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September 2017

GREENSVILLE/EMPORIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

LOCAL BOARD MEETING

The Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services Administrative Board will meet on Thursday, August 21, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Greensville/Emporia Department of Social Services located at 1748 East Atlantic Street.  The public is welcome to attend.

Daughters of the American Revolution Encourage Commemoration of Signing of US Constitution

Members of William Taylor Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (Louise Ogburn of South Hill, Christie Hales of Lawrenceville, Mary Jane Elkins of South Hill and Nancy Turner of Kenbridge) encourage students at Southside Virginia Community College to join in commemorating the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America—September 17-23.  

Fish Tales

An annual rite of fall for the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services is a trip at Buckroe Beach Fishing Pier in Hampton for a day of saltwater fishing.  Old Point Trust and Financial Services sponsors this event in conjunction with the City of Hampton Roads Parks and Recreation.

Seventeen young anglers – most of whom had ever been saltwater fishing – arrived bright and early and ready to fish using rods, reels, tackle and bait provided by Old Point.  Don Lancaster and Matt Smith with two other fine volunteers helped the children.   Don provided brief “Fishing 101” instructions where he showed the boys and girls how to bait hooks, protect their hands from the fins, and release the hooked fish.

The kids had so much fun that many did not want to leave. One young man who never had been fishing was so excited and happy he was beside himself.                                                   

When asked why he volunteers each year, Lancaster responded “These youngsters have had so many challenges in their lives.  It does your heart good to see them have such a good time enjoying the simple pleasure of fishing.

The boys and girls are most grateful to the wonderful volunteers and to Old Point for sponsoring this great day of fishing.

The Transformative Power of Education

By Dr. Al Roberts

The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group that informs the public about issues, attitudes, and trends that shape the country and the world, examined the situation facing workers in the United States. The report summarizing their findings was titled “The State of American Jobs: How the shifting economic landscape is reshaping work and society and affecting the way people think about the skills and training they need to get ahead” (October 2016).

“The nature of jobs is changing,” the report noted. “Employment data shows that the job categories with the highest growth tend to require higher social skills, analytic savvy, and technical prowess.” The study’s survey of employed adults found that an overwhelming majority—87%—said getting training and developing new skills were either important or essential for staying abreast of changes in the workplace. The report stated, “Americans believe knowledge of computers, social dexterity, communications skills, and access to training are key to success for today’s workers.”

To address these concerns, Southside Virginia Community College maintains active partnerships with business and industry leaders throughout our service area. These collaborative efforts help ensure that curricula are up to date and aligned with current and future workers’ needs. One example is the recent launch of the Center for Information Technology Excellence (CITE) Lab located at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

The CITE Lab was made possible through a grant from the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and developed under the guidance of local employers, including Microsoft. Microsoft’s cloud computing facility in Mecklenburg County is one of the largest in the world. The CITE Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment lets students learn in a situation that replicates the work environment of large data centers and prepares them to earn important CompTia industry credentials (A+, Server+, Network+, and Security+).

The rise of cloud computing, which involves collecting and storing data, is one of the driving forces behind technology-related employment growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, they report wages within the field are more than double the median wage for all occupations.

At SVCC, our mission is to give everyone an educational foundation that develops and extends their skills and knowledge. This enables students to embark upon or move along career paths in growing fields with family sustaining wages. We believe in the transformative power of education. We believe students can meet challenges and change their lives through learning, and we believe education can lead to individual prosperity and regional economic vitality. The responsibility to instruct scholars and train tomorrow’s workforce drives all our activities. For more information about how your education needs can be met, call 434-949-1000.

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

Dominion Energy Crews Help Restore Power to Hundreds in Florida

Dominion Energy crews traveled from Daytona Beach on Friday to the Gulf Stream Staging area where they were deployed and helped restore power to several hundred customers. Work locations included broken poles and downed wires in locations which were difficult to access. Customers have been very appreciative and our colleagues at Florida Power & Light have assigned Dominion Energy crews to additional projects on Saturday.

As of 5:30 p.m. on Friday about 1.4 million customers are without power in Florida and Georgia due to Hurricane Irma, according to the Edison Electric Institute. Outages peaked on Monday at 7.8 million customers. More than 750 Dominion Energy employees and contractors are currently assisting in restoration efforts. In total around 60,000 are working on restoration efforts in one of the largest mobilizations of power crews in United States history.

WARNER & KAINE ANNOUNCE MORE THAN $1.3MILLION TO SUPPORT FIRE DEPARTMENTS IN VIRGINIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,357,959 in federal funding for nine Virginia fire departments through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The funding for nine fire departments in Concord, Chilhowie, Fairfax, Gasburg, Glade Spring, Kenbridge, Lovingston, Newport News, and Norton will be awarded through FEMA’s Assistant to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program.

“This federal funding will provide fire departments with critical support to enhance training operations and purchase life-saving equipment that will help keep Virginians safe,” the Senators said.

The following Virginia fire departments will receive funding under the AFG program:

  • The Concord Volunteer Fire Department will receive $64,762 to purchase vehicle extrication equipment;
  • The Town of Chilhowie Fire & EMS Department will receive $60, 313 to purchase portable and mobile radios;
  • The City of Fairfax Fire Department will receive $136, 182 to support training operations for firefighters;
  • The Gasburg Volunteer Fire Department will receive $46,116 to purchase an air compressor and fill station equipment;
  • The Glade Spring Volunteer Fire Department will receive $38,096 to purchase an air compressor and fill station equipment.
  • The Kenbridge Fire Department will receive $54,739 to update its source capture exhaust system technology;
  • The Lovingston Volunteer Fire Department will receive $142,381 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus equipment;
  • The City of Newport News Fire Department will receive $404,600 to purchase power lift cots and stretchers and;
  • The City of Norton Fire Department will receive $320,358 to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus equipment and face pieces.

The primary goal of FEMA’s AFG program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and State Fire Training Academies for critically-needed resources. 

Robotic Assisted Surgery Now Available at Southside Regional Medical Center

PETERSBURG, VA - (September 13, 2017) Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is pleased to announce the addition of robotic assisted surgery, the first of its kind to be offered in the Tri-Cities.  

SRMC performed its first cases yesterday. The new equipment features a magnified 3D high-definition vision system and tiny wristed instruments that bend and rotate far greater than the human hand. The robotic assisted technology allows surgeons to operate using the tiniest incisions - with greater vision, precision and control. Chief Executive Officer Trent Nobles, who was instrumental in bringing the new technology to Southside Regional Medical Center, noted “This technology, which performs advanced maneuvers, opens the door for a wider range of laparoscopic procedures to be completed with a robot technique at SRMC.”

Tejwant Datta, MD, FACS, both a general and bariatric surgeon at SRMC, is trained in this highly specialized surgical approach and performed the first robotic assisted surgeries yesterday. According to Dr. Datta, “Robotic surgery (as opposed to traditional open surgery) offers a faster recovery for patients. Generally, patients experience a shorter recuperation period with less intense pain and many can return to their normal routine in a shorter period of time. Our ultimate goal is to provide exceptional, compassionate care to our patients, using advanced technology for the best patient outcomes.”

Examples of surgical procedures that have benefitted from robotic surgery include, but are not limited to: urologic (prostate) surgery, general laparoscopic surgery, gynecologic surgery such as hysterectomies and ovary removal for benign conditions, certain thoracic procedures, gallbladder removal and early stage (T1 or T2) cancers.

SEN. WARNER ASKS FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION TO PROBE EQUIFAX DATA, SECURITY PRACTICES & CUSTOMER SERVICE RESPONSE AFTER RECENT HACK

~ Asks FTC to exercise existing authority to probe data breach ~

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Banking, Budget and Finance committees and cofounder of the bipartisan Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, today asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine the recent cyber hack of credit reporting agency Equifax. Last week, Equifax publically disclosed a breach which exposed sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.

Sen. Warner requested an FTC investigation into the lapse in Equifax cybersecurity practices, and questioned the company’s widely-panned response to consumers potentially impacted by the breach. His letter asks the FTC to examine whether credit reporting agencies such as Equifax have adequate cybersecurity safeguards in place for “the enormous amounts of sensitive data they collect and commercialize.” 

Sen. Warner has been a leader in calling for better consumer protections from data theft. In the aftermath of the Target breach that exposed the debit and credit card information of 40 million customers, Sen. Warner in 2014 chaired the first congressional hearing on protecting consumer data from the threat posed by hackers targeting retailers’ online systems. Sen. Warner also partnered with the National Retail Federation to establish an information sharing platform that allows the industry to better protect consumer financial information from data breaches.

Sen. Warner has been working to develop bipartisan legislation to create a comprehensive, nationwide and uniform data breach standard requiring timely consumer notification for breaches of financial data and other sensitive information.

The text of the letter may be found here

Troy Ray Allen, Sr.

Troy Ray Allen, Sr., 77, of Emporia, passed away Wednesday, September 13, 2017. He was the son of the late Henry Fletcher “Buck” Allen and Sarah Cook Allen and was also preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Mae Clements and two brothers, Thomas “Sonny” Allen and Robert “Bobby” Allen. He was a longtime member of Faith Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and was retired from VDOT after 38 years of service. 

Mr. Allen is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dorothy J. Allen; two sons, Troy Ray Allen, Jr. and wife, Jessie and Christopher N. Allen and wife, Angel; daughter, Angela Mathers and friend, Joe Herbster; grandchildren, Cynthia Williams and husband, Randy, Kimberly Wilson, Haley Sturgeon and husband, Josh, Charlee Fore, Karolina Allen, Javier Allen and McKenna Allen; two great-grandchildren, Malina Wilson and Aurora Sturgeon; a sister, Peggy Jean Glenn and husband, Jimmy and a number of nieces and nephews. 

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Thursday, September 14 at Owen Funeral Home, 303 S. Halifax Rd, Jarratt, Virginia where the funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, September 15. Interment will follow at Independence United Methodist Church Cemetery. 
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Faith Baptist Church or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Southside Regional Medical Center Offers CPR Training

Petersburg, VA - Southside Regional Medical Center will offer a Basic Life Support Provider CPR Training class on Wednesday, September 20 from 8:00am – 12:00pm. The class will be held in Classrooms A & B located at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg. Class size is limited and the fee is $65. The registration deadline is close of business on Monday, September 18. Call 804-765-5729 to register or for more information. 

Frederick William Headley

Emporia- Frederick William Headley, 76, died Monday, September 11, 2017 at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, VA after a brief illness.

He leaves behind his wife and angel of 56 years, Marcia (Brookover) Headley; his two sons, Jeff Headley and Chris Headley; his brother Arthur Headley; his sister Debra Headley; his daughter in-laws Gail Headley (Jeff) and Rebecca Headley (Chris); five beautiful granddaughters and many close friends.

Fred was born and reared in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of Arthur and Emma (Wenner) Headley. After high school, he became an Ohio State Highway Patrolman then enlisted in the US Army during the Vietnam war. Fred earned a business degree at Youngstown State University. He also held roles at Aluminum Billets, Republic Steel and Kingsberry Homes before retiring.

Fred enjoyed woodworking, music, computers, reading and Virginia Tech football. Fred lent his technology talents to many friends and local businesses. He was a member of Monumental United Methodist Church. Despite suffering a significant spinal cord injury in 1976, Fred was known for having a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. His entertaining Christmas letters were eagerly anticipated by family and friends. He was a connoisseur of black coffee, Mississippi mud cake and Ben Hegge chocolates.
 

A Memorial service to celebrate Fred’s life will be held Thursday, September 14th at Echols funeral home Chapel with Pastor Rachel Plemmons officiating. The family will receive friends from 1 P.M. until service time.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Monumental United Methodist Church at 300 Southampton Street, Emporia, VA 23847.

Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

David Lee Barnes

David Lee Barnes, born December 15, 1939, went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 10, 2017.He is survived by his loving wife Bobbie T. Barnes, his loving and devoted daughter Patti Lynn Barnes, a brother Tommy Barnes of Oceanside,  California, and two granddogs, Carmel and Bizzie.

A native of Emporia, Mr. Barnes was predeceased by his parents, Rufus T. and Ruth Hobbs Barnes and a sister Marguerite Hoskins. He retired from the Virginia Department of Corrections after 30 years of service and was a longstanding member of Three Shot Hunt Club. A veteran of the United States Army, Mr. Barnes joined American Legion Post # 46 in Emporia in 2003. During his 14 years of service with the Legion he served several terms as Commander and Vice-Commander, giving up his current term as Commander on June 30th of this year due to poor health. His passing has left a great void to Post # 46. RIP Brother David.

Funeral Services will be held Friday September 15th at 2 P.M. in the Chapel of Echols Funeral Home with Pastor Mitchell Norville officiating. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Greensville Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6 P.M.  untill 8 P.M. at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be left at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Gary Jay Dix

Gary Jay Dix, age 84, of Emporia, VA passed away September 9, 2017.  He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Capps Dix; his son, Todd Dix and wife Ann; and his two granddaughters, Lauren D. Rook and husband Christopher and Meredith A. Dix.   A memorial service will be conducted 6:00 p.m. Thursday at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville.  The family will receive friends Thursday after the service.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 108, Emporia, VA  23847.

The Gallbladder What It Does & How To Tell If Yours Is Sick

Community Out-Reach Education

South Hill – Most people don’t pay much attention to their gallbladder until it starts causing trouble.  When there is a problem it can be quite painful and often requires immediate action.  What are the causes and symptoms associated with gallbladder pain?  What are the treatments for gallbladder disease?  Can I prevent gallbladder disease? 

If you are looking for answers to questions like these, attend September’s C.O.R.E. (Community Outreach Education) Program at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital to learn more about the signs and symptoms of gallbladder problems.

This FREE program will be on Tuesday, September 19th at 4:00 p.m. in the VCU Health CMH Education Center Auditorium at 125 Buena Vista Circle in South Hill.

Dr. Michael Tozzi will be the speaker for the program. Dr. Tozzi is a board certified general surgeon.  He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He completed his residency in General Surgery from City Avenue Hospital, Germantown Hospital and Parkview Hospital, all located in Philadelphia.  Dr. Tozzi recently joined our team of skilled surgeons at CMH Surgical Services located at 416 Durant Street in South Hill.

Reservations are not required for this program; however, they are recommended.  For more information or to register to attend, please call (434) 774-2550 or visit www.vcu-cmh.org.  Entrance to VCU Health CMH Education Center Auditorium is to the left of the main hospital entrance.

August 24 2017 Graduates from SVCC Truck Driving Program

Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training Graduates from the most recent Emporia class on August 24, 2017 along with college personnel are (Left to Right) Duncan Quicke, Truck Driving Program Coordinator, Dr. Al Roberts, SVCC President, Jimmy Edwards of Courtland, Douglas E. Cannon of Brodnax, Kenneth Francis of Boykins, Travis Kidd of Franklin, Doug Kemerer, Instructor, Kashadd Stith of Jarrett , Dennis Seay, Instructor and Clyde Rothgeb, Instructor and   guest speaker,  Frank Sinclair, the recruiter for Schneider National.

SVCC Nursing Club Elects 2017 Officers

Southside Virginia Community College Christanna Campus Nursing Club officers are (Left to Right) President, Patricia Rice, Emporia, Vice President, Randy Roberts, Boydton, Secretary, Emily Watts, Gasburg, Treasurer, Allison Cheely, Blackstone, Co Treasurer, Jacqueline Parham, Dinwiddie.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Every 15 minutes, someone in the United States dies by suicide.  Losing someone to suicide or struggling with a mental illness can feel like no one understands.  Join us on Wednesday, September 27th at 5:00pm for the 2nd Annual Suicide Prevention Awareness Walk on the campus of VA State University- Foster Hall to help raise hope and awareness regarding this preventable public health issue.  The first 50 participants will receive a free T-shirts.  Let’s walk together to end suicide in our community.  For more information, contact (804)862-8002 ext. 3193.   This event is free & open to the public.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 55 New Jobs in Greensville County

~Oran Safety Glass to invest $4.45 million to expand manufacturing operation~

EMPORIA – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Oran Safety Glass (OSG), a manufacturer of specialty glass for buses, military vehicles, and trains, will invest $4.45 million to expand its manufacturing operation in Greensville County. Virginia competed against Wisconsin for the project, which will retain 75 existing jobs and create 55 new jobs. Governor McAuliffe successfully recruited this expansion for the Commonwealth during the July 2016 trade and marketing mission to Israel where he met with OSG executives.

“Oran Safety Glass' second expansion since opening its U.S. manufacturing facility in Greensville County ten years ago demonstrates the impact that Virginia’s industrial environment can have on the development of our existing businesses,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at the event. “The decision by an international corporate partner to reinvest in the Commonwealth is a major statement for the region, and we are proud that OSG’s operation in Southern Virginia can accommodate the company’s future growth. As we continue to diversify and build the new Virginia economy, we celebrate the addition of 55 new, quality jobs in a region that continues its economic rebound.”

OSG, an Israeli-headquartered specialist glass manufacturer, develops a wide range of glass products, including armored safety glass, such as bullet-resistant windows, curved, flat, laminated, and insulated. As a global company with an international client base, OSG provides customized glass solutions for various industry sectors. The company’s expertise covers all areas of glass processing for defense, security, and transportation sectors, as well as special applications for other industries, such as architecture and solar.

“More than 70 percent of all jobs created in Virginia come from existing companies expanding, that’s why retaining quality employers, like Oran Safety Glass, is critical to ensuring a healthy local, regional, and state economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Home to more than 5,500 advanced manufacturing companies, the Commonwealth will continue to support this booming industry and the workforce that helps it thrive. OSG is a great example of the growth manufacturers can achieve in Virginia, and we look forward to a continued partnership as the company grows in Greensville County.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Greensville County, a member of Virginia’s Growth Alliance, and the Virginia Israel Advisory Board to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $235,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will also be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“OSG Inc. has had a very successful growth curve since launching our US operations in 2006,” said Louis Mitchener, Senior Vice President, North America Division, Oran Safety Glass. “Greensville County, Virginia has been a vital part of that growth so expanding here made good business sense. We are looking forward to our next 10 years and beyond!”

“Jobs and capital growth are a priority of Greensville County,” said Peggy Wiley, Board of Supervisors Chair, Greensville County.“We are honored that OSG has chosen to continue our partnership in the Greensville County Industrial Park. They have been a vital part of our community for over 10 years and we look forward to many more years of success.”

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission Vice-Chair, Senator Frank Ruff, said, “This expansion shows that OSG is committed to our region and we are proud to have them as a partner as we work to bring jobs and investment to the area. We have the workforce, facilities and infrastructure to attract top employers, like OSG, and I'm confident that they will continue to build on the success they've seen here in Greensville."

"The Virginia Israel Advisory Board is proud to have played a significant role in the state’s efforts to secure OSG’s expansion in Greensville County. This project was a top priority and we look forward to the company’s continued investment and job creation in the Commonwealth," commented Mel Chaskin, Chairman, Virginia Israel Advisory Board.

“I congratulate Oran Safety Glass on this important expansion,” said Senator Louise Lucas. “As we work to bring new jobs to Southern Virginia, we are proud to support this leading international company that has positively contributed to Greensville County’s economy for more than a decade.”

"I am pleased Oran Safety Glass will invest $4.45 million to expand manufacturing operations in Greensville County,” said Delegate Roslyn Tyler. “The company has been an excellent community partner and provided job opportunities for the citizens of the 75th District for ten years. Job creation and expansion in Southside is a priority and necessity to boost and grow our economy."

Help For Harvey Victims at SVCC

The office of Student Activities at Southside Virginia Community College has collaborated with several non-profit organization who will be taking supplies to Texas for Hurricane Harvey Relief.  The student services areas on the Christanna and Keysville campuses will be drop off locations from now until September 15, 2017. 

Items needed include: bleach, cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, dust pans, paper products, laundry detergent, non-perishable food, manual can openers, plastic food containers, plastic zip bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, brushes, deodorant, soap, shampoo, dry or canned pet food, cat litter, collars and leashes, tarps, batteries and flashlights, emergency candle, clothes pins and lines, matches, generators, shovels, trash bags, diapers, personal care items, and formula for babies. 

Any questions can be directed to Le’Tina giles, Student Activities Coordinator, 434 736 2023 or letina.giles@southside.edu

SVCC Graduates Fifth Class of Power Line Workers

The Power Line Worker Training Program of Southside Virginia Community College graduated the fifth class of students on August 30, 2017.  Those completing the 11-week course are

L-R front Row: Sonny Smith (Instructor) Quadre’ Pulliam (Saxe), Wyatt Timberlake (Crewe), Sidney Card (Chesterfield), Khalil Watson (Farmville), Zachary Davis (Beaverdam), Trey Pruitt (Tangier), Brad Wike and Clyde Robertson (Instructors). 2nd row L-R: Will Nickel (Powhatan), Dylan Loving (Aylett),Dakota House (White Plains) Ryan Keesee (South Hill),  Jimmy Woolcott (Powhatan), Jordan Harris (Nellysford). Back Row L-R: Daniel Hobson (Windsor), Dylan Stimpson (Famrville), Cole Tapp (Wilsons) Corey Clark (Freeman) Josh Quinn (Blackstone), Alex Fletcher (Louisa), Chris Dulin (Locust Grove), Todd Scott Chisholm (Louisa), Tyriq Welton (Prospect), Matthew Townsend (Prospect)

LABOR DAY HOLIDAY TRAFFIC DEATHS AT RECORD LOW

With all Schools in Session, Virginians Reminded to #Drive2SaveLives

RICHMOND – Virginia witnessed an unprecedented drop in traffic deaths over the 2017 Labor Day weekend with three reported traffic deaths during the four-day holiday statistical counting period. The three fatal crashes occurred in the City of Suffolk and the counties of Appomattox and Frederick. The traffic crashes in Appomattox County and Suffolk each claimed the life of a motorcyclist. During the 2016 Labor Day weekend, there were eight traffic deaths and 16 fatal crashes during the 2015 holiday.

“Despite the encouraging and significant decline in traffic deaths during this past holiday weekend, Virginia is still averaging 50 more traffic deaths this year when compared to 2016,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “The Labor Day weekend clearly demonstrates that we can prevent traffic deaths on our highways, so let’s use this as the momentum we need to continue driving down fatal traffic crashes for the remainder of 2017.”

During the holiday weekend, state police participated in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.) program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Through the state police’s stepped up presence on Virginia’s highways over Labor Day, troopers stopped and cited 7,381 speeders and another 2,092 reckless drivers. State police also cited 576 safety belt violations and 181 child safety seat violations. In addition, Virginia troopers assisted 3,205 disabled or stranded motorists, and investigated a total 747 traffic crashes.

State police has also joined nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies across Virginia to launch the 2017 Checkpoint Strikeforcecampaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). During the Labor Day weekend, state police arrested 97 drivers for DUI statewide. The Checkpoint Strikeforce traffic safety initiative and educational outreach continue through the end of the year.

Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.

“We are also reminding all drivers of the importance of responsibly sharing the road with Virginia’s students and school buses, now that all schools across the Commonwealth are in session,” said Col. Flaherty. “For student drivers, whether high school or college, be sure to always buckle up, comply with posted speed limits and never drive distracted. Those students walking to and from school are urged to use sidewalks when available, walk towards traffic and increase your visibility by wearing bright colors, when possible.”

For more information on the latest youth driving tips and campaigns going on in local middle and high schools across the Commonwealth, please click on the Youth of Virginia Speak Out (YOVASO) Website at http://www.yovaso.org.  

Richardson Memorial Library Turns 40

The William E. Richardson, Jr. Memorial Library is celebrating 40 years of service. The library will have light refreshments available on Monday, September 11th in appreciation of the library’s patrons. The week of September 11th- 18th there will be a giveaway a day to the patron checking out the 40th item. The community is encouraged to visit the library and take advantage of the information, services, and resources available to all.   

The development and implementation of the first public library in Greensville County was initiated by the Woman’s Club of Emporia. Through their efforts the first public library space was opened on June 12, 1931. Known as the Greensville County Public Library, it was located in a small room of the county courthouse and was open for two hours every Friday afternoon.

As demand grew, the need for a larger space became apparent. The Greensville County Board of Supervisors purchased the former Merchants and Farmers Bank on South Main Street in 1948 for the purpose of a new home for the library. The new library opened in 1949 with its first paid librarian. Through the years and with an ever increasing need to supply the community with rich resources, it was again recognized that the library needed more space to expand its services.

A “Friends of the Library” was formed in 1964 with support from the Woman’s Club of Emporia for the purpose of increasing public interest and raising funds for a new library building. With the efforts of the Friends, a generous donation from the William E. Richardson family in memory of their only son William E. Richardson, Jr., and the assistance of the City of Emporia as part of the municipal complex, a new library was built at its current location on Spring Street. The William E. Richardson, Jr. Memorial Library was dedicated and opened to the public in September 1977. It is through the work and determination of local citizens from the past to the present that the Richardson Memorial Library continues to serve the entire community with an abundance of books, resources, and services.

For more information contact the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meherrinregionallibrary.

South Hill Market Square Sunset Sounds to Feature Tim Cifers

It is time to put on your boots and do the boot scooting boogie for country music artist Tim Cifers. The nextevent in the South Hill Market Square Sunset Sounds in Centennial Park Serieswill be September 21,2017. Food will be sold on site, bring your lawn chairsand ID. Admission is $3.00.   Park opens at 6:30 p.m.

Tim Cifers grew up in Granville Co. North Carolina, just North of Raleigh and was raised on his grandparent’s farm.  He taught himself to sing and play guitar and began singing at age 14 and some of his favorites are George Strait, Conway Twitty, or Tracy Lawrence!?

The past few years have been incredible, as far as music goes as he has put in a lot of hard work, and it is paying off. He has won talent competition after talent competition and played with some of the biggest stars in country music. Luke Bryan, Justin Moore, Cole Swindell, Rascal Flatts, Rodney Atkins, Ricky Skaggs, and more. In 2015 he was nominated for the Carolina Country Male Vocalist of the Year.
 According to his website bio   he wants to bring back real country music. “That's what country music is missing today! Real country! My goal in this business is to be one of the guys that bring real country back. And when I say that, I mean songs about real life experiences. As a songwriter, I focus on writing good lyrics that have substance, and meaning. And as musicians, my band and I want to be heard and enjoyed, while being who we are. So, we blend a touch of the traditional sound with the modern country/rock sound. And it’s becoming a hit in the Southeast, and grabbing the attention of some of Nashville’s top executives.

At the end of the day, when you look back, and ask yourself, “did I make a difference today?” you hope to be able to answer yourself with a warm and fuzzy “yes”. We were all called to do something special. I am blessed in feeling that I am living out my calling every day! And every time I walk onto the stage, and with every song I write. I am doing what I love, and love what I do. That is the dream.”

The event is sponsored by Town of South Hill, J.A. Barker Construction, Rosemont of Virginia, South Hill Family Medicine, Benchmark Community Bank, South Hill Chamber, Parker Oil & Propane, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, Robert Harris Photography, Exit Town and Lake Realty, Edmonds Printing Company, Rent E Quip, Newmart Builders, Coors Light, Vulcan Materials Company, South Hill Express Care & Car Wash, 3WD FM 107.7, Southside Mortgage Corporation, HH Forest Management, Biggs Construction, B and B Consultants, Memory Makers. First Citizens Bank, Days Inn of South Hill, Watkins Insurance Agency, Rudd’s Creek Marina, Xtreme Signs & Graphics and Citizens Community Bank, Rewind 101.9 US 98.3 and Shine 96.7 WSHV .

 The Third Thursday Concert Series will continue September 21- Tim Cifers. Monster Mash October 31, 2017.

 Gate Opens at 6:00 PM – Concert from 6:30PM – 9:30PM. Photo ID Required for ABC purposes.

Calvin Elmore Edwards, Sr.

Calvin Elmore Edwards, Sr. age 88, of Brodnax, VA passed away September 4, 2017.  He is the son of the late John and Nora Edwards.  He is preceded in death by his wife, Mattie Rose Stainback Edwards and his siblings, Marian Connell, Rosa Edwards, Bryant Edwards, Wilton Edwards, Jasper Edwards and Melvin Edwards.  He is survived by his children, Rita E. Baird and husband Nelson and Calvin E. Edwards, Jr. and wife Kim; his grandchildren, Dylan Edwards, Craig Baird and wife Toni, Holly White and husband Chris and Julie Hawley and husband Logan; his great grandchildren, Tyler and Zachary Baird, CJ and Ross White and Lily Hawley; his siblings, Magoline Daniel, Celia Baird, Joe Edwards, Rachel Parrott and Shelby Jones; and numerous nieces and nephews.  Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at Matthews Chapel United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville, VA with interment in the church cemetery.  The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville, VA.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Central Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 386, Gasburg, VA  23857.  

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE HISTORIC CHANGE TO TROOPER HIRING PROCESS

VSP Now Hiring for Accelerated Lateral Entry Academy Program

RICHMOND, Va. – As of Sept. 1, 2017, the Virginia State Police is opening its Academy to current Virginia law enforcement interested in attending a new Accelerated Lateral Entry Program (ALEP). This is a first in the Department’s 85-year history to offer an abbreviated State Police Academy for existing Virginia Department of Criminal Justice (DCJS) certified law enforcement officers. Until now, any applicant for state trooper had to complete the full, six-month State Police Academy.

“Virginia State Police has not been immune to today’s challenging environment of having to compete with other law enforcement agencies to attract qualified candidates to join its sworn ranks,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Despite the salary increases provided by the Virginia General Assembly this year, State Police continues to struggle to prevent our sworn personnel from leaving for other agencies and then to fill those growing vacancies in a timely manner. Many of our field divisions across the Commonwealth are currently experiencing vacancy rates of nearly 50 percent.”

Offering an accelerated lateral program has gained in popularity among other state police and highway patrol agencies, as well as many local Virginia police agencies, as an effective method for increasing recruitment of qualified personnel. Virginia State Police are accepting applications for its ALEP as of Sept. 1, 2017, with the Academy class scheduled to begin in April 2018. Training will be an intense eight-week program designed to indoctrinate candidates into the State Police culture and instill its standards of integrity, professionalism, self-discipline, pride, valor and excellence in service. Candidates are paid while attending the ALEP Academy.

Those selected to participate in the State Police ALEP will be hired to a specific vacancy in a particular jurisdiction within the Commonwealth. Qualified candidates accepted to the State Police ALEP will be compensated at a beginning salary of $48,719. In accordance with the established Northern Virginia pay scale, applicants hired to a trooper vacancy in Northern Virginia will be compensated at a beginning salary of $60,587. Upon graduation, candidates are supplied all uniforms and equipment, including a take home car.

Among the qualifications for the ALEP, candidates must be currently employed by a Virginia law enforcement organization, have at least three years of DCJS-certified law enforcement experience, and be a VCIN Level C Operator. As is standard for all sworn applicants, ALEP candidates will undergo an extensive background investigation, to include a polygraph examination.

For additional information on all qualifications, restrictions, height/weight requirements, etc., for the Virginia State Police Accelerated Lateral Entry Program, please go to www.vsp.virginia.gov

From the Desk of Delegate Tyler: Calling All Pages!

It’s that time of year to choose students for the Senate and House of Delegates page program!

Each year the Speaker of the House of Delegates appoints 13 and 14 year-olds from across the Commonwealth to serve as House pages during the regular session of the General Assembly. These young people assist the members of the House of Delegates, the House Clerk's staff, and other legislative staff in the daily duties required for the successful operation of the House of Delegates during the session.

The page workday begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. A lunch break is provided. There is no weekend work except for the last Saturday of session. Pages deliver documents throughout the Capitol complex, and perform errands for members and staff of the House of Delegates during each day's floor session and at committee meetings. Pages are also selected for assignments in specific House offices including the Speaker's Office, the Clerk's Office, the Bill Room, the Copy Center, and the Governor's Office. Pages are trained for these assignments during the first two days of their employment. Every effort is made to provide each page with a variety of work assignments. All work assignments are important to the legislative process and should be performed in a professional manner.

While at work pages are under the supervision of the Clerk and the Information & Communications Services Director, the Page Coordinator and Assistant Page Coordinator, and two Head Pages who served as pages the previous year. After work pages have approximately two hours of unsupervised free time from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. reserved for eating dinner. It is mandatory that all pages reside at the hotel. There are two chaperones on duty at the hotel from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. each day, Sunday through Friday

A mandatory study hall is held at the hotel every Monday through Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Certified teachers supervise the pages and help individual students as needed. Study hall teachers do not provide classroom instruction and do not administer tests and exams. Pages are responsible for arranging with their schools and teachers the preferred method of taking tests and exams. They must also make arrangements with their schools and teachers to maintain their schoolwork, including any tutoring that is required. Pages are responsible for making their own weekend travel arrangements.

It is important that prospective pages understand that they are to conduct themselves in an adult manner and should always be on their best behavior as they are representing their delegates, families, and schools. Serving as a page is a wonderful experience and an educational opportunity. However, it is also a 40-hour per week paid position for which they are making a firm commitment to report to work every day. Requests for time off to participate in extracurricular activities will not be granted. Their commitment requires hard work, initiative, responsibility, and a positive attitude. The Speaker and the Clerk expect excellent behavior from the pages and rely on a strong support network between the pages, their families, teachers, and the Clerk's staff. Pages not conducting themselves in an appropriate manner will be disciplined as required, which may include removal from the program.

The Speaker's Office, Clerk's Office staffs, and Delegates strive to ensure that each page's employment with the House of Delegates is both enjoyable and educational.

The deadline for submission is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Page applicants must be 13 or 14 years old on January 10, 2018 to be eligible. To access more information and applications please visit https://capclass.virginiageneralassembly.gov and search Page Program in the search bar. Please contact my office at 434-336-1710 or email us at rctyler75@verizon.net for any questions, concerns, or nominations. Senate Page applications are also available.

WITH TRAFFIC DEATHS SPIKING IN VIRGINIA, STATE POLICE URGING ALL VIRGINIANS TO #DRIVE2SAVELIVES THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND

RICHMOND – In the past seven days, 15 people have died in traffic crashes on Virginia highways across the Commonwealth. That alarming death toll includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and a 9-year-old bicyclist. Tragically, this year is proving to be a deadly one for Virginia’s highways. As of Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, there have been 529 reported traffic deaths in Virginia, compared to 477 this same date last year.

“The fact that we have lost 50 more lives in traffic crashes this year than in 2016 should be of major concern for all Virginians, especially as we head into the heavily-traveled Labor Day weekend,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “State police will have all available troopers out on patrol for the extended holiday weekend, but we need every driver and passenger committed to also doing their part to make their travels as safe as possible.”

Travelers can expect to see more stationary and roving patrols by Virginia State Police troopers as part of the Department’s participation in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.)program. Operation CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program throughout the Commonwealth began Friday morning, Sep. 1, 2017, at 12:01 a.m. and continues through midnight Monday, Sept. 4, 2017.

Last year, Virginia experienced a drop in traffic deaths during the four-day holiday counting period. In 2016, there eight traffic deaths, whereas in 2015 there were 16 fatal crashes during the Labor Day weekend. In addition to investigating 707 total traffic crashes during the 2016 holiday weekend, State Police stopped 8,676 speeders and 2,772 reckless drivers. Troopers cited 739 safety belt violations and 210 child safety seat violations.

Also of concentration this Labor Day weekend is impaired driving. State police is joining nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies to participate in the 2017 Checkpoint Strikeforcecampaign, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Last year’s Labor Day weekend netted 101 DUI arrests by Virginia troopers.

“We are encouraging Virginians to ‘Drive to Save Lives’ this holiday weekend and on through the remainder of 2017, so we can hopefully turn around this distressing increase in traffic deaths,” said Colonel Flaherty. “Saving a life happens when you buckle up, don’t drive distracted, share the road, and be responsible by never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” 

Dalia Torres Menendez

Dalia Torres Menendez passed away peacefully at her Emporia home on September 1, 2017. She is survived by her son Joe Menendez and wife Tara, daughter Kathleen Menendez Burgess and husband John, and two granddaughters Ashley Menendez Morales and husband Hector, and Olivia Lee Menendez, and two great grandchildren Jordan Xavier Morales and Liliana Thalia Morales.

She was born on March 21, 1931 in Tampa, Fla., the third daughter to Jose and Generosa Torres, who immigrated from Asturias, Spain. After graduating from Hillsborough High School, she attended the nursing school at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, La. which was run by the Sisters of Charity, a group of Catholic nurses, along with the Medical College of the University of Louisiana. She studied with the Nuns and graduated with a Registered Nursing Degree. Charity Hospital was the second largest and longest continually running hospital in the country until August 2005.

She returned to her home and parents in Tampa, Fla. and worked as a nurse. It is there that she met her husband, Dr. Reinaldo Rojas Menendez. They were married on Sept. 7, 1951. After marriage they moved to the Norfolk, Va. area where she worked as a surgical nurse and he completed his surgical residency. It is there that they began their family with the births of their two children.

They moved to Emporia, Va. in 1961 when the community built Greensville Memorial Hospital. She worked as her husband’s office nurse until the creation of the Emporia Medical Associates. She retired from her career in nursing at that time.

She was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church where she enjoyed singing in the choir and was at times a featured soloist. She was in the community choral group, and was also a soloist at numerous weddings, community events, and dedications.

She was an active and dedicated member of the Greensville Memorial Hospital Women’s Auxiliary, where she also served her time as president. The planning, preparation, and execution of the Auxiliary Ball and Higher Fever Follies brought not only much needed donations to the hospital, but so much excitement, joy, and comradery within the community.

She was very proud and honored to serve her community by helping the local police dept. and court system by serving as a Spanish interpreter.

She was a mother, who was very active in her children’s extracurricular activities through the years. A fabulous 50’s – 60’s kind of mom with a little bit of “Lucy and Ricky Ricardo” for flavor. She will be missed dearly by all of her family and friends. Her family finds comfort in that she is now back where she longed to be, with her late husband, Reinaldo, of 53 years who preceded her in death.

We know her soul left this earth knowing that she had truly been loved and had also lovingly touched the lives of others. What more could one want from a blessed and richly lived life.

We sincerely and most heartfelt want to thank the devoted caregivers and the hospice staff of many years for their excellent care. We are so grateful for these individuals who make it possible to live out one’s life in the comfort of their home.

Those serving as pallbearers are Keith Morris, George Grizzard, David Prince, Dennis Allen, Bobby Ferguson, Ted Lee, and honorary pallbearers Bob Wayne Mitchell and Tommy Hunt Rose.

The Menendez family will have visitation at Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave. in Emporia, Va. 23847, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on September 4, 2017.  A private graveside service will be held at Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Rev. Charles Moore officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial donations be made to the Dr. Reinaldo Menendez Scholarship Fund at Richard Bland College 11301 Johnson Rd. Petersburg, Va. 

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