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Small fire extinguished at Mondelez factory

Henrico Fire units quickly extinguished a structure fire at the Mondelez (Nabisco) factory in Varina Jan. 20. The factory manufactures Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies, Ritz and Wheat Thins crackers and Premium saltines.

The fire was reported at 8:10 p.m., and first-arriving units reported fire from the roof of the facility. Inside the factory, fire crews found fire in an oven on the second floor and a vent stack leading to the roof. Crews continued to the roof and found fire in the roof structure around the vent stack. > Read more.

O’Bannon to seek re-election as supervisor

Tuckahoe District Supervisor Pat O’Bannon this week became the first member of the county’s Board of Supervisors to formally announce her intention to seek re-election to the board this November.

O’Bannon is currently serving her fifth term on the board, having first been elected in 1995.

“I have worked hard to keep costs low, respecting our citizens’ budgets, while still maintaining public safety service delivery at the levels they want, “ said O’Bannon. “We want our firefighters and police to be able to respond quickly, to have the best training we can give them and to have the best technology available.” > Read more.
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Panel rejects bill to expand hate crimes law


A Senate committee on Wednesday defeated a bill to include sexual orientation and gender identification in the state’s definition of hate crimes.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 7-6 against Senate Bill 799, which was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington. All six Democrats on the committee supported the measure; all seven Republican committee members opposed it.

SB 799 would have expanded the definition of “hate crime” to include offenses committed against a person because of sexual orientation or gender identification. It would have required law enforcement agencies to report such crimes to State Police. > Read more.

‘Public service is a privilege,’ House Speaker says

As the Virginia House of Delegates convened Wednesday for the General Assembly’s 2015 session, House Speaker William Howell welcomed newly elected delegates, set out the chamber’s goals and reminded legislators of their position as public servants.

“It is said quite often – public service is a privilege. None of us are entitled to the seats we hold in this body,” said Howell, a Republican from Fredericksburg.

He told lawmakers to live up to the standards expected by their constituents. > Read more.

Morrissey reclaims his House seat

Joe Morrissey
UPDATE: Jan. 13, 9:15 P.M. – Embattled – and imprisoned – former Delegate Joe Morrissey tonight won back the 74th District House of Delegates seat that he resigned late last year, defeating Democrat Kevin Sullivan and Republican Matt Walton in a special election that was necessitated by his resignation.

Morrissey earned 42 percent of the vote, to Sullivan’s 33 percent and Walton’s 24 percent. Slightly more than 6,700 of the 53,000 registered voters turned out for the special election. The district encompasses a wide swath of northern and eastern Henrico, all of Charles City County and a portion of Richmond.

For now, the win means that Morrissey will serve the final year of the two-year term and be sworn in Wednesday morning when the General Assembly convenes in Richmond. But Virginia Republicans and Democrats have vowed to do whatever they can to remove him from office, following his conviction last month on a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. > Read more.

Feeling handcuffed

One-fourth of the inmates in Henrico’s jail are under extended temporary custody from the state, costing county taxpayers an estimated $6.5 million per year.

The state reimburses seven times less than what Henrico officials say it costs to house the inmates, and the sheriff’s department will have to repay the state under Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s plan to balance the budget shortfall. County officials worry the problem is likely to get worse following the closing of Powhatan correctional facility.

The county jail, designed to house offenders up to the date of their trial or sentencing and for no longer than one year, is functioning instead partially as a state prison. > Read more.

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Community

Ninth-annual Filipino Festival scheduled Aug. 8-9

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 8200 Woodman Rd., will host the ninth-annual Filipino Festival from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 9.

Attendees will enjoy hallmark Filipino cuisine, entertainment and exhibits from local and regional Filipino talent, vendors, hands-on crafts and games for the kids and more. > Read more.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

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.

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Entertainment

‘Sizing Up!’ opens at Cultural Arts Center

The Cultural Arts Center unveils a new exhibit – "Sizing Up!" – Nov. 20-Jan. 18 in the Gumenick Family Gallery.

Artist Chuck Larivey has spent the past three years "sizing up" – creating large-scale oil paintings that are designed to engage their viewers in a monumental way by using size to captivate them and make them a part of the artistic experience.

The exhibit is appropriate for all ages and is free and open to the public at the center, located at 2880 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Are you still looking for some unique holiday gifts? There are hundreds of great options your family and friends will love at the Holly Spree on Stuart Avenue, Vintage Holiday Show and New Bridge Academy’s annual Christmas Bazaar. Shopping can be stressful so some relaxing activities can be found in Henrico this weekend as well, including “Richmond’s Finest” at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, the “Nutcracker Sweet” at Moody Middle School and a jazz concert at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A ‘Life’ well lived

Animated ‘Book of Life’ overcomes average storyline with extraordinary presentation, details
“Beauty is only skin deep” applies all too well to The Book of Life. An animated feature from first-time director Jorge R. Gutierrez, The Book of Life spins a classic love triangle – two childhood friends, Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum) both in love with Maria (Zoe Saldana).

Maria, in all honesty, is a little more interested in Manolo’s musical charms, but her father wants her to marry the boastful and militaristic Joaquin. And when two gods, La Muerte and Xibalba (Kate de Castillo and Ron Perlman, respectively), turn this little love triangle into a wager (as gods often do), Manolo’s quest for true love will take him through life, death, immortality and the underworlds of Mexican folklore.

Now, back to the “beauty” part – because as far as the visuals go, The Book of Life is the most extraordinary animated film to hit theaters this year. > Read more.

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Calendar

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Third Church, 600 Forest Ave. January is National Blood Donor Month. Donors of all… Full text

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