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Henrico County news

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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Henrico supervisors elect Thornton chairman, Nelson vice chairman for 2015

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton chairman and Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson vice chairman for 2015.

Their election marks the first time that African-Americans will hold both leadership posts on Henrico's Board of Supervisors.

Thornton is beginning his fourth service as board chairman, a position he held most recently in 2011. He first was elected to represent Fairfield in 1995 and currently is serving his fifth term on the county's board. Thornton, who served as vice chairman last year, succeeds Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia S. O'Bannon as chairman. > Read more.

Families testify for medical marijuana


Haley Smith, 14, suffers from a rare disorder called Dravet syndrome, similar to epilepsy. In the middle of a hearing being conducted by the Senate Committee for Education and Health, she suffered a mild seizure in her sleep. Her mother, Lisa Smith, stroked the girl’s forehead until it stopped.

Minutes later, Smith addressed legislators: “This is normal for me. This is Haley for me.” Smith went on to ask senators to provide relief to Haley and other Virginians suffering from various diseases -- by approving a law authorizing the medical use of marijuana. > Read more.

Law would let Dominion hike electric bills


Dominion Virginia Power would be allowed to avoid state regulation for eight years while having the ability to raise consumers’ electric bills, if the General Assembly passes a bill before the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor.

The legislation would require Dominion to maintain its base rate for eight years beginning in 2013 – when the state last reviewed the company’s rates – until 2020. While the base rate would stay the same, the company would retain the authority to increase fuel surcharges and other “riders” that are added to customers’ utility bills. > Read more.

Health secretary urges Medicaid expansion


Virginia’s secretary of health and human services, William A. Hazel, wants legislators to put aside their political differences and ensure that every resident of the commonwealth has access to affordable health care.

Hazel is urging the General Assembly to expand Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income people, as states are encouraged to do under the federal Affordable Care Act. Hazel made his case again in a recent talk to students at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Although the Affordable Care Act made it easier and cheaper for many people to buy health insurance, Hazel said coverage gaps still exist. > Read more.

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Community

Weekend Top 10


Three opportunities exist this weekend in Henrico to get a workout while helping a good cause: CASA Superhero Run, ASK Fun Walk and 5K and the Red, White & Azul 5K and 1 Mile Park Bark. Relax afterwards with folk music at the University of Richmond and the Shady Grove Coffeehouse or celebrate World Tai Chi Day at Walkerton Tavern. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


If getting bombarded with colored cornstarch sounds like fun, then you’ll be happy to know the Color Me Rad 5k is in Innsbrook on Saturday. Another colorful event is the Spring Into the Arts Festival at Shady Grove UMC. Earth Day is April 22 but you can celebrate early at the University of Richmond or Three Lakes Park. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Celebrate heritage and community this weekend in Henrico! Historic Bloemendaal at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will highlight music and activities from the Garden’s past. On Saturday, the North Airport Drive Civic Association will host Highland Springs Community Day. Other fun events this weekend include the K-Cettes craft and bake sale, a Global Sounds music event at UR and an organ recital at River Road Church Baptist. For more, click here! > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Get up and dance – square dance, that is – with the Tuckahoe Square Dance Club tonight! More musical events this weekend include family-friendly karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House, the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus Concert and the Henrico Teen Theatre Company’s production of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > 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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