Republicans, Democrats ready to race to fill open House seat


When Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, announced on March 18 that he would not run for re-election, local Republicans and Democrats prepared for a fight, ready for the race to fill his seat.

Massie, who said in his announcement on Facebook that his time in the House of Delegates had been “the greatest honor of (his) professional life,” had served the 72nd House district since 2008. He said he prayed before making a difficult decision.

Eddie Whitlock, the chairman of the Henrico County Republican Party, praised Massie’s record in the House. > Read more.

HCPS wins national honor for overhaul of Code of Student Conduct, supports


Henrico County Public Schools recently was recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.

The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. > Read more.

Environmentalists say budget hurts efforts to protect bay

Environmental groups are outraged at the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, released last week, reduces the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. That includes a $427 million in funding to address regional pollution, such as the Chesapeake Bay protection efforts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which received $73 million from the federal government in 2016. > Read more.
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Bank of America Operations Center sold for $38M


The Bank of America Operations Center on Villa Park Drive in Northern Henrico has a new owner.

Longships Capital, Homeward Angel, and Prudent Richmond acquired the property for $38 million. The 46-acre corporate campus consists of five buildings totaling more than 700,000 square feet of space. The buildings were constructed between 1985 and 2008 and are generally interconnected. The campus includes corporate offices, open work areas, a café and fitness facility as well as multiple raised floor data halls and a standalone enterprise data center. > Read more.

Eastern Henrico fire damages home; no one hurt


A mid-day fire in Eastern Henrico County damaged a home but did not result in any injuries.

The fire was reported at about 12:20 p.m. in the 3100 block of Yeadon Road, near the intersection of Mechanicsville Turnpike and Harvie Road. Firefighters arrived within six minutes and quickly determined that no one was home. Smoke and fire were visible from several windows, and a portion of the yard also was on fire. > Read more.

The write stuff

Budding novelists flourish in group

Like most procrastinating writers, thirty-nine-year-old Dalfonzo Williams had been mulling stories in his head for years. “I’ve always been interested in [writing] since I was a kid, but I just never followed up on it,” he said.

But last April after becoming a member of The Agile Writers, he’s almost finished with the first draft of his novel, “Sugar Spring”, a murder mystery about the kind of trouble that can happen when a guy’s ex-girlfriend walks back into his life. “I went there and pretty much have been working on it ever since,” Williams said. > Read more.

Supervisors critical of Assembly’s ‘micromanaging’

The state’s meddling in local affairs seemed an ongoing theme at Tuesday night’s Henrico Board of Supervisors work session.

“(State legislators) are looking for something to do, so they want to be local government officials,” said Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia O’Bannon, the board’s vice chairwoman.

Such gripes arose during Legislative Liaison Mike Schnurman’s presentation to the board. > Read more.

Virginia woman cited with gun at Richmond International Airport checkpoint


A Chesterfield County woman was cited on state weapons charges after she was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport checkpoint Jan. 20 when TSA officers detected a .40-caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber of the gun.

TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and cited the woman, a resident of Chester.

Travelers are responsible for the belongings that they bring to a security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to people is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. > Read more.

McAuliffe vows to veto anti-abortion bills


Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke Jan. 19 in support of legislation proposed by members of the Women’s Health Care Caucus and vowed to veto bills he believes would endanger women’s reproductive rights. McAuliffe said legislators should learn from controversies in North Carolina following the passage of what he called “socially divisive bills.” McAuliffe said he told the General Assembly not to send him these types of bills because they have no chance of becoming law.

“I have sent a strong message already. They have an abortion bill, a 20-week abortion bill, that was signed on by, I think, eight members of the General Assembly. I have made it very clear I will veto it. That bill has zero chance of becoming law in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said. > Read more.

Varina meeting Jan. 26 to highlight public safety efforts in Sandston


Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson will hold a Community Conversations meeting Thursday, Jan. 26 to discuss public safety efforts in the Sandston area.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Sandston Elementary School, 7 Naglee Ave. Nelson will be joined by representatives of the Henrico County Police Division for a discussion of its public safety efforts and how residents can help. > Read more.

Vithoulkas reflects, looks ahead in ‘State of County’ address

JAN. 23, 12:30 P.M. – “Great communities are not accidents,” Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas told a crowd of business officials during his State of the County address Monday morning at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen.

Vithoulkas explained that it was the pivotal decisions made within the past decade that have borne great fruit in terms of how Henrico County stacks up to other parts of the Commonwealth and the nation.

Among Henrico’s recent key achievements cited by Vithoulkas:

• ranking second in the state for the number of new and retained jobs;
> Read more.

Nominees sought for Community Leader of the Year Award


The Henrico Business Council will be accepting nominations for its Community Leader of the Year Award from now until February 3.

The council seeks nominees who show unwavering support for Henrico County and the business community through their involvement with Henrico; demonstrate dedication to the betterment and/or growth of Henrico County; exhibit enthusiasm for Henrico County; and have made a difference in the community. > Read more.

Living on minimum wage


Athena Jones is the first person her clients see at the start of the day. She gets them out of bed, changes their clothes and makes them breakfast. Her workday consists of providing emotional and physical support, assisting clients with bathing and bathroom visits, and helping them be as independent as possible.

As a home-care worker, this is Jones’ job. She does it for minimum wage – $7.25 an hour.

An advocate for people who struggle to live on minimum wage, Jones traveled from Portsmouth to Richmond this week to speak to legislators about bills to raise the state minimum wage above the federally mandated rate. She said a raise would help her save money and give back to her community. > Read more.

Broadband legislation draws criticism


A Republican lawmaker on Thursday defended her broadband-access bill from critics who say it favors established internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon while limiting competition from other companies and local governments. Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford County, said HB 2108 actually seeks to “expand the availability of broadband to Virginians who do not currently have it.”

The bill, titled the “Virginia Broadband Deployment Act,” has garnered sharp criticism from advocates of rural broadband expansion. Byron said a Roanoke Times editorial criticizing the bill has spurred death threats against her. > Read more.

Henrico CASA seeks volunteers for training as child advocates


Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will offer a training program beginning Saturday, March 4 for volunteers who would work in the court system on behalf of abused or neglected children.

The free, 14-session training course will include classes at the Henrico CASA office in suite A of the Hungary Spring Office Park, 3001 Hungary Spring Road. A swearing-in ceremony will follow Wednesday, April 5 at the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. > Read more.

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Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

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The Shady Grove Coffeehouse at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, 11105 Cauthorne Rd. in Glen Allen, continues its 16th season with Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys at 8 p.m. Named by NPR’s Mountain Stage with Larry Groce as one of the 12 best live performances of the year, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys have been featured in the lineup of a number of the best acoustic music festivals in the US. Tickets are $20 to $25; teens are admitted at half price and children age 12 and under are free. Net proceeds benefit UUCC. For details, call 323-4288 or visit http://www.shadygrovecoffeehouse.com. Full text

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