Henrico County VA
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Students take control of county government, for one day

Henrico County Circuit Court Judge L.A. Harris, Jr. (right) administers the oath of office Wednesday, Feb. 29 at Hermitage High School to students who acted as members of the Henrico Board of Supervisors for the 2012 Student Government Day. The students are (standing left to right) Avery Jones of Highland Springs High School, representing the Varina District; Dominique Robinson of Freeman High School, representing the Tuckahoe District; Breonna Green of Henrico High School, representing the Fairfield District; Namrata Thawrani of Deep Run High School, representing the Three Chopt District; and Sam Belvin of Hermitage High School, representing the Brookland District.












Dozens of high school students from Henrico County got a firsthand look at the county’s general government and public schools administrations earlier this month when they shadowed elected and appointed officials for the 55th annual Student Government Day.

Student Government Day, held March 1, matched 93 students from nine high schools with such leaders as members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, county manager, superintendent of schools, department directors and judges. The students, most of whom are seniors, spent the day learning the responsibilities of various departments and gaining insight into how local government works with and on behalf of the public in a democracy.

“It is the very best government on the face of the Earth,” County Manager Virgil R. Hazelett told the students. “It does work because of the people we elect. We may not always agree, but it does work.”

Student Government Day started Wednesday at Hermitage High School with a ceremony in which many of the students took the oath for their respective positions. All of the students reported to work early Thursday and spent the day asking questions and interacting with various officials. Students also had opportunities to tour the county jail and register to vote.

For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center on East Parham Road, the day culminated with a student-run meeting of the board of supervisors, which included rigorous questioning and debate over such issues as regulations on the discharge of air-powered guns, a contract for renovation and expansion of Fire Station 13 and a stream restoration project near Skipwith Elementary School.

Student Government Day is sponsored by the Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond, Tuckahoe and Greater Richmond.
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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