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December 2018

Community Lenten Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doris B. Proctor

Doris B. Proctor, 75, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, December 30, 2018. She was the daughter of the late Joseph and Maude Braswell and was also preceded in death by a sister, Betty Lou Dunn.

Mrs. Proctor is survived by her husband, Bobby W. Proctor; daughter, Donna Troyer; two stepsons, Tommy Proctor (Sue) and Dale Proctor; step-daughter, Lisa Proctor; three grandchildren, Arron Jarratt, Caleb Troyer and Megan Proctor; two sisters, Mary Frances Stinson (Bud) and Sylvia Lewis and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.

After a career in the garment industry, Doris worked in home health care. She became a great source of support to those in need in her family and community.

A Celebration of Life reception will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Forest Hill Baptist Church in the fellowship hall. Private interment at Zion Baptist Church Cemetery will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

Sarah Edwards Wrenn

Sarah E. Wrenn passed from this life on Friday, December 28, 2018 at the age of 94 years old.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Percy and Jane Edwards, her sister Catherine Dunn (Spouse: Robert Dunn, Jr.), her sister Paxina Edwards (Spouse: R.G. Edwards, Jr.), her brother George Edwards (Spouse: Mary Edwards), and her brothers Phillip Edwards and P.B. Edwards.

After graduating from high school, Sarah was employed as an agent for the Virginian Railroad for about one year, before marrying J. Reid Wrenn of Emporia, to whom she was married for seventy three years.

Sarah was very interested in furniture restoration and antiques.  She loved to sew, cook, garden and travel, especially to visit family.

Sarah leaves behind one son, James R. Wrenn, Jr., (Spouse: Karen Wrenn), and one daughter, Rebecca Wrenn Adam, (Spouse: Michael Adam).  Sarah also leaves behind three grandsons:  Brian Wrenn (Spouse Adriana Wrenn and great-granddaughter Maria Wrenn), as well as grandsons Elliott Wrenn and Ryan Adam.

Visitation will be held at Echols Funeral Home at 806 Brunswick Avenue, Emporia, VA on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

A funeral service will be held at the Echols Chapel on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 2:00 pm, with burial to follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery located on U.S. highway 301 South, also in Emporia.

Following the burial, friends and relatives will be welcomed at the Wrenn home at 426 Laurel Street, Emporia, VA.

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

William Stuart Howell

William Stuart Howell, 75, of Emporia, VA, died December 27, 2018, at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Howell, was born in Radford, VA, and worked with Nationwide Insurance Company for forty-eight years.

He is survived by his wife, Teen Quesenberry Howell and numerous friends. Howell was a former member of the Emporia Jaycees and Emporia/Greensville Rescue Squad. He served as a board member of the Emporia/Greensville Chamber Of Commerce since the early 70’s and also served as Treasurer. In 2012, Howell was awarded the Eugene H. Bloom Lifetime Achievement Award.

A memorial service will be held in the Chapel of Echols Funeral Home, at 2:00 PM, Thursday, January 3, 2019, with Rev. Rick Franklin officiating. The family will receive at the funeral home following the service.

The family request memorial donations be made to the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad or to a charity of one’s choice.

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

Irene Mitchell Phillips

Irene Mitchell Phillips, 79, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, December 29, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Cecil Neal Phillips; one son, Randy Lynn Phillips and a brother, Parker Mitchell, Jr.

Mrs. Phillips is survived by herson, Kevin Phillips (Sherry); grandson, Justin Neal Phillips; sister, Betty M. Prince (Raymond); brother, Roy Lee Mitchell (Martha Jane); sister-in-law, Lilly Ruth Mitchell and a number of nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 2 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at church one hour prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

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

"Time to Change"

Whatever happened to the many days
that constitute a year
I know some are surely missing
for soon a new ones here.
 
I put away my resolutions list
a good long while ago
now just where I did put it
I really do not know.
 
Now I started many things for sure
and I finished one or two
yet guessing now what was on the list
I don’t think that I could do.
 
I’m told this is a good thing
but you have to do it right
yes and for me I think it would be best
to hold the list in one hand quite tight.
 
Well there is no cause to worry
for these things won’t go away
I only hope after my travel and hunting
that I’ll find me another free day.
 
Happy New Year to one and all.
 
                         Roy E. Schepp

Bettie Sue Neal

Mrs. Bettie Sue Neal, 94, died peacefully at her home in Lawrenceville on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018.

Born and raised in Clover, Va., Mrs. Neal was one of 10 children born to Sallie Blanch Throckmorton and Tom Steven Neal. She had been an active and revered resident of Lawrenceville for more than 70 years, having settled there after World War II and her marriage to Harold Jones Neal Sr. in 1942.

While busy raising her family of four children, Mrs. Neal was also involved in the civic life of her adopted hometown. She was the first president of Town and Country Garden Club, and was also a member of the Lawrenceville Women’s Club, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the Lioness Club, and the Firemen’s Auxiliary.

Her membership in Lawrenceville United Methodist Church was one of the most meaningful of her life. In addition to being a regular Sunday morning church-goer, she was president of the United Methodist Women, a Sunday School teacher, and chairman of her circle. She also helped decorate the church with flowers for special occasions and she assisted with refreshments whenever there was a reception. If the church doors were open, Mrs. Neal was there.

Mrs. Neal’s greatest joy was her family, which had grown to include 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was never happier than when surrounded by her family, and she took great delight in hosting the entire family in her home, whether for a festive holiday gathering with everyone’s favorite dishes or a bowl of Brunswick stew at the kitchen table.

She loved to cook, and Thanksgiving especially showcased her talents in the kitchen as well as her loving spirit. Besides turkey and all the trimmings, her sideboard groaned with every vegetable known to man, in order to satisfy the preferences of every single family member. There were also multiple desserts, and though she enjoyed trying new recipes, her famous chocolate pie was her signature treat. She often baked the tasty concoction of chocolate custard topped with meringue for bereaved families, shut-ins, and church bazaars.

Mrs. Neal loved her circle of friends and she loved socializing. She played bridge on a regular basis for many years, and she once remarked that she sometimes had trouble concentrating on the game because she got caught up in conversation. 
 She also was a member of the local Red Hat Club and she joined in on every excursion that her schedule allowed. She enjoyed excellent health until recent months, and she continued to take pleasure in outings with her family as well as trips to shop, go out to eat, or have her nails and hair done.

Mrs. Neal was predeceased by her husband, who died in 1975. In addition to 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, she is survived by her four children and their spouses, Bettie Brent Neal Vaughan (Charles) of Lawrenceville; Dr. Harold J. Neal Jr. (Jamie) of Emporia; John C. Neal (Susan) of Fredericksburg; and Russell C. Neal (Nancy) of Dinwiddie.

Surviving grandchildren and their spouses are Sloan Canaday (Brian) of Richmond; Meredith Sawyer (Tom) of Alexandria; Charlotte Crane (Adam) of Ashland; Harrison Vaughan (Danielle) of Wake Forest, N.C.; Sallie Vaughan of Lexington, S.C.; Taylor Neal (Rachel) and Gordon Neal (Katherine), both of Richmond; Katherine Neal of Fredericksburg; Elizabeth Mims (Weston) of Mount Sidney; and Sarah Phillips (Blake) of Franklin. She also is survived by a sister, Elsie N. Griles of Clover; her sister-in law, Violet M. Neal and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mrs. Neal’s caregivers over the past two years enabled her to remain in her beloved home, and the family sincerely appreciates their devotion to her well-being. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Lawrenceville United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends at the church at 12 noon prior to the service.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Lawrenceville United Methodist Church Elevator Fund, P.O. Box 2, Lawrenceville, VA  23868.  Mrs. Neal wished to be cremated and her remains will be buried alongside her husband at Oakwood Cemetery in Lawrenceville. Williams Funeral Home in Lawrenceville is handling arrangements.

Walter L. Wyatt

Walter L. Wyatt, 83, of Emporia, passed away Sunday, December 23, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Sherba “Polly” Wyatt; two sons, Danny Wyatt (Barbara) and Tommy Wyatt; five grandchildren, David Wyatt (Lauren), Lance Wyatt (Kelli), Danielle Donovan (Brian); Austin Wyatt and Jessica Harrison (Brian); five great-grandchildren, Bryn Donovan, Sydney Wyatt, Brayden Wyatt, Logan Harrison and Brooklyn Harrison; a brother, R.C. Wyatt, Jr.; two sisters, Sarah Milligan (Jimmy) and Alma Louvene Norman and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 26 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, December 27 at Independence United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

“A Christmas Story”

Many listen for the sleigh bells
That in a far off distance ring
Yet others shout Hosanna’s
For the new born Savior King.
 
Now Christmas day is celebrated
In many a varied way
For the Christian it’s quite religious
But with non-believers, just a holiday.
 
The Wise Men traveled to Bethlehem
Just guided by a star
They were bearing gifts for the Baby Jesus
Which all brought from afar.
 
Today most rely on Santa Claus
And his reindeer overhead
The principal is much the same
But they’re store bought gifts instead.
 
Yes the stores put out their welcome mat
Two months before Christmas day
Trying to help us fill our shopping list
In a most beneficial way.
 
We all help them with their efforts
For the needs are much abused
In the corner of room number three you’ll find
Some toys that haven’t been used.
 
Just throw away the want list
And to all little children bring
Clothes that will keep them all warm
Until the first breath of spring.
 
On Christmas Eve, fill up all the stockings
So all is ready for Christmas morn
Yes and while opening presents take time to remind
That today the Christ Child was born.
 
Roy E. Schepp

Santa’s Elves Come to Jackson-Feild

On December 20th fourteen members of the Lake Gaston Ladies Club and several other volunteers traveled to Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services campus in Jarratt, VA to wrap all the children’s Christmas that were purchased by donors and will be given to residents on Christmas Eve. 

The wrapping event is an annual has become a tradition for the women for the past eighteen year in which they have served as Santa’s helpers.

The day began with the women arrived bright and early in the morning and they got right to work. By the end of the day over 250 presents were lovingly wrapped by these special elves.

While some of the returning ladies began wrapping presents, members who had not previously been  to campus were given a tour and overview of Jackson-Feild’s programs and services/

These special volunteers ate lunch in the dining hall with residents and one of the residents welcomed them to the campus and thanked them for their efforts on behalf of all the children.

Coca-Cola Hosts Pizza Party for Jackson-Feild Residents

Staff members of the Consolidated Coca-Cola Bottling Company in  Halifax, North Carolina hosted a pizza party for the residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services. 

A team of eight volunteers provided pizza, Coca-Cola products for every resident.

The company also sponsored  Christmas gifts for eight residents and will be presented to these children on Christmas morning.

The residents were extremely excited to enjoy a special meal as was evidenced by how many had a second serving of pizza. After everyone enjoyed their pizza, they were served a dessert of either cookies which were baked by residents in the food occupation class.

Both the staff and residents of Jackson-Feild are incredibly grateful for the support Consolidated of Coca-Cola Bottling Company for their wonderful efforts on behalf of the residents and for bringing the spirit of Christmas to Jackson-Feild.

Trial Date Set in Civil Suit Against Emporia-Greensville Commonwealth's Attorney Patricia Watson

The civil suit filed against Patricia Watson, Kimberly Darden and Henry Allen will procede. The claims against Mr. Allen have previously been dismissed.

The Honorable John A. Gibney, Jr. has set date for a Trial by Jury beginning April 29, 2019 at the Federal District Courthouse for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond.

The opinion of the Federal Judge finding probable cause in the case of King v Darden, Watson and Allen was the "Opinion of the Day" in Lawyers Weekly shortly after it was issued. That opinion is available online here, and, like all of the documents in the case, is public record.

That opinion found that the allegations in two of the four counts of the complaing warranted proceding.

The Judge granted the motion to dismiss all counts against Mr. Allen but denied the motion to dismiss for both Ms Darden and Mrs. Watson on Counts I and III. Count II was dismissed, but Mr. King was granted leave to amend the complaint. The Judge's opinion also stated that Mrs. Watson did not enjoy Eleventh Amendment Immunity.

As for Commonwealth's Attorney Watson and Virginia State Police Special Investigator, the Judge ruled that they would both face some of the allegations in the Complaint filed by Mr. King. his opinion further stated that Eleventh Amendment Immunity does not shield Mrs. Watson from facing the claims in the complaint it is alleged tht she acted in her personal capacity and not a professional one. Mrs. Watson may still be shielded by State Immunity, but that would require a "more complete record" and an affirmitive defense by Mrs. Watson.

Mr. King, through his attorney later filed further information with the Court and Count II was reinstated.

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Song Traveled a Long Way to SVCC Training Program

Terence Song won a lottery and almost three years later, he has graduated from the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Training Program at Pickett Park in Blackstone, Virginia.  A native of Cameroon, a country located in Central Africa, Song had applied for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV Program) that makes up to 50,000 immigrant visas available annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. 

From his native town to Blackstone, he has traveled about 5,800 miles to attend the 11-week training program and graduate with the largest class thus far, 36 members.

Song is not a stranger to lineman work as he worked as a lineman in Cameroon for eight years.  In what he calls his ‘new country,’ he has been working for Rockingham Construction, a company that provides electrical construction work.  He lives in Woodbridge, Virginia. 

Song’s native language is French and in studying lineman work in America, he has learned new names for all the familiar equipment.  Asked about his ability to grasp a new language complete with Southern accents, he notes that he tilts his head in and listens hard.

“There are no bucket trucks in Cameroon,” he said, noting that America offers much better equipment to maintain electric power lines.    He said in his former country, they plant utility poles by hand using shovels and the power of five to six men to place the pole.  The machinery and power line equipment here is much safer and easier, he noted. 

Another difference that amazed Song’s classmates are the climbing spikes he brought from Cameroon.  The spikes used in America feature a long gaff or spear that gouges into the wood of the pole and allows for moving up and down.  The ones used by Song have a row of shorter spears plus semi-circle claw.  Instructor Clyde Robertson notes that if one ever gets accustomed to the spikes Song uses, they offer a more comfortable platform for the feet. 

During his training in Virginia, he has been given a chance for more practice in snow, something one never see in Cameroon.  He said the lowest temperature there is around 60 and the hottest can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.   Also, there are not four seasons in his native land, he said, “There are only two seasons there, rainy and dry.”

At age 40, he said he was the old man in the class.  Most of his classmates were in their early 20s.  He said some of the guys in the lineman class would tell him to take his jacket off when the temperature was warm but the temperatures here  in October did not seem particularly hot to him.

“I like it here, I like the countryside,” he said and the small town atmosphere.  His hometown is Ombe, a city of about three million people. 

Proud of his recent accomplishment, he looks forward to continuing to live and work and one day obtain citizenship in his New Country. 

Ninth Class Graduates Power Line Worker Program at SVCC

The Ninth Class of Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Training graduated on December 18, 2018.  This was the largest class to complete the training with a total of 36.  They are

Joshua Bale

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Noah Blackwel

 Ruther Glen, Virginia

Tristen Bunch

Dinwiddie, Virginia

Collin Burnett

Mine Run, Virginia

Austin Cherrix

S. Prince George, Virginia

Waverly Clements

Emporia, Virginia

Colton Cliborne

McKenney, Virginia

Hunter Cochran

Cumberland, Virginia

Tyler Conner

South Boston, Virginia

Ryan Drewery

S. Prince George, Virginia

Cordell Farley

Montpelier, Virginia

Logan Farrell

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Lane Janosik

Church Road, Virginia

Cody Jewett

DeWitt, Virginia

Jake Lloyd

Louisa, Virginia

Ryan Love

Waverly, Virginia

Austin McCormick Mechanicsville, Virginia

Jacob McLamb

Vernon Hill, Virginia

Logan Miller

Wilsons, Virginia

John Moore

Warrenton, Virginia

Jason Ownby

Cumberland, Virginia

Brycen Parnell

Keysville, Virginia

Elijah Patterson

Staunton, Virginia

Bayse Pitts

Farnham, Virginia

Aaron Ruddick

McKenney, Virginia

Hunter Rutledge

Keysville, Virginia

Fred Smith

Craddockville, Virginia

Terence Song

Woodbridge, Virginia

Daniel Sorrells

Buena Vista, Virginia

Adam Stubbs

Ashland, Virginia

Charles Thompson

Richmond, Virginia

Noah Tosh

Bedford, Virginia

Robert J. Watson

Nellysford, Virginia

Jarvis Wingo, Jr.

Jetersville, Virginia

Joel Wright

Gordonsville, Virginia

Seth York

Blackstone, Virginia

VCU Health CMH Recognizes Veterans on Staff

South Hill, VA - VCU Health is proud of the many team members whom are veterans and have served our nation.  Pictured are the team members that were recognized during a special ceremony held on Veteran’s Day in November.  Each team member received a lapel pin that honors their branch of service.

(L to R) Tommy Pistolis, Eric Williams, Linda Norman, Curtis Poole, Larry Tucker, Earnest Hatcher, Ronnie Allen, Mike Simmons, Sherry Jobe, Jonathan Mayo and Archie McCartney.  Not Pictured:  Benjamin Davis and Pat Stables

Donald McEachin Installed as Vice-Chair of the Sustainale Energy and Environment Coalition

WASHINGTON — Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following his installation as a Vice-Chair of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC):

“Scientific reports, record breaking natural disasters, and my constituents – especially our courageous young people – have made it crystal-clear: the time to act on climate is now. As members of SEEC’s leadership team, we will take bold steps together to address our climate crisis. We will encourage our national transition to a clean energy economy; promote the creation of well-paying green jobs; and advocate for strong environmental protections, all while fighting to address long-standing environmental injustices. I am confident that in the new Democratic Majority, SEEC members will help lead our colleagues and our country toward a more sustainable future. I am excited and honored to be part of the leadership that will help make that happen.”

A Gift in Winter

By Dr. Al Roberts

Twentieth century British poet Edith Sitwell wrote, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

I enjoy many of winter’s simple pleasures, including the beauty of snowflakes and moonlight, traditional feasts and gift-giving, and hot cocoa with warm conversations. Warding off winter’s chill by bundling up in a snug, woolen coat contributes to an overall sense of serenity and comfort.

But winter can also be a time when harsh conditions lead to hardship. Emergencies multiply. Their effects compound.

According to an analysis by the United Way’s ALICE Project, 39% of Virginia’s households were either living below the federal poverty level or identified as Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE). The ALICE designation describes working families with incomes above the poverty level but still less than required for basic living costs, such as housing, food, child and health care, and transportation.  Within SVCC’s service region, the number of households at or below the ALICE or poverty level ranges from 49% to 60%, much larger percentage than the statewide averages.

Income at ALICE and poverty levels supports only a modest lifestyle. It leaves no room for savings, so families are often left vulnerable to emergencies and unexpected expenses.  A surprisingly high heating bill, a car that won’t start, or a doctor’s visit can threaten to topple plans and cast the future into darkness.

Several factors contribute, including low regional pay scales and increases in the basic cost of living that outpace wage growth. Education is a documented solution. Career and technical certifications and associate-degree programs provide rapid access to well-paying jobs and pathways to family-sustaining careers.

Pursuing educational goals, however, can temporarily stress finances. On the road to better pay and professional security, students encounter such expenses as tuition, books, technology, and transportation that can strain limited budgets. Illustrating this concern, recent studies have found that 13% to 21% of community college students experience food insecurity, yet college students are often ineligible for federal food assistance programs. In light of this need, SVCC has established food pantries at locations across its service area.

Additionally, to help students facing food emergencies and other crises, the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation administers funds that help meet urgent needs so that students can remain on track to reach their education goals. These opportunities are made possible through the generous contributions of people who understand the importance of helping students succeed. If you would like to join them and make a gift that will usher in a brighter future for hard-working students with unexpected challenges, contact the SVCC Foundation office at 434-949-1051.

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.

The Holidays and Alzheimer’s: Tips to Help Families Navigate Challenges this Holiday Season

Holiday celebrations are often joyous occasions that families look forward to all year, but they can be challenging for the millions of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S., and more than nearly 16 million people care for someone with the disease.

“The hustle and bustle that accompanies the holidays can be stressful for people living with Alzheimer’s,” said Monica Moreno, senior director, care and support, Alzheimer’s Association. “Changes in the daily routine, large gatherings and noisy environments – all holiday hallmarks – can create extra anxiety for someone living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

To help families navigate holiday-related challenges, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering these simple tips to ensure an enjoyable holiday for all.

Prepare Your Guests: The holidays are full of emotions, so let guests know what to expect before they arrive and tell them how they can help. Suggest activities to engage the person with Alzheimer’s or best ways to communicate with them. “Cross talk or simultaneous conversations can be challenging for people living with Alzheimer’s, so try engaging them one-on-one or in smaller group settings,” Moreno advises.

Build on traditions and memories: Take time to experiment with new traditions that might be less stressful or a better fit with your caregiving responsibilities. If evening confusion and agitation are a problem, turn your holiday dinner into a holiday lunch or brunch.

Involve the person living with Alzheimer’s: Depending on abilities and preferences, make sure to keep the person with Alzheimer’s involved in the celebrations, such as packing cookies in tins or helping wrap gifts.

Plan ahead: When attending a holiday party, prepare the host for special needs, such as a quiet room for the person to rest when they get tired, away from the noise and distractions.

Adapt gift giving to ensure safe and useful gifts: Diminishing capacity may make some gifts unusable or even dangerous to a person with dementia. If someone asks for gift ideas, suggest items people living with the disease can easily enjoy, such as comfortable clothing, favorite music, videos and photo albums.

More holiday tips can be found by visiting the Alzheimer’s Association. The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline also provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. Call the helpline toll-free anytime, even holidays, at 1.800.272.3900.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.

Ervin M. “Snake” Harris

Ervin M. “Snake” Harris, 86, of Emporia, passed away Saturday, December 15, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah W. Harris. He is survived by a son, Ervin Harris, Jr. “Casey”; two daughters, Michele H. Cogbill and Heidi H. Geary; a brother, Herman Harris; two sisters, Dean Riggan and Anne Florence Harris and a number of nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held graveside 11 a.m. Tuesday, December 18 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

Online condolences may shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

CHRISTMAS TURKEY, TOY AND GIFT CARD DISTRIBUTION DECEMBER 21st , 2018

CHRISTMAS TURKEY, TOY AND GIFT CARD DISTRIBUTION DECEMBER 21st , 2018

LOCATION: FOOD LION 216 Market Dr, Emporia, VA

Hours: 6:30-7:30 P.M.

WORLDCARE RELIEF MINISTRY IS OFFERING A FREE CHRISTMAS TOY, TURKEY AND FOOD LION GIFT CARD DISTRIBUTION  TO FAMILIES IN NEED. (Supplies are limited)

December 21, 2018 at 6:30-7:30 pm.

Toys, turkeys and $10 Food Lion gift cards will be donated to those in need in Emporia, Virginia on a first come, first serve basis.  Please bring a form of identification and some form of information proving need such as: a Medicaid card, SNAP card or social services  benefits letter. People who do not have this information and still are in need will be handled on a case by case basis.

“I Found Snow”

Snow flurries were just everywhere
as far as one could see
I thought my prayers were answered
and a white Christmas it would be.
 
I had just finished polishing my skis
for they thought we’d get a heap
yes and skiing is so much more fun
when the snow is really deep.
 
Many don’t realize how great it is
going down a big steep hill
just knowing there is always a chance
you could take quite a spill.
 
Well then it stopped coming down
the reason I don’t know
yet while it fluttered from the sky
one did see quite a show.
 
Yes my skiing it was ended
long before I found a hill
I guess living in the Southland
has put my chances close to nil.
 
Still I called my older sister in Wisconsin
sometime the very next day
I let her know little brother had found some snow
over a thousand miles away!
 
                         Roy E. Schepp

Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc. Opens I-95 Northbound Bridge over Meherrin River to Traffic

Wagman Heavy Civil, Inc. announces the opening of the northbound bridge on I-95 over the Meherrin River in Emporia, Va. The bridge opened to traffic on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 and is the second Interstate bridge on the project that has opened to traffic.

Greg Andricos, president and COO of Wagman Heavy Civil states, “We are proud of our team for achieving this milestone in spite of a historically wet construction season. Wagman plans to continue the expedited delivery of this project, enhancing quality and safety on I-95.”

The first new bridge to open was the southbound bridge in September 2017, built next to the existing southbound bridge, while northbound traffic shifted onto the old southbound bridge. Crews then demolished the existing northbound bridge and built the new one in its place. Demolition on the existing southbound bridge, a final stage in the project, has now begun. Aside from the demolition and replacement of both bridges, the $22M project also includes installation of storm water management facilities.

Construction on the project began in January 2016 and is required to be completed by fall 2019.

Wagman is a multi-faceted construction firm with major operations in heavy civil, general construction, and geotechnical construction services.  Founded in 1902, Wagman is a fourth generation, family-owned company with offices in Pennsylvania and Virginia.  As a heavy civil contractor, Wagman is a nationally recognized leader within the industry. Wagman’s core competencies include: design-build, infrastructure, marine construction, modified concrete, grooving and grinding, and geotechnical construction services.

For more information about Wagman, please visit www.wagman.com.

Norman Rex "Buddy" Turner

Norman Rex "Buddy" Turner, also known as "Leg Man" of Garysburg, NC, passed away on December 12, 2018. Buddy was born in Roanoke Rapids on October 15, 1952.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ernest R. Turner, Sr., mother, Dorothy L. Otten, stepfather, Fletcher O. Otten, and granddaughter, Jessica Turner.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon R. Turner of Garysburg; four children, Sandra Blick, Angel Hayzlett, Christy Alston, all from Richmond, VA, and Ashley Turner Gray and her husband, Tom, of Freeman, VA; one sister, Janet T. Davis of Pendelton; two brothers, Ernest R. Turner Jr. and wife, Jackie, of Littleton, and Gary W. Otten of Emporia, VA; seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and one special cousin, Bobby "Punk" Turner, of Roanoke Rapids.

Buddy loved trucking, music, fishing, boating, and cooking his famous stew. He loved life in general, and his family so very much. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations for expenses.

The family will have a visitation on Sunday, December 16, 2018, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. at Askew Funeral & Cremation Services, 731 Roanoke Avenue, Roanoke Rapids.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGES MOTORISTS TO DRIVE SOBER AND DO THEIR PART ‘TOWARD ZERO DEATHS’ THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

RICHMOND – Over the next week, thousands of Virginians will take to the highway to travel for the holidays. This weekend – Life Saver Weekend – signifies the start of the Christmas travel period and serves as a reminder to motorists to #Drive2SaveLives and celebrate safely so everyone will #ArriveAlive.

Since Dec. 1, 2018, traffic crashes in Virginia have claimed the lives of 23 people, including 15 drivers, two passengers, three pedestrians, two motorcyclists and one bicyclist. Despite a grim start to the month, preliminary reports indicate traffic fatalities are down 3.5 percent to date in 2018 (Jan. 1, 2018 - Nov. 12, 2018) compared to the same period last year, falling from 799 deaths in 2017 to 771 so far this year. 

Last year, 248 individuals were killed in alcohol-related crashes on Virginia highways.* Since Nov. 18, 2018 (Thanksgiving week), Virginia State Police has decorated its virtual “Lifesaving Tree” with 99 stars, each of which represents a DUI arrest and a potential life saved because an impaired driver was taken off the road. A star will be added to the “Lifesaving Tree” for every impaired driving arrest through the end of December, which is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.

“The holidays are a time to celebrate, but if the celebration involves alcohol you need to do it responsibly – hand over the keys, call for a ride or simply stay where you are,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “When you choose to drive drunk, you not only put your own life at risk, you risk the lives of others on the road with you. Make the smart, sober choice and help Virginia move toward zero roadway deaths.”

The “Toward Zero Deaths Virginia” website, an in-depth resource for online traffic safety content, was launched in late November and announced in a press release from Governor Ralph S. Northam.

To help prevent traffic deaths and injuries during the Life Saver Weekend, the Virginia State Police will once again be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., an acronym for the Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints. As a participating agency, state police will increase its visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at 12:01 a.m. and continuing through midnight, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.

During last year’s Life Saver Weekend (Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 – Sunday, Dec. 17, 2018), Virginia State Police troopers:

  • Cited 1,499 speeders
  • Cited 428 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 31 drunken drivers
  • Cited 147 safety belt violations & 49 child restraint violations
  • Investigated 493 traffic crashes (None of which were fatal.)

With additional troopers and other law enforcement working on Virginia’s highways this holiday weekend, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law. A life-saving law intended to protect public safety responders and others who have a responsibility to work the roads. Drivers are required to change to another travel lane or, when unable to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. The law also includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

* Virginia Highway Safety Office

National Driver of the Year to Speak at SVCC Truck Driving Graduation Events

Trucking’s National Driver of the Year, David Boyer, is the guest speaker for the next two graduations of the Southside Virginia Community College’s Truck Driver Training School.  Students will complete the program with ceremonies at the Fort Pickett site on December 13 at 9 a.m. and at the South Boston site on December 20 at 9 a.m. 

Boyer, a professional truck driver with ABF Freight and an America’s Road Team Captain, was honored as trucking’s 2018 National Driver of the Year at American Trucking Associations Safety Management Council’s meeting in Long Beach California on November 14, 2018.  He is a 40-year veteran with ABF Freight and has worked for only one other company in his career.  He regularly operates twin trailers over the road between Wytheville, Virginia and Memphis, Tennessee.

Being named for this award recognizes drivers for noteworthy and career-long professional achievements, holding a stellar safety record and maintaining dedication to keeping the roads safe.  As a part of his award, Boyer attended a White House event in October alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in which she told President Trump about his achievements. 

The SVCC Truck Driver Training School opened in 1996.  There have been approximately 2300 graduates.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE LAUNCH NEW INSTAGRAM SITE WITH K-9 “NAME REVEAL”

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police is expanding its digital footprint in the social media environment with the launch of an official Instagram account. The Virginia State Police account at instagram.com/virginia_state_police is now “live” on the photo-sharing app platform and at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, featured as its first post - a sneak preview of the names selected for the Department’s two newest bloodhounds.

The Virginia State Police established itself on YouTube in 2009 and Facebook in 2010. A @VSPPIO Twitter page followed five years later. Today, the state police engages with more than 180,000 Facebook followers, approximately 13,500 Twitter followers and 1,500 YouTube viewers worldwide.

“Adding Instagram to the Virginia State Police social media portfolio enables us to reach a much greater audience with our key traffic safety messaging, crime prevention outreach, investigative alerts and recruitment efforts…and, of course, more photos of our canines,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We look forward to engaging with the public via Instagram and sharing even more about the state police and our mission in service and safety to others.”

Instagram followers who connect with state police by 11 a.m. Thursday will be the first to find out the winning names for the 11-week-old brother and sister bloodhounds as pictured with Colonel Settle. In mid-November, state police invited the public to send in via Facebook their favorite names for the floppy-eared siblings. The Department’s K9 Training Unit deliberated the more than 3,300 pairs of suggested names and narrowed them down to five for final consideration. Just shy of 1,500 Facebook followers cast their votes and the winning pair of names will be revealed on all three state police social media platforms by noon Thursday.

 

 

 

Angel Tree at Benchmark Community Bank Helps Our Neighbors

Benchmark Community Bank is sponsoring a 2018 Angel Tree to benefit an Emporia family that recently lost everything they had. Each angel represents items needed by different members of the family. Branch Manager Gloria Robinson, pictured, invites the community to include this family as you give to a neighbor in need. To participate, stop by the branch located at 216 W. Atlantic Street in the Goodwill Shopping Center.

Hours are 9-5 Monday-Thursday and 9-5:30 Fridays. Donations will be accepted through Friday, December 14th. To learn more about the Angel Tree project, stop by the Emporia branch or call 434-829-2877

Alberta Jones Rook

Alberta “Bert” Jones Rook, 94, died Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

A native of Wake County, she was the daughter of the late Luther Henry Jones and Annie Grey Jones. She retired as a teller with Central Fidelity Bank. In addition to her parents, Bert was preceded in death by her husband; Walter Daniel Rook Sr., her son; Walter Daniel “Danny” Rook Jr., sisters; Rachel Odom, Mary Alice Nicholson, and Edna Wood, brothers; James Minton Jones and Henry Jones.

Mrs. Rook is survived by her daughter; Patsy R. Brown and her husband Lee of Emporia, Virginia, Grandchildren; Melanie Brown Owen of Emporia, Ryan Brown of Emporia, Jason Rook of Emporia, Christopher Rook of Jarratt, Virginia, and Kyle Rook of Emporia, Great Grandchildren; Joshua Rook, Adam Owen, Taia Brown, Emma Rook, Allie Jarratt, and Jillian Brown.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, December 14, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Forest Hill Baptist Church in Skippers, Virginia with Rev. Rick Ragan officiating. Burial will follow in the Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 7 P.M. until 8:30 P.M. at Wrenn Clarke and Hagan Funeral and Cremation Service.

Online condolences may be left at wrennclarkehagan.com.

Big Comeback Leads to Cool Job for Hawkes

Sometimes a big setback leads to an even bigger comeback.  This was the case for Cedric Hawkes whose rebound has landed him in the cool job of teaching at Nottoway Middle School where he impacts lives. 

When his fiancée and mother of his two children passed away and he found himself a single father of two boys, ages five months and 15 months, Hawkes knew some things in his life had to change.  Hawkes had attended Old Dominion University but not finished and was working at Southside Virginia Community College as a restaurant manager for the Farley Experience.  Working in the college environment, he was interested in returning to school and found encouragement from Dr. John Hicks, counselor.

“Working at the café was the perfect scenario,” he said. “It jump-started me back on track, it was a home place with a fun-oriented atmosphere.”

He told the he Longwood College publication The Lancer, “It had been on my mind for a while so one day I took my apron off and went to talk to one of the counselors there (at SVCC).”

After taking some classes at SVCC, he was able to in get into Longwood University through the guaranteed acceptance agreement. He joined the Call Me MISTER program, a national teacher leadership program, where he excelled and was the eldest MISTER so he was role model to others. 

Asked why his job as a teacher is cool, he said the first word that comes to mind is satisfying. 

“I am able to give back to so many people, to give so much of myself, to offer selfless service.  When I see the looks on these kids’ faces, when you relate to them on their level, I see growth and change in their lives,” Hawkes said.

“I try to reach ‘em before I teach ‘em,” he said.

He does not just change lives and act as a role model during the school day, but he also coaches varsity football at Nottoway high school in the afternoons and is on the field leading the players during practice and games. 

“I never thought I would be a teacher but the experiences I had and the people I met influenced me,” he said.

One way he influences his students is by giving them a sense of pride in their appearance.  He sponsors Tie Tuesday for the gentlemen in his class and Step It Up for the ladies as they sport their dressier clothes on these days.

Besides teaching and coaching, Hawkes is also a volunteer firefighter in Crewe.  He is certified to teach Fire I and 2 and Hazmat training. 

Hawkes wants to be a role model for his own children, ages, 10, 9, 8 and 14 months.   He and his fiancé’ are both school teachers and he is encouraging her to return to school to complete her Master’s degree.   His philosophy is to keep trying and never give up.  And this certainly shows as he impacts many lives at all levels in Southside Virginia.

 

STUDENT OF THE MONTH COURTNEY ANN WALTON NOVEMBER 2018

 

Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Courtney Ann Walton has been chosen the November 2018 Student of the Month.  Courtney, a senior, is the daughter of Joey and Sonya Walton of Lawrenceville.

Courtney is in the Brunswick Academy Honors Program that is the most rigorous and challenging program of student academics that the school offers.  She is also currently enrolled at SVCC taking dual-enrollment classes.

Courtney is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Brunswick Academy Scholastic Bowl team and Honor Council, where she served as Secretary last year.

She has played varsity softball and varsity volleyball.  At the annual awards banquet in her freshman year, she received the Most Valuable Player for Varsity Softball.  In addition, she was named to the First team All - Conference and First Team All - State.

For varsity softball, in her sophomore year, she received Conference Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference and First Team All-State.  The climax of the year was being named State Player of the Year.  That same year she was captain of the Varsity Softball Team and Co-Most valuable player of the year.  Courtney has played on the Williamsburg Starz Gold travel ball team and later on the Hanover Hornets travel softball team.

At the Class of 2018 graduation ceremonies, Courtney was a Junior Marshall.  At the same ceremony, she received the William and Mary Leadership Award.

In her spare time, Courtney enjoys playing with her goldendoodle puppy, spending time with her family and friends and loves to bake.   She has applied to The University of Richmond, The College of William and Mary, East Carolina University and North Carolina State University.  She plans to major in pre-law.

Clerk of the Circuit Court to Retire after 51 Years of Service

"After 51 years of serving Greensville County as its Circuit Court Clerk, I will retire effective March 1, 2019.  I wish to thank the citizens who have supported me throughout the years, and the loyal employees who have served alongside me in the Clerk’s Office.  When I first took office in 1968, we were still making entries with pen and ink, and we have now advanced to a mostly digital office.  Though there have been many changes through the years, this office has kept up with the advances in technology, and continued to serve the public in the same courteous and efficient manner they have come to expect," wrote Bobby Wrenn in an email.

As provided by law, JoAnne Conner, Chief Deputy Clerk, will assume the position of Clerk effective March 1.  She is qualified in every way to serve as Clerk, and has recently earned a certification from the National Center for State Courts as a Certified Court Manager.  Previously she earned certification as Master Deputy Circuit Court Clerk. 

"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Clerk, and I sincerely thank all of those who have made it possible for me to do so for over five decades."

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