Cleanup begins in Irene’s aftermath

This downed tree in Varina was one of hundreds in Henrico felled by Irene yesterday.
Henrico residents are cleaning up today in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which pounded the region with tropical storm-force winds for more than 12 hours. The storm dumped about 5 to 7 inches of rain across the county and brought down hundreds of trees, causing massive power outages throughout Henrico.

As of 1 p.m. Sunday, more than 86,000 of Dominion Virginia Power's 143,000 Henrico customers were without power. The largest pockets of outages were in the Tuckahoe District (near Parham Road's intersections with Patterson Avenue and River Road); Short Pump (near Short Pump Town Center); Mountain Road in Glen Allen (near RF&P Park); Parham Road near West Broad Street; Route 5 in Varina near I-295; and Nine Mile Road near Laburnum in Eastern Henrico.


Some service has been restored in the county today, but Dominion officials initially could not offer a timeline for the restoration of other service. By later this afternoon, however, officials were telling some customers to expect their power back between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight. Company officials are examining conditions throughout the region today and plan to release a more detailed schedule Monday afternoon describing when power will return to those customers experiencing outages.

Irene toppled this tree in the Three Chopt
District Aug. 27 (submitted by reader
Shoshanna Schechter-Shaffin).
Henrico County closed a temporary shelter at Rolfe Middle School in Varina this morning but will continue to operate one at Elko Middle School in Sandston.

The county also opened family assistance shelters at Belmont Recreation Center in Lakeside and Deep Run Recreation Center in the West End from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. today for residents who need access to electricity to recharge medical equipment or those seeking basic comforts, such as air conditioning.

In addition, Henrico will open free water filling stations for residents beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday at Fire Station No. 2, 2400 Darbytown Road in Varina; and at Fire Station No. 15, 3820 Mountain Road in Glen Allen. Residents should bring their own containers; bottled water will not be provided.

Residents with questions or concerns in the wake of Irene should call the Henrico Hurricane Hotline at (804) 501-7413.
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HCPS wins national honor for overhaul of Code of Student Conduct, supports


Henrico County Public Schools recently was recognized by the National School Boards Association for a sweeping overhaul of the school division’s approach to student supports. HCPS was one of five large U.S. school systems recognized with a first-place honor in the 2017 Magna Awards, presented Saturday in Denver at the organization’s annual conference. The awards recognize school divisions and leaders “for taking bold and innovative steps to improve the lives of students and their communities,” according to the group.

The award recognizes Henrico Schools’ efforts of the past several years, from re-examining its policies to implementing more support systems. After a two-year conversation with the community through public hearings and other feedback, HCPS adopted a revised Code of Student Conduct for the 2015-16 school year. > Read more.

Environmentalists say budget hurts efforts to protect bay

Environmental groups are outraged at the Trump administration’s proposed funding cuts for Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs.

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, released last week, reduces the budget for the federal Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent. That includes a $427 million in funding to address regional pollution, such as the Chesapeake Bay protection efforts. The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which received $73 million from the federal government in 2016. > Read more.

Glen Allen ES principal receives REB Award


Melissa Halquist-Pruden, principal of Henrico County’s Glen Allen Elementary School, earned the 2016-17 REB Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership. The Community Foundation presents the award to four principals annually – one each from the school systems of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover counties and one from the city of Richmond schools.

The award recognizes principals who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their jobs to create an exceptional educational environment. The award stresses management and communication skills, and the ability to inspire, encourage and advocate for the school. > Read more.

Grant to help Hermitage H.S. upgrade CTE program equipment


Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recently that Henrico County’s Hermitage H.S. will be among 16 high schools and technical centers statewide to receive a grant to upgrade equipment for career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The program gives priority to challenged schools, Governor's STEM Academies and Governor's Health Science Academies. Each school or center will receive $37,500 to purchase new equipment and make other necessary improvements. At Hermitage, the funds will be used for precision machining equipment. > Read more.

Virginia raises a toast to George Washington’s whiskey


George Washington is recognized as the father of our country, but with a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington also will be recognized under another title – distiller of Virginia’s official liquor.

SB 1261, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, adds a “state spirit” to the list of the commonwealth’s official emblems and designations and crowns George Washington’s rye whiskey with the title.

The bill, which McAuliffe signed last week, highlights George Washington’s contributions to the culture of Virginia as “a native son of Virginia born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek”; “the first American president, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention”; and “a model statesman ... universally acknowledged as the father of our nation.” > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Metro Diner to open second Henrico location


Metro Diner, a comfort food concept, will open its second Henrico location next month. The company is accepting job applications for its Libbie Place location at 5626 West Broad Street. The diner concept, known for its fried chicken and waffles, meatloaf, and shrimp and grits, will bring 100 new jobs to the region as it plans to open its doors in April.

The 3,500-square-foot diner located in the Libbie Place Shopping Center will seat more than 100 and serve classic comfort food staples with a twist, such as fried chicken and waffles topped with strawberry butter and a stuffed challah bread French toast with strawberry and blueberry compote. > Read more.

 

March 2017
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A music festival in memory of Jerry Olgers will start at 4 p.m. at Sandston Moose Lodge 1937 at 4505 Oakleys Ln. Artists performing include Christy Snyda & Friends, Southernbelle Band, Steel Band, and Tony Turner & Company. Food will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Open to the public. Cost is $10 donation per person; proceeds benefit Chris Olgers. For details, call Wayne at 572-3124. Full text

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