June 2015

  1. Obituary-Jessie K. “Pete” Grizzard, Sr.

    Jessie K. “Pete” Grizzard, Sr., 84 of Emporia, Virginia passed away on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 peacefully at his home.  He was a devoted husband and father.  Pete was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher.  He also actively served his community as a Mason and later as a Shiner. Pete is preceded in death by his parents Ed and Kate Grizzard, and brothers Earl and Frank Grizzard.  He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Grace Stainback Grizzard, their children Katherine Grizzard Colvin (Gary) of Suffolk, Jessie K. Grizzard, Jr. (Sheila) of Richmond, and Terri Grizzard Johnson (Troy) of Suffolk, Grandchildren Hank Thornburg, Michelle Petcu, Chris Grizzard, Kate Thornbug, Haley Johnson, and Lucas Johnson; 5 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews, his brothers Elmer and Benjamin, sisters Ethel Vick, Polly Proctor, Willie Mae Harris, Barbara Barlowe, Alease Braswell, and Diane Smith. The family will be receiving visitors 6-8 p.m Wednesday, July1 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 South Halifax Road, in Jarratt, Virginia.  A graveside service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, July 2 at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Hwy 301 Emporia. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  2. Celebrating Summer with a Beach Party at the YMCA!

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  3. Field Day at Jackson-Feild

    What do dunking booths and hula hoops have in common? They were both popular activities at Jackson-Feild’s annual Field Day on June 24. A warm, pleasant summer day was perfect for a variety of fun events and activities including sack races, water balloon buckets, face painting, bean bag toss and a T-shirt decorating contest.

    The dunking booth was a favorite event as good natured staff members allowed the kids to try hits the bull’s eye and send them splashing into the water tank. Turn around was fair play when the students took their turn in the booth and their peers and staff had an opportunity to try to dunk them.

    Kids snacked on popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones during morning activities. Everyone gathered under the shade trees to enjoy a delicious lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and the all the fixings. No one left Field Day hungry.

    The DJ, who is also a training specialist with JFBHS, provided lively music for dancing, sing alongs and musical games. Announcements by the DJ kept students focused on upcoming events and congratulated winners of various games and competitions. 

    The week prior to Field Day the children celebrated “Spirit Week” with a Dress Up Mix/Match Day, Green and Gold Spirit Day, Hat Day, Casual Attire Day and Design A T-Shirt Day.

    Students enjoyed working with the staff to plan this very special day – one they will be talking about for weeks to come. It was wonderful to see so many happy smiling faces.

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  4. Local Artist Adds Three More Prints to Benefit Wounded Warriors

    Local artist Tom Spivey as added three new prints to his fundraiser to support local Wounded Warriors.



    The new prints are "Quiet Time," "Pup and Pumpkins" and "Warmare."  For more information, contact tpspivey@yahoo.com or Picture Perfect on Halifax Street.


  5. Summer Fun at the Library

    On Thursday, July 2ndget ready to get moving at the Meherrin Regional Library System.   An Emporia-Greensville YMCA instructor will be on hand to teach a zumba class for kids.  The program will be held at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and 2:00 pm at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia. 

    Show begins promptly and seating is limited to a first come basis.  For more information contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.

    Monday Morning Movies at the Library on Monday, July 6thwill feature Strange Magic.  This movie is rated PG and is 99 minutes long. The movie will be shown at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.  Snacks are welcomed.  Children under the age of 8 must be supervised. 

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  6. Summer Meals Locations Announced

    The Boys& Girls Club of Emporia/Greensvilleis participating in the 2015 Summer Food Service Program.  Meals will be provided to all children without charge. Acceptance and participation requirements for the Program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, andthere will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. 

    To file a complaint of discrimination, write or call immediately to:

    Director, Office of Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  20250-9410
    (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TDD)

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows: 





    Faith in Action Ministries

    July 6- July 10


    Reese Village Apartments

    June 17- August 28


    Newness of Life Ministries

    August  17 -21


    Family Youth Services

    June 17- August 28


    Community Church of G IC Ministries

    July 20-July 23


    Weaver Manor Apartments

    June 17- August 28


    BGC Teen Center Evening

    June 17- August 28


    BGC Teen Center Day

    June 17- August 28

    Lunch/ Breakfast

    WPCC Unit Summer Camp

    June 17- August 28


    Jerusalem Baptist Church

    June 22-June 25


    Rocky Mount Baptist Church

    July 13- July 17






    New Hope Worship Center- Youth Bible Camp

    August 17-August 21


    New Hope Youth Bible Study

    June 24- August 28


    Salem Baptist Church

    July 13- July 17


    CYC Limited Community Pool

    June 17- August 28


    Church of  Living God

    August 10-14


    Baltimore Baptist Church

    July 20-July 24


    Living Waters Holiness Church-Youth VBS Camp

    August  10 – August 14


    Living Waters Holiness Church-Youth – Bible Study

    June 17- August 28


    Peace Of Mind Day Care

    June 17- August 28


    Rising Star Baptist Church-VBS

    June 22- June 26


    Royal Baptist Church- VBS

    June 22- June 25


    Shiloh Baptist Church- VBS

    June 23- June 26



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    (EMPORIA, VA) – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center is pleased to welcome Christopher Imber, MD, to the Medical Staff. Dr. Imber will begin his Family Medicine practice with Southern Virginia Medical Group (SVMG) located at 511A Belfield Drive in Emporia on July 6th.

    Dr. Imber attended Rutgers College of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where he earned Bachelors of Art degrees in Biology and Psychology. He completed his medical training at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA followed by a three year family medicine residency at Memorial Hospital of Burlington County in Mt. Holly, NJ. Dr. Imber is certified by the American Board of Family Physicians.

    As a Family Physician, Dr. Imber welcomes patients of all ages, and is now accepting new patients. For more information on services offered by Dr. Imber, or to schedule an appointment, contact SVMG at 434-348-4680.


  8. C3YFCL Extends Youth Football & Cheer Registration

    Southampton County, VA. The 2015 registrations have been so successful for C3YFCL that we have extended the date. The extension will give more parents an opportunity to register their children. Slots are filling quickly on all teams. To ensure that your child has the opportunity to participate on the team of their choice attend our next registration to be held on July 11, 2015 from 10am2pm. Registration will be held at Cover 3 Foundation, 125 S. College Drive, Franklin, VA.
    Registration with C3YFCL is open to all children between the ages of 6 – 12 as of September 30th for cheer and ages 6 – 14 as of September 30th for football. To register your child please bring a copy of their birth certificate and most recent report card. Registration fees are $20 for cheer, $30 for flag and $40 for tackle.
    Children can register with any open team in the League. Registration for Courtland Tide Cheer is closed and the other squads are filling quickly. For anyone wishing to register for cheer squads please choose one of the remaining area squads before they reach capacity.
    The teams for the 2015 season are as follows: Courtland Tide, Holland Razorbacks, Riverdale Chiefs, Meherrin Pirates and Sussex Green Machine For the 2015 season, all children are allowed to play for the group of their choice. For questions concerning registration, please contact 757-562-2252.
    The Cover 3 Youth Football & Cheer League is accepting sponsorship and donations for the 2015 season. If you are interested in sponsoring the program or making a donation towards a local team, please visit www.cover3foundation.org for more information. Sponsorship packages are available by emailing a request to info@cover3foundation.org.




    (EMPORIA, VA) – David Mulkey has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for May 2015.  Mr. Mulkey, who has been employed at SVRMC since March 2012, is a registered nurse (RN) on the Behavioral Health 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 May was Patient Privacy.  Mr. Mulkey was nominated by a co-worker from his department who wrote, “David respects the privacy of all of his patients and all of those in his unit.  David makes sure that he knocks when entering every patient room, introduces himself, and maintains confidentiality and privacy in all interactions that he has with each patient. Confidentially and privacy is of the utmost importance on the Behavioral Health Unit, and David sets great example of respecting both in all of his work tasks.   David ensures that all patient information is kept private, and that only those that have a need to know, are allowed access to patient information.  David ensures that all patient family members that request information on our patients have permission to receive that information before he gives it out.  David is an asset to SVRMC and advocate for patient privacy, respect, and confidentiality.”

    As SVRMC’s May Employee of the Month, Mr. Mulkey received a certificate, balloons, cookies to share with his co-workers on the Behavioral Health Unit, a cash prize and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2015 Employee of the Year.



  10. Greensville County Elementary Student Wins Tablet For Perfect Attendance

    Students with Perfect Attendance for the 2014-2015 school year at Greensville Elementary School were entered into a drawing for a tablet, donated by Anthony Parks. Fourth grader, Ania Jones, was presented the tablet by Mr. Parker and principal, Mrs. Coker

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  11. New Porgram at SVCC

    Southside Virginia Community College is an integral part of a new program announced by Governor Terry McAuliffe recently. 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.

    Mike Coleman, Military Relations Liaison to the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs recently toured the facility in Greensville County and talked with the instructor and students in the program. In the photo, Coleman (Second from Left) is shown with students and retired or soon to retire military personnel from Fort Lee Tyler Burgen (Left to right), Javier Lopez and Bradley Doke.

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  12. Rotary Club of Innsbrook Makes Grant to Jackson-Feild

    The Rotary Club of Innsbrook presented Tod Balsbaugh, Vice President of Advancement, a check to be used to start a horticulture program.  The funds will be used to launch this program by purchasing supplies, equipment and materials.

    The Home’s rural setting is ideal for such a program as they already have a greenhouse which will be incorporated into the program. They will be purchasing the Woolly School Garden 2 system which utilizes a user-friendly curriculum that teaches children how to grow their own food and to make healthy food choices.

    Mr. Keith Newcomer will be overseeing the program.  He and the residents are excited about planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting the benefits of a vegetable garden and flowers to beautify Jackson-Feild’s campus.

    He will be reaching out to Virginia Department of Agriculture extension office, 4-H, and a local master gardeners for help, guidance and assistance.

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  13. Lost Dog

    Dog missing since Sunday, June 21 around the Virginia Welcome Center in Skippers, VA. 

    6 month old male Shih-Tzu/Poodle weighing 8 – 10 lbs. with white body and black face.  Goes by the name Blot and has a distinctive black spot near his tail.   He has a blue leash and was last seen near the Virginia Welcome Center in Skippers, VA.

    Contact phone #s:  571-224-4384 or 703-327-8941

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  14. Obituary-Robert H. "Bobby" Wray

    Robert H. "Bobby" Wray, 84, went to Heaven to be with the Lord on June 21, 2015. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Edla Mae Hobbs Wray and his parents, Milton James Wray and Viola Saunders Wray. He leaves to cherish his memory his son, Roger Holmes Wray and wife, Cathy; daughter, Teresa Wray-Welsh; grandson, Robert H. "Robbie" Wray; granddaughters, Amy Hobbs and fiance John Mise; April Clarke and husband Chris, and Wendy Gordon; great grandchildren, Kelly Finn, Nick Hobbs, Jonathan Mise, Karly Clarke, and Morgan Clarke; and special friends Frances Taylor, Tally Pernell, and Treva Pernell. Bobby always put his family first. He loved everything about the outdoors, especially hunting. He was a member and Past President of Widow’s Son Lodge #150 as well as a dedicated member of Calvary Baptist Church. He will be laid to rest on June 24 at a graveside service at 11 a.m. at the Emporia Cemetery on Brunswick Avenue. The family will receive visitors at Echols Funeral Home Chapel on June 23 from 6-8 p.m. Pallbearers will be Tally Pernell, John Mise, Chris Clarke, Robbie Wray, Nick Hobbs, and Carlton Rae. Honorary pallbearers will be Ernest Bailey, Kiser Robinson, Alfred Hobbs Jr., and Bruce Greene. Treva Pernell will sing. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Greensville County Volunteer Rescue Squad or Calvary Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  15. Lazers Track Club Meet Report

    Lazers Track Club was in full effect by all its subsidiaries except for the Norfolk Lazers there were representative from Emporia, Dinwiddie, VA beach and Petersburg Lazers. Dinwiddie High School rising senior Brenda Johnson receive the meets most outstanding female athlete of the meet award for her performance on the field in the long and triple jump and competing in the long and short hurdles. Brenda placed in the 100m hurdles (gold medal), 400m hurdles (4th), Long Jump (Bronze Medal), and Triple Jump (Silver Medal).

    Gold medals was earned by Lazers All-American Isaiah Stephens from the Emporia Lazers, Stephens competing in the 11-12 boys age group easily won the shot put and discus, he is currently ranked top ten in the country in the shot, discus and javelin. Isaiah is gearing up for the AAU and USA junior Olympic qualifiers, we are looking for great things from him this summer.

    Antonia Young a member of the Dinwiddie Lazers now a veteran of these competitions took gold in both her events. Competing in the 17-18 age group she won the discus with a personal record of 108’6 and also won the shot put with a subpar toss of 30’1”, she will compete in the shot, discus and javelin this weekend in the AAU junior Olympics qualifier.

    Emporia Lazers Deondre Porter and Greensville County High School rising senior won gold in the 110mHurdles and Silver in the 400m hurdles. This was Deondre’s first experience in summer track and he performed excellent. Placing first in the 110mhurdles and competing in his first ever 400mhurdle race he ran 1:06 and place second overall in his age group.
    Emporia Lazers Stewart Dugger and Greensville County High School track athlete earned silver medal in the shot put with a personal record of 44’9” he also took 5th in the discus, this was also Stewart’s first summer track experience and from the looks of it this will not be his last.

    Petersburg high school student athlete ClaRenz Blizzard earned a silver medal in the 17-18 long jump and placed 7th in the 100m 6th in the 200m dash and 5th in the discus. This young man from the Petersburg Lazers is very athletic and is progressing well through his learning phases of summer track and field. The sky is the limit for the young athletic student athlete this year will be a learning experience for him Lazers Track Club will look for great things from him in the near future.
    Dinwiddie Lazers athlete Leslie Young took silver in the high jump (3’6”) and Bronze Medal in the 80mhurdles with a PR of 17.08. Dinwiddie Lazers Jamie Young earned a silver medal in the 9-10 girls shot put with a SB of 17’4”.

    Long jump
    13-14 boys Robert Mcfadden Va Beach Lazers 16’0 6th place
    17-18 girls Brenda Johnson Dinwiddie Lazers 16’4” 3rd place Bronze Medal
    17-18 boys ClaRenz Blizzard Petersburg Lazers 15’ 4 ½” 2nd Place Silver Medal
    Shot Put
    9-10 girls Jamie Young Dinwiddie Lazers 17’ 4 ½” 2nd Place Silver Medal
    11-12 boys Isaiah Stephens Emporia Lazers 34’3 ½” 1st Place Gold Medal
    15-16 girls Rebekkah Maxwell Dinwiddie Lazers 21’9 ½” 5th place
    15-16 girls Aliyah Reed Dinwiddie Lazers foul DNP
    17-18 girls Antonia Young Dinwiddie Lazers 30’1” 1st Place Gold Medal
    17-18 boys Stewart Dugger Emporia Lazers 44’9” 2nd Place Silver Medal
    High Jump
    11-12 girls Leslie Young Dinwiddie Lazers 3’6” 2nd Place Silver Medal

    11-12 girls Leslie Young Dinwiddie Lazers 52’5” 9th Place
    11-12 boys Isaiah Stephens Emporia Lazers 72’7” 1st Place Gold Medal
    15-16 girls Aliyah Reed Dinwiddie Lazers 72’3” 4th Place
    15-16 girls Rebekkah Maxwell Dinwiddie Lazers 45’5” 8th Place
    17-18 girls Antonia Young Dinwiddie Lazers 108’6” 1st Place Gold Medal
    17-18 boys Stewart Dugger Emporia Lazers 96’ 4th place
    17-18 boys ClaRenz Blizzard Petersburg Lazers 88’2” 5th Place
    Triple Jump
    17-18 girls Brenda Johnson Dinwiddie Lazers 31’11” 2nd Place Silver Medal
    100m Dash
    8 & Under girls Marley Green VA Beach Lazers 16.64 9th Place
    13-14 boys Robert McFadden VA Beach Lazers 12.54 12th Place
    15-16 girls Rebekkah Maxwell Dinwiddie Lazers 13.31 4th Place
    17-18 boys ClaRenz Blizzard Petersburg Lazers 11.60 7th Place
    200m Dash
    8 & Under girls Marley Green VA Beach Lazers 34.24 7th Place
    11-12 boys Quentin Green VA Beach Lazers 31.90 16th Place
    17-18 boys ClaRenz Blizzard Petersburg Lazers 23.35 6th Place
    400m Dash
    11-12 boys Quentin Green VA Beach Lazers 1:11.70 22nd Place
    1500m Run
    15-16 girls Lindsey Gordon Emporia Lazers 6:18.03 5th Place
    15-16 boys Douglas Allen Emporia Lazers 5:13.74 4th Place
    11-12 girls Leslie Young Dinwiddie Lazers 17.08 3rd place Bronze Medal
    100m hurdles
    17-18 girls Brenda Johnson Dinwiddie Lazers 15.78 1st place Gold Medal
    110m Hurdles
    17-18 boys Deondre Porter Emporia Lazers 16.93 1st Place Gold Medal
    400m Hurdles
    17-18 Girls Brenda Johnson Dinwiddie Lazers 1:18.28 4th Place
    400m Hurdles
    17-18 boys Deondre Porter Emporia Lazers 1:06.35 2nd place Silver Medal


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  16. USDA Announces Restart of Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy

    WASHINGTON, June 1, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.

    Financial assistance is available through BCAP for costs associated with harvesting and transporting agriculture or forest residues to facilities that convert biomass crops into energy. Eligible crops may include corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop. Facilities can apply for, or renew, their BCAP qualification status beginning today.  $11.5 million of federal funds will be allocated to support the delivery of biomass materials through December 2015. Last year, more than 200,000 tons of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands were removed and used to produce renewable energy, while reducing the risk of forest fire. Nineteen energy facilities in 10 states participated in the program.

    Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016.  The extended proposal submission period allows project sponsors time to complete any needed environmental assessments and allows producers enough lead time to make informed decisions on whether or not to pursue the BCAP project area enrollment opportunity. This fiscal year USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will allocate up to $8 million for producer enrollment to expand and enhance existing BCAP project areas. Additionally, in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, underserved farmers are eligible for a higher establishment cost share. BCAP projects have supported over 50,000 acres across 74 counties in 11 different project areas. 

    BCAP wasmade possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.


  17. Annual Fishing Outing “Lures” Young Anglers

    On June 12, thirty-two residents and staff left campus bright and early to travel to Smithfield for a day of fishing.  For many it was the first time they held a rod and reel in their hands, baited a hook and cast a line.  Residents headed to their special fishing hole, and volunteers retrieved lines of out the trees and tall grass.  When asked, they even removed the catch from the lines of squeamish fishers.

    This annual fishing trip is a day that the boys and girls always enjoy, but “Hannah” was most the excited of them all.  She landed the biggest fish of the day!

    Don Lancaster, host of the radio show Fishing Tidewater, conducted a quick “Fishing 101” giving the boys and girls the benefit of his vast fishing knowledge.  Old Point National Bank, longtime host of this event, provided the rods, reels, bait and tackle in addition to underwriting the cost of a cookout.

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement in commemoration of Juneteenth:

    “On this day 150 years ago, Major-General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas bearing news that would fulfill the Emancipation Proclamation's promise of freedom. As word broke that the war had finally ended, people began to celebrate the end of slavery in the South. This day has become known as Juneteenth, and a century and a half later, Juneteenth celebrations continue.

    “This Juneteenth, we solemnly pay tribute to the victims of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston and all those who have fought and died in the name of justice. For nearly two centuries Emanuel AME has been a symbol of the struggle for freedom, equality and human rights in our country.

    “The end of the Civil War marked the start of a new chapter in American history, a chapter finally clean of slavery's stain. But, the fight for freedom did not end on June 19th, 1865 – it was only beginning. Those who were finally free from slavery, and their descendants, still had to fight for more than a century to break down educational, political and economic barriers erected to block them from full participation in American life. Even today, we see a nation that has twice elected an African-American President still struggling with economic inequality and challenging disparities in our criminal justice system.

    “Juneteenth reminds us of how far America has come in its march towards a more equal society, but also how far we have to go. Even though struggles for freedom and equality still exist today, we know from the past that opening doors of opportunity to all Americans will make us a stronger nation going forward.”

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  19. Library Kicks off Summer Reading Program with Move-O-Matic

    The Meherrin Regional Library invites you to dance on over to be a part of the Summer Reading Program: Read to the Rhythm on Thursday, June 25th.  Enjoy an educational dance class with Drexel Pierce, from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.  The event will be held at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and 2:00 pm at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia. 

    On Monday, June 29th, be a part of Monday Morning Movies with the animal action adventure PaddingtonPaddington is rated PG and is 95 minutes long.  The movie will be shown at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville and the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.  Snacks are welcomed.  Children under the age of 8 must be supervised. 

    Events begin promptly and seating is limited to a first come basis.  For more information contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.

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  20. After Hours at the Farmer's Market

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  21. “Nourish Your Skin” Program Offered in Emporia

    Ever find yourself wondering how to combat dry skin and wrinkles?  The remedy could be as simple as the foods that you eat! Join us for an intriguing program on skin health and anti-aging techniques.

    The “Nourish Your Skin” program will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 105 Oak Street Emporia, Virginia on Wednesday, July 8, at 6:00 p.m.  This program will focus on antioxidant rich foods that promote skin health and anti-aging.  You will also learn to make age defying, antioxidant- rich facial masks.  Come prepared to laugh, learn and become healthier in the process. 

    The cost for this program is $5.00, and participants must register to attend by Thursday, July 2. For more information or to register, call Amy Hawkins, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent at the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233.

    Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. If you are a person with a disability and require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program, please call the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least five days prior to this event. TDD number is 800-828-1120.

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  22. Boy Scout Troop 232 (Purdy) Beautifies Jackson-Feild Homes

    On a hot and muggy day __ members of Boy Scout Troop 232 traveled in force to Jackson-Feild homes to plant flowers around the campus. Members had to frequently hydrate due to the 90+ degree temperature.

    Nevertheless, the Scouts stuck to their mission and at the end of the day the campus is awash in colors. The troop led by Chuck Lewis has performed a number of community service projects to improve the quality of life for the children at Jackson-Feild.

    Tony Veliky, Director of Plant Services, expressed his appreciation and thanks to everyone involved. Their efforts have made a difference and he noted that it was very reassuring to have friends whom you can call upon to help with worthwhile projects.



  23. City Budget Fails, Then Passes

    The Emporia City Council met on Tuesday, on the agenda were the General Fund and Utility Budgets for Fiscal Year 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016).  While there were really no major surprises at this point in the budget process, the actual act of voting to approve the budget was interesting.

    The General Fund budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year includes a 1% increase in the Lodging Tax, a 1% increase in the Meals Tax and a 3 cent per $100 increase in the Real Property Tax rate.   These tax increases are to pay for, among other things, an increase in funding to the School Board.  Within the Utility Budget is a 5% increase for both Water and Sewer, which is down from the proposal of 15% and 12.5% respectively.  The rate increase will add $1.96 to the average water bill, according to City Manager Brian Thrower in his summary to City Council.

    For the last 5 years, while taxes have remained relatively static, water rates have increased dramatically to pay for a new Water Treatment Plant using a USDA loan. 

    Fiscal Year

    Water Increase

    Sewer Increase

    2012 (July 1,2011-June 30, 2012)



    2013 (July 1,2012-June 30, 2013)



    2014 (July 1,2013-June 30, 2014)



    2015 (July 1,2014-June 30, 2015)



    2016 (July 1,2015-June 30, 2016)



    Council Member James Ewing (District 3) moved to adopt the General Fund and Utility Budgets as presented.    After the motion, Council Member Harris sought and received unanimous consent to allow business owners who could not make it to the Public Hearing to address the Council.  A local hotel owner, who did not give his name or address,  shared his opinion that a 1% increase in the Lodging Tax would make his business in the City suffer, as both Roanoke Rapids (13.75%) and Stony Creek (7.3%) had lower Lodging Tax rates.   He provided the Council with a chart showing lodging rates in the region.

    During the discussion Council Member F. Woodrow Harris (District 4) asked that the motion be amended to separate the General Fund and Utility Budgets, so that he could vote for one and against the other.  The only discussion was from Council Member Harris, who first thanked City Staff for their significant effort to reduce the Water and Sewer Rate increases.

    Council Member Harris went on to say that he thought we were “killing the goose that laid the golden egg,” and the taxes were already becoming onerous.  Council Member Harris further pointed out that “there are choices that people have within this community, to stay here or go somewhere else and pay less.  We are boxing ourselves in.”

    To clarify the Lodging Tax, if a room in the City of Emporia is rented for $100, the Lodging Tax on that transaction, at current rates, is $15.30, for a total of $115.30 per night.  Starting July First, that nightly total would be $116.30.  The average room rate at the Sleep Inn, from an internet search, is $99 per night.

    Council Member Harris continued, “I realize that Council’s desire was to provide more money to the school system.  If I thought that would make one bit of difference, I would not be concerned about this action as I am, but the problem in our school system is not going to be solved by throwing more money at it, plain and simple.  Until the attitudes of parents change and the value of education is better appreciated by the citizens that have kids in the public schools, we are fighting a losing battle that no amount of money is going to remedy, plain and simple.  And finally, Madame Mayor, I’d like to vote for the Utility Budget but against the General Fund Budget, so I would move to divide the question and consider those motions separately.

    The motion was amended and the vote on passage of the General fund Budget failed, with only Council Member Ewing voting in favor.

    Mayor Person stated “I guess we need to go back and look at this again.”

    Council Member Harris made a motion to adopt the Utility Fund Budget, with the 5% Water and Sewer rate increase, and that budget passed unanimously. 

    Council Member Harris: “Madam Mayor, before we go on can I make a comment to maybe clarify some of what is in the General Fund Budget?  While I appreciate the others who voted with me against that, there is a problem in voting down this General Fund Budget after this council has, on a 4-3 vote, voted to fund the additional money to the school system that led to the necessity for those tax increases, and while I don’t like arguing both sides of an issue, I think it is difficult, at this point, for anyone who voted in favor of the increase in school funding that was driving this budget to this level, to vote against it [the General Fund Budget].  The only alternative we have is to go back on the word that this Council gave, on a 4-3 vote, and reduce that school funding, and I don’t even know if that is legal.  If we have a special meeting and ask staff to go through this, they’ve pulled all of the rabbits out of all the hats to get the Utility Budget down to the point they did; I don’t see how it’s humanly possible, for even Brian, Shiela and Ed, even if we bring Lisa in (laughter)…to find a way to balance this.  While I appreciate the concern that those of you have for what’s going to come next, the only choice to balance this budget without the tax increase, is to go back on the word that Council has given to the school system about what the school funding would be.  On the basis of that, I think there needs to be some direction provided to Administration of what you prefer to have presented to you, because I don’t think there’s another option, frankly.”

    Mayor Person asked for clarification about whether both the increase in the Lodging Tax and the Meals Tax were needed.  Sheila Futrell, the City Finance Director replied, “that was the initial discussion, but after we had to adjust the Utility Fund Budget that also affected the General Fund Budget, so new we need all of it.

    Mayor Person pointed out that we needed to pass the budget and that the School Board has, “based on what we agreed to do here, completed their budget and have issued contracts based on that completed budget.”

    Council Member Harris: “You know I’ve make it plain I don’t agree with that action, I’ll vote against the budget still, but I didn’t vote for the increases to the school system, so I think the problem is, even though I don’t agree with that action, I don’t like to see Council go back on its word, and I think that is what would have to happen to make this fit together.

    Council Member Ewing: “And I agree.  I didn’t vote for the increase either, but I know that we have to have a budget; and it was decided by Council, as you have said, that these increases would occur to fund the school system.  That was the direction that Council gave the school system.  I just do not see how we can not approve the budget.  Even though I don’t like it, we’ve got to do it.

    After quiet discussion amongst council members, Council Member Doris White (District 5) moved to reconsider the question of the General Fund Budget.  After that motion passed, Council Member Ewing restated his motion to adopt the General Fund Budget as presented and it passed, with only Council Members Harris and Deborah Lynch (District 7)voting against it.  Council Members Harris and Lynch also voted against reconsideration of the question.

    The Greensville County Public Schools Budget is $30,180,899.  Of that, $17,600,133 comes from the state, $4,044,767 from the federal government, $1,140,856 from other sources, $4,162,127 from Greensville County and $4,734,732.  These numbers come from the School Division section of the Greensville County Budget, where the City of Emporia amount was expected to be $3,582,996.  The City’s appropriation to the School Board is only 15.69% of their estimated budget, while the Greensville County is funding at a rate of 13.79%.  State funding accounts for 58.32% of the budget.

    Aside from funding for Greensville County Public Schools, the budget included $1.4 million dollars to beautify South Main Street, adding new street lamps, plantings and a new traffic signal at the intersection of South Main Street, Brunswick and Hicksford Avenues.  This project is funded by a grant from VDOT and matching funds from the city.  The City’s portion of this is approximately $700,000. The project will begin before the end of summer.  There is also still $100,000 in the budget to demolish the Auditorium on Main Street.  As part of the City’s Capital Improvement Plan, this building may be saved and become part of a City Hall/Civic Center complex.  The information found in the budget materials on the City website describe the Auditorium as being in good condition and structurally sound.  It should be noted that the opposition to these expenditures, if any, was not as vocal, nor as vehement as the additional funding requested by Greensville County Public Schools.  Meeting Minutes, however, are not available on the City’s website for the month of May, 2015.  The only Budget Work Session minutes available on website were for the session on May 5, 2015.

    With the General Fund and Utility Fund Budgets passed, City Council moved on with the Agenda.

    City Manager Brian Thrower presented City Council with a Capital Improvement Plan.  The plan was presented as a guide to help the City project capital needs for Fiscal Years 2015-2020.  The current Capital Improvement Plan includes the study of improvements to or replacement of the Municipal Building and Police Department, purchase of vehicles for the Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works and the replacement of water meters in the City.

    After the motion was made and seconded, Council Member Harris led the discussion.  “Philosophically, I understand the point of planning, but there is a lot of stuff in that Capital Improvement Plan, especially at the very end of it, that is going to be very uncomfortable for any Council at that point in time to adopt and vote on and fund.  I guess what I am looking to emphasize is that this is a plan, not an indication that Council is going to fund everything that’s in it; the public, the Department Heads, the City Employees should not get the idea that money is just going to drop from Richmond, ‘cause we all know that ain’t gonna happen, and that we’ll be able to afford everything that is included in this.  It’s just a working document, correct.”   Mayor person assured him that it was a planning guide only.  Approval of the Capital Improvement Plan passed unanimously.

    Next on the Agenda was a Zoning Code Amendment Request for Purdy Road.  FoSho is looking to add a food processing and wholesale distribution facility for their BBQ, which would be allowed by Conditional Use Permit if this amendment was adopted.  The product they currently sell comes from North Carolina, but their supplier is no longer able to sell across state lines. Hermie Sadler explained the reason for the proposed facility during a public hearing just before Tuesday’s City Council Meeting.  The proposed facility would also include improvements to buildings currently on the site.  The Zoning Code Amendment was passed, as recommended by staff and the Planning Commission, and Mr. Sadler was advised that he now needed to complete the process for a Conditional Use Permit before the Planning Commission.

    A Conditional Use permit was sought my Alvin Shell for a new manufactured home on Harris Street.  This item was also the topic of a Public Hearing.  Staff and the Planning Commission recommended allowing the permit.  The Motion allowing the permit passed.

    The City of Emporia Electoral Board will need to relocate the polling place for District 5.  The Electoral Board has decided to combine it with the polling place for District 7 at the fire station, as they do with Districts 4 and 6 at the High School Band Room.  To do this there needs to be a Public Hearing.  City Council approved the Public Hearing which will precede their July meeting.

    City Council also approved hosting the Fireworks Display for Independence Day on behalf of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce, passed an Appropriations Ordinance to distribute Four for Life funds to the Greensville County Rescue Squad and passed another Appropriations Ordinance for Sales Tax Revenue received by the City from the State to use for education.  Council approved the ordinance to transfer those funds, in the amount of $43,489.12.  The money was above what the City had budgeted for Sales Tax Revenue.

    City Council also passed an Appropriation Ordinance to pay for FY 2012 shared service with Greensville County.  The original amount was $159,102 but was reduced to 70,019. Council Member Harris thought “it would be remiss of City Council not to take another opportunity commend the Finance Director for her outstanding work in this area.  This is not the first year that the Citizens of Emporia have enjoyed a huge and significant savings as the result of her work.  On behalf of all of us, thank you very much for your excellent attention to that very, very important matter, that you get such wonderful results is a tremendous credit to you.  Thank You.”

    Council Member Harris raised a Point of Order about the vote on the budget.  His question was whether City Council needed to also adopt an ordinance adopting the tax increases and rate increases for Water and Sewer.  Mr. Thrower informed Council that he had consolidated all of those ordinances into his recommendation to Council as council had usually voted on all of those in one motion.  Council Member Harris continued, "for the record, then, can the Clerk specify my opposition to the increases on the Lodging Tax, Meals Tax, the Real Estate Tax and my approval of the two ordinances on the charges for the Water rate.  That was the whole point of wanting it separate, so that I could vote against the things I didn't like and for the things I did; and if the Clerk will accept that clarification with anyone else that wants to be noted the same way to be consistent with our votes on the other two ordinances, that would be fine." Council Member Lynch interrupted, stating, "me as well."

    The meeting was opened to Public Comment.  Cornell Hines sopke for Habitat for Humanity, thanking them for the "many, many blessings" that Council had bestowed on them since the inception of the Emporia-Greensville Chapter.  He also asked Council to consider continuing to waive the fees related to their building permit.

    Polly Duffy, Director of the Meherrin Regional Library System thanked the Council for their ongoing support of the library system and support for the upcoming budget year.  She also praised the fact that the Richardson Memorial Library is well maintained.  Ms. reviewed the services offered at the Richardson Memorial Library before asking Council to reconsider some of the funding the library receives, specifically a reduction in the federal e-rate pertaining to the voice telephones.  The amount she wanted reconsidered was $414 for the upcoming year.

    Thelma A. Riley President of the Community Youth Center asked Council to consider giving the CYC some of the $10,000 that was designated for demolition at the CYC.  She wished to have the funds to assist with the pool project this summer. She stated that a tour of the building indicated that it could be rehabilitated.  Mayor Person asked Assistant Manager Ed Daley for clarification, and he indicated that the immediate focus should be on the pool and bathhouse area.  Sections of the long building should be demolished if funding for rehabilitation could not be found.  He felt that the long building would take more money to renovate than the community would be willing to raise.

    John Kinsey approached the podium and thanked Council for their service, saying that it was "quite interesting tonight.  We can always count on Woody to make things interesting;"  he also invited City Council to Faith Baptist Church's Annual God and Country Service Day, on June 28 at 10:30.

    The regular session ended and City Council moved into a Closed Session to discuss legal matters regarding Fire Department funding and the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and disposition of publicly held real property where discussion in open session would adversely effect Council's negotiation strategy.

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  24. Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Began June 15

    The nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees began Monday, June 15, 2015.

    “County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Vilsack. “I hope that every eligible farmer and rancher will participate in this year's county committee elections. Through the county committees, farmers and ranchers have a voice; their opinions and ideas get to be heard on federal farm programs.”

    Vilsack added, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates, and I hope that trend continues.”

    To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.

    Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2015 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 3, 2015. Elections will take place this fall.

    While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.

    FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 9, 2015. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec.7, 2015. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1, 2016.

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    BY: GHIAS RANA, MD; Emporia, VA - Many women can recall with a smile their teenage escapades and gossip sessions punctuated with giggling fits and the inevitable comment: “I laughed so hard, I almost wet my pants!” As we age, however, urinary incontinence is anything but a laughing matter.

    Stress incontinence is a type of incontinence that involves involuntary leaking of urine from the bladder when it’s under pressure. This condition can develop as the muscles that support the bladder become weaker due to the natural aging process, childbirth or certain medical conditions.

    More than 15 million women in the United States have stress urinary incontinence. A 2008 Kaiser Permanente study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that one in three women experiences stress incontinence, and the percentage of affected women increases with age. The study surveyed more than 4,000 women aged 25 to 84 – the most extensive research on the subject to date.

    Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is placed on the abdominal area by physical activity such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising or lifting a heavy object. When the muscles that hold the bladder and control the flow of urine don’t function properly, accidents can happen – especially if the bladder is full. Stress incontinence affects more women than men, and can range from an occasional problem to a medical situation that affects your daily routine by limiting your participation in social, work or exercise activities.

    The most common cause of female stress incontinence is damage to tissues or nerves in the pelvic floor area during childbirth – which may show up immediately after having a baby, or several years later, after menopause. The condition is common among women who have multiple vaginal births and whose bladder, urethra or rectal wall protrude into the vaginal wall, a condition known as pelvic prolapse.

    Age-related changes in the strength and function of muscles can make a woman more susceptible to developing stress incontinence. At menopause, the loss of estrogen means that the tissues of the vagina and urethra are more fragile.

    Other medical conditions and lifestyle habits can affect the form and function of the bladder and lead to stress incontinence: urinary tract infections, diabetes, chronic bronchitis or asthma, chronic constipation, previous pelvic surgery (such as a hysterectomy), and obesity. Contributing lifestyle factors include excess caffeine or alcohol consumption, smoking – and therefore, frequent coughing – medications that increase urine production, and high-impact exercise.

    More than 60 percent of women with stress incontinence put off discussing the condition with their doctor for a year or more, due to embarrassment, anxiety or lack of knowledge about available treatments. Many women assume that the condition is simply something they must deal with as part of the aging process.

    Years ago, surgeries for incontinence were more invasive and painful, involving a long recovery period. The good news is today, there are a variety of treatment options. More than 85 percent of female incontinence cases are treatable, according to five-year data gathered in the United States, Europe and Australia and published last year in the International Uro-Gynecology Journal.

    Your doctor can help ease your symptoms with dietary recommendations, a regimen of muscle training exercises, medication or surgery; or, you may be referred to an urologist for further treatment.

    Non-surgical treatment includes lifestyle changes – limiting caffeine, losing weight or quitting smoking – or exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor, known as Kegel exercises. Electrical stimulation and biofeedback helps revitalize injured or tired muscles. Hormone creams can restore tissues to their former thickness and renew their support capabilities.

    Bladder surgery is an option to provide support or lift the urethra back to a normal position, which aids in urine retention. However, newer, minimally invasive vaginal surgeries and outpatient procedures give women many more options than ever before.

    The information in this article was provided by Ghias Rana, MD, a Board Certified Urogyncelogist and Board Certified Ob/Gyn with Southampton Women’s Health with offices in Franklin, VA and at 301 Market Drive, Suite 9 in Emporia. For more information on services offered by Dr. Rana or to schedule an appointment, call at 757-562-2568.

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  26. Calvary Baptist Church Organ Dedication and Concert

    Please join Calvary Baptist Church in dedicating their newly restored organ this Friday night, June 19, at 7:30 p.m.  The organ was damaged during the fire that swept through the church last July. Timothy Gay will play the organ and lead the dedication service. The Calvary Baptist congregation invites the community to join us in celebrating this milestone in our rebuilding effort.

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  27. Blood Drive Today!



    EMPORIA, VA – Each summer, the supply of blood collected by the American Red Cross (ARC) through volunteer donations drops off significantly, with approximately two fewer donor appointments scheduled at each blood drive than the actual patient need. This decline can add up to as many as 100,000 fewer donations during the months of June, July and August. Unfortunately, the need for lifesaving blood and blood products remains constant throughout the summer season. Approximately 400 blood donations are needed every day to meet the patient demand in Central Virginia. That equates to about 60,000 units needed annually for our geographic area.

    As one of more than 2700 hospitals nationwide who depend on the ARC for blood and blood products for our patients, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) will host a blood drive on Tuesday, June 16th from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM in SVRMC classrooms. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. To schedule an appointment, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor ID or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

    For more information on this blood drive, contact Sandy Webb, Director of Marketing and Physician Recruitment at 434-348-4447.



  28. Elementary Students Win Bikes!

    Anthony Parks, a Central Cafeteria employee for GCPS, donated two bikes along with starter kits as motivators for 3rd and 4th grade students during their SOL review and testing. For each SOL test a student passed, his/her name was entered into a drawing. 

    The winners were:  Ryan Owen - 3rd grade (Pictured with Anthony Parks)

    Dakeea Thomas - 4th grade​ (Pictured with Assistant Principal, Mrs. Hand, Principal, Mrs. Coker, and Mr. Parks)

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  29. Free Presentation on Slip and Fall Prevention

    Petersburg, VA – June is National Safety Month. Learn tips to keep yourself and your loved ones from unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

    This seminar will be held on Thursday, June 25 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at the Petersburg Family YMCA located at 120 North Madison Street in the multi-purpose room. Light refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend and RSVP is not required.

    This seminar is provided by Southside Regional Medical Center and the Petersburg Family YMCA.

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  30. USDA Opens Enrollment Period for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Safety-Net Programs

    WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC)programs for 2014 and 2015. The enrollment period begins June 17, 2015, and will end Sept. 30, 2015.

    "The extensive outreach campaign conducted by USDA since the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted, along with extending deadlines, is central to achieving an expected high level of participation,” said Vilsack. “We worked with universities to simplify these complex programs by providing online tools so producers could explore how program election options would affect their operation in different market conditions; these tools were presented to almost 3,000 organizations across the country. The Farm Service Agency also sent more than 5 million educational notices to producers nationwide and participated in over 4,880 educational events with more than 447,000 attendees. I am proud of the many committed USDA employees who worked hard over the last several months to provide producers support to help them make these important decisions.”

    The new programs, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, trigger financial protections for agricultural producers when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices or revenues. More than 1.76 million farmers have elected ARC or PLC. Previously, 1.7 million producers had enrolled to receive direct payments (the program replaced with ARC and PLC by the 2014 Farm Bill). This means more farms have elected ARC or PLC than previously enrolled under previously administered programs.

    Nationwide, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected ARC. 99 percent of long grain rice farms, 99 percent of peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected PLC.  For data about other crops and state-by-state program election results go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

    Covered commodities under ARC and PLC include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

    The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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  31. Obituary-Laurice Sizer

    Laurice House, Harding, Cross, Dianis, Sizer was born in Lawrenceville, VA on June 19, 1919.  She lived most of her life in Emporia and died there on June 15, 2015.  Laurice is survived by her husband Wesley Sizer.  She was preceded in death by her daughter, Donna Marie Harding Long of Winter Haven, FL, her son Lynwood French Harding of Staunton, VA and her son, Norman Anderson Harding, Jr. of Midlothian, VA.  She was also preceded in death by her husbands, Norman Anderson Harding of Richmond, Shelton Cross of Emporia and Paul Dianis of Emporia.  Laurice is survived by her son C.P. Harding of Normal, IL; her daughter in law Ann Pople Harding; grandson Nick Harding and his wife Julie Harding of Aledo, TX and great-grandsons Nicholas, Liam and Quinn also from Aledo, TX.  She is also survived by grandson Luke Harding of Chicago, IL and grandson Christopher Harding of Los Angeles, CA.  Also surviving is her daughter in law Barbara Harding (wife of Norman Jr.) of Midlothian, VA; granddaughter Angela Pigg, her husband Jimmie Pigg, great-grandson Chance Harding and his wife Kasey and their son Clyde and great-granddaughter Bethany Harding of Richmond. Grandson Andy Harding, his wife Alison; great-grandson Dillon Harding and great-granddaughter Summer Harding also survive.  Laurice is also survived by her daughter in law Wanda Harding (wife of Lyn) of Weyers Cave, VA; granddaughter Katie Harding of Raleigh, NC; and grandson William Harding, his wife Elizabeth; their daughter Madison and their son Jase of Staunton, VA.  Also surviving is one step-daughter Ketura Taylor and her husband Jack Taylor of Richmond.  Laurice is also survived by her sister Betsy Baird and husband Aubrey Baird of Bracey, VA.  She was preceded in death by her brothers Percy Lee House of Emporia and James Albert (Jack) House of Henderson, NC and by her sisters Mary House Creaseman of Norfolk, VA and Ernestine House Starke of Bracey, VA.  Laurice is also survived by many cousins, nephews and nieces as well as countless friends including her special friend Barbara Hargrove who cared for her over the past few years and helped her to live a very full and active life.  As she said so many times, Barbara is my special friend and I love her like a sister.  Laurice loved her family, she loved life, she loved people, she loved Emporia, VA and she loved Bingo.  She also loved her trips with groups to Atlantic City, New Jersey and she loved her trips to New York City where she appeared on The Price is Right and other television programs.  The most difficult thing a parent sometimes faces in life is the loss of a child.  Laurice faced that three times and her strength brought comfort to others during those difficult times.  Laurice has a special request of all of her family and friends.  She would like to be remembered not just with flowers or memorials to her church but with the kindness that each of you might do for others.  Do something nice for someone every day and remember Laurice…a nice lady from Emporia who always went out of her way to do kind things for others.  A visitation will be held on Wednesdaym from 1:00 to 2:00 at Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by funeral services there at 2:00.  The funeral will be followed by interment at the Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery on the corner of Dry Bread Road and Independence Church Road.  A reception for friends and family will follow in the fellowship hall.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  32. Must-Have Health Screenings for Men

    Celebrate the man in your life by supporting his health

    By:  Amanda Futrell, PA-C ;Emporia, VA - Research shows that men are four times less likely to consult a doctor when they experience medical problems.  As a result, men are much more likely to need an emergency admission to a hospital with a serious or life-threatening condition which could have been prevented or dealt with at an earlier stage.   A man’s reluctance to visit the doctor is a longstanding and popular stereotype.   However, for optimal health men should visit their Primary Care Provider (PCP) annually for a physical and to be screened for certain diseases and conditions that are prevalent among men as they age.   

    National Men’s Health Week, celebrated annually in conjunction with Father’s Day, is intended to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. “Many of the health issues that affect men are preventable, which makes these tests, most often at an annual checkup, even more important,” said Amanda Futrell, PA-C.  Below are a few of the recommended screenings for men:

    Blood pressure

    Why:Keeping a close eye on blood pressure levels can help with early detection of hypertension or pre-hypertension. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, strokes and kidney disease.

    When:Men should have their blood pressure checked once every two years. Even men with normal blood pressure readings can develop high blood pressure in middle age and later in life.


    Why:According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with high cholesterol have about twice the risk of heart disease as people with lower levels.Lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of having a heart attack, needing heart bypass surgery or angioplasty, and dying of heart disease.

    When:Men should have their cholesterol checked every five years beginning at age 35 – or younger if he is a smoker and/or has diabetes, high blood pressure, or a genetic predisposition to heart disease.


    Why:The rate of diabetes has dramatically increased. Of the 29.1 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes (about one out of 11 people), one out of four don’t know they have it. In the beginning, symptoms are so mild, the disease often goes undetected or is mistaken for some other ailment. Other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, increase the risk of developing diabetes. Diabetes can cause problems with the heart, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.

    When: Men 45 years of age or older should be screened for diabetes every three years, according to the American Diabetes Association. If a man is overweight, has high blood pressure or high cholesterol, his doctor may advise screening at a younger age. Individuals with pre-diabetes should be checked for type 2 diabetes every one to two years after initial diagnosis.

    Prostate Cancer

    Why:Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. The disease is rare before age 50, and, when caught early, (i.e., while symptoms are limited to the prostate), is curable. Age is a big risk factor for prostate cancer. More than 70 percent of all men are diagnosed at age 65 or older. The most common test is the digital rectal examination, a simple screening test in which a doctor checks the prostate gland for any abnormalities that may indicate the beginning of cancer.

    When:A prostate check is usually performed annually, as part of a man’s annual physical, beginning at age 50. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer should discuss screening at age 45.

    Colorectal Cancer

    Why:According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in U.S. men and women. But if caught early, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable cancers. A colon screening provides both diagnosis and treatment, since any polyps found are removed and analyzed as part of the exam.

    When:All men should have a colorectal exam, which includes several tests to check the colon and rectum, beginning at age 50. If there is a family history of colorectal cancer, screening should begin ten years earlier than the age at which the relative was diagnosed. The frequency of repeat exams depends on individual risk level.

    Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Test

    Why:The aorta is the main blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. An abdominal aortic aneurysm occurs when an area of the aorta becomes very large or balloons out. The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to burst. This can be life-threatening. Aneurysms can develop slowly over many years, often with no symptoms. While the exact cause is unknown, factors that can increase the risk of developing the problem include male gender, smoking, high blood pressure, and certain genetic factors. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is most often seen in males over age 60 who have one or more additional risk factors.

    When: The good news is that an ultrasound can detect AAA.The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends screening for men between 65 and 75 who have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime.          

    Importance of the Annual Check Up

    “All of these tests circle back to the importance of visiting your PCP once a year for a checkup,” said Futrell. “Your PCP will keep tabs on your age and what tests are needed, as well as your family history and possible predisposition for certain diseases.”

    Other screenings that may be performed during an annual visit may include a screening for depression, as well as an assessment of your weight and body mass index (BMI). Excess weight increases the risk for diabetes and heart disease. Your doctor may also check your skin for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, though highly curable when diagnosed early.  

    This Father’s Day, celebrate the men you love by encouraging them to be proactive about their health. For more information on any of these tests, visit the Health Library on www.svrmc.com.

    The information in this article was provided by Amanda Futrell, a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) with Southern Virginia Medical Group (SVMG) located at 511 Belfield Drive in Emporia.  For more information on services offered by Ms. Futrell or to schedule an appointment, contact SVMG at 434-348-4680. 

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  33. The Conversation Continued on Monday

    In light of recent news from Ferguson and Baltimore, one citizen decided that our community needed to improve the relationship between the youth of our community and law enforcement.  Linda Richardson spearheaded the forum she called "Can We Talk" on Tuesday, June 9.

    Her purpose was to "aid the youth in our community and forge a positive relationship" with local law enforcement.  During her comments at the forum, Mrs. Richardson stated that youth in our area needed the opportunity to "Develop a rapport with law enforcement and get to know them," stating that members of law enforcement were "more than officers, they are your friends."  Richardson also noted that "safety is a shared responsibility."

    The keynote speaker was Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth, Tonya D. Vincent. 

    In January, 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Ms. Vincent to serve as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Immediately prior to her appointment, Tonya was the Deputy Chief of Police for the City of Richmond Police Department.

    Tonya has over 24 years in law enforcement. Serving as Deputy Chief for Richmond provided her the opportunity to oversee daily operations in matters of policy, human resources, fiscal management, accreditation, strategic planning, recruitment, training, technology, intelligence led policing, and emergency communications.    

    Due to her proven leadership abilities, the CAO appointed her as the Interim Director of the Department of Social Services for the City of Richmond.  She was responsible for strategically managing overall operations and policy development for Economic Support & Independence (Benefits), Children, Families, & Adults (Social Work), Finance & Administration Divisions, and the Comprehensive Services Act (CSA).

    Tonya previously spent 22 years with the Arlington County Police Department. Having sixteen years of supervisory experience and nine years of command experience allowed her to demonstrate a strong record of achievement as Commander for Patrol, Human Resources, Information and Technology,  and Criminal Investigations. Additional experiences include incident command, forensics, employee development, community policing, public relations, and school safety.

    Tonya is enrolled in the PhD program at Virginia Tech. Her field of study is Public Administration/Public Affairs, with a concentration on Homeland Security. She currently has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration, both from Virginia Tech. Additionally she has completed PERF and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Management Institute for Police.

    I bring you greetings on behalf of Governor McAuliffe and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Brian Moran.  I want to thank Delegate Tyler for the invitation to speak with you today. She has requested that I discuss important ways that the community and police can support each other, especially in times of trouble. Today’s discussion is an opportunity for you and your community leaders to have an open dialogue about how to better strengthen community relations with law enforcement and also to talk about building what the Governor calls a new Virginia economy, where every Virginian has greater opportunities to succeed.

    My goal here is to listen to all of you, hear your concerns and hope that we can work together to overcome the challenges, in order to make our society better for everyone here in Greensville, Emporia and across the Commonwealth.

    First let’s ask ourselves, how did we get to this point in society?  In recent months, national attention has been placed on the deaths of young men at the hands of police. Specifically in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and South Carolina, not to mention our own incident that occurred in Charlottesville. As a result, innocent police officers have been targeted and some have lost their lives. This has led to disputes between the police and government officials concerning responsibility and the eventual indictment of police officers in Baltimore and South Carolina. Truthfully, every city is really just one incident away from going through the turmoil that Baltimore and Ferguson has faced. It is what you do as a community before an incident arises that will help dictate the outcome. I can’t express enough how essential it is for law enforcement to build trusting relationships with the community prior to an incident occurring.   

    As you heard in my introduction, I have over 24 years of law enforcement experience and most of my career has centered around developing trusting relationships and building collaborative partnerships with the community. Although I cannot speak with you specifically about your experiences here in Greensville County or the City of Emporia, I can speak to you generically about building those relationships.

    I can tell you that building collaborative partnerships involves everyone – it is a two-way street. It is not the police department’s responsibility alone.   Everyone should be held accountable for the safety and security of their neighborhoods.  You have to be the eyes and ears of the department, as the police/sheriff’s cannot be everywhere at once.

    As a result of these national incidents, there have been several taskforces and studies put together to provide guidance to law enforcement on the issues, to include President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.[1] This report makes 59 recommendations about suggested approaches that law enforcement agencies can and should take to improving community- police relations. 

    The recommendations, although they span a number of topical areas, all basically come down to one overarching objective- to ease the tension between law enforcement agencies and the community. The report was broken down into Six Pillars. A few of the recommendations are as follows: 

    ·       Pillar One: Building Trust and legitimacy

    •   Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian mindset to build public trust and legitimacy.
    •   Law enforcement should establish a culture of transparency.

    ·       Pillar Two: Policy and Oversight

    •  Law enforcement should collaborate with community members in developing policies/strategies, especially in neighborhoods disproportionately affected by crime. – These are the basic tenants of community policing. 

    ·       Pillar Three: Technology & Social Media

    •  Law enforcement should implement appropriate technology considering local needs (LPRs, body cameras)

    ·       Pillar Four: Community Policing & Crime Reduction

    •  Law enforcement should develop policies and practices to reinforce community engagement in managing public safety. (include members of the community)
    •  Community policing should be infused throughout the culture and organizational structure of the agency. (holistic approach)
    •  The culture and practice of the department should value protection and promote dignity of all citizens, especially the most vulnerable.
    •  Departments should engage in programs that address the needs of youth at risk.

    ·       Pillar Five: Training and Education

    Training should include:

    •  Community policing and problem solving principles
    •  Interpersonal and communication skills
    •  Bias awareness – implicit bias/unconscious bias
    •  Crisis Intervention/ Mental Health issues

    ·       Pillar Six: Officer Wellness & Safety

    •  Must be a priority in every department
    •  Agencies should promote safety and wellness at every level of the organization.

    The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conducted a national summit on Community-Police Relations, entitled Advancing a Culture of Cohesion and Community Trust.[2]

    This report looked at:

    • Complexities in Community Policing
    •  Diversity (Law enforcement have to meet desires and needs of a broad range of people)
    • Opportunities to engage younger populations
    • How police interactions can have different meanings for different races - Traffic Stops/Stop and Frisks
    • Challenges to Community Policing
    •  Resources
    • How technology can help and/or hurt
    • Partnership, collaboration and trust are essential
    • Reward meaningful community interactions

    The RAND Corporation[3] conducted a study on how to promote better relationships between the public and law enforcement agencies.  

    They found these to be important Factors to Building Trust:

    • Individuals are given the opportunity to participate in the process
    • Individuals perceive that they are treated with dignity and respect and the process is fair
    • Individuals trust both the motives and the neutrality of the decision makers

    I point out all of these reports to say, we hear you. The President, the Governor, the Secretary of Public Safety, your legislators, your County and City officials and law enforcement all hear you. 

    However, as I said earlier, it is a two way street and you have to do your part as well. So I challenge all community groups, faith leaders, seniors, young adults, and youth to partner with law enforcement  and government officials in order to help make your community safer and to build the collaborative relationships that are needed.

    We must all agree that law enforcement personnel are here to protect and serve your community and they have a job to do. Otherwise there would be chaos. That job will sometimes entail engaging you in a traffic stop or an investigatory stop.

    Police officers need reasonable suspicion to stop and question you. They have justification if they suspect you have done or about to do something illegal. So, don’t expose yourself to police suspicion. 

    Reasons for stops:

    • Officers regularly stop and talk to citizens every day in the performance of their duties.
    • You may fit the description of a suspect who may be in the vicinity. The officer needs to determine if you committed the crime or not.
    • Officer may have noticed you hanging out in a known drug/crime area for an extended period of time.

     No matter the reason for the stop – Respect and Cooperation are key. My best advice to you is to cooperate and be respectful, even if you don’t believe you should have been stopped.

    • Cooperate and provide the information that the officer is asking for.
    • If you are innocent, stay calm and cooperate. (do not get angry)
    • Cooperation on your part can greatly reduce the time the officer needs to finish asking questions.
    • If you overreact, you may make the situation worse.

    You will always have an opportunity to file a complaint later.

    Your Rights if Arrested

    • To be informed of the charge against you
    • To remain silent
    • To request an attorney, even if you can’t afford one

    I asked the Governor’s Fellows, (Courtney Warren, Matthew Revis, and JaVon Davis) who are working in our office during the summer and are here with me today, what they would want to hear me speak about if I were speaking to their peers and they stated the following: 

    • Emphasize that the police are not the enemy, but are there to help
    • Police should be used as a resource
    • Despite some recent malpractice, we cannot generalize the whole police population– there are a lot of good cops out there
    • Assisting in police investigations help make the community safer, and therefore can better the lives of everyone in the area

    So for the youth in the audience, that message came from your peers.  Help us to help you make your community safer and a place where everyone can live and prosper. Thank you 

    After the Deputy Secretary's comments, ranking officers from all local law enforcement agencies, City, County and State.  City of Emporia Chief of Police Ricky Pinkshaw, City of Emporia Sheriff Sam Brown, Greensville County Sheriff Timmy Jarratt and Virginia State Police Sergeant John Brown all introduced themselves before opening the forum to questions.

    During the question and answer session citizens shared their concerns about the open door policy each department has, one citizen stating that even with that policy many see law enforcement as not approachable and had the City Police Department considered a Citizen's Police Academy.  Chief Pinkshaw addressed that concern by stating the the department had just finished a Citizens Police Academy and he would like to have a Kid's Citizen's Police Academy and a Senior Citizen's Police Academy, stating that if he could do it all together, that he would love to have everyone together.  He stated further that one of the biggest barriers is "that patrol car itself I want to influence our officers to get out of the cars and be approachable." Chief Pinkshaw also stated that he urges his officers to not just get out of the car to write a ticked, but to stop and s how that we are concerned about their problems, and to get out of your car and shoot baskets with kids or toss the football.  Being part of the community, he said, "is not just driving around in the patrol car."

    Stacey Gray of the Boys and Girls Club thanked the officers and invited them to "take five minuted, get out of your car and come into the Boys and Girls Club to say 'hi.'"

    Other questions were about proper procedures for traffic stops.  Chief Pinkshaw, Sheriff Jarratt and Sergeant Brown all explained their procedures for traffic stops, but admitted that there are cases where the best questions for the situation are "where are you going" or "where are you coming from"

    City Sheriff Sam Brown, while speaking about the DARE program said that the youth of this community are "his kids," and he has known most of them since they were born.  Sheriff Brown is the DARE officer for the school system and shared that budget.  When the subject of money came up, one citizen said that "money shouldn't stop us from building this relationship."

    The question and answer session ended with a citizen taking the stage using the forum to air a personal complaint with the Deputy Secretary.  Millis Stoked feels that he was wrongly terminated from the Petersburg Sheriff's Department, and while that may be the case, this forum was not the place to have that conversation.

    the program ended with words from Dr. Angela Wilson, Superintendent of Schools and Mayor Mary Person followed by closing comments from Mrs. Richardson and some door prizes.

    Photos from top to bottom:

    Local Law Enforcement Officers Present

    Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Tonya D. Vincent (photo from the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security's Website)

    Greensville County Sheriff Timmy Jarratt, Virginia State Police Sergeant John Brown, City of Emporia Sheriff Sam Brown and City of Emporia Chief of Police Ricky Pinkshaw

    Forum Organizer Linda B. Richardson, Javon Davis, Delegate Roslyn Tyler, Deputy Secretary Tonya D. Vincent, Matthew Revis and Courtney Warren (Javon Davis, Matthew Revis and Courtney Warren are Governor's Fellows for the summer and accompanied the Deputy Secretary from Richmond).

    Emporia News would like to thank the Deputy Secretary for providing the text of her speech.  Below are the citations listed in her text.

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  34. Obituary-Elie Mitchell Smith

    Elie Mitchell Smith, 97, died June 6, 2015. She was born in Greensville County and lived in Emporia, Va. She was predeceased by her parents, Peter and India Rook Mitchell, and her husband Harvey J. Smith, Sr. She is survived by her daughter Joan Smith Taylor and husband Thomas, of Emporia; son, Harvey J. Smith, Jr. and wife Patricia of Milford, NY; grandchildren Amy Dianis and husband Walter, Thomas E. Taylor, Jr and wife Stacy, all of Emporia, David Z. Smith, Kathryn E. Smith of Beno, OR; great grandchildren Jake Taylor, Morgan Dianis, Daniel Dianis, Drake Taylor, Hunter Taylor, all of Emporia, Devon Todd, of Beno, OR; two sisters, Lucy Davis of Emporia and Alice Hale of N. J.; two special friends, Nellie and Barry Falls. She was the oldest member of Calvary Baptist Church. Graveside Service were held Monday, June 8, 2015, at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Emporia. The family received at Echols Funeral Home from 2:30 until 4:00 pm. The Rev. Jim White officiated. Pallbearers were Earl Taylor, Thomas Edward Taylor, Jr., Jake Taylor, Walter Dianis, Barry Falls & Wyane Fetko; honorary pallbearers were Ernest Bailey & Harry L. Smith, Jr. In lieu of lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church Emporia Va. In Emporia, Virginia.


  35. SVCC Awards 20,000th CRC

    Southside Virginia Community College recently awarded its 20,000th Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) becoming the first member of the Virginia Community College System to reach the benchmark. The recipient was Isaiah Godfrey, a rising senior at Prince Edward County High School, who scored at the platinum level.

    Virginia’s Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) is an assessment-based credential that gives employers and career seekers a uniform measure of key workplace skills. The WorkKeys system was developed by ACT (formerly American College Testing) to meet the demand from business and industry for a reliable screening tool that could help employers identify the best candidates based on the work-related skills needed to be successful on the job.

    “The CRC is a wonderful tool for workforce development,” said Dennis Smith, Director of Workforce Development on the John H. Daniel Campus at SVCC. “The WorkKeys system was established to provide a common language for employers, educators, and job seekers. SVCC has been involved with the WorkKeys program since 1995 and we understand the importance of the system in helping to develop our local workforce. We are delighted that many of our high-school partners are offering the assessments so students can document the skills they have to enter the workforce.”

    The CRC is based on three assessments that are universally used by most employers: Reading for Information, Applied Mathematics and Locating Information.

    The assessments validate workplace skills by utilizing situations and scenarios that occur in the workplace. Participants readily recognize that these are not academic questions but rather problem-solving situations that occur every day in America’s workplaces.

    Individuals testing in Virginia earn one of three levels of Career Readiness certificates based on their test performance. A bronze level signifies that a recipient possesses skills for approximately 17% of all jobs while silver signifies that a recipient possesses skills for 69% of jobs and gold signifies skills for 93% of jobs.

    The CRC allows the employer to evaluate the skills offered by the candidates against the skills required for success in the position which eliminates a large portion of poorly qualified and unmotivated individuals while quantifying the skill sets of those who do apply with the CRC as a part of their applications.

    For incumbent employees and recruits, the CRC provides a baseline for training and development.

    For more information about the CRC, contact Dennis Smith on the John H. Daniel Campus at 434-736-2008 or by email at dennis.smith@southside.edu or Debra Smiley on the Christanna Campus at 434-949-1027 or by email at debra.smiley@southside.edu or Pam Taylor in South Boston at 434-572-8289 or by email at Pamela.taylor@southside.edu

    BENCHMARK AWARD – Prince Edward County High School student Isaiah Godfrey recently earned a Career Readiness Certificate awarded by Southside Virginia Community College. The CRC was the 20,000th issued by the local community college becoming the first member of the Virginia Community College System to reach the benchmark. Pictured from the left are Dennis Smith, Director of Workforce Development at SVCC; Mark Daniel, SVCC Testing Specialist; Isaiah Godfrey and Dr. Brad Bryant, Coordinator of Career and Technical Education/Adult and Continuing Education at Prince Edward County Public Schools.

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  36. The 42nd Annual Pork Fesitval Draws Crowds to Emporia

    Over 40,000 pounds of pork (yes, that is 20 tons! 20 Tons of Pork!).  Among the 40,000 pounds were Chitterlings, BBQ Pork Chops, Pork Burgers, Pork Festival Stew, Country Ham, Sausage Biscuits, Pork Burgers, Hot Dogs, ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Meatballs, Italian Sausage, and Pulled Pork.

    To accompany the Porcine Delicacies there was Corn on the Cob, Hush Puppies, Black Eyed Peas and Sweet Potato Fries with Strawberry Shortcake and Banana Pudding for Dessert.  With all of the walking from booth to booth, all of that food was also guilt free.

    In addition to plenty of water and sweet tea, there was also a full bar and plenty of beer.  While most of the beer selections were Anheuser-Busch products like Budweiser, there was also Shock Top on tap and an expanded selection of Craft Beers and Hard Ciders.  This year there were Craft selections from Legend Brewing, three choices from Natty Green's Brewing Company, two selections from Star Hill and Highland Brewing Company's Oatmeal Porter.  Bold Rock had three Hard Cider selections, two apple and one pear.  The Discovery Channel’s Tim Smith was there, as well, offering samples of his Climax Moonshine.

    This years music was provided by The Embers, Albert Castiglia, Steve Owens & the Summertime Band, The Switch, & Exit 173.

    The Virginia Pork Festival is the largest single day festival on the East Coast and is a fund raiser for many local charities.

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  37. Southside Regional Medical Center Offers FREE CPR Class

    Petersburg, VA – Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is offering a FREE Friends and Family Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class on Wednesday, June 24 from 2:00pm – 6:00pm at SRMC’s campus. Participants will learn how to recognize and treat life threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest, heart attack and choking. This CPR class is designed for those who want to learn the skills, but are not required to obtain certification in CPR for employment.

    SRMC is located at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg, Virginia. The class will be held in the A/B classroom. For more information and to register, call 804.765.5729.  Registration deadline is Friday, June 19.  Class size is limited.

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  38. Full Ballot for County in November

    While the majority of candidates will be running unopposed, there are a few competitive races on the ballot in the November General Election. 

    Unopposed races included State Senator L. Louise Lucas and House of Delegates Member Roslyn Tyler, both Democrats.  Running unopposed for Constitutional Offices in Greensville County, Patricia Watson (Commonwealth's Attorney), Martha Swenson (Commissioner of the Revenue), and Pamela Lifsey (Treasurer).  This year's race will see competition for the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court as incumbent Bobby Wrenn will face opposition from Debra Brown.

    The County Sheriff's race includes four candidates (five are listed in the chart from the State Board of Elections, as one is listed twice).  Timmy Jarratt will run as the incumbent in the wake of Sheriff Edward's recent retirement.  Also in the race for County Sheriff are Derrick Banks, Stephen King and former Sheriff Wyatt Lee.

    Longtime Board of Supervisors Member James C. Vaughn is not standing for re-election this year, running for his District One seat are James Avent and Raymond Bryant.  Supervisor Margaret Lee from District Three will face competition from Keith Mitchell.  Fourth District Supervisor and Chairman Peggy Wiley is running unopposed as is the Supervisor Mike Ferguson from District Two.

    Both James S. Ferguson and Anthony Gillus are running to be Directors of the Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District.  Both are currently Directors for that board covering Greensville, Sussex and Southampton Counties.

    All four people running for Greensville County School Board are running unopposed.  They are Bessie Ried, Danny Rook, Rhonda Jones Gilliam, and Christopher Vaughan.  School Board Members for the City of Emporia are still appointed by the City Council.

    On the ballot for the City of Emporia are State Senator and Delegate and the shared Constitutional Offices of the Commonwealth's Attorney, County Sheriff and Clerk of the Circuit Court.

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  39. Boar's Head Donation Brings Cheer

    The Pre-K and Early Childhood Special Education teachers at Greensville Elementary School, along with school administrators,  were overjoyed to receive the news that Boar's Head Provisions agreed to contribute a very generous monetary donation to refurbish their students' playground.  Their playground was built in 2002 with funds donated by a local foundation.  In recent years, after being well used by the county's youngest students, some of the playground equipment has begun literally faliing apart.  Boar's Head, which has been a longtime supporter of students in our local public school system, jumped at the opportunity to help once more.  The school hopes to have the new equipment in place for the coming school year."

    Pictured left to right are:  Melissa Bolton, AP Supervisor for Boar's Head, Austine Ellis, Asst. Principal, Nicole Coker, Principal, Mike Kneeland, Boar's Head Plant Manager, Diane Rideout, Paula Ligon, Meg Lumpkin and Whitney Bloom, Pre-K teachers at Greensville Elementary School.

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  40. When to Visit the Emergency Room

    By: Fitzgeral Marcelin, MD, Emergency Medical Director at SVRMC

    Emporia, VA- In times of crisis, a visit to the emergency room (ER) can be the difference between life and death. In hospitals around the country and here in our own community, qualified caregivers are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to address the urgent medical needs of you and your family.

    In events such as serious injuries or allergic reactions, the ER is the most appropriate place to go for care. ER staff are in direct contact with ambulance providers and emergency services, and are a vital link in a community’s first response network.

    Hospital ERs are designed to treat people who are critically ill or seriously injured.  It is, however, sometimes difficult to determine whether or not a visit to the ER is necessary.  According to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA,) a medical event is an emergency if the health of the individual is in serious jeopardy, there is a serious impairment of bodily functions or there is a serious impairment of a bodily organ. Some conditions generally regarded as medical emergencies include:

    • Severe injury;
    • Signs of a heart attack, such as pressure or pain in the chest;
    • Signs of a stroke, such as severe numbness and loss of vision;
    • Bleeding or vomiting that will not stop;
    • Severe shortness of breath;
    • Severe disorientation; and
    • Medical condition in children less than six months of age.

    Because ERs also treat patients with less serious health issues, a triage system is used to identify each patient’s condition, and those with more critical needs are seen first, rather than on a first-come,  first-served basis.  Patients with potentially life-threatening conditions such as a chest pain, shortness of breath or sudden or unexplained loss of consciousness are treated immediately while someone with a minor cut or sore throat may have to wait longer.

    Less severe symptoms, such as an aching back, a persistent cough, low grade fever or a runny nose, may not warrant a trip to the emergency room.  A primary care provider (PCP) who has treated members of your family in the past may be a good option for these events because he or she is familiar with your medical history, and treatment in the PCP’s office is usually more cost-effectively than an ER visit. 

    However, if you believe your health or the health of a loved one is in jeopardy, it is always best to seek immediate treatment.   Knowing what options for medical care are available in the community and are covered by your insurance will make it easier to determine the best treatment option when a medical issue arises. 

    Because emergency room visits are nearly always unexpected, it is wise to keep certain items such as insurance cards and personal identification nearby at all times.  Make a list of your allergies as well as any current or previous medications you are taking and include contact information for your personal physician(s). You should also be familiar with your medical history, including your blood type and any previous or chronic conditions you have experienced. Providing this information will make medical care quicker and easier. 

    In the event of an emergency, a visit to the ER can save your life or the life of a loved one.  Experiencing a medical emergency can be frightening, and one way to avoid the need for emergency care is to establish a relationship with a PCP, and maintain a regular schedule of routine and preventative care.  Making regular visits to the doctor and having an in-depth knowledge of your medical history can helpidentify a medical issue before it becomes serious and requires emergency medical care.  Schedule an appointment with your PCP to have a routine checkup and discuss your medical history.

    The information in this article was provided by Fitzgerald Marcelin, MD who is certified by American Boards of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and who serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Services for Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC).  Dr. Marcelin’s practice, Emporia-Greensville Medical Center, is located at 702 North Main Street in Emporia.  For more information on services offered by Dr. Marcelin or to schedule an appointment, call at 434-634-7723.

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  41. Jackson-Feild Homes’ Gwaltney School Holds its 18th Commencement Exercises

    On June 5, three students at the Edna Hayden Gwaltney School received their high school diploma, and one received his GED certificate. Six students received their ServSafe food certificate and two their food occupation certificate of completion.

    Dr. Bill Bowling, Director of Education, presided over the ceremony at the Golden Leaf Commons at the Southside Virginia Community College Emporia Campus. Mrs. Angela M. Carter was the commencement speaker.

    Angela M. Carter, born and raised in Alberta, VA, is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body, a poetic journey and memoir that spotlights the effects of abuse, neglect and depression. An advocate of the healing ability of the arts, Mrs. Carter is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, a nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literacy Award (poetry), a motivational speaker, an arts advocate, a painter and a photographer. Mrs. Carter lives in Harrisonburg with her husband, two children and a collection of pets.

    Mrs. Carter – herself a victim of child abuse – shared her life story and spoke of her continuing struggle with mental illness. She urged the graduates to know that they are not alone in their daily struggles, and that they can make a difference in their lives. “Each new day is a new beginning. Don't give up. Don't convince yourself that you do not matter. And don't convince yourself that you cannot become the person you want to be, if you want to become someone new.”

    Over the last eighteen years, 149 students have graduated from the Gwaltney School with either a diploma or GED certificate. Each year, in honor and recognition of the student’s work, an anonymous donor has provided a bouquet of roses for each girl, a wallet for each boy, and a gift card for each graduate.


  42. Obituary-Cathy Hall Lewis

    Cathy Hall Lewis, 62, of Stony Creek, passed away Sunday, June 7, 2015. She is survived by her husband, David R. Lewis, son, David R. Lewis, Jr. and wife, Renea; daughter, Amanda Lewis Lipscomb and husband, Ronald; two grandchildren, Rachel Elaine Lewis and Hunter Lee Lipscomb and a large extended family of sisters, nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 10 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  43. Obituary-Timothy Dylan Lewis

    Timothy Dylan Lewis, 22, passed away on June 5, 2015. He was predeceased by his grandparents, Carl and Edna Malone. He is survived by his parents, Steve and Dian Lewis; his brothers, Stephen “Stevie” Lewis, Jr. and fiancé Ashly Ferguson and Clint Lewis; grandparents, Cliff and Edith Brockwell; Uncle Tim Lewis and wife Loretta; Aunt Audrey Persinger and husband Charlie; girlfriend, Krissy Nelms; numerous cousins and friends; two special big brothers, Jason Link and Clifton Elder and wife Marion. A memorial service will be held at Williams Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 4pm. Visitation will follow after the service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Brunswick Country Club, c/o Stephen Abernathy, P.O. Box 597, Lawrenceville, VA 23868.



    RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2014 is now available online at the Virginia State Police Web site at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.

    The following 2014 crime figures within Virginia are presented in the report:

    • Virginia experienced an increase in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 1.0 percent compared to 2013; this is in contrast to a 1.6 percent decrease comparing the same violent offenses between 2013 with 2012; The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
    • Property crime such as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft continued to decrease for the previous year (5.8 percent); a 3.9 percent decrease occurred between 2013 and 2012. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
    • The homicide rate per 100,000 population experienced a slight increase (4.05) compared to the previous year (3.84). Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 21.4 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while just 10.2 percent of offenders were in the same age group of 50 and older.
    • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 9.3 percent compared to the previous year. Of the 7,696 motor vehicles stolen, 4,249 or 55 percent were recovered. Trucks and automobiles stolen had the highest percent recovered (66.2%, 63.4%, respectively), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (34.2%, 33.3%). Four out-of-ten (41.6%) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen and attempts to steal was $61,492,619, while the value recovered was $34,980,122 (56.9%).
    • Drug and narcotic offenses showed a slight decrease compared to the previous year (2.5 percent). Increases can be noted for 2013 (3.8 percent) as well as 2012 (9.4%) and 2011 (7.1%).
    • Fraud offenses increased by 12.5 percent when compared to 2013.
    • Robbery decreased 5.3 percent. Of the 4,313 robberies and attempted robberies, one-third (33.5%) took place between 8 pm. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability in terms of the number of robberies that took place.
    • Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (69.2%) and robberies (54.5%) followed by aggravated assaults (28.7%).
    • There were 128 hate crimes reported in 2014. Two-thirds (66.4%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation was next highest with 17.2 percent while bias toward religion comprised 14.1 percent. The remaining 2.3 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of assault was associated with over half (52.3%) of all reported bias motivated crimes while destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated with 36.7 percent of all reported bias motivated crimes.

    The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

    For Group A offenses, between 2013 and 2014, adult arrests in Virginia decreased 4.3 percent. Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 6.5 percent statewide during the same period of time. For Group B arrests, there was a decrease of 7.2 percent for adults, and a decrease of 8.6 percent for juveniles between 2013 and 2014. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 325,504 arrests in 2013 compared to 305,648 arrests in 2014, representing a decrease of 6.1 percent.

    Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI who modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.

    Statistics from the report for Emporia and Greensville County are listed in the table below.

    and Non-

    Emporia Pd

    State Police





















    Greensville SO

    State Police





















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  45. SVCC Hosts Job Fair

    Job Fair was held at the Southside virginia Education Center in Greensville County on June 3. Almost 200 people attended the event to talk to 25 employers who were gathered to talk to potential employees.

    The event was sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College Workforce Development and Student Development Services in partnership with Crater Business Services Team.





  46. Obituary-Richard Ted Blankenship

    Richard Ted Blankenship, age 85, of Emporia, VA passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Ted worked with Home Telephone Company until he retired in 1989. He served in the United States Army and was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. Ted was a dedicated member of Main Street Baptist Church for 22 years.

    He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Peggy M. Blankenship as well as many much loved nieces and nephews.

    Ted was preceded in death by his parents, David and Effie Blankenship, his five brothers Brud, Walter, David, Jr., L.D., and Billy; his three sisters, Hazel Cruise, Pauline Epps, and Elizabeth Roach.

    The family will receive friends at the home on Saturday June 6, 2015 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 7th at Main Street Baptist Church at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Main Street Baptist Church.

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  47. USDA Packages Disaster Protection

    Loans to Benefit Specialty Crop and Diversified Producers

    Free basic coverage and discounted premiums available for new and underserved loan applicants

    RICHMOND, VA - May 28, 2015 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting State Executive Director, James M. Dunn, today announced that producers who apply for FSA farm loans also will be offered the opportunity to enroll in new disaster loss protections created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The new coverage, available from the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), is available to FSA loan applicants who grow non-insurable crops, so this is especially important to fruit and vegetable producers and other specialty crop growers.

    “FSA is opening its doors wider so that more specialty farmers know of our array of services,” said Dunn. “And new, underserved and limited income specialty growers who apply for farm loans could qualify for basic loss coverage at no cost, or higher coverage for a discounted premium.”

    The basic disaster coverage protects at 55 percent of the market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of production. Covered crops include “specialty” crops, for instance, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, hay, forage, grazing and energy crops. FSA allows beginning, underserved or limited income producers to obtain NAP coverage up to 90 days after the normal application closing date when they also apply for FSA credit.

    In addition to free basic coverage, beginning, underserved or limited income producers are eligible for a 50 percent discount on premiums for the higher levels of coverage that protect up to 65 percent of expected production at 100 percent of the average market price. Producers also may work with FSA to protect value-added production, such as organic or direct market crops, at their fair market value in those markets. Targeted underserved groups eligible for free or discounted coverage are American Indians or Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks or African Americans, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and women.

    FSA offers a variety of loan products, including farm ownership loans, operating loans and microloans that have a streamlined application process.

    Growers need not apply for an FSA loan, nor be a beginning, limited resource, or underserved farmer, to be eligible for Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program assistance. To learn more, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/nap or www.fsa.usda.gov/farmloans, or contact your local FSA office at https://offices.usda.gov.

    The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program was made possible through the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit http://www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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  48. Obituary-Dr. Ernest Burdette Gatten, Jr.

    Dr. Ernest Burdette Gatten, Jr., 92, passed away May 31, 2015 at Southampton Memorial Hospital just two weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. 

    Born June 12, 1922, Dr. Gatten was the eldest son of the late Ernest Burdette Gatten, Sr. and Nan Jean Walls Gatten.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Emily Greer Gatten, and siblings William H. Gatten and Geraldine Gatten Becker. 

    Dr. Gatten attended the University of Richmond prior to enlisting with the Army Air Corp in 1942.  As part of the Greatest Generation, he was proud to have served his country during World War II by flying 32 missions in Europe, including the Normandy Invasion.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for completing his missions and three Oak Leaf Clusters in recognition of his combat achievement.

    After the war, Dr. Gatten attended Chicago College of Optometry and the day after graduation in 1947, he married Emily Greer Gatten.  One year later, they relocated to Franklin, VA where Dr. Gatten practiced optometry until his retirement in 1991.

    Dr. Gatten was a member of Franklin Congregational Christian Church and served as past chairman of the Deacons’ Board.  He was also an active leader in the Franklin community.  He was a founding member of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and served on the first Franklin YMCA Board of Directors.  Dr. Gatten was also appointed to the first Franklin school board where he served the community for 10 years.  He actively supported the Franklin Lions club and the Franklin Library Board.  Professionally, he served on the Virginia Opticians Board for ten years and was a past president of the Virginia Academy of Optometry and the Virginia Optometric Association.

    Dr. Gatten was an accomplished water colorist, leaving a lasting legacy of beautiful works of art.  He was instrumental in the formation of today’s Rawls Musem Arts organization and the construction of the existing art education building and gallery spaces located in Courland.

    Dr. Gatten is survived by his daughter Caroline J. Gatten of Emporia, VA; sons E. Burdette Gatten, III (Joann) and Charles G. Gatten, both of Franklin; and two granddaughters, Gabrielle G. Gatten and Barclay B. Gatten.  He is also remembered by a special niece, Rebecca Gatten Jester (Frank) of Franklin and their children Meredith and William DeLuca and a host of other extended family and friends.

    A memorial service will be held on Thursday June 4, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Franklin Congregational Christian Church, 412 N. High Street in Franklin, VA with the Rev. James H. Hyatt, Jr officiating. A reception will follow the service in the church fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Franklin Congregational Christian Church or Rawls Musem Arts, Inc. in Courtland. Wright Funeral Home is handling arrangements. www.wrightfuneralhome.org.

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  49. Beneath the Sea of Enchantment – A Night to Remember

    May 30nd was a special evening that will be etched into the memories of the children at Jackson-Feild Homes forever. The Robinson-Withers Gym was transformed into an undersea world as residents celebrated the 2015 Prom.

    The theme was Beneath the Sea of Enchantment. Students in the art program prepared the decorations that hung throughout the gym. The boys and girls were gussied up in evening gowns and tuxedos and looked great.

    A great deal of hard work was done prior to the event to ensure it would be a success.  Staff members met with children do discuss self-awareness and prom etiquette.  Girls received had their hair and nails done by a JFH friend who performed these services at a greatly discounted cost.  The DJ for the event, Craig Mangrum, is a staff member who also provided his services at a discount. The table decorations were loaned by Wootton Brothers Greenhouse. The Home’s food service staff prepared all the food for the event taking a special interest in making special treats for the occasion.  The Fairy Godmother program provided prom dresses, shoes and accessories for the girls. A photographer shoots prom photos for the boys and girls as a memory of this evening.

    Prom is a rite of passage for most teenagers is a spring. Jackson-Feild’s staff members were committed to ensuring that their children would have this special opportunity and worked hard to make it a night that the residents will cherish for a lifetime.


  50. Obituary-Jean Talley Blackwell

    Jean Talley Blackwell of Dolphin, Virginia, age 83, a retired Brunswick Academy school teacher, died June 3, 2015. She was a member of Dolphin Baptist Church. Preceded in death by her husband C. Dale Blackwell, she is survived by her two sons and their wives, Kevin and Terry Blackwell of Dolphin and Allen Meade and Beth Blackwell of Emporia; and five grandchildren, Austin, Mackenzie, Kaylin, Kelly and Karly. The family will receive friends at the family home on Thursday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Dolphin Baptist Church in Dolphin, Virginia at 2:00 p.m. Friday with Interment in Crestview Memorial Park in South Hill. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Dolphin Baptist Church, c/o Jane Hawkins, 815 Old Tobacco Dr. Dolphin, VA  23843; Brunswick Academy, 2100 Planters Road, Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868;  Dolphin Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 67, Dolphin, Va.; or charity of choice.  Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville is in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement today after final Senate passage of the USA Freedom Act, bipartisan legislation that would ban the bulk collection of telephone records and make other important reforms to current government surveillance programs:

    “In seeking reforms to our current government surveillance programs, my highest priority has been finding the right balance between civil liberties and national security. The USA Freedom Act achieves this critical balance by ending bulk data collection and ensuring greater transparency while reforming surveillance authorities that are necessary for our national security. I’m pleased we were able to come together to pass this important legislation.”

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  52. Shill and Foster Named Officers of VJJA

    The Virginia Juvenile Officers Association was founded in 1966 to promote child advocacy and to promote best practice and professionalism of its members.
    Membership is comprised of professionals in the juvenile justice system, judiciary, employees of group homes, halfway houses, social services, private providers and others with an interest in youth and family services.
    Adrienne Foster a therapist at Jackson-Feild Homes was named Secretary and Jamie Shill, also a therapist at Jackson-Feild, was appointed Treasurer of the Capital District Chapter of the VJJA.
    Both Foster and Shill have been active members in this organization which strives to ensure that children receive the best care possible and professionals are well equipped to serve them.


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  53. Job Fair Today!

    Job Fair sponsored by Southside Virginia Community College will be held this Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 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 and First Media Radio.  This regional job fair will serve employers in this area.  

    Dress to impress and bring copies of your resume, a photo ID and your CRC.



  54. Charles Michael Howerton

    Charles Michael Howerton, age 61, of Emporia, Va. passed away May 31, 2015.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Earline Phillips Howerton.  He is survived by his wife, Lynn Justice Howerton; his father, Robert Howerton; his son, Alex Howerton; two step-sons, Eric and Daniel Harris; two brothers,  Jeff Howerton and wife Kathy and Wayne Howerton and wife Mary; his sister, Linda Thomas and husband Harry; and many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins. A celebration of his life will be held 2:00 p.m. Saturday at his father’s home.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/donate.  Online condolences can be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

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