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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New banners raised in Highland Springs

Along the streets in Eastern Henrico’s Highland Springs, bright banners can be seen on telephone poles, reminiscent of the ones that first were hung 20 years ago in an effort to liven the area. The banners are restoring pride and are part of a community’s answer to revitalization.

Peggy Reid, a longtime resident and member of the Highland Springs Garden Club, believed that the banners should be brought back to life after years of weathering. Reid approached Mark Romers, president of the Eastern Henrico Business Association, with a $500 check that sparked the project.

“I thought it was a great idea and something that the community would be behind,” said Romers. “We had similar ornamental street lights and signs, but over the years they became tattered and worn. It was about time.”

Highland Springs has been around since the 1890s and began as a streetcar suburb of Richmond on the Seven Pines Railway Company’s electric street railway. > Read more.

Bigger stage fits Tejas well

Henrico fifth-grader earns national attention in spelling bee
When Tejas Muthusamy was in first grade, he decided he wanted to be on ESPN. The Henrico County student, who just completed fifth grade, accomplished that goal last month when he competed in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The Glen Allen resident and Rivers Edge Elementary School student was the youngest competitor in the final round, advancing to the final 12 participants among a total of 281.

Muthusamy ignored the lights, cameras and crowds as he survived seven rounds of competition, correctly spelling “waterzooi,” “Brigadoon,” “commorients,” “exsiccosis” and “gematria” along the way. > Read more.

Business in brief


Innsbrook based Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners has announced the acquisition of the 242-room Richmond Marriott West hotel in Glen Allen. CommonWealth Lodging, an affiliate of Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners, has entered into a franchise agreement with Marriott International to manage the full-service hotel and oversee a comprehensive, multi-million dollar renovation. New features will include Marriott’s Greatroom lobby concept and re-invented guest rooms. The hotel will remain open during the planned renovations, which are scheduled to begin in the fall and be complete by summer 2015. The executive team at CommonWealth Lodging will welcome input on the scope of the renovation from key customers of Richmond Marriott West including Capital One, Markel, Altria, Wells Fargo and the University of Richmond, among others. > Read more.

The Class of 2027

Preschoolers from the Coal Pit Learning Center in Glen Allen (at right, from left, D.J. Starling and Yuliana Rodriguez) varied in expression from solemnity to pride and happiness at June 5 graduation ceremonies for the four-year-old class. The 18 graduates will advance to kindergarten in the fall. > Read more.

Henrico woman wins $200k in lottery

LaJune Brown didn’t get much sleep the night before she claimed her prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 game. The Henrico woman woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so she decided to check her tickets. That’s when she discovered she had two tickets that matched all five winning numbers in the June 3 Cash 5 night drawing.

Those two tickets each won the game’s $100,000 top prize, for a total of $200,000. She bought both tickets at Quik Stop, 3200 Darbytown Road in Henrico.

The winning numbers were 5-8-12-20-29. She selected her numbers from important family dates. > Read more.

HCPS-TV to replay high school graduations

If you couldn’t attend a 2014 Henrico County Public Schools graduation, or if you just want to relive the memories, you're in luck.

HCPS-TV will be replaying this year’s graduations on Comcast (channel 99) and FIOS (channel 38) June 24-27. The schedule is as follows:

• June 24: The Academy at Virginia Randolph (10 a.m.);

• June 24: Glen Allen High School (2 p.m.); > Read more.

Teacher, dentist to compete for Three Chopt seat

Boyle falls 4 signatures short of qualifying for November special election
UPDATE: JUNE 17, 10 A.M. – A longtime Henrico teacher and a Glen Allen dentist will compete in a special election this November for the right to serve the final year of a four-year term on the Henrico County School Board, after the interim representative failed to submit enough acceptable signatures to appear on the ballot.

Short Pump Elementary School intervention teacher Michelle “Micky” Ogburn and Glen Allen dentist Surya P. Dhakar are seeking to serve the final year of the Three Chopt District board seat that Diana Winston won in 2011 and from which she resigned last August. They will face each other in a Nov. 4 election.

The interim Three Chopt District board member, attorney Robert G. Boyle, Jr. (who was appointed by the board in October) fell four signatures short of qualifying for the ballot, when Henrico Registrar Mark Coakley's office disallowed 57 of the 178 signatures he included with his filing. > Read more.

HCPS to provide free summer meals for eligible children

Henrico County Public Schools will provide free breakfast and lunch to all eligible county children throughout the summer. The county’s participation in the USDA Summer Food Service Program will run from Monday to Thursday of each week. All sites will be closed on July 3-4.

Enrolled Recreation & Parks Sites
All sites will be open from June 23- Aug. 7. Most sites serve breakfast from 8-9 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The following locations will participate: Baker, Glen Lea, Harvie, Holladay, Johnson, Lakeside, Montrose, Sandston, Skipwith, Trevvett and Ward elementaries and Elko Middle. > Read more.

Henrico Fire responds to apartment fire in northside June 12

No one was injured in an apartment fire in the 3500 block of Bolling Road in Henrico's northside community June 12.

Henrico Fire officials responded to the residence shortly after 10:30 a.m. and reported smoke coming from the two-story building and flames at the rear of the building's first floor. Crews successfully extinguished the fire within seven minutes of arriving and contained it to the apartment in which it started.

The adult female resident of the apartment and all occupants in the other apartments were able to exit the apartment building on their own. The resident of the apartment in which the fire originated was transported to MCV for evaluation but did not suffer any burns and was not complaining of any difficulty breathing. > Read more.

Va. Fire Officer Academy to donate in memory of UR coaches

The students and staff of the 2014 Virginia Fire Officer Academy are making their annual class gift to the memorial funds established in the names of two University of Richmond women's basketball coaches who died last month.

The academy chose the Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis memorial funds in honor of the two women who died in a hot air balloon accident May 9. The two women also were alumni of UR. > Read more.

Green buildings, solarized homes proliferating in Henrico

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of occasional articles about environmentally friendly efforts in Henrico County.

About four years ago, Henrico County's unofficial "green corridor" of Staples Mill Road took off on a growth spurt, adding in quick succession such LEED-certified buildings as Glen Allen High School, the renovated Glen Allen Library and a couple of solar homes.

The new Holman Middle School built on nearby Francistown Road also earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification thanks to such features as efficient mechanical equipment, high-performance lighting systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. > Read more.

Henrico County property transactions, May 19-25


4379 Charles City Road – $29,000, 725 SF (built in 1951), from Raymon Eugene Peay to John Gottwald.
5618 Crenshaw Road, #813 – $36,000, 885 SF (built in 1963), from Yaushadia C. Wilson to Hisham and H. El Shabassi.
3204 Danville Street – $39,500, 688 SF (built in 1948), from Federal National Mortgage Association to Jessica A. Johnson.
3704 Austin Avenue – $60,368, 840 SF (built in 1939), from Richard A. Neveu to Federal National Mortgage Association.
121 N. Kalmia Avenue – $63,685, 884 SF (built in 1953), from Richard A. Neveu to Federal National Mortgage Association.
2212 Merle Street – $72,000, 1,040 SF (built in 1986), from Marina C. Mickens to Springleaf Finance Corporation Trust.
1505 Front Royal Drive – $82,000, 1,190 SF (built in 1977), from Jennifer M. and J.L.B. and J.L.B. Barnes, Jr. to William F. Swartz. > 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 Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will screen NT Live’s broadcast of “Amadeus” at 2 p.m. Feb. 2 and at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music. Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play. NT Live brings the best of British theatre direct from the stages of London to movie theatres around the world. Tickets are $7 to $14. For details, call 289-8980 or visit http://www.modlin.richmond.edu. Full text

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