. “The chemo makes me very sick,” she said. “Some days I can’t even get out of bed.” Nickens lost her hair during chemotherapy and suffers from nausea and fatigue.

At her first chemo appointment, she met a woman with the same cancer diagnosis as her and the same care team. She said they have kept in touch since then and even have the same treatment appointments.

“She calls me, and she’s in tears sometimes,” Nickens said. “The first thing we learned to do is just listen to each other — just be quiet and listen.”

She and her friend find solace in their faith and try to remain strong for their families. Nickens has one daughter still in college and three adult sons who all live in the Richmond area.

The cost of cancer: often, your life savings

Cancer isn’t just a health problem — it can be a financial catastrophe.

The Agency for Healthcare research and Quality estimates that the direct medical costs for cancer in the U.S. in 2015 totaled $80.2 billion.

According to a 2018 report from the American Cancer Society, “uninsured patients and those from many ethnic minority groups are substantially more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, when treatment can be more extensive, costlier, and less successful.”

After Nickens’ cancer diagnosis, she was automatically enrolled in Medicaid, the government-funded health care program for low-income individuals.

This year, Nickens was dropped from Medicaid and enrolled in Medicare because she was placed on disability.

This has caused complications for Nickens because certain cancer treatment costs that were covered under Medicaid are not covered under Medicare.

For example, Nickens loves her care team that Medicaid was paying for at Bon Secours Health System. That service isn’t covered by Medicare. Nickens has been fighting to get back on Medicaid so she can return to her original care team.

Nickens said Medicare does not cover all of her medications now. One medication costs her about $1,500 every few months.

As new drugs and more technologically advanced treatments come on the market, some patients are choosing to delay their care or fill only part of their prescription.

A 2013 study from The Oncologist, a medical journal, showed that 20% of patients surveyed took less than the prescribed amount of their medication to save money — and 24% avoided filling prescriptions altogether.

The Journal of Oncology found that between 1995 and 2009, patients who filed for bankruptcy after their diagnosis were more likely to be younger, female and nonwhite.

A study from The American Journal of Medicine showed that around 42% of patients surveyed depleted their entire life savings within two years of diagnosis.

For patients with breast cancer, the cost of chemotherapy can range from $10,000-$100,000 depending on the drugs, method and number of treatments, according to HealthCostHelper.com.

Nickens is an African American woman and worked in medical billing before her diagnosis, so she has experience dealing with the insurance system. Still, she said she feels like the stress from dealing with insurance has negatively impacted her recovery.

Nickens said she sympathizes with others who don’t have experience, who have to navigate the insurance system while undergoing treatment.

She wishes the case managers she speaks to and others would show more compassion. She wants to feel like “more than a piece of paper with a person’s name on it.”

“I feel like my life is in someone else’s hands,” Nickens said of her diagnosis.

Disparities among who survives

African Americans and whites are diagnosed with cancer at about the same rates, according to the CDC. (Asian Americans and Native Americans, on the other hand, are less likely to get cancer, the data shows.)

But there are racial disparities in who dies of cancer. Nationally, African Americans have a higher rate of mortality.

For example, of every 100,000 African Americans, 181 died of cancer in 2015, according to the CDC. For every 100,000 white people, there were 159 cancer deaths.

The CDC has reported that African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer, with a rate of nearly 28 deaths per 100,000 compared to about 20 per 100,000 population for white women.

The CDC says that differences in “genetics, hormones, environmental exposures, and other factors” can lead to differences in risk among different groups of people.

The American Cancer Society states that much of the suffering and death from cancer could be prevented by more systematic efforts to reduce tobacco use, improve diet and physical activity, and expand the use of established screening tests.

According to a 2018 report from the American Association for Cancer Research, women who have private health insurance are significantly more likely to be up to date with breast cancer screening than women who are uninsured.

African American women are 75% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at an advanced stage than non-Hispanic white women, theassociation reported. Hispanic women are about 69% more likely than non-Hispanic white women to receive a late diagnosis.

The survival rate for breast cancer depends heavily on the stage at diagnosis. When found early, the survival rate is much higher than later stage cancers.

The statewide mortality rate for breast cancer is 26 per 100,000 people. But, in some areas, it’s over 40 per 100,000 according to aggregate statistics for 2013-17 from CDC WONDER, a federal database on causes of death.

Five communities, mostly in rural areas, had a rate of about 50 or more breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women. Martinsville was the highest, with a death rate of 68 per 100,000. The other communities were Colonial Heights, Bristol and Westmoreland and Page counties.

The lowest rates were concentrated in more affluent communities, like Loudoun, Arlington, Prince William and Fairfax counties — all with a rate below 20 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women.

In general, African American women and women in rural areas saw the highest death rates for breast cancer.

African American women in Suffolk, a city in the Hampton Roads area, had a rate of more than 46 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 population. That was more than double the rate for white women in Suffolk.

The numbers were similar in Richmond, where African American women had a death rate of almost 39 per 100,000 population compared with just 17 per 100,000 for white women.

Those large differences in death rates are an example of the health disparities impacting vulnerable populations across America.

The CDC defines health disparities as “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.” These disparities are often due to sex, race, education and geography among other factors.

‘Our environment shapes our choices’

Dr. Steven Woolf, director emeritus and senior advisor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health, said there are common misconceptions around health disparities.

“People think that just because you have a hospital in the area, it’ll make things better — or access to doctors, hospitals, pills saves lives. That certainly helps, but it’s not the determining factor,” said Woolf, one of the nation’s leading experts on the subject of health disparities.

“People assume it’s all a matter of personal choice and responsibility,” Woolf said. “But people can only make the choices they have. What they don’t appreciate is how much our environment shapes our choices,”

For example, he said, “I could say you need to get screen for colon cancer. But that doesn’t help if you live in a rural county and it has no gastroenterologist.”

This lack of access is true for rural Virginia counties and more urban centers where patients may not have access to transportation for their appointments.

“Right now, we are in a period where the most cutting-edge and impactful changes are happening at the local level. Various communities around the country are doing innovative work; others are less progressive,” Woolf said.

‘Life affects health’

Dr. Christine Booker is a professor of health disparities at VCU. She began her career as a nurse and soon realized she could do more to serve the community from the perspective of research and policy.

Booker looks at health from a holistic perspective.

“Health is not just things that are happening to people,” she said. “A lot of the time, their life is affecting their health.”

She explained that if a patient is unable to exercise or make healthier diet choices because of their environment, a health provider may see that as “non-compliance.”

“We’re finding ways to increase awareness for the health community,” she said, “to better understand the communities they are providing care to so they can recommend treatment that is doable.”

Booker said people living in marginalized communities may have higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use to deal with the stress in their environment.

Some people who have lived their whole life in poverty may not be motivated to live longer, Booker said.

However, some gaps in health disparities are closing.

“I think over the next several decades, we’re really going to see a change because the health system can’t continue to just focus on treatment,” Booker said.

“That’s what made me change my focus to prevention — because I realized that if we can stop some of these things before they happen, it would be a lot more successful.”

***

Last August, Margrietta Nickens “rang the bell” — a ritual done in hospitals across the country to mark the successful completion of chemotherapy.

Nickens is completing her last two cycles of maintenance chemotherapy. She said she still has days where she feels fatigued and nauseated but is feeling stronger than before. Her last day of chemo will be June 14.

"Why"

Why do some call their mother "Ma"
and maybe some use "Mom"
it's because she is so many things
and those two are just some.
 
Yes in early life she nurtured us
and made us quite aware
that in this strange world of growing up
we had somewone to care.
 
She made our meals
and played with us games
yes and at she never put to bed
without kissing us goodnight.
 
Mom took us to practice and the games
and told us to have fun
dad never knew till we got home
whether we lost or won.
 
Each year they have a special day
and this is rightly so
yes when dad is busy or at work
to who else could we go.
 
A mom shouldn't have to wonder
how you feel about her each day
so take the time and tell her
a very small price to pay
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Elizabeth K. “Ann” Davis

Services

2 p.m., Monday, June 10

Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery, 17262 Courthouse Rd., Yale, VA 23897

Elizabeth K. Davis, “Ann”, 84, passed away Saturday, May 11, 2019. She was the daughter of the late James L. Kelly, Sr. and Gertrude S. Gordon. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, James Cecil Davis and sister, Joan G. Kientz. She is survived by her brother, James L. Kelly of Prince George; sister, Betty G. Edwards of Franklin (Jimmy) and brother-in-law, Frank Kientz (Evelyn) of Jarratt. Mrs. Davis is also survived by her five nieces; Lynn Kelly Shearin (Robin), Susan Kientz Grigg (Charlie), Judy Kelly Hoyle (Robert), Pam Kientz Harris (Edward) and Linda Kelly Pace (John); great-nephews, Charles Grigg, Brett Harris, Hunter Harris, Davis Harris, R.J. Hoyle, Tom Hoyle and Luke Pace; great-nieces, Elizabeth Brown and Abby Pace. She is also survived by several great-great-nephews. Ann was a supervisor for Contel Telephone for 37 years. A graveside memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Monday, June 10 at Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 17262 Courthouse Rd., Yale, VA 23897. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Editorial-Food Insecurity in Emporia

food in·se·cu·ri·ty

noun

noun: food insecurity

  1. the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

"more than 800 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion"

In the article from the Capital News Service that appears below, there is an infographic with the percentage of “food insecure people” in each locality in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I have added a caption to this graphic that notes the percentage of the residents of the City of Emporia who are “food insecure.”

24.4 percent (1,341 people) of our neighbors are considered to be “food insecure,” meaning that they have no reliable access to nutritious foods, including fresh produce. 16.8 percent (2,832 people) of the citizens of Greensville County are also considered “food insecure.”

What is being done to reduce that number?

It is unclear if Congress will be able to help, but the bill sponsored by our own Representative, Donald McEachin, failed to classify Emporia as a “food desert,” even with the enhancements to that definition. According to the bill in question, any locality with 20% or more of the citizens living in poverty, or where the median household income is 80% or less than the statewide median household income is a “food desert.”

Here in Emporia, 30.9% of the population lives in poverty. That percentage equates to 1,968 people. Nearly 2000 people live below the federal poverty level.  Our median household income of $27,426 is 39.89% of the statewide median household income of $68,756. In Greensville County 17% of the population lives below the poverty level and the median household income of $42,121 is less than 80% of the statewide median income. (Sources https://datausa.io/profile/geo/emporia-va/#economy, https://datausa.io/profile/geo/greensville-county-va)

Given both of those numbers the City of Emporia and Greensville County should be considered “food deserts” under the definition of the Healthy Food Access for all Americans Act (HFAAA).

There was a bill in the Virginia General Assembly that provided $5 million to help attract, build or renovate stores in localities that are underserved. That bill died in the Appropriations Committee of the House of Delegates.

On a local level, it is up to non-government-organizations to fill the gap. The most visible of those in the City is the Samaritan Helping Hands Home on North Main Street where lunch is provided on weekdays. During the summer, Greensville County Public Schools participates in the USDA sponsored summer lunch program. Feedmore, the foodbank for Central Virginia serves three agencies, only one of which is actually in the City.

As an offshoot of the summer feeding program, Main Street United Methodist Church offers a free Community Meal on the fourth Sunday of each month at 5:30 pm. This meal is, in addition an opportunity to help feed neighbors in need, for anyone who shows up. Food is prepared for 50 people, and all are welcome. For full disclosure, I have a leadership role in the Community Meal Ministry at MSUMC. If anyone is interested in starting a similar ministry at their own church on a different Sunday, I will gladly help.

In Greensville County, where 16.8% of the citizens are “food insecure,” there are two locations served by Feedmore: Elnora Jarrell Worship Center and Garden of Prayer, but only El Shaddai Ministry (the former St. James Episcopal Church) is in the City of Emporia.

At Elnora Jarrell Worship Center food is distributed from 3:30 to 4 pm every Tuesday and Thursday and from 9 to 11 am on the second Saturdays.

At Garden of Prayer food is distributed on the first Monday, but no time is given by the Feedmore website.

Here in the City El Shaddai Ministry distributes food from 9 to 11 am on the second and third Saturdays.

For the combined City and County, food is distributed for 10 and one half hours each month. Logistically, 10 ½ hours is not nearly enough time to distribute food for 4,173 people. I have personally approached Feedmore about adding another location. Had they been amenable, I would have presented that to the Church Council, with the hope of adding our parking lot to the list of locations for the Mobile Food Pantry. Feedmore shut me down in quick order, but I am armed with statistics, and will try again.

Here are the days and times for agencies served by Feedmore, copied and pasted directly from their website:

El Shaddai Ministry
609 Halifax Street , Emporia, VA 23847
Phone: 434-594-2680
Thursday, 09:00 AM to 11:00 AM, 2nd & 3rd

Elnora Jarrell Worship Center
490 Liberty Road, Emporia, VA 23847
Phone: 434-336-9990
Tuesday, 03:30 PM to 04:00 PM, WEEKLY
Thursday, 03:30 PM to 04:00 PM, WEEKLY
Saturday, 09:00 AM to 11:00 AM, 3RD

Garden of Prayer
386 Slagles Lake Road, Emporia, VA 23847
Phone: 434-632-1252
Monday, 1st

It is budget season for both the City and County, yet neither budget has any assistance for feeding the hungry.

The proposed city budget includes a 4% increase for water and a 4% increase for sewer, plus a $2 increase for sanitation. That is a $3.63 increase on the minimum-usage monthly water bill (the minimum billing for water/sewer/sanitation was about $30 15 years ago and will now be nearly $100). That $3.63 is got to come from somewhere in the family budget, and given that many people in poverty are already forced to decide between paying the bills and buying food (and medicine) for their families, I would wager that the money will come from the already meager grocery budget.

The lack of nutritional food increases health issues, so it is no wonder that our community is also one of the least healthy of all localities in the Commonwealth, ranking 128 out of 133 in Health Outcomes (http://www.emporianews.com/content/report-shows-geographic-disparities-health-virginia).

Long term, education is the key to getting our community out of this situation. With a well educated populace, we will be better able to attract business and industry. Even if we were to improve our schools, we would likely not see results for a generation, especially given the number of years that the system has been under-funded.

Greensville County has a major Industrial Park in the works, but still refuses to do more that level-fund the Greensville County Public Schools. In fact, the proposed budgets for both the City and the County only level-fund our schools, as opposed to full funding – leaving the schools with more than one-million dollars less than they asked for. What major industry wants to locate in a place where they cannot hire an educated work-force?

Our library has cut hours in the time I have lived here. If our local governments were forward-thinking, the library would also receive increased funding, especially given the lack of broadband internet access in the more rural areas of the county and the economic hardships faced by the poor economy in the area (those living in poverty cannot afford the steep price of high-speed internet from Comcast), and the computers at the library are the only source of high-speed internet access for many.

Greensville County is spending millions of dollars to move Social Services to the County (most of the shared services have been moved out of the city), that money could be better spent elsewhere. In the city, they are apparently still considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to tear down the auditorium, which is (once again) money that could be better spent elsewhere. The City’s share of the debt service on the new Social Services building in the County is already more than $100,000, and the building is only in the initial phases of construction. Citizens are also on the hook for the debt service for the addition to the Greensville County Sherriff’s Department of which the City’s share is nearly $40K.

An increase in water service - for water that is not even palatable and leaves black mold-like deposits in pipes and toilets - is only going to continue to hurt the poorest among us. It is high time that both the City and County find new streams of revenue.

In the City, our prepared meals tax is already at the maximum, and revenue from our transient tax is projected to fall now that all of the power plants are finished. City Council is no longer considering a Cigarette Tax. A cigarette tax was proposed in previous budgets and people were very upset. The outcry was enough that the idea was scrapped. It is unclear if it was considered again, but the idea is not in the proposed budget. Nor were any other new sources of revenue.

Unless our City Council and Board of Supervisors drastically change their priorities, large numbers of our friends and neighbors are destined to be poor, hungry, sick and under-educated.

Farms Feed Food Banks to Fight Hunger

In the above infographic provided with this Capital News Service Article, please notice that EMPORIA IS THE SECOND MOST FOOD INSECURE LOCALITY IN THE COMMONWEALTH. 24.4% of our neighbors do not have reliable access to nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

By Kathleen Shaw and Corrine Fizer, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Lettuce, turnips and beets — oh my! Vegetables and flowers sprout side by side in a bountiful garden in Northside Richmond. But the harvest is not going to a grocery store or market stand. Instead, all of the crops will be donated to local food banks so low-income communities have access to fresh foods.

The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden, situated within Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, is a major contributor to Feed More, the parent organization for food banks and other agencies fighting hunger in 34 counties and cities in Central Virginia.

In the past, food banks relied on nonperishable donations from supermarkets and other businesses. Today, many of the contributions are not rejects from retail but fresh picked from local farms.

Farm-to-food-bank programs bring healthier options to people facing “food insecurity” — living without means or access to nutritious food. Such programs also offer producers an alternative market for the fruit and vegetables they have grown.

A national organization called Feeding America partners with food banks across the state, including Feed More in Richmond and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank in Charlottesville, to create a network of hunger relief. Annie Andrews, director of operations at Feed More, said the movement has redefined the support food banks can provide for struggling communities.

“Ten, 15 years ago, food banks were reliant on shelf stable product; you looked at it as a pantry. We’ve absolutely converted to fresh and perishable food,” Andrews said.

The need for food is not solved by a corner store that sells chips and hot dogs. Farm-to-food-bank programs aim to supply better quality food that doesn’t just fill hungry bellies but also provides nutrition to prevent health problems.

Last year, Feed More received nearly $45 million in donated food — almost 30 million pounds of groceries. While retailers contributed more than 60%, about 12% came directly from growers. Produce accounted for 29% of all donated food.

Greg Knight, food sourcing manager for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, said most people who rely on food banks are not unemployed but rather underemployed. Often, they must choose between which basic needs they can afford, he said.

“We hear from clients that sometimes they have to make decisions between ‘Is it going to be gasoline today, or will it be groceries? Will it be the medication that my son or daughter needs, or will it be groceries or the electric bill?’” Knight said.

“There’s not enough funds to cover the immediate basic needs — so that’s where we step in. At least we can provide a good supplemental box of food that will then be nutritious and alleviate some of the other pressures.”

The state and federal governments have encouraged farmers to help out.

In 2016, Virginia instituted a tax credit as an incentive for farmers to donate crops to regional, nonprofit food banks. In exchange for the donation, farmers receive a 30% tax credit equal to the market value up to $5,000 yearly.

Knight said the tax credit is a great way to support farmers and provide food for those in need.

“What I’m paying for the box is only a portion of what the farmer would get at market. So he can take the difference between the two — market price and what I’m paying — and that difference then becomes a donation for him,” Knight said.

On the national level, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 to allocate $867 billion in subsidies over the next 10 years to support farmers harmed by fluctuating markets or poor harvests. The food purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from farmers is often resold to food banks like Feed More at a reduced cost.

Community plants seeds for change

The USDA reported that since 2012, about 10% of households in Virginia qualified as “food insecure.” Andrews said the definition of that term is constantly evolving and varies by area.

In a densely populated urban area, she said, it means “there are no grocery stores within a mile.” But in a rural area, food insecurity (or a “food desert”) means “there’s not a grocery store within 10 miles,” Andrews added.

“The gentrification of cities coming into play and people moving into the suburbs — that’s where you’re kind of pushing some of that working poor out,” Andrews said. She said Feed More is seeing a rising need for help in the suburbs — “what you wouldn’t think of as a food insecurity area.”

The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Shalom Farms in Midlothian are among the biggest farm donors to Feed More.

Laurel Matthew, senior horticulturist at Lewis Ginter, oversees the community garden and decides what to grow in collaboration with Feed More.

“We have six varieties of summer squash. We have four varieties of eggplant. Lettuce, beans, peas, you name it — we’re trying to get it in the ground,” Matthew said.

The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden is an urban gardening program that has harvested and donated over 50,000 pounds of produce to Feed More since it began in 2009.

The community garden is one-third acre funded in part by Kroger Mid-Atlantic under the company’s “Zero Hunger | Zero Waste” initiative. A volunteer base of 700 worked last year with on-staff horticulturalists to practice organic management of the garden and sustain a healthy harvest for the food bank.

Food banks tackle food-related health disparities

Feed More’s agency network involves almost 300 nonprofit organizations such as soup kitchens and emergency shelters. Healthy Harvest Food Bank joined the network in 2010 and last year became Feed More’s first Partner Distribution Organization, which aims to distribute food across 24 of Virginia’s rural agencies. The agency network distributed 19.3 million pounds of food during the past fiscal year.

Healthy Harvest Food Bank serves 12,000 people every month through 25 locations across six counties. In 2012, the food bank conducted a survey and found that 32% of its clients had diabetes.

The food bank partnered with Northern Neck-Middlesex Free Health Clinic and Virginia Cooperative Extension to begin a Healthy Food Pharmacy to teach clients with Type 2 diabetes how to prepare flavorful, nutritious meals to combat health issues. Participants in the eight-week class on average lowered their blood pressure by 17% and low-density lipoproteins cholesterol by 26%. (LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol because of its artery-clogging properties.)

Mark Kleinschmidt, president and CEO of Healthy Harvest Food Bank, said the Northern Neck and Upper Middle Peninsula region suffers from a culture of genetics and a lack of resources to escape the health crisis trap.

“We got a Food Lion and a Walmart, and there’s not that healthy options to eat at whatsoever,” Kleinschmidt said.

He said people want to eat healthy foods but often can’t.

“For one, it’s not available. And two, it’s a cost issue,” Kleinschmidt said. “I think there is always going to be this issue. The Northern Neck will never be big enough to have a Kroger or a Harris Teeter or a Wegman that does have healthier options.”

Legislation to create the Virginia Grocery Investment Program and Fund was introduced to the General Assembly this session. It aimed to provide financial incentives for grocery stores to expand in food deserts.

After passing unanimously in the Senate, the bill died in the House of Delegates. A similar House bill was killed in a House subcommittee early in the session.

Food banks rescue food from waste

According to the USDA, 30-40% of food is wasted in the U.S. annually. Grocery chains such as Lidl have joined the movement against food waste by selling 10-pound crates of “ugly” produce for $2. Food banks are incorporating the “ugly food” movement into their means of sourcing quality food for people living in food insecure areas.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Cooperative was created by Feeding America and stretches from New England to Virginia, providing nearly 1.5 million pounds of produce to food banks each month. The cooperative works to minimize food waste by purchasing “ugly,” rejected food at a large produce market. That produce is then sold back to a network of 23 food banks, including Feed More, for a reduced price.

Andrews said the rescued, unsold produce purchased from large companies along the East Coast saves the stores money, reduces food waste and increases food bank access to resources.

“We offer the opportunity for [grocery stores] not to have an increased trash bill and to be able to do something good with the things that they aren’t able to use and sell,” Andrews said.

Register Your Team for the Reekes Memorial Tournament

The Southside Virginia Community College Foundation presents the Fred “Freddie” Reekes Annual Memorial Golf Classic on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the Lake Gaston Golf Club.  Sign up now to participate in this highly anticipated event.  This year, Honorary Tournament Chairs are Shep Moss, Ken Peace, David Talbert and Andy Walker, all of whom were influenced by  Reekes when he taught at Brunswick High School.

The event is a Captain’s Choice Format with three flights awarded, first, second and third.  For more information or to register a team or become a sponsor contact

Donna Worley at 434 939 1008, donna.worley@southside.edu Bobby Wrenn at 434 594 4149 or Mary Elkins at 434 949 1051 or Mary. Elkins@southside.edu

STATE POLICE TO HONOR TROOPER LUCAS B. DOWELL DURING ANNUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT MEMORIAL SERVICE

RICHMOND – In advance of National Police Week, the men and women of the Virginia State Police and their families will gather together Thursday, May 9, 2019, to honor those public safety professionals who have given the ultimate sacrifice in their service to the Commonwealth of Virginia. During the 2019 Virginia State Police Officers’ Memorial Service, special recognition will be given to Trooper Lucas B. Dowell, 28, who lost his life Feb. 4, 2019 in Cumberland County. Virginia Senator Charles W. Carrico Sr., 40th District, will provide the ceremony’s keynote address.

A poignant part of the service will be the unveiling and dedication of Trooper Dowell’s portrait before his family and fellow troopers. Following the ceremony, Trooper Dowell’s portrait will be hung in the Colonel C.W. Woodson Jr. Memorial Gallery located within the Virginia State Police Academy. The gallery already holds the portraits of the state police’s other 65 courageous men and women who died in the line-of-duty while serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.

On Feb. 4, 2019, Trooper Dowell was assisting the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force in his capacity as a member of the Virginia State Police Appomattox Division Tactical Team. The Tactical Team was executing a search warrant at a residence in the 1500 block of Cumberland Road/Route 45, just north of the town limits of Farmville. The Tactical Team had made entry into the residence when an adult male inside the residence began firing at the Tactical Team and subsequently shot Trooper Dowell. The Tactical Team members returned fire, fatally wounding the male suspect. Trooper Dowell was transported to Southside Community Hospital in Farmville, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The service will recognize all of the Department’s law enforcement professionals who have died in the line of duty, to include a special tribute to the following 12 troopers in which 2019 marks a significant milestone:                

 5 Years: Sergeant J. Michael Phillippi (2014 – Henry Co.)

20 Years: Trooper Daniel Lee Williams (1999 – Cumberland Co.)

30 Years: Trooper Jerry Lynn Hines (1989 – Rockbridge Co.)

35 Years: Sergeant James LeRoy Biggs (1984 – Alleghany Co.)

35 Years: Trooper Johnny Rush Bowman (1984 – City of Manassas)

45 Years: Trooper James Read Hughes (1974 – Fairfax Co.)

65 Years: Trooper Robert Louis Loder, Jr. (1954 – Hanover Co.)

65 Years: Trooper Robert Fulton Giles (1954 – Wise Co.)

80 Years: Sergeant Clarence Lemuel Maynard (1939 – Washington Co.)

85 Years: Trooper Charles Bazil Bullock (1934 – Fairfax Co.)

90 Years: Inspector Curtis Lee Wood (1929 – James City Co.)

90 Years: Inspector Phillip C. Via (1929 – Waynesboro) *Year & Location of Death

Each tribute includes a single bell toll and an Honor Guard salute.

SVRMC Celebrates National Women’s Health Week

During National Women's Health Week each year, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The week serves as a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. The 20th annual National Women's Health Week kicks off on Mother's Day, May 12, and is celebrated through May 18, 2019. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) encourages all women to be as healthy as possible.

To improve your physical and mental health, you can:

Anu Akinsanya, M.D., an OB-GYN with Southside Physicians Network (SPN) in Emporia, takes women’s health very seriously. According to the CDC, the number of births in the United States is the lowest it’s been in 30 years. The only age group that is increasing is those over 40. Dr. Akinsanya explains, “We’re seeing increasing incidence of chronic disease prevalence and high-risk pregnancies as our population ages.” She makes it her goal to always listen to her patients to catch any complications and make sure mothers understand the things they can control to have the best outcomes for their deliveries.

She not only takes care of moms but helps women through all stages of life. Services include but are not limited to HPV vaccines, PMS symptoms, contraception, menopause and cancer screenings. Learn more about how Dr. Akinsanya can help you with your pregnancy or ongoing care. Call 434-755-3414 to schedule an appointment. She sees patients at the SPN office located at 511 Belfield Drive, Emporia, VA 23847.

VCU Health CMH Offering Summer Babysitting Course

SOUTH HILL --The Health & Wellness Department of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill will offer the Smartkids 101 Babysitting Training Course this summer.

The Smartkids 101 Babysitting Training Course is especially designed for students 11 to 14 years old.  It teaches essential child care skills needed for responsible babysitters caring for infants, toddlers and older children.

The class will include child and infant safety, poison control, CPR, first aid and basic child care skills.  At the end of the class, students will receive a babysitting certificate and be certified in American Heart-Heart Savers CPR and First Aid.  Students will also be taught to react in an emergency situation and know who to call.  Students will learn about the babysitting business, build self-esteem and learn skills that will last a lifetime.

This one day, 8-hour course will be taught in the VCU Health CMH Education Center (inside the C.A.R.E. Building) at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on the following dates: June 7th, June 20th, June 28th and July 12th.  The class is free but limited to 10 participants. To register for one of these courses, please contact the Health & Wellness department at 434-584-5390. These classes fill up quickly, so call today!

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