Local, state races beginning to take shape


Candidates for several local and state races are emerging, as both the Henrico Republican and Democratic parties finalize their nominating processes.

In Henrico, a number of candidates are expected to pursue the Brookland District seat on the Board of Supervisors during a special election in November. (The seat opened when longtime Republican board member Dick Glover died at 82 in February). The winner of that election will serve the remainder of Glover's term, which expires at the end of 2019. > Read more.

‘Hello Kitty Truck’ rolls into Short Pump Saturday


MAR. 23, 12 P.M. – Hello Kitty fans, rejoice. On Saturday, the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, described as “a mobile vehicle of cuteness,” will make its first visit to the region.

The truck will be at Short Pump Town Center, 11800 W. Broad St., from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The vehicle will be near the mall’s main entrance by Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck has been traveling nationwide since its debut at the 2014 Hello Kitty Con, a convention for fans of the iconic character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. > Read more.

School supply drive, emergency fund to help Baker E.S. students and faculty


Individuals and organizations wanting to help George F. Baker Elementary School students and staff recover from a March 19 fire at the school now have two ways to help: make a monetary donation or donate items of school supplies.

The weekend fire caused significant smoke-and-water damage to classroom supplies and student materials at the school at 6651 Willson Road in Eastern Henrico.

For tax-deductible monetary donations, the Henrico Education Foundation has created the Baker Elementary School Emergency School Supply Fund. > Read more.
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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.

Bills would help, hurt undocumented immigrants


Three bills that would help undocumented immigrants, and one that would hurt them, have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly as state legislators tackle an issue that loomed large during the presidential election.

HB 1857 would protect in-state tuition for undocumented students, while HB 2001 seeks to root out such students from Virginia’s public colleges and universities. HB 1682 would allow undocumented immigrants to get temporary driver’s licenses, as long as they are paying taxes and have auto insurance. Finally, HB 1779 would expand the state’s definition of a hate crime to violence based on someone’s immigration status. > Read more.

Glen Allen ES teacher to appear on Wheel of Fortune Jan. 23

Page Almond has an addiction, and she's not afraid to talk about it.

It reared its head as early as second grade, when her teacher gave the class a free writing assignment and she chose to write about. . . the rules to her favorite TV game show, Wheel of Fortune.

A confessed "Wheel watcher," Almond has tuned in religiously since childhood.

"That shows what a nerd I am," she said with a laugh at the childhood memory, "but I've always loved the show and it's always been a dream of mine to be on the show."

Or, perhaps more appropriately: it always had been a dream. > Read more.

Former Three Chopt District supervisor Kaechele dies


JAN. 20, 9:25 A.M. – Former Three Chopt District Supervisor David A. Kaechele – who served nine terms and nearly four decades on the Henrico Board of Supervisors, overseeing a time of significant growth in his district – has died. He was 85.

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas announced Kaechele's death in a countywide e-mail this morning. Kaechele retired from the board at the conclusion of his ninth term in 2015. David A. Kaechele Elementary School in the Three Chopt District bears his name.

All Henrico County flags will fly at half-staff in Kaechele's honor through Jan. 27, Vithoulkas said. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. > Read more.

Muthusamy captures fourth straight HCPS spelling title


Moody Middle School eighth-grader Tejas Muthusamy won Henrico Schools’ Divisionwide Spelling Bee Jan. 18 – his fourth consecutive title and his sixth year as a finalist. It is the final year that he was eligible to compete in the annual event, which matches spelling champions from each of the county's 45 public elementary schools and 12 middle schools.

Muthusamy will advance to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee March 11, which he was won each of the past three years on his way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. > Read more.

Vithoulkas to give ‘State of the County’ address twice Jan. 23


Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas will give his 'State of the County' address twice Monday, Jan. 23.

Vithoulkas will address members of the Henrico Business Council, Henrico Business Leaders and Eastern Henrico Business Association at an event for members of the three organizations at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen beginning at 7 a.m. > Read more.

Groups criticize panel for not hiking minimum wage


Advocacy groups for low-paid workers blasted a Virginia Senate committee for killing two bills that would have raised the minimum wage incrementally over the next three years.

“It is a sad day when politicians prioritize corporate profits over hardworking Virginia families,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia and a member of the Women’s Equality Coalition. “$7.25 is not enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head at the same time, and no one who works a full-time job should be living in poverty.”

Supporters of the legislation had hoped Virginia would become the 30th state with a minimum wage above the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour. > Read more.

Democrats seek to protect reproductive rights


In an effort to protect and expand women’s health care in Virginia, House Democrats said Tuesday they have introduced three bills to ensure easier access to abortion and contraceptives.

The bills represent a contrast to Republican measures such as the “Day of Tears” resolution that encourages Virginians to mourn abortion, Democratic legislators and their allies said at a news conference.

Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl said the General Assembly has seen more than 75 proposals to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care since 2010. She urged legislators to stop making women’s health care political. > Read more.

HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee scheduled for Jan. 18


Champions from each of Henrico County Public Schools’ 45 elementary schools and 12 middle schools will square off Jan. 18 in the 2017 HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee at Hungary Creek Middle School.

The winner of the HCPS bee will advance to the Richmond Times-Dispatch regional spelling competition March 11 for a chance to represent a large swath of Virginia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The Scripps contest features more than 280 regional champions from around the nation, and is televised by ESPN. > Read more.

Dreaming big

School Board votes to create new ‘academy’ at Highland Springs ES

It was, perhaps, fitting that days before the nation paused to honor the life of a man known in part for his powerful dream (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), the Henrico County School Board voted to approve a program whose design could help some of the county's most at-risk students realize their own dreams.

The board Jan. 12 unanimously approved a five-year, $2.16-million agreement with An Achievable Dream Certified Academies, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Newport News that will begin operating its acclaimed educational program at Highland Springs Elementary School this fall.

The aim of the program is simple: to engage the most vulnerable students – whose family situations, economic levels or discipline issues might otherwise prevent them from achieving academically. > Read more.

Capitol is site of dueling gun allies


Unified by their desire to preserve safety, but divided on ways to do so, both sides of the Virginia gun debate rallied on Capitol Square on Monday.

“Hello deplorables. Are you ready to take back the Commonwealth of Virginia?” Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate for governor, asked as members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League rallied in the morning.

Stewart cautioned the crowd that while it is possible to lose a battle and win the war, that means it is also possible to win the battle and lose the war. He said they won the battle for the presidency with Trump’s 2016 election.
> Read more.

Poll finds support for workforce training


Most Virginians said they are willing to pay more in taxes to keep programs for workforce training and development at their current levels, according to a statewide poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University. The survey, conducted by the VCU’s Center for Public Policy, said 58 percent of adults statewide felt that way. That view was more prevalent among Democrats, among people who don’t have children in the public schools, and among Virginians 65 and older.

“Economic development and workforce development are important topics nationally as well as statewide, and they will certainly be at the forefront of this year’s General Assembly session,” said John Accordino, interim dean of VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, which oversees the center. > 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

CAT Theatre to present ‘When There’s A Will’


CAT Theatre and When There’s A Will director Ann Davis recently announced the cast for the dark comedy which will be performed May 26 through June 3.

The play centers around a family gathering commanded by the matriarch, Dolores, to address their unhappiness with Grandmother’s hold on the clan’s inheritance and her unreasonable demands on her family.

Pat Walker will play the part of Dolores Whitmore, with Graham and Florine Whitmore played by Brent Deekens and Brandy Samberg, respectively. > Read more.

 

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Author Libby Mae Grammer will preview her book “Privilege, Risk, and Solidarity: Understanding Undocumented Immigration through Feminist Christian Ethics” from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at River Road Church, Baptist, 8000 River Rd. The book explores the pressing and timely issue of undocumented immigration through the lens of feminist Christian ethics, with a special focus on both the legal aspects of the issue, as well as theological/ethical ways in which to study and respond to the issue. Grammer holds two master’s degrees and has almost a decade of immigration legal experience. Books will be available for purchase ($20) and the author available to sign them. Admission is free. For details, visit http://www.libbygrammer.com/prsevent. Full text

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