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School Board won’t consider ‘blended’ redistricting option

Planners also make several adjustments to Option 1
UPDATE: When the Henrico County School Board votes to adopt boundaries for the new Kaechele Elementary School Thursday night, it will not consider a "blended" option that was harshly criticized by dozens of speakers at a public hearing last week.

School system officials this afternoon announced that the blended option – designed by planning staff members in an attempt to combine the two other options under consideration – had been removed from consideration. Planners also made a number of adjustments to Option 1 to create a new option.

The blended option was blasted by a majority of the 42 people who addressed the board during its public hearing Dec. 6 at Hermitage High School. The plan came about after School Board Chairwoman Diana Winston asked planners to consider whether it would be possible to use West Broad Street as a north-south dividing line for elementary school boundaries.

But it resulted in a plan that would have put Gayton Elementary School well over capacity and was criticized by speakers as a poorly designed plan that wasn't subjected to the same rigorous review process as the other two options, which were created by a 24-member committee of volunteers.

When compared with the existing Option 1 plan, the revised Option 1 plan would:

• send students who live in a region between Pouncey Tract, Kain and Gayton roads to Colonial Trail Elementary instead of Kaechele Elementary;

• send students who live in a small section of land on the north line of Pouncey Tract Road near Quarry Hill Road to Kaechele Elementary instead of Shady Grove Elementary;

• send students who live in a tract of land along Fort McHenry Parkway back into the Springfield Park Elementary zone instead of to Kaechele Elementary;

• send a group of students who live north of West Broad Street, south of I-64 and east of Gayton Road to Colonial Trail Elementary instead of Nuckols Farm Elementary;

• ensure that all students who live west of Lauderdale Drive and south of West Broad Street in the Wellesley community would attend Nuckols Farm Elementary, while sending students who live north of Three Chopt Road, south of West Broad Street and east of Lauderdale Drive to Short Pump Elementary;

• send students who live in a small area on the north line of Ridgefield Parkway to Pinchbeck Elementary instead of Gatyon Elementary;

• move students who live on land on the west line of Gaskins Road (south of Three Chopt Road) into the Short Pump Elementary zone, instead of the Davis Elementary zone;

• expand the Ridge Elementary school zone to include a number of homes along the east line of Parham Road south of I-64, instead of sending students from that area to Three Chopt Elementary.

School officials are asking for public comments online about the adjusted Option 1 map; to comment, visit http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/b581g51fee by Dec. 12.

To view the current maps for Options 1 (existing and adjusted) and 2, visit http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/Boundaries/redistrictingmeetings.html


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

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.

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Entertainment

US Army Field Band to perform in Henrico Aug. 3

The United States Army Field Band will present a free public performance at Deep Run Park in Henrico on Sunday, Aug 3 at 3 p.m.

Members of the band are soldiers who also serve as “musical ambassadors of the Army” and perform for schools and communities nationwide.

The Concert Band will be performing along with the Soldiers’ Chorus. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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.

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The 2014 Summer Movie Express continues at Regal Virginia Center Stadium 20 and Regal Short Pump Stadium 14. The films this week are “Turbo” on August 5 and “Walking with… Full text

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