February 2019

  1. General Assembly Expands Revenge Porn Law to Include Fake Nudes

  2. Legislators Delay Decision on Funding I-81 Improvements

  3. Black-owned Restaurants Serve Culture and Cuisine

  4. General Assembly Legislative Scorecard

  5. The Williamsburg Winery’s “Petite Fleur” Awarded Gold Medal at Governor’s Cup Competition

  6. Safe Driving Advocates Lament Defeat of ‘Hands-Free’ Legislation

  7. Bills to Protect Landowners in Pipeline Cases Fail

  8. Senate Passes Bill Allowing Guns in Church, Fails in House

  9. VCU Panel: Journalists Need to Call Out Racism

  10. Legislators Want All Capitol Meetings Video-Recorded

  11. Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services Meets Medicaid’s New Standards

    For a number of years, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) has been a Medicaid provider.  Medicaid recently initiated stringent standards of care, and JFBHS is pleased to announce that they passed – with flying colors – an unannounced three-day observation and assessment by a Medicaid representative.

    This achievement is a testament to JFBHS’ mission to provide high quality evidence-based psychiatric, residential, educational and recovery treatment services for children who suffer from severe emotional trauma, mental illness and/or addiction.  Their goal is to restore wellness and provide support for successful reintegration into homes, families and communities.

    Medicaid is a government-sponsored insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care including mental health.

    Medicaid raised the bar for psychiatric residential facilities, and JFBHS cleared the bar simply by doing what they already were doing:  providing high quality, effective services.  Medicaid will continue to make unannounced site visits, and JFBHS is confident that they will continue to meet the challenge and exceed the expectations.

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  12. Frederick T. Bare

    December 19, 1938 - February 23, 2019

    Graveside Services

    Friday, March 1, 2019, 2:00 PM

    Cobb-Whitehead Family Cemetery 

    22311 Southampton Parkway

    Courtland, VA 23837

    Frederick T. Bare, 80, of Emporia, died Saturday, February 23, 2019. He is survived by his wife, Wilma W. Bare; two sons, Gary Bare and Fred W. Bare and two nieces, Judy Hall and Tessie Allen.

    A graveside memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the Cobb-Whitehead Family Cemetery in Southampton County.

    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.


  13. Efforts to Ratify ERA Fail on Tie Vote in House

  14. Lawmakers OK Bills To Expand Access to CBD, THC-A Oils

  15. “Pesky Varmints”

    A mole has a very hard nose
    to help it burrow underground
    leaving those ugly ridges
    which in our lawns are found.
    Moles tunnel beneath the surface
    searching for grubs and insects too
    in a way not too well thought of
    but they do it for me and you.
    They help aerate the soil
    which for so long has been packed
    leaving their trails everywhere
    looking like the dirt was stacked.
    Then they’ll travel through the freeway
    or thru the tunnels if you will
    eating grubs and other insects
    until they get their fill.
    Yes they eat the grubs that eat the roots
    of the grass seed we have sown
    they also eat many of the insects
    that chew the leaves from the plants half grown.
    Now the vole is so much different
    in oh so many ways
    they will jump around like a kangaroo
    and can make you laugh for days.
    The humor in their presence
    won’t last for very long
    just take one look at your flower beds
    and you’ll wonder what went wrong.
    Yes voles eat the flower bulbs you plant
    leaving open spaces galore
    your flower garden won’t shine so bright
    unless you plant some more.
    Now the moles a pest to say the least
    but they’re mainly just passing thru
    yet the vole will take up residence
    and spend many months with you.
    Under thick mulch beds; or mounds of leaves
    they can for long survive
    making sure that they are present
    when your first spring bulbs arrive.
    You can catch a vole with a mouse trap
    and for the mole , just dig a deep hole
    just don’t give up on the first try
    it takes patience don’t you know.
              Roy E. Schepp

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  16. Kid’s Rule: House of Delegates Page Program Holds Annual Mock Debate

  17. Richard Peyton Bloom

    Richard Peyton Bloom, 81, of Boynton Beach, Fla., passed away on February 23, 2019. “Richie” was born on May 2, 1937, in Norfolk, VA to the late Charles and Alice Bloom. He graduated from Greensville County High School in Emporia, VA.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Lois Cohen Bloom, and his brother, Larry.  He is survived by his sister, Phyllis Sue Green, of Boynton Beach, FL.  Richie and Lois were married on November 18, 1961. A long-time resident of Emporia, VA, Richie also lived over the years in Las Vegas, NV, Virginia Beach, VA and most recently in South Palm Beach, FL.  Richie and Lois were married for 56 years and had three children, son Charles Bloom (Cindy and grandchildren Lindsey and Maxwell Bloom) of Blythewood, SC; daughter Sari Bloom of Lake Worth, FL; son Jared Bloom (Sandy and grandchildren Jordan and Maddux Bloom) of Longwood, FL. The family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations sent to either the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County (https://jewishpb.org/fed/index.php/tzedakah-fund-tribute-cards/) or the Democratic Party of Palm Beach County, Fla. (http://pbcdplegacyblue.org/).  A family-only celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date.

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  18. Effort to Remove Unlawfully Appointed Member of School Board Falls Short

    The question of Miss Marva Dunn’s unlawful appointment to the Greensville County School Board seems to be answered.

    After a heated debate, fraught with accusations of “personal vendettas,” and the inference of improper spending, the motion to remove Miss Dunn failed on a vote of 5-1, with one abstention.

    Miss Dunn, whose term was to expire on December 31, 2018 was reappointed at a called meeting of City Council on December 27, 2018. This special meeting was called just days before the newly elected City Council was to be seated.

    The newly seated Council, with the first ever Black majority in the history of Emporia took exception to the appointment when it was discovered that Miss Dunn’s appointment was unlawful, given her membership on the Board of Zoning Appeals, Miss Dunn’s appointment to the Redevelopment and Housing Authority was also unlawful because of her membership on the BZA. It was disclosed during the conversation that Miss Dunn’s appointment was discussed in a closed session at the January 15th meeting.  Miss Dunn submitted her letter of resignation for both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Redevelopment and Housing Authority on the 16th of January, even though the matter was, apparently, not discussed publically.

    During the debate Council Member Jim Saunders (District 3) was concerned about the cost of the outside attorneys engaged to deal with the issue. He felt that, given the other important issues facing the City, such as water line replacements, this expenditure of public funds was wasteful.

    Saunders was also concerned that if this were to proceed to the Circuit Court, that the cost could, possibly, double.

    Council Member F. Woodrow Harris (District 4) questioned who had authorized Mayor Person to contact an outside attorney and accused the Mayor of having a “personal vendetta” against Miss Dunn for running against the Mayor.

    Council Members Saunders and Harris have championed saving taxpayer funds, both with the issue involving Miss Dunn and with the Transportation System.

    Council Member Yolanda Hines (District 7) countered that we are only in the position of calling outside attorneys as the current City Attorney was unable to advise Council on this matter at the Closed Session on the 15th of January. Council Member Hines also asserted that it was important to undo this unlawful appointment, regardless of the cost.

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  19. Should the Emporia City Council vacate the unlawful appointment of Marva Dunn to the Greensville County School Board?

  20. Gerald Roberson

    July 22, 1930 - February 23, 2019


    Visitation Services

    Owen Funeral Home

    303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia 23867


    Owen Funeral Home

    303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia 23867

    Gerald Roberson, 88, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, February 23, 2019. He was preceded in death by a brother, Graham Roberson. Mr. Roberson is survived by his wife, DeEtte Roberson; son, Jerry Allen Roberson (Melissa); daughters, Kippa Hladky (Randy) and Gail Hayner (Terry); grandson, Sammy Fields (Jenny) and sister, Doris Sumerlin.

    The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 27 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Emporia Cemetery.

    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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  21. Most Virginians Don’t Want Officials to Resign, Poll Finds

  22. Roger Kent Woodruff


    Roger Kent Woodruff

    May 23, 1965 - February 17, 2019


    Visitation Services

    Thursday, February 21, 2019, 6:00-8:00 pm

    Echols Funeral Home

    806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, Virginia


    Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Echols Funeral Home Chapel

    806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, Virginia

    Roger Kent Woodruff passed away on February 17, 2019 at the age of 53. He was born on May 23, 1965 in Halifax County, North Carolina. Roger was an equipment operator for Enviva Pellets. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Tabitha Woodruff. He is survived by his father Vasser Lee Woodruff, Jr.  (Linda) of Emporia, mother Phyllis A. Woodruff of Emporia, son Brandon Woodruff (Amber) of Emporia, daughter Tiffany Woodruff of Emporia, brother James Woodruff (Julie) of Emporia, Sisters Gail Seward (Billy) of Emporia and Brenda Murphy (Bryan) of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

    The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 P.M. Thursday, February 21, 2019 at Echols Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 2 P.M. Friday, February 22, 2019 at Echols Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. John Kinsey officiating. An Interment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.


  23. Brandon Keith Simmons

    May 23, 1989 - February 19, 2019

    Visitation Services

    Saturday, February 23, 2019, 12:oo Noon

    Owen Funeral Home

    303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia


    Saturday, February 23, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Owen Funeral Home

    303 S. Halifax Rd., Jarratt, Virginia

    Brandon Keith Simmons, 29, died Tuesday, February 19, 2019. He is survived by his mother, Kendra Tomlinson (Barry Edwards); his father, Billy Simmons; brothers, Josh Simmons, Jason Simmons, and Christopher Tomlinson; sister, Emily Simmons; paternal grandmother, Grace Clark; a very special cousin and friend, Heather Malone; uncle, Randy Stainback (Melanie) and a number of other uncles and extended family. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, February 23 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the family will receive friends 12 – 2 prior to the service. Interment will be private at First Christian Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or to a favorite charity. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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    EMPORIA, VA, February 20, 2019 – Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI), a leading commercial real estate investment services firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada, today announced the sale of Best Western Emporia, a 99-room hospitality property located in Emporia, Virginia, according to Benjamin Yelm, regional manager of the firm’s Richmond office. The asset sold for $4,311,111.

    Prashant Merchant, an investment specialist in Marcus & Millichap’s Richmond office, had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company. Merchant also procured the buyer, a limited liability company.

    Best Western Emporia is located at 1100 W Atlantic St in Emporia, Virginia. The 40,432-square-foot hotel was constructed in 1992 on 2.55 acres along Interstate 95.

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  25. Virginia Lawmakers Increase Animal Abuse Penalty to Felony

  26. Assembly OKs Bills to Address Housing and Eviction Issues

  27. Assembly Repeals ‘Jim Crow’ Minimum Wage Exemptions

  28. Virginia Is Deemed 'Ripe' For Berry Growing

    VSU to host conference to assist farmers in growing this niche crop

    Virginia is not just for lovers, but for berry growers, too, according Dr. Reza Rafie, Virginia State University (VSU) Extension specialist in horticulture. That’s because after conducting extensive research of berry production across central and southside Virginia, Rafie is confident that Virginia’s climate and soil are well suited to grow strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

    This is good news for Virginia farmers, because national berry sales have increased in recent years due to growing consumer appreciation for the many health benefits that come from eating these succulent fruits. In fact, with U.S. sales totaling $5.8 million annually, berries are the leading produce category purchased by consumers. And that means Virginia farmers—even those with limited acreage—have an opportunity to tap into this market to gain revenue by helping to meet the growing demand for berries. 

    Right now, the Commonwealth lags behind southern neighboring states like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in berry production. Berry crops are versatile for industrial use in frozen foods and other value-added products and have the potential to create small enterprises and jobs in rural communities. 

    To assist Virginia farmers with starting or growing berries for profit, Rafie is organizing the 11th Annual Virginia Berry Production and Marketing Conference, at which internationally renowned berry researchers will share information about berry production and marketing that will help growers be more profitable. This popular annual event, hosted by Cooperative Extension at VSU, will be held Thursday, March 21 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Randolph Farm, 4415 River Road, Ettrick. 

    Keynote presenter Dr. John R. Clark, a plant breeder and distinguished professor of horticulture at the University Arkansas, will speak on blackberry varieties. Dr. Clark has developed more than 50 varieties of various fruits and has cooperative breeding activities at several locations in the United States, Europe, Mexico, South America and Australia. Dr. Bernadine Strik, a horticulture and Extension berry crops specialist at Oregon State University, will speak about the basics of blueberry production. Berry experts from North Carolina State University, the University of Georgia, Virginia Tech and VSU, will present on insect, disease and weed management. Dr. Theresa Nartea, VSU’s Extension specialist in marketing and agribusiness, will present on marketing berry crops. 

    “New and experienced berry growers will not only learn the latest information about berry production, berry health and marketing strategies, they’ll be able to have questions answered by some of the nation’s leading berry experts, and also network with other growers,” Rafie said. 

    Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch. To register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link. 

    Persons needing further information or have a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, can contact Mollie Klein at mklein@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-6960 / (800) 828-1120 (TDD) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

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


  29. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center and the Family YMCA of Emporia – Greensville Partner to Provide FREE Health Fair for Community

    Emporia, VA – On Monday, February 25, Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) employees will be volunteering their expertise and medical services to the YMCA for a joint health fair from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    SVRMC’s Spencer Feldmann, Jr., MD, will be available for general health questions at an “Ask the Doc” session throughout the event. Dr. Feldmann states, “This is the perfect time to make sure you and your family are in good health and off to a healthy start in the new year.” Nurses and hospital staff will be offering health screenings and have information and refreshments.

    YMCA Executive Director Kristin Vaughan explains, “We always see an influx in membership at the beginning of the year, so this is a great opportunity to keep both members engaged and the public aware of the services we provide.” 

    The health fair will be inside the YMCA located at 212 Weaver Ave in Emporia in Group Fitness Studio 2. This event is free and open to the public.

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  30. SVCC Truck Driver Training to Start in March at Pickett Park

    Truck Driver Training through Southside Virginia Community College will be offered in March of 2019.  Classes at the Pickett Park site in Blackstone begin March 11, 2019.  The South Boston site will begin a class on March 18, 2019.  Train now for a great well-paying job.   The classes will run for six weeks, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.   SVCC's program is an excellent school turning out qualified drivers that are in high demand.  Pre-registration is required so contact the school at 434 292 3101 or visit our website at www.southside.edu for more information.  There is assistance with tuition so call soon to register for this exciting program to put you on the road to success.

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  31. Virginia Joins States to Sue Trump Over Wall Funding

  32. Frances Geraldine Brown Moore

    August 16, 1931-February 17, 2019


    Saturday, February 21, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Zion Baptist Church, 974 Zion Church Road, Emporia, Virginia

    Frances Geraldine Brown Moore of Skippers, VA passed away February 17, 2019. She was born on August 26, 1931 to Tassie and Harry Brown. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Otis Warren Moore, daughter, Cathy Moore Lee, son-in-law, George Moseley Lee, son, Harry Lynn Moore, grandson, Paul Everrett Lee and numerous other extended family members.

    She was an active member of Zion Baptist Church where she sang in the choir, held numerous volunteer roles and served as church clerk for 35 years.

    A service will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, February 21, 2019, Zion Baptist Church, 974 Zion Church Road, Emporia, VA 23847. The family will greet friends following the service in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Zion Baptist Church, c/o Cliff Rodgester, 654 Johnson Road, Emporia, VA 23847

    Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  33. Guy (G. L) Leslie Rawlings, Jr.

    December 16, 1929 - February 17, 2019

    Visitation Services

    6 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday February 19, 2019

    Echols Funeral Home

    806 Brunswick Avenue, Emporia, Virginia

    2 P.M. on Wednesday February 20, 2019

    Independence United Methodist Church

    4438 Independence Church Road, Emporia, Virginia

    Guy (G. L) Leslie Rawlings, Jr. passed away on February 17, 2019 at the age of 89 at Retreat Hospital in Richmond Va. G.L was born on December 16, 1929 in Greensville County Virginia. He is preceded in death by his parents, Guy Leslie Rawlings, Sr. and Sarah Newsome Rawlings. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Nellie B. Rawlings and a special friend Stan Ferguson, Jr.

    G.L was a retired farmer who was the Champion Peanut Producer in Greensville County for 5 years in a row. He was very active in the Brink and Greensville Ruritan clubs and Independence United Methodist Church. He was a member of the Greensville County Planning Commission and the Soil and Water Conservation Board for Greensville County ASCS.

    Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday February 19, 2019 at Echols Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 2 P.M. on Wednesday February 20, 2019 at Independence United Methodist Church, with Rev. Jeaux Simmons officiating. Interment will follow at the church cemetery.

    Family request memorial donations be made to Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery fund, 4438 Independence Church Rd. Emporia, Va 23847.

    Online condolences may be sent to the family at: www.echolsfuneralhome.com

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  34. Reading across the Community

    Reading is important. The One World Literacy Foundation explains, “Reading is how we discover new things and how we develop a positive self-image. The ability to read is a vital skill in being able to function in today's society. Reading is important because it helps to expand the mind and develops the imagination.”

    Echoing these sentiments, popular author Neil Gaiman says, “Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.”

    The National Endowment for the Arts notes, “Literature inspires, enriches, educates, and entertains. It reminds us that there is beauty and joy in language, that others have insights worth paying attention to, that in our struggles we are not alone.” Furthermore, NEA cites scientific evidence confirming that reading for pleasure reduces stress, improves empathy, helps students achieve better test sores, slows the onset of dementia, and encourages citizens to become more active and aware.

    To support all these benefits, and in conjunction with its own Quality Enhancement Plan, “iRead, iLead, iSucceed: A Commitment to Literacy,”  Southside Virginia Community College applied for NEA grant funding to conduct an NEA Big Read program across the communities in our service area. Through a competitive process, the SVCC was selected as one of 75 applicants representing institutions across the nation to receive an award.

    The title chosen for SVCC’s NEA Big Read is A Lesson before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines. Set in Louisiana during the 1940s, the novel tells the story of a young, uneducated black man who has been incarcerated and sentenced to death for his alleged participation in the murder of a white storekeeper. A college-educated black man who teaches in a nearby plantation school befriends him. Together, both men search for ways to live with dignity.

    SVCC’s NEA Big Read program is currently in full swing, and I’d like to invite you to participate in a book discussion and one of the slated special events. Here’s a sampling: A panel discussion will be held at the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville on February 21, 2019 beginning at 5:30 p.m. A movie adaptation of the book, starring Cicely Tyson, Mekhi Phifer, and Don Cheadle, will be shown at the Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville on March 11, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. The Longwood University Jazz band will present a concert of songs related to the book and time period at SVCC’s Daniel Campus in Keysville on March 26, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. For more details and additional information, visit SVCC’s website at www.southside.edu.

    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.

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  35. As More Va. Farmers Grow Flowers, VSU’s Cooperative Extension Program Positions Them For Success

    Cut flowers—the kind you can pick up at the grocery store or are found on many restaurant tables—is part of the “green industry,” the fastest growing sector in U.S. agriculture and the second most important in terms of economic impact, according to the USDA. “People don’t often think of farmers growing flowers, but the cut flower industry is significant in Virginia,and is often an excellent source of income for farmers with small acreage,” said Susan Cheek, Virginia State University (VSU) Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) agriculture management agent. 

    To meet the demand for knowledge and training in this growing industry, the SFOP, part of the Virginia Cooperative Extension program at VSU, is hosting its second cut flow growers conference in as many years. The conference is one of close to 200 programs the Cooperative Extension program offers through VSU to assist small, limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and military veteran farmers and ranchers across Va. to own, maintain and operate farms and ranches independently. 

    This year’s conference will be held March 13-14 at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, Va. The theme is “Beyond the Bouquet.” 

    “We are excited to host this conference again in 2019. Our 2018 conference reached capacity quickly, and we know that small farmers in Virginia and across the U.S. are extremely interested in learning how to incorporate locally grown flowers and herbs into their farm operations,” said SFOP Director William Crutchfield.

    Per acre, flowers are one of the most profitable crops to grow, and they are especially suited to small farm operations. A 2014 University of Wyoming Extension publication indicated specialty cut flowers achieved gross yields as high as $25,000 or $30,000 per acre. At the 2019 Cut Flower Growers Conference, attendees will learn more about the positive results they can get from starting a cut-flower growing operation or adding cut flowers to their current farm products—not only for their profit margin, but for the benefit of human health, insect and wildlife habitat, and the environment.

    The two-day conference will bring together new and experienced growers, buyers and representatives from government agencies to help attendees learn how to improve the production and marketability of a cut flower farm business. Local and national growers will explain how to build relationships with wholesale and retail buyers; provide tips for growing and marketing pollinator-beneficial plants and flowers; and share insights about establishing a high tunnel operation to extend the growing season. Participants will also learn how to add value and profit with herbs and medicinals, and see hands-on demonstrations for floral design with native wildflowers and herbs. 

    In the opening keynote, Brent Heath, owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester, Va., will discuss best bulbs for cut flowers selected for longevity of blooms, ease of harvest and added value of fragrance. In the closing keynote, Dave Dowling will share his experiences and insights from 20 years of cut flower farming and five years as a sales rep and advisor to cut flower farmers. Dowling is employed by New Jersey-based Fred C. Gloeckner & Company, Inc., a horticulture wholesale distributor.

    Registration is $150 per person, with a 10 percent discount for groups of three or more. To register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link.

    Persons needing further information or have a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, can contact the VSU Small Farm Outreach Program office at smallfarm@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-3292 / (800) 828-1120 (TDD) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

    The SFOP provides outreach and assistance activities in production management, financial management, marketing, available USDA farm programs and other areas to increase farm profitability and promote sustainability. It has recently added an additional 10 counties, bringing the total it serves to 74. It has also hired additional agriculture management agents and offers public events across the state. For more information, visit https://www.ext.vsu.edu/small-farm-outreach-program/.

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



  36. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

    Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) donated a  a 2004 GMC truck to assist with training of future technicians through the automotive program at Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). According to Jeremy Parenti, the lead instructor, “The donation of this truck helps to round out our fleet of vehicles allowing our students to have hands-on training in a variety of vehicle types.” Participating in the delivery are (from left) Kris Newcomb and Ray DeJarnette of MEC and Jeremy Parenti and Chad Patton of SVCC.


  37. Law Would Protect Elderly Against Financial Crimes

  38. Assembly OKs Bills to Address Housing and Eviction Issues

  39. Growing Business Through Partnership

    Patrick Henry Community College and Longwood University SBDC join forces to increase small business support

    Michael Scales, business analyst for the Longwood Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Western Region, knows business from the ground up. The Martinsville native owned and operated a family construction business for over 30 years.

    Scales, who will base his operations in the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) Dalton IDEA Center located at 26 Fayette Street, Uptown Martinsville, is looking forward to building relationships with SBDC clients.

    “Recently, Longwood SBDC reorganized and moved to a more regional approach using a team of consultants,” Longwood SBDC Executive Director Sheri McGuire says. “Michael will assist in covering our western territory and be our ‘boots on the ground’ in Martinsville-Henry County, Patrick and Franklin counties.”

    PHCC President Angeline Godwin is enthusiastic about the small business/college connection.

     “PHCC has enjoyed its partnership with SBDC, and we are confident that housing the office in our Dalton IDEA Center in Uptown Martinsville will provide greater access, exposure and camaraderie for the communities that we mutually serve,” Godwin says. “Entrepreneurship is alive and well in our region, and this collaboration further enhances our work.”

    They both believe Scales is an ideal fit for the Martinsville position.

    “Other than going to UVA in Charlottesville, I’ve been in Martinsville my whole life,” he notes. “I went to college to get my financial and accounting background so I could come home and work in the family business.”

    After taking over the business from his father, Scales primarily worked on projects for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

    "I found that I was really good with math,” he adds. “Whether it’s a finance problem or figuring out the super elevation of a curve for a roadway, if you know how to use formulas, you can do it.”

    For the past five years Scales has shared his expertise as a workforce development instructor at PHCC.

    “Teaching at PHCC, I’ve learned the satisfaction of what I call ‘light bulb moments,’” he relates. “When my students get it, you can see it in their eyes. They understand, and they want to learn more.”

    Now Scales is excited about sharing similar “light bulb moments” with small business clients.

    “Michael will link clients and stakeholders in our Western Region to Longwood SBDC resources available throughout Southern Virginia,” McGuire says.

    Scales will begin with a one-on-one approach for startup clients.

    “I want to make sure potential business owners have a knowledge of the business they want to pursue,” he explains. “Once I find out what particular services my clients need, then I’ll set up workshops on general business topics like Quickbooks or accounting.”

    If Scales can’t meet a client’s need, he’ll find someone in the SBDC network who can.

    “We all work together,” Regional Manager Lin Hite adds. “SBDC is like a big family, and we’re excited to welcome Michael as our newest member.”

    As a small business resource for 30 years, the Longwood SBDC core mission is to provide education, consulting, and economic research to support potential and existing small business owners throughout Southern Virginia. Longwood SBDC works with local sponsors to provide consulting services free of charge; for more information visit www.sbdc-longwood.com.

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  40. USDA to Host 2018 Farm Bill Implementation Listening Session

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey announced that USDA is hosting a listening session for initial input on the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA is seeking public input on the changes to existing programs implemented by the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. Each agency will take into account stakeholder input when making discretionary decisions on program implementation.

    “The 2018 Farm Bill is intended to provide support, certainty and stability to our Nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs, and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation,” said Under Secretary Northey. “We are seeking input from stakeholders on how USDA can streamline and improve program delivery while also enhancing customer service.”

    The listening session will be held Feb. 26, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium in the South Building located at 14th Street and Independence Ave. S.W. in Washington, D.C.

    The listening session is open to the public. Participants must register at farmers.gov/farmbillby February 22, 2019, to attend the listening session and are encouraged to provide written comments prior to the listening session. For those orally presenting comments at the listening session, written comments are encouraged to be submitted to regulations.govby February 22, 2019.  Additional written comments will be accepted through March 1, 2019.Comments received will be publicly available on www.regulations.gov.

    “Truly this is a Farm Bill that improves farm safety net programs, protects federal crop insurance, and preserves strong rural development and research initiatives. At USDA we are eager to hear from our stakeholders on policy recommendations, so we can start working on implementing these important Farm Bill provisions,” said Northey

    For more information on the listening session visit  farmers.gov/farmbill.

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  41. Mary Jane B. Phillips

    June 7, 1938 - February 14, 2019

    Graveside Services

    Monday, February 18, 2019, 11:00 a. m.

    Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery

    4438 Independence Church Rd, Emporia, Virginia

    Mary Jane B. Phillips, 80, of Emporia, widow of Linwood N. Phillips, died Thursday, February 14, 2019. She was preceded in death by a son, Linwood “Buck” Phillips, Jr.

    Mrs. Phillips is survived by a son, Kevin Scott “Scotty” Phillips; six grandchildren, Staci Phillips (Jason), Stephen Phillips (Christy), Heather Phillips, Amber Thompson, (Brandon), Kailee Phillips and J. R. Phillips; great-grandchildren, Logan Long, Amelia Collins, Leslie Phillips, Aliyah Collins, Cassidie Phillips, L. J. Phillips, Kaydence Schlosser, Ethan Otten and Brynlee Woodruff; two sisters, Martha Whatley and Juanita Johnson and a number of nieces and nephews.

    The funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Monday, February 18 at Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery.

    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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  42. John Shepherd Has a Cool Job

    John Shepherd’s job is cool because he practices the ancient art of farming using modern methods.  Recently, he and his wife, Lydia, of Nottoway County, were awarded third place in the 2019 American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Achievement Award.

    According to the Virginia Farm Bureau news release, “The Achievement Award honors young farmers who are successful in production agriculture and provide leadership on and off the farm. State-level winners from Farm Bureaus across the nation compete for the award, and judges narrow the field to 10 finalists.”

    The Shepherds called the recognition “pretty amazing” and said the competition had been an exciting process. The Shepherds serve on the VFBF Young Farmers Committee and raise wheat, rapeseed, corn and soybeans on their farm near Blackstone.

                John is a Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) graduate who attended a full two years before transferring to Virginia Tech (VT) where he received a degree in Agricultural Science.  He received minors in Biology and Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.  He planted his first crop in the fall of 2007 while finishing his last semester at VT. 

    About his SVCC experience, he said, “I am excited that SVCC now offers Agribusiness as part of the curriculum.  The community college helped me to mature and prepare for a four-year school.  Also, I saved a bunch of money and I would recommend community college to everyone.”

    The Shepherd’s started their farm from scratch and said in the VFB article, “the fact that we built from the ground up without inheriting a farm” helped them place so high in the national competition. 

    After graduating from VT, he was working full-time as a seed and fertilizer representative when he began buying land for his future farming career.  Shepherd serves on the Nottoway Country Farm Bureau board of directors and Lydia teaches at Kenston Forest School in Blackstone.  They were recipients of the 2011 VFBF Young Farmers Environmental Stewardship Awards and the 2012 Bayer Crops Science Young Farmer Sustainability Award.  The couple uses conservation practices in their farming business.

    The Shepherd’s truly are a farm family as their days are spent raising crops and three children!!

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  43. "Be My Valentine"

    It seems like I have waited forever
    for this special day to come
    I have some words to say to you
    and I'm sure that you have some.
    We've known each other for so long
    yet time has went swiftly by
    I've seen you smile with pure delight
    and have also seen you cry.
    Yes life goes on with our without
    us making special plans
    it's best that we some patience show
    and the rest leave in God's hands.
    I've loved you from the very start
    and more and more each day
    it seems that you do feel the same
    for you sure do act that way.
    You are quite special in my life
    and with you I love to share
    I'm sure that you know but I will remind
    that I do truly care.
    Yet I still have one question
    for this sweet love of mine
    tell me darling you'll say yes
    and be my Valentine!
                        Roy E. Schepp


  44. Luther Gene Allen


    Graveside 2 p.m. Thursday, February 14, 2019

    Emporia Cemetery

    Mr. Luther Gene Allen, 77, passed away Monday, February 11, 2019. He was the son of the late Charlie W. and Mary P. Allen and was also preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Teresa Allen. A loving son, brother and uncle, he had a longtime career repairing guitars and retired as owner of Gene’s Music.

    He is survived by his brother, Tommy Allen, nieces, Tanya Zimmerman (Brian) and Tabitha Brooks (Ben); nephew, Travis Allen (Kimberly); six great-nephews and great nieces and one great-great-niece.

    The funeral service will be held graveside 2 p.m. Thursday, February 14 at Emporia Cemetery.

    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (www.michaeljfox.org).

    Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

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  45. USDA Reminds Producers of Feb. 14 Deadline for Market Facilitation Program

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2019– Agricultural producers have until Feb. 14, 2019, to sign up for USDA’s Market Facilitation Program(MFP), launched last year to help producers suffering from damages due to unjustified trade retaliation. Producers can apply without proof of yield but must certify 2018 production by May 1, 2019. Since its launch in September 2018, more than 864,000 producers have applied, supporting those hit hard with nearly $8 billion in estimated payments. 

    Producers of corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, shelled almonds, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat should apply at their local Farm Service Agency(FSA) office.

    “Farmers are very resilient, and these payments are helping agricultural producers meet some of the costs of disrupted markets in 2018,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey. “We view it as a short-term solution to help America’s farmers, and we encourage impacted producers to apply for this program by the February 14 deadline.”

    USDA previously announced the second and final round of trade mitigation payments. Producers need only sign-up once for the MFP to be eligible for the first and second payments. 

    How to Apply

    MFP applications are available online at www.farmers.gov/MFP. Applications can be completed at a local FSA office or submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing or faxing. To locate or contact your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov.

    Applications can also be completed via the farmers.gov dashboard by producers who have Level 2 eAuthentication accounts. Sign into the dashboard here: https://www.farmers.gov/sign-in. Producers who do not have an account can register for an account at www.eauth.usda.gov.


  46. Critics Say Tax Relief Legislation Would Widen Racial Inequities

  47. New Law Would Protect Students Who Use CBD and THC-A Oils

  48. Local Student Athletes Sign With Bluefield College

    Local Softball Standouts Grason Hudson of Parkview High School in South Hill, Virginia and Madison Prince of Greensville County High School in Emporia, Virginia signed letters of intent with Bluefield College. Grayson and Madison are shown with Bluefield College Head Softball Coach Drew Bailey and Bluefield CollegeTrustee Martha Dodd-Slippy.

    Grayson and Madison with Bluefield College Head Softball Coach Drew Bailey, Bluefield College Trustee Martha Dodd-Slippy and their parents (standing, l-r) Kresha And Allen Fulks and Keith Prince

    Madison Prince and her family - Keith Prince, and Joyce Jones, Taylor Mattox, Michael Jones and Wanda Clements.  Also pictured are Bluefield College Trustee Martha Dodd-Slippy and Bluefield College Head Softball Coach Drew Bailey

    Grayson Hudson and her family - Kresha and Allen Fulks, Katherine Fulks, Skyla Williams, Shawn Williams, Dylan Williams, Justin Hudson, Allison Edwards, Shawn Sulks

    Grayson and Madison with Rustin Jesse, Martha Dodd-Slippy, Greensville County High School Coach and A. D. Ruby Allen and Travel Ball Coaches Sean Wade and Milton Benton

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  49. Music Therapy Remains an Uncertified Medical Practice in Virginia

  50. Rep. McEachin Leads Members of VA Congressional Delegation in Letter Opposing Seismic Airgun Blasting and Offshore Drilling

    WASHINGTON – Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) led a letter, signed by every Democratic member of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, expressing opposition to the five Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) permits issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last November, and requesting the Trump Administration revoke these IHAs and refrain from issuing seismic airgun survey permits off the coast of Virginia. The letter also expresses opposition to the inclusion of the Commonwealth’s offshore area in the final 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

    “Virginians have too much to lose when we prioritize polluters’ profits over the health and safety of our ocean and coastal communities,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “Seismic airgun blasting can devastate marine life, including endangered species and essential fish stocks. History has shown us that offshore drilling accidents can irrevocably harm coastal communities’ economies, public health and marine life – and compromise military activities that are important to national security. The potential toll from an oil spill—in terms of damages, injuries, deaths, and other harms—is incalculable. I urge the administration to listen to Virginians, who have expressed vehement opposition to all forms of oil and gas exploration off Virginia’s coast.”

    “In Virginia alone, more than 20 communities have officially voiced their opposition to seismic surveys and offshore drilling, including Virginia Beach and Norfolk – Virginia’s most populous cities. The Commonwealth has a diverse and robust economy based on sectors like tourism, recreation, aquaculture, deepwater port commerce, and Department of Defense infrastructure. Moving forward with seismic testing and offshore drilling could threaten these critical engines of Virginia’s economy, along with the valuable ecosystems along the coast and within the Chesapeake Bay. These shores, and the ecosystems and jobs they support, are simply too vital to the Commonwealth to risk,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Our constituents remain concerned with the administration’s efforts to open the Commonwealth’s offshore area to oil and gas exploration and drilling. Accordingly, we again request that the Department of Commerce revoke these IHAs, and that the Department of the Interior deny all pending seismic survey permits for the Atlantic.”

    “Assaulting our ocean with seismic airguns in search of dirty and dangerous offshore oil is reckless and wrong,” saidDiane Hoskins, Offshore Drilling Campaign Director of Oceana. “Today’s letter calls on President Trump’s administration to do the right thing and protect Virginia from the harms associated with offshore drilling. Seismic airgun blasting threatens serious injury and even death to whales, dolphins and other marine life.  This dangerous blasting is being proposed so that companies can come in and drill for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast. Local communities and businesses up and down the East Coast have objected to expanded offshore drilling activities, like seismic airgun blasting.”

    Full letter text is available here.


  51. New Law Seeks to Treat Pets More Humanely

  52. Virginia Expresses ‘Profound Regret’ for History of Lynchings

  53. Four Bills Target Nicotine Products and Underage Smoking

  54. Dr. Indu Shivaram Joins VCU Health CMH

    Dr. Indu Shivaram

    South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Indu Shivaram to our family of healthcare providers.  Dr. Shivaram specializes in Pulmonology and Critical Care.

    Dr. Shivaram earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Government Medical College in India and completed her Fellowship in pulmonary medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and her Fellowship in critical care medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. 

    Dr. Shivaram comes to South Hill from New York where she was an attending physician in pulmonary and critical care medicine. She is Board Certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and internal medicine.

    Dr. Shivaram is currently working at CMH ENT and Pulmonology Services located inside the C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  She is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE). To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org


  55. Dr. Khalid Mojadidi Joins VCU Health CMH

    Dr. Khalid Mojadidi

    South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Dr. Kahlid Mojadidi to our family of healthcare providers.  Dr. Mojadidi specializes in Cardiology.

    Dr. Mojadidi earned a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the Shifa College of Medicine in Pakistan and completed his Fellowship in cardiology at the University of Florida. 

    Dr. Mojadidi comes to South Hill from VCU in Richmond, where he is an Assistant Professor. He is skilled in cardiovascular disease, cardiac catheterization, transthoracic echocardiography, TEE, nuclear cardiac imaging, cardiac CT, Holter monitoring, stress testing, pacemaker & ICD management

    Dr. Mojadidi is currently working at CMH Cardiology Services located inside the C.A.R.E. Building, 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill.  He is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 584-2273 (CARE).

    Dr. Mojadidi joins Dr. Bethany Denlinger, Dr. Jayanthi Koneru, and Dr. Nimesh Patel, to provide a complete range of personalized and preventive cardiac care.  To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

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  56. Jenea Bennett-Talley, FNP-C, Joins VCU Health CMH

    Jenea Bennett-Talley, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

    South Hill – VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill would like to welcome Family Nurse Practitioner, Jenea Bennett-Talley to our family of healthcare providers.  Nurse Practitioner Bennett-Talley specializes in Family Care.

    Jenea Bennett-Talley earned her MSN Family Nurse Practitioner degree from Chamberlain University in Illinois where she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.  Jenea is also certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

    Nurse Practitioner Bennett-Talley is currently working at Chase City Primary Care Center located at 200 East Fifth Street in Chase City.  She is accepting new patients; to schedule an appointment call (434) 372-0900. To view a full list of services visit:  VCU-CMH.org

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  57. Virginia Legislature Makes Moves to Keep Tuition Down

  58. Senate OKs Bill Requiring Daycare Facilities to Test Water for Lead

  59. Advocates Still Pushing for Virginia to Ratify ERA

  60. Virginia Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Happy Hour Ads

  61. Tammy Ezzell Receivs Scholorship

    Tammy Ezell (Center) of Brodnax, a resident of Brodnax, is the recipient of the K. George Verghese Memorial Academic Merit Award for Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC).  This award recognizes her academic achievements.  The award was established by the Arts and Sciences faculty at the Christanna Campus of SVCC and supported by the Verghese family to commemorate the instrumental role played by Dr. Verghese in the establishment of both the Registered Nursing and Practical Nursing programs at the college.  Leigh Moore (Left), Associate Professor of Nursing, and Felicia Omick (Right), Associate Professor of Nursing, are shown with Ms. Ezell.  

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  62. Donati Ray High, Sr.

    September 02, 1952 - February 06, 2019

    Public Viewing Funeral Service Interment

    Saturday, February 09, 2019
    9:00 AM - 11:45 AM

    Knox-High Chapel
    568 Halifax Street
    Emporia, VA 23847

    Saturday, February 09, 2019
    12:00 PM

    Knox-High Chapel
    568 Halifax Street
    Emporia, VA 23847

    Saturday, February 09, 2019

    Williams Family Cemetery
    Tall Oaks Drive
    Emporia, Virginia 23847


    Donati Ray High, Sr. was born September 2, 1952 in Northampton County, North Carolina to Susie High (Jones) and the late H. Millard Moody. Donati was raised in the loving home of the late Bobie Moss and Gladys High Moss.

    He was joined in Holy Matrimony to Vanessa Roberts on August 30, 1975. To this blessed union, two children were born Yannah and Donati Jr.

    Donati was educated in the Greensville County Public School system. He then went on to graduate from Norfolk State University with a Bachelorette degree in Business Administration. Later he matriculated to John Tyler Community College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science, beginning his career as a licensed funeral director in 1978.

    Through the years he loved being of service to his community. Donati held a variety of public leadership roles including past president of The Southside Virginia Funeral Directors Association, member of the Greensville County School Board and member of the Emporia Greensville chapters of the NAACP and SCLC. He was also a proud member of Pi Sigma Eta National Morticians Fraternity and Epsilon Nu Delta Fraternity, Inc.

    Donati was preceded in death by: one brother Bobie Moss, two sisters, Debra Bennett and Clara Robinson-Slade.

    He leaves to cherish his memories his wife of forty-three (43) years, Vanessa R. High. His children Yannah (Polycarp) Mbanuzue of Greensboro, NC and Donati R. High, Jr. of Emporia, VA. Four brothers Dexter (Vivian) Jones of Littleton, NC, Terrance (LaKasia) Jones, of Lake City, FL, Marcus (Erika) Jones of Enfield, NC and Louis (Jacquilinda) Moody of Raleigh, NC. Five Sisters Mertikae (Sherman) Hill of Randallstown, MD, Willie Sue (Charles) Green of Swan Quarter, NC, Terrie (Sherman) Wilkins of Jarratt, VA, Nolita (Alvin) Lundy of Roanoke Rapids, NC and Lolita (Frank) McNair of Gaston, NC. One Grandchild Leilani Mbanuzue. Two brothers-in-law Lester (Delores) Roberts of Maplewood, NJ and Marty (Lesia) Tillery of Warner Robins, GA. A host of nieces and nephews, cousins and dear loved ones.

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  63. Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces 2018 Employee & Managers of the Year

    Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces 2018 Employee & Managers of the Year

    Emporia, VA – Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) has named its 2018 Employee and Managers of the Year. Employees and managers are nominated for these awards by their colleagues based on their commitment to patient care, their professionalism, and their contributions on the job. The recognitions are the highest honors hospital employees can receive.

    Employee of the Year

    Laboratory Supervisor, Vickie Michael, MT has been employed at SVRMC since May 1978. Ms. Michael assists the Medical Director and the Administrative Director with management and policy implementation for the operations of the Lab. She is instrumental to our successful Joint Commission Surveys.  Her colleagues had the following to say about her: “Vickie is well respected by her co-workers. She has a wealth of knowledge and always ensures quality laboratory testing.  Vickie has a strong commitment to her co-workers and a sense of ownership that is demonstrated by her quality of work. We are lucky to have Vickie on our team.”

    Clinical Manager of the Year

    Pamela Low, Director of Imaging, has been employed at SVRMC since September 1974.  She is responsible for the daily activities of the imaging department, including staffing and budgeting. Ms. Low’s co-workers had the following to say about her: “Pam is respected by all at SVRMC, including her peers, physicians and staff. She displays great customer service skills and has a unique ability for service recovery.  She makes sure that her department aligns with the goals for our hospital and she puts the patients first during every encounter.  She often volunteers at community events; representing the facility and being a champion for SVRMC and the services we provide.”

    Non-Clinical Manager of the Year

    Dexter Arrington, Finance Controller, has been employed at SVRMC since December 2013.He is responsible for all accounting, budgetary and financial planning activities of the hospital, supervising the accounting department, and assisting the CFO. Mr. Arrington’s co-workers had the following to say about him: “Dexter has proven himself to be effective and instrumental within the finance and accounting operations of our facility. He continually maintains a positive attitude, takes on any challenge presented to him, has an impeccable work ethic, and maintains a high level of professionalism with everyone that he interacts with or supports. Dexter is well respected by his peers and by facility leadership.”


  64. Virginia Moves to Raise Age to Buy Tobacco Products

  65. Hundreds of Anti-abortion Activists Rally at Virginia Capitol

  66. Willie Bryant Morgan

    Willie Bryant Morgan, 87, died Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at his home.

    A native of Greensville county, he was the son of the late Willie T. Morgan Jr. and Estelle C. Morgan. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a sister, Elsie M. Williams, and a brother, Thomas F. Morgan. Mr. Morgan retired from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti Michigan, as an English, Speech and Drama Professor, and enjoyed traveling after his retirement

    He is survived by two sisters, Virginia M. Geris of Manassas and Mary M. Wolfe of Mechanicsville.

    A private burial will take place at a later date.

    Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  67. City Council Votes to Continue Funding Greensville-Emporia Transportation System

    After a great many public comments at the last City Council meeting, the Council reconsidered the decision to pull out of the GET System at their meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

    The bus service was necessitated by the move of nearly all shared services to the Greensville County Government Center. The SVCC Education center was put on 301 North even though the Tobacco Commission thought the best place for it was the vacant schools on Main Street (thay have since been demolished). All county business that is not Social Services or court related is transacted at the Greensville County Government Center. The project to move the Department of Social Services has already begun, and the current building in the City will be vacant when the move occurs.

    Without the transportation system, anyone in need of the Department of Social Services will have difficulty getting to the office. Given that the people in need of Social Services are likely to hot have access to transportation, the GET System is a major step in that relocation of shared services to the County Government Center.

    After the motion was made and seconded, only Council Members Jim Saunders and F. Woodrow Harris had comments.

    Council Member Saunders started with the numbers. The budget for the system is $160,000. Of that, $79K is supplied by the Federal Government, $19K comes from the Commonwealth of Virginia and $33K is paid by the Department of Social Services. The City of Emporia and Greensville County both contribute to the system as well, and the portion that the City was expected increased dramatically last year. That dramatic increase was the reason for the City's desire to cease funding the system.

    Only $5,000 is generated by rider’s fares.

    Saunders hoped that the motion could be amended to allow the City to pull out of the system within 60 days, instead of 12 months, should any of the major funding sources be reduced or stop. The motion was never amended.

    Council Member F. Woodrow Harris started his comments by stating the he felt that the “small handful of people that utilize” the transportation was not likely to increase. In a reference to the comments made by citizens at the last meeting, he said that understood that one of the speakers had a bit more cash in her wallet at the end of the month by not needing to take a cab to the grocery store. He did not think that fact was enough to justify the lightening of the “wallets of the tax-payers of the City.” Harris also lamented that Emporia was the “land where bad ideas never die,” and did not want to “hasten our departure from common sense to nonsense” by funding this system.

    Ultimately, both Saunders and Harris voted against continued funding while Council Members Mercer, Temple, Threat and Hines voted in favor. Council Member White was absent.

    City Council will have their retreat on March 30th at the airport.

    There were some vacancies on boards and commissions. Cora Hines was reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Marva Jo Dunn resigned from both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Redevelopment and Housing Authority on January 16, 2019 and no one was nominated to fill the remainder of her unfinished terms.

    Ms. Dunn is also the City’s appointee to the Greensville County School Board, an appointment that was illegal given her membership on the Board of Zoning Appeals membership, organization, etc1. She was re-appointed to the School Board at a special meeting of the City Council on December 27, 2018. Her appointment to the RDHA was also illegal for the same reason. The Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in regard to Boards of Zoning Appeals, states that “Members of the board shall hold no other public office in the locality except that one may be a member of the local planning commission” (Code of Virginia, Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns, Chapter 22. Planning, Subdivision of Land and Zoning,  § 15.2-2308. Boards of zoning appeals to be created). Ms. Dunn’s resignation from the BZA and RDHA does nothing to negate the fact that her appointment to the School Board is illegal.

    During public comments Deacon Cornell Hines invited the members of City Council to the dedication of Habitat for Humanity’s tenth home in Emporia-Greensville. There are currently five in Greensville County and the fifth in the City of Emporia will be dedicated soon.  Deacon Hines

    The Council adjourned to closed session to discuss a matter related to the acquisition of real estate.

    Upon the return to regular session, Assistant City Manager Dr. Ed Daley explained that the City had combined five lots to make four. Of those, two have been given to habitat for Humanity. A previous arrangement specified that upon the completion of the houses on the first two lots, the additional lots would be transferred to habitat for Humanity.

    (Editor's Note: This article was updated on Thursday, February 7, 2019 to include a citation for the quote from the Code of Virginia as found on the Virginia Legislative Information System, to fix some style errors and to include the name of the Assistant City Manager that had been omited.)

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  68. General Assembly Bans Holding Cellphones While Driving

  69. Bills Push to Hide Lottery Winners’ Identities

  70. Senate Bill Requires Ethics Training for Local Officials

  71. As Redistricting Plans Advance, Advocates Slam House GOP Bill

  72. “A Wealth Unknown”

    For many years I traveled
    far across the USA
    stopping for a week, a month
    yet sometimes just a day.
    I’ve seen majestic mountains
    and valleys rich below
    yes no where that I ever went
    God’s greatness didn’t show.
    The beauty of the meadows
    with flowers along the brook
    now to appreciate creation
    all one has to do is look.
    Nature provides a wealth unknown
    with butterflies, birds and bees
    it can make one of true conviction
    fall humbly to their knees.
    Take the time for to enjoy
    it’s there for all to share
    walking thru the fields and woodlands
    or just breathing mountain air.
    The value it is priceless
    so give thanks to God above
    yes all this beauty was created
    while showing us His love.
                                  Roy E. Schepp

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  73. Deborah Jean Ferguson

    Services Visitation

    Saturday, February 9, 2 pm

    Greensville Memorial Cemetery

    1520 Skippers Road, Emporia

    Saturday, February 9, Following Service

    Echols Funeral Home

    806 Brunswick Ave, Emporia

    Deborah Jean Ferguson went home to her Maker on January 19, 2019.

    Debbie was born on October 25, 1954 in Roanoke Rapids, NC and grew up in Skippers, VA. She graduated with honors from Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville, VA and from Smithdeal-Massey Business College in Richmond. Debbie worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Richmond Housing Authority and School Board, the Maryland Cup Company, and Alexander and Alexander.

    Debbie was passionate about weaving, the disability community, and nature. She was a long-standing member of the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore. Debbie led a group who wove placemats for the dining room of the Maryland Governor’s Mansion. She also was part of a group who wove tapestries depicting the Baltimore skyline. Debbie was an active member of the Perky Hornets Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Bowling Program, an adaptive sport league for people living with MS in Baltimore. When the league lost its funding, she secured a grant to allow the league to continue. Debbie was invited to join the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities because of her work with her physician’s office and neighborhood library to reconfigure their parking to accommodate vehicles modified for those with disabilities. She won first prize at the Maryland State Fair for her photograph of a butterfly. Debbie loved cats, birds, and all of nature.

    Debbie is survived by her son Gavin Rosenbush (Linda), daughter Amanda Lippa (Ariel), two grandchildren, extended family, and dear friends. She was predeceased by her parents Edward and Lucille (Collins) Ferguson. She was recently divorced from Robert Rosenbush.

    A graveside service will be held on February 9th at 2 p.m. at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, 1250 Skippers Rd, Emporia, VA. The family will receive guests immediately afterwards at Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave, Emporia, VA from 3-4 p.m.

    Donations may be made in Debbie’s memory to the National MS Society, P.O. Box 4527, New York, NY 10163.

    On line condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  74. Microsoft Donates to Southside Virginia Community College

    Shown with the donation from Microsoft to Southside Virginia Community College are (Left to Right) Kelly Arnold, SVCC Apprenticeship Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, and Mary Jane Elkins, Dean of Institutional Advancement for SVCC.

    With a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft has reached out to Southside Virginia in a big way.  Anthony Putorek, Senior Lead Workforce Development Program Manager for Microsoft, said simply, “We are investing in people and developing communities.”

    The company recently donated another $45,000 towards student success and has invested in the community by providing 14 scholarships to students in the past.

    The students take classes through Southside Virginia Community College’s Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill and the IT Academy (ITA) of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston.

    Dr. Al Roberts said, “Microsoft has been a true partner in our community and has provided valuable support for this IT program offering.  We appreciate their investment in the future of Southside Virginia.”

    Microsoft announced their investment in bringing a data center to Mecklenburg County’s Boydton Industrial Park in 2010.  Since that time, the company is investing in training Southside people for jobs where IT skills are needed. 

    The CITE and ITA labs are an example of how a partnership can make things happen for a community. Microsoft and their involvement impacts Southside Virginia and those seeking a future with a career in IT.

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    Greensville County has retained Pearson’s Appraisal Service, Inc., to perform the 2020 General Reassessment of real estate, which will become effective January 1, 2020. The County currently performs real estate reassessment every 6 years. The Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, mandates that each locality periodically perform a general reassessment of real estate to determine each property’s fair market.

    All associates of the reassessment team will be carrying a photo I.D. and County Reassessment signs will be displayed on their vehicles. Appraisers will be viewing dwellings and properties, as well as taking exterior pictures/measurements in order to determine fair market value. No reassessment staff will be entering any home. The ultimate goal is to get a good, accurate assessment of all real estate in the County.

    Field assessments are expected to be completed by September 2019. Notices of the assessments will be mailed out to property owners in November 2019. These notices will also give the details on the method of appealing the proposed assessed values.

    Property owners are encouraged to provide the appraisers with any additional information that may be helpful in assessing their property. To provide information, please call 540-480-6175.

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  76. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Would Become Governor if Northam Resigns

  77. Northam Denies Racist Photo And Says He Won’t Resign

  78. Both Democrats and Republicans Demand Gov. Northam’s Resignation

  79. Virginia Sees Population Booms and Big Declines

  80. House OKs Letting Parents Review School Materials

  81. Administration Officials Stress Need for Broadband Access for all Rural Virginia at Annual Caucus Reception

    RICHMOND, Virginia (January 31, 2019) – Bringing universal broadband coverage to rural Virginia remains a top priority for the Commonwealth, Governor Ralph Northam told more than 200 elected officials, business and government leaders at the annual Rural Caucus Reception in Richmond on Wednesday, January 30.
    “There is no way today that business can grow in Virginia, there is no way that a business will want to come to Virginia, especially rural Virginia, if we don’t have universal access to broadband,” Northam said. “Our goal in Virginia is to make Virginia the most business-friendly state in the country. We want to make sure all Virginians, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, have a job to support themselves and their families with.”
    In addition to Northam, Lt. Governor of Virginia Justin Fairfax and Joseph Mengedoth, Associate Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank gave brief remarks to attendees at the annual event co-hosted by the Center for Rural Virginia and the Virginia Association of Counties.
    A number of secretariats, other state administration officials and members of the General Assembly’s Rural Caucus attended. All told, representatives from 30 counties across the state attended the event, and hundreds more tuned in to the Facebook Live video feed and live Twitter coverage.
    “Coming together at events like this – sharing challenges and best practices face-to-face – are among the best ways we can all advocate for rural Virginia,” said Kristie Proctor, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Virginia. “Seeing so many representatives from across the Commonwealth – from the farthest corner of Southwest Virginia to the most eastern shores of rural coastal Virginia – at our annual Rural Caucus Reception gives me great hope for what we can all accomplish this year.”

    With the General Assembly still in their 2019 session, economic development remains a key topic when it comes to developing policy to grow rural Virginia.
    While the Virginia unemployment rate currently sits at 2.8 percent, Northam said, “I remind people that if you go to the Eastern Shore where I’m from, or the Southside or the Southwest, we still have a lot of work to do.”
    In addition to broadband, among the initiatives legislators are tracking this General Assembly session include improvements on the Interstate 81 corridor where a great deal of commerce occurs, supporting continued efforts to attract visitors to Virginia with tourism being the fifth largest industry in the state, and the importance of supporting and growing agriculture and forestry operations across the Commonwealth.
    “People sometimes forget that agriculture and forestry remain the number one industry in Virginia,” Northam said. “We need to do everything that we can to encourage our farmers, our foresters.”
    Ninety percent of Virginia is rural, Lt. Governor Fairfax noted in his remarks.
    “Opportunity is the oxygen of a democracy and where it exists people and communities grow and thrive,” Fairfax said. “We want to make sure there is more opportunity in all parts of the Commonwealth, but in particular in our rural areas.”

    People in rural Virginia need those opportunities, Mengedoth of the Federal Reserve Bank noted.
    In some rural Virginia areas, Mengedoth explained in his remarks, the unemployment rate is on the decline not because people are finding jobs, but rather because people are giving up looking for jobs and leaving the labor force all together.
    “I believe we live in the best state in the best country in the world,” Northam said “Let’s all continue to work together to do everything that we can to bring rural Virginia back.”

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