Weekday tolls to rise on 895

The new year will bring a weekday toll increase to the Pocahontas Parkway, effective Thursday, Jan. 3.

Two-axle vehicles such as cars, SUVs and pickup trucks passing through the Pocahontas 895 main plaza will pay an extra quarter for weekday travel, although tolls will remain the same for two-axle vehicles passing through the Main Plaza on weekends.

On weekends, the main toll plaza rate for two-axle vehicles will be continue to be $2.75, which is the current rate. During the week, two toll prices will be charged at the main plaza – a commuting rate of $3.25 from 6 and 9 a.m. and again from 3 to 6 p.m. – and a rate of $3 at all other times Monday through Friday.

Tolls also will go up a quarter, to $1.50, for customers traveling between Interstate 295 and Pocahontas 895’s two ramps – the Laburnum Avenue exit and the Airport Connector exit -- who do not pass through the Main Toll Plaza.

Tractor-trailers and other large vehicles passing through the Main Toll Plaza will pay $1.00 for each axle over two, at all times. For example, a 3-axle vehicle paying at the Main Plaza will pay $4.25 and a 4-axle vehicle will pay $5.25, at all times. This large-vehicle rate is an increase of 25 cents over the 2012 price.

The scheduled increase will fall short of the maximum permitted by an agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), said a spokesperson for Transurban, the company that manages Pocahontas 895. Funds for operation and maintenance of the road – including support road operations such as a micro-surfacing program to preserve and extend pavement life, security cameras along the roadway and in the Main Plaza area, and sensors on the bridge to detect wind, temperature and precipitation – come solely from user fees in the form of tolls, and not from federal or state taxes.

For details, including full details of toll price increases, visit http://www.pocahontas895.com.
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Therapeutic healing


In a room labeled the garden room, a bright space with lavender-colored walls and pebble-gray chairs, art therapist Becky Jacobson might ask her patients to imagine a safe place, but she doesn’t ask them to describe it to her — she wants them to draw it.

The patients are free to draw whatever they envision, expressing themselves through their colored markers, a form of healing through art therapy.

“Some people might not feel safe anywhere because they have had hard things happening to them, and I have the background to help that person reground and feel safe in the group,” Jacobson said. > Read more.

Eight’s enough? Crowded race for 56th District develops


Following the retirement of Delegate Peter Farrell [R-56th District], a number of candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to vie for the open seat in the Virginia General Assembly district, which contains a portion of Henrico’s Far West End.

Democratic challengers include Lizzie Basch and Melissa Dart, while Republican contenders include George Goodwin, Matt Pinsker, Graven Craig, Surya Dhakar, Jay Prendergrast and John McGuire. In addition to a section of Henrico, the district also includes portions of Goochland and Spotsylvania County, as well as all of Louisa County. > Read more.

On the trail to Awareness


Twenty-five teams, composed of some 350 participants, gathered at Dorey Park in Varina April 8 for the Walk Like MADD 5k, to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving Virginia. The event raised more than $35,000, with more funds expected to come in through May 7. > Read more.

Leadership Metro Richmond honors St. Joseph’s Villa CEO


Leadership Metro Richmond honored St. Joseph's Villa CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett, a 2003 graduate of LMR, with its 2017 Ukrop Community Vision Award during its annual spring luncheon April 6.

The award honors a LMR member who demonstrates a purposeful vision, a sense of what needs to be done, clear articulation with concern and respect for others with demonstrated action and risk-taking. > Read more.

Glen Allen H.S. takes second in statewide economics competition

Glen Allen H.S. was among six top schools in the state to place in the 2017 Governor’s Challenge in Economics and Personal Finance.

Taught by Patricia Adams, the Glen Allen H.S. team was runner-up in the Economics division, in which teams faced off in a Quiz Bowl. > Read more.

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Richmond-area children will be able to receive dental treatments at no cost during Sharing Smiles Day, an annual day of free dental care hosted by children’s dental provider Kool Smiles. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Kool Smiles Southside Plaza, 4722 N. Southside Plaza St. in Richmond. Available treatments will include dental exams, limited emergency care, extractions, and restorative care. A limited number of appointments are available. Parents are strongly encouraged to register their children on the Kool Smiles website in advance of the event. Treatment is on a first-come, first-served basis and pre-registration does not guarantee treatment. Treatment offerings will be determined by the dentist. For details, visit http://www.mykoolsmiles.com/sharingsmiles or call 319-5665. Full text

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