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Career Opportunity


September 15, 2021

Job Posting #:  2021-18

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services seeks an energetic, self-motivated individual with an attention to detail to fill the full-time position of Custodian.  The Custodian cleans and maintains all residential units, school buildings, offices and recreational facilities.  The custodian cleans all bathroom facilities and ensures that they are properly furnished with appropriate hygiene items.  The custodian sweeps, vacuums, dusts, mops, cleans, and buffs all areas as applicable.

Custodial experience in a formal business setting is preferred. 

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

E-mail, fax or mail cover letter and resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2021-18
Attn: Chris Thompson
E-mail: careers@jacksonfeild.org
Fax: (833) 418-1986

Governor Northam Encourages Virginians to Celebrate Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month

Month proclaimed in recognition of contributions of Hispanic and Latino Virginians

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today proclaimed September 15 to October 15 as Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month.

“As we mark 53 years of commemorating National Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, Pam and I encourage all Virginians to join us in celebrating the important history and enduring contributions of the Hispanic and Latino community throughout Virginia and our country. They enrich our communities by sharing their vibrant culture and heritage.

“Throughout this month, we honor and celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Hispanic and Latino men and women who have contributed greatly to the success of our Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino Virginians continue to make great strides in public office and civil rights issues, supporting the fight for justice and equality for all, and successfully advocating for the historic passage of language access and of protections for all immigrants regardless of citizenship status.

“We acknowledge their deep-rooted history and foundation in our country and in our Commonwealth. We highlight their leadership in business and education, and their service in the fight against COVID-19 as healthcare and frontline workers. We recognize the dedication of our public servants as teachers and government employees. We commend the service of Hispanic and Latino men and women in the military protecting our democracy and freedom.

“The stories of Hispanic and Latino people are woven into the fabric of our communities. I invite all Virginians to participate in virtual and other safe celebrations of Hispanic and Latino heritage taking place in communities around the Commonwealth. Hispanic and Latino history is Virginia’s history.”

The text of Governor Northam’s Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month proclamation can be found here in English and here in Spanish.

Governor and First Lady Northam shared a video message with Virginians during Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. Watch the video here.

Virginia Department of Health Announces Launch of QR Codes to Verify COVID-19 Vaccination Status

~ QR codes are secure and private for users, easy for businesses ~

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Health today announced the addition of QR codes – a type of barcode that can be scanned with smartphones – to Virginia COVID-19 vaccination records.

QR codes – short for “quick response” – are commonly used in retail, logistics, and other sectors. The technology allows anyone to show proof of vaccination with a digital or printed QR code instead of a paper card, and without the need for an app. As more and more employers and businesses respond to calls by President Biden and Governor Northam to require that employees and customers be vaccinated, QR codes will help improve the consistency and security of vaccination information while protecting individual privacy.

A person vaccinated in Virginia can visit vaccinate.virginia.gov to obtain their free vaccination record with QR code, which can then be saved to a phone gallery, printed on paper, or stored in a compatible account.

QR codes contain the same information as paper records, but in a format that offers greater security and efficiency. Because the QR code is digitally signed by the Virginia Department of Health, it cannot be altered or forged. Information from QR codes is only available if and when the individual chooses to share it. Businesses and employers that choose to verify an individual’s vaccination status can scan QR codes with the free SMART Health Verifier App. Individuals do not need to download an app to use QR codes.

Virginia is now the fifth U.S. state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes, empowering individuals with trustworthy and verifiable copies of their vaccination records in digital or paper form using open, interoperable standards. The framework and standards were developed by VCI, a coalition of more than 800 public and private organizations – including The Mayo Clinic, Boston Children’s Hospital, Microsoft, MITRE, and The Commons Project Foundation.

QR codes are available to anyone whose vaccination record includes a working phone number and is in the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS). Nearly all doses administered in Virginia are reported to VIIS, including pharmacies, physician offices, health department clinics, federally qualified health centers, and community vaccination centers. Some doses administered outside Virginia to Virginia residents may be in VIIS. Doses administered directly by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs are not reported to VIIS. A person whose record cannot be retrieved automatically may call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) for assistance.

With more than 10.2 million doses of vaccine administered so far in Virginia, more than 58% of the population is fully vaccinated. Everyone 12 or older is eligible to be vaccinated now. To find free vaccines nearby, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages.

Driver Succumbs to Injuries from August 29 Crash

On August 29, 2021, the Virginia State Police investigated a single vehicle crash with injuries in Greensville County. The driver of a 2003 Nissan Altima, Onazty Vargas, 21 year old female, was traveling on Pine Log Road, south of Brink Road, when she lost control, ran off the roadway and struck a culvert pipe. Upon striking the culvert pipe, the vehicle overturned and ejected Vargas. Vargas was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. Vargas suffered life threatening injuries and was taken to the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. On September 14, 2021, Vargas had succumbed to her injuries sustained from the crash. Vargas was from Garysburg, North Carolina, and notification was made to family members.

McEachin & Spanberger to Host Virtual Joint Service Academy Day

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) announced details for their upcoming virtual Service Academy Day, in which high school students from Virginia’s Fourth and Seventh Congressional Districts will be able to meet with representatives from various U.S. Service Academies and learn more about the Academy nomination process.

“Every year, I am impressed by the young men and women who are eager to serve

to serve their country,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “I am excited to once again host this Service Academy Day with Congresswoman Spanberger. This event will be a wonderful opportunity for students to learn more about these esteemed military academies and the incredible education and professional opportunities they provide. I strongly encourage interested students to attend, and I look forward to seeing the very best and brightest students and their families.”

“One of the greatest honors I have as a U.S. Representative is nominating outstanding young Virginians as candidates to our nation’s service academies. The sheer number of applicants, the caliber of students, and the clear dedication to excellence has been remarkable each nomination cycle. This event will be a terrific opportunity for students and their parents to learn more about the application and nomination process,” said Rep. Spanberger (VA-07). “Public service is truly our nation’s highest calling, and I am so proud of the Central Virginia students who are committed to serving their fellow Americans. I look forward to engaging with many Central Virginia students throughout this process, and I would like to thank the representatives from each of the U.S. service academies for giving their time and joining this presentation.”

Details for the virtual Joint Service Academy Day are as follows:

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 18, 2021 @ 11:00 am ET
  • WHERE: This information session will be held virtually. Interested students can RSVP here.

The five U.S. Service Academies include: the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S.  Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

Nominations to U.S. Service Academies can be made by the President, Vice President, or a Member of Congress. Nominations are required for all but the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, to which appointments are made on the basis of an annual nationwide competition.

Re-Elect Delegate Roslyn Tyler to represent the 75th District

The leaders of Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance have been asked many times how we decide to support the candidates we choose to endorse. It is easy to say “We support those who have supported us”, but often it is just that simple. If an incumbent( such as Delegate Roslyn Tyler) has consistently voted to support the values of rural Virginia, especially in the defense of the tradition of hunting with dogs, they deserve to be supported.

We have been fortunate to have many friends in the Virginia General Assembly who have honored our hunting traditions and defended dog ownership. It is vitally important to have representatives from both parties support us. There is no better example of this than the fight to end the Right-To-Retrieve law (RTR) in the 2017 Session of the General Assembly with Delegate Roslyn Tyler.

The Republican Speaker surprisingly filed a bill (HB 1900) to end the RTR as the last bill of his legislative career. The Bill divided the Republican caucus, as many did not want to oppose their longtime leader and friend, while other members knew the importance of the RTR to rural Virginia both culturally and economically.

At this point, Delegate Roslyn Tyler from Jarratt took up the fight of her friends and hunters to defend the RTR on the floor of the House of Delegates. In an impassioned speech, Mrs. Tyler told her colleagues what hunting with dogs meant to her community and to her personally. No doubt, she had much to say in her closed Democratic Caucus meeting prior to the floor vote and many of them listened and voted to preserve that law that had been in place since 1936. The vote on February 6, 2017 was 47 to 48. We won by one (1) vote! Without Del. Tyler, not just voting with us, but leading the fight on our behalf, the RTR would have been abolished!

Delegate Tyler has continued to play an active role in defending our heritage of hunting with dogs in Virginia. She has gone to bat for us many times since that crucial vote, including in June of this year when Wildlife Resources Chairman John Daniel was again attacking hunting with dogs. We enthusiastically endorse Delegate Roslyn Tyler’s re-election in 2021 and urge the people of 75th District to vote for her re-election on November 2, 2021.

Kirby Burch,
Chief Operating Officer
Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Vikings JJV Win over Faqua School

The Brunswick Academy Vikings JJV Football program are 2-0 for the season. The JJV Vikings are coached by Tim Powell and Daniel Hightower. On September 2, the Vikings traveled to Greenbrier Christian and dominated the whole game with a 62-0 victory. Hunter LIttle had a TD. Nathan Talbert had 4 TDs and Carter Early and Peyton McAden had 2 TDs each. September 8 the Vikings traveled to Fuqua School for a great game. It was a hard fought game but the Vikings remained undefeated with a 22-20 score. Nathan Talbert had 2 rushing TDs for the night and Peyton McAden had a pass reception for 1 TD.

Virginia Cooperative Extension to Host First Ever Mid-Atlantic Urban Agriculture Summit


Karen Washington
Karen Washington, Keynote Speaker And Founder Of Rise & Root Farm.


PETERSBURG, VA. – The Virginia Cooperative Extension is hosting the first Mid-Atlantic Urban Agricultural Summit, formerly the Virginia Agriculture Summit, virtually from Tuesday October 12, 2021 – Thursday, October 14, 2021. The summit welcomes urban farmers, gardeners, policymakers, government officials, foodies, and anyone with interest in urban agriculture to take part in three days of learning about one of agriculture’s fastest-growing sectors, virtually touring successful urban farms, and networking with others who are passionate about creating healthy communities through urban agriculture.

The Virginia Agriculture Summit was launched five years ago. This year, organizers at Virginia Cooperative Extension have extended it to the entire Mid-Atlantic region to facilitate the sharing of even more knowledge and experiences.

This year’s topics will include:

  • Urban Agriculture and Food Security
  • Innovations in Urban Ag: Business, Technology, and Policy
  • Urban Community Gardening

Keynote speakers include Karen Washington of Rise & Root Farm in New York City, Kristof Grina of Up Top Acres in Washington D.C., and Dr. Gail Myers of Farms to Grow, Inc. in Oakland, Calif.

Washington, a community activist, has lived in New York City all her life and has spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for all New Yorkers to access fresh, locally grown food.

Grina, of Up Top Acres, grew up in the District and studied agriculture in Vermont. He became obsessed with scaling commercial agriculture to the densely populated, built environment of DC. Up Top Acres transforms city rooftops into spaces that produce locally grown food and provide educational opportunities for children and adults alike.

Myers, of Farms to Grow, Inc., earned her doctorate in anthropology from The Ohio State University. A cultural anthropologist, she founded Farms to Grow, Inc. in Oakland where she works with local, national, and international organizations to improve the lives and futures for socially disadvantaged and sustainable small farmers.

“By participating in the Summit, you can learn how urban agriculture can positively impact your community,” says Dr. Leonard Githinji, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist for Sustainable and Urban Agriculture at Virginia State University.

To register for the conference, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/midatlantic-uas. Registration is $25 per person.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Jessica Harris at jbrown@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-5964 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its 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, military status, or any other basis protected by law.

Betty Mitchell Prince

January 21, 1947 - September 7, 2021

Graveside Services

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 2:00 pm

Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery

Betty Mitchell Prince, 74, passed away on September 7, 2021. She was the daughter of the late, Drewry Parker Mitchell and Laura Elena Doyle. He was preceded in death by her parents, and husband, Raymond M. Prince. She is survived by her son, Larry Wayne Prince of Emporia, VA., daughter, Melissa Prince Evans (Joel Scott) of Rocky Mount, NC., brother, Roy Prince (Martha Jane) of Emporia, VA., grandchildren, Victoria Christian Evans of Tarboro, NC., Wayne Scott Evans of Lubock, TX., Mindi Marie Prince of Emporia, VA., great-grandchildren, Kaylie Marie Batchlor, Jordan Scott Gilbert, Nathan Wade Caraway.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church Cemetery, at 2:00 P.M. with Rev. C.W. Bing officiating.

Online condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

Governor Northam Announces Service Center Metals to Invest $101.7 Million in Prince George County, Creating 94 New Jobs

Manufacturing company to construct two new facilities, increase production capacity

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Service Center Metals, a manufacturer of aluminum extrusions, will invest more than $100 million to expand in Prince George County. The company will construct two new facilities, an aluminum extrusion plant and a Compact Remelt plant, in Crosspointe Centre. The facilities will increase production capacity to meet customer demand. Virginia successfully competed with Tennessee for the project, which will create 94 new jobs.

“Service Center Metals has experienced tremendous success in Prince George County over the past two decades, and an investment of this magnitude is extremely significant for the region,” said Governor Northam. “The advanced manufacturing sector is strong in Virginia and has played an important role in helping the Commonwealth achieve the Best State for Business title. We look forward to the expansion of Service Center Metals and its continued success in the Commonwealth.”

Service Center Metals, founded in 2002, began its operations in Prince George County in 2003 and has since evolved into a top aluminum extrusion and billet company. Service Center Metals produces aluminum rods, bars, shapes, and tubing, all of which are shipped to metal service centers across the United States. The company is vertically integrated with two plants on its 30-acre campus in SouthPoint Business Park. Its flagship extrusion plant has two state-of-the-art presses, and its Compact Remelt plant, the world’s largest horizontal billet casting plant, recycles scrap and produces aluminum logs for extrusion presses. The new facilities will be constructed to mirror the existing SouthPoint Business Park plant.

“We are proud that Service Center Metals will expand its production capabilities in the Commonwealth with the construction of two new facilities and the creation of 94 new, well-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Securing a competitive project of this caliber demonstrates that Virginia’s strategic location, competitive operating costs, and first-rate workforce provide unparalleled advantages to businesses. We look forward to supporting Service Center Metals in its next phase of growth in Prince George County.”

“The Commonwealth of Virginia and Prince George County have both played significant roles in catapulting Service Center Metals from a Greenfield startup in 2002 into the North American benchmark for safety and productivity today,” said Service Center Metals President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Kelley. “Our next expansion will be the largest in our history, adding significant capacity to both our billet casting and extrusion operations that will further satisfy our customers’ needs. Virginia’s excellent business climate, including its business-friendly regulatory environment, and access to a world-class workforce, was significant in our site selection process. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no place like home,’ and we’re proud and excited to be expanding in Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Prince George County to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $350,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Prince George County with the project. The Governor also approved a performance-based grant of $900,000 from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant, an incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies. Service Center Metals 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 be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Virginia Health Officials Report Measles Cases in Central and Northern Health Regions

Most U.S. residents receive measles vaccinations during childhood

(RICHMOND, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has identified five individuals diagnosed with measles and is reaching out to people in the Central Health Region and the Northern Health Region who may have been exposed to those individuals. The people confirmed to have measles recently traveled from Afghanistan as part of the United States government’s emergency evacuation efforts.

The Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) have worked with a Richmond area hospital to identify and notify individuals potentially exposed at the hospital on September 10. In addition, the Piedmont Health District is working with federal partners to identify exposures at Fort Pickett in Nottoway County. On Friday, health departments in Northern Virginia announced that they were working together to identify people who may have been exposed at Dulles International Airport and other locations. 

When there is an ongoing concern that there may be people unaware of potential exposure to an individual diagnosed with measles, VDH is identifying locations to alert the public of the possible risk. When potential exposures were limited and persons who were potentially exposed have been identified VDH contacts those individuals directly.

Most Americans are vaccinated against measles as children, which confers lifetime immunity. Measles is a highly contagious illness that is spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact with droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of an infected individual. 

Maintaining a high level of vaccination reduces risk to our communities when measles is imported from other parts of the world. Parents are urged to make sure children are up to date on their childhood vaccinations. Measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective vaccine given as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine series. Two doses are recommended for most individuals, with the first dose given at age 12 to 15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry, at age 4 to 6 years.

Measles is common in many parts of the world, including popular tourist destinations. All persons who will be traveling internationally should be evaluated for measles immunity and vaccinated as needed. Infants too young to be vaccinated should avoid travel to areas with measles until they can be vaccinated. Clinicians should keep measles as a possible diagnosis when evaluating individuals who have recently entered or returned to the United States.

Residents with additional questions about this measles investigation should contact their local health district; find contact information, here: www.vdh.virginia.gov/local-health-districts. For more information on measles, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/measles-rubeola/.

Elective Surgery and Clinic Update

South Hill, VA (9/13/21) – Effective immediately, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) is making changes to non-urgent, elective appointments to safely continue caring for patients during an increase in COVID-19 cases in our region. Urgent and emergency surgeries will continue on an as-needed basis.

To increase staffing in areas of high need, we are postponing most elective surgeries until further notice. We are currently contacting patients who are impacted. In addition, we are moving existing, routine face-to-face clinic appointments to telehealth visits by phone or video where appropriate. We are taking this step to increase our ability to care for those with emergency medical needs.

For questions related to an upcoming appointment, or to schedule a telehealth appointment, established patients can call their VCU Health CMH provider at (434) 584-2273. Telehealth appointments may require copayments and will be billed accordingly.

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our area, and will adapt our flexible surge plans, which have served us well throughout the pandemic, as needed. This time is no different. These plans are in place to aid in our ability to provide the safest, highest-quality care to all our patients.

“We want our patients to continue to have access to safe, high-quality health care,” said Ikenna Ibe, M.D., who serves as vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at VCU Health CMH. “Telehealth provides a safe, convenient option to care for our patients from the comfort of their own home.”

Once a telehealth appointment has been scheduled, patients will receive a link via email which logs them in and connects them to their health care provider. This type of appointment requires the patient to use a device with internet or data connectivity and a camera. That can include any smartphone, tablet, and most laptop computers.

Our adult on-demand urgent clinic is available without an appointment from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily. To sign up and start a visit, simply download the VCU Health Anywhere app.

Safety remains our top priority, which currently includes visitor limitations to reduce the number of people in our environment. Inpatients are allowed one visitor per patient per day between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. All visitors entering the hospital and C.A.R.E. Building will be screened for signs and symptoms related to COVID-19.

Please continue to practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet of distance between people, washing hands often and wearing masks. The most effective tool to combat COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

SBA Administrator Guzman Enhances COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to Aid Small Businesses Facing Challenges from Delta Variant

Increased Loan Cap to $2 Million, Expanded Use of Funds to Pay and Prepay Business Debt, Streamlined Review Processes, and Deferred Payments; First Approval and Disbursement of Loans of $500,000 or Less Also Introduced.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced major enhancements to the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, a federal disaster relief loan designed to better serve and support our small business communities still reeling from the pandemic, especially hard-hit sectors such as restaurants, gyms, and hotels. The SBA is ready to receive new applications immediately from small businesses looking to take advantage of these new policy changes.

“The SBA’s COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic,” SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said. “We’ve retooled this critical program – increasing the borrowing limit to $2 million, offering 24 months of deferment, and expanding flexibility to allow borrowers to pay down higher-interest business debt. We have also ramped up our outreach efforts to ensure we’re connecting with our smallest businesses as well as those from low-income communities who may also be eligible for the companion COVID EIDL Targeted Advance and Supplemental Advance grants totaling up to $15,000.  Our mission-driven SBA team has been working around the clock to make the loan review process as user-friendly as possible to ensure every entrepreneur who needs help can get the capital they need to reopen, recover and rebuild.”

Key changes being announced by the SBA include:

  • Increasing the COVID EIDL Cap. The SBA will lift the COVID EIDL cap from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for any normal operating expenses and working capital, including payroll, purchasing equipment, and paying debt.
  • Implementation of a Deferred Payment Period.  The SBA will ensure small business owners will not have to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination so that they can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making ends meet.
  • Establishment of a 30-Day Exclusivity Window. To ensure Main Street businesses have additional time to access these funds, the SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window of approving and disbursing funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
  • Expansion of Eligible Use of Funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
  • Simplification of affiliation requirements. To ease the COVID EIDL application process for small businesses, the SBA has established more simplified affiliation requirements to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

 The enhancements to the COVID EIDL program will allow more businesses greater and more flexible support from the over $150 billion in available COVID EIDL funds. Additionally, these changes will help entrepreneurs access capital at a time when, according to a recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses survey, 44 percent of small business owners report having less than three months of cash reserves, and only 31 percent reporting confidence in gaining access to funding.

 How to apply

 Eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and agricultural businesses in all U.S. states and territories can apply. Visit www.sba.gov/eidl to learn more about eligibility and application requirements. The last day that applications may be received is December 31, 2021. All applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.

 For additional information on COVID EIDL and other recovery programs please visit www.sba.gov/relief. Small business owners may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard of hearing) or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov for additional assistance. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Multilingual representatives are available. Small business owners may also contact SBA’s Resource Partners by visiting www.sba.gov/local-assistance.

 Application Process and Fraud Control Enhancements

 In addition to the policy enhancements, the SBA has invested in optimized processes and increased capacity to improve the customer service experience for applicants. Directed by Administrator Guzman to swiftly and drastically enhance COVID EIDL, the revamped management team implemented new processes and performance management such as prioritizing personnel for COVID EIDL and increasing the average number of loan application decisions made. The SBA accelerated daily processing of loan increases from close to 2,000 applications to more than 37,000 applications daily. Loan officer productivity also went from 1.86 applications per day to 15 applications per day. As a result of these increased loan review rates, the 600,000+ loan increase backlog has been cleared and new applications can be processed immediately. At the same time, and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that need COVID EIDL funding most, the SBA has increased fraud controls and is working in collaboration with the SBA Inspector General to closely monitor the program.

All business owners that have received previous loans through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), or Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) can still benefit from COVID EIDL. To learn more about the application process, visit www.sba.gov/eidl.

SVCC Diesel Technician Program Graduates

(L to R) Pictured are Billy McGraw, SVCC Instructor, Michael Jones of Nathalie, VA (Halifax); Marcellos Maclin of Freeman, VA (Brunswick); Jakeem Lee of Brodnax, VA (Brunswick); Jordan Maxey of Farmville, VA (Prince Edward); Joseph Pretko of Spout Spring, VA (Appomattox); and Russell Hicks, SVCC Instructor.

Southside Virginia Community College presented certificates to five graduates for completing the Diesel Technician Program on August 12, 2021 in Blackstone, Virginia.

The 22-week program provides both classroom and hands-on training and is designed to prepare students for employment as an entry-level diesel technician.

SVCC offers the Diesel Technician class in Blackstone, Virginia, at the Occupational/Technical Center in Pickett Park.  For more information about the program, visit southside.edu/workforce.

Take Advantage of Early Voting in 2021!


Dear Editor:

This letter is written to my fellow citizens of Emporia and Greensville as a STRONG reminder from the Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee!

GO VOTE!!!  The November General Election is Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

Here’s your 3-minute WARNING!!!

First day of In-Person Voting at your local Registrar’s Office (Weekdays Only):

Begins Friday, September 17, 2021.

Deadline to Register, Confirm or Update your Voter Registration: Tuesday, October 12, 2021!

In-Person Voting:

Again, First day of In-Person Voting (Weekdays Only) at your Local Registrar’s Office -

City of Emporia: City Municipal Building, 201 South Main Street, Emporia, VA 23847

Telephone: 434.634.9533

Greensville County: Greensville County Government Building, 1781 Greensville County Circle, Emporia, VA 23847 Telephone: 434.348.4205

Sunday Early Voting (Souls to the Polls!) – GREENSVILLE COUNTY ONLY!!!

►Sunday, September 19, 2021, Polls Open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Saturday Early Voting: October 23 and October 30, 2021 at ALL local Voter Registration Offices!

Last Day of In-Person Early Voting:

Saturday, October 30, 2021 at your Local Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m.!

Election Day:

Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Polls Open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Voting From Home:

Deadline to apply for a Ballot to be mailed to you: Friday, October 22, 2021

(Request MUST be received at Local Registrar’s Office by 5:00 p.m.

Deadline to mail your Ballot: Must be postmarked NO LATER than November 2 and Received by the Registrar by November 5, 2021. Allow time for delays and mail it before the deadline!

There, now you have the FACTS…and just the facts! Now everyone within reach of this letter to the editor is armed with the most basic of rights Constitutionally guaranteed to them!  There are no excuses for you NOT to be seen or at least heard at the polls! 

Some of you out there may not be aware but there are those that are betting against you that you will take an opportunity to cast your vote and be heard in our Democracy!

A huge thank you to Greensville County’s Electoral Board and Registrar for offering to encourage “Souls to the Polls” and offering a very special Sunday in September (September 19, 2021) to have the Registrar’s Office open and to encourage folks to vote early and show their commitment to not only our community but also to our State!   

There are a few Electoral Boards across the Commonwealth that opted to focus on past patterns of apathy or didn’t feel committed to encouraging voters to expand opportunities to allow you to vote early…regrettably, one of those is the city of Emporia.  So, the only way to prove our commitment to this and ANY future election is to show them!  I will personally be leading the effort to drive as many people to the polls on those last two Saturdays in October – October 23 and October 30 to flood the Registrar’s Office from open to close with excited voters to keep them busy! The Registrar’s Office is supposed to be open from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm please, TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE!!!

I encourage you to take one of the many opportunities provided to you to GO VOTE!  Grab your family, friends, neighbors, Cousin Pookie, you’re Aunt Nay Nay and Uncle Buck, your Sorors, Line Bros, Ladies Circles, Fellow Elks, whomever and make sure they get to exercise their right to voice their VOTE!

The Election this year is VERY important!  On the Democratic Ticket for Governor is Terry McAuliffe, Lieutenant Governor Hala Ayala, Attorney General Mark Herring, House of Delegates Roslyn Tyler and in the City of Emporia for Treasurer is Jay Osburn.

Should you need help registering to vote, getting to the polls for early voting or on Election Day, need more information about the candidates running or checking your registration, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or members of the Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee and someone will be glad to assist.  We may be reached at 434.634.5499.

I look forward to seeing each of you at the Polls – Early or on Election Day!!!

GO VOTE!!! No Vote, No Voice – KNOW the VOTE, Know YOUR VOICE!!!

George E. Morrison, III, Chairman

Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committees

(Editor's Note: Your letters may not always reflect the views of Emporia News. Letters to the Editor may be sent to news@emporianews.com and must include your name. Letters that may be considered inflamitory in nature will not be published. Do not include profanity, racial ephitets, lewd, demeaning or disparaging comments. Letters may be edited for space, clarity and/or grammar.)

Truck Driver Appreciation Week

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Take a look at your surroundings. Are you inside your home, office, or classroom? Are you at a coffee shop? Perhaps you are in a waiting room or sitting outside on a porch or near a garden.

Pause for a moment and consider the items within your field of view. Can you see a table or desk, some dishes, pictures on a wall, or even the wall itself? Can you see a building or vehicle? Is there any crushed rock or concrete? How about a fence or flower pot? Can you spot a hoe, shovel, or rake?

No matter where you cast your gaze, a truck probably played an important role in the life cycle of almost every product you see. If the finished item itself was not delivered by a truck, its components or the tools required for its upkeep probably were.

Truck Driver Appreciation Week, observed this year September 12 through 18, is a weeklong event sponsored by the American Trucking Associations in honor of the way truck drivers help make our lives better. The U.S. trucking industry employs 3.6 million professional drivers. Annually, they log 400 billion miles and deliver more than 10 billion tons of goods. Food, fuel, medicine, clothing: it all arrives by truck.

The trucking industry strengthens the backbone of our country’s economy, and SVCC is proud to contribute to its success. Our Truck Driver Training School (TDTS) began operating in 1996. So far, we’ve graduated 2,400 students. This unique program is a source of pride at SVCC!

Duncan Quicke, instructor and TDTS coordinator, says, “For the past 25 years I have proudly watched our dedicated students work hard to build better lives for their families. These men and women dedicate themselves to our six-week program, test out with Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and get recruited by some of the best companies in the world.”

In fact, more than 75 companies have hired, and continue to hire, our students. Those companies include many that serve in the local area and others with fleets deployed nationwide.

Brian Sheridan, a representative for Wisconsin-based Schneider National, recently remarked, “I travel to a lot of driving schools across the country, specifically in Virginia. Southside Virginia Community College holds one of the highest standards for education and for fostering a great experience for employers and students.”

Murvin Ivory, another industry leader, retired from a 14-year career as a Motor Carrier Trooper with the Virginia State Police to begin a new position as a consultant for a trucking company. He says, “When I am faced with dilemmas and challenges in my new job, quite often I will call on the experts at the TDTS at SVCC to help guide me through them. Those guys do a great job of preparing their students for careers in the trucking profession.”

The need for truck drivers continues to grow. Projections Central, a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, reported that the Commonwealth of Virginia would experience nearly 6,000 annual openings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers.

Truck driver training at SVCC is available in Blackstone at Fort Pickett and in South Boston and Emporia. Classes are structured to mimic normal workdays. Students receive hands-on driving practice along with instruction about topics such as maintenance, highway safety, and pre-trip inspections. For more information, contact Duncan Quicke (434)-292-1650 or duncan.quicke@southside.edu) or visit https://southside.edu/truck-driving-training

Dr. Quentin R. Johnson 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 quentin.johnson@southside.edu.

Jacky Zhu Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month for September 2021

Brunswick Academy is proud to announce Brunswick County’s Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month for September 2021: Jacky Zhu. Jacky, a senior at Brunswick Academy, is the son of Mei Li and Min Zhu of Lawrenceville, VA.

Currently, Jacky studies the most rigorous curriculum at Brunswick Academy, the Honors program. Additionally, he challenges himself by taking several Dual Enrollment courses via Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) to earn credits for both high school and college. Jacky is a member of the Brunswick Academy chapter of the National Honor Society, serving as its Treasurer. Similarly, for his Class of 2022, he has been elected as the Treasurer for the past four consecutive years.

While Jacky remains very dedicated to his academic studies, he devotes time to other Brunswick Academy organizations. Jacky has been a member of the Latin Club for five years, the Scholastic Bowl Team for three years, the Honor Council for two years, and the Peer Tutor Team for two years. In addition, he earned a selection for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. Also, Jacky earned the William & Mary Leadership Award during the 2021 end-of-year Upper School Awards ceremony; this accolade is bestowed upon a visible and dynamic leader within the school community. Furthermore, his academic achievements distinguished him as Chief Junior Marshal during the 2021 Commencement Exercises.

In addition to his academic focus and dedication to service, Jacky enjoys playing a variety of sports. He has been a member of the Cross Country team for five years, where he has received the Most Improved distinction as well as earning the role of this year’s Captain. Jacky has also dedicated himself to basketball for the past six years. Finally, he enjoys being a midfielder on the Varsity soccer team for the past three years.

In the future, Jacky hopes to attend either the College of William & Mary or the University of Virginia to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Eventually, Jacky plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree

Governor Northam Grants Posthumous Pardons for ‘Martinsville Seven’ 70 Years After Unjust Executions

With today’s act, Governor Northam has granted more pardons than previous nine governors combined

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today granted posthumous pardons for the Martinsville Seven, a group of young Black men executed by the Commonwealth for alleged rape of a white woman in 1951. While these pardons do not address the guilt of the seven, they serve as recognition from the Commonwealth that these men were tried without adequate due process and received a racially-biased death sentence not similarly applied to white defendants.

With today’s action, Governor Northam has granted a record-breaking 604 pardons since his term began—more pardons than the previous nine governors combined.

“This is about righting wrongs,” said Governor Northam. “We all deserve a criminal justice system that is fair, equal, and gets it right—no matter who you are or what you look like. I’m grateful to the advocates and families of the Martinsville Seven for their dedication and perseverance. While we can’t change the past, I hope today’s action brings them some small measure of peace.”

Frank Hairston Jr. (18), Booker T. Millner (19), Francis DeSales Grayson (37), Howard Lee Hairston (18), James Luther Hairston (20), Joe Henry Hampton (19), and John Clabon Taylor (21) of Martinsville were executed in 1951 on charges of raping a white woman. Prior to abolishing the death penalty earlier this year, Virginia had executed more people than any other state—and studies have shown that a defendant is more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death if the victim of a crime is white than if the victim is Black. From 1908 to 1951, all 45 prisoners executed for rape in Virginia were Black men. In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that imposing the death penalty for rape was cruel and unusual punishment. 

Governor Northam’s pardons recognize the unjust, racially-biased sentences these men received, as well as the disturbing lack of due process in their trials and convictions. All members of the Martinsville Seven were convicted and sentenced to death within eight days, and each defendant was tried by juries made up entirely of white men. Some of the defendants were impaired at the time of arrest or unable to read the confessions they signed, and none had attorneys present during their interrogation. Governor Northam made the announcement in a Richmond meeting with descendants of the Martinsville Seven.

“Pardons should not have to be a part of the process to ensure a fair and equitable justice system, but unfortunately that’s been case for far too long and I’m happy we have a Governor that believes in using his clemency powers to right the wrongs and provide second chances,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson. “Governor Northam is committed to criminal justice reform, and has made it a priority to thoroughly review and act on pardon petitions. We’re seeing the results today.”

To date, Governor Northam has granted a record-breaking 604 pardons and acted on over 2,000 pardon petitions. The large number of pending petitions is a result of an influx received by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth under the Northam administration, coupled with the thousands of petitions that were already pending review when former Governor Terry McAuliffe took office in 2014.

In May, Governor Northam announced new steps to streamline the pardon process, including increased staff, a redesigned pardons website, and a new petition portal that allows electronic tracking submission and tracking of pardon requests.

The pardon grant for the Martinsville Seven is here.


~ Following Herring’s supportive comments, the SCC has adopted student loan servicer regulations implementing newly passed student borrower protections; In the order, the SCC said that they found Herring’s comments “persuasive” ~

RICHMOND (September 9, 2021) – Following Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s supportive comments, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) has adopted regulations implementing the newly passed “bill of rights” for Virginia student borrowers – laws that protect borrowers by regulating student loan servicers in Virginia. In its order, the SCC specifically noted the influence Attorney General Herring’s comments had on its decision saying, “[w]e have considered all the comments filed in this matter, including those from the Attorney General, which we find persuasive.” The Office of Attorney General has authority under these new laws to investigate claims of misconduct by student loan servicers and to take action when appropriate. Virginia is home to more than one million student borrowers who collectively owe nearly $42 billion in student loans.
“The SCC’s decision to adopt regulations implementing these new student borrower protections is great news for Virginia’s student loan borrowers, and I’m proud that I was able to play a role in their decision,” said Attorney General Herring. “Too many Virginians continue to suffer under the crippling weight of student loan debt, and we must do all we can to help them. My team and I have worked hard to protect student loan borrowers in the Commonwealth, and these new regulations and protections will give us even more tools to go after bad actors who try to take advantage of them.”
In February 2020, the General Assembly passed legislation with strong bipartisan support that created Chapter 26 in Title 6.2 of the Virginia Code and that tasked the SCC with issuing regulations implementing Chapter 26. Chapter 26 protects student borrowers from servicers who would, among other things, engage in unfair or deceptive conduct, misapply loan payments, or misreport information to credit bureaus. It also gives the Office of Attorney General the authority to investigate and to bring enforcement actions against servicers suspected of violating these student borrower protections. 
Attorney General Herring filed comments back in August in response to challenges raised by both the Student Loan Servicing Alliance (SLSA) and the National Association of Student Loan Administrators (NASLA) claiming that Chapter 26 and its related regulations were unconstitutional. In the filed comments, Attorney General Herring explained why SLSA and NASLA were wrong and why Virginia’s student borrower bill of rights is constitutional. Attorney General Herring argued that federal law does not preempt these new laws and that these new laws do not violate the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity. Attorney General Herring concluded his comments by saying that Chapter 26 and the proposed regulations “are entitled to both a presumption of constitutionality and a presumption against preemption. And by simply raising general constitutional questions…, NASLA and SLSA fail to show they are unconstitutional.”
Herring’s Previous Work Fighting to Protect Student Borrowers
Last month, Attorney General Herring filed an amicus brief that challenged action taken by the Trump Administration’s Department of Education that unlawfully repealed and replaced federal “borrower defense” regulations. In October 2018, Attorney General Herring announced that a federal judge had rejected the Trump administration’s challenge to the Borrower Defense Rule, ordering its immediate implementation for students nationwide. This ruling followed a victory Attorney General Herring won in federal court after he and a coalition of state attorneys general challenged the U.S. Department of Education’s plan to abruptly rescind its Borrower Defense Rule which was designed to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers out of billions of dollars in federal loans. The immediate implementation of the Borrower Defense Rule meant that the U.S. Department of Education had to automatically discharge $381 million in loans for students whose schools closed.

Attorney General Herring has taken major actions against for-profit colleges for misleading students. In November 2015, for-profit education company Education Management Corporation announced it would significantly reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgive more than $2.29 million in loans for approximately 2,000 former students in Virginia through an agreement with the Attorney General and a group of state attorneys general. Nationwide, the agreement required the for-profit college company to forgive $102.8 million in outstanding loan debt held by more than 80,000 former students.
In December 2016, the Attorney General announced that more than 5,000 Virginia students formerly enrolled in schools operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc. may be eligible for loan forgiveness. This came after the U.S Department of Education found that Corinthian College and its subsidiaries published misleading job placement rates for many programs between 2010 and 2014. Following this announcement, Attorney General Herring urged Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to follow through on their commitment to cancel student debt for students in Virginia and around the country who were victimized by Corinthian Colleges' practices.
Attorney General Herring announced in January of 2019 that he and 48 other attorneys general reached a settlement with for-profit education company Career Education Corporation (CEC). The terms of the settlement required CEC to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgo collecting about $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally. In Virginia, 3,094 students will receive relief totaling $8,022,178.



Former SVCC Graduates Restoring Power in Louisiana

Local Linemen with Lee Electrical Construction LLC and former SVCC Power Line Worker graduates Bayden Bishop, Jackson Queen and Blake Gravitt are currently in Louisiana restoring power from the damage left behind by Hurricane Ida.

As one of the most powerful hurricanes in recent memory, Hurricane Ida, hit the gulf coast more than one million people in Louisiana were left without electricity.  The estimates are that many residents will be without power for more than 20 days.

To help with this massive power restoration effort, Lee Electrical Construction LLC based out of Aberdeen, North Carolina is one of many companies that have been called in to help.  

Working on one of the Lee Electrical crews in Louisiana are three graduates of Southside Virginia Community College's Power Line Worker Training Program, Bayden Bishop of Kenbridge (Lunenburg County); Jackson Queen of South Hill (Mecklenburg County); and Blake Gravitt of Clarksville (Mecklenburg County).  Bayden was a graduate of the program's second cohort; Jackson a graduate of cohort 12 and Blake a recent graduate of cohort 16.

"When you are a lineman, you watch the weather forecasts and keep your bags packed," said Jackson.  "Many families here in Louisiana have already been without power for days and may be without power for weeks.  We have to work long hours at times but we know the importance of what we do.”

Jackson added, “We've already had people come up to us here in Baton Rouge and thank us personally, that appreciation makes the time and effort we put in each day worthwhile."

Jason R. Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Lee Electrical Construction, LLC said, “Hurricane Ida caused catastrophic damage to many of our customers in the gulf. When events like this happen, these same customers rely on Lee Electrical Construction and our team to provide a skilled and safe workforce that can respond very quickly. These guys (Bayden, Jackson, and Blake) answered that call. It is because of individuals such as these three that we are able to continually provide reliable restoration services to affected areas.

Jackson has been with Lee for two years and said the guys on his crew are like a family. They look out for each other while following safety protocols when restoring power in areas that storms have ravaged.  Because of the severe damage, it is estimated that the Lee crew will be working in Louisiana for multiple weeks.  

Their crew is planning to leave Baton Rouge and head to New Orleans within the next few days.


VSP Arrests 59 Impaired Drivers

RICHMOND, Va. – Despite a significant decrease in fatal traffic crashes over the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend for Virginia, there was still an alarming number of deaths among motorcyclists. Of the eight traffic deaths reported for the holiday weekend to date, four involved motorcycles and one involved a moped. During the 2020 Labor Day weekend, there were a total of 20 traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways. State police arrested 59 impaired drivers on Virginia highways during the holiday statistical counting period.

“I can only hope that the reduction in traffic deaths during the Labor Day weekend is a sign of continued reductions for the remainder of the year,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We haven’t seen holiday numbers like this since 2017. In order to further reduce and prevent traffic deaths and injuries on Virginia’s highways, we need the public’s help. The decisions are simple: drive smart, safe and sober.”

During the 2021 four-day holiday statistical counting period, the eight fatal traffic crashes occurred in the counties of Bedford, Charlotte, Hanover, Madison, Suffolk, and Wythe, along with the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. State police investigated a total of 778 traffic crashes during the holiday weekend.

The Virginia State Police participated in two annual, traffic-safety enforcement programs over the 2021 Labor Day weekend: Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (CARE) and the  Checkpoint Strikeforce, the anti-DUI enforcement and education program sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). 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 began Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., and concluded at midnight Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.

As a result of state police traffic safety enforcement efforts during the 2021 statistical counting period, Virginia troopers:

  • Stopped 4,602 speeders
  • Stopped 1,591 reckless drivers
  • Arrested 59 drivers for DUI/DUID
  • Cited 402 seat belt violations
  • Assisted 995 disabled/stranded motorists

The Virginia State Police free motorcycle education, training and assessment program, Ride 2 Save Lives, continues to offer courses across the state through October. For more information on Ride 2 Save Lives motorcycle assessment courses, visit: virginiastatepolice.eventbrite.com.

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.

For more information on traffic safety and how to keep Virginia “Moving Toward Zero Roadway Deaths,” go to www.tzdva.org.

McEachin Launches 2021 VA-04 Veteran of the Year Program

 Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the launch of his annual Veteran of the Year program to honor the service of veterans living in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.

 “As the son of an Army veteran, I know firsthand the weight of the sacrifices our servicemembers make to protect and serve our nation,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “I know that Virginia’s Fourth is home to many veterans who served our country and continue to make positive contributions to our community. I am proud to launch our second annual VA-04 Veteran of the Year program to honor our brave servicemembers. I look forward to reading the nominations and having the opportunity to recognize them for their service.”

Eligible nominees must be honorably discharged veterans of any of the U.S. Armed Services currently living in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District. Nominations for the Veteran of the Year are due by October 29, 2021 and should be submitted here.

SBA Announces Official Co-sponsors of National Small Business Week 2021

Co-sponsors highlight and elevate small businesses during three-day educational event September 13-15

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced the co-sponsors for National Small Business Week (NSBW), a virtual summit spotlighting the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. This year’s Gold co-sponsor, Visa U.S.A. Inc., along with Silver and Bronze level co-sponsors, provides the resources to make this recognition week possible. 

Every year, National Small Business Week events are made possible, in part, due to the support of companies and organizers who serve as co-sponsors. The following co-sponsors have joined the SBA to help celebrate National Small Business Week 2021 and honor the nation’s 32.5 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity: 

NSBW Co-sponsors




  • Visa U.S.A. Inc.


  • Amazon.com Services, LLC
  • Constant Contact, Inc.
  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Google, LLC
  • MetLife
  • Square, Inc.


  • ADP, Inc.
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • T-Mobile USA, Inc.
  • The UPS Store, Inc.
  • Zebra Technologies

With this year’s theme of celebration of resilience and renewal, NSBW events will provide a forum where business owners will be able to get expert advice, learn new business strategies, connect with industry experts, and meet other business owners.

To register for this free event to participate in the summit sessions, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

Details and information will be posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW as events are finalized.

VDH Expanding Testing Across the Commonwealth

Testing expanded to meet community needs

(RICHMOND, Va) –In response to an increasing number of individuals seeking testing, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is expanding testing events across the Commonwealth. The action comes as cases of COVID-19 are rising, due to the Delta variant, a more contagious variant than the others currently circulating throughout the state.

“While our local health departments, pharmacies and hospitals are working to keep up with the demand for testing, we are providing additional testing locations to accommodate our residents and to help reserve our hospital emergency rooms and rescue squads for medical emergencies,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, DO, MPH, deputy director, Office of Epidemiology.

VDH has added more than 170 Community Testing Events (CTE) in September throughout the Commonwealth. Additional CTEs will be added based on community need and to reduce increasing stress on healthcare providers.  For a list of all testing locations, visit the VDH website.

VDH recommends that the following people be tested for COVID-19·

  • People with symptoms or signs of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.
  • Most people who have had close contact with someone known or suspected to have COVID-19

o   Fully vaccinated people should be tested 3-5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms.

o   People who are not fully vaccinated should be tested immediately after an exposure and again at 5-7 days following exposure if the first test is negative

o   People who tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered, do not need to get tested after exposure as long as they do not have symptoms.

  • People who participate in activities that are higher risk for COVID-19 exposure (e.g., travel, attending large events where social distancing is not possible, or being in crowded indoor settings)
  • People who have been referred for COVID-19 testing by their healthcare provider or the state/local health department.
  • People who plan to travel or who have recently returned from travel with some exceptions for fully vaccinated people
  • People who are not fully vaccinated and who plan to visit people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19

While vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals, their family and their community, testing remains an important tool to help identify individuals with illness and monitor trends in COVID-19 infection.

For more information about COVID-19 testing call (877) 829-4682, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Welcomes New Pulmonologist

South Hill, VA (9/3/21) – With COVID-19, lung cancer and other lung conditions prevalent in the Southside Health District, a second pulmonologist to CMH Pulmonology Services in South Hill is a welcome addition.

Obed Adarkwah, MD, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine. He earned his Doctor of Medicine at the Medical University of The Americas in Nevis, West Indies. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, and a fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine at The Brooklyn Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Adarkwah is a self-proclaimed people person.

“While I was earning my master’s in molecular biology with a focus on cancer genetics, I had planned on pursuing a Ph.D.,” he said. “I soon realized I wanted to be able to talk to patients, and I enjoy being around people more than conducting research. Studying cancer genetics proved to be a good link to pulmonary studies later. You have to understand biochemistry and how these medicines work.”

“Toward the end of my critical care studies I realized I wanted to have more of an impact on my patients’ health by treating them earlier before they got so sick,” Dr. Adarkwah explained. Critical care is exciting and fast-paced, but you don’t get the chance to get to know your patients. I really enjoy the challenge of pulmonary medicine. You have to understand radiology and physiology, all the nuances and patterns, to be an effective pulmonologist.”

He has a lofty goal for this community.

“I want my patients to accept me as family,” he said. “If I listen to them, do the legwork to figure out their problems and earn their trust, they’ll be more likely to get involved in their health choices and ultimately improve.”

He is a big proponent of empowering his patients to ask questions and become invested in their own health. In turn, he always explains why he is doing something, so they are more inclined to adhere to his recommendations.

“I love the patients that ask lots of questions,” he said. “They keep you on your toes and ensure we’re both on the same page.”

When he’s not working, Dr. Adarkwah enjoys spending time with his wife of ten years and his dog, Rusty. Most of his family lives in Canada, but he has a relative in South Carolina. He understands the importance of needing to recharge so his favorite pastime is sleeping. Like many of us, it is difficult to find time to exercise but having a rambunctious dog keeps him active. He enjoys cooking and harmonizing flavors. His specialty is lasagna made with feta cheese and sausage.

To make an appointment with CMH Pulmonary Services, call (434) 584-2273. The practice is in the C.A.R.E. Building next to VCU Health CMH at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill, Virginia.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


Popeye's General Manager: The General Manager is responsible for exhibiting a friendly and enthusiastic attitude while performing job assignments, showing a caring attitude for guests and employees, and maintaining the company's operational quality and cleanliness standards. This position includes administrative duties which require basic computer skills. A qualified candidate should possess the ability to learn in a fast paced environment, maintain cash variances at acceptable levels, have reliable transportation, project a professional appearance and a positive attitude at all times in the restaurant. HSD 12 months experience required. Job Order 2447341                                                                                                                                                        

Quick Serve Restaurant Manager: Overseeing operations for a quick serve restaurant, you will develop and mentor your team-and ensure a positive dining experience for your customers-by monitoring and reinforcing food safety procedures, maximizing store sales and profit goals, maintaining QSC standards and ensuring protection of branded food requirements and assets. Selected person will become a floating manager for multiple locations, filling in as job needs arise . Person will need to be a multi tasker and go getter. Ability to move quickly and change direction and brands quickly is a must. 1 year experience required.       Job Order 2447336                                                                       

Solar Technician: ENGIE has an immediate opening to hire a Solar Technicianlocated at the Bluestone Solar Site in Chase City, VA. This position will operate and maintain the solar site by optimizing generation availability and performance through established procedures with the highest regard for health, safety, and environmental compliance.AS degree and 12 months required Job Order 2445640                                                                                                                                              

Building Inspector/Rehab Specialist: Greensville County is accepting applications for an opening in its Building Inspections Department. The Greensville County Building Inspector/Rehab Specialist performs intermediate technical work in the inspection of all phases of building construction; and does related work as required. The work is performed under regular supervision of the Building/Fire Code Administrator. AS Degree and 5 years experience required  Job Order 2446226                                                                                                                                                                                

Janitorial/Handy Man: Janitorial/HandyMan needed for Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Virginia.  Duties included: Basic cleaning - bathrooms, sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, and bleach. For now people will need to bring their lunches but eventually they will probably feed them. This job is located at Fort Pickett Army Base and applicants must have a valid driver's license and a state I.D. The position will last for 5 weeks with the possibility of lasting longer.     Job Order 2442335




  Virginia Employment Commission hours in Emporia are:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 – 4:30

Wednesday 9:30 – 4:30

      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 oportunidades.  Los auxiliaries y servicios estan disponibles a dedidopara

 personas con discapacidades.

Stroke Camp Offers Survivors and Caregivers a Retreat Weekend

Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp volunteers are ready for the next camp coming up September 17-19, 2021, at the Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield, Virginia.

South Hill, VA (9/2/21) – Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp is coming up September 17-19, 2021, at the Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield, Virginia.

Stroke camp was started by Marylee Nunley and her husband, John. He suffered a stroke at 55 and could no longer engage in his community like he used to. They developed this camp to re-engage in a new community and develop new relationships. He was able to enjoy his new “normal”.

Since the camp began in 2004 there have been more than 160 camps across the country. There have been three Stroke Camps in Virginia, all sponsored by VCU Health.

“This is a great opportunity and resource for those affected by stroke,” said Stroke Program Coordinator Lisa Smith at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.

The mission of Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp is to improve the quality of life for stroke survivors, caregivers, and their families. Activities include campfires, hiking, golf cart rides, paddle boating, singing, dancing, music therapy, pampering, karaoke and breakout support groups.

Quotes from past campers:

“Although our stories were different, there was an unspoken bond felt between survivors and caregivers alike.”

“He (stroke survivor) seemed more at ease. I think for him to see the other survivors and to hear their daily struggles and triumphs and challenges helped him realize how well he is doing. It gave him hope and resilience to keep working hard.”

The cost is $150 per person. Visit www.strokecamp.org for more information, email info@strokecamp.org or call 309.688.5450.

Virginia Department of Health Awarded National Accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board

Accreditation through PHAB Demonstrates Virginia Department of Health’s Commitment to Excellence in Serving the Community

Richmond, Virginia – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has been awarded national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Established in 2007, PHAB is the nonprofit organization that administers the national accreditation program, which aims to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation.

“Accreditation by PHAB means that VDH meets the standards for a high-performing public health department and that we are committed to continuous learning and quality improvement in our operations and programs,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “The application process was rigorous and thorough, and helped us identify best practices, which are already being incorporated.

“We hope this announcement, coming as it does in the midst of our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will reassure our community, our partner organizations, our funders and our elected officials that the services we provide are as responsive as possible to the needs of our community. By continuing to improve our services and performance, we can be sure we are meeting the public health needs of those we serve as effectively as possible.”

The voluntary national accreditation program, which receives support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sets standards against which the nation’s governmental public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance.

“The value of becoming nationally accredited through PHAB extends far beyond the interior walls of the health department,” said PHAB President and CEO Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, FAAN. “People living and working in communities served by these health departments can be assured that their health department is strong and has the capacity to protect and promote their health. Just going through the accreditation process itself helps health departments pinpoint the areas that are critical to improving the work they do for their communities.” 

VDH began pursuing accreditation in 2016. The accreditation is for five years, and after that time, VDH must apply for re-accreditation. VDH is committed to accountability, transparency, quality improvement, performance management, and the capacity to deliver the Ten Essential Public Health Services

Public health departments are on the front lines of communities’ efforts to protect and promote health and prevent disease and injury. Across the nation, health departments provide services aimed at promoting healthy behaviors; preventing diseases and injuries; ensuring access to safe food, water, clean air, and life-saving immunizations; and preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.                          

McEachin Invites VA-04 Students to Compete in Congressional App Challenge

Richmond, VA – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the start of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge for all middle and high school students in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District.

The annual competition challenges students to create an original software application. The winner will be eligible to have their app displayed in the U.S. Capitol, featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website, and will be invited to attend the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill reception.

“The annual Congressional App Challenge is an exciting chance for students to harness their STEM-related knowledge and potentially develop the next best app. I have been so impressed with previous competitors’ creativity and command of coding software,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “Computer science is a burgeoning industry and continues to present new career opportunities. I encourage all eligible students to enter this year’s competition, and I look forward to seeing your innovative apps.”

The Congressional App Challenge is an opportunity for students to compete against their peers and test their abilities in coding and computer science. The competition provides students with the chance to hone their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines and begin exploring new industries and potential future career paths.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all students who reside in or attend school in the Fourth Congressional District. Students may begin pre-registering for the event today on the Congressional App Challenge website. Official launch of the competition begins on June 24th. The deadline to submit an app is November 1st.

More information on the Congressional App Challenge is available on Rep. McEachin’s website.

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