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October 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, November 15th, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING CAREERS (GO-TEC) GRANT

GO TEC PROGRAM COORDINATOR

FOR THE EASTERN REGION LOCATED AT SOUTHSIDE VA COMMUNITY COLLEGE

#R0001

Please visit the employment page of our web site at http://www.dcc.vccs.edu/Employment/employment.htm for details.

Danville Community College is committed to becoming a model higher education institution for diversity and inclusion and invites multicultural professionals from all backgrounds to contribute to its aspiration for building an inclusive community where everyone is given equal opportunity to reach their full potential.  Employment will be contingent upon the results of a background check.         

Floss Cutting Ceremony To Celebrate New CMH Family Dental Clinic Opening

Most everyone knows flossing is very important to proper dental hygiene, but did you know floss is also a great way to celebrate a grand opening?

The brand new CMH Family Dental Clinic will be holding a Floss Cutting Ceremony on Monday, November 19th at 5:00 pm at the clinic’s entrance which is outside the C.A.R.E. Building on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital campus located at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.

An open house will follow at the Dental Clinic where visitors may tour the brand new space and meet the staff of the clinic.

“We are excited to be working with the VCU School of Dentistry to bring this new family dentistry practice to VCU Health CMH to help fill the provider gap caused by the recent retirement of some dentists in our service area.  We recognize the valuable services the existing community dentists have been providing in this region for decades and hope to develop strong collegial working relationships with them all,” said W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

The CMH Family Dental Clinic will open for business on Monday, November 26th at 8:00 am at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue.  Headed by Dr. Natasha Grover, the six-operatory Dental Clinic will provide a wide range of dental services to area residents. The Dental Clinic is accepting new patients now. Patients may call 434-584-5590 to schedule an appointment.

The CMH Family Dental Clinic was made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. 

The Virginia Health Care Foundation awarded the grant to VCU Health CMH because the CMH Family Dental Clinic will be serving, in part, an at-risk patient population. The Clinic will participate in Medicaid’s Smiles For Children Program and will also see patients who qualify for CMH’s indigent and charity care programs.

“VCU Health CMH’s new Family Dental Clinic will bring greatly needed and affordable access to dental and oral health services to this part of Virginia, which is a Dental Professional Shortage Area. This is at the heart of our mission and we are delighted to be a partner in this exciting endeavor,” said Deborah D. Oswalt, Executive Director, Virginia Health Care Foundation.

Additional support was provided by donations from Microsoft, Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Dominion Energy.

Margaret Veliky Dianis

Margaret Veliky Dianis, 90, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, October 31, 2018. She was the daughter of the late John and Anna Veliky and was also preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years, Matthew Dianis and her four brothers. Mrs. Dianis is survived by four sons, Matthew Dianis, Jr. and special friend, Evelyn, David Dianis, George Dianis and wife, Debbie, and Walter Dianis and wife, Amy; grandchildren, Mandy Jones and husband, Dwayne, Andrea Horsley and husband, Alex, and Morgan and Daniel Dianis; great-granddaughter, Jamison Jones and great-grandson, Ben Horsley; five godchildren, Wayne Veliky, Betty Lou Seward, Linda R   upp, Andy Hromyak and Suzanne Conway and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, November 2 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, November 3 at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church with interment to follow at the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Regional Job Fair Set for Wednesday, November 14, 2018 in Emporia

A Regional Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at Southside Virginia Education Center at 1300 Greensville County Circle, Emporia from 9:30 a.m. until 12 Noon.  This is open to all job seekers and admission is free.

Dress to impress and bring copies of your resume, a photo ID and a copy of your WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate (CRC).  This event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services along with Crater Business Services Team. 

Listen to JAMZ 99.5 to hear more and a live remote from the event. 

For information, contact Angela McClintock at 434 949 1026.

Brunswick Academy Upper School Honor Roll

1st Six Weeks – 2018-2019

Headmaster’s List – All A’s

Grade 9

Shana Denise Love, Sydney Paige Paul, Bryson Gage Poarch, Lydia Reed Smith, Jacky Zhu

Grade 10*

Brysen Alexandra Diefert, William Hunter Greene, Brady Jacob Talbert,

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

Grade 11*

Sarah Paige Fajna, Katelyn Marie Ottaway, Emily Christine Robertson, Kyle Donovan Tanner

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

Grade 12*

Jinhing Hu (Jacob), Timothy Sage Kallam, Daein Kim (Dan), Chenchen Zhao (Chloe)

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

“A” & “B” Honor Roll

Grade 9

Charles Vincent Edmunds, James Harrison Harper, Kacie Lin Keefe, Faith Elizabeth McLawhorn, Robert Matthew Moseley, Alyssa Reina Rivas, Madelyn Gray Williams, Matthew Lawrence Woyer

Grade 10*

Aaryn Moore Babb, Samuel Elliott Capps, Robert Tyler Creedle, Clyde Kenneth Greene III, Meredith Paige Lucy, Jun-Young Park (Jun), Kyle Tyler Powell, Dustin Arthur Roberts, Naomi Rose Sadler, Christian Alexandra Williams

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

Grade 11*

William Vernon Bryant, Jr., Leiara Lane Butler, Olivia Graham Clary, Joanna Grace Glenn, Logan Hope Hyde, Paige Kylie Jennings, Catherine Camille Mitchell, Reanna Lane Powers, Christopher Michael Redman, Jr., Hinton Joseph Vick, III., Alexis Grace Yoders

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

Grade 12*

Hunter Douglas Hastings, Guanxi He (Will), David Cole Moseley, Kien Wilton Powell, Jamie Lauren Saunders

*Dual Enrollment students at SVCC and Liberty University qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces Employee of the Quarter

Emporia, VA – Jordain Veliky, RN has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Quarter. Ms. Veliky, who works in SVRMC’s Acute Care Unit, has been employed at SVRMC since May 2014.

Each quarter employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in any or all of ten Standards of Behavior.  Ms. Veliky’s nomination included the following statement: “Through all her interactions, Jordain displays each of the Community Cares Standards of Behavior. She is committed to her co-workers and is a team player, not only for Acute Care but for SVRMC. She wants to see her department grow and is always willing to help her co-workers.  She is a mentor to others and is always honest in her interactions. Jordain has also been recognized by our corporate staff for her commitment to patient and employee safety. Jordain always puts her patients first and ensures that their needs are met. She truly cares about the difference she makes in the lives of our patients. She is an asset to our team.” 

As SVRMC’s Employee of the Quarter, Ms. Veliky received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2018 Employee of the Year.

SVCC President Announces Retirement for July 2019

When accepting the position as president of Southside Virginia Community College in 2014, Dr. Alfred Allison Roberts committed to serving in this capacity for five years.  As the end of that period approaches, he has announced his plans to retire on July 1, 2019. 

“When I arrived at SVCC 23 years ago, I found the place where my professional values and personal values converged.  Since that time, I have aggressively supported the College’s mission of access and opportunity while serving in a variety of roles,” he said.  “I have done my best to add to the legacy of this great institution and position it for a prosperous future.”

SVCC serves the largest region of any community college in Virginia, a total of 4,200 square miles covering ten counties and the city of Emporia. 

During his tenure, Dr. Roberts has overseen the development of the extremely popular Power Line Worker Program.  He has opened the Center for Information Technology Excellence at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the state-of-the-art welding lab at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County.  Dr. Roberts has also worked diligently to secure funds for and guide the construction of the new Learning Resources and Student Services Center on the Christanna Campus.   He also established a far-reaching Strategic Plan for the college on the premise of One College, One Mission, a six-year plan for enhanced provision of services to the students and community. 

Perhaps one of his more stellar accomplishments is leading the team for re-accreditation of the college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). 

Glenn Dubois, Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System said, “Al Roberts began making his mark long before he was a community college president.  A service-minded leader from a family of educators, Al knew that our success is measured one student at a time.  As president, Al made Southside Virginia Community College a leader in workforce development training.  Short-term training opportunities like the colleges’ power line training program—the first in Virginia—are filling critical industry needs while attracting individuals into life-changing careers.  We are grateful for Al’s many contributions and wish him the best in a well-earned retirement.”

Elizabeth B. Sharrett, SVCC Local Board Chair, noted, “Dr. Roberts has served the college and the constituents’ excellently in an earnest and committed manner.  His pursuit of quality in all aspects of the institution are evident and appreciated.  While the college will miss his leadership and resolve, we wish him the best in this well-deserved chapter of his life.”

In his announcement to the college, Dr. Roberts said, “I am sincerely thankful to the Local Board and to VCCS Chancellor DuBois for the opportunity to lead SVCC and for providing support and guidance throughout my tenure. I am equally appreciative of the support and friendship shared with the colleagues of my Southside Virginia Community College family.  It has been an honor to work alongside them in making SVCC the best that it can be.  I am also grateful for the many partnerships and relationships built with the communities of southern Virginia that have allowed us to betterserve this region.”

When he became president, Dr. Roberts was serving as provost of SVCC’s Christanna Campus in Alberta.  He was provost of the John H. Daniel Campus from 2010 to 2012 and prior to that, he was vice president of workforce services at the college.  His career began at SVCC in 1995 when he assumed to role of administrator of student support services.

A national search to hire the next SVCC president will begin in early 2019 and is expected to take six to eight months to complete.

Fortsville Kicks off Christmas Home Tour

The Riparian Woman’s Club of Emporia, Virginia is once again delighted in presenting the 16th Christmas Home Tour on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. The tour begins with the area’s only Airbnb owned by David and Jessica Yoder.

Welcome to Fortsville, also known as the home of John Y. Mason, (1799-1859) who was born in Hicksford, Greensville County. The plantation home is located in Sussex County in the Grizzard community. The stately home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmark Register. Once located on a 1000- acre farm, today stands on approximately four acres. Fortsville has the original flooring, doors, hardware and features eight fireplaces. The bricks used during an earlier restoration were made on the farm.

    

The original owners of Fortsville were John Fort and Olive Coleman whose daughter, Mary Ann, married John Y. Mason. Mason was a prominent politician who served in the Virginia House of Delegate, Virginia State Senate, US Congress, US Judge, twice as US Secretary of Navy, and US Attorney General.

The overview of the past history of Fortsville leads to what is happening presently at this grand old plantation. Fortsville was acquired in 2017 by Jessica and David Yoder. The Yoder’s are known locally for Pineview Greenhouses. They acquired this home with exciting plans for its future. Today, it is the latest local venue for all kinds of celebrations to include, parties, family and class reunions, meetings and more. It is the areas only Airbnb! The four-bedroom Airbnb is located in a quiet Southern Virginia rural setting where one can relax in the peaceful countryside while enjoying nature.

The new Fortsville will be decorated for the Christmas Holiday season. A must see on the tour. Fortsville is located at 5088 Fortsville Rd, Emporia, in the Grizzard community.

Others whose homes on tour are John and Jenny Holtkamp, Ken Newcomb and Steve Smith, Mary Ann Renner and Mark and Wendi Simmons.

Tickets are $13.00 and may be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, from any Riparian Club member or by calling 434-594-4369.

VCU Health CMH Team Member of the Month for August 2018

Photo Caption: (Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Laure Gill, Administrative Representative, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for August.  There to congratulate Laure was Ursula Butts, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Lillian Gibson, Director of Patient Experience and Administrative Representatives.

Laure has been employed at VCU Health CMH collectively for more than 22 years.  Laure has spent all but four months of her professional career at VCU Health CMH.  She is a Park View High School graduate and also received a Bachelor’s Degree from Baker College in Health Care Administration. 

The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “When Laure received a request for a Notary Public in the home of a hospice patient, she volunteered her time, without hesitation, to go to the patient’s home to complete this task. The family was very appreciative of her kindness and prompt service.”  “Laure went well above and beyond for the patient.  She always does what is best for each patient and is an awesome example of STAR Service.”

In addition to the award certificate, Laure received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

Laure resides in South Hill.

Gov. Northam Emphasizes Importance of Bringing Economic Opportunity to Rural Virginia at Virginia Rural Center Summit

Staunton, Va. Oct. 22, 2018 – No doubt, it was good to announce last week that Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to a decade-low 2.9 percent, Governor Ralph Northam told more than 200 attendees gathered today in Staunton, Va. for the annual Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity, presented by the Virginia Rural Center.

But with that success comes challenges. Namely, Gov. Northam, who grew up on the rural Eastern Shore said, that figure represents the entire state and the unemployment rate is nowhere near that low in rural Virginia.

“Plain and simple, we need more jobs, more high paying jobs, in rural Virginia,” said Gov. Northam.
 
“It was not that long ago that Virginia was the number one state in this country of ours in which to do business,” Gov. Northam said. “This year we are at fourth. If we all collectively work together we can be back to number one.”

That collective work, in many ways, starts at the summit, an annual gathering of the Commonwealth’s administration, elected officials, community leaders, educators and businesses to discuss challenges and solutions for growing rural Virginia’s economy.

“Have we made progress?” Northam asked. “Yes, we’ve made progress.”

More than 4,500 new jobs have been created and $1.13 billion in new capital invested in rural Virginia since Gov. Northam took office earlier this year.

But to keep moving forward, Gov. Northam called on summit attendees to ensure rural Virginia continues to look at new, creative ways to make doing business in rural Virginia attractive, to train people to do the very jobs that are available, bring universal broadband access to all Virginians and continue to focus on the importance of access to health care in the Commonwealth’s most rural regions.

“Step number one as we move forward and we diversify the economy, we have to talk about workforce development,” Gov. Northam said.

He highlighted specifically the G3 program – which stands for get skilled, get a job, and give back – partnership between the state’s community college system and businesses to help students get the skills they need for the jobs available now in cybersecurity, computer programming, clean energy, health care and other high-need areas.

“We have to work very hard to train our youth for these 21st century jobs and also retrain individuals that are no longer in industries that used to be present in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Gov. Northam said.

High-tech jobs require high-speed internet access, Gov. Northam said, noting that his administration continues to develop a plan to get universal broadband to all Virginians.

“In 2018, there is no way that a business can grow and there is no way you can attract new business to Virginia if we don’t have universal access to broadband,” Gov. Northam said. “We are working on that very hard. It’s going to have to be a partnership between the business community and the public sector.”

With the 2019 General Assembly session coming up, Gov. Northam called on legislators attending the summit to consider funding for broadband when they begin budget work.

You often hear people say they grew up in rural Virginia, but they live, work, and raise their families elsewhere, Gov. Northam said.

It’s time to change that.

“Rural Virginia is coming back,” Gov. Northam said. “You can’t keep us down. We are hard working, we’re genuine people, and I just think there is a lot of promise.”

The Governor’s Summit on Rural Prosperity also included panels on economic development and workforce development, along with in-depth discussions on rural broadband and an update on the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan.

Featured speakers included Stephen Moret, President & CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and many members of the Governor’s cabinet.

For more information, visit www.cfrv.org.

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SFOP Workshop Will Highlight Benefits of Adding Commercial Rabbit Production to Farm Operations

The Virginia State University Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) will host the educational workshop, Pastured Raised Commercial Rabbit Production, on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at VSU Randolph Farm Pavilion, 4415 River Road, Petersburg, Va.

“Through our programs we aim to educate small-scale and limited-resource farmers about different revenue-generating opportunities,” said SFOP Director William Crutchfield. “Rabbit production provides a meat product for revenue while simultaneously allowing producers to reduce the cost of fertilizer and other soil amendments.” 

Attendees will get practical information about Virginia laws for processing and selling rabbit meat. They will learn about barn, cage and processing unit construction, and enhance their knowledge about which rabbit species are best suited for meat. Participants also will learn how rabbit production can become part of a nutrient management plan to efficiently manage waste as a cost-effective, organic soil amendment in the garden and on the farm.

Rabbits convert feed to meat more efficiently than cattle, and have been called the next big thing in pastured livestock. They may be raised for commercial purposes, including meat consumption, as pets and for laboratory use. According to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), there were 13,420 farms with rabbits with an inventory of 400,049 and 852,837 rabbits sold. 

This educational workshop is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so register early. To register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link. 

If you need further information or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach Program office by email at smallfarm@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-3292 / TDD (800) 828-1120 (TDD) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

The Small Farm Outreach Program, which is part of Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University, aims to encourage and assist limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers to own, maintain and operate farms and ranches independently, to participate in agricultural programs and improve their overall farm management skills. The SFOP provides outreach and assistance activities in production management, financial management, marketing, available USDA farm programs and other areas to increase farm profitability and promote sustainability. Currently, the program provides educational programming in approximately 64 Virginia counties, which have the highest concentrations of limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers in the state. For more information, visithttps://www.ext.vsu.edu/small-farm-outreach-program/.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. 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.

NEW GRAPE GROWER WORKSHOP TO BE HELD NOVEMBER 13

~Part of cost-share program to address grape shortage, encourage growth of Virginia wine industry~

(DANVILLE, Va.) – In its ongoing efforts to support economic revitalization efforts, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is pleased to announce a New Grower Workshop for agricultural entrepreneurs interested in starting their own vineyard. The workshop will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 13 at IALR, 150 Slayton Ave., Danville. Virginia Tech experts will present introductory best practices of vineyard operation in Virginia, and information will be shared on how to apply for the cost-share program of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC). New growers across the 34-county footprint of the TRRC are encouraged to attend.

“Viticulture is a sorely needed agricultural resource to fuel the health and growth of Virginia’s agritourism and wine industry, which is currently suffering from grape shortages,” said Mark Gignac, Executive Director of IALR. “We are excited to continue to partner on a solution with the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Vineyards Association. Anyone interested in becoming a vineyard grower is encouraged to attend our New Grower Workshop, which we hope will provide helpful resources, networking and information, especially in regards to available funding.”

    

Dr. Tony Wolf, Director of the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Professor of Viticulture, Virginia Tech and Tremain Hatch, Viticulture Extension/Research Associate, Virginia Tech

The New Grower Workshop will be led by Dr. Tony Wolf, Director of the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center and Professor of Viticulture at Virginia Tech, and Tremain Hatch, Viticulture Extension/Research Associate at Virginia Tech. Amy Turner of IALR and Program Manager of the TRRC Vineyard Development and Expansion Cost-Share Program, will provide details on cost-share funding. Although the workshop is free, advance registration is required by November 11 and can be secured by visiting www.TRRCgrape.com/New-Grower-Workshop.pdf.

Topics of the workshop will include an introduction to viticulture, market opportunities, business planning and predicted cash flows, site evaluations and environmental challenges, design considerations, fundamentals of vineyard management, an overview of the Vineyard Development and Expansion Cost-Share Program, and a visit to The Homeplace Vineyards in Chatham. A complimentary lunch will be provided by IALR. Due to the outdoor component of the vineyard visit, attendees should dress appropriately.
Attendance to the New Grower Workshop or a previously offered workshop is required for new growers in order to be eligible for the TRRC’s Vineyard Development and Expansion Cost-Share Program. IALR was recently named by TRRC as the new program manager of this program, first launched in 2016. New applications for grant awards are currently being accepted. Through the cost-share program, IALR works with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, TRRC and the Virginia Vineyards Association to increase vineyard acreage and address the shortage of Virginia-grown grapes.

The TRRC’s cost-share program, in place through Jan. 12, 2020, is designed to support Virginia’s wine industry and agritourism by providing growers incentive to expand vineyard acreage. A cost-share award of up to $3,000 per acre is available for qualified vineyard growers—reimbursing 33 percent of eligible expenditures. Vineyards with up to nine acres may receive a maximum award of up to $15,000, and those with 10 or more acres may receive a maximum award of up to $20,000. Funding is awarded through a competitive process and may be sought by qualified existing growers who wish to expand their current acreage and by new growers developing their first vineyard. To be considered for the program, new growers must establish at least three acres of new vines, and existing growers must be willing to plant a minimum of one new acre. Eligible cost-share items include, but are not limited to, grapevines, hardware for trellis systems, fencing and irrigation systems.

To learn more about the New Grower Workshop or funding eligibility requirements, including a detailed map of the 34 eligible counties across Southern and Southwest Virginia, growers may visit TRRCgrape.com or contact Turner at amy.turner@ialr.org or (434) 766-6788. Turner also will assist growers with the application process.
The SOVA Vineyard Development and Expansion Program was developed with an overall goal of increasing production of wine grapes in Southern and Southwest Virginia. In order for wines to be marketed as Virginia wines, they must contain at least 75 percent of Virginia-grown grapes. While the number of wineries in Virginia has been increasing, the pace of vineyard expansion has lagged, resulting in acute grape shortages and the slowing of Virginia wine production. In 2015, the Virginia Wineries Association, Virginia Wine, Virginia Vineyards Association and Virginia Wine Council partnered on a strategic plan to address the issue.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research serves Virginia as a regional catalyst for economic transformation with applied research, advanced learning, conference center services and economic development efforts. The Institute’s major footprint focuses within Southern Virginia, including the counties of Patrick, Henry, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax and Mecklenburg along with the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

DRUG TAKEBACK DAY EVENTS TO BE HELD ACROSS SOUTHSIDE VIRGINIA

~Attorney General Herring reminds Virginians to dispose of unused prescriptions, especially opioids, at one of many drop-off sites across the Commonwealth~

 

RICHMOND (October 25, 2018) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring is encouraging Virginians to take advantage of Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to dispose of unused or expired medications, especially prescription opioids, before they can be misused, abused, or accidentally ingested. Law enforcement agencies, community partners, and members of the Attorney General's team will be stationed at dozens of locations throughout the Commonwealth to accept medications for proper disposal. Takeback locations in the Southside area, which will be open from 10am - 2pm, are listed below, and you can find a site near you by searching here.
 
"Oftentimes, opioid abuse begins with the medicine cabinet, not the streets, and one of the easiest things we can do to make our homes and communities safer is to clear those medicine cabinets of unused prescriptions before they are misused, abused or even accidentally ingested by a child or grandchild," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Taking just a few extra minutes this weekend to clean out your unneeded medications and dispose of them at a proper Takeback location is one of the simplest things that we can all do to fight the opioid epidemic."
 
There is a strong link between misuse of prescription opioids, opioid addiction, and even subsequent use of heroin once prescriptions become too expensive or are no longer accessible. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
  • Heroin abuse is 19 times more likely among those who abuse prescription opioids.
  • Half of young people who used heroin got started by abusing prescription opioids.
  • One in fifteen individuals who misuse prescription opioid painkillers will try heroin within 10 years.
  • Studies show a link between the availability of prescription and illicit drugs and the likelihood of abuse. 
In Virginia, opioid overdose deaths have risen steadily since 2010:
  • Heroin overdose deaths have risen more than 1,060% between 2010 and 2015, from 48 to 558.
  • Fentanyl deaths have risen by over 1,500% percent from 2007 to 2017, from 48 to 770.
  • Prescription opioid overdose deaths have risen 26% between 2007 and 2017, from 400 deaths to 504.
Attorney General Herring has made combating the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic a top priority, attacking the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcementeducation, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal effortsto improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources and made prescription drug disposal kits available across the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring recently outlined his recommended next steps for combating the crisis, focusing on law enforcement initiatives, support from the medical community, and recovery, treatment, prevention and education. He is also participating in a multistate investigation into the practices of drug manufacturers and distributors to determine what role they may have played in creating or prolonging the crisis. Most recently, Attorney General Herring announced he was suing Purdue Pharma for their role in helping to create and prolong the opioid epidemic in Virginia.

 
The nearest drop off location for the Saturday, October 27, event is the Lawrenceville Police Department in the Lawrenceville Municipal Vuilding at 400 N. Main Street, Lawrenceville.

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Why social security retirement is important to women

 

 

 

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

Social Security plays an especially important role in providing economic security for women. In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. But, women face greater economic challenges in retirement. Women:

  • tend to live longer than men. A woman who is 65 years old today can expect to live, on average, until about 87, while a 65-year-old man can expect to live, on average, until about 84;

  • often have lower lifetime earnings than men; and
  • may reach retirement with smaller pensions and other assets than men.

 

 

Social Security offers a basic level of protection to all women. When you work, you pay taxes into the Social Security system, providing for your own benefits. In addition, your spouse’s earnings can give you Social Security coverage as well. Women who don’t work are often covered through their spouses’ work. When their spouses retire, become disabled, or die, women can receive benefits.

 

 

If you’re a worker age 18 or older, you can get a Social Security Statement online. Your Statement is a valuable tool to help you plan a secure financial future, and we recommend that you look at it each year. Your Statement provides a record of your earnings. To create an account online and review your Statement, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

 

 

If your spouse dies, you can get widow’s benefits if you’re age 60 or older. If you have a disability, you can get widow’s benefits as early as age 50. Your benefit amount will depend on your age and on the amount your deceased spouse was entitled to at the time of death. If your spouse was receiving reduced benefits, your survivor benefit will be based on that amount.

 

 

You may be eligible for widow’s benefits and Medicare before age 65 if you have a disability and are entitled to benefits. You also may be eligible for benefits if you are caring for a child who is younger than 16.

 

 

Our “People Like Me” website for women has valuable resources for people of all ages. You can access it at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/women.

 

 

To read more about how we can help you, read and share the publication What Every Woman Should Know at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf.

TRUMP SIGNS WARNER & KAINE PROVISIONS TO ADDRESS OPIOID CRISIS INTO LAW

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine celebrated key provisions from their bills to address the opioid crisis becoming law. The comprehensive substance abuse treatment bill, known as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, was just signed into law by President Trump after it passed the Senate 98-2 and the House 393-8. The legislation includes four proposals from Warner that initially passed out of the Senate Finance Committee as part of the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018 and three proposals from Kaine that passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee as part of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.

“This comprehensive legislation takes significant steps to stem the opioid epidemic that has devastated communities across the Commonwealth. By making necessary improvements to substance abuse treatment and recovery services, we can help save lives. That’s why I’m proud to report that this historic package includes several proposals that I championed to expand telehealth services to ensure more families get the addiction treatment they need,” said Warner.

“This bill is the product of a strong bipartisan effort to tackle the addiction crisis that is taking lives in Virginia and across the country. I’m proud the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act includes my proposals to help ensure job training is incorporated into recovery programs and that the kids who are hurt by this crisis get the resources they need. This comprehensive effort aiming to address prevention, treatment, and recovery is an important step toward solving the addiction crisis,” Kaine said.

Warner and Kaine have worked over the years to move legislation forward to combat the substance abuse epidemic, which in 2017 accounted for more than 72,000 deaths nationwide.The final bill included provisions from four Warner bills to:

  • Expand telehealth services for substance abuse treatment.
  • Make clear how Medicaid funds can be used for substance use disorder treatment through telehealth.
  • Help ensure children suffering from substance use disorders receive the assistance they need through telehealth services.
  • Improve data collection on substance use disorders among Medicaid recipients.

The final bill included proposals from three Kaine addiction treatment bills to:

  • Give states the resources and guidelines to ensure recovery homes are effectively helping residents sustain recovery from opioid and substance use disorders.
  • Incorporate job training into drug addiction recovery programs.
  • Afford schools the opportunity to apply for grants to directly offer trauma support services to students impacted by the opioid epidemic.

Last month, Warner and Kaine voted for a FY19 funding bill that increased funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support programs related to the opioid crisis, including an additional $3.8 billion for treatment, prevention and research.

Terron Watkins Joins Jackson-Feild

Terron Watkins joined the development staff at Jackson-Feild. Terron is a native of Richmond graduating from Richmond Public Schools. He is a graduate of Longwood University where he studied communications focusing on public relations.

After graduation he worked in development for a Grace Place which provided adult day care services until the program closed its doors.

His primary responsibilities will be online giving, special events, Christmas program, Young Professionals Society and assisting the VP of Development with fund raising and communication projects.

Terron brings passion, commitment to Jackson-Feild’s mission and a willingness to learn and grow as a development professional. He is looking forward to helping Jackson-Feild fulfill its mission and help our children.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING LAUNCHES VIRGINIA’S FIRST ONLINE RE-ENTRY PORTAL

~ The site is the first of its kind to come out of an AG’s office and brings re-entry resources directly to sheriffs, jail practitioners, family members, local citizens, and ex-offenders ~

VIRGINIA BEACH (October 23, 2018) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced the launch of VirginiaReEntry.org, Virginia’s first ever online re-entry portal, which provides a “one-stop shop” for people involved in every phase of helping Virginians re-enter communities after incarceration. This portal is the first of its kind to come out of an attorney general’s office and offers resources directly to sheriffs, practitioners and citizens who want to help formerly incarcerated individuals return to their communities and lead successful lives. Attorney General Herring made the announcement at his 2018 Statewide Jail Re-entry Conference.
 
“When folks who are transitioning back into our communities are given the resources they need to be successful, well-adjusted members of society it not only helps them but it also makes our communities safer and saves taxpayer dollars,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “This first of its kind portal offers something for everyone by providing information and resources for sheriffs, re-entry organizations, potential employers, community and family members, and those who are returning to society. I am proud of the work that my office has done over the past few years to help localities build strong re-entry programs and we will continue to help them make sure that their returning citizens are given every opportunity to be successful following incarceration.”
 
Ninety-six percent of incarcerated individuals will eventually return to their communities, which is why strong, comprehensive re-entry programs and resources are so important. When people transitioning back to the community are provided individualized case management, treatment services, and support networks both prior to release and immediately following incarceration, they have a better chance at success. If ex-offenders re-enter their community with the same underlying trauma, addiction, or anger it can make communities less safe and perpetuate a cycle of re-incarceration that costs taxpayers money and strains families.
 
“We know that 96 percent of people in jail will return to our community,” said Norfolk Sheriff Joseph “Joe” Baron. “By utilizing our evidence based Re-entry Programming and innovative programming in partnership with the Virginia Attorney General’s Office Re-entry Program such as the Innovations in Supervision Initiative, we are providing offenders a better path to be successful in the community which will have an major impact on improving our recidivism rates in Virginia.”
 
“The Re-entry portal will give all parties involved in the process an opportunity to have a central location where information can be exchanged, communicated and maintained,” said Arlington Sheriff Beth Arthur. “Having this portal available with established information and services, will ultimately give participants in any Re-entry program more opportunities to be successful as they transition out into our communities.” 
 
The re-entry portal provides something for everyone including sheriffs, jail administrators and staff, non-profit organizations, faith-based volunteers, potential employers, treatment service providers, legislators, judges, media, family members and returning citizens.
 
 
  • Information on best practices in the re-entry field
  • Examples of efforts around Virginia
  • Grant information
  • Training schedules and data input options
  • Printable, regional specific materials
  • Training modules and presentations
  • Resources for families and communities to help their loved ones re-enter society in a productive way.
 
Resources for sheriffs and other jail practitioners
The portal provides information on the Office of the Attorney General’s suggested re-entry model, the Transition from Jail to Community (TJC), which was developed by the National Institute of Corrections in partnership with the Urban Institute. This model achieves the goals of enhancing public safety and reducing recidivism through a systematic and collaborative approach. You can also find the What Works in Re-entry Clearinghouse, a “one-stop shop” for research on the effectiveness of a wide variety of re-entry programs and practices. Additionally, there is information on DMV Connect, a program that was originally created to provide identification cards to incarcerated individuals pending release, as identification is necessary to secure jobs, open bank accounts, enter public buildings, and apply for benefits
 
Resources for families and returning citizens
Re-entry can be a time of both positivity but also stress for both the returning individual and their family. To make the transition as smooth as possible it is important to use every resource available including:
 
 
Employer Advantages
Employment is a pillar to successful re-entry and motivated employees are a lynchpin to successful business. Hiring returning citizens has proven beneficial to employers because:
 
  • Ex-offenders whose crimes are long in the past pose no greater risk than people in the general population
  • Returning citizens have a network of support to aid in their success. 
  • Federal programs add additional security by bonding employees.
  • There are tax incentives to hire returning citizens.
 
When Attorney General Herring began his first term in 2014, he saw that the state had developed a comprehensive plan to address re-entry and recidivism reduction for state inmates who left state prisons, but there was no coordinated programming or assistance for local and regional jails. He made it a priority to provide the first-ever state-level assistance to coordinate, expand, and improve re-entry efforts in local and regional jails, including the hiring of DeVon Simmons as Virginia’s first local jail re-entry coordinator.

Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. Announces Quarterly and Year-to-Date Earnings

KENBRIDGE, VA, October 23, 2018 - Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. (BMBN), the Kenbridge-based hold­ing company for Benchmark Community Bank, announced earnings of $2,243,140, or $0.44 per share, for the third quarter of 2018.  This compares to $1,979,037, or $0.38 per share, for the third quarter of 2017. Net income through the first nine months of the year amounted to $6,505,576, or $1.27 per share, up from the $5,432,293, or $1.05 per share, reported through the first nine months of 2017.

Return on average equity of 12.46% and return on average assets of 1.43% year-to-date increased from 10.93% and 1.28%, respectively, reported for the first nine months of last year. Both ratios remain strong and are very competitive within the banking industry.  

Loan demand remains strong, as evidenced by the $63.6 million growth in loans over the past twelve months. A total of $43.3 million of this increase has occurred since December 31, 2017.  The bank’s yield on loans increased from 5.30% to 5.40% through the first nine months of the year as the Federal Reserve continues to increase the prime interest rate. Higher rates, combined with the increase in loan volume, drove the bank’s interest and fee income up by $2.2 million through the first nine months of the year.   

Total deposits of $545.3 million have increased by $21.5 million year-to-date and are up $53.3 million from one year ago. As with loans, interest rates are beginning to increase. The current 0.43% cost of deposits is up from 0.38% last September, increasing year-to-date AAQAinterest expense from $1.4 million to $1.7 million through the first nine months of the year. Overall, the bank’s net interest margin has increased from 4.56% to 4.71% when comparing the first nine months of 2018 to the same period last year. 

The bank currently holds $2.8 million in foreclosed property, having written down $748 thousand year-to-date to adjust the market value of properties the bank has owned for several years. Last year, the bank wrote down $191 thousand during the first nine months of the year. In addition, the bank has incurred a loss of $209 thousand year-to-date from the sale of foreclosed property, down from a gain of $12 thousand through the first nine months last year.

Net charge-offs for the first nine months of the year amounted to $309 thousand, down slightly from $325 thousand charged off in the first nine months of 2017. Despite the increase in charge offs and an increase in write downs of foreclosed property, overall asset quality remains very strong. During the first nine months of the year, a total of $706 thousand has been provisioned to loan loss reserve, compared to $502 thousand provisioned during the first nine months of 2017.  The current loan loss reserve of $5.2 million represents 0.98% of total loans.   

The common stock of Benchmark Bankshares, Inc. trades on the OTC Pink marketplace under the symbol BMBN. Any stockbroker can assist with purchases of the company's stock, as well as with sales of holdings.

 

Benchmark Community Bank, founded in 1971, is head­quartered in Kenbridge, VA. It is the company's sole subsidiary which oper­ates fifteen banking offices through­out central Southside Vir­ginia and northern North Carolina. Additional information is available at the company’s website, www.BCBonline.com.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES TEEN MOTORISTS TO BE ROAD RESPONSIBLE

~Prepare the next generation to drive safely by starting the conversation today~

RICHMOND – As National Teen Driver Safety Week gets underway, Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran and Virginia State Police are encouraging young people, who are just taking to the roads, to take charge of their safety.

"Every driver has a responsibility to be safe when they are getting on the road, including our newest drivers," said Governor Northam. "National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great opportunity to engrain safe driving habits that will stay with our teenagers for the rest of their lives."

As of Oct. 1, preliminary data in Virginia shows there have been 56 fatalities in crashes involving teen drivers, marking a 36 percent increase over 2017.* Of those traffic deaths, 28 individuals were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.*

“Sadly, motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide, yet this loss of young people’s lives is preventable,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Starting a conversation with teens about safety and responsibility on the road is the first step toward reducing fatalities. We as parents, mentors and friends need to equip the next generation of drivers with the tools they need to navigate the highway tomorrow by encouraging them to practice safe habits today.”

Among the most significant dangers to teenage drivers are alcohol consumption, lack of seat belt use, distracted and drowsy driving, speeding, and driving with passengers in the vehicle.*

As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, VSP joins Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) in encouraging youth and teens to make good choices and celebrate responsibly as part of its statewide Halloween Safety Campaign. This week, schools and youth groups across the Commonwealth are participating in the peer-to-peer campaign in an effort to prevent tragedies on what is supposed to be a fun night for all.

Irresponsible driving behaviors such as underage drinking and driving as well as texting and driving can be even more deadly on Halloween night when young children are out trick-or-treating on neighborhood streets. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween Night.** Approximately 44 percent of all fatalities on Halloween Night (6 p.m. Oct. 31 – 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) were in crashes involving a drunk driver.**

Before getting behind the wheel, teen drivers are urged to limit the distractions in their vehicle, including human ones. Not only does the risk of a fatal crash increase in direct relation to the number of teen passengers in the vehicle, but the likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples.*** Approximately 10 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were distracted at the time of the crash.***

“As a father of two teenagers, teaching responsibility on our roadways is of the utmost importance given the rise of distracted driving,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Emphasizing road safety as a vital part of our overall public safety efforts will continue to be a top priority moving forward.”

As a new driver, operating a vehicle is a big responsibility not only because of the dangers of driving but also the threat of vehicle theft, which affects more than 750,000 people each year.*

Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program encourages parents to teach their new drivers to practice common sense habits that will protect them and their vehicle. Simple things like remembering to take your keys every time you leave your vehicle and never leaving your car unattended with the doors unlocked. The HEAT program teaches a three-layered approach to auto theft prevention, and taking your keys and locking your doors are simple but important steps in vehicle protection.

“A lot of responsibility comes along with becoming a new driver and part of that responsibility is establishing good habits to protect yourself and your vehicle,” said 1st Sgt. Thomas J. Molnar, HEAT program coordinator. “A significant number of vehicles stolen in Virginia still have the keys in the ignition. It’s important for teens to minimize distractions and remember to remove their keys from the ignition and lock the vehicle’s doors every single time.”

In addition to locking your doors and taking your keys, parking in a well-lit area and concealing valuable items can keep your car from becoming a target of thieves. These are all common sense tactics, but are often the things individuals forget to do the most. To create additional layers of vehicular protection, motorists are also encouraged to install audible or visible deterrents, such as VIN etching, and add technology, such as an immobilizer or tracking device.

VIN etching is the process of placing a vehicle’s VIN number on all major areas of glass on the vehicle. This serves as a deterrent to potential thieves because if they remove the VIN number, all the glass will have to be replaced. This is a free service offered by the Virginia State Police HEAT program.

*Source: Virginia Highway Safety Office, **Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis, ***Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Five Ten Year Service Awards SVCC

Service Awards recognizing college employees celebrating an anniversary of five, ten, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 years were awarded during the Southside Virginia Community College Convocation on August 16,2018. 

Ten Year awards were presented to (Left to Right) Tiffany Slagle of Emporia, Susan Early of Baskerville, Wendy Ezell of South Hill, Russell Hicks of Victoria, LeAnn Ferguson of Charlotte Court House, Jennifer Myrick of Dolphin and Jessica Shelton of Victoria. 

Five Year Awards were presented to (Left to Right) Katherine Clatterbuck of Meherrin, Lisa Jordan of South Hill, Denis McCarthy of Blackstone, Jeremy Parenti of Petersburg, Tonya Talbott of North Dinwiddie.  Those not pictured are Laroya Eanes-Walton of FarmVille, Shayna Kendall-Maxey of South Hill, Erica Randolph of North Dinwiddie, Mary Winfield of Warfield, Scott Edmonds of South Hill, Jeffrey Vance of Howardsville and Dr. Tara Blackwellof Keysville.

 

Mollie Spence Roberts

Mollie Spence Roberts,80, died Saturday, October 20, 2018, at her home. A native of Greensville County, she was the daughter of the late Dick Spence and Maggie Jane Robbins Spence. She was a longtime member of Spring United Methodist Church and the Director of Medical Records at Greensville Memorial Hospital, and after her retirement worked several years for Greensville County. Mollie was also a longtime dedicated volunteer with the Hospice Support Group of Southside Virginia.

In addition to her parents, Mollie was preceded in death by her loving husband Marvin Edward Roberts, brothers; Hansel, George, Calvin, and Edward Spence, sisters; Virgie Driver, Maude Spence and Nellie Spence, son in law; James C. Allen Jr.

She is survived by her daughters; Cynthia R. Allen, and Sherry R. Scott and her husband Mike, sister; Daisy Lambert and husband Marshall of Mechanicsville Va., grandchildren; Tiffany Marie Scott Slagle and husband Jason, Laural Jane Allen Davis, and Jeremy Edward Scott and wife Elizabeth Lee Scott, great grandchildren; Hannah Jane Davis, Nathaniel Parker Slagle, Colton Jase Scott, Ava Marie Slagle, and Olivia Morgan Scott, special great niece and caregiver Paula Copeland, numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at Echols Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Bob Clyde officiating. Burial will follow in Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends Monday, October 22, from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Echols Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Spring United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund or the Hospice Support Group of Southside Virginia.

Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com

Medicaid Expansion – What It Means For Emporia

Emporia, VA – Enrollment for new, low-cost health care coverage for eligible adults will commence in the Commonwealth of Virginia on Nov. 1.

Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam, MD, has announced that as the date when the state will begin accepting applications for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. The best source for information about this new coverage is available at www.coverva.org. On that website, people can access an eligibility screening tool to determine if they are likely to qualify for coverage. Website visitors can sign up to receive regular e-mail or text message updates about new coverage and the enrollment process.

People can also call 1-855-242-8282 for more information. The information phone line for people who are hearing impaired is 1-888-221-1590.

New coverage for adults is available for men and women ages 19-64 who aren’t eligible for Medicare, and who meet income eligibility guidelines, which vary depending on family size. For example, a single adult who earns less than $16,754 in annual income may be eligible. The income threshold for an adult in a two-person household is $22,715. It is $28,677 for an adult in a three-person household, and $34,638 for an adult in a four-person household.

Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Northam’s Administration achieved a bipartisan compromise to increase coverage for hard-working, low-income adults in Virginia. This coverage, also known as Medicaid expansion, is available under the provisions of the U.S. Affordable Care Act. Virginia elected officials brokered a fiscally-responsible deal that recovers the Commonwealth’s tax dollars, produces millions in state budget savings that free up funds for other important needs, will improve public health and the economy by supporting job growth, and will benefit Virginia taxpayers.

This plan has public support, with polling showing more than 80 percent of Virginians in favor of a coverage compromise, backing from dozens of local and regional chambers of commerce across the Commonwealth, and from the business and health care community. Private hospitals from throughout Virginia are even contributing financial support to help defray any costs the state may incur associated with increasing coverage access.

“When both sides of the aisle came together earlier this year to pass Medicaid expansion, the Commonwealth set a realistic, aggressive timeline for implementation and I’m proud to report the remarkable progress we’re making on these goals in close coordination with our federal partners,” Governor Northam said in a statement announcing Nov. 1 as the date when Virginia will begin accepting applications for expanded health coverage. “I encourage all Virginians to get acquainted with the new eligibility rules and learn how they and their family members qualify for access to quality health coverage.”

Virginia is one of 33 states that have expanded coverage eligibility for low-income adults. The compromise plan in Virginia includes reform provisions on work and personal responsibility so that people who benefit from the program are invested in their own health and success.

Enabling more people to gain health care coverage also means that people will be able to access timely care in an appropriate setting for their needs, so they can recover soon and go about their lives as productive, contributing members of society.

Right now, many people without insurance delay needed medical care for too long. Eventually, they end up in a hospital emergency room when their condition is much worse, the cost of care is much greater, and their recovery time is much longer. That is not an ideal circumstance for the patient, the health care provider, or the economy because that person is removed from the workforce, and the unpaid cost of their care ultimately gets passed on to taxpayers and consumers in the form of higher insurance rates.

Speaking about the new coverage program, Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Dr. Dan Carey, MD, noted that “thousands of Virginia adults will soon benefit from a comprehensive package of health services, including coverage for visits to primary and specialty care doctors, hospital stays and prescription medications. Individuals with chronic diseases will have access to the sustained care that is essential to maintain their health.”

This new coverage, Secretary Carey added, will also help Virginians who need behavioral health and addiction treatment as the Commonwealth continues to focus on improving mental health treatment and combating the opioid epidemic.

“This new coverage will help individuals across the Commonwealth like our friends, our neighbors, our caregivers, and the people we meet daily in coffee shops and restaurants,” said Dr. Jennifer Lee, MD, Director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. “It’s critically important that hard-working Virginians will have access to the health care they need to be productive in their jobs and to enjoy a high quality of life.

In Emporia and surrounding communities, as many as 3,300 local Virginians will be eligible to enroll in this new health care coverage. This year alone Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is on pace to exceed more than $4.3 Million in charity care.

Spencer Feldmann, MD with Southside Physicians Network (SPN) says, “Because of Medicaid Expansion, patients are more likely to get a primary care physician and get their medical needs met earlier before they become too acute.” All SPN physicians accept Medicaid. “In the long run the conversion to a more preventative medicine based approach is a win not only for the patient, but for the Emporia community.

The Nov. 1 start of the application period for coverage enrollment is days away. Virginia adults interested in learning more about this new health care coverage are encouraged to visit www.coverva.org. People can also call 1-855-242-8282 (or 1-888-221-1590 for hearing impaired people) for more information.

Need to change your name on your social security card?

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

Are you changing your name? If so, let Social Security know so we can update your information, send you a corrected card, and make sure you get the benefits you’ve earned. 

To change your name on your card, you must show us documents proving your legal name change and identity. If you are a U.S. citizen, you also must show us a document proving your U.S. citizenship, if it is not already in our records. You must present original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them. We can’t accept photocopies or notarized copies.

To prove your legal name change, you must show one of the following documents:

  • Marriage document;
  • Divorce decree;
  • Certificate of naturalization showing a new name; or
  • Court order for a name change.

To prove your identity, you must show an unexpired document showing your name, identifying information, and photograph, such as one of the following:

  • U.S. driver’s license;
  • State-issued non-driver’s identification card; or
  • U.S. passport.

If you don’t have one of those documents available, we may be able to accept your:

  • Employer identification card;
  • School identification card;
  • Health insurance card; or
  • U.S. military identification card.

To prove your U.S. citizenship, you must show one of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate;
  • U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
  • U.S. passport (unexpired);
  • Certificate of Naturalization; or
  • Certificate of Citizenship.

Whatever your reason for your name change, Social Security is here to help you with the new… you! Fill out the form at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf and follow the instructions to ensure your Social Security card is delivered in a timely manner. You can also locate your local field office at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator so you can apply for your updated card and show your required documents in person.

For complete instructions, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber, which includes information for non-citizens. And remember, if you simply need to replace a lost Social Security card, but don’t need to change your name, you can — in most states — request your replacement card online using your my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

“Just a Housewife”

I think there’s an illusion
in today’s status quo
whereby a college degree
depicts what you know.
 
You see I am a housewife
just simple and plain
I’ve no shingle to hang
embossed with my name.
 
My job though rewarding
starts early each day
I help two of my children
for school get away.
 
Then my next step is breakfast
for that husband of mine
yes he needs my assistance
to reach work on time.
 
Now that everyone’s gone
I can take a short break
then a cry from the nursery
means the babys awake.
 
A quick change is needed
and then some powder to dry
then I refill her bottle
and it’s sleepy time bye.
 
Now it’s off to the kid’s room
to make up their bed
then I out clothes in the washer
and do the dishes I dred.
 
Well it’s lunchtime already
and have the baby to feed
then I make out my list
for the groceries we need.
 
I then get out the stroller
for they say it is wise
to push the baby to market
for your exercise.
 
The shopping all finished
and put the baby to bed
yes and I made shacks for the children
with their favorite spred.
 
Now soon after I’ve vacuumed
and dusted once m ore
the children from school
come through the front door.
 
The sound of their voices
I knew the baby would wake
so outside I sent them
and put on the steak.
 
It was later than usual
when my husband arrived
yet thanks to the snacks
the children survived.
 
Now dinner is all finished
so the dishes I’ll stack
knowing tomorrow at seven
I’m sure to be back.
 
Yes I’m an occupation Housewife
though I’ll make it quite clear
I’m not just a housewife
but a Household Engineer!
 
                    Roy E. Schepp

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Offers $99 Mammogram Special* To Encourage Breast Cancer Screening

Emporia, VA – One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In Virginia, breast cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer for women.**

To encourage more women to take action for their breast health, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is offering a special to women in October, which is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. SVRMC has teamed up with MDsave to offer $99 mammogram screenings!

Here’s how it works:

  • Get a referral from your physician or healthcare professional
  • Go to mdsave.com/mammogram to purchase your voucher
  • Call SVRMC’s Imaging Center to schedule your mammogram (434) 348-4470
  • Bring our $99 mammogram voucher to your appointment

“Mammograms save lives,” said Dr. Sasa Espino, Board Certified Breast Surgeon with Southside Physicians Network. “Today, thanks to early detection and treatment advances, more women are surviving breast cancer and living longer, healthier lives.”

This program runs now through October 31, 2018 and is for mammogram screenings performed at SVRMC located at 727 North Main St, Emporia, VA 23847. Get Directions.

“The bottom line is, nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if found early,” Dr. Espino added. “And the most effective way to detect breast cancer at an early, treatable stage is to have yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40, and to have regular clinical breast exams by a doctor or nurse.”

For women of average risk, the American College of Radiology recommends annual mammograms starting at age 40, with no upper age limit as long as the woman is in good health. Different guidelines apply to women at higher risk.*** A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

To participate in the $99 mammogram screening promotion, a woman must be age 40 or older and know the date of her last mammogram. Insurance will be charged and only covers one mammogram annually. This is for a digital 2D mammogram screening of both breasts, for women who exhibit no signs or symptoms of any disease, complaint, or abnormality. This also includes computer-aided detection (CAD) of lesions obtained during the mammogram. Medicaid and Medicare participants are not eligible for this promotion.

*This is for a digital 2D mammogram screening of both breasts, for women who exhibit no signs or symptoms of any disease, complaint, or abnormality. This also includes computer-aided detection (CAD) of lesions obtained during the mammogram.

Price Details:

  • Facility fee: technical (equipment) fee for the imaging
  • Physician fee: physician interpretation fee

This MDsave bundled price includes the cost of your procedure and the fees listed above. These fees are for the services most frequently packaged together with this procedure. Any services provided at the time of treatment that are not listed here will not be covered in your purchase. View Details

 

**Breast Cancer statics sourced via https://gis.cdc.gov/Cancer/USCS/DataViz.html

 

***For a list of risk factors and American College of Radiology recommendations, visit www.acr.org.

Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. An order from a physician or qualified healthcare provider is required. If the patient does not have a physician/provider, a list will be provided for selection. All mammogram reports will be sent to the physician/provider, and the patient is responsible for follow-up.

Check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage for a screening mammogram.

 

 

 

 

 

SVCC Receives Donation from Abilene Motor Express

Abilene Motor Express recently donated a 53’ trailer to the Truck Driver Training School at Southside Virginia Community College. Abilene was founded in 1986 by the Jones family from Charlotte County.  Their successful business, with its home office in North Chesterfield, is well known and highly regarded all around the United States by the trucking industry.  

Duncan Quicke, Coordinator of SVCC’s Training School said, “Abilene has one of the best maintained and most immaculate fleets on the road today, but their sparkling image goes far beyond their pretty green and gold paint scheme. The Joneses are true ambassadors to the trucking profession, and they treat everyone in the industry like family. We are no exception at the Truck Driver Training School. They provide us with the necessary tools to train our students, and they are actively hiring our graduates. Abilene’s generosity helps us continue to run a quality program and prepare drivers for the trucking industry.” 

Current students of the Truck Driver Training School show off the new trailer.

VSU Welcomes New Hires in 4-H, Forestry and Operations

Virginia State University (VSU) is pleased to announce the addition of three new personnel who have joined Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture. Chantel Wilson, Ph.D., has joined as 4-H STEAM Extension specialist, Jerry Bettis Sr., Ph.D., has joined as forestry Extension specialist, and Ronald Howell has rejoined the College of Agriculture as director of Operations Management reporting to Dean M. Ray McKinnie.

“We are thrilled to welcome two new specialists to our Extension family. The addition of Dr. Chantel Wilson will enable us to enhance our capacity to engage youth in agriculture through our 4-H program. Dr. Jerry Bettis will provide expertise to foresters and Virginians interested in trees and forests,” said Dr. McKinnie. “And we are pleased to welcome back Ronald Howell to VSU. He will provide guidance and direction for College of Agriculture strategic operating plans, projects and initiatives.”

 “I’m excited for the chance to ‘give back’ by developing programming to help prepare young people for success in a changing world,” said Dr. Wilson. “Programs such as 4-H can have a tremendous positive influence on the lives of young people. I believe that my participation in a youth agricultural program helped me to develop career aspirations and the skills needed for my success, eventually leading me to become the first person in my family to graduate from college.”

Dr. Wilson earned a Ph.D. in crop and soil environmental sciences from Virginia Tech, and an M.S. in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She intends to work with stakeholders to determine community needs and the skills young people need for success in STEAM fields. STEAM in this instance stands for science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math. “I hope to channel my creativity and passion to develop fun, informative and useful programming based on current research,” she said. “My ultimate goals are to generate interest in STEAM fields, strengthen scientific literacy and to empower youth by showing them how to reach their career goals.” 

Dr. Wilson is also a Virginia certified turf and landscape nutrient management planner. Before joining VSU, she served as urban nutrient management Specialist at Virginia Tech contracted to the Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, and as a graduate research assistant/teaching scholar at Virginia Tech. Dr. Wilson joins VSU’s 4-H Extension specialist Dr. Maurice Smith, who specializes in youth development, citizenship and leadership development.

Dr. Bettis Sr. expressed his enthusiasm for becoming part of Cooperative Extension’s rich history of educating and training Virginia landowners. “I hope my first accomplishments are to teach and train underserved landowners to seek the services of a consulting forester and use a written contract prepared by a consulting forester when selling timber,” he said. “If each landowner in Virginia does this when selling timber, I would consider my tenure at VSU stellar!”

Dr. Bettis holds a Ph.D. in forestry from North Carolina State University. Before joining VSU, he served as forestry-natural resources Specialist at Tuskegee University, and as early rotation forester and raw materials representative at the Weyerhaeuser Company in New Bern, NC, where he was responsible for fire, vegetation and pest control on approximately 500,000 acres of timberland. 

Ronald Howell, a USDA scholar and VSU alum, said, “I am excited about my new position and to give back to my alma mater and the college that has made a huge impact on my life personally and professionally. Being back at Virginia State University and a part of the College of Agriculture allows me to share my passion for agricultural sciences and work with the faculty members and staff who afforded me so many opportunities as a student and who helped launch my career.”

Howell, who earned his master’s degree in agriculture and Extension education-community development from Virginia Tech, will be integral to the administration of budgets, developing management procedures and implementing new business processes. He will also provide administrative leadership to Randolph Farm and have oversight for the 1890 Facilities Grant Program. And through a partnership agreement, he will serve as a special advisor to the Office of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Forestry to increase land-grant capacity for outreach, student development and build strategic partnerships and initiatives that improve the stability and sustainability of farm and forestland owners in Virginia. Howell has held several positions with USDA and with the Commonwealth of Virginia, each time at a greater level of responsibility.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. 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.

SBA Small Business Lending Momentum Continues in FY18

~SBA FY18 total loan volume reaches more than $30 billion with more than 72,000 approved loans~

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced FY18 lending numbers showing that it guaranteed over $30 billion to small businesses that otherwise would not have had access to capital.

“We are providing tools, resources and access to capital for America’s 30 million small businesses, and our FY18 numbers bear that out,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs have never been more dynamic, easy to use and accessible—helping small businesses succeed and thrive.  Our loan programs in FY18 continue to show strong performance, and we believe the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory actions will help more small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.”

In FY18 there were approximately 60,353 7(a) loans made, with a total dollar amount of $25.37 billion. The 7(a) program is SBA’s flagship program, which offers guarantees on loans to small businesses of up to $5 million on reasonable terms and conditions. 7(a) loans are commonly used for acquiring land, purchasing equipment, or working capital.

The SBA’s 504 loan program had another year of high performance for lending, with 5,874 loans made for a total dollar amount of over $4.75 billion. In FY18 SBA launched the 25-year Debenture, which offers an extra 60 months of financing at a fixed rate for small businesses. Since its introduction in April, over 1,000 debentures had been sold by the end of September.

“The 25-year Debenture is designed to help free up cash flow and offer fixed rates in a rising interest rate environment for 504 borrowers and we are pleased to see over $1 billion has been disbursed in less than six months,” Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access William Manger said.

In FY18 there was significant growth in the SBA’s smaller loans, including a record volume of dollars lent in the Microloan and Community Advantage Programs. Specifically, over 5,000 loans were approved for over $72 million in the Microloan program and over 1,000 loans for over $150 million in SBA’s Community Advantage program.

The SBA continued to innovate and improve processes by leveraging enhanced technologies. Lender Match is an SBA technology platform that gives entrepreneurs the ability to complete a quick online form, without registration or cost, and be connected with an approved SBA lender within 48 hours. To date, Lender Match has generated 3.6 million leads on behalf of small businesses to our lenders and over 160,000 unique borrowers have been contacted by lenders with financing options. 

Another technological innovation was the development of the SBA’s Franchise Directory, which was launched this year and has resulted in an over 50 percent increase in eligible franchise brands. There are currently 3,192 brands on the Franchise Directory. When the directory was first published in October 2017 there were only 2,034 brands.  In FY18, SBA has seen a year over year increase of over 21 percent in 7(a) and 504 dollars going to franchises.

For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance and other services, visit www.sba.gov.

 

Justin Owen of Skippers Completes SVCC PLW Program

Justin Owen of Skippers and a graduate of Greensville County High School, completed the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Training Program on September 19, 2018.

The 11-week program provides both classroom and hands-on training in safety, climbing techniques, electrical theory, aerial framing, rigging, Operation Utility Service Equipment and Commercial Driver’s License Training.

SVCC offers the Power Line Worker class in Blackstone Virginia at the Occupational/Technical Center in Pickett Park. For information, southside.edu.

Power Line Worker Students from the eighth class of the SVCC Training Program

Front L-R  Wayne Gates of Petersburg, Chase Simon of Meherrin, George Blackwell of Lunenburg, David Rios of Farmville, Justin Owen of Skippers, Brandon Chumley of Red Oak, Logan Branch of Gladstone, Alex Hite of Kenbridge, Nick Plutro of Carson, Alex Rothgeb of Clarksville, Justin Perez of King George, Brad Wike, Instructor

Back L-R:  Clyde Robertson, Instructor  Adam Ashmore of Disputanta, Charlie Herrin of Oakton, Luke Swanson of Winchester, Nate Trevillian of Monroe, Zac Cavezza of Suffolk, Cole Shornak of Chester, Brian Burch of Crewe, Ian Banker of New Ellenton, SC, Blake Spangler of Salem, and Nick Grigg (Student Instructor)

Building for a Promising Future

By Dr. Al Roberts

Established in 1970, Southside Virginia Community College is one of 23 colleges in the Virginia Community College System. From its humble beginnings, the college has grown to become the leading provider of quality academic and workforce services within the largest community college jurisdiction in our state. The college’s 4,200-square mile service region spans ten counties and also encompasses the city of Emporia.

Meeting the need for education services across such a broad area requires a wide range of diverse options. Consequently, the college serves students from two main campuses, five education centers, and other off-campus sites, as well as through online learning opportunities. The college’s Christanna campus in Alberta currently has six permanent buildings. The John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville has four permanent buildings, including its Learning Resource Center/Student Services building, a 32,700-sqare foot structure completed in 2014. All combined, the college maintains 220,000 square feet of building facilities, 88% of which is allocated for instructional and student use.

And SVCC continues to grow. The college is among the leaders in Virginia’s FastForward workforce credentialing program. Innovative services to help ensure student success continue to be deployed, and connections with area business and industry partners continue to expand.

The college is also growing physically. In September, construction began on a new, two-level Learning Resource Center on the Christanna Campus. The new facility will expand the college’s infrastructure in order to provide exceptional resources for mission-critical activities. When completed in January 2020, the 45,000-square-foot building will house the Christanna Campus library, and it will provide performance space, a food service area, student study and lounge areas, a workout room, and a welcome area. It will also feature a Career Center, a Veterans’ Center, a Credentialing Center, and an IT Training Laboratory. Student services, including financial aid, admissions and records, and IT support, will also be relocated to the new building.

The new Learning Resource Center will play a vital role in the lives of students for semesters and years to come. SVCC offers 23 degrees at the associate level, a host of shorter-term academic and workforce development programs, opportunities for dually enrolled high school students, adult basic education, and other transitional services for non-traditional students. In addition, a comprehensive team of academic advisors, tutors, student services professionals, and counselors are available to help students develop their academic strengths and tackle challenges.

At SVCC, we believe in the transformative power of education to positively impact individual students and the communities we serve. To learn more about how to build your educational future at SVCC, visit the college’s website at Southside.edu or call 434-949-1000. Our team of academic and workforce advisors can help you discover how to create your own promising future.

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.

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