Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.
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United they run

Hermitage HS wins national relay title

It may have seemed as if there were the usual number of runners on the Hermitage H.S. sprint medley relay team that won the national championship in June.

But behind the foursome of Jaylen Banks, Dallas Carter, Edwin Mejia and Devin Barnes, there were a number of unseen hands and supporters helping to clear their path to the championship and propel them over the finish line in first place.

In a run that their coach called "amazing," the boys led the field from the very beginning of the race and claimed the title with a margin of 1.6 seconds. According to Milestat.com, which compiles high school meet results, the boys "attacked" the event, and only one team ever had a chance of catching them. > Read more.

3 new shops coming to Willow Lawn

Three new tenants are coming to The Shops at Willow Lawn in Henrico County.

Lucky Foot and Pigtails & Crewcuts have signed agreements to locate at Willow Lawn, and the Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar will open there Aug. 3. All three will be located in the same building that houses American Tap Room and Zoës Kitchen.

Lucky Foot is expanding from its current location in Midlothian to offer personalized service to runners and walkers in the Richmond metro area. In addition to shoes and running supplies, the store offers a full body motion analysis and helps runners prevent injury and keep their exercise regimens simple and fun. > Read more.

Business in brief


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.

American Red Cross issues urgent call for blood and platelet donors

The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types.

Donations through the Red Cross are down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected. The number of donors continues to decline, and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks.

In addition, the Independence Day holiday falling on Friday reduced the number of blood drives scheduled in early July. > Read more.

Living history

Henrico filmmaker follows his 'Heart'
Henrico filmmaker Kevin Hershberger has transformed the "birthplace" of Jesus into the Hanoi Hilton.

Hershberger, the CEO of LionHeart Film Works, modified the Salem Baptist Church in Manakin (best known as the site of a living nativity scene each Christmas) to replicate the notorious Vietnamese Hoa Lo prison camp for a Vietnam prisoner-of-war documentary he's currently filming for the Smithsonian. Adding shackles and torture hooks to the walls where holiday visitors will line up in December seems morbid, but this is what Hershberger does. As a documentary filmmaker dedicated to filming historical documentaries in and around Henrico County, the VMI graduate is forced to get creative with his sets.

LionHeart is based out of a nondescript storefront in the West End. > Read more.

Brat’s surprising rise to prominence ‘fun but exhausting’

Republican nominee discusses religion, family, the role of bipartisanship and campaign fundraising in extensive interview
In June, Henrico County was the epicenter of a political shakeup that grabbed international headlines when Henrico resident Dave Brat made history by upsetting Henrico's Eric Cantor, the U.S. House Majority Leader, in a Republican primary election for the Seventh District House seat.

Brat became the story of the week. Analysts heatedly debated whether his victory was a portent of the future, when establishment leaders could be knocked off by grassroots candidates operating on a fraction of their budget, or whether Brat had simply found his opponent’s weak spot (immigration) and ridden that all the way to victory. > Read more.

County dedicates Twin Hickory Park

Citizens of Henrico now have a new recreational opportunity, after county officials cut the ribbon on Twin Hickory Park – a new 48-acre park near Deep Run High School – July 12.

Funding for the $3 million complex was part of a 2005 bond referendum dedicated to school, library, and park projects throughout Henrico County, which was the result of input from citizens, residents and civic associations. > Read more.

Holman student has All-Star experience

A Holman Middle School student had an All-Star experience to remember in Minneapolis this week.

Nicholas Noonan competed in the 11-12 year-old division of the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition, which was held at Target Field on the day before the MLB All-Star Game. The competition is a baseball skills challenge open to children nationwide.

Of more than 625,000 players in 4,000 preliminary competitions, only 12 baseball and 12 softball players earned the right to compete in the final round in Minneapolis. Noonan was one of two finalists from Virginia. > Read more.

County to host anti-smoking meetings this month

The Henrico County Health Department will hold four meetings in July to explain the public health risks associated with smoking and provide information on how smokers can quit the habit.

The meetings will be held 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, July 21 at the Dumbarton Area Library, 6800 Staples Mill Road; Wednesday, July 23 at the Varina Branch Library, 2001 Library Road; Wednesday, July 30 at the Twin Hickory Area Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Road; and Thursday, July 31 at the Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave. The meetings are free and open to the public. > Read more.

Police seek new person of interest in Food Lion shooting

UPDATE: JUL. 16, 5:02 P.M. – Henrico Police are seeking a new person of interest in connection with the shooting of a security guard at a Food Lion store in northern Henrico earlier this week. Police released a surveillance image of a black male (pictured) who was in the store and said that they want to contact him. > Read more.

Brat raises $400k in 40 days

UPDATE: JUL. 15, 3:29 P.M. – Republican candidate for Congress Dave Brat announced today that his campaign has raised nearly $400,000 in a 40-day period that ended June 30, with most of the money coming from 4,673 individual donors.

Of the actual $399,660 raised from May 22 to the end of the reporting period June 30, $363,560 – or 91 percent – came from those individuals. The figures are part of the candidate's quarterly finance report due today at the Federal Election Commission.

The majority of all 4,684 donors were small dollar contributors. 4402 donated $200 or less, while 271 contributors donated more than $200. Political committees, party committees, and PACs accounted for 11 contributions totaling $36,100. > Read more.

Police seek suspect in eyeglass thefts

Henrico Police are seeking a man who allegedly stole several hundred dollars worth of designer eyeglass frames from a Henrico business during the past several weeks.

The man is a black male with a bald head, approximately 5 foot 9 and was last seen wearing a black t-shirt. He is alleged to have stolen the frames between June 23 and July 9 from an eye care business in the 400 block of Westhampton Station near the Huguenot Bridge, where Virginia Eye Institute is located. > 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


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The 9 will perform at 7:30 p.m. at The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Rd. Founded in 2008 by singer/songwriter Justin Trawick, The 9 Songwriter Series was created with the idea of artists getting together and combining their talents in order to play in nicer clubs and to larger amounts of people. Each installment features nine solo singer/songwriters performing together in a unique and captivating format, telling stories, and often sitting in with each other and making up music on the spot. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. For details, call 447-8189 or visit http://www.tinpanrva.com. Full text

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