May 2015

  1. Storyteller’s Night at GES

    Storyteller’s Night was hosted at Greensville Elementary School on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Storytellers read their book and worked with students to create activities based on the stories theme. 4th grade students presented a play based on the book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama. Students in first grade classes heard The Dot, by Peter Reynolds and then constructed life size outlines using paint dots. Students and their families also enjoyed hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Each student participating received a copy of the book read to them along with books won through raffles. Storyteller’s night was a wonderful, interactive time for staff, parents, and students to express their love of reading and add new books to their personal libraries.

    Students and parents create artwork inspired by the story, The Dot by Peter Reynolds.

    4th graders present a play based on the book, Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama.

    1st row L-R: Chandler Newsome, Jaden Mitchell, Illiana Miles (1st gr), Emily Lynch, Jada Coles-Lewis, Joseph Zaragoza; 2nd row L-R: QuaDarius Nicholson, Charles Fields, Mackenzie Burnette, Cody Flint, Nyjiar Waller, Janayla Ashley, Chelsea Barnes

    Mrs. Geronimo, as Little Red Riding Hood, presented her story in Spanish.

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  2. Dominion Virginia Power Customers Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season

    • State tax exemption offers savings on emergency supplies May 25-31
    • Hurricane season officially begins June 1
    • Dominion prepared & planning for possible storms

    RICHMOND, Va. – The official start to hurricane season is just days away. Although it officially doesn’t begin until June 1, Dominion is urging all customers to prepare now for the upcoming summer storm season. Everyone can take advantage of the state’s sales tax holiday from May 25-31 to stock their emergency kits with supplies.

    “During this time of year, it makes sense for everyone to have a well-stocked emergency preparedness kit,” said David Rives, senior vice president-Distribution at Dominion Virginia Power. “We will work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power in the wake of a hurricane or powerful storm, but prolonged power outages are possible. Advance preparation can help ensure our customers and their families are ready.”

    Under the Virginia Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, residents can save money on items that will help them prepare for potential power outages. Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, coolers, tarps, plastic sheeting and duct tape will be exempt from the state sales tax, along with portable generators, chainsaws and accessories. A complete list of tax-exempt items related to storm preparation can be found at

    In addition, Dominion suggests your kit include a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, any necessary medications, a fully charged cell phone, extra clothes and a blanket. To learn more about stocking an emergency preparedness kit, visit:

    Dominion works year-round with state and local authorities to make sure it responds quickly to any kind of emergency. As the start of hurricane season approaches, Dominion conducts refresher training and emergency preparedness and response drills.

    Last year, Dominion implemented a new marking system for downed wires. Company crews will investigate all downed wire reports, determine ownership and then contact the owner utility after ensuring that the wire does not pose an eminent threat to public safety. After major storms, customers may see downed lines marked with colored flagging tape-yellow tape around a wire indicates it is part of Dominion’s system; orange tape around a wire indicates that it belongs to another utility.

    Regardless, Dominion reminds customers to treat all downed lines and anything touching them as energized and dangerous. Be sure your children know the danger and keep your pets safe as well.

    Before a storm approaches, here are a few things to remember:

    • Be sure your phone number is up to date on your account. You can update the number online through Manage Your Account or by calling our phone number update line at (800) 222-0401.
    • Sign up for Dominion text alerts by visiting the website at to choose the region you would like to receive alerts for and follow Dominion on Facebook and Twitter.

    If you experience an outage:

    • After reporting an outage, turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. Leave one lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
    • Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Do not hook them directly to the electrical system of your home unless done so by a licensed and bonded electrical contractor. Electricity could flow backward onto our power lines and endanger repair crews. The correct, safe technique is to follow the instructions provided with the generator and always use proper-sized extension cords.

    Additional information is also available on the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website at:

    Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,600 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at

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  3. Obituary-Ben Gordon

    Ben Gordon, Jr, 36, passed away Saturday, May 30, 2015. He is survived by his parents, Ben Gordon, Sr. and Alice “Cookie” Gordon; sister, Mary Gordon Velvin; nieces, Dawn Hibbard and husband, Philip and Brooke Velvin; beloved great niece and great nephew, Emily and Jonathan Hibbard and a large extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 1 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 2. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to assist the family with final arrangements. Online condolences may be made at

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  4. Read to the Rhythm At Your Local Library

    The Meherrin Regional Library System urges families to shake, rattle, or roll to the library for Read to the Rhythm! The Meherrin Regional Library System launches its Read to the Rhythm! Summer Reading Program on June 1st. During the next two months, the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville and the Richardson Memorial Library in Emporia will host a range of free activities for children, tweens, and teens that encourage and support a love of reading. Participants can win prizes for reaching their reading goals.

    Themed summer events include a line dancing class with the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Zumba with the YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, and a concert from the Richmond Gourd Orchestra. Magician and juggler Jonathan Austin and a fun filled show by the Sundae Puppets are also part of the summer fun.

    There is a serious side to summer reading for youth. Research has shown that reading over the summer prevents summer reading loss. “Studies indicate students who read recreationally outperformed those who don’t. Students read more when they can choose materials based on their own interests,” Krystal Cook-Elliott, Youth Services Librarian states. “Our libraries are committed to supporting lifelong learning and educational enrichment for all families.”

    The Libraries' Summer Reading Program Registration begins June 1st. To learn more about summer adventure at the library, please call the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville at (434) 848-2418 ext. 301 or the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia at (434) 634-2539 or check out the library’s website at


  5. Obituary-Clara “Sis” Allen Ogburn

    Clara “Sis” Allen Ogburn, 67, of Emporia passed away May 29, 2015.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Henry M. and Pauline W. Allen.  She is survived by her husband, Melvin D. Ogburn; daughter, Karen M. Ogburn; brothers, Donny R. Allen (Carrie), Bernie Ed Allen (Linda), James David Allen (Frances Ann), Henry Stephen Allen (Jeanie), Joseph Michael Allen (Vickie); sisters, Brenda A. Newton (Earl), Julie A. Woodruff (James), Pamela A. Lifsey (Scott); sister-in-law, Phyllis O. Mills; numerous nieces and nephews.  Visitation will be held Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 6-8pm in Echols Funeral Home Chapel.  Funeral services will be Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 2pm in Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery.  Clara and her family are the owners of Ogburn Sings and Printing.  She loved the Lord, her family and her dedicated customers.  Condolences may be sent to



    Alfonzo R. Seward joined the faculty of Southside Virginia Community College for 2015 as Assistant Professor of Administration of Justice on the Christanna Campus in Alberta.  Previously, he held the rank of Sergeant with the Department of State Police in Virginia where he was instructional leader and coordinator of 122nd Basic Session Trainees.

    A native of Brunswick County, Seward joined the Unites States Army serving with the Military Police at Fort Bragg.  He was honorably discharged from the Army with the rank of Sergeant Military Police in 2003.  He worked for a security company in Virginia Beach and Fort Monroe until becoming a Virginia State Police Trooper in 2006 where he rose to the rank of Sergeant. 

    A graduate of Brunswick High School, he received certification from Military Police School, U.S. Army in 1998, completed courses in Primary Leadership Development and Military Police Basic Non Commissioned Officer with the Army then received Certification from the Virginia State Police.  He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. Paul’s College and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice form University of Cincinnati. 

    He is currently enrolled at North Central University pursuing a doctorate in Philosophy of Business Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice. 

    He is a mentor at Wilson Chapel Baptist Church and a volunteer at local public schools.  He is married to Taleisha Seward, and they have two daughters , Jarielle and Jaluauni and reside in Lawrenceville. 

    SVCC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree In Administration of Justice, and a Certificate in Administration of Justice.  The college also offers a Career Studies Certificate in Corrections.  For information about the college visit

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  7. Sciencetellers Visit Greensville Elementary



    The first grade classes at Greensville Elementary enjoyed a visit from the Sciencetellers. Sciencetellers combines storytelling and exciting experiments. Scienceteller Josh kept the first graders in great suspense with his dynamic storytelling, enthusiasm and excitement. Not only were students able to apply skills they’ve learned in science, but they were also able to incorporate skills they’ve learned in reading and writing such as visualizing and bold beginnings. Some students were able to participate in experiments involving dry ice, as well as demonstrations that reiterated what they’ve learned about solids, liquids, and gases. A good time was had by all as we watched science come to life! We can’t wait to have Sciencetellers back again!



  8. Southside Virginia Community College Assumes New Training Initiative to Transition Veterans into Advanced Manufacturing

    RICHMOND– Southside Virginia Community College is an integral part of a new program announced by Governor Terry McAuliffe this week.   The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) has launched a new advanced manufacturing training program for active duty soldiers preparing for the civilian workforce and veterans who have recently transitioned to civilian life.  The program is a collaboration amongst the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC), Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC), the Crater Regional Workforce Investment Board (Crater WIB), the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), the Fort Lee Soldier for Life Program and 180 Skills, an online career and technical education curriculum provider.

    About the announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “This new workforce program for active duty soldiers and veterans is an outstanding example of the power of public and private partnerships to drive state and regional workforce solutions that will help build the new Virginia economy.  CCAM and our institutions of higher education in Southern Virginia have collaborated to establish short term, intensive training that creates opportunities for high-value certifications and job interviews upon completion.”

    “SVCC is excited about the opportunity to host this innovative pilot program,” said Dr. Al Roberts, President of SVCC.  “The success of this effort is in large part due to the collaborative efforts of statewide partners who have shared their time, expertise and resources.”

    “This is exactly the type of workforce solution that the Governor called for in Executive Order 23,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “By working together as a team, state and regional partners are delivering these ‘Credentials to Compete’ for well-paying, available jobs.  By offering the training to active duty soldiers in the months preceding their transition from the service, the program offers our soldiers a seamless transition from active duty status to civilian employment.”

    The pilot program is located at SVCC’s Emporia Center.  The program includes 162 modules of customized, interactive online learning and 260 hours of project-based hands-on training in advanced manufacturing principles and practices.  The instruction will prepare soldiers and veterans for as many as six highly marketable National Institute for Metalworking (NIMs) certifications.

    “Keeping the military’s talent pool of transitioning soldiers in Virginia and primed for high-demand manufacturing jobs is exactly the type of training CCAM and the Virginia Tobacco Commission had in mind when the Centers of Manufacturing Excellence were established,” said Dr. Betty Adams, Executive Director of the SVHEC.

    Virginia Senator Frank Ruff, Chair of the Tobacco Commission’s Education Committee, initially approached CCAM with the idea to train veterans.

    “The plan was for the newly established Advanced Manufacturing Centers of Excellence at SVHEC to be utilized to give this highly skilled and disciplined population the necessary tools to ensure a successful transition to civilian life - as well as talent for companies seeking a highly skilled and mature workforce,” said Senator Ruff.  “Our military men and women have learned good work habits as they have served our nation.  They can provide the same work ethic and problem solving to Virginia's manufacturing employers.”

    The Fort Lee’s Soldier for Life Program worked with the VEC to identify a pilot group of transitioning soldiers and veterans to participate.  Training is provided at no cost to students or employers, thanks to funding provided by the Crater Regional WIB under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), which is designed to help job seekers access education, training, and support services to succeed in the workplace.  More than 15 Virginia manufacturing companies will interview the pilot program graduates when they earn their NIMs certifications in late August.

    “Traditional training programs are often taught in 16-week semesters, but Fort Lee soldiers have the unique opportunity to pursue training during the last three months of their enlistment.  Creating a condensed certification training program that takes advantage of a time frame when soldiers are still on active duty gives the soldiers greater opportunities to seamlessly transition into the civilian workforce,” said Bruce Sobczak, Workforce Director of CCAM.  “Soldiers receive two-and-a-half years of training in approximately five months through a hybrid online and hands-on laboratory program.”

    CCAM and its partners plan to use the program as a model for other Virginia regions and nationally.  New training locations near other Virginia military installations will be identified, and a second skills training curriculum in industrial maintenance will be developed.   

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    “Southside Virginia is the place I call home.  Today sets in motion the futures of 1,400 men and women.  This is your day and you earned it.  You are Southside Strong,” began the commencement address at Southside Virginia Community College on May 16 in Keysville by Halifax County native Dr. Dietra Y. Trent, Deputy Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Dr. Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Hampton University, and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.    

    She reminded graduates to continue to be proud of their hometowns and part of this community.  Even though the area has suffered economic setbacks, Southside changed with the times and remained relevant.

    “Go into the world carrying the Southside flag, share your talents and give back,” Dr. Trent said

    SVCC President Dr. Al  Roberts presided over the commencement ceremony before a Saturday morning crowd of more than 4,000.  A record number of Dual Enrollment students graduated this year.  More than 500 students from area high schools completed a SVCC degree, diploma or certificate in the program that offers classes with both high school and college credit.

    One graduate, Summer Fink, was recognized as a 2015 nominee for the American Association of Community Colleges/Phi theta Kappa/All-USA Team.  Honors program graduates this year are Joshua Baird, Landon Baker, Cameron Covington, Tyler Johnson and Christopher Nelson.  Students accepted into this program have high academic standards and outstanding leadership potential.

    Area graduates are listed below.

    Graduates from Emporia

    Darlwin Bernard Lee
    Shyheim Layquan Anderson
    Tiffany Richelle Anderson
    Kiara N Atkins
    Alexis Tihon Autry
    Anthony Bourn
    Jennifer Lane Coker
    Sabra Breann Davis
    Jessica Marie Flynt*
    Nyashia Nicole Gregory
    Jessica Mitchell Harris
    Tyrell Bernard Jenkins
    Talesha Danielle King
    Carman Kelli Larson*
    Stephen Sean Manley
    Mallie Evelyn Manning*
    Kelli A Miller
    Dana Lashae Mitchell
    Ishmael Jabril Muhammad
    Joshua D Nunnally
    Brittany Lachelle Owens
    Evaan Hunter Saaski
    Carleen Theodosia Scott
    Michael Javon Seay
    Lance Alexander Short
    Felecia Janice Stukes
    Brooke Michelle Velvin
    Henry Eugene Wall Jr.
    Jordan Elizabeth Watson
    Richard Taylor Watson
    Erica Latrice Whitfield
    William Alan Woodruff
    Aremetria Titiana Yates
    Patrice Monique Jones
    Drequan Cortez Turner
    Timmy Recardo Sloan Jr.
    Gregory Demetrius Daughtry
    Francine G Wright
    Taquanna Nashe Lane
    Sheena Denise Johnson
    Titiana De'Juanee Nicholson
    Earl Dequan Squire
    Rasheek Tyrell Futrell
    Mary Annie Parker
    Demetrius Lonzale Seaborn
    Jasmine Renee Sykes
    Charlene Haskett
    Tamekia Danielle Owens
    Kaliqua Latee Stokes
    Shannon Kitchen Seward
    Ye'Tonnah Danae Worrell
    David Damarcus Ramsey Jr.
    Jamal Malik Davis
    Peitra Antionette Simmons
    Corey Jacob Williams
    Marcus Allen Hicks
    Ahkeem DaVae Allen
    Courtney Denise Vaughan*
    Austin Craig Jarratt
    Jakyesia Charae Murrell
    Promise La'Sha Mason
    Piaget Nicole Hicks
    Tamara Lynn Starke
    Alexandra Nicole Allen
    Robert Ernest Allen III
    Kelly Malik
    Barry David Allen Jr.
    Millicent Ann Slate
    Ryan Howard Short
    Nakia Danielle Allen*
    Roland Eubank Weaver III*
    Rasha McKail Green
    Deshaun Lamont Artis
    Kiana Janae Hancock
    Austin Wood Harvey
    Stephanie M Ferguson
    Caleb Nathaniel House
    Khalilah Alia Jones
    Aron Blade Taylor
    Stewart Eric Veliky
    Jamie Lee Watkins
    Brooklyn Taylor Simmons
    Thomas Shawn Hennessey Jr.
    Joshua Michael Davis
    Allison Nicole Mitchell
    Samantha Lee Powell
    Haley Dawn Allen
    William C Bowser
    Emily Christine Ogburn
    Kathy Robinson Drummond
    Tristan Kavon Gillus
    Steven Paul Little
    Tyler McKay Ferguson
    Kristen Nicole Moseley
    Kristen Nicole Moseley*
    Porscha C Offer Lundy
    Elishia Brashay Powell
    Daionna Tomise Wright
    Brooke Nicole Allen
    Te'la Tamara Harding
    Travonnia Deshay Bullock
    Isabella Mae Harvey
    Kayla Nicole Mullins
    Kayla Ivona Maloney
    Dominic Yagich Grant
    Ma'Kayla Jennice Palmer
    Shakayla Yanastavia Smith
    Rahmel Ali Peebles
    Michael Ray Stephens
    Aikayla Lyshelle Green
    Kaitlin LeAnn Velvin
    Kevin McGlenn Stephenson*
    Etavia Funj Anderson
    Adreanna Marquisa Hines
    Sonji S Davis
    Tamiko Tamira Taylor
    Jonathan Neal Lucy
    Brian Matthew Bullock
    Lance Ryan Wyatt
    Nicholas Steven Simms
    Shanita Lashae Jeffress
    John H Seaborne Jr.
    My'esha Dasha Burrell
    Grayson Lane Walton
    Heather Nicole Veliky
    Dontae Shaquille Tucker
    Latisha Pitt*


    Graduates from Jarratt

    Alexis Brooke Barnes
    Payton Elizabeth Doyle
    Courtney Deandre Gomes
    Melba Carrie Jones
    Matoya Shenelle Nicholson*
    Diamond Charmaine Taylor-Robinson
    Antoine Lamont Whitaker
    Dillion Ray Whitby
    Chantay Lenise Williams
    George June Garrette
    Kayla Brook Watts
    Cody M Wray
    Corey Tremell Lee Sr.
    Aaliyah De'Kimia Broadnax
    Nicholas Shane Turner
    Mary Bridgeman Bailey
    Cameron Shane Phelps
    Tevin De'Shawn Chambliss
    Michelle Ashley Scott
    Tabria Neshae Bailey
    Tayvon Alexis Alston
    James Brandon Driver
    Faye Mangum Elliott

    Graduates from Skippers

    Hunter Ryan Aycock
    Tavonia Danielle Banks*
    Brandy Blythe Epps
    Lexus Abigail Long
    Lyssa Celeste Rivers
    Anthony Mcghee Sr.
    Natalie DaShay Manning
    Heather Rene' Williams
    Jonathan Carl Jones
    George David Slagle III
    Ceilidhe Kate Brown
    Isaiah Terell Brooks
    Tiffany Amber Brooks

    Graduates from Dolphin

    Margarete Leane Davis*
    Sarah Allison Howerton*
    Brittany JoAnna King
    Patsy Gauldin Lucy
    Leslie Gill Edwards

    Graduates from Ebony

    Makita Shalae Clements
    Yadasia Ja'Niece Clements*

    Graduates from Freeman

    Dawn Marie Poythress
    Vongretchen Price
    Selina Levon Thompson
    Darrell Anthony Stewart Jr.
    Shawn F Livingston
    Shadhri L Stith
    Alana Chanel Brown
    Victoria Ann Clark
    Marsha Michelle Hays
    Aaron Sims Huff
    Tonya Jeanette Weddington*
    Sherwood Wayne Harrison

    Graduates from Gasburg

    Christopher Michael Richard Rather*
    Candice Ann Elmore

    Graduated from Rawlings

    Timothy Scott Everman II

    Graduates from Stony Creek

    Theba Sheree Bellamy*
    Danielle Latrice Prosise
    Cameron Paul Gross*
    Christina Joeanna Knight
    Jacob Brandon Owen
    Justin Charles Owen

    Graduates from Valentines

    Ashley Writtenberry Argueta
    Marsha R Pearson
    Albert Lewis Mason Sr.
    Cedric Juwan Smith
    Jaquan Lamar High
    Jenipher LeAnn Singleton
    Jasmine Love Price


    Graduates from Dewitt

    Danielle L Jones
    Sydney M Marshall
    Michael Dean Dunn
    Paul William Dunn
    Rachel Louise Harper
    Blair Lynn Sullivan

    Graduates from Warfield

    Anthony Eden Short Jr.*
    Jeremiah Kevin Stokes
    Courtney Moore Thompson
    Stephanie Walker

    Graduates from Carson

    Tyler Keith Waterfield
    MaQuetta Shenika Aurelia Easter

    Graduates from White Plains

    Camille Rosetta Wilkins
    Kaid Dwayne Moody*
    Tiffani Krystle Livingston
    Cheyenne Taylor Kent
    H. Elizabeth E Farrar-Clary





    *Summer 2015 Graduates

     Graduates from Lawrenceville

    Demetrius Marcell Alexander
    Ja'Mila Shaquisia Blunt
    Makayla Diane Evans
    Crystal Yolanda Goldsberry
    Kristen Paige Hammack
    Courtney Noel Harris
    Chrissie J Hines
    Leroy Hurt Sr.
    Ja'Onna Kazmira Jacobs
    Joseph Tyler Johnson
    Whitney Marie Jones
    Earl Bernard Lee*
    Aja McLeod Walker
    Ethan Wayne Moore
    Amanda Skyy Pate*
    Latarsha Shenea Peterson
    Althea Olivia Robinson*
    Laura Jo Sain
    Jayla Letitia Seward
    Gerica La'Quella Singleton
    Reginald Cleon Singleton*
    Jordan Elizabeth Sumpter
    Carol MacLin Vaughan*
    Antionette R Wilkins
    Zachary Julian Adams
    Latyra Dominique Rice
    Garetta La'Sha Johnson
    Devonte Rashawn Stith
    Darren McKinley Owens
    Daylan Mitchell Owens
    Jaquan Antione Ruffin
    Sha'Damia Kayla Hargrove
    Alexandra Brooke Doucette
    Marilynn Rhodes Cabiness*
    Robert Tiler Peebles
    Trinity Janee Harrison
    Keon Fonte Morgan*
    Victoria Latrice Wallace-Williams
    Margaret McLeod Cain
    Jalen Andrew Taper
    Brishauna Jaaliyah Hawkins-Wesson
    Celesteen Easter Yancey
    Madison Lee Browder
    Allison Lane Powell
    De'Andre Andrew Jones
    Tychelle Donecia Callis
    Shaquanna Shane' Morgan
    Larry Junior Hale Jr.*
    Katlyn Ann Clary
    Loren Elizabeth Propst
    Jamisen Omar Baskerville
    Shadae Alexus Ruffin
    Leatrice Chenise Boyd
    Katherine Day Gurkin
    Kristen Michelle Clarke

    Graduates from Bracey

    Christopher Smith Read
    Joel Allen Wilson
    Miranda Lynn Curry
    Destiny Christine Pulver
    Samantha Ariel Spraggins
    Matthew William Bailey*
    Genia T Read*
    Jeremiah Dalton Gilmer

    Graduates from Alberta

    Danielle L Fields*
    Malissa A. Walker Knight
    Patrice Ladawn Rhodes
    Roberta A Tyler
    John Randolph Stith
    Tiara Lutfiyah Mustafa
    Shakeera Wright
    Sharon Palmer Cypress
    Bernard Parham

    Graduates from Yale

    Latonya M Jones
    Marsha Lynette Granderson*

    Graduates from Lacrosse

    Candace Rajette Cypress
    Avereen Crenshaw Bennett
    Dione Drummond Davis
    Jasmine Maureen McCray*
    Meghan Hope Young
    Clinton T Brame
    Anieca Chauntraya Clements
    Katrina Michele Dix Brown
    Ariel Kaiondra Harris*
    Destiny Arnasia Harris*
    Lakiya Nicole Hawthorne
    Kanika Rasheeda Hite
    Krystal O Cheely
    Shannon Renne Brewer*
    Maurice Andre' Saunders
    Kristen Lauriel Wallace
    Ryan D Crutchfield
    Amari Deloris Walker
    Sydney Gayle Crafton
    Christopher Pierce Martin Sr.
    Michael Christopher Gill
    Chytori Tabonne Valentine
    Joshua Austin Baird
    Devin Lavar Evans
    Latonja S Harris
    Christopher Xavier Cousin
    Bruce Vincent Cliborne
    Linda Patillo Feggins
    Cierra Elizabeth King
    Dylan Wayne Tucker
    Catandra Michelle Chavis
    Derricka Lemonya Patillo
    Lacie Dawn Sadler
    Amanda Lee Stone
    Monica LaJean Blalock
    Jenel M Lynch
    Jarrett Tyler Kidd
    Kyle Vernon Pelletier
    Ashley Danielle Ownby
    Kaitlin Alexis Hodge*



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  10. GES Students Win a Day at TopHand

    TopHand hosted a “Fun Day” for the classes at GES who won the Dr. Seuss door contest.  The following classes won for their grade level:  Mrs. Rideout, Mrs. B. Barnes, Mrs. Tripp, Mrs. R. Anderson, Ms. Propst, and Mrs. Simmons.  Students enjoyed participating in many activities which encouraged reading and exercising.  Some of the activities included were: quiet Olympics, dancing, dizzy bat spin, motivational speaker, and sharing a Dr. Seuss book.

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  11. Franken Stube Wins Certificate of Excellence

    Pictured with their Certificate of Excellence are Freddie and Irene Williams (front row) with Son-in-law David, Server La Kisha and Cook Dominick (back row, l-r)

    "How do travelers find the best properties in the world?  They look for the Certificate of Excellence - a prestigious award that can only be earned through consistently great reviews if you business on the world's largest travel site.

    For five years, TripAdvisor has shared this award on behalf of travelers across the globe.  Today, whether you're a first time recipient or a five time winner, we hope you're proud to see Franken Stube recognized by customers as one of the very best in business.

    We also hope you'll celebrate your award by promoting it on social media, in the local press and with potential customers...


    Marc Charron, President, TripAdvisor for Business"

    Of the 65 reviews of our own locally owned German Restaurant, only 3 are not "very good" or "excellent."  The overwhelming majority of the reviews (currently 50 of the 65) are Excellent.  The food has been given Five Stars and the overall rating is Four and One-half Stars.  All guests are made to feel welcome the minute the walk through the door!

    Irene Williams and her husband Freddie opened the restaurant on West Atlantic Street in 2013.  Freddie is a local who came home to Greensville County and Irene is from Germany.  Irene has nearly 30 years experience in the kitchen, and that knowledge shows in the perfectly tender Schnitzel.  The Wursts and other meats are sourced from a specialty supplier and cooked to order.  All of the sides and desserts are also made in house, including the Strudel.  

    In addition to the generous portions of great food and outstanding desserts (which are served with German coffee), there is also a selection of German Beer and Wine.  Be sure to stop by and enjoy dinner al fresco in the new Biergarten, which is nestled on the shady side of the building for evenings and has umbrellas for lunch time.

    If you have people on your list that are hard to buy for, check out their selection of imported food, candy and chocolate; gift certificates are also available (hide the Gift Certificate at the bottom of a box of imported Chocolate).

    Franken Stube is open from 12-5 on Sunday (bring your Church bulletin for 10% off), 11-8 on Wednesday and Thursday and 11-9 on Friday and Saturday.  Information about daily specials can often be found on their Facebook page and the full menu is available on their website.  Franken Stube is located at 605 West Atlantic Street in Emporia and may be reached by phone at (434)336-1010.

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  12. Obituary-David Lee Jones

    David Lee Jones, age 62, of Henrico, N.C. passed away May 24, 2015.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy J. and Edward Lee Jones.  He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn Lynch Jones; his step-children, Roland “Rob” E. Weaver, Jr. (Patsy Hayes) and Gwendolyn “Ginger” Dotter (Steve); his grandchildren, Roland “Land” E. Weaver, III and Alexis Weaver; his aunt, Beverly J. Ellis; and his uncle, Bob B. Jones.  A memorial service will be held 12:00 noon, Saturday at Pleasant Hill Christian Church, Gasburg, Va.  The family will receive friends Saturday from 11:00 to 12:00, prior to the service at the church.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Hill Christian Church, P.O. Box 550, Gasburg, VA  23857; Central Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 386, Gasburg, VA  23857; or the Gasburg Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O. Box 225, Gasburg, VA  23857.  Online condolences may be made at


  13. Obituary-Belinda Jean Simmons

    Belinda Jean Simmons, 43, of Jarratt, passed away Sunday, May 24, 2015. She is survived by her husband, Donald R. Simmons; daughter, Samantha Drake; her mother, Phyllis Simmons; three sisters, Regina Davis of Chesterfield, Regana Jennings of McKenney and Rhonda Jones of Emporia; a brother, Lester Wray of Matoaco and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 27. Interment will follow at High Hills Memorial Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at

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  14. “The Unfinished Work”by the Rev. Dr. Ricky R. Hurst

    Thank you for this opportunity to share with you today. I count it a great honor. For the comfort and inspiration of our souls, hear these sacred words from Psalm 46:1-11 and Matthew 24:4-14:

    God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

    There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

    Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

    He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

    The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.  

    (Psalm 46:1-11)

    And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:4-14)

    On this Memorial Day, I would also like to share with you a sacred address that has become a national treasure:

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

     Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

    It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (President Abraham Lincoln, November 19, 1863)

    Memorial Day is more of a day for the living than it is for the dead. The dead have now received their reward. And for us, the living, Memorial Day is meant for more than just remembering. It is a day meant for dedicating ourselves to “the unfinished work.” President Abraham Lincoln realized this when he stood on a battlefield saturated with the blood of young men who had given their lives in order to save their nation. And a year and a half later, President Lincoln’s life would also be taken in his effort to preserve the union.  

    All of us here today have been touched by the lives of loved ones, who gave their lives for a greater cause. I was asked recently if I was a veteran. And my reply was, “No, but I have great respect for veterans and for those who give themselves in the fight for freedom.” I do come from a long line of veterans. My fourth great grandfather, Robert Hurst was a veteran of the Revolutionary War; my third great grandfather, William Hurst was a veteran of the Seminole Indian War, my second great grandfather, Robert Augustus Hurst was a veteran of the Civil War; and my grandfather, Herbert Johns Hurst was a veteran of World War One.     

    If our ancestors and loved ones risked their lives to protect their homeland, then what will we do to pick up the pieces of broken freedoms, broken communities, broken families, and broken lives. I suggest that there are two things we can do in the endless labor of the unfinished work: Practice Love and Build Community!   

    Human Rights for everyone must be more important than our own self-interests and agendas. To dedicate ourselves to the proposition that all men and women are created equal, requires us to look deeply within our souls and to rediscover the mandate of love.  One of my Catholic colleagues of high position, Pope Francis, has recently said, “Only love can save us!” Truly, there is nothing else that can save our nation and save our world.

    So, let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves; let us love the alien because we also have been aliens; let us do unto others as we would have them do unto us; let us love one another as Jesus has loved us; let us love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

    At the very core of human rights is love, and without love there is no sacrifice, no freedom, no real meaning to life, and no hope for our community and nation. Without the compassion of love we are no more than an angry mob that is let loose on a rampage of looting, burning, and killing; or a tyrannical, authoritarian power that crushes human dignity and freedom of expression.

    One hundred years after President Lincoln’s address, the Rev. Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. made another speech that captured the minds and hearts of our nation as it struggled with civil rights. We know that speech by the title, “I Have a Dream,” delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., on August 28, 1963. He spoke in an eloquent way about the unfinished work of human rights and community. He had a dream of a nation and a community, whose children would not be “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” What a wonderful dream for all of us!

    Community is at the core of our nation. Without the communion of love there is no community, and without community there is no union, and without union there is no nation. Such preaching sounds radical and dangerous. And, I suppose it is! Dr. King found that out when his life was taken in his effort to proclaim the proposition of a beloved community. So, let us treasure such a beloved community, a community for which we would lay down our lives, and for which we would continue the labor of the unfinished work. The beloved community is more than a dream. It is a new reality, which must continue to be purchased by all of us, for all of us.            

    Let us be dedicated together to “the unfinished work” that God has given us, to advance the call to love one another, to bring compassion, healing, and justice in our community and world. And, let us labor together as if the day has already arrived: A day when we will bring relief to the poor and marginalized, healing to the broken hearted, release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; A day when people will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and when neighbors and nations will no longer fight one another anymore.

    Let us pray: Dear God, fill our hearts with your love – the love of Christ to give our lives for our friends, and to live our lives with our friends in freedom and peace. Give us grace to find a way to bring healing and strength to one another, and forgive us of our selfishness and pride. Help us to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with you. And, continue O Lord, to create within us a pure heart, so that we may live and work together, until the day comes when others take our place in the unfinished work. Amen.

    Written and delivered by the Rev. Dr. Ricky R. Hurst, Pastor of Main Street Baptist Church, at the Veterans Park Pavilion on Memorial Day in Emporia, Virginia, on May 25, 2015.  Thank You to Rev. Dr. Hurst for sending the text for publication on Emporia News.


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  15. American Legion Celebrates Memorial Day with Community

    American Legion Posts 46 and 151 joined forces on Monday to celebrate Memorial Day with the Emporia-Greensville community.

    The event began at 11 Monday morning with a welcome from David Barnes that included a reading of the poem "Proud to Be an American," before the Greensville County High School JROTC presenting the Colors. Following the posting of the colors, the Bowmans offered a heartfelt "thank you," before performing the "Star Spangled Banner," our National Anthem.  The Pledge of Allegiance and an Invocation by Rev. Brad Barbour of Victory Fellowship Church.

    Lee Seymour led the POW ceremony, noting that the empty chair is present with the POW/MIA flag on it as a reminder of those not present.

    Adj. Ed Bryant then introduced the Keynote Speaker, Rev. Dr. Ricky Hurst of Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia. Rev. Dr. Ricky R. Hurst is a native of Carroll County, Georgia, and has been an ordained Baptist Minister for 34 years.  He has served as pastor in Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia, as well as the Director of Donor Relation for the Virginia Baptist Foundation.  Ricky is a graduate of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia; the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; and the Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond.  Currently, he is the Pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia, Virginia.  He and his wife, Joy, have three sons: Nathan (daughter-in-law, Vanessa), Samuel, and Jeremiah (daughter-in law, Allison). Ricky’s hobbies include creative writing, antique book and bottle collecting, nature, and gardening.  The text of Rev. Dr. Hurst's address follows this article.

    After the Keynote Address a wreath was laid at the Memorial as Taps was sounded by Kalib Turner.  The wreath was laid by (l-r between JROTC Honor Guard),  Richard Brown, LaVerne Johnson, Katherine Lucas, David Barnes under the watchful eyes of the JROTC Honor Guard provided by Jaquesa Joyne and  Ryshawn Sykes.

    After the wreath was laid the Colors were retired and Rev. Barbour offered the Benediction

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  16. Brunswick Academy Graduates 29

    Baccalaureate Services will be held in the Brunswick Academy Gymnasium on Sunday, May 31st at 5:00 pm.  The guest speaker will be Reverend Land Spigener of South Hill United Methodist Church in South Hill, Virginia.  Commencement Exercises will be held in the Brunswick Academy Gymnasium on Friday, June 5th at 7:00 pm.  Twenty-nine seniors will be graduating.

    The valedictorian is Lucas Lee Curtis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Curtis of Gasburg.  The salutaorian is Madison Rose Lewis, daughter of Mrs. Tracy Lee of Jarratt and F. W. Lewis of Stony Creek.  Lucas will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall.  Madison will be attending Longwood University  in the fall.

    There will be three other honor graduates at this year's ceremony.  Laren Talad Butler, daughter of Tammy Butler of Freeman and Laurence Butler of Henrico, NC; Alexis LeeAnne Smith, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Smith of South Hill and Frances Coral Sadler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sadler, III, of Emporia.  Laren will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall.  Lexi will be attending James Madison University in the fall.  Cora will be attending the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill in the fall.

    Thirteen seniors are children of Brunswick Academy alumni.


  17. Pinning Ceremony for Greenville County High School Nurse Aide Students

    Greenville County High School  Nurse Aide Students from Southside Virginia Community College recently participated in a Pinning Ceremony at the Christanna Campus.  Those completing the course are ( Left to right) Kayla Maloney, Millicent Slate, Jordan Watson, Te'la Harding, Ahkeem Allen, Mrs. Rose, Aaliyah Brodnax, Shanita Jeffress, Tavonia Banks, Jakyesia Murrell and Etavia Anderson. Back row- (Left to right) Nicholas Turner and Natalie Manning

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  18. Tia Powell Receives Outstanding Performance Award

    While attending the Virginia Cooperative Extension Multi-State Nutrition Assistants’ Conference in Roanoke, VA May 5-8, Tia Powell received the Outstanding Performance Award for the Central District.  This award is given to the nutrition program assistants who see beyond the reality to the possibility.  They are individuals who propel the program to the highest level.  They exceed their workload targets and impact goals and have firmly established collaborative relationships with multiple agencies within their county.  Their teaching techniques and ability to make program fun and inviting often result in a waiting list for their programs.  Tia Powell readily accepts new and unusual projects while excelling at her job expectations.  Last year, Tia enrolled 969 youth as a split SNAP-Ed Program assistant, in addition to 68 adult clients.  She was the first in the state to start classes in Eat Smart, Move More and Slim Down.



    Emporia, VA – Most people only visit hospitals occasionally, when a loved one is sick or a friend is having a baby. Employees at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) are different in this regard. Each day, more than 300 staff members come to the hospital to provide compassionate, personalized care for friends, neighbors and those they do not know. Our providers work together around the clock, seven days a week to make healthcare available any time it is needed, whether for one person or more in times of community crisis or natural disaster.

    Established in 1953, National Hospital Week honors the dedication of all the men and women who deliver and support the care provided in hospitals. The timing of Hospital Week was chosen to coincide with Florence Nightingale’s birthday in recognition of her efforts to revolutionize the way hospitals were run in the United States. Although much has changed in healthcare since the mid- to late-1800s when Nightingale cared for patients, one thing has remained constant: hospitals are foundations of their communities, nurturing and caring for individuals from all walks of life.

    Hospitals are significant contributors to the communities they serve. In addition to providing vital health care services, hospitals are also major employers in the community. According to the American Hospital Association, hospitals provide more than 5.5 million jobs across the United States.

    Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) joined with hospitals across the nation in celebration of National Hospital Week May 11-15, and to recognize and thank  the men and women who support the health of their communities through compassionate care, and unwavering dedication to the patients they serve. 

    As in past years, staff participate in fund raisers leading up to and throughout Hospital Week to benefit the Emporia/Greensville Relay for Life. On the two Fridays prior to Hospital Week, staff participated in SVRMC Denim Days, collecting $5.00 from staff who wore their favorite jeans to work.  During Hospital Week, all proceeds from the $3.00 and $1.00 lunch special were added to the collection, as well as all funds from raffle tickets were sold throughout the week for prize drawings to be held on Friday.  When all was said and done on the final day of the celebration, staff had raised a total of $1,618.42 that they donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  

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  20. Secretary of the Commonwealth to Address Improvement Association

    Levar Stoney, Secretary of the Commonwealth, will be the guest speaker at The Improvement Association’s Annual Board Banquet/Meeting to be held Friday, May 29, 2015 at the Golden Leaf Commons Building, at 6:30PM in Emporia.  

    Levar Stoney was sworn in as Secretary of the Commonwealth on January 19, 2014. Stoney is the first African-American to hold this post and is the youngest member of Governor McAuliffe’s Cabinet.

    The Secretary of the Commonwealth is designated by the Code of Virginia as the keeper of the seals of the Commonwealth.   Among the office’s various duties, Stoney assists the Governor in his appointments of nearly 4,000 individuals to serve on Virginia's boards and commissions and the restoration of civil rights to ex – offenders.

    Prior to serving as Secretary of the Commonwealth, Stoney served as the Deputy Director of the McAuliffe Gubernatorial Transition. He was the Deputy Campaign Manager of McAuliffe's 2013 campaign for Governor. In 2008, he served as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. At the time he was one of the youngest state Democratic Party executive directors in the United States.

    During his career, Levar worked in various public and private sector capacities, including for Virginia State Senator R. Creigh Deeds and former Delegate C. Richard Cranwell.

    Levar remains engaged in civic and community service by serving on a number of boards and committees.  He is a member of VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board; member of LEAD Virginia Board of Directors; member of the Virginia State Bar’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee; member of the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation 2019 Commemoration Steering Committee; and member of the Ujima Legacy Fund.

    Levar received his undergraduate degree from James Madison University in 2004. In 2006, he completed the Virginia Commonwealth University Minority Political Leadership Institute's leadership development program. He is a native of Yorktown and is a product of the York County public schools. He and his wife reside in Richmond.

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  21. Basic Contractor Business Licensing Course offered at SVCC

    Southside Virginia Community College is offering a Basic Contractor Business Licensing Course on June 13, 2015 from 8:30AM-5:00PM on the Christanna Campus in Alberta.

    This eight-hour course provides an overview of the statutes and regulations that govern contractor licensing in Virginia. This course is approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and Board of Contractors.

    Topics include: Starting a Business in Virginia, Laws and Regulations, Contractor Limits and Classifications, Virginia State Statutes Relating to Contractors, Statement of Consumer Protections, The Licensing Process, Obtaining the Contract, Customer Service and New Home Warranties, Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), Underground Utilities, Insurance, Virginia Taxes, Labor Law, Erosion and Sediment Control, Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH), and Liens.



  22. Isaiah Stephens Ends Perfect Track Season

    Lazers Track Club member, Isaiah Stephens, a 5th grader at Belfield Elementary School ended his Indoor Track season with a perfect record, four gold medals in the shot put and a personal best of 39 feet 9 ½ inches.  This was Stephens first year participating in Indoor Track.  The indoor season consisted of four meets which were held at Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, VA.  

    Outdoor season has started and Stephens has his work cut out for him.  Due to his birth date, he has moved up to the 11-12 Boys Division, although he is still 10 years old.  Stephens has dominated the shot put and javelin thus far with the Gold this outdoor season.   He has added discus to his participation of events.  He has placed in the top 3 in each meet in the discus.  Stephens’s determination to be #1 in the discus paid off on Saturday at Lakeland High School.  He received Gold medals in shot put, javelin and discus.  Isaiah is coached by Coach Bill Cain and Coach Les Young

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  23. Virginians Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season

    Purchase supplies May 25-31 during the Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

    RICHMOND, Va. – Virginians are at risk for the damaging effects of coastal and inland tropical storm systems and widespread flooding. To emphasize the importance of preparing for hurricane season, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has recognized May 24-30 as Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week.

    “It’s critical that every Virginian take hurricane season seriously and understand how they could be affected by flooding, high winds and tornadoes during this time of year,” said State Coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern. “Those who live along coastal areas also need to learn how storm surge could affect them so that they know what to do when tropical systems are approaching. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones depend on getting ready before a hurricane or tropical storm hits.”

    “The prediction of a below normal hurricane season should not be taken to mean Virginia won't be impacted this year,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “Let’s all remember that it only takes one storm to cause severe damage and even loss of life. Everyone should get ready now for this hurricane season.”

    Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday May 25-31 will provide Virginians with an opportunity to buy emergency equipment and supplies tax-free. All Virginia retailers participate in the holiday. Among the items that are exempt from sales tax are batteries including cell phone batteries, flashlights and lanterns, bottled water of all types and sizes, first aid kits, coolers, NOAA Weather Radios, portable generators and many other useful items. For more on the sales tax holiday, including a list of tax-exempt items, visit

    How to Prepare
    Among the most important actions people can take toward disaster preparedness are:

    • Download the free Ready Virginia app for iPhone® and Android™. Features:
      • Weather warnings issued for your location by the National Weather Service
      • A customizable emergency plan that can be easily shared with family and friends
      • A checklist for gathering emergency supplies
      • “I’m Safe!” feature that allows you to quickly send a text message to let family and friends know you are safe
      •  Interactive map that allows you to find the maximum storm surge risk at your current location or an address entered in the search bar
    • Create a family emergency communications plan.
      • Decide how and where everyone will meet up with each other if separated
      • Choose an out-of-town emergency contact for your family and give that person’s phone number to each family member
      • Make a sheet of emergency contacts and post it in visible places in your home and workplace. Don’t rely on your smart phone or online contact lists.
      • Get a free emergency plan worksheet at or or use the new Ready Virginia app.
    • Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.
    • Talk to an insurance agent about flood insurance.
      • Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding; renters and business owners also can get flood insurance.
      • Just one inch of water in a mid-size home or office can mean $20,000 in repairs.
      • Go to or call 1-800-427-2419 for more information.
      • Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.

    People with disabilities or access and functional needs may need to take additional steps. Plan how to handle power outages and/or being asked to evacuate. See

    The governor’s proclamation of May 24-30 as Hurricane and Flooding Preparedness Week coincides with National Hurricane Preparedness Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service.

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  24. SVCC Pins CNA Students

    Southside Virginia Community College held a Nurse Aide Pinning Ceremony on the Christanna Campus on May 13, 2015. 

    Students and instructors from the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia are (left to right) Larry Hale, Karen Davis,  Mary Parker, Sonji Davis, and Fiona Trusdale and Instructor Michelle Green-Wright

    Those from the Christanna Campus are (left to right) Patsy Lucy, Tiffany Hardy, Kelie Hammonds, Garland Jenkins, Lusajo Gordon, Mia White, Kelsey Clary and Instructor Dawn Twombley

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  25. Make it Happen at SVCC

    The mission of the Make-It-Happen Program at Southside Virginia Community College is to enroll minority males students in institutions of higher education and provide support services to ensure their success.  This year's graduates were recognized recently at an event held at SVCC in Alberta.  They are (L to R) Dontae Tucker, Rashaun Alexander, Aja Mcleod, Earl Lee, Catandra Chavis, Amir Marks, Marques Sydnor, and John Hicks

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  26. Top Dog Crowned in Doggie Fashion Show

    The Sixth Annual Doggie Fashion Show and Luncheon was held on Saturday, May 16.  A variety of costumed canines took Golden Leaf Commons by storm.

    The event is the major fund raiser for the Emporia-Greensville Humane Society, bringing in $15,000 last year.  In addition, the event is great fun for all those involved, from the junior volunteers to the pets and their parents.

    This year's judges had a tough task.  Eighteen dogs were judged in three groups (small, medium and large breeds).  This year's' judges were Matthew Grey, Virginia State Director for the Humane Society of the United States; Lucy Metcalf who has helped judge the show on four previous occassions; Michelle Wilson, a Professional Groomer at Roanoke Animal Hospital; Michelle Welch, Director of the Attorney General's new Animal Law Unit; and Julie Sokolowski, Treasurer of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. Pictured above, front row (l-r) Matthew Grey and Michelle Welch; back row (l-r) Michelle Wilson, Lucy Metcalf and Julie Sokolowski.

    This year 18 dogs competed for the Best in Show Trophy.  Among the other prizes were: Bucko Dunn for Best Costume, Snow Green for Most Challenged, Goldy Rumplik won Best Personality.

    Daisy Phillips, owned by Trent and Lynn Phillips won the Best Large Breed (Daisy also won Best in Show in 2013).  Daisy s a true champion, she is a black and tan Doberman Pincer, she is 6 years old and weighs 56 pounds.  Daisy is a very loving dog, she loves attention and will often lay her head on your knee for you to rub her head; if she does not want you to stop, she will put her paw on your foot to let you know to stay.  She is also very protective of her yard and her surroundings.  Daisy's favorite thing is waiting for her Big Daddy to taker her to the country store on the golf cart for her daily Slim Jim.

    Lucy Gupton, owned by Ashley Gupton, was judged to be the best medium breed.  Lucy is a black, brown and white Beagle mix who is 8 years old, weighing 38 pounds.  Lucy's favorite toy is her fox.  She loves to hunt and go for walks with her best friend Abbie.  She does not like to take baths, but what dog does?  Lucy loves her treats and time with her family. She is a very sweet little girl and loves to play with her red ball.

    McCoy Phillips, owned by Lynn Phillips, won Best Small Breed and Best in Show.  McCoy is a black and tan Yorkshire Terrier, he is 8 years old and weighs 7 pounds.  McCoy is the ruler of the Phillips household.  He constantly wants to be held and loves to play with his toys.  He doesn't have a favorite toy, because every time you come home from shopping he shas to nose through all the bags to find a new one.  He loves Christmas, he will go through all the gift bags and pull out whatever is inside.  At dinner time, McCoy is the first one to the table, barking for whatever you are eating.  He is just one little guy you cannot help but love.

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  27. Obituary-Glenn R. Moss

    Glenn R. Moss, 60, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, May 16, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Vickie P. Moss; three daughters, Carlissa M. Clements and husband, Stacey, Jessica Rae Moss and Jeannie Marie Moss and fiance’ Bubba Grizzard; four grandchildren, Jody Wade Allen, Layla Mackenzie Clements, Jesse Johnson Grizzard, IV, Gracie Lee Grizzard; his beloved canine companion, Tara and a large extended family of brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. The family will have a celebration of his life at his home on Saturday, May 23 and will receive friends 4-8 p.m. Services and interment at a later date will be private. Online condolences may be made at

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    EMPORIA, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) recently honored 2014 retirees and employees with milestone years of service in 2014 at the annual Service Awards Luncheon held during National Hospital Week.  “This was a great opportunity for us to thank our employees for their excellent service,” said Matt Tavenner, SVRMC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  “The dedication of our employees helps SVRMC stand apart from other healthcare providers,” he said. 

    As a part of the celebration, staff were invited to a special luncheon where they were recognized for their years of service with a certificate and a gift.  Employees with twenty or more years of service were also presented with flowers. Altogether, three retirees and forty-three employees were recognized for milestone in 2014.  Combined the honorees represent  a total of 754 years of service to SVRMC.

    5 Years of Service: Front Row – L to R:  Frances Taylor, Debra Hewitt, Amanda Phillips; Back Row – L to R:  Margaret Robinson, Jan Draper, Ronnie Franklin, Stephanie Duncan, Margaret Bass; Not Pictured – Zhiquita Adams, Jason Henwood, Lacy Wrenn.

    10 Year of Service: Front Row – L to R:  Sylvia Ramsey, Tamara Jasper, Sharon Brown, Wanda Crumpler; Back Row – L to R:  Zina Robinson, Lori Harrup, Becky Parrish, Amanda Thomas, Alvin Jackson; Not Pictured:  Kathleen Lawson, Kristin Moseley, Dana Musser.

    15 Years of Service: Front Row – L to R:  Danielle Moran, Leavelle Tillar, Wanda Phillips; Back Row:  L – R:  Vernita Gibbons, Loretta Bottoms; Not Pictured:  Cleo Clark.

    20 Years of Service: L – R:  Stacy Musselman, Letric Lucas, Beverly Michael.

    25 Years of Service: Rosemary Carson; Not Pictured:  Cynthia Jones.

    30 Years of Service: Patsy Rose.

    35 Year of Service: L – R:  Wilma Taylor, Cassandra Eason, Jay Ewing, Martha Tranka; Not Pictured:  Doris Cooper.

    40 Years of Service: L – R:  Pam Low, Nancy Wells

    45 Years of Service: Barbara Jordan

    Retiring after 33 years of service, Ginnie Davis (second from left) pictured with L – R, Linda Burnette, Chief Nursing Officer, Davis, Peggy Dunn, Director of Surgical Services and Matt Tavenner, Chief Executive Officer.  Retirees not pictured:  Bob Jennings and Dorothy Lee.

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  29. Relay for Life was Friday!

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  30. Golfers Swing Their Way to Help Jackson-Feild’s Children

    The children at Jackson-Feild Homes were the ultimate winners on May 11th at the 20th annual Go Golfing for Kids golf tournament.

    The tournament was held at The County Club at the Highlands in Chesterfield. Boddie-Noell Enterprises was the tournament sponsor and has been since the tournament’s inception. Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial was the presenting sponsor.

    A delicious lunch was provided by Hardee’s after which tournament play began using the Captain’s Choice tournament format. An awards dinner immediately followed the tournament.

    It could not have been a better day for golf. The course was in excellent shape. The golfers enjoyed their time on the links and had a good time for a good cause.

    The proceeds for the 2015 event will be used to support Jackson-Feild’s Summer Enrichment Program. A variety of programs and activities are planned daily throughout the summer to educate and engage residents. Over the years proceeds from the tournament have been used for scholarships, education and student programs.



    With around 20 million Americans now playing soccer, the number one soccer company in the United States & Canada, Challenger Sports, has been invited to hold one of their highly regarded “British Soccer Camps” right here in Emporia, Virginia. 

    The Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville has teamed up to host the week long “British Soccer Camp” during the week ofAugust 10-14 at EGRA Meherrin River Park.

    The camp will run Monday through Friday and each child will be coached by a member of Challenger’s elite team of 1,200 British soccer coaches flown to the USA exclusively to work on these programs. Challenger Sports will hold over 4,000 Soccer programs this year and will coach over 200,000 players between the ages of 3 and 19.  

    Challenger’s 1,000 touches coaching syllabus provides an innovative daily regimen of foot-skills, moves, juggling, tactical practices & daily tournament play. Challenger also weaves lessons on Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Leadership and Sportsmanship into the camper’s daily routine.

    The British Soccer Camp program also provides a unique cultural experience for the players, highlighted in the Camp World Cup. The coaches use this daily tournament to teach the players about life, customs and traditions of other countries.

    The Family YMCA of Emporia-Greensville, is offering “British Soccer Camp” sessions for boys and girls ages 6-14.  Camp will be held from 9:00-12:00 at EGRA Meherrin River Park.  Registration fee for the camp is $135 per person and each camper will receive a FREE Soccer Camp T-Shirt, a FREE Soccer Ball, a FREE Giant Soccer Poster and a personalized Skills Performance Evaluation. In addition, any child who signs up online by June 15 will receive a genuine British Soccer Replica Jersey.

    Space is limited – parents are encouraged to sign up on line in advance to avoid disappointment. Sign up TODAY at or, for more information please contact the YMCA at (434) 348-9622.

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  32. Obituary-Mitchell Ray Powell

    Mitchell Ray Powell, 57, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, May 14, 2015. He is survived by his wife, Melanie Mitchell Powell; son, Carl O. Powell and fiancee’, Kelli Miller and their daughter, Mackenzie; his daughter, Caitlin M. Powell and her son, Emerson Powell; brother, Terry L. Powell and wife, Wanda; two sisters, Martha Powell andPatricia Earnhardt and husband, Jerry and a number of nieces, nephews and aunts and uncles. The family will receive friends at his home 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. The funeral service and interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be made at

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  33. Obituary-Lory Pacheco Schepp

    Lory Pacheco Schepp, 85, went to meet the Lord on Thursday, May 14, 2015. She was born in Manila, Philippines but made her home in Emporia, VA. She was a member of St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church in Emporia. She is survived by her husband, Roy E. Schepp of Emporia, VA; her children, Mary Beth Harvey of Wilmington, DE, Joe Ann Craft of Brook Haven, PA, Billy Roy Schepp of Arlington, VA, and Angel L. Schepp of Sedona, AZ; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 19, at 7pm at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 1351 West Atlantic Street, Emporia, VA 23847.  Condolences may be sent to

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  34. Virginia’s Adoption Champion Celebrates National Foster Care Month by Introducing Connecting Hearts

    Virginia, May 2015 – Debbie Johnston, Virginia’s Adoption Champion, CEO of Care Advantage, Inc., and an adoptee herself, has welcomed the challenge of securing loving homes for all of Virginia’s children. Since being appointed Adoption Champion by Governor Terry McAuliffe in August of 2014, Johnston strives to spread stronger awareness about the dire need for foster and adoptive families in the state.

    To celebrate May as National Foster Care Month, Johnston is proud to introduce Connecting Hearts – The Deborah J Johnston Foundation. The purpose of Connecting Hearts (CH) is to ensure every child has the opportunity for a loving home. CH makes the commitment to thoroughly address support needs across the state by connecting the work of established foster & adoption non-profits, agencies and organizations. CH pledges to continue the commitment to children by providing education, awareness and advocacy. It will work to enhance public understanding and create positive attitudes about adoption and foster care.

    For National Foster Care Month, Johnston asks individuals, organizations, and communities to support a child in foster care in any way they can. This month draws public attention to the year-round needs of hundreds of Virginian children who are not living at home because their families are unable to care for them. Children who need foster families have been removed from their birth family by no fault of their own, for reasons of neglect, abuse, abandonment or other risks of endangerment.

    With guidance and support from caring adults, youth in foster care are capable of realizing their fullest potential. Foster parenting is an important and rewarding opportunity that helps shape brighter futures. Johnston wishes to extend a request for support of foster care to every member of the commonwealth. Some ways to engage in this work are to simply talk about the need for foster parents, distinguish potential foster or adoptive families, volunteer at local organizations, or foster a child yourself.

    Johnston has been featured on ABC’s Secret Millionaire, owns a successful multi-million dollar home-healthcare company, and has been recognized for numerous awards in the community for her philanthropy. Still, she credits her success to her loving Virginia family of eight who adopted her and gave her the basic human right: a family. “This initiative is extremely close to my heart, and I will work tirelessly in my position as Adoption Champion to find homes for our Commonwealth’s exceptional foster children,” said Johnston.

    To learn about Connecting Hearts or how to help, contact Executive Director Ericca Facetti at Get updates at To find out more about fostering a childvisit Virginia Department of Social Services at For more information about Debbie Johnston head to Follow her plans, ideas and inspiration at

    Johnston with children from Great Expectations, a program that offers educational and professional support to Virginia’s foster children.

    Johnston with an adopted child at an event celebrating Adoption Month in November 2014.

    Facts from the Department of Social Services about Foster Care:

    • There is no income requirement to be a foster parent
    • Single individuals as well as married couples can become foster parents
    • Over 80% of Virginia's foster parents adopt a child who they fostered
    • There are local organizations that provide training, support and advocacy for foster parents
    • Foster parents receive financial assistance

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    Job Fair sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College returns Wednesday, June 3, 2015 to the Southside Virginia Education Center at 1300 Greensville County Circle in Emporia.  The event is open to all job seekers from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Early entry will be allowed at 1:45 p.m. for those with proof of WorkKeys CRC.

    The event is sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services in partnership with Crater Business Services Team.  This regional job fair will serve employers in this area.  Interested employers who have job vacancies should reserve a booth for this event by May 21, 2015.  A catered luncheon is included for those who register earl and registration can be made at or by contacting

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  36. Obituary-Paige Harrell Gay

    Paige Harrell Gay went home to be with the Lord today, May 13, 2015. She lived full life on this earth. She had a large family. Preceded in death by her husband, William Rufus Gay and one sister, Lucy Harrell Wilson and two brothers, Melvin and Rufus Harrell. She leaves behind five children. William Richard Gay, Tony Craig Gay, Jessica Glenn Gay and Tammy Gay Harrington, all of Emporia and Timothy Russell Gay of Prince George. She has seven grand children. Phillip Russell Moss, Christopher Michael Gay, William Anthony Gay & Elizabeth Nachelle Harrington, all of Emporia. Tiffany Gay of Richmond, Michael Tyler Harrington of Ronoake Rapids North Carolina and McKenzie Taylor Gay of Prince George. And two great grand children, Christopher Michael Gay, Jr. Of Emporia and Alexa.  Of Richmond. And two sisters, Shirley Sledge Williams of Emporia and Joyce Harrell Nowell of Daytona Beach Florida;and a great number of nieces and nephews. She was loved a great deal by many people. She had a very loving and kind spirit and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Our world will never be the same. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday, May 18 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Road in Jarratt. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to assist the family with final expenses.  Online condolences may be made at

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    Grade 3 - Dava Turner

    Grade 4- Grayson Bottoms, Meredith Greene, Matthew Gullivan

    Grade 5 -Colby Elliott, Harrison Harper, Everett Lynch, Sydney Paul

    Grade 6 - Brysen Diefert, Hunter Greene, Kennedy Greene, Russell Moody, Brady Talbert

    Grade 7 - Peyton Coleman, Jacob Farmer, Logan Hyde, Morgan Jamison, Sadler Lundy, Davis Roberts

    Grade 8 - Savannah Greene, Morgan Moore, Jonathan Paul


    "A" & "B" HONOR ROLL - GRADES 3 - 8 - 2014-2015

    Grade 3 - Natalie Hall, Berkeley Jones, Chris Parrish, Nick Parrish, Denver Wright

    Grade 4 -Rahilly Abernathy, Parker Clary, Garrett Cobb, Cullen Corum, Eric Crane, Elijah Crowder, Ian Fajna, Katelyn Lambert, Matthea Matlock, Ashton Phillips, Ashleigh Sasser, Allison Short, Cassidy Smith, Madeline Tripp, Noah Waller, Lexie Weaver, Ross White, Mayzie Wrenn

    Grade 5 - Brett Allen, Ashton Carroll, Faith McLawhorn, Matthew Moseley, Alyssa Rivas

    Grade 6 -Aaryn Babb, Sam Capps, Aviana Francher, Megan Lewis, Meredith Lucy, Andrew Myrick, Amanda O'Berry, Naomi Sadler, Kaitlyn Waller, Nelia Washburn, CJ White

    Grade 7 -Leiara Butler, Kyleigh Capps, Sarah Paige Fajna, Darpan Jutela, Sutton Montgomery,    Will Morris, Katelyn Ottaway, Rachel Rego, Katie Wright

    Grade 8-Taylor Capps, Merri Scarlett Edens, Haley Ferguson, Lucy Smith, Hannah Waller, Courtney Walton



    Annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program Recognizes Students’ Leadership Skills, Academic Achievement and Commitment to Community Service

    Richmond, Va – May 13, 2015 – The Comcast Foundation today announced the 2015 recipients of its annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program awards in Virginia. The Program recognizes students who strive to achieve their potential, who are catalysts for positive change in their communities, who are involved in their schools, and who serve as models for their fellow students. The philosophy behind the program is to give young people every opportunity to prepare for the future and to engage them in their communities. The program also demonstrates the importance of civic involvement, and the value placed on civic involvement by the business community.

    “I want to congratulate this year’s scholarship recipients who have displayed a strong commitment to education and their community,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “When partners like Comcast support our students, they invest in the workforce we need to build a new Virginia economy and make life better for families all across our Commonwealth.”

    Comcast, joined by Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia Levar Stoney and school administrators, recognized the students at a special event held yesterday at the Virginia State Capitol. Sixty recipients of the 2015 Virginia Leaders and Achievers® scholarships received $1,000. Raven Parham, a senior at Petersburg Public High School, was awarded a $10,000 Comcast Founders Scholarship – instituted in honor of Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Comcast Corporation – for a total of $70,000 awarded this year to Virginia high school students.

    “I am honored to celebrate these elite students,” said Stoney. “It is wonderful to witness their dedication to education and community service, and the accomplishments that come when students challenge themselves to achieve excellence.”

    “Our Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners exemplify leadership and are committed to academic excellence and community service,” added Thomas Coughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We are honored to recognize their achievements, and excited to support them as they continue their educational journeys.”

    To date, Comcast has awarded more than $22.8 million to nearly 23,000 Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winners.

    Kayla Maloney of Greensville County High School is a local recipient of one of the scholarships.

    Connect with the scholarship winners at Explore and “like” Comcast in the community at

    The Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program is one of the many ways that Comcast gives back to the communities we serve. Click here to learn more.

    About the Comcast Foundation

    The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified nonprofit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities – expanding digital literacy, promoting community service and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated nearly $162 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at

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    (EMPORIA, VA) – Jordain Veliky has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for April 2015.  Ms. Veliky, who has been employed at SVRMC since May 2014, is a registered nurse (RN) on the Acute Care Unit.    

    Employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior highlighted during that month.  The highlighted Standard of the Month for April was All Star.  Ms. Veliky was nominated by a co-worker from another department who wrote, “Jordain has excellent communication skills, a quality that is evident in her interactions with patients and family members as well as with staff and physicians.  She explains procedures to patients in a calm and careful manner which puts them at ease. Patients respond well to her because she is consistent, clear, and comforting in her communications.  Jordain practices SBAR with all staff in an effective manner and gladly answers all clinician questions with a smile and full explanation. Not only does she care, but she communicates that she cares. Jordain is an asset to the SVRMC nursing department and to every patient to whom she is assigned.  ”

    As SVRMC’s April Employee of the Month, Ms. Veliky received a certificate, balloons, cookies to share with her co-workers on the Acute Care Unit, a cash prize and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2015 Employee of the Year.

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  40. Obituary-Elsie M. Williams

    Elsie M. Williams, 78, of Emporia, VA passed away May 11, 2015.  She was preceded in death by two sons, Alvin Ray, Jr. and Daryl Lynn and one brother, Thomas Morgan.  She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Alvin Ray Williams, Sr. and a grandson, Cody Ray Williams of Anna, Ohio.  She is also survived by one brother, Willie B. Morgan of Emporia and two sisters, Virginia Geris(Bob) of Manassas, VA and Mary Wolfe(Jack) of Mechanicsville, VA.  Elsie was a dedicated servant of God and active member of Zion Baptist Church.  She was also an active hospital volunteer at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia.  The family will receive friends from 6pm to 8 pm, Wednesday, May 13 at Echols Funeral Home Chapel, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, VA.  Funeral services will be held at Echols Funeral Home Chapel on Thursday, May 14 at 2pm with burial to follow at Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, Skippers, VA.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Zion Baptist Church c/o Cliff Rodgester, Treasurer, 654 Johnson Road, Emporia, VA 23847 or to your favorite charity.  Condolences may be sent to

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  41. Dominion Virginia Power Highlights Electrical Safety for Children and the Community

    May is National Electrical Safety Month

    RICHMOND, Va., May 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Electricity is an essential part of our modern lives. Often, we don't give electricity a second thought or consider the hidden dangers it can pose if we are not careful. Education about electrical safety can mean the difference between life and death. That's why Dominion Virginia Power wants its customers to focus on the safety of children and other members of the community during National Electrical Safety month.

    "On any given day people use electrical appliances without realizing there are some real risk and hazards associated with their use," said Jerry Beverage—director, Safety and Training, Dominion Virginia Power. "Education plays a major role in the prevention of accidents, and it is best to learn at a young age. Even experts like our line crews respect the potential dangers."

    According to the Electric Safety Foundation International, each year about 51,000 electrical fires are reported and nearly 400 Americans are electrocuted, despite improved product safety and electrical codes. The truth is that electrical shocks and burns can cause severe injury or even death.

    Sadly, some of the accidents involve children in their own homes. Because of their natural curiosity and tendency to explore, it is especially important to childproof your home and yard, and teach children about the dangers of electricity.

    Safety tips for kids include:

    • Teach children that electricity and water don't mix. Keep all radios, hair dryers and other appliances secured or out of bathrooms. Appliances like hair dryers should never be used near water-filled tubs and sinks.
    • Push small appliances to the back of your counters and keep electrical cords out of the reach.
    • Teach kids not to poke things into electrical outlets, toasters, or any other electric appliances, whether they are on or off. Use plug covers or inserts in all your outlets. Show them the proper way to plug and unplug electric cords.
    • Inform kids to never fly kites near power lines or around electrical substations. Balls or other objects accidentally tossed into an electrical substation should be left there. Call Dominion at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) and we can retrieve the item for you.
    • Tell kids not to climb or play in trees if there are power lines nearby or lines touching or growing in between the branches.
    • Kids should also know that pad-mounted transformers (those green metal boxes in neighborhoods) are not safe places to play.
    • After a storm, be sure to survey your property for any downed power lines or tree limbs that may have come into contact with the lines before allowing children or pets outside to play.

    Keeping communities safe is an integral part Dominion's culture. The Dominion Virginia Power Safety & Training team sponsors a variety of educational events at local schools and provides training for first responders and public safety personnel.

  42. SRMC Gets New Kid Friendly Waiting Area

    Petersburg, VA – Families visiting Southside Regional Medical Center’s (SRMC) Emergency Department will notice a kid-friendly waiting room with colorful interior design, bright kid-sized chairs around an interactive toy table, and plenty of hard cover children’s books. The Kiwanis Club of Petersburg generously funded the project. The Key Club and students at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School painted the wall and bookcase and created the framed artwork.

    On Tuesday, April 28, members of the community gathered for a dedication and ribbon cutting of the redesigned space. Pictured in the front row are Victoria Brown, Key Club student; Karen Lea, Emergency Department Director at SRMC; Cassandra Conover, Kiwanis Division Lt. Governor; Mayor W. Howard Myers; Douglas Moyer, CEO of SRMC; and Rev. Leonard Davis, Petersburg Kiwanis President.

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  43. Clovers for College Very successful in 2015!

    From Left to Right: Tamara Williams, Nancy Cobb, Pam Brown, Patty Leath, Gloria Robinson, Shirley Mangrum and Drexel Pierce, Jr.


    The Greensville/Emporia 4-H Leadership Council is a volunteer based council integral in planning the future for the Greensville/ Emporia 4-H program. The Leadership Council has created a college scholarship program for outstanding 4-H members. This scholarship is renewable up to four yearsif a 4-H’er makes satisfactory progress each year enrolled. Council members meet quarterly through the year providing valuable community input into local 4-H programming. Special thank you to Gateway Bank of Emporia for supporting us this year.

    For more information about Greensville/Emporia 4-H programs contact Drexel W. Pierce, or 434-348 4223

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  44. C3YFCL Spring Camp Success, 155 Participated

    Southampton County, VA. The 6th annual Cover 3 Youth Football and Cheer Camp was a huge success.  85 campers participated in football and 35 campers participated in cheering. The camp was directed by Southampton County native and Commissioner of the C3YFCL, Greg Scott. Additional assistance was provided by a combination of 13 C3YFCL league representatives and coaches, Hampton University’s Coach Gary Lowery along with 7 Hampton University football players and an additional Hampton assistant.  Cheerleaders were led by Malani Mitchell of Hampton University Athletics Personnel, her assistant and two C3YFCL coaches.  A total of 35 volunteers attended.

    The C3YFCL Camp was held Saturday, April 25th from 9 am – 3 pm on the Southampton High School football field and in the Southampton Middle School gym.  Cloudy skies and bursts of rain were not enough to keep participants from learning all that they could. All directors and volunteers worked with passion and energy despite the weather challenges.  “I am thrilled about the amount of participation in the camp,” said Scott. “I am thankful for the Cover 3 staff, volunteers, and parents who came out to contribute to such a great event. I am looking forward to next year’s camp,” he added.  Sponsored by the NFL Foundation and Cover 3 Foundation the camp was open to the public and welcomed walk-up registrations. After lunch was provided by C3 Kid’s Meals, participants enjoyed several friendly, flag football competitions while coaches, other assistants, and spectators cheered them on.  Cheerleaders broke off to work inside the gymnasium at Southampton Middle School away from the elements. “It was my first time coaching with Cover 3 and I really enjoyed it, participation was great, and I learned from the kids as they learned from me,” said Malani Mitchell.

    Members of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Department were on hand for event control and support. Additionally, members of Courtland Rescue were available to assist with any medical needs. Southampton Middle School Principal, Mr. Darian Bell and Assistant Principal, Mrs. Susan Melbye attended and participated in the camp as well as staff members from Southampton High School Football. Many parents stayed to observe camp. An upcoming football player’s parent expressed his appreciation to Greg Scott and the staff of Cover 3 Youth Football and Cheer League for the camp and reported that his son had a great time.

    League registration is open for board members, assistant coaches and volunteers for the 2015 Youth Football & Cheer League season. Registration to participate in the League will be every Monday through Wednesday from 3 pm – 5 pm at the Cover 3 Foundation, 125 S. College Drive, Franklin, VA. Registration will also be held on May 23, registration will be held in Holland at the City of Suffolk’s Holland Park, 6720 Ruritan Blvd, Suffolk from 9 am – 12 noon, on June 6, registration will be held at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, Grays Shop Rd, Newsoms from 9 am – 12 noon. There will also be a Saturday registration on June 20 at the Foundation headquarters from 9 am – 12 noon. Registration deadline for all coaches is June 1 and for players is June 30.

    The Cover 3 Youth Football & Cheer League is accepting sponsorships and donations for the 2015 season. If you are interested in sponsoring the program or making a donation towards a local team, please visit for more information. Sponsorship packages are available by emailing a request to

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  45. Pork Festival Contest Winners

    Congratulations to Danielle Moran and Rick Seymour!  Your tickets are in the mail!

    The winners were selected  using a random number generator. 

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  46. Riparian Plant Sale Benefits Community

    On Saturday, the Riparian Women's Club held a Plant Sale with baked goods and gently used jewelry.  All proceeds benefit local community organizations.


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  47. Most Domestic Violence Deaths Involve Guns

    By Ashley Jordan and Stefani Zenteno Rivadineira, Capital News Service

    It was a sleepy Tuesday morning in February 2014 when Kevin Dale Palmer broke into the home of his in-laws, Nancy and Terry Griffin, in the town of Glade Spring in far southwestern Virginia.

    The day before, Palmer had been served a protective order filed by his wife, Kristin. But the court document could not protect the family from the storm of rage and bitterness that would end four lives.

    Kristin Palmer moved into her parents’ home with her son, Griffin, less than a week before her death. In an affidavit, Kristin Palmer chronicled an eight-year saga of fear and abuse imposed on her and her son by Kevin Palmer.

    “He is extremely volatile toward us whenever we do not adhere to his control,” the affidavit stated. “He has controlled us for years. I am continuously scared ...”

    Everyone’s worst fears were realized when Kevin Palmer committed his final act of control by killing his wife, their son and his mother-in law and then turning the gun on himself.

    The shooting death of Kristin and her family may not be entirely surprising. According to Virginia’s chief medical examiner, almost two-thirds of intimate partner homicides in the commonwealth in 2013 involved firearms. About 85 percent of the victims were women.

    In a study released in March, the medical examiner’s office said there were 2,037 deaths related to domestic violence in Virginia from 1999 through 2013. “A person died in a family or intimate partner homicide every three days in Virginia during the fifteen-year study period,” the report said.

    It said guns were used in 55 percent of those deaths. “Across Virginia, firearms continue to be the fatal agent most often involved in family and intimate partner homicides.”

    This is why advocates for the victims of domestic violence have been calling for gun-control legislation.

    “When you look at the effects of domestic violence and guns on that intersection, it leads to women getting killed,” said Luisa Caro, a volunteer for the Virginia chapter of Moms Demand Action.

    During this year’s legislative session, the General Assembly considered two bills that sought to restrict access in hopes of curbing domestic violence:

    • SB 909, filed by Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston, would have prohibited a person who had been served a protective order from possessing a firearm. Existing law prohibits such a person only from purchasing or transporting a firearm.
    • Senate Bill 943, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, would have prohibited a person who has been convicted of stalking, assault and battery of a family or household member, or sexual battery from possessing or transporting a firearm.

    During a February press conference, Favola explained why she introduced her legislation: “This is a domestic violence prevention bill. If you vote against this bill, you are sending a very, very bad message to – I think – women and families, everybody in the commonwealth.”

    Despite her appeal, both bills failed. SB 943 died in the Senate Finance Committee. SB 909 was killed by the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

    It is no coincidence that the chief sponsors of both bills were women: A recent poll by the Roanoke Institute for Policy and Opinion Research found that women were more likely than men in Virginia to favor gun laws such as requiring background checks for all firearm purchases.

    Tina Wilson-Cohen, founder and CEO of a group called SHE CAN SHOOT, feels that way. Her organization teaches women to become proficient in firearms and self-defense. Wilson-Cohen has a history in firearm instruction and training. According to her résumé, she has worked in the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a federal air marshal.

    She said her ultimate goal in creating SHE CAN SHOOT was to arm women with competence. She is among the many Virginia women who favor certain firearm restrictions. During the legislative session, Wilson-Cohen was in full support of Favola’s bill, SB 943.

    Wilson-Cohen said people often stereotype people who wish to be proficient in firearms, assuming they are “gun crazy.” However, Wilson-Cohen said not everyone deserves access to a firearm.

    “A person who already demonstrated [crimes of stalking, sexual assault or domestic violence] and been convicted in the court of law should not be able to have firearm,” Wilson-Cohen said. “The court has convicted such persons of acting out such crimes ... Combining this with a firearm only empowers the perpetrators, and it is dangerous.”

    Working in law enforcement, Wilson-Cohen said, she got a first-hand look at domestic violence and other crimes.

    “It’s very humiliating and embarrassing, and no one wants to talk about it,” she said. “I have found that even law enforcement are not highly educated when it comes to domestic violence or stalking.”

    Wilson-Cohen advises women who are interested in protecting themselves with a firearm to meet with an instructor before they commit to a purchase.

    “It is a very personalized item; it’s not ‘one size fits all,’” she said. “It’s like buying shoes: It has to fit the person’s needs and capabilities.”

    When a gun is in the wrong hands, horrible things can happen – as evidenced in Kristin Palmer’s case.

    Kristin endured years of physical and mental abuse from her husband. “He has kicked me, strangled me, tried to drown me, slapped me and dragged me by the hair during arguments,” Kristin said in her affidavit.

    Kevin Palmer was reportedly a “survivalist” with more than 47 firearms in his possession.

    On Feb. 8, 2014, Kevin Palmer inflicted severe abuse upon his son, Griffin Palmer, by grabbing his neck and striking him on the side head several times, according to a police report.

    Griffin told authorities that on Feb. 14, 2014, his father asked him if he still planned on going to the military after he graduated high school. After Griffin responded “yes,” his father reportedly said, “I hope they don’t send you overseas – I want to kill you myself.”

    Nine days later, Kevin Palmer carried out that threat, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

    A similar situation took place in Chesterfield County six years ago. Lisette Johnson was making arrangements to leave her abusive marriage when her husband of 21 years shot her in their home.

    As she ran outside, Johnson yelled for her children to get out of the house and call 911. After being shot several times in the chest and back, she collapsed on her neighbor’s yard. Her husband then shot himself.

    Unlike Kristen Palmer, Lisette Johnson survived. She is now an advocate for domestic violence victims.

    Johnson urged Virginia lawmakers to pass SB 909. She said the most dangerous time for a family is when a spouse is trying to leave the household and seeks a protective order. Under SB 909, if a court granted such an order, the alleged abuser would have to give up his firearms.

    “To remove firearms from the perpetrator at that time gives the measure of safety,” Johnson said. “I would love to see that. I am not sure that is going to happen anytime soon.”

    Such a law would protect more than women. Johnson noted that children and bystanders often are caught in the crossfire of domestic violence.

    “By the grace of God, my children were not killed,” Johnson said. “It is a family issue at its core. So it’s a public safety issue – it is not a women’s issue.”


    Bridge near Emporia will be replaced; traffic to be detoured to I-95 during project

    GREENSVILLE COUNTY, Va. –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) wants to alert drivers in Greensville County to possible traffic impacts associated with replacement of the Route 301 South (Sussex Drive) bridge over the CSX railroad tracks, about 3 miles north of the town of Emporia. The bridge will close to traffic on May 18, 2015, and will remain closed during the two-year construction project. Crews will first demolish and remove the old bridge, then construct a new bridge in its place.

    The contractor will work with CSX railroad personnel to make sure train movements are not interrupted during construction. This project only affects southbound traffic, which will be detoured during construction. Route 301 North will remain open, and access will remain for property owners who live nearby. Access to Country Club Road will also be available during construction.

    Detour signs will be posted along the roadside for drivers to follow. Before reaching the bridge closure, drivers can get onto I-95 at Exit 17, and get off at Exit 13 to access Route 301 South. This project is scheduled to be completed by Summer of 2017.

    For more information, visit:

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    Students in the Greensville County High School Class of 2015 will continue to soar after graduation as they benefit from the EAGLE Scholarship to attend Southside Virginia Community College free of tuition and fee charges.  This Southside Virginia Community College Access the Future Program is a public/private partnership that allows current graduates, who meet scholarship guidelines, to attend SVCC with no out of pocket expense for tuition through a combination of federal/state financial aid and donor funding. 

    Funded by Greensville County and the city of Emporia, EAGLE stands for Emporia And Greensville Leads Everyone to Success.    “This scholarship will assist you with the education and training you need for a sustainable career or to continue your education at a four-year university,” said Dr. Tara Carter, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at SVCC.

    According to Peggy Wiley, Chairman of the Greensville County Board of Supervisors, “The future is bright for the graduates of Greensville County High School who will have the opportunity to attend SVCC and get a start on their post-secondary education.  I am so proud and excited about this community-funded initiative as it proves we are ready and willing to invest in our future.”

    Success starts at SVCC and it continues as students earn a two-year degree, receive workforce credentials, and prepare for transfer to a four-year college or university.  The future is bright and accessible for those taking advantage of this opportunity offered by those who care the most, the surrounding community.  

    Emporia Mayor Mary Person added, “The city of Emporia is proud to support educational opportunities for graduates of our high school.  It is our commitment to continued education and training for our young people.  We are fortunate to have local access to Southside Virginia Community College and the programs offered.”

    Students in the graduating class of Greensville County High School for 2015 are eligible for this scholarship.  The benefits include no out of pocket tuition expenses beginning in the fall semester of 2015 and to last for two consecutive semesters at SVCC.  Students must complete and submit a college application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information, SVCC scholarship application and complete the college’s placement requirements.

    Greensville County Public School Superintendent Dr. Angela B. Wilson said, “On behalf of the School Board and the Greensville County Public Schools Family, I express our most sincere appreciation to Greensville County and the city of Emporia for their vision in the future of our community and investing in the continuing education of our graduates.  The EAGLE Scholarship is a generous gift and a strong vote of confidence in the potential of our young people.  We believe our partners at Southside Virginia Community College are well able to provide the next phase of educational preparation for the bright futures that lie ahead for the graduates of Greensville County High School.”

    The staff at the Southside Virginia Education Center will assist students with the admissions and scholarship processes and other requirements.  Students may call the Southside Virginia Education Center at 434-634-9358 or contact your Guidance Counselor or Career Coach, Buck Brockwell.

    In the photo: Front Row: (L-R) Mary Person, Emporia Mayor, Taquanna Lane, Talesha King, Michelle Scott, Jonathan Jones, Hannah Lovell, Tiffany Brooks, Yetonnah Worrell, Superintendent Dr. Angela Wilson, Bessie Reed Moore, Chair of Greensville County School Board.  Back Row:  Aaliyah Broadnax, Matthew Bullock, Tristan Gillus, Dr. Tara Carter, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for SVCC, Gary Cifers, Coordinator of Off-Campus Instruction for Southside Virginia Education Center, Michael StephensBrenda Parson, Greensville County School Board.


  50. The 42nd Annual Virginia Pork Festival is June 10th

    Karen Hall, the Virginia Pork Festival Director announced today that the 42nd Annual Virginia Pork Festival will be held on June 10, 2015 from 3:30 PM to 8:00PM at the Ruritan Club Grounds at 370 Ruritan Drive in Emporia, Va 23847. This years music will be provided by The Embers, Albert Castiglia, Steve Owens & the Summertime Band, The Switch, & Exit 173. There will be some vendors there as well as Discovery Channel’s Tim Smith and his Climax Moonshine. This year there will be over 40,000 pounds of pork in over 30 different styles for you to sample at the event. This event is one of the largest single day events on the east coast. In the past the Pork Festival has had as many as 15,000 in attendances for the event. Included in your ticket price will be sampling of over 30 different pork dishes, a liquor and beer bar. There will also be side items and soft drinks.

    The Virginia Pork Festival will have over 30 different pork dishes, close to 40,000 pounds of pork will be served! Some of those dishes will include Minced Barbecue, Pit Cooked Barbecue, Barbecued Spareribs, Barbecued Boston Butt, Barbecued Loin Chops, Grilled Loin Chops, Sausage Biscuits, Pork Burgers, Sausage Burgers, Bologna Steak Burgers, Italian Sausage, Pork Meatballs, BLTs, Hot Dogs, Chitterlings, Pigs Feet, Souse, Chitterling Fritters 

    Pork Skins, & a Pork Festival Stew. 

    Sides will include Black Eyed Peas & Stewed Tomatoes, Pork & Beans,  Hushpuppies, & French Fried Sweet Potatoes.

    Desserts will include Banana Pudding & Strawberry Shortcake.

    Soft drinks, Water, Tea, Anheuser-Busch Family Beers, and a Liquor Bar will be included.

    The Virginia Pork Festival was established in 1974 and has been growing every year. With 15,000 available tickets it is one of the largest events on the East Coast. The event raises funds for over 30 different Non-Profit Clubs & Organizations in the Southside Virginia Community. Its an event you don't want to miss!

    The event does support several nonprofit organizations in the Southside Virginia areas such as: 4-H Emporia, Emporia Jaycees, Beta Sigma Phi, Cato Hill Hunt Club, Central Brunswick Ruritan, Coalition to Delay Parenthood, Colonial Heights Auxilary Police, Courthouse Hunt Club, Darvills Ruritan Club,Emporia Greensville Humane Society, Elks Lodge, Hospice, Greensville Ruritan Club, American Legion, Family Violence Prevention, Emporia Jr Women's. Club, Nurses Sorority Chi Eta Phi, Doodling Hunt Club, South Hill Jr. Women's Club, Petersburg Police, Black Pot Group, Oak Grove Methodist Church, Newsoms Ruritan Club, Meherrin Ruritan Club, Joyner Gray Yale Ruritan Club, Jarrett Ruritan Club, Surry 4-H, City of Emporia, Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad, South Weldon Chapyer 15 Eastern Star, and the Franklin Sportsmen Association.


    For Ticket Information and purchase visit
      Tickets are $35
      VIP Parking is $25.
      Vendors can also apply on the website.
      If you would like to sponsor this event, call Karen at 252-536-6959

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  51. Susan Greenbaum Blasts State Song Decision

    By Cort Olsen, Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Musician Susan Greenbaum, whose tribute to Virginia lost out in the competition to be the official state song, says the selection process by the General Assembly was rigged from the start.

    Greenbaum said that House Speaker Bill Howell showed blatant favoritism in promoting a friend’s song and that Howell’s staff resorted to “the nastiest, most juvenile tricks” to sabotage her entry, “Virginia, the Home of my Heart.”

    “They were setting up all these completely artificial obstacles,” Greenbaum said in her first lengthy interview since the ordeal. “They are changing the rules to further bolster their already completely impervious position of strength.”

    “Virginia, the Home of my Heart” was one of three songs in the running to be the official state song during the 2015 legislative session. The General Assembly ultimately chose “Our Great Virginia,” Howell’s preference, as “the official traditional state song” and “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as “the official popular state song.”

    Greenbaum questioned not only the fairness of the selection process but also the appropriateness of “Our Great Virginia.” That song combines the melody of “Shenandoah,” a ballad about the Missouri River, with words by New York lyricist Mike Greenly.

    The General Assembly had been seeking an official state song to replace “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” which was retired in 1997 for its racist lyrics, in which an “old darkey” reminisces about working for “old Massa.”

    But the original lyrics for “Shenandoah” were equally offensive, says Liz Foreman, a Greenbaum supporter.

    “I think we are getting rid of one song, ‘Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,’ and yet we now have a song that is questionably about Virginia but also has lyrics that talk about redskins, firewater and implying the kidnapping and more or less rape of an Indian maiden,” Foreman said.

    Greenbaum and her song

    Greenbaum is a singer-songwriter from Kansas City, Mo. She attended Harvard University, graduated with high honors in English and American literature and eventually settled in Richmond.

    Over the past two decades, she has released five CDs, established herself as a local favorite and built a national fan base. She has won several national songwriting awards, including one from the Smithsonian, and has performed with Jason Mraz, Jewel, Dave Matthews and other stars.

    Greenbaum said she wrote “Virginia, the Home of my Heart,” as a love song to her husband, who was born and grew up in Virginia.

    For several years, Greenbaum said, she has been asking her legislative representatives – Del. John O’Bannon and Sen. Walter Stosch, both Republicans from Henrico County – to sponsor “Virginia, the Home of my Heart” as the new state song.

    Bills filed to designate a state song

    On Dec. 31, Howell filed a bill (HB 1472) to propose “Our Great Virginia” as the state song. Howell said he was carrying the legislation as a favor to a friend – Dr. James Robertson, an award-winning history professor at Virginia Tech and executive director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission. Howell also called “Our Great Virginia” a “beautiful song” that could be sung with pride and affection.

    HB 1472 was assigned to the House Rules Committee, which Howell chairs.

    Greenbaum saw Howell’s bill as a sign that the General Assembly was serious about choosing a new state song. So she contacted O’Bannon again, and he agreed to sponsor a bill (HB 2203) to designate “Virginia, the Home of my Heart” as the state song.

    After HB 2203 was filed, Greenbaum met Foreman, a former marketing and public relations expert.

    Foreman said she liked the song so much that she volunteered to be Greenbaum’s unofficial social media representative. “I really don’t have any official title other than ‘interested citizen,’” Foreman said. “I did it for the song.”

    Foreman put Greenbaum in touch with Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, and other members of the House Rules Committee to hear her song. Greenbaum said she got good reviews from those legislators.

    “We were trying to play by the rules,” Greenbaum said. “I called everyone on the House Rules Committee to ask if I could meet with them.”

    Greenbaum said one member of the House Rules Committee – Del. Lee Ware, R- Powhatan – was so moved by her performance of “Virginia, the Home of my Heart” that he shook her hand and said, “You have my vote.”

    After O’Bannon agreed to sponsor her song in the House, Greenbaum said she tried to contact Stosch to represent it in the Senate.

    “I didn’t hear back from the senator for several days,” Greenbaum said.

    The night before the deadline to file bills, Greenbaum said, Stosch’s assistant wrote to her saying that the senator was going to represent a different candidate for state song: “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” a pop tune by Richmond musicians Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett. Stosch’s bill (SB 1362) was assigned to the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee.

    That committee also received SB 1128, sponsored by Sen. Charles Colgan, D-Manassas. It sought to designate “Our Great Virginia” as the state song.

    House Rules Committee

    A bill must be approved by a legislative committee before the entire chamber can vote on it. Greenbaum wondered when the House Rules Committee would consider the state song bills.

    Foreman said she and Greenbaum cleared their schedules every Friday – the day the Rules Committee was scheduled to meet – because they couldn’t get a definite date as to when panel would vote on a state song.

    It didn’t happen until Feb. 6 – the deadline for committee action to keep bills alive for the 2015 session.

    Before the Rules Committee meeting, Greenbaum and Foreman said they were told they would not be permitted to lobby for HB 2203 in the panel’s chambers by performing the song or handing out promotional material.

    “I had sent the YouTube link to the speaker three times – not to promote the song but once for the Rules Committee to review and then the other two times for when I wrote to the other members of the committee informing them about my song,” Greenbaum said. “I had also sent the song link three times to [O’Bannon].”

    On Feb. 6, Greenbaum said, she arrived at the meeting room a half hour before the hearing was to start. Greenbaum said Howell’s chief of staff, Kathryn Roberts, approached her and told her that the committee had not received the video and would not have time to review her submission.

    It was then, Greenbaum said, that she realized her song had no chance from the beginning.

    “They had already stacked the deck so far in [Howell’s] favor,” Greenbaum said.

    After Greenbaum’s confrontation with Roberts, the songwriter said she went to O’Bannon, who had just entered the room, and recounted the exchange.

    “He was exasperated,” Greenbaum said. “He left the room to talk to Kathy, and he came back in a few minutes later and said they were going to play my video.”

    Foreman said that as the House Rules Committee meeting got underway, something seemed off.

    “From Speaker Howell’s office side of the room, all the delegates over the House Rules Committee walk in along with Howell,” Foreman said. “How I saw it as ‘Jane Q citizen,’ it looked like a bad prison movie.”

    Greenbaum said she had met with 12 of the 15 members of the Rules Committee and none of them would look at her – not even Ware.

    “That’s when I knew it was over,” Greenbaum said.

    ‘I wrote this as a love song’

    Because Howell was the sponsor of the bill supporting “Our Great Virginia,” he was not allowed to preside over the state song vote. Instead, House Majority Leader Kirk Cox was appointed to lead the committee.

    Cox asked Robertson, who had proposed “Our Great Virginia” to Howell, to speak on behalf of HB 1472. Robertson then distributed information packets about his song – something Greenbaum and Foreman had been told was not permitted.

    While Robertson was making his case for “Our Great Virginia,” Del. Lionell Spruill, D-Norfolk, asked questions about the racial references in the original lyrics to “Shenandoah.” Then Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, questioned the accuracy of the song’s opening line, “You’ll always be our great Virginia, you’re the heartland of the nation.”

    (As Greenbaum noted later, “I’m from Kansas City, and that is what is known as the heartland of the nation.”)

    To address the geographical reference, Howell made a motion to change the word “heartland” to “birthplace.”

    After Robertson discussed “Our Great Virginia,” Greenbaum was asked to speak on behalf of her song. She said that request caught her off guard.

    “I live in Virginia by choice,” Greenbaum told the committee. “I wrote this song as a love song to my husband, to talk about all the wonderful adventures we had all over our beautiful state and the experiences we shared.”

    The committee then watched and listened to the video of “Virginia, the Home of my Heart.” Afterward, many people clapped in favor of her song, while few had applauded for “Our Great Virginia,” Greenbaum said.

    After listening to the songs, Cox said, “I believe we can only put one song forward for a vote to go to the floor of the House.” He made a motion to advance HB 1472. It passed 12-3, with Toscano, Spruill and Del. Kenneth Plum, D-Reston, voting no.

    Ware was contacted to ask why he voted to move “Our Great Virginia” forward, but declined to comment.

    2 state songs, neither of them Greenbaum’s

    After approving HB 1472, the committee never took up HB 2203 – O’Bannon’s bill to designate “Virginia, the Home of My Heart” as the state song. The bill ended up dying in the committee without any vote.

    The full House of Delegates went on to approve HB 1472 on a vote of 72-28.

    While the House Rules Committee was advancing “Our Great Virginia” as the state song, the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology also was dealing with the issue.

    On Feb. 9, it folded Colgan’s SB 1128 into Stosch’s SB 1362. The bill approved by the Senate panel sought to designate “Our Great Virginia” as the official traditional state song and “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as the official popular state song.

    The Senate voted 38-1 in favor of the revised SB 1362.

    During the second half of the legislative session, the House approved the Senate bill – and the Senate amended HB 1472 to make it identical to SB 1362. On March 26, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the legislation designating the two state songs.

    Greenbaum said the issue may seem minor, but it meant a lot to her. She also has a question for Howell: “How does the speaker justify turning a song into the state song and willingly announcing that he is doing it as a favor to a friend? That is such a slap in the face of any Virginian who has an interest in this subject.”


  52. Phi Theta Kappa Inducts New Members

    New members were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society Alpha Theta Chi Chapter on the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College recently.    Membership is extended by invitation. To be considered for membership a student must be enrolled in a two-year college, have accumulated 12 semester credit hours, have established academic excellence as judged by faculty, and be of good moral character and possess recognized qualities of citizenship.  Those inducted are with (Left to right) Earl Lee(member), Leslie Cline, Advisor, Marsha Hayes, President, Trevor A. Robinson of South Hill, Wade C. Bagley of Victoria, Lovell Palmer of Alberta, Tynesha S. Mayfield of Boydton, Jenna Harris of Buffalo Junction, Grace-Marie Eckler of buffalo Junction, Lindsay Barretta of Clarksville, Bryce Burke of Chase City, Kadesya Rainey of Brodnax, Brandy Crawford of LaCrosse, Althea O. Robinson of Lawrenceville, Sherry M. Walker of Alberta, Thomas M. Crews of Blackstone, Kiera French-Toprres of Chase City and DeVeata Fuller, member.  Back row, L to R Cecily Williams of South Hill, Isaiah Hicks of Emporia, Jasmine M. Aleman of LaCrosse, Madison Finch of South Hill, Marcus Morton of Lawernceville, John Robert Thomas of Lawrenceville, Jalen Taper of Lawrenceville, Mallie Manning of Emporia, Dana Nikolaisen of Forksville, Bridgette Clary of Brodnax, Catherine D. Jeter of Bracey, Devina Woodley of Blackstone, Dillon Jenkins of Emporia, Brandon E. Capps of Lawrenceville and, Arden Cosio of Emporia.



  53. Bernadette Battle Receives Celebration of Excellence Award

    Bernadette Battle, Director of Counseling at the Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College,  recently received a Celebration of Excellence Award which honors Virginia Community College Association (Black Concerns Commission) members who have made a profound difference in the lives of minority students through life-time service, leadership, and teaching. These individuals have made profound contributions which have significantly changed the climate of a department, campus, or the Virginia Community College System as a whole. 

    This year's Celebration of Excellence  Awards were presented at the Annual BCC Conference in Williamsburg.  Battle received the Unsung Hero Award recognizing her profound contribution to education.  

    Battle is a resident of Emporia, is married to Preston Battle and has two children.  She has been at SVCC since 1999. 


  54. USDA Civil Rights/Discrimination Complaint Process

    As a participant or applicant for programs or activities operated or sponsored by USDA you have a right to be treated fairly. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or marital or familial status, you may file a discrimination complaint. The complaint should be filed with the USDA Office of Civil Rights within 180 days of the date you became aware of the alleged discrimination. To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA,

    Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD), USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days from the date the complainant knew, or should have known, of the alleged discrimination.

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  55. Obituary-Mary Guy

    Mary Guy, 80, of Skippers, widow of Richard Guy, passed away Monday, May 4, 2015. She is survived by a daughter, Darlene Griffin; three sons, Allen Guy and devoted companion, Peggy Loveless, Benny Guy and wife, Paula and Lewis Guy and wife, Debbie; nine grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Maggie Trull of Thomasville, NC and Diane Mitchell of Canton, NC and a brother, Riley Gibson and wife, Norma, also of Canton, NC and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 6 at Owen Funeral Home where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, May 7. Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at

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  56. Municipal Building to Close Early on Friday

    City of Emporia Offices in the Municipal Building will close on Friday, May 8, at 1:00 pm, so that crews will be finish the installation of the new generator.  All offices will reopen on Monday morning.

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  57. Relay For Life Car Show Resuolts

    Relay for Life results 2015

    Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show

    Car & Truck

    Most Chrome -Connie Jordan – 1957 Chevy

    Least Chrome –  Bruce Tudor – 1937 Chevy Sedan

    Highest Ride – Robert Allen – 1969 Chevy Pickup

    Lowest Ride –  Ernie & Nita Sydnor – 1951 Mercury Coupe

    Most Original – Dickie Delbridge – 1969 Chevy Impala

    Best  Interior –  Thurston Vann – 1955 Chevy Bel Air

    Best Exterior(paint) – Jimmy Day – 1969 Chevy Camaro

    Best Engine – Mel Ogburn – 2005 Chevy SSR  


    Most Chrome-Lee Seymour – 2010 Harley Ultra Classic

    Least Chrome -Mike Moran – 1999 Honda Shadow

    Most Original – Mike Moran – 1999 Honda Shadow

    Best Paint – Linda Childress – 2001 Harley Trike

    Best Engine –  Lee Seymour – 2010 Harley Ultra Classic                    


    Charles Taylor Memorial Award – James Bradley - 1970 Chevy Nova

    David Williams Memorial Award –  Walter Lynch – 1965 Chevy Pickup

    People’s Choice –  Lee Seymour – 2010 Harley Ultra Classic

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  58. Brunswick Academy Upper School Honor Roll-Fifth Six Weeks

    Brunswick Academy Upper School Honor Roll

    Fifth Six Weeks 2014-2015

    Headmaster’s List – All A’s

    Grade 9

    Zachary Clary, Sydney Robertson;

    Grade 10

    Zihua (Lesley) Qu, Samantha Woyer;

    Grade 11

    Ashley Clary, Dallas Hawthorne;

    Grade 12*



    “A” & “B” Honor Roll

    Grade 9

    Karly Blackwell, John (Jay) Edmunds, Benjamin Lewis, Berklee Pair, Jeb Redman, Heather Thompson, Ashley Wiggins;

    Grade 10

    Xuanjiang (Bob) Guo, Mason Jones, Yuang (Arash) Liu, Howard Wright;

    Grade 11

    Grant Bradley, Erika Ghassemi, Hannah Glenn, Anthony Rivas, Carlee Wagstaff;

    Grade 12*

    Kirsten Carroll, Domanick Jenkins, Madison McLawhorn, Tyler Moore, Rachel Woyer;

    *Dual Enrollment students qualify for Honor Roll at the end of each semester.

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  59. Neighborhood WAtch Meeting May 20

    Neighborhood Watch Organization will be having a meeting at the Jarratt Fire Department in the meeting room on Wednesday, May 20, 2015,  at 7:00 P.M.

    A short program will be presented by Michael Duke from the Virginia Department of Corrections on gangs.  Mr. Duke is very knowledgeable in gangs and is one of the top gang specialists in the State.  He will have some excellent information that will be valuable to everyone.      Plan on attending this meeting and learn about gangs, how they recruit members, gang signs, etc.   Please plan on attending this very informative meeting and bring a family member, friend and/or neighbor.

    We all need to be aware of our surroundings and what is going on in our neighborhoods and community.

    All residents in Jarratt, Greensville, Sussex Counties and Emporia are invited to attend this program.  Please come and voice your ideas to help our area to prevent crime and make our area a safer place to live and enjoy.

    If you have any ideas for programs you would like to have presented at the meeting, please contact Dana Kinsley or Roderic Tuell.  For additional information call: Dana Kinsley 434-637-7553

    Roderic Tuell 434-535-9191.

    Please tell your neighbors about this meeting and encourage them to attend.

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  60. YMCA Preschoolers Celebrate Earth Day

    The YMCA Preschoolers celebrated Earth Day by planting a garden, picking up trash, making litter bags and hatching butterflies.




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  61. Local Artist Works to Raise Funds for Wounded Warriors

    An effort to raise money for Wounded Warriors is ongoing by artist/composer/musician Tom Spivey. Currently he is offering four prints of his work: a) Emporia/Greensville County, $35.00.  b) Resurrection Morn, $15.00.  c) Christ at the Well, $10.00 d)  and Far From Home, $15.00. Contact or Picture Perfect on Halifax Street.

    a    b


    c    d 

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  62. Obituary-Betty Jean Kellam Harrison

    Betty Jean Kellam Harrison, 74, of Littleton NC, went to be with the Lord on April 29, 2015 after a brief illness.   Born February 23, 1941, in Fredericksburg VA, she was the daughter of Elizabeth and Walter Kellam.   Betty was a 1961 graduate of Greensville County High School and later attended Smithdeal-Massey Business College in Richmond, VA.  She was a devoted and well-loved employee of Greensville Memorial Hospital for over 35 years and later enjoyed her retirement living on Lake Gaston.   Betty was known for her strength and her beauty and was crowned Miss Emporia of 1961.   She had unending love for her family and was the greatest wife, mother, and grandmother that a family could ever hope for.   She was a wonderful cook and loved preparing meals for her family during holidays and visits.   Her special ingredient was love, which always made everything she cooked taste that much better.   She also took great pride in her home and was a gifted decorator who put her signature touches on everything inside her home and loved working in the flowers in her yard.   Betty was the most nurturing and supportive mother and grandmother and no family was more blessed to have that love for what seems like a far too brief period of time.   This love extended to her pets and she treasured each one of her beagles throughout the years and cherished them as though they were another one of her children.   She is survived by her soulmate and husband of 52 years Clyde Harrison, of Littleton NC; her son Chris Harrison and his wife Karen of Mechanicsville, VA; her grandchildren Conner Harrison and Kaitlyn Harrison of Mechanicsville, VA; her brother Marvin Kellam and his wife Theresa of Powhatan; her brother Wayne Kellam of Fredericksburg, VA and her beloved beagle Dixie.   She will be forever missed but never forgotten.   Her family will receive friends at 5pm Tuesday, May 5 th, at Owen Funeral Home, 303 South Halifax Road, Jarratt, VA 23867, where a memorial service will follow at6pm.   Private interment will be at Grace Anglican Church at a later date, where she was a lifetime member.   Online condolences may be directed to

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  63. Stream and Download Music and Movies at your Library

    Freegal (“Free and legal”) Music and Movies is here for Meherrin Regional Library System patrons! Freegal Music is a downloadable music service that gives library patrons access to over 8 million songs in MP3 format, including Sony Music’s catalog of artists. In total, the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 60 countries.

    There is no software to install. Downloaded songs will play in Windows Media Player, iTunes, and other popular music players. They can also be transferred to an MP3 player or an iPod. The Freegal app is free and available through Apple’s App Store and Google Play for use with smartphones or tablets. Freegal Music limits song downloads to 3 per library patron per week, and 3 hours of streaming time per day per patron.

    Also use Freegal Movies to view movies and TV shows! Freegal Movies and Television is a streaming video service that allows patrons to access thousands of movies and television episodes from major content providers. Like Freegal Music, no software download is needed, and files are in MP3 format and can be played on any device. Freegal Movies limits movie and TV episode downloads to 3 per library patron per week. Each download can be viewed multiple times during a 48 hour viewing period.

    Start downloading your favorite tunes or movies today! Access Freegal Music by visiting or by downloading the Freegal Music app.  Freegal Movies are available at or by downloading the Freegal Movies app. Login to both by selecting Meherrin Regional Library and using your library card number and pin. For more information on accessing Freegal through your library, contact the Brunswick County Library at 434-848-2418 ext. 301 or the Richardson Memorial Library at 434-634-2539.

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    Emporia, VA – Earlier this year, a surveyor from The Joint Commission conducted a rigorous, unannounced, on-site survey of the laboratory services department of Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC).   By demonstrating compliance with laboratory standards related to document and process control, healthcare-associated conditions, risk reduction, and staff qualifications and competency, the laboratory services department at SVRMC has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Laboratory Services Accreditation.

    Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.  The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.  The Joint Commission has accredited hospital laboratory services since 1979 and freestanding laboratories since 1995. The Joint Commission’s laboratory standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts, and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help organizations measure, assess and improve performance. Awarded in two year cycles, more than 1,500 organizations, including laboratories in hospitals, reference labs, blood transfusion and donor centers, public health laboratories, and point-of-care test sites, currently maintain Laboratory Services Accreditation from The Joint Commission.

    “Joint Commission accreditation provides laboratories with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from specimen collection to result reporting,” said Stacy Olea, MT(ASCP), FACHE executive director, Laboratory Services Accreditation program, The Joint Commission. “We commend (name of organization) for its efforts to have laboratory services contribute and support the overall health care delivery system.”

    “Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added Matthew Tavenner, SVRMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Pathologists in conjunction with the technical laboratory staff continue to work together to develop and implement approaches and strategies that have the potential to improve care for the patients in our community.”

    Front row, left to right:  Nancy Wells, Vickie Michael, Technical Supervisor,  Martha Tranka.  Back row, left to right:  John Summerville, MD, Laboratory Medical Director, Lynn Grant, Jay Ewing,  Administrative Lab Director,  Not Pictured: Kaitlin Rice, Gladys Bowser,  Sheila Crowder, Dana Musser, Danielle Hunter, Cleo Clark, Arletha Young, Jennifer Smith, Elizabeth Ranes, Sherrasha Jones, Kristie Mitchell, Lynn Grant and Dr. John Summerville, Pathologist, Lab Director.

    For more information on services offered at SVRMC, go to  Learn more about The Joint Commission at



  65. Lawrenceville McDonalds to Close Later This Month








    *must be present by 5:00pm to receive a FREE raffle ticket





    After May 15, 2015, the Lawrenceville McDonald’s (10277 Governor Harrison Parkway) will no longer be open and we would like to take this opportunity to say “THANK YOU” to our local customers for your 24 years of partnership.  We invite the Lawrenceville community to visit your nearby McDonald’s locations in South Hill (916 E. Atlantic Street and 1846 N. Mecklenburg Avenue) and Emporia (905 Market Drive). Coupons and raffle prizes distributed on May 9, 2015 in Lawrenceville will be redeemable at the McDonald’s locations in South Hill and Emporia.

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  66. Rain Tickets Available for Southside Virginia Community College Graduation May 16

    Students graduating from Southside Virginia Community College can pick up Rain Tickets beginning Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the following locations:  Christanna Campus in Alberta, Daniel Campus in Keysville, Southern Virginia Education Center in Emporia, Lake Country  Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and Southside Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.  Each graduate will be allotted two tickets.

    The determination of moving the ceremony from the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville to Central Middle School, Charlotte County, 250 Statesmen Drive, Charlotte Court House, Virginia will be made on Friday afternoon, May 15, 2015.  If moved the ceremony will still be held at 9:30 a.m.

    SVCC sincerely hopes that the weather allows the event to be held as planned in order for everyone to be able to attend; however, if bad weather occurs the Rain Plan may go into effect.

    Predator Accelerator FG


  67. Greensville/ Emporia 2015 4-H Jr. Summer Camp spaces still available!

    Greensville/ Emporia 4-H camp is the perfect way for your child to have a new, exciting experience this summer while making friends that will last a lifetime. Currently Greensville/ Emporia 4-H is still accepting boys and girls to attend the 2015 4-H summer camp to be held July 20-24th at the beautiful Airfield  4-H Educational Center in Wakefield, VA.  A variety of camp classes, afternoon activities, and special evening programs are great fun for all youth. Camp class examples include swimming, archery, riflery, arts and crafts, canoeing, nature, cooking, fishing, leather craft, sports, performing arts, climbing wall, high ropes and much more! Greensville/ Emporia 4-H Camp is open to all youth 9-13 years that are residents of Greensville/ Emporia. The cost of camp is $205 for the first child, $200 for a second child, and $185 for any additional children. Limited scholarships are available. Please contact the Greensville/ Emporia Extension Office for more information (434) 348-4223 or 4-H Camp would not be possible without the help of adult volunteers.  There is no cost for an adult volunteer to attend camp, just the completion of camp training.   This is a great way to share this experience with your child!          

    If interested In Becoming an Adult Volunteer, contact the Extension Office for an application.

      If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in the 2014 4-H Camp, please contact Drexel W. Pierce, Jr. at the Extension Office no later than two weeks prior to the date assistance is needed.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Air Jordan 1 Shoes