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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School Board adopts final calendar for 2017-18 school year


At its Feb. 9 work session, the Henrico School Board adopted a final calendar for the 2017-18 school year. The adoption came after weeks of feedback from families, teachers and staff members about a number of calendar draft proposals.

Some highlights of the 2017-18 school year calendar:

• Classes begin: Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 > Read more.

Protesters ‘grill with #Bratworst’ outside congressman’s office

FEB. 11, 5:23 P.M. – The feud between U.S. Rep. Dave Brat, who represents a swath of Central Virginia in Congress, and his female constituents escalated Saturday afternoon when nearly 100 Planned Parenthood advocates demonstrated outside his Glen Allen office today.

The demonstrators stood across from Brat’s office at the corner of Broad Street and Cox Road in Glen Allen to protest what they see as the Republican representative’s lack of communication with his constituency.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood – for which Brat has pledged to cut off federal funding – held up signs toward the approaching traffic, eliciting honks from drivers passing by. > Read more.

Democrat Jeff Bourne elected to Virginia House


Jeff Bourne, a member of the Richmond School Board, easily won a special election Tuesday for the Virginia House of Delegates. Bourne, the Democratic nominee in the race, will represent the 71st House District, which includes parts of Richmond and Henrico County.

With all precincts reporting, Bourne received 3,708 votes, almost 90 percent of the ballots cast. The second-place candidate, Libertarian John W. Barclay, got about 7 percent. Regie Ford, an independent candidate, received about 3 percent.

Bourne fill the seat vacated by a fellow Democrat, Jennifer McClellan, who was elected to the state Senate last month. > Read more.

Henrico to present community summit on heroin, opioid epidemic

FBI Director James B. Comey to be keynote speaker at March 1 event

Henrico County and its Heroin Task Force will present a community summit Wednesday, March 1 on heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, which are growing at alarming rates locally, throughout Virginia and across the United States.

FBI Director James B. Comey will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at Glen Allen High School, 10700 Staples Mill Road. The summit is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, go to HeroinOpioidCommunitySummit.eventbrite.com or call (804) 727-8574.

Comey, who was appointed FBI director in 2013, has long ties to central Virginia. > Read more.

Henrico County Public Schools seeks public input on ‘STEAM’ integration


Henrico County Public Schools has embarked on the process of transforming its middle schools and is soliciting comments from the public. HCPS will hold two simultaneous public input sessions next Wednesday night to gather feedback from the public about integrating STEAM curricula – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – into the division’s middle schools. Sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at:

• John Rolfe Middle School, 6901 Messer Road;
• Glen Allen High School, 10700 Staples Mill Road > Read more.

Business in brief


Three Henrico hotels and one of the county's newest restaurants recently received ratings among the AAA's highest designations for hotels and restaurants. Among the Henrico properties receiving the AAA/CAA Four Diamond Rating were Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center, Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa/Short Pump, and The Westin Richmond. Shagbark, a new restaurant in Libbie Mill, was also awarded the AAA/CAA Four Diamond Rating. In all, 22 hotels and 15 restaurants in the Commonwealth of Virginia earned AAA/CAA Four and Five Diamond Ratings, which recognize establishments that are considered among the upper echelon of the hospitality industry. Four Diamond hotels and restaurants account for less than four percent (3.9 percent) of the nearly 59,000 AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants. > Read more.

Henrico Schools to hold hiring event Feb. 25


Henrico County Public Schools will hold a major hiring event to talk with interested teachers and other professionals about opportunities within Virginia’s sixth-largest school division. Henrico Schools is seeking teachers for all content areas for the 2017-18 school year, awell as school counselors, librarians, psychologists, social workers and nurses.

In order to accommodate teaching schedules, the job fair will be held on a Saturday morning, Feb. 25. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Glen Allen High School, 10700 Staples Mill Road in Glen Allen. > Read more.

Henrico to offer rabies vaccinations for pets Feb. 18


The Henrico County Police Division will provide rabies vaccines for dogs and cats from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Henrico County Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road.

Pet owners must register and pay at the cashier’s office in the Administration Building before seeing a veterinarian on the first level of the adjacent parking deck.

Each vaccine costs $10 and must be paid in cash. A rabies tag and certificate of inoculation are included. > Read more.

Virginia likely to ease rules on marijuana


Virginia won’t be pulling a Colorado by decriminalizing marijuana this year. But the state might relax its penalties for possessing marijuana and its rules on who can use marijuana products for medical reasons.

Legislators this session introduced more than a dozen marijuana-related proposals. A Senate committee last week killed two bills to decriminalize the substance, and a House bill likely will die this week.

However, lawmakers seem amenable to making marijuana products more available for medical purposes and to being more lenient with Virginians convicted of simple possession of marijuana. > Read more.

‘Left-lane bandits’ may face $250 fine


The House of Delegates has approved a bill that would impose a mandatory $250 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways. HB 2201 was introduced by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, and co-sponsored by Democrats Del. Kaye Kory of Falls Church and Sen. Scott Surovell of Fairfax to show bipartisan support for the measure. O’Quinn said this is something that affects all Virginians, regardless of which side of the aisle they align themselves with.

“It doesn’t matter which corner of the commonwealth you come from,” he said when addressing the bill on the House floor Monday. “It doesn’t matter which interstate or four-lane highway that you have going through the districts you represent. I guarantee you are going to encounter this many times, even if you’re on the highways for just a few minutes.” > Read more.

Henrico Extension to offer free lawn, gardening workshops


The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Henrico Master Gardeners will present a series of free workshops this spring to help residents care for their lawns and gardens. Each program will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. and requires registration.

The Spring Weed Control workshop will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Belmont Recreation Center, 1600 Hilliard Road. The program will focus on building a healthy turf and controlling crabgrass and weeds. > Read more.

James River Assoc. accepting applications for ‘floating classroom’ trip


The James River Association is accepting applications for the Seventh Annual James River Expedition, “a floating classroom” through which students paddle down the 340-mile length of the James River. High school students within the James River watershed are encouraged to apply before the Friday, March 10 deadline.

Students selected for the program will have the opportunity to go on one of three week-long trips that collectively travel the length of the James River over the summer. During the expedition, beginning June 25, participants will learn about conservation, responsible stewardship and the river’s history while camping and traveling aboard canoes, kayaks and bateaux rafts. > 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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CAT Theatre, 319 N. Wilkinson Rd., will present “Jeeves Intervenes,” a comedic farce, March 17 to April 1. “Jeeves Intervenes” is a delightful romp full of deception and disguise based on the original P.G. Wodehouse stories. Starring Scott Bergman in the title role. Tickets are $23 in advance and $25 at the door (opening night is $33 to $35). For a complete performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.cattheatre.com. Full text

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