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Pocahontas 895 ending overnight cash payments at main toll

Overnight commuters who use Pocahontas 895 in Varina no longer will be able to pay tolls at the main toll plaza by cash. Beginning July 31, those who pass through the toll between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily must pay either by E-Z Pass or Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards.
 
“This is a continuation of our upgrade of our electronic toll collection system,” said Kevin Longenbach, vice president of operations and development for Transurban (895) LLC and manager of Pocahontas 895. “We’re already offering cashless payment convenience at our Laburnum and Airport Connector road ramps. And about half of our customers already pay using E-ZPass.”
 
Longenbach suggested that drivers who don't already use E-Z Pass should consider the switch.

“E-ZPass is the easiest and quickest way to pay a toll on Pocahontas 895,” he said. “Electronic payments are convenient and safe. They eliminate the need to keep cash in the car and reduce distractions as drivers don’t need to search for the correct coin combination.”
 
The automated toll equipment will not accept cash, debit cards that require use of a PIN, or any card other than Visa or Mastercard. Cash will still be accepted at the main toll plaza between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily.
 
Customers who need any assistance with the automated toll equipment can call Pocahontas 895 at 822-3458 (or toll free at 1-866-428-6339). Those telephone numbers are posted on informational signage at all of the automated toll machines.
 
For details about E-ZPass, call 1-877-762-7824 or visit http://www.ezpassva.com
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

Tix 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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Chickahominy YMCA will present the Hot Spot program “Snappy Grown Ups” at 11 a.m. in the Group Exercise Studio. Spice up your morning with dance and interactive games. Hot Spot… Full text

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