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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

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.

Equestrian clinic planned July 7-8 in Henrico

Henrico equestrians interested in deepening the bond between themselves and their horses have the opportunity to attend a two day clinic, held at Steppin’ High Stables on July 7-8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic, “Become Partners with your Horse,” will be taught by multiple world champion equestrienne Terry Preiser and will focus on how riders and horses can work together to achieve more. > Read more.

Henrico school bus driver honored

The Henrico-based Hephaestus Society recently awarded its first annual community heroes award (the Hephaestus Award) to Hicham Elgharouch (pictured, center) for what it termed his "selfless acts of caring" in his duties as a Henrico County Public Schools bus driver. Henrico County Director of Pupil Transportation Josh Davis, joined Hephaestus Society President Travis Gardner, in presenting the award and an accompanying $1,500 check to Elgharouch last month.

Elgharouch was selected for his clear and demonstrated patience and for his infectious positive attitude, according to the society. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Grab the kids and check out these fun family-friendly events taking place this weekend! Speed over to the Henrico Theatre for the film “Turbo” or watch “Dumbo” under the stars at Clarke-Palmore House Museum. Little ones can meet Thomas the Tank Engine at CMOR-Central or play at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Don’t party too hard on the Fourth because a whole weekend of fun events await! Enjoy a classy date night without the kids at James River Cellars Winery’s second annual Smoke and Vine Festival. Another date night option is at the Richmond Funny Bone, where comedian April Macie will perform all weekend. The kids have their own options this weekend as well. Choose from storytime at Tuckahoe and Twin Hickory libraries or family-oriented karaoke at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House – I hear they have hits from Disney’s “Frozen.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > 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.

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