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Community Lenten Services

Luncheon will be served after each Wednesday Noon Service for a small donation.

March 27 - 12 Noon First Presbyterian Church Rev. Dr. Rick Hurst

April 3 12 - Noon Calvary Baptist Church Rev. Dr. Doretha Allen

April 10 - 12 Noon St. Richard’s Catholic Church Rev. Tom Durrance

April 18 - 7 pm Elnora Jarrell Worship Center Rev. Harry Zeiders

April 19 - 11 am Calvary Baptist Church (Radio Baptist) Various Pastors and Leaders Hour of Prayer

The offering: we have given two $500 scholarships to seniors in the past. We will contact these two students and if they are still at their schools with passing grades, we will give them another $500 each and any money above $1000.00 we be given to Thomas Family Boots On the Ground Outreach.

Marjorie Baird “Margie” King

January 19, 1943 - March 19, 2019

Visitation Services

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 2:00 P.M.

Main St. United Methodist Church

Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 12:00 noon

Main St. United Methodist Church

 

Marjorie Baird “Margie” King, 76, died Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

Margie was a native of Lawrenceville and lived most of her adult life in Emporia. She was the daughter of the late Hobart Maryland and Blanche Edwards Baird. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother; Leroy Baird and his wife Elaine and three brothers in law; John Hartley, Carter Harris, and George Roberts.

Margie was a longtime active member of Main St. United Methodist Church and the founding Member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority in Emporia. She loved her family, friends, and her community and always had a gracious smile and hug for everyone she met.

Margie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Malcolm Lee King, Jr., daughter; Michelle King Edmonds and her husband Scott and grandson Ryan Scott Edmonds all of South Hill, brother; Joseph Edgar “J.E” Baird and his wife Cordie of Colonial Heights, sisters; Catherine Hartley of Charlotte, NC and Mary Carter Harris Roberts of Freeman, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of her life will be held Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. at Main St. United Methodist Church in Emporia with Rev. Tom Durrance officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from Noon until service time.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, C/O Barbara Moore, Treasurer, 626 Madison Street, Emporia, VA  23847 or Main Street United Methodist Church, 105 Church Street, Emporia, VA  23847.

Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

Environmental Groups Glad About Coal Ash Cleanup Law

By Adrian Teran-Tapia, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Environmental and consumer groups applauded Gov. Ralph Northam after he signed legislation this week that aims to protect water quality by cleaning up more than 27 million cubic yards of coal ash from unlined ponds in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Northam signed into law SB 1355, sponsored by Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, and HB 2786, sponsored by Del. Riley Ingram, R-Hopewell. The legislation seeks to clean up coal ash sites in the city of Chesapeake and in Prince William, Chesterfield and Fluvanna counties.

The ash is the byproduct of coal-fired power plants operated by Dominion Energy. The law will require Dominion to move the coal ash to lined landfills or recycling it in a safe manner. It will also require the closure and removal of any coal combustion residuals units, including coal ash ponds or landfills, within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

“The potential risks to public health and water quality posed by unlined coal ash ponds in the commonwealth are far too great for us to continue with business as usual,” Northam said. “This historic, bipartisan effort sets a standard for what we can achieve when we work together, across party lines, in the best interest of all Virginians. I am proud to sign this legislation into law.”

Ingram echoed those sentiments.

“I was pleased to see that the General Assembly, the governor, House, Senate and Dominion were able to all come together and come up with a great solution for the coal ash ponds and in my opinion for the betterment of everyone,” Ingram said.

The bills were co-sponsored by several lawmakers, including Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, and Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William. They contributed key components, including a ban on “cap in place” closure of unlined ponds — a method critics said could lead to water pollution. Another component is a requirement that at least 25 percent of the coal ash be recycled for concrete or other beneficial uses.

“I think this represents the first time Virginia has adopted environmental regulations that are more protective of the environment than federal law,” Surovell said. “This represents an important step forward for environmental protections in Virginia.”

Carroll Foy said she was proud that “bipartisan hard work” produced the legislation.

“At town halls and meetings with my constituents, I promised that I would fight for legislation to recycle coal ash into concrete and other materials and to excavate and remove the remainder of coal ash to lined landfills because it was the most effective way to protect public health and the environment,” Carroll Foy said.

The cleanup is expected to cost several billion dollars. Under the new law, Dominion will be able to pass on the cost to its customers. As a result, state officials have estimated, the average monthly electric bill will increase by about $5.

The Potomac Riverkeeper Network thanked Northam and state legislators for working across party lines to pass the legislation.

“This legislation, which is a result of four years of persistent work by Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks and our Virginia partners, is an historic step to solve the serious and lingering pollution problem of legacy coal ash,” said Nancy Stoner, the network’s president.

She said that four years ago, Naujoks began testing water wells near some of Dominion’s coal ash ponds and discovered that lead and arsenic had contaminated nearby groundwater.

“The dangers of coal ash, leaking into groundwater, drinking wells, our rivers and streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay, have long been documented, and we’re proud of our role in fixing the problem,” Naujoks said.

Kendyl Crawford, director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, said the new law was a step in the right direction. But she said the state should have required Dominion to bear the cost of the cleanup.

“It is long overdue that decades-old toxic coal ash is finally being addressed after having poisoned Virginia’s waterways. Removing millions of cubic yards of toxic material along waterways to safe, lined landfills is a step towards a healthier and more just state. Now, we have a moral responsibility to ensure that all coal ash, including that outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is safely recycled and disposed,” Crawford said.

“While we applaud the signing of this legislation that cleans up coal ash, once again Dominion, one of our electric utility monopolies, has shown their influence by pushing the fiscal burden to fall on electricity consumers.”

Ruby Estell Ferguson Pearson

November 4, 1921-March 18, 2019

Visitation Services

Friday, March 22, 2019, from 1:00 – 2:00

Forest Hill Baptist Church

Friday, March 22, 2019, from 2:00

Forest Hill Baptist Church

Ruby Estell Ferguson Pearson, at the age of 97, went to be with the Lord on March 18, 2019. She was born November 4, 1921, the oldest daughter of the late Joseph Wyatt and Annie Harrell Ferguson of Emporia VA. She was preceded in death by her husband, Major B. Pearson and daughter Virginia P. King, brothers, Kennon Ferguson Sr., C. Wade Ferguson, and H. Clayton Ferguson, sisters, Mamie F. Driver, Erma F. Vincent and Avis F. Frazier.

She is survived by her Son-in-law, Charles P. King, Grandsons, Stacy L. King (Amy Walton) and Stephen E. King. Great-Grandson, Kirby Dale King, sister Betty F. Veliky and brother Melvin L. Ferguson.

She was an active member of Forest Hill Baptist Church until her health started to decline several years ago. She loved her Lord and Savior, family, friends and Church family. She worked at Emporia Garment Factory until she retired. She loved family history and researched and gathered information for picture albums of the Ferguson and Pearson families.

Ruby loved and appreciated the staff at Northampton Nursing Home Complex, Jackson NC. Pauline, the Director of Activities encouraged her to play BINGO, and she did play twice a week up until about two weeks ago. The family thanks Emily Spence for being such a special care giver.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 22, 2019, from 1:00 – 2:00 at Forest Hill Baptist Church with Funeral Service at 2:00 with Rev. Terry Corder officiating.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery Fund 5010 Brink Road, Emporia VA 23847

 

 

Echols Funeral Home of Emporia VA will be in charge of arrangements.

 

 

Online condolence may be made to the family at: www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Trump’s Business Dealings Violate Constitution, Attorneys General Say

By Benjamin West, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Flanked by U.S. flags, two attorneys general argued Tuesday that President Donald Trump is violating the constitutional ban against government officials accepting gifts or favors.

Attorneys General Karl Racine of the District of Columbia and Brian Frosh of Maryland — both Democrats — made that assertion at a press conference regarding the latest chapter in an ongoing legal battle between the two jurisdictions and Trump.

In mid-2017, D.C. and Maryland sued Trump, alleging that the president has violated the emolument clauses of the U.S. Constitution as a result of his domestic and foreign business dealings through the Trump Organization. The case was heard Tuesday by a panel of three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The Department of Justice continues to take the position that President Trump is above the law and that somehow, the Constitution’s anti-corruption law should not apply to him,” Racine said.

The suit involves two clauses in the U.S. Constitution:

  • The Domestic Emoluments Clause states that the president cannot profit domestically in business dealings aside from his salary, currently $400,000 per year.
  • The Title of Nobility Clause states that the federal government cannot distribute titles of nobility and that no government official can “accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind, whatever” from any foreign country without the approval of Congress.

“He’s trying to negotiate the terms of the Constitution,” Frosh said. “We have the right to have the president put our interests first and it appears that he’s not doing that, he’s putting his financial interests first.”

Racine pointed to the “horrific killing” of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, widely reported to have been orchestrated by the Saudi leadership.

“We now as Americans have to ask ourselves whether the administration’s reaction to that horrific murder was for valid diplomatic reasons, or whether it’s because the president of the United States has a financial interest that he is seeking to exploit and preserve,” Racine said.

Frosh said any payment to the Trump Organization from a foreign entity would be proof of a constitutional violation.

“The Domestic Emoluments Clause says that he only gets his salary from the United States and no other emolument,” Frosh said.

He cited the Trump International Hotel Washington, where foreign dignitaries and other guests have stayed, as problematic. The hotel is located less than a mile from the White House in a building called the Old Post Office.

“Trump Post Office Hotel is itself an emolument,” Frosh said. “So he’s violating both clauses, both of them, every single day.”

Frosh said the plaintiffs “expect to prevail” in the lawsuit. They plan to pursue the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if needed.

The attorneys general said Trump’s business empire make it “more difficult” to deal with the emoluments clauses, “but that’s what he signed up for.”

“When he ran for president, he knew he was going to have to live with these two constitutional requirements,” Frosh said. “And maybe it’s tougher for him than it would be for me or somebody else. But he ran for president; he’s subject to the Constitution just as every other American is.”

Trump and his attorneys have argued that the lawsuit has no legal merit and that D.C. and Maryland have no authority to sue the president over money his businesses may receive from foreign interests.

“The complaint rests on a host of novel and fundamentally flawed constitutional premises, and litigating the claims would entail intrusive discovery into the president’s personal financial affairs and the official actions of his Administration,” according to a document filed in court by the U.S. Justice Department.

Governor Signs Law Slashing Sales Tax on Personal Hygiene Products

By Emily Holter, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — The sales tax on tampons, diapers and other personal hygiene products will be reduced by more than half beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he has signed SB 1715, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, and HB 2540, proposed by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Lynchburg. The bills will lower the retail sales and use tax rate on essential personal hygiene products to 2.5 percent.

The new law will apply to feminine hygiene products and nondurable incontinence products including diapers and other materials.

“We know that menstrual supplies and diapers are necessary to leave home for work, school, and social activities,” said Boysko, who called her bill the Dignity Act. “I am so glad we have made progress on the issue of menstrual equity and at long last will have tax relief for these products that women and families have to purchase.”

Currently, consumers pay the regular sales tax rate on these items: 7 percent in Virginia’s Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, James City County and York County), 6 percent in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, and 5.3 percent elsewhere in the state.

Byron said the law will benefit Virginians of all ages.

“This legislation won widespread bipartisan support because it provides tax relief on necessities used by women and men young and old,” Byron said. “For the young family buying diapers to those purchasing other essentials for their health, the savings because of this bill will add up and be appreciated.”

Northam commended the General Assembly for passing the bills.

“I am pleased to sign this common-sense legislation that makes these necessities more accessible and affordable,” he said. “The essential nature of personal health care products is not up for debate.”

The law will make these products subject to the state’s reduced sales tax of 1.5 percent, which currently applies only to food. In addition, local governments add a 1 percent sales tax on such purchases.

Boysko had wanted to remove the so-called “tampon tax” entirely. Byron pushed for a compromise on grounds that a tax exemption for personal hygiene products would have a big effect on the state budget.

Norman Eugene Kramer

 

Norman Eugene Kramer, 84, of Emporia, Va. passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center. He was the son of Lester Kramer and Gesina Nordman Kramer. Norman was a retired communication specialist with the United States government.

Norman is survived by his loving wife, Mary Frances Derring Kramer of Emporia, Va., daughter, Laura Kramer Rose (Russell) of Vienna, Va., son, Mark Kramer (Gina) of Vienna, Va., Stepsons, Richard H. Short III (Betsy) of Emporia, Va., and John C. Short (Janet) of Bracey, Va., grandchildren, Ryan Rose, Sean Rose, Naomi Kramer, and Angela Kramer, all of Vienna, Va., step grandchildren, Ryan Short of Littleton, NC., Alex Short and Allison Short of Emporia, Va., Parker Short of Smithfield, Va., and Nicholas Short of Blacksburg, Va., and a step great granddaughter, Mary Katherine Short of Littleton, NC.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at: www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Advocate Draws From Personal Experience as Example to Youth

By Georgia Geen, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — James Braxton went outside only once in the four months he spent in jail, and he ate ice chips instead of drinking water. He says he didn’t want to get used to a routine; that would have meant he was staying there.

It was in 2005 when he got a call from a friend after being fired from his job at a call center for fighting with a coworker. Braxton needed money, and accompanying a friend on a personal retaliation mission was a way to get it.

But things didn’t go according to plan. He ended up driving their car through Newport News, pursued by up to a dozen squad cars. Braxton and the three young men in the car with him were charged with possession of a firearm and larceny.

“I was almost laughing because I couldn’t believe it; I was almost in a state of shock. It didn’t really hit me until we got to jail and we’re there for hours in processing,” Braxton said. “It had already hit the news what was happening, so guys in there are treating us like, ‘Dang, y’all about to go down.’”

Braxton’s story didn’t begin with a failed robbery attempt, and it didn’t end when he left Hampton City Jail. His early years are similar to those of some of the youth he advocates for today.

He joined RISE for Youth — a statewide campaign advocating for youth justice reform — two years ago after more than a decade of working to better himself and navigate past traumas. He is now the group’s strategic engagement director.

Shortly after Braxton’s parents divorced when he was 9, his mother, Mattie Brisbane, was diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the major traumas of his childhood was thinking his mother was going to die, Braxton said.

“That was a trying time,” Braxton said. “I felt like God spared her because in the times when I needed someone the most, she’s always been there. She’s always been there, always believed in me and always supported me.”

Despite his tendency to act out in school and high levels of frustration, Brisbane said she always saw “greatness” in her son.

“Even as a toddler, he was very smart, very curious, but he was bold,” Brisbane said. “One day I went to turn on the light, and the light wouldn’t come on. A couple of things electrical didn’t work and I started looking around — he cut electrical wires because he wanted to make his own TV.”

In his early high school years, Braxton said he was “one foot in the streets and one foot out.” The area where he lived at the time — Lincoln Park, a public housing site in Hampton that was demolished in 2016 — was known for crime, drugs and violence, he said.

“By default, I just got sucked into some of the activity that was happening,” Braxton said. “I gravitated toward it. It’s where I felt welcome, it’s where I felt like I belonged.”

As a 17- and 18-year-old, Braxton acted as a stepfather to his 23-year-old girlfriend’s child. The experience was toxic, he said, and the stress interfered further with his education.

“I’m thinking about how I’m going to get out of school to get to the WIC office to get this baby some milk,” Braxton said. “I’m now taking on that responsibility as an 11th grader in high school working two jobs living a whole grown person’s life. There was nobody I could talk to about that.”

When he was a senior in high school, the stress led Braxton to attempt suicide by taking a bottle of painkillers.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and just feeling broken and the weakest I had ever felt in my life,” he said. “I vowed to never be that weak again.”

It might have improved his situation, Braxton said, if he had had a mentor — someone he could relate to.

“That would have allowed me to feel open enough to have those conversations,” Braxton said. “And then from that, [have] some real, tangible, solid answers for housing and for food and for transportation in places where I don’t have to be system-involved to access them.”

By “system,” he means the welfare system or the criminal justice system. Most young people can’t access resources for necessities like food, housing and transportation until they’re “system-involved,” Braxton said.

An alternative would be local organizations working with the local government to address those issues, he said.

Braxton experienced what he considers a similar lack of assistance after he was released from jail in 2005. He got out when his $80,000 bond was reduced to $20,000, an amount his family was able to pay.

At the time, he spent all day, every day applying for jobs — it was “application after application,” he said. The opportunity that Braxton says changed his life was when he was hired as a pediatric dental assistant.

“But it had nothing to do with the [criminal justice] system, and the system had the opportunity to do that,” Braxton said. “That has to change.”

To Braxton, that job is the reason a judge decided to give him a second chance at the end of two years of criminal proceedings in 2007. The office staff and the doctor that hired him came with him to the sentencing.

“The judge was like, ‘I don’t see this often; I don’t see young men coming in with these kinds of charges and they’re doing the positive things you’re doing and making this kind of impact,’” Braxton said.

Braxton had taken an Alford plea — in which the defendant pleads guilty without admitting to the act — to his gun charge. After three years of probation, the judge dropped the larceny charge.

Braxton worked in property management for several years before he felt he needed to make a change and connect himself to his “purpose.”

He now advocates for improvements in the criminal justice system. In January, Braxton was part of a rally at the state Capitol that urged the General Assembly to reinstate discretionary parole, which allows prisons to release certain offenders before they have completed their sentences. During the 2019 legislative session, several bills were proposed to reinstate parole; none of them passed.

Braxton said he hopes “to be an example and mentor, especially to young African-American boys that don’t have examples of fathers or leaders in their home or in their environment.”

“I think that’s where it starts,” he said, “not waiting for the state or not waiting for the government to provide answers to neighborhoods and communities.”

Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill

Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the following statement after oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill:

“This case has cost Virginians four years of litigation, multiple elections under an unconstitutional map, and probably more than $10 million, mostly spent by House Republicans to defend racial gerrymandering. The trial Court issued 100 pages of factual findings explaining the ways that the plan ‘sorted voters into districts based on the color of their skin’ and reduced the political power of African-Americans. That is wrong. We should all be concerned about this race-based violation of Virginians’ right to vote and should work to fix it as soon as possible. 

“Nothing I heard today changes my belief that it is time to put an end to this case, and to implement fair, constitutional districts.”

In June 2018, a three-judge panel found that eleven House of Delegates districts were unconstitutional. In July 2018, Attorney General Herring announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia would not appeal the decision, citing the seriousness of the constitutional violation, the likelihood of success, and the considerable time and millions in taxpayer money that had already been expended. 

The three-judge panel and Supreme Court have three times denied requests by the House of Delegates to delay implementation of a new redistricting plan that corrects the identified racial gerrymandering.

Virginia Electric Utilities Wiring Rural Areas for Broadband

By Daniel Berti, Capital News Service

RICHMOND — If you want internet service in the rural hamlet of Honaker, in far Southwest Virginia, Cable Plus is the only game in town. With internet speeds of 3 megabits per second, customers can go online to check their email, surf social media and watch low-quality videos from streaming services, but not much else.

The cheapest Cable Plus internet package available to the 700 households in Honaker: $54 a month.

An hour away in Bristol, Virginia, residents have plenty of options to choose from for broadband. They can get high-speed service — with speeds of at least 25 Mbps — for as low as $45 a month.

The difference in internet services between urban and rural communities in Virginia is stark: Only 53 percent of rural Virginians have access to broadband internet. Urban areas have far better coverage — 96 percent, according to a 2016 study by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

That’s because internet providers profit more when their customer base is concentrated and easy to reach. In rural areas, it’s much more expensive per customer to provide high-speed internet.

Virginia lawmakers have taken steps to address geographic disparities in broadband coverage by passing a bill that will give the state’s two largest electric utilities, Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power, the green light to provide broadband internet service to unserved areas.

HB 2691, sponsored by Del. Israel O’Quinn, R-Bristol, will create a pilot program that allows the electric utilities to expand “middle mile” broadband coverage — the infrastructure that connects the networks and core routers on the internet to local internet service providers that serve businesses and consumers directly.

The bill will allow each utility to spend up to $60 million annually on the pilot program. The companies will be able to recover that money from ratepayers.

Dominion and Appalachian Power won’t be providing high-speed internet straight to residents’ homes and businesses, however. The final connection, called the “last mile,” will be left to third-party internet providers. The last mile brings service to the end user’s premises and is typically the most expensive component of broadband infrastructure.

Nate Frost, director of new technology and energy conservation at Dominion Energy, said the program is “unconventional” for electric utilities but could help solve rural Virginia’s broadband woes.

“There’s a unique opportunity to potentially leverage some of the business that we’re going to be doing anyway,” Frost said. “But getting to that point won’t be easy.”

Under the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018, Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power must modernize their systems, and part of that involves bringing broadband to electrical substations to support new “smart” infrastructure initiatives.

The pilot program allows the electric utilities to add extra fiber optic cables to rural substations in addition to the fiber they’re already putting in place. That additional broadband capacity will then be leased to third-party internet providers, which will provide last-mile connections to homes and businesses nearby.

O’Quinn’s bill is awaiting Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature to become law.

Evan Feinman, Northam’s chief broadband adviser, said earnings by electric utilities from leasing middle-mile infrastructure will result in lower electric bills over time and will save ratepayers an estimated $150 million over the next three years.

Those savings are based on Dominion’s 2018 Broadband Feasibility Report, in which the company outlined the potential for adding broadband capacity to rural areas.

“It’s one of those very rare win-wins where the electric companies, ratepayers and people in need of broadband service all benefit,” Feinman said.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously but drew opposition from a few Republicans in the House of Delegates. Del. Kathy Byron, R-Bedford, voted against it.

“We’ve made great progress toward achieving this goal over the last several years,” said Byron, who chairs the state Broadband Advisory Council. “I’m concerned that the approach enacted by HB 2691 might unintentionally divert or detract from our well-established and successful efforts.”

Over the last few years, the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative has provided millions of dollars to broadband service providers to extend their service into rural areas. During its recent session, the General Assembly increased funding for the Virginia Telecommunication Initiative for the 2020 fiscal year from $4 million to $19 million.

Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, also voted against O’Quinn’s bill, citing the increased costs to ratepayers.

“This is a perversion of the system where the State Corporation Commission has the authority to set reasonable rates and to return ratepayer money that exceeds reasonable rates,” LaRock said.

It’s not unprecedented for electric utilities to provide internet services in Virginia. Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, which serves rural areas in 14 counties, announced its own broadband expansion in January 2018. The $110 million project aims to provide internet and phone service directly to consumers through a subsidiary company called Firefly Broadband.

Virginia has the fifth-highest rate of broadband adoption in the nation and ranks among the top 10 states in terms of its average peak internet connectivity speed, according to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Up to 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic flows through Northern Virginia.

But state officials have been concerned about the lack of broadband in rural areas, saying such connectivity is critical to economic development. Northam has made broadband expansion a priority, proposing that the state spend $250 million over the next 10 years to address the unequal distribution of internet service.

“Broadband internet is inarguably a necessity for participation in a 21st-century economy, and many Virginians have been left without quality access for far too long,” Northam said. “By ending this disconnect, we can better attract and support business and entrepreneurship, educate all Virginia students and expand access to cost-saving telehealth services.”

Occupational Health Services for Area Employers

Let’s build a healthy workforce, together.

South Hill—As you know, your team members are the single most important and valuable resource in your organization. A healthier team member is often a more productive team member. VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Health and Wellness Services provides team member health services required and needed in today’s world of business and industry. We can help your business reach its goals for a healthier workforce.

A healthier workforce will decrease lost work time, provide more productive and motivated employees, reduce health care and worker’s compensation costs andreduce workplace injuries.

For more than 17 years, the professionals with VCU Health CMH Health & Wellness Services have been responsive to the health needs of the corporate community.  Currently they contract with numerous companies throughout the region to provide such services as:  pre-employment physicals, DOT physicals, rapid drug screens, lab based drug screens (urine, hair follicle), breath alcohol testing, immunizations, OSHA hearing conservation education and testing and much, much more. 

Learn more about how you can make your workforce healthier by visiting our website at vcu-cmh.org and downloading a brochure or calling (434) 774-2541.

Meet the professional staff of VCU Health CMH Occupational Health: (pictured from left to right)  Linda Crump, Office Service Specialist; Donna Overton, LPN, COHC, BAT, SAMI-DOT; Amy Hobbs, FNP-C; DeeAnna Forbes, LPN, COHC, BAT APS-DOT; Jessica Seamster, LPN, BAT, APS-DOT

“Wake Up Time”

From whom do we collect taxes
When our citizens move away
Yes and what incentive do we use
To encourage them to stay.
 
There is constant talk of tourism
And the Big Role it could play
Then we closed that gate on thousands
When the Pork Festival went astray.
 
Now it would be nice if you got what you wanted
Then we all would join in for a cheer
Yet may I suggest in the mean time
To do something for those that live here.
 
We need to go out of town for good shopping
And to get a good meal as well
Yes that is where I see the most of you
Though you know that I won’t tell.
 
You’re filling up the vacant stores
With things we do not need
Yet what about the recreation
That would be good indeed.
I’m certain there are ways and means
For the problems we have to solve
Still if we don’t take action now
More trouble it will involve.
 
                    Roy E. Schepp

USDA Outlines Eligibility for 2019 Supplemental Coverage Option Regarding Elections for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced this week that producers who purchased or plan to purchase the 2019 Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) policy should report Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election intentions to their crop insurance agent by March 15, 2019, or the acreage reporting date, whichever is later.

Producers have the option to elect either ARC or PLC through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to receive benefits. The 2018 Farm Bill allows producers to make an election in 2019, which covers the 2019 and 2020 crop years.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act prohibits producers from having SCO on farms where they elect ARC. Because of the timing of the Farm Bill, FSA’s ARC/PLC election period will not occur until after the SCO sales closing dates and acreage reporting dates.

Producers who purchased SCO policies with sales closing dates of Feb. 28, 2019, or earlier may cancel their SCO policy by March 15, 2019. This allows producers, particularly those who intend to elect ARC for all their acres, to no longer incur crop insurance costs for coverage for which they will not be eligible.

Producers with SCO coverage now have the option to file an ARC/PLC acreage intention report with their crop insurance agent by the later of the acreage reporting date or March 15, 2019. This report will adjust the acreage report by specifying the intended ARC or PLC election by FSA Farm Number. The number of eligible acres on farms with an intention of PLC will be the number of acres insured for SCO regardless of any actual elections made with FSA. If a producer does not file an ARC/PLC acreage intention report, SCO will cover all acres as though the producer elected PLC.

The existing penalties for misreporting eligible acreage on the SCO endorsement will not apply in 2019.

Additional details about SCO can be found at www.rma.usda.gov.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

Electrician II: Provide general electrical maintenance support for the Emporia Plywood Mill. Performing routine mechanical and electrical equipment repairs and preventive maintenance activities.   Job Order# 1613779

     

Part time Taxi Cab Driver:  Emporia based cab company seeking cab drivers. This is a job providing customer service and applicants must be able to meet employer's need to serve the public in a positive manner in their actions, delivery of service and communications with customers. Candidates hired should be able to work with minimal supervision and should be expected to communicate effectively with co-workers, supervisors and clients. Must be flexible in performing services which are dispatched in the varying types of calls received. Must be able to perform duties as assigned by management.  Job Order# 1613117

 Laborer: 

Major Job duties and responsibilities include Heavy grouting work.

•Carry, load, unload and stack materials.

•Lay out material and assist carpenters.

•Dig with pick and shovel.

•Shovel, rake, spread and vibrate concrete into place.   Job Order # 1613101

Herdsperson Trainee/Laborer: High School diploma or GED Preferred.

•Previous livestock handling helpful.

•Ability to do physical labor.

•Strong commitment to team work.    Job Order # 1613348

Groundsman: Landscape or maintain grounds of property. Clean parking lot. Weed eating. Change bulbs, batteries, etc. Use hand and/or powers. Remove litter. Other duties may apply.  Job Order# 1613312

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

www.vawc.virginia.gov

Jarratt Hardware’s Spring Open House – FREE Community Event for All!

On Saturday March 23, 2019 from 10am to 4pm, Jarratt Hardware will be hosting aFREE family fun day full of learning opportunities. Lunch will also be provided at no cost from 12-1PM. Jarratt Hardware’s Spring Open House eventis a community event for all ages. The store is teaming up with local Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in Greensville/Emporia and Sussex County, as well as the Southside Beekeepers Association, to provide a fun learning day at the store.

At the event, youth and their families will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun, agricultural hands-on activities, learning about beekeeping, hatching chicks, raising chickens, gardening, soil fertility, lawn health and more.

Come learn about beekeeping with representatives from the Southside Beekeepers Association and learn how to start and manage your own hive. 4-H Youth Development will be providing fun, interactive games and activities for youth to learn all about chickens, bees, pollinators, local youth opportunities and more! Local 4-H Teen Club members and 4-H Livestock/Animal Club members will be present at the event to assist with educational games and activities. Come see live chicks hatching and learn how you can raise your own flock. Baby chicks, as well as all supplies needed to raise chickens and start beekeeping, will be in stock for purchase the day of the event.

Local soil scientists and store owners, Andy and Alexis Jones, will be discussing soil fertility and lawn care at the event. Soil testing supplies will be present the day of the event. Come with your soil samples and any questions that you may have about soil fertility and grass growing!

Greensville County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee will be on hand during the event with giveaways for the children and informational handouts for Agriculture Education. Pine View Nursery will be at the event as well showcasing their beautiful flowers and garden plants ready for planting this spring. Local Girl Scout troop #540 will also be onsite during the event to sell their delicious Girl Scout cookies. Many organizations from across the community will be present, so this is definitely an event you do not want to miss!

Come and see Jarratt Hardware, under new ownership, striving to increase the diversity of their inventory (hunting supplies, building materials, etc.) as well as increase in availability of special orders. Theywill have a few in-store specials available during the event. Spring lawn and gardening needs will be in stock for this event. We hope to see you there!

FREE lunch will be provided for all from 12:00-1:00PM. The event will be held at Jarratt Hardware, located at 111 Jarratt Avenue, Jarratt, VA.

For more information about the event, please call Jarratt Hardware at 434-535-8137 or Virginia Cooperative Extension at 434-348-4223.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in the 2018 4-H Camp, please contact Hannah D. Parker, at the Extension Office no later than two weeks prior to the date assistance is needed.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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