Henrico County VA
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A garden grows

Three Chopt ES students create, complete project at VHBG

More than 30 fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Three Chopt Elementary Gifted Zone Center volunteered their time June 6 at the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls as part of a community service project.

The project was the culmination of a first-time assignment that Gifted Zone Center teachers Brettany Bailey, Kasey Kolste and Catherine Kelly created for their students this year. They required the more than 70 students from their three classes (one fourth-grade and two fifth-grade) to complete a community service research project focused on various local organizations. Each student then demonstrated – through persuasive presentations and essays that highlighted an organization – the groups for which they wanted to volunteer. Fellow students and teachers then conducted a series of votes to select one organization that the students would support, and fourth-grader Greta Shope’s project on VHBG was chosen.

Moving on up

Henrico County has seen a surge in the high-end housing market, with about 100 homes priced at more than $750,000 being bought or built in the last year, specifically in the Three Chopt and Tuckahoe magisterial districts.

HHHunt, a home developer based in Henrico, sold multiple homes in its new Ellington Woods community for more than $1 million recently, a trend that George Moore, vice president of development for HHHunt Communities, believes isn’t going to stop any time soon.

“When you talk about higher-priced homes, these areas are very desirable,” Moore said. “The schools in this area of Henrico County are ranked some of the highest in the state of Virginia; there is quality development, and people are looking for attractive communities with landscaping, high end amenities and the nearby services.”

Glen Allen Day scheduled for Saturday

Glen Allen Day 2014 will be held at Meadow Farm Museum-Crump Park, 3400 Mountain Road, Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will begin with a parade along Mountain Road and also will include a fair, cornhole tournament, live music and performances on two stages, a cornhole tournament, children's activities, a live animal petting zoo, face painting, games, an arts and crafts fair, vendors and more. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Making connections

Rising Henrico High School senior Olivia Faraone knew she wanted to build partnerships and friendships between students across a spectrum of talents, abilities and backgrounds at her school.

So this summer, she launched Camp Connected, a week-long summer camp that paired special needs participants with camp volunteers as part of the Students for Students club that works towards inclusion.

When Faraone began at Henrico High School, she noticed that students weren’t interacting with the special needs students. During her lunch break, she began visiting them in exceptional education teacher Anita Smith’s classroom.

A real barn-burner


Deeply rooted in the music history of Richmond, local performer and Sandston native Donna Dean, widow of Jimmy Dean, is reviving the Old Dominion Barn Dance. One of the oldest country music traditions, the show encompasses wholesome, live bluegrass and country entertainment and will premiere on Feb. 21 at the Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs.

From 1946-1957 The Old Dominion Barn Dance was the place to be on a Saturday night in Richmond. The country music radio show was broadcast over WRVA and was hosted by Mary Workman, known as “Sunshine Sue.” The show gave local performers a place to become stars, created a venue for national performers to shine, and popularized performers such as Andy Griffith, Grandpa Jones, Jimmy Dean, The Carter family, and more.

‘Theirs by the sword’


Next month, Henrico could play host to as many as 1,000 reenactors and 5,000 tourists and spectators from across the country, as history buffs and heritage-seekers visit Henrico for one of the most highly anticipated commemorations of the Civil War sesquicentennial. To mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of New Market Heights, reenactors will stage a re-creation of the historic conflict, complete with presentations by historians and accompanied by educational programs and live concerts of period music.

Among the spectators sure to be looking on with more than casual interest is James S. "Jimmy" Price, author of a book about the battle published in 2011, and a former employee of Henrico Recreation and Parks.

Let’s go racin’

On Sept. 6, Henrico County will play host to one of the most pivotal races of the NASCAR season: The Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

The behemoth that is a NASCAR race – drivers arriving in helicopters, pit crews in tractor trailers, fans in RVs and media in droves – will descend upon Henrico for 48 hours, beginning Sept. 5 with the Virginia529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series race.

For the uninitiated fans – the ones who every year are bothered by the traffic and the noise and don’t understand why people get so excited about “guys driving in circles" – here are five reasons to take a closer look at the race in our backyard:

Just winging it

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.

Into the fire

Teen Summer Fire Academy participants practice removing a body from a burning building.

The stage was set for an exercise at the Henrico County fire training facility last month. A three-story cinderblock structure represented the burning building. Traffic cones stood in each window, and dummies were hidden in the dark recesses within. Sirens could be heard in the distance.

Three fire trucks filled with trainees pulled up to the imaginary scene. Firefighters hopped out of one truck and initiated a search and rescue mission, soon emerging with one dummy and reentering to find another. Crew members from the second truck set up hoses, charged the lines and entered the building, expertly knocking down the cones with the water.

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