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Henrico County news

Henrico student finishes 7th in Scripps National Spelling Bee


Moody Middle School sixth-grader Tejas Muthusamy finished seventh in the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night – one spot better than last year, when he finished eighth in the event.

In order to advance to last night's finals, Muthusamy correctly spelled "credenza," "castalia," "saxaul" and "symblepharon" during earlier competitions Thursday. During the 10-person finals, televised Thursday night by ESPN, Muthusamy correctly spelled "billiken," a comic figure used as a mascot, but then was eliminated when he misspelled "Tartarean," an adjective referring to Tartarus, a deep abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering in Greek mythology. He spelled the word with an "i" instead of an "e."

Only two students have won the Henrico countywide spelling bee in the past seven years – Muthusamy the past two years and Aditya Kannoth the five years prior to that. > Read more.

Business donates over-stove fire extinguishers to Henrico Div. of Fire


Professional Restoration Services recently donated 35 pairs of Stovetop Firestops, a fire extinguishing product that mounts over stoves to quickly and automatically extinguish stovetop fires when it senses flames, to the Henrico Division of Fire.

Henrico Fire officials have noted several positive outcomes from kitchen fires in the county during the past year that were suppressed by the system. One such fire occurred May 8 on Sprenkle Lane, but when firefighters arrived, they found that the system already had extinguished the fire (pictured, at right). > Read more.

HCPS announces winners in contest to eliminate inefficiencies

Henrico County Public Schools this week announced the winning entries in Superintendent Pat Kinlaw’s “Un-Initiative” contest launched at the start of the 2014-15 school year. The contest invited HCPS employees to suggest ways that the school division could operate more efficiently and effectively. Kinlaw promised to write personal checks to three individuals who came up with the winning ideas.

In most cases, many different HCPS employees submitted the same winning ideas. The HCPS Division Leadership Team selected the individual prize winners anonymously, after evaluating suggestions for value, content and clarity. A number of other ideas will be reviewed and evaluated by administrators. > Read more.

‘Love Local’ contest rewards shoppers for buying locally

The Retail Merchants Association and participating businesses are combining to offer local shoppers the chance to win a Valentine's Day package by shopping locally Feb. 8-14.

The "Love Local" contest will award a Sweetheart Package valued at more than $500 to one shopper who participates by visiting a participating store during the week, taking a picture and sharing it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ShopRVA. No purchase is necessary. Participants may enter only one photo per store but as many stores as they would like. > Read more.

Don’t start school before Labor Day, group says


Virginia schools should not be allowed to start classes before Labor Day, a coalition of state legislators and tourism officials said Wednesday. They voiced support for the current law requiring schools to begin after Labor Day, the traditional end of the tourism season, unless they get permission from the state.

A half-dozen bills before the General Assembly seek to eliminate the so-called “King’s Dominion law” and give school boards the authority to begin classes before Labor Day. The bills’ proponents say a pre-Labor Day start of the school calendar would boost students’ academic performance.

But officials from tourist destinations like Virginia Beach and Williamsburg disputed the alleged benefits of starting school before Labor Day and said it would be a bad idea. > Read more.

Bill would ‘ban the box’ on job applications


A Senate committee on Monday narrowly approved a bill that would prohibit state agencies from asking job applicants if they have a criminal history on employment applications.

The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee voted 8-7 in favor of Senate Bill 1017, sponsored by Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg. It would remove the box from applications that prospective employees must check if they’ve been convicted of a crime. > Read more.

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Community

10k fun begins

At 40,000 participants and still growing, it's no wonder that the homegrown Ukrop's' Monument Avenue 10k has moved into the national spotlight – even earning a USA Today ranking among the top 10 races in the country.

But as several of the event's biggest fans emphasized at a Jan. 4 kick-off celebration, the 10k is much more than just a race – or even just a single event.

When you consider all the preparations that go into the weeks leading up to the March 31 race – the training team workouts, registration rallies, fundraising promotions, costume-designing and party-stop planning – it's clear that the 10k is months in the making, with aspects of party, charitable benefit, self-improvement regimen and music festival combining to provide an ongoing celebration.

It's also clear that having fun reins supreme. > 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.

Safe Harbor seeks ‘Healthy Love RVA’ nominations

Safe Harbor is currently seeking nominations for its “Healthy Love RVA: Hot Healthy Couples” series. Four couples will be selected and interviewed and their love stories highlighted on Safe Harbor’s new website, http://www.safeharborshelter.com > Read more.

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Entertainment

Veteran restaurateur set to open in Short Pump

Tran’s Pho 1 Grill will serve Vietnamese fare
After nearly a year out of the restaurant industry, a well known 30-year Henrico restaurateur is ready to open up his fifth venture in Short Pump.

Paul Tran, along with his wife Ellen will open up Pho 1 Grill, a Vietnamese restaurant, in June in the Towne Center West Shopping Center.

Tran has been serving up Vietnamese food since the mid-’80s, his first being Que Huong on Rigsby Road. He also owned Mr. Chan’s on Horsepen Road and Saigon Gourmet on Hull Street Road. > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

Wine, for the win

Popular Short Pump spot offers upscale comfort, flavors
The Wine Loft opened in West Broad Village in January 2010, offering a full bar with wine, beer, spirits and a kitchen with tapas-style snacks. It offers a seasonal patio area along Whittall Way. Its walk-in wine “humidor” in plain view from the bar offers more than 85 wines by the glass ($6-$65) and about 250 by the bottle ($28 and up), with some emphasis on Italian wines. Culinary trained chefs plus partnership with Culinard (Culinary program of Virginia College). > Read more.

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The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen will present “An Evening of Bluegrass” with Randy Cook and The Commonwealth Bluegrass Band at 7 p.m. The band plays traditional and modern… Full text

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