Most full-time government, school employees would qualify for salary increase
UPDATED: MAR. 11, 10:17 P.M. – Henrico County has tightened its belt during the past four years, trimming $115 million in expenses, cutting nearly 10 percent of its workforce through attrition and the elimination of vacant budgeted positions while asking each of its agencies to scale back on spending but not on services. Many of those cuts were suggested by county employees, who recommended them when county officials sought their input.
So, it made sense to County Manager John Vithoulkas to reinvest some of that savings into the workforce that produced it to begin with.
Vithoulkas tonight presented to the county’s Board of Supervisors his $1.097-billion operating budget proposal, which calls for the first raise for eligible full-time county employees in three years. The unique salary hike would would provide a 3 percent raise to full-time general government and school system employees with more than three years of service as of Jan. 1, 2015 and a 2.4 percent raise (the equivalent of a one-step increase on the county’s pay scale) to those with 1 to 3 years of service. > Read more.
Bhutanese brothers landed in Henrico after winding journey
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a three-part series about Bhutanese refugees living in Henrico County.
* * *
Hem and Chitra Bhattarai were finishing each other’s sentences, doubling over with laughter as they recounted a story from their childhood.
The men, natives of the Asian nation of Bhutan who now live in Henrico’s West End, were discussing the punishment levied against them years ago by the Bhutanese government for their father’s role in protesting laws that discriminated against Nepali-speaking Bhutanese people. > Read more.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 03/10/2014 Henrico Schools
On Feb. 27, the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond (ICGR) recognized more than 50 Richmond metropolitan area high school students at the 47th Annual Brotherhood Sisterhood Youth Awards.
Held at River Road Baptist Church, the event featured keynote speaker Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, superintendent of Hanover County Schools, and honored 18 Henrico students for their efforts to improve human relations and inter-group understanding and demonstrate caring for others. > Read more.
Fifth-grader will compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee in May
Citizen Staff Reports 03/10/2014 Henrico Schools
Fifth-grader and Henrico County Public Schools spelling champion Tejas Muthusamy won the 40th Annual Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee Saturday. Muthusamy, of Rivers Edge Elementary, bested champions representing 30 central Virginia school divisions. He now advances to the Scripps National Spelling Bee May 27-29 at National Harbor near Washington DC.
Muthusamy, 11, was one of the youngest participants in the regional contest, which includes students in grades 5-8.
To win, Muthusamy correctly spelled the word “brigand,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “one who lives by plunder usually as a member of a band.” > Read more.
Thanks in part to several new initiatives enacted by Henrico Police officials, the number of violent and non-violent crimes reported in the county last year dropped slightly from 2012 figures, as did the total number of arrests made by police, according to agency statistics.
The county recorded its lowest crime rate per 1,000 residents ever (26.45), according to Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton, who said that the number was encouraging but added “we aren’t done yet.”
Henrico saw its non-violent crime rate drop about 1 percent from 2012 to 2013 and its violent crime rate fall by about 2.5 percent during the same period. It’s the latter that has been a chief focus of Middleton and his staff. > Read more.
- More Henrico News
Henrico's Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of only 20 gardens in North America nominated for USA Today’s “10Best Reader’s Choice” contest for Best Public Garden.
The 20 public gardens nominated are:
• Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
• Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
• Buthcart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.
• Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga. > Read more.
Photo by Patty Kruszewski/Henrico Citizen 02/24/2014
The Fifth Annual Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) Award Banquet, held Feb. 6 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, honored HPAL’s top volunteers and employees, including Morgan Lewis, Youth of the Year; Dale Alexander, Volunteer of the Year; Lowell Thomas, Employee of the Year, and Victor Williams, Board Member of the Year. Also honored for their support were Jim and Christi Dowd of Richmond BMW and Josh Davis of Henrico County Public Schools Pupil Transportation.
Keynote speaker for the banquet was Tim Hightower, a University of Richmond alumnus and former NFL running back. Hightower was introduced by Billy McMullen, former NFL player and a Henrico PAL board member. > Read more.
The Pocahontas Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Colonists, based in western Henrico, last year donated more than $1.3 million worth of manufacturers coupons to U.S. military personnel overseas. Throughout 2013, members and friends of the chapter clipped 952,349 manufacturers’ coupons valued at $1,350,630, which Program Chairman Carole Featherston shipped to U.S. military bases abroad. Military personnel can use the coupons when shopping in base stores.
The National Society Daughters of American Colonists is a women’s genealogical and patriotic society whose members are descended from a man or woman who rendered civil or military service in any of the American colonies prior to July 4, 1776. > Read more.
But animated South African film has its moments
You might have seen something called Khumba while clicking through a Redbox recently (or perhaps it was nestled in some hidden corner of a DVD sale shelf). And chances are, you passed it by without much of a thought. Makes sense; that goggle-eyed cartoon zebra on the cover (a zebra that’s dangerously close to becoming Madagascar copyright infringement) doesn’t inspire much confidence.
But when Khumba starts up, it looks nothing like you’d expect. The camera gazes across the savannah and the soundtrack swells with triumphant South African vocals. > Read more.
If you’re looking for a date night with someone special, Henrico is the place to be! Check out a classic 90s movie, “My Girl,” at Henrico Theatre; Circa, an innovative circus from Australia, will dazzle at the University of Richmond; and celebrate TGIF at Keagan’s Restaurant where the PJ Bottoms Band is performing. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Abstract paintings of Inge Strack (pictured) are on display through March 9 at the Gumenick Family Gallery at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Strack, a Chestefield painter of German origin, often paints in bold colors with a deep sense of emotion, focusing on brushstrokes, texture and form to find a balance. Strack’s painting is routed in the European tradition of expressionism but has found its own, unique language in following the American dream.
“I am not attempting to abstract the physical world," she said. "I draw my subject matter from inside of myself hoping to create a constant conversation between the viewer and the painting, especially since abstracts do not seem to answer but ask.” > Read more.