Current Weather Conditions

 
Seven Day Forecast for Emporia, Virginia
 

Community Calendar Sponsored By...

 

Like us on Facebook     Follow Emporia News on Twitter

Male cat, found on Church Street. If you are this cat's person, email news@emporianews.com

2018 Inaugural Committee Leadership Announces Theme for the 73rd Inauguration: “The Way Ahead”

Alongside Theme, 2018 Inaugural Committee Launches Website and Logo

Virginians Can Receive Updates Online at vainauguration2018.com

Richmond -- Today, the 2018 Inaugural Committee announced the theme for the 73rd Virginia gubernatorial inauguration: “The Way Ahead.”

The Way Ahead articulates a vision for leading a Virginia with bipartisan, commonsense solutions that lifts up all of its people. Whether its taking advantage of new economic opportunities, finding oneself in serving others, or educating Virginia’s children with boundless potential, Governor-elect Northam believes the best way forward is by working together.

“The Way Ahead is a celebration of the prosperity possible through a unified Commonwealth honoring its diversity and inclusivity,” said Governor-elect Ralph Northam. “Our inauguration will launch an exciting new area of progress for all Virginians -- one in which commonsense solutions, service to others and boundless opportunities for our children’s future rises above all else. By working together as one Commonwealth, Virginians will come together during these troubling times for our country and lift each other up -- no matter who you are or where you’re from.”

Alongside the launch of the theme, the Inaugural Committee also released the logo and 2018 Inauguration website -- vainauguration2018.com -- which will include forthcoming details on events, logistics and ticketing information. 

The 2018 Inaugural logo was designed by Andy Lynne, a native of Ashland.

Government Avoids Shutdown but CHIP Families Still at Risk

By Alan Rodriguez Espinoza, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A stopgap measure designed to avoid a government shutdown includes a provision that will provide the Children’s Health Insurance Program with temporary funding for two weeks. But the program’s fate past Dec. 22 is still uncertain.

More than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women count on Virginia’s CHIP-funded program, the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program, for medical services. State officials began reaching out to their families on Tuesday, notifying them that FAMIS could be terminated on Jan. 31.

“We are hopeful that Congress will once again provide the funding to continue this program,” the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services told families in a letter. “However, because Congress has not acted yet, we need to let you know that there is a chance the FAMIS programs may have to shut down.”

CHIP is an extension of Medicaid that provides government-funded health insurance to children and pregnant women from families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private health insurance.

Congress missed the Sept. 30 deadline to reauthorize federal funding for CHIP.

The problem is “one of benign neglect,” Karen Remley, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a press release. “As efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act dominated the agenda in the Senate, needed attention to CHIP was lost.”

In a letter to the Virginia congressional delegation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “partisan infighting and dysfunction” in Congress have jeopardized the state’s CHIP-funded program. McAuliffe and other Democrats blame Republicans for the problem.

As of Dec. 1, McAuliffe estimated that more than 68,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in Virginia depend on FAMIS to receive medical services such as immunizations, checkups and even surgeries and cancer treatments.

Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services estimates that nearly 1,200 of those children live in Richmond.

In response to McAuliffe, U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia Beach, said that “scaring families via press release is not helpful.”

“It is completely disingenuous to insinuate that I or any other member of the Virginia congressional delegation are ignoring reauthorization of this important program,” Taylor stated in a press release of his own. “In fact, the present delay is a result of a request by the minority party to further negotiations on offsets.”

U.S. senators including Virginia Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have expressed bipartisan support for the Keep Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure Act, or the KIDS Act of 2017. If ratified, it would extend federal funding for CHIP through the 2022 fiscal year.

“Sen. Warner recognizes it is essential that CHIP is reauthorized,” said Jonathan Uriarte, his deputy press secretary. “And the KIDS Act is an imperfect but needed compromise to continue funding these necessary health care services for children.”

But the KIDS Act does not specify where funding for CHIP would come from.

In early November, the House voted 242-174 to reauthorize CHIP under the Championing Healthy Kids Act. Democrats opposed the bill because it would cut more than $10 billion from public health and prevention programs funded by the Affordable Care Act and because it would raise Medicare fees for higher-income recipients.

Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, said on the House floor that the Healthy Kids Act would extend CHIP “without adding to our country’s deficit.” On the other hand, Rep. Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Richmond, said the bill is “loaded with poison pills that would undermine the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid.”

According to the Department of Medical Assistance Services, CHIP in Virginia cost more than $304 million in fiscal year 2017, with most of the money coming from the federal government. McAuliffe said Virginia is expected to exhaust the federal funds by the end of January.

“Unless something changes … enrollment will be frozen Jan. 1,” McAuliffe stated. “By Jan. 31, Virginia will have insufficient federal funds to continue the program.”

The House and Senate must agree on a bill before it can be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

In Emporia City, Greensville County and Brunswick County CHIP serves 289 children. In Franklin City, Southampton County and Sussex County 263 children are served by the program.

The Action Bible and Jackson-Feild

Thanks to the generosity of the Episcopal Church Women of the Diocese of Virginia and the members of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, the boys and girls at Jackson-Feild have brand new Action Bibles!

The best-selling Action Bible – created by a member of Marvel Comics – is designed to be action-grabbing through illustrations full of rich color and bold designs that brings to life the emotions and significance of the stories and figures of the Bible.

Jackson-Feild’s chaplain The Rev. Dr. Robin Jones will use the Action Bible’s four-step lesson path to engage teens at every step. The path starts by setting the stage to help teens feel comfortable with the Bible, and then brings the Bible stories and passages to life through animation. It helps readers make a connection and prompts them to ask questions. The Action Bible helps the boys and girls understand who God is and what they mean to Him, and it helps them develop their own value system.

Everyone involved in the Spiritual Program at Jackson-Feild is grateful to St. Martin’s and the ECW of the Diocese of Virginia for funding the purchase of these Bibles that will help to connect timeless truths to life today.

Brunswick Academy Student to be on Food Network Kids Baking Championshop

Season Premieres Monday, January 1st at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network

Brunswick Academy Sixth Grader Bryn Montgomery will appear on the new season of Kids Baking Championship on Food Network.She is the daughter of Vin and Ann Montgomery of South Hill. Photo: Food Network

NEW YORK – November 29, 2017 – Food Network celebrates the New Year in a big way as Valerie Bertinelli and Duff Goldmanchallenge the skills of a dozen young bakers with major talent on a new season of Kids Baking Championship, premiering on Monday, January 1st at 9pm ET/PT. Over the course of ten episodes, the contestants (ranging in age from 10 to 13) compete in decadent dessert challenges designed to find the most impressive and creative kid baker in the country. To make it to the top tier of the competition, their baking skills and originality must measure up, as they whip up sweet treats such as cookies, ice cream, and doughnuts. Only one will take the cake and the sweet grand prize of $25,000, a feature in Food Network Magazine, and the title of Kids Baking Champion!

“The return of family-favorite Kids Baking Championship is the perfect sweet note to start the new year with creative confections and delicious desserts from extraordinary young bakers showing off their remarkable talents that will awe and inspire audiences,” said Courtney White, Senior Vice President Programming, Scripps Networks Interactive. 

Throughout the ten-episode season, the kid contestants must tackle new confectionary challenges, from sweet dessert pizzas using traditional savory pizza toppings, to out-of-this-world desserts with freeze-dried astronaut approved ingredients, and to a new twist on the popular imposter dessert challenge featuring lunchbox favorites. On the premiere, the bakers must conquer cookie cakes, but when Duff and Valerie throw them a crazy curveball, one competitor melts under the pressure. On Monday, March 5th at 9pm ET/PT, the championship culminates as one talented baker will rise to the top in the grand finale.

Kids Baking Championship contestants include: Gareth Bennett (Gaithersburg, MD; age 10), Julia Betz (Key Biscayne, FL; age 12), Alex Czajka (Edmonton, AB; age 12), Beverly Hepler (Foster City, CA; age 10), Grady Holloway (Chesterfield, MO; age 11), Luke Jonsson (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA; age 13), Linsey Lam (Closter, NJ; age 13), Abby Martin (Franklin, WI; age 13), Bryn Montgomery (South Hill, VA; age 11), Aditya Pillutla (Cary, NC; age 12), Michael Platt (Bowie, MD; age 11) and Soleil Thomas(Livingston, NJ; age 12).

Fans can join the baking banter on Twitter using #BakingChampionship, and can relive the most dramatic, creative, and adorable moments with video and photo highlights, at FoodNetwork.com/KidsBakingChampionship.  They can also go behind the scenes with Duff and Valerie, and discover more baking tips.

Learn About the SVCC Power Line Worker Training Program

Learn more about the Power Line Worker Training Program of Southside Viirginia Community College on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center.  The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the center located at 1041 W. 10th Street, Pickett Park, Blackstone, Virginia.

This session will offer information on admission requirements, schedule, cost, housing, job prospects and scholarships.  Join the over 100 graduate of this program that started in 2016. 

Pizza will be served.  Please register at powerlineworker@southside.edu or call Susan Early at 434 292 3101.

Bridging the gap: Southwest Virginia has the most bridges and culverts in ‘poor’ condition

 

By Alexa Nash, Capital News Service

It’s difficult to avoid driving over a bridge in Virginia, and motorists often don’t give them a second thought. Drivers are unaware that some of the structures they have come to trust are in a troubling state, especially in the southwestern part of the commonwealth.

Of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s nine districts, Bristol has the highest number of bridges and culverts rated D or lower on the agency’s “health index,” an indication of the overall soundness of a structure. (Culverts are tunnels that allow streams or drains to flow under the road.)

Data obtained from VDOT shows that 451 bridges and culverts of over 3,400 in the Bristol district have that low grade, and 182 structures were deemed structurally deficient, or “poor.” The worst structure, a bridge in Scott County, has a grade of 12 on a 100-point scale – a solid F.

Even so, state officials say motorists should not worry.

“Scary terms aside, if there were a problem out there, [the bridges] would be investigated and closed,” said Michelle Earl, communications manager for VDOT’s Bristol district. “This is nothing we toy around with.”

Many bridges across the state need major repairs and possibly replacement. While the vast, rural Bristol district has more than its share of such bridges, it is aggressively attacking the problem, officials say.

Gary Lester, a bridge engineer for the Bristol district, said there are many reasons for high number of bridges with low grades, but two stand out: Bristol has more bridges than any other VDOT district, and because of the area’s geography, they are built differently than anywhere else in the state.

The Bristol district is a mountainous region with many streams to cross, and winters are harsh. This means that more salt is used on the roads due to snow, which corrodes the exposed steel in the simply designed bridges.

“In the past, we’ve used a lot of steel beams with timber decks because those were the cheapest and easiest for our crews to put in at the time,” Lester said. Most of the bridges were constructed in the early- to mid- 20th century.

The bridges needed to go up fast, so they were designed differently than those in Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg or Hampton Roads – districts that have the fewest structurally deficient bridges. Those bridges have a design life, or the time in which the bridge is structurally sound, of 50 to 100 years. Bridges built with just steel beams and timber decks in the Bristol district have a design life of about 25 years and need costly rehabilitation much more often.

Dr. David Mokarem, research associate at Virginia Tech, said VDOT’s health index is determined by the overall condition of all of the bridge’s parts. He said that traffic, load capacity and the geography of the district are factors in determining the grade.

Age and design life are also important factors. The needs for each district also depends on how much the bridges are used, so it makes sense that the more populous northern and eastern areas of Virginia see most of the funding from VDOT. That doesn’t mean that Bristol’s situation can be ignored.

“If [the grade] is 65 percent, that’s low,” Mokarem said. “They need to be fixed, repaired … something needs to be done.”

Lester is addressing the need in his district by looking at his bridges differently. He said he focuses on the structurally deficient bridges. This means that the bridge either can be crossed only by light vehicles and loads or cannot be used at all until it is rehabilitated or completely reconstructed.

The formula to determining structural deficiency is more accurate than the health index, Lester said. The formula, based on federal guidelines, divides the bridge into its deck structure and substructure and carefully calculates the health of those two parts.

The rating is out of nine. Once a bridge receives a four or below, it is considered structurally deficient and must have signage to advertise its load capability. To put that rating in perspective, a brand-new bridge with a few cracks is given a score of eight.

Every bridge is inspected every two years, and if they are structurally deficient, they are inspected once a year or more, Earl said.

VDOT had a goal over the past five years to decrease the number of structurally deficient bridges in each district by 15 percent. Bristol was the only district to exceed that goal. The district is replacing those bridges with ones that have a design life of 100 years.

“We’re looking at the overall load on a bridge before they go structurally deficient, and we’re looking at the condition of the joints to improve those so they don’t leak any water to get down into the structural elements, which will be a new performance measure,” Lester said. VDOT plans to announce these new performance measures in the next few weeks.

As the measures take effect, Lester said that the number of bridges determined to be structurally deficient should go down each year. The district will continue to work hard to bridge the structural and financial gaps.

“There’s new funding available to help improve bridges,” Earl said. “Public safety is our ultimate goal, so if there was an issue out there, it would get closed.”

In the City of Emporia there are no structually deficient bridges, but the Meherrin River Bridge on Main Street is functionally obsolete. The Meherrin River Bridge on Northbound I-95 is listed as functionally obsolete, but is currently being replaced.

In Greensville County there both the Falling Run culvert on Old Halifax Road and the Fountains Creek Bridge on Hells Island Road are structually deficient and the following bridges are listed as functionally obsolete:

Nottoway River on Purdy Road,
Moores Branch on Nottoway Road,
Fountains Creek on Moore's Frerry Road,
US 301 Soutnbound over CSX Railroad (Replaced).
Cattail Creek on Moore's Ferry Road,
Fountains Creek on US 301-Skippers Road,
US 301 Sounthbound over I-95 Ramp at Exit 12,
Branch on Low Ground Road,
Ramp to US 301-Skippers Road over Interstate 95 at Exit 8
Beaverpond on Pine Log Road.

Deloris Whitfield Success Story

Deloris Whitfield started with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act(WIOA)youth program in April 2017. She has a passion for helping others so she enrolled in the Nurse Aide program in May 2017 attending Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) at the Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center in South Hill.

 While continuing to work on her credential, Whitfield participated in the 2017 WIOA Youth Summer Program and was involved in quite a few activities. She obtained a work experience with the Hazelwood House in South Hill, Virginia as an Adult Day Care worker. From this experience, she received a phenomenal reference letter for her work ethic.

During the summer program, she also completed the Tools for Success work readiness training.  Whitfield participated in the 3-D Imaging Dream It Do It Camp. She was one of the selected winners for her project and presentation of the skills she had learned in the camp.

She completed her CNA training in July of 2017 and successfully completed the WIOA youth program also.  She later successfully obtained her CNA licensure and gained full-time employment with Meadowview Terrace on as a Certified Nurse Aide.  She hopes to further her education with a stackable credential in Medication Aide.

A native of Brunswick County, she now lives in South Hill.

The W.I.O.A. Youth (OSY) program assists eligible students, between the ages of 14 and 24, in reaching the goal of high school graduation or obtaining the GED. We provide a variety of services to assist the student in making reasonable strides toward this goal. These services include tutoring, additional counseling, mentoring, transportation reimbursement, childcare assistance, career exploration, incentives and supply provisions if there is documented need for these services. The funding for this program is provided by the WIOA through the South Central Workforce Investment Board.  The contract for the Youth Programs is awarded to SVCC which provides the direction and coordination of the youth services.

Mrs. Hargrove’s Kindergarten Class Letters to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I want a dirt bike.  I’d also love a Dodge Ram Powerwheel.  I want a toy Lamborghini car.  And a big truck with shiny pipes. 

Thank u,

Isaiah P. 


Dear Santa,

I want a Hoverboard, shoes, clothes and toys. 

Jamie


Dear Santa,

My name is Arkeyla Porter, and I have been good this year.  I would like for you to bring me some clothes and shoes.  And I would like for you to bring my niece and nephews some clothes and shoes too.  And bring them some toys and lots of love. 

Arkeyla


Dear Santa,

I want a Power Ranger, Ninja Turtle and an army man.

Jayveion


Dear Santa,

My name is Jakiyah Nottie Lazae Vaughan.  I know I haven’t been that good this year but I was hopeful of maybe getting some outfits with shoes to match some Doc Mcstuffin toys, a hoverboard, doll house with some dolls, tablet, a baby alive, money and maybe a puppy. 

Jakiyah


Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I want a kitchen set and a baby alive doll, shopkins, a bike and a Hatchimal. 

Zakiya


Dear Santa,

I want a dragon toy, Trex toy, race cart, plane toy, dinosaur toy, wolf toy, and Pterodactyl toy. 

Noah


Dear Santa,

I want coloring books, a doll baby and a bed for my dollbabies. 

Ameria


Dear Santa,

For Christmas, I would like Pop the Pig, a football, a toy gun and a fire tablet.   Merry Christmas Santa!

Love,

Justin Wright


Dear Santa,

My name is Andre and all I want for Christmas is a Nintendo DS along with some games.

Andre


Dear Santa,

I have been good this year.  This Christmas, I wish for train tracks sets so that I can build awesome train stations.  Please give my sister a dollhouse. 

Love,

Daveron


Dear Santa,

I been a very nice girl.  All I want is bike, dollhouse and kitchen set, some boots, dollbabies and some clothes.

Love,

Zalilian Green


Dear Santa,

My name is Zy’ire.  For Christmas, I want a PS4, a tablet and a white DS.  I will leave you some milk and cookies.

Zy’ire


Dear Santa,

I want candy, toys and presents.

Liliana


Dear Santa,

I want Frozen dolls and toys. 

Rana


Dear Santa,

I want a doll and stroller.  I also want a dollhouse. 

Zaila

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


Production/Machine Operator: This self-motivated, hardworking, team player will gain experience in a fast-paced production environment, possess the ability to multitask, learn problem solving skills     and how to work well under pressure.  Job Order #1240273

Reliability Engineer: The Reliability Engineer is responsible for leading and supporting reliability within the operation. The engineer will be a technical resource that provides and shares expertise of equipment, options to improve maintenance and operating practices, and opportunities to advance use of technology. This role will be responsible for managing numerous reliability improvement initiatives and projects to achieve desired results. The role will actively interface with all levels of the organization within the facility and groups outside the facility. Job Order #1239368

Tourism Coordinator: Performs intermediate administrative work establishing and maintaining communications with a variety of groups, individuals and commissions, developing and assisting in promotion of tourism products, marketing the County's attractions, developing and maintaining a marketing plan, attending events, and related work as apparent or assigned. Job Order #1238021

TDT School Based Counselor/Emporia: Therapeutic Day Treatment Counselors work inside the school system and maintain a caseload of 4-6 clients.  Our counselors work school hours year long and are given partial cell-phone reimbursement.  They are responsible for addressing the day to day concerns, issues and needs of their school/work site and the clients therein. Job Order #1238122

Assistant Manager-Retail:  This employer is seeking all experienced, self-motivated people for assistant managers at our Stoney Creek, Warfield and Prince George locations. Successful candidates would work a varied schedule of 40+ hours per week.  Business is open 24 hours - 365 days a year. Job Order #1236534

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

www.vawc.virginia.gov

Sandra Hubbard is VCU CMH Fundraiser of the YEAR

One of the three co-chairs of the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Foundation’s 2016-2017 Health Care For Life Capital Campaign was honored in November by the Piedmont Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as its Volunteer Fundraiser of the year.

“When Sandra Hubbard agreed to serve on the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Health Care For Life Capital Campaign Cabinet in February 2016, she did so with trepidation. She was a quiet listener as the early planning stages of the campaign were ironed out. But out of necessity the campaign was an accelerated version of a traditional capital campaign. And that’s when Sandra began to blossom, bloom, and became an unstoppable force for good,” said Ken Kurz, Executive Director of the Foundation, when nominating Sandra.

Sandra served as one of three co-chairs of the campaign, joined by Dean Marion, the Town of South Hill’s mayor, and Ryan Bartholomew, an Edward Jones investment advisor.

According to Kurz , “this triumvirate presided over an incredibly quick and successful capital campaign that saw an area of less than 100,000 people raise an amazing $3.8 million in just 10 months -from start to finish.”

Kurz added that this campaign was on the heels of a still to be completed 2012 capital campaign for VCU Health CMH. He said that Sandra was approaching donors who still had payments left from the previous campaign. But that didn’t even slow her down.

“Even with zero fundraising experience, Sandra was by far the most successful fund raiser for the Health Care For Life Capital Campaign. Her community connections and persistence paid huge dividends for the CMH Foundation. She also put her money where her heart was and donated to the campaign. She was the perfect messenger to send out to the community. She was engaged, involved and refused to see the campaign fail,”  Kurz added.

Kurz continued, “countless times Sandra brought new donors into the CMH family because she believed in the mission of CMH. She also worked at bringing in additional volunteer campaign workers. To put it bluntly, Sandra was indispensable to the campaign on several levels.”

In the 10-month campaign, we had 22 external cultivation events and Sandra was involved in all but one -when she went on vacation. Sandra was instrumental in making the campaign a success. She played host on three different occasions for these events. She brought in her friends, old and new, who had previously not supported CMH.

When someone is a volunteer, expectations of time involvement are typically fairly modest, according to Kurz.

“Even though we have met our $3.5 million goal, Sandra has not stopped. She continues to seek out new donors to help CMH. Since the campaign’s conclusion, Sandra was instrumental in an additional $25,000 gift and is currently cultivating several additional donors at this time,” he said.

Kurz added that named bricks and other naming opportunities are still available at the new hospital and C.A.R.E. Building. Anyone interested in donating to benefit VCU Health CMH can contact the Foundation office at 434-774-2575.

Charlie Joseph Brna

Charlie Joseph Brna, 82, of Richmond, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Charlie was with the Army National Guard for two years and was Honorably discharged to enlist in the United States Air Force in 1954. He retired from the USAF after 23 years of service as an Audio-Visual Superintendent. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He also retired after 21 years from Carpenter Company. Charlie was a member of the American Legion Post 137 and the Farmer’s Hunt Club in Emporia, Va. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Anna Brna. He is survived by his sister, Ellen Dillard; brother, Dr. Theodore Brna; son, Steven Brna; daughter, Rhonda Underwood (Matt); two grandchildren, Kamryn and Rylan; and numerous extended family and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church at 2 P.M., Monday, December 11, 2017 with Rev. Stephen Bocklage officiating. Internment will follow in St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held 1 hour before the Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. John the Baptist Lutheran Church Building Fund.

Online condolences may be left at echolsfuneralhome.com.

VSU Offers Free Five-Week Beekeeping for Beginners Course

Beekeeping for Beginners is a free five-week course being held at Hopewell United Methodist Church, 4585 Dry Fork Rd, Dry Fork, VA (Pittsylvania County). Classes will be held for five consecutive Tuesdays beginning January 23, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will also be a field day trip to a hive on Saturday, March 3, weather permitting.

This five-week course is being offered by the Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) of Virginia State University (VSU) Cooperative Extension. It is designed for individuals interested in starting a beekeeping operation.

Participants will learn about the history and purpose of beekeeping; the basic biology of bees and equipment needed; getting started and harvesting; and how to manage pests, disorders and parasites. Mike Rogers and Patrick Ferrer from the Pittsylvania County Beekeepers Association will be presenters in the course, along with Berry Hines, a master beekeeper.

Registration is free. To register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/calendar, click on the event and then click on the registration link. 

If you need further information or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Agent Cassidy Williams at (804) 704-4033, cwilliams@vsu.edu, or call the Small Farm Outreach Program office at (804) 524-3292 / (800) 828-1120 (TDD) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

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

VSU Receives $600,000 to Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

VSU’s Cooperative Extension Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) has received a grant award of $600,000 to educate and mentor socially disadvantaged and veteran Virginia beginning farmers and ranchers (SDVBFR) so they have the information they need to allow their farms to be sustainable and economically successful.

The grant is one of 36 totaling $17.7 million funded through fiscal year 2017’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). The BFRDP is a competitive grant program administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) that funds education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives directed at helping beginning farmers and ranchers of all types. It was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill to help address issues associated with the rising age and decrease in the number of U.S. farmers and ranchers.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in the commonwealth,” said William Crutchfield, SFOP Director. “But high barriers to entry make farming and ranching one of the hardest careers to pursue, and the number of people entering into farming has been slowly declining each year.”

The average age of the typical Virginia farmer is 59.9 years old. Thirty-six percent of Virginia farmers are 65 years of age or older. The average farm size is 181 acres.

Despite significant hurdles like land acquisition and potentially significant start up costs, there are people who see great opportunities in agriculture today and want to start their own farm or ranch businesses. They tend to be younger on average than those who started farming decades ago and less likely than established farmers to farm full-time. They also tend to operate smaller farms, have more diversified operations and come from non-agricultural backgrounds, which means little to no access to farmland that traditionally is passed down from one generation of farmer to the next.

The BFRDP grant is the only federal program exclusively dedicated to training the next generation of farmers and ranchers. This highly successful initiative provides grants to academic institutions, state Extension programs, producer groups and community organizations to support and train new farmers and ranchers across the country. The program funds everything from production techniques to mentoring new farmers in how to develop a business plan and has proven a critical resource in ensuring the success of the next generation of farmers—one that faces unprecedented challenges pursuing a career in agriculture.

The three-year grant was awarded to VSU’s SFOP program, which specifically targets SDVBFR in 54 Virginia counties. These audiences have been traditionally undeserved and have been plagued by several barriers such as: high start-up costs, limited access to credit and capital, lack of knowledge on land acquisition and transition process, lack of skills in agribusiness and financial planning, lack of adequate production skills, and limited access to existing and viable markets. VSU’s SFOP, in a continued partnership with the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program (BFRCP), proposes to address these barriers by using the "Whole Farm Planning" curriculum developed by BFRCP as one of the tools to train these farmers, with the expected result of an improved quality of life for them and their communities. 

Farmers enrolled in the program will begin by attending a small farmer orientation and must commit to attending a series of educational workshops that include estate planning, financial and business management, sustainable production practices and marketing. They will also be connected to a farmer mentor.

If you are farmer interested in joining the program, contact the SFOP at 804-524-3292 or SFOP@vsu.edu

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

VIRGINIA 2019 INSPECTION STICKERS TO BE RELOCATED ON VEHICLE WINDSHIELD

RICHMOND – Effective Jan. 1, 2018, Virginia state inspection stickers will no longer be affixed to the bottom center of a vehicle’s windshield. Due to new innovations in the automotive industry, the state inspection stickers will be placed in the bottom left corner of the windshield, when viewed from inside the vehicle. This change in location will also apply to the placement of any other authorized stickers. There have been no changes made to the size or appearance of the existing vehicle inspection sticker.

The relocation stems from the fact that automobile manufacturers now offer crash avoidance technology in many of their vehicles.  In such vehicles, the new technology utilizes the center of the windshield. Therefore the placement of items in that area, including stickers, could prevent crash avoidance systems from operating properly.

“The core mission of the Virginia Safety Inspection Program is to promote highway safety and the crash avoidance technology is another tool provided by manufacturers to ensure vehicles operated on the roadways are safe at all times,” said Capt. R.C. Maxey Jr., Virginia State Police Safety Division Commander. “Therefore, we immediately began evaluating the situation and set forth to make the necessary changes to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual, which governs the placement of the safety inspection sticker on all vehicles.”

 

Existing Virginia vehicle inspection stickers are to remain in their current position – in the bottom center of the windshield. Once a vehicle is inspected and issued a 2019 sticker, the new inspection sticker must be placed in the lower left corner, which is consistent with other states across the nation.

The Virginia State Police Safety Division began Dec. 2, 2017, notifying all Virginia certified inspections stations of the placement change that is to take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Emporia Police Department Seeks Advanced Accreditation

A team of assessors from the Commission of Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) will arrive January 7, 2018 to examine all aspects of the Emporia Police Department’s policy and procedures, management, operations, and support services announced Chief Ricky A. Pinksaw.  These include areas such as:  Communications, traffic enforcement, investigations, critical incidents, property and evidence, and even internal human resources.

Verification by the assessment team that the Emporia Police Department meets the Commissioner’s state-of-the-art standard is part of a voluntary process for initial advanced accreditation – a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence.  This is the Emporia Police Department’s initial advanced accreditation.

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session on Monday January 8, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.  The session will be conducted in the City Council Chambers located at 201 South Main Street in Emporia.

If for some reason an individual cannot speak at the public information session but would like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone.  The public may call and speak with a CALEA assessor on Monday January 8, 2018 between the hours of 1:00 p.m. through 3:00 p.m.  The public may call (434) 532-3408 and your call will be answered by one of the CALEA assessors.

Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA standards.  A copy of the standards is available at the Emporia Police Department at 310 Budd Street, Emporia.

The Accreditation Manager and contact is Lieutenant David Shidell at (434) 634-2121.  Persons wishing to offer written comments about the Emporia Police Department’s ability to meet the standards for advanced accreditation are requested to write: Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA)  13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320 Gainesville, Virginia 20155; or e-mail the commission at www.calea.org and place the agency’s name in the subject line and make your comments.

The Emporia Police Department has to comply with 484 standards to achieve advanced accreditation, according to Chief Pinksaw.  By voluntarily submitting ourselves to the accreditation process, we are assuring the community and ourselves that we are providing police services while practicing best practices through CALEA’s international standards. 

Only a small percentage of all law enforcement agencies are CALEA accredited, so this step assures the community that our department and officers are providing the highest quality service to the citizens of Emporia.  Chief Pinksaw stated; “This is just not the Police Department’s accreditation, but it is the Community’s Accreditation.”  Also, Chief Pinksaw wanted to give recognition and thanks to three former police chiefs whose efforts have led the Emporia Police Department to this point: Chiefs Elmer Grizzard, the late Pete Daughtry and Bernard Richardson.

The Emporia Police Department Accreditation Manager, Lieutenant David Shidell, will serve as the liaison with the CALEA assessors and the Department while the assessment team is on location.  The team is comprised of two individuals who both have long careers in law enforcement including extensive knowledge of the accreditation process.  The assessment team will consist of:

Randy Nichols, Retired Chief of Police of the Pitt County Memorial Hospital Police Department, Greenville, North Carolina

Charles Groover, Lieutenant of the Covington Police Department, Covington, Georgia.

Once the assessors complete their review of the agency, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to be granted accredited status at the next scheduled CALEA conference in March 2018 in Frisco, Texas.

For more information regarding the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., please write the commission at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 329 Gainesville, Virginia 20155; or call (703) 352-4225.  The commission can also be found on the internet at www.calea.org.

Subscribe to Emporia News RSS

Emporia News

Stories on Emporianews.com are be searchable, using the box above. All new stories will be tagged with the date (format YYYY-M-D or 2013-1-1) and the names of persons, places, institutions, etc. mentioned in the article. This database feature will make it easier for those people wishing to find and re-read an article.  For anyone wishing to view previous day's pages, you may click on the "Previous Day's Pages" link in the menu at the top of the page, or search by date (YYYY-M-D format) using the box above.

Comment Policy:  When an article or poll is open for comments feel free to leave one.  Please remember to be respectful when you comment (no foul or hateful language, no racial slurs, etc) and keep our comments safe for work and children. .Comments are moderated and comments that contain explicit or hateful words will be deleted.  IP addresses are tracked for comments. 

EmporiaNews.com serves Emporia and Greensville County, Virginia and the surrounding area
and is provided as a community service by the Advertisers and Sponsors.
All material on EmporiaNews.com is copyright 2005-2016
EmporiaNews.com is powered by Drupal and based on the ThemeBrain Sirate Theme.

Submit Your Story!

Emporia News welcomes your submissions!  You may submit articles, announcements, school or sports information using the submission forms found here, or via e-mail on news@emporianews.com.  Currently, photos and advertisements will still be accepted only via e-mail, but if you have photos to go along with your submission, you will receive instructions via e-mail. If you have events to be listed on the Community Calendar, submit them here.

Contact us at news@emporianews.com
 
EmporiaNews.com is hosted as a community Service by Telpage.  Visit their website at www.telpage.net or call (434)634-5100 (NOTICE: Telpage cannot help you with questions about Emporia New nor does Teplage have any input the content of Emporia News.  Please use the e-mail address above if you have any questions, comments or concerns about the content on Emporia News.)