Henrico County VA

Henrico names McDowell as fire chief

Anthony E. McDowell has been named the new chief of the Henrico County Division of Fire, effective Oct. 20. County Manager Virgil Hazelett made the announcement Oct. 10.

McDowell, who has been serving as battalion chief of administration in the Henrico Division of Fire, will succeed Edwin W. Smith, who retired in September after five years as fire chief.

As fire chief, McDowell will oversee a department with 539 employees, including more than 500 state-certified firefighters, and a budget of $49.6 million for fiscal 2012-13.

The Division of Fire provides fire protection and prevention services and is the primary provider of emergency medical services in Henrico. The department manages 20 fire stations and a training facility and covers an area encompassing 244 square miles. It also operates a regional hazardous materials team and provides technical rescue, ground search and water rescue. The Division of Fire responded to more than 39,000 calls in fiscal 2011-12.

McDowell joined the Division of Fire in 1997 as a firefighter. He later rose to fire lieutenant and fire captain before becoming battalion chief of administration in 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Virginia Fire Prevention Association, Virginia Chapter of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Central Virginia All Hazards Incident Management Team. He is certified as an executive fire officer by the U.S. Fire Administration and a chief fire officer by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
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HandsOn Day set for Oct. 17

HandsOn Day 2015, which will feature 1200 volunteers serving more than 65 nonprofits in Greater Richmond, will take place Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the projects in Henrico or surrounding communities that need volunteers are: installing GardenFest lights Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, distribution center assistance at Feedmore, pumpkin carving with residents at SupportOne, work and play at Housing Families First, paint for independence at Heart Havens, spruce up the shelter and clean sweep at Harbor House at Safe Harbor, pinwheel project at REAP and Kidney Walk prep at National Kidney Foundation Serving VA. > Read more.

Online tool helps identify best native plants for pollinators

Virginians who want to plant beneficial plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have a new resource at their fingertips. The online Virginia Native Plant Finder now lets users search for native plant species that benefit pollinators. The tool, which is managed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, is free and easy to use; searches can be completed on desktops, tablets or smartphones.

Native plants are those that grow where they evolved; they have traits that enable them to adapt to local conditions. The Virginia Native Plant Finder lets users create their own custom native plant lists by selecting from dropdown menus. > Read more.

Growlers to Go opens in Short Pump; opening celebration Oct. 15

Growlers to Go has opened its second area location – in Short Pump, next to Trader Joe's.

Unlike the flagship store on the Boulevard in Richmond, this location is equipped with a Tasting Room, offering customers the opportunity to drink pints or tasting wheels as well as order snacks on premises. > Read more.


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Regency Square will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a party Sat., Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the mall at 1420 Parham Rd. The event is free… Full text

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