Gayton Library reopens after year-long renovation

After waiting more than a year, the Henrico community had to wait one more day than expected to see the $4.8 million renovation to the Gayton Library.

As officials planned to unveil the inside of the building at its reopening celebration June 25, a powerful storm blew through the region and knocked out power to the facility, along with thousands of other locations.

“It was just one of those things,” said Kara Rothman, community relations coordinator for Henrico County Public Libraries. “Weather is just out of your hands, but we were glad that we could welcome people and have the ceremony.”

The community had to wait until the following day to see the complete interior renovation, when the library opened at its normal time of 10 a.m.

The library, which originally opened in Dec.1988, closed for these renovations last April.

“Before we closed, we had a lot of problems with darkness at night; our lights didn’t really work the way they needed to,”said Erin Rogers, Gayton children’s librarian. “We had moved shelving around in the years that we had been open, and it didn’t really match up with the paths of the lights anymore.”

Last week’s storms aside, no one will have any problems seeing inside Gayton Library at night anymore, Rogers said.

Other large changes to the interior include a more-segmented children’s area, an actual room for the teen area, updated technology in the meeting room and a new quiet study room. The quiet study room, which completely blocks out any noise, came as a result of numerous requests from the community, including at a town hall meeting that occurred during the renovation’s planning stages, Rothman said.

“I really think the architects did a great job incorporating all those comments,”she said. BCWH served as the architectural firm, with Charles W. Wray Jr. as the principal architect on the project. Everything went according to schedule, Rothman said.

Both Rothman and Rogers said it would be good for the community to have Gayton Library open for business again.

Rogers said it had been hard to comfort people with how close the Tuckahoe Library was when they had been so used to just walking to the Gayton Library every day. Rothman added that they can walk again, now to a “much more inviting, open and modern”library.
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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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May 2017
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Lavender Fields Herb Farm’s annual Spring Herb Faire will take place over two weekends, May 5-6 and May 12-13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Shop from over 200 varieties of certified organic herb and veggie plants. There will be free tours, demonstrations and classes on topics such as raised bed gardening, cooking with herbs and vegetables, and container gardening. Both Saturdays will feature free face painting and a children’s planting activity. The Glen Allen Ruritan Club will also be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and slaw on both Saturdays. There will be a special Mother’s Day giveaway May 12-13. Admission and parking are free. For a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.lavenderfieldsfarm.com. Full text

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