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Henrico County News

Totty named director of Henrico MH/DS

Laura S. Totty has been named director of Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (MH/DS), effective Sept. 20. Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas announced the appointment today.

Totty has more than 31 years of experience with MH/DS, having served as a residential counselor, residential service specialist, program coordinator, program manager and director of the Clinical and Prevention Services division. She has served as acting director since August, when Michael D. O’Connor retired as director. He had served MH/DS for more than 35 years, including 10 years as director. > Read more.

Robotics teams shine


Robotics teams from J.R. Tucker and Godwin high schools are on their way to the world championships in St. Louis after emerging as winners at the state level. The two Henrico County schools were among three Richmond-area winners at the Virginia Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition last month.

The J.R. Tucker “Sparky 384” team and Godwin's "Talon 540" team won in competition against other machines in front of more than 3,000 onlookers at Virginia Commonwealth University's Siegel Center. Both teams are returning to the world championships for the second year in a row.

In competitive robotics, teams create machines to compete at predetermined challenges, such as scoring goals or stacking objects. More than 1,500 students and 72 high school teams competed in more than 100 rounds of action during last month's event. > Read more.

Finding a new way home


Editor's Note: This is the second in a three-part series about Bhutanese refugees living in Henrico County.

Hem and Chitra Bhattarai, two Nepali-speaking Bhutanese brothers now living in Henrico County, arrived at a refugee camp in Nepal in 1991. Although it was the land of their ancestors and they spoke the language, the refugees fleeing Bhutan in the early 1990s were not welcomed as Nepali citizens.

The Nepali-speaking Bhutanese could come into Nepal, but they had to stay in the camps until Bhutan and Nepal could figure out what to do with them. Exiled by Bhutan, not welcome in India or Pakistan, and merely tolerated in Nepal, Hem, Chitra, and the 100,000 other Nepali-speaking Bhutanese had become a stateless people.

The refugees moved into small huts, made of bamboo with plastic roofs. > Read more.

Henrico supervisors to hold public hearing April 8 on proposed budget

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday, April 8 on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., one hour earlier than usual, in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center’s Administration Building, 4301 E. Parham Road.

Residents may provide oral or written comments on the $1.1 billion plan, which would guide operating and capital spending for the year beginning July 1. > Read more.

Lewis Ginter named second-best public garden in the nation

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden finished second in USA Today’s 10Best Public Gardens contest. Twenty gardens nationwide were nominated, including some of the most stunning green spaces across North America.

The public was invited to vote for their favorite garden during March, and the top 10 were announced April 2.

“This has been the second most popular contest in the history of Readers’ Choice, so a top ten finish is really saying something!” said Libby McMillan, Content Manager and Senior Editor at USA Today. “America loves its gardens more than any of us knew.” > Read more.

Henrico students named winners in national Scholastic Art & Writing competition

Ten students from Henrico County Public Schools have won honors for their artwork in the 2014 national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Ellie Braun of Henrico High School was one of only 16 students nationwide to receive a Gold Medal Portfolio award for her portfolio, “Closet Queens.” The award includes a $10,000 scholarship. Braun won multiple awards, as did Deep Run High School’s Alex Turner. Virginia winners are showcased online at vmfa.museum/learn. > Read more.

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Community

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.

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.

Scarecrow festival arrives in Lakeside

Scarecrows (like this one at the Lakeside Farmers’ Market) are popping up throughout Lakeside this month, as part of the Lakeside Business Association’s second annual scarecrow festival. Participating businesses and organizations in the region will display their themed scarecrows all month and collect donations of food for the LAMB’s Basket food bank and pet food for the Richmond SPCA. Citizens can vote for their favorite scarecrows at http://www.LakesideAvenue.net > Read more.

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Entertainment

Restaurant Watch

Find out how your favorite food establishment fared during recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ seeks deserving Central Virginia families

The producers of the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are seeking nominations of local families who are deserving of home makeovers or new homes.

“We are looking for the deserving people and inspiring families that America can really root for,” said Supervising Casting Producer Adam Drucker. "We're looking for those special people who have amazing strength of character and never give up. > Read more.

Restaurant Watch

Find out how your favorite food establishment fared during recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

March 9
Dragon City, 2220 John Rolfe Parkway – One critical violation reported (chicken broth observed at improper temperature) and two non-critical violations reported.
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches, 7005 Three Chopt Road – No critical violations reported and one non-critical violation reported. > Read more.

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