Henrico County VA
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Richmond Traffic Operations Center expands

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently expanded the Richmond Traffic Operations Center (TOC) in Chester. The size of the center’s video wall was doubled, allowing staff to better monitor traffic in VDOT’s Fredericksburg District, a portion of I-95 in the Hampton Roads District and all 14 counties and 4 cities in the Richmond District, including Henrico.

The changes also improved the center’s backup generator capability and lighting to increase reliability during inclement weather and other emergencies; and reconfigured the work area to accommodate staff needed to dispatch units of the Safety Service Patrols.

The TOC operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week dispatching and coordinating functions for transportation emergencies within the 26 counties in central Virginia. Another significant responsibility is updating of accident, work zone, and road weather information, which flows to the public through VDOT’s 511 system. Staff at the Richmond TOC operate and maintain 54 traffic cameras, 15 permanent overhead variable message signs, 13 trailer-mounted variable message signs, six highway advisory radio sites and 10 pavement sensors.

For more information, visit http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/smart-traffic-center-richmond.asp.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. 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.

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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Enjoy a twilight canoe trip on Four Mile Creek, a quiet tributary of the James River, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Look for great blue herons, osprey, beaver, deer… Full text

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