Henrico County VA
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County likely to donate to 2015 cycling event

Henrico County officials are proposing that the county contribute direct and indirect funding and support totaling no more than $1.4 million to Richmond 2015, the organization that will host the nine-day UCI World Road Cycling Championships in the Greater Richmond region in three years.

That's the same amount requested of the county by Richmond 2015 officials in September, although they sought the total amount in cash donations spread evenly over the next three years.

Instead, County Manager Virgil Hazelett has proposed a $300,000 cash donation in 2015 only and the application of other associated costs, such as security, traffic control and overtime police pay, toward the $1.4 million total. Henrico's share of contributions made to Richmond 2015 by the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and Greater Richmond Convention Center also would be included in that amount.

Only one event – a time trial for men and women on the first day – is proposed to occur in Henrico. Organizers originally wanted to begin the 17-mile event at Short Pump Town Center and conclude it in Richmond, but Henrico officials determined that such a route would require that 62 intersections be closed for more than 10 hours.

That inconvenience – and the associated cost of overtime pay for police officers along the route – wouldn't make sense for the county, Hazelett said. So, county officials are working with Richmond 2015 to identify another route that is a better fit, he said.

Henrico Director of Management and Budget Brandon Hinton told the Board of Supervisors during a work session Oct. 23 that the county could not justify a cash contribution of $1.4 million when its anticipated direct tax benefit would be just $1.063 million, according to an estimate provided by Richmond 2015.

And, Hinton and Hazelett told the board, that estimate is aggressive because it includes anticipated hotel tax revenue that county officials believe is impossible to achieve.

"Clearly, the event will have a positive impact on the Richmond region," Hinton said. "[But] we don't want to pay out more than we think we're going to get in return."

The nine-day event will feature cyclists from more than 70 countries and an anticipated crowd of about 450,000.


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

US Army Field Band to perform in Henrico Aug. 3

The United States Army Field Band will present a free public performance at Deep Run Park in Henrico on Sunday, Aug 3 at 3 p.m.

Members of the band are soldiers who also serve as “musical ambassadors of the Army” and perform for schools and communities nationwide.

The Concert Band will be performing along with the Soldiers’ Chorus. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

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The Summer Nature Series at Three Lakes Nature Center, 400 Sausiluta Dr., continues with “Mega-monsters: Dinosaurs” from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nature center staff will open the classroom doors… Full text

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