Weather Delays, Closings and Cancelations

Carolyn's Creations will remain closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Current Weather Conditions


 

Current Conditions Sponsored By...

EGRA Baseball & Softball registration deadline EXTENDED until Friday, March 6 at 5:00 PM. Registration forms may be printed from the website, or picked up and returned to the UPS Store.  Late fee will be added after 5:00 PM, March 6. No registrations will be accepted after March 15.  www.egra.org

Found-

A black male, King Charles small breed dog. He was found on Halifax Street in front of Picture Perfect.
 
The Emporia-Greensville Humane Society has the dog and will hold until the ownerIs found.
 
Please call 804 731 8987

Utility Work on West Atlantic

NOTICE

UTILITY REPAIRS

There will be temporary lane closures on West Atlantic Street from North Main Street to Market Drive due to utility repairs.

Appropriate traffic control will be established to facilitate vehicular movement.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.

If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 634-4500.

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Five Steps to Colon Health An easy formula to promote prevention, awareness of common cancer

By: Theopolis Gilliam, MD

Emporia, VA - Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, the lower part of the digestive system. Most cases begin silently, as a polyp that causes few symptoms. Cancer of the colon is the third most common cancer in the United States – and, when caught early, it’s also one of the most curable. About 90 percent of individuals whose cancer is found before it has spread survive five years after diagnosis. Unfortunately, when not caught early on, the five-year survival rate is just 10 percent.

These five simple steps can protect your health:

1. Get tested

All adults over age 50 should begin routine colon cancer screenings. In 2008, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued new screening guidelines to stress prevention as the primary goal and steer providers and patients toward those tests with the highest potential to prevent cancer.

The recommendations add two new tests and more specifically define the differences between tests: those that find cancer, and those that can find precancerous growths (also known as polyps). The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends those tests that actually examine the interior of the colon because they can not only detect cancer, but also prevent it by finding – and removing – polyps or growths that can potentially cause cancer. These tests include a flexible signoidoscopy (every five years); a colonoscopy (every 10 years); a double contrast barium enema (every five years); or a CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy (every five years). Polyps found during these tests can be removed on the spot, simply and painlessly.

Testing options that look for evidence of actual cancer, include three types of stool tests – an annual fecal occult blood test, the annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT), and a periodic stool DNA test.

2. Develop awareness

Know the risk factors associated with colon problems:

  • Advancing age, i.e., over age 50.
  • A high-fat diet.
  • A family (i.e., sibling or parent) or personal history of colorectal cancer.
  • A history of polyps or growths inside the colon and rectum.
  • Certain conditions that elevate your risk, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes have a 40 percent increased risk of colon cancer.
  • Ethic background. African Americans have the highest number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States.

3. Know the symptoms

Be vigilant about scheduled screenings, and if you have certain symptoms, see your doctor sooner. Symptoms may include persistent stomach discomfort, a change in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or a change in stool consistency), abdominal pain accompanying a bowel movement, dark stools, weakness or fatigue, unexplained weight loss, or blood in the stool.

Symptoms vary, and certain foods or medications can also mimic these symptoms. It’s best to err on the safe side and check with your doctor about changes.

4. Practice prevention

A balanced diet, regular exercise and smart lifestyle choices will keep your risk level in check. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains provides the nutrients and antioxidants that fight disease. Low-fat dairy products and limited consumption of red meat keep your saturated fat intake low.

Getting your vitamins and minerals through a daily supplement helps, but food-based vitamins are more effective and more easily absorbed by the body. Regular exercise – at least 30 minutes most days of the week – helps build your body’s defenses. Finally, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption help, too.

5. Know your options

Talk with your doctor about the best way to manage your risk. If you have an above-average risk for colon cancer or an initial test reveals polyps, you and your doctor can decide the course of action that works best for you.

The information in this article was provided by Theoplois Gilliam, MD, who is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Dr. Gilliam’s practice, Emporia Medical Associates, is located at 6 Doctor’s Drive in Emporia.  For more information on services offered by Dr. Gilliam or to schedule an appointment, call at 434-634-6101. 

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Annual CoCoRaHS “March Madness” Contest Begins

The National Weather Service in Wakefield, VA is currently looking for volunteers to join the CoCoRaHS program during the annual “March Madness” contest.

What is CoCoRaHS?

CoCoRaHS stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network and was established in 1998 in the aftermath of the Fort Collins, CO flash flood that occurred in July 1997.  This program consists of a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers who take daily weather measurements in their backyards and record the information on the CoCoRaHS website at www.cocorahs.org.  Observations are then immediately available in map and table form for the National Weather Service as well as for natural resource, education and research applications.

What is the CoCoRaHS March Madness Contest?

CoCoRaHS March Madness is a friendly recruiting contest between all 50 states to see who can recruit the most new volunteers during the 31 days of March.  The contest is broken down into two categories:  "Traditional Count"…the state that recruits the greatest number of new observers in March.  The second category is "Per Capita*" or population weighted…the state that recruits the greatest number of new observers per one million of its total population.  The winning state in each category receives the "CoCoRaHS Cup" to keep and exhibit for a year until next year's contest (in the tradition of the NHL's Stanley Cup).  Contest information can be found at http://www.cocorahs.org/Content.aspx?page=marchmadness15.  

Why become a CoCoRaHS Observer?

There are several counties throughout Eastern Virginia that have less than five observers actively reporting, and nine counties and three incorporated cities that have no observers at all.  We need your help to expand this beneficial observing network!

By becoming a CoCoRaHS observer, you will provide crucial precipitation information that helps fill in the data gaps among other observation networks.  Weather enthusiasts of all ages are welcome to join CoCoRaHS.  Help us by recruiting a friend or relative during our contest.  Just go to www.cocorahs.orgto learn more about the program and to sign up.

If you have any questions about CoCoRaHS, please contact Bridget De Rosa, Dan Proch, or Lyle Alexander at (757) 899-4200.

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Special Report from Bruce Campbell-Regional Robotics Competition

 

Hello Emporia,

Phyllis and I had an opportunity to attend the 2015 Palmetto Regional Robotics Competition held here in Myrtle Beach. An exciting video showing the contests follow the explanation of the games

This year's competition is based on a game called Recycle Rush. Recycle Rush is a recycling themed game played by two alliances of 3 robots. Each of the robots, built by students in high schools, score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycled containers and properly disposing of pool noodles which represents litter.

Each Alliance competes on their respective 26 by 27 foot side of the playing field. Each match begins with a 15 second autonomous period in which the robots operate independently of their drivers and during that period robots attempt to earn points by moving themselves, their yellow totes and the recycling containers into areas between the scoring platforms.

During the remaining two minutes and 15 seconds of the match robots are controlled remotely by student drivers located behind the walls at the end of the field. Teams on each Alliance work together to place as many totes on their scoring scoring platforms as possible. Alliances earn additional points for placing recycling containers on top of their totes with containers at

greater heights scoring more points

For this 3 day event, high schools teams traveled from West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Canada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, and Georgia.

It was a very exciting for the onlookers, teams, parents, teachers and sponsors.

All robots were designed and built by each school’s team during a 6 week period.

We hope you enjoy the video.  By the way, please refrain from sending your winter temps to Myrtle Beach.  It's hard to see the sand clearly when one's teeth are chattering...

Bruce and Phyllis Campbell

Have you heard!?

There was a meeting on Friday Feb. 20th with the Lawrenceville Mayor, Town council Members, and others with a company called O.A.T.S.  What is O.A.T.S. ? Watch this 5 minute video: http://youtu.be/z8GEgDd1lko

Plans are underway for O.A.T.S. to occupy the old Southern States complex located at the intersection of West 4th Ave. and West 5th Avein Lawrenceville, Va.

Equine services and therapy have become the world’s leading methodof resource in a host of different areas: Executive groups – Day Retreats for communication, team building, and relaxation Hospitals for ground work based therapy; Veterans for resolving a host of issues (service offered at no cost to veterans); Schools – both secondary and higher learning for truancy issues; grade improvement; life skill application; employment training; and more; Churches-unique method to present applicable materials using the horse as a model of behavior.  And really, the list is endless.

O.A.T.S. will offer daily sessions and equine activity on site. Off site services will also be available through the only mobile equine team inVirginia called “Hoofprints to Footprints”.

Over the coming weeks, the staff of O.A.T.S. will make numerous trips to this region as they make presentations for hospitals, prisons, civic groups, churches, government entities, executive groups, and many others who are signing up for this unique service. The next appearance for O.A.T.S. in Lawrenceville is March 6th.

O.A.T.S. is an equal opportunity employer and has plans to employ staff and volunteers equally 400 in the next 5 years.

For more information, please visit http://oatsinva.com.

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USDA Provides One-Time Extension of Deadline to Update Base Acres or Yield History for ARC/PLC Programs

Farmers Now Have Until March 31 to Update Yields and Reallocate Base Acres; Deadline for Choosing Between ARC and PLC also Remains March 31

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015.  The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.  

“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. Producers are working to make the best decision they can.  And we’re working to ensure that they’ve got the time, the information, and the opportunities to have those final conversations, review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make those decisions,” said Vilsack. 

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm's current yield and base will be used.  A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, 2015, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

“These are complex decisions, which is why we launched a strong education and outreach campaign back in September.  Now we’re providing a one-time extension of an additional month so that every producer is fully prepared to enroll in this program, “ said Vilsack.

Nationwide, more than 2.9 million educational postcards, in Englishand Spanish, have been sent to producers, and over 4,100 training sessions have been conducted on the new safety-net programs. The online tools, available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc, allow producers to explore projections on how ARC or PLC coverage will affect their operation under possible future scenarios.

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity.

To learn more, farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency county office.  To find your local office visit http://offices.usda.gov.

The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for the taxpayer. Since enactment, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

Senate OKs Limits on Use of License Plate Data

By Kevin Lata, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would limit police retention of license plate data to seven days in an attempt to restrict government stockpiling of personal information.

Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, proposed Senate Bill 965 as part of a broader effort to clamp down against government overreach into personal lives, an area he has targeted the past two legislative sessions.

“The state should not use surveillance technology to collect information on its citizens where there is no discrete reason to do so,” Petersen said.

Under current law, there is no limit on how long government agencies can store passive data collected by license plate readers.

LPRs are typically mounted to police vehicles and standing structures such as traffic lights and bridges. They work by rapidly taking photos of license plates – at a rate of one per second, according to an LPR manufacturing company’s website. The technology can capture the data when vehicles are moving as fast as 100 mph.

The devices help law enforcement agencies track down stolen motor vehicles and people connected to criminal investigations, including theft and kidnapping.

Some police departments store their LPR data for up to a year. Civil liberties organizations believe that poses the potential for abuse. Supporters of the legislation included the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation and the American Civil Liberties Union – unlikely bedfellows who disagree on many issues but share concerns about unwarranted government surveillance.

“The issue here is the limitations of the Fourth Amendment,” Petersen explained in a Facebook status. “It was written for a low-tech agrarian society, not today’s data heavy internet age.”

He warned citizens to be careful because “we’re one click away from being watched.”

Petersen received input from law enforcement agencies when drafting the legislation but encountered what he called a “philosophical difference about limits on state power.” The Virginia Sheriffs Association, the State Police, the Prince William County Police Department and other law enforcement groups opposed his bill.

Petersen said he believes SB 965 strikes a balance between personal liberty and public safety.

“This bill will protect Virginians from unnecessary and indiscriminate police data collection and retention,” Petersen said.

A companion bill, HB 1673, was introduced by Del. Rich Anderson, R-Prince William. The House Militia, Police and Public Safety endorsed the measure on a 17-4 vote Friday. It is now before the full House of Delegates.


 

Assembly OK’s a 2-Song Solution

By Cort Olsen, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The House of Delegates joined the Senate on Tuesday in approving both “Our Great Virginia” and “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as official state songs. But will Gov. Terry McAuliffe sign the legislation into law?

The House voted 81-15 in favor of a bill to designate:

  • "Our Great Virginia” as “the official traditional state song.” The song combines the melody of “Shenandoah,” a ballad from the 1800s, with words by New York lyricist Mike Greenly. This song is the preference of House Speaker Bill Howell.
  • “Sweet Virginia Breeze” as “the official popular state song.” This is an up-tempo pop tune by Richmond musicians Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett.

The measure designating the state songs is Senate Bill 1362, which was approved 37-1 by the Senate on Feb. 10. It represents a compromise: Originally, SB 1362, sponsored by Sen. Walter Stosch, R-Henrico, included only “Sweet Virginia Breeze.” But it was amended to incorporate SB 1128, which sought to designate “Our Great Virginia” as the state song.

A third song – “Virginia, the Home of My Heart,” by Richmond singer-songwriter Susan Greenbaum – had been in the running. But the bill promoting that song died in the House Rules Committee two weeks ago.

Greenbaum said she is still hopeful for her song. “It isn’t over, from what I have been told,” Greenbaum said. “The governor still hasn’t signed any of the songs into law yet.”

Virginia has been without a state song since “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” was retired in 1997 for its racist lyrics.

When it comes to the songs, the votes at the Capitol don’t exactly mirror the votes on social media.

On YouTube, for example, “Sweet Virginia Breeze” has been played more than 42,000 times, with about 200 likes and three dislikes. The folksy “Virginia, the Home of My Heart” has been played about 12,000 times, garnering 140 likes and five dislikes. “Our Great Virginia” also has been played about 12,000 times, with 50 likes and 21 dislikes.

About 4,800 people responded to an online poll in which Capital News Service asked, “What’s your No. 1 choice to be Virginia’s next state song?” About 56 percent preferred “Sweet Virginia Breeze”; 41 percent, “Virginia, the Home of My Heart”; and 2 percent, “Our Great Virginia.”

The remaining 1 percent of the respondents suggested other songs, like “Virginia Pride” by David Tuck, “Rolling Home to Old Virginia” by The Press Gang and even “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Several people who took the unscientific poll criticized “Our Great Virginia,” saying it evokes Missouri rather than Virginia. A plurality of the comments extolled “Virginia, the Home of My Heart,” calling it heartfelt and dignified. Many other people said they enjoyed “Sweet Virginia Breeze” because it is upbeat and catchy.

Some respondents said Virginia voters should decide the issue. “Please put this on a ballot and let the PEOPLE NOT THE POLITICIANS decide what their state song should be. After all it’s THEIR state song isn’t it?” one person wrote.

But a few respondents supported the two-song solution. One person commented, “Why not two state songs? I vote for ‘Sweet Virginia Breeze’ for the fun one and ‘Our Great Virginia’ for the one to play at funerals.”

 

 

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