Early Voting Started Friday, September 17th.

You may also vote on two Saturdays: October 23rd and 30th.

Vote In-Person at your local General Registrar's Office!

Send news tips, story ideas and advertising questions to news@emporianews.com.

Emporia News is best read in LANDSCAPE view on Mobile Devices. Please rotate your phone or tablet.

Current Weather Conditions

 

Seven Day Forecast for Emporia, Virginia

Community Calendar Sponsored By...

Career Opportunity

Custodian

September 15, 2021

Job Posting #:  2021-18

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services seeks an energetic, self-motivated individual with an attention to detail to fill the full-time position of Custodian.  The Custodian cleans and maintains all residential units, school buildings, offices and recreational facilities.  The custodian cleans all bathroom facilities and ensures that they are properly furnished with appropriate hygiene items.  The custodian sweeps, vacuums, dusts, mops, cleans, and buffs all areas as applicable.

Custodial experience in a formal business setting is preferred. 

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

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

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2021-18
Attn: Chris Thompson
E-mail: careers@jacksonfeild.org
Fax: (833) 418-1986

Free Covid Tests and Vaccines Available at Peanut Festival

Brusnwick Academy Cross Country Off To Great Start

Brunswick Academy Cross Country has gotten off to a great start. They had their first meet at Fuqua School on September 2. Cullen Corum placed 5th, Brady Burke 7th, Christian Lecher 8th, Cameron Lynch 12th and Jacky Zhu 17th. Overall our boys team came in second place. On September 9th the cross country team traveled to Kenston Forest. Our boys placed in the top 17 and second overall.Brunswick Academy will host the Cross Country meet on October 14th. Pictured L to R: Christian Lecher, Coach Sidney Burke, Brady Burke, Cullen Corum and Jacky Zhu. Not pictured: Carter Early and Cameron Lynch.

Governor Northam Announces Major New Produce Packing Facility in Brunswick County

Partnership and facility to help former tobacco farmers seize fast-growing market for organic vegetables

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today announced Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, LLC has partnered with Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority to construct a new, 45,000 square-foot, $4.2 million produce processing and packing facility.

Old Dominion Organic Farms, a member of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing, will operate the facility. Over the next three years, 40 new jobs will be created and the facility is expected to process nearly $24 million Virginia-grown vegetables, approximately 80 percent of which will be certified organic. The new facility will support more than 22 farmers located in Amelia, Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Prince George, and Surry Counties during its first season.

“As the Commonwealth’s largest and oldest industry, agriculture is an integral part of Virginia’s economic wellbeing—especially in rural areas,” said Governor Northam. “I commend the members of Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing and all of the public and private sector partners who have made this project a reality. They have set an example for how we can all work together to support Virginia agriculture and the communities that rely on this important industry.”

During Governor Northam's administration, the Commonwealth has brought in a record-breaking $48.2 billion in capital investment and created over 91,500 new jobs, including over $8.4 billion and 21,500 jobs in distressed communities.

Since 2001, the price and volume of tobacco sales in Virginia have decreased by nearly half, forcing many Southern Virginia farmers to find new markets or close down their operations. By contrast, the market for organic produce has boomed over that same period, with annual growth frequently exceeding 10 percent. Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing is taking advantage of this market opportunity by leveraging its existing land and labor assets, investing in organic certification, and partnering with farmers across the region to provide wholesalers with a stable and abundant supply of organic and conventional produce. 

Over the next five years, Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing expects to make more than $60 million in produce sales, with $42 million being returned directly to individual farmers. A non-profit has been created to assist prospective farmers with growing these crops and obtaining organic certification, so they too can participate in this market.  

“Embracing innovation and exploring new opportunities in agriculture is key to the growth and prosperity of rural communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that Brunswick County’s first Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development award is being used to partner with Southern Virginia Vegetable Packing to create new markets and support local farmers and producers with creative ways to maintain and grow their farming operations.”

“Access to a facility that provides efficient packing, cooling, and distribution of vegetables for local farmers will create access to markets previously unavailable to them,” said Jordan Brandon of Old Dominion Organic Farms. “This was the key component farmers were lacking to capitalize on the land, equipment, labor, and farming experience they already possess.”

The Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked closely with Brunswick and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission to secure the project for the Commonwealth. The architectural and engineering work needed to move the project forward was supported through a $35,000 Planning Grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund awarded in June to Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties. To assist the county in securing this project for Virginia, Governor Northam awarded Brunswick’s Industrial Development Authority a $400,000 Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Facility Grant, the county’s first-ever Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development award.  The project is also supported by a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission.

“The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors is excited to see this project come to fruition as it capitalizes on our existing agricultural community, aligns with our Board Vision 2035 to create new business opportunities, and will result in more job creation for our citizens,” said Brunswick County Board of Supervisors Chair Dr. Barbara Jarratt Harris. “We look forward to a continued partnership with the Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, the Brunswick County Agriculture Task Force, and other stakeholders to redefine our niche and help our agriculture industry thrive in new markets.”

“Three years ago, the Industrial Development Authority convened an Agricultural Task Force comprised of state and local leaders in agriculture, education, business, and economic development to leverage our farming heritage to create a new vision for development in the county,” said Industrial Development Authority of Brunswick Chair Gloria Meneweather-Woods. “This project is an outgrowth of that vision, and I sincerely thank the task force for their leadership. While there is still much to do, we know collaborative efforts like this offer us a pathway to continued success.”

“I am delighted that this project will draw on the farming expertise and experience of local folks in this effort to supply fresh, wholesome food to Virginians,” said Senator Frank Ruff.

“Supporting our local farmers and producers is every bit as important now as it has always been for our region,” said Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission member Delegate Roslyn C. Tyler. “This facility will enable local farms to reach new customers and pursue new wholesale opportunities that will increase profitability and help ensure that these farms remain operational for generations to come. This is a big win for agriculture in our region and I’m pleased the Commission chose to support this important project. I look forward to seeing construction get underway on this new facility as soon as possible.”

The Northam administration has funded an historic number of projects through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development fund. As of today, 109 businesses have received Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development grants, investing nearly $10 million in businesses all over the Commonwealth, helping them create more than $1 billion in new investment, nearly 3,500 jobs, and over $1 billion in commitments to purchase Virginia-grown products.

Jeremy Bradforde “Brad” Wilson

September 26, 1978 - September 22, 2021

Jeremy Bradforde “Brad” Wilson, 42, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, September 22, 2021. He was preceded in death by his father, Kenny Wilson and grandparents, Lawrence and Lucy Wilson and Burton Edward Grizzard.
Brad is survived by his wife, Tina Wilson; son, Joseph Joyner; mother, Elizabeth “Liz” Grizzard; maternal grandmother, Joanne B. Grizzard and his canine companion, Sophie “Beardo”.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the family.

In Support of Delegate Roslyn Tyler

To the editor:

I am writing to express my support for Roslyn Tyler in her efforts to be re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 75th District. As a lifelong resident of Southside Virginia and a career educator, l know the value of experienced, knowledgeable, and caring leadership that is attuned to the unique opportunities and challenges of our region. Roslyn Tyler has demonstrated these characteristics; and her distinguished years of service to the citizens of the 75th District have positioned her to be an even more effective advocate for us.

Delegate Tyler currently serves as Chair of the critically important House Education Committee which addresses legislation related to education policy and funding. Additionally, she serves on the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee and the Appropriations Committee. Both of these committees are strategically important to the welfare of our region.

Delegate Tyler’s accomplishments and active civic involvements are too long to list. What I can say is that her desire to move our region forward is passionate and positive. Please join me in voting for Roslyn Tyler for Delegate.Al Roberts

Retired President, Southside Virginia Community College

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Go Vote!

 

Dear Editor-

My fellow citizens:

THE CLOCK IS TICKING!  The polls are now open for EARLY VOTING.  Each weekday your local Registrar’s office is open and they are anxious to have you Vote!  If you are too busy to make it during the week there’s good news – there will be two Saturdays in October (the 23rd and 30th) 2021 that they will be open.  The Registrars’ respective offices in Greensville County, 1781 Greensville County Circle and the City of Emporia, 201 South Main Street, Emporia, Virginia will be open these days from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. In addition to their normal weekday openings. 

If you would prefer to vote in the privacy of your own home you may still request an Absentee Ballot to be mailed to you by contacting your Registrar’s Office. You may also apply for an Absentee Ballot online at https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation.   Absentee Ballots must be requested by mail by October 22, 2021, by 5:00 pm and you should allow plenty of time to mail them back to the Registrar – or use the Ballot Drop Boxes at each location. Their phone numbers are Emporia: 434.634.9533 and Greensville County: 434.348.4205 to start the process.

By the way, if you haven’t decided for whom you are supporting let me share with you that the Democrats are running an exceptionally qualified slate of strong, principled and results-oriented Leaders!

  • Tery McAuliffe, Governor
  • Hala Ayala, Lieutenant Governor
  • Mark Herring, Attorney General
  • Roslyn Tyler, House of Delegates, 75th District
  • Jay Osburn, City Treasurer, Emporia

Our local Committee shares the values of the Democratic Party of Virginia and is proud of the strong candidates for office on this year’s ticket and encourages you to cast your VOTE for Leadership that works for us!

GO VOTE!

George E. Morrison, III, Chairman

Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Governor Northam Appoints Ann Jennings as Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources

Appointment announced ahead of Chesapeake Bay Executive Council set to meet October 1 in Virginia Beach

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today appointed Ann Jennings as the new Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources.

“Virginia’s water and air are cleaner today because we have made historic investments in Virginia's natural resources over the past four years,” said Governor Northam. “We have secured more funding for the Chesapeake Bay than any previous administration. We are all-in for clean energy, with the country's largest offshore wind development rising off the coast of Virginia Beach. We are breaking new ground in coastal resilience and environmental justice. Ann Jennings has been a leader in this work, and as Secretary, she will make sure Virginia continues this momentum.”

Jennings has served as the Deputy Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources with primary responsibility for the Chesapeake Bay. She also has served as the Virginia Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative commission created to advise the General Assemblies of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on matters of Bay-wide concern.

The appointment comes as the Chesapeake Executive Council prepares to meet in Virginia Beach next week. The Council includes the governors of the six watershed states, the mayor of the District of Columbia, the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The panel establishes the policy direction to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Before joining state government, Jennings served as the Virginia Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Her career also includes work as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Originally from Virginia Beach, Jennings received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University. She is a graduate of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute and the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program.

Matt Strickler, the outgoing Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources, is pursuing new opportunities where he will continue his excellent work of protecting our nation’s resources. He began working with the Governor in 2008 as a legislative assistant in the office of then-state Senator Northam. Strickler had served on the cabinet since Governor Northam took office in 2018. 

“We will miss Secretary Strickler, and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Governor Northam. “I want to thank Matt for all that he has done for the people of the Commonwealth while serving in this administration. His work to clean up Virginia’s air and water over the last four years has directly benefited the health, wellbeing, and lives of all who reside here.”

Governor Northam Announces New Grant Program Supporting Local Food and Farming Infrastructure

Local governments can apply for grants to support farmers markets and small-scale agricultural facilities October 1 through November 15

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced a new grant program designed to support equitable and sustainable local food systems for small-scale agricultural producers, farmers markets, and food hubs. It is a new component of the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund.

This Infrastructure Program competitively awards matching grants of up to $25,000 in partnership with local governments for community infrastructure development projects that support local food production and sustainable agriculture. Special reduced match requirements are available to projects in economically distressed localities, underserved communities, or for those benefiting multiple small-scale producers.

“Ensuring equitable access to healthy and affordable food for all Virginians has always been a priority of this administration,” said Governor Northam. “One of the best ways we can do this is by partnering with local governments to make strategic investments in our local food systems.  The local infrastructure created by this new program will enable Virginia’s small-scale farmers and food producers to thrive, grow local economies, and improve food access.”

“One of the greatest strengths of Virginia agriculture, the Commonwealth’s largest private sector industry, is its diversity,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “I am pleased that the new Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Infrastructure Program provides another economic development tool for localities. These resources make funding accessible to communities that need it most and benefit farmers and producers, as well as our local food systems.”

Delegate Sam Rasoul’s House Bill 2068 created this grant program during the 2021 General Assembly session. The legislation authorizes the Governor to award grants of up to $25,000 to political subdivisions.

The reimbursable grants are primarily for capital projects at new and existing food hubs, farmers markets, commercial kitchens and other value-added facilities such as those for the processing and packaging of meats, dairy products, produce, or other Virginia-grown products. Small farmers, food producers, local food systems advocates and others interested in building their community’s local food and farming infrastructure are encouraged to learn more about the program and work with their localities to identify and develop suitable projects.

Applications for this funding can be submitted October 1 through November 15. Final award announcements will be made no later than December 31 of this year.   

“The Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Infrastructure program, with its focus on supporting local food and farming, benefits both our communities and farmers,” said Delegate Rasoul. “The money spent with local farmers and growers stays close to home and is reinvested with the businesses and services in our communities.”

The new Infrastructure Program joins two other the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development funded programs, all of which are administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Facility Grants Program is a Governor’s discretionary economic development incentive for new and expanding facilities that, in addition to creating new jobs and investment, add value to Virginia-grown products. The Planning Grants Program funds a wide range of activities that support agriculture and forestry-based industries more broadly and is designed to empower localities to develop creative solutions tailored to their unique needs.

Additional information about the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Infrastructure program is available here. Questions about the program and upcoming application workshops should be directed to Jennifer.Perkins@vdacs.virginia.gov.

Women Entrepreneurs Are on The Move!

By: Martin Short, Lead Economic Development Specialist & Public Information Officer

Women entrepreneurs are on the move when it comes to small business ownership. Women are starting businesses at a much higher rate. Also, women are being recognized now than ever before for their business capabilities and successes. As a matter of fact, today is American Business Women’s Day. 

According to the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS) there were 6,861 more women-owned firms in 2018 than in 2017. This is an increase of 0.6% to 1.1 million firms. This number is continuously growing.

The SBA helps women entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and compete in the marketplace. We have programs that are dedicated to the success of women entrepreneurs. For example, we have an Office of Women’s Business Ownership(OWBO). Our OWBO is geared to empower women entrepreneurs through education, support, and advocacy. 

In addition, the SBA helps fund Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) around the country. WBCs are vital members of our entrepreneurial ecosystem with the mission of helping women navigate the business landscape and overcoming unique obstacles. The SBA has two partner WBCs in Virginia. The Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Women’s Business Center is hosted by Old Dominion University and is located Norfolk, VA. The newest center, Women’s Business Center of Richmond-National Institute Economic Development, is hosted by Virginia Union University and is located in Richmond, VA.

Through the partnership with the SBA Virginia-Richmond District Office and the WBCs, we provide women entrepreneurs with access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, and business training. These services are just the tip of the iceberg. 

In addition, the SBA and WBCs empower women entrepreneurs to be bold, relentless, and resolute about success. We are here to further fuel and amplify this movement. Join us by visiting our webpage on women-owned businesses. Happy American Business Women’s Day!

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Meet our new Rheumatologist: Joshua Gavin, D.O.

Dr. Gavin is the new rheumatologist on the first floor of the C.A.R.E. Building, next to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, in South Hill.

South Hill, VA (9/17/21) – Over 46 million people in the United States are living with rheumatic disease, the most common cause of joint pain and loss of mobility. Some of the more frequently found examples of these conditions include: OsteoarthritisRheumatoid ArthritisLupus, OsteoporosisPsoriatic Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, GoutTendinitis, and Bursitis.

We just opened a new rheumatology practice located on the first floor of our C.A.R.E. Building, next to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, in South Hill. We invite you to learn more about Rheumatology at our next virtual Community Out-Reach Education program on September 28, 2021, at noon via Zoom. Visit vcuhealth.org/cmh-core for the link.

This week we sat down with Joshua Gavin, D.O., and asked him a few questions.

What is Rheumatology?

A medical science devoted to the study of rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. Rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders are diverse and include autoimmune disorders, inflammatory arthritides, noninflammatory arthritides, diffuse and local soft tissue disorders, injuries, and osteoporosis.

Why did you choose the field of Rheumatology?

I took an elective in medical school and was intrigued learning about different organ systems and how rheumatologic conditions impact the entire body. I learned the evolution of different treatments and really enjoyed improving my patients’ quality of life.

What is your goal for this community?

I want to provide accessible, high-quality care for patients of this community who suffer from rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders.

What is your philosophy of care?

I hope to provide compassionate and individualized patient care through building meaningful healing relationships with my patients over time by delivering patient-centered care. As the treatment options for rheumatologic diseases continue to advance, I believe better education and shared decision-making strategies will help my patients make better treatment options and live a healthier life.

How would you describe your bedside manner?

I’ve been told I am optimistic and approachable.

What are your qualifications?

I am board certified in Internal Medicine and earned my Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri. I completed an Internal Medicine residency from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. I also completed a Rheumatology fellowship at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia. I am a member of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology.

What would you like patients to know about you?

I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but mostly grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have lived in Texas, Kansas and Missouri. I currently live in Chester with my wife and two dogs. My family lives all over the country including Florida, New Mexico and Tennessee. I enjoy cooking, travel, playing tennis poorly, and visiting new restaurants and breweries.

How does someone make an appointment with you?

Most often my patients are referred by their primary care physician or other specialists. But if someone is new to the area with an existing rheumatic diagnosis or seeking a second opinion please call (434) 584-2273 to make an appointment.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


 

Forklift Operator : Currently seeking an experienced Forklift Operator to fill an opening with a warehouse company located in Kenbridge, VA. The ideal candidate(s) should be able to operate the forklift in a warehouse environment and should have safety awareness and efficient work ethic. HSD and 1 Year experience required. Job Order 2453072 

General Laborer: Perform a variety of tasks assisting with the operation of the plant, including using hand tools, cleaning, washing, sweeping, and shoveling materials.  Repair and Maintain Equipment. Assist co-workers in the servicing, repairing, and adjusting of various pieces of equipment throughout the plant.  Inspect Equipment and Structures. Perform daily inspections and maintenance of the plant equipment in order to ensure safe, reliable, and compliant operations that maximize production and minimize interruptions. Operate Vehicles and Equipment. Operate heavy construction equipment or similar types of cleanup loaders in order to assist with the operation of the plant.  Job Order 2452098 

Machine Operator: Responsible for the control, operation and production of vial machine.  This job requires mechanical aptitude and the ability to read blueprints, use hand tools, and use instruments such as calipers, dial indicators, polar scope, comparator.  Set up machine and maintain. HSD 12 months experience required. Job Order 2451847

Forklift Operator: Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.   Will work at least 40 hours plus hours a week. All shifts available. First shift 7:A.M - 3:15 P.M.  Second Shift 3:00 P.M. - 11:15 P.M. Third Shift 11:00 P.M. - 7:15 A.M. All shifts pay $13.00 per hour. Willing to accept Re-Entry Member) Job Order 2450984

General Laborer: Applicants will be loading and unloading trucks, working on an assembly line and packing material.  Applicant must be able to lift 75 pounds.  Hours of operation are 7:00 A.m. to 4:30 P.M  Job Order 2450864

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE POSITIONS CONTACT THE

VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION

FREE WORKSHOPS!

  Virginia Employment Commission hours in Emporia are:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 – 4:30

Wednesday 9:30 – 4:30

      The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de oportunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedidopara

 personas con discapacidades.

Concord UMC Donates School Supplies to Jackson-Feild

The members of Concord United Methodist Church in Stony Creek conducted a drive to collect school supplies for the students of the Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Health Services (JFBHS).

The drive was conducted over several weeks and the donated supplies were transported to Jackson-Feild by Mrs. Mary Spires and presented to Dr. Shaneka Rose, Director of Education.

The members of this historic church have been helping the children at JFBHS since 2004. The United Methodist Women have been the most active recognizing birthdays, celebrating holidays, providing scholarship funding for college, and conducting donation drives.

They engage the help of the pastors and members to assist them in improving the quality of life at JFBHS and work to ensure the residents know that they are valued and loved.

Dr. Rose and the Gwaltney School were most grateful to receive these supplies and putting them to use in classrooms this school year.

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Drops for 15 Straight Months, to 4.0 Percent in August

 

Virginia outpaces the nation in economic recovery

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in August, 3.0 percentage points below the rate from one year ago.

The labor force increased by 5,550 to 4,247,321, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 7,678 to 168,515. The number of employed residents rose by 13,228 to 4,078,806. In August 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.2 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 5.2 percent.

“Virginia’s economic recovery continues to outpace the nation," said Governor Northam. “Our unemployment rate remains well below the national average and has fallen consistently every month for the past fifteen months. More people are working and businesses are continuing to flock to our Commonwealth—even with the ongoing threat of COVID-19. I'm proud of our roaring economic growth, and I look forward to seeing these trends continue."

“This month’s declining unemployment rate is made possible through the hard work and determination of Virginia’s workers and employers, who are the true champions of economic recovery in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “While we have more work to do, we can all be proud of how far we've come.”

“The overall trend in the unemployment rate we see is very encouraging, as the number of jobs being added to payrolls across Virginia continues to increase,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The trends are clear—businesses are hiring and folks are getting back to work.”

In August, private sector employment increased by 1,500 jobs to 3,208,700, and employment in the public sector gained 9,000 jobs to 704,500. Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 10,500 jobs in August. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 37,100 jobs or 12 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 20,600 jobs or 2.7 percent. Trade and transportation experienced the third-largest over-the-year job gain of 16,600 jobs or 2.6 percent.

For a greater statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.

Governor Northam Announces Production of ‘Raymond and Ray’ in Virginia

Project will film in Central Virginia this fall

RICHMOND—The Governor today announced that the feature film Raymond and Ray, from Apple Original Films, will shoot in Central Virginia this fall. The film stars Ethan Hawke (Before Sunset, Boyhood) and Ewan McGregor (Halston, Fargo).
 
Raymond and Ray tells the story of half-brothers who have lived in the shadow of a difficult father. Rodrigo García (In Treatment, Albert Nobbs) will write and direct. Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Roma) will produce with Bonnie Curtis (Saving Private Ryan, Albert Nobbs) and Julie Lynn (Albert Nobbs, To the Bone). Lynn is a board member for the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Gabriela Rodriguez and Shea Kammer will serve as executive producers.
 
“Major projects like Raymond and Ray shine a powerful spotlight on and increase awareness of all that Virginia offers,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “We look forward to working with the film’s exceptional team and to the economic benefits a film of this scale will bring to Virginia workers and businesses.”
 
“The Virginia film, television, and new media industry is a source of strong economic growth for the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The industry has provided high-wage jobs and revenue to many Virginia communities throughout times of economic uncertainty and especially so for our hard-hit hospitality industry. Projects like Raymond and Ray continue to build our profile as a preferred production location, and we eagerly anticipate the expansion of this important Virginia industry.”
 
“Attending the lovely Virginia Film Festival whetted our appetite to film in the Commonwealth,” said Raymond and Ray director Rodrigo Garcia and producers Alfonso Cuaron, Bonnie Curtis, and Julie Lynn in a joint statement. “The Virginia Film Office has been amazing, and we’re thrilled to bring Raymond and Ray here, with Apple’s support, to take advantage of the gorgeous locations and fall colors."
 
“We are honored to welcome the many new and familiar faces of Raymond and Ray to Virginia,” said Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds. “There is truly no greater testament to Virginia’s rich assets, talented workers, and film-friendly atmosphere than repeat customers of this distinction, and we’re enthusiastic about another special opportunity to grow our partnership.”
 
Recent major projects that have been filmed in Virginia include the feature film Tapawingo, the Hulu limited series Dopesick, AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Apple TV’s Swagger. 
 
Raymond and Ray will be eligible for a Virginia film tax credit or grant. The exact amount will be based on the number of Virginia workers hired, Virginia goods and services purchased, and deliverables including Virginia tourism promotions.
 
For more information about Virginia’s film production industry, please visit the Virginia Film Office website. To learn more about Virginia tourism, please click here.

 

NDUTIME Youth & Family Services and its CEO Settle False Claims Act Allegations Relating to the Virginia Medicaid Program

RICHMOND, Va. – A Henrico County mental health services provider and its executive officer agreed to settle a civil lawsuit alleging they caused the submission of false claims to the Virginia Medicaid program, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia and Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia.
 
NDUTime Youth & Family Services, Inc. (NDUTime) and its current Chief Executive Officer, Teshana Gipson, of Henrico County, have agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a civil fraud lawsuit alleging they caused false claims to be submitted for payment from the Virginia Medicaid program.
 
The United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia jointly filed a complaint against NDUTime and Gibson under the federal False Claims Act and the Virginia Taxpayers Against Fraud Act. NDUTime provided crisis intervention, crisis stabilization, and therapeutic day treatment for children, among other mental health services. NDUTime was only entitled to reimbursement for services that it actually provided. In addition, Virginia state law required that certain services be provided by a licensed mental health professional and that initial assessments be made before services were provided. The lawsuit alleged that, between 2013 and 2017, NDUTime submitted false claims for services that it did not actually render, false claims for services that were not provided by a licensed counselor, and false claims that were based on initial assessments that were not completed by a licensed counselor.
 
The Government initiated an investigation after two separate lawsuits were filed under the False Claims Act and the Virginia Taxpayers Against Fraud Act by whistleblowers who made the allegations. These Acts permit the government time to investigate allegations of fraudulent conduct and to intervene in such lawsuits. Based on their investigation of the allegations, the Government intervened, the cases were consolidated and unsealed, and the Government filed its own complaint. 
 
The False Claims Act and the Virginia Taxpayers Against Fraud Act also permit whistleblowers to receive a share of between fifteen and twenty-five percent of any recovery.
 
The resolution in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Virginia Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McIntosh, former Assistant Attorney General Jessica McKenzie, and Assistant Attorneys General Airen Adamonis, Ray Bowman, and Megan Winfield.
 
Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit are on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cv-653.
 
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
 
The civil claims settled by this agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.

Governor Northam Encourages Virginians to Celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month

Month proclaimed in recognition of contributions of Hispanic and Latino Virginians

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today proclaimed September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month.

“As we mark 53 years of commemorating National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, Pam and I encourage all Virginians to join us in celebrating the important history and enduring contributions of the Hispanic and Latino community throughout Virginia and our country. They enrich our communities by sharing their vibrant culture and heritage.

“Throughout this month, we honor and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Hispanic and Latino men and women who have contributed greatly to the success of our Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino Virginians continue to make great strides in public office and civil rights issues, supporting the fight for justice and equality for all, and successfully advocating for the historic passage of language access and of protections for all immigrants regardless of citizenship status.

“We acknowledge their deep-rooted history and foundation in our country and in our Commonwealth. We highlight their leadership in business and education, and their service in the fight against COVID-19 as healthcare and frontline workers. We recognize the dedication of our public servants as teachers and government employees. We commend the service of Hispanic and Latino men and women in the military protecting our democracy and freedom.

“The stories of Hispanic and Latino people are woven into the fabric of our communities. I invite all Virginians to participate in virtual and other safe celebrations of Hispanic and Latino heritage taking place in communities around the Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia’s history.”

The text of Governor Northam’s Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month proclamation can be found here in English and here in Spanish.

Governor and First Lady Northam shared a video message with Virginians during Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. Watch the video here.

Elective Surgery and Clinic Update

South Hill, VA (9/13/21) – Effective immediately, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) is making changes to non-urgent, elective appointments to safely continue caring for patients during an increase in COVID-19 cases in our region. Urgent and emergency surgeries will continue on an as-needed basis.

To increase staffing in areas of high need, we are postponing most elective surgeries until further notice. We are currently contacting patients who are impacted. In addition, we are moving existing, routine face-to-face clinic appointments to telehealth visits by phone or video where appropriate. We are taking this step to increase our ability to care for those with emergency medical needs.

For questions related to an upcoming appointment, or to schedule a telehealth appointment, established patients can call their VCU Health CMH provider at (434) 584-2273. Telehealth appointments may require copayments and will be billed accordingly.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our area, and will adapt our flexible surge plans, which have served us well throughout the pandemic, as needed. This time is no different. These plans are in place to aid in our ability to provide the safest, highest-quality care to all our patients.

“We want our patients to continue to have access to safe, high-quality health care,” said Ikenna Ibe, M.D., who serves as vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at VCU Health CMH. “Telehealth provides a safe, convenient option to care for our patients from the comfort of their own home.”

Once a telehealth appointment has been scheduled, patients will receive a link via email which logs them in and connects them to their health care provider. This type of appointment requires the patient to use a device with internet or data connectivity and a camera. That can include any smartphone, tablet, and most laptop computers.

Our adult on-demand urgent clinic is available without an appointment from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily. To sign up and start a visit, simply download the VCU Health Anywhere app.

Safety remains our top priority, which currently includes visitor limitations to reduce the number of people in our environment. Inpatients are allowed one visitor per patient per day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. All visitors entering the hospital and C.A.R.E. Building will be screened for signs and symptoms related to COVID-19.

Please continue to practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet of distance between people, washing hands often and wearing masks. The most effective tool to combat COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

Take Advantage of Early Voting in 2021!

 

Dear Editor:

This letter is written to my fellow citizens of Emporia and Greensville as a STRONG reminder from the Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee!

GO VOTE!!!  The November General Election is Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

Here’s your 3-minute WARNING!!!

First day of In-Person Voting at your local Registrar’s Office (Weekdays Only):

Begins Friday, September 17, 2021.

Deadline to Register, Confirm or Update your Voter Registration: Tuesday, October 12, 2021!

In-Person Voting:

Again, First day of In-Person Voting (Weekdays Only) at your Local Registrar’s Office -

City of Emporia: City Municipal Building, 201 South Main Street, Emporia, VA 23847

Telephone: 434.634.9533

Greensville County: Greensville County Government Building, 1781 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, VA 23847 Telephone: 434.348.4205

Sunday Early Voting (Souls to the Polls!) – GREENSVILLE COUNTY ONLY!!!

►Sunday, September 19, 2021, Polls Open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Saturday Early Voting: October 23 and October 30, 2021 at ALL local Voter Registration Offices!

Last Day of In-Person Early Voting:

Saturday, October 30, 2021 at your Local Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m.!

Election Day:

Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Polls Open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Voting From Home:

Deadline to apply for a Ballot to be mailed to you: Friday, October 22, 2021

(Request MUST be received at Local Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m.

Deadline to mail your Ballot: Must be postmarked NO LATER than November 2 and Received by the Registrar by November 5, 2021. Allow time for delays and mail it before the deadline!

There, now you have the FACTS…and just the facts! Now everyone within reach of this letter to the editor is armed with the most basic of rights Constitutionally guaranteed to them!  There are no excuses for you NOT to be seen or at least heard at the polls! 

Some of you out there may not be aware but there are those that are betting against you that you will take an opportunity to cast your vote and be heard in our Democracy!

A huge thank you to Greensville County’s Electoral Board and Registrar for offering to encourage “Souls to the Polls” and offering a very special Sunday in September (September 19, 2021) to have the Registrar’s Office open and to encourage folks to vote early and show their commitment to not only our community but also to our State!   

There are a few Electoral Boards across the Commonwealth that opted to focus on past patterns of apathy or didn’t feel committed to encouraging voters to expand opportunities to allow you to vote early…regrettably, one of those is the city of Emporia.  So, the only way to prove our commitment to this and ANY future election is to show them!  I will personally be leading the effort to drive as many people to the polls on those last two Saturdays in October – October 23 and October 30 to flood the Registrar’s Office from open to close with excited voters to keep them busy! The Registrar’s Office is supposed to be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm please, TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE!!!

I encourage you to take one of the many opportunities provided to you to GO VOTE!  Grab your family, friends, neighbors, Cousin Pookie, you’re Aunt Nay Nay and Uncle Buck, your Sorors, Line Bros, Ladies Circles, Fellow Elks, whomever and make sure they get to exercise their right to voice their VOTE!

The Election this year is VERY important!  On the Democratic Ticket for Governor is Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Hala Ayala, Attorney General Mark Herring, House of Delegates Roslyn Tyler and in the City of Emporia for Treasurer is Jay Osburn.

Should you need help registering to vote, getting to the polls for early voting or on Election Day, need more information about the candidates running or checking your registration, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or members of the Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee and someone will be glad to assist.  We may be reached at 434.634.5499.

I look forward to seeing each of you at the Polls – Early or on Election Day!!!

GO VOTE!!! No Vote, No Voice – KNOW the VOTE, Know YOUR VOICE!!!

George E. Morrison, III, Chairman

Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committees

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

McEachin Invites VA-04 Students to Compete in Congressional App Challenge

Richmond, VA – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the start of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge for all middle and high school students in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.

The annual competition challenges students to create an original software application. The winner will be eligible to have their app displayed in the U.S. Capitol, featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website, and will be invited to attend the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill reception.

“The annual Congressional App Challenge is an exciting chance for students to harness their STEM-related knowledge and potentially develop the next best app. I have been so impressed with previous competitors’ creativity and command of coding software,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “Computer science is a burgeoning industry and continues to present new career opportunities. I encourage all eligible students to enter this year’s competition, and I look forward to seeing your innovative apps.”

The Congressional App Challenge is an opportunity for students to compete against their peers and test their abilities in coding and computer science. The competition provides students with the chance to hone their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines and begin exploring new industries and potential future career paths.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all students who reside in or attend school in the Fourth Congressional District. Students may begin pre-registering for the event today on the Congressional App Challenge website. Official launch of the competition begins on June 24th. The deadline to submit an app is November 1st.

More information on the Congressional App Challenge is available on Rep. McEachin’s website.

Subscribe to Emporia News RSS

Emporia News

Stories on Emporianews.com are be searchable, using the box above. All new stories will be tagged with the date (format YYYY-M-D or 2013-1-1) and the names of persons, places, institutions, etc. mentioned in the article. This database feature will make it easier for those people wishing to find and re-read an article.  For anyone wishing to view previous day's pages, you may click on the "Previous Day's Pages" link in the menu at the top of the page, or search by date (YYYY-M-D format) using the box above.

Comment Policy:  When an article or poll is open for comments feel free to leave one.  Please remember to be respectful when you comment (no foul or hateful language, no racial slurs, etc) and keep our comments safe for work and children. Comments are moderated and comments that contain explicit or hateful words will be deleted.  IP addresses are tracked for comments. 

Submit Your Story!

Emporia News welcomes your submissions!  You may submit articles, announcements, school or sports information or community calendar events via e-mail on news@emporianews.com. 

Contact us at news@emporianews.com
 
EmporiaNews.com is hosted as a community Service by Telpage.  Visit their website at www.telpage.net or call (434)634-5100 (NOTICE: Telpage cannot help you with questions about Emporia New nor does Teplage have any input the content of Emporia News.  Please use the e-mail address above if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the content on Emporia News.)