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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.
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 Henrico Theatre Company will present “Born Yesterday,” a classic comedy by Garson Kanin, Sept. 12-28 at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Rd. Evening performances begin… Full text

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