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 will hear Hungary Creek redistricting proposal March 9

Larger redistricting that could affect 7 middle schools will follow this spring
FEB. 23, 6:10 P.M. – The Henrico School Board will receive plans next month designed to reduce overcrowding at Hungary Creek Middle School in time for the 2017-18 school year.

School system planners will present a proposal to the board Mar. 9 that would redistrict a small portion of the school's current zone, thereby alleviating crowded conditions at Hungary Creek. The school currently is at 116 percent of its intended capacity. The plan would take effect this fall and apply to rising sixth-graders.

Citizens would have an opportunity to comment on the proposal during a Mar. 16 public hearing at an as-yet undecided location. The board likely would approve new boundaries for Hungary Creek at its Mar. 23 meeting. > Read more.

Extension Office opens registration for Henrico Junior 4-H summer camp


The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension has begun accepting registrations for the 2017 Henrico Junior 4-H Camp, which will be held July 10-14 at the Jamestown 4-H Educational Center, near Williamsburg.

The residential camp is open to boys and girls ages 9 through 14, and it provides a fun learning environment to make friends and to discover the outdoors through such activities as swimming, archery, sailing, canoeing, forestry, marine science, riflery, fishing and crafts. The camp’s theme for 2017 is “4-H Grows Here!” > Read more.

Senate passes voter photo ID measure in close vote

The Virginia Senate recently voted 21-19 to pass a bill to tighten photo requirements for registered voters.

The bill, SB 1253, was introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, and now will head to the House Privileges and Elections Committee.

The bill grants localities the option to include photographs of registered voters in their electronic poll books. The localities can get access to voter photographs through the DMV or photo identification cards. The department of election will receive and have access to registered voters photographs and by required upon request to provide them to general registrars. > Read more.

All hands on deck

3 Henrico elementaries pilot new ‘flood-in’ literacy program

The sound that fills the hallway at Donahoe Elementary School in Sandston is a familiar one – a deep rumbling tone, growing louder as it approaches. The thunder is coming, like clockwork, and with it, a flood.

Second-graders, well-trained in how to respond to this approaching wave, divide themselves, find their chairs and hunker down together in small groups. The time has arrived.

It's time to read.
> Read more.

For third year, governor vetoes ‘Tebow bill’


Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed the so-called Tebow bill that would have allowed home-schooled students to participate in high school sports.

“Participation in athletic and academic competitions is a privilege for students who satisfy eligibility requirements,” McAuliffe wrote in vetoing HB 1578, sponsored by Del. Rob Bell, R-Charlottesville. “Opening participation in those competitions to individuals who are not required to satisfy the same criteria codifies academic inequality in interscholastic competition.”

This is the third consecutive year that Bell has shepherded such legislation through the General Assembly only to be stopped at the governor’s office. > Read more.

Redheads


Mark Gordon, CEO of Bon Secours' Memorial Regional Medical Center, and nurses from the Mother Infant Unit at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital hold newborn babies in the St. Mary’s nursery Feb. 3. All newborns in the nursery wore red baby caps that day to to commemorate National Wear Red Day and to kick off American Heart Month. American Heart Association volunteers knitted the caps by hand. > Read more.

Henrico Police receive donated canine ballistic vest


The Henrico County Police Division Feb. 15 received a ballistic vest for one of its newest canines after a donation initiated by the Cumberland Hospital for Adolescents in New Kent County.

The Cumberland Hospital of Adolescents made a monetary donation to the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office in honor of Sarah Ann McLaughlin, who was a communications officer with the New Kent Sheriff’s Office and the daughter of Sheriff Joe McLaughlin Jr. and his wife, Robin. She also was an avid animal enthusiast, and their donation was intended for the purchase of a bullet resistant vest for a canine. The New Kent Sheriff’s Office does not have a canine, so Sheriff Joe McLaughlin Jr. offered to purchase a vest for a Henrico County police canine. > Read more.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield becomes title sponsor of Innsbrook 5k event


FEB. 14 –Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will become the title sponsor of the Anthem Corporate Run, an annual 5k corporate run/walk in Innsbrook, the company and Sports Backers announced today. This year's event will be held June 8 in the Innsbrook Office Park. The event features hundreds of corporate teams and is designed as an opportunity for employers to promote the message of employee health and wellness in a team-building environment that also promotes networking.

“One of our goals is to help our clients understand the benefits of physical activity for their employees, and events like the Anthem Corporate Run are a great way to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for companies across the Richmond region and for Anthem associates,” said C. Burke King, Anthem president. > Read more.

VHBG hosts first pinewood derby


Science plays a critical role in racing all types of cars – and some local students learned that firsthand recently.

Students at John G. Wood, a nonprofit alternative school located on the campus of Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, applied science to cars they made using pine wood in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) class, then raced the cars to demonstrate the principals of motion.

In all, 16 cars – carefully crafted for speed and looks – competed. Cars could not exceed a five-ounce weight limit; any added weight could not hang over the front or rear of the car; and all cars had to use the wheels, axles and block given. > Read more.

VanValkenburg to seek 72nd District seat


Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg recently announced his intention to seek the party nomination for the 72nd District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. VanValkenburg is a government and civics teacher at Glen Allen High School and has worked in the school system for 12 years. He is a University of Richmond graduate.

The 72nd District seat has been held by Republican Jimmie Massie since 2008. > Read more.

Business in brief


Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer recently announced the following lease transactions in Henrico County: Atlantic Outreach Group – leased 4,655 SF at 2421 Westwood Ave.; The Crazy Greek – leased 3,300 SF at 5905 W. Broad St.; U-Haul & CC Computers – leased 1,119 SF in Dumbarton Square Shopping Center at 7101 Staples Mill Rd.; Integrated Systems Development Corp. – renewed its lease of 3,137 SF in Banks Brothers Building at 4461 Cox Rd.; and Legacy Navigator – leased 2,280 SF at 2421 Westwood Ave. > Read more.

Senate passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood


The Senate on Tuesday narrowly passed a bill to curtail funding for Planned Parenthood and other health centers that perform abortions.

The Senate voted 20-19 along party lines in favor of HB 2264, sponsored by Del. Benjamin Cline, R-Amherst.

The bill states that the Virginia Department of Health “shall not enter into a contract with, or make a grant to, any entity that performs abortions that are not federally qualified abortions or maintains or operates a facility where non-federally qualified abortions are performed.” > 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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North Park Library’s “I Am Not My Hair” series wraps up with a screening and discussion of “In Our Heads About Our Hair” from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This documentary from Hemamset Angaza examines issues black women confront regarding hair, culture and self-esteem. For details, call 501-1970 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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