Resolution offers tax exemptions for spouses of fallen soldiers

The House passed 99-0 a joint resolution bill today that offers tax exemptions for spouses of soldiers killed in action. The bill provides a real property tax exemption for their primary residence.

This bill adds to the current legislation that provides tax exemptions for spouses of any veteran with a “one hundred percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability.” HJ 551 extends these rights to the spouses of soldiers killed in combat.

“This is one of those do the right thing bills,” said Del. David Ramadan, R-Loudoun, chief-patron of the bill, during session today.

HJ 551 had passed unanimously through the constitutional amendments subcommittee (5-0), and it had been reported to the house with a 22-0 vote from the Committee on Privileges and Elections last week.

Before its passing in the session today, an amendment was added to the bill that changed the wording of the bill from “shall” to “may,” giving local governments the final decision on whether to grant the exemption.

Although he said he had felt most of the localities would grant this exemption, Del. Mark Cole, R-Fredericksburg, said during session he felt that the bill should be a local option rather than a state mandate because it was local money that would be used to pay for the exemption.

The bill helps those who gave the “ultimate sacrifice” for our country, Ramadan said.

The bill had 50 co-patrons and cross-party support including Henrico delegates Joseph Morrissey, D-Henrico, and John O’Bannon, R-Henrico.
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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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The 2016 film “Mother’s Day” (rated PG-13) will play at 7 p.m. May 5 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 6 at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Rd. Tickets are $1 and can be purchased at the door. For details, call 328-4491. Full text

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