Henrico Democrats nominate Lynch, Rodman

Candidates will seek seats on Board of Supervisors, in Virginia House
APR. 29, 6:15 P.M. – Henrico Democrats today selected their party's nominees for the Brookland District Supervisor seat and the 73rd District House of Delegates seat during a party caucus.

Courtney Lynch, the founder of a leadership development company, was somewhat of a surprise winner in the Brookland District supervisor's race. She defeated Virginians for High Speed Rail Executive Director Danny Plaugher, who had been the party's nominee two years ago in the general election for the seat.

Debra Rodman, a Randolph-Macon College professor, earned the party's nomination for the 73rd House District seat, defeating Chelsea Savage, a nurse, in a runoff. Attorney Sarah Smith was third and Bill Coleman, a project manager for a health organization, fourth.
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Therapeutic healing

Support group offers teens help, hope through art

In a room labeled the garden room, a bright space with lavender-colored walls and pebble-gray chairs, art therapist Becky Jacobson might ask her patients to imagine a safe place, but she doesn’t ask them to describe it to her — she wants them to draw it.

The patients are free to draw whatever they envision, expressing themselves through their colored markers, a form of healing through art therapy.

“Some people might not feel safe anywhere because they have had hard things happening to them, and I have the background to help that person reground and feel safe in the group,” Jacobson said.
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Eight’s enough? Crowded race for 56th District develops


Following the retirement of Delegate Peter Farrell [R-56th District], a number of candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to vie for the open seat in the Virginia General Assembly district, which contains a portion of Henrico’s Far West End.

Democratic challengers include Lizzie Basch and Melissa Dart, while Republican contenders include George Goodwin, Matt Pinsker, Graven Craig, Surya Dhakar, Jay Prendergrast and John McGuire. In addition to a section of Henrico, the district also includes portions of Goochland and Spotsylvania County, as well as all of Louisa County.
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Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Former Three Chopt District supervisor Kaechele dies


JAN. 20, 9:25 A.M. – Former Three Chopt District Supervisor David A. Kaechele – who served nine terms and nearly four decades on the Henrico Board of Supervisors, overseeing a time of significant growth in his district – has died. He was 85.

Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas announced Kaechele's death in a countywide e-mail this morning. Kaechele retired from the board at the conclusion of his ninth term in 2015. David A. Kaechele Elementary School in the Three Chopt District bears his name.

All Henrico County flags will fly at half-staff in Kaechele's honor through Jan. 27, Vithoulkas said. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
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Muthusamy captures fourth straight HCPS spelling title


Moody Middle School eighth-grader Tejas Muthusamy won Henrico Schools’ Divisionwide Spelling Bee Jan. 18 – his fourth consecutive title and his sixth year as a finalist. It is the final year that he was eligible to compete in the annual event, which matches spelling champions from each of the county's 45 public elementary schools and 12 middle schools.

Muthusamy will advance to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee March 11, which he was won each of the past three years on his way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.
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Vithoulkas to give ‘State of the County’ address twice Jan. 23


Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas will give his 'State of the County' address twice Monday, Jan. 23.

Vithoulkas will address members of the Henrico Business Council, Henrico Business Leaders and Eastern Henrico Business Association at an event for members of the three organizations at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen beginning at 7 a.m.
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Groups criticize panel for not hiking minimum wage


Advocacy groups for low-paid workers blasted a Virginia Senate committee for killing two bills that would have raised the minimum wage incrementally over the next three years.

“It is a sad day when politicians prioritize corporate profits over hardworking Virginia families,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia and a member of the Women’s Equality Coalition. “$7.25 is not enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head at the same time, and no one who works a full-time job should be living in poverty.”

Supporters of the legislation had hoped Virginia would become the 30th state with a minimum wage above the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour.
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Democrats seek to protect reproductive rights


In an effort to protect and expand women’s health care in Virginia, House Democrats said Tuesday they have introduced three bills to ensure easier access to abortion and contraceptives.

The bills represent a contrast to Republican measures such as the “Day of Tears” resolution that encourages Virginians to mourn abortion, Democratic legislators and their allies said at a news conference.

Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl said the General Assembly has seen more than 75 proposals to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care since 2010. She urged legislators to stop making women’s health care political.
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HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee scheduled for Jan. 18


Champions from each of Henrico County Public Schools’ 45 elementary schools and 12 middle schools will square off Jan. 18 in the 2017 HCPS Divisionwide Spelling Bee at Hungary Creek Middle School.

The winner of the HCPS bee will advance to the Richmond Times-Dispatch regional spelling competition March 11 for a chance to represent a large swath of Virginia in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The Scripps contest features more than 280 regional champions from around the nation, and is televised by ESPN.
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Dreaming big

School Board votes to create new ‘academy’ at Highland Springs ES

It was, perhaps, fitting that days before the nation paused to honor the life of a man known in part for his powerful dream (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), the Henrico County School Board voted to approve a program whose design could help some of the county's most at-risk students realize their own dreams.

The board Jan. 12 unanimously approved a five-year, $2.16-million agreement with An Achievable Dream Certified Academies, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Newport News that will begin operating its acclaimed educational program at Highland Springs Elementary School this fall.

The aim of the program is simple: to engage the most vulnerable students – whose family situations, economic levels or discipline issues might otherwise prevent them from achieving academically.
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Capitol is site of dueling gun allies


Unified by their desire to preserve safety, but divided on ways to do so, both sides of the Virginia gun debate rallied on Capitol Square on Monday.

“Hello deplorables. Are you ready to take back the Commonwealth of Virginia?” Corey Stewart, a Republican candidate for governor, asked as members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League rallied in the morning.

Stewart cautioned the crowd that while it is possible to lose a battle and win the war, that means it is also possible to win the battle and lose the war. He said they won the battle for the presidency with Trump’s 2016 election.
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Poll finds support for workforce training


Most Virginians said they are willing to pay more in taxes to keep programs for workforce training and development at their current levels, according to a statewide poll conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University. The survey, conducted by the VCU’s Center for Public Policy, said 58 percent of adults statewide felt that way. That view was more prevalent among Democrats, among people who don’t have children in the public schools, and among Virginians 65 and older.

“Economic development and workforce development are important topics nationally as well as statewide, and they will certainly be at the forefront of this year’s General Assembly session,” said John Accordino, interim dean of VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, which oversees the center.
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Advocates for rape survivors applaud grant


Organizations that help rape survivors see benefits from Virginia receiving a $2 million federal grant to improve the commonwealth’s handling of sexual assaults. They say the money will help the state train sexual assault investigators, test rape evidence kits and provide services to rape survivors.

“At YWCA Richmond, we acknowledge that all survivors respond differently to trauma and to news involving sexual assault. News of this continued testing may provide comfort to survivors and their families that justice will be served to the perpetrator of the assault,” Rachel Solomon, the Y’s development and relations coordinator, said Thursday.
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Anti-abortion group wants ‘Day of Tears’ commemoration


An anti-abortion organization called Day of Tears is urging the Virginia General Assembly to pass a resolution declaring a day of mourning to mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Joined by a dozen Republican colleagues, Dels. Benjamin Cline of Amherst and Richard Bell of Staunton have introduced the resolution – HR 268. It would declare Jan. 22 as the Day of Tears in the state and encouraged Virginians “to lower their flags to half-staff to mourn the innocents who have lost their lives to abortion.”

Jan. 22, 1973, was a monumental day for both pro-life and pro-choice advocates.
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House panel shoots down ban on guns in libraries


A House subcommittee shot down a bill Thursday to allow libraries owned or operated by local governments to ban firearms from their premises.

On a 4-1 voice vote, Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee recommended tabling HB 1418. The bill, proposed by Del. Delores McQuinn, D-Richmond, sought to allow localities to adopt ordinances to prohibit the carrying firearms in public libraries.

“The (library) staff strongly feels that a library should be used as a reading circle and that schools and libraries are inappropriate places to openly carry firearms,” McQuinn said.
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Henrico Business Bulletin Board

April 2017
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The Children’s Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church, 22 N. Holly Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to noon every Tuesday and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every second and fourth Thursday of the month. Clothing is available in sizes infant through teen and is free. Clothes are located on the second floor and no elevator is available. Full text

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