Governor signs six bills to combat cancer

In a celebration last week at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center, Gov. Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed six pieces of legislation that will further cancer-related research, treatment and education throughout the state.

“While we can celebrate that more and more Virginians are surviving cancer today because of the work of cancer organizations like Massey, we must continue to work to find a cure,” McDonnell said.

State support to the Massey Cancer Center rose from $1 million to $7.5 million in the past two years, and with House Bill 1182 – one of the measures signed Monday – the center will now be able to apply for research grants from the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund.

“Massey serves on the front lines of the war on cancer, and the work done here exemplifies VCU’s laser focus on research that makes a difference and our unwavering commitment to human health,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “What you do inspires everyone.”

Rao expressed delight in hosting McDonnell as well as gratitude toward the state government “for investing additional resources in Massey’s ground-breaking and valuable research.”

“Every year, more than 35,000 Virginians are diagnosed with cancer,” said Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. “That’s why it is so important for us to do everything we can to combat this disease and promote effective programs to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. We can accomplish this goal by promoting healthy living, investing in cancer research and treatment, and advancing legislative solutions like those the governor is signing today.”

McDonnell also signed:

• HB 83, sponsored by Delegate Robert Orrock, R-Thornburg, and Senate Bill 544, sponsored by Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke. These companion bills require doctors to tell women having mammograms whether they have dense breast tissue that could hide cancer.

• HB 1273, sponsored by Delegate Christopher Peace, R-Mechanicsville, and SB 450, by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Winchester. These bills require health insurers to pay the same for orally administered cancer chemotherapy drugs as they do for intravenous therapy.

• House Joint Resolution 120, sponsored by Mark D. Sickles, D-Franconia. It establishes Sept. 26 in Virginia as Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in the protective lining that covers the body’s internal organs. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

House Speaker William Howell of Stafford and various legislators attended the bill-signing ceremony.

Also present were representatives of the Women’s Clubs of Virginia, the Medical Society of Virginia, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.
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Fresh Air Fund seeks host families


The Fresh Air Fund, a program through which nearly 4,000 children from low-income New York City communities spend a summer with host families in communities along the East Coast and in southern Canada, is seeking hosts for the coming summer.

According to the organization, there is no such thing as a “typical” host family. First-time Fresh Air children are boys and girls, from seven to 12 years old. Children who are reinvited by host families may continue with The Fresh Air Fund through age 18 and can enjoy extended trips. > Read more.

Godwin student wins in statewide STEM essay contest

Governor Terry McAuliffe and the Virginia Council on Women announced recently that Morgan Logsdon of Mills E. Godwin High School was one of five statewide winners of the sixth-annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for young women enrolled in their junior or senior year of high school.

The Council on Women established the contest to award scholarships to high school junior and senior young women who plan to pursue STEM careers at institutions of higher education. > Read more.

Varina meeting May 2 to address opioid crisis in Henrico


Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson will hold a Community Conversations meeting Tuesday, May 2 to discuss the opioid epidemic in Henrico County.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Henrico Theatre, 305 E. Nine Mile Road. Nelson will be joined by County Manager John A. Vithoulkas and members of the Henrico Heroin Task Force for a discussion of heroin and opioid abuse and ways to prevent it. > Read more.

Baker ES to remain closed until fall


Baker Elementary School students will complete the 2016-17 school year at other locations and will return to a restored building in fall 2017, school leaders have decided.

The decision was made in order to provide ample time for repairs to be completed at the fire-damaged school and to avoid additional interruptions to instructional time. > Read more.

Henrico Police arrest 2 Georgia men in connection with January murder


Henrico Police have arrested and charged two Georgia men with first-degree murder in connection with the Jan. 18 murder of 36-year-old Lamont Cornelius Baldwin in the 1200 block of Dominion Townes Terrace.

Antonio Tyrone Johnson (above, left) and Santonio Rodrigus Brown (above, right), both 24 and both of Atlanta, were charged. Johnson also was charged with use of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a felon. > Read more.

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April 2017
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Bethlehem Church, located at 4210 Penick Rd., will host a concert by The Finney’s John and Frankie at 4 p.m. All are welcome. A love offering will be taken. For details, call 262-8339. Full text

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