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Henrico County news

HCPS among national leaders in reducing suspensions


Henrico County Public Schools has made significant progress in finding alternatives to student suspensions. A new UCLA study lists the division among the most-improved large school systems in the nation for reducing student suspensions between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 school years.

The rate of suspensions in the division decreased from 31 percent to 13.8 percent during that time. Suspensions of black students were down 29 percent; suspensions of Hispanic students decreased 16 percent; and suspensions of white students were down 8 percent.

“We’ve made real progress with initiatives, training and the hard work of our staff,” said Patrick C. Kinlaw, the division’s superintendent. > Read more.

Henrico Fire officials pluck a duck, dog from icy ponds


Henrico Fire officials weren't auditioning for the sequel to the movie Frozen in recent weeks, but they could have been.

Firefighters used the bitter cold weather in late February as an opportunity to practice ice-rescue training at a partially frozen lake at Three Lakes Park – a rare opportunity to get hands-on experience in such environments.

The Division of Fire's Technical Rescue tam, Hazardous Materials team and Search and Rescue Dive team joined to practice rescuing a team member who was placed in the water in a special ice suit (above). > Read more.
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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.

Bill would ease prescription hassles


Doctors, hospitals and patients frequently face frustration and delays because health insurers require preauthorization before patients can obtain many prescription drugs. Different insurers use different preauthorization forms – and it’s done on paper, not electronically.

Two Republicans – Sen. Steve Newman of Lynchburg and Del. Greg Habeeb of Salem – have proposed legislation aimed at solving the problem. Senate Bill 1262 and House Bill 1942 would:

• Require health plans to use a common preauthorization form to be developed by the State Corporation Commission > Read more.

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Community

Weekend Top 10


Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of beers, Irish ensemble Danú and head shaving for charity! If you’re not feeling the luck of the Irish, you can still take in some musical entertainment with the Russian National Ballet or Soundworks Chorus, or join your furry friends at Paws in the Park at Dorey Park. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

DRMD hopes to hit million-dollar mark

Deep Run High School’s 2013 Marathon Dance, a student-run function that aims to raise money for organizations around the community, will be held March 15-16 in the school’s gymnasium. In its seven-year history, the dance has raised more than $863,000, and this year the students’ goal is to break the $1 million mark. The event has progressed from a small dance in the high school gym to an event that brings the entire community together. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Cultural performances abound this weekend in Henrico: Minds in Motion, Capitol Opera, Black Grace, One Voice Chorus and a special dance performance at the Hindu Center of Virginia. And despite the snow earlier this week, the weekend weather is going to be sunny and warm! Spend Saturday outside for a good cause – the Free to Breathe Richmond 5K Run/Walk is in Innsbrook! Click here for more! > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Grab the kids and check out these fun family-friendly events taking place this weekend! Speed over to the Henrico Theatre for the film “Turbo” or watch “Dumbo” under the stars at Clarke-Palmore House Museum. Little ones can meet Thomas the Tank Engine at CMOR-Central or play at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Don’t party too hard on the Fourth because a whole weekend of fun events await! Enjoy a classy date night without the kids at James River Cellars Winery’s second annual Smoke and Vine Festival. Another date night option is at the Richmond Funny Bone, where comedian April Macie will perform all weekend. The kids have their own options this weekend as well. Choose from storytime at Tuckahoe and Twin Hickory libraries or family-oriented karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House – I hear they have hits from Disney’s “Frozen.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

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