Schools to go tobacco-free

Henrico County public schools and school-sponsored events soon will be entirely tobacco-free, following the School Board's 4-1 vote Sept. 27 to enact a tobacco-free policy.

The policy likely will not take effect officially for a period of at least a few months, so that staff members and visitors who smoke or use tobacco have time to become adjusted to it.

Board member Lisa Marshall of the Tuckahoe District cast the dissenting vote.

More than 30 other school systems in the state – including Hanover County – already have similar tobacco policies. Henrico school officials believe the policy will promote healthier environments for students, staff members and visitors alike while encouraging healthier lifestyles at the same time and serving as a reinforcement to students about the dangers of tobacco.

Existing HCPS policy allowed individual principals to set their own conditions for tobacco and cigarette use on their campuses by adults, staff members and visitors. Twenty-four elementary schools in the county, three middle schools, five high schools and two specialty facilities already banned all tobacco use on their campuses prior to
the board's vote last week. Other schools and specialty centers allowed smoking in designated areas.

The change is not without detractors. About a third of the 1,263 faculty members who responded to a school system survey last month said they favored the existing policy, while two-thirds said they favored the new one.
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Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
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State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
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Norfolk man arrested at RIC after TSA catches him with gun

A Norfolk man was arrested at Richmond International Airport May 18 after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.

A TSA officer detected the .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it passed through the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 13 bullets.
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Police release photo of hoax bomb

Henrico Police have released a photo of the clock that resembled a bomb that led to the arrest of a Richmond woman in Shot Pump earlier this week.

The device, which the woman told police she purchased at a yard sale, was visible in her car at the Whole Foods at West Broad Village May 19, and a passerby called police, fearing it was a real bomb. Police responded as they would have had the device been real, they said, because they weren't sure if it was real or not.
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Henrico school buses with compliance issue to be fixed this summer


The 176 Henrico school buses that have been purchased since March 2011 will be fixed during the summer, Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks told the Citizen. The bus manufacturers will retrofit the buses at no cost to the school division, he said.

The brake interlock device is required on all automatic transmission buses in Virginia that were purchased after March 2011, which is when the device was added to the state Board of Education's requirements for school buses. As many as 4,000 school buses in the state may be affected, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
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May 2017
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The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen will hold a grand opening reception for the new exhibit “Shared Space – Art and Living” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit explores ways to mix and match artisan-made pieces together to make your home uniquely your own. Attendees will have a chance to meet and greet the artist. Wine and refreshments will be served. Admission is free. The exhibit runs through July 16. For details, call 261-ARTS or visit http://www.artsglenallen.com. Full text

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