Henrico County VA
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Henrico to offer free storm debris collection

Henrico County will offer free residential curbside pickup of vegetative yard debris resulting from Hurricane Irene beginning in about a week and continuing for an undetermined period of time. County officials are working first to clear all county-maintained roads of trees and debris from the storm – a process that is expected to take at least one more week.

Residential yard debris that qualifies for the free collection — small trees, limbs, leaves, branches and similar storm-related lawn waste — must be placed curbside or near the edge of a nearby public roadway. Officials are encouraging residents to wait at least a week before putting their debris out for pick-up.

“Our first priority is public safety,” said Public Works Director Tim Foster. “County crews and private contractors have been working around the clock to remove fallen trees and debris.”

Crews already have cleared most county-maintained roads – those that don't carry route numbers – Foster said, and the few that haven't been cleared are blocked by downed power lines.

County officials have provided a list of those impassible streets to Dominion Virginia Power. In many cases, county crews have followed behind Dominion crews so that as the power lines are cleared or reconnected, debris cleanup can follow immediately, Foster said.

Henrico officials will clear and remove all vegetative debris from within county roads and right of way, as well as any trees that were rooted within the county's right of way and fell elsewhere, Foster said. All other tree removal is the responsibility of property owners.

The county will continue its efforts along with Omni-Pinnacle, a contractor specializing in disaster response and debris removal.

Limbs left for collection must be four inches or less in diameter and four feet or less in length, and limbs or other debris must weigh less than 50 pounds. Loose, small items should be bundled. Officials will not pick up root balls, trunks or logs from large trees.

Storm-related household waste is not included in the free curbside service.

"The idea is that we'll get all the roads cleared first, and then from there we'll go back through every street in the county [to collect storm debris]," Foster said.

Henrico provided the same type of free debris collection after Hurricane Isabel in 2003, but the process took the better part of a year because of the volume of debris, he said.

Officials this week estimated that it might take 3 to 4 weeks to clear the county's right of way, Foster said. Adding the free debris pick-up could take a number of additional weeks.

Officials hope to provide an estimate of when county crews will be in certain regions to collect debris, Foster said, but that may be tricky, given the wide ranges of storm damage and difficulty of predicting how much debris will be collected.

"I don't want to tell someone we'll be in their neighborhood on a certain day and then not be there," he said.

Residents with storm debris may place small, cut pieces into their trash receptacles for normal pickup. Residents also may dispose of unbagged yard debris free of charge at Henrico landfill public use areas, located at 2075 Charles City Road and 10600 Fords Country Lane. Public use areas are open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week.

For details or to report downed trees in the public right of way, call 501-4393.

–Tom Lappas contributed to this article.


Community

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.

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.

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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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Innsbrook After Hours will present the Under the Sun Tour at 6 p.m. at the Snagajob Innsbrook Pavilion. Blues Traveler, Smashmouth, Sugar Ray and Uncle Kracker are performing. Gates open… Full text

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