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United Way celebrates ‘Read Across America Day’


Read Across America Day, or Dr. Seuss’s birthday, was celebrated March 2 by more than 60 members of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, who fanned out across the region to read to toddlers and preschoolers. Their mission was to foster a love of books and reading with children and to raise awareness for the importance of early literacy.

The goal of early literacy is the natural development of skills through the enjoyment of books, the importance of positive interactions between youngsters and adults and the role of literacy-rich experiences.

Above, Kings Dominion employee Raquel Goodson reads Green Eggs and Ham to some eager listeners at Antioch Learning Center in Henrico’s East End. > Read more.

House rejects lethal injection secrecy bill


The Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday defeated a bill that would have kept secret the lethal injection process used in executing death row inmates, even under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Senate Bill 1393 sought to keep confidential the names of pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the chemicals used for lethal injections. Many of these foreign companies have been under public scrutiny for facilitating the death penalty and stopped selling the drugs for executions in the U.S.

The bill, which had passed the Senate 23-14 on Feb. 10, failed in the House on a 42-56 vote.

Virginia gives inmates the choice between death by the electric chair or lethal injection, which involves a three-drug compound. > Read more.
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Cantor honors Seventh District veterans

U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-7) presented 11 veterans from Virginia’s Seventh District – including one from Henrico – with the 2013 Congressional Veteran Commendation during a ceremony at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond Nov. 18.

"Each year the Congressional Veteran Commendation gives us an opportunity to honor the veterans in our community and preserve their stories," Cantor said after the event. "Today, I had the privilege of presenting eleven distinguished veterans from the Seventh District of Virginia with the Congressional Veteran Commendation. Each of these heroes selflessly served their neighbors and their nation. We are forever indebted to all our soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they made to defend our freedoms." > Read more.

Russo resigns as Henrico’s superintendent

UPDATE: NOV. 14, 8:54 P.M. – Embattled Henrico County Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Russo and the Henrico School Board have reached an agreement that will end Russo's employment with the system Nov. 15 and pay him the equivalent of half his remaining salary – more than $186,000 – in one lump sum.

School Board Chairwoman Beverly Cocke announced the agreement and read a resignation letter from Russo, who had been on paid leave for more than three months, at the board's monthly meeting Nov. 14. Russo's contract was set to expire June 30, 2015.

"Dr. Russo's employment contract provides that, at any time, the contract could be ended by the mutual agreement of the parties," Cocke said. "The parties have reached such agreement and the matter is now closed."
> Read more.

Hermitage student named to U.S. Army All-American Marching Band

Hermitage High School tenor sax player Danny Santos (pictured) was named to the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Oct. 22 during a ceremony at the school.

Santos is one of 125 musicians and color guard members from the United States who earned spots on the band, which will showcase its talent during a halftime performance at the nationally broadcast U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Tex., on Jan. 4, 2014. > Read more.

Godwin students learn ‘rule of law’ from bar association

Students at Godwin High School recently learned how the law applies to them and how it forms the basis of behavior within a society, through an interactive experience called the Rule of Law, presented Oct. 10 by the Henrico County Bar Association.

The program is designed to spotlight the role of law as the foundation for communities of opportunity and equity; its goal is to teach young people to understand and appreciate the foundational principles embedded in the rule of law, without which democracy cannot exist. > Read more.

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Community

Henrico man to compete in Liberty Mutual Invitational National Finals

Henrico resident Larry Loving, Jr., will compete with three other locals – Thomas Scribner (Richmond), Roscoe McGhee (Midlothian) and Larry Loving (Richmond) in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational National Finals at TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 26-Mar. 1. The foursome qualified for the national golf tournament by winning the Liberty Mutual Insurance Invitational, held at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Md. on June 11. That event supported the RiteCare Center for Childhood Language Disorders.

In total, 240 amateur golfers will compete in Florida. > Read more.

Henrico PAL recognizes supporters, HSHS athlete


The Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) held its Sixth Annual Awards Banquet Feb. 5 at The Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen, celebrating accomplishments of 2014 and recognizing outstanding contributions to the organization. Henrico County Juvenile Domestic Court Judge Denis Soden served as master of ceremonies and former Harlem Globetrotter Melvin Adams served as keynote speaker. 

Among the 2014 honorees were Richmond International Raceway (Significant Supporter), Richmond Strikers Soccer Club (Significant Supporter), Henrico County Schools-Pupil Transportation (Summer Camp Supporter), Bruce Richardson, Jr. (Youth of the Year), Sandra Williams (Volunteer of the Year), Thomas Williams (Employee of the Year), Mikki Pleasants (Board Member of the Year), and Michelle Sheehan (Police Officer of the Year).   > Read more.

‘Fresh Start’ offered for single moms

The Fresh Start For Single Mothers and Their Children Community Outreach Project will host “Necessary Ingredients” on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., beginning Feb. 12 and continuing through May 7, at Velocity Church, 3300 Church Road in Henrico. Dinner and childcare will be provided free of charge.

The program is designed as a fun and uplifting event for single mothers that is designed to provide support, new friendships, encouragement and motivation. Each event will include weekly prizes and giveaways. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Travinia brings contemporary elegance to Willow Lawn


It was another win for Willow Lawn when Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opened there six months ago, nestled in the heart of the re-made shopping center. The contemporary American Italian restaurant boasts 13 locations up and down the East Coast, with the Henrico location opening in August.

In the same week, I hit up Travinia twice, once for lunch and once for a late dinner. At lunchtime on a weekday, I was overwhelmed by the smell of garlic and by the number of working professionals in nice suits on their lunch breaks. When we first walked in, I was concerned our meal would be a little too pricey based on the décor – it’s a really nice place. Luckily, the menu has a variety of options for every budget. > Read more.

Soak up the fun

‘SpongeBob’ movie energizes with wit, laughter

There’s a ton of sugar in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Literal sugar, as SpongeBob Squarepants (Tom Kenny) and Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) inhale their own weight in cotton candy and eat ice cream, one scoop per mouthful.

At one point we burrow into the brain of our boxy yellow hero and discover the inner workings of his brain: googly-eyed cakes and candies that giggle and sing. All of which is extremely appropriate for a film like Sponge Out of Water. Because not only is the movie sweet (the “awwww” kind of sweet), but it’s the equivalent of a 30-candy bar sugar rush, zipping between ideas like a sponge on rocket skates.

The story under all this is really not that complicated. SpongeBob flips burgers at the Krusty Krab. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


With this last round of snow still fresh on the ground, the best way to start the weekend may be at Southern Season for their weekly wine-tasting program, Fridays Uncorked. Families with cabin fever will enjoy the Richmond Kids Expo, taking place tomorrow at the Richmond Raceway Complex. Some date night options include the Rock & Roll Jubilee at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, HATTheatre’s production of “The Whale” and National Theatre Live’s “Treasure Island” at the University of Richmond. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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HATTheatre, 1124 Westbriar Dr., will present “The Whale” Feb. 27 to March 8. The play tells the story of Charlie, who, driven by grief to a state of morbid obesity,… Full text

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