Henrico County VA
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Just winging it

Actors Bernsen, Jones film movie in Henrico
Famed actors Corbin Bernsen and Shirley Jones were in Henrico recently for several days, filming On The Wing, a family-friendly movie whose screenplay was a finalist at the International Family Film Festival and quarter-finalist at the Richmond International Film Festival. The movie filmed for several days at St. Joseph's Villa in Henrico, then moved to the Virginia State Capitol and Doswell. Filming will wrap up Aug. 25, and the movie is expected to be completed by January, then marketed in the U.S. and internationally through RedBox and on Netflix.

The crew of two dozen is composed almost entirely of Richmond-area residents, and the lead actor (19-year-old Brennon Tolbert) is from Virginia Beach.

Hitching a ride

The Budweiser Clydesdale East Coast hitch, with its four pairs of stunning Clydesdale horses, made an appearance at the West Broad Village last month, on its way to the Super Bowl in New Jersey. The Clydesdales are used for promotions and commercials by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company.

There are several "hitches," or teams of horses, that travel around the United States. Anheuser-Busch owns a total of about 250 Clydesdales in total; each one must be at least four years old and six feet tall.

Positive reflections


In 2009, Aljanette Hall struggled like many Americans. She found herself out of a job after many years working in the real estate business. The time off afforded her the opportunity to live out her true passion - shaping young girls into successful women-to-be who know their value.

“Going through the downside of the economy, I knew just how it was,” she says about feeling singled out and in need of information. She had been mentoring through her church on a volunteer basis, but saw the need to grow her outreach throughout greater Richmond.

Cleaning up


La Forest Williams and Michelle Collins-Robinson joined students from Maggie Walker Governor’s School and volunteer coordinator John Shuck to help clean up East End Cemetery in Henrico County Jan. 4 as part of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s “Day of Service.” The cemetery, adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery, is the final resting place for several noteworthy African-Americans, including famed educators Virginia Randolph and Rosa Bowser. It’s been overgrown with brush and ivy for years and is used as an illegal dumping area.

Tour empowers girls with fun, education

In a society in which many of the normalcies in tween culture focus on sexuality and promiscuity – and push young girls to grow up too fast – the Secret Keeper Girl Crazy Hair tour offers a fresh outlook on mother-daughter connectedness by teaching that being “crazy” can mean many different things.

A “Secret Keeper girl” embraces modesty, loves herself and others, feels comfortable sharing with Mom, and knows she is a masterpiece of God. By introducing girls to this event, organizers hope that they will realize the true beauty that lies within them and be opened up to a world of positive role models.

After-school program offers new support for autistic kids

After his continuous behavioral issues at school and a lack of understanding about his autism, Henrico resident Robin Davis didn’t know where to turn to help her son, Matthew, 13. Sounds, smells and sights were overwhelming for him, other kids were making fun of him, teachers were frustrated, and so was Davis.

“If I forced him to go to school, he would’ve ended up in the juvenile system because his anxiety is so bad,” Davis said. “I needed to protect him and give him the best shot possible. Most people just don’t know how to work with kids with autism and they require a lot of time, patience and understanding, but school is too rushed.”

Faith, family and football


Derrick “Skip” Hopkins spent the past four years as a defensive tackle for the Virginia Tech Hokies, concluding his career during the team’s Sun Bowl loss Dec. 31 to UCLA, but football has not been his only achievement.

His football career began at age five when he played offense and defense for the Glen Lea Lions in Henrico. He continued to play defensive tackle and offensive guard while at Fairfield Middle School and focused his attention on defensive tackle at Highland Springs High School.

High school is where Derrick became “Skip.”

“My brother [Antoine] was already playing on the team and everyone called him ‘Hop,’ so my coach started calling me ‘Skip’ and it stuck,” said Hopkins.

Kindred spirits

Years after raising five children with her husband, Georgianna Faulk figured that her parenting days were over. But that changed when the couple gained custody of two of their grandsons nearly seven years ago.

The boys, then 4 and 5, were removed from their parents’ home because of abusive conditions there. (Neither parent is allowed to have contact with the boys until the children turn 19.)

Imagine that


Two Henrico County high school seniors teamed up to win awards in the Destination Imagination Beijing Invitational recently after competing together since third grade in the educational program.

Deep Run High School’s Gabby Levet and Douglas Freeman High School’s Charlie Bonner won first place among international teams in the National Geographic Challenge as well as second place at the high school level in the improvisation challenges. Destination Imagination is designed to offer challenges to competitors that encourage their interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) while celebrating creativity.

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