Sandston commemorates Memorial Day

Ninth-annual parade draws crowd of hundreds
Hundreds of spectators gathered for the ninth-annual Sandston Memorial Day Parade Monday, commemorating the holiday and honoring veterans and service members who died fighting for the county.
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New law paves way for delivery robots

Having your groceries delivered by a robot sounds like something out of The Jetsons, but that prospect is not as futuristic as you may think.

For the second year in a row, the Virginia General Assembly has passed a law to legalize the operation of autonomous vehicles. Beginning July 1, “electric personal delivery devices” will be allowed to operate on sidewalks and other shared-use paths throughout Virginia.

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Virginia schools soon must test for lead in water

Henrico already has tested all schools, with no issues discovered
With the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, safe drinking water is a high priority nationwide, especially for children. Beginning July 1, schools in Virginia will be required to test their potable water for lead.

Senate Bill 1359, which Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on March 20, seeks to ensure that local school boards test the drinking water in schools and that it meets federal guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that the level of lead not exceed 15 parts per billion.
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Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Henrico County man caught trying to bring gun on airplane

A Henrico County man was arrested after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport checkpoint Jan. 15, when the TSA officers detected a gun along with dozens of rounds of ammunition in his carry-on bag.

TSA officers detected the .22 caliber semi-automatic gun loaded with six rounds in the Sandston, Virginia, resident’s carry-on bag as he was passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun inside the traveler’s carry-on bag as it passed along the conveyor belt. TSA officers also detected an additional magazine loaded with six more rounds and a pill case with 48 more bullets inside of it, all in the traveler’s carry-on bag.
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Lakewood exhibit features residents’ art


One hundred people attended the opening of an art exhibit hosted by Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation Feb. 6 at the Robinson Gallery at Lakewood, a continuing care retirement community in western Henrico County.

The exhibit featured works by two residents of Lakewood: woodcarver Margaret Leith and photographer Bill Draper (pictured).

Leith has been carving wood for nearly 15 years. An engineering design draftsperson in her career, she always loved architecture and wood.
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Virginia still deciding if women are equal


In 1972, when Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment and asked states to ratify it, “The Godfather” was No. 1 at the box office, people talked on rotary telephones and women made up about one-third of the U.S. workforce.

Today, “The Godfather” I, II and III are quotable classics, people surf the Internet with their smartphones and almost half of American workers are women. And Virginia is still deciding whether to ratify the ERA.

The ERA would put in the U.S. Constitution a guarantee that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The proposed amendment was never added because it was not ratified by the requisite 38 states.
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VDOE nominates Steward for national award


The Steward School is one of four schools nominated by Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for 2015 national Green Ribbon School awards, a U.S. Department of Education program recognizing energy efficient and environmentally friendly schools that promote environmental awareness, community engagement and student wellness.

Steward was nominated for its instruction and cross-curricular activities that incorporate wellness, sustainability, watershed experiences, ecology, engineering and biomimicry. The school’s community outreach includes presentations featuring leading authors on ecology and nature.
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Few women hold seats in Va. legislature


After winning her seat for the first time in the Virginia General Assembly, Del. Jennifer McClellan was asked to give a speech on the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade. After initially agreeing to speak about it, McClellan changed her mind and declined. She decided it was important for her first speech as a delegate to be about an issue that was not stereotyped as a “women’s issue” such as abortion.

Instead, her first speech was about payday lending.

McClellan, D-Henrico, said she wanted to prove that women were capable of discussing other pressing matters than what are considered “women’s issues,” in fact, she said she has tried to make every issue a women’s issue since taking office.
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Bill would help taxpayers, Habitat for Humanity


Delinquent property owners could settle their tax bills by donating their property to Habitat for Humanity or a similar nonprofit, under legislation moving through the General Assembly.

The Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity has pushed for the measure (HB 2173), which won unanimously approval from the House of Delegates last week.

Known as the Habitat Bill, it would enable delinquent taxpayers to exchange their property for the taxes they owe, explained the legislation’s sponsor, Del. Robert Orrock Sr., R-Thornburg.
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Henrico supervisors, deputy county managers appointed to VACo committees

All five members of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and three deputy county managers will serve on steering and operational committees of the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) in 2015.

Members of the Board of Supervisors received the following appointments:

• Chairman and Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton, Education Steering Committee;

• Vice Chairman and Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson, Transportation Steering Committee (vice chair) and Resolutions Committee;

• Brookland District Supervisor Richard W. Glover, Economic Development and Planning Steering Committee;
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Senate may increase vehicle registration fee


The Senate is considering a bill that would impose an additional vehicle registration fee in Virginia and use the money to fund the State Police.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 10-4 last week in favor of the measure, which would establish a new fee of $1.25 this July, on top of the standard cost of registering a motor vehicle. The bill is now before the full Senate and must pass by Tuesday night or else it is dead for this legislative session.

Under Senate Bill 754, the additional fee would increase by $1.25 each year until 2024, when it would be capped at $12.50. The resulting revenue would go into a newly created account called the Public Safety Trust Fund and allocated to the Department of State Police.
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Bill to ‘ban the box’ on job forms fails


A bill to remove the requirement to indicate a criminal record on government employment applications died in a House subcommittee Wednesday.

SB 1017 passed the Senate last week on a 21-17 vote but was killed on its first stop in the House of Delegates. The “ban the box” bill, introduced by Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, would have removed the box from applications that prospective employees must check if they have been convicted of a crime. It would have applied only to state agencies.

The measure was considered Wednesday by the Civil Law Subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice Committee. It died on a non-recorded voice vote to “gently” lay the bill on the table.
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Business in brief


Dollar General will celebrate the opening of its new location in Varina, at 2536 New Market Road, on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 a.m. with free prizes and special deals. The store will provide the first 50 adult shoppers with a $10 Dollar General gift card, while the first 200 shoppers will receive a Dollar General tote bag, among other giveaways. Dollar General stores offer a selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health/beauty products. Dollar General stores typically employ approximately six to 10 people.
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Assembly approves right to breast-feed in public


Women across Virginia can rejoice now that both houses of the General Assembly have unanimously passed legislation that would protect the right of mothers to breast-feed in public.

“Thank you so much, Senator Wexton, for being a critical force in moving this common-sense legislation forward into a law that will support and protect women, children, and families across the Commonwealth,” one woman wrote on Sen. Jennifer Wexton’s Facebook page.

Wexton, D-Leesburg, proposed Senate Bill 1427, which states, “A mother may breastfeed in any place where the mother is lawfully present, including any location where she would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth.”
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House passes ethics bill


The House of Delegates on Tuesday passed a bill that would limit gifts accepted by Virginia politicians to $100. Delegates voted 93-6 for the measure, which was sponsored by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah.

HB 2070 is the House’s answer to problems concerning ethics rules for public officials. Gifts accepted by politicians became a hot topic after former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was convicted of corruption charges in 2014.

“This legislation builds on the substantial reforms passed last year,” Gilbert said.
> Read more.

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May 2017
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Enjoy an evening of blues and jazz featuring The Lawrence Olds Band at 7 p.m. at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. Based in Richmond, The Lawrence Olds Band is a traditional blues and jazz ensemble performing classic repertoire and original material. The concert is part of CACGA’s 2nd Stage series which highlights a different musical genre on the first Friday of each month. Dinner and beverages will also be available for purchase. Tickets are $15 to $20. For details, call 261-ARTS or visit http://www.artsglenallen.com. Full text

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