Henrico CASA welcomes 10 new volunteers

Henrico County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) welcomed 10 newly activated CASA volunteers during a ceremony Oct. 17. The advocates were sworn in by Stuart L. Williams, Jr., chief judge of the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Williams commenced the swearing-in by thanking the new volunteers for committing their time and their hearts to children who are in need of the court’s intervention to ensure their safety and well-being. He also told them that CASA’s work and the reports they prepare for the court are invaluable and that their work as fact-finders and information gatherers is essential in assisting the court with making critical decisions in the best interest of children.

Henrico Master Gardener training program accepting applications

The Henrico County Office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting applications for its next Master Gardener training program, which will provide instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Participants will learn about lawn care, tree and shrub maintenance, vegetable gardening, soils, pest management and other topics. After completing classroom training, participants will serve a 50-hour internship with the Extension Office and will help conduct educational programs for the public.

Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from Jan. 19 through March 24 in the demonstration kitchen of the Human Services Building, 8600 Dixon Powers Drive.

GRCC to host 12th District Senate forum

The Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce will host a forum Wednesday, Oct. 7, at Reynolds Community College for candidates seeking the 12th District Virginia Senate seat. Republican Siobhan Dunnavant, Democrat Deborah Repp and independent Robert Johnson are competing in the Nov. 3 election.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. in the Workforce Development & Conference Center at the college, 1651 East Parham Road in Henrico. Members of the audience may submit questions to the candidates at the event.

Henrico, Habitat partner to host home maintenance workshops

For homeowners in the region who have struggled with home repairs, life could soon be getting a little easier.

Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity and the Henrico County Department of Community Revitalization have joined forces to host a series of workshops to help residents maintain and improve their homes. The courses begin Saturday, Oct. 17.

The goal of the workshops is to address the high volume of calls that the county receives about home maintenance issues, as well as to provide an outlet for those homeowners who are uncertain about how to maintain the upkeep of a home.

Supervisors vote to purchase future park site for $2.8M

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with plans for a recreational park after a vote Sept. 22, to authorize the purchase of 99 acres in Sandston for $2.8 million from private landowners.

The sellers approached the county as far back as 2007 to propose a sale, but Varina District Supervisor Tyrone Nelson said that it took some time to reach an agreement on a price for the land.

"The landowners have been pretty aggressive in wanting the county to have the property, and in wanting the space to be used for a park, so it wouldn't be sold to developers," said Nelson. "The county was interested but we had differences on the price and what they wanted and what we could offer – we can only offer what the land is appraised for, and that isn't really negotiable."

McAuliffe awards extended year and year-round school grants to Henrico

Governor Terry McAuliffe has awarded nearly $5.3 million in state year-round and extended school year grants to support the development and implementation of year-round instructional programs in 10 school divisions, including Henrico County.

Henrico County will receive $38,238 in extended year planning grants to support the development of new year-round programs for Brookland Middle and Fairfield Elementary. The Extended School Year Grant Program was created in 2013 by the General Assembly in response to a 2012 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) report on the effectiveness of year-round school programs in raising student achievement.

Henrico leaf collection to start in November

Henrico County will kick off its 2015-16 leaf-collection services in November with several options to help residents maintain their yards and properties.

Free, curbside collection of bagged leaves is scheduled from Nov. 16 through Feb. 7. Crews will work week to week in five zones. Each area will receive two pickups, with the second cycle starting when the first one ends.

For a schedule and map of zones, visit and click the link to “Leaf Collection Brochure.” Collection is provided automatically for people living in zones A through E.

Tuckahoe town meeting Oct. 5 to highlight body cameras, emergency notification system

Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia S. O’Bannon will hold a town meeting Monday, Oct. 5 to discuss the body-worn cameras issued to Henrico police officers and the county’s Community Emergency Notification System.

The meeting will include sessions at 1 and 7 p.m. at the Tuckahoe Area Library, 1901 Starling Drive.

Representatives of the Police Division will discuss a recent initiative to equip officers with body cameras and provide training in the “fair and impartial policing” method. A representative of the Division of Fire will provide an overview of the Community Emergency Notification System, also known as CodeRED, and explain how residents can register.

Board of Supervisors candidates discuss development, millennials at forum

Discussion of economic development, traffic concerns, millennials, smart growth, redevelopment, school system improvements and regional cooperation took center stage during a forum for Henrico Board of Supervisors candidates Sept. 28 at J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College.

Eight of the nine candidates for the board discussed their plans for office and answered questions during the two-hour forum, hosted by the Henrico Business Council. The event drew nearly 100 people.

Redevelopment is a hot topic in the county's aging regions – the Brookland, Fairfield and Tuckahoe districts specifically – and candidates offered different ideas about how they'd seek to re-energize pockets within those districts.

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