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ProgressVA sees loopholes in ethics bills


ProgressVA, an advocacy group for “progressive public policy,” on Tuesday blasted the ethics legislation sitting on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk, saying it would continue to allow public officials to accept freebies.

The organization released a report saying the ethics legislation passed last week by the General Assembly “contains loopholes that impact its ability to curtail gifts.” ProgressVA applauded some aspects of the legislation but said the overall product was lacking.

“This bill is really one step forward and two steps back,” said Anna Scholl, the organization’s executive director. > Read more.

HCPS among national leaders in reducing suspensions


Henrico County Public Schools has made significant progress in finding alternatives to student suspensions. A new UCLA study lists the division among the most-improved large school systems in the nation for reducing student suspensions between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

The rate of suspensions in the division decreased from 31 percent to 13.8 percent during that time. Suspensions of black students were down 29 percent; suspensions of Hispanic students decreased 16 percent; and suspensions of white students were down 8 percent.

“We’ve made real progress with initiatives, training and the hard work of our staff,” said Patrick C. Kinlaw, the division’s superintendent. > Read more.
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2013 Va. General Assembly Q&A

State legislators have returned to Richmond for a 60-day session of the General Assembly, with questions about funding for transportation, education and the state’s retirement system taking center stage as the session began earlier this month. The Henrico Citizen invited each delegate and state senator whose district encompasses a portion of Henrico to provide their thoughts about the 2013 session. The answers of those who responded appear below. > Read more.

Business in brief


Zachary Brenner has joined Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s Commercial Property Services team as a portfolio manager. Brenner received his bachelor of science degree from Vanderbilt University and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Real Estate and Urban Land Development at VCU. He is an active member of Rho Epsilon, the professional real estate fraternity. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, Brenner worked in the healthcare industry. > Read more.

Collegiate dancers perform at Orange Bowl

Eighteen Collegiate School students performed in the Orange Bowl halftime show in Miami with country music artist Jake Owen on New Year's Day. The Collegiate group was one of four Virginia dance troupes to perform at halftime of Florida State's victory over Northern Illinois, which aired on ESPN.

During their trip, the Collegiate students participated in four dance education workshops, led by professionals such as Cris Judd (pictured with the dancers, at top), who has choreographed for the MTV Video Music Awards. The students worked together and within the school community to raise funds for travel and lodging to Florida. > Read more.

Millionaires made in Eastern Henrico


Two local residents became millionaires recently after purchasing Virginia Lottery tickets in Eastern Henrico. Clarence Seay of Henrico won $5 million in the "Virginia’s $5 Million Club" game and Richmond resident Larry Meador won $1 million in the "Virginia's New Year's Millionaire Raffle" contest. Seay purchased his ticket at the Handy Stop in Sandston, while Meador purchased his ticket at the 7-Eleven in Highland Springs. > Read more.

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Community

RAMPS receives $8k grant


RAMPS (Ramp Access Made Possible by Students) recently received an $8,000 grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The award was one of 75 grants totaling more than $600,137 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to nonprofit organizations nationwide that provide more opportunities, access, and daily quality of life for individuals living with paralysis, their families and caregivers.

RAMPS, an organization founded by then-Henrico County high school students to build ramps for local low-income residents who need them, will use the grant to purchase modular wheelchair ramp supplies. These supplies will be used by local high school RAMPS clubs, who provide volunteers to build the ramps. > Read more.

Henrico man to compete in Liberty Mutual Invitational National Finals

Henrico resident Larry Loving, Jr., will compete with three other locals – Thomas Scribner (Richmond), Roscoe McGhee (Midlothian) and Larry Loving (Richmond) in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational National Finals at TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 26-Mar. 1. The foursome qualified for the national golf tournament by winning the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational, held at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Md. on June 11. That event supported the RiteCare Center for Childhood Language Disorders.

In total, 240 amateur golfers will compete in Florida. > Read more.

Henrico PAL recognizes supporters, HSHS athlete


The Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) held its Sixth Annual Awards Banquet Feb. 5 at The Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, celebrating accomplishments of 2014 and recognizing outstanding contributions to the organization. Henrico County Juvenile Domestic Court Judge Denis Soden served as master of ceremonies and former Harlem Globetrotter Melvin Adams served as keynote speaker. 

Among the 2014 honorees were Richmond International Raceway (Significant Supporter), Richmond Strikers Soccer Club (Significant Supporter), Henrico County Schools-Pupil Transportation (Summer Camp Supporter), Bruce Richardson, Jr. (Youth of the Year), Sandra Williams (Volunteer of the Year), Thomas Williams (Employee of the Year), Mikki Pleasants (Board Member of the Year), and Michelle Sheehan (Police Officer of the Year).   > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Travinia brings contemporary elegance to Willow Lawn


It was another win for Willow Lawn when Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opened there six months ago, nestled in the heart of the re-made shopping center. The contemporary American Italian restaurant boasts 13 locations up and down the East Coast, with the Henrico location opening in August.

In the same week, I hit up Travinia twice, once for lunch and once for a late dinner. At lunchtime on a weekday, I was overwhelmed by the smell of garlic and by the number of working professionals in nice suits on their lunch breaks. When we first walked in, I was concerned our meal would be a little too pricey based on the décor – it’s a really nice place. Luckily, the menu has a variety of options for every budget. > Read more.

Soak up the fun

‘SpongeBob’ movie energizes with wit, laughter

There’s a ton of sugar in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Literal sugar, as SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) inhale their own weight in cotton candy and eat ice cream, one scoop per mouthful.

At one point we burrow into the brain of our boxy yellow hero and discover the inner workings of his brain: googly-eyed cakes and candies that giggle and sing. All of which is extremely appropriate for a film like Sponge Out of Water. Because not only is the movie sweet (the “awwww” kind of sweet), but it’s the equivalent of a 30-candy bar sugar rush, zipping between ideas like a sponge on rocket skates.

The story under all this is really not that complicated. SpongeBob flips burgers at the Krusty Krab. > Read more.

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The Henrico Business Leaders’ Networking Breakfast Meeting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at The Westin Richmond. Jeff Schapiro, political columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, will cover… Full text

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