Henrico County VA
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County likely to donate to 2015 cycling event

Henrico County officials are proposing that the county contribute direct and indirect funding and support totaling no more than $1.4 million to Richmond 2015, the organization that will host the nine-day UCI World Road Cycling Championships in the Greater Richmond region in three years.

That's the same amount requested of the county by Richmond 2015 officials in September, although they sought the total amount in cash donations spread evenly over the next three years.

Instead, County Manager Virgil Hazelett has proposed a $300,000 cash donation in 2015 only and the application of other associated costs, such as security, traffic control and overtime police pay, toward the $1.4 million total. Henrico's share of contributions made to Richmond 2015 by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greater Richmond Convention Center also would be included in that amount.

Only one event – a time trial for men and women on the first day – is proposed to occur in Henrico. Organizers originally wanted to begin the 17-mile event at Short Pump Town Center and conclude it in Richmond, but Henrico officials determined that such a route would require that 62 intersections be closed for more than 10 hours.

That inconvenience – and the associated cost of overtime pay for police officers along the route – wouldn't make sense for the county, Hazelett said. So, county officials are working with Richmond 2015 to identify another route that is a better fit, he said.

Henrico Director of Management and Budget Brandon Hinton told the Board of Supervisors during a work session Oct. 23 that the county could not justify a cash contribution of $1.4 million when its anticipated direct tax benefit would be just $1.063 million, according to an estimate provided by Richmond 2015.

And, Hinton and Hazelett told the board, that estimate is aggressive because it includes anticipated hotel tax revenue that county officials believe is impossible to achieve.

"Clearly, the event will have a positive impact on the Richmond region," Hinton said. "[But] we don't want to pay out more than we think we're going to get in return."

The nine-day event will feature cyclists from more than 70 countries and an anticipated crowd of about 450,000.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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