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2017-3-1

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Virginia Housing Development Authority Homeownership Workshop Offered in Emporia

VHDA’s Home Ownership Education Workshop will be offered Monday, April 10th and Tuesday, April 11th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office located at 105 Oak Street, Emporia. Participants must attend both sessions in order to receive a certificate of completion.

The workshop is free and being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Greensville/Emporia Office and the Emporia- Greensville Financial Literacy Coalition. It is aimed at first-time homebuyers who are financially ready to become homeowners. The workshop covers the educational requirement for a VHDA mortgage and it may also count as first-time home buyer education for other loan programs.

Topics to be covered in this six-hour workshop include: Personal Finances, Credit and Credit Issues, Working with a Realtor, Role of the Lender, Loan Closing and the Home Inspection. Space is limited and registration is required. Please contact the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 by Monday, April 3rd to register. You may also register online at www.vhda.com. A minimum of 5 participants must be registered for class to be conducted.

If you are a person with a disability and require assistance or accommodation to participate in this program, please call the Greensville/Emporia Extension Office at 434-348-4233 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at least five days prior to this event. TDD number is 800-828-1120.

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.

Feild Family Visits Jackson-Feild

Ninety eight years ago Mr. & Mrs. George W. Feild donated their ancestral home, Walnut Grove, to Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services.  It was the dream of Mr. & Mrs. Feild to help girls with no home. They had lost a daughter in her infancy and made the gift of their home to help orphan girls.

Their generosity is and has been an inspiration to countless others to help children who have obstacles to overcome.

Members of the Feild family recently visited the campus. Beth Feild, her parents and children traveled to the campus and Grace Church. Beth is a former board member and hopes to re-join the Board of Directors. Her parents have visited many times over the years but it was the first time her children had visited the campus.

They met with Tricia Delano, CEO, and had lunch with the children.  The staff were thrilled to have members of the Feild family on campus and shared information about how they were helping boys and girls with emotional disorders.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center Announces January 2017 Employee of the Month

Emporia, VA – Clint Paseos, RNhas been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for January 2017.  Mr. Paseos, who works in SVRMC’s Behavioral Health Unit, has been employed at SVRMC since December 2015.

Each month employees are nominated for demonstrating excellence in one of ten Standards of Behavior; the highlighted Standard of the Month for January was Commitment to Co-Workers.  Mr. Paseos’ nomination included the following statement: “Clint always treats his peers and co-workers with respect and courtesy. He is kind and honest in all his interactions and is willing to do whatever is best for the Behavioral Health Unit, his patients, and his co-workers. An outstanding example of his commitment was shown most recently when Clint came in to cover a shift during the snow storm, although he was not scheduled to work.  That example shows a commitment, not only to his job, but also to those he works with every day.”

As SVRMC’s January Employee of the Month, Mr. Paseos received a certificate of recognition, balloons, cake to share with his co-workers, a cash award, and a chance to be selected as SVRMC’s 2017 Employee of the Year.

Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is an 80-bed, acute-care facility located at 727 N. Main Street in Emporia, VA. With a medical staff of more than 70 physicians representing over 25 specialties, SVRMC serves nearly 50,000 residents in Emporia and the surrounding communities. The medical center is conveniently located near Interstate 95, Hwy 58 and Hwy 301. For more information about SVRMC and the services it provides, please visit SVRMC.com.

Ellen Templeton Joins the Crater SBDC

Ellen Templeton, new director of the Crater Small Business Development Center of Longwood University, believes her job is all about being positive.

“When you work with small businesses, you have to smile,” she said. “Their enthusiasm is contagious.”

Working as an economic developer for ten years in Hampton, Templeton often countered negative comments like, “There’s too much traffic here,” with her own take. “That’s because a lot of people want to be here,” she said. “That’s an example of how to look for the positive in a community.”

Director of Crater SBDC since November, Templeton is well suited for the job. She started her career in commercial real estate before moving on to a Virginia Economic Development Partnership job in Richmond. She later started her own insurance company.

“Throughout my career, I found that I gravitated toward small businesses,” she said. “When you work with big businesses, you help to create jobs but never have a chance to interact on a day-to-day level. Working with small businesses is more personal — you really get to see and feel that impact.”

Another facet of Templeton’s positive approach is seeing each community’s uniqueness. Crater SBDC covers Colonial Heights, Emporia, Greenville, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George County, Surry and Sussex.

“Every one of these communities is fabulous,” Templeton said. She is currently meeting with Chamber of Commerce and economic development officials in each area. “I see them as our partners and allies — our goals are the same.”

Templeton has compiled some tips for new and existing clients; these are three she considers important:

#1 Learn before you leap

Have knowledge about what you want to do. If you want to be an artist and can’t draw stick people, that might be a problem. Templeton’s experience as a small business owner is a valuable tool in advising clients. “Talking about a business and doing it were two very different things,” she said. “A business plan serves as a guidebook, but there are things only experience will teach you.”

#2 Love what you do

Passion is important for any small business owner. “If you lack passion, you’re going to do just what you have to do,” she said. “Then it becomes work — it shouldn’t be that way!”

#3 Honesty’s the best policy

“If someone tells me they don’t want to invest the time to make a business plan, I ask them, ‘Then why do you want to invest this money?’ It’s not fair to mislead clients. I love their excitement, but we’re here to help them succeed.”

Richmond Film Festival kicks off with musical acts

By Amelia Heymann, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – With an electric six-string cellist and an orchestra playing a fusion of classical-jazz and hip-hop, the sixth annual Richmond International Film Festival kicked off and will run through Sunday, featuring more than 150 films from more than 35 countries as well as more than 50 bands and other musical performers.

The diverse lineup and competitive nature evoke the South by Southwest festival that will be held next week in Austin, Texas. Heather Waters, founder and producer of the Richmond event, says this year is different from the past. In its premiere, the festival featured only 15 films. This week, it will show 10 times as many and offer a full range of musical acts.

“This is the year I decided to go full blown with the music festival side,” Waters said.

Waters has performed in film and music since she was a child in Nashville, Tennessee. When she moved to Richmond seven years ago, she noticed that the city lacked a competitive film festival, such as Sundance in Utah. As a member of the Virginia Producers Association, which has brought film productions such as “Lincoln” to the commonwealth, Waters wanted to help showcase Richmond’s talent.

“I absolutely love working with other creatives and promoting them, developing them, so really I was inspired by that,” Waters said. “Richmond has so many things going for it. This is something that can help really support the development of artists here and economic development through tourism.”

Waters isn’t the only one looking forward to working with other artists.

In a crescendo of heavy beats and brasswind notes, Ryan Easter rapped along with the other members of the Trap Music Orchestra for their debut in Richmond. The performance was the festival’s opening act on Monday night.

“We’re incredibly excited,” Easter said. “It felt cool to do a musical act in a space that doesn’t entirely focus on music – to really get a better feel of what the community of the arts is like in Richmond.”

Events are being held all over the city at locations such as the Byrd Theatre, Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square and The Broadberry. Most events are open to the public and range from professionally led workshops to live music.

Tuesday was the premiere of “The Last Punch,” a film based on the last fight of Muhammad Ali. The director, Jesse Vaughan, held a workshop before the film. Karon Riley, the actor who plays Muhammad Ali, also was at the festival.

On Wednesday evening, Smoothe da Hustler and Trigger tha Gambler will perform at the Broadberry. Smoothe just finished a feature film with fellow rapper and actor Ice-T. Waters said Smoothe is coming to Richmond to complete the soundtrack to the film, which includes hit artists like Jay-Z and Beyonce.

French actress Irene Jacob will be in Richmond to attend the Thursday screening of the film “Tales of Mexico,” in which she stars. That evening, she will perform jazz with her brother, Francis Jacob, at the Hofheimer Building in Scott’s Addition.

Friday evening is the VIP Gala at the Hofheimer. The late-night party will have musical performances by hip-hop musicians from the U.S. and internationally. Despite the exclusivity implied by the event’s name, the general public can buy tickets to the Gala.

On Saturday, the Byrd Theatre will host “Women in Film Spotlight,” featuring three short films by female directors. “‘Year of the woman’ is a theme we are wrapping into some of our events,” Waters said.

On Sunday, the festival will end with a Red Carpet Awards Ceremony. Awards will be given to films, filmmakers and musicians.

Like South by Southwest, the Richmond International Film Festival is competitive. Unlike curated film festivals, all movies and music must be submitted to be featured. Then at the festival, all films and performances compete for honors. Some of the winners are selected by the audience and others by a jury of professionals.

Tickets can be purchased online at rvafilmfestival.com. Prices generally range from $10 to $15 for tickets to individual events and $25 to $400 for multiple-event access passes. While most of the events are open to the public, some are exclusive to filmmakers, musicians, full-access pass holders or VIP pass members.

Legislative highlights: What passed and what didn’t

By Haley Winn, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – During their 46-day session, the Virginia General Assembly passed 880 bills and myriad resolutions ranging from constitutional amendments to the designation of Taekwondo Day. Many more pieces of legislation were tossed out before lawmakers adjourned on Saturday. Here are some key issues and laws that legislators addressed in 2017.

Bills that passed and are likely to become law:

Airbnb Regulation

SB 1578 would require most people renting out their homes on short-term rental sites, like Airbnb, to pay a registration fee in an attempt to regulate these rentals. Failure to do so would result in a fine.

Alcohol Sales

HB 1842will allow the state’s ABC stores to sell 151-proof grain alcohol, increasing the proof from 101. Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the bill into law last week. Like most legislation, it will take effect July 1.

Birth Control

HB 2267would allow doctors to prescribe women 12 months’ worth of contraceptives.

Driver’s License Suspension for Possession of Marijuana

HB 2051, SB 784and SB 1091would revoke the current law requiring a six-month suspension of a driver’s license when a person is convicted of marijuana possession. While adults would no longer face that punishment, juveniles will still be subject to license suspension.

Laser Hair Removal Regulation

HB 2119would limit the practice of laser hair removal to someone under the supervision of a doctor or trained health professional. Virginia and New York are currently the only two states that allow non-licensed professionals to perform laser hair removal.

Opioids

Several bills created to fight against opioid abuse and fatal overdoses were passed. HB 2165will mandate all opioid prescriptions be electronically submitted to pharmacies, while two other bills call for community organization training to treat opioid overdoses.

Bills that failed:

Animal Tethering

HB 1802and HB 1877would have created laws involving how long and when an animal could be tethered outside. HB 1802 would have made tethering a criminal offense.

Electoral College

HB 1425and SB 837would have allocated Virginia’s electoral votes in presidential races by congressional district.

Felon’s Voting Rights

SJR 223would have required convicted felons to pay restitution before they were allowed to vote again. The restitutions would have included the fines and charges associated with their charges.

Hunting Dogs

HB 1900would require hunters to pay a fine if their dog trespasses on private property.

Marijuana Bills

Bills allowing the use of marijuana in Virginia failed. HB 1906, SB 908 and SB 1269called for the decriminalization of simple possession, while HB 1637, HB 2135, SB 841, SB 1298and SB 1452involved the legalization of medical marijuana.

Minimum Wage Legislation

Five bills were killed early on in the session that would have increased the minimum wage in Virginia.

Redistricting

Several bills calling for redistricting in an attempt to end gerrymandering were killed.

School Calendar

HB 1983 would have ended a rule nicknamed the “Kings Dominion Law,” which requires schools to start classes after Labor Day unless they get a waiver from the Virginia Department of Education. SB 1111 attempted to expand the reasons districts could apply for the waiver.

School Suspensions

Bills such as HB 1534 and SB 995 would have limited schools’ use of long-term suspensions to punish students. HB 1536 would have prohibited students in preschool through grade three from being suspended for more than five school days or being expelled except for serious crimes.

Bills that passed but have been (or may be) vetoed:

Anti-Sanctuary Bill

HB 2000would prohibit local governments from designating themselves as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants. The bill says localities cannot adopt ordinances that would restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Coal Tax

Identical bills HB 2198and SB 1470would have reinstated the Virginia coal employment and production incentive tax credit. It was vetoed for the third year in a row.

Explicit School Materials

The governor plans to veto a bill (HB 2191) that would require parental notification before explicit material was shown in classrooms.

Guns

McAuliffe has vetoed HB 1582, which sought to allow active duty or discharged military service members between the ages of 18 and 20 to apply for a handgun permit.

Planned Parenthood Defunding

The governor vetoed HB 2264, which called for defunding Planned Parenthood. The House tried to override the veto but failed because an override requires a two-thirds majority.

Religious Freedom/Solemnization of Marriage bill

HB 2025and SB 1324would protect religious organizations and ministers who refuse to marry same-sex couples, stating that no person should be required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage.

Tebow Bill

HB 1578, already vetoed by McAuliffe, would have allowed home-schooled students to play sports at their local public high school.

 

Bills that passed but the governor may want to amend

Fines for “Left-Lane Bandits”

HB 1725would impose a fine on drivers going too slowly in the left lane. The bill suggested a $250 fine; McAuliffe suggested making it to $100.

State Budget

HB 1500revised the state budget for 2016-18. It closes a budget shortfall, increases funding for education and gives pay raises to state employees, teachers and law enforcement officers. McAuliffe praised legislators for doing that but said, “I remain concerned that the state budget includes no additional funding to provide local and regional jails with the tools and training to perform mental health screenings and assessments.”

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