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August 2017

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

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Irene Holt "Miss Hope" Morrison

Irene Holt “Miss Hope” Morrison died Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, VA.

She was born December 21,1926 in Pulaski, VA, the second of five children to the late Randall Clinton Holt and Elsie Ann Hall Holt.

She graduated from high school at the Christiansburg Industrial Institute, Christiansburg, VA in 1945 and attended and graduated Morristown College, Morristown, TN in 1947.  Upon completion of her degree at Morristown, Irene had received a scholarship to study pre-med at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, with the hopes of one day becoming a doctor. Upon returning to Pulaski, VA, after graduating from Morristown, she found her mother gravely ill and decided to stay in the area to assist in caring for her ailing mother, father and two minor sisters. Her mother died shortly after Irene's return from Morristown.  She was recruited for a position as a teacher, receiving an appointment to the one-room Rich Hill School in Allisonia, VA. At Rich Hill, Irene wasn't much older than many of her students, and was younger than some, but commanded respect from both students and parents alike.  On her first day of instruction, she informed the students that her name was “Miss Holt,” however, the students insisted on calling her “Miss Hope” - to many of whom she was their “Hope.” During her time at Rich Hill she encouraged the parents to petition the School Board to provide a bus for the students so that they could pursue furthering their education beyond Rich Hill.

Irene continued to further her own education by attending  Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA and eventually obtaining her Bachelor's of Science in Education in 1977.  She pursued her degree by attending various colleges in the Summers that included Virginia State University, she was the first African American undergraduate student to enroll at the then Radford College, Radford, VA, and Virginia Tech. She also took continuing education courses at New River Community College, Wytheville Community College and through the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Throughout her career she was certified and taught many grade levels and served as the acting principal at Calfee Training School.  After de-segregation she served as the librarian at Claremont Elementary School and as a computer instructor to the elementary aged children at Claremont.

On June 16, 1950, she eloped and married a friend from high school, George Emmet Morrison, Jr. After nearly 9 and one half years their first child was born and nearly five years after that, they completed their family with the addition of the second and final child. Her family was her pride and her most important accomplishment.

In her early teen years Irene professed her faith in Jesus Christ and joined New Century Methodist Church in Pulaski, VA.  After her marriage she joined Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church in Dublin, VA and was instrumental in the merger of Mt. Pleasant and Dublin Methodist Church into Dublin United Methodist Church on April 19, 1970.

In the three churches she belonged to she was a beloved and active member. From 1970 on at Dublin United Methodist Church she served as a Sunday School Teacher, member of the Council on Ministries, Administrative Board – where she was eventually Chairman, she was a member of the Adult Choir, a member of the Seekers group of the United Methodist Women, Cheerful Adults and helped to establish the church's first Prison Ministry.  Irene was also a Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church and served as Pulpit Supply for the Wytheville District UMC. She was a member of the Pulaski-Dublin Cluster and was instrumental in organizing area participation for the Annual Revival at Page's Camp Meeting House.

For the Holston Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church Irene served multiple Bishops on the Board of Episcopacy, COSROW (Commission on the Status and Role of Women), Higher Education Committee and as a District Delegate to the Holston Annual Conference.

She and her family worked together in many community organizations, including the GEM City Garden Club – where she served many years as the Club's President, Federated Colored Women's Club, Pulaski County Democrats – serving as President of the Democratic Women's Club for many years and a Delegate to numerous District and State Conventions, Pulaski County Clean Community Council, Church Women United (President), Pulaski County Retired Teachers Organization, Pulaski County NAACP, National, Virginia and Pulaski County Education Associations, Christiansburg Industrial Institute Alumni Association, and the Red Cross of Pulaski County.

She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 42 years, George E. Morrison, Jr. her parents, Randall C. Holt and Elise A. Hall Holt, two brothers: Randolph Holt (infant) and Cecil E. Holt, one sister Mary D. Holt Davis (Alonzo), and nephew Randall Holt. She was also preceded in death by her parents-in-laws Mr. and Mrs. George E. (Rosa) Morrison, Sr., sisters-in-law Mrs. Charlotte M. Williams, Mrs. Helen M. Hampton (Kenneth), Miss Kathleen C. Morrison, Mrs. Clara M. Booth (William), brothers-in-law Mr. Winslow Morrison and Mr. Nathan J. Sokolow.

She is survived by her children Kathleen Georgianna Morrison and George Emmett Morrison, III, her sister Mrs. Gladys Holt Sokolow and sister-in-law Mrs. Mattie P. M. Holmes, her God-daughter Mrs. Sharon B. Dabney (Trey), and nieces and nephews Jacqueline Moore (Julius III), Kenneth Hampton, Sandra Pittman Dobson (Spouse), Randall Grey (Sherie), Tyrone Holmes (Jackie), Alethiea Williams Taylor, Charlayne Williams Thompkins, Joanna Hampton Claytor, Marcellus Hampton (Laurice), Troy Hampton (Thelma), Emmett Hampton (Edith), Rosalia Williams Davis, Brenda Lewis-Holmes, William Booth, Sharon Booth Dabney (Trey), Edgar J. Claytor, Bateman Davis (Jim), Kenneth Holt, Sandra Holt, Derrick Holt, numerous great-nieces and great-nephews and a host of other relatives and friends to cherish her memory.

The family will greet visitors on Sunday, September 3, 2017, beginning at 1:30 pm before a Celebration of Life Service at 3:00 pm at Dublin United Methodist Church, 424 E. Main Street, Dublin, Virginia. Interment will follow the service at Highland Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Irene Holt Morrison Scholarship Fund, c/o Dublin United Methodist Church, 424 E. Main Street, Dublin, VA 24084.

Around the World in Three Blocks

Petersburg, August 17, 2017 - Crater Community Hospice (CCH) is offering an evening of dining and strolling in Old Town Petersburg with "Around the World in Three Blocks," a progressive dinner, on Sunday, September 10, 2017.  Proceeds from the event will support CCH's Family Respite Care program.

The evening begins at 4pm at Andrade's International Restaurant with appetizers and spirits.  From there, guests will stroll to Maria's Old Town 21 for dinner.  Following dinner, guests will head to the Petersburg Area Art League (PAAL) for coffee and dessert.  Flutist Iris Schwartz will perform at PAAL.  The evening will include door prizes and a raffle. 

"Once again, Crater Community Hospice looks forward to building community support for our programs by showcasing and supporting the local businesses in our community," says E. Jane Elliott, Chair of the Crater Community Hospice Board of Directors.  Last Spring, the organization hosted a dinner and auction at Farmers Market Restaurant and generated over $13,000.  Last February, the organization partnered with Blue Willow Tea Room and earned 10% return on select purchases.  "It's a win-win-win," says Elliott, "CCH's families will benefit from additional services that this event will support; guests will get to spend an evening enjoying Old Town; and Old Town merchants will get exposure to new patrons." 

The Family Respite Care program was initiated by CCH two years ago, and supports families who are physically and emotionally exhausted from caring 24/7 for their loved ones.  Respite care offers families relief with additional hands-on help with caregiving.  Families use this relief time to address their own health needs, take care of other personal business, or get some uninterrupted rest.  CCH's Family Respite Care program offers up to 24 hours of care to families receiving the organization's hospice services.

Limited tickets are available.  A $65 per person contribution is in part tax-deductible. For tickets, contact CCH Development Director Deborah Williamson at (804) 526-4300 or dwilliamson@cratercommunityhospice.org

Nurse Career Fair Set for September 7th

SOUTH HILL, VA– VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital will be hosting a Nurse Career Fair on Thursday, September 7th from 1:00PM – 7:00PM at the CMH Education Center, located at 125 Buena Vista Circle in South Hill.

As VCU Health CMH grows, so does the need for dedicated nurses.  Nursing opportunities for new and experienced nurses may be available in:  Medical-Surgical, Emergency, Oncology, Surgical Services, Long Term Care, Cardiac Intensive Care and Home Health/Hospice.

VCU Health CMH’s new facility is set to open on November 11, 2017.

To learn more about nursing at VCU Health CMH, or to view and apply for current opportunities, visit vcuhealth.org/careers/start-your-career-search or contact Terri Coker at 434-447-3151, ext. 3471 or terri.coker@vcuhealth.org.

 

At VCU Health CMH, we are building a healthier community, together.

Freeman Community Empowerment Day

The 4th Annual Freeman Community Empowerment Day was held on Saturday, August 19th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Inspiration Center (formerly Meljo’s), 21391 Governor Harrison Parkway, Freeman, Virginia. WHLQ 105.5 Hot Joy Radio was elated to partner with The Freeman Coalition. WHLQ 105.5 FM’s piece was to provide the community with inspirational music, dance, and new clothing for children K-12. We had some great people assist us with this endeavor.

First, we had performers; Inspired to Dance, Daughters of Zion, The Bowman Family, Minister Naomi Castel, Author Rita Odom Moseley, Mike Alston and more share their gifts of dance and song. We thank them for their awe-inspiring presentations.

Second, we would like to thank Angel’s (Minister Antoinette House donated 200 pieces of clothing), Mayor Harrington, and the staff of WHLQ for donations of new clothing for children from K-12 grades. They went above and beyond what we expected.

Third, we are also grateful to Thompson Hauling, Inc. (flatbed for stage), Joseph Mitchell (25 vacation give-a-way), Ministers Donna Ray and Pate McCoy (financial donation), and Mike Alston for our sound system. And most of all we thank the community for showing up in great numbers. Thanks again to all of you for your support and we look to do it all over again next year.

"Explain to the Kids"

How do so many people
That claim to be so wise
Come to us with their decisions
Then holler back with suprise!
 
Well the south trys putting down the north
So this time their side I'll take
Just to show you it matters not where you live
But what common sense you make.
 
The south has found its schools are pitiful
Both the buildings and education in decay
Yet our local leaders haven't a clue
To regroup how will they pay.
 
Now the problem didn't start yesterday
Its been around for quite a while
Yes several administrations saw it go down
Yet the best they could do was smile.
 
There's no doubt that we'll need money
In fact most likely lots
Still we can't go the the end of the rainbow
and pick up those big pots.
 
Now I'm not saying we can't do this
though our children will suffer til we do
Yes the money is needed to complete this job
Not for the many projects quite new.
 
The slavery museum and celetery clean up
Are wants that shouldn't overcede
It is far more important for each child around
To get the education they need.
 
Your talk of  moving statues and flags
Is brought on by an unknown amount
It might be wise to find a supervisor
that can do an actual count.
 
Yes you have started many new projects
Yet to finish one might be nice
It does little good to start another
Until you've raised the first ones price.
 
Roy E. Schepp

Jackson-Feild Hosts Bible School

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services hosts quarterly Bible Schools each year. Led by our full-time chaplain Rev. Dr. Robin Jones, residents are encouraged, but not required, to participate. 

Jones selects a theme for each week-long session, and conducts daily activities that encourage residents to embark on their spiritual journey.  Her goal is to help children make sense of their experiences and help them understand and, hopefully accept, God’s saving grace.

An important part of Jackson-Feild’s Bible School is the service component. Residents make items and donate them to help others.  Prior recipients have been our military serving overseas, victims of natural disasters and residents at senior centers.

During this recent session of Bible School, the Jackson-Feild boys and girls made “silly socks” which will be given to residents of local nursing homes.  The children had a great time decorating the socks and are pleased to have had a hand in helping others.

How to Volunteer and Donate Responsibly to Support Hurricane Harvey Survivors

When natural or human-caused disasters strike, people look for ways to help survivors.

As we struggle to find ways to help our fellow human beings, we must weigh our options, and our feelings, carefully.

Before heading to a disaster area, consider the complexities of the situation. To make the most of your efforts and assist impacted communities best, consider these tips for donating and volunteering responsibly:

Cash is the fastest way to assist disaster survivors. Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources.

  • Many charities specialize in providing relief in disaster areas, yet they face significant financial barriers to getting their staff, equipment, and supplies into impacted areas.
  • Donations helps put experienced disaster responders on the ground, and gives them the tools they need to help survivors recover.
  • Organizations typically prefer cash donations because they allow organizations to:
    • Purchase food, water, medicine, and equipment from secure and familiar supply chains
    • Buy materials locally — which can help rebuild the local economy
    • Conserve resources — money is always necessary and cheap to send, but the cost to ship material supplies can be expensive.
      • Remember, material supplies such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable food require helping agencies to redirect volunteer labor away from providing direct one-on-one assistance to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
      •  

Donate through a trusted organization.  At the national level, many voluntary, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate in order to help disaster survivors.

If you’d like to donate to assist those affected by disaster, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) is the best place to start.

Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before coming to the disaster area.Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained and supported to respond in the most effective way.

  • The impulse to help when others who are suffering is commendable.  However, volunteering inside a disaster area can be dangerous, stressful work in extreme environments.
  • If you’d like to volunteer to assist those affected by disaster, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) is the best place to start

Do not self deploy. Seeing images of disaster may compel you to head to the impacted area. Don’t underestimate the complexity of working in a disaster area. Until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support, volunteers should not enter.

  • Be sure to affiliate with existing voluntary organization before coming to the disaster area, and that organization has been asked to respond.  
  • Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified.
  • Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.

Be patient.  Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention.

  • There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces July Employee of the Month

Emporia, VA – Christina Pope has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for July 2017. Ms. Pope, who works in SVRMC’s Surgical Services Department, has been employed at SVRMC since May 2007.

Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for July was Safety Awareness.  Ms. Pope’s nomination included the following statement:  “Christina speaks up for safety and encourages others to do the same; she follows up to ensure that safety issues have been addressed and resolved. The safety of our patients, staff, and facility are of high importance to Christina. She is well deserving of the July Employee of the Month for the ‘Safety Awareness’ standard.”

As SVRMC’s July Employee of the Month, Ms. Pope received a certificate of recognition, balloons,  cookies to share with her co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

Social Security Announces New Online Service for Replacement Social Security Cards in Virginia

Available to People through a mySocial Security Account

The Social Security Administration introduced the expansion of online services for residents of Virginiaavailable through its my Social Security portal at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced that residents of Virginia can use the portal for many replacement Social Security number (SSN) card requests. This will allow people to replace their SSN card from the comfort of their home or office, without the need to travel to a Social Security office.

“I’m pleased to offer the residents of Virginia the added convenience of replacing a Social Security card through the my Social Security portal,” Acting Commissioner Berryhill said. “We will continue to work on innovative initiatives to provide people with safe, secure and convenient options for doing business with us online or in person.”

The agency is conducting a gradual roll out of this service; Virginia is one of the states, plus the District of Columbia, where this option is available. Throughout 2017, the agency will continue to expand the service option to other states. This service will mean shorter wait times for the public in the more than 1,200 Social Security offices across the country and allows staff more time to work with customers who have extensive service needs.

U.S. citizens age 18 or older and who are residents of Virginia can request a replacement SSN card online by creating a my Social Security account. In addition, they must have a U.S. domestic mailing address, not require a change to their record (such as a name change), and have a valid driver’s license, or state identification card in some participating states.

mySocial Securityis a secure online hub for doing business with Social Security, and more than 31 million people have created an account. In addition to Virginia residents replacing their SSN card through the portal, current Social Security beneficiaries can manage their account—change an address, adjust direct deposit, obtain a benefit verification letter, or request a replacement SSA-1099. Medicare beneficiaries can request a replacement Medicare card without waiting for a replacement form in the mail. Account holders still in the workforce can verify their earnings history and obtain estimates of future benefits by looking at their Social Security Statement online.

For more information about this new online service, visitwww.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber.

Mrs. Annie Mae Turner

Mrs. Annie Mae Turner, 94, of Emporia, Virginia, passed away on August 24, 2017, at the Health Care Center Lucy Corr Village in Chesterfield, VA.  The place where Mrs. Turner made her home, Sunny Side Community on Horton Road, in Greensville County.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Amos Harold Turner, to whom she was married for over 60 years.

Mrs. Turner was a GOD fearing woman, faithful servant of the Lord, and the Mother-of-the-Church at Royal Baptist where she served many years at an usher and missionary member until her health failed and even then she showed her love for the Church by attending whenever she could.  She worked hard all of her life and cared deeply for her family by always putting them first.  Mrs.

Turner retired from the Emporia Garment Factory and never missed a beat.

Mrs. Turner is survived by seven children; James Turner of Plainfield, New Jersey; Annie Louise Lee (Albert Deceased) of Emporia; John Turner of Plainfield, New Jersey; Betty Hunter (Douglas) of Emporia; Harold Lee

(Vanessa) of Hopewell, Virginia; Joyce Austin (Eugene) of Chester, Virginia, and Shelia Washington of Richmond, Virginia, and a large extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, and a village of community patrons.

There will be public viewing Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, and a Wake Service from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at R.E. Pearson & Son Funeral Service, Inc., 556 Halifax Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847.  Funeral services will be Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 12 pm at Royal Baptist Church, 106 West Atlantic Street, Emporia, Virginia 23847.  Mrs. Turner will be laid to rest in the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery on 700 Taylors Mill Road, Emporia, Virginia 23847.

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

Anita White Recognized for 45 Years of Service

Anita White received recognition from the Commonwealth of Virginia for 45 years of service at Southside Virginia Community College.  She was hired in 1971 as a secretary to the faculty.  She is currently Administrative Assistant to the Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education.  Anita lives in Lunenburg County.

Celebrated Valley Proteins Fellowships Awarded

RICHMOND – The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education is proud to introduce its seventh class of Valley Proteins Fellows.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Tewodros “Teddy” Maxson, Central Virginia
Marie Shiraki, Dabney S. Lancaster
Lydia Hodges, Patrick Henry
Samantha Scott, Piedmont Virginia
Mostafa Mohibzadh, Thomas Nelson
Donald Cooper, J. Sargeant Reynolds
Hope Geiger, Southwest Virginia
Madison Goodie, Southwest Virginia
Austin Bryant, Virginia Western
Daniel Feher, Wytheville

Out of the more than 242,000 people Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth each year, only 10 second-year students are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. The scholarship, combined with professional development, travel, and cultural opportunities has an approximate value of $15,000.

In addition to receiving full tuition, book expenses and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities. The Fellows also volunteer 80 hours of community service during the academic year to strengthen their leadership skills and develop a strong foundation for future success.

The fellows program is made possible thanks to the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for 68 years and currently operates 15 plants in eight states.

“Valley Proteins is privileged to invest in the future of some of Virginia's most outstanding students,” said Gerald F. (J.J.) Smith, Jr., president of Valley Proteins, Inc. “Helping to remove some of the obstacles that can hinder their success is a priority for us, and it reflects our commitment and support for the community college mission overall.”

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, the fundraising arm of Virginia’s Community Colleges, oversees the fellows program, which Valley Proteins has funded for seven consecutive years.

Social security celebrates hispanic heritage month

By Jackie Weisgarber

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

We know the importance of “familia” in Hispanic culture, and we’re proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) by helping build a secure future for you, your family, and your future family.

You can learn more about how Social Security helps secure today and tomorrow for millions of families by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/people/hispanics/.

Hispanics make up our nation’s largest ethnic minority group with a population of 56.6 million, according to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. Social Security is here to help  maintain and improve our economic well-being for generations to come.

Currently, we do this by providing retirement, disability, and other benefits to 61 million people, including nearly 3.5 million Hispanics, who have contributed to the Social Security system through their payroll taxes. Social Security also provides a safety net to the families of American workers who become unable to work due to grave impairments or have died.

We work hard to provide enhanced customer service and to educate millions of Americans about the importance of our programs and benefits. This allows us to connect with the Hispanic community in meaningful and efficient ways.

 

If Spanish is your primary language, you can visit www.segurosocial.gov, our Spanish-language website. It provides hundreds of pages of important information about how to get a Social Security card, plan for retirement, apply for benefits, and manage your benefits once you’re receiving them. Many of our offices have staff who speak Spanish, or you can call 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and select the option for Spanish.

Nationwide, our public affairs specialists reach out to thousands of Hispanic Americans each year to raise awareness of the benefits they may qualify for and to learn the advantages of setting up a my Social Security account atwww.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

These specialists promote our programs at local events, health fairs, libraries, schools, and community organizations that serve the public, including the Hispanic population. Some of our bilingual staff serve as contributors to Spanish-language television, radio stations, and newspapers. They also visit embassies and consulates in the U.S. representing Latin American countries to educate diplomatic leaders and new immigrants about Social Security programs.

Spanish-speaking individuals wishing to apply for retirement, disability, survivor, and other benefits, as well as Medicare, can now request an appointment online at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyforbenefitsfor an in-person interview or telephone claim with a representative. In many cases, you can make an appointment with a bilingual representative.

We’re with you and your family throughout life’s journey. To learn more about Social Security programs, visit www.segurosocial.govor www.socialsecurity.gov

SVCC Employees Recognized for 5, 10, 15 and 25 Years of Service

Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized employees for Five Years of Service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Those who received the recognition are (Left to Right) Mary Downing-Garner, Christin Jackson, Anthony Taylor, Leslie Jackson and Suzanne Shook.  Those unable to attend the ceremony who also are recognized for five years of service are Katherine Irby, Diane "Dee" Pinnell, Michael Williams and Donna Worley.  

Dr. Sarah Horne also was recognized for five years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Southside Virginia Community  College recently recognized employees who had Ten Years of Service to the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are (Left to Right) David Canning, Leslie Cline, Marika Peterson and Sally Tharrington.  Those unable to attend the ceremony who are also Ten Year recipients are Lois Hicks, Emily Noblin, Kathy Pegram, and Melissa Wood.

Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized employees with 15 Years of Service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.  they are (Left to Right) Leigh Moore and Misty Smiley.  Not pictured is recipient Detra Carr.  

 

Southside Virginia Community College recently recognized employees for 25 Years of Service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They are (Left to Right) Dennis Smith and Brenda Elder.  

Pauline “Polly” Harris Vincent

Pauline “Polly” Harris Vincent, 82, of Emporia, went Home Wednesday, August 23, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Robert Elwood Vincent; two sons, Robie L. Vincent and wife, Brenda and Timothy E. Vincent; three granddaughters, Rebecca V. Merritt and husband, Tyler, Katherine V. Green and husband, Troy and Brittany V. Aerni and husband, Adam; two great-grandchildren, Caroline Green and Connor Merritt and a sister, Cecelia H. Whitehead and husband, Thomas. The family will receive friends 12:30 – 2 p.m. Saturday, August 26 at Fountain Creek Baptist Church where the funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

NC Fugitives Apprehended in Minnesota; Search for Missing N.C. Man Continues

NELSON COUNTY, Va. - The two fugitives from North Carolina being sought in a Nelson County shooting are now in police custody. Shortly after 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Sean D. Castorina and Penny M. Dawson were apprehended by the Fergus Falls, Minn., Police Department. The two were arrested without incident at a gas station within that jurisdiction.

The two will be extradited back to Virginia to face charges of malicious wounding, use of a firearm and grand larceny of a vehicle.

During the past two days, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, the Nelson County, Va., Sheriff’s Office, Burlington, N.C., Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service have been actively pursuing leads and searching for the couple.

The incident began Aug. 19, 2017, when the Burlington, N.C. Police Department received a report of a missing person. Mr. Harold Dean Simpson, 84, was last seen by his family at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Mr. Simpson’s silver 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was located by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 6:48 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 21. The vehicle, with North Carolina license plate EMA 8936, had been abandoned on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County.

During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 22) about a shooting victim at a residence on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found a 60-year-old female suffering from a gunshot wound. She continues to be treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., for serious injuries.

After the shooting, Castorina and Dawson fled the residence in a 2002 Dodge Dakota that belonged to the owner of the residence. The two were still driving the stolen pickup truck when apprehended in Minnesota.

The search continues for Mr. Simpson. Anyone with information related to Mr. Simpson’s disappearance is asked to still please contact the Burlington, N.C., Police or call 911 or, in Virginia, call #77 on a cell phone.

Gloria Mae White Smith

Gloria Mae White Smith, 86 of Emporia, Va., passed away August 22, 2017, at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia, Va.

She was born May 28, 1931 in Mobjack, Va., to the late Luther Clyde White and Lola Brooks White. She was preceded in death by her husband, David Walter Murden Smith, her sister Juanita White Johnson, and one step-great grandchild, Geneva Ward.

Gloria is survived by her two sons, David Wayne Smith and wife Bertelle Pugh Smith of Wendell, N.C., and Colonel (retired) Stephen Clyde Smith of Huntsville, Al. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Emily Ann Smith and Ryan James Smith; four step-grandchildren, Curtis Forrest, Cindy Price, Bonnie Bruno, and Joe Forrest; and four step great-grandchildren, William Ward, Hillary Forrest, Jennie Forrest, and Isabella Bruno.

Gloria graduated from Mathews High School in 1949. She married her husband David in 1953 and was married for 54 years. During their marriage David and Gloria lived in Mathews, Va., Lively, Va., Miskimon, Va., and finally, Emporia, Va.

The family would like to thank all of Gloria’s friends in Emporia, Va. but in particular her close friend Ms. Shirley Temple for her dedication throughout Gloria’s bout with cancer. The family would also like to thank the personnel at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, Greensville Health and Rehabilitation Center, and the Bloom Center.

The family will receive visitors from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday August 24, 2017 at Echols Funeral Home in Emporia, Va. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday August 26, 2017, at Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home in Mathews, Va. The family will also receive visitors prior to the service from 10:00-11:00. Interment will follow at Old Field Point Cemetery in Moon, Va.

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING NORTH CAROLINA MAN & FUGITIVE COUPLE

     

Click on photos for larger version

NELSON CO., Va. – Virginia State Police and the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Burlington, N.C. Police Department, is still actively searching for the missing 84-year-old man from Burlington, N.C., and the two North Carolina fugitives.

The incident began August 19, 2017, when the Burlington, N.C. Police Department received a report of a missing person. Mr. Harold Dean Simpson, 84, was last seen by his family at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, August 18, 2017. According to the Burlington, N.C. Police Department’s press release, “Mr. Simpson has no history of dementia or other cognitive impairments.”

Mr. Simpson’s silver 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was located by the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at 6:48 p.m., on Monday, Aug. 20. The vehicle, with North Carolina license plate EMA 8936, had been abandoned on Laurel Road in eastern Nelson County.

During the course of the investigation into the abandoned vehicle, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at approximately 7:30 p.m., Tuesday (Aug. 22) about a shooting victim at a residence on Laurel Road near Rockfish River. When law enforcement arrived on scene, they found a 60-year-old female suffering from a gunshot wound. She continues to be treated at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., for serious injuries.

Missing from the same residence is a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a medium-blue tailgate and custom, faded-red, squared-off bumper. The pickup truck has a North Carolina license plate, DHN 5418, affixed to the bumper.

Based on the investigation into the shooting, Virginia State Police obtained arrest warrants for malicious wounding and use of a firearm for both Sean D. Castorina, 42, of Burlington, N.C., and Penny M. Dawson, 40, of Burlington, N.C.

Castorina is a white male with distinctive tattoos on his forearms. He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs approximately 150 lbs. (See photos in previous story here)

Dawson is a white female, 5 feet 3 inches in height and weighs approximately 172 pounds.

The Nelson County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are actively searching for Castorina and Dawson. Castorina does have family in Norfolk, Va.

Both are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone with information about Castorina and/or Dawson and/or the missing pickup truck is encouraged to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone. 

Local & State Police Searching for Two NC Subjects

     

In the late hours of 8/21/2017 the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office responded to an unoccupied suspicious vehicle in the Laurel Road area of Nelson County. The vehicle is registered to an elderly man listed as missing from North Carolina.

Please be on the lookout for Sean Damion Castorina WM- 06/04/1975 and Penny Michelle Dawson WF- 03/07/1977 of Burington, NC. They are wanted for questioning in the suspicious disappearance of an elderly white male from Burlington. There are no active warrants on either subject at this time. Mr. Castorina was last believed to be in Virginia and has family in Norfolk, VA.

As of 7:36 p.m., Tuesday (8/22/17) the Nelson County Sheriff’s and Virginia State police responded to a shooting at the 3000 block of Laurel Rd. This is currently an active crime scene. We are asking all citizens in Nelson County to shelter in place until further notice.

We are currently looking for a person of interest driving a white 2002 Dodge Dakota with a blue tailgate. North Carolina tag DHN-5418

If located contact police immediately, do not attempt to approach, may be armed and dangerous. Call 911 or #77 on a cell phone if you have any information about either subject.

BA Welcomes New Faculty

New teachers join the Brunswick Academy Faculty this year. Front row (l to r) - Sharon O'Berry-2nd Grade, Tracy Frye-First Aid, Health, Driver's Ed, LS P.E., Nevine Powell-MS Science, Karolyn Hawthorne-Spanish. Back row (l to r) - Kendele Reamey-MS English, Sarah Moore-1st Grade, Tommy King-MS Social Studies/History, Cheryl Freeman-4th Grade, Sharon Propst-HS English.

Brunswick Academy also welcomes new staff member, Mrs. Brittney Weidman.  Mrs. Weidman is the new Director of Upper School and Student Activities.  

Accommodating Students with Differences

By Dr. Al Roberts

Many left-handed people observe International Lefthanders Day annually during the month of August. The focus helps raise awareness about the inconveniences and frustrations left-handed people face in a world built for right-handed people.

I am right-handed. Most people are—nearly 90% according to some studies. As a right-handed person, I have never had to cope with scissors that failed to cut because of my grip. When I use a ruler to draw a straight a line, my hand does not obscure the numbers measuring its length. Every time I write in a spiral-bound notebook, use a hand-operated can opener, or peel potatoes, I take advantage of the fact product designers work most frequently with people of my handedness in mind.

Historically, left-handedness carried a stigma. Although this is no longer the case, at least in most of the United States and other places where Western cultural patterns prevail, the English language retains remnants of past prejudices. For example, the word “sinister” means evil, malicious, or devious. The word comes from the Latin sinister, meaning left or left-handed. On the other hand, literally, the Latin opposite, dexter, for right-handed, shows up in English words such as “dexterity” (skill, agility, or nimbleness). A person with “two left feet” is awkward or clumsy, but a “right-hand” man or woman is a reliable helper.

Although contemporary culture no longer views left-handedness as a disability, left-handed students often benefit from using appropriate tools in order to accomplish learning tasks efficiently. Sometimes, these accommodations involve simple items, such as left-handed scissors or notebooks, but accommodations can also extend to complex issues, such as desk design and the ergonomics of computer stations.

In a similar way, students experiencing other needs can benefit from various modifications in the learning environment. Some students struggle and require accommodations because of physical or learning disabilities. Others have chronic health concerns or other challenges.  At Southside Virginia Community College, our mission involves making sure every student has access to an education, and

SVCC’s commitment to equal educational opportunities includes providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Examples of accommodations include preferential seating, note-taking assistance, copies of instructor’s notes, Braille books, adaptive software, private testing rooms or extended time on tests, and oral test administration.

Students with disabilities or chronic health problems are encouraged to identify themselves to a Disability Services Counselor to establish eligibility and to coordinate reasonable accommodations. Students with physical access concerns can also learn about campus parking, wheelchair access availability, and evacuation plans.

Disabilities Services maintains confidential contacts and records. Disability is never indicated on college student records. For more information about accommodations, contact SVCC’s Director of Counseling at 434-949-1063.

Dr. Al Roberts is president of Southside Virginia Community College, an institution of higher learning that provides a wide variety of education opportunities to a diverse student population within a service area that spans ten counties and the city of Emporia. He can be reached via email at al.roberts@southside.edu.

James Allen Peden, Jr,

James Allen Peden, Jr, 19, of Boykins, passed away suddenly on August 20, 2017. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Archie and Annie Peden and maternal grandfather, Waverly Porch.

James Allen is survived by his parents, James and Sandy Peden; brothers, Jeffrey and Jacob Peden; grandparents, James Thomas “Gomer” and Betty Cooke; uncles and aunts, W.J. and Amy Porch, James Thomas and Mandy Cooke, John and Julie Peden, Amelia Covington and a large extended family of cousins, great aunts and great uncles.

The family will receive friends at the home of his grandparents, Gomer and Betty Cooke. The funeral service will be held graveside 2 p.m. Sunday, August 27 at Beechwood Cemetery, Boykins, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to Boykins Volunteer Fire Department. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com

Lois Cohen Bloom

Lois Cohen Bloom, 78, of Boynton Beach, Fla., passed away after a short illness surrounded by her family, on August 20, 2017. Lois was born in Richmond, Va. to the late Jesse and Esta Cohen. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond, Va. and moved to Emporia, Va. after getting married to Richard Bloom on November 18, 1961. A long-time resident of Emporia, Va., Lois also resided over the years in Las Vegas, Nev., Virginia Beach, Va. and most recently in Palm Beach, Fla. She was a great wife to Richard and loving mother to her three children and grandmother to four grandchildren. Lois is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, Richard, son Charles Bloom (Cindy and grandchildren Lindsey and Maxwell Bloom) of Blythewood, S.C.; daughter Sari Bloom of Lake Worth, Fla.; son Jared Bloom (Sandy and grandchildren Jordan and Maddux Bloom) of Longwood, Fla; and special friend Jeannie Blazevige-Horn of West Palm Beach, Fla. She was predeceased by her sister, Betty Ann Pinchefsky of Locust Hill, Va. The family thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations sent to the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation (hpbcf.org). A family-only celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later date.

Nursing is Here!

Ivory Richardson never imagined himself as an OR nurse, but in just a few months he’ll be completing his 10th year at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia. Forget what you thought you knew about the way nursing should look because Ivory has been breaking the mold since day one. A member of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, one of the largest Native American Indian tribes in North Carolina, he was born and raised in Hollister, NC. Although his community was severely impoverished, Ivory was determined to succeed.

Before pursuing nursing, Ivory worked for the  volunteer fire department and full time as a transport medic for EMS. After attending UNC Chapel Hill, Ivory made the decision to continue his education closer to home. His extensive EMT experience helped him get into the RN program at a local community college. He accepted a position at CMH in the ER, before eventually finding his home in the OR, where he fills multiple roles, both as a scrub and circulating nurse.

For Ivory, seeing patients again or out in the community and having them remember the good care that he gave them is incredibly rewarding. “I love taking care of patients,” he says.

He also values the flexibility that his career in nursing has given him, as well as his wife who also works at CMH as an X-ray sonographer and nuclear medicine technologist, a highly-specialized field in and of itself.

“The nursing profession has given both me and my wife incredible flexibility over the years,” says Ivory. “There are so many different fields and areas you can go into that you can truly find something that fits you and your needs.”

“One of the best parts about being an OR nurse is that the schedule is planned ahead and apart from emergency procedures. We don’t work most weekends,” Ivory adds.

Ivory is aware that being a male nurse shatters a few stereotypes but he’s proud of the level of care that he provides his patients.

For more nursing information, visit www.nursingishere.com

Betty D. Norman

Betty D. Norman, 77, of Jarratt, passed away Saturday, August 19, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward C. Norman and a daughter, Renee’ N. Swiger. Mrs. Norman is survived by a son, Edward L. Norman and wife, Angela of Chester; daughter, Lesha L. Booden of Jarratt; three grandchildren, Amanda Stepp and husband, Andrew, Tommy Norman and Carly Norman; great-grandson, Mattox; a brother, Roger Dowdy and wife, Judy of Christiansburg, VA; two sisters, Linda Wallace of CT and Susan Martin and husband, Danny of Woolwine, VA and a number of nieces and nephews. Mrs. Norman was retired from the Norfolk Police Department. She had a talent for embroidery, stitching, and enjoyed fashioning crafts.

Her family trusts that Mom is on her next journey, with God, and envisions her picking flowers, one of her great joys in this life.

A private memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Diabetes Association. 

Lawrence Olson Carter

Lawrence Olson Carter, 90, AKA Mr. Camp Kehukee, of Stony Creek, Virginia entered eternal rest  in the House of The Lord  to join his beloved wife, Mae on Saturday, August 19, 2017. He was the son of the late Lloyd and Fannie Carter and was also preceded in death by two brothers, L. J. Carter and Homer W. Carter; five sisters, Emily Howard, Evelyn Modlin, Jean Worrell, Barbara Harrell and Marjorie Burgess.

Mr. Carter is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Gregory-Adams and devoted friend, J. N. Gibbs, Jr. of Dolphin, Virginia; son, L. Chester Carter and devoted friend, Joyce Williams, both of Stony Creek; three loving and beautiful granddaughters, Ashley Stainback and husband, Ryan and their daughter, Lillie Mae  all of Stony Creek; Crystal Carter of Newport News and their mother Sylvia B. Carter of Stony Creek who was a devoted daughter -in-law for many years and Sammantha Thomas and husband, Dustin and their son, Easton Cole of Jackson, NC; a sister, Juliette Moore of Richmond; sister-in-law, Mary Reed of Churchville, Virginia; three brothers-in-law, Eddie Jarratt of Salem, Virginia, Henry Jarratt of Stuart, Virginia and W. C. Burgess who was especially devoted to Lawrence;  and a number of nieces and nephews; also devoted friend and caretaker, Keith Urquart; and caretaker Taylor Williams and special friend to the family Gerald (Juicy) Taylor.

Mr. Carter was a retired farmer and builder and a lifelong Deacon at Readville Baptist Church and along with his wife, Mae worked diligently to build and maintain Camp Kehukee with the Petersburg Baptist Association. His remains will lie in state Wednesday, August 23 at Camp Kehukee 17414 Shands Rd., Petersburg, Virginia where the family will receive friends 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m and where the funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Interment will follow at Readville Baptist Church Cemetery, Sussex, Virginia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Readville Baptist Church Building Fund or to Camp Kehukee in memory of Lawrence and Mae Carter, c/o Petersburg Baptist Association, P.O. Box 3117, Petersburg, Virginia 23805.

Louise Robinette Selfe

Louise Robinette Selfe, age 101, of Skippers, VA passed away August 20, 2017.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Millard and Martha Robinette; her husband, Jasper Alderson Selfe; her brother, Richard Robinette; and her sister Alice Rezeau.  She is survived by her daughter, Martha Selfe Hughes; her grandchildren, Judy Edwards, Michael Robert Hughes and Danielle Hughes Dillow; two great grandchildren, Jennifer Edwards and Brandon Hughes; one great great granddaughter, Riley Dillow; and her brother, Millard R. Robinette.  Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville will be handling the arrangements.  

Richardson Memorial Library Summer Reading Winners

The Meherrin Regional Library's 2017 Summer Reading Program, Reading by Design, has come to a close! Children were challenged to meet reading goals of 20 (Bronze level), 35 (Silver level), and 50 books (Gold level) over the summer. Teens were challenged to read 10 chapter books. Participants who reached the Bronze level were entered into a drawing to win a tablet at the Grand Finale on August 3rd. The tablet winner at Richardson Memorial Library was Liam Kelley. 

Gold Medal winners at Richardson Memorial Library were Jashanti Valentine, Savannah Taylor, Taraji Adams, Cadence Taylor, Katie Gordon, Kevin Gordon, and Haley Prince, pictured with Director Becky Walker. Not pictured are Jacqueline Grubb, Joceline Grubb, Jasmine Grubb, Abby Hancock, McKenzey Dickens, Sam Dickens, Blair Dickens, and Kensley Roach.

Southside Virginia Community College has been named a “2017 Great College to Work For”

SVCC is a great college to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities.

The results, released July 17, 2017 in The Chronicle’s tenth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 232 colleges and universities.

Only 79 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with SVCC included among the 22 two year institutions that made the cut.

SVCC won honors in two categories this year which are Facilities, Workspaces and Security and Work/Life Balance.

"The legacy of Southside Virginia Community College as a great place to work continues.    Once again, we have gained this designation by fostering a college culture that promotes a phenomenal work/life balance and provides a safe, secure and comfortable environment.   We invest in our human resources and encourage inclusive and transparent communication; promote and value diversity; and support innovation," said Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President.

“Ten years in, the Great Colleges to Work For distinction is well-known by academic jobseekers as a sign that an institution’s employees are valued and given opportunities for growth even when they face financial constraints,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle. “Any college or university that’s on the list is showing that they emphasize one of their most valuable assets: their faculty and staff.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

“It’s easier to be a great workplace during good times, but it’s when times are tough that the

commitment to workplace quality really gets tested,” said Richard K. Boyer, principal and managing partner, ModernThink LLC. “And those institutions that measure up during times of economic hardship reinforce their already strong cultures and put even more distance between them and their peer institutions for whom they compete for talent.”

2017 BA Senior-First Grade March

Brunswick Academy held one of its oldest traditions on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, the Senior-First Grade March.  The Class of 2018 introduced the Class of 2029.  This tradition builds new friendships and is always one of the favorite days of the year!  

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