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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.

Bank donates $40k

Henrico-based Franklin Federal Savings Bank recently introduced a new initiative called “Pillars of Our Community,” through which it will donate $40,000 annually to local nonprofits. Each of the bank’s eight locations will donate $5,000 to the charity of its choosing, provide volunteer support to the organization and distribute the organization’s literature for a full year. > Read more.

HCPS mentoring program named Virginia’s best

Henrico County Public Schools’ “Henrico HEROES” program has received the Virginia Outstanding Mentoring Program Award for 2014 by Virginia Mentoring Partnership. The judges called the program “an outstanding model of success for school-based mentoring.”

Henrico HEROES (Helpers Engaged in Reaching Our Evolving Students) administers 27 mentoring groups in the county’s middle schools, high schools and nontraditional programs. In 2013, Henrico HEROES reached 680 students with the support of 579 trained mentors. Data showed that those students, who had been deemed at-risk, showed improvements in attendance, behavior and grades. > Read more.

Herring supports court’s gay-marriage decision

The fight for marriage equality for same-sex couples in Virginia continues to progress through the courts this week after a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Federal District Judge Arenda Wright Allen struck down the law used in the controversial Bostic v. Rainey case as unconstitutional in Norfolk’s federal court this past Thursday. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring declared his support of the ruling against the same-sex marriage ban in the commonwealth. > Read more.

House GOP debates Medicaid expansion rejection methodology

House Republicans are echoing national GOP rhetoric in rejecting the Medicaid expansion, strongly backed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Delegate James “Jimmie” Massie, R-Richmond, said Obamacare could likely “implode.” Massie said he handles the “business side” of Medicaid reform.

“I would say (it’s not going) particularly well so far,” Massie said with a laugh. “My opinion is if you think Obamacare was hard signing up for on the website … wait till you try to use it.” > Read more.

Va. Senate, House debating student concussion policy

Student-athletes in youth-sports programs could be included under new concussion policies if a bill seeking to add guidelines for non-interscholastic teams passes.

House Bill 410 patron Delegate Richard Anderson, R-Woodbridge, said the bill was introduced in memory of Austin Trenum, a student from Brenstville High School in Prince William County. In August 2011, Austin -- the son of Prince William County School Board member, Gil Trenum -- took his own life after experiencing a concussion during a high school football game late that summer. > Read more.

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Community

Milestones

Navy Midshipman Peyton B. Walsh, son of Mary O. and Patrick B. Walsh of Glen Allen, recently completed Plebe Summer while attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Plebe Summer is the summer training program required of all incoming freshmen to the naval academy. Walsh will go on to complete the academic year as a midshipman. He is a 2010 graduate of Deep Run High School. > Read more.

Dorey Dog Park to open Oct. 15

Henrico County's first county-built dog park will open Saturday, Oct. 15 at Dorey Park, 2999 Darbytown Road in Varina. A grand opening and dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. The one-acre park will feature sections for large and small dogs, exercise play equipment, water fountain and spray water features. The first 200 dogs Oct. 15 will receive a giveaway, and attendees can take their dog's photo with Snoopy and Sparky the Fire Dog.
> Read more.

Fall festivals abound

(A sampling of fall festivals throughout Henrico County this month appears below; admission is free unless otherwise noted.)

Oct. 15 – Henrico County’s annual Harvest Festival will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Meadow Farm, 3400 Mountain Rd., featuring hands-on activities and demonstrations, pony rides, a petting zoo, tethered hot air balloon rides, the Great Pumpkin Patch of Meadow (ages 3-12) and more. For details, call 501-5121. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Kenya Safari Acrobats to perform at CACGA

The Kenya Safari Acrobats – a high-spirited troupe from Africa – will perform twice at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen on Thursday, Feb. 3. Shows will be held at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

The group promotes African circus entertainment throughout the world. (Africa is being recognized internationally as the birthplace of the circus.) > Read more.

Restaurant Watch

Find out how your favorite place to eat fared in recent health inspections by the Virginia Department of Health > Read more.

Art walking, without the chill

Crossroads Art Center to host indoor event Jan. 21
We really do love downtown Richmond’s First Fridays Art Walk. It’s a great way to view works of myriad artists in a concentrated area, meet a lot of local characters and just revel in the general spectacle of it all.

At this time of year, however, we prefer our activities a bit more sheltered from the elements. But we don’t have to give up our Art Walk – we’re just moving indoors. > Read more.

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