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Wayne Ah Ching Wong

November 2, 1952 - June 10, 2021

Wayne Ah Ching Wong, 68, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, June 10, 2021. He was the son of the late Ah Ching Wong and Sally & Franklin F. Grizzard. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, Franklin F. Grizzard, Jr. and P.Y. Wong.

Mr. Wong is survived by his devoted companion, Catherine; son, Nigel Wong (Jaclyn); daughter, Sara Wong Pace (Robert); grandchildren, Austin Pace and Brianne Pace; stepchildren, Daniel McElwee (Katie), Amber O’Neal (Nathan), Travis Mahaffey (Robin) and Jamie McDonald; 7 step-grandchildren; brothers, Dale Grizzard and Carl Grizzard (Carol); sister, Aisley Daniels, Lorna Wong and Christina Wong and numerous nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Wayne requested that there be no memorial service or funeral held.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Martha Purnell Byrd

April 15, 1937-June 7, 2021

Visitation Services

6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

11 a.m. Friday, June 11

Owen Funeral Home
303 S. Halifax Rd
Jarratt, Virginia

Mrs. Martha Purnell Byrd, 84, of Emporia, passed away Monday, June 7, 2021. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harry F. Byrd and brothers, Jerry Martin Purnell, Swanson Purnell and Ira Poteat Purnell.

Mrs. Byrd was a member of Faith Baptist Church. She had a strong work ethic and had worked at Dan River Mills in Danville before settling in Emporia where she worked at several jobs before using her home as a base for a thrift store selling home furnishings.

Mrs. Byrd is survived by her son, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (Tane Watson Byrd); grandson, William “Will” Watson Byrd; brothers, John Allen Purnell of San Antonio, TX, Ollie Keith Purnell (Emily) of Roxboro, NC, Ricky Gwynn Purnell of Elgin, SC, and Pete Preston Purnell of Blanche, NC; sister, Clara Jean Purnell of Tight Squeeze, VA and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 10 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, June 11. Entombment will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Faith Baptist Church, 951 W. Atlantic St. , Emporia, Virginia 23847.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

VCU Health CMH has a neurologist, Yasir Al-Khalili, MD, who is an assistant professor of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and treats patients with brain disorders in South Hill.

South Hill, VA (6/4/21) – June is designated Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. June contains the Summer Solstice: the longest day of the year. To combat the darkness of this disease, the Alzheimer’s Association choose the month with the most daylight. It’s a great time to make sure our loved ones are exercising their brains.

Use it or lose it. While you can’t do much to prevent Alzheimer’s, it is caused by brain cells that die off. The more time spent thinking hard exercises the brain, sending fuel and oxygen to keep it operating efficiently. That’s why it is so important to get involved during retirement – work a part-time job or volunteer in the community to keep your brain occupied. Play games that require periods of deep thinking like Scrabble, Sudoku and crossword puzzles. While age and genetics can make some people more susceptible to forms of dementia, you may be able to improve your chances by eating well, exercising and avoiding tobacco products.

In early 1900s, a German doctor named Alois Alzheimer first connected memory loss with microscopic brain alterations. Across the globe, 50 million people suffer from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

A lot of people confuse Alzheimer’s disease with dementia. Alzheimer’s progressively takes over the brain and is the most common form and cause of dementia. Dementia is not a disease; it is a collection of symptoms to include memory loss, difficulty speaking and comprehension that disrupt normal life.

Alzheimer’s is difficult to diagnose. Physicians look at the medical background, conduct an exam in the office, run blood work, and ask questions about how a patient thinks, acts and behaves in certain situations. Primary care physicians may conclude a patient exhibits overall dementia signs but may not be able to diagnose the specific disease.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) has a neurologist who may be able to help improve symptoms, but there is no cure.

Yasir Al-Khalili, MD, said, “Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia; many conditions can mimic Alzheimer’s disease in the beginning. It is very important to seek neurological advice if you are concerned about a family member as it is imperative to catch early and slow the progression of disease.’’

For those who need an extended level of care beyond what families can provide, VCU Health CMH offers home health, long-term care and hospice to support the families of this community. Call (434) 447-0831 for CMH Home Health and Hospice and (434) 584-4054 for The Hundley Center, a long-term care and skilled nursing facility.

To make an appointment with a primary care physician at VCU Health CMH, call (434) 584-2273 or visit vcu-cmh.org for more information.

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VIRGINIA’S ANNUAL CRIME ANALYSIS REPORT NOW AVAILABLE ON VIRGINIA STATE POLICE WEBSITE

RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2020, is now available online.  The Crime in Virginia report continues to provide precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses and arrests by the reporting agency.

Violent crime includes the offenses of murder, forcible sex offenses (rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object per the FBI’s updated rape definition), robbery and aggravated assault. Overall, Virginia experienced a 1.9 percent decrease in violent crime offenses compared to 2019. There were 15,713 violent crime offenses reported in 2020 compared to 16,018 violent crime offenses in 2019.

The following 2020 crime figures in Virginia are presented in the report:

  • The number of reported homicides increased from 428 to 528 (23.4%).  Victims and offenders tended to be younger males; 45.1% of homicide victims were men between 18 and 34 and 52.7% of offenders were men between 18 and 34.  Nearly half (49.2%) of all homicides occurred at a residence/home.
  • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts increased 6% compared to 2019 during which 10,575 motor vehicles were stolen in 10,044 offenses. During 2020, there were 11,209 motor vehicles reported stolen in 10,773 offenses. In 2020, 6,366 motor vehicles were recovered (vehicles may have been stolen prior to 2020).  Of all motor vehicles stolen, 40.2% were taken from the residence/home.  The reported value of all motor vehicles stolen was $113,993,341.
  • Drug arrests decreased by more than a third (36.7%) with the largest percentage decrease in the under 18 age group (48.6%).  The number of reports of drugs seized decreased for nearly all drug types, especially marijuana (31.7%), due in part to decriminalization of possessing less than 1 ounce of the drug effective July 1, 2020.
  • Burglary decreased 18.4%. Of the 11,413 burglaries and attempted burglaries, more than half (52.2%) took place at night between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., a reverse pattern from 2019 during which 54.8% of burglaries occurred during the day.  Furthermore, 68% occurred at a residence/home, a decrease of 7.3% over the previous year.
  • Of the known weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were used in 83% of homicides and 50.4% of robberies. Firearms were used in more than one-third (35.2%) of aggravated assault cases.
  • There were 190 hate crime offenses, involving 193 victims, reported in 2020 representing a 2.7% increase compared to 2019. Two offenses indicated more than one type of bias motivation. Nearly three-fourths (72.8%) were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward sexual orientation and religion were next highest (14.4%, 11.8%, respectively). Of all reported bias motivated crime, 77.4% were assault offenses (aggravated assault, simple assault) or destruction/damage/vandalism of property.    

The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses, and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 206,609 arrests in 2020 compared to 274,636 arrests in 2019, representing an overall decrease in arrests in Virginia of 24.8%.

Per state mandate, the Virginia Department of State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI for incorporation into their annual report, Crime in the United States.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

General Employee: A General Employee assists in various department by performing a variety of duties as assigned by the Supervisor, Lead Person and/or Manager.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk, reach with hands and arms, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance.  The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 40 lbs.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to extreme cold.  Job Order # 2327479

Agricultural Equipment: Work is seasonal from 8/1/2021 through 12/1/2021. Applicants must be available for the entire period of intended employment. Equipment operator needed to perform various duties associated with the production, cultivation, and harvest of soybean, corn, wheat, and rape seed crops. Work may include mechanized field work using power equipment. Equipment may include tractors, sprayers, cultivators, and other farm equipment. Position requires the ability to operate up to 24 row equipment equivalent to a Case 7240, 350 hp combine, a Case 2240 sprayer, Holland T8 330 hp tractor, and any other GPS guided equipment. Also, must operate a grain cart which is a trailer towed by a tractor with a built-in auger conveyor system, with a large capacity  Job Order # 2321698

Jail Sergeant: Southside Regional Jail Authority in Emporia, Va. Is seeking a Jail Sergeant. The Sergeant serves as the Assistant Shift Commander for Jail Security Staff and acts as the Shift Commander in the absence of the Lieutenant. Please see agency website for further information  Job Order # 2320992

Packer: Prepping and packing absorption products. Removing or shifting materials to facilitate proper flow. Ensure package and product quality. Cleaning equipment and area before, during, and after shift.   Job order # 2319913

Production Worker:  Responsible for producing ready to sell cakes, cookies, and brownies. This position includes icing runners, mixers, cake breakout, machine operators, decorators, rose production, domers, laberlers, packers, palletizers and cookie line operators. Basic duties includes icing, smoothing and decorating cakes. Assist in preparation of cookies and brownies.  Job order 2309580

THESE AND ALL JOBS WITH THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT

ww.vawc.virginia.gov

The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Northam Urges Virginians to Prepare Now for 2021 Hurricane Season

Early predictions indicate active, above-normal Atlantic hurricane season

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam is calling on all Virginians to prepare now for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, which starts June 1 and lasts through November 30. The beginning of hurricane season is the ideal time for Virginians learn their risk for inland or coastal flooding, find out which evacuation zone they are in, and develop an emergency plan for their families or businesses.

“Hurricanes and tropical storms can have devastating impacts on every part of our Commonwealth, not just coastal communities,” said Governor Northam. “As the 2021 hurricane season begins, now is the time for all Virginians to prepare for a potential storm by checking your insurance coverage, making an emergency plan, and having a disaster kit ready.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center predicts an above-normal 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, with a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 5 major hurricanes. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season had a record-breaking 30 named tropical storms, including 13 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes. Virginia has been prone to many impacts from tropical systems including damaging winds, flooding, and tornadoes. Even storms that start in the lower Atlantic states have the potential to cause significant damage.

“Hurricane preparedness is even more important today, as we have seen an increase in the number and intensity of storms in recent years,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “Together with all of our emergency management and public safety partners across the Commonwealth, we have spent months preparing for hurricane season, and we encourage Virginians to make plans to protect their families and property.”

Virginians are encouraged to review the Virginia Hurricane Evacuation Guide During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which includes information on preparedness, response, and recovery activities in the event of tropical weather, particularly for coastal evacuation areas of the Commonwealth. This year’s guide includes pandemic considerations, recognizing that COVID-19 is still circulating and there are still many unvaccinated individuals, including younger Virginians.

“Disasters and emergencies don’t affect everyone equally and we know that low-income and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted,” said Curtis Brown, State Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “We have made significant progress building equity into Virginia’s emergency management programs and will continue working to support at-risk populations well in advance of any event.”

Before peak storm season gets underway, all Virginians and those visiting the Commonwealth are encouraged to prepare by knowing your risk, purchasing flood insurance or reviewing your policy, and create an emergency plan that includes arrangements for your pets. Learn what to do to protect yourself, your loved ones, your property, and your community by taking these steps:

  • Know your zone. Evacuation may become necessary depending on the track and severity of the storm. Review Virginia’s evacuation zones at KnowYourZoneVA.org. It is important to note that the zone colors have been updated. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar of the website to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.
  • Complete a family communication plan. Prepare for how you will assemble and communicate with your family and loved ones. Identify meeting locations and anticipate where you will go. Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance on family communications plans is available here.
  • Check your insurance coverage. Remember, there may be a waiting period for a flood insurance policy to become effective, and be aware that not all hurricane-related losses, such as flooding, are covered under traditional policies. Now is the time to review your coverage and contact your insurance agent for any changes. If you are not insured against floods, talk to your insurance agent or visit floodsmart.gov. If you are a renter, now is the time to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your belongings.
  • Make an emergency kit. Assemble an emergency kit that includes nonperishable food, water, medication, sanitary supplies, radios, extra batteries, and important documents. Learn more about building an emergency supply kit here.
  • Stay informed. Identify where to go for trusted sources of information during emergencies. Check with your local emergency management office to sign up for alerts that go directly to your phone or email. Be sure to monitor local news for watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Power outages are always a concern during weather events—make sure you have a battery-operated radio available so you can still receive life-saving alerts.

There are many resources available to assist with hurricane planning efforts. Learn more about preparing your business, your family, and your property against hurricane threats at vaemergency.gov/hurricanes and ready.gov/hurricanes. Additional information about preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

 

Annual Nursing Award Winners at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital

On May 12, VCU Health CMH celebrated its 2021 Nursing Award recipients.

South Hill, VA (6/3/21) – On May 12, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) celebrated its 2021 Nursing Award recipients. Hospital employees and family members gathered on the chilly afternoon in the Healing Garden amidst a light rain and honored the legacy of VCU Health CMH nursing professionals by whose namesake the awards were created. Recipients received a certificate, a bouquet of flowers and an engraved award. Attendees celebrated the winners with cupcakes.

Yolanda Sallie, of South Hill, won the Dee McMillan Nurse Partner Award. Yolanda is a Care Partner in Acute Care.

In her nomination, a co-worker wrote, “Yolanda is always willing to help no matter what is asked of her. She is flexible and transitions easily. She treats everyone equally, makes sure that care is ethical and that each patient is treated by her with a non-judgmental, dignified and caring attitude. She is careful to respect everyone while communicating the needs and promoting the well-being of the patient. Yolanda is committed to every patient being cared for and all tasks being completed and goes as far as to help other care partners with their duties to ensure they are completed on shift. She always has a smile and an amazing attitude, which helps establish a positive atmosphere.”

Amy Lacks, LPN, of Kenbridge, earned the Carol Love Practical Nursing Award. Amy is a nurse for CMH Home Health and Hospice.

Her nomination said, “Amy values her relationships with providers, patients, patients’ family members and her fellow team members. As a result, her customer service is always top notch and frequently includes her going above and beyond the duties of her job. She has been witnessed advocating for patients on numerous occasions. Team members and patients feel comfortable and trust her. Many team members have been observed stating that Amy cannot have a day off because ‘they don’t know what they are going to do without her.’ Amy is promoting professional growth by pursing her LPN to RN-BSN. She is the very first LPN at VCU Health CMH to pursue her LPN to RN in this manner and has paved the way for others like her to include institution of a clinical model here at CMH that supports her program requirements.”

Alfreda Brown, RN, BSN, of Boydton, received the Alice Tudor Professional Nursing Award. Alfreda is the Hospice Clinical Coordinator.

Her supervisor said, “Alfreda is a respected leader among her peers and her commitment to excellence can easily be recognized in her day-to-day work. She has fostered relationships with her team members and developed a trust among them that enables her the unique ability to influentially teach and educate. Team members have come to rely on her as a support and have verbalized a sense of security from her commitment to them. I have observed her quickly jump in to see patients when staffing was short, work after hours to support new team members during an emergency admission and juggle the ever-changing world of COVID with a continued smile on her face. During recent ice storms, she tirelessly worked to contact patients and families and ensure that their medical needs were able to be met. She approaches the hard-to-answer questions surrounding terminal illness with an openness and honesty that is appreciated and valued by patients and their loved ones.”

A recording of the awards ceremony can be viewed on YouTube at youtu.be/xRCOjrJUM6g. Congratulations to the winners!

TRAFFIC CRASHES CLAIM 14 LIVES DURING 2021 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Lack of Seat Belt Usage Continues to Contribute to Lives Lost

RICHMOND – The 2021 Memorial Day weekend not only saw an increase in overall traffic volumes on Virginia’s highways, but also an increase in traffic deaths. Preliminary reports indicate 14 people lost their lives during the four-day, holiday statistical counting period. During the same statistical counting period in 2020, traffic crashes on Virginia highways resulted in eight deaths.

Of the 14 individuals killed this year on Virginia highways, two were riding on motorcycles and eight were not wearing a seat belt. The statistical counting period began at 12:01 a.m. Friday (May 28) and ended at midnight Monday (May 31).

The fatal crashes occurred in the cities of Richmond and Virginia Beach, and the counties of Botetourt, Bedford, Northampton, Cumberland, Chesterfield, Prince George, Tazewell, Amherst, Fairfax and Albemarle. The two fatal motorcycle crashes occurred in the city of Virginia Beach and Tazewell County.

"I understand that most Virginians have been driving less in the past year. They may be feeling a bit green in the driver seat and their patience may be a bit short,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “But the rules of the road haven’t changed and safety on the roadways should be of paramount concern to everyone. This holiday weekend, as well as the entire year so far, have seen far too many people lose their lives on Virginia’s highways. Speeding, reckless driving and distractions are leading to tragedy. Every one of these actions is a choice, a choice that has left too many families in mourning. In addition, eight people made the choice not to buckle up, a simple action that could have saved their lives and kept a family whole. Virginia State Police urge all Virginia drivers to step up and make safe decisions when they get into their vehicles. You have the opportunity to break this devastating streak.”

This year, the Memorial Day Operation C.A.R.E. Initiative fell within the annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign. During the entire statistical counting period for “Click It or Ticket” and the Memorial Day weekend which ran from 12:01 a.m. May 24 through midnight May 31, Virginia Troopers cited 5,553 speeders and 1,818 reckless drivers and arrested 79 impaired drivers. In addition, 740 individuals were cited for seat belt violations and 281 felony arrests were made. Virginia State Police also assisted 2,302 disabled motorists.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

Suffolk Peanut Fest Returns for Fall 2021

SUFFOLK, VA: Suffolk Festivals, Inc. is pleased to announce the return of Suffolk Peanut Fest, offering a three-day family festival, Friday, October 8, through Sunday, October 10, 2021. As with most large public events, the 2020 Suffolk Peanut Fest was cancelled due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. With the current easing of restrictions by Virginia Governor Northam, Suffolk Festival’s volunteer event planners are racing to produce a quality event for the Hampton Roads community.

“We are excited to bring back Suffolk Peanut Fest, especially after a year of restricted gatherings and events. While 2021 looks a little different, it is our goal to incorporate our festival traditions while adding new fun elements,” according to Lisa Key, Suffolk Festivals’ Executive Director. “We have a short time to pull a large event together and we are ready for the challenge.” Festival details will continue to emerge as plans develop. Keep up to date at SuffolkPeanutFest.com.

The 43rd Annual Suffolk Peanut Fest is scheduled for October 8-10, 2021. General admission is $10 per person; Children 6 & under are free. Parking is free. For more information about Suffolk Peanut Fest and associated concerts, events and games, log onto SuffolkPeanutFest.com or contact Suffolk Festivals at 757.539.6751. facebook.com/SuffolkPeanutFest Sponsorship, vendor and exhibitor opportunities available.

SBA Launches 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, Debuts SBIR Catalyst to Award over $5 Million in Prizes

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) with the addition of a new component aimed at spurring investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. The 2021 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst programs will recognize the nation’s most innovative organizations with inclusive approaches towards supporting entrepreneurs in research and development (R&D). New to this year’s competition, two tracks will run totaling over $5 million in cash prizes.

“The Growth Accelerator and SBIR Catalyst programs are important parts of our efforts to support high-tech, deep-tech startups, by developing a network that targets the unique needs of pre-revenue, R&D-focused businesses,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.  “We are committed to equity and will award prizes to organizations that are finding ways to inclusively support underserved entrepreneurs -- including women, people of color, and individuals living in underrepresented geographic regions -- so that they can participate, contribute, and benefit from the U.S. innovation ecosystem.”

Track 1-The Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC): Prizes of $50,000 will be awarded to accelerators, incubators, and related entrepreneur programs proposing impactful assistance to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)/R&D entrepreneurs. This year, the competition will award an estimated 84 prizes to successful applicants who focus their proposed efforts on assisting the following groups: women entrepreneurs, minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs building technologies to address key policy issues such as clean energy and supply chain resilience, or an underserved target group identified by the applicant (i.e., rural, veterans, individuals with disabilities, etc.).

Track 2- SBIR Catalyst: For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations in support of SBIR/STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) applicants and awardees, fulfilling SBA’s mission of addressing gaps in access to the innovation economy for communities of color, women entrepreneurs, and rural communities.

For both tracks, applicants must submit a brief 12-slide presentation addressing the relevant elements of their track and a video narrative of no more than 90 seconds. Panels of expert judges from the private and public sector with experience in early stage investment, entrepreneurship, academia, startups and economic development will review proposals.

Competition rules, requirements and additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/accelerators.

 

Submission period: May 26, 2021 4:00 PM EDT to June 25, 2021 4:00 PM EDT 

Winners to Be Announced: August 2021

USDA Awards Jackson-Feild Grant

Public and private school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) were notified by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) of an opportunity to participate in a competitive process to distribute NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant funds under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law 116-94) for federal fiscal year 2020. The Equipment Assistance Grant funds allow approved SFAs to purchase equipment needed to serve healthier school meals, improve food safety, and support the establishment, maintenance, and/or expansion of the School Breakfast Program (SBP).

Jackson-Feild applied for and was awarded an Equipment Assistance Grant to purchase a walk-in freezer. The award equaled the actual cost of the walk-in freezer, which included installation costs.

The new walk-in freezer expands storage capacity and the ability to accept food donations. The kitchen staff at Jackson-Feild have been requesting a walk-in freezer for years. Jackson-Feild is an equal opportunity provider.

Napoleon Bonaparte once said that an army marches on its stomach. Children living in a residential setting are cognizant of their food much like Napoleon’s army. At Jackson-Feild, we try diligently to provide nutritious meals with a side of fun by offering dishes from a variety of cultures and nationalities.

Jackson-Feild is thankful to the VDOE's Office of School Nutrition Programs and the United States Department of Agriculture for the walk-in freezer, which will serve its need well for years to come.

June 1 Update from Congressman Donald McEachin

This past month I hosted a Tri-Cities tele- town hall with Delegate Lashrecse Aird and Dr. Katrina Sephrey, an epidemiologist with the Crater Health District. We were able to share information on access to vaccines as well as up to date statistics on the pandemic. Constituents asked many questions on all kinds of issues and I was glad to be able to provide responses and assistance.  If you missed this one, I will be having other constituent focused events soon.

I also hosted an informational session for students interested in attending one of the US Service Academies with Representatives Luria, Wittman, and Scott. This was an opportunity for high schoolers to hear from representatives of the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Members of these institutions described the admissions process for each of their academies and took questions.

For students who are interested in attending a service academy, the application process is arduous, so we were happy to have the opportunity to ease concerns and respond to questions. I’m eager to see this year’s applicants from our congressional district.

The pandemic has caused many people to struggle with rent. Therefore, I want to make sure that constituents know that some assistance may be available. Please check this website for more information about how to receive help: https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/rrp

Lastly, with the income tax return deadline just a few weeks ago, many people are wondering about the status of their return. You can find out if your return has been received, if the refund is approved and if your refund has been sent here:https://www.irs.gov/refunds. Additionally, If you have not yet received your payment from the most recent COVID Relief legislation (the American Recovery Act), this link can help find the status of your payment: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

SVCC Nurse Aide Graduates

Congratulations to the recent graduates of the Southside Virginia Community College Nurse Aide program held at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Emporia.  For more information about the program, please contact Erica Randoloph, Site Coordinator and Student Ambassador Advisor, at (434) 634-9358.

Shannon Crawley

Shanece Archie 

Alicia Pegram

Nyesha Pierce

Audrey Johnson

Summer Fun at the Library

The Meherrin Regional Library invites children of all ages to participate in their Summer Reading Program by keeping track of books read during the summer, and attending FREE events at the Brunswick County Library (BCL) in Lawrenceville and the W. E. Richardson Memorial Library (RML) in Emporia. Children who reach their age group’s reading goal will win a free book. Those who read the most books in their age group will win a Top Reader Grand Prize.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

July 1st

 

Dinosaurs Rock at Brunswick County Library at 10:30

Oceans Rock at Richardson Memorial Library at 2:00

*This is a virtual event that may also be attended via ZOOM from home. Visit the Library’s website for links*

 

July 8th

 

All-Day Make & Take Craft – Picture Frame

 

July 15th

VA Cooperative Extension (BCL at 10:30 & RML at 2:00)

July 22nd

 

All-Day Make & Take Craft – Planter Pot

 

July 29th

Mad Science (BCL at 10:30 & RML at 2:00)

 

 

To learn more about Summer Reading at the Library, stop by your closest branch or contact the Brunswick County Library at (434) 848-2418 x301, or the Richardson Memorial Library at (434) 634-2539. Visit www.meherrinlib.org for more information, or follow the Meherrin Regional Library on Facebook @meherrinregionallibrary.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING URGES OLDER VIRGINIANS TO BE WARY OF FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION

~ Herring highlights resources for older Virginians to help prevent them from becoming victims of scams and other financial exploitation ~

RICHMOND (March 5, 2021) – As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Mark R. Herring is highlighting resources for older Virginians to help prevent them from becoming victims of scams and other kinds of financial exploitation. Attorney General Herring and his team have worked hard to educate Virginia’s older population through Triad chapters around the Commonwealth. Additionally, Attorney General Herring has taken on businesses that have defrauded elderly and disabled consumers, including securing a permanent injunction against Jim Clore and his companies Access Mobility, LLC and 2911 Mobility, LLC for their fraudulent actions.

“Unfortunately, too often scammers and fraudsters try to take advantage of Virginia’s older population, because they believe they’re easily scammed,” said Attorney General Herring. “My team and I have worked hard to make sure that Virginia’s seniors are the most informed group in the Commonwealth so that we can help prevent as many from falling victim to scams and other fraud as possible. It’s despicable that individuals prey upon older Virginians to make money and my office will remain dedicated to putting a stop to these scammers and bringing those that are successful to justice.”

“Financial exploitation of older Virginians is a growing problem with losses in the millions of dollars each year. A lot of these crimes go unreported because people are embarrassed about being victimized. We can't let these perpetrators control the financial future of older Virginians. Contacting Adult Protective Services is another way to stop financial abuse and prevent it from happening again,” said Paige McCleary, Director of Adult Protective Services at the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

Access Mobility and Jim Clore

In November 2020, Attorney General Herring secured a Permanent Injunction and Final Order against James R. Clore, Jr., Access Mobility Equipment, LLC, and 2911 Mobility, LLC for defrauding elderly and disabled consumers out of thousands of dollars they paid for the delivery and installation of mobility aids and equipment, and for undertaking contracting work without a license. In addition to prohibiting future violations of the law, the Permanent Injunction and Final Order awarded the Commonwealth judgments totaling $84,290.68 in restitution for affected consumers, $220,000.00 in civil penalties, and $64,238.25 in attorneys’ fees and costs. 

Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation is the mishandling, obtaining by fraud or deception, or theft of someone’s income, money, accounts, assets, or property by another person, either a friend, a family member, a caregiver, a neighbor, a bogus charity, a business, or even a stranger. Below are some ways that older Virginians can protect themselves from becoming the victim of financial exploitation:

  • Stay socially active. Being alone increases your risk of becoming a victim of financial exploitation. Become familiar with programs in your community that bring people together and support older adults and individuals with a disability.

  • Plan Ahead. Document your financial arrangements. Planning for your future gives you control over your assets and resources. Put your wishes concerning financial arrangements in writing. It reduces the chance of a misunderstanding.

  • Don’t give away property to anyone in exchange for lifelong care. Before you enter into an agreement with a person to provide you lifelong care, discuss the arrangement with an attorney, a financial advisor, or other professional you trust. Spell out what compensation, if any, will be paid to the caregiver.

  • Never sign anything you do not understand. If you are asked to sign a document, have someone you trust review it with you. Know what the document is about and get clear answers to questions before you sign anything.

  • Be careful when you give someone power of attorney. Before you assign a power of attorney, be sure you understand the agreement and the authority you are giving to your power of attorney.

  • Keep track of your financial documents and personal items. Monitor your savings, checking or retirement account balances. Contact your financial institution if you see accounting irregularities. Keep an inventory of your jewelry and other personal items. A person may try to take these items without your permission.

  • Be aware of scams. Many door-to-door, telephone, and internet solicitations are scams. Be concerned if you are told that you “have just won a prize!” If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you believe you or someone you know is being financially exploited, please call your local department of social services or you can call the 24-hour Adult Protective Services hotline at (888) 832-3858. Learn more about financial exploitation at the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services website.

Scams Targeted at Older Virginians

Some warning signs to look out for so you don’t become the victim of a scam are:

  • "Free" gifts that require you to pay shipping and handling fees, redemption fees or gift taxes before delivery

  • "High profit, no-risk" investments

  • "Act now" and other high pressure sales tactics

  • A request for a credit card number for identification purposes or to verify that you have won a prize

  • Refusal to provide written information or even the most basic details about an organization

  • Organizations that are unfamiliar or have only a post office box for an address

Below are some common scams targeted at older Virginians:

  • Telemarketing fraud – Every day, older adults receive phone calls from solicitors who tell them, "This is your lucky day." Telemarketing is a huge business in the United States. However, there is no way to tell how much telemarketing is fraudulent, because victims are often too embarrassed to report their losses to the police. Fraudulent telemarketers are often difficult to catch because they have a fly-by-night style of operation. They often work in "boiler-rooms," which involve leased space with banks of telephones, staffed by scam artists. 

  • Romance scams – Romance scams start when the scammer creates a fake online dating profile and then strikes up a relationship with their target in order to build trust. Once that relationship has been created, they’ll make up some kind of story and ask for money. Any love interest who asks you to give them money through gift cards, cryptocurrency, or through a money transfer is a scammer.

  • Grandparent scams – In grandparent scams, bad actors pose as someone’s panicked grandchild in trouble and they call or send messages or emails asking for money to be wired to them immediately. Oftentimes, they’ll say that they need cash to help with an emergency, like needing to leave a foreign country, posting bail, or paying some kind of bill. They take advantage of a grandparent being worried about their grandchild in order to try and take their money.

Virginia Triad

During his time in office, Attorney General Herring has made protecting Virginia’s seniors a top priority and the Office of Attorney General even houses the Virginia Triad Office, making Virginia the only state in the country with a statewide coordinated office at the executive level of government. Triad is a cooperative effort between law enforcement agencies (police/fire/sheriffs), senior citizens, and senior organizations, across the Commonwealth.

The goal of Triad is to reduce the fear of crime and victimization among seniors by increasing awareness of scams and frauds, strengthening communication between the law enforcement and senior communities, and promoting awareness of local and state resources that may benefit them. Local Triad chapters meet regularly and host a variety of educational programs and social opportunities that emphasize crime prevention and promote connection and senior safety. The Office of the Attorney General provides technical assistance and support to local Triad chapters by assisting in the development of new chapters, hosting the annual Triad conference, and funding grant opportunities. Today, Virginia has over 200 cities, counties, and towns with signed Triad agreements and has been recognized by the National Association of Triads, Inc. as having the highest number of active local groups nationwide.

If someone believes they have been a victim of financial fraud or a scam they should contact Attorney General Herring's Consumer Protection Section to file a complaint or to get additional information about any consumer protection related matter:

 

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