State quarantines movement of walnut trees, related products from Henrico

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today placed a temporary quarantine on the movement of walnut trees and plants, as well as plant parts of walnut (including logs, stumps, firewood, roots, branches, mulch and chips) out of Henrico County, Chesterfield County and the City of Richmond following the detection of Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) in Henrico and Chesterfield.
(Richmond was because of its proximity to the two counties.)

VDACS Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr announced the temporary quarantine in an effort to prevent the artificial spread of TCD, a disease complex that attacks walnut trees. The fungus Geosmithia morbida is vectored by the walnut twig beetle, causing small cankers under the bark of the tree. The beetle introduces the fungus while it tunnels beneath the bark. As more beetles attack the tree, the number of cankers increases until they coalesce to girdle twigs and branches, restricting movement of nutrients and eventually killing the tree. Neither the beetle nor the fungus is native to the eastern U.S. Thinning or dead branches initially will occur at the top of the tree, which will die from the top down. Trees may be infested for many years before showing symptoms. There is currently no preventive or curative treatment for the disease.

TCD has been present in the western U.S. for years; this is the first detection in Virginia and the first time it has been found east of Knoxville, Tenn., where it was detected in August 2010. Once established, TCD has the potential to spread to uninfested areas, either through natural means or through the artificial movement of infested articles. VDACS employees in the Office of Plant Industry Services are surveying the affected areas in an effort to determine the extent of this infestation and the source of TCD in Henrico and Chesterfield counties. The actual source may be difficult to determine, officials said, since the infestation likely occurred several years ago.

The disease poses no harm to humans or animals.

For details about the disease in the Eastern United States, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/fhm/sp/tcd/tcd.shtml.
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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 Tappahannock Rotary’s 14th Annual Andrew Reavis Memorial Croaker Tournament in the Rappahannock River will be held from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event typically draws anglers from throughout Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Anglers will compete for $4,500 in prize money. Boat entry fees are $125 before May 1 and $150 thereafter. The tournament headquarters will be at Garrett’s Marina in Center Cross. All proceeds after expenses are donated to charitable causes. For full details and to register and pay online, visit http://www.bigcroaker.com or www.tappahannockrotary.org/register.htm. Full text

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