August 2016

  1. BA Raises Funds With Fun

    On Monday, August 29th, Brunswick Academy held the Viking Color Run and Drive 4UR School fundraisers!!!  Students, faculty, and staff had a blast raising money for new technology for B.A.!!!  A Drive 4UR School fundraiser was also held with the help of Owen Ford.  We thank all of those who helped, participated in, and donated to our Color Run and to those who came and test drove a car.  Both fundraisers were successful!!!

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    ~ Funds will continue effort to assist low-income homeless and at-risk veterans and their families ~

    WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V-A) will award $9,476,756 to housing authorities and nonprofit organizations to help ongoing efforts in the Commonwealth to prevent veteran homelessness and provide stable housing for low-income veterans and their families.

    “Our country has a duty to honor our commitments to support the men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform, and these federal funds will support state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations,” said Sen. Warner. “This funding also adds additional support to Governor McAuliffe’s successful efforts to end veteran homelessness in Virginia by working to provide shelter, stable housing and employment opportunities before veterans fall through the cracks.”

    The following Virginia organizations will receive funding:

    United States Veterans Initiative will receive $2,020,000 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   City of Alexandria; Counties of Fairfax and Arlington

    Friendship Place will receive $2,020,000 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   City of Alexandria; Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William

    Housing Counseling Services will receive $1,036,721 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   City of Alexandria; Counties of Fairfax and Arlington

    Volunteers of America Chesapeake will receive $824,830 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   City of Alexandria; Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William

    Operation Renewed Hope will receive $476,821 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   City of Alexandria; Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William

    Virginia Supportive Housing will receive $1,234,458 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   Cities of Richmond, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Emporia and Charlottesville; Counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Goochland, Powhatan, Charles City, New Kent, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Surry, Sussex, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, Greene and Louisa

    Total Action Against Poverty In Roanoke Valley will receive $367,781 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   Cities of Roanoke and Franklin; Counties of Botetourt, Bath, Alleghany, Craig, Rockbridge, Montgomery, Highland, Augusta, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, and Campbell

    Virginia Beach Community Development Corporation will receive $815,048 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   Cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Franklin; Isle of Wight County

    Hampton Roads Community Action Program, Inc. will receive $269,185 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   Cities of Newport News, Hampton and Williamsburg; Counties of James City and York

    STOP Incorporated will receive $411,912 in funding to support the following communities:

    o   Cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach; Counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton, Northampton and Accomack

    The organizations receiving these grants will continue to provide eligible veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance obtaining V-A and other benefits, which may include health care, income support services, financial planning, child care, legal services, transportation, housing counseling, among other services. This funding was made available through the V-A’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which helps thousands of very low-income veteran families around the nation who are permanently housed or transitioning to permanent housing. More information on this announcement can be found here.

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    ~ Calls for increased global cooperation to combat cyber-crime at financial institutions ~

    WASHINGTON –U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and co-founder of the bipartisan Cybersecurity Caucus, and five of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama urging him to prioritize cyber attacks on financial institutions in discussions at the upcoming G-20 summit in September and help develop a global strategy to counter these threats. Last February, hackers stole $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international financial messaging service.

    “If we are to successfully combat sophisticated cyber attacks, members of the international community must work collaboratively given the dispersed nature of both attackers and targets.  Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce, but cyber criminals - whether independent or state-sponsored - imperil this international system in a way few threats have,” wrote the Senators. “We strongly urge you to work with your counterparts and prioritize this discussion at the G-20 leaders level in September.”

    In addition to Warner, the letter was signed by Senator Gary Peters (MI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Martin Heinrich (NM), and Debbie Stabenow (MI). The Senators also addressed the additional benefits of a long-term, global approach to combating cyber attacks on financial institutions.

    “Global coordination on these issues will serve a dual purpose. We will be able to address cyber security vulnerabilities in our shared financial system thereby safeguarding the integrity of our international financial system and the health of our economies,” they wrote. “We will also improve collaboration in and among the international law enforcement and financial regulatory communities and better enable them to pursue counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering agendas.”

    The full text of the letter is copied below.

    President Barack H. Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear President Obama:

    We write to urge you to work with your international counterparts to prioritize issues related to cyber security at financial firms in your discussions at the upcoming G-20 Leaders summit. These discussions merit attention not only in finance ministries and central banks, but also in executive leadership circles across the globe. Cyber attacks on financial institutions have accelerated in recent years, creating significant risks for our international financial system and our global economy. It is critical that the global community craft and implement a coordinated strategy to combat cyber-crime at critical financial institutions and to strengthen and accelerate existing efforts. We are hopeful that a robust commitment to these efforts is reflected in any relevant communiques that result from the September G-20 Leaders summit.

    In February, hackers fraudulently utilized the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) international financial messaging service to steal $81 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh. In subsequent months, it has been revealed that similar attacks have taken place at financial institutions in other nations. These are only some of the most recent examples of the international threats posed by cyber criminals. It is imperative that we take steps in the near term to erect more robust defenses and collaborative systems to prevent and mitigate the impact of successful attacks.

    We are aware that SWIFT has implemented measures to encourage its members to investigate their security protocols. However, these incidents make clear that it is not only SWIFT’s responsibility to respond, but also its stakeholders and their home country financial regulators. In a connected international financial system, we are only as strong as our weakest link.

    Global coordination on these issues will serve a dual purpose. We will be able to address cyber security vulnerabilities in our shared financial system thereby safeguarding the integrity of our international financial system and the health of our economies. We will also improve collaboration in and among the international law enforcement and financial regulatory communities and better enable them to pursue counter-terror financing and anti-money laundering agendas.

    If we are to successfully combat sophisticated cyber attacks, members of the international community must work collaboratively given the dispersed nature of both attackers and targets.  Our financial institutions are connected in order to facilitate global commerce, but cyber criminals - whether independent or state-sponsored - imperil this international system in a way few threats have. We strongly urge you to work with your counterparts and prioritize this discussion at the G-20 leaders level in September. Thank you for your leadership in addressing these issues. We stand ready to support your future efforts to achieve a more universal measure of security for our financial system and global economy.                                                      


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    South Hill, VA - A milestone in the construction of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s new 166,700 square feet facility was reached as the final steel beam was placed atop the structure.

    The topping out ceremony was held the morning of August 25, 2016 at the new hospital site located at 1755 North Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill, Virginia.

    W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital said, “I want to thank everyone that came here today and for their on-going support for CMH, and I especially want to thank the senior leadership for Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System for not only taking their time to come to this event but for the phenomenal investment in facilities, physicians, and new medical services they are bringing to this region.”

    Michael Rao, Ph.D, President, VCU and VCU Health System, said, “I tell our students all the time, you will never really know what satisfaction is until you do something for somebody else and until you really care for a community and all the people of that community; that is exactly what we are doing here.” 

    Rao also said, “This community reminds me of the community I grew up in, which was 400 people.  The one thing I really loved about the community I grew up in is the people.  You knew when people talked to you they were telling the truth, they were straight forward, and they really cared about you and wanted you to be successful; and that’s what I feel in this community.  Every human life deserves the very best care we can give, and that means that every VCU facility absolutely positively must be world class and it needs to be accessible and that’s what we are here together today to celebrate.”

    “This new building is a symbol of hope, a symbol of healing, a symbol of spirit, the spirit of this community.  When we think about the relationship we’ve had here with South Hill for about 25 years, the striking thing is the way this community is so supportive of the needs of the people who live here and that strikes a chord with us. This building is about the future and it’s about the opportunity of bringing better health to the people of this region,” said Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., CEO, VCU Health System, VCU Vice President for Health Sciences.

    “I have come to really fall in love with this community, its people, the values you represent here in rural VA, the commitment that you bring to this town and the commonwealth and so it has been my great honor to work beside my partner Scott Burnette in making this new hospital a reality. It is one of the greatest and most proud moments in my life to have come into this relationship with your community, I have learned so much from you, I emerge from this so much wealthier from having a relationship with this town,” said John Duval, Chief Operating Officer, VCU Hospitals & Clinics, VCU Health System.

    “We are building a new building, but it starts with the people and the commitment of the people of this community to give back.  This is really just the beginning, the vision that we all share together is not only to provide facilities and to take care of individuals once they become sick and need our services, but it’s really to create partnerships to create a healthier community in a lot of different ways,” said Deborah W. Davis, Chief Operating Officer, VCU Hospitals, VCU Health System.

    Burnette also said, “Today is only one of many milestones we hope to achieve in this region as we recently announced our capital campaign under the leadership of Sandra Hubbard, Ryan Bartholomew, and Dean Marion, and if successful will allow us to transform this wonderful new hospital into a medical center complex that will be unlike anything offered in this region.  However, community involvement and support with be critical to bring this phase of planning to reality.  We have the opportunity to change the delivery model of health care to benefit this entire region.”

    “VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has taken shape and is coming to life, on this day we raise this evergreen, in prayer that it symbolizes that the life of this facility is to comfort and cure the sick and the distressed, for an everlasting impact to the employees, the patients and families that will join together for a healthier life,” said Joanne Bedford, VCU Health CMH Chaplain.

    This ceremony is a long-time construction tradition signifying that the highest point of the structure has been reached.  It means that the building is now as tall as it is going to be, and now the construction crew can begin to put on the roof and exterior.

    DPR Construction of Richmond, VA is the general contractor for the project with SmithGroupJJR as its design partner.  JLL, also of Richmond, VA is handling project management for the construction of the new facility.  

    Burnette also commented that as VCU Health CMH had hoped, DPR has involved as many local contractors as possible for the construction of the new hospital.  Currently, DPR has contracted seven local trade partners and 28 local businesses/vendors.  Also the steel source for the new facility came from SteelFab, Inc. in Emporia, VA.  A total of 1,040 tons of steel (covering 165,134 square feet) has been used in construction which has taken 11,000 man hours to fabricate.

    The construction of the new hospital is set to be completed in the summer of 2017 with the scheduled opening to be November 2017.


  5. City Council Hears Citizen Concerns About Water Quality

    On Tuesday, August 23, the Emporia City Council held a special meeting to address area resident’s concerns about discolored water in their homes. Information provided to the Members of City Council for the meeting may be viewed here.

    The meeting began with an explanation of how the water became discolored and what was being done to correct the issue.

    Linwood Pope shared that the primary issue was the iron and manganese coming out of suspension, and that the treated water is crystal clear when it leaves the plant before adding that the issue was likely a result of the recent high temperatures and compounded by the many recent water main breaks.  Mr. Pope explained that the city had spoken with the State Health Department, explained the situation and what steps had been taken to correct the problem before assuring City Council that the Health Department has concurred with the Utility Department’s conclusion.  Mr. Pope further explained that in addition to the additional chlorine that was being used, flushing of the system should be the focus of the efforts to clarify the water.

    This is not the first time that the City of Emporia has had this issue with the water, several years ago there was the same problem and it was caused by extreme heat.

    Mr. Pope was joined by Tom Delbridge to explain the problem at the home of James Givens. The water in Mr. Givens’ home is extremely discolored.  Mr. Delbridge explained that samples had been taken from the fire hydrant on the street, at the water meter and inside the house.  The samples from the hydrant and water meter were clear, but the sample from inside the house was discolored.

    A representative from the State Health Department, John Warwick, reinforced the comments offered by Pope and Delbridge, adding that running warm water through a cold pipe often causes certain minerals to come out of suspension.

    While the water has been declared safe to drink, none of the members of the Utility Department present were willing to do so. As Mr. Warwick said later in the meeting, it is safe, but no one wants to drink water that is not clear.  Mr. Warwick also said that the Health Department believes that the City “has done what needs to be done to solve the problem.”

    Samples of the water from Mr. Givens’ home were sent to the State Lab for testing, but the results will not be back until September.

    After hearing that the lab results would not be back until September 5, Council Member Jay Ewing asked what was to be done now. Mr. Pope and Mr. Delbridge restated that the flushing of the system via fire hydrants would continue and cooler weather would help. The Utility Department has ordered automatic flushing devices for fire hydrants that can be programmed to automatically flush the system.

    Several citizens were on hand for public comments.  James Givens spoke about the quality of the water in his home, adding that he must now buy bottled water in addition to paying a water bill. He took exception to some of the information laid out during the presentation, stating that utility crews flushed the hydrant at the end of Edgewood Street for over an hour and that the water still was brown. Mr. Givens further stated that the crews were at the water for 30 minutes before the water ran clear. At this time Mr. Givens also asked that those present drink the water, but no one would. Mr. Givens continued, “I heard the statement a few minutes ago that the water was safe to drink.  Here is my water from this morning; I would like to see you take a sip.” Neither Mr. Pope nor Mr. Delbridge would do so.

    Mr. Givens told Council that he has heard differing reports and that Mr. Warwick had previously stated that the issue was bacteria in the pipes and that the Utility Department was saying something different. Mr. Warwick denies making that statement. Mr. Givens added that there was a problem somewhere in the system, but that he knew that it was not the pipes under his house.

    Mr. Givens also stated that there were bound to be problems in a system this old, and that he “didn’t know that in 1910 that they even made metal pipes,” adding that he thought it would have been concrete, “and if it is concrete, what about asbestos?”

    Mr. Givens concluded, “I just want my water clear. As it stands, I am spending $125 a month on my water bill” and an additional $35-40 to buy water to cook with and to drink; spending that additional money on water, he said, was not fair to him or his fellow citizens. Citing his health issues “The only thing I use this water for is to bathe, and that’s it.”

    Mr. Givens also asked City Manager Brian Thrower “at your office, Mr. Thrower, how often to you drink this water?” As he asked this, it was difficult not to notice that Mr. Thrower, the City Attorney and all Members of City Council had bottled water in front of them.

    After his comments, Mr. Givens was questioned by Mayor Mary Person about the need to purchase water, to which he answered that it was not fair to be forced to pay for something (City water) that cannot be used.

    Peggy Branch also addressed City Council, asking if the City water is safe, “why does it carry an odor? Like a bathroom, not a chlorine odor. It’s not just the color, it’s the odor.” Ms. Branch referenced another citizen present, and he added his comments about the odor.

    Chris Thompson told City Council about how the water leaves an odor on his dishes after being washed, either by hand or in the dishwasher.  He stated that the problem could not be galvanized pipe leading to his house as he had replaced the line from the meter to the house and had installed a new dishwasher. He added that it was embarrassing to have house guests and need to smell the plate to see if it could be eaten off of, describing the smell as wet dog fir.

    Mr. Thompson added that these issues have been ongoing since before the new water treatment plant was built, and that once the new plant was done, the problems would go away. “My water bill is five times what it was” when he moved here. He stated that when he tried to get an abatement on his water bill that a City employee, and he named City Manager Brian Thrower as the employee, tell him that all he wanted “like everyone else is free water.” Mr. Thompson added that what he really wanted was clean, healthy water. He wondered why we did not call Virginia Tech, stating that they went to Flint, Michigan and adding that Mr. Warwick said that was not a scientist and we should get scientists to find and resolve the problem with our water.

    Ms. Branch also shared the concern about the high water bills and asked if there would be some king of credit, adding that “we’re hearing about the flushing and flushing,” it’s costing us more to do that. She added that “we don’t want free water, we want what is right. We want the situation fixed, if it can be fixed.”

    Theresa Johnson, of Chesterfield County, stated to Council that she was present to support family in the area, and that while she and her husband had considered retiring to Emporia, the water quality was an issue. She also wondered if the water was safe for her elderly, bedridden mother-in law. Mrs. Johnson told council that her daughter lived here and had complained about the smell of the water and asked if it was in the budget for the City to supply bottled water until the issue is fixed.

    Both Jim Saunders and Kristin Vaughan shared that the water at the newly constructed YMCA was also discolored, and that it could not be the pipes in the building that were the problem as it is fairly new. The water at the drinking fountains and in the water closets at the YMCA is discolored. Mr. Saunders added that they were buying bottled water for the kids. Water is provided for two snacks daily, 160 bottles of water a day were being used. Mr. Saunders estimated that they may have purchased thousands of bottles of water, but they are not doing that now and that they were installing water filtration at the facility at a cost upwards of $1000.

    Mr. Saunders applauded City Council for their efforts in replacing the water treatment plant, stating that the cost was $14 Million. He added that some water mains from the plant were replaces when it was built. “From where we were a few years ago, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go,” Mr. Saunders told Council.

    “It’s not just affecting folks at home, but it is also affecting businesses,” Mr. Saunders continued, adding that the budget and financial questions for local businesses were something that Council would need to take into account when they reached a decision.

    Mr. Saunders also reminded City Council that he had recently addressed them about the aging infrastructure within the City. While the water treatment plant is new, the main lines coming out of the plant were laid in 1910 and 1925.  He also added that this was not just a City of Emporia issue, or a State of Virginia problem, but that our “nation has an infrastructure problem, and it’s not sexy because it is underground. We are not the only city with 100 year old pipes.” He further stated that once this issue was fixed that we needed to develop a plan for addressing the infrastructure problems in the City. “It’s only good for us; it’s only good for our residents; it’s only good for our businesses. More importantly, in my mind, it is important for our children and future generations.”

    Mrs. Vaughan stated that while she agreed with everything Mr. Saunders had said about the YMCA, she was speaking as a private citizen. She also cited her concerns over the many recent water main breaks in her neighborhood.  While she also agreed that the Utility Department was doing everything they could to correct the issues, she thought that the efforts were “temporary fixes. You can’t just spike our chlorine every time our water turns brown; I don’t think that is a long term solution.” Sharing her concern about the pipes, she said that she didn’t know of anything from 1910 or 1925 that was still functional. Speaking about the water treatment plant an analogy, she said “you can get a heart transplant, but if your arteries are clogged,” your blood is not going to flow through them and you’re going to have issues.  “To me, the pipes are the issue” she stated, while she urged Council to find a long term solution.

    Mr. Thompson addressed Council again, applauding the Utility Department for their efforts thus far, adding “but we need to make absolutely sure that we are not poisoning our children. We need to know it.” Citing previous comments about chemical reactions and people from the Health Department were not scientists, he added that he was more afraid of things that he couldn’t see and shared his concern about the long term effects of the current water quality. He reiterated his question about bringing in Virginia Tech and that it would be nice to have some independent testing so that citizens could be reassured that the water was safe.

    Mr. Thompson also shared his concern that with a water bill that is $140 a month that plates need to be smelled before they are used to eat off of. He added that during this last episode his children did not even want to bathe in the water as it looked like mud and he could not even see the bottom of the bath tub. He stated that the water sample brought in by Mr. Givens looked “great compared to what my water looks like.”

    Addressing City Council about reported plans to build a new Municipal Building, he said that “you’ve got to take care of your water first,” and that before spending taxpayer money, infrastructure should come first.

    After the public comments, Council discussed the issue, but the only action taken was to add this water issue to the agenda for the next meeting.

    During the entire meeting, City Manager Brian Thrower remained mostly quiet. Several citizens observed his demeanor and commented that he seemed smug, disinterested and even scornful. During her public comment one citizen said, “Mr. Thrower, I know you’re tired and you’re bored, but this is important.”

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  6. New Cardiologist Joins VCU Health CMH

    South Hill- Dr. Nimesh K. Patel recently joined the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital team as a cardiologist at CMH Cardiology and Pulmonology.

    Dr. N. Patel comes to VCU Health CMH with more than 14 years of professional training and 10 years of work experience. His most recent employment was as a clinical faculty member at The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has also completed professional training of Heart Failure and Transplant Fellowship at the University of Florida. He has procedural skills in Echocardiography, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiac CT, and Diagnostic Cardiac catheterization.

    Dr. N. Patel received his MD in General Medicine at the Government Medical College in India, as well as a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Scranton, PA.  His certifications include:  The American Board of Internal Medicine, The American Board of Cardiology, The American Board of Echocardiography, The American Board of Nuclear Cardiology, The American Board of Hypertension and a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI).

    Dr. N. Patel is currently residing locally and said he is happy to live here and practice here to help the residents of our community.  His favorite hobbies include playing cricket, swimming and painting.

    Dr. N. Patel is accepting new patients and referrals at CMH Cardiology and Pulmonology located at 200 East Ferrell Street in South Hill. To schedule an appointment, call (434) 447-2566.

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  7. 2016 Brunswick Academy Fall Sports Teams

    JV Volleyball team for Brunswick Academy for the 2016 Fall season.

    Front Row:  All Captains (L-R): Sadler Lundy, Aaryn Babb, Naomi Sadler; Back Row:  (L-R):  Morgan Jamison, Sutton Montgomery, Alyssa Rivas, Darpan Jutela, Christian Williams, Austin Dornak, Kaitlyn Ottaway

    2016 Varsity Football Team at Brunswick Academy.

    First Row:  (L-R) Will Morris, Evan Abernathy, Drew Connell, Caleb Sasser, Jackson Combs, Ryan Powell; 2nd Row:  Sage Kallam, Davis Roberts, Kyle Tanner, Will Bryant, Kyle Branson, Reid Harrell, Nick Hobbs, Colin Washburn, Logan Rawlings; Back Row:  Bryant Poarch, Cole Moseley, Jackson Temple, Hunter Elliott, Chad Jones, Dawson Mitchell, Slayten Farmer, Adam Rutherford, Cole Bradley

    SENIORS:  (L-R) Evan Abernathy, Hunter Elliott, Dawson Mitchell and Adam Rutherford

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  8. SVCC Recognizes Tobacco Commission Partnership

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission as a partner that has been, and continues to be, instrumental in providing resources to students in the form of scholarships and in the development and expansion of programs.

    In making the presentation, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, said, “the college has a history of making the most out of our individual and community partnerships. It is how our institution has grown over the years and how we are better able to serve our communities and all residents of Southside Virginia. Tonight, the SVCC Local Board and the SVCC Foundation Board would like to recognize The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission was created in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly to promote growth and development in tobacco dependent communities.”

    He noted that for over 15 years, SVCC and the communities served have partnered with the Commission. He said funds have assisted in the creation and development of many facilities and programs that are instrumental to SVCC. Centers, such as The Estes Community Center, the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, the Clarksville Enrichment Complex, the Southside Virginia Education Center, and the Occupational Technical Center, allow SVCC to offer classes and programs that make education and training accessible throughout the 4,200 square-mile footprint. The Commission partnered with the communities in the development of these state-of-the-art facilities.  Programs offered by SVCC have been established and expanded because of Commission funding. Nursing, Welding, Precision Machining, Automotive, Truck Driver Training, Diesel Technology, Information Technology, Emergency Medical Services are all included and, the list goes on and on! The Commission has supported programs to encourage and assist students to complete their GED. It has provided scholarship assistance to help hundreds of students in their quest for education and training.                                                       

    SVCC’s grateful appreciation was expressed with the presentation of  a plaque that will be placed in the lobby of the Student Services and Learning Resource Center on the Daniel Campus.

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  9. Jacskon-Feild Homecoming

    It’s time to start planning for this year’s “Homecoming”; so mark your calendars TODAY!

    Let's face it...years are passing and our time is short; so please make every effort to attend this annual event. We’d love to see ALL our sisters from days gone by so make it a special afternoon to spend time with those who come to share and reminisce of memories as young girls at Jackson-Feild and check out our website at!

    We would love to see everyone, so please communicate with ANY sisters you may see or make contact with about our annual "Homecoming”.

    It’s a time to celebrate and learn of our Legacy so please feel free to bring your family; spouses, children and grandchildren as well!

    We would love to see EVERYONE attend this year, especially YOU…so please grace us with your presence!

    "HOMECOMING" occurs every year...2nd Sunday of September..Mark your calendars NOW!  

    Our event will be hosted at the on-site Community Building for Homecoming 2016!

    Grace Church

    9986 Purdy Road

    Jarratt, Virginia 23867

    September 11th

    Noon 'til...

    Bring a dish to pass and photos of the past!

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  10. SVCC Recognizes Employees for Years of Service

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized Commonwealth of Virginia employees with Service Awards .  Nancy Turner of Kenbridge received her Thirty Year Award.  Brent Richey of South Hill (not pictured) received the Twenty Five Year Award.

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized Commonwealth of Virginia employees with Service Awards .  Those receiving the Twenty Year Award are (Left to Right) Debra Andrews of Charlotte Court House, Matt Dunn of Keysville, Dr. Al Roberts of Emporia and Dr. Dixie Dalton of Kenbridge.  Not pictured is Duncan Quicke of Blackstone.

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized Commonwealth of Virginia employees with Service Awards .  Those receiving the Fifteen Year Award are (Left to Right) Marysue Lewis of South Hill, Tim Jenkins of Kenbridge, Sharon Freeman of Lawrenceville and Stephen Capon of Keysville.  Not pictured are Mary Elkins, Teresa George, Mike King, Gunay Smith.

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized Commonwealth of Virginia employees with Service Awards .  Those receiving the Ten Year Award are (Left to Right) Terri Milroy of Midlothian, Christy Lowery-Carter of South Boston, Janet Lenhart of Chase City, Stacy Hines-Bentley of Lynchburg, John Hays of Ashland and Alfonzo Seward of Lawrenceville.  Not picured is Christopher Dickerson.

    Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized Commonwealth of Virginia employees with Service Awards .  Those receiving the Five Year Award are (Left to Right) Patricia Archer of Kenbridge, Mashonda Macklin of Lawrenceville, Bobby Lester of South Hill and William McGraw of Blackstone.  Not pictured is Pamela Taylor of Clarksville.  


  11. "It's Our Job"

    Remember not so long ago
    Of the cold weather we complained
    Yes and then it started again
    When it seemed it always rained.
    Well you can still hear those voices
    If you stand in the right spot
    Once again the weather has changed
    and for most it is too hot.
    We can talk about the weather
    Though there's not much we can do
    It's just "Mother Natures" way of trying
    To please both me and you.
    Now the weather makes one change their plans
    Upon any given day
    Yet it's something you must deal with
    When you're on vacation far away.
    Yes it's our job to complain
    And we do it very well
    Still when our favorite will come around
    It's much too hard to tell.
    Accept it as it is each day
    Knowing that it soon could change
    then perhaps it will be what you want
    For the weather can be strange.
    Roy E. Schepp

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  12. Jackson-Feild Promotes Gary Bryant to Residential Supervisor

    Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) is pleased to announce that Gary Bryant has been promoted to the position of Residential Supervisor of Darden Cottage where he had been serving as a residential counselor.

    In his new position, Bryant will be responsible for the daily operations of Darden Cottage and supervise the residents and staff of the cottage. He will be responsible for the implementation of curriculums and help with the development of new program initiatives.  He also will be responsible for ensuring that Darden Cottage operations comply with licensing and certification standards

    He has worked in the field of children’s services and mental health since 1993. He has been on the staff at Jackson-Feild since 2010.

    Mr. Bryant, a native of New Bern NC, is attending Southside Virginia Community College working toward his degree in human services.  Additionally, he is an intern with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Practice Board. Mr. Bryant is a youth pastor at First Anointed Christian Assembly in Lawrenceville VA.

    He is the proud father of two grown children:  a son who works for a general contractor in Georgia, and a daughter serving in the United States Army.

    Jackson-Feild congratulates Gary Bryant and thanks him for his dedication to all that he does both for JFBHS as well as for his community.


  13. Drs. Gilbert and Tillar to Retire

    Dr. Lowell H Gilbert, Optometrist and Dr. William T Tillar III, Optometrist are retiring due to health reasons and closing their practice and office in Emporia. It has been our pleasure serving this community. We sincerely appreciate your business..

    Patient records will be available at Emporia Office at 508 Belfield Dr, Emporia, VA  until September 12, 2016.  434-634-5195.

    After September 12th the records will be available at the office of Drs Gilbert and Farley, OD PC 3731 Boulevard, Colonial Heights, VA 804-526-3676

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    RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia State Police are warning residents of an ongoing phone scam in which the caller says he is calling from the IRS and demands payment by verbally threatening and intimidating the individual. In addition, the caller ID number used by this scam is a legitimate Virginia State Police Area Office phone number. State police has received numerous calls concerning this scam within the past few days.

    In each case, the caller has a “thick foreign accent” and identifies him/herself as working for the IRS. The scammer also has personal information about the individual being called – information that can be commonly found by searching the Internet. If the individual refuses to pay, then the fake IRS caller becomes very agitated and impatient, and begins threatening the individual with imprisonment or other severe punishment if the person does not promise to provide payment.

    Also adding confusion and concern for those being targeted by the fake IRS caller is the use of a legitimate state police office number with an 804 area code. This is known as “spoofing”and enables the caller to disguise his true identity. Spoofing is often used as part of an attempt to trick someone into giving away valuable personal information so it can be used in fraudulent activity or sold illegally.  U.S. law and FCC rules prohibit most types of spoofing.

    The IRS phone scam is common and often preys on senior citizens. One individual reported to State Police Wednesday (Aug. 17, 2016) that she had just sent the caller $2,000 in gift cards. Just this week the Fredericksburg Police Departmentreported a 72-year-old resident was targeted and scammed out of more than $12,000.

    Common characteristics of the IRS Phone Scamare as follows:

    • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
    • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
    • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
    • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
    • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

    If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

    • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.
    • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administrationat 1.800.366.4484.
    • You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

    Additional ways to prevent you and your loved ones from falling victim to any phone scam are as follows:

    • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. 
    • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request.
    • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
    • If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it.  Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number.  A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

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  15. Roanoke Times Editorial: Warner promotes Capitalism 2.0

    The things that worry Mark Warner don’t fit easily on a bumper sticker.

    This past week, Virginia’s senior senator has been doing the sort of thing that senators typically do when Congress is in recess. He toured the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem. He presided over roundtables with business leaders in Rocky Mount and Martinsville. He took a test drive in a driverless car at a research site near Danville.

    In between, he scrunched his lanky frame into a booth at Zorba’s Small World Café in Salem and expounded on his favorite topic — the economy. Specifically, how it’s changing, both for good and for ill.

    Up and down the Interstate 81 corridor, Warner sees “new energy” in one small town after another — he name-checks Marion, Wytheville, Pulaski and ticks off some of the specific developments he’s seen in each town. He talks excitedly about the rise of a new wave of entrepreneurship — with shared workspaces, incubators and accelerators springing up in one town after another. He mentions the Grandin Co-Lab in Roanoke, the new Staunton Makerspace in that city.

    He expresses the wish that someone — someone other than government, that is — would step forward to create a “statewide backbone” for all these new entrepreneurial spaces, so they could share ideas, back-office resources and even lists of potential angel investors so we “basically make sure we don’t reinvent the wheel” in each community.

    All that’s on the plus side. Then there are the things that worry him — basically the fate of capitalism itself.

    This is the futuristic side of Mark Warner that appealed so much to Virginians when he was governor, but is harder to see in the context of a partisan U.S. Senate and a gridlocked Washington.

    For the past year or more, he’s been digging into an issue that defies a partisan pigeonhole. That’s the rise of the so-called “gig economy” — the idea that more and more Americans are working as “independent contractors,” and not full-time employees. By some estimates perhaps one in three people in the workforce no longer hold a full-time job, but instead move from “gig” to “gig,” trying to piece together multiple streams of income.

    For some, that’s an entrepreneurial opportunity; for others, it’s a forced necessity. In any case, the result is the same: They’re not getting benefits through a traditional employer. Warner’s worry is that someday this is all going to come back to the government’s doorstep. All those Etsy merchants and Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers aren’t paying into government unemployment funds — and so when they get sick, or get hurt on the job, they don’t qualify for disability benefits or worker’s comp. Who pays the bill then? Should government do something now to make sure it doesn’t get stuck with a big bill (or a social crisis) later?

    A year ago, Warner came to Roanoke for a roundtable with “gig economy” contractors at the CoLab. Since then, he’s joined with scholars at The Aspen Institute to study the issue. Interestingly, that initiative has a Republican co-chairman — Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana and now president of Purdue University. One answer seems easy, Warner says: Portable benefits. The United States is unique in that most benefits flow through specific employers — and therefore don’t move when workers do.

    Warner sees this as part of a bigger problem: Is capitalism today working the way it’s supposed to? He thinks not, and rattles off some statistics that he says prove it.

    In the pre-Internet 1960s, the average stockholder worked through a broker and held their stocks for eight years and four months. Now, in the world of digital trading, it’s down to just two months. That, Warner says, values short-term profits over long-term investment. He blames so-called “activist investors” — who in some cases might rejuvenate sleepy companies, but often simply cut costs (and workers) to squeeze out an immediate profit for shareholders without regard for the people or communities those decisions impact.

    Some more stats: At one time, 50 percent of corporate profits were reinvested in the business. Now, 95 percent of corporate profits are going into stock buy-backs or dividends. Good for shareholders, but not necessarily good for the country. “It’s just a very different capitalism than the capitalism I grew up with in the 1980s,” says Warner, who made his fortune in cellphones before turning to politics “I want to make American capitalism work for everyone.”

    He has some ideas on how to change things. On corporate governance: Should long-term shareholders have more voting weight than short-term shareholders? On the nation’s tax code: Why is investing in machinery considered an asset, while investing in people is considered a cost? Companies do a better job training workers than the government does, Warner says, but disincentives in the tax code — not to mention the short-term profit motive — mean companies are foisting that job off on taxpayers.

    Warner’s not alone in asking these questions. There are various buzzwords for these kinds of discussions in economic circles: Capitalism 2.0. Conscientious Capitalism. Inclusive Capitalism. Whatever they’re called, Warner senses an opportunity to act on some of them after the election — assuming Hillary Clinton wins. Voters, he says, intuitively understand the nation’s social contract has frayed. “They may not know the data, but they get the idea.”

    He says some Republican senators have expressed interest in these ideas, but they’re reluctant to speak up during an election. After the election … well, a new president will probably have ten months to push through an agenda before the next set of elections start to loom. “If it becomes the old Democratic left against the old Republican right,” he says, then nothing will happen even then. But can some of these issues be “re-framed” in a new, non-partisan way? He’s hopeful.

    He’s also worried. He sees signs that the economy is about to go through even more upheaval than we’ve already had. “The biggest job in America for males is driving,” he says. “Artificial intelligence could put all of them out of jobs in 20 years.” In other words, those driverless cars like the one he tested near Danville could be the precursor for automated commercial vehicles like tractor trailer trucks. What happens then?

    You may read this editorial on the Roanoke Times website here:

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  16. Locals Save 10¢ to 50¢ on Gas and Diesel at CornerStone Market BP

    On Tuesday, August 16th CornerStone Market BP (CSM) had an all-day promotion saving locals in Emporia hundreds of dollars on their gas and diesel purchases.  The promotion named Lucky 7’s was designed as a fun way to show customers how to save up to 50¢ per gallon on gas and diesel for every $100 spent on gas and diesel.  The term Lucky 7’s came from the chance for a bonus gift from CornerStone Market if a participant got a discount of 17¢, 27¢, 37¢ or 47¢.  Everyone was guaranteed to save a minimum of 10¢ per gallon on their purchase.

    As one participant said “A 50¢ savings per gallon is a tremendous savings.  My purchase of 17 gallons at 32¢ per gallon in Reward discounts saved me $5.44.  I had enough left to go get a Subway sandwich for free with the savings.”


    89 participants received immediate savings of 10¢ to 50¢ per gallon on Tuesday.  The average savings dropped the already low price of $1.8890 down to $1.6970 with the ultimate prize savings down to the price of $1.3890.  When has Emporia seen prices for gas at $1.3890?  It can happen immediately for you if purchase $100 in gas or diesel with the pump price at $1.8890.  It is that simple.

    Due to the great success of the Lucky 7’s promo last week, CornerStone Market will be running it again on Thursday, August 25th from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

    Besides the 50¢ per gallon in Rewards through the Rewards Program, every person can get an additional 20¢ per gallon if they purchase their gas or diesel with the BP MasterCard under the new credit card promotion (credit card approval is required by BP).  When using the two promotions together, every person can save 70¢ per gallon for 90 days and 30¢ per gallon for the rest of the year.  The BP MasterCard promotion requires all particpating accounts to be approved by August 31st.  The 20¢ per gallon will run for a year from getting the BP MasterCard set-up.

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  17. STEM Specialist Seeks to Engage, Energize, Motivate Youth

    Ettrick, Va. –  Charles Nealis, new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Cooperative Extension specialist at Virginia State University, portrays today’s student as a curious, passionate, techno-savvy innovator destined to change the world. Shortly after arriving at VSU, “Charlie” has hit the ground running, his sights set on increasing awareness of STEM opportunities and encouraging youth to pursue STEM careers.

    “STEM subject matter helps students develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving capabilities vital to success in nearly every profession,” Nealis says. “Employers have come to expect this from their employees.”

    Nealis says he’ll work closely with 4-H programs and local school systems to engage community youth in unique, cutting-edge, hands-on activities designed to equip them for the future.  “My job is to corral and funnel their creativity and enthusiasm to position them for success in our global, technological society,” he adds.

    A Gainesville, Fla. native, Nealis  earned  each of his academic degrees from the University of Florida. His bachelor’s degree is in food and resource economics; his master’s degree in  agricultural  education and extension; and his doctorate in soil and water science.

    An ardent Florida Gator fan, Charlie’s first priority is spending time with his wife and infant daughter. During his spare time, he enjoys basketball, hiking and fishing.

    He can be reached at (804) 524-2583 or at

    Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.”

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  18. Senator Warner Talks Economic Growth with Local Leaders at Emporia Town Hall

    Virginia Senator Mark Warner with officials from the City of Emporia and Greensville County (above) and with officials from Brunswick County (below)

    Senator Mark Warner hosted a Town Hall style meeting with local leaders and citizens as part of a 4 day swing through Southside Virginia.

    Warner’s comments focused mainly on economic development in the area, but he did remember his first Virginia Pork Festival, commenting that having grown up in the Midwest that he “didn’t know that you could eat pork that many ways.”

    Skipping the podium and engaging with those listening to his comments, Warner talked about the changing economy, pointing out that no one will work the same job for 40 years. He also shared that he believes that the best way to “bring jobs to Southside” is to encourage more entrepreneurship. He stressed the need for things like shared work spaces and business incubators, stating that someone in Southside Virginia “with a good idea shouldn’t need to move to Northern Virginia” to make that idea work.

    Warner, who worked in technology and cell phones before politics, earned a laugh by telling everyone that he was the only politician who didn’t have a problem with cell phones in the crowd. This proved to be a good segue to his next topic, which was cyber security.  “One of the biggest growth areas is cyber security,” adding that there are two types of companies in the United States: those that know that they have been hacked by the Chinese and those that haven’t been hacked by the Chinese, or Russians, but have.

    The Senator also shared that these good paying jobs do not always require four year degrees and spoke of the possibility of having these programs taught at the Commonwealth’s Community Colleges. Later in the program, when a student asked how to get into this field, Warner pointed out the Community College System again and mentioned the program already in place at Germanna Community College.

    Sticking with technology, Warner spoke of his experience with a driverless vehicle in Danville. “If I were starting in business today, where would I invest? Unmanned vehicles.” He went on to tell the group about the new Google drone that could deliver a six dollar lunch within a six mile radius.  He ended the conversation about unmanned vehicles and drones by adding “there were one million drones sold last Christmas, and none of them were made in the United States.”

    Speaking of his ideas on a portable benefits system, he shared that the new economy jobs “have no social contract,” adding that he did not, as a successful businessman, feel that “Modern American Capitalism was working for enough people.” Where companies used to reinvest profits in their facilities and labor forces, now 95% of corporate profits are paid out as dividends to short term stockholders.

    Speaking of his experience as a business person and a former Governor of the Commonwealth, he shared his need that in order to help maintain a balanced budget, we needed to find a better stream of revenue, sharing that “out of 32 industrialized nations, the United States is 31st in tax revenue.” During the conversation about where he felt budget cuts should or should not be made, he shared his concern that Medicare and Social Security might not be sustainable in their current form. “When I was young, there were 16 people working for every retiree, today there are only three.” Among his thoughts was raising the cap on taxable Medicare earnings.  In 2014 only the first $117,000 are subject to FICA taxes, any income over that point is only subject to income tax.

    Senator Warner then took questions from the crowd before allowing some photographs and leaving for his next stop.

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  19. Last First Day for Class of 2017 at BA

    Traditions are abound this week at Brunswick Academy.  The Class of 2017-Seniors celebrated their LAST FIRST DAY, introduced their first grade friends at the Senior-First Grade March and of our own, Cheryl Bowen began our 53rd school session as Head of School.  She challenged all of us to learn something new each day.  She stated, "I am very excited to see all the new things I will learn this year and hear from our students what they are learning.  Learning will take place in the classroom with our instruction, on the playing fields with new plays, and in life the lessons we engage in daily."  The Brunswick Academy traditions continue! Click on images to enlarge.



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    RICHMOND, Va. – A Surry County man has been identified as the individual who led a Virginia State Police trooper on a high-speed pursuit through Louisa County last week. Now state police are searching for Justin Eugene Abney, 28, of Surry, Va., as he is wanted on multiple charges related to the pursuit: one felony count of eluding police; reckless driving; improper registration; no motorcycle endorsement; and for failing to pay the uninsured motorist fee.

    It was the evening of Aug. 8, 2016, at approximately 5:23 p.m., that Abney was operating a Honda CBR1000rr with a Repsol paint scheme on Interstate 64 in Louisa County at the 147 mile marker when he came through Virginia State Police Trooper M. Kriz’s radar at 102 mph. The posted speed limit is 70 mph.

    Trooper Kriz activated his emergency lights to attempt a traffic stop on the speeding motorcycle. The motorcyclist refused to stop for the trooper and sped away increasing his speed to 120 mph. A pursuit was initiated, but the trooper terminated it 12 miles later.  The motorcycle continued east on I-64.

    “I especially want to thank the public for helping us identify this suspect,” said Trooper Martin Kriz. “More than a dozen tips came in on this individual and were essential to confirming his identification and helping advance this investigation.”

    Anyone with information concerning Abney’s whereabouts is asked to please contact the Virginia State Police Richmond Division at 804-553-3445 or by dialing #77 on a cell phone or by email to

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  21. Frances Robinson Collins

    Frances Robinson Collins, 94, formerly of Emporia, VA, passed away peacefully at her residence, Brookdale Senior Living, in Staunton, VA. She was predeceased by her husband, Clem Joseph Collins. She is survived by her children, Sandra Briggs, Debra Lynch, and Michael Collins; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; brother, Earl Robinson; sisters, Doris Murfee, Geraldine Starke, and Elizabeth “Libby” Davis. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, 1 pm, at Echols Funeral Home Chapel, followed by a funeral service at 2:30 pm. Interment will be held in Fountain Creek Baptist Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The American Heart Association. Condolences may be sent to

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  22. Local Jr. Track and field Athlete Ranked Nationally

    Lazers Track Club member, Isaiah Stephens competed in the 2016 USA Track & Field National Jr. Olympics Championship in Sacramento, CA held on July 25-31, 2016.  Isaiah earned medal in the javelin for ranking #6 in the United States, which also earned him an “All American” title. He also earned the rank of 24th in the country in the shot put.

    Isaiah also competed in the AAU National Jr. Olympics Championship in Houston, TX held on Aug 1-6, 2016.  Stephens earned a medal in the javelin for ranking #5 in the United States, which earned him another “All American” title.  He is also ranked #16 in the discus in the country.    Isaiah continues to hold the record in the javelin from the 2015 AAU National Jr. Olympics which was held at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA. 

    Isaiah and his mother, La-Tina Smith give all the glory and honor to God for his much success during his Track & Field season.  They also give thanks to his coaches Les Young and Bill Cain for their time and dedication to him.  Special thanks to Chaka Newell, Food Lion, the angel named Jennifer in Food Lion, Greensville County Ruritan Club, Robert Sykes of Boar’s Head, Greensville County Public Schools and the Emporia-Greensville community that supported Isaiah and made it possible for him to compete in the 2016 Jr. Olympics.  God bless each one of you.

    The 2017 USA Track & Field National Jr. Olympics will be held at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS and the 2017 AAU National Jr. Olympics will be held in Detroit, MI.  Please continue to support Isaiah Stephens at

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    Washington On Monday, August 15, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner will kick off four days of travel throughout the Commonwealth for a series of meetings and discussions where he will share his ideas to strengthen and diversify Virginia’s economy, increase tourism, and improve care for Virginia’s veterans.

    On Monday, Sen. Warner will meet with leadership of the Salem V-A Medical Center, where he will get an update on efforts to improve care for veterans in Southside and Southwest Virginia. Following the meeting, which is closed-press, Sen. Warner will hold a media availability at 2:45 PM at the police substation at Salem VAMC.

    Later that afternoon, Sen. Warner will hold two meetings with local community leaders in Rocky Mount and Martinsville, both of which will be open to interested media.

    On Tuesday, Sen. Warner will tour the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation (GCAPS), which is located on site with the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, near Danville, where he will take a test ride in an automated, driverless vehicle. GCAPS is a collaborative effort led by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) that provides advanced tire research, vehicle simulation – including unmanned vehicles – and mathematical modeling for virtual vehicle and tire designs. Sen. Warner has been a strong supporter of research and investment in unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned submersibles.

    Following the visit to GCAPS, Sen. Warner will head to South Boston, where he will meet with employees of Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) for an update on local efforts to improve broadband connectivity and make web-based learning resources more accessible to students outside of the classroom by expanding free internet access.

    Later that afternoon, Sen. Warner will hold a meeting with community leaders from around Greensville County in Emporia, before heading to Hopewell, where he will tour Petersburg National Battlefield and mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which is this year. Since 2010, Sen. Warner has championed legislation in Congress to add some 7,000 acres of historically significant areas around the City of Petersburg to the Petersburg National Battlefield.

    On Wednesday morning outside Richmond, Sen. Warner will hold a town hall meeting with employees at Snagajob, a Henrico County-based company that connects employers and jobseekers looking for hourly work using the web. The company has more than 70 million current members, and about 200,000 employers use its technology to help them find and hire hourly employees. At Snagajob, Sen. Warner will discuss generational and technological changes that have led to the transformation of the employee-employer relationship.

    On Thursday, Sen. Warner will address the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Senatorial Forum.

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    Boys & Girls born in 2006-2003 looking for an opportunity to participate in competitive soccer are asked to contact Roanoke Valley Youth Soccer Association [Coach Bob 252-586-5341].  ‘Select’ teams are forming now and begin league play Aug 20th.  A Classic team comprised of high school age girls has a -few openings on their roster.  Contact the team manager at [252-308-2679].

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  25. VCU Health CMH Offers Medication Assistance Program

    South Hill—Can’t afford your medication?  Don’t have prescription drug coverage?  VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill has a program that may help you.  

    VCU Health CMH’s Pharmacy Connection Program is a program that helps eligible patients of the VCU Health CMH coverage area obtain free prescription medication.  All patients regardless of age who are un-insured or under insured, as well as patients with Medicare Part D who have reached the coverage gap, are eligible. Eligibility is based on household income and pharmaceutical manufacturers’ guidelines. 

    VCU Health CMH’s Pharmacy Connection Program has Patient Advocates who are available to talk with patients to determine if they are eligible for the program. The Patient Advocate works with the patient’s physician and contacts the drug manufacturer to obtain the medication for qualifying patients.  There is no charge for this service. 

    The Pharmacy Connection Office is located in the CMH Leggett Center at 300 Ferrell Street in South Hill.  For more information about this program, call Melissa Morris at 434-774-2584.

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  26. VCU Health CMH Offers Nurse Extern Program

    Seated 1st row left to right: Sandra Agostinelli, RN, Nurse Mentor, Jenna Lindner, RN, Nurse Mentor, Linda Norman, Asst. Nurse Director, Med-Surg; Second Row: left to right: Hazel Willis, RN, Nurse Extern Coordinator, Nurse Externs; Elana White, Krista Smith, Kinuthia Gain, Alyxandra Powers, Molly Buchholz, and Kiera French-Torres

    Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

    South Hill - Six registered nursing students participated in the “Nurse Extern Program” offered by VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital this summer. The Nurse Extern Program at VCU Health CMH is designed to give registered nursing students whom plan to graduate next year the opportunity to work side-by-side under the supervision of a registered nurse mentor. It is a ten week program and allows the nurse externs to rotate to different nursing units of their choice. The students get hands-on experience working with registered nurses.  The program helps to prepare them for their senior year of nursing school and the role of a registered nurse in the workforce. 

    The nurse externs described their experience as a wonderful and great learning adventure. They stated, “We really felt like we were a part of the VCU Health CMH health care team and everyone was very helpful. It boosted our confidence tremendously and it was an awesome experience to have the opportunity to apply what we have learned in school.”  The nurse externs had many nursing stories to share and reiterated that they were glad they had taken the time this summer to participate. They completed the program stating they would strongly recommend it to other registered nursing students.

    This was the 12th year that VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital has offered the program. “We are pleased that we can offer this opportunity to registered nursing students,” said Hazel Willis,RN, BSN, VCU Health CMH Nurse Extern Coordinator. “It has been a positive recruitment tool to attract nurses to VCU Health CMH upon graduation. The nurses that attended the program previously and joined the VCU Health CMH nursing team after graduation described the transition from nursing student to registered nurse as already feeling as if they were a part of the dynamic health care team at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. We encourage other nursing students to take advantage of the program next summer to better prepare themselves for the workforce and for their senior year of the Registered Nursing Program.”

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  27. CornerStone Subway Opened Saturday

    CornerStone Subway at 501 West Atlantic Street in Emporia opened for business at noon on Saturday.

    CornerStone Subway is owned by Jill Slate and Stratford Ward.

    Local businessman, Ed Conner, is the manager of CornerStone Subway.

    CornerStone Subway is the final part of the master plan for CornerStone Market BP and CornerStone Subway.

    The site will be open 24 hours a day.

    The phone number for CornerStone Subway is 434-634-1186.

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  28. SVCC Pins Nurses at Christianna Campus

    Christanna Campus of Southside Virginia Community College celebrated a Pinning Ceremony for Practical Nursing students successfully completing the program.  The students are (Left to Right): Jaquell Wilson from Prince George, Brandi Harrell from South Hill, Ashley Sadler from Brodnax, Brittany Cross from South Hill,  Cynthia Wilson from Emporia, Nickie Ervin from Fort Lee, Mandi Egnor from Dinwiddie, and  Lauren Upton from Dinwiddie.


  29. So Many Choices

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    The Model T was America’s first automobile priced for the middle class. In writing about it, industrialist Henry Ford quipped, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”

    Not all early cars were black. Cars built by craftsmen—and even some of the first production models of the Model T—sported different colors. The switch to all-black was made to accommodate nascent assembly lines and to overcome technical problems related to paints. The one-color-fits-all approach didn’t last long.

    After the end of World War I, improvements in painting technologies opened the way for car manufacturers to offer a variety of colors. By 1926, even Henry Ford found himself bowing to customer demand and offering more choices.

    It seems that in every area of human endeavor, individual needs based on unique circumstances call for customize solutions.

    This is especially evident in education. Students come from diverse walks of life. They face multi-faceted challenges. Daily, they juggle numerous obligations, and each faces different sets of complications and worries.

    For this reason, Southside Virginia Community College offers courses in a variety of places and with a wide array of scheduling options. SVCC serves students from more than seven different physical sites across its service area. Classes include those taught in traditional 16-week semesters, but others are available in shorter formats of twelve, ten, eight, five, or even four weeks. Some classes are held during the day; others meet at night.

    And, just as improvements in painting technologies ushered in a rainbow of car color choices, the present internet age has introduced a host of new technologies for teaching. SVCC makes full use of these state-of-the-art developments to offer classes in a wide variety of formats, including online, hybrid, compressed video, and shared distance learning courses. Online course can be completed from anywhere with a computer and a reliable internet connection. Hybrid courses combine the benefits of seated and online components. Compressed video technology makes courses available at more locations by enabling instructors and students to connect with two-way communication tools. Furthermore, shared distance learning lets SVCC students broaden their online class choices to include offerings from other partner institutions.

    So many choices! Yet, not every choice is right for every person. At SVCC, counselors work with each individual to customize a roadmap to success. This dedication to personalized assistance helps ensure that every individual finds just the right mix of class schedules, formats, and locations to successfully reach his or her chosen destination.

    If you’re ready to start or to continue on an education journey, call 888-220-7822 or visit for assistance in choosing the right education model for your lifestyle.

    Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at

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  30. 2016 Relay for Life Wrap Up Meeting and Interest Meeting for 2017

    Help Us Wrap Up Relay

    The Relay For Life of Emporia/Greensville would like to invite everyone to help us wrap up Relay 2016! We will have an open discussion on what was liked, disliked and how we can make Relay 2017 even better!

    In addition, anyone in attendance will be entered to win fun raffle prizes. Not to mention, we will recognize our Team Captains, Top Teams and Top Participants.

    Light Refreshments will be served.

    Please join us us on Monday. August 15th from 6-7 pm at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, 727 North Main Street, Emporia, Virginia.

    Come ready for a relaxing evening of fun! Bring your Party Hat and any additional donations to turn in.

    Contact us at (804)527-3778 or for more information.

    Help us plan for Relay 2017

    The Relay for Life of Emporia/Greensville interest meeting for 2017 will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm, also at Southside Virginia Regional Medical Center.

    For more information contact Mynik Taylor at (804)527-3778 or

    We are looking for dedicated volunteers in the Emporia community interested in the fight against cancer.

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    RICHMOND – Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, announced Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, the retirement of current Deputy Superintendent, Lt. Colonel Robert B. Northern. Also announced Friday was the appointment of Lt. Colonel Tracy S. Russillo to the position of second in command of the Department.

    Lt. Col. Northern has served as the Deputy Superintendent for the past 11 years, since being appointed by Col. Flaherty in July 2005. During his 36 years with the Department, Northern has served in many capacities including:  Deputy Director of the Bureau of Field Operations; division commander of the Culpeper Bureau of Field Operations (BFO) Headquarters; lieutenant and staff assistant to the Director of BFO; First sergeant in the Hanover/Henrico Area 1 Office; Sergeant in the Bowling Green Area 44 Office; and as a trooper stationed in Fredericksburg Area 5 Office and in Area 1.  He also served seven years on the Executive Protection Unit, which provides security for the Governors of Virginia and their families.  From 1990 until 1993, he was assigned to the Governor’s Office to coordinate Virginia’s anti-drug programs. Northern’ s retirement is effective Sept. 1, 2016.

    “I would first like to thank Colonel Flaherty for providing me with the opportunity over the last 11 years to serve as Deputy Superintendent,” said Northern. “Nothing has made me more proud over the years or given me any more satisfaction than being a Virginia State Trooper. Since 1951, my father and I have served the Department, and I hate to see that legacy come to a close. But, now is the opportunity for me and my family to pursue new adventures, and for the State Police to progress towards the future with talented, new leadership.”

    Lt. Col. Northern is an Emporia-Greensville Native and a 1975 graduate of Greensville County High School.

    Replacing Northern will be the current Bureau of Administrative Staff and Support (BASS) Director, Lt. Colonel Russillo. Flaherty promoted her to the position of BASS Director Dec. 25, 2015. Russillo, a native of Fredericksburg, joined the Department May 16, 1989. Her first patrol assignment as a trooper was in Spotsylvania County Area 5 Office and she spent an additional two years patrolling Culpeper County Area 15 Office. As she progressed through the VSP ranks, Russillo has served as an Academy sergeant in Richmond and area commander of the Winchester Area 13 Office before she was promoted to field lieutenant in the Culpeper Division. In 2008, she achieved the rank of captain serving as the Fairfax Division commander in the Northern Virginia region. Russillo was promoted to major in 2011 following her appointment as BASS Deputy Director.

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  32. SVCC Attracts International Students

    Wenchan S. Dickens of Emporia, Virginia, has been accepted into the Associate Degree Nursing Program of Southside Virginia Community College for fall 2016 semester. She graduated from high school in China and received her Masters Degree in Horticulture in China.  Wenchan is a Phlebotomy Technician.   Her mother, Zhapo Lan, lives in China.  Wenchan is married to Joseph A. Dickens and has one child.

    Students who successfully complete this program are eligible to apply for the licensure examination for Registered Nursing.    The program is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education and is fully approved as an associate degree nursing school by the Virginia Board of Nursing.   The nursing program is made possible through partnerships between SVCC and VCU/Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia, Sentara Halifax Regional Health Systems in South Boston and Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville as well as numerous other partners throughout the Southside area. 

    Katherine M. Belcher of Carson,  Virginia has been accepted into the Associate Degree Nursing Program of Southside Virginia Community College for fall 2016 semester.  She is a graduate of the University of the Visayas in the Phillipines.  Her husband is Robert Belcher and they have a son, Adam, 13.

    Students who successfully complete this program are eligible to apply for the licensure examination for Registered Nursing.    The program is fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education and is fully approved as an associate degree nursing school by the Virginia Board of Nursing.   The nursing program is made possible through partnerships between SVCC and VCU/Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia,  Sentara Halifax Regional Health Systems in South Boston and Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville as well as numerous other partners throughout the Southside area.


  33. Small Town Girl Now Working At The Pentagon

    “Just because you are from or live in a small town, this does not mean your chances and options are limited,” advises Brishauna J. Hawkins-Wesson.  A native of Lawrenceville and graduate of Southside Virginia Community College, this small town girl now works as a Temporary Hire for the U.S. Department of Army Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management at Headquarters, U.S. Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia.

    Hawkins-Wesson graduated from Brunswick High School in 2014 as number 6 in the top ten percentile of her class.  Having tried but not gotten a spot in the prestigious Governor’s School of Southside Virginia, she enrolled in dual enrollment courses as well asclasses on her own at SVCC in order to complete her Associates of Arts and Science degree in General Studies with a specialization in Administration of Justice the same year as her high school graduation.

    Having many credits to transfer to her four-year college of choice, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree at James Madison University in two years.  Hawkins-Wesson received the B.S. in Public Policy and Administration with a concentration in Public Management and a minor in Political Science in May 2016. 

    An added bonus was serving the state of Virginia and Virginia’s 5th Congressional District by interning for U.S. Representative Robert Hurst and U.S Senator Mark Warner from May to August of 2015.

    About her experience at SVCC, she said, “First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the late Mrs. Rosa Hawkins (former dual enrollment Coordinator) for her dedication and service in shaping and molding the dual enrollment program, as well as serving as a mentor to the students within the SVCC community. Her encouragement and spiritual wisdom carried me through this program and made my SVCC experience the greatest. In addition, I would like to thank Professors: Lisa Jordan, Teresa Hudson, Shanley Dorin, and Mary Downing-Gardner for shaping and molding me to become a better learner and student.”

    She also encourages students to “seize every opportunity that is provided or available for you and persevere and stay focused on achieving your goals.”

    Both of her parents are Brunswick County natives. Her mother, Rachelle Hawkins-Wesson, is a popular educator and We The People coordinator for Brunswick County Public Schools and her father, Terrence Wesson, is SGT First Class in the U.S. Army and human resource specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice. 

    Setting and meeting goals is in Hawkins-Wesson’s DNA.  Her future plans include receiving a Master’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management or Security Studies at a well accredited and qualified institution of higher learning within the next two years. Within the next four years she plans to be proficient in Arabic and to obtain graduate certificates in Islamic or Middle Eastern Studies and possibly cyber security.   She hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the future also. 

    SVCC offers dual enrollment opportunities throughout Southside Virginia in many areas of studies including administration of justice, nurse aide, culinary arts, fire science, welding, emergency medical services, high performance technology, advanced manufacturing, general education coursework, and more! For more information, please contact the guidance department at your local high school.

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  34. Mason “May May” Taylor Host First Annual Co-ed Softball Tournament

    The family and friends of Mason “May May” Taylor is hosting the first annual co-ed softball tournament on August 12-13, 2016 at Meherrin River Park, Emporia, VA. The tournament is in memory of Mason who lost his life June of 2014 in a swimming accident. “It’s all about having fun, celebrating Mason’s life and celebrating one another,” said Mason’s mother, Trina Taylor.  There is no cost to spectators.

    The bracket is made up of 8 pre-registered adult co-ed teams with games starting on Friday, August 12 at 6pm.  Games then will commence back on Saturday morning at 8 am.  Opening ceremony will begin around 10 am with a kick off of kid’s activities which include:

    • 10:00 am kids ball games ages 7-11 & 12-15. (Be sure to bring your equipment)
    • 12 noon water balloon toss competition
    • 1:00 pm Wally the Wacky Waiter
    • 2:00 pm face painting
    • Playground equipment available all day.

    During this time, concessions will be open, drawings held throughout the day, t-shirts and memorabilia items for sale.

     Mason was all about life and took advantage of every second of everyday. He was an all- out boy and loved getting dirty, baseball, hunting, fishing, and everything in between. Also if you knew Mason, you know that he was not shy and there was no such thing as a stranger to him.Mason was also an active athlete at EGRA where he played his last year in 2014 on the All-Star team wearing the #33.  “He had a love of the game and didn’t care where he played as long as he was playing”, commented Mike Roach, his All-Star coach.

    The tournament is a fundraiser for scholarships awarded annually to seniors of Greensville County High School.  The Class of 2016 recipient was Claire Dickens who will attend East Carolina University this fall and major in the medical field. The Class of 2015 recipient was Tayvon Alston who is attending Longwood University and is currently pursuing a degree in math and chemistry.

    “We are hoping this softball tournament will turn into an annual event,” said Chelsea Taylor, “If all goes well, we are looking to make it bigger next year by adding other activities.” 

    If you need more information, you can find us on Facebook “In Memory of Mason "May-May" Taylor”, contact Chelsea Taylor at cdtaylor91@gmail.comor by phone 434-594-6970. Mason Bayne, the son of Mike and Trina Taylor, had two big sisters, Chelsea Dayne and Caroline Layne, a big brother Michael Wayne and many other family members and friends.  There is a website page if you would like to learn more about Mason:

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  35. WIOA Summer Program Recognizes Participants/Partners

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act's Summer Youth Work Experience contracted through Southside Virginia Community College held a closing luncheon and awards ceremony on July 29, 2016 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville.   Guest speakers included Edward DeJesus, motivational speaker and author of Makin’ It”: The Hip-Hop Guide to True Survival.  Other speakers included Joseph Ashley, Assistant Commissioner of Grants and Special Programs for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, and Dr. Rick Mitchell, Deputy Director of the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired. 

    For the program, participants are matched with an employer in their area to do a four to eight week paid work experience. 

    According to Christin Jackson, Coordinator of the WIOA Adult and Your Programs for SVCC, “There were 19 employers that worked with our 41 participants this summer.  Each week, the WIOA Case Managers (Suzanne Lawson, Monica McMillan, D'Elia Gafford, and part-time assistant case manager Julia McInturf) taught the employment soft skills class created by the NCCER called Tools for Success.  Successful participants in this class received a certificate for completion to put with their resume that included their employment skills such as resume writing, interview skills, working as a team, conflict management, thinking outside the box, sexual harassment awareness, etc.”

    The students were also offered the opportunity to take the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) Assessment. A total of 14 took the CRC Assessment and the results were: 1 - Gold, 2 - Silvers, and 6 Bronze Certificates.  

    This year for the Work Experience SVCC and WIOA partnered with DARS (Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services) in a Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities (CPID) Grant to put on three Dream It Do It Academies.  This enabled all 41 participants to experience an academy.   The first academy was taught by Vincent Brown and was a Robotics/Drones Academy where the students built robots and flew drones and were able to take aerial photos and videos.  These students also toured UAV Pro, a drone manufacturer in Blackstone.  The second academy was taught by Scott Edmonds and was a 3-D Imaging Academy and the students designed marketing tools for various companies using AutoCad.  They were able to print their designs using 3-D printers.  They created a portfolio of their work and they were able to tour Cardinal Homes, Inc. of Wylliesburg to see 3-D imaging that is used in creating homes.  The last academy was Welding taught by Fernandez Bruce.  The students worked as a team to create two beautiful drafting tables.  Also, individually the students designed and created a fireplace poker and shovel.  These students toured Slap Nasty Custom Designs of South Boston.  All of the academy participants got to tour Dollar General Distributing in South Boston to see what happens to products after manufacturing. 

    “At the finale on July 29th, the employers were awarded certificates of appreciation for their participation in the program.  The students were given portfolio's with their resume, a letter of reference from their employer, their CRC Certificate, their Dream It Do It Certificate and their Tools for Success Certificate to ensure that along with the valuable work experience, they would be prepared for interviews,” said Jackson.  

    The 2016 Summer Work Experience Employers are Virginia Cooperative Extension Office (4-H0 in Charlotte Court House, Charlotte County Treasurer’s Office in Charlotte Court House, Ellis Acres Memorial park, Dillwyn, Southside Virginia Community College Buildings and Grounds, Keysville, Southside Virginia Community College Student Services Office, Keysville, Randolph-Henry High School office in Charlotte Court House, South Boston and Halifax County Museum in South Boston, The Prizery in South Boston, The Prissy Hippie Beauty Shop, South Hill, Central Middle School, Charlotte Court House, YMCA, Farmville, @Work Personnel Services, Farmville, Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library, Farmville, Central High School, Victoria, South Hill Workforce Center, South Hill, Estes Community Center, Chase City, Butler Memorial Library, Chase City, Life Changing Community Development, Blackstone, Chase City Rescue Squad in Chase City.

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  36. Healthcare Leader Takes the Reins as New Board Chair

    RICHMOND – With more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, James Cuthbertson is accustomed to making critical decisions that impact entire organizations.

    As the former president and chief executive officer of the Texas Heart Institute – the world’s largest cardiovascular treatment center- he is an acknowledged authority on complex medical organizations, their governance, and the strategies that have allowed them to achieve their prominence. These attributes make him ideally suited to assume his new role, that of chairman of the State Board for Community Colleges.

    Cuthbertson feels the biggest challenge now facing Virginia’s Community Colleges is demonstrating to prospective students and their families that a community college education represents a solid return on their investment.

    “Through our system of community colleges, we can help students build foundations upon which they need to launch and sustain successful careers in a world that is quickly and constantly changing,” Cuthbertson said.

    Cuthbertson says the explosive demand for a credentialed workforce is the most pressing need in higher education today.

    “Our assets position us to provide individuals with the training they need to earn the workforce credentials that matter most to businesses in every corner of the commonwealth,” he observed. “Our colleges are not only geographically distributed in such a way as to permit easy access to all Virginians, but they remain constantly engaged with their business communities to ensure that the workforce credential training programs we offer are tuned to the current demands of the regional economies our colleges serve.”

    Cuthbertson describes his leadership style as one of participative guidance and inclusion. He adds that he’s honored to have been selected as board chair.

    “I am encouraged by the challenges that we as a board face and confident that we will succeed in supporting the mission of our system and the strategic goals, including Complete 2021, that Chancellor DuBois has established.”

    Also taking on a new role on the board is Eleanor Saslaw. She becomes the board’s vice chair, the title previously held by Cuthbertson.

    A licensed professional counselor, Saslaw began her career as a teacher in the Fairfax County school system. She has won numerous awards including the Friend of School Psychologists Award (2011) and Counselor of the Year (1998 and 1994).

    Saslaw was appointed to the State Board for Community Colleges in 2014 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe and currently serves as liaison to both Rappahannock and Patrick Henry Community Colleges.

    About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit

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  37. Lauren Upton of Dinwiddie Receives K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award

    Lauren Upton of Dinwiddie was a recent recipient of the K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award. Dr. Verghese was a long time faculty member at SVCC and was instrumental in the establishment of the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing Programs. Lauren (center) is shown with Karen Abbett (right), Practical Nursing Program Director and Patricia Archer, Associate Professor of Practical Nursing.

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  38. Parent-Athlete Night at GCHS

    Greensville County High School will be hosting a meet and greet with athletes, parents, coaches and administrative staff on August 8, 2016 at 6:00pm in the gymnasium.  This event will provide athletic expectations for the upcoming 2016-17 athletic season.  All athletes and their parents are encouraged to attend this event.

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  39. Machining Skills Program Graduates

    Front row, left to right: Gary Holderness; Jason Cates; Chad Garcia, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, Command Sergeant Major Clarence D. Richardson; Chief Antonio Belmar, Sr of Fort Lee; Gabriel Kelechi;   Second row, left to right:  John Bright;  Brandon Cooper;  Robert Homer.  (Absent were Smith Jeandenis, Vantyne Montes, and Bruce Trask)

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  40. Save on qualifying items during Virginia’s 3-day sales tax holiday Aug. 5-7

    Virginia’s sales tax holiday, Aug. 5-7, offers shoppers the opportunity to buy qualifying school supplies, clothing and footwear, hurricane preparedness items, and certain energy-efficient products without paying state and local sales tax.  

    What items are tax exempt?

    • Most school and office supplies, such as pens, loose-leaf paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, and construction paper priced at $20 or less
    • Clothing and footwear, priced at $100 or less per item or pair
    • Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, tarps, duct tape, fire extinguishers, cell-phone chargers, smoke detectors, buckets, rope, and first aid kits priced at $60 or less
    • Gas-powered chainsaws priced at $350 or less and chainsaw accessories priced at $60 or less
    • Portable generators priced at $1,000 or less
    • Energy Star-labeled dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators priced at $2,500 or less
    • WaterSense-labeled sink faucets, faucet accessories, aerators, shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers priced at $2,500 or less

    Keep in mind:

    • All retailers who sell the exempt products are required to participate in the sales tax holiday.
    • Retailers may choose to pay the sales tax on any taxable items and pass the savings on to customers.
    • Online purchases of qualifying products are exempt from the sales tax as long as orders are placed and paid for during the Aug. 5-7 exemption period and the sellers have the items available for immediate shipment.

    For more information, see Sales Tax Holiday Details for Consumers and Sales Tax Holiday Details for Retailers.

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  41. 2nd Annual Emporia Va Community Walk for Diabetes Awareness Scheduled for September

    According to Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, approximately 26 million Americans are affected by diabetes; 7 million of which go undiagnosed. In recent studies, diabetes ranked in the top five causes of death in the United States and was the primary cause of preventable blindness. The Virginia Department of Health reported the prevalence of diabetes among adults in Virginia rose 3.3 percent from 1996 to 2009, with strong evidence of a continual increase in years to come. Crater, home to Emporia, is among the highest diabetes prevalent health districts in Virginia, with 12.7 percent of adults being diagnosed with the disease.

    The steady increase in diabetes ridden individuals can be avoided through proper education related to the leading causes of the condition--cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking. I believe the first step in education is awareness; therefore to spread diabetes awareness to the Emporia community, I am partnering with the American Diabetes Association and YMCA of Emporia-Greensville to host the 2nd annual Community Walk.

    The event will be held on Saturday, September 17 at 8:30 AM at the YMCA (212 Weaver Ave).

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  42. Hunt Brothers® Pizza Now Open In Emporia, Virginia

     New CornerStone Market convenience store is open, serves fresh pizza to Emporia residents

    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (July 22, 2016)– Hunt Brothers Pizza, the nation’s largest brand of made-to-order pizza in the convenience store industry, is pleased to announce it has opened its first Emporia, Virginia, location. Serving fresh pizza and more to local Emporia residents, Hunt Brothers Pizza is available at the new 24-hour CornerStone Market BP convenience store.

    The Hunt Brothers Pizza at CornerStone Market offers a wide variety of hot, fresh products, including original and thin crust pizzas with up to 10 toppings for no extra charge, Breakfast Pizza, Wings, WingBites® and its latest menu item, Cheesebread and Marinara Dipping Sauce. Throughout the year, Hunt Brothers Pizza also introduces specialty flavors, like Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza, that are only available for a limited time.

    Made with quality ingredients and offering meals and snacks for all parts of the day, Hunt Brothers Pizza is the perfect solution for an easy dinner during the workweek or for a quick bite to eat as residents of Emporia travel through town.


    “We are excited to introduce Hunt Brothers Pizza to Emporia and pleased to offer the community a new, local convenience store with food options to serve their needs,” said Alan Cooke, District Manager of Pizza Wholesale of Lexington, Inc., a distributor of Hunt Brothers Pizza. “There is much to look forward to as we welcome this new location to the Hunt Brothers Pizza family. Above all, we are eager to begin serving the community with delicious pizza.”

    Emporia residents can expect a grand opening celebration toward the end of the summer with free Hunt Brothers Pizza samples and more once Subway is open for business.

    Hunt Brothers Pizza is a family owned and operated business that is very much grounded in faith. The company is dedicated to running the organization according to its Guiding Principles: Place God first in all we do, Be a blessing to people, Trust God to meet our needs, Strive for excellence.

    CornerStone Market is a new company owned by Clint Slate, Chris Slate, Billy Slate and Stratford Ward.  Clint, Chris and Billy Slate are the owners of Slate and Spivey Inc., a third generation family owned general contractor.  Slate and Spivey was founded in 1944 and is the general contractor for this project.  The other partner, Stratford Ward, is the owner of Little Oil Company of Richmond, Virginia, a family business operated for 95 years.  Little Oil Company is a third generation oil distributor that supplies fuel to over 100 convenience store owners in Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland.  Jill Slate and Stratford Ward, owners of CornerStone Subway are planning for the Subway opening later in the summer.

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  43. Katherine Berkeley Dorsk

    Katherine Berkeley Dorsk, 36, passed away due to a sudden, unexpected health issue on Sunday, July 31st. She was predeceased by her parents Helen Grizzard Dorsk and Edward Jay Dorsk, both of Richmond. She is survived by her uncle George Grizzard and wife, "Aunt" Becky, of Ashland, VA and cousins Chesney McCahill and husband Will, Morgan Grizzard and Erika Grizzard. She is also survived by an uncle Dr. Brian Dorsk of Maine and long-time friend Hunter Parker. Katherine graduated from VCU and worked several jobs before working as a barista at the Starbucks in Ashland where she was loved by both co-workers and customers. Katherine had a profound love of animals and had 3 beloved cats, Buddy, Gracie and Toby. A service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 2 pm at Bliley's Funeral home on Staples Mill Road, Richmond. Burial will be Sunday, Aug. 14 at 2 pm in Drewryville, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Richmond SPCA.

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  44. Have You Seen Jake

    This is Jake. He has been missing since Monday, August 1st. He is a German Rottweiler 5 month old puppy.  He weighs about 60 pounds.  Lost on Pine Log Road.  Please call 434-594-6326 if you have any information.  He has on a collar with owners name and a security fence collar.

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  45. Oak Grove Homecoming and Revival

    The Oak Grove Baptist Church will celebrate its’ Homecoming Service, on Sunday, August 7, 2016, at 3:00 in the afternoon. The Pastor Carlos Jordan of the Rocky Mount Baptist Church, McKinney, VA along with his congregation will be the hosting Church for this event.

    The revival service for Oak Grove Baptist Church will begin on Tuesday, August 9, 2016, and end on August 12, 2016. Join Oak Grove for Prayer and Praise on each of those evenings at 7:30 and stay for the Revival at 8:00 The Evangelist for Tuesday and Wednesday the 9th and 10th is Pastor Curtis Thomas of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church, and Thursday and Friday the Evangelist will be The Pastor Dr. Arthur Wiggins, of the Corner Stone Baptist Church of Suffolk VA.

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  46. Our Future Health Care Providers

    Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

    CSI (Career Scene Investigators) returned to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, not to investigate crime scenes, but to explore the suspects of health care. VCU Health CMH offered a week long camp to seventh and eighth graders from the local middle schools from July 25th - 29th

    19 students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, Brunswick, and Bluestone Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give the students an opportunity to learn about the many exciting careers available in health care.

    The camp offered a variety of activities that allowed the students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment.  The campers rotated through various departments getting hands on experience with simulated activities that health care professionals perform daily.         

    The middle school years are the ideal time to reach students and introduce them to the various opportunities of a career in health care. It attributes to the selective science, math, and English courses that they may include in their curriculum as they choose their classes throughout their high school years. By the end of the camp week some of the campers want to be doctors, nurses, physical, speech, or occupational therapists, while others want to become engineers or computer technologists.   

    VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital is pleased that they can offer this excellent opportunity to area students to learn about the world of health care.  Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta participates and supports the camp each year with the provision of activities and a pizza lunch. According to the students, it was a fun week and they learned what health care professionals do daily.

    We encourage other middle school students to apply to attend the CSI Camp next summer. The information and the application for the camp will be delivered to local schools in the spring and will also be available at the hospital’s website,, for the summer camp of 2017.

    CSI Campers included: (Front row left to right) -  Ruby Trejo, Logan Palacios, Chantel Gates, Justin Zincone, Emma Jones, Micalah Hayes, Theresa Griles, RN Educator.  (Second row left to right) – Savanna Fowler, Sara Craig, Hayden Clarke, Laura Wells, R’Mani Bagley, Lindsey Roberts, Marybeth Sadler, Hazel Willis, RN, BSN, Camp Coordinator.  (Third row left to right) - Hayley Moody, Treyvon Scott, Taylor Walker, Andi Brice, Lanyia Hargrove, Turner Clarke

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  47. Save the date! Statewide Disaster Drills

    2016 Southeast ShakeOut
    Millions of people will join and practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold On during the 2016 Southeast ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 20 at 10:20 a.m. Online registration is open on this link: If you have questions about the ShakeOut, please call or write to VDEM external affairs team at (804) 897-6510 or .

    2017 Statewide Tornado Drill
    The annual Statewide Tornado Drill will take place Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at 9:45 a.m.  The date will be observed as Tornado Preparedness Day.  (If widespread severe weather threatens the commonwealth on that date, then the drill will be rescheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at 9:45 a.m.)
    In 2016, Virginia was hit by the deadliest tornado event since 1959, resulting in five fatalities and more than 45 injuries. An EF-1 tornado touched down on the Town of Waverly in Sussex County, an EF-3 tornado affected Appomattox County and another EF-3 tornado hit the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck region. The National Weather Service (NWS) verified that a total of eight tornadoes impacting twelve localities in Virginia during that storm.
    Online registration for the drill is not yet open, but the Virginia Department of Emergency Management advises us that registration should be up by mid October at so check the site then.  
    If you have questions about Tornado Preparedness Day or the statewide drill, please call or write to VDEM external affairs team at (804) 897-6510 or . 

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