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Commonwealth’s attorney event likely to feature one candidate

A Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney candidates forum that was scheduled to occur Thursday, Oct. 27 is likely to include only one candidate after one withdrew and another said he had never been invited.

The event was billed as a debate by officials with Republican nominee Matt Geary's campaign, but independent candidate Bill Janis said he never received an invitation to the event and had only learned of it through an e-mail press release that arrived at 2:34 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.

“No one associated with the Janis campaign was ever contacted about or invited to an alleged debate," Janis spokesman Ray Allen said in a press release. "Period.  We received the same press release that members of the media received from Mr. Geary’s campaign announcing his so-called debate.  If one reads the release closely he admits in the release that they never talked to or communicated with us in any way."

Democratic nominee Shannon Taylor originally had said she would participate but late this afternoon announced she was backing out after learning that Janis had not been invited. In a press release, Taylor said that she had told Geary to invite Janis and herself in a formal fashion.

“I have the series of text message exchanges between Matt Geary and me all the way back on October 17 in the early morning where I informed him, in no uncertain terms, to make sure an invite was extended to Mr. Janis and documented," Taylor said in the release. "Moreover, two days later, on October 19, in response to a text from Mr. Geary outlining logistics for a debate, I explicitly texted him to please write a letter to both of us so I can respond to both of you. I am dismayed and disappointed that my advice was apparently not taken."

Citizen Publisher Tom Lappas was scheduled to moderate the event, but also withdrew after learning that Janis apparently had not received an invitation.

In Taylor's release, she suggested that the three candidates work together to find an agreeable time to hold a forum or debate prior to the Nov. 8 election.

"The citizens of Henrico deserve to hear from all three candidates," Taylor said. "Keeping Henrico citizens safe is a very important responsibility and the residents of Henrico should get to hear from all three candidates before they go to the polls to make their decision. “

Geary still intends to appear at the event, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors Room at the western government center, and answer the five questions that Lappas had prepared to pose to each candidate.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

New Henrico biscuit shop thrives with grandmother’s recipe

Tim Laxton rises at 4:30 a.m. every day for a biscuit. But he’s not rushing out to any restaurant to get his favorite Southern comfort food; he’s baking his own from scratch and serving them up from his bakery on Lakeside Avenue.

Laxton opened Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery in early July and since then biscuits have been flying out of there.

The self-taught baker draws hungry crowds in with a biscuit of the day like the Old Bay Cheddar, but the buttermilk biscuits are the staple.

“On a Saturday I generally make about 400 biscuits with my two hands,” Laxton said. “I’m constantly making biscuits all day long.” > 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.

CAT Theatre announces cast of Sherlock Holmes play

CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.

The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.

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The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond will present Marc Broussard, with special guests Mingo Fishtrap and Andy Suzuki, at 7:30 p.m. at Alice Jepson Theatre.… Full text

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