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.

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.
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Humane Society’s Pet Expo nears


When the Henrico Humane Society was formed 20 years ago by a group of individuals concerned about animal welfare, its aim was to address the large number of homeless animals in the greater Richmond area.

Still run entirely by volunteers today, the HHS (a nonprofit organization) has matched thousands of animals with new owners since its inception – including more than 700 at its annual Pet Expo last year – saving the lives of pets and bringing new family members to homes in Henrico.

“We had a really successful year last year and placed a lot of animals into forever homes,” said Kathy Hieber, a Henrico Humane Society board member and volunteer manager who also serves on the event committee. > Read more.

Tayari Jones named ‘All Henrico Reads’ author

The Henrico County Public Library, in partnership with Henrico County Public Schools and the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, will host nationally acclaimed author Tayari Jones on Wednesday, Apr. 1, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Glen Allen High School, 10700 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, as part of its annual All Henrico Reads program.

Jones’ novel, Silver Sparrow, the featured title, will be available for sale, as well as some of her other novels. She will autograph books following the program.

Jones was born in Atlanta and is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa and Arizona State University. She is currently an associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. Jones also is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. > Read more.

Henrico 4-H sale of apples, peanuts, honey, cookbooks underway

The Henrico County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension is selling apples, peanuts, honey and cookbooks to benefit the 4-H Youth Development program.

The sale features Virginia-grown produce and six different cookbooks, each with more than 140 recipes. The items and prices are:

• Winesap and York apples, $19 per half-bushel, which equates to about 80 cents per pound;

• Raw peanuts, with recipes, $11 per 2-pound sack;

• Salted or unsalted deluxe cocktail peanuts, $14 per 2-pound sack; > 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

Weekend Top 10


The Richmond Raceway Complex has two exciting, albeit very different, events taking place this weekend: the Richmond Antique Extravaganza Show and Sale and Discover the Dinosaurs Unleashed. If you’re searching for date night ideas, Wild Ponies will be performing at the Henrico Theatre tonight, CAT Theatre will present “Wishing Well” and The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will broadcast Bolshoi Ballet’s production of “The Sleeping Beauty.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Shepherd’s Center begins its Open University four-week winter lecture series “Lunch and Life” at 12:30 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Rd. Bill Lohmann, author and Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist, will present “On the Road Again: More People, Places and Pies Around Virginia.” A brown bag lunch precedes at noon with dessert and beverages provided. The series is open to all persons 50+ at no charge. For details, call 355-7282 or visit http://www.tscor.org. Full text

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