June 2017

Carroll Ashby Webb

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

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Social Security AND MEDICARE aRE Lasting Sources of Independence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RAM Clinic Statistics, etc

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

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

RAM of VA Staff & Core Volunteers

Al Reavis, Food Coordinator

Andrea Mora, Communications

Bill Herrington, Ambassador

Claressa Strawn, Core Lead

Deborah Burkett, Core Lead

Elise Brown, Core Lead

Elizabeth Cunningham, Communications

Evan Scisson, Pharmacy & Core Lead

Glenda Creath, Core Lead

James Givens, Ambassador

Jean Blackburn, Core Lead

John Holtcamp, Ambassador

Karen Faison, Medical Director (dental)

Linda Burnette, Medical Director (medical)

Lue Ward, Ambassador

Mckinley Jordan, Ambassador


Marc Vaneck, Vision Lead

Michelle Thomas, Narcan Lead

Michelle WhiteHurst-Cook, Medical  & Core Lead

Noreago Drumgoole, Core Lead

Polly Cole, Medical & Core Lead

Purlie Banks, Ambassador

Richard Gilbert, Core Lead

Ricky Frances, Core Lead

Sara Cariano, Communications

Shelby Cornick, Ambassador

Takisha Carr, Core Lead

Trina Evans, Communication

Tommy Council, Ambassador

Wendy Wright, Core Lead


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous July 4th Fatality Statistics*:



# of Days










   *Traffic Crash Facts, VA Highway Safety Office, DMV               



UPDATE - Mrs. Strickland has been found safely.







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Fish Tales

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

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

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

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

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VSP Investigating Fatal Brunswick County Crash

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

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

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

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

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

The crash remains under investigation.

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Improvement Association Plans "Total Service Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Isaiah Stephens Going to Nationals

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

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

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Local Teen Raising Money for Church Flagpole

Tyler Dunn hopes to raise $2,200

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Over 700 Served at First Southside RAM Clinic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo from Facebook.com.RAMVirginia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming clinics in Virginia include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jane Stainback Moss

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

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Frank Spencer Anderson, III

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

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Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program with Krendl Magic

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

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

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Boyd Chevrolet Supports Jackson-Feild


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

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

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

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

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

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CCH Coffee Chat - Social Connectivity and Aging

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

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

Certificates of Attendance can be made available.

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

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


CARITAS to open recovery program for women

By Carolanne Wilson, VCU Capital News Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about CARITAS and The Healing Place


Website: https://caritasva.org/

Phone: 804-358-0964

Email: info@caritasva.org

The Healing Place

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

Address: 700 Dinwiddie Ave., Richmond, VA 23224

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

Email: thehealingplace@caritasva.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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Southside RAM this Weekend!

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

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

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


Greensville County High School


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

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Brother and Sister Medal in Shot Put

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

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

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

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Market Square Concerts in South Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Cynthia "Cindy" Veliky Murphy

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

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


Happy Father's Day (Do You Qualify)

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

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Workforce Development Week began June 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace Improvement Act would:

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

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

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

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SVCC 2017 Machining Skills Graduates

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

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

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Colleges must provide counseling after a student suicide

By Mai-Lan Spiegel, VCU Capital News Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help is available to prevent suicide

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

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Extremely Low Turnout Marks Primary Elections

Democratic Primary Results


Statewide (at time of publication)

City of Emporia

Greensville County



Ballots Cast: 292

Ballots Cast: 609

Ralph S. Northam

284,605 (55.78%)

194 (66.45%)

437 (71.76%)

Tom S. Perriello

225,628 (44.22%)

98 (33.56%)

172 (28.24%)

Lt. Governor


Ballots Cast: 281

Ballots Cast: 565

Justin E. Fairfax

237,406 (49.21%)

206 (73.31%)

399 (70.62%)

Gene J. Rossi

56,990 (11.81%)

37 (13.17%)

71 (12.57%)

Susan S. Platt

188,061 (38.98%)

38 (13.52%)

95 (16.81%)


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

Republican Primary Results


Statewide (at time of publication)

City of Emporia

Greensville County



Ballots Cast: 154

Ballots Cast: 290

Edward W. “Ed” Gillespie

153,422 (43.62%)

83 (53.90%)

169 (58.28%)

Cory A. Stewart

150,190 (42.70%)

54 (35.06%)

102 (35.17%)

Frank W. Wagner

48,129 (13.68%)

17 (11.04%)

19 (6.55%)

Lt. Governor


Ballot Cast: 142

Ballots Cast: 282

Brice E. Reeves

138,138 (40.48%)

74 (49.33%)

142 (50.90%)

Glenn R. Davis, Jr.

58,538 (17.15%)

10 (12.00%)

32 (11.47%)

Jill H. Vogel

144,566 (42.36%)

58 (38.67%)

105 (37.63%)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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