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Meherrin Regional Library - Brunswick County Library and Richardson Memorial Library (Tentative Reopening Date April 1, 2020)

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State Building Named After Civil Rights Pioneer

By Taylor Knight, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The renovated state building that houses the Virginia attorney general’s office will be named after Barbara Johns, a civil rights pioneer who helped end school segregation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has announced.

“When we name our state buildings after people from our history, we make a statement that the work done within those buildings will advance their legacy,” McAuliffe said last week at Virginia Union University’s 39th Annual Community Leaders Breakfast.

“I am honored to announce that her name will be placed on this beautiful building as a lasting reminder of the enormous impact one person can have when they stand up fearlessly for what is right.”

Johns, who was brought up in the segregated school system of Prince Edward County, organized a student strike at her high school in 1951 to protest the dilapidated classroom conditions and lack of resources compared with the all-white school in the county.

By 1954, Johns’ fight for equality arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court, and her plea was combined with what became the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which declared school segregation unconstitutional.

McAuliffe’s announcement to name the building after Johns was made alongside one of the structure’s new inhabitants, Attorney General Mark Herring.

“Change in this commonwealth and this country has always come when brave individuals stand up and demand their rights, and so often it has been a young person who can still see injustice with clear eyes,” Herring said.

“To me, that’s the legacy of Barbara Johns – a brave young woman who stood up and demanded the rights that the Constitution guaranteed to her and to each of us. I will be proud every single day I walk into the Barbara Johns Building to fight for justice, equality, and opportunity for every Virginian.”

The building, at 202 N. Ninth St., will be formally dedicated at a date to be announced.

The newly modernized building overlooks the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, which features a statue of Johns on the grounds of the State Capitol.

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USDA Farm Service Agency Offers Text Alerts to Greensville County Producers

Subscribers Can Receive Important Program Reminders and Updates

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Melvin E. Hill, Jr. in Greensville County announced that farmers and ranchers in Virginia now can receive notifications from their FSA county office through text messages on their cell phone.

"In addition to the free FSA GovDelivery email news, customers now can choose to receive text message alerts from their county office," said Hill. "These text messages inform producers of important program deadlines, reporting requirements, outreach events, and updates.”

Whether producers are in the field, on a tractor or even on horseback, this service will enable FSA customers and stakeholders to receive notifications while on the go.

Producers can text VAGreensville to FSANOW (372-669) to subscribe to text message alerts from Greensville County. Standard text messaging rates apply. Contact your wireless carrier for details associated with your particular data plan. Participants may unsubscribe at any time.

To receive GovDelivery email notifications, subscribe online at contact the Greensville County FSA office for subscription assistance.  Producers can establish subscriber preferences by choosing to receive federal farm program information by topic, by state or by county. Producers can select as many subscriber options as they want, which allows producers who farm in multiple counties or across state lines to receive updates from each county in which they operate or have an interest.

According to Hill, GovDelivery is a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date USDA program information.

Please contact your local FSA office at 434-634-2462 Ext. 2 if you have questions regarding FSA’s electronic news service or new text message option.

USDA works to strengthen and support American agriculture, an industry that supports one in 11 American jobs, provides American consumers with more than 80 percent of the food we consume, ensures that Americans spend less of their paychecks at the grocery store than most people in other countries, and supports markets for homegrown renewable energy and materials. Since 2009, USDA has provided $5.6 billion in disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; expanded risk management tools with products like Whole Farm Revenue Protection; and helped farm businesses grow with $36 billion in farm credit. The Department has engaged its resources to support a strong next generation of farmers and ranchers by improving access to land and capital; building new markets and market opportunities; and extending new conservation opportunities. USDA has developed new markets for rural-made products, including more than 2,700 biobased products through USDA's BioPreferred program; and invested $64 billion in infrastructure and community facilities to help improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit

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House Panel OKs ‘Day of Tears’ Resolution

By Dai Norman, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Opponents of abortion rights won a victory Monday when the House Rules Committee approved a resolution to designate the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision as a “Day of Tears.”

The committee voted 10 to 4, along party lines, to send the resolution, introduced by Republican Dels. Benjamin Cline of Amherst and Richard Bell of Staunton, to the full House of Delegates.

Democratic Dels. Kenneth Plum of Reston, David J. Toscano of Charlottesville, Jeion A. Ward of Hampton and Betsy B. Carr voted against the resolution. The chairman of the House Rules Committee, House Speaker William J. Howell of Stafford, did not vote.

The resolution, HR 268, would recognize Jan. 22 as the Day of Tears. It was on Jan. 22, 1973, that the Supreme Court declared that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s right to have an abortion.

The resolution reads: “Since that fateful day, over 58 million unborn children have perished; now, therefore, be it resolved, that January 22 shall be called the Day of Tears in Virginia and that the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia are encouraged to lower their flags to half-staff to mourn the innocents who have lost their lives to abortion.”

Members of an anti- abortion organization with the same name as the bill, A Day of Tears, said lowering the flags to half-staff would open a dialogue about abortion.

Diana Shores, the social media director for Day of Tears, said she was pleased with the committee’s action and was optimistic for the future of resolution.

“I’ve got a lot of support,” Shores said. “We’ve lobbied almost all of the House of Delegates so it [HR 268] should be doing well.”

Cline said he was glad to help the organization achieve its goal. However, he said there has been some misinterpretation of the resolution by a few citizens.

“There are some [people] who misunderstand it and think that is somehow an official date, and that state agencies would be required to lower their flags or something like that. It’s not,” Cline said.

“It’s a simple expression of the House’s support for the work of a nonprofit – something that we do countless times throughout the year.”

However, Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said the resolution is detrimental to women who have exercised their right to make a conscious decision to get an abortion.

“Unfortunately, it’s a shame that Ben Cline feels like he needs to shame women for making a decision that they feel is right for themselves and their family,” Keene said. “Certainly, we [NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia] feel like women should be respected and trusted when they have made a decision to terminate a pregnancy. And what this bill does is basically disgusting.”

The members of the House Rules Committee who voted for the resolution were Republican Dels. Steven Landes of Verona, Terry Kilgore of Gate City, Lee Ware of Powhatan, Chris Jones of Suffolk, Bobby Orrock of Thornburg, Barry Knight of Virginia Beach, Riley Ingram of Hopewell, Jimmie Massie of Richmond and Gregory Habeeb of Salem, as well as House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox of Colonial Heights.

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