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March 2017

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Career Opportunity

Residential Counselors

(Youth Service Workers)

 

Job#: 2017-10

If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of Virginia’s youth, then we want you to become part of our Team!  Rural Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility located in Jarratt, Virginia seeks positive role models to work directly with adolescent boys and girls in a psychiatric residential treatment program.  The Youth Service Worker is responsible for role-modeling healthy behavior, teaching life skills, administering a trauma informed behavioral support program, and leading youth in and participating in social, cultural, and recreational activities.  This position supervises youth in the residential unit and on off-campus activities and appointments.

Must possess the availability to work weekends, evenings, holidays, and nights.  Supreme flexibility required. 

Seeking candidates with Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology, Sociology or other Human Services field.   Experience will be considered in lieu of a degree.

Compensation package includes 401(k) retirement plan & employer sponsored health, dental, vision & life insurance.  JBHS is a Drug Free Workplace.  Successful applicants must pass a pre-employment drug screen and criminal background screening.  EOE.  Positions opened until filled.

E-mail cover letter and resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Attn: Chris Thompson
Job # 2017-10
E-mail:careers@jacksonfeild.org

This Paid Political Advertisement does not represent an endorsement by Emporia News. Emporia News does not endorse candidates for any political office.

Save on Gasoline at CornerStone Market BP -TODAY!

CornerStone Market BP - #1 BP Rewards Site in the USA

EMPORIA, VA. — BP North America just announced the #1 BP Rewards site in the USA and it is right here in Emporia – CornerStone Market BP and Subway.  The award was based on average registrations per month in 2016.   CornerStone Market BP and Subway is located at 501 W. Atlantic Street is the brainchild of Slate and Spivey of Emporia and Little Oil Company of Richmond.  Both companies are third generation family businesses who both diversified with the partnership at CornerStone as neither have been in the c-store or fast food business in the last 20 years.    For the year, CornerStone Market BP averaged 64 BP Rewards registrations per month with most all registrations by our residents of Emporia/Greensville.  Year-to-date registrations topped 384 by Dec. 31 saving thousands of dollars for the reward users. 

To continue the momentum from 2016, CornerStone Market BP will be having a BP Rewards Registration Event at the store this Friday, March 31st from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM with big savings for all who participate.  There will be employees at the dispensers explaining the promotion and giving immediate savings on gas to lower your price to under $1.8990 if you buy a minimum of 12 gallons.  An additional employee will be registering people in the store to help save you the time and effort of registering at home.  The registration takes less than a minute providing ongoing savings through BP Rewards on each fill-up.  CornerStone Market BP hopes to break their one day record for registrations with this promotion with new enrollments and re-enrolling current BP Rewards members.  The goal for the day is to save locals over $1,000 or more in gas or diesel on Friday.

BP REWARDS REGISTRATION EVENT 3.31.17,

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM - CORNERSTONE MARKET BP

“We are so pleased that our community has embraced saving 15¢-40¢ off the pump price on each fill-up depending on the specific purchase of the Reward user” says Clint Slate, one of the CornerStone owners.  “With an average purchase of 12 gallons of gas or diesel purchased, the average savings is 19¢ per gallon on each fill-up for a period of 90 days during the introductory period.  For people driving large vehicles that take 20 gallons on a fill-up, customers can save up to 38¢ per gallon on a maximum fill-up of 20 gallons.  That is not 38¢ off the purchase but 38¢ off PER GALLON giving a 20-gallon fill-up savings of $7.60 on one fill-up.  Once the introductory period is up, there will always be 10¢ a gallon for each $100 purchased.  As one customer said, “I can get a free Subway sandwich with my savings on each fill-up.”

During the month of December alone, 28% of all the fuel gallons sold at CornerStone Market BP were purchased by members of the BP Rewards program.  When asked what this milestone tells customers about CornerStone Market BP, Barry Grizzard Sales Manager of Little Oil Company says, "It proves that we put our customers first in trying to save them money on every trip to CornerStone Market BP, and that we will give the best customer service to all of our valued customers by providing the BP Rewards program and the ease to get into it." he explained.

The store's enrollment process for the rewards program is what sets it apart, Grizzard believes.  While any customer can go online and register for the BP Rewards program, CornerStone Market BP employees have personally enrolled every interested customer as asked via the store's computer as led by store manager Teresa Simmons. The registration is tied to a customer's phone number, which is given at the time of enrollment so another loyalty card is not needed.  "The personal touch with [enrollment] is the No. 1 way this program has been successful and led to us being #1 in the country," Grizzard says.  "Many people have the best intentions to enroll at a later time, but getting it done on the spot is the best way to get it done."

Monthly, CornerStone Market lines up employees and places them at the fuel pumps for a big event for the personal explanation of the program.  While at the pumps, employees engage with customers and ask for permission to help save them money on their fuel purchase that day.  With customers' consent, employees use a preprogrammed demo BP Rewards loyalty number to offer an on-the-spot discount for their fill-up without a prior purchase needed.  The discount can be any number of cents off per gallon based on the prior customer’s purchase.  These savings average 25¢ per gallon.  While filling up, employees take those few minutes to explain the BP Rewards program and encourage the customer to enroll.  If he or she would like to enroll, all they have to do is provide a personal phone number or 10-digit number to tie to their account for instant enrollment.  Employees then engage with the next customer and reset the preprogrammed BP Rewards loyalty number which gives out a different cents-off-per-gallon discount each time during the promotion.

Under the BP Rewards program, CornerStone Market BP Rewards members can:

  • Apply rewards toward purchases of up to 20 gallons per fill-up;
  • Use any form of payment to take advantage of the BP Rewards savings - a corporate or consumer credit card, debit card, or use with cash in-store to pay for the product all work;
  • Share their BP Rewards number with more than one person if the customer wants;
  • Even after the 90-day introductory promotion period, there will always be a rewards on every purchase but re-enrollment will extend the 90 day promotion period.

When members use a fuel dispenser at CornerStone Market BP, the screen prompts them with their current rewards balance and asks if they would like to use their accrued rewards now or later.  "The reason for this is you would like to maximize your purchase to get as many of the 20 gallons allowed under the program with the current fill, or postpone your rewards to another fill while continuing to grow the rewards on each fill," Chris Slate, an owner explains.   "Some people like to keep earning rewards until a fill-up only costs 1¢ per gallon for up to 20 gallons."

VSP Warns of IRS Phone Cloning Scam

CHATHAM, Va. - Within the past 24 hours, the Virginia State Police have received calls from two Virginians and one New Yorker about IRS-impersonation telephone calls linked to a Virginia State Police Area 43 Office in Chatham. The scammers have cloned the state police office’s main number – (434) 432-7287 – as a tactic to help convince a caller that they are legitimate. This is a common ploy utilized by scammers as the annual IRS filing season comes to a close.

The Internal Revenue Service will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

According to the IRS Website, the aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, using fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Victims may be threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

·         Please See: Consumer Alert: Scammers Change Tactics, Once Again

Some con artists have used video relay services (VRS) to try to scam deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Taxpayers are urged not trust calls just because they are made through VRS, as interpreters don’t screen calls for validity. For more details see the IRS YouTube video: Tax Scams via Video Relay Service .   

If a taxpayer receives an unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to phishing@irs.gov. Learn more by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page.

Virginia State University Selects New Leader for Hospitality Management Program

Dr. Berkita Bradford, who has been serving as the interim chairwoman of Virginia State University’s Hospitality Management Department, has been formally appointed to the position. The appointment is effective immediately.

Bradford, who arrived at VSU in fall 2015 to serve as an associate professor and program coordinator, stepped into the interim chairman position January 2016 after Dr. Dianne Williams left the university for a position at Bethune Cookman University, in Daytona Beach, Fla. She managed the unit for more than 10 years.

As chairwoman, Bradford will provide the department with administrative oversight and manage the day-to-day operations.

"Dr. Bradford’s passion for the hospitality industry and wealth of experience in the field have positioned her to be an ideal fit to lead VSU’s Hospitality Management Department into the future,” said Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean of VSU’s College of Agriculture, which houses the Hospitality Management Department.

In accepting the position, Bradford said, “I’m both honored and humbled to serve the VSU family. I look forward to the hard work, numerous challenges and working with the wonderful faculty and staff in the department.”

VSU's hospitality management program is one of only five Historically Black College and University (HBCU) programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), which proves the program exceeds standards in educational quality. The objective of the program is to provide students leadership and managerial training with real world hospitality educational experiences. The curriculum is designed to develop students’ focus on operations management at the property level and prepare them for management careers in the hotel and restaurant industry, food and beverage industry, convention and event planning, as well as at resorts, casinos and more.

Recent VSU hospitality management graduates have been hired by top national and international companies, including: Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Inc., Thompson Hospitality®, Sodexo, Aramark, U.S. Omni, Hilton, Four Seasons, Outback, Darden, and Loews® Hotels & Resorts, among many others.

Founded in 1882, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions and is located 20 minutes south of Richmond in the village of Ettrick.

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

Happenings at Brunswick Academy

Local Author and BA Alum Visits Campus

Brunswick Academy was fortunate to have local author, Francis Eugene Wood, visit campus on Wednesday, March 29th. Mr. Wood attended B.A. in the early 1970's before moving back to Farmville..  Wood had the opportunity to talk to students in grades 3-12 about his books and writing styles, along with sharing stories about his childhood in Brunswick County. For more information on Francis Eugene Wood go to his website www.tipofthemoon.com.

BA Goes Back to the 50s for Grandparents Day Program

More Virginians have health insurance, data show

By Amelia Heymann, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – The percentage of Virginians without health insurance fell by 2 percentage points in 2015, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. All but two localities in Virginia saw a drop in the number of uninsured residents.

The uninsured population of Virginia fell from 12.4 percent in 2014 to 10.4 percent in 2015, the data showed. Nationwide, the proportion of Americans lacking health insurance went from 13.5 percent to 10.9 percent.

Health insurance has been the subject of political debate at the federal and state levels. The goal of the Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare, was to get more people insured. Republicans say the law has been a disaster; Democrats say it’s working but needs improvement.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Virginia ranked No. 28 in its percentage of uninsured residents in 2015. Massachusetts had the lowest uninsured population (3.2 percent); Texas had the highest (19.2 percent).

From 2014 to 2015, the uninsured population dropped in all states except South Dakota, where the percentage rose 0.2 percent.

Among Virginia localities, the city of Lexington showed the biggest decrease in uninsured residents: Its percentage fell from 15 percent to 10.2 percent. The uninsured rate also dropped significantly in Highland County, Cumberland County and Roanoke.

The city of Richmond also had a sizable decline: Its proportion of uninsured residents declined from 18.4 percent in 2014 to 14.5 percent the following year.

Despite the improvements, more than 15 percent of the population was uninsured in a dozen localities in Virginia, including Harrisonburg, Accomack County and Manassas Park.

In many states, the reason for the decrease in uninsured residents could be the expansion of Medicaid, the government-funded health program for lower-income Americans. The Affordable Care Act offered states federal funding to expand Medicaid. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have done so, according to the Census Bureau.

Other states, including Virginia, declined to expand Medicaid for fear that they would be saddled with the costs down the road.

On Monday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe again urged Virginia legislators to expand Medicaid.

“Failing to expand Medicaid has cost Virginia $10.4 billion and has left 400,000 of our residents without health care,” McAuliffe said. “President Trump’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, and even Speaker (Paul) Ryan has said that Obamacare is the law of the land for the foreseeable future. The time has come for us to bring our taxpayer dollars back to serve the individuals who need them the most.”

Republicans, who control the Virginia General Assembly, are likely to reject McAuliffe’s request.

Improvement Asspc Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Students participating in The Improvement Association’s Head Start initiative received a special treat when students participating in the agency’s Project Discovery initiative visited their classrooms on March 2. Project Discovery students read various books to the children in honor of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Head Start is now recreating for the 2017-2018 program year. For more information contact Shikee Franklin, Head Start Director, at 434-634-2490 or Linda Bailey, Family Community Partnership Coordinator at 434-634-2044. For more information about Project Discovery, contact William Ricks at or email wricks@impassoc.org.

STUDENT OF THE MONTH MARCH 2016 LOVLEEN KAUR

Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Lovleen Kaur has been chosen the  March 2017 Student of the Month.  Loveleen is the daughter of Karamjit Kaur of South Hill and has one sister.  Lovleen has played JV basketball at Brunswick Academy and is a member of the Latin Club.   

She enjoys reading and painting.  Her future plans include attending Southside Virginia Community College and hopes to work in local banking. 

WAY TO GO LOVLEEN!

Alfred A. Allen

Alfred A. Allen, 82, of Emporia, a retired farmer, passed away Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at his home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Gordon Allen; an infant daughter and daughter Vicky T. Allen- Pearce; four brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his son, Todd B. Allen and wife, Kristie and his daughter, Lisa A. Fox and husband, Jett; three grandchildren, Marcus Allen, Katie Whitehead and husband, Stuart and Keith Harrell; two sisters, Josephine Covington and Esther Allen and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wants to convey their heartfelt appreciation to longtime caregivers, Becky Presson and Karen Drummond and the staff and nurses of New Century Hospice. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 30 at Owen Funeral Home, Jarratt, Virginia. The funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, March 31 at High Hills Baptist Church with interment to follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to High Hills Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 296, Jarratt, Virginia 23867. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

Donna Rae Bozard

Donna Rae Bozard, 66, of Skippers, passed away, Monday, March 27, 2017. She was the daughter of the late Curtis and Louise Bozard and was also preceded in death by three brothers, John, Robert and Billy Bozard. She is survived by her son, William Bozard; two grandchildren, Robbie and Connor Bozard; sisters, Mary Balmer, Marcy Woodruff, brothers, Keith Bozard, Mike Bozard and Jeffrey Bozard. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 1 at Faith Baptist Church where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.owenfh.com.

SVCC Welding Lab Opens in Greensville County

The Southside Virginia Community College Welding Lab, located at the Southside Virginia Education Center in Greensville County, was officially opened March 14, 2017 with a Ribbon Cutting ceremony and open house. 

Welding impacts virtually every industry and students using this new lab will have the opportunity to pursue high paying welding careers in a wide range of areas.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), welding is a solid career in addition to a growing field.  The BLS estimates there will be a need for 14,400 more welders by the year 2024.

The lab contains 14 welding booths with separate ventilation systems and represents an impressive public/private partnership.

Fluor is a Fortune 500® company headquartered in Irving, Texas, that came to Southside Virginia to build two colossal power stations for Dominion Virginia Power; their presence has made a huge impact on the area as well.  The global company designs, builds and maintains the world’s toughest projects; and, fortunately, actually involves itself with the communities in the regions where they work.

Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, said, “Southside Virginia Community College is the recipient of the benevolent nature of Fluor for spearheading the funding of this state-of-the art Welding Lab.  The presence of the company in the area increases welding jobs and encourages workers to learn new skills for better compensation.”

When Fluor comes into a community, they like to leave it better off than it was when they arrived.  This permanent welding facility is evidence of their commitment to enhancing Greensville, Emporia and Southside Virginia.

Other partners in the creation of the lab are Virginia Tobacco Commission, Dominion Virginia Power, Greensville County and American Equipment Company (Ameco).

"Just a Little Smile"

A smile is not apparel
That one puts on to wear
A smile is your initiative
To let all know you care.
 
Yes, while you are attending
A patient’s greatest need
That little bit of curled lip
Is on what they often feed.
 
It isn’t hard; it will not hurt
But many barriers it will break
Yes, and very soon you’ll realize
The short time it does take.
 
Now no two are alike, you’ll find
At times you must increase
Yet when you go and they return
You’ll see that inner peace.
 
Well the time and need will vary
For their problems aren’t the same
Still all will remember your smile
Much quicker than your name.
 
I witnessed this quite personal
When as a patient I did enter
I commend the staff for easing my pain
At Southern Virginia Regional medical Center
 
May God Bless,
Roy E. Schepp
(3/14-3/16) 2017

McAuliffe vetoes 6 more bills; GOP calls him ‘disengaged’

By Rodrigo Arriaza, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday vetoed six bills, including three Republicans said would help prevent voter fraud but the Democratic governor said would create barriers to voting.

McAuliffe has now vetoed 37 bills from the General Assembly’s 2017 session – and 108 during his four-year term as governor, surpassing any of his predecessors.

Republican legislative leaders say McAuliffe has broken his promise to be bipartisan, calling his office “the most disengaged administration we have ever worked with.” The governor’s supporters say he is a firewall to block bad bills passed by a gerrymandered legislature.

“This new record is the disappointing result of four years of failed leadership by a disengaged governor, and is certainly not something to be celebrated,” Speaker William Howell and other GOP House leaders said in a statement last week. “Divided government has been the norm over the past two decades of Virginia politics, but this governor has brought a new level of animosity and acrimony than we’ve ever seen.”

McAuliffe maintains that it’s Republicans who are playing politics – by sending him bills that he says are unnecessary or dangerous. On Monday morning, he vetoed:

  • SB 1253, sponsored by Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, which would have required electronic poll books to include photo identification of registered voters.
  • SB 1455, sponsored by Sen. Dick Black, R-Loudoun, which would have made it a Class 1 misdemeanor to solicit or accept payment in exchange for registering people to vote.
  • SB 1581, sponsored by Sen. Mark J. Peake, R-Lynchburg, which would have required voter registrars to contact the Social Security Administration to verify the name, date of birth and Social Security number of all voter applicants.

McAuliffe said that the state already has strict voter registration laws and that there is no evidence to suggest that voter fraud is a problem in Virginia.

On Monday afternoon, McAuliffe vetoed HB 2000, sponsored by Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Franklin, which stated that “No locality shall adopt any ordinance, procedure, or policy that restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws.” The bill, which took aim at so-called “sanctuary cities,” would “send a hostile message to immigrant communities,” McAuliffe said.

He also vetoed HB 2092, by Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun, which sought more scrutiny of people seeking public assistance, including whether they have received undeclared winnings from the Virginia Lottery; and HB 1790, by Del. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, which supporters said would streamline government regulations but McAuliffe said would do the opposite.

On Friday, the governor rejected five gun-related bills, including HB 1852, sponsored by Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, and SB 1299, sponsored by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Winchester.

Under that legislation, people protected by a restraining order could carry a concealed handgun for 45 days after the order was issued, provided that they are not prohibited from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm.

“It provides petitioners of a protective order the ability to carry a concealed firearm for a limited period time in order to protect themselves as they see fit while they await the issuance of their permanent concealed carry permit,” Gilbert said.

In announcing his veto, McAuliffe said the legislation perpetuates a false narrative that victims of domestic violence are made safer by arming themselves.

“It would inject firearms into a volatile domestic violence situation, making that situation less safe, not more,” McAuliffe said. “I will not allow this bill to become law when too many Virginia women have already fallen victim to firearms violence at the hands of their intimate partner.”

McAuliffe also vetoed two other identical bills by Gilbert and Vogel: HB 1853and SB 1300. Under those bills, the state would have provided funding to businesses that offer free gun safety and training programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking or family abuse.

Moreover, anyone who gets a protective order would have received a list of firearm training courses approved by the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

The fifth gun-related bill vetoed by McAuliffe was SB 1362, sponsored by Black. It would have allowed military personnel who are not on duty to carry a concealed firearm in Virginia, as long as they have their military identification card.

McAuliffe called the bill an unnecessary expansion of concealed handgun carrying rights.

“The bill would create a separate class of individuals who do not require a concealed handgun permit,” he said.

The General Assembly will reconvene on April 5 to consider override McAuliffe’s vetoes.

TRAUMA IS INFECTING OUR COMMUNITY

The following article was provided to Emporia News by Lauren Grizzard and was written as part of her Master's Degree program in Clinical Social Work at VCU. 

Lauren is a lifelong resident of Emporia and graduated from GCHS in 2012. After high school Lauren graduated from the University of Virginia in 2015 with BA in psychology and will graduate from VCU with my Masters in Social Work in May. 

She is currently interning at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services, and plans on pursuing her LCSW licensure upon graduation. Lauren's professional interests include working with children, families, and Survivors of trauma.

Let’s take a survey.  Have you ever…

o   Been cursed at, insulted, put down, or humiliated by your parents?

o   Hit, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at you?

o   Been hit so hard it left marks or caused injury?

o   Felt like no one loved you or thought you were important?

o   Worry that you didn’t have enough to eat?

o   Had parents who were too drunk or high to care for you? 

o   Had parents who divorced?

o   Seen one of your parents get hit?

o   Lived with an alcoholic or drug user?

o   Lived with someone who was depressed or who had attempted to commit suicide?

o   Lived with someone who went to prison? (Felitti et al., 1998)

Add up your YES responses.  That number is your Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) score, a sum of childhood traumas and adverse experiences in your life that has significant public health implications (Felitti et al., 1998). We will return to this number later.

When living in a small town like Emporia, it’s common to know all of the “latest news” of the community.  In a short trip to the grocery store, we are able to hear everyone’s latest medical concerns, learn about who passed away from cancer last week, and we take notice of who has gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time.  In that same supermarket, we hear about the stories of trauma and adverse experiences of those individuals in our community.  We hear about the cases of child abuse, the prevalence of poverty, and the lack of affordable health care.  We become infuriated when we hear about children who do not have access to healthy meals.  We offer our pity to the couple getting a divorce, and we gawk at the drained mother whose life circumstances have contributed to her mental breakdown and suicide attempt. These dialogues are familiar to us all.  However, in our conversations, we unconsciously separate medical issues from psychological issues, categorizing and assigning value as if they are inherently distinct: medical issues and psychological issues.  Why do we find ourselves doing this and why does this separation matter?

In the early 1990s, researchers began to look at how trauma or “adverse childhood experiences” affect individuals (Felitti et al., 1998).  The results were alarming! The study showed that individuals with an ACE score of 3 or more have a huge risk of chronic health problems such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, suicide, and alcoholism (Felitti et al., 1998).  Unfortunately, in the United States, 1 out of every 4 adults has an ACE score of three or more, suggesting that many adults have been exposed to adverse experiences (Redford, 2016).  In Greensville County, like most of the nation, we see a prevalence of these chronic health problems with 1 in 3 individuals suffering from obesity, 1 in 5 individuals being diagnosed with diabetes, 1 in 5 individuals suffering from excessive alcohol use, and teenage pregnancy rates that are three times the state’s average (Catlin, Jovaag & Dijk, 2015).  We also have health statistics that support the anecdotal stories of trauma and adverse experiences of the individuals in the community: 1 in every 4 children live in poverty, 1 in 2 children live in single-parent households, and 1 in 4 children are food insecure (Catlin, Jovaag & Dijk, 2015).  Is there a connection between the psychosocial adverse experiences and the high chronic health issues that our community is suffering from?   We cannot be certain, but the statistics are suggestive that yes, there is a connection (Redford, 2016). 

So, what’s next?  What does this connection between trauma and chronic health problems leave us with in our little community? More than likely, you have been or you know someone who has been exposed to adverse experiences that increase the risk of experiencing chronic health issues. Take a look your results from the survey above, and imagine the results of the people in your community.  This is not an “us” versus “them” problem.  Rather, it is our problem. Our communities are suffering from this infectious germ.  Our schools are not fairing well, our obesity rates are high, and our teens are depressed (Bornstein, 2016).  Just as insurance companies would much rather provide coverage for the flu shot rather than treat the flu, it is more cost-effective for our community to prevent and treat the trauma-exposure, rather than tackle the chronic health concerns that can develop if left untreated.

So why aren’t we paying more attention to this issue? What would happen if more people acknowledged how trauma and adverse experiences are impacting these our lives—at the doctor’s office, in the classroom, or in the community?  More doctors and mental health professionals are acknowledging that medicine and psychology are parallel, not separate fields, and we need the community to believe and support this, too (Bornstein, 2016).   Understanding trauma and these adverse experiences would change the ways in which we tackled bigger problems, such as improving our test scores and battling obesity.  We know that there are no easy answers. There is no magic formula for solving our community problems.  However, it is imperative that we acknowledge the role of trauma and its health impact rather than allowing it to continue to silently infect our community. 

References

Bornstein, D. (2016). “How Community Networks Stem Childhood Traumas.” The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/17/opinion/how-community-networks-stem-c...

Catlin, B., Jovaag, A., & Dijk, J. (2015). “County Health Rankings” Key Findings Report. Madison: WI: University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Felitti, V.J., Anda, R.F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D.F., Spitz, A.M., Edwards, V., & Koss, M. P. (1998) Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 14(4), 245-258.

Redford, J. (2016). Resilience: The biology of stress and the science of hope [Motion Picture]. United States: KPJR Films.

VCU Massey Cancer Center Presents “Cooking with Sweet Potatoes”

How much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer? Much more than you might think. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are two key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk according to the American Cancer Society. Youcan protect your health, feel better, and boost your ability to fight off cancer and other diseases by making smart food choices.

VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Cancer Research and Resource Center of Lawrenceville is pleased to present the second in a series to the community a demonstration on “Cooking with Sweet Potatoes”, Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm.  The event will be held at the Center at 221 North Main Street, Lawrenceville, VA. 

Sweet potatoes are a member of the red/orange vegetable subgroup.  They are high in beta-carotene, the plant version of Vitamin A and also are high in potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C reports the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense food that we should be eating more of.

Chef Angie East and Gardner Bernard Jones, Sr. will provide tips on growing sweet potatoes, different types of sweet potatoes and demonstrate cooking sweet potatoes. Samples of their products will be available for tasting at no charge. They brings years of experience to the event.  Their passion for gardening and cooking are shown through their enthusiasm and their contagious smiles when they speak on the topics.     

Eating well is an important part of improving your health and reducing your cancer risk. We look forward to offering the residents of Brunswick County an opportunity to learn how to prepare and cook healthy vegetables with delicious samples. 

You may contact the Cancer Research and Resource Center at 434-532-8190 or email Vivian Taylor at vjtaylor@vcu.edufor more information.  The Center is funded by VCU Massey Cancer Center and the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. Like us on Facebook.

VCU Health CMH February 2017 Team Member of the Month

(Left to Right) W. Scott Burnette, CEO, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital presented Katherine DiPaulo, Discharge Planner in Care Management, the VCU Health CMH STAR Service Team Member of the Month Award for February.  There to congratulate Katherine was Amy Lynch, Care Management Manager, Tammy House, Director of Social Work and Ken Libby, Vice President of Finance.

Katherine has been employed at VCU Health CMH for a year and two months.  Katherine resides in Victoria, VA and graduated from both Central of Lunenburg High School and James Madison University.  Her dedication and work ethic are just two of the qualities that make her a wonderful asset to VCU Health CMH. 

The nomination form submitted on her behalf stated, “I am nominating Katherine for Team Member of the Month for her willingness to assist the Hundley Center Social Work Department for approximately five weeks when our full time employee was on leave.  She performed MDS interviews daily with the residents, which is a necessary requirement for our facility.  She willingly provided two hours each afternoon to assist us, before returning to the hospital to her Case Management role.  Her assistance was greatly appreciated.  Great team player!”

In addition to the award certificate, Katherine received a STAR Service lapel pin, letter of commendation from Administration, a $40 gift certificate, and a parking place of her choice for the month.

WARNER, COLLINS, SÁNCHEZ, ROE INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL LEGISLATION TO ASSIST SMALL BUSINESSES IN OFFERING RETIREMENT PLANS TO EMPLOYEES

~ Only 22 percent of workers at small firms currently have access to a workplace savings plan or pension ~

WASHINGTON— Bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reduce duplicative filing costs for small businesses looking to offer retirement plans to their employees was introduced today in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee. In the House, the legislation was sponsored by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (D-CA), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

“As the nature of work continues to change, increasing access to workplace retirement plans is a crucial step in providing a secure retirement to millions of Americans,” Sen. Warner said. “For smaller employers, offering a retirement plan can be expensive and complex, so we should make it easier and reduce duplicative filing costs for them to offer retirement plans and promote retirement security for all workers.”

“Americans simply aren’t saving enough to be able to afford a comfortable retirement. In fact, there is an estimated $7.7 trillion gap between what Americans have saved for retirement and what they will actually need,” said Senator Collins. “When employers provide their employees with access to retirement plans, approximately 80 percent of them contribute. Our legislation will help promote retirement security by making it easier and less expensive for small businesses to establish retirement plans, increasing their accessibility to employees and helping to ensure that those who worked hard for decades do not spend their retirement in poverty.”

The legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate Finance Committee in the 114th Congress.

“Too many Americans simply aren’t putting enough money away to be able to afford a secure retirement. By helping more small businesses provide workplace retirement plans we can give millions of hardworking families more financial peace of mind,” Congresswoman Sánchez said. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan and bicameral legislation to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses to establish retirement plans for their workers. This common sense legislation will help provide greater retirement security to more Americans.”

“With nearly 40 million working families who haven’t saved a dime for retirement, it is imperative we do all we can to help encourage affordable, accessible retirement savings,” said Congressman Roe. “By alleviating duplicative reporting requirements for plan administrators, we are making it easier for small businesses to provide secure retirement plans to their workers and reducing the costs for small business owners who provide retirement plans.”

A 2016 report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that only 22 percent of workers at small firms have access to a workplace savings plan or pension, compared to 74 percent at firms with 500 or more employees. For smaller employers, offering a retirement plan can be expensive and complex.

The bill directs the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury Department to allow employers and sole-proprietors participating in retirement plans administered in the same way to file a single aggregated Form 5500, a required annual return that provides important compliance information to DOL and Treasury.

Under current law, despite sharing a common administrative framework, each individual plan is still required to file a separate Form 5500 to satisfy reporting requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Internal Revenue Code. Today’s proposal will eliminate duplicative reporting by plan administrators, which will reduce costs for small businesses that maintain retirement plans. To file an aggregated Form 5500, the retirement plans would need to have the same trustee, fiduciary, plan administrator, plan year and investment menu.

The self-employed, including sole proprietors and small business owners, are the most likely to establish a retirement savings plan that would benefit from and meet the requirements necessary to file an aggregated Form 5500. According to 2016 survey findings from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in collaboration with Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement, only one-third of self-employed respondents indicated that they make sure they are saving for retirement.

To provide DOL and Treasury time to implement this change, the proposal has an effective date of no later than January 1, 2021. A copy of the legislative text is available here.

Print may die but journalism won’t, veteran columnist says

By Amy Lee, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Print journalism will eventually end, says former Washington Post columnist Bob Levey, but the close of the print era hardly means the death of journalism.

Levey, a visiting journalism professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, delivered a lecture Thursday on “the future of the media,” examining journalism in the digital age – and in the era of President Trump.

For Levey, sustaining responsible journalism requires overhauling the business models and content systems that guide the news industry today. As newspaper advertising has fled online to Craigslist, Facebook, Yahoo and Google, publishers have all but lost their ability to charge for news.

“If journalism is going to survive in its best form – authoritative, accurate, fair, unbiased and on the ball in terms of timing – the business problem is going to have to be solved or dealt with,” said Levey, who has been a working journalist for nearly 50 years, including 36 as a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post.

He compared The Post’s acquisition by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with The New York Time’s public ownership and resulting pressure of “being beholden to Wall Street.” Journalism requires revenue to thrive, and Levey discussed philanthropy and government funding as emerging channels of financial support for news sites.

Revamping media content for today’s audiences may be a more complicated task. Levey described a modern breed of readers who use news as a way to confirm, rather than challenge, their knowledge. This trend, Levey said, will only fragment audiences, promote intolerance and discourage fresh news sources and journalists in the field.

“We no longer trust news sources to open our eyes to things we don’t know, and we don’t seek them to provide things that we don’t know,” Levey said, speaking to several hundred people gathered in the VCU Commons Theater and watching the lecture online.

“We are going home. We are going to a stripe and a political orientation that we know, that we expect and that we trust.”

Equally troubling to the landscape of journalism is the popularity of online platforms that seek to cement an identity somewhere between legitimate news and pop-culture listicles.

Case in point: BuzzFeed and its decision to publish private information regarding then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s personal life. Levey criticized online news outlet for presenting the information to readers without a filter of journalistic standards. Responsible journalism involving editing, and a brand of accuracy will always exist, he said, but it must increasingly compete with content that shies away from editorial involvement and responsibility.

Toward the end of his lecture, Levey outlined his predictions for the future of journalism and received questions from the audience. Newspapers will eventually halt circulation, Levey said, and television and radio news will continue to decline each year.

As for the internet, Levey predicts Facebook will rise as a dominant publisher of journalism in a time as media outlets are sucked into larger enterprises, much in the way of The Washington Post and Amazon.

After fielding questions about censorship, commoditization of content and journalism ethics, Levey summarized his thoughts regarding journalism’s future as the lecture drew to a close.

“Journalism depends on patience, time and editing,” he said. “My money’s on journalism. We always find a way.”

Governor vetoes Republicans’ ‘educational choice’ legislation

By Mary Lee Clark, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday vetoed several bills that Republicans say would have increased school choice but McAuliffe said would have undermined public schools.

Two bills, House Bill 1400 and Senate Bill 1240, would have established the Board of Virginia Virtual School as an agency in the executive branch of state government to oversee online education in kindergarten through high school. Currently, online courses fall under the Virginia Board of Education.

“In establishing the Virginia Virtual School outside of the jurisdiction of the Board of Education, and most importantly, local school boards, this legislation raises significant constitutional concerns,” McAuliffe stated in his veto statement.

HB 1400 was sponsored by Del. Dickie Bell, R-Staunton, and SB 1240 by Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico. The bills were identical to legislation the governor vetoed last year.

McAuliffe also vetoed HB 2342 and SB 1283, which would have authorized the State Board of Education to allow local school boards to collaborate in establishing regional charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that operate independently and are exempt from certain policies regular schools must follow.

“In establishing regional governing school boards that remove authority from local school boards and their members, this legislation proposes a governance model that is in conflict with the Constitution of Virginia,” McAuliffe wrote in his veto statement. “Public charter school arrangements are already available to divisions at the discretion of the local school board.”

HB 2342 was sponsored by Del. Steve Landes, R-Augusta. Sen Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, sponsored SB 1283. Obenshain was disappointed in the Democratic governor’s decision.

“Florida has upwards of 500 charter schools; Virginia has just nine that serve 2,000 students,” Obenshain said. “If we’re serious about providing families with meaningful educational choices when faced with failing schools, then that has to change.”

Obenshain said charter schools provide parents with a choice when their local schools are failing.

McAuliffe also vetoed:

  • HB 1605, sponsored by Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun. It which would have established “Parental Choice Education Savings Accounts.” The governor said such savings accounts would divert state funds from public schools and redirect them for educational services outside of the public school system.
  • HB 2191, introduced by Landes. It would have required school boards to notify parents of any material assigned to students that could be deemed as sexually explicit. Schools would have had to provide substitute materials if the parents requested.

Ed Gillespie, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in this year’s election, criticized McAuliffe for vetoing the bills.

“I’ve never seen a governor so proud of everything he didn’t get done for the Commonwealth,” Gillespie said. “Unfortunately for Virginians, he’s added to his record by vetoing four pieces of legislation to expand opportunities in education. These were common-sense bills that would have helped all Virginia students.”

Virginia sees slower population growth

 

By Haley Winn, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginia’s population is increasing only half as fast as it was at the start of the decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

From 2010 to 2011, the commonwealth’s population grew by more than 1 percent. But data released Thursday showed that the state’s population increased only about 0.5 percent between mid-2015 and mid-2016.

Nationwide, the U.S. population rose by 0.7 percent last year. Among the 50 states, Virginia ranked in the middle in its one-year growth rate, sandwiched between Alaska and Oklahoma.

Utah had the biggest increase in population last year – 2 percent. Nevada, Idaho, Florida and Washington were fractions of a percentage point behind.

Eight states lost population, with West Virginia losing the most (0.5 percent).

Since the start of the decade, Virginia’s statewide population has grown about 5 percent, similar to states such as California and Hawaii. Washington, D.C., with a 13 percent increase, grew faster than any state during those six years. Then came North Dakota (just under 13 percent) and Texas (almost 11 percent).

Virginia is home to some of the fastest-growing localities, as well as some with the steepest declines in population.

New Kent and Loudoun counties were among the fastest growing localities in the United States from 2015 to 2016. Jumping more than 700 people, New Kent’s population rose 3.5 percent; that ranked 36th among the nation’s 3,142 counties.

From 2015 to 2016, Loudoun County’s population grew by 3 percent. Although that is slower than in the past, Loudoun has grown almost 24 percent since 2010. Of the 211 counties with at least 300,000 residents, Loudoun County is the third fast-growing locality this decade (behind Fort Bend and Williamson counties in Texas).

Among U.S. counties with more 300,000 residents, Prince William County was No. 17 in population growth since 2010. Its population has increased more than a 13 percent growth since the beginning of the decade.

In 2016, for the first time, Prince William County (population 455,210) surpassed Virginia Beach (population 452,602) as Virginia’s second most populous locality. Fairfax County remains No. 1 with more than 1.1 million residents. Fairfax County has grown 5.3 percent since 2010 but registered just a tiny increase last year.

While many Virginia localities are growing, 63 have seen their population decline this decade. Emporia, for example, has lost 10.5 percent of its population since 2010, including 3.5 percent in the past year.

About 1,700 counties across the U.S. have seen a decline in population since the start of the decade. Only 27 of them have had a bigger decrease than Emporia.

Buchanan County has also experienced a significant decline since 2010, losing 8 percent of its population. It was among the 100 counties where, percentage-wise, population has dropped the most this decade.

Tazewell County, also in the western part of the state, lost more than 2,900 residents – about 6.5 percent of its population – since 2010.

Richmond – both the city and the metro area – continued to show steady growth. (The Census Bureau treats Virginia’s “independent cities” as if they were counties and included them in the data release.)

The city of Richmond grew 1.6 percent in the past year and 9.3 percent since 2010. Its population stands at 223,170 – the 10th most populous locality in Virginia.

The Richmond metro area – which consists of the city of Richmond, the counties of Henrico and Chesterfield, and 14 other localities, including New Kent County – now has a population of 1,281,708. It remains the 45th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

The Richmond area’s population grew 0.9 percent last year and 6.1 percent since 2010.

An interactive map is available at https://tinyurl.com/va-pop-map-2016

Local Population Data
Emporia City
2016 Population: 5,305
Change Since 2010: -620
Percent Change: -10.5%
Births Since 2010: 334
Deaths Since 2010: 545
Natural Change: -211
International Migration: 18
Domestic Migration: -438
Net Migration: -420
Greensville County
2016 Population: 11,706
Change Since 2010: -539
Percent Change: -4.4%
Births Since 2010: 724
Deaths Since 2010: 743
Natural Change: -19
International Migration: 34
Domestic Migration: -604
Net Migration: -570
Brunswick County
2016 Population: 16,243
Change Since 2010: -1,182
Percent Change: -6.8%
Births Since 2010: 914
Deaths Since 2010: 1,245
Natural Change: -331
International Migration: 21
Domestic Migration: -855
Net Migration: -834
Southampton County
2016 Population: 18,057
Change Since 2010: -513
Percent Change: -2.8%
Births Since 2010: 1,043
Deaths Since 2010: 1,209
Natural Change: -166
International Migration: 16
Domestic Migration: -399
Net Migration: -383
Franklin City
2016 Population: 8,306
Change Since 2010: -274
Percent Change: -3.2%
Births Since 2010: 656
Deaths Since 2010: 743
Natural Change: -87
International Migration: 75
Domestic Migration: -273
Net Migration: -198
Sussex County
2016 Population: 11,504
Change Since 2010: -566
Percent Change: -4.7%
Births Since 2010: 646
Deaths Since 2010: 823
Natural Change: -177
International Migration: 27
Domestic Migration: -426
Net Migration: -399

Cover 3 Foundation Receives $50k from Obici Healthcare Foundation

Cover 3 Foundation, Franklin, Va.-is pleased to announce that they have been recently awarded a $50k grant from Obici Healthcare Foundation. This grant from Obici Healthcare Foundation will support Cover 3 Foundation’s expansion of it’s C3 Kid’s Meals Program throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Cover 3 Foundation has been passionately Reaching, Teaching and Feeding thousands of Virginia children since 2009. In 2010, Cover 3 Foundation implemented the C3’s Kid’s Meals Program. This program exists to provide nutritious and healthy meal and snacks to children in after-school programs as well as summer feeding sites. C3’s Kid’s Meals serves children in the City of Franklin, Southampton County, Greensville County, Sussex County, Emporia, Richmond, Petersburg, Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Newport News and Henrico County. Effective this summer Cover 3 Foundation expands the C3’s Kid’s Meals reach into North Carolina. To date C3’s Kid’s Meals has served over 2 million snacks and meals. Defeating Childhood Hunger is the major purpose of Cover 3 Foundation.

Mr. Scott expresses his thanks and gratitude to Obici Healthcare Foundation by stating, “It is truly a blessing to have Obici Healthcare Foundation’s continued support throughout the years”. Mr. Scott also states, “The funds received from this grant will help to expand C3’s Kid’s Meals Programs as well as update our central kitchen production area, again we are truly grateful and thankful.”

To learn more about Cover 3 Foundation and the programs geared towards Reaching, Teaching and Feeding the youth of our communities please visit www.cover3foundation.org or call 757-562-2252.
 

ON 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF POCAHONTAS’ BURIAL, WARNER & KAINE INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO GRANT FEDERAL RECOGNITION FOR SIX VIRGINIA INDIAN TRIBES

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on the 400th anniversary of Pocahontas’ burial, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine introduced legislation to federally recognize six Virginia Indian tribes, which include descendants of Pocahontas’ Virginia Powhatan tribe. The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 would grant the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan, and the Nansemond tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government.

Coinciding with the anniversary, Upper Mattaponi Chief Ken Adams, Chickahominy Chief Stephen Adkins, and Rappahannock Chief Anne Richardson traveled to England to participate in a series of events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Pocahontas’ death. On Tuesday, there will be a plaque dedication ceremony at the church where Pocahontas is buried.

“Four hundred years after the death of Pocahontas, our country continues to do a disservice to her descendants by failing to recognize the major role Virginia’s tribes have played in American history and the fabric of our nation,” said the Senators. “These six tribes have treaties that predated the United States, but because of this historical quirk and the systematic destruction of their records, they have been denied federal recognition and the services that come along with it. Congress can fix this injustice by passing our bill and granting these tribes the federal recognition they deserve.”

Federal recognition would allow Virginia’s tribes legal standing and status in direct relationships with the U.S. government. Further, it would allow tribes to:

  • Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes;
  • Repatriate the remains of their ancestors in a respectful manner. Many of these remains reside in the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains; and
  • Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access care.

The bill has passed the House of Representatives in two previous Congresses. Kaine and Warner introduced two previous versions of the bill in the 113th and 114th Congress. Both passed out of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs but never were brought to the floor for a vote.

Pender Lee Smith, Jr.

Pender Lee Smith, Jr., 84, of Emporia, Virginia died on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Pender was born on April 2, 1932 in the Brink area of Greensville County and was a life-long resident.

Farming was in his blood, and never was he happier than when he was on a tractor or combine on his farm. He was also a partner in PL Smith and Sons Peanut Warehouse. Pender was loved by many and had friends near and far. He had a winning smile and never met a stranger. Pender had a warm laugh and quick wit. He loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman, hunter, bird watcher, gardener, and loved to do woodwork in his shop on the farm.

Pender was married to the love of his life, Jo Anne Hancock for 62 years. Together Pender and Jo could be found spending time with friends and family; often going out to eat, dancing, or just visiting.

Pender was active in church, civic, and community organizations. He was a Christian and was a member of the Forest Hill Baptist Church. There he served as a Trustee, Deacon, and was on numerous committees over his 60 year membership. Pender was a charter member of the Brink Ruritan Club where he was a past president and secretary. Pender was on the Greensville County Farm Bureau Board of Directors and served as treasurer. He was also a member of the Virginia Farm Bureau Peanut Advisory Committee. For many years Pender served on the Greensville County Farm Committee.

Pender was preceded in death by his parents, Pender Lee Smith and Virginia Harrell Smith, and his beloved son, David Smith. He is survived by his wife, Jo Anne Hancock Smith; sister, Alice Smith Bivins (Billy Joe); brother, Alfred Smith (Christine), sisters-in-law, Alma Lanier of Roanoke Rapids and Hazel Welch of Pinehurst; special niece, Angela Fanney (Rick) of Smithfield; and many other much loved nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Forest Hill Baptist Church, Skippers, VA. at 2:00 pm followed by interment in the church cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the cemetery fund at Forest Hill Baptist Church, c/o Michael Ferguson, 5070 Brink Road, Emporia, VA 23847. Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com

STUDENT IS PROUD OF HER GED® ACCOMPLISHMENT

Due to unfortunate circumstances, Julie Boyd of Blackstone, was unable to complete high school. 

“I've talked about getting my GED ever since. I am 21 years old and it took me two weeks to obtain it. I couldn't be more proud of myself,” she said.

She noted that the person that inspired her to move forward with her education is her recently deceased brother. 

“He was my 18 year old brother, his name was Joshua Baughan. He died in a car accident December 21, 2016. He was my best friend, my rock. He pushed me every day to do better for myself. When he passed away, it showed me life was too short to take the small things for granted,” she said. 

She also added that he lived his life to the fullest and accomplished everything he started.   

“He inspired me on so many levels. I did this, not just for me, but for him as well. I will work hard and succeed in everything I do, because he is always with me. This achievement means so much to me. But it's only a start,” she said.

Boyd also has a fiancé’ who has also played a huge roll in her life.

“He supports me in everything I do, and he has stood by my side faithfully for three years. I am very thankful to have him in my life. I love all of my family and friends. I wouldn't be where I am today without them,” she said.

 She plans to continue her education in the nursing field or forensic science.   

Her advice to others, you can do anything you put your mind to if you believe in yourself.

“Never give up. Knowledge is power. With power you can do great things in life. I am grateful for the support of my family. They never gave up on me,” she said.

Southside Virginia Community College offers Adult Basic Education and GED® preparation.  For information, call 434-949-1090.  The schedule of classes is below.

Brunswick

SVCC

Christanna Campus

SVCC

Christanna Campus

 

 

Monday-Thursday

 

Monday & Wednesday

 

 

9:00 am – 12:00 noon

 

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

 

 

Brown

 

A. Lewis

Mecklenburg

Boydton Library

 

Chase City Estes Ctr

 

Clarksville YMCA

 

South Hill LCAKC

 

South Hill Bank Building

South Hill Bank Building

 

Tuesday & Thursday

 

Tuesday & Thursday

 

Monday & Tuesday

 

Monday & Wednesday

 

Monday & Wednesday

 

Tuesday & Thursday

 

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

 

9:00 am - 12:00 noon

 

5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

 

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

 

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

 

Cherry

 

Wilson

 

Kindley

 

McCarthy

 

Scott

 

F. Lewis

 Halifax

SVHEC

South Boston

SVHEC

South Boston

 

 

Monday - Thursday

 

Tuesday & Thursday

 

 

9:00 am – 12:00 noon

 

5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

 

 

Stafford/Clarke

 

Clarke

Online

Sunday - Saturday

Anytime

McCarthy

Virginia raises a toast to George Washington’s whiskey

By Megan Corsano, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – George Washington is recognized as the father of our country, but with a bill signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Washington also will be recognized under another title – distiller of Virginia’s official liquor.

SB 1261, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin of Alexandria, adds a “state spirit” to the list of the commonwealth’s official emblems and designations and crowns George Washington’s rye whiskey with the title.

The bill, which McAuliffe signed last week, highlights George Washington’s contributions to the culture of Virginia as “a native son of Virginia born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek”; “the first American president, commander of the Continental Army, and president of the Constitutional Convention”; and “a model statesman ... universally acknowledged as the father of our nation.”

According to the bill, Washington was also a “gentleman planter” who began distilling rye whiskey on his property at Mount Vernon in early 1797 at the suggestion of James Anderson, his farm manager.

Today, the staff at Mount Vernon continues to distill the whiskey for sale at the property’s gift shop.

In a speech on the floor of the Virginia Senate on Feb. 22, Washington’s 285th birthday, Ebbin explained the historical pairing of Washington’s political career and booze.

According to Ebbin’s speech, when Washington first ran for the House of Burgesses in Frederick County in 1755, he lost by a landslide, receiving only 40 of the 581 votes. Ebbin attributed this loss to his failure to provide “bumbo” – a common practice at the time to provide alcohol to voters.

Three years later, Washington tried once more to win over voters and won, but switched his campaigning technique.

“During that election, he supplied 28 gallons of rum, 50 gallons of rum punch, 34 gallons of wine, 46 gallons of beer and 2 gallons of cider (an impressive 160 gallons of liquor) to 391 voters,” Ebbin said during his commemoration speech. “That’s more than a quart and a half per voter. Washington had clearly learned his lesson, because a key to victory was ‘swilling the planters with bumbo.’”

After retiring from politics, Washington began distilling whiskey at his Mount Vernon property. In the year of Washington’s death – 1799 – the distillery produced nearly 11,000 gallons of whiskey.

The Mount Vernon distillery was reconstructed at the original location that Washington used and produces small batches of distilled spirit for sale on site, including the rye whiskey that now holds the state title. The distillery attempts to produce the whiskey through the same techniques that Washington would have used at the time.

Besides declaring the official state spirit, McAuliffe also signed a bill designating the TV show “Song of the Mountains” as Virginia’s official state television series.

SB 1332, sponsored by Sen. Charles Carrico of Galax, noted that “Song of the Mountains” is the first nationwide television program featuring the bluegrass music of Appalachia.

The show was founded in 2003 as a monthly stage concert series hosted by the Lincoln Theatre in Marion, Virginia. “Song of the Mountains” is broadcast on more than 150 PBS stations in about 30 states.

The program “continues to consistently present to the nation the unique musical and cultural heritage of not only the Southwest region of the state but the entire Commonwealth,” the bill stated.

McAuliffe OKs $1.6 million for wrongfully imprisoned man

By Maura Mazurowski, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has cleared Keith Allen Harward to receive nearly $1.6 million from the commonwealth of Virginia for the 33 years he spent in prison for crimes he didn’t commit.

McAuliffe last week signed House Bill 1650approving the compensation package for Harward.

“On April 7, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia granted Mr. Harward’s Writ of Actual Innocence, formally exonerating him of all the crimes for which he had been convicted,” the legislation stated.

Harward, now 60, was convicted of a 1982 rape and murder in Newport News. According to trial summaries, the rape victim was awakened around 2 a.m. by a loud thumping sound as her husband was being beaten by a man.

The woman was thrown out of bed and repeatedly sexually assaulted as her husband lay dying. Her assailant held a diaper over her head and threatened to harm her children if she did not cooperate.

In 1986, Harward was tried and convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life when two forensic odontologists testified that Harward’s teeth matched those of the bites on the woman.

He was released from prison on April 8, 2016 after DNA testing proved he was not the killer. Harward had always maintained his innocence.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Rip Sullivan, D-Arlington, notes that because of his wrongful conviction, Harward “suffers from numerous painful physical injuries, systemic health conditions, and severe mental anguish and emotional distress and has lost countless opportunities, including the opportunity to marry and have children” and that he “is an impoverished man, with no job skills or career prospects and no savings or accumulated pension benefits, and does not qualify for social security benefits.”

The legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by McAuliffe will take effect July 1. To receive the money, Harward must sign documents releasing the state of any present or future claims.

Then, within 60 days, Harward will receive a check for $309,688. By Sept. 30, the state treasurer will buy a $1,238,751 annuity for Harward. He also will be provided up to $10,000 for tuition for career and technical training from the Virginia Community College System.

During his ordeal in prison, Harward received legal support from the Innocence Project.

He is at least the 25th person to have been wrongfully convicted or indicted based at least in part on bite mark evidence, according to the project.

Middle School Forensics Competition

On Friday, March 17th, Brunswick Academy’s fifth, sixth, and seventh grade Middle School Forensics Team participated in the AVA Forensics Competition at Kenston Forest School. This exceptional group of students left the competition with third place in fifth grade, second place in sixth grade, and first place in seventh grade. Overall, the Middle School Forensics Team placed second in the competition. The students who participated and their rankings are as follows:

Fifth Grade

5th grade photo - Front (l to r) - Charlie Pope, Natalie Hall*, Bryn Montgomery*, Lane Whitehead, Madalynn Writtenberry. Back(l to r) Savannah Nunnally*, Chris Parrish, Denver Wright, and Berkeley Jones*.

Girls’ Prose – Madalynn Writtenberry, Boys’ Prose – Chris Parrish, Girls’ Poetry – Lane Whitehead, Boys’ Poetry – Charlie Pope, Girls’ Monologue – Bryn Montgomery – 3rd Place, Boys’ Monologue – Berkeley Jones – 2nd Place, Serious Speech – Savannah Nunnally – 3rd Place, Humorous Speech – Denver Wright, Spelling – Natalie Hall – 1st Place

Sixth Grade

6th grade photo - Front (l to r) - Cullen Corum, Rahilly Abernathy*, Allie Short*, Ashton Phillips*. Back (l to r) - Cassidy Smith*, Meredith Greene*, Katie Lambert, Matthew Gullivan*,  and Davis Whitehead*.

Girls’ Prose – Allie Short – 1st Place, Boys’ Prose – Ashton Phillips – 1st Place, Girls’ Poetry – Rahilly Abernathy – 2nd Place, Boys’ Poetry – Matthew Gullivan – 1st Place, Girls’ Monologue – Meredith Greene – 1st Place, Boys’ Monologue – Davis Whitehead – 3rd Place, Serious Speech – Cassidy Smith – 2nd Place, Humorous Speech – Katie Lambert, Spelling – Cullen Corum

Seventh Grade

7th grade photo - Front (l to r) - Alora Decorte, Harrison Harper*, Vincent Edmunds*, Lydia Smith*, Bryson Poarch*.  Back (l to r) - Shana Love*, Alyssa Rivas*, Emily Roberts*, and Brett Allen*.

Girls’ Prose – Lydia Smith – 1st Place, Boys’ Prose – Vincent Edmunds – 2nd Place, Girls’ Poetry – Alyssa Rivas – 3rd Place, Boys’ Poetry – Brett Allen – 2nd Place, Girls’ Monologue – Shana Love – 1st Place, Boys’ Monologue – Harrison Harper – 2nd Place, Serious Speech – Alora DeCorte, Humorous Speech – Emily Roberts – 1st Place, Spelling – Bryson Poarch – 1st Place

*denotes placed in their category

The Good News about Shoulder, Knee and Hip Joints

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Joints can be damaged by arthritis and other diseases or injuries.  Arthritis, or simply years of use may cause the joint to wear away.  This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.  Your doctor may suggest a joint replacement to improve your quality of life.  When something goes wrong with the shoulder, hip and knee joints, what are the options for treatment?  Can joint injections help?  What can joint protection exercise/therapy do for you?

If you are seeking answers to questions like these you should attend June’s C.O.R.E. (Community Out-Reach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Rehab & Exercise Therapy Center to learn more about shoulder, knee and hip joints.

This FREE program will be on Thursday, March 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in the CMH Rehab and Exercise Therapy Center located at 750 Lombardy Street in South Hill.

Patti Turczany, PT, LAT, MS, CDT/MLD will be the speaker for the program.  Patti received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Athletics from Fort Hayes State University in Kansas and a Master of Science degree from the University of Indianapolis Krannert School of Physical Therapy.  She holds an oncology certification, complete complex decongestive therapy certification in lymph drainage and has pediatric specialty.  She is McKenzie trained in treatment of spine therapy, has manual skills training in therapy, orthopedic training and is a certified licensed athletic trainer.

Other joint information classes for 2017 will be held from 11:00AM – 12:00PM at the CMH Rehab and Exercise Therapy Center on the following dates:  May 11, August 10, October 12. 

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2506.

Photo:

Patti Turczany, PT, LAT, MS, CDT/MLD

Walk seeks to raise awareness about eating disorders

 

By Amelia Heymann, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Bayan Atari, a public relations major at Virginia Commonwealth University, has spent nine months in treatment for an invisible ailment. Two of her friends have died from the disorder. Atari is one of 30 million Americans struggling with an eating disorder.

Despite the prevalence and severity of the condition, Atari and others have had trouble getting help. That’s because many people have misconceptions about eating disorders, experts say.

“If you’re not underweight, they might not take you seriously. At my sickest, I was still at a normal weight, and that was enough to be like, ‘Well, you’re not dying, you have an electrolyte imbalance, but you’re not dead,’” Atari said. “Even in the medical system, I’ve known people whose kidneys were failing, but because they were overweight or normal weight, they were not given the care they needed.”

Efforts are underway to bring attention to eating disorders.

On Saturday, the National Eating Disorders Association will hold its first NEDA Walk in Richmond in hopes of raising awareness about the problem. The walk will begin at 10 a.m. at the VCU Commons Plaza.

Kristen Tully, the organizer of the walk, expects 200 to 300 people to participate.

Tully decided to organize the walk because she herself is in recovery. When she was in the throes of her eating disorder, Richmond didn’t have an eating disorder clinic or other resources to help.

However, in the last five years, more resources have popped up. One is Stay Strong Virginia, which has compiled lists and maps of treatment programs and support groups for people with eating disorders. Stay Strong Virginia helped Tully organize Saturday’s walk.

Another resource is Veritas Collaborative, a treatment center for eating disorderson Broad Street. Veritas is a sponsor of the NEDA Walk.

It’s important to get someone with an eating disorder into treatment because the illness can be fatal. Someone dies from their eating disorder every 62 minutes, according to the Eating Disorders Coalition.

The main kinds of eating disorders are:

  • Anorexia, or restricted eating. This can lead to severe dehydration, which sometimes results in kidney failure.
  • Bulimia, or binging and purging. This can cause inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from repeated vomiting.
  • Binge eating, or eating to excess. This can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and other health problems.

Meredith Kerley, a therapist who specializes in eating disorders, said getting treatment is important, but recovery involves more than that.

“I always say the work really begins when someone leaves treatment,” Kerley said. “Treatment is a kind of way to break the pattern and get one’s body into a healthy place. Once they leave that bubble, there’s the pressure of doing all these things whether or not someone tells them to. It’s far from cured when someone leaves treatment.”

Tully agreed. She said recovery is never linear. “It’s hills and valleys, and recovery isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing you will ever do.”

Not everyone with an eating disorder is lucky enough to get treatment. Only one-third of people suffering from anorexia receive treatment – and only 6 percent of those suffering bulimia.

Part of this may be due to the stigma of an eating disorder. According to a 2010 study, 12 percent of people surveyed believed eating disorders are related to vanity. Kerley said that notion is patently false.

“There’s always emotion underlying it (the eating disorder),” Kerley said. “It’s not about the food, and it’s not the vanity, but that’s how it manifests.”

For Atari, the trigger was personal issues rather than her body image.

“I was miserable,” Atari said. That is when she turned to using bulimia. “The terrible part is that it works. You need to cope with something, and it works, and I couldn’t see anything else working as well.”

Eating disorders are often accompanied by other mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.

“Sometimes, eating disorders do develop as a way to cope with anxiety or depression,” Kerley said. “Other times, malnutrition can certainly affect the brain and cause depression.” She said it can be hard to tell which mental illness comes first.

It also can be impossible to tell who has an eating disorder and who doesn’t. Kerley has had 20 to 30 patients over the years, ranging in age from 12 to 50. Many have been of normal weight, and the patients include men.

“There’s kind of a stigma it’s an adolescent girl’s issue, but I see the whole range, and again, it is males and females,” Kerley said.

More about Saturday’s NEDA Walk

You can register for the walk on the NEDA website. Online registration ends Friday, but that’s to guarantee getting a T-shirt. People also can register in person at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the VCU Commons Plaza, 907 Floyd Ave., Richmond. If you can’t walk, you can sponsor a walker or make a donation on the NEDA website.

In Honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, Local Non-profit Convenes Important Conversations

Crater Community Hospice Hosts Screenings of PBS "Being Mortal" and Coffee Chat on Estate Planning

Petersburg, March 20, 2017 --- Crater Community Hospice will offer three events as part of the organization's recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). This annual event aims to help people across the U.S. understand the value of advance healthcare planning. For 2017, NHDD will be a week-long event, from April 16 to 22.

Two free screenings of the PBS program "Being Mortal," paired with panel discussions with local experts will be held on April 4th and April 12th, one in Petersburg and one in Chesterfield. 

A free Coffee Chat with Mike Perdue on "Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning" will take place at Crater Community Hospice in Petersburg on April 6th.  

Each event will be part of a national dialog that asks "Have you and your family had the tough conversations and planned ahead?" Certificates of Attendance are available.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017: Being Mortal - Screening and Panel Discussion

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Registration begins at 9:00 am with program to begin at 9:20)

Bethia United Methodist Church

10700 Winterpock Road Chesterfield, VA 23832

Sponsored by Crater Community Hospice and the Office of the Chesterfield County Senior Advocate

Free, please rsvp by March 31, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017: Coffee Chat on Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Crater Community Hospice

3916 S. Crater Road, Petersburg, VA 23805

Free, please rsvp by April 4, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017: Being Mortal - Screening and Panel Discussion

2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Registration begins at 2:00 pm with program to begin at 2:20)

Southside Regional Medical Center

200 Medical Park Blvd, Petersburg, VA 23805

A/B Classroom on the first floor

Free, please rsvp by April 10, 2017

"Being Mortal" delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande's own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how to best care for the dying becomes a personal quest. After the screening, attendees can participate in a guided conversation on concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. The free screenings of "Being Mortal" are made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

Every month Crater Community Hospice hosts a free coffee chat providing an educational presentation and networking opportunities. This month, local attorney Mike Purdue of Paul/Perdue Attorneys presents "Avoiding Family Conflict in Estate Planning." Mr. Purdue will discuss planning strategies to help maintain family harmony. He will cover an overview of specific aspects of pre-planning including estates, wills, trusts, and advance directives.

For more information, or to RSVP contact Patti Cox  at pox@cratercommunityhospice.org or (804) 526-4300.

 

Rev. Donald Orlando Collins

Rev. Donald Orlando Collins, 91, of Emporia, Virginia went to be with the Lord on  March 18th, 2017. He was preceded in death by his wife,  Ann Smith Collins, and his son, Donald Stephen Collins. He is survived by his daughters, Beverly C. Flippo ( Carter ) of Doswell, Virginia and Kim C. Johnson ( Mike) of Jackson, NC.; grandchildren Brittany and Emily Flippo, Mason and Claire Collins, Lauren Ashley Collins, Lauren Hasty and Brad Johnson; 2 great-grandsons, Aubrey and Hunter Hasty; brother, Ben F. Collins of Greensboro, NC. and many nieces and nephews. He served as Seaman 1st classman on the USS Gunston Hall in the Pacific area during WWII. After being honorably discharged from the military, he completed his education in broadcasting at RPI in Richmond, VA in 1947.  He spent the next 41 years as a broadcaster and the sales manager at WEVA in Emporia. During the early 70’s, he spent much time lay-ministering in the prisons or filling in at local pulpits. In 1987, he decided to retire from radio and pursue his real passion, the ministry. In 1988, he completed his coursework at Duke University to be ordained as a minister within the United Methodist Church.  He became the minister of 3 small churches in Dinwiddie County on June 16, 1988. Oak Grove UMC, one of these 3 churches, became his passion and he spent 19 years ministering there until his retirement in 2007.  A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, at Oak Grove United Methodist Church with burial in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service in the Collins Building Social Hall.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 12715 Acorn Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805. Owen Funeral Home, Jarratt, VA is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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