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RIR grandstands to become smoke-free

Cars may continue to smoke at RIR,
but fans no longer will be permitted to do so
in the grandstands this year.
Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz announced today that Richmond International Raceway’s grandstands will be smoke-free beginning this season. Fans who smoke may continue to do so, but in approved areas only. The new policy is in response to fan feedback, Fritz said.

“Beginning this season, smoking will not be permitted in and in front of the grandstands or in portals leading to seating areas,” said Fritz. “Additionally, restrooms, buildings and areas that were already smoke-free at Richmond International Raceway will continue to be smoke-free,” said Fritz. “We are implementing this policy based on comments received from fans. Those who wish to smoke may continue to do so in designated areas.”

Approved smoking areas include:
• underneath and behind the grandstands;
• designated areas of the Commonwealth Mezzanine concourse;
• all parking lots;
• the Midway;
• in the campgrounds;
• outdoors areas in fan hospitality;
• the Miller Lite Ultimate Tailgate area.

Grandstand ushers will monitor seating areas to ensure the grandstands remain smoke-free, track officials said. Fans will be able to notify an usher or use our text messaging service if they wish to report a violation of the non-smoking policy.

RIR previously announced that it would make seats wider and allow fans to bring larger coolers to the stands with them – up to 14 by 14 by 14 inches (six times larger than previously allowed).

Tickets for the Spring NASCAR Tripleheader Weekend at Richmond International Raceway go on sale this Friday at 8:30 a.m. The weekend includes the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (tickets start at $45), the Friday, April 29 BUBBA burger 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race (tickets start at $30) and the Thursday, April 28 NASCAR K&N Pro Series race (all tickets are $10).

Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Thursday and Friday.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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