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VDOT to Advertise $1.1B in Road Projects

Governor Bob McDonnell today announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will advertise an estimated $1.1 billion in construction and maintenance projects during the first six months of Fiscal Year 2011. The estimated economic impact of the work is 33,900 jobs created or supported, as well as $2.83 billion in economic activity and $282.5 million in taxes that will come back to the state.

“After taking office, I directed VDOT to start authorizing and advertising projects in a more timely and efficient manner, in order to get much needed road projects underway, and traffic moving again," McDonnell said. "In just six months, the agency will have advertised $1.1 billion – half of its annual budget. This will have a positive impact on Virginia’s infrastructure and economy. For every $100 million spent on highway maintenance, it is estimated 3,000 jobs are created or supported. By working hard to ensure that VDOT invests all available transportation resources as soon as they become available, and in a manner that has the most benefit to motorists traveling throughout the state, we will greatly improve our transportation system and spur economic growth.”

The agency has advertised more than 350 projects in the past six months and advertised more than $500 million in work during December, Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton said.

State officials cited studies published by the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, which showed that every $100 million spent on highway construction and maintenance projects adds 3,000 jobs created or supported, $250 million in economic activity and $25 million in taxes that go back to Virginia coffers.
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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The Sophie House Collaborate to Eradicate 5K run/walk, a fundraiser to help eradicate breast cancer, will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 11220… Full text

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