Henrico County VA
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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.


Community

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

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.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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.

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