Henrico School Board selects redistricting Option E


JUNE 23, 10:30 A.M. – The Henrico County School Board Thursday concluded its latest redistricting process by selecting a plan for middle school redistricting that will impact a number of students in the western and northern parts of the county, as well as a few in Eastern Henrico.

The process sought to reduce overcrowding at Hungary Creek Middle School, create room at Wilder Middle School for a gifted academy and address the poverty level disparity among some middle schools. It will impact about 775 students, according to school system officials.
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‘Senior Cool Care’ program to help older adults in Metro Richmond


For the 27th year, Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging is helping older adults combat summer heat through a program now called "Senior Cool Care" (formerly the Fan Care program) that provides fan and air conditioning units for eligible senior citizens.

The program is available to low-income older adults age 60 and older who reside in the City of Richmond and the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan.
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Cyclist killed in crash was 52-year-old man

Henrico Police have named the victim killed June 21 when the bicycle he was riding collided with a truck on Mechanicsville Turnpike near I-64 in Eastern Henrico.

Fifty-two year-old Ray J. Freeman, of Richmond, died at a local hospital after being struck. The truck that hit him was traveling south on Mechanicsville Turnpike.
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Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Business in brief


Gumenick Properties moved its headquarters this month to Libbie Mill-Midtown, a new 80-acre, mixed-use community being developed by the company. Libbie Mill-Midtown is under construction between West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road near Libbie Avenue. The community is the largest revitalization project in the history of Henrico County. Gumenick Properties will become the second organization operating from office spaces at Libbie Mill-Midtown. The first group to open an office there was the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, a regional, private health legacy foundation. The foundation moved in during autumn 2014. When complete, the community is projected to have 994 homes for sale and 1,096 apartments. Libbie Mill-Midtown also will have a total of approximately 160,000 square feet of retail space. The neighborhood is estimated to take approximately 10 years to complete.
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A dream remembered

Dr. Arthur Roots of Richmond (at right) sings a capella during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration at Highland Springs United Methodist Church Jan. 19. The event also featured Henrico native and actor Tony Cosby giving his impassioned version of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech and a performance by the seventh-grade chorus from Fairfield Middle School.
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Longtime RIR fire chief honored by NASCAR

Longtime Richmond International Raceway Fire Chief Donald “Doc” Jernigan, recently received NASCAR's Excellence in Track Services Award at the body's annual summit for safety, security and track services personnel. Jernigan was one of five officials from NASCAR's national, touring, IMSA and weekly series events to earn the award.

“Doc is dedicated to this cause and is a true leader who is highly regarded within the Richmond organization and industry as well,” said David Hoots, the managing event director for NASCAR Race Services.
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Lawmakers seeks to restrict drones

Five bills before the General Assembly would restrict the use of drones in Virginia, including two that would let localities prohibit even hobbyists from flying small unmanned aircraft.

Bills proposed by Del. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, and Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-Leesburg, would allow local governments to ban individuals from flying drones under 55 pounds. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration allows hobbyists to fly such model aircraft as long as they follow safety guidelines.
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Bill outlawing housing discrimination fails


A Senate committee on Monday killed a bill making it illegal for landlords to reject potential tenants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Senate Bill 917, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-Leesburg, failed on a 7-7 tie vote in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee. Six Democrats and one Republican voted for the bill; seven Republicans voted against it.

Wexton, who sits on the committee, said the bill would have included sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination under the unlawful practices in the Virginia Fair Housing Law.
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Twin Hickory ES celebrates ‘Blue Ribbon’ designation

Twin Hickory Elementary School celebrated a milestone earlier this month with poetry, music, student tweets and blue food. The school was one of seven Virginia public schools named a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors schools that are either academically superior, or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement. Nationally, only 287 public schools earned National Blue Ribbon honors.

Mike Dussault, Twin Hickory principal, presided over the gathering of blue-clad faculty, staff, parents and students as the school celebrated its honor.
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Bills would regulate license plate readers


Police could retain for only a week the data they collect from license plate readers, under legislation proposed by a pair of Democratic and Republican lawmakers from Northern Virginia.

Sen. J. Chapman Petersen, D-Fairfax, and Delegate Rich Anderson, R-Prince William, introduced bills last week to put limits on the collection and retention of LPR data by police departments in Virginia.

Currently, Virginia has no limits. As a result, for example, the city of Alexandria keeps license plate data for up to two years, while the Virginia State Police delete their data within 24 hours, according to Petersen’s office.
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Transparency efforts designed to help citizens (and legislators)

Overlapping committee meetings create challenges

Delegate Dickie Bell faces a quandary every Monday. As a member of the House Education committee, he has a weekly meeting at 8:30 a.m. He’s also a member of the House Finance committee, which meets at the same time.

“I’m often forced to miss one committee meeting, depending on whose agenda is more important,” said Bell, R-Staunton.

Sometimes he’ll try to catch some of each hearing, climbing the stairs between the first and ninth floors of the General Assembly building, where the meetings are held.
> Read more.

Governor outlines ‘opportunity’ agenda


In a move he said would boost the state’s economy, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking legislators to remove the requirement that Virginia women get an ultrasound before having an abortion and to “create a more inclusive environment for LGBT Virginians and business owners.”

McAuliffe announced his “full equal opportunity agenda” on Monday, calling on the General Assembly to:

· Remove references to “husband and wife” or “man and woman” in Virginia laws about marriage. Such terms would be replaced with the word “spouse” now that same-sex marriage is legal in the state.
> Read more.

McAuliffe sets the stage for General Assembly


Gov. Terry McAuliffe called on Virginia legislators Wednesday to address the problem of sexual assaults on college campuses and to make it easier for some undocumented immigrants to attend public colleges and universities.

McAuliffe laid out those goals in his State of the Commonwealth speech to a joint session of the General Assembly, which kicked off its 2015 session earlier in the day.

McAuliffe, who is beginning his second year as Virginia’s chief executive, wants the assembly over the next six weeks to pass several measures concerning education.
> Read more.

Business in brief


University of Richmond and Secure Futures, a solar energy developer based in Staunton, Va., have reached an agreement to install solar panels on the roof of UR’s Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness. Once complete, the 204-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array will allow the university to have the capacity to generate more than 226,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, potentially offsetting the emission of more than 344,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. That is equivalent to the average annual electricity use of 21.5 American homes, or the annual electricity needs for one campus residence hall. Installation is expected to begin in July 2015, and the panels will begin generating electricity for the university before students arrive back to campus for the 2015 school year. A PPA, or Power Purchase Agreement, is a critical financial instrument for solar energy development. Under the arrangement, Secure Futures will install, maintain and own the solar array – and its associated tax benefits – and will sell the electricity generated by the array to the University of Richmond at a set rate over a 20-year period.
> Read more.

Panel rejects bill to expand hate crimes law


A Senate committee on Wednesday defeated a bill to include sexual orientation and gender identification in the state’s definition of hate crimes.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 7-6 against Senate Bill 799, which was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington. All six Democrats on the committee supported the measure; all seven Republican committee members opposed it.

SB 799 would have expanded the definition of “hate crime” to include offenses committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification. It would have required law enforcement agencies to report such crimes to State Police.
> Read more.

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June 2017
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