HCPS wins national honor for overhaul of Code of Student Conduct, supports


Henrico County Public Schools recently was recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.

The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. > Read more.

Environmentalists say budget hurts efforts to protect bay

Environmental groups are outraged at the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, released last week, reduces the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. That includes a $427 million in funding to address regional pollution, such as the Chesapeake Bay protection efforts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which received $73 million from the federal government in 2016. > Read more.

Glen Allen ES principal receives REB Award


Melissa Halquist-Pruden, principal of Henrico County’s Glen Allen Elementary School, earned the 2016-17 REB Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The Community Foundation presents the award to four principals annually – one each from the school systems of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and one from the city of Richmond schools.

The award recognizes principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their jobs to create an exceptional educational environment. The award stresses management and communication skills, and the ability to inspire, encourage and advocate for the school. > Read more.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

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.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.

ACLU urges McAuliffe to veto anti-immigration bills


Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.

At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.

Business in brief


Stingem Management Group LLC has acquired Boathouse Capital’s stake in Henrico-based Colortree Group, Inc. James “Pat” Patterson, president/CEO of Colortree, is now the sole owner of the company. This transaction closed December 29, 2016. Boathouse Capital originally invested debt and equity to facilitate the management buyout of Colortree in 2011. Over the course of Boathouse's five-year investment, Colortree expanded its operations facility and equipment while improving its leadership team with the hiring of CFO, Terry Manis, and William Mack, VP of Human Resources. By expanding their facility and consolidating under one roof, Colortree can run much more efficiently and improve cost-effectiveness. Colortree Group, Inc. is a full-service manufacturer of envelope products and print services for the direct mail industry. > Read more.

Henrico to offer free workshop March 4 on outdoor improvements


The Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization will present a free workshop Saturday, March 4 on landscaping and other outdoor improvements that can add value and enjoyment to a home.

The class will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. Exhibits, hands-on demonstrations and refreshments will be included. > Read more.

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.

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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

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

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Varina Library will host a Death Café from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Led by spiritual and bereavement counselor Alane Miles, a Death Café is a gathering during which attendees can discuss death and dying in a surprisingly upbeat and informative way. Ask questions about the often-taboo topics of death, dying, grief and funeral practices. Miles has 20 years of experience in the hospice field, hosts the Death Club Radio show on WRIR and writes for Style Weekly. For details, call 501-1980 or visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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