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Public Notice - Environmental Permit

Purpose of notice: To seek public comment on the draft permit from the Department of Environmental Quality that will allow the filling of wetlands and stream bed in Greensville County, Virginia. 

Public comment period: June 14, 2019 until July 14, 2019 until 5:00 PM

PERMIT NAME: Virginia Water Protection Permit issued by the Department of Environmental Quality, under the authority of the State Water Control Board.

Name, address, and permit number of applicant: Iluka Resource Inc.; Attn: Adam Haywood; 12472 St. John Church Road, Stony Creek, VA 23882-0129

Permit Number 06-1948

Project description: Iluka Resources Inc. has requested to modify its current Virginia Water Protection (VWP) permit for the Iluka Resources Inc., Brink Surface Mine project. The project consists of completing open pit surface mining of mineral sands within 626 acres of a 1,423 acre site known as the Brink Surface Mine and the site is located at the intersection of Brink Road (Route 627) and Independence Church Road (Route 633) in Greensville County, Virginia. The proposed permit modification will allow the permittee to partially change the remaining on-site permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation requirements. The requested modification adds 3.11 mitigation bank credits to be purchased in place of on-site restoration.  3.04 acres of the originally required on-site wetland restoration will still be completed by the permittee.  No additional impacts are proposed to surface waters with this modification request. The project will result in permanent impacts to 6.15 acres of forested wetlands and 175 linear feet (0.02 acre) of stream bed.  The activity proposed in the permit modification will affect wetlands and streams that drain to Fountains and Cattail Creeks in the Chowan River watershed. A watershed is the land area drained by a river and its incoming streams. The applicant will provide compensation for permanent impacts to wetlands and streams authorized by this permit through the purchase of a monetary contribution of $461,752.00 to the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF), the purchase of 3.11 wetland mitigation bank credits from a private mitigation bank, and through the on-site restoration of 3.04 acres of impacted wetlands and 260 linear feet of stream. The total compensation ratio will be 2:1. The DEQ’s preliminary decision is to issue the permit modification. 

HOW TO COMMENT AND/OR REQUEST A PUBLIC HEARING: DEQ accepts comments and requests for public hearing by e-mail, fax or postal mail. All comments and requests must be in writing and be received by DEQ during the comment period. Submittals must include the names, mailing addresses and telephone numbers of the commenter/requester and of all persons represented by the commenter/requester. A request for public hearing must also include: 1) The reason why a public hearing is requested. 2) A brief, informal statement regarding the nature and extent of the interest of the requester or of those represented by the requester, including how and to what extent such interest would be directly and adversely affected by the permit. 3) Specific references, where possible, to terms and conditions of the permit with suggested revisions. DEQ may hold a public hearing, including another comment period, if public response is significant and there are substantial, disputed issues relevant to the permit. The public may review the draft permit and application at the DEQ office named above by appointment or may request copies of the documents from the contact person listed below.

Contact for public comments, document requests and additional information: Name: Bryan Jones; Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality, Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road, Richmond, Virginia, 23060; Tel: (804) 527-5074; bryan.jones@deq.virginia.gov; Fax: (804) 527-5106. 

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WARNER & HAWLEY INTRODUCE BILL TO FORCE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES TO DISCLOSE HOW THEY ARE MONETIZING USER DATA

~ Bipartisan legislation would improve transparency, allow users to understand exactly what data is being collected for profit ~

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) will introduce the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act, bipartisan legislation that will require data harvesting companies such as social media platforms to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers, and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit.

“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” said Sen. Warner. “But the overall lack of transparency and disclosure in this market have made it impossible for users to know what they’re giving up, who else their data is being shared with, or what it’s worth to the platform. Our bipartisan bill will allow consumers to understand the true value of the data they are providing to the platforms, which will encourage competition and allow antitrust enforcers to identify potentially anticompetitive practices.”

“When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold. These 'free' products track everything we do so tech companies can sell our information to the highest bidder and use it to target us with creepy ads,” said Sen. Hawley. “Even worse, tech companies do their best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom it is sold. This bipartisan legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these 'free' services actually cost.”

As user data increasingly represents one of the most valuable, albeit intangible, assets held by technology firms, shining light on how this data is collected, retained, monetized, and protected, is critical. The DASHBOARD Act will:

  • Require commercial data operators (defined as services with over 100 million monthly active users) to disclose types of data collected as well as regularly provide their users with an assessment of the value of that data.
  • Require commercial data operators to file an annual report on the aggregate value of user data they’ve collected, as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
  • Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all, or individual fields, of data collected – and disclose to users all the ways in which their data is being used. including any uses not directly related to the online service for which the data was originally collected.
  • Empower the SEC to develop methodologies for calculating data value, while encouraging the agency to facilitate flexibility to enable businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different uses, sectors, and business models.

The DASHBOARD Act is the second tech-focused bill Hawley and Warner have partnered on. The first was Hawley’s Do Not Track Act, which would be modeled after the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Do Not Call” list and allow users to opt out of non-essential data collection.

 A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here. Bill text is available here.

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How a Speech-Language Pathologist Can Help

Speech therapists (also known as speech-language pathologists) evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with a wide variety of conditions that affect oral motor skills, swallowing, and speech and language abilities. The speech therapists at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) work closely with neurologists, ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctors and other specialists to treat a variety of conditions. Voice therapy is personalized to each individual through techniques for improving vocal care and hygiene as well as training strategies and exercises for improved vocal quality.

Concerns regarding voice problems should first be evaluated by an ENT doctor, also known as an otolaryngologist. Referral to a speech-language pathologist should be made for voice therapy when appropriate. Speech therapy helps regain speech loss due to diseases that affect the voice or following treatment for certain diseases such as cancer.

Who Might Need Treatment?

  • Individuals with chronic reflux
  • Individuals with phonotrauma/laryngeal trauma
  • Individuals with vocal abuse/misuse behaviors
  • Individuals with neurological disease (Parkinson’s)
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia
  • Following laryngeal cancer treatment
  • Smokers
  • Individuals with difficulties swallowing or communicating

“Speech therapists at SVRMC are experienced in helping patients with short-term and long-term memory disorders. They work with patients who are struggling with impaired memory and having difficulty finding words,” says Richard M. Alexander, PT, DPT, Director of Rehabilitation Therapy Services at SVRMC.

According to the American Speech-Language Pathology and Hearing Association, cognitive-communication disorders often happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury or dementia. Consult your doctor if you notice a sudden change in you or someone you know in cognitive communication including:

Symptoms

  • Difficulty organizing thoughts
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Difficulty planning
  • Difficulty problem solving

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center offers speech pathology services for all ages, from children to seniors. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (434) 348-4871.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING ANNOUNCES DISTRIBUTION OF RECOVERED FUNDS TO CANCER CENTERS AFTER LANDMARK LAWSUIT AGAINST SHAM CANCER CHARITIES

~ $2.5 million to be distributed across the nation to cancer centers eligible to apply such as those at Virginia Commonwealth University or the University of Virginia; the Virginia Office of the Attorney General served on the Executive Committee for this multistate lawsuit ~

RICHMOND (June 20, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced that $2.5 million will be distributed to cancer centers across the country as a result of a multistate lawsuit brought against sham cancer charities. The $2.5 million was recovered through settlements of a landmark lawsuit that Attorney General Herring filed along with all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against four affiliated sham charities – Cancer Fund of America, Inc., The Breast Cancer Society, Inc., Cancer Support Services, Inc., and Children’s Cancer Fund of America – and their founder James Reynolds, Sr. and other individuals. Additionally, the people responsible for fronting the sham charities have been banned from any charity or fundraising activities for the rest of their lives. This was one of the largest charity fraud actions ever brought by enforcers and the Virginia Office of Attorney General has served on the Executive Committee for this multistate action. 

“False charities that solicit funds from folks who want to help cancer patients are disgraceful and need to be held accountable,” said Attorney General Herring. “I am glad that we were able to shut down these fraudulent operations and recover money that will now actually go towards helping cancer patients as the donors intended. This unprecedented case should serve as a strong warning to those would take advantage of Virginians’ generosity and I want to thank my team for their hard work and cooperation with our law enforcement partners.”

The distribution of funds marks the conclusion of the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in May 2015. The suit was the first time that all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the FTC joined together to shut down sham charities.

The complaint alleged that the so-called charities, led by Reynolds and his family members, bilked the public out of more than $187 million dollars between 2008 and 2012. The defendants used telemarketing calls, direct mail, and websites to portray themselves as legitimate charities with substantial programs that provided direct support to cancer patients in the United States, such as providing patients with pain medication, transportation to chemotherapy, and hospice care. But these claims were deceptive and, as alleged in the complaint, the charities “operated as personal fiefdoms characterized by rampant nepotism, flagrant conflicts of interest, and excessive insider compensation, with none of the financial and governance controls that any bona fide charity would have adopted.” Of the money collected, only about 3% was directed to cancer patients in the United States and most of it was either paid to professional fundraisers or squandered by the defendants. 

Cancer Fund of America also claimed to supply patients with pain medications and transportation to chemotherapy treatments, when it provided no such services. The charities also participated in a “gift-in-kind” program in which they sent drugs that had nothing to do with cancer to other countries. The complaint alleged that the purpose of this program was to make the organizations appear larger than they were and to hide their high fundraising costs.

The complaint also alleged that the defendants used the organizations for lucrative employment for family members and friends, and spent consumer donations on cars, trips, luxury cruises, college tuition, gym memberships, jet ski outings, sporting event and concert tickets, and dating site memberships.

The money will be transferred to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) who, under a services agreement with the plaintiffs, will distribute the funds to select health and medical programs targeting breast and pediatric cancer. Eligibility will be determined through an invitation-only application process, and is limited to NCI-designated Cancer Care Centers, a designation bestowed by the National Cancer Institute on institutions and programs recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research. RPA CEO Melissa Berman noted, “We are pleased to be part of this landmark process of ensuring that the philanthropic intent of donors is coming to fruition, despite the conduct of bad actors.” RPA will ensure that the funding will serve patients in all 50 states, and will monitor, ensure compliance and provide detailed reporting for all grants awarded.

As NCI-designated Cancer Centers, both Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia Cancer Center will be eligible to apply for funds.

Overall, Attorney General Herring’s Consumer Protection Section has recovered more than $301 million in relief for consumers and payments from violators. The Section has transferred more than $33 million to the Commonwealth’s General Fund, and following a major reorganization and enhancement in 2016 the Section has been even more effective in fighting for Virginia consumers.

Before giving to a charity, remember these tips:

  • Give to charities you know and trust

  • Watch out for groups with names that sound like other well-known, reputable charities

  • Don't give to someone pressuring you to make a quick donation or requiring that you give cash or wire money

  • Ask for detailed information about programs and services in writing

  • Find out how much of your donation will go to the charity's programs and services

  • Check if the charity and its fundraiser are registered with the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs in the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services - (804) 786-1343 orhttp://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/food-charitable-solicitation.shtml

 

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission

Breakfast Attendant:  Responsible for delivering products of the highest quality in terms of freshness, taste and adhering to all food safety guidelines. Provide superior guest service, while ensuring all tables and food areas are kept clean and dining area maintained while guests are enjoying their morning breakfast. Assist guests with any needs they require.  Job Order #1688110

Housekeeping:  Must be able to work independently and have a willingness to learn. Prior experience a plus. Must be able to successfully clean and maintain guest rooms.  Job Order #1688123

Supervisor Trainee:  Leads the plywood production team to work safely in a continuous manufacturing environment. Will ensure product quality and contribute to the overall direction and success of the operations team through coaching individuals, developing strong teams, promoting safe work practices, and applying problem solving skills to maximize production.  Job Order #1688383

Electrician II:  Provides general electrical maintenance support. Performs routine mechanical and electrical equipment repairs and preventive maintenance activities. Troubleshoots and repairs electrical and electronic equipment in a variety of different applications. Operates equipment such as hoists, man-lifts, rigging equipment, cranes and forklifts. Installs new and rebuilt equipment as required, etc.   Job Order #1684548

Tractor Trailer Truck Driver:  Will drive tractor trailer flatbeds, vans, and reefers hauling various items. Home every weekend. Company covers 48 states. Clean DMV/DAC record for past 3 years. Regional, dedicated and over-the-road. Must have valid CDL-A license and have a minimum of 6 months experience.  Job Order #1657801

THESE AND ALL JOBS WITH THE VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT

www.vawc.virginia.gov

The Virginia Employment Commission is An Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

La Comision de Empleo de Virginia es un empleador/programa con igualdad de portunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedido para personas con discapacidades

Meherrin Regional Library Independence Day Schedule

Both libraries in of the Meherrin Regional Library System - The Brunswick County Library in Lawrenceville and The Richardson Memorial Library in Emporia will be closed Thursday, July 4th through Saturday, July 6th in observance of the Independence Day holiday. The libraries will reopen Monday, July 8th at 10:00 am. For more information please call 434-848-2418 ext. 301 (Lawrenceville) or 434-634-2539 (Emporia). To keep up to date with library news follow on Facebook @meherrinregionallibrary.

"Up, Up and Away"

It would be nice to be a Senator or Congressman
if only for one day
just to hop on their new super jet
and go to some special hide-a-way.
 
Yes we put these people in office
after they said they'd look out for us
well they are up there flying
while we're waiting for the bus.
 
Its not just you, but also me
these politicians so impress
yet it seems after each election
we get in a greater mess.
 
Why not a probationary period
like most people have on their jobs
perhaps this would make it a little harder
to get friendly with the capital fobs.
 
What they do on their own we do not know
and what they do for us; it's much later we find
now you may not agree, but in time you shall see
my assessment of them has been too kind.
 
Yes start them all at a minimum wage
and let them earn their keep
I'm sure the Government debt would go down
while you and I are asleep.
 
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Log Truck Accident Blocks Traffic

A truck carrying logs lost it's payload on South Main Street at the intersection with Brink Road in the City of Emporia on Tuesday. Luckilly, no injuries were reported.

Tyler Rae Congratulated by Mayor and City Council on Earning Eagle Scout Honor

Whereas, the Boy Scouts of America is a vital force in the development of our youth through its many programs which encourage the ability of its members to do things for themselves and especially for others; and

Whereas, Tyler Rae is a member of Troop 232 and has not only proven himself to be an outstanding member of the Boy Scouts of American, but has attained the highest honor bestowed on a Scout – the Eagle Scout Award; and

Whereas, one of the major objectives in the Scouting program is to develop citizenship through community involvement and in addition to working for citizenship merit badges, Scouts are encouraged to participate in community service projects; and

Whereas, for his Eagle Scout project Tyler coordinated the renovation of the current flag pole located at the Emporia City Veteran’s Park; and

Whereas, the Eagle Scout Award is a distinction that will follow him throughout life and will be a beacon to others of the leadership quality and commitment this young man has shown; and

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, that I, Mary L. Person, Mayor and the Council of the City of Emporia, Virginia hereby congratulate Tyler Rae for his many accomplishments and especially recognize him for earning the distinguished rank of contributions and wish him much success in all of his future endeavors.

Done this 18th day of June 2019.

Mother/Son Graduate from SVCC

Mother and son team, Amy Sloan(Left) and JaReese Arrington (Right) are proud graduates and shown being congratulated by Dr. Al Roberts, President of Southside Virginia Community College on May 11, 2019 during the annual commencement ceremony.  

By Meredith Feinman

Every graduate is unique; however, Amy Sloan and JaReese Arrington truly stood out on May 11, 2019, when mother and son graduated from Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC). From Emporia, Virginia, they attended Greensville County High School where Sloan graduated in 1997 and Arrington graduated in June 2019.

Sloan’s journey to her diploma was far from easy. She began taking classes at SVCC in 2004 after being recruited by Dr. Al Roberts who is currently the president.   Between raising three children and working full-time, life just got in the way of taking classes. In 2015, Dr. Roberts urged Sloan to return to Southside to finish her degree. Life was not any less hectic for Sloan as it was in 2004. She was still working full-time, raising her family, and would soon be a caretaker for her mother. With the help of her son, JaReese, Sloan returned to Southside in 2015 to complete her degree.

JaReese’s path to his degree began in high school. His guidance counselor pushed him to take advantage of the great opportunity SVCC provides to high school students. By taking dual enrollment classes at his high school, while also working, playing sports, and teaching dance classes, JaReese was able to complete his associate degree before his high school graduation.

Both Amy and JaReese say that their most meaningful experiences at SVCC came from the people they met. Dr. Roberts, Erica Andrews, Kayla Green, and Kathryn Slagle are a few of the people that helped this mother and son on their journey. Dr. Dianne Edmonds also played a vital role in their success as she not only taught both these graduates, but counseled them after the passing of Sloan’s mother and kept her from leaving college in her time of grief.

After completing her associate degree in Human Services, Amy plans on continuing to work full time and attend Old Dominion University in the fall to study sociology. She wants to work improving the lives of others by teaching and mentoring, just as Dr. Edmonds did for her. After completing his associate degree of Arts and Sciences, General Studies, JaReese plans on attending Virginia Commonwealth University to major in dance, possibly with another major in social work. He has been dancing since the age of seven, choreographing since he was 10, and dreams of showing people how dance can be a powerful counseling tool.

When asked if they had any advice for future SVCC students, JaReese said, “SVCC makes everything worth your while. They are always there to work with you, and they give you the chance to succeed.” Amy replied, “Adults and parents, SVCC gives you the opportunity to keep your current life and still succeed. They help you get to the next level; they open every door to you.”

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL MARK R. HERRING ON SUPREME COURT WIN IN REDISTRICTING CASE

~ Court agrees with Attorney General Herring that the House of Delegates lacked standing ~

RICHMOND (June 17, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring issued the statement below following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill. The Court agreed with Attorney General Herring that “the House lacks standing, either to represent the State’s interests or in its own right” and dismissed House Republicans attempt to protect racially gerrymandered districts:

“This is a big win for democracy in Virginia. It’s unfortunate that House Republicans wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and months of litigation in a futile effort to protect racially gerrymandered districts, but the good news is that this fall’s elections will take place in constitutionally drawn districts. I’m really proud of the work my team and I did to protect the new, constitutional districts, and to protect the voting rights of all Virginians.”

Writing for the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: “In short, the State of Virginia would rather stop than fight on. One House of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process.”

In June 2018, a three-judge panel found that eleven House of Delegates districts were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. In July 2018, Attorney General Herring announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia would not appeal the decision, citing the seriousness of the constitutional violation, the low likelihood of success, and the considerable time and more than $4.5 million in taxpayer money spent by House Republicans to defend racially gerrymandered districts.

Eight Students Graduate from Jackson-Feild

Eight students from the Edna Hayden Gwaltney School at Jackson-Feild received either their high school diploma or GED certificate on June 7. 

Mr. Johnnie McKeller, Director of Education, presided over the ceremony which was held at the Golden Leaf Commons at the Southside Virginia Community College Emporia Campus. 

Seven scholarships and two book awards were given to students to help with college, nursing school, or trade school expenses. The funds for these scholarships were donated by loyal supporters of Jackson-Feild.

The Rev. Johnnie Worrell, pastor of Grace Commission Outreach Baptist Church in Franklin     provided the commencement address. Rev. Worrell is a retired New York City police officer. He message of life choices and their consequences was well received by the graduates and Gwaltney students.

One graduate spoke about her experience at Jackson-Feild and at the Gwaltney School. She expressed thanks for the help and assistance she received while in treatment and shared her plans to attend nursing school in the fall.

Each graduate was presented with a class ring given an anonymous donor. Young ladies were given a dozen roses, and young men a wallet. In addition, cash gifts were given from two anonymous donors and the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

After the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a special lunch prepared by the food service staff of Jackson-Feild.

Since its opening in 1994, 185 students have graduated from The Gwaltney School.

Dr. Walker Receives Honarary Degree

Dr. Kenneth Garren, President of the University, Dr. Thomas Walker and Sally Selden, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Thomas Walker, MD, received an honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Lynchburg during the University's recent Baccalaureate Service.

The citation he received read as follows:

"Dr. Thomas A. Walker, '53, paired his work as a physician with philanthropy and service to the community for more than 55 years. He earned his biology degree with a chemistry minor at Lynchburg College in 1953 and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1957.

He practiced medicine in Stony Creek, Virginia, for seven years before settling in Emporia, Virginia. When he retired in 2012 he still had patients whom he had served in his first year of practice.

He met his wife, Barbara Jones Walker, when they were both Lynchburg College students. All three of their children pursued careers in health care. They started the Susan Lynn Walker Scholarship Fund in honor of their daughter, a member of the first Lynchburg College nursing class.

Dr. Walker served on the Lynchburg College Board of Overseers for 10 years before joining the Board of Trustees in 1995. As a trustee he served on the Advancement and Educational Programs Committees. He retired from the board in 2018.

He and Barbara have been generous as well. In addition to several capital campaigns they supported the creation of the Walker Human Performance Libratory, an integral component of the University's Exercise Physiology Program.

In recognition to the service he has rendered to his alma mater, his patients, and his community, the University of Lynchburg Board of Trustees is pleased to confer upon Dr, Thomas A. Walker the degree of Doctor of Science."

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