Henrico County VA
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Free VIN etching scheduled May 5

Henrico County Police Division, in partnership with the Virginia State Police H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Theft) program and Virginia Center Commons, will provide free "VIN" (Vehicle Identification Number) glass etching on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Virginia Center Commons Mall, 10101 Brook Road, Glen Allen.

The free H.E.A.T. VIN etching is part of a regional initiative to combat auto theft by providing free chemical glass etching and by distributing free auto theft prevention materials. The event will not be held if there is inclement weather, and there is no rain date.

The VIN etching process takes less than 15 minutes, not counting the time spent in the queue line. All vehicles in the queue by 2 p.m. will be included in the VIN etching program. VIN-etched vehicle owners may also receive car insurance discounts and should contact their insurance companies for more information.

Each VIN is a 17-character combination of numbers and letters that is unique for and included on every vehicle manufactured since 1981. It sets each vehicle apart from millions of other vehicles . VIN’s were standardized in the early 1980s. Prior to this time, VIN’s were unique, but they varied in length and format. Today, each character of the standard 17-digit VIN has a particular purpose. VIN’s can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage.

Permanently marking these numbers on a vehicle's windows discourages thieves from stealing etched vehicles because they must strip and replace VIN etched windows before they can dispose of the car. VIN etching also removes any potential profit for professional thieves who sell vehicle windows and windshields to “chop shops.” VIN etched vehicles have a 64 percent lower theft rate than not etched cars and if stolen have a more than 85 percent chance of recovery.

For details about the H.E.A.T. VIN Etching, call Henrico Police Investigator John Gregg, Jr. at 501-4829 or Crime Prevention Officer Larry Belviso at 501-5236.


Community

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.

Agencies combine on new entry point to Chickahominy


Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.

The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.

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Entertainment

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.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.

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