Henrico County VA

Stitching an American story

99-Year-Old Henrico woman spreads patriotism through crocheting

This Is One Really Incredible 99 Year Old.

Those words appear on a pillow in the center of Ersell Brinser’s bed. At the foot of the bed, you’ll find a pile of four folded blankets, all designed as American flags and crocheted by Brinser. Crocheting is how she spends her time when she isn’t watching Dr. Phil or Oprah.

Although she crochets many blankets with different color schemes, Brinser’s most popular design is the American flag. She recently presented a flag to Henrico County, her home for the majority of her life. She received a certificate of appreciation – and a personal visit – from County Manager John Vithoulkas.

Coal Pit offers opportunities for at-risk children

When the Coal Pit Learning Center opened in 1976, it was the vision of Dorothy Gallimore to provide children from low-income families with educational skills and a sound, safe environment to succeed in school. Almost 40 years later, it has transformed from an aging schoolhouse to a multipurpose facility that has doubled in size as the result of a budding relationship between Coal Pit and the Innsbrook Rotary.

“Innsbrook Rotary is a big believer in supporting issues with children, and when we learned about Coal Pit, we thought that was a great entity to support and we saw an opportunity to help the center grow,” said Wes York, Innsbrook Rotary president.


More than 60 members of Native American tribes from the United States and Canada celebrated their dancing, drumming, and singing traditions in a PowWow at the Osborne Park & Boat Landing in Varina June 28. The event was the first ever at the site, but the organizing Youghtanund Drummers hope to make it an annual event.

To the beat and singing of one of the four drummer/singer groups, dancers in different combinations and traditions moved rhythmically around a center circle under the scorching sun.

Fan Care program offers assistance to seniors

Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging, is helping older adults combat summer heat through the Fan Care program. Through Fan Care, adults ages 60 and older who meet eligibility requirements and have situations that are threatening their health receive fans and cooling assistance information.

Fan Care is made possible by funding from Dominion Virginia Power in conjunction with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

Henricus adding Church and Meeting Hall

The last heavy timber beams were fitted earlier this month week into the roof structure to complete the framing of the recreated 1611 Church and Meeting Hall at Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County. The building soon will complement the facilities of the open-air museum.

The church structure was the focus of civic activity within a settlement. The church served as a place of worship but also was a court of law and meeting space in 17th-century English culture. It was where information was disseminated, orders issued, grievances aired and discipline enforced.

New banners raised in Highland Springs

Along the streets in Eastern Henrico’s Highland Springs, bright banners can be seen on telephone poles, reminiscent of the ones that first were hung 20 years ago in an effort to liven the area. The banners are restoring pride and are part of a community’s answer to revitalization.

Peggy Reid, a longtime resident and member of the Highland Springs Garden Club, believed that the banners should be brought back to life after years of weathering. Reid approached Mark Romers, president of the Eastern Henrico Business Association, with a $500 check that sparked the project.

“I thought it was a great idea and something that the community would be behind,” said Romers. “We had similar ornamental street lights and signs, but over the years they became tattered and worn. It was about time.”

Highland Springs has been around since the 1890s and began as a streetcar suburb of Richmond on the Seven Pines Railway Company’s electric street railway.

Henrico woman wins $200k in lottery

LaJune Brown didn’t get much sleep the night before she claimed her prize in the Virginia Lottery’s Cash 5 game. The Henrico woman woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, so she decided to check her tickets. That’s when she discovered she had two tickets that matched all five winning numbers in the June 3 Cash 5 night drawing.

Those two tickets each won the game’s $100,000 top prize, for a total of $200,000. She bought both tickets at Quik Stop, 3200 Darbytown Road in Henrico.

The winning numbers were 5-8-12-20-29. She selected her numbers from important family dates.

Green buildings, solarized homes proliferating in Henrico

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of occasional articles about environmentally friendly efforts in Henrico County.

About four years ago, Henrico County's unofficial "green corridor" of Staples Mill Road took off on a growth spurt, adding in quick succession such LEED-certified buildings as Glen Allen High School, the renovated Glen Allen Library and a couple of solar homes.

The new Holman Middle School built on nearby Francistown Road also earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification thanks to such features as efficient mechanical equipment, high-performance lighting systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Recipe for disaster

Take three firefighters, assisted by three colleagues.

Add liberal doses of Spam, sausage sticks, canned tomatoes and chicken, pineapple and peaches; toss dough for a pizza; sprinkle with coconut, Craisins and pecans.

Heat three grills, allow 30 minutes, and what have you got?

If you were a judge at the first annual "Best Firehouse Cook" competition, the result was three mighty good meals.

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Hermitage High School Class of 1970 will hold its 45th reunion on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Jefferson Lakeside Country Club, 1700 Lakeside Ave. Cost… Full text

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