June 2017

  1. Carroll Ashby Webb

    Carroll Ashby Webb, 88, of Emporia passed away on June 29, 2017. He was predeceased by his parents, Luther and Martha Webb; brothers, Marvin and Otis Webb and sisters, Alma Michaels and Eula Mae Miller. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Rae Doyle Webb; son, David Webb and wife Sandy; daughter, Pam Low and husband Ed; brother, Shelton Webb and wife Mary; grandchildren, Stephanie Whittington and husband Rick, Stephen Low, Lauren Ashley Collins and Dylan Allen; great-grandchildren, Abby and Andrew Whittington; special nieces and nephew, Kay Bryant, Debbie Mashburn and Barry Grizzard and many other nieces and nephews. Mr. Webb was a retired employee of Slate and Spivey Building Contractors and loyal member and past Deacon of Main Street Baptist Church. A visitation will be held on Sunday, 2pm, at Main Street Baptist Church followed immediately by a funeral service at 3pm. Interment will follow in Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Main Street Baptist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  2. Social Security AND MEDICARE aRE Lasting Sources of Independence

    By Jackie Weisgarber. Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

    In July, communities everywhere celebrate our nation’s independence with fireworks, family, and friends. A strong community also creates independence as we help each other recognize our full potential.

    Social Security has been helping people maintain a higher quality of life and a level of independence for over 80 years. And Medicare has been doing the same for over five decades. Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65. For many older Americans, this is their primary health insurance and without it, they might not enjoy an independent lifestyle.

    Medicare can be a little confusing to newcomers so we’ve broken it down into segments. The four parts of Medicare are as easy as A, B, C, and D.

    • Part A(Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and home health care. Most people get Medicare Part A premium-free since it is earned by working and paying Social Security taxes.
    • Part B(Medical Insurance) helps cover services from doctors and other outpatient health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period and then decide to do so later, your coverage may be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B.
    • Part C(Medicare Advantage) allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization. This plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B, usually includes Medicare prescription drug coverage, and may include extra benefits and services at an extra cost. You must have Part A and Part B to enroll in Part C. Monthly premiums vary depending on the state where you live, private insurer, and whether you select a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization.
    • Part D(Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Many people pay a premium for Part D. However, people with low income and resources may qualify for Extra Help to pay the premium and deductible. If you don’t enroll in a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible, you may pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. You will have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. To see if you qualify for extra help visit www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.

    Will you be age 65 soon? Even if you decide not to retire, you should apply for Medicare. You can apply in less than 10 minutes using our online Medicare application. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareto learn more about applying for Medicare. 

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  3. RAM Clinic Statistics, etc

     Our volunteers assisted patients with at least 2,705 medical services:
    • 705 patients  
    • 1365 dental services
    • 616 medical services
    • 724 vision services
    • An estimated $275,000 in volunteer value
    • An estimated $250,000 savings in patient services
    • Made 2 immediate referrals for 1 critical patient and 1 "alert" result
    • Diagnosed 15 patients with glaucoma, 3 at a critical stage

    The Meherrin Ruritan club fed about 765 volunteers over 3 days; serving over 2100 meals to at least 368 persons at one time.

    RAM of VA Staff & Core Volunteers

    Al Reavis, Food Coordinator

    Andrea Mora, Communications

    Bill Herrington, Ambassador

    Claressa Strawn, Core Lead

    Deborah Burkett, Core Lead

    Elise Brown, Core Lead

    Elizabeth Cunningham, Communications

    Evan Scisson, Pharmacy & Core Lead

    Glenda Creath, Core Lead

    James Givens, Ambassador

    Jean Blackburn, Core Lead

    John Holtcamp, Ambassador

    Karen Faison, Medical Director (dental)

    Linda Burnette, Medical Director (medical)

    Lue Ward, Ambassador

    Mckinley Jordan, Ambassador


    Marc Vaneck, Vision Lead

    Michelle Thomas, Narcan Lead

    Michelle WhiteHurst-Cook, Medical  & Core Lead

    Noreago Drumgoole, Core Lead

    Polly Cole, Medical & Core Lead

    Purlie Banks, Ambassador

    Richard Gilbert, Core Lead

    Ricky Frances, Core Lead

    Sara Cariano, Communications

    Shelby Cornick, Ambassador

    Takisha Carr, Core Lead

    Trina Evans, Communication

    Tommy Council, Ambassador

    Wendy Wright, Core Lead


    OUR Southside RAM was not about “FREE” but about “ACCESS” and having access at no out-of-pocket cost!  Finances aren’t always available to take care of our teeth, buy glasses, or get those necessary medical x-rays due to life circumstances, fixed incomes, deductibles, etc.  So, thank you Obici Foundation and Greensville Memorial Foundation and the attached list of community donors for allowing us have a RAM of Virginia experience!  A RAM of VA experience is an experience that doesn’t care about your income, if you’re insured, your age or more. A RAM of Virginia experience says, "come, if you need help, come...." - meet your local doctors and obtain knowledge to prevent and protect for the future.

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    2017 Summer Travel Season Off to a Deadly Start on Virginia Highways

    RICHMOND – With a “record-breaking” number of travelers forecasted for the 2017 Independence Day weekend and the recent rash of fatal crashes in Virginia since the official start of summer, the Virginia State Police is urging all motorists to put traffic safety at the top of their list of holiday priorities. This past weekend, 15 people were killed in traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. Those who lost their lives in traffic crashes June 23-25, 2017, included drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and pedestrians ranging from 4 months to 74 years of age.

    To ensure the Fourth of July holiday is as safe as possible, Virginia State Police will increase patrols during the long holiday weekend. Beginning Saturday, July 1, VSP will join law enforcement around the country for Operation CARE (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt. The 2017 July Fourth statistical counting period begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 1, 2017, and continues through midnight Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

    “Halfway through 2017, there have already been 20 more traffic deaths compared to this date in 2016,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Let’s try to turn this year around and work towards saving lives, beginning with this July Fourth weekend. Traffic crashes and deaths are prevented when drivers and passengers simply follow the rules of the road – this includes never driving impaired, avoiding distractions while driving and always wearing a seatbelt.” 

    During the 2016 July Fourth weekend, Virginia troopers arrested 106 drunk drivers and cited 9,487 speeders and 2,590 reckless drivers. They also cited 821 individuals for failing to wear a seat belt and 360 motorists for child safety seat violations during the four-day statistical counting period.

    With increased patrols, state police also remind drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.                  

    Previous July 4th Fatality Statistics*:



    # of Days










       *Traffic Crash Facts, VA Highway Safety Office, DMV               



    UPDATE - Mrs. Strickland has been found safely.







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  6. Fish Tales

    For the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild, an annual rite of spring is a freshwater fishing trip to Smithfield. Old Point Bank sponsors the event providing the bait, rods & reels and food for a cookout.

    The young anglers – many of whom had ever been fishing – arrived bright and early and ready to fish. Don Lancaster and Matt Smith volunteered their expertise and served as mentors.  They enlisted a number of additional volunteers. Matt provided a brief “Fishing 101” lesson in which he showed the boys and girls how to bait hooks, protect their hands from the fins, and then release the hooked fish.

    According to one enthusiastic participant, the kids caught “a bazillion fish,” releasing most but keeping enough to fill a cooler to bring back to campus for dinner.  

    When asked why he volunteers each year, Lancaster responded “These youngsters have had so many challenges in their lives.  It does your heart good to see them have such a good time enjoying a simple pleasure.”

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  7. VSP Investigating Fatal Brunswick County Crash

    Virginia State Police Master Trooper B.L. Tulloh is investigating a two-vehicle crash in Brunswick County. The crash occurred June 24, 2017, at 6:30 a.m., on Route 644 at Route 656.

    A 2000 Mitsubishi was traveling south on Route 656. It pulled up to the stop sign, slowed for the stop sign and then slowly pulled into the intersection with Route 644. As the Mitsubishi pulled across Route 644 to make a left turn, it collided with a 2016 Honda traveling east on Route 644. The impact of the crash caused the Honda to run off the road and strike an embankment.

    The passenger in the Honda, Laila N. Hawkins-Manning of Brodnax, Va., was seated in an infant seat. The child was not secured in the seat nor was the seat rear-facing, as required by law. The child was ejected from the seat in the crash, but remained inside the vehicle. The 4-month-old child was transported to VCU-CMH in South Hill, Va., where she succumbed to her injuries.

    The driver of the Honda, Stephanie N. Hawkins, 31, of Brodnax, Va., was not injured in the crash. After consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Hawkins was charged with failure to secure a child under 8 years of age.

    The driver of the Mitsubishi, Chavioleyette S. Lambert, 34, of LaCrosse, Va., was not injured in the crash. After consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney, she was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.

    The crash remains under investigation.

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  8. Improvement Association Plans "Total Service Center

    On April 24, The Improvement Association’s Executive Director, Rufus Tyler and staff, met with Community Stakeholders and Leaders throughout Southside Virginia to discuss and plan for an upcoming initiative. The initiative is called The Total Service Center (TSC).  The Total Service Center is a Community Service opportunity to allow individuals to maintain/regain their Self-Sufficiency by developing skills and ways of interacting in the community to complete education and/or to secure employment.

    Community Stakeholders who provided input and comments on this initiative were excited and stated “our community needs initiative such as this”.  Ms. Erica Singleton, Housing Coordinator, stated “we as an Organization don’t have all the answers, our Stakeholders and citizens know the problems plaguing their communities, and we value their input. We are looking forward to continuing to work with local stakeholders and Community Leaders to address employment and education issues at a grassroots level.”

    The Improvement Association is non-profit organization based in several local communities, with a 35-year old track record of helping individuals and communities identify and address issues of Self-Sufficiency. The Improvement Association provides several initiatives to help adults and children in local communities in order to empower them to become Self-Sufficient.

    The Improvement Association’s Total Service Center (TSC) will help individuals reach education and employment goals through many comprehensive initiatives that will allow for positive change in their lives. The Total Service Center workshops will take place in three service areas and implemented over four to five weeks.

    We are pleased by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment from Stakeholder and Community Leaders to this imitative. Collaborative partnerships have the capability and power to turn things around in our communities. We are excited to implement and lead this process so that individuals and families are no longer in crisis due to the lack of employment and/or education.

    FRONT ROW: Carol Mercer, Emporia City Council/The Improvement Association Board Member; Brenda Drew, Sussex Housing Authority; and Vondrenna Smithers, SVCC; MIDDLE ROW:  Anita Shelburne, The Improvement Association; Jessica Jones, Brunswick County DSS; Erica Singleton, The Improvement Association; and Rufus Tyler, The Improvement Association; BACK ROW: Vandy Jones, III, Sussex County; Shanice Mason, The Improvement Association;  John Holtkamp, Emporia/Greensville DSS; Judy Smith, Crater PDC; Charlie Caple, Jr., The Improvement Association Board Chairman. 

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  9. Isaiah Stephens Going to Nationals

    Lazers Track Club member, Isaiah Stephens competed in the AAU Track & Field Region 5 Qualifying Jr. Olympic Meet in Gloucester, VA on June 23-25, 2017.  He qualified for Nationals in the discus, shot put and javelin with gold medals. Stephens still holds his #1 rank in the state of Virginia.  AAU National Jr. Olympics will be held at Eastern Michigan University in Detroit, MI on July 29-August 5, 2017.

    Please support him at www.gofundme.com.  Isaiah and his mother, La-Tina Smith are grateful to God for this opportunity once again.  They give special thanks to his coach Les Young.

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  10. Local Teen Raising Money for Church Flagpole

    Tyler Dunn hopes to raise $2,200

    June 26, 2017 (EMPORIA, Va.) – Tyler Dunn has been involved with the Boy Scouts since he was 12 years old, and is now pursuing his Eagle Scout rank. To earn this rank, Tyler must complete a community improvement project. He’s raising money through RedBasket.org to install a flagpole at a local church.

    The flagpole will be installed at Main Street Baptist Church in Emporia. Tyler will need to purchase the 25-foot pole, an American flag, concrete, lights, and other supplies for the project.

    “The church does not currently have a flagpole, therefore the project will allow them to demonstrate patriotism to our great country,” said Tyler.

    To help offset the costs of this project, Tyler has partnered with RedBasket.org to host an online fundraiser. He hopes to raise $2,200 to purchase the necessary supplies.

    “Help this church gain a symbol of freedom and American values that is important to our country, the American flag,” Tyler said.

    The fundraiser will be online through August 4. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit https://redbasket.org/1330/tylers-patriotic-eagle-scout-project.             

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  11. Over 700 Served at First Southside RAM Clinic

    Bright and early Saturday morning hundreds of people descended on Greensville County High School for free medical, dental and visions services provided by area volunteers and Remote Access Medical of Virginia.

    The parking lot opened at midnight and number distribution was planned to begin at 3 am.

    Light rain at 4 am cleared and the bright sunshine was tempered by a pleasant breeze and comfortable temperatures.

    The large parking lot by the gymnasium was full before 5 am and the overflow parking by the ROTC building was full not long after.  There were two other satellite parking areas at Main and Laurel Streets as well.

    Patients were given numbers and a general idea of when to head towards the front door. While waiting, announcements were made about the types of services available. Those in need of care were given the option of dental or vision care, in addition to medical care. Due to time constraints and other concerns, patients were given the option of only one service-Dental or Vision. Having a tooth extracted changes a patient’s blood pressure (as would any other surgical procedure) and makes some eye exams impossible on the same day. Patients of all ages were seen, and income or residency was not an issue for this clinic. Any patient who showed up was given a number and provided with health care.

    The large crowd that formed on the front lawn of the high school after receiving their numbers were given snacks and bottled water while they waited, and some patients also reported being served breakfast. The volunteer with the bullhorn, a teacher from Washington, DC, kept patients entertained and informed as they waited. Golf carts were provided for those who needed assistance getting from the back parking lot to the front door. While there were complaints of people not being able to hear, groups were called in close in ranges of 50, so the person struggling to be heard over the crowd had the people who needed to hear within range. After 7:30 the RAM volunteers started using a bullhorn, but were still respectful of the neighbors early on a Saturday morning. Numbers were called and registration proceeded as quickly as possible, given the limited space and number of people.

    Once registered at one of more than a dozen stations in the lobby, patients were directed to the cafeteria for triage.

    As a triage station was available cards were held up letting runners know where to take the next patient. Each of the tables set up in the cafeteria held two triage stations, ensuring that all of the volunteers were able to get patients to the care providers as quickly as possible. During triage all patients had their vitals (blood pressure, pulse, respiration rate, and blood sugar) taken and were asked the typical questions patients are asked at the Doctor’s office about health concerns, medications and the like. Well over 60 Registered Nurses made Triage quick and painless (some would disagree with the painless assessment, though, as blood sugar cannot be tested without pricking a finger to draw blood, to which a surprising number of people are squeamish).

    After triage, medical patients stayed in the high school, where a number of services were offered in different rooms. One class room was set up as an EKG station. A wide range of services were offered for those in need of medical care. Several specialties were present, including Cardiology, Podiatry, Mental Health and Urology.

    In addition to Primary Care, X-rays, laboratory services and other diagnostic testing was available. People waiting for Mammograms found that they needed to wait until Sunday as the person driving the truck had health issues of his own and was unable to get here in time. While there is no current status on his condition, prayers were offered for a speedy recovery.

    The Lions Club mobile vision clinic was on site, along with 31 eye-care professionals. One Ophthalmologist, six Optometrists, six Opticians, ten Vision Techs and eight Vision Students screened patients for a wide range of problems, including glaucoma, and were able to make most prescriptions on site.

    What appeared to be the most popular service was Dental Care. A team of 45, that included Dentists, Patient Ready Students with Faculty, Hygienists and Dental Assistants offered Cleanings, Fillings and Extractions. The gymnasium was outfitted with 20 stations.

    Photo from Facebook.com.RAMVirginia

    After additional triage, patients were divided into three groups, based on the service that was needed. Patients were given the option of one service before being sent to one of three sections in the bleachers. Those expecting to receive multiple dental services could return on Sunday, if able, for additional care. Some patients were further disappointed when one of the Dentists would only fill one cavity, as opposed to all of the patient's cavaties.

    The only appearance of an issue was keeping people in order. Upon arrival, patients in the gymnasium were just told to line up, as opposed to being given numbers, and after triage were given numbers, but only the fillings group kept a number system. One lead volunteer grew mildly frustrated while trying to keep the cleaning group in order and, at one point, told them that she didn’t “care what number they were given” by the previous volunteeer.  The cleaning group was the most vocal about line-cutters, and loudly pointed out when one woman, who was not present for most of the day, showed up in the gym and had her teeth cleaned after waiting less than an hour whole others  waiting for a cleaning had been waiting for several hours. Many who had arrived early and gotten a place in line, attended workshops, took their children to day care or ran errands or got a meal before returning to continue waiting.

    The Dental clinic used few disposable tools, and two autoclaves (the size of large laser printers) worked overtime to keep the tools that were used sterilized. At one point early in the day, everything stopped as they ran out of tools and had to wait for more to be sterilized; after the volunteers working to keep the tools sterile got ahead of the demand that was not an issue for the rest of the day as the autoclaves sterilized tray after tray of dental tools.

    As with any trip to the Dentist, patients were offered education on oral care and left with a toothbrush, floss, a package of DenTek Easy Brushes and a sample of Listerine.

    In addition to the care provided, there were several classes and workshops offered throughout the day on Saturday. Many people took advantage of these workshops while they waited. Eventually a few of the workshops relocated to the gym lobby, the most notable being the hands-on CPR course in front of the trophy case.

    The Virginia Department of Health was onsite for the event.  Among the workshops offered by the VDH were multiple nutrition classes, including Diabetic and Kidney Nutrition. In these workshops FitBit style pedometers, coolers, and several booklets with recipes and information were distributed.

    The Bureau of Insurance was present with an attorney to answer any questions about health care and insurance.

    In addition to the workshops information tables were set up in the hallways (including one offering Red Velvet Cake), and a Prayer Station was provided between the main building and the gymnasium.

    Volunteers worked to arrange the clinic, recruit providers and work with Remote Access Medical to clear all the logistic hurdles. Volunteers worked with Greensville County Public Schools to secure the space. Volunteers also did all the promotion for the clinic and arranged transportation from other communities served.

    Volunteers kept the whole event running as smoothly as possible. Everything from registration to the actual care was provided by volunteers of all ages. There were volunteers directing traffic before the sun rose, volunteers distributed water and snacks while people waited to register and while they waited for care. Volunteers directed patients to the right room or building for the service that was needed. The Medical, Dental and Vision Professionals were all volunteers, as were all of the people supporting them by sterilizing tools, cleaning and repairing equipment and running samples to the lab.

    The volunteers came from all over the region. Virginia Commonwealth University had a large contingent of volunteers from the Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. The Eastern Virginia School of Medicine in Norfolk was also well represented (an accident in one of the tunnels left some volunteers from Norfolk waiting for over an hour in the tunnel, but the dedicated volunteers made it to Emporia safely).

    The Meherrin Ruritan Club prepared and served the food for the volunteers in the Band Room.  

    Most notable among the corps of volunteers were a group of faculty and 4 students from the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, who drove 300 miles to be here.

    In addition to the many volunteers, everything was donated. There were monetary donations from several groups that paid for what was not already available. Dr. Tillar donated equipment and frames for the Vision Clinic. All of the major equipment from the dental chairs to the x-ray machines was provided by Remote Access Medical, the organization behind this clinic and many others nationwide.

    Upcoming clinics in Virginia include:

    • Wise – July 21-23
    • Grundy  - October 7 & 8
    • Warsaw – November 4 & 5

    There is also an urban clinic planned for Washington, DC on August 26.

    Even after nearly a year of planning this event was not without hiccups, but it proved to be an overwhelming success and provided much needed services to nearly one thousand people in an area from Amelia County to Portsmouth, with the lion’s share coming from the immediate area.

    Remote Access Medical was founded in 1985 by Stan Brock. The organization provides medical, care through mobile clinics in underserved, isolated, or impoverished communities. Most clinics provide general medical, dental, vision, preventive care, and education. RAM also provides services internationally, disaster relief and mobile veterinarian services.

    For more information on RAM, visit their website at http://ramusa.org/.

    RAMVirginia is an affiliate of RAM that now oversees the RAM Clinics in Wise, Smith County, Warsaw and now Emporia. RAMVirginia is led by William and Mary graduate Dr. Victoria Molnar Weiss, OD, who has been involved in over 45 clinics in Virginia – including helping to found the landmark clinic in Wise, Virginia - and elsewhere, including New Orleans, LA after Hurricane Katrina.

    You may visit the RAMVirginia Facebook Page, or donate to future clinics in Virginia by visiting ramusa.org/virginia, clicking on the"support RAM of Virginia" box and selecting RAM of Virginia in the donation details box. You may also donate to the overall program support for RAM USA of any of the other options in the list.

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  12. Jane Stainback Moss

    Jane Stainback Moss, 88, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband John P. Moss. She is survived by her son, Johnny Moss and wife, Christine; three grandchildren; brother, Sherwood Stainback and sister, Grace Martin. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt Virginia. Memorial contributions may be made to Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

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  13. Frank Spencer Anderson, III

    Frank Spencer Anderson, III, 80, of Emporia, VA passed away Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at home after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Helen Carter Anderson; two sons, Dr. Michael Anderson (Bonnie) and Todd Anderson (Terri); four grandchildren, Carter, Clarke, Christopher, Catherine and Richard Kramer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Lucille Kritzer Anderson. After graduating from MCV School of Pharmacy in 1959, he relocated to Emporia, VA where he owned and operated Anderson’s Emporia Pharmacy for over fifty years before retiring in 2013. It was a true joy for him to interact with his customers and employees and he considered them as friends. During his professional career, he was awarded Business and Business Person of the Year by the Emporia Greensville Chamber of Commerce and Award of Excellence by the Downtown Development Board. Mr. Anderson was passionate regarding community service. He served as a member of the National Guard. He was a charter member of Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad, serving as its first operations officer. He was an active member and past president of Meherrin Ruritan Club and the Village View Foundation as well as a host of other community organizations. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he currently served as trustee and choir member. In addition, he was past deacon chair and Sunday school teacher for many years. Visitation will be held on Friday, 6-8pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, 2pm, in Echols Funeral Home Chapel followed by interment in Greensville Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church or the Village View Foundation. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

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  14. Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program with Krendl Magic

    The Meherrin Regional Library invites you to be a part of our Summer Reading Program: Reading by Design! Our first event will be held Thursday, June 29th, and will feature an amazing science-based magic show from Krendl Magic. The event will be held at 10:30 AM at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and at 2:00 PM at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.

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

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  15. Boyd Chevrolet Supports Jackson-Feild


    Chris Butler, General Manager, presenting a check to Larry Pair, JFBHS Director of Plant Services.  Also pictured are Jeff Finch, General Sales Manager and  Maxie Moore, Sales Advisor.

    Boyd Chevrolet presented a generous check to Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services which was used to purchase a 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan that replaces a 2004 twelve-passenger van with more than 300,000 miles on it.

    Each year, Jackson-Feild provides residential treatment services to more than 100 children.  It is essential that they have safe reliable vehicles to transport children to off-campus appointments and events.

    Boyd Chevrolet has been very good to JFBHS by offering gently-used vehicles to Jackson-Feild at prices that the nonprofit organization can afford. This latest acquisition has already been pressed into service to meet the daily transportation needs on campus.

    Tricia Delano, JFBHS CEO expressed her thanks and appreciation to the staff and management of Boyd Chevrolet for their gift to support the children and mission of Jackson-Feild.

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  16. CCH Coffee Chat - Social Connectivity and Aging

    We hope to see you at our next monthly Coffee Chat! Join us on Thursday, July 6th at 8:00 a.m. for a discussion on Social Connectivity and Aging with Jay White, Ed. D, CDP, Gerontologist.

    We will discuss the risks for social isolation and loneliness for older adults and how individuals can remain healthy and connected in mind, body and spirit across the lifespan.  As usual, the Coffee Chat will be held at our offices at 3916 South Crater Road in Petersburg.

    Certificates of Attendance can be made available.

    This is an educational presentation with the opportunity for questions and networking. Please rsvp by July 5th. We hope to see you there! 

    Register Now to RSVP, and note the "Forward Email" link below for colleagues or friends who may be interested!


  17. CARITAS to open recovery program for women

    By Carolanne Wilson, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – CARITAS, a nonprofit that strives to end homelessness, plans to start a long-term recovery program for women in Richmond after the success of its program for men, The Healing Place. The women’s facility is tentatively scheduled to open in late 2017 or early 2018.

    In the midst of what federal and state officials call an opioid epidemic, the new program will allow CARITAS to offer residential treatment for addiction to Richmond-area women for the first time.

    Since 2005, The Healing Place for men – a 214-bed residential recovery facility in Southside Richmond – has a success rate of 70 percent of graduates staying sober for more than one year and becoming taxpaying citizens, according to CARITAS.

    “In the past, we’ve had to send women to Louisville or Raleigh from Richmond for help. And when they got on their feet, they contributed to those communities and economies,” says CARITAS onsite volunteer coordinator Todd Weatherless. “Now they will be able to get that help here locally and contribute to the communities and local economy they come from.”

    The Healing Place is free to Richmond-area residents. For people from out the area, the cost remains minimal especially in comparison with private rehabilitation facilities and detox centers.

    Funded through taxes and contributions, a bed at The Healing Place costs $7,200 per year, while the alternative for many clients – imprisonment – can cost taxpayers up to $45,000 a year. A short-term private treatment program can cost $50,000.

    “One of the benefits we will see by having a program locally is that we will be returning functional members of society back into the Richmond community,” says Weatherless, himself an alumnus of the Healing Place.

    Those who have graduated from the program and those who work there believes the structure of the program, a self-paced, peer-led recovery model, goes beyond just “sobering up.” The facility strives to give dignity back to those who have fallen most vulnerable to addiction.

    “They try to stretch and pull you … it’s behavioral modification,” says James, a 2014 graduate of The Healing Place. (Because he is in recovery, CNS is using only James’ first name.) “It’s just not telling you, ‘Don’t drink, don’t get high.’ It’s saying, ‘How do we change your behavior to a point where you’re able to be a productive member of society?’”

    James says the Healing Place has taught him more than just how to stay sober, especially with help from continuation programs like CARITAS Works Workforce Development. He benefited from courses ranging from using computers to practicing compassion during his time there.

    “At the Healing Place, every single rule, every single time they have you get up, everything is thought out, and there is a reason behind it – and that’s why it is so successful,” James said.

    He credits a lot of his achievements to his time in the facility. He has since gone on to work in Richmond-area real estate.

    The Healing Place model exists in other cities. Louisville, Kentucky, for example, has a facility for men and a separate facility for women – just as CARITAS hopes to create in Richmond.

    Louisville has found that the programs have been equally successful for both men and women. The structure is the same, but women are given, over time, the option to interact with their children at the facility.

    Heather Gibson, who oversees all The Healing Place programs in Kentucky, stresses that healthy relationships and confidence are issues that may need more attention for women clients than male ones. As a result, the process for women may take a little longer.

    “Men and women are different in a certain way, and they need recovery in a little bit of a different way,” Gibson says. “When women enter our type of recovery process, they’ve probably been out a little bit longer than men, a little more beat up than men, and have a lot of trauma in their background that can’t be ignored.”

    The general structure of The Healing Place is a five-phase program, where certain privileges are granted further along each phase. Each phase is self-paced, but clients are held accountable by their peers.

    CARITAS is waiting for its Southside building to qualify for both historic and new market tax credits to start renovations. With architectural plans completed, the new CARITAS center will house not only the women’s program but also a furniture bank, a 47-unit sober living complex, a community laundromat and other projects.

    More about CARITAS and The Healing Place


    Website: https://caritasva.org/

    Phone: 804-358-0964

    Email: info@caritasva.org

    The Healing Place

    Website: https://caritasva.org/programs/healing-place/

    Address: 700 Dinwiddie Ave., Richmond, VA 23224

    Phone: 804-358-0964, ext. 114; or 804-230-1217

    Email: thehealingplace@caritasva.org

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    ~ Bipartisan bill provides remedy for joint consolidation loan quagmire faced by borrowers, including those experiencing domestic or economic abuse ~

     WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with U.S. Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL), introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would provide much needed relief to borrowers who previously consolidated their student loan debt with their spouse’s. From 1993 until 2006, the U.S. Department of Education issued joint consolidation loans to married couples. Congress eliminated the program in 2006, but did not provide a means of severing existing loans, even in the event of domestic violence, financial abuse, or an unresponsive partner. As a result, there are borrowers nationwide who remain liable for their abusive or uncommunicative spouse’s consolidated debt with no legal options for relief.

     The Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act would allow two borrowers to submit a joint application to sever their joint consolidation loan, or allow one borrower to submit a separate application in the event that they are experiencing domestic or economic abuse, or are unable to reasonably reach or access the loan information of the other borrower.

     “I first learned about this issue when one of my constituents in McLean contacted my office for help with a joint consolidation loan following a divorce. Her case showed us a reality faced by many Americans who continue to be responsible for these loans despite difficult, and sometimes dangerous, situations with their partners,” said Sen. Warner. “Congress should not turn a blind eye to this oversight. This legislation is a commonsense fix that provides victims of economic and physical abuse or those dealing with an unresponsive partner with a mechanism to relieve themselves from unjust financial obligations.”

     “I am honored to join my colleagues in working toward fixing a policy oversight that leaves people unduly burdened by an old consolidation program,” said Sen. Hatch. “Over the years, I have met many constituents who were unfairly encumbered with a joint consolidation loan with no path for relief. I gladly support this bill that will give affected individuals a way to relieve themselves from unfair debt.”

     “A federal student loan shouldn't shackle someone to a former spouse—particularly in cases of domestic and economic abuse. Congress made the right call when it ended the joint consolidation loan program in 2006, and I hope Congress will pass this bipartisan bill to help more struggling student loan borrowers move forward with their lives and obtain their financial independence,” said. Sen. Warren.

     “This bill is a direct response to my constituent’s experience with a damaging joint consolidation loan. This carefully crafted bill will provide relief to borrowers who are victims of abusive or uncommunicative spouses and allow them to sever their joint financial responsibility. Congressional action to fix this problem is long overdue,” said Rep. Price.

     “This is an example of an unintended consequence that Congress must address. I'm pleased we are able to come together in a bipartisan manner with my House and Senate colleagues to put forward a solution. This commonsense legislation offers a simple fix that provides relief to some Americans caught in a difficult situation,” said Rep. Byrne.


    “When survivors escape abuse, they should be able to start over without the debts of their abusers. We applaud this bill for creating a solution for those survivors who consolidated loans either in good faith or under duress and are now rebuilding their lives,” said Monica McLaughlin, Director of Public Policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

     “The Action Alliance is pleased to support these efforts to provide victims of domestic and economic abuse with student loan relief. This bill will make a difference for the people who need it, and we hope Congress will move swiftly to enact it,” said Kristine Hall, Policy Director at the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

     “Many survivors of intimate partner violence in North Carolina find themselves burdened with their abuser’s debt after escaping their abusive partner. The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence applauds that our state representative, David Price, is sponsoring this bill so that survivors may be truly free to rebuild their lives,” said Dana Mangum, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

     “For far too long, many student loan borrowers have been stuck in joint consolidation loans, and this bill ensures that struggling borrowers, including survivors of domestic and economic abuse who previously consolidated their student loan debts, have the opportunity to regain their financial footing. We applaud the sponsors of this bill for their efforts. This bill would benefit many vulnerable student loan borrowers, and we are proud to support it,” said National Consumer Law Center Attorney Joanna Darcus.

     A summary of the bill is available here. The full text of the bill is available here

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  19. Southside RAM this Weekend!

    Today is Tuesday and our health weekend is only a few days away, Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25. W're ready, but we still need patients! Remember, each one sent two!

    If you haven't referred someone, why not?!  There will be something for everyone.

    • Anyone can come....yes, anyone. No age requirement, no ID needed, no money needed, no application to fill out and no insurance required. 
    • It's perfect for Seniors who have Medicaid and wear glasses or can't afford their Medicare co-pays. It's my understanding that Medicaid doesn't pay for glasses only prescriptions.
    • It's great for children of ALL ages because of the awesome eyeglasses donated by a retired eye doctor, Dr. Tillar's from Emporia, and other direct services.
    • Same day pick up for glasses!  Glasses will be made on the spot for most. Those with the highest prescriptions will be able to pick them up on August 2nd at the local library from 1 -7p.
    • It's perfect for free sports physicals!
    • Need your teeth cleaned, pulled or a cavity filled? Now is the time -it's free!
    • Diabetes and ccholesterol testing with results available on the spot.
    • We will have a chapel for prayer: impacting mind, body and soul
    • Medical Team (33): 15 Physicians, 7 Nurse Practitioners and 11 Medical Students/Assistants
    • Vision Team (31): 1 Opthalmologist, 6 Optometrist, 6 Opticians, 10 Vision Techs and 8 Vision Students
    • Dental Team (45): 12 license dentists, 10 Patient Ready Students with Faculty as overseers, 3 Dental Hygienist, and 21 Dental Assist
    • Triage will go fast because we have 68 Registered Nurses
    • Educational Workshops: Opiod Overdose, Mental Health First Aid, Health Care Basic and Questions (partnered with Bureau of Insurance and an attorney), Nutritional Classes based on blood level, Biblical Nutrition, Kidney, CPR Training, Azheima, Diabetes, GAP, and MORE


    Greensville County High School

    Doors Open at 6 a.m.; COME EARLY, FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE

    Saturday, June 24th (full day) & Sunday, June 25th (half a day)

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  20. Brother and Sister Medal in Shot Put

    On Saturday, June 10, 2017, Isaiah Stephens participating in the Virginia District Qualifier for Jr. Olympics at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, VA.  Stephens has advanced to the Regional Qualifier for Jr. Olympics.  He won a gold medal in the shot put with a toss of 32 feet 9 inches.  He also won a gold medal in the discus with a throw of 103 feet 1inch.  He is ranked #1 in the discus and shot put in the District.  The Regional meet will be held June 24-25, 2017 in Gloucester, VA. 

    Stephens also competed in the 19th Annual Atlantic Coastal Track Invitational Meet on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at I. C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, VA.  He won a gold medal in the shot put with a toss of 35 feet 8 inches which is personal record.  He also won a gold medal in the discus with a throw of 107 feet, which is also a personal record. 

    Stephens’ little sister, Victoria Stephens competed in the shot put event at the Annual Atlantic Coastal Track Invitational.  She won a silver medal with a toss of 11 ½ feet.  This was Victoria’s first time competing in the shot put.  

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  21. Market Square Concerts in South Hill

    The South Hill Market Square Committee continues its 2017 Sunset Sounds (#thirdthursday) Concert Series onJuly 20 with JB and the Get Down Browns. Time is 6:30p.m to 9:30 p.m at the Centennial Park Amphitheater in South Hill, VA.   Refreshments/concessions will be available for purchase at the eventincluding adult  beverages.  Coolers (and food) are not allowed and a photo I.D. will be required for alcohol purchase. Bring Lawn Chairs.  

    The event is sponsored by J.A. Barker Construction, Rosemont of Virginia,  South Hill Family Medicine, Benchmark Community Bank, South Hill Chamber, Parker Oil & Propane, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, Robert Harris Photography,  Exit Town and Lake Realty,  Edmonds Printing Company,Rent E Quip, Newmart Builders,  Coors Light, Vulcan Materials Company, South Hill Express Care & Car Wash, 3WD FM 107.7, Southside Mortgage Corporation, HH Forest Management, Biggs Construction,B and B Consultants.  First Citizens Bank, Days Inn of South Hill, Watkins Insurance Agency, Rudd’s Creek Marina, Xtreme Signs & Graphics and Citizens Community Bank, Rewind 107.7, US 98.3 and Shine 96.7 WSHVand Memory Makers.  

    The Third Thursday Concert Series will continue, August 17-  Blackwater and September 21- Tim Cifers. Picnic in the Park is July 3 this year and Monster Mash is  October 31, 2017.  

     Gate Opens at 6:00 PM – Concert from 6:30PM – 9:30PM
    $3.00 Admissionfor these events unless special savings $10 ticket has been purchased and you present the cut off tag at the event – Photo ID Required for ABCpurposes – 

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  22. 50th Year Celebration of the E. W. Wyatt High School Class of 1967

    Thelma Atkins-Riley (front) who Started with the Class But Transferred to Greensville County High School, Jeanette Williams Mason, Bernice Parker-Jones, Carol Jean Wells, Mary Cribb-Love, Jean Hawthorne Miller, Thelma Givens-Jones, James Hall, Matthew Allen, Willie Moore, Milton mason, McKinley Jordan, Hazel Butts-Dent, Hayes Tillar, Donnie Cain, Samuel Smith, Donald Grant, Cephas Jackson, Lawrence Woodley


    The E. W. Wyatt High School Class of 1967 observed its 50th year reunion in Myrtle Beach SC with some traveling by a Magic Carpet Tours’ bus, others by motor vehicles and some meeting us there on Friday, June 2 through Sunday June 4th, 2017.  With more than 35 E. W. Wyatt High School Panthers/Panterettes, friends, children, a grandchild, spouses, a son-in-law, associates, etc., the evening started with dinner at Preston’s Family Seaford Restaurant and a play at the Alabama Theatre.  Oceanfront suites provided scenic views and we certainly took advantage of all that they offered.  Saturday’s festivities were spearheaded by Thelma Atkins-Riley (who started with the class of 1967 but transferred and graduated from Greensville County High School) serving as Mistress of the Ceremony.  A powerful invocation was delivered by Bernice Parker-Jones that further set the atmosphere for an exciting and fun-filled time of fellowship.  The purpose for the event was given by Jeanette Williams Mason along exciting icebreakers that each classmate had to take part.  We laughed, laughed, and laughed even the more about details that have transpired among each other in the 50 years since graduating.  Carol Jean Wells read the names of deceased classmates from the yearbook and Mary Cribb-Love led the reading of the 1967 class poem.  Thelma Atkins-Riley presented memorables to non-1967 classmates who accompanied us, along with giving the same to Classmates with noteworthy life events.  Thelma Givens-Jones presented 1967 Panthers and Pantherettes  with beautiful gift bags while photos were taken.  Afterwards the group enjoyed outlet shopping until the time came that they had to ready for a meal at the 1,000 room seating eatery of the Original Benjamin’s Restaurant followed by another fun-filled show of Motown’s Legends in Concert. It was at the concert that Jeanette Williams Mason, had an opportunity to put Emporia VA on the map!  The opportunity was presented from the stage to mention the significance of the group’s visit and she enjoyed saying, “We are from Emporia VA for our 50th High School Reunion” to a crowded audience who applauded.   The show proved enjoyable with the performances of a Comedian, impersonator of Gospel Legend, Prince, and others.  On Sunday, the bus loaded en-route to Emporia VA with gospel music playing.  However,  it was at 1:00 PM someone announced – church is over – its 1 o’clock!  Well about 1:01 PM we listened to “oldies-but-goodies musicals” the rest of the way back home - the likes of Gladys Knight,  The Temptations, The O’Jays, etc.  Travelers could be heard talking about the great time that everyone had.  Some said  - “we needed at least one more day”!

    Any down time on the trip was utilized in the lobby with laughing and reminiscing of old times, realizing for many that those really were the “good old days”.

    1967 E. W. Wyatt High School Graduates are looking forward to catching-up some more on July 21, 22 and 23, 2017 at the Mass Reunion and encourage classmates who did not travel to Myrtle Beach to join us then.  Among the contact persons for the Mass Class Reunion is Joan Grant Innis, sister of our Classmate, Donald Grant.  

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  23. Cynthia "Cindy" Veliky Murphy

    Cynthia "Cindy" Veliky Murphy age 62 of West Palm Beach passed peacefully into eternal sleep on June 13th, 2017 with her loving husband Tim at her side. She was a devoted daughter who was predeceased by her parents, Daisy Bell and Charles Veliky. Cindy was raised in Emporia the cherished sister of Judy English and Michael Veliky. During her life Cindy gave and received comfort from the canine members of her family. She was also a beloved aunt who will be dearly missed by family and friends. 

    A memorial service is being planned at St.  John the Baptist Lutheran Church in Emporia 


  24. Happy Father's Day (Do You Qualify)

    Are you there when e're you're needed
    reaching out before the fall
    making sure you show no favorites
    but treat equal one and all.
    Can you see ahead when it is best
    to kindky step aside
    knowing that if they can't work it out
    in you they will confide.
    Yes there's times you must show patience
    pay attentuon from afar
    sometimes children need that extra space
    to respect just who you are.
    You must show them that you love them
    through words alone don't pass the test
    a nice compliment won't hurt the cause
    but a special hug is best.
    Now some won't call you Father
    yet that is not so bad
    you see if you pass the test above
    you're a very special dad.
    Happy Father's Day to all.
    Roy E. Schepp

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  25. Workforce Development Week began June 12, 2017

    Success starts here is our motto at Southside Virginia Community College and for six employees working for Toll Brothers advanced manufacturing plant in Emporia, success is occurring one class at a time. Toll Brothers, a luxury homebuilder, is taking part in the SVCC Apprenticeship program. 

    The success plan began with identifying a need to train the machine operators in electrical, mechanical, OSHI10, and troubleshooting skills to learn how to effectively repair and maintain Toll Brothers equipment. Currently, the students have completed two electrical classes and have started the Programmable Logic Controller class. This educational accomplishment only required attending class one night a week at the Industrial Training Lab in Emporia. In addition to taking educational classes, they also actively participate in an on-the-job training component. Apprenticeship training is a great way to grow and develop the local workforce of Southside Virginia.

    Apprentices: Steven Brown, Calvin Terry, Timothy King, Jeffrey Ernest, Rene Gutierrez. Not pictured is Stoney Allen.

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    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act to help stabilize the individual health care marketplace and lower premiums. The Act would provide certainty in the marketplace by creating a permanent reinsurance program for the individual health insurance market, similar to the successful programs used to lower premiums and spur competition in the Medicare Part D program. U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are original co-sponsors of the legislation.

    This reinsurance program would provide funding to offset larger than expected insurance claims for health insurance companies participating in the state and federal insurance marketplaces, encouraging them to offer more plans in a greater number of markets, improving competition and driving down costs for patients and families. Additionally, the bill would provide $500 million a year  from 2018 to 2020 to help states improve outreach and enrollment for the health insurance marketplaces, drawing in new members and educating the public about the need to be insured.  This outreach funding prioritizes counties where there are limited insurers left in the marketplace.

    “The Affordable Care Act has made incredible strides toward ensuring access to high-quality health care for every American, but the law isn’t perfect and Congress must work together across party lines to make it better,” said Carper. "That is why Senator Kaine and I have introduced legislation that would inject more stability into the individual insurance market, and do so by replicating the stabilization efforts that have worked so well in the bipartisan Medicare Part D program. By providing insurers with the certainty they need to participate in the individual insurance markets, this bill will increase competition among insurers and lower premiums for consumers.”

    “The only way to get health care right in this country is for both parties to work together on real solutions for all Americans,” Kaine said. “After months of uncertainty, our bill would work to stabilize the individual market through a reinsurance program modeled after the bipartisan Medicare Part D plan. I have long said I was willing to work on ways to improve the Affordable Care Act, and if my colleagues are serious about looking for a way to fulfill President Trump’s promises that no one will pay more and no one will lose coverage, especially those with preexisting conditions, then this is a great place to start. This is just one way to improve affordability and choices for consumers and I look forward to working on additional solutions.”

    “We have to focus on finding ways to fix our nation’s health care system, and this bill, which will help reduce premiums for Floridians by as much as 13 percent, is one step in the right direction,” said Nelson.

    "The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect but there's no doubt that it's made New Hampshire healthier,” said Shaheen. “This legislation would inject stability into the individual insurance market through a program included in the original ACA, which sunset in 2016, that helps lower premiums and spur competition. I continue to urge colleagues across the aisle to work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act though legislation like this, not wholesale repeal a law that is working."

    “We must work together across party lines to help ease the burden of health care costs that are squeezing far too many hard-working Granite Staters and Americans,” Hassan said. “This common-sense legislation will help lower premiums for middle class Americans and stabilize the individual market, which the Trump Administration has been working to sabotage. I continue to stand ready to work with anyone who is serious about improving upon the Affordable Care Act and lowering health care costs for Granite State families, and this bill is an important first step.”

    The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act would:

    • Lower premiums, which would then decrease the cost of Advance Premium tax credits,
    • Increase competition among insurers,
    • Provide funding to states to improve outreach and enrollment in the health insurance marketplaces,
    • And provide additional marketplace stability for insurers, providers, and patients.

    The reinsurance program would increase stability in the individual health insurance marketplaces by providing federal funding to cover 80 percent of insurance claims between $50,000 and $500,000 from 2018-2020. Starting in 2021, federal funding would cover 80 percent of insurance claims between $100,000 and $500,000.

    View full text of the Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act, here

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    Road Reopened Ahead of Schedule, Detour Removed

    EMPORIA– Crews have successfully completed the demolition, removal and replacement of the Halifax Street Bridge on Route 610/3807 (Halifax Street). Halifax Street is open to traffic in both directions, and detour signs have been removed.

    S.T. Wooten Corporation was awarded the $660,000 contract for the bridge replacement on November 8, 2016. Crews began work in January and finished one week ahead of the scheduled June completion date.

    To learn more about the project please visit: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/hamptonroads/halifax_st_bridge.asp


  28. SVCC 2017 Machining Skills Graduates

    Machining Skills Certification Program graduates completed recently in Emporia at the Southside Virginia Education Center.  These students are veterans transitioning from active duty, and this program is a collaborative effort with Fort Lee.

    They are (Left to Right) Michael Carrigan, Christopher Weber, Steven Welton,Tyler Green, Antonio Hargrove, Jeremy Leesmann, Darrin Sloan, Andrew Berger,  Hugo Palacios, Jeff Combs, Russell Kaneko and Byran Leeds.

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  29. Colleges must provide counseling after a student suicide

    By Mai-Lan Spiegel, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – When a college student commits suicide, it can shake the campus to its core, as other students struggle with grief, perhaps guilt and a range of emotions.

    Beginning next school year, public colleges and universities in Virginia will have to offer counseling and other services to students after such tragedies. The requirement is the result of Senate Bill 1430, which was unanimously passed by the General Assembly this year.

    “The board of visitors of each baccalaureate public institution of higher education shall develop and implement policies that ensure that after a student suicide, affected students have access to reasonable medical and behavioral health services, including postvention services,” the bill states.

    It defines “postvention services” as “services designed to facilitate the grieving or adjustment process, stabilize the environment, reduce the risk of negative behaviors, and prevent suicide contagion.”

    SB 1430 was proposed by Sen. Bryce E. Reeves of Fredericksburg. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed it into law in March. It will take effect July 1.

    Existing law requires colleges to have procedures to identify and help students who may be suicidal. The new law goes a step further by mandating what schools should do to help other students after a suicide.

    Virginia Commonwealth University, among other schools, already offers postvention services after a student death. Last fall, for example, two VCU students died after falling from the Towers on Franklin apartment building. Jordan Bowman, 18, died in September, and Emma Pascal, 19, in October.

    Authorities have not ruled the deaths suicides. However, some news outlets initially reported that the students had “jumped” to their death, implying self-infliction. Experts say that such gossip can lead to suicide contagion or “copycat suicides.”

    This phenomenon is also known as the Werther effect, after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s 18th-century novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther.” David Phillips, a sociologist at the University of California at San Diego,coined the term in 1974. In his research, he found that suicides seemed to rise after a well-publicized suicide.

    “Hearing about suicide seems to make those who are vulnerable feel they have the permission to do it,” Phillips said.

    An associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, Dr. E. David Klonsky, said that when a suicide happens nearby, it can make other people see suicide as an option.

    “Learning that someone from one’s community has died by suicide, especially when the person is a peer or colleague, can make suicide seem more realistic and attainable, especially if the method of suicide has been publicized and is available to others,” Klonsky said.

    Emma Pascal’s mother, Cindy Pascal, who is a mental health counselor, said she supported Reeves’ bill.

    “Even if it is a death that is questionable, there should be counseling provided to kids because the adolescent brain is amazing and brilliant but it also very fragile,” Pascal said.

    Dr. Jihad Aziz, the director of Student Counseling Services at VCU, said the bill won’t affect the university greatly because it already provides postvention services.

    “If the death of a student is on campus or near campus, we go to the site for support, and it’s part of our postvention and intervention services,” Aziz said. “We will also go to the classrooms and faculty. Students who are grieving come in without having to fill out paperwork, and they always have access to our crisis line.”

    Aziz said VCU has a range of suicide prevention services and activities. For instance, every year, the university holds an Out of Darkness Walk, aimed at raising suicide awareness. Also, resident assistants and other dormitory staff members receive “Question, Persuade, Refer” training to recognize when a student is showing signs of distress.

    Help is available to prevent suicide

    If you or somebody you know is struggling with self-harm or has suicidal thoughts, contact a counselor. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. VCU also has a hotline at 804-828-3964.

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  30. Extremely Low Turnout Marks Primary Elections

    Democratic Primary Results


    Statewide (at time of publication)

    City of Emporia

    Greensville County



    Ballots Cast: 292

    Ballots Cast: 609

    Ralph S. Northam

    284,605 (55.78%)

    194 (66.45%)

    437 (71.76%)

    Tom S. Perriello

    225,628 (44.22%)

    98 (33.56%)

    172 (28.24%)

    Lt. Governor


    Ballots Cast: 281

    Ballots Cast: 565

    Justin E. Fairfax

    237,406 (49.21%)

    206 (73.31%)

    399 (70.62%)

    Gene J. Rossi

    56,990 (11.81%)

    37 (13.17%)

    71 (12.57%)

    Susan S. Platt

    188,061 (38.98%)

    38 (13.52%)

    95 (16.81%)


    Locally, the results for the Democratic Primary are in line with the statewide results, Ralph Northam will be the Gubernatorial Candidate in this fall’s General Election while Justin Fairfax will be on the ticket for Lieutenant Governor.

    Republican Primary Results


    Statewide (at time of publication)

    City of Emporia

    Greensville County



    Ballots Cast: 154

    Ballots Cast: 290

    Edward W. “Ed” Gillespie

    153,422 (43.62%)

    83 (53.90%)

    169 (58.28%)

    Cory A. Stewart

    150,190 (42.70%)

    54 (35.06%)

    102 (35.17%)

    Frank W. Wagner

    48,129 (13.68%)

    17 (11.04%)

    19 (6.55%)

    Lt. Governor


    Ballot Cast: 142

    Ballots Cast: 282

    Brice E. Reeves

    138,138 (40.48%)

    74 (49.33%)

    142 (50.90%)

    Glenn R. Davis, Jr.

    58,538 (17.15%)

    10 (12.00%)

    32 (11.47%)

    Jill H. Vogel

    144,566 (42.36%)

    58 (38.67%)

    105 (37.63%)


    In the Primary for the Governor’s race, the results mirrored the statewide results and Ed Gillespie will be the candidate. In the race for Lieutenant Governor the local results differed from the statewide results. While Jill Vogel was leading the three-way race statewide (at the time of publication), Brice Reeves won both the City and County.

    As with all primaries, turnout was disappointingly low. In the City of Emporia there was an average of 675 ballots cast while there are 3,717 registered voters, that is a turnout of 18.16%. In Greensville County there are 6,388 registered voters but only 1,041 (average) ballots cast, a turnout of 16.3%. Overall, voters turned out for the Democratic Primary in larger numbers than those voting in the Republican Primary-by about two to one.

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  31. Invaders Concert Raises More than $5,000 for Local Cancer Care Fund

    SOUTH HILL, VA– The Invaders held their 50th Reunion Concert on June 3rd at the Centennial Park Amphitheater in South Hill, VA.  The concert benefitted VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Hendrick Cancer & Rehab Center.  Thanks to hundreds of fans in attendance, donations given totaled $5,186.02 that went directly into the “CMH Cancer Patient Care Fund”established for cancer patients in financial need.

    Donations to the “CMH Cancer Patient Care Fund” help offset emergency needs such as transportation, treatment and medication costs for cancer patients. Supporting the cancer care fund can give these patients peace of mind knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment.

    The Invaders 50th Reunion Concert was sponsored by Benchmark Community Bank, Citizens Community Bank and J.A. Barker Construction, Inc. 

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  32. Jackson-Feild Graduates Ten Students

    June 9th was a milestone day for ten students at the Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild Homes as they graduated from high school.  The Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Exercises were held at Southside Virginia Community College’s Golden Leaf Commons.

    Five students received their high school diploma and five students received their GED. This was the largest graduating class since 2009. In its 20 year history, a total of 167 students have graduated from the Gwaltney School.

    Dr. Bill Bowling, Director of Education, presided over the ceremony. Three students, Aureana, Genya and Fidel were the commencement speakers. Their speeches provided everyone in the audience an understanding of how important this day was to them as well as their deep gratitude towards the faculty and staff who helped them along the way.  

    Five scholarships were awarded to students to help them with the expenses to further their education.  In addition to the scholarships awarded, there were special gifts that were given to all the graduates. Among these were cash gifts, gift cards, flowers for the girls and wallets for the boys. Helen Sharpe-Williams, President of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southern Virginia was in attendance and presented each graduate with a cash gift as a token for their accomplishment. An anonymous donor gave each graduate a $100 gift certificate and each girl a bouquet of red roses and each boy a wallet.  Each student also received a class ring that was funded by an anonymous donor.

    This ceremony is one of the highlights of the year for both children and staff as it culminates and validates the mission of Jackson-Feild and celebrates the accomplishments of it children.


  33. Summer Feeding Program Sites Announced

    Greensville County Public Schools is participating in the 2017 Summer Food Service Program.  Meals will be provided to all children without charge.  Acceptance and participation requirements for the Program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities, andthere will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.  Meals will be provided, at a first come, first serve basis at the sites and times as follows:


    Location Days of Service

    Greensville Elementary School

    1101 Sussex Drive

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Breakfast 8:00 am – 9:00 am.

    Lunch 10:45 am. – 12:45 pm

    E W Wyatt Middle School

    206 Slagle’s Lake Road

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Breakfast 7:45 am – 8:30 am.

    Lunch 10:45 am. – 12:00 pm

    Greensville County High School

    403 Harding Street

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Breakfast 8:00 am – 9:30 am.

    Lunch 11:30 am. – 1:00 pm

    William E. Richardson, Jr. Memorial Library

    100 Spring Street

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28, July 6, 13, 20, 27 Thursday’s Only

    Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

    Word of Life Assembly of God

    707 Brunswick Avenue

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Lunch 11:30 am. – 1:00 pm

    Weaver Manor

    216 Meherrin Lane

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm

    Northwood Village Apartments

    300 Lewis Street

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Lunch 11:30 am. – 12:30 pm

    Brookridge Apartments

    1325 Skippers Road

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Lunch 12:30 – 1:30 pm

    Community Youth Center (CYC)

    800 Halifax Street

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 29-July 29 Thursday – Saturday only

    Snack only 4:00 – 5:00 pm

    Main Street United Methodist Church

    500 South Main Street

    Emporia, VA 23847

    June 28-July 27 Monday – Thursday

    Lunch 11:30 am. – 1:30 pm

    Reese Village Apartments

    311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847

    Reese Village Apartments

    311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847

    Reese Village Apartments

    311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847

    Reese Village Apartments

    311 Bond Court, Emporia, VA 23847


    **All sites will be closed July 3 & 4, 2017.

    To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

    Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

    (1)   Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

    1400 Independence Avenue, SW

    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

    (3)   Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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  34. Brat, McEachin highlight importance of bipartisanship

    By Coleman Jennings, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Though they come from different sides of the aisle, two Virginia congressmen came together for a moderated discussion on entrepreneurship and economic growth. U.S. Reps. Dave Brat, a Republican from Glen Allen, and A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Richmond, highlighted the importance of bipartisan cooperation in moving Virginia and the nation forward.

    While Brat and McEachin disagreed over issues such as health care, they found common ground in supporting broadband service in rural areas and deregulation that will stimulate business growth.

    “If you don’t have internet, you can forget about bringing jobs in,” McEachin, who was elected last fall, told the approximately 80 people who attended Thursday’s forum, which was sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Richmond Young Professionals.

    Brat, a tea party stalwart who advocates for limited government, agreed that expanding infrastructure is important for business growth. “I’m trying to be as pro-business as I can on every policy I’m for,” he said at the event, held at the Richmond Times-Dispatch building.

    Although the officeholders were cordial and friendly to each other, such sentiments were not shared by some members of the audience. About a dozenmembers of the audience jeered at Brat, frequently interrupting his answers with scoffs. A small group in attendance continually raised red index cards every time Brat said something they didn’t like.

    The topics for discussion were prepared beforehand and presented by the moderator T. Otey Smith, a principal of RLJ Equity Partners in Bethesda, Md. Each congressman was given about three minutes to give his take on the given question.

    The two men may not often see eye to eye on certain issues. But on Thursday night, they frequently agreed on certain aspects of the discussion and exchanged encouraging words on topics where they shared similarities.

    The discussion was not without its disagreements. One that stood out was health care. McEachin supported former President Barrack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. “Obamacare didn’t do everything right, but all the problems in the health-care system were not created by Obamacare either,” McEachin said.

    He criticized President Donald Trump and other Republican officials for their vow to repeal and replace Obamacare. “They don’t have a lot of places to go to fix our health-care system and make it look different from Obamacare.”

    Brat started off by calling Obamacare “in the ditch,” saying it “focused on coverage up front and paid no attention to price – prices have gone up 105 percent under Obamacare.” Brat is in favor in delegating health-care coverage to the states rather than having the federal government issue mandates.

    “Politicians are not good at running things. Let’s bring that power down to the state level,” he said.

    Brat represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which stretches from Chesterfield County to Culpeper. As an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, he won the seat in 2014 by upsetting House Minority Leader Eric Cantor.

    McEachin represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes Richmond, Petersburg and parts of Chesterfield and Henrico counties. An attorney, he previously served 17 years in the Virginia General Assembly.

    After the hourlong discussion, both men shook hands and stayed around to talk to constituents. Some attendees said the respect Brat and McEachin showed for each other provided a model for other members of Congress.

    “I think bipartisanship is key, especially in a time like this,” said Mark Stafford, a resident of Brat’s district. “I don’t want to watch my country waste away.”

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  35. Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

    The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run recentyl came through Emporia/Greensville. Runners from the community started at the auditorium and ran to Grensville Elementary School.

    Volunteer Torch Bearers-Anthony Harrison, Linda Whitfield and Debbie Rillo 

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  36. What Comes after Graduation?

    By Dr. Al Roberts

    On May 13, 2017, in front of more than 2,500 people, Southside Virginia Community College awarded degrees, diplomas, and certificates to 1,303 students. For the students who crossed the stage to receive their credentials, the occasion may have seemed like a conclusion. It may have felt like reaching the end of a journey that involved hard-work and dedication. In reality,  the event marked a beginning.

    Graduation ceremonies are called commencements. The word commencement means to initiate, to start an activity, or to kick off an experience. A commencement is the exact opposite of a conclusion.

    Rev. Lawrence Wilkerson’s invocation focused on this concept of taking a step into the future. He prayed that each student would  discover his or her own amazing destiny, and he asked for divine inspiration “to stir up the determination, steadfastness, and zeal needed to achieve that destiny.”

    Commencement speaker Stephen E. Parker, a 2005 SVCC graduate and currently Legislative Director of the Education and Workforce Committee at the National Governors Association, also challenged students to embrace their futures. “Today, the class of 2017 sits on the same launch pad that was there for me and my family,” he said. “So, my question to all of you is this: what kind of world are you lifting off into?” Parker encouraged graduates to seek inclusive and positive ways to interact with society. He exhorted graduates, “I challenge you to set unbelievably, distractingly ambitious goals.”

    By tradition, candidates for graduation wear regalia consisting of gowns and caps adorned with tassels.

    At SVCC, graduates with honors wear gold tassels and others wear black tassels. During the ceremony, one of my duties involved leading students in the customary practice of turning their tassels. Students enter the ceremony with their tassels hanging on the right side. Turning the tassel involves moving it to left side, a symbolic action that signifies a change in status from being a candidate for graduation to being a graduate. Moving the tassel is like turning a page to open the next chapter in a student’s life story.

    For some graduates, that next chapter will involve more education. Surveys reveal that nearly half of all SVCC graduates plan to transfer to four-year colleges or universities. Others graduates may begin careers, start families or businesses, or enter into military service.

    Whatever tomorrow’s journey brings, I agree with Mr. Syd Smyth, SVCC’s Local Board Vice-Chair, who encouraged the audience and the community to follow the example set by the graduates when he said, “I challenge you to enter our doors and explore the many opportunities that may await you. Give it a try. You can never, never be too old to learn or to enrich yourself.”

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


  37. GCHS Scholar Athletes

    Athletes at Greensville County High School with a GPA of 3.2 or higher were honored at an Athletics Banquet on May 23, 2017

    First Row: Breana Alston, Deona Hancock, Savanna Jones, Samantha Dockens, Caroline Taylor; Secong Row: Shelleigh Turner, Elizabeth Tranka, Amanda Capps, Briana Person, Lenah Clements, Diamond Daniels, Brooklyn Mason,    Ariana Phillips, Catherine Robinson, Samantha Richard, Karolina Allen, Mattie King; Third Row: Aaron Tudor, Jazlyn Jefferson, Tia Eason, Hunter Astrop, De’Ja Mangrum, Walker Richard, Jared Lynch, Jayquan Simmons, Edwin Ramos

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  38. Monday marks 50th anniversary of ‘Loving’ decision

    By Chelsea Jackson, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – In Caroline County in the 1950s, Richard and Mildred Loving began an important story that would become an award-winning film: falling in love, getting married and then getting thrown in jail – because he was white, she was black and Virginia had outlawed interracial marriage.

    As depicted in the movie “Loving,” the young couple faced ostracism and threats of violence. Eventually, they went to court to challenge the state’s ban against miscegenation. On June 12, 1967, that case – Loving v. Virginia – produced a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down laws in 16 states prohibiting interracial marriage.

    Monday marks the 50th anniversary of the ruling. Supporters call it Loving Day– a day to reflect on and celebrate multicultural unions.

    The founder of the Loving Day website, Ken Tanabe, has a personal connection to the celebration.

    “The Lovings’ story and case are important to me because my father is from Japan, my mother is from Belgium, and I was born in the U.S. Without the Lovings, I may never have been born. I’m humbled by their struggle and grateful for their perseverance,” said Tanabe, an art director, animator and educator in New York.

    The website lists dozens of Loving Day events that will be held around the world, including in Paris and Tokyo, and across the United States – from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles.

    No events are listed in Virginia, the Lovings’ home state. But state officials will mark the occasion by dedicating a “Loving v. Virginia” historical highway marker. Gov. Terry McAuliffe will speak at the dedication, which will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at 1111 E. Broad St. in Richmond. (The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will erect the marker in Caroline County.)

    “Though it has been 50 years since the Loving decision, it’s still important to share their story and educate people about its significance. According to a Gallup poll, 11 percent of Americans still disapprove of interracial marriage,” Tanabe said. “As Loving Day celebrations spread across cities in the U.S. and around the world, so does a more positive and nuanced conversation about who we are.”

    While Loving Day celebrations spread, another couple from Pennsylvania is using their story to commemorate the Lovings’ place in history.

    Farrah Parkes and Brad Linder are an interracial couple in Philadelphia and creators of The Loving Project. The pair produce a biweekly podcast that chronicles the everyday lives of interracial couples.

    The project has received a positive response; it was featured on IndieWire’s list of “must-listen podcasts” for 2017.

    For Linder and Parkes, the Lovings’ case holds significance because without it, they may have never had the chance to be together.

    “For me, it is sort of the ultimate civil rights issue because it gives me my right to be who I am,” Parkes said. “I couldn’t imagine someone telling me no.”

    In the podcast series, Linder and Parkes interview other interracial couples, including same-sex couples.

    Richard Loving died in 1975 and Mildred Loving in 2008. They may not be here to see the lasting impacts of their brave fight for a basic right, but it can be seen all around. According to the Pew Research Center, one in six newlyweds is intermarried.

    But the circumstances that led to Loving v. Virginia still elicit strong feelings of injustice.

    “It was obscene and absurd to have a law on the books that made it illegal for whites and blacks to marry,” said Ana Edwards, who chairs the Defenders’ Sacred Ground Project, which is devoted to civil rights.

    “My parents married in 1960. My mother is white; my father is black. Aside from the myriad feelings that come from getting married at the tender age of 22 and 23, there must also have been the tightness in the belly from knowing that you are taking a step that society as a whole is not quite ready to accept.”

    Text of the ‘Loving’ highway marker

    According to the state Department of Historic Resources, here is what the marker will say:

    Loving v. Virginia

    Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a woman of African American and Virginia Indian descent, married in June 1958 in Washington, D.C., and returned home to Caroline County. In July they were arrested for violating Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings were convicted and sentenced to one year in jail, suspended on the condition that they leave Virginia. The American Civil Liberties Union unsuccessfully argued their case before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1966. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that laws prohibiting interracial marriage violate the Constitution’s 14th amendment.

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    EMPORIA, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) recently honored it’s retirees and employees with milestone years of service in 2016 at the annual Service Awards Luncheon held during National Hospital Week. As a part of the celebration, staff were invited to a special luncheon where they were recognized for their years of service with a certificate and a gift.  Employees with twenty or more years of service were also presented with flowers.   “Our employees are the key to our success,” said Matt Tavenner, SVRMC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  “and we take this opportunity each year to celebrate their dedication and hard work.

    Matt Tavenner, CEO, presents the awards to the honorees.

    5 Year Award – L-R: Latoya Vaughan, Krista Hollowell, Matt Tavenner, CEO, Lynn Grant, April Eure, Tare Mabry. Not Pictured: Shannon Crutchfield and Ted Huff

    10 Year Award – L-R: Avis Taylor, Matt Tavenner, CEO, Cassandra Singleton. Not Pictured: Frank Greenway, Andi Hux, Yemica Nicholson, Tim Owens, Valerie Sessoms, and Jennifer Watson

    25 Year Award – L-R: Robin Heese, Matt Tavenner, CEO, Roslyn Tyler. Not Pictured: Mattie Washington

    30 Year Award – L-R: Keith Johnson, Matt Tavenner, CEO, Peggy Dunn. Not Pictured: Deborah Powell

    35 Year Award- L-R: Wanda Powell, Matt Tavenner, CEO, Randy Newsome, Robin Duncan. Not Pictured: Annie Odom

    40 Year Award – L-R: Wanda Williams, Matt Tavenner, CEO

    Retirees- L-R:  Joyce Webb, 46 Years of Service; Matt Tavenner, CEO; Pam Daves, 30 Years of Service Not Pictured: Edith Morgan, 44 Years of Service; and Rita Barnes, 45 Years of Service.

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  40. Law requires mental health training for school counselors

    By Will Thomas, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND — More than 20 percent of children in the U.S. have or have had depression or other serious mental disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Soon, school counselors in Virginia will be in a better position to help identify students with such problems. Beginning July 1, a new state lawwill require school counselors to receive more training in the recognition of mental health disorders and behavioral distress.

    “Mental health can get better with intervention. Without identifying it, it will only get worse,” said Dr. Donna Dockery,the director of clinical practice in the counseling and special education department at Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Senate Bill 1117 was sponsored by two Democrats from Northern Virginia – Sen. Jeremy McPikeof Prince William County and Del. Vivian Wattsof Fairfax County. It states that anyone “seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement as a school counselor shall complete training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse.”

    The law strengthens the Virginia Department of Education’s existing regulations for school counselors. Dockery said it’s important that counselors be able to recognize the signs of mental illness.

    “We treat the physical pain; let’s treat the mental pain,” she said.

    Dockery said young people today often have a lot of anxiety and must deal with traumatic events. With the help of counselors and families recognizing these situations, students can get the help they need.

    McPike’s legislative assistant, Devin Cabot, said that under the new law, the state will establish guidelines for the mental health training that school counselors must complete.

    “We are very focused on the new trends of bullying and teen suicide,” Cabot said.

    In the past, Cabot said, school counselors in different school districts might have received different training. McPike’s legislation will provide a more uniform approach, she said.

    Local school officials are taking measures to educate themselves about the new law.

    Chris Whitley is the public information officer for Hanover County Public Schools. Hanover school officials are waiting on guidance from the Virginia Department of Education before moving forward, Whitley said.

    School districts will be affected by more than a dozen bills that were approved by the General Assembly during its 2017 session and signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

    The Virginia Department of Education is working to ensure that school divisions are aware of the new laws.

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  41. Veterans center will be named for 2 war heroes

    By Coleman Jennings, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – A veterans health-care center planned for Virginia Beach will be named for two war heroes from the area, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday during a ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial. The facility will be called the Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center.

    “I am proud to announce that we are naming the new veterans care center after two Tidewater natives who served Virginia and our nation,” McAuliffe told a crowd of about 100 people. The facility – a long-term nursing care center that will be the first of its kind in Hampton Roads – will carry the names of:

    • Col. William A. Jones III, a Norfolk native who received the Medal of Honor for rescuing a fellow pilot in Vietnam in 1968. He died in an airplane accident near Woodbridge in 1969.
    • Army Staff Sgt. Christopher F. Cabacoy, a Virginia Beach native who died in 2010 when insurgents in Kandahar, Afghanistan, attacked his vehicle with a homemade bomb.

    The veterans care center will sit on a 26-acre site next to the planned extension of Nimmo Parkway. The land for the site was donated by the city of Virginia Beach. The 128-bed facility will feature all private rooms, organized into households and neighborhoods that surround a central community center.

    The center will specialize in caring for patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other chronic illnesses. It will provide both long-term nursing care and short-term rehabilitation.

    The center will be operated by the Virginia Department of Veteran Services, which already runs similar facilities in Richmond and Roanoke.

    The Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center is expected to open in late 2019. At about the same time, the state plans to open the Puller Veteran Care Center in Fauquier County, which will offer similar services.

    Also at Wednesday’s ceremony, McAuliffe signed four bills aimed at helping veterans and their families:

    The new laws will take effect July 1.

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  42. VCU Health CMH receives Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite

    American Heart Association recognizes VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s commitment to quality stroke care

    South Hill, June 1, 2017 ― VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

    Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    To qualify for the Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, ortPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. VCU Health CMH earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period.

    These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

     “A stroke patient loses 1.9 million neurons each minute stroke treatment is delayed. This recognition further demonstrates our commitment to delivering advanced stroke treatments to patients quickly and safely,” saidVickey Morgan, VCU Health CMH RN, BSN, Stroke Program Coordinator.

    “VCU Health CMHcontinues to strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients. The recognition from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke further reinforces our team’s hard work.”

    “The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recognize VCU Health CMH for its commitment to stroke care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program.”

    Get With The Guidelines®-S puts the expertise of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association to work for hospitals nationwide, helping hospital care teams ensure the care provided to patients is aligned with the latest research-based guidelines. Developed with the goal to save lives and improve recovery time, Get With The Guidelines®-S has impacted more than 3 million patients since 2003.

    As a nurse and former stroke coordinator, Teri Ackerson is aware that every second counts when a stroke strikes. In May 2013, the training she used to help others helped save her own life. Ackerson’s left arm suddenly went numb, she felt the left side of her face droop and she was unable to speak. Despite her symptoms, Ackerson remained calm, made note of the timing of her symptoms and, with the help of her son, proceeded to get treatment quickly.

    “Hospitals that follow AHA/ASA recommended guidelines not only know the importance to treat quickly with tPA, but they also follow evidence-based research that helps to determine why you had a stroke in the first place and report these findings,” said Ackerson, 46, who completed a marathon 26 days after her stroke. “Without the treatment I received, I would not have recovered as well as I did.”

    According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.  

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  43. David G. Stainback

    David G. Stainback, 75, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, June 7, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Patricia D. Stainback; two brothers, Dan Stainback and wife, Georgia of Franklin and Donald Stainback and wife, Sherry of Newport News and a number of nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 9 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, June 10. Interment will follow at Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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  44. New law lets schools help diabetic students

    By Sean Boyce, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Virginia students afflicted by diabetes may receive additional support in schools thanks to a new state law.

    Senate Bill 1116, which takes effect July 1, will allow school nurses to help diabetic students reinsert the tube that connects their insulin pump to their body if it becomes dislodged at school.

    “This bill is for kids who need help inserting or reinserting their insulin pump,” said Devon Cabot, legislative aide for Sen. Jeremy McPike, who proposed the measure.

    McPike, who represents the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park and part of Prince William County, decided to sponsor the bill after numerous parental complaints about diabetic children being forced to leave school early or parents having to leave work to help reattach their child’s insulin pump.

    “Kids knock their insulin pump out and then need to go home for it to be reinserted,” Cabot said.

    The new law authorizes only certain school personnel to assist with a student’s insulin pump. The school employee must be a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified nurse aide who has been trained in the administration of insulin and insulin pumps.

    Such employees may assist the diabetic student only after receiving prescriber authorization and parental consent.

    “This bill is geared towards younger pump users,” Cabot said. “When they reach high school age, most kids are able to reinsert the pump themselves without assistance.”

    Sam Wagner, a sophomore at Godwin High School in Henrico County, knows the day-to-day difficulties of being a diabetic student firsthand. Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 14.

    Type 1 diabetes is caused by the immune system mistakenly targeting the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Without insulin, the body cannot properly convert food into energy, which can be fatal.

    To manage his Type 1 diabetes, Sam must take insulin for the rest of his life.

    He had to wait more than six months to receive his first insulin pump. Before the pump, Sam gave himself periodic injections of insulin by syringe just as his grandfather did decades ago.

    “The insulin pump changed my life,” said Sam, now 16.

    That’s because the pumps are unobtrusive – they’re about the size of a cellphone. Sam’s device provides a continuous supply of insulin to the user, is easily adjusted by touch screen and has a rechargeable battery life of one week.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 1 million diabetics use insulin pumps worldwide.

    Sam’s biggest concern about using his insulin pump at school is when he needs to charge the device.

    While every insulin pump varies in the tubing and cartridge size it uses, all pumps use the same cord – a micro USB – to charge. “One time I had to ask another student to borrow his phone charger in the middle of class so I could charge my pump,” Sam said.

    Sam praises his school for accommodating class time he has missed because of his diabetes. “I’ve never really had an issue with making up assignments for any of my classes,” he said.

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  45. Reporters provide insights from ‘Behind the Bylines’

    By Will Thomas, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND –An anonymous tip about a death in a Virginia jail brought out the best in Richmond Times-Dispatch enterprise reporters Katy Burnell Evans and Sarah Kleiner.

    “It fuels you to bring justice and find out what really happened,” Evans said.

    Evans and Kleiner received the Virginia Press Association’s Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service for their reporting on the death of Jamycheal Mitchell, a mentally ill inmate who died in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth while awaiting transfer to a state hospital.

    Evans and Kleiner were on a panel of six RTD reporters who took the stage at the Virginia Historical Society last week. “Behind the Bylines” gave the audience an in-depth view of the RTD reporters’ everyday work. The editor of the Times-Dispatch, Paige Mudd, said the purpose of the event was not just to generate revenue but also to expand the newspaper’s audience.

    Kleiner and Evans both cover stories involving mental illness. They told the audience the back story of their award-winning coverage of Mitchell’s death amid their frustrations with criminal justice agencies in Virginia.

    “I think one of the things that stuck with me through all this early on was not what they were telling us maybe so much as what they weren’t,” Evans said.

    Evans and Kleiner filed numerous requests for documents and were repeatedly denied. But they never let up and eventually obtained documents that showed Mitchell had fallen through the cracks of the justice system.

    The role of reporters is to help people who do not have a voice, said RTD crime and courts reporter Ali Rockett. “There are some times where you have to be a human first–you’re a reporter second.”

    With their stories, journalists shine a spotlight on developments that have a big impact on the lives of Richmond residents, Rockett said.

    Also speaking at the panel discussion was the RTD’s newest member and its first meteorologist, John Boyer. He said engaging with the audience is key to good journalism.

    “People will ask me questions about things that I really don’t know the answers to,” Boyer said. For example, some may wonder about pollen counts, “but I didn’t study plants.” So Boyer does research to find the answers.

    With the prevalence of weather in television news and mobile apps, Boyer has had to find different ways to appeal to his audience.

    “I don’t want to be just more noise in a room of all these different forecasts,” he said. Instead, Boyer tries to “come at my coverage in a way that helps you see what’s important about this forecast.”

    Tammie Smith has been a staff member of the RTD since 2000. Although she started as a health-care reporter, she is now the newspaper’s retail reporter.

    “I think I covered health care for more than 20 years, and I just felt like I need to try something different,” Smith said.

    She chuckled as she asked the audience who had been to the grocery store or the mall that day. “It’s another beat that touches consumers in just about every aspect of their life,” Smith said.

    Another member of the panel was government reporter Michael Martz. “I tend to focus on policy that affects people,” he said. “It’s about knowing who your readers are.”

    “Behind the Bylines” was the last event of the season for the RTD’s speaker series. The newspaper plans to resume the series in the fall.

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  46. Southside Regional Medical Center Offers FREE CPR Class

    Petersburg, VA –Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is offering a FREE Friends and Family Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class on Wednesday, June 14 from 8:00am – 12:00pm. Participants will learn how to recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies such as cardiac arrest, heart attack and choking. This CPR class is designed for those who want to learn the skills, but are not required to obtain certification in CPR for employment.

    SRMC is located at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg, Virginia. The class will be held in the A/B classroom. For more information and to register, call 804.765.5729.  Registration deadline is Friday, June 9. Class size is limited.

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  47. USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

    WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

    “County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”

    County committees are made up of farmers and ranchers elected by other producers in their communities to guide the delivery of farm programs at the local level. Committee members play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of FSA. Committees consist of three to 11 members and meet once a month or as needed to make important decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.  Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide there are over 7,700 farmer and ranchers serving on FSA county committees.

    Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, may also nominate candidates to better serve their communities. To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, and reside in the local administrative area where the election is being held.

    After the nomination period, candidates will encourage the eligible producers in their local administrative area to vote.  FSA will mail election ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 6, 2017. Ballots will be due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 4, 2017. Newly-elected committee members and alternates will take office on Jan. 1, 2018.

    To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. All nomination forms for the 2017 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1, 2017.  Locate your local office at https://offices.usda.govand visit to get more information.


  48. Solar Generation Coming to Greensville County

    Brookfield Renewable, a generation company specializing in renewable energy like hydro, wind and solar hosted an open house at the Brink Ruritan Club on Tuesday.

    Brookfield is beginning the process of building a 60 Megawatt solar farm in the Brink area of Greensville. The Meherrin Project will add to Brookfield Renewable’s 3400 MW portfolio in the United States.

    The Meherrin Project is planned to occupy about 530 acres between Pine Log Road and Fountain Creek Road, near the intersection of Brink and Pine Log Roads.

    Company representatives shared posters with information about the project and solar installations in general. There was also an example of one of the type of solar panels that will be used. There was a timeline indicating where the project is now and the steps that will come next. Currently, the project in in the early stages, with applications, permits and environmental impact studies were coming.

    The permitting and application can take a year or more. Once construction begins it is expected to last between 6 and 9 months.

    Click on the image for a larger version

    According to materials provided at the open house, the lifespan of a solar farm is 20-25 years, possibly longer with maintenance. According to the provided information, once facilities like the one proposed here reach the end of their useful lifespan, “all structures and equipment will be removed. Solar Farms have little impact on the land they occupy; in fact, removing a solar farm is a lot like moving a fence. The land can easily be returned to its previous uses once the site is no longer used to generate solar power.”

    For a PDF of the materials presented at the open house, click here.

    The Brookfield Renewable web page for the proposed project is here.

    If you have any questions, you may email Meherrin.inquiries@brookfieldrenewable.com

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  49. Schools to help curb human trafficking

    By Carolanne Wilson, VCU Capital News Service

    Virginia ranked 15th in the United States for the most reported cases of human trafficking in 2016. Last year, the state reported 148 cases with 59 involving minors, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

    In response to the issue, Virginia is enacting a new law to the decrease crimes of this nature and help its youngest victims.

    House Bill 2282, which will take effect July 1, requires the Virginia Board of Education to develop guidelines for training school counselors, school nurses and other relevant school staff on the prevention of trafficking of children.

    Groups fighting human trafficking applauded the move. Creating awareness through education is a tactic many of these advocates have found effective in combating trafficking.

    “We are grateful for any new legislation that helps this issue,” said Patrick McKenna, co-founder of the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative. “Having the Department of Education require it helps push the effort forward.”

    Virginia is home to several nonprofits that fight human trafficking. Many of these groups and individuals were instrumental in persuading the General Assembly to adopt the legislation. McKenna, an attorney, worked with Del. James Leftwich of Chesapeake to draft the bill.

    “We are willing to help with extra manpower and extra information for no cost,” said McKenna, whose group works to prevent human trafficking and to identify and assist victims in Hampton Roads.

    HB 2282 is essentially an extension of a 2012 law, Senate Bill 259. That legislationrequired the state Board of Education, with assistance from the Department of Social Services, to provide awareness and training materials for local school division staff on human trafficking. The new law specifies which school professionals must be trained and creates an actual training program, not just materials.

    HB 2282 is only a small step, however. McKenna noted that the bill does not set a timeframe for developing the guidelines or explain what the training must cover.

    “How the law is implemented is just as important as it being passed,” said Jessica Willis, executive director of the Richmond Justice Initiative, a group related to McKenna’s.

    The Richmond Justice Initiative’s national award-winning program, the Prevention Project, has helped over 10,000 youths nationwide since its start in 2012. The project is taught in seven states and has grown from 18 to 60 schools in the past two years. It helps young people recognize and resist the lures of trafficking and develop character and leadership skills.

    “The power of education is what can prevent trafficking,” Willis said. “Traffickers prey on those that don’t know.”

    Willis hopes schools sincerely follow the guidelines set by the Virginia Board of Education – and not just go through the motions.

    “Education with this bill has to be taken with all seriousness. It can either save lives or exacerbate the issue, if not,” Willis said.

    Like the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Willis said her group is “happy to help” the Board of Education implement HB 2282. She described the Prevention Project’s curriculum as “thorough and schedule-friendly for busy faculty.” The curriculum was developed by survivors, advocates, law enforcement and educators.

    Statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline show why the Prevention Project focuses on students. Nationwide, the number of cases against minors has doubled within last four years. In the U.S., 1,016 cases involving minors were reported in 2012 and 2,387 last year.

    In Virginia, there was a 168 percent increase in child trafficking cases over the four-year span. There were 22 reports involving minors in 2012 but 59 in 2016.

    Victims of trafficking are most commonly forced into sex services. According to the hotline, of the 148 total cases of human trafficking in Virginia last year, over 70 percent fell into that category.

    On the Web

    For more information on human trafficking, visit:

    ·         National Human Trafficking Hotline Website

    ·         The Prevention Project

    ·         Virginia Beach Justice Initiative Website

    ·         Richmond Justice Initiative Website


  50. Charlie Alexander Clarke

    Charlie Alexander Clarke, age 91, of Triplet, VA passed away June 4, 2017.  Charlie was a sawmill worker and farmer.  He was in the U.S. Army and a volunteer fireman with Triplet Volunteer Fire Department.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Peter A. and Ethel N. Clarke; his brother, James Clarke; and his sister, Rosa Powell.  He is survived by his wife, Doris Philips Clarke; four children Connie Morris, Steve Clarke and wife Teresa, Barry Clarke and wife Cathy, and Missy Whitlow and husband Giles; his grandchildren, Rebecca Clarke, Jennifer Robertson, Jessica Morris, Charles “Chuck” Whitlow, Scott Clarke, D.C. Morris and Kristen Clarke and their spouses; his five great grandchildren, Christopher, Jayden, Grace, Ava Clarke and Scotty; his sister Minnie Washburn; and numerous nieces and nephews.  Funeral services will be conducted 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at Philadelphia United Methodist Church, Triplet, VA with interment in the church cemetery.  The family will receive friends Tuesday from 2:00 pm 3:00 p.m. at the church prior to the service.  Memorial contributions may be made to Philadelphia United Methodist Church attn: Gay Taylor, 14179 Dry Bread Rd., Emporia, VA  23847.  Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville will be handling the arrangements.

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  51. New law will expand business development sites

    By DeForrest Ballou, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – The commonwealth, and especially its rural areas, may get an economic boost under legislationsigned into law this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

    At a ceremony with the legislation’s sponsors and the state’s secretary of commerce, McAuliffe signed two bills reducing the size of industrial sites that qualify for assistance from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

    Currently, such plots of land must be at least 250 acres, which can be a challenge to find particularly in Virginia’s rural areas and the Appalachian region. The size requirement will drop to 100 acres under Senate Bill 976 and House Bill 1591, which McAuliffe signed Thursday at the state Capitol.

    “Our goal is that every part of Virginia experiences Virginia’s job renaissance,” McAuliffe said.

    Under the new law, which will take effect July 1, the number of sites that the VEDP can develop will increase from about 80 to more than 250.

    “This opens up all the communities. The more sites we have ready, the more businesses we can bring in,” McAuliffe said.

    The bills are part of the New Virginia Economy Initiative that McAuliffe introduced in 2014. At Thursday’s ceremony, Virginia Secretary of Commerce Todd Haymore boasted of the program’s successes.

    So far, the initiative has brought in almost $16 billion in capital investment and almost 190,000 jobs to Virginia, Haymore said. Moreover, the state’s unemployment rate stands at 3.8 percent. That is the lowest since 1973, Haymore said. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in April.

    The governor’s goal is for capital investment to reach $20 billion before his term ends in January. The resulting economic development projects will benefit the state for years to come, McAuliffe said.

    The bills had bipartisan support: HB 1591was sponsored by Democratic Del. Matthew James of Portsmouth, and SB 976was carried by Republican Sen. Emmett Hanger of Augusta County. Both measures won unanimous approval from the General Assembly during its 2017 session.

    “This bill is what we should have been doing a long time ago, and it really puts us in a proactive stance,” James said, adding, “We’re not done yet.”

    While the legislation may spur economic development in rural areas, that is not its sole purpose. McAuliffe said he hopes the state’s incentives will draw companies like Nestlé, which will be moving operations to Rosslyn, in Northern Virginia, and bringing 750 jobs.

    The bills changed just one number and one word in existing law, including fixing a typo (turning “esource” into “resource”).

    “It was a very short piece of legislation, so I’ll make short remarks,” Hanger said. “Sometimes the short pieces of legislation that senators and delegates read are the hardest to get through, because they know what they’re voting for.”

    He hopes the new law will promote the growth of small businesses in Virginia.

    “When we look at economic development in the commonwealth, we see that year in and year out, and where we really put our bread and butter, is small development – not the bigger sites, but those small entrepreneurs,” Hanger said.

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  52. In need or a scam? Video sparks debate over panhandlers

    By Devon Eifel, VCU Capital News Service

    A video of a woman seeking handouts at an intersection in Henrico County has sparked a national debate over whether panhandlers’ pleas for help can be trusted.

    In the Facebook Live video, two men accused Micha Dominguez, 40, of falsely portraying herself as disabled and homeless. The video, titled “Fake Homeless Woman,” has received hundreds of thousands of views on social media. Many people have posted comments accusing Dominguez of scamming potential donors.

    “She’s playing on people’s emotions and getting money under false pretenses!” one woman wrote on Facebook.

    But advocates for the homeless caution that people shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Although some panhandlers may be scams, it’s impossible to know by looking at someone on the street, Kelly Horne said.

    Horne is the executive director atHomeward, a collaborative organization whose mission is to get homeless people off the streets of Richmond by locating affordable housing, reuniting people with their families and assigning case managers to those in need of services.

    Asked how the Dominguez video might shape the perception of those already skeptical of giving money to panhandlers, Horne replied, “It’s important to remember not all panhandlers are homeless, and not all homeless people are panhandlers.”

    Homeward conducts a census and collects data on the demographics of Richmond’s homeless population twice a year. TheJanuary snapshot found that only 20 percent of the city’s homeless reported participating in some form of panhandling.

    Horne suggests that if you are uncomfortable giving money, there are other ways to help people on the street. “A good place to start is by simply acknowledging their existence.”

    She said offering to buy a bus ticket or meal is just as beneficial. Ultimately, Horne said, if you feel guilty for not giving money to panhandlers, consider supporting local agencies that focus on serving the homeless.

    “Panhandlers are very much human like the rest of us,” Horne added. She citedChris Parker, 33, a homeless man who was panhandling outside the arena in Manchester, England, at the time of the terrorist bombing following an Ariana Grande concert on Monday.

    Parker was hailed as a hero after dashing into the arena to help victims of the explosion, which killed 22 people. More than £90,000, the equivalent of $115,000, has been raised through online fundraising websites to support Parker.

    The videoof Dominguez received the opposite reaction, which was overwhelmingly unsympathetic.

    The video, taken on Sunday, shows Dominguez holding a sign and asking for money in the median at an intersection on Broad Street. She then returned to her car, a late-model Fiat, in the parking lot of a nearby fast-food restaurant. There, the men shooting the video confronted her. “Stop stealing people’s money,” one man told Dominguez. “You’re not homeless.”

    On Monday, in a separate altercation, a motorist told police that Dominguez had thrown three full bottles of Gatorade at a vehicle. As a result, Dominguez was arrested and charged with three felony counts of launching missiles into traffic.

    David Stock, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Henrico County, has been assigned to prosecute Dominguez. Stock said county ordinances do not prohibit panhandling. However, if the person asking for money is being aggressive or threatening others, it becomes a public safety issue.

    Dominguez was being held in the Henrico County Jail. Bail has been set at $3,000. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10.

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  53. Planned Parenthood honors Gov. McAuliffe with award

    By Mai-Lan Spiegel, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – The Virginia League of Planned Parenthood honored Gov. Terry McAuliffe this week for supporting reproductive rights and vetoing legislation that would have defunded the nonprofit organization.

    McAuliffe received the Mary Anne Rennolds Award, named after the VLPP’s first board chair, at a ceremony Wednesday night at the Glave Kocen Gallery in Richmond.

    “The governor has been a champion for reproductive rights and protecting women’s health from the very beginning of his time in office,” said Allison Cooper, Planned Parenthood’s current board chair. “This award represents our appreciation for his unwavering commitment to ensuring access to affordable and high-quality health care for everyone who walks through our doors.”

    In February, for the second year in a row, McAuliffe vetoed a billthat would have prohibited the state from providing grants or contracts to Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions. Republicans wanted to channel the money to other health clinics that they say provide more comprehensive services.

    In accepting the award, McAuliffe said laws and regulations restricting women’s health affect the state’s economy.

    “We are a different state today than we were three years ago,” he said. “Women are treated with dignity and respect, and that is how we’ve been able to create so many jobs – by being open and welcoming to everyone.”

    Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, who gave the keynote address at the award ceremony, echoed that message.

    “To start throwing roadblocks and obstacles for women, it will change our ability to attract the best and the brightest to the city,” the mayor said.

    Stoney said he knows the importance of Planned Parenthood because he himself was once a client.

    “My first year in Richmond after I graduated from James Madison, I also used Planned Parenthood,” Stoney said. “I wasn’t making a lot of money, and I needed health care.”

    Stoney reflected on his time at James Madison University when, as student body president, he was introduced to Planned Parenthood. He rallied opposition to efforts by state Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, to discontinue the distribution of the morning-after pill on campus.

    “They got their way that day, but we were persistent. We waited it out till (then-Gov.) Mark Warner appointed some new members to the Board of Visitors. And sure enough, we re-enacted the engagement of the morning-after pill, and we called that a win.”

    In his address, Stoney listed some of the VLPP services that he learned about during his first visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic.

    “From the women who can now afford regular checkups, to the men who receive life-saving prostate exams, to the children who benefit from proper prenatal care – our community needs Planned Parenthood,” Stoney said.

    According to the current president and CEO of the VLPP, Paulette McElwain, the number of people who use Planned Parenthood’s services continues to grow.

    “In March, we had a record number of 3,300 visits,” she said. “And this year, we are expected to see over 36,000 visits.”

    McElwain congratulated the organization’s sex education program in the Newport News public school system. Since the program started in 2012, Newport News has seen a decrease of 40 percent in its teen pregnancy rate, she said. The program is expected to expand to the Suffolk area in the next three years.

    During the awards ceremony, Stoney congratulated McAuliffe on being “a brick wall” against legislation that would roll back abortion rights.

    Earlier in the week, the governor received the Brick Wall Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, an abortion rights advocacy group.

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  54. New law paves way for delivery robots

    By Alexander P. Crespo, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Having your groceries delivered by a robot sounds like something out of The Jetsons, but that prospect is not as futuristic as you may think.

    For the second year in a row, the Virginia General Assembly has passed a law to legalize the operation of autonomous vehicles. Beginning July 1, “electric personal delivery devices” will be allowed to operate on sidewalks and other shared-use paths throughout Virginia.

    A leading manufacturer of EPDDs is Starship Technologies, a robotics company started by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis of Estonia. Starship is testing its robots in a number of European countries including England, Germany and Switzerland. In March, the company opened an office in Washington, D.C., and is operating the vehicles there.

    State Sen. Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach says he saw an opportunity to update existing Virginia laws to accommodate Starship’s delivery robots after being contacted by one of the company’s lobbyists.

    “I did some research … and I told her, ‘I would love to make some legislation. This is cool,’” DeSteph said. Other members of the General Assembly must have thought the technology was cool, too: The Senate billand its House counterpartpassed with near-unanimous votes.

    The new law is a continuation of efforts DeSteph began in the 2016 legislative session. That year, motivated by the rapid pace of technological advancements, he sponsored a lawto allow for the operation of autonomous vehicles on roads.

    “In the ’70s, you had cruise control,” DeSteph said. “In the ’90s, you had dynamic cruise control that wouldn’t let your car crash into the car in front of you.” He called autonomous vehicles “just another evolutionary step in these technologies.”

    According to a recent press release, Starship’s EPDDs are designed to deliver goods during the last few miles in both urban and suburban areas.

    The robots resemble a cooler on wheels. They can hold up to 22 pounds, have a two-hour battery life and operate within a three-mile radius of their home location. They are approximately 27 inches long, 22 inches wide and 22 inches tall and are limited to speeds of 4 mph.

    To avoid running into people and other obstacles, a delivery robot uses a combination of nine cameras mounted on its body, GPS and computer vision to see where it’s going.

    Because they move relatively slowly, Starship’s robots won’t operate in the streets. Instead, they will instead use sidewalks to get around. The company says its EPDDs will adjust their speed to match the walking speed of pedestrians. However, some people are worried that the delivery robots will clutter the pavement.

    “My concerns are, who else uses the sidewalk?” says Harry Hylan, a maintenance supervisor in Richmond for Weinstein Properties. “People, dogs, wheelchairs, bicycles, skateboarders – that’s my only issue.”

    At the same time, though, Hylan says he’s interested in what the technology has to offer. “I order a lot of stuff on Amazon, and I’ve just recently been considering ordering food items from them, too.”

    If Starship can make sure its robots aren’t hogging the sidewalks, Hylan says he would definitely make use of their delivery services.

    With the legal barrier to operation out of the way, Starship can now begin more extensive testing and deployment of its EPDDs in Virginia.

    “I don’t know where they’ll go or when,” DeSteph said. “But Virginia’s ready for them.”

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  55. Hundreds attend service for slain officer

    By Coleman Jennings, VCU Capital News Service

    POWHATAN, Va. – Hundreds of people, including the governor and police officers from across the country, attended a “celebration of life” Saturday for Virginia State Police Special Agent Michael Timothy Walter, praising his work with disadvantaged youth.

    The service for Walter, who was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious vehicle in Richmond last week, drew a large crowd to Powhatan High School. Walter was a Powhatan County resident and active in the community.

    “I’ve never seen this many people for a funeral,” said Larry Kessler, a friend of Walter’s. More than half of the attendees were fellow law enforcement officers and first responders from as far away as Colorado and Maine.

    The tearful crowd packed into the school gymnasium to hear from some of Walter’s closest friends, as well as from Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

    “We’re here today to offer our gratitude and compassion for Special Agent Mike Walter,” McAuliffe said. He noted that this is the fourth funeral in his tenure that he has attended for a slain state trooper.

    Walter, who was 45 years old and an 18-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, was fatally shot May 26 in Mosby Court, a public housing project in Richmond’s East End, following an altercation. Walter was taken to VCU Medical Center, where he died around 5 a.m. the following morning.

    Walter served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He is survived by his wife, Jamie, and their three children.

    Besides working for the Virginia State Police, Walter was a wrestling coach and started a nonprofit organization – the Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corp. – to serve disadvantaged youths in Powhatan. Friends and associates from the Blackhawk Gym, where the nonprofit is based, spoke at the service.

    “He had a God-given gift,” said Richard Fitzsimmons, holding back tears. He recalled Walter’s drive and determination to inspire those around him to achieve success.

    “Mike’s motives were pure. He wanted to be the best at everything, and he sought to bring those around him to the same level,” added Rob McMillin, a board member of Blackhawk Gym. “He pursued excellence with a manic discipline.”

    Capt. Steven Chumley of the Virginia State Police gave the eulogy for Walter and offered closing remarks. “This is the hard part for us,” he said. “We must finish what Mike started.”

    Authorities have arrested Travis Ball, 27, in connection with Walter’s death. He is being held at the Richmond City Jail.

    Slain officer’s nonprofit organization

    On its website, the Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corp. explains that it is “dedicated to promoting, fostering and mentoring kids involved in our club and community to become solid citizens. We achieve this stated goal by teaching and demanding high standards of character, integrity, and making the right choices in life. We strive to instill physical health, sportsmanship, self-confidence, self-esteem and strong values of dedication, persistence, hard work, and honesty.”

    “As a community we realize that young kids make mistakes and require parents and community organizations, such as ours to assist in teaching kids the values and skills necessary to overcome mistakes,” the organization’s mission statement reads. “We in Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corporation strive to help kids reach their full potential in life, school and in competition.”

    How to help

    You can make a donation to the Walter family by contributing to the Virginia State Police Association’s Emergency Relief Fund(http://vspa.org/initiatives/emergency-relief-fund). Put “Walter’s Family” in the memo section.

    The Powhatan Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization is collecting donations for Jaime Walter, the slain agent’s widow. A list of items that you can donate is on the Powhatan Elementary PTO’s Facebook page.

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  56. Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet Held at SVCC

    Southside Virginia Community College recently held the Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet at the Christanna Campus.  The event recognized Officer and Employee of the Year for each of the area correctional centers.  Lawrenceville Correctional Center (GEO) sponsored the event and trophies.  Those recognized are (Front Row, Left to Right) Officer Michael W. Hatcher, Halifax Correctional Unit #23, Officer Joshua Affronti, Nottoway Correctional Center, Officer Lisa Williams, Lawrenceville Correctional Center, Katrina Allen, Lawrenceville, Alfonzo Seward, Administration of Justice Program, SVCC, Officer Rebecca Kindred, Deerfield Correctional Center, Linda Smith, Buckingham Correctional Center, Brenda Richards, Lunenburg Correctional Center, (Back Row, L to R) Larry Edmonds, Guest Speaker, Warden of Dillwyn Correctional Center, Sergeant Terrell Eppes, Buckingham Correctional Center, Arthur Byrd, Nottoway, Sandra Vass, Halifax, Lieutenant Tonya Clary, Lunenburg, Astrid Woodson, Dillwyn, Sergeant Duane Parrish, Dillwyn, Kelly Owens, Baskerville Correctional Center.  Not pictured are Officer Paul Arthur, Baskerville, Teresa Porrovecchio of Deerfield, Lieutenant Jerry McKnight and Joyce Johnson of Greensville Correctional Center.

    Warden Tammy C. Brown and Assistant Warden Jo Ann Hasley-Hsrris of Deerfield Correctional Center withOfficer Rebecca Kindred, Officer of the Year and Alfonzo Seward, SVCC.   Teresa Porrovecchio is Employee of the Year but could not attend.

    Mr. Larry Edmonds, Warden of Dillwyn Correctional Center, is shown with Alfonzo Seward, Program Director for Administration of Justice at Southside Virginia Community College.  Edmonds was the guest speak at the Ninth Annual Corrections Awards Banquet held at SVCC and sponsored by Lawrenceville Correctional Center.



    4 of 7 killed in crashes were motorcyclists

    RICHMOND – The 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend proved safer for those traveling the highways of Virginia in comparison to the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. During the four-day statistical counting period, preliminary numbers report a total of seven drivers and passengers died in six traffic crashes statewide this past holiday weekend. During the same time period in 2016, traffic crashes claimed a total of eight lives on Virginia highways.

    The six fatal traffic crashes occurred in the cities of Christiansburg and Norfolk and the counties of Augusta, Bedford, Carroll and Rockingham. Sunday’s fatal crash in Rockingham County claimed the lives of two drivers involved in a head-on collision, both of whom were not wearing seat belts.

    State troopers responded to and investigated a total of 652 traffic crashes statewide during the four-day statistical counting period. Of the six passenger vehicle fatalities over the holiday weekend, there were four fatal motorcycle crashes, which is particularly poignant as May is Motorcycle SafetyMonth. Two of those motorcyclists were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

    “The number of traffic deaths on Virginia’s roadways continues to decrease, down 50 percent since 2015; However, even one fatality is too many, especially when taking basic safety precautions can save a life,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We’re asking motorists to make sure they put safety first before they hit the road this summer. Buckle up, put on a helmet, eliminate distractions, put the phone down and never drive drunk or drugged. These things could make the difference in surviving or avoiding a crash all together.” 

    Virginia State Police also participated in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) over the holiday weekend, which is a traffic safety initiative that began 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26, 2017, and concluded Monday, May 29, 2017, at midnight. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays, like Memorial Day.

    The 2016 Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. initiative resulted in troopers citing 10,468 speeders and 2,421 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 828 safety belt violations and 248 child restraint violations. A total of 110 drunken drivers were taken off Virginia’s roadways and arrested by state troopers.

    Virginia State Police and law enforcement agencies nationwide also emphasized the importance of “Move Over” laws during the Memorial Day weekend. Virginia State Police organized and participated in a 24-hour Tweet-Along focused on sharing facts, impactful anecdotes and power images to raise awareness of these laws which require motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with its flashing lights engaged.  

    Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement. 

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  58. State will help clean up historic black cemeteries

    By Chelsea Jackson, VCU Capital News Service

    RICHMOND – Hollywood Cemetery flaunts pristine iron gates, beautiful mausoleums and monuments, and majestic views of the James River. This gorgeous scenery is sorely lacking at two other historic cemeteries less than 15 minutes down the road.

    When created in the 1800s, Evergreen and East End cemeteries were envisioned as high-end resting places for important African-American figures, just as James Monroe, Jefferson Davis and other prominent Caucasians were buried at Hollywood Cemetery.

    But today, the African-American graveyards are far from high end. They are marred by cracked headstones, broken fences and overgrown vegetation stretching to the tops of the trees. At Evergreen and East End, rest in peace is more like rest in distress.

    The condition of these gravesites could change when House Bill1547 takes effect July 1. Introduced by Del. Delores McQuinn of Richmond, the new law will distribute funds to organizations to assist with the cleanup of “historical African-American cemeteries and graves.”

    McQuinn has long had an interest in the cemeteries; she has relatives buried there. She said she appreciates the efforts of volunteers who have worked to spruce up the gravesites.

    “I am grateful for the many volunteers and interest that people have taken into helping to maintain to the point that it’s presentable,” McQuinn said.

    HB 1547 will benefit cemeteries that were established before 1900 for the interment of African-Americans and are owned by a governmental entity or nonprofit group. Under the law, the state will help cover the cost of maintaining such sites. Eligible cemeteries will receive at least $5 for each grave, monument or marker for an individual “who lived at any time between January 1, 1800, and January 1, 1900.”

    East End Cemetery in Henrico County has 4,875 graves that qualify for assistance; Evergreen Cemetery in Richmond has 2,100.

    John Shuck is the site coordinator for the East End Cemetery Cleanup and Restoration Project and the assistant coordinator for a similar effort at Evergreen Cemetery. Shuck had come across the cemeteries while exploring his interest in genealogy more than nine years ago.

    Shuck said beautifying the cemeteries is a long-term commitment.

    “The first thing you do when you go in there is clear it, but then you have to maintain what you clear. That’s what we’re hoping some of these funds will do,” Shuck said.

    The two cemeteries hold the remains of African-Americans who had a significant impact on Richmond, Virginia and the nation. They include pioneering business leaders Maggie Walker and Hezekiah F. Johnathan and crusading newspaper editor John Mitchell.

    Given the stature of such figures, how did the cemeteries fall into a state of neglect?

    Shuck attributed the lack of attention to the migration of black families up north for jobs during the Depression, leaving no one to care for the graves.

    But many people believe race also was a factor.

    “I don’t think that the interest nor the commitment was made to that cemetery like Hollywood Cemetery received,” McQuinn said.

    Gov. Terry McAuliffe made that point when he signed HB 1547 on May 17. He said the new law will remedy a long-standing injustice. “Unlike Confederate cemeteries, black gravesites have gone centuries without state funds allocated for their maintenance and preservation,” he said.

    McAuliffe said the state has made annual payments to maintain Confederate gravesites. In addition, in 1914, the General Assembly appropriated $8,000 – the equivalent of $190,000 in today’s dollars – to improve Hollywood Cemetery. And in 1997, the state provided $30,000 to restore Confederate graves at Oakwood Cemetery, less than two miles from the dilapidated African-American cemeteries.

    Under the new law, Evergreen and East End cemeteries finally will receive financial help, too. McQuinn has hopes of creating a “garden of reflection” where people can come to learn and connect with their history. That will take money, but McQuinn is optimistic it will materialize.

    “I don’t have any doubt that we will get there,” she said.

    Want to help? Here’s how

    Evergreen and East End cemeteries need volunteers to help with cleanup and maintenance. If you want to volunteer or would like more information, contact Marvin Harris at mharris@mapinv.com or John Shuck at jshuck @rocketmail.com.

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  59. Jackson-Feild Hosts Diocese of Southern Virginia’s Annual Spring ECW Meeting

    This year Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was thrilled to host the Diocese of Southern Virginia’s Annual Spring ECW Meeting on May 20, 2017 in Jarratt, VA.


    JFBHS Assistant Director of Advancement Meredith Melo welcomed and spoke to the 15 women present about Jackson-Feild and its programs, services and needs. After the business portion of the meeting was finished, the women proceeded to the All Saints Chapel on campus for the Holy Eucharist given by Jackson-Feild’s chaplain The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones. During this service, the collected offering was given to Jackson-Feild to be used towards JFBHS’s spiritual program.

    Jackson-Feild, located in Jarratt, Virginia, is a non-profit behavioral health organization serving adolescents with severe mental health disorders. They employ a trauma-focused treatment model that utilizes cutting-edge, evidence-based interventions.  Founded in 1855, more than 100 children each year benefit from therapeutic treatment in a residential environment.  In addition to continuing their academic education while in treatment, the boys and girls are taught the skills they will need to manage their disorders so that they will be able to live healthy and productive lives.

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  60. Board Names Golf Classic in Memory of Reekes

    In 2008, Bobby Wrenn of Emoria and Freddie Reekes of Lawrenceville coordinated the 1st Annual Southside Virginia Community College Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic.  Funds raised through the event support student scholarships.   This year marks the tenth time the tournament will be held and is slated for June 7, 2017, at the Lake Gaston Golf Club.  The SVCC Foundation Board recently voted to rename the annual golf tournament the Fred "Freddie" Reekes Memorial Scholarship Golf Classic. 

    Freddie's passing on May 7 shocked and saddened the Southside community.  Freddie spent 40 plus years in education.  He taught in the Brunswick County Public Schools and later recruited students to SVCC. He was also a legendary basketball coach for both girls and boys at Brunswick.  In addition to being an educator, Freddie was an avid golfer and his team, "Old Coach", was a consistent participant in the Golf Classic.


  61. Isaiah Stephens Wins Gold and Silver

    Lazers Track Club member, Isaiah Stephens competed in the Darius Dixon Invitational Track Meet at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, VA on Saturday, May 6, 2017.  He won a gold medal in the discus event with a throw of 98 feet 6 inches. In the shot put event Isaiah won a silver with a toss of 28 feet.

    Stephens also competed in the 13th Annual Technique Relays Track Meet on May 20, 2017 at Norview High School in Norfolk, VA.  Isaiah won a gold in discus event with a throw of 106 feet 3 inches.  He won a silver medal in the shot put event with a toss of 30 ½ feet.

    Isaiah’s coaches are Les Young and Bill Cain.  Please support Isaiah in 2017 Jr. Olympics at www.gofundme.com.

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  62. Emporia Clinic to Offer Free Medical, Dental, and Vision Care

    Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps of Virginia (RAM Virginia) will hold a free medical clinic at Greensville High School, 403 Harding St., Emporia, on June 24 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and June 25 from 6 a.m. to noon. All RAM Virginia health services are free to the patients.

    Free transportation to and from the clinic will be provided:

    Services include: dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, eye exams, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglass production, women's health exams, medical exams, health resources. All services are delivered on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients will receive an entry number based on when they arrive. Entry numbers will be assigned, starting at 6 a.m. Patients are welcome to arrive early and line up, but they will be outdoors, and no one from RAM is scheduled to arrive before 6 a.m.

    All providers are certified medical professionals, including but not limited to: dentists, dental hygienists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants. Medical professionals are encouraged to register for the event at https://ramusa.org/volunteer/.

    Patients should bring any prescribed medications they currently take for consultation with our health care providers.  Please continue to take any current medications as prescribed while attending this event.  For any questions about the event, please contact Elise M. Brown, volunteer with RAM Virginia, at (301) 641-0083, elise@enroll-virginia.com.

    About Remote Area Medical: Remote Area Medical, volunteer medical relief corps that provides free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and around al (RAM) is a non-profit the world. RAM was founded in 1985 by Stan Brock, who worked as an assistant to Marlin Perkins on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The group's work was originally confined to Third World countries, but later shifted towards the US. In 2016, RAM Volunteers delivered free health care to 30,963 people in the US (over 5,000 of whom received care in Virginia). 

    Remote Area Medical of Virginia: Remote Area Medical (RAM) of Virginia is a non-profit healthcare organization bringing all-volunteer free short term clinics in Virginia to those needing dental, vision and medical care.  Since its founding on the steps of the state’s Capitol Building in 2014, RAM Virginia has established new clinics in Lee County, Smyth County, and Warsaw, Virginia, and overseen the established clinics at Wise, Virginia (17 yrs), Grundy, Virginia (15 yrs), and Buena Vista, Virginia.  Headed by its President, Dr. Victoria Molnar Weiss, Optometrist, the affiliate works to expand quality medical, dental, and vision clinics throughout Virginia. This is done in an effort to alleviate the growing need for affordable healthcare for thousands of underserved Virginians. To find out more about RAM of Virginia, visit www.ramusa.org/virginia or find us on Facebook at Remote Area Medical of Virginia. 

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  63. ***Senior Alert-William M Frierson***

    Senior Alert Cancelled


    Mr. William Freierson, missing from Sussex County, has been safely located. The Senior Alert is cancelled.



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