Henrico County VA
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Living history

Henrico filmmaker follows his 'Heart'
Henrico filmmaker Kevin Hershberger has transformed the "birthplace" of Jesus into the Hanoi Hilton.

Hershberger, the CEO of LionHeart Film Works, modified the Salem Baptist Church in Manakin (best known as the site of a living nativity scene each Christmas) to replicate the notorious Vietnamese Hoa Lo prison camp for a Vietnam prisoner-of-war documentary he's currently filming for the Smithsonian. Adding shackles and torture hooks to the walls where holiday visitors will line up in December seems morbid, but this is what Hershberger does. As a documentary filmmaker dedicated to filming historical documentaries in and around Henrico County, the VCU graduate is forced to get creative with his sets.

LionHeart is based out of a nondescript storefront in the West End.

Henrico’s Top Dads

In celebration of Father’s Day, the Henrico Citizen and First Things First of Greater Richmond sought nominations of “Henrico’s Top Dads” from children and teens ages 5 to 17. Entries were judged by officials from both organizations and Henrico School Board member Lamont Bagby. The top 10 winning submissions appear here in alphabetical order, and honorable mention recipients also are listed on this page. Each dad was recognized at First Things First’s Celebrate Fatherhood event at Ukrop Park in Chesterfield June 9.

Collins newborn wins college savings account

Twenty Virginia babies born on May 29 have been awarded college savings accounts as part of an initiative known as 529 College Savings Day. Evan Keith Collins, son of George Keith Collins of Glen Allen, won the Virginia529 account at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital – Forest.

A second chance

Four men and women completed their journeys from the thrall of addiction to a new life May 31 as they graduated from the Henrico County Adult Drug Court.

The graduates had endured years of enslavement to the effects of drugs or alcohol and the many consequences of their addictions, including unemployment, repeated arrests and estrangement from family and friends.

TGIFriday’s donates to Safe Harbor

United Restaurant Group, owner of the six Richmond area TGIFriday’s locations, recently presented Henrico-based Safe Harbor with a check for $3,000 connected to a Mother’s Day promotion sponsored by Summit Media group. TGIFriday’s donated $1 from each dessert sold the week of Mother’s Day to Safe Harbor.

Local radio stations owned by Summit Media group — K95, Rock 96.5, Hot 100.9 and 103.7 the River — honored single moms in the Richmond area as identified by their listeners.

Former foster child gains “Momentum” with award

When they were little, Bridgette Booker and her sister had to watch out for each other as they coped with family and financial problems and made their way through the foster care system.

In 2008, only 3 percent of foster youth in Virginia graduated from college, a result of their less-than-ideal circumstances. Five years later, that statistic has improved dramatically, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Great Expectations Program.

Hermitage alum to star in first episode of ‘Southern Fried Homicide’

Last year, Gemma Smith moved to New York City to pursue her dream career as a professional actress. So far, her leap of faith has paid dividends, as she has appeared in multiple national commercials and television shows. Smith will soon make another appearance on national cable TV when she stars in the first episode of the new show “Southern Fried Homicide,” a docudrama that recounts scandalous stories that take place in the American South.


Thousands of people commemorated Memorial Day at the fifth annual American Legion Post 242 Sandston Memorial Day Parade Monday. A group of veterans (right) traveled along the parade path by horse and carriage.

Bay Stewardship course offered in Henrico

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is accepting applications for its Richmond-area adult education course, VoiCeS (Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards), which runs June 6 to Aug. 1.

The course, an eight-week series of evening classes focusing on water quality and stewardship, features in-depth sessions taught by Bay experts from CBF and other regional institutions and organizations. Classes will meet Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. in Henrico.

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Henrico's Top Teachers