School Board won’t consider ‘blended’ redistricting option

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.
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Mother, son work to raise funds for Make-A-Wish


A mother and son duo raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Betsy Owen, Goochland County native, and her five year old son Israel have been making a difference in the Henrico community for two years. Owen works at Maggiano's Little Italy in Short Pump. Betsy and her fellow co-workers have split into teams to raise a total of $15,000 for Make-A-Wish. > Read more.

Eyes in the sky


Members of the Henrico Citizens Police Academy Alumni (pictured) got a rare peek at the “high” side of law enforcement recently, with a trip to the Metro Aviation Hangar adjacent to Richmond International Airport.

About 25 academy alumni gathered at the hangar July 11 to hear Officer Shaun McCarthy describe a typical day aloft - and some not so typical – in a Cessna owned by the Metro Aviation Unit. > Read more.

Rock on!


The painted rocks craze is thriving in Henrico, as a walk around the grounds of local libraries and parks will demonstrate. This rock was spotted near Libbie Mill Library, and there's a slideshow of many more uniquely-painted stones on the RVA Rocks Facebook page (https://facebook.com/groups/RVARocks/).

Painting and hiding rocks is a family activity appropriate for all ages, and parents especially like the way it fosters creativity and gets kids outdoors. > Read more.

Goochland man arrested at RIC with gun


A Goochland County man was arrested at Richmond International Airport July 19 after Transportation Security Administration officers found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

A TSA officer detected the 9 mm caliber handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it entered the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 12 bullets. > Read more.

Kansas man struck, killed while crossing West Broad Street

A 54-year-old Kansas man was struck and killed by a car while attempting to cross West Broad Street near Bethlehem Road in the Near West End at about 10:30 p.m., July 19.

Julius A. McBride of Overland Park, Kansas, was struck by a car traveling east on West Broad Street. > Read more.

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July 2017
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The Plants of the James River Project will present “The Art of Invasion,” a family-friendly event from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the James River Park System headquarters. Learn about invasive versus native plants; participate in guided walks and art activities; and make leaf rubbings and paper from invasive weeds. The headquarters building is located at the Reedy Creek Canoe Access, 4001 Riverside Dr. Park and walk through the Reedy Creek parking area. Cross the railroad tracks, turn right, and continue to the HQ building on your left. Sponsored by Richmond Tree Stewards, the James River Park System, VCU Life Sciences, the Virginia Native Plant Society, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and others. Full text

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