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Steward DI team advances to global competition

These Steward School Destination ImagiNation team members will compete in the Destination ImagiNation global finals in Knoxville, Tenn., in May. Pictured (left to right) are: back row – Callen Smith, Katie Jobe and front row – Channing Haas, Dabney Leverty and James Cox.
Starting out as one of five Steward Lower School teams competing at the Destination ImagiNation (DI) regional tournament in Richmond, a group of Steward fourth and fifth graders is now the only Richmond team going global.

Having placed first in the improvisational “News to Me” category at the regional level, the team represented Steward at the state tournament March 31. The team earned highest honors in its “News to Me” skill challenge category there, which led the way to a wildcard bid to global competition slated for May 23-26 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Under the leadership of parents and team managers Sydney Smith and Kris Leverty, the team consists of fourth graders Dabney Leverty, Callen Smith, Channing Haas and James Cox, and fifth grader Katie Jobe.

After weeks of preparation, the team brought selected news stories with them to the challenge site. There, they randomly selected one of their stories and related it to a second news story they were given through a "cause and effect" relationship. Additionally, they were given a one-minute “glitch,” which they had to incorporate into their improvised skit.

This is the second Steward team to reach the Global DI competition in two years. Last year, the Middle School team of Mary Madison Andrews, Will Jackson, Danny Kovach, Taylor Leahy, Connor Parish, Quincy Rhodes and Grace Yucha advanced to global competition.

Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides educational programs in which student teams solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Teams are tested to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the challenges.


Community

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

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.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

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The Fairfield Middle School Fresh Market will be held every Wednesday at the school, 5121 Nine Mile Rd., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., through Aug. 13. All produce is… Full text

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