Henrico County VA
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State offers free tax prep program for eligible residents

A state program is offering eligible Virginians the opportunity to prepare and file their state and federal income taxes online for free using name-brand tax software.

Virginia Free File is a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Taxation and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of tax-software companies. The Virginian Free File program is one more than 20 state programs modeled after the successful Internal Revenue Service Free File program used by millions of taxpayers to e-file their federal income tax returns for free.

Free File lets eligible taxpayers e-file their state and federal tax returns for free online using commercial tax-preparation software. Free File supports the Virginia 760 form for residents, the 760PY form for part-year residents, and the 763 form for non-residents.

“In Virginia, we have worked to make tax season easy and efficient for all taxpayers. The Free File program is specifically designed to help working Virginians save on the cost of tax prep, hold on to more of their hard-earned money, and not cost a dime of taxpayer dollars. However, many Virginians eligible for the program don’t use it. If you made less than $57,000 in 2012, I urge you to visit the Virginia Department of Taxation website and learn how you can use the Virginia Free File program to save this tax season,” said Governor McDonnell.

E-filing is the easiest, fastest and safest way to file taxes. Taxpayers who file online and request direct deposit can expect to receive their refunds in a matter of days instead of weeks for those who file on paper.

Most taxpayers who don't qualify for VA Free File can still file their taxes online for free, using the Department of Taxation’s Fillable Forms program. The Fillable Forms return is an online version of Virginia's 760 return and schedules for Virginia residents. There are no income thresholds, and simple math calculations are done for you.

For details about Virginia Free File and Free Fillable Forms, visit the Department of Taxation's website at http://www.tax.virginia.gov and click on the e-file announcement.
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

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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Calendar

Fairmount United Methodist Church will host their annual Yard Sale and Baked Goods from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds support church missions. For details, call 737-5416. Full text

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