HCPS named a ‘Best Community for Music Education’ for 18th straight year


For the 18th year in a row, Henrico County Public Schools has been named one of the best communities in America for music education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The school division has earned the designation in each year the group has given the awards.

The designation is based on a detailed survey of a school division’s commitment to music instruction through funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction. The award recognizes the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and work to ensure that music education accessible to all students.
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A safer way across

Brook Road project to assist disabled residents

A project years in the making is beginning to make life easier for wheelchair-bound residents in Northern Henrico.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is completing a $2-million set of enhancements to the Brook Road corridor in front of St. Joseph's Villa and the Hollybrook Apartments, a community that is home to dozens of disabled residents. > Read more.

New conservation easement creates wooded buffer for Bryan Park

Five years ago, members of the Friends of Bryan Park were facing the apparently inevitable development of the Shirley subdivision in Henrico, adjacent to the forested section of the park near the Nature Center and Environmental Education Area.

As part of the Shirley subdivision, the land had been divided into 14 lots in 1924, but had remained mostly undisturbed through the decades. In 2012, however, developers proposed building 40 modular houses on roughly 6.5 acres, clear-cutting the forest there and creating a highly dense neighborhood tucked into a dead end. > Read more.
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For Sandston group, Africans, a net gain

Church members travel to Ghana to provide ‘More than Nets’
Members of the Sandston Baptist Church with Ghana Baptist Convention members.

Five Members of Sandston Baptist Church recently traveled to Ghana, West Africa to distribute chemically treated mosquito nets to the tribes of people in Yendi through the program More than Nets, a nonprofit that works in conjunction with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board and the Ghana Baptist Convention to reduce malaria.

Linda Shobe, 63 and a lifelong member of the church, said that the October trip was the most rewarding and spiritual experience she has had.

“I have wanted to do a mission trip to Africa since I was a young girl, and now I can say that I went,” she said. > Read more.

Three vying for 74th seat in special election

Charles City Democrat Kevin J. Sullivan and Henrico Republican Matt D. Walton will compete in a special election for the 74th District House of Delegates seat Jan. 13, and they’ll be joined by the man who resigned the seat late last year – Joe Morrissey, a Democrat who is running as an independent while serving a six-month jail term.

The winner will be sworn in the following day, when the General Assembly returns to session, and will serve the final year of a two-year term.

The somewhat strange scene was set when Morrissey entered an Alford plea to a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (not admitting guilt but admitting that there was enough evidence to convict him) after his relationship with a then-17-year-old girl who worked for him was questioned. > Read more.

Credit union collects more than 4,000 pounds of food for FeedMore

With the help of the community and local businesses, Entrust Financial Credit Union collected 4,027 pounds of food for FeedMore as part of its “Pack the Christmas Pod” effort during four weeks last month.

The “Pack the Christmas Pod” event supported the efforts of FeedMore, Central Virginia’s hunger-relief leader, by encouraging the greater Richmond community to fight hunger by working together. More than 20 local businesses partnered together and packed non-perishable food items into Entrust Financial Credit Union’s 12-foot storage unit. > Read more.

HCPS hosting job fair to recruit bus drivers

Henrico County Public Schools Human Resources will host a job fair Jan. 13 to seek full-time and substitute bus drivers. Members of the HCPS Human Resources and Pupil Transportation Departments will be on hand to conduct preliminary interviews with interested candidates.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Henrico Training Center, 7701 East Parham Road.

“We need people who love children and who want flexible schedules to drive our students to and from school on a full-time basis or when our full-time drivers are not available,” said Mary Alderson of HCPS Human Resources. > Read more.

Business in brief


Henricus Historical Park has announced that it has been awarded a $5,000 grant from The CarMax Foundation to assist in the execution of SOL- and STEM-aligned, multi-curricular programming for students enrolled in the After School Program for Richmond City Public Schools for grades K-5. Social studies, history and science programs provided by educators at Henricus will focus on Colonial and Virginia Indian life in 17th-century Virginia. Education programs offered by Henricus Historical Park include: History Kids (English and Virginia Indian); Mapping the James River; Math and Mapping the James River; and 17th-Century Sciences. One-hour programs designed for 35 students will feature hands-on learning techniques, individual engagement and team work. Each program offers a fun and interactive way to learn about Colonial and Virginia Indian history. Outreach education programs at Henricus are designed to bring the museum experience to a school setting. For more information, call 748-1611. > Read more.

Ex-Gov. McDonnell sentenced to 2 years in prison

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell speaks to the press after being sentenced to two years in prison. (Photo by Michael Melkonian/Capital News Service)
By Benjamin May and Sean CW Korsgaard, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison after being convicted of 11 felony corruption charges in September.

At a packed hearing at the federal courthouse, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer sentenced McDonnell, 60, to two years in prison followed by two on probation.

McDonnell will be incarcerated at a federal facility in Petersburg at the request of his defense team. The Federal Bureau of Prisons must determine by Feb. 9 where McDonnell will carry out his sentence.
> Read more.

Henrico Police seek details in West End hotel shooting

Henrico Police are seeking the public's assistance in identifying the individuals who shot two men in the main entrance of the Magnuson Hotel on West Broad Street early on New Year's Day.

At about 2 a.m. that day, police responded to the hotel to find the two victims, who had been attending a private party, suffering from non-life threatening injuries after being shot. They were transported to VCU Medical Center. Prior to the shooting, a physical altercation took place inside the party between multiple individuals. > Read more.

Henrico residents urged leniency for McDonnell


UPDATE: JAN. 6, 3 P.M. – Prominent Henrico County residents wrote letters attesting to former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s character and integrity and urging a federal judge to show leniency in sentencing him for public corruption.

Senior U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer, who today sentenced McDonnell to two years in prison, received 443 letters from across the country on McDonnell’s behalf, including several from Henrico.

The letter writers included Patricia O’Bannon, who chairs the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. > Read more.

Highland Springs man found dead

A 21-year-old Highland Springs man was found dead Jan. 5 at about 6 p.m. at the intersection of Green Pasture Road and Hanover Road in Eastern Henrico.

Henrico police officers responded to a medical emergency call at the site and found Brandon Nathaniel Wright, of the 100 block of North Rose Avenue in Highland Springs, dead upon arrival. Wright's body showed signs of trauma, according to police. > Read more.

Smoke detector saves family of 5 in Eastern Henrico

The residents of small two story home in Eastern Henrico were awoken early this morning to the sound of a working smoke alarm, which helped save their lives after their house caught fire.

Henrico County Division of Fire units responded to the 200 block of South Fern Avenue for the report of a house fire shortly before 7 a.m. and found heavy fire from the second story window of the residence. Initial fire attack crews learned that the entire family of five had made it out of the house safely. > Read more.

Tougher driving laws for seniors take effect

Stricter driver’s license-renewal rules for older drivers - including accelerated renewal cycles and age-specific in-person renewal procedures - took effect Jan. 1 in Virginia.

A new law lowers the age for mandatory in-person license renewal to 75 from 80. It also shortens the license renewal cycle for drivers 75 and older from every eight years to every five years. > Read more.

HCPS’ ‘ManUp Fatherhood Initiative’ to host workshop for men

If you’re a parent, conflict may seem like a member of the family. While disagreements are part of family life, they don’t have to be painful and destructive. With some knowledge and practice, conflicts can be resolved so that things get done and all sides feel respected. The ManUp Fatherhood Initiative is holding a workshop entitled “Conflict Resolution and Coping Skills,” with guest speaker Frank Manners, on Tuesday, Jan. 13, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Adams Elementary School, 600 South Laburnum Avenue.

The workshop is part of the group’s “ManUp Passport to Success” series of parenting workshops and activities. > 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


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

 

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Metro Diner is opening at Libbie Place Tuesday, Apr. 18. Get a sneak peek during their Friends and Family Event Apr. 15-16. Enjoy classic dishes with a twist like the Chicken and Waffles with a house-made strawberry butter, or Yo Hala on the Square – a stuffed challah bread French toast with house-made strawberry and blueberry compote – for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All proceeds on Apr. 15 will benefit the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation; all proceeds on Apr. 16 will benefit Junior Achievement of Central Virginia. Reservations are available both days from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Guests should call (804) 510-0780 to reserve a table for groups of up to four. Full text

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