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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.


Community

MADD walk raises more than $26,000

The Central Virginia chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) hosted its annual Walk Like MADD fundraiser April 12 at Dorey Park in Varina. More than 20 teams of walkers raised money from individual donors by participating in the walk, and in total the event generated more than $26,000 in donations for the organization. > Read more.

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.

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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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