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Henrico County news

Law would let Dominion hike electric bills


Dominion Virginia Power would be allowed to avoid state regulation for eight years while having the ability to raise consumers’ electric bills, if the General Assembly passes a bill before the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

The legislation would require Dominion to maintain its base rate for eight years beginning in 2013 – when the state last reviewed the company’s rates – until 2020. While the base rate would stay the same, the company would retain the authority to increase fuel surcharges and other “riders” that are added to customers’ utility bills. > Read more.

Health secretary urges Medicaid expansion


Virginia’s secretary of health and human services, William A. Hazel, wants legislators to put aside their political differences and ensure that every resident of the commonwealth has access to affordable health care.

Hazel is urging the General Assembly to expand Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income people, as states are encouraged to do under the federal Affordable Care Act. Hazel made his case again in a recent talk to students at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Although the Affordable Care Act made it easier and cheaper for many people to buy health insurance, Hazel said coverage gaps still exist. > Read more.
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Accreditation woes for HCPS

Twenty-seven of Henrico County’s 66 public schools will not be fully accredited for the current school year, and one other school – Wilder Middle – was denied accreditation by the Virginia Department of Education. The VDOE released its official school ratings this morning.

In order to be fully accredited, a school’s students must earn overall adjusted pass rates on the Virginia Standards of Learning exams of 75 percent in English and 70 percent in math, science and history/social studies.

Eleven of the 28 schools to miss full accreditation are new to the list, while 15 of the others will enter their second consecutive year of accredited-with-warning status. > Read more.

Goodwill, Thalhimer partner to help job-seekers ‘Suit Up’

Goodwill and Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer are partnering for their inaugural professional clothing drive, a program called SUIT UP.

Through the program, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s corporate headquarters at 11100 West Broad Street in Short Pump will be collecting gently-used business clothing for the next five weeks. An external dropbox is on location, and local residents are encouraged to make donations.

The partnership between Goodwill, which has helped people in Central Virginia with job-training, support and opportunities for more than 90 years, and Thalhimer, which has operated in the market for more than 100 years, was a natural fit, officials with both companies said. > Read more.

Fairfield MS student market now offering fall hours


Fairfield Middle School’s student-run Community Garden Market is adding fall hours. The market is now open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Located adjacent to the school at 5121 Nine Mile Road in Henrico County, the market offers fresh, affordable, organically grown produce cultivated by Fairfield students. Grants from Lowe’s, Home Depot, VCU and the Henrico Education Foundation helped fund the project, which aims to educate students and improve community access to healthy food.

“About 4,000 homes in the Fairfield area are on monthly food assistance. There’s a huge need for food security,” said Amanda Hall, coordinator of the garden market and a former Fairfield science teacher. > Read more.

Henrico’s Saint Mary’s School to celebrate Constitution Day

The students, faculty and staff of Saint Mary’s Catholic School will gather at the school’s flagpole to begin the daylong celebration of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17. The annual event features lessons on the Constitution prior to the celebration in each class, a flagpole ceremony with all students attending and participating, a parent reception following the ceremony and special lunch treats for the students. > Read more.

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Community

Caring Bunny hops into VCC for children with special needs

Caring Bunny will hop into Virginia Center Commons Mall, 10101 Brook Rd., for children with special needs and their families on Sunday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the JCPenney Court. The event will be held prior to the mall opening, so that accommodations can be made to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of all guests.

Caring Bunny is a joint program developed by The Noerr Programs, the digital imaging company that provides the Bunny Photo Experience for malls nationwide and AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Looking for something to do this weekend? You've come to the right place. Below are details about this weekend's top 10 events around town, as selected by Henrico Citizen Events Editor Sarah Story. > Read more.

Little Sisters’ event raises funds

Michael and Bevin Kehoe (left) and Ruth and Franco Ambrogi (of Franco’s Fine Clothiers) were among the more than 200 guests at the 38th Annual Little Sisters of the Poor Benefit Dinner Feb. 9 at the Commonwealth Club in downtown Richmond. The evening’s entertainment was provided by the Little Sisters themselves, who serenaded the dinner guests with humor and music, accompanied by Sr. Jeanne Emmanuel’s guitar. The event raised almost $169,000 in support of the Little Sisters’ mission. > Read more.

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Entertainment

‘Epic’ doesn’t live up to its name

Messages may be too intense for younger viewers
There's an odd paradox lying within "Epic." The basic elements of the story are clearly aimed at a very young audience. A forest is watched over by a benevolent queen (Beyonce Knowles) and an army of tiny soldiers called Leafmen, who protect it from equally minuscule goblin-like creatures called Boggans. When the balance of power is shifted, our plucky heroine M.K. (Amanda Seyfried) is accidentally shrunk down to Leafman size and must work with all manner of forest critters to restore the natural order. > Read more.

Mother and son open new restaurant in Sandston

A new restaurant has opened in a well-known Sandston building.

The Sandston Kitchen will celebrate its official grand opening on Memorial Day, May 27. The restaurant is located in the site of the former Sandston Pharmacy at 2 West Williamsburg Road. It serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. > Read more.

Whale of a treat

Ironfish delights with a variety of tasty catches

I was overjoyed to head back for another meal at Ironfish by Pescados, considered the Best New Restaurant in 2011 by both the Richmond Times Dispatch and Richmond Magazine. I agree whole-heartedly with their ratings. Since I first visited the restaurant for my birthday in January, I was waiting for the perfect special occasion to return. I couldn’t wait another year, obviously.

Run by the same restaurateurs as Pescados Latin Caribbean Seafood in Midlothian and Eat in Oregon Hill, Ironfish offers the same unique dishes and top-level customer service. > Read more.

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