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Accellerated Readers at Greensville Elementary

Students at Greensville Elementary School began the Accelerated Reader Challenge today. Students were recognized for points they earned 1st Semester and will receive prizes each marking period based on the total number of AR points they earn.  Students will continue to be recognized this week for earning points ranging from 10, 15, 25, 50, and 100.  Continue to encourage your child to read each night. Way to go GES readers!!

Students who earned between 25-49 Accelerated Reader points.

Back row (left to right): Dennis Brickell, Donavon Smith, Inez Smith, Darrius Dunn, Patrick Brown, Hayden Lackey.  Front row (left to right): Royalty Plum, Morgan Bryant,Cameron Pulliam, Janell Franklin, Eddie Franklin.


Pictured above (left picture): Dakota Lee - 65.2 points, (right picture): Davis Robinson - 165.5 points


Brunswick Academy Receives Grant from Exxon/Mobil

Brunswick Academy has received a $1,000 grant from the Exxon Mobil Educational Alliance Program. This grant is given to schools across the country in communities served by Exxon/Mobil stations. The grant was made possible by funding from Exxon Mobil Corporation in conjunction with Parker Oil Company. Mr. Ed Low of Parker Oil Company presents the check to Head of School, Mr. Dave Newsom.

William Marvin "Billy" Pruett

William Marvin Pruett, 73, of Emporia, Va., passed away on February 1, 2016. Bill is survived by his mother, sister, nieces, great-nephew and great-nieces. Bill had a long and varied career in education. Most notably, as principal of Hunterdale Elementary School and as a VASS Legislative Liaison. Bill was a devoted son, brother, uncle, great-uncle, and friend. A memorial service will be held at 11am, February 13, 2016 at Echols Funeral Home Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Franklin City Public Schools/Teacher Incentive Fund, 207 W. Second Ave., Franklin, Va., 23851. Condolences may be sent to

Court-Ordered Parenting Classes – Living Apart, Parenting Together

When a family goes through divorce or separation, parents need to help their children adjust to the changes in their family. Our educational program, “Living Apart, Parenting Together” teaches parents about the impact of divorce/separation and gives them strategies to help both parents and children adjust to a new way of being a family.

Classes are scheduled for:

  • Monday, February 15, 2016 - 9 am-1 pm
  • Monday, April 11, 2016 - 5 pm-9 pm
  • Monday, June 13, 2016 - 9 am-1 pm
  • Monday, August 15, 2016 - 5 pm-9 pm
  • Monday, October 17, 2016 - 5 pm-9 pm.

Classes are held by Donna Daniel, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent at the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Greensville/Emporia Office. Class fee and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register call 434-348-4223 or stop by the Greensville/Emporia Extension office at 105 Oak Street in Emporia.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at (434) 348-4223 during business hours of Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.*TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Go Red Event to Close the Gap on Heart Disease for Women

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women because it’s not just a man’s disease. In fact, more women than men die every year from heart disease and stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red for Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease and stroke. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart-healthy life.

Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

♦ An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.

♦ 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.

♦ 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented

The Eta Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated would like to invite you to attend their Annual Go Red Event Luncheon on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 12 noon on the campus of Greensville County High School. Tickets are available for $20.00 per person.  The speaker for the event will be Dr.Edwina Wilson, family practice physician from Farmville, Virginia.  Dr. Wilson will explain the true meaning of “Go Red”.

Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.

Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.

Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.

Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you & your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.

Donate: Show your support with a donation of time and money

 We encourage everyone in the community to come out and support this event. Southside Virginia has one the highest rates in the United States related to heart disease and deaths associated with heart disease. So, put on your red tie, suit, hat or dress and come out to support our fight against heart disease among women.  Emporia let’s paint the town –RED!

If you need tickets please contact Michele R. Green Wright at 804-721-9241 or via email at nurse1986@  or any local member of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Incorporated. Members include: Peggy Dunn, Tasha Boone, Sharon Adams, Aletheia Gaither, Wanda Williams, and Wanda Murrell.


Panel Backs ‘Religious Freedom’ to Reject Same-Sex Marriage

By Kyle Taylor, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Government officials who are authorized to perform marriages could refuse to marry same-sex couples under a bill approved Monday by the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee over the objections of LGBT advocates.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Virginia and other groups opposed Senate Bill 41, which also states that religious organizations and their employees may deny “services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges” for a marriage if it would “violate a sincerely held religious belief.”

Splitting along party lines, the committee voted 8-7 in favor of SB 41, which was sponsored by Sen. Charles Carrico, R-Galax. All of the Republicans on the panel voted for the bill; all of the Democrats voted against it.

Carrico filed the legislation in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June to legalize same-sex marriages. He said it would protect “religious freedom” by letting people and groups who have religious objections to same-sex marriage refuse to participate in such ceremonies.

“Our founders got it right,” Carrico said at a press conference last month. “They didn’t want to infringe upon those deep-held beliefs. They didn’t expect the government to step in and say to an individual, because you have this deep-held belief that you have to do X, Y and Z.”

But opponents of SB 41 said it would allow discrimination against same-sex couples even by government officials who are supposed to uphold the law.

“We think that it is unconstitutional in that respect because it allows public officials to deny services to groups of people based on their personal beliefs,” Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, told the Senate committee.

The Human Rights Act in Virginia already forbids discriminate based on religion. And under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, ministers already have the right to refuse to marry a couple based on their religious beliefs.

“That’s what the legislators supporting SB41 are saying they are concerned about, but that’s not true. This bill is in conflict of existing law,” Gastañaga said. “It also extends beyond existing law by specifically allowing even judges to limit what they do by saying that it conflicts with their religious beliefs.”

Equality Virginia, an advocacy group for gay Virginians, and Right Way Forward Virginia also oppose SB 41, according to statements they have posted on Richmond Sunlight, a legislative information website.

Right Way Forward Virginia said the bill would “help perpetuate a commonly-held misconception that equal treatment under law of same-sex couples who wish to marry imposes obligations on houses of worship and clergy.”

The members of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee who voted for SB 41 were Republican Sens. Frank Ruff of Clarksville, Dick Black of Leesburg, Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach, Tom Garrett of Lynchburg, Bryce Reeves of Spotsylvania, Richard Stuart of Westmoreland, David Suetterlein of Salem and Jill Holtzman Vogel of Winchester.

The committee members who opposed the bill were Democratic Sens. George Barker and Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, Mamie Locke of Hampton, Jeremy McPike of Dale City, Chap Petersen of Fairfax, Scott Surovell of Mount Vernon and Jennifer Wexton of Leesburg.

‘Eli’s Law’ Would Publicize Child Abusers

By Kyle Taylor, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A Hanover County mother, whose son suffered brain damage and other injuries when he was abused by a man in 2010, urged state lawmakers Monday to expand who must be listed on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes against Minors Registry. A legislative subcommittee appeared receptive to the idea.

Courtney Maddox told the panel about her son Elijah’s harrowing ordeal: “My son suffered a brain injury, a stroke and was left paralyzed and with two broken legs” after he was abused by a family friend. The abuser was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. But under the state’s current laws, the offender’s name won’t be on the public registry when he is released.

That is why Maddox is pushing for House Bill 672, also known as Eli’s Law. It would add malicious wounding (if the victim is under 13 and the perpetrator is an adult) to the crimes that require offenders to be listed on the registry.

“I think that common sense tells you that if you’re going to take an infant child and bash its brain in, then you’re going to be pretty likely to commit some other type of crime later. I think public notice is the minimum that we would expect in certain circumstances such as that,” said the bill’s sponsor, Del. Christopher Peace, R-Mechanicsville.

Peace and Maddox spoke Monday to the Criminal Law Subcommittee of the House Courts of Justice Committee.

When her son nearly died, Maddox explained, she looked into whether the assailant would be listed on the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. However, under the existing law, the registry lists only offenders who have murdered children or been convicted of certain sex crimes. So Maddox reached out to Peace and the commonwealth’s attorney for Hanover County.

“We came up with a solution that we believe will help our community – Eli’s Law,” she said.

“Here I am fighting, and I believe that the public needs to be made aware of those that commit violent crimes against children. I know it’s going to make the public more aware of those who are violent around us. We’re better able and equipped to determine who we can trust and who we can’t trust around our children. That’s the important thing. It’s not just sex offenders that hurt our children.”

At the meeting, the Criminal Law Subcommittee tabled HB 672 but agreed to incorporate its purpose into other legislation. There were two other bills that sought changes in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry:

  • HB 604, which would include in the registry the crimes of “receiving money for procuring a person for prostitution” and “receiving money from the earnings of a person engaged in prostitution” if they involve a minor. This bill was sponsored by Del. Robert Bell, R-Charlottesville.
  • HB 177, which would list on the registry “any person convicted of having carnal knowledge of a brute animal.” This bill was filed by Del. David Albo, R-Springfield.

The subcommittee tabled both Eli’s Law and HB 604 but decided to fold their intentions into Albo’s bill. The panel then voted 10-1 in favor of HB 177.

The subcommittee recommended that the amended HB 177 be sent to the House Appropriations Committee for funding. State officials estimate it would cost $50,000 to expand the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry.

Steve Royalty, senior assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Hanover County, testified in support of Eli’s Law at the subcommittee hearing.

“In a nutshell, it would protect children from becoming victims of criminal offenders by helping to suspend such individuals from being allowed to work directly with children,” Royalty said.

“If that person is on a registry, it becomes a matter of public record, so to speak, and people in the public have access to that registry. They will know in a way that they may not have known before that this person has engaged in a very violent crime against a child.”

Though Eli is too young to understand what happened to him, his mother promised him that something good would come of the traumatic events.

“I tell him he’s a hero,” Maddox said. “And he is.”

Only six months after the abuse, Eli took his first steps. Now 5 years old, Eli has some weakness in his left arm and a scar on his head, but his mother is extremely grateful that he is no longer paralyzed.

Maddox is optimistic that the House Appropriations Committee will endorse the concept of Eli’s Law. “It’s $50,000 – a small price for such an impactful cause.”

Poll Finds Support for More School Funding

By Brian Williams, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – In a poll conducted by the Virginia Education Association, most Virginians say the state budget doesn’t adequately cover the needs of the state’s public schools or properly compensate teachers. The poll found that 66 percent of respondents feel that the current budget for public schools is not enough.

“The public is squarely behind the need to improve funding for our public schools,” said Meg Gruber, president of the VEA. “Members of the House and Senate deliberating the budget need to know that as it stands now, Virginia is 41st in the country on funding public schools.”

According to the latest “National Report Card” by the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University and the Education Law Center, teacher salaries and benefits make up the bulk of school budgets. The report said Virginia teachers are paid $6,700 below the national average. And according to the poll, residents of the commonwealth agree that teachers aren’t paid enough. That sentiment was expressed by:

  • 66 percent of adults with children currently in public school
  • 67 percent who have had children in public school in the past
  • 65 percent who have never had children in public school

“When Rutgers University ranked all states on wage competitiveness of its teachers’ pay compared to other professionals, Virginia ranked worst in the country,” Gruber said.

The General Assembly is drafting a state budget for the next two years. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed a $139 million appropriation to add 2,000 teachers to schools around the commonwealth. McAuliffe also is seeking a 2 percent pay increase for teachers, but Gruber says it’s not enough.

“The governor’s biennial budget has zero percent in the first year and 2 percent in the second. We believe that when it’s been six out of eight years for zero, we don’t need to see seven out of nine to be a zero,” Gruber said.

The VEA poll surveyed 600 Virginia adults between Jan. 4 and 7. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Elections Board Removes GOP’s ‘Loyalty Oath’

By Matt Chaney, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – State officials agreed Thursday to honor the Republican Party of Virginia’s request to remove a requirement that voters sign a “loyalty oath” before voting in the March 1 presidential primary.

The State Board of Elections voted 2-0 to remove the requirement despite objections from the Virginia branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Much as we decry and dispute the original decision to implement an affirmation requirement, simply said, two wrongs don’t make a right,” Hope Amezquita, staff attorney and legislative counsel at ACLU-VA, told the board.

The ACLU initially opposed the requirement that voters in the GOP primary sign a statement that “I am a Republican.” However, now that the pledge has been in place for absentee voters, removing it would be illegal, Amezquita said.

“The Republican Party is before this board asking to have a voter requirement rescinded after an election has begun and ballots have been cast,” Amezquita said. “Voters have a constitutional right to experience the election process uniformly and equally. If there is an affirmation requirement, it must be equally applicable to all voters regardless of when they vote.”

According to the State Board of Elections, more than 1,300 absentee ballots have already been cast.

Meanwhile, in the General Assembly, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, has proposed a bill to make it illegal for parties to require voters to “sign any pledge” when voting in a primary. His measure, Senate Bill 686, is currently before the Senate. The bill cleared the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee on an 11-1 vote Tuesday.

Committee members voting for the bill were Republican Sens. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Winchester, Bryce Reeves of Fredericksburg, Ben Chafin of Lebanon, Bill DeSteph of Virginia Beach, Amanda Chase of Midlothian and Glen Sturtevant of Midlothian, as well as Democratic Sens. Janet Howell of Reston, John Edwards of Roanoke, Donald McEachin of Richmond, John Miller of Newport News and Adam Ebbin of Alexandria.

Voting against SB 686 was Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County. Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Hadensville, abstained.

Panel Seeks to Expand Law Against Texting While Driving

By Rachel Beatrice, Capital News Service

A legislative panel Monday approved a bill to expand Virginia’s law against texting while driving to other distracting activities, such as reading social media postings.

Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Transportation Committee voted 6-1 in favor of House Bill 461, which would make it illegal for a driver to “manually select multiple icons” on a cellphone or other handheld personal communication device.

The bill also would prohibit the driver from reading “any information displayed on the device”; the current law applies only to email and text messages. The measure would not apply to making a cellphone call or navigating with GPS.

Moreover, HB 461, proposed by Del. Richard Anderson, a Republican representing Prince William County, would prohibit drivers from texting or reading on their cellphones even when the vehicle is stopped. The existing law applies only to moving vehicles.

Anderson is passionate about the issue: His brother-in-law was injured in an automobile accident involving a driver who was texting. “It should be called impaired driving, not distracted driving,” Anderson said.

Texting and driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, Anderson said. He suggested that, as with laws mandating seatbelts, it will take time for the public to come around. Eventually, people will realize that the ban on texting while driving saves lives, Anderson said.

Between January and July of 2015, 68 people died in crashes involving distracted driving in Virginia, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

“We don’t worry about drunk drivers anymore,” Lt. Robert Marland of the Richmond Police Department told the subcommittee. Texting while driving is a bigger concern, he said. This is especially true after officers have pulled over a vehicle for a violation: The officers then are in danger of getting hit by an oncoming motorist who is texting.

That is what happened to Heather Munsterman, who has worked for the Manassas City Police Department for the past 11 years. During a routine traffic stop, she was hit by someone who was texting while driving, Munsterman told legislators.

She tearfully admitted to being in the hospital for two months and suffering brain damage. Munsterman has not yet been able to return to her former position and is currently on light duty.

“I support this bill with all my heart,” Munsterman said.

Also in support of HB 461 was Madeline Abbitt, a lobbyist representing AT&T. She listed statistics about what people do while behind the wheel of a car: Seven out of 10 drivers text; 33 percent email; 28 percent browse the Internet; 17 percent of people take a selfie; 14 percent post on Instagram and Twitter; 12 percent of people make videos; and 11 percent use Snapchat.

“This is a good and necessary bill,” Abbitt said.

But some questions were raised about HB 461. Del. James LeMunyon, a Republican from Fairfax and Loudoun counties and a member of the subcommittee, wondered whether taking a picture would constitute as a violation of HB 461. Anderson responded by saying his bill was focused more on decreasing the number of distracted drivers immersed in social media on their phones.

In the end, six subcommittee members voted for HB 461. Besides Anderson and LeMunyon, they included Republican Dels. Les Adams of Chatham and Todd Pillion of Abingdon and Democratic Dels. Kenneth Plum of Reston and Jeion Ward of Hampton.

The subcommittee chairman – Del. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg – voted against HB 461 because of uncertainty over what would constitute “multiple icons.”

HB 461 now will be considered by the full House Transportation Committee. If the committee endorses the bill, it will advance to the full House of Delegates for a vote.

Also at its meeting on Monday, the subcommittee:

  • Tabled HB 73, which would have increased the fines for texting while driving from $125 to $250 for a first offense and from $250 to $500 for a repeat offense. The bill had been proposed by Del. John O’Bannon, R-Henrico.
  • Tabled HB 569, which would have required vehicles to display lighted headlights at all times – not just from sunset to sunrise or during low visibility. Del. Roxann Robinson, R-Chesterfield, had introduced the measure.
  • Approved HB 1360, which require every bicyclist under 18 in Virginia to wear a helmet. Currently, local governments may require bicyclists under 14 to wear helmets. The proposal by Del. Joseph Yost, R-Pearisburg, would make helmets a statewide requirement for all bicyclists under 18. The subcommittee voted 6-1 in favor of HB 1360, with Garrett dissenting. The bill now goes to the full committee.


Virginia State Police to begin enforcement for reckless driving.

GREENSVILLE COUNTY – Safety is the biggest priority for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and the Hampton Roads District is urging motorists to obey all traffic and detour signs posted around the Route 301 Southbound Bridge Replacement Project in Greensville County.  Recently, drivers have been observed traveling the wrong way over the Route 301 Northbound Bridge to avoid the construction detour, resulting in several near-collisions.

Beginning today, January 4, 2016, Virginia State Police will step up enforcement near the bridge and issue reckless driving citations to motorists exhibiting dangerous driving patterns.  Drivers traveling southbound will use I-95 as the detour around the bridge closure.

The Route 301 Bridge Replacement Project is currently on schedule for completion in summer 2017.  The old bridge has been demolished, and crews are currently working on building the new bridge approaches.   For more information, please visit VDOT’s project website:


TopHand Sports to Host First Annual Steak dinner Social

TopHand Sports is hosting their first annual Steak Dinner and Social to raise money for their travel baseball/softball teams to participate in out-of-state tournaments for the upcoming season.  TopHand Sports has youth from all over Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina on their teams who would greatly appreciate your support.  The reverse raffle associated with this event will give out $3,850 including a grand prize of $3,000; you don’t have to be present to win this raffle.  The date of this event is Saturday, February 6, 2015 at the Golden Leaf Commons in Emporia, VA.

Tickets include 2 drink tickets of your choice and a delicious steak.  We will sell 150 Reverse Raffle Tickets for a chance at the $3,000 grand prize.

Tickets and Reverse Raffle Information- Emporia, VA, January 5, 2016– Tickets- $35 for single/ $50 for couple; Reverse Raffle- $50.  For Tickets or  more information, please contact Rustin Jessee at 757-537-8480 / or Randy Jessee at 757-818-1822.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.  Please call either Rustin or Randy if you or your business would be interested in sponsoring this event.

Local Artist Works to Raise Funds for Wounded Warriors

An effort to raise money for Wounded Warriors is ongoing by artist/composer/musician Tom Spivey. Currently he is offering four prints of his work: a) Emporia/Greensville County, $35.00.  b) Resurrection Morn, $15.00.  c) Christ at the Well, $10.00 d)  and Far From Home, $15.00. Contact or Picture Perfect on Halifax Street.

a    b


c    d 


Stream and Download Music and Movies at your Library

Freegal (“Free and legal”) Music and Movies is here for Meherrin Regional Library System patrons! Freegal Music is a downloadable music service that gives library patrons access to over 8 million songs in MP3 format, including Sony Music’s catalog of artists. In total, the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 60 countries.

There is no software to install. Downloaded songs will play in Windows Media Player, iTunes, and other popular music players. They can also be transferred to an MP3 player or an iPod. The Freegal app is free and available through Apple’s App Store and Google Play for use with smartphones or tablets. Freegal Music limits song downloads to 3 per library patron per week, and 3 hours of streaming time per day per patron.

Also use Freegal Movies to view movies and TV shows! Freegal Movies and Television is a streaming video service that allows patrons to access thousands of movies and television episodes from major content providers. Like Freegal Music, no software download is needed, and files are in MP3 format and can be played on any device. Freegal Movies limits movie and TV episode downloads to 3 per library patron per week. Each download can be viewed multiple times during a 48 hour viewing period.

Start downloading your favorite tunes or movies today! Access Freegal Music by visiting or by downloading the Freegal Music app.  Freegal Movies are available at or by downloading the Freegal Movies app. Login to both by selecting Meherrin Regional Library and using your library card number and pin. For more information on accessing Freegal through your library, contact the Brunswick County Library at 434-848-2418 ext. 301 or the Richardson Memorial Library at 434-634-2539.

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