Students take control of county government, for one day

Henrico County Circuit Court Judge L.A. Harris, Jr. (right) administers the oath of office Wednesday, Feb. 29 at Hermitage High School to students who acted as members of the Henrico Board of Supervisors for the 2012 Student Government Day. The students are (standing left to right) Avery Jones of Highland Springs High School, representing the Varina District; Dominique Robinson of Freeman High School, representing the Tuckahoe District; Breonna Green of Henrico High School, representing the Fairfield District; Namrata Thawrani of Deep Run High School, representing the Three Chopt District; and Sam Belvin of Hermitage High School, representing the Brookland District.












Dozens of high school students from Henrico County got a firsthand look at the county’s general government and public schools administrations earlier this month when they shadowed elected and appointed officials for the 55th annual Student Government Day.

Student Government Day, held March 1, matched 93 students from nine high schools with such leaders as members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent of schools, department directors and judges. The students, most of whom are seniors, spent the day learning the responsibilities of various departments and gaining insight into how local government works with and on behalf of the public in a democracy.

“It is the very best government on the face of the Earth,” County Manager Virgil R. Hazelett told the students. “It does work because of the people we elect. We may not always agree, but it does work.”

Student Government Day started Wednesday at Hermitage High School with a ceremony in which many of the students took the oath for their respective positions. All of the students reported to work early Thursday and spent the day asking questions and interacting with various officials. Students also had opportunities to tour the county jail and register to vote.

For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center on East Parham Road, the day culminated with a student-run meeting of the board of supervisors, which included rigorous questioning and debate over such issues as regulations on the discharge of air-powered guns, a contract for renovation and expansion of Fire Station 13 and a stream restoration project near Skipwith Elementary School.

Student Government Day is sponsored by the Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond.
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Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
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State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
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Norfolk man arrested at RIC after TSA catches him with gun

A Norfolk man was arrested at Richmond International Airport May 18 after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

A TSA officer detected the .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it passed through the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 13 bullets.
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Police release photo of hoax bomb

Henrico Police have released a photo of the clock that resembled a bomb that led to the arrest of a Richmond woman in Shot Pump earlier this week.

The device, which the woman told police she purchased at a yard sale, was visible in her car at the Whole Foods at West Broad Village May 19, and a passerby called police, fearing it was a real bomb. Police responded as they would have had the device been real, they said, because they weren't sure if it was real or not.
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Henrico school buses with compliance issue to be fixed this summer


The 176 Henrico school buses that have been purchased since March 2011 will be fixed during the summer, Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen. The bus manufacturers will retrofit the buses at no cost to the school division, he said.

The brake interlock device is required on all automatic transmission buses in Virginia that were purchased after March 2011, which is when the device was added to the state Board of Education's requirements for school buses. As many as 4,000 school buses in the state may be affected, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
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Each month, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Richmond Chapter conducts support group meetings to provide the community with an opportunity to meet for mutual support and to exchange coping skills. A Rare Dementia Support Group, for caregivers and individuals with other dementias, will meet at 2 p.m. at the VCU Neurological Orthopedic Wellness Center, 11958 W. Broad St. For details, call 967-2580. Full text

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