Henrico County VA

HCPS among national leaders in reducing suspensions


Henrico County Public Schools has made significant progress in finding alternatives to student suspensions. A new UCLA study lists the division among the most-improved large school systems in the nation for reducing student suspensions between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

The rate of suspensions in the division decreased from 31 percent to 13.8 percent during that time. Suspensions of black students were down 29 percent; suspensions of Hispanic students decreased 16 percent; and suspensions of white students were down 8 percent.

“We’ve made real progress with initiatives, training and the hard work of our staff,” said Patrick C. Kinlaw, the division’s superintendent. > Read more.

Henrico Fire officials pluck a duck, dog from icy ponds


Henrico Fire officials weren't auditioning for the sequel to the movie Frozen in recent weeks, but they could have been.

Firefighters used the bitter cold weather in late February as an opportunity to practice ice-rescue training at a partially frozen lake at Three Lakes Park – a rare opportunity to get hands-on experience in such environments.

The Division of Fire's Technical Rescue tam, Hazardous Materials team and Search and Rescue Dive team joined to practice rescuing a team member who was placed in the water in a special ice suit (above). > Read more.
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McGee named new director of Maggie Walker Governor’s School

The Regional School Board of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies recently appointed Jeffrey W. McGee as the school’s new director.

McGee comes to Maggie Walker from Pyeongtaek City, South Korea, where he has served since 2010 as the principal of Osan Middle School, a member of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) network. Prior to working in Korea, McGee served as the principal of three middle schools in Chesterfield County: Manchester, Matoaca and Salem. Both Manchester and Matoaca included center-based gifted programs. He also has administrative experience in Henrico high schools, including Highland Springs and Freeman. > Read more.

Henrico Fire to offer CERT training

Henrico County’s Office of Emergency Management will offer free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training beginning in March. The nine week course will be offered on Tuesday mornings from March 6 to May 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or on Thursday evenings from March 8 to May 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The class will cover disaster preparedness information on weather awareness, fire safety, search and rescue, first aid tips and how to help first responders, incident command and system overview and crime prevention and awareness. Classes will involve hands-on practical instruction. > Read more.

Milestones

Navy Seaman Recruit Kewonn M. Jones, son of Sandra R. Jones, of Richmond, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill. During the eight-week program, Kewonn completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, shipboard and aircraft safety and physical fitness. The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations,” an exercise that gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly ''Navy'' flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor. Kewonn is a 2002 graduate of Highland Springs High School. > Read more.

Lessons in love

Local couples discuss their relationships
Love conquers all. Well, maybe not all, but when the chemistry is just right, love can overcome lots of obstacles.

We talked with three couples who are living proof that love can conquer a great deal including challenges presented by coming from different cultural or racial backgrounds.

These couples share their stories of love, romance and how they keep the spark alive after years of being together.

Mark Fowlkes and Aimee Wroten
Mark, who is black, and Aimee, who is white, have been together for almost 11 years. The couple (pictured above, upper right) met in West Chester, Pa. and moved to Henrico County about three years ago. They have four daughters. Mark is a talker while Aimee tends to be a little quieter. > Read more.

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Community

RAMPS receives $8k grant


RAMPS (Ramp Access Made Possible by Students) recently received an $8,000 grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 75 grants totaling more than $600,137 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families and caregivers.

RAMPS, an organization founded by then-Henrico County high school students to build ramps for local low-income residents who need them, will use the grant to purchase modular wheelchair ramp supplies. These supplies will be used by local high school RAMPS clubs, who provide volunteers to build the ramps. > Read more.

Henrico man to compete in Liberty Mutual Invitational National Finals

Henrico resident Larry Loving, Jr., will compete with three other locals – Thomas Scribner (Richmond), Roscoe McGhee (Midlothian) and Larry Loving (Richmond) in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational National Finals at TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 26-Mar. 1. The foursome qualified for the national golf tournament by winning the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational, held at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Md. on June 11. That event supported the RiteCare Center for Childhood Language Disorders.

In total, 240 amateur golfers will compete in Florida. > Read more.

Henrico PAL recognizes supporters, HSHS athlete


The Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) held its Sixth Annual Awards Banquet Feb. 5 at The Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, celebrating accomplishments of 2014 and recognizing outstanding contributions to the organization. Henrico County Juvenile Domestic Court Judge Denis Soden served as master of ceremonies and former Harlem Globetrotter Melvin Adams served as keynote speaker. 

Among the 2014 honorees were Richmond International Raceway (Significant Supporter), Richmond Strikers Soccer Club (Significant Supporter), Henrico County Schools-Pupil Transportation (Summer Camp Supporter), Bruce Richardson, Jr. (Youth of the Year), Sandra Williams (Volunteer of the Year), Thomas Williams (Employee of the Year), Mikki Pleasants (Board Member of the Year), and Michelle Sheehan (Police Officer of the Year).   > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Travinia brings contemporary elegance to Willow Lawn


It was another win for Willow Lawn when Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opened there six months ago, nestled in the heart of the re-made shopping center. The contemporary American Italian restaurant boasts 13 locations up and down the East Coast, with the Henrico location opening in August.

In the same week, I hit up Travinia twice, once for lunch and once for a late dinner. At lunchtime on a weekday, I was overwhelmed by the smell of garlic and by the number of working professionals in nice suits on their lunch breaks. When we first walked in, I was concerned our meal would be a little too pricey based on the décor – it’s a really nice place. Luckily, the menu has a variety of options for every budget. > Read more.

Soak up the fun

‘SpongeBob’ movie energizes with wit, laughter

There’s a ton of sugar in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Literal sugar, as SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) inhale their own weight in cotton candy and eat ice cream, one scoop per mouthful.

At one point we burrow into the brain of our boxy yellow hero and discover the inner workings of his brain: googly-eyed cakes and candies that giggle and sing. All of which is extremely appropriate for a film like Sponge Out of Water. Because not only is the movie sweet (the “awwww” kind of sweet), but it’s the equivalent of a 30-candy bar sugar rush, zipping between ideas like a sponge on rocket skates.

The story under all this is really not that complicated. SpongeBob flips burgers at the Krusty Krab. > Read more.

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