House, Senate disagree on ‘King’s Dominion Law’

The House and Senate are headed in different directions when it comes to repealing Virginia’s “King’s Dominion law,” which generally prevents public schools from opening before Labor Day.

On Monday, the House will consider approving a bill that would make local school boards responsible for setting the school calendar and authorize them to start classes before Labor Day if they want.

House Bill 1467, sponsored by Delegates Thomas “Tag” Greason, D-Lansdowne, and Gregory Habeeb, R-Salem, would rescind the so-called King’s Dominion law, which prevents local schools from opening before Labor Day unless they have permission in the form of a state waiver. The law was meant to help the tourism industry, by allowing tourist attractions like the King’s Dominion theme park to keep their school-aged summer staffs longer.

HB 1467 has a bipartisan group of co-sponsors. It incorporates several other House bills with the same goal. They include HB 1310, proposed by Habeeb; HB 1309, by Delegate Barbara Comstock, R-McLean; HB 1491, by Delegate Kaye Kory, D-Falls Church; and HB 1880, by Delegate Joseph Morrissey, D-Highland Springs.

After folding those bills into HB 1467, the House Education Committee on Wednesday approved the legislation, 15-6.

The full House of Delegates on Monday will consider giving HB 1467 final approval. The House also will consider passing HB 1319, which would let the school boards in Danville, Martinsville, Henry County and Pittsylvania County start classes before Labor Day.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee defeated a Senate bill to eliminate the King’s Dominion law.

The Senate Education and Health Committee voted 4-11 Thursday against Senate Bill 1099, which was sponsored by two senators from Roanoke – Republican Ralph Smith and Democrat John Edwards.
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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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.
> Read more.

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May 2017
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The 7th annual Heroes Art Ball, to benefit Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Science Museum of Virginia. There will be food, cocktails, craft beer, a silent auction of items for trips, services and gifts, and a live auction featuring dozens of pieces of art created by Richmond’s top artists with Hero children. Tickets are $125 per person. For details, visit http://501auctions.com/heroesartball. Full text

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