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Kruszewski wins 14 VPW awards

Henrico Citizen Managing Editor Patty Kruszewski won 14 awards in the Virginia Press Women’s 2011 communication contest, including three first-place entries that will advance to the National Federation of Press Women contest.  

Kruszewski collected two of her first-place honors in the Special Articles category, with stories about education and health topics.   Among the winners in those categories were articles about the expansion of the Coal Pit Learning Center, the "Distinguished Springers" program at Highland Springs H.S., a cross-country cyclist raising awareness for blood donation, and a suicide prevention organization established in memory of a Douglas Freeman H.S. student.  Kruszewski also earned a first place in feature stories for her article about Dining in the Dark, a sensory awareness experience that raised funds for Foundation Fighting Blindness.  

Another feature story, about the connection between The Westwood Club's founders and the family of Francis Gary Powers of U-2 fame, won a second place for Kruszewski. 

In the Special Articles category, Kruszewski took a second place for two history stories, about Emmanuel Church's 150th birthday celebration and Discover the James' Civil War cruises. 

Kruszewski won seven third place awards, including one for headline writing and another for her feature photo portrayal of children playing a game at a church picnic.  Her winning entry in the feature story category described Henrico resident Bob Bluford's recent turn at the controls of a B-24 bomber -- 65 years after he first piloted the plane in World War II. 

In the Special Articles categories of education and sports, Kruszewski took third place awards for stories about an author's visit to Short Pump Middle School, a Moody Middle School student whose essay won a national award, and appreciation events honoring rescuers of a cardiac arrest victim and medical personnel who cared for a heart patient. 

Special Articles in the social issues and sports categories added two additional third place awards, for stories about autistic students working at St. Mary's Hospital, a quadriplegic veteran given a new home, a World Cup countdown at Deep Run H.S., and a local nine-year-old's big league baseball experience. 

Kruszewski also earned an honorable mention for her Special Articles about environmental topics, which included a story about the River City Saunter and another about a 1939 cottage that was recently converted into a solar-powered home. 

In the news reporting category, she won an honorable mention for her stories about an early education summit and a Henrico Police Athletic League celebration of PAL's growth and progress. 
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

New Henrico biscuit shop thrives with grandmother’s recipe

Tim Laxton rises at 4:30 a.m. every day for a biscuit. But he’s not rushing out to any restaurant to get his favorite Southern comfort food; he’s baking his own from scratch and serving them up from his bakery on Lakeside Avenue.

Laxton opened Early Bird Biscuit Co. & Bakery in early July and since then biscuits have been flying out of there.

The self-taught baker draws hungry crowds in with a biscuit of the day like the Old Bay Cheddar, but the buttermilk biscuits are the staple.

“On a Saturday I generally make about 400 biscuits with my two hands,” Laxton said. “I’m constantly making biscuits all day long.” > 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.

CAT Theatre announces cast of Sherlock Holmes play

CAT Theatre’s 51st season will open with Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, which will run from Oct. 24-Nov. 8. Adapted by Steven Dietz, it is based on the original 1899 play by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play.

The plot follows what seems to be the end of the career of the world’s greatest detective as he is confronted with a case far too tempting to ignore. When the King of Bohemia faces blackmail by famed opera singer Irene Adler, Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, find themselves falling into the trap of evil genius Professor Moriarty. As Holmes says, “The game is afoot Watson, and it is a dangerous one!” > Read more.

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Wilton House Museum, 215 S. Wilton Rd., will present “A Georgian Folly for the 21st Century” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Interior designer, architect and preservationist Ralph Harvard will… Full text

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