Henrico County VA
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Henrico’s grocery wars

By the time you finish reading this column, another grocer will have announced plans to open a new store in Henrico County.

Ok, maybe not quite. But doesn’t it feel that way?

Since last fall:
• Kroger has opened its newest “superstore” on Staples Mill Road at Hungary Spring Road;

Would you like extra tax with that?

Are you paying too much when you buy food or drinks in Henrico County?

Maybe.

Some Henrico consumers have been charged the county’s new 4-percent meals tax on items that shouldn’t have been taxed. Beverages purchased by themselves, for example, are not taxable under the new ordinance, which took effect June 1.

Justice unserved

A 23-year-old mother whose negligence caused the deaths of her two young children last year is a free woman, thanks to an unconscionable decision by a Henrico judge last week.

Judge Gary Hicks decided that 72 days in jail last year was enough for Chester resident Brittney Downing, who intentionally left her three-month-old daughter and 20-month-old son in her car last May, while she worked an eight-hour job at the Comfort Suites hotel at Virginia Center in Glen Allen.

Cemeteries: for reverence or recreation?


When the story broke recently about an uproar over an Easter egg hunt in a Norfolk cemetery, I took more than a passing interest.

You see, I spend a lot of time in a cemetery these days. My daughter Lanie is buried at Hollywood, and I visit her grave and walk the cemetery at least three times a week.

I am partial to the place -- you might even say possessive. I think of it as my cemetery, while realizing that I actually share ownership with thousands of area residents, tourists, and descendants and relatives of the interred.

Cooking for a vegetarian wanna-be

You know your 13-year-old child is truly growing up when he announces his plan to become a vegetarian, effective immediately.

“But you like meat,” I pointed out.

“True. But I don’t like the idea of eating animals.” He rubbed his belly sentimentally. “It doesn’t make me feel good.”

Apparently, meat of the porcine and bovine variety particularly bothers him. And poultry doesn’t sound too appetizing to him either. (Fish we can slaughter at will.)

Cross-country walker hits the lucky seven

During Memorial Day weekend, I imagine that many of you went to cookouts, ate hotdogs, visited the beach, boated on The River, attended memorial services and rode or walked in parades.

If not for a broken vase and a laceration requiring seven stitches, I might have done the same.

Instead, I spent part of my weekend involved in a personal memorial observance, and in a small, ragtag, but meaningful parade along the streets of Henrico.

My Memorial Day journey began when George Throop of Vancouver, Wash. – nearing the end of his own 4,500 mile, three-year walk across America – crossed the Huguenot Bridge into Henrico County and headed for Richmond along River Road.

‘Cromagnon Mom’ pleads for higher driving age


Among some of my parenting peers, I am sure I was considered overly permissive in my child-rearing.

I was not strict on bedtimes; I let my girls get crazy dirty, wear jeans and t-shirts and do other 'unfeminine' things. On occasion I even let them listen to rap music, or join me at Legend Brewing for movie night.

But to my own three kids, I was always Cromagnon Mom – especially on the topic of teen-age driving.

Coming to grips with postpartum depression

Sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, I warmed up a bottle and sat down to feed my son. At just four weeks old, my first-born had proven to be worth the wait. I glanced at the clock - it was 3 a.m. – and as I started to drift off, my eyes focused on the closet door.

I wonder what sound his head would make if I slammed him against the door?

I needed help.

End-of-day rituals create comfort, sense of belonging


If your New Year’s resolution is to slow down the pace of your family life, find some quiet moments and make more good memories, you may be in the market for some ideas about creating after-school and bedtime rituals.

In a back-to-school Family Forum column, we examined some ways that parents can build little rituals into the morning send-off routines, and suggested a couple of rituals to make the homecoming hours nicer as well, such as teatime and old-fashioned popcorn popping.

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Community

Cure by Design celebrates cancer survivors

Among the surprise celebrity appearances at the Sept. 24 Cure by Design Fashion Show was one by top male model Brad Kroenig (pictured with Sydney Page and First Lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell, the honorary chair for the event).

Governor Bob McDonnell also dropped in to join his wife at the gala, which was held at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in Short Pump, while national designer Alex Garfield drummed up bids for the live auction.

The event centered around a fashion show featuring nearly 50 local cancer survivors as models. Following the fashion show, the traditional champagne toast and birthday reception was held to honor survivors, who posed with family and friends and celebrated “A World with Less Cancer and More Birthdays.” > Read more.

Fun run attracts hundreds in Short Pump

Hundreds of youngsters and teens sprinted through Short Pump Oct. 1 during the C&F Bank and Lite98 Short Pump Mile and Express Fun Run, the region’s largest timed youth road race. The event took place behind Short Pump Town Center. > Read more.

2011 Christmas Mother selected

Community volunteer Bonnie L. Abernathy has been named the 2011 Henrico Christmas Mother and already is at work with hundreds of schools, businesses, civic organizations, church groups and individuals to help Henrico citizens experience the the holiday season. > Read more.

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Entertainment

ComedySportz Leases West End Space

ComedySportz, an improv theatre that closed its Lakeside location in 2009, has leased a new space in the Gold's Gym Plaza in western Henrico. > Read more.

Restaurant Watch

NOV. 15
Chipotle Mexican Grill, 4930 West Broad Street – No critical violations reported and four non-critical violations reported.
Dogwood Terrace, 10300 Three Chopt Road – One critical violation reported (chicken and dumpling mixture – chicken, vegetables and gravy sauce – found in walk-in refrigerator at improper temperatures) and three non-critical violations reported. > Read more.

‘Unanswered Prayers’ to Premier Nov. 29

Unanswered Prayers, a made-for-television movie shot in the Richmond region, including several locations in Varina, will premiere on the Lifetime Television network on Monday, Nov. 29 at 9 p.m.

The movie was produced by singer Garth Brooks and based on his song of the same name. The film explores the themes of marriage, family, community and second chances with love, asking, “Did I let the one I loved get away, or is she right in front of me?” > Read more.

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