Henrico County news

Groups criticize panel for not hiking minimum wage


Advocacy groups for low-paid workers blasted a Virginia Senate committee for killing two bills that would have raised the minimum wage incrementally over the next three years.

“It is a sad day when politicians prioritize corporate profits over hardworking Virginia families,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress Virginia and a member of the Women’s Equality Coalition. “$7.25 is not enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head at the same time, and no one who works a full-time job should be living in poverty.”

Supporters of the legislation had hoped Virginia would become the 30th state with a minimum wage above the federally mandated minimum of $7.25 an hour. > Read more.

Democrats seek to protect reproductive rights


In an effort to protect and expand women’s health care in Virginia, House Democrats said Tuesday they have introduced three bills to ensure easier access to abortion and contraceptives.

The bills represent a contrast to Republican measures such as the “Day of Tears” resolution that encourages Virginians to mourn abortion, Democratic legislators and their allies said at a news conference.

Progress Virginia Executive Director Anna Scholl said the General Assembly has seen more than 75 proposals to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care since 2010. She urged legislators to stop making women’s health care political. > Read more.

Lawmakers target college tuition and access


Legislators from both parties and both houses of the General Assembly gathered Tuesday to highlight more than 20 bills that they say would improve higher education in Virginia.

More than 10 percent of the state’s lawmakers participated in a news conference at Capitol Square, aiming their comments at university financing practices and tuition assistance.

“Virginians want our public universities to be more transparent, more accountable and more efficient,” said Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax. > Read more.
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Attorney General seeks to expand hate crime definition


Attorney General Mark Herring, backed by Democratic legislators and interfaith leaders, said Friday he will seek to broaden the state’s definition of “hate crime” to cover gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.

“Too many Virginians and folks all around the country have been targeted by a criminal simply because of who they are,” Herring said at a press conference.

State law defines a hate crime as “any illegal act directed against any persons or their property because of those persons’ race, religion, or national origin.” > Read more.

Lawmakers start tackling Virginia’s opioid crisis


Virginia officials are scrambling to get a grasp on the state’s growing opioid epidemic, legislators and health-care leaders said Thursday.

William A. Hazel Jr., the commonwealth’s secretary of health and human resources, gave a presentation to the Senate Education and Health Committee and the House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee about the opioid problem and how lawmakers should start to solve it.

Experts – including Dr. Mishka Terplan, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor of obstetrics and gynecology – joined in the presentation. > Read more.

Cocke, Cooper selected to lead School Board


The Henrico County School Board Jan. 12 unanimously elected Brookland District member Beverly Cocke to serve as its chairwoman for 2017 and Fairfield District member Roscoe Cooper III to serve as its vice chair.

Cocke has served on the School Board since 2012 and previously served as chairwoman in 2013. Cooper just completed his first year on the board. > Read more.

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Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) at Varina Library will meet from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Help plan teen library events and earn community service credit. Call 501-1980 for membership information. Full text

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