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The “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” a leading college guidebook, has selected the University of Richmond for its 2015 edition of more than 300 “best and most interesting schools” in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Richmond made two special lists this year for having “unusual strength” in business and international studies. Compiled by former New York Times education editor Edward B. Fiske, the guidebook selects colleges based primarily on academic quality. It includes information about each college’s academics, social life, student body, financial aid, campus setting, housing, food and extracurricular activities. > Read more.

Numerous animal-related bills pass General Assembly

With the 2013-2014 Virginia General Assembly session officially complete, animal activists and lovers around the state can celebrate the legislative passage animal-related bills received over the past few months.

Four bills dealing with animal/pet welfare and rights were passed this session, including the heavily talked about Senate Bill 228, which also known as Bailey’s Law. > Read more.

School Board seeks public input on laptop replacement

As its elementary and middle school laptop contract nears its expiration date, the Henrico County School Board is seeking public input on the next steps.

The board will receive an update April 10 on plans to provide new computers next year for elementary and middle schools, and it is seeking public comment prior to making a decision on the matter in May. > Read more.

Henrico students named winners in national Scholastic Art & Writing competition

Ten students from Henrico County Public Schools have won honors for their artwork in the 2014 national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Ellie Braun of Henrico High School was one of only 16 students nationwide to receive a Gold Medal Portfolio award for her portfolio, “Closet Queens.” The award includes a $10,000 scholarship. Braun won multiple awards, as did Deep Run High School’s Alex Turner. Virginia winners are showcased online at vmfa.museum/learn. > Read more.

Contraception rights activists rally outside Supreme Court

Women’s choice advocates rallied outside the Supreme Court this past Tuesday in support of the Affordable Care Act birth-control benefit as the oral arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius were heard.

Despite the frigid temperatures and precipitation, representatives of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and other volunteers from across the state and the country shared the message: birth control is not my boss’ business. > Read more.

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Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

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Commonwealth Parenting will present “The Goodnight Story: What New Parents Need to Know” at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital, Room 164. Learn about the ages and stages of sleep,… Full text

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