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Living history

Henrico filmmaker follows his 'Heart'
Henrico filmmaker Kevin Hershberger has transformed the "birthplace" of Jesus into the Hanoi Hilton.

Hershberger, the CEO of LionHeart Film Works, modified the Salem Baptist Church in Manakin (best known as the site of a living nativity scene each Christmas) to replicate the notorious Vietnamese Hoa Lo prison camp for a Vietnam prisoner-of-war documentary he's currently filming for the Smithsonian. Adding shackles and torture hooks to the walls where holiday visitors will line up in December seems morbid, but this is what Hershberger does. As a documentary filmmaker dedicated to filming historical documentaries in and around Henrico County, the VCU graduate is forced to get creative with his sets.

LionHeart is based out of a nondescript storefront in the West End. > Read more.

EHBA donates 40 bikes

Principal Paul Llewellyn of Seven Pines Elementary School in Sandston sat in a small room in the school library earlier this month with a helmet on his head, stared fixedly into a video camera and told his students that they rocked their standards of learning tests.

“I’m so proud of you guys,” Llewellyn said as he prepared to draw four names in the third annual bike raffle during the special morning video announcement. “You did better than any other year of testing at Seven Pines.”

Two years ago, Eastern Henrico Business Association President Mark Romers was approached about helping to fund the purchase of two bikes for the raffle to help incentivize performance on the spring testing. > Read more.

Huguenot Bridge closing overnight

At 10 p.m. tonight the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will close the existing Huguenot Bridge to traffic to allow crews to move barriers into position and install pavement markings at the approaches to the new bridge. VDOT expects preparations to be completed and traffic shifted to the new bridge by 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30, weather permitting.

This milestone marks the halfway point for the $54.5 million bridge construction project, with approximately one year remaining until the wider and more bike/pedestrian-friendly bridge is complete. > Read more.

Business in brief


Zaxby’s recently announced its multi-unit development agreement with Hoozax Foods, Inc. to open 32 Zaxby’s restaurants in the Norfolk and Richmond areas within the next seven years. The partnership will make Hoozax Foods, Inc. one of Zaxby’s largest franchisees. A southeast favorite for chicken fingers and buffalo wings, Zaxby’s features a quick-casual format providing services and amenities that fall somewhere between fast food and a sit-down restaurant. The chain operates more than 550 locations in 12 states; there are currently three locations in Virginia - Roanoke, Salem and Williamsburg. Of the 32, 15 restaurants are planned for Richmond. > Read more.

Solar picnic

Thanks to a grant from the Henrico Education Foundation (HEF), Pinchbeck Elementary School fourth graders enjoy the use of 14 Earthboxes each year in which to grow food. This year, they planted and grew a variety of fresh herbs, which they harvested and washed for a solar energy picnic held June 14 at the school.

Among the varieties of teas brewed in solar jugs and sampled at the picnic were peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, lemon verbena, and pineapple sage; pouring tea, from left, are Sandra Ngo, Natalia Paolini-Medina, Samantha Davis, and Logan Martin. Students also prepared snacks of crackers topped with cheese and their own grown herbs (chives and varieties of basil), built their own solar cookers, and cooked hotdogs. > Read more.

Homeland

Vernelle Barr doesn’t know exactly how long Elmwood Farm has been in her family’s possession. Nobody does.

“I lived here with my grandfather and my father and mother, and it was long before that,” she said.

As of March 31, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had recognized just more than 1,200 farms in Virginia as Century Farms -- those held by the same family for 100 or more years. Henrico County is home to just four such farms – A Thyme to Plant at Lavender Fields Herb Farm; Colonial Acres Farm, LLC; Elmwood Farm;
and Taylor Farm. > Read more.

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Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

Henrico native to appear on Travel Channel show


A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”

The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.

The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.

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