Police begin ‘Click it or Ticket’ effort

Local and state police gathered May 24 at Richmond International Raceway to promote their participation in the national ‘Click It or Ticket’ program and recognize a Henrico student for her poster, which will be used to promote the program locally.

Dumbarton Elementary School fifth-grader Valeriz Castellar received a $100 check and special certificate for her winning 'Click It Or Ticket' poster design from Henrico County police Chief Doug Middleton and Sgt. Jim Livingstone from the Fraternal Order of Police No. 4 during the kick-off event at Richmond International Raceway.

“I love art a lot, I do,” Castellar said. “Thinking about doing something that I really like and getting money for what I love is neat.”

The contest was open to all fifth-grade students in Henrico County School District, said Lt. A.J. Gordon of the Henrico police. Art teachers from each school picked a winner, and Middleton and his staff chose Castellar’s poster from the seven winning posters.

“We figure the children are the future, and we can get them to promote seatbelt and child restraint safety among themselves and their families,” Gordon said. Click It or Ticket promotes seat belt and child safety seat use.

Henrico Police were joined by officers from Police, James City Police, Virginia State Police, New Kent Sheriff’s Office, York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office and Chesterfield Police to promote national Click It Or Ticket Mobilization May 21 – June 3 and the Memorial Day weekend Route 60 Blitz May 25.

As part of the mobilization and blitz there will be an increased presence of officers from all jurisdictions along Route 60. The blitz began in 2006 on the suggestion of Lt. Lee Bailey of the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office, according to Gordon.

During 2011 Memorial Day weekend, 10 people died on Virginia roadways, Gordon said. Of those, two were children and three adults who were not restrained. In all there was a total of 764 traffic related deaths in Virginia last year, and of those 306 were unrestrained.

“If they’d have been wearing their seat belts they probably would have survived,” Gordon said.

A survey conducted in Henrico prior to the Click It or Ticket campaign showed that 79 percent of drivers in Henrico had been wearing seat belts, Gordon said, adding that officials hope to increase that percentage to 82 or 83 through enforcement and education efforts.

The 2011 state usage rate was 81 percent, said Mary Ann Rayment of the Department of Motor Vehicles Virginia Office of Motor Safety. State officials would like to improve that to 82.5 percent, she said, but reaching that number will require the effort of all Virginians.

“We hope it won’t take a traffic stop to get you to buckle up,” she said. “But we are here to help get you to your destinations in one piece.”
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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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Actor Kerrigan Sullivan will present “A Song in the Wilderness,” a 45-minute one-woman show that offers a dramatic exploration of the life and experiences of Gene Stratton-Porter, at 8 p.m. at CAT Theatre, 319 N. Wilkinson Rd.

Born in 1863, Stratton-Porter was an accomplished writer of fiction and non-fiction. She was also a celebrated nature photographer and an early naturalist. She was one of the first women to form a movie production studio.

“A Song in the Wilderness,” written by Larry Gard, was first produced in 1993 as part of the annual Performances in the Humanities program of the Indiana Humanities Council, and starred Marcia Quick Gard as Gene Stratton-Porter. The show toured Indiana under the same banner during the spring of each year, through 1997. It was also produced for a festival about women in science at the Science Museum of Virginia in 2002, featuring the same actress. The 2017 production is offered in memory of Marcia Quick Gard, who passed away on Dec. 16, 2016.

Tickets are $12. The performance will include a reception and talk back with the production staff after the show. For tickets and details, visit http://www.cattheatre.com. Full text

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