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

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


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.

Weekend Top 10


This weekend has something for everyone in your family – whether it’s improv comedy with ComedySportz or West End Comedy, or an inspirational concert from the Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company! Families will also enjoy music, games and crafts at Hidden Creek Park or reading to a therapy dog at Glen Allen Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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