Henrico County VA
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On the trail of history

Local students create path at Civil War site

Cameron Hopkins did not grow up in a typical neighborhood.

Sure, it may have seemed like an everyday community at times, but the ground beneath his feet was too significant to call “normal.”

Hopkins, a rising senior at Varina High School, spent his childhood at home in the Fort Harrison section of Richmond National Battlefield Park, a national park commemorating Richmond’s copious Civil War history.

Navy shooters win first-annual contest

Left to right, Kevin Beam, Jamie Galanti, George Nyfeler, Paul Galanti

As a warm-up for this year's Dec. 14 Army-Navy game, local alumni of the two service academies held the first annual Army-Navy Shootout at Colonial Shooting Academy earlier this month.

Navy was the victor at the inaugural shooting contest, with the three leading shooters combining for a score of 1109 over Army's score of 1025. Sandy Sanders led the winning trio for Navy with a score of 379, including 18 bulls-eyes. George Nyfeler led the Army shooters with a score of 394 and 27 bulls-eyes.

Ramped up

Capital One volunteers help project:HOMES complete a ramp for a client.
Peturla, 48, has been struggling with multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years, and after being forced onto disability at her job with the Henrico County Police Department because of multiple accidents and difficulty walking and moving, her unwavering optimism began to shake. She knew something had to change in her daily routine.

“Something that had come easy wasn’t coming easy anymore,” she said. “I really needed a ramp. I was having problems getting up and down the steps for about a year and a half.”

Desperately in need of a ramp and an electric wheelchair, Peturla turned to project:HOMES, a group that works to improve the lives and living conditions of low income seniors, disabled residents and qualified homeowners in Central Virginia by making critical home repairs and improvements and building high quality, affordable homes.

Upcoming holidays will delay some CVWMA collections

CVWMA curbside recycling collection will be delayed one day Dec. 25-27 and Jan. 1-3, because there will be no collections on Christmas Day or New Year's Day. Red Week curbside recyclers will have a one-day delay in collections Dec. 25-27. Blue Week curbside recyclers will have one-day delay in collections Jan. 1-3. Curbside recyclers should place bins or carts at the curb by 7 a.m. on the day after their regularly scheduled day. All Friday collections will take place on Saturday.

‘Mr. Christmas’ celebrating 40 years of lights, charity

Each holiday season for the last 40 years, Henrico resident Frank Hudak – also known as “Mr. Christmas” – has been lighting up his home in the West End with thousands of holiday lights. During those years, he also has raised more than $82,600 to support Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (VHBG) through a simple donation box outside his home.

What began as a way to recapture the holiday spirit of his youth in Philadelphia helped start a local holiday tradition of lights and giving.

A love affair with nature

In the basement of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden year-round, veteran volunteers work amongst tables of dried flowers, acorns, forms, leaves and other natural fixtures to prepare for the Dominion GardenFest of Lights, an annual event that combines the beauty of nature with lighting throughout the Garden.

The winter celebration is a team and community effort, with more than 200 volunteers from all across Virginia who coordinate and work closely with staff members, especially horticulturist and leader of the Dominion GardenFest of Lights team Shannon Smith and Operations Coordinator Justin Brown.

City lights, stardom in sight

Twenty-eight year-old Henrico native Ashley Blankenship moved to New York City last year to continue the pursuit of her dream of acting.

The decision is beginning to pay off for her in a big way: Blankenship recently became the advertising face of Arizona Tea, and she has earned roles in a number of television shows and movies.

Blankenship, who attended Hermitage High School and the Center for the Arts at Henrico High, has known from an early age what her passion was.

Pow Wow celebrates American Indians

Richmond American Indian Pow Wow, held Nov. 15-17 at the Richmond Raceway Complex in Henrico, featured art, culture, dance, exhibits, festivals, music and history showcasing Native Americans in Virginia. Among those honored at the event was 80-year-old Pat Richardson, pictured at right with her son, Wayahsti Richardson. The elder Richardson has supported her tribal family, culture and young dancers for decades.

Graceful living

Bursts of laughter come from a typically quiet room at A Grace Place, an adult care center in Henrico. Inside, groups of players sit contentedly around tables, moving their oversized game pieces around and enjoying each other’s company. At the age of 99, Marie Bradley is the oldest person at the table, but that doesn’t stop her from playing another game of dominoes with her friends.

At A Grace Place, individuals like Marie can find personalized care, health management and just plain fun.

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