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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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’s Innsbrook Wellness Forum, “The Forgotten Side of Wellness: How Toxic is Your Day,” will take place from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Carpenter Room B at 4501 Highwoods Pkwy. The guest speaker will be Charlene Eshleman. The forum continues every second Thursday of the month. A free, light lunch will be provided to those who register. For details, call 217-8804 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Full text

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