Henrico County VA
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Deputy fire chief retiring after nearly 40 years with division

After almost 40 years working with Henrico County Fire and 10 years serving as the operations chief, Henrico Deputy Fire Chief Richard McClure is preparing to retire officially from the department.

On July 1, McClure will formally end his extensive career with the department.

McClure began his involvement with Henrico County Fire in 1973. Since then, he has worked his way up the ranks from a volunteer to become the second person in command of the entire department.

“My dad worked [in firefighting]," McClure said. "That’s basically all I knew from the time I was a little kid - being associated with the fire department. From the time I was 15, I signed up to be a volunteer here.”

McClure recalled several memorable moments during the course of his lengthy career, which included helping to extinguish the large fire at VCU a few years ago that eventually spread to a surrounding neighborhood.

Over time, McClure witnessed Henrico Fire’s increasing involvement with the emergency medical services field and noted that he positively contributed to this change.

“I was lucky enough to be the assistant operations chief during our big growth in the EMS field over the last several years," he said. "I was able there for a while to be very successful in adding a number of ambulances to our fleet."

Aside from his high-ranking position with Henrico Fire, McClure is also the current president of the Old Dominion EMS Alliance and Metro Richmond EMS and serves on the Stadium Advisory board. Despite his retirement, McClure said that he will continue to remain as an active member of those organizations.

On the day of his retirement, McClure will become the owner of Calhoun’s Country Store.

“I will change the name to the Hunton General Store, and I’m going to greatly enhance the offerings of the little store and hopefully turn it into a community place where people come and hang out and solve the world’s problems,” he said.

McClure said that the most fulfilling aspect of working with the department is that it gave him the opportunity to reach out and serve the community during times of distress.

“We tend to only become involved when they’re at their worst moments. Being able to interact and make a difference in the people’s life is pretty rewarding,” he said.

McClure has encouraged others who work with Henrico Fire to uphold the division's strong reputation by continuing to provide outstanding customer service to the members of the community.

“We have gone great lengths to preach excellent customer service. Having been an operations chief for 10 years, you get a lot of compliments and very few complaints,” he said.
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

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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