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.

Nominations open for 2017 IMPACT Award


ChamberRVA is seeking nominees for the annual IMPACT Award, which honors the ways in which businesses are making an impact in the RVA Region economy and community and on their employees.

Nominees must be a for-profit, privately-held business located within ChamberRVA's regional footprint: the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan; the City of Richmond; and the Town of Ashland. > Read more.

Business in brief


Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces the sale of the former Friendly’s restaurant property located at 5220 Brook Road in Henrico County. Brook Road V, LLC purchased the 3,521-square-foot former restaurant property situated on 0.92 acres from O Ice, LLC for $775,000 as an investment. Bruce Bigger of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller. > Read more.
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San-J International to begin $38M expansion in Henrico

UPDATE: Feb. 11, 10:15 A.M. – Tamari sauce producer San-J International, Inc. will expand its Eastern Henrico operation with a $38 million investment that also will create 18 jobs, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today.

With a significant rise in customer demand for gluten-free products, the Henrico facility will increase production volumes with state-of-the-art equipment. Virginia successfully competed against Oregon for the project, which was spurred by McAuliffe's meeting with company officials in Tokyo during his Asia Marketing Mission in October.

San-Jirushi was founded by the Sato family as a tamari and miso company in 1804 in Mie, Japan. Current San-J President Takashi Sato is an eighth-generation member of the founding family. The company began brewing the first tamari from its Henrico facility in 1987, continuing the 200-year tradition of Japanese brewing mastery. The existing Henrico County plant, on Sprouse Drive near the airport, employs 55. > Read more.

Senate OKs limits on use of license plate data


The Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would limit police retention of license plate data to seven days in an attempt to restrict government stockpiling of personal information.

Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, proposed Senate Bill 965 as part of a broader effort to clamp down against government overreach into personal lives, an area he has targeted the past two legislative sessions.

“The state should not use surveillance technology to collect information on its citizens where there is no discrete reason to do so,” Petersen said. > Read more.

Canine CARE-givers


When Vicki Powell of Sandston lost her 22-year-old son, Jamie, in 2011, she made it her goal to carry on his work through Capital Area Rescue Effort, a volunteer based non-profit dog rescue that has doubled the number of dogs adopted over the past two years.

“When he passed away, we wanted something that would carry on his dream and his passions,” said Powell. “Jamie always liked dogs that had special needs and had started rescuing dogs. We wanted people to remember him for the good things he did, and this was the perfect way to do so.” > Read more.

Henrico Police arrest two in connection with West End robbery


Henrico County Police Feb. 6 arrested two men in connection with a commercial robbery that occurred Feb. 4 in the 6000 block of West Broad Street.

Police arrested and charged Berkley Cleaves Wade, 51, of the 7400 block of Somoa Drive in Henrico, with one count of robbery and one count of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. They also arrested and charged Tracy Jerome Crisp, 50, with possession of cocaine relating to the robbery. > Read more.

Countdown’s on for the next state song


The curtain is closing on the General Assembly’s chance to select a new state song for Virginia this legislative session.

At the start of the session, three tunes were proposed as Virginia’s official song. But the bills that would designate a new state song are languishing in committees, and if they’re not acted on by Tuesday, they’re dead for this session.

The General Assembly has been holding auditions for a new state song since “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” was retired in 1997 for its racist lyrics. > Read more.

Assembly bypasses Richmond airport parking dispute


A legislative subcommittee has shelved a bill that would have limited how much Richmond International Airport could charge ground transportation providers such as Park ’N Go.

House Bill 1889, introduced by Delegate Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, stated that “Any charges on ground transportation providers imposed by the governing body of Richmond International Airport: 1. Shall be assessed in the same manner as charges imposed on other providers of ground transportation; and 2. Shall not be based on the gross receipts of the ground transportation provider.”

One of the bill’s chief proponents had been Park ’N Go, a business that offers parking and shuttle service to and from the Richmond airport. Park ’N Go has a long-standing dispute with the airport. > Read more.

Free tax-preparation service underway at sites in Henrico, metro region

Families and individuals who earned less than $53,000 last year can receive free assistance with their 2014 income tax returns at locations in Henrico County and throughout the metropolitan region.

Metrocash, a coalition of local nonprofit, business and government organizations, is hosting 12 sites, including two in Henrico. IRS-certified tax preparers and other volunteers will help qualifying taxpayers prepare and file their federal and state returns at Dumbarton Area Library, 6800 Staples Mill Road, 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 9; and Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays Feb. 7-March 14. A complete list of sites and their operating hours is available at metrocash.org. > Read more.

Fairfield meeting Feb. 16 to feature Elegba Folklore Society, Recreation and Parks

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Monday, Feb. 16 to highlight the Elegba Folklore Society and opportunities available through the Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. > Read more.

Glen Allen student interns for McDougle

Glen Allen resident and Randolph Macon College senior Christopher Pierce Colley is interning for Virginia State Senator Ryan McDougle during this year’s General Assembly session.

Pierce (pictured, center, with McDougle at left and RMC President Robert Lindgren at right), is studying political science. He previously interned for U.S. Congressman Dave Bratt’s campaign last fall.

“Pierce has been a great asset to our office this January and I have enjoyed working with and getting to know him,” said McDougle. > Read more.

Fairfield MS counseling program earns acclaim


The counseling program at Henrico County’s Fairfield Middle School recently earned an elite designation from the American School Counselor Association, which named it a “Recognized ASCA Model Program.”

The designation means that Fairfield’s counseling department has implemented a national model stressing comprehensive, data-driven school counseling. Schools must have an established counseling foundation, deliver services effectively, put management systems in place and have ways to measure counseling performance.

Fewer than 600 schools nationwide have received the honor since it was first awarded in 2004. The designation is valid for five years, after which schools must reapply. > Read more.

Henrico Fire, USMC hold joint training

Henrico County Division of Fire’s Technical Rescue Team conducted joint training with the Regional USMC Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) Feb. 2-6. The two teams conducted joint training focusing on skills for rope rescue, confined space, and tactical applications.

The training session Friday combined together all of the skills reviewed during the week into one scenario. The scenario began with the report of a catastrophic incident, and the CBIRF team responded in to assist. The team then searched for missing workers in a quarry. > Read more.

State takes back 68 inmates

Wade credits Citizen article with relieving Henrico jails
The Henrico County Jail gained some breathing room last week when the Virginia Department of Corrections moved 68 of its inmates who were being housed in county facilities and were overdue for transfer to state facilities.

Henrico Sheriff Mike Wade, who has held office since 2000, said that he had never seen so many inmates transferred in one day. He attributed the state’s actions to a Jan. 8 Citizen article detailing the overcrowding in the jail. By Jan. 21, the 68 overdue inmates were sleeping in state-run facilities.

“It’s because of your article,” said Wade. “I don’t believe in coincidences. They didn’t have any sort of conversation about it, they just said to have these 68 people ready and that we had 24 hours to deliver.” > 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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Walkerton Tavern will present “Irish Eyes in Henrico” from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The potato famine in Ireland spurred many Irish to immigrate to America, including Henrico, during the 19th century. Hear some of their stories and learn about trotters, soda bread and other traditional Irish foods. Listen to Irish songs and make an Irish craft too. Admission is free. All ages. For details, call 652-1416 or visit http://www.henrico.us/rec. Full text

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