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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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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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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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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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.


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