Tornado relief donations being accepted

State adds $600k to fund for Virginia victims
Virginia officials have added $600,000 in anticipated state agency savings toward a fund for Virginians who were affected by severe weather and tornadoes that struck last month. The money is the latest addition to a fund Gov. Bob McDonnell governor recently established to collect donations from companies, non-profit organizations, volunteer organizations, faith-based groups and residents.

The state contribution and all donated money will go toward the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. Charitable organizations and faith-based groups can request resources from this fund for specific cases that will assist individuals to recover from the April severe weather. Long-Term Recovery Groups (local government and voluntary group partnerships) established in the hardest hit communities can also apply for funds.

Local officials will validate each request and then submit them to a management committee of technical experts for review. Members of the committee include representatives from the Virginia departments of Emergency Management, Housing and Community Development and Social Services, as well as Virginia Voluntary Organizations active in disasters.

Citizens, businesses and nonprofits also may donate to the fund through one of two methods: online at http://disasterrelief.vi.virginia.gov/ or by checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Tornado Relief” noted in the memo line, sent to Comptroller’s Office, P.O. Box 1971, Richmond, VA 23218-1971. All donations are tax deductible.

The website provides information about the program and how money will be distributed.

“Volunteer groups have been on the ground helping their neighbors since the first storm hit. My sincere gratitude goes out to all who have given their time and resources to assist those impacted by these storms,” said McDonnell. “Virginians care about one another and that giving nature has been very apparent over the past few weeks as people from all over help the communities and individuals impacted by April’s storms and tornados. There is much work left to be done and more resources are needed in order to rebuild. I ask that citizens and businesses lend their support to those in need. This state funding, along with money raised through donations, will provide needed aid to those who are putting their lives back together after these severe storms.”

Virginia has appealed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s denial of federal assistance to Virginia for the April storms. If federal assistance ultimately is approved, the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund will remain available to help fulfill unmet needs.
Bail Bonds Chesterfield VA

Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.

Assembly poised to OK state budget on Friday


Finishing a day early, House and Senate negotiators agreed on a budget Wednesday that includes employee pay raises and more money for K-12 education and mental health.

The negotiators presented their budget to their fellow lawmakers in time for the required 48-hour review, which could be completed by Friday night with a chance to adjourn their 2017 session before Saturday’s target date.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate praised the spending plan’s conservative fiscal policies. > Read more.

Section of Charles City Road to close beginning Feb. 26


A section of Charles City Road, from Lewis Road to South Airport Drive, will be closed beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 as part of a project to widen and improve the road.

The Henrico County Department of Public Works expects the closure to last for a few weeks.

Westbound traffic on Charles City will be detoured around the work zone by way of South Airport, Seven Hills Boulevard and Laburnum Avenue. > Read more.

ACLU urges McAuliffe to veto anti-immigration bills


Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday to veto Republican-backed legislation banning local governments in Virginia from designating themselves as sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. They also said they plan to fight federal and state policies that they believe violate immigrants’ rights.

At a news conference, representatives of the ACLU of Virginia and other civil rights organizations criticized anti-immigrant measures passed by the General Assembly. They also condemned the recent spike in deportation raids on immigrant communities in Virginia by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Retail Merchants Association’s February First Friday Forum will be held from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at The Westin Richmond, 6631 W. Broad St. Richmond Region Tourism has been a driving force in making Richmond a premiere sports destination. Learn about how Sports Tourism is impacting local RVA hotels, restaurants and businesses, but also how to leverage its economic benefits. Admission is $30 for RMA members and $40 for nonmembers. Walk-in rate is $5 more. For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/FebruaryFFF. Full text

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