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Citizens urge increased reading focus

Hundreds petition HCPS for Eastern Henrico pilot program; but system says efforts began in 2013

Charging that they’ve been lied to repeatedly by public officials, organizers of a community meeting in Eastern Henrico May 2 criticized the Henrico County Public Schools system and demanded changes to the way county schools teach students to read.

At the Nehemiah Action Assembly at St. Paul’s Baptist Church, speakers from RISC (Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Community) called for immediate action by HCPS to address the struggles of thousands of children in Eastern Henrico schools who they said are not learning how to read. Before an audience of about 500 people, speakers argued that the school system’s current attempts to address the issue are failing miserably. > Read more.

Gearing up

Photos courtesy Megan Heath

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank Thornton greets a young cyclist (above) during the Pedal and Gears bike event, held in Lakeside April 30. The event featured a free family-friendly bike ride hosted by Bike Walk Northside, a bike safety demonstration, live music, food and vendors. It was sponsored by the Lakeside Business Association. > Read more.

Welcome home


As the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG) celebrates its 170th year of service to at-risk children, alumni gathered April 29 at the VHBG campus on West Broad Street to reminisce.

For some, like Mike Creech (pictured in center), it was their first step back in nearly 40 years. As a child, Creech bounced around in foster care for four years before finally landing at VHBG (then called the Richmond Home for Boys) in 1975 at age 11. Creech was recalling his fond memories of the people who worked at VHBG, how they taught him to be responsible, how they made him feel like family and that he called them “Mom” and “Pop.” > Read more.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Conference committee to draft final state budget


A conference committee of House and Senate members is working to hash out the differences between the state budget proposals passed by the two chambers.

The committee’s decisions will affect government spending for the next two years. Neither proposed budget includes new taxes or tax increases. Both increase funding for K-12 education, higher education, economic development and health care – but without expanding Medicaid, which serves low-income residents.

“I am confident our conferees will do an outstanding job of advocating this plan when we meet with our House counterparts,” said Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the conference committee. > Read more.

Nuckols Farm ES teacher wins state science award


Nuckols Farm Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Jaclyn Claytor recently won the 2015 Donna R. Sterling Exemplary Science Teaching Award. The $5,000 award, sponsored by the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, is given annually to one teacher in Virginia and is awarded based upon the teacher’s description of the results of teaching a science unit of his or her choice.

In her award application, Claytor described a problem-based learning science unit about the Chesapeake Bay, which she developed and implemented with her students, who then presented plans and results to the lead scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. > Read more.

Poll: Virginians think prisons cost too much


Most Virginians agree that the prison population costs too much money, according to a recent poll by the Charles Koch Institute, an educational public-policy organization, and Prison Fellowship, a Christian nonprofit that advocates for criminal justice reform.

On Wednesday, the two groups hosted a panel of experts to discuss the poll results and fiscally responsible ways to both reform the prison system and make communities safer.

“In Virginia, there are actions that can be taken in the short run to dramatically improve our current justice system,” said Vikrant Reddy, senior research fellow at the Koch Institute. “We can improve public safety, reduce costs and respect each individual’s dignity.” > Read more.

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Community

Anthem LemonAid registration opens


Every week, another child is diagnosed with cancer in Central Virginia. Last summer, six-year-old Caroline Morris was one of them.

Diagnosed in June 2015 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer, Morris has been receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) ever since.

“It’s not my hair that makes my beauty,” said Morris, who lost her hair as a chemotherapy side effect, “it’s my heart.” > Read more.

Richmond Solar Co-op sign ups end April 30


The sign up period for the Richmond Community Solar Co-op will close on April 30. Nearly 150 homeowners and businesses have joined the group to save money and make going solar easier. The group has started installations and is working with VA SUN to learn about solar technology and the process of going solar.

“If you’ve ever thought about going solar, this is a great opportunity to do so,” said Sekar Veerappan Co-op member and the group’s first installation. “Working with the group helps members learn about going solar and make an informed decision.” > Read more.
Entertainment

CAT Theatre announces its 53rd season


CAT Theatre will present four shows during its 53rd season, which begins this fall. All four shows will be Richmond-area premieres, including one world premiere by a local playwright.

The season will feature:

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight, by Peter Colley – Oct. 14-29;

The Wishing Well, by Maryland playwright Jon Klein – Jan. 20-Feb. 4, 2017; > Read more.






 

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Lavender Fields Herb Farm’s annual Spring Herb Faire will take place over two weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There will be free tours and classes on… Full text

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