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New, free Virginia State Parks app available

Virginia State Parks recently introduced the new VSP Pocket Ranger® app for smartphones, a free mobile tour guide developed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, ParksByNature, Virginia Association for Parks and Imperial Multimedia.

Virginia is the latest of 12 states to partner with ParksByNature in developing official state park mobile tour guides. In other states there is a basic guide and one with advanced GPS technology available at an additional charge. Thanks to the VAFP and Imperial Multimedia, there is no charge for the advanced Virginia app. The partnership is also finalizing details on a sponsorship plan so that users are supporting Virginia State Parks each time they use the app. The mobile guide is available for Apple and some Android devices.

The Official Virginia State Parks Pocket Ranger® app offers educational and interpretive information. With the help of the app, users may locate the nearest park and gain access to in-depth information such as trail-touring videos, activities and descriptions designed to enhance their overall visit. In addition, the app includes advanced GPS mapping technology allowing park visitors to mark, record and share trail blazes, explorations and discoveries.

Hikers can use the app to personalize routes while hunters and fishermen will benefit from ability to mark their favorite spots. A cache map feature, which allows users to navigate the state parks without mobile reception, is also available.

Park goers may use the photo waypoint feature to snap pictures and mark the coordinates of highlights from their visit—such as animals and natural features—and then share it with the click of a button. As a safety feature an in-app alert is included that allows users to quickly send their GPS coordinates along with a message to a designated list of contacts in the event of an emergency.

To download the Virginia State Parks Pocket Ranger® app go to http://www.stateparkapps.com/apps/va/apps.php It c.an also be downloaded by visiting Apple iTunes or Android Market. For information on all Virginia State Park offerings, including the new app, go to http://www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Community

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

Author, child abuse survivor to speak at Henrico event

To help celebrate twenty years of service to advocating for abused and neglected children in Henrico County, Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates, Inc. (CASA) will host an evening with bestselling author K.L. Randis on Tuesday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Belmont Recreation Center in Lakeside.

Randis is best known for her bestselling novel, Spilled Milk, which tells her painful – but ultimately triumphant – personal story of abuse and of child abuse prevention. The book is her first novel.

The event is free to the public, but seating is limited Reservations may be made by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Belmon Recreation Center is located at 1600 Hilliard Road. > Read more.

Philippines ambassador to the US visits Filipino Festival in Henrico


The Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. attended the Ninth Annual Filipino Festival at Our Lady of Lourdes Church earlier this month. Cuisia (pictured above with festival performers) was welcomed by County Manager John Vithoulkas and Brookland District Supervisor Dick Glover (below) at the church, which is located in Lakeside.

While enjoying some of the cultural performances at the festival, the ambassador and his wife had a private lunch with Vithoulkas, Glover, Eldon Burton (an outreach representative from U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner’s Office) and Father James Begley, the pastor of OLL. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > 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.

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Richmond Entrepreneur's Assistance Program (REAP), a nonprofit that gives job training to individuals with disabilities, has partnered with Field of Dreams Farm. Fresh produce will be boxed and sold at… Full text

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