John A. Newsome

Visitation Services

Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

Echols Funeral Home

806 Brunswick Avenue

Emporia, Virginia

Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:00 A.M.

First Presbyterian Church

210 S Main St

Emporia, VA

John A. Newsome., Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army (Ret) passed away on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at the age of 78, after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife Edith, daughters Kimberly Fritz (Mike) of Biloxi, MS, and Pamela Allen (Mickey) of Emporia, VA. He is also survived by eight grandchildren; Crystal Carpenter, Lauren Aldridge, Jessica Aldridge, Katelyn Malone, A1C Stephen Malone, Michael Fritz, Kevin Allen (Loren), and Nicholas Allen. Also survived by siblings; Joanne, Richard, Donald, Frankie, and Butch. John was predeceased by parents Salem I. and Lucy W. Newsome, as well as brothers Irvin, RC (Spot), Albert, Oliver, and Robert.

John was a career Army soldier with twenty-two and one half years of service, much of which was served in Special Forces (Green Berets). His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Valor, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist’s Badge, Laotian Parachutist’s Badge, Special Forces Tab, Meritorious Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, etc.

John was a carpenter at heart; taught by his Grandfather Williams. He and his wife also established and operated Picture perfect for ten years before retirement. Prior to his illness, he traveled to Panama every summer to fish with military buddies. He was a member of Disabled Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Greensville Ruritan Club.

The family is grateful for the exceptional care from New Century Hospice, especially Brittany Edwards and the Oncology Nurses of SVRMC.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. at Echols Funeral Home. A Funeral service will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019, 11:00 A.M., at First Presbyterian Church, 210 S Main St, Emporia, VA, 23847.

In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church.

Online condolences may be made to www.echolsfuneralhome.com

New Arrivals

Event to Focus on New, Less-Restrictive Industrial Hemp Laws and the Resulting Opportunities for Virginia’s Agriculture Industry

3rd Annual Industrial Hemp Field Day, Virginia State University, June 25, 2019

VSU’s Dr. Maru Kering (left), the university’s lead industrial hemp researcher, explains to visitors to VSU’s Randolph Farm how different hemp cultivars have fared in central Virginia during a past growing year. 

On July 25, 2019, Virginia State University (VSU) will host its third annual Industrial Hemp Field Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the university’s Gateway Conference Center, 2804 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Colonial Heights, VA.
The event will provide a forum for potential growers, researchers, marketing experts and industrial hemp product users to discuss the future of the crop in Virginia and neighboring states. Attendees will receive an update on the legislation governing industrial hemp production in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as learn about the challenges and opportunities for cultivating this crop.
Speakers will also discuss the wide variety of products derived from industrial hemp. For example, hemp stalks can be used to produce biofuel, paper, upholstery, fiber for cloth and other textile items, building materials, and industrial products. Industrial hemp seeds can be used to produce animal feed and human food as well as serve as a source of oil for lotion and cosmetic products. Industrial hemp flowers can also be used to produce Cannabidiol (CBD) oil for a variety of medicinal uses.
Registration is $50 per person for the first 100 registered. It is $65 per person afterward. Registration includes lunch and is limited to the first 400 registrants. To register, visitwww.ext.vsu.edu/industrial-hemp.

During the 2019 General Assembly session, Virginia lawmakers amended the state’s industrial hemp laws to align with language in the 2018 federal farm bill passed by congress last December. They amended the definitions of cannabidiol oil, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to exclude industrial hemp in the possession of a registered person, hemp products, or an oil containing no more than 0.3% THC. As passed, the bill defines "industrial hemp" as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa that has a concentration of THC that is no greater than that allowed by federal law, and it defines "hemp product" as any finished product that is otherwise lawful and that contains industrial hemp. The bill adds the category of "dealer" in industrial hemp to the existing registration categories of grower and processor.

As a result of these changes, Virginia farmers can now apply to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) for a permit to grow industrial hemp for purposes beyond exclusively for research. VDACS reports that it has experienced a surge in grower and processor applications since December.
For more information, or if you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Laverne Morris at lmorris@vsu.edu or (804) 524-5151 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five (5) days prior to the event.
The 2019 Industrial Hemp Field Day is hosted by the university’s Agricultural Research Station (ARS), part of the university’s College of Agriculture. The ARS is responsible for carrying out the land-grant university’s mission of conducting scientific agriculture and food production research that will increase profitability for Virginia’s small, part-time and limited-resource farmers. Initiatives such as this event help support and grow Virginia’s $91 billion agriculture and forest industry.
This event is held in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.






From Farm Life to Healthcare: Dr. Richard Alexander’s Passion for Physical Therapy Began on His Family Farm

Emporia, VA - Richard M. Alexander PT, DPT, is the director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services (RTS) at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) and a first generation healthcare provider in his family.  He grew up in agriculture, working long summer hours raising tobacco, peanuts, and grain on his family’s farm in northeast North Carolina – a farm that has been in his family for 5 generations. Farm life taught him his strong work ethic and the value of hard work. It was also where he developed an appreciation for mechanical operations, something which he applies to the human body in his practice at SVRMC. Dr. Alexander says, “The body is the ultimate machine.  I love understanding the relationship between the moving parts and being able to use that knowledge to repair system failures and restore optimal performance.”

Dr. Alexander’s passion for healthcare and physical therapy can be pinpointed back to a moment in his life that sparked his drive to help people recover from injury. He explains, “My grandfather was involved in a severe car accident when I was a child and his unique injuries required unique solutions to restore his mobility.  Although I always gravitated towards healthcare, this was my first encounter with physical therapy and watching how they engineered and tailored specific interventions to his complex problems. This stuck with me from that point forward.”

Dr. Alexander brings his hometown service to the Emporia, VA, community. He is passionate about bringing top quality care to Emporia, VA; the difference, he says, is that it is delivered with small-town values and a customer service centered focus.

Dr. Alexander says the average patient is typically treated by therapy services 2-3 times per week for 6 weeks.  Unfortunately, he says, specialty healthcare services all too often gravitate towards bigger cities serving metropolitan populations; it becomes unfeasible for the average patient to make such trips with that frequency.  Dr. Alexander says, “It’s not enough for us to strive to be as good as clinics in larger areas, we must be better.” 

Rehabilitations Therapy Services at SVRMC cares for the full spectrum of rehab patients, utilizing the latest treatment techniques and equipment.This program offers a full array of therapy services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cardiac rehabilitation. The clinic is fully equipped to meet all therapy needs of Emporia and the surrounding areas. It is the only full service clinic in the area able to offer all of the aforementioned services in one place.

Physical therapy treats patients with diverse conditions, everything from heart attacks and strokes to joint replacements, sports medicine, neck and back pain, balance disorders and vertigo. For more information on how Dr. Alexander can assist you with recovery from injury, cardiac surgery, or pain management, contact Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC at 434-348-4871.


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