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Henrico County news

Recreation and Parks registration reopens Saturday


The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will reopen registration for programs and courses on Saturday, April 25, at 8 a.m. online at http://www.connect.henricorecandparks.com .

Registration also will be available in person at Belmont, Deep Run and Eastern Henrico recreation centers from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. that day.

A problem with the division's software vendor during registration last Saturday resulted in long wait times and difficulty registering, which prompted the division to shut down the registration process until the issues were resolved. > Read more.

Student Government Day puts Henrico students in charge


More than 100 students from Henrico County high schools on Wednesday got a firsthand look at their local government and public schools administrations as part of the 58th annual Student Government Day.

The program matched 108 students from all nine high schools with elected and appointed officials, including members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent, judges and department directors. Students spent the day learning how Henrico general government and Henrico County Public Schools work on behalf of residents and others to provide services and address needs of the community. > Read more.
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Henrico 4-H team repeats as LifeSmarts state champions


A Henrico County 4-H team will compete in the national LifeSmarts consumer education competition for the second consecutive year after winning the state championship this week in Glen Allen.

The 4-H team — called WYSIWYG, an abbreviation for “What You See Is What You Get” — consists of students Joshua Hyde, Stephen Baker, Curtis Cantwell, George Evans and Emily Royster. Karie Dawkins coaches the squad, with assistance from Kathleen Cantwell and Sheila Hyde.

WYSIWYG earned its second state title after scoring better than five other teams in the Virginia LifeSmarts Competition, held March 9 at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center in Glen Allen. > Read more.

Budget proposal offers 2-percent pay raise

UPDATE: MAR. 10, 7:30 P.M. – A 2-percent pay raise for county employees, a tax cut for manufacturing companies and an increased commitment to sports tourism highlight Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas' proposed 2015-16 fiscal year budget, which he presented to the county's Board of Supervisors during a work session tonight.

The proposed $1.12-billion operating budget – which represents a 2.3 percent increase from the current budget – would maintain the county's real estate tax at 87 cents per $100 of assessed value. It also would provide funding for 10 new police officer positions (during the third year of a five-year plan to add 50 new officers in the field) and a new "senior ombudsman" who would work to advocate for and assist the county's growing population of senior citizens. > Read more.

Unfunded mandates cost county big dollars


"You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.” (Exdodus 5:7)

That mandate incited the ancient Hebrew slaves to rebel against their Egyptian masters. Twelve plagues, the Red Sea, and the loss of an entire labor force could have been avoided if the pharaoh had simply provided enough straw to make the bricks.

Although they toil in Excel and not by brick kilns, and are subject to the Board of Supervisors and state government, not a pharaoh, the employees of the Henrico County budget office face a similar predicament to that of the Israelites: A growing list of mandates and a shrinking reserve of resources. > Read more.

Local races starting to take shape


The list of candidates seeking office in Henrico County is beginning to grow, as party primaries near this June, ahead of the November general election during which Henrico voters will elect the Board of Supervisors, School Board, Commonwealth's Attorney, sheriff and Clerk of the Court.

There will be at least one new member of the Board of Supervisors, since longtime Three Chopt District member Dave Kaechele has announced he will give up the seat after completing his ninth term and 36th year on the board in December. He is endorsing Three Chopt District Planning Commission member Tommy Branin, who has filed paperwork for the Republican primary, as his replacement. > Read more.

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Community

‘Step UP for Down Syndrome’ festival scheduled for White Oak Village Oct. 12

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond (DSAGR) will hold its seventh annual Step UP for Down Syndrome 5K and Family Festival Saturday, Oct. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at The Shops at White Oak Village in Eastern Henrico.

The annual fundraiser, which attracted more than 1,000 participants and raised more than $100,000 last year, features a 5K run/walk and a newly expanded free family festival that celebrates the abilities and accomplishments of children, teens and adults with Down syndrome. > Read more.

Long named Henrico Christmas Mother

The Henrico Christmas Mother Council has announced that Harriet Long, a retired math teacher from the Fairfield District, has been chosen as the 2013 Henrico Christmas Mother.

Long is married to Kenneth Long and has two sons and three grandsons. She is a product of Henrico schools, having attended Lakeside Elementary School and graduated from Hermitage High School. She attended Mary Washington College (now The University of Mary Washington) and received a B.S. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. > Read more.

Ruritan Club presents awards

Members of Short Pump Ruritan Club and Henrico divisions of Police and Fire gathered at Short Pump Park last week for the Ruritans’ annual picnic. Club Vice President Bruce Brooks presented awards, donations and grants.

The organization annually honors a police officer and firefighter in recognition of their goodwill and service to the Short Pump community. This year's honorees were Firefighter Kevin Kump, a firefighter for more than 20 years, and police officer Sean Wickerham, a seven-year veteran of the division who works the Short Pump area on the overnight shift. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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