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Career Opportunity

Residential Counselors

If you are interested in making a positive impact on the lives of Virginia’s youth, then we want you to become part of our Team!  Residential Treatment Facility located in Jarratt, Virginia seeks positive role models to work directly with adolescent boys and girls in a residential treatment program.  The Residential Counselor is responsible for role-modeling healthy behavior and teaching life skills while implementing trauma-informed treatment practices.  This is a full-time position.

Must possess the availability to work weekends, evenings, and holidays.  Flexibility is a must.  A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or other Human Services field is preferred, a High School Diploma/GED is required.  Starting pay ranges from $13.50 to $15.50/hr. depending upon experience and credentials.  Shift differential is provided for week-day evening shift and for first and second shifts on the weekend. A $1,000.00 retention bonus is paid after 12 months of full-time employment.  Applicants with corrections or mental health experience are encouraged to apply.

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.  EOE.  Positions open until filled.

E-mail cover letter and resume to:

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services
Job# 2021-20
Attn: Chris Thompson
E-mail: careers@jacksonfeild.org
Fax: (833) 418-1986

SVCC and DRS Imaging Services Celebrate Graduates

 

 

 

SVCC graduates of the DRS Imaging Services employee program are Jamie Caknipe, Jessica Caknipe, Shavonne Hargrove, Jeanette Rawlings, Shelby Russell, Bruce Terry and (not-pictured) Kelly Gordon.

Southside Virginia Community College in partnership with DRS Imaging Services, LLC in Clarksville held a luncheon event celebrating seven DRS Imaging employees who received a career studies certificate from SVCC.

Within a two-year period, the DRS employees attended classes that covered office software applications; business; career exploration; team concepts; and problem solving for the completion of a Career Studies Certificate in Office Basics. 

"As an owner and Board member of DRS, I was excited to spearhead an incredible partnership between CapEQ (led by Tynesia Boyea-Robinson), the Southside Virginia Community College team and the South Central Workforce Development Board. Working together, we have provided more than 2,500 free college credit hours to DRS employees in Clarksville. We believe impactful initiatives like these not only serve to upskill our employees but are also significantly beneficial to companies by reducing employee churn. Thank you to our incredible partners on a job well done," said Nick Jean-Baptiste, Member of the Board of Directors of DRS Imaging Services, LLC.

Through this program DRS Imaging paid for the tuition and books for each of the courses provided to its employees.  When talking with the graduates they explained that taking these courses were a springboard for a future career or a more advanced degree.  Others stated that they were encouraged to finish what they had started years ago.  For some of the graduates they received the encouragement to attend college for the first time.

“This type of program is what I love about workforce and apprenticeship courses,” said Kristie Morris, Apprenticeship Specialist and Instructor at SVCC.  “We at SVCC are able to offer our students (especially those working full time) courses they need to further educate themselves while fitting the courses into their busy schedules, one class at a time.”

“It was a pleasure working with DRS to upskill their workforce,” states Kelly Arnold, former Southside Virginia Community College, Apprentice Coordinator. “In the digital age it’s essential for employers to understand the value of upskilling and investing in their employees. While there is a small cost to training the workforce, the benefits to developing tech savvy workers creates intrinsic value for the employee and the company.”

Arnold added, “The partnership with Southside Virginia Community College allowed the DRS employees to learn new technologies and to earn career studies certificates. These collaborative efforts pay dividends in employee efficiency, well-being and accomplishments.”

DRS was founded in 1964 and is one of the oldest and largest privately owned document scanning service bureaus in the United States with more than 400 employees and 13 locations across the country.

For more information about other employee and apprenticeship programs offered at SVCC, please contact Kristie Morris, Apprenticeship Specialist at SVCC, kristie.morris@southside.edu.

The three stages of COVID-19

Community Memorial Hospital respiratory therapist shares what she sees

Sandra Pearce, M.S., R.R.T., of Mecklenburg County, has been on the front lines of caring for adult patients with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. She’s been a respiratory therapist at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Va., for 35 years and was recently promoted to respiratory supervisor.

Pearce sees COVID-19 patients from the moment they arrive in the emergency department and throughout their hospital stay. Here, she describes the three stages of COVID-19 she witnesses everyday among her patients, depending on their ability to fight the virus. Please not that not everyone experiences these same symptoms.

Stage 1: Flu-like symptoms

Stage 1 is the early viral response. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Forty-seven percent of people are asymptomatic, which is a major problem for unknowingly spreading the disease,” Sandra said. “It can take anywhere from two to 14 days for symptoms to appear, which explains the need for quarantining after exposure.”

If you experience these symptoms, visit the Virginia Department of Health for a list of COVID-19 testing sites near you. Seek emergency medical care for difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to stay awake, and pale, gray or bluish-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.  

Stage 2: Pneumonia/respiratory symptoms

Stage 2 is when the virus moves into your lungs and causes pneumonia. This is the critical stage where you must watch closely for trouble breathing, chest pain and confusion.

 “When you’re constantly coughing and can’t take deep breaths, your oxygen level can decrease,” Sandra said. “If the oxygen saturation in your blood is not at a satisfactory level, you will be admitted, and we’ll start treatment.”

Respiratory therapists work closely with hospitalists and pulmonologists to treat COVID-19 patients. They will try to increase your flow of oxygen first with non-invasive equipment similar to what some people use at home for sleep apnea. You can also perform breathing exercises and receive anti-virals, steroids and other medications deemed appropriate by your doctor.

“Our pulmonologists, Dr. Shivaram and Dr. Adarkwah, do everything they can to keep patients out of the ICU unless medically necessary,” Sandra said.

In addition to pneumonia and other severe respiratory problems, at this stage you might require emergency care for blood clots. If you can’t walk across the room without getting winded, seek emergency care immediately. The Emergency Department physician will order blood work and other tests to determine the proper treatment for your condition.

Stage 3: Organ failure

Stage 3 is when your lungs go into a hyperinflammatory response, which can lead to sepsis and organ failure.

“This is when we call your family because it may be the last time you’re able to talk to them,” Sandra explains.

If you require a ventilator, a long tube will be inserted into your trachea, in addition to multiple IVs and catheters. Pressure can build up in your lungs, requiring the insertion of a chest tube through your ribcage.

Sandra notes that at the beginning of the pandemic, CDC statistics showed that only one in 10 patients on ventilators survived. Of those who did, many required rehab and home oxygen.

“I’ve cried,” Sandra admitted. “It’s hard to watch when they are close to the end. So, when patients do recover and are discharged, it gives hospital staff a big boost of morale.”

Dealing with the stress

How does Sandra deal with the stress after 18 months of caring for COVID patients?

“I relish my days off,” Sandra said. “I enjoy relaxing at home, cooking and spending time with my family and friends.”

Sandra still orders her groceries for pickup and wears a mask in public indoors. With the positivity rate in the Southside Health District still at 11%, she’s not taking any chances.

The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask and get the vaccine.

“I recommend everyone, with few exceptions, get the vaccine,” Sandra said. “After seeing what I see every day, and the fact it can be prevented, I just wish people would understand.”

Since July 1, 51% of the patients admitted to VCU Health CMH with COVID have been less than 60 years of age. Of those who died from COVID since then, 38% were less than 60.

To find a vaccination location near you, visit www.vaccines.gov or call 1-800-232-0233. You can also text your zip code to 438-829 for a list of vaccination sites near your home. Vaccination is free!

Creating Paths for Opportunity

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

The United States has been called a land of opportunity, a place where all people have the chance to increase their income, improve their circumstances, and pursue happiness. History paints a more complex picture. Socioeconomic studies find that the conditions required to pursue opportunities are unevenly distributed.

Factors such as unequal access to quality education, disparities in family wealth, and insufficiently robust social connections contribute to dissimilar outcomes. Furthermore, living in poverty undermines security and thwarts optimism. A few years ago, researchers at the Census Bureau, Harvard University, and Brown University discovered that the neighborhood in which a child grows up has a significant impact on future earnings, incarceration rates, and other adult outcomes.

Persistent, multigenerational poverty has had an especially devastating effect in minority communities. At the same time, people with higher incomes are able to live in neighborhoods with more resources and accrue socioeconomic advantages. These diverging trends, rooted in resource availability, contribute to an ever-widening gap between segments of society. This in turn disrupts our national unity and hampers our prosperity.

For opportunities to lead to widespread benefits, they need to open doors for everyone. The word itself, opportunity incorporates the word unity, underscoring the need to join hands and work together toward common goals.

With these thoughts in mind, the Virginia Community College System set out to consider the steps needed to attain equitable outcomes. The resulting strategy is called “Opportunity 2027.” Adopted earlier this year, the strategic plan provides a six-year blueprint that will guide Virginia’s community colleges into the future. The action-oriented design provides a detailed roadmap ensuring that “Virginia’s Community Colleges will achieve equity in access, learning outcomes, and success for students from every race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic group.”

The initiative seeks to remove equity gaps among students of color and ALICE students (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), a population that faces chronic financial instability and struggles to meet basic needs. To accomplish this, the plan establishes five target goals. These include communicating the importance of equity in securing Virginia’s future talent pipeline, improving the quality and diversity among community college faculty and staff members, ensuring a culture of care that meets the needs of a diverse student population, matching instruction to what is needed for 21st century careers, and keeping education affordable.

Southside Virginia Community College has already begun taking steps. We are expanding training for in-demand career pathways, pursuing options for granting prior-learning credits, embedding valued stackable credentials into programs, braiding credit and non-credit instruction, and pursuing local options for internships and apprenticeships. In addition, we are working to ensure that we employ faculty, staff, and administrators able to stand as role models and help our students envision themselves in future leadership positions.

My colleague John Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College, summed it up nicely when he said, “Achieving our mission, and recognizing that every citizen of the commonwealth needs the opportunity to succeed will really help us improve the lives not only of individuals, but the communities where they live.”

“Opportunity 2027” establishes objectives and adopts metrics to monitor and document progress so colleges can see exactly how well they are doing in closing equity gaps based on race or ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic condition. At SVCC, we are proud to be in the forefront of this important work.

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.

Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


Bank Sales & Service Representative (Teller): The Sales and Service Representative is responsible for processing transactions and other customer service requests in the branch. Facilitates customer awareness and education of bank capabilities, tools, and resources. Supports the sales efforts of a branch team by identifying and referring sales opportunities to the appropriate bank partner. Job Order 60442658

Jail Officer : DCJS certification preferred but not required. The salary is $38,000 for an uncertified officer. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, pass a background check and drug screening, possess an operator's license valid in the state of Virginia and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Benefits include paid vacation, holidays, health insurance, group life insurance and Virginia Retirement System. Job Order 2501576                                                                    

Grievance Coordinator: Assists inmates/detainees in filing grievances through informal communication procedures. Maintains accurate records of prisoner grievances and any corresponding action pursuant to the grievance. Investigates and recommends response action to management. Ensures full compliance with client agency procedures pertaining to inmate/detainee grievances. Recommends appropriate corrective action when warranted to management. Performs other administrative and investigative duties as assigned. Minimum Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent certification required. Minimum of two (2) years as a Correctional Officer required. College coursework and advanced training in behavioral sciences, correctional services or related field preferred. Must possess a working knowledge of correctional program objectives, applicable court orders and laws as well as have a general understanding of the requirements for managing a secure correctional facility. Demonstration of the abilities needed to write communications, documents, policies, courtroom defenses, contract negotiations, and other required written correspondence is required. Must be mature, flexible, intellectually alert and able to command the respect and confidence of inmates/staff, philosophically committed to the objectives of the facility, and possess a high tolerance to mental stress. Must be able to use computers and the software applications typically used by the facility. Job Order 2494615

Maintenance and Repair Workers, General:  Unloading delivery truck (early morning hours). Pull and rotate stock. Must be able to lift 50 pounds. Responsible for upkeep of the grounds and premises. Will train and may be assigned to other duties per the supervisor. Equal employment opportunities are provided to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected category in accordance to applicable federal, state, or local laws. Job Order 2496935

LPN:  Licensed Practical nurses (LPNs) provide basic medical care. Licensed Practical Nurses must be empathetic and caring toward the people they serve. They work under the direction of the physician, registered nurses and Administrator. Duties of the Licensed Practical Nurse are in part but not limited to: Monitor patients' health, for example, by checking their blood pressure. Administer basic patient care, including changing bandages and inserting catheters. Provide for the basic comfort of patients, such as helping them bathe or dress. Discuss the care they are providing with patients and listen to their concerns. Report patients' status and concerns to registered nurse and doctors. Keep records on patients' health. Duties of LPNs: Experience with Care Plans, they may reinforce teaching done by registered nurses regarding how family members should care for a relative; help to deliver, care for, and feed residents; collect samples for testing, give medication, supervise staff and other duties/tasks as assigned.. Job Order 2496980

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE POSITIONS CONTACT THE

VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION

FREE WORKSHOPS!

  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.

NEXT EMPORIA STORAGE AUCTION SET FOR OCTOBER 30

Attendees encouraged to participate in costume contest

EMPORIA, VA – Emporia Storage has a unit auction scheduled at its three facilities in the city beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 30, 2021. The auction will have a special seasonal twist. Those attending the auction are encouraged to dress in costume. There will be a contest for auction participants with a prize awarded for the best costume.

The auction will begin at Emporia Storage office headquarters at 315 West Atlantic Street, Emporia, VA 23847, then move to the units at 623 South Main Street across from 7-11 and finish up at its third location on East Atlantic Street across from Georgia Pacific. Those attending should adhere to current government guidelines regarding COVID-19 by wearing masks and practicing distancing.

Multiple units will be auctioned. The exact number of units will not be available until the day before the auction. During this cash only sale, the belongings of delinquent storage units are auctioned to the highest bidder to recoup the loss of rental fees.

Gates open at 9 a.m. for registration. Registration is free. The auction begins at 10 a.m. Bidders will be given a few minutes to look at the units once they are opened. In this absolute auction, units will be sold "as is, where is" and contents must be removed by the winning bidder by 6 p.m. that day. A 15% buyers’ premium will apply. Please bring your own masks and locks, as you are responsible for security of your units upon winning the bid. The auction will be conducted by Carla Cash Harris, Emporia, Va., (434) 594-4406, VA License # 2907004352, a member of the Virginia Auctioneers Association. For more information, call Carla or Emporia Storage at (434) 634-2919.

Virginia State Police investigate a single vehicle crash that results in a double fatality in Brunswick County.

On today's date, October 17, 2021, at approximately 9:52 a.m., state police were dispatched to investigate a vehicle fire on southbound Interstate 85 at the 32mm in Brunswick County. Upon arriving at the scene, troopers located a 2015 Nissan Rogue with a New York registration fully engulfed. Preliminary investigations reveal that the Nissan was traveling at a high rate of speed, ran off the roadway and struck a tree. The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to catch fire burning the driver and passenger beyond recognition. No other occupants were located in the vehicle. The bodies have been taken to the Medical Examiner's office in Richmond for positive identification. The investigation remains ongoing.

South Hill man gets life back after cardiac rehab. Twice.

Tim Kallam stands on his favorite piece of equipment, the treadmill, with VCU Health CMH cardiac rehab staff.

South Hill resident Tim Kallam was 49 years old when he had a massive heart attack. A few years later, he experienced a second artery blockage. Both times he completed cardiac rehabilitation at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital (VCU Health CMH) in South Hill. The therapy gave him the confidence to enjoy living his life. Here is Tim’s story.

In 2019, Tim was moving his daughter into her apartment in Roanoke. In the months prior he had experienced chest pain and a tingling sensation in his arm, but he had shrugged it off as being overweight and out of shape. After several trips to the apartment, he went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics resuscitated him, but he lost consciousness again on the way to the hospital.

The widow-maker

Tim was diagnosed as having a 100 percent blockage in his left anterior descending (LAD) artery. This type of heart attack is known as a widow-maker because only 6 percent of people survive an event like that. Doctors placed a stent in the artery, and Tim began his road to recovery.

Back in South Hill, Tim completed 36 sessions of cardiac rehab over three months, going three times a week. At first, he was afraid to do anything the least bit strenuous. Yet each week, his therapists pushed him to work harder. About midway through, Tim felt confident enough to do most anything he wanted.

“This was my testing ground, where I could safely work out under the supervision of the staff while my heart rate and blood pressure were monitored,” Tim explained. “The staff are enthusiastic and supportive. They have a genuine concern for my recovery.”

Not again!

In 2021, Tim again experienced chest pain and tingling in his arm — but this time he knew what it was and sought immediate medical attention. His cardiologist conducted a stress test and ordered imaging. It turned out a second artery was 99 percent blocked. He has collateral vessels that have opened on their own to keep the blood flowing. But back to cardiac rehab he went.

“We have a great facility at VCU Health CMH,” he said. “You don’t have to seek out rehab in a big city. The staff here is outstanding.”

Now Tim takes daily walks. He’s lost about 30 pounds and feels good.

“My wife and I enjoy the outdoors. I hunt rabbits and spend time on the farm with my dogs. We have a son who plays football at Hampden Sydney who is about to graduate from college. We have a daughter who is getting married in a year. I am motivated to stay healthy so I can experience being a grandfather someday.”

Social Security Announces 5.9 Percent Benefit Increase for 2022

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022.  Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021.  (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits).  The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000 from $142,800. 

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount.  Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account.  People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.    

Information about Medicare changes for 2022, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.  For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced.  Final 2022 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated.  To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER ON PROPOSED DOL RULE

~ On U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule to remove barriers to considering environmental, social, governance factors in plan management ~

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule enabling retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their decision-making:

“I am glad that the Employee Benefits Security Administration has moved to reverse one of the Trump Administration’s efforts to ignore the calamitous effects of climate change, including its associated financial risks, by proposing a rule enabling retirement plans to consider Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations in investment decisions. Companies do not operate in a vacuum and investment fiduciaries should have the ability to consider sustainability of the broader community without running afoul of their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders. With the publication of this proposed rule, the Biden Administration has taken a step towards protecting the long-term financial security of pensioners and workers across the country.

“This proposed rule also highlights the continued importance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) effort to establish clear ESG disclosure requirements for publicly traded companies. Investors increasingly clamor for consistent ESG reporting because they understand companies that invest in their workers, minimize harmful environmental impacts, and enact strong worker safety measures, also tend to perform better in the long-run.” 

Under the proposed rule, retirement plan administrators will continue to act in the sole interest of the plan’s participants but will now be able to more freely include ESG factors, including in their initial analysis of investment options. Sen. Warner has previously called on Congress to amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to require consideration of ESG factors as part of fiduciary duty. While this rule does not require consideration of ESG factors by plan managers, it grants critical flexibility to do so.

McEachin Bipartisan Bill to Increase Offshore Drilling Accountability Passes Natural Resources Committee

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) participated in a Natural Resources full committee markup where he helped advance his legislation, the Offshore Accountability Act, to update reporting standards and increase transparency of critical system and equipment failures on offshore drilling facilities.

“Today’s committee markup and passage of the Offshore Accountability Act is an important step toward greater transparency and accountability of the offshore oil and gas industry,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “As we have seen from prior tragedies, like the Santa Barbara and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, offshore drilling accidents can be dangerous, expensive, and life-altering for coastal communities and critical ecosystems. All Americans, especially those in coastal communities, deserve transparency from industries operating in our oceans.”

“My legislation makes commonsense updates to existing reporting standards to ensure appropriate accountability and oversight of offshore drilling facilities,” Rep. McEachin (VA-04) continued. “I thank my colleagues on committee for helping advance this important legislation, and I look forward to its passage in the House.”

H.R. 570, the Offshore Accountability Act, requires offshore drilling facilities to report critical safety system failures directly to the Secretary of the Interior, who would then be mandated to publicly disclose these incident reports.

Watch the Natural Resources full committee markup here. Read the Offshore Accountability Act bill text here.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING DEFENDS INDIAN CHILD WELFARE ACT PROTECTIONS BEFORE THE U.S. SUPREME COURT

~ Herring has filed an amicus brief in support of the United States and four federally recognized tribes in their efforts to uphold critical protections guaranteed under the Indian Child Welfare Act ~

RICHMOND (October 8, 2021) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has filed an amicus brief supporting the United States and four federally recognized tribes in their efforts to uphold critical protections guaranteed under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Attorney General Herring and a bipartisan coalition of 26 attorneys general filed the amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Haaland v. Brackeen and Cherokee Nation v. Brackeen. The brief highlights the states’ compelling interest in standing up for the wellbeing of all children, including Native American children, in state child-custody proceedings.
 
“Since its passage more than 40 years ago, the Indian Child Welfare Act has been a critical tool for protecting Native American tribes and keeping Native American families together, and it has also helped to foster tribal-state collaboration,” said Attorney General Herring. “Every single child deserves to be protected, especially during child-custody proceedings, and it’s crucial that protections like the ICWA remain in place to do just that. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act and maintaining these crucial protections for Native American children and their families.”
 
Congress enacted ICWA in 1978 in response to a serious and pervasive problem: State and private parties were initiating state child-custody proceedings that removed Native American children from the custody of their parents — often without good cause — and placed them in the custody of non-tribal adoptive and foster homes. That practice harmed children and posed an existential threat to the continuity and vitality of tribal communities. To address this, Congress established minimum federal standards governing the removal of Native American children from their families. ICWA’s provisions safeguard the rights of Native American children, parents, and tribes in state child-custody proceedings, and seek to promote the placement of Native American children with members of their extended families or with other tribal homes. In the four decades since Congress enacted ICWA, the statute has become the foundation of state-tribal relations in the realm of child custody and family services. Collectively, the coalition states are home to approximately 86% of federally recognized tribes in the United States.
 
In the amicus brief, the coalition asserts that: 
  • ICWA is a critical tool for protecting Native American families and tribes, and fostering state-tribal collaboration;
  • The court of appeals incorrectly concluded that several of ICWA’s provisions violate the anti-commandeering doctrine; and
  • ICWA’s preferences for the placement of Native American children with other Native American families and foster homes do not violate equal protection.
 Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

CELEBRATING A MILESTONE FOR MY SOCIAL SECURITY

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

We are excited to celebrate a significant milestone for my Social Security: 60 million registrations!  We thank each of you who took the time to create a personal my Social Security account – and encouraged others to do the same.  We keep improving our online services to make doing business with us easier, faster, and more accessible.

If you are receiving benefits, you can use your personal my Social Security account, to:

  • Change your address and direct deposit information.
  • Get proof of your benefits.
  • Request replacement documents, like a Medicare card.

If you aren’t currently receiving benefits, you can:

  • Check your earnings record.
  • Get estimates of your future benefits.
  • View your Social Security Statement.

In most states, you can also request a replacement Social Security card online, although often you only need to know your Social Security number and you do not need the physical card.  See everything you can do with a personal my Social Security account, and open one today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.

Please help us share this information about my Social Security with friends and family.  You can also post it on social media to help us spread the word.  

 

GRANT HELPS SAVE “HISTORIC GEM” IN BRUNSWICK COUNTY, VA

Located in Brunswick County Virginia, Canaan was the plantation home of   The Rev. Edward Dromgoole Sr., a traveling minister of the Revolutionary War and early national periods. This “historic gem” is situated in Valentines, Virginia just off the Christanna Highway (route 46) -- a road that Brunswick County is developing as a tourism corridor. Once restored, this plantation home will be an additional site for visitors to enjoy along this corridor. The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation, as a 501(3) c non-profit organization and the owner of this historic building, has recently been awarded a grant that will help save it from potential collapse.

As proven by dendrochronology, Canaan was built between 1796 and 1799. This home had solidly stood for over 200 years but after Hurricane Michael in the fall of 2018 inundated the county with rain, a dramatic tilt was noticed in its east chimney.  Given that this chimney is timber-tied into the house, if the chimney should fall so will the house.  Local resident and builder, Tom King, completed the necessary emergency structural work to brace the chimney in its tilting position and to pour concrete to unify and support its base.  Although the stress on the bracing and on the west chimney remained evident, the Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation (OBCF), could not do the work needed to permanently stabilize and repair the chimneys and foundation until they could raise the necessary funds.

A solution came in the form of financing from the Emergency Supplemental Historical Preservation Fund (ESHPF).  Administered by the National Park Service, 4.7 million dollars of these funds were awarded to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR). These monies allowed VDHR to offer sub-awards to historic sites located in 52 counties and cities in Virginia that had been negatively impacted by Hurricane Florence and Michael.   The OBDF applied for this grant because-- as board member Ann Keeling said, “It was the type of grant opportunity that was ideally structured for a small non-profit organization like ours”.   Having made an application for the grant, the OBCF recently got the news for which they anxiously awaited:  the National Park Service in partnership with the VDHR had awarded the OBCF an initial grant award amount of $199,605.   For Canaan, this grant will fund the stabilization and repair of its chimneys and foundation as well as the acquisition of a Historic Structure Report and an Engineering Assessment. Both of these planning documents will inform the construction needed.

Canaan is the only surviving home in Virginia of an 18th Century itinerant minister or Methodist “circuit rider”, Rev. Edward Dromgoole, Sr.  Dromgoole was influential in spreading John Wesley's Methodist movement in America. . It was in this home that Dromgoole and his wife, Rebecca Walton Dromgoole, hosted class meetings and worship services.  This house also served as an important hospitality and educational stop for Methodist preachers, notably Francis Asbury, one of the two first Methodist Bishops in America.   Dromgoole died May 13, 1835 and is buried on the property.   Canaan later became the home of his son, Hon. George Coke Dromgoole, who represented his region of Virginia, first in the state legislature for 13 years, then in Congress for 7 years.

 More information about The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation and Canaan can be found at https://vaumc.org/oldbrunswickcircuit.   To support the preservation efforts of the Foundation, tax-deductible donations payable to The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation may be sent to P. O. Box 385, Lawrenceville, VA 23868-0385 (with memo line “to Dromgoole”); or donations can be made via  PayPal@OBCFVA on Facebook.

Photos, top to bottom: Dromgoole House as it appeared when purchased  by the Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation. Braced East Chimney of Dromgoole House. Dromgoole House after being covered in protective covering  (Photo courtesy of Lea Beazley). Sign informing visitors of the grand and the significance of the house.

 

 

 

Monthly Update from Congressman McEachin (October, 2021)

This has been a very busy September. From the start of several district activities to significant legislation in Washington, I wanted to remind my constituents of several important deadlines for the upcoming month:

The deadline for the Congressional App Challenge is fast approaching on November 1st. The Congressional App Challenge is open to students who live or attend school in our Congressional District. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity in designing a useful and interesting computer app. Information about this challenge and applying is available here.

November 1st is also the deadline to submit a nomination for the Fourth District’s Veteran of the Year. As the son of a veteran, I am well aware of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women and their families. Moreover, many veterans, even when retired from the military, continue to serve our communities, making a difference. We need to honor our veterans every day for the sacrifices they have made to keep us safe and free. If you know a veteran you would like to nominate, seeherefor the application.

If you are struggling with an issue with a federal agency, such as missing benefits, a lost tax return, an absent passport or visa or other concerns, my office is here to help. To facilitate serving constituents, we have a program called Mobile McEachin to make it easier for constituents to get an appointment with one of my experienced and knowledgeable constituent service representatives. Our October Mobile McEachin will be virtual and will be on October 13 from 10:30 to 3p. You can sign up for an individual appointment here. We’re here to help!

Each year, I have the opportunity to nominate the very best and brightest high school students for consideration to our nation’s esteemed military academies. 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.

This year, I was pleased to host a joint Service Academy Day with my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, from Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District. We were joined by representatives from the military academies, who provided helpful information about the application and nomination process. If you missed the event and would like more information, you can view it here.

For more information, including how to apply for the nomination process, please visit my website. The deadline to apply is coming up quick – October 29, 2021.

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, where appointments are made during an annual nationwide competition.

Social Security Announces Redesigned Statement -- Now Available with amySocial Security Account

 

Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, today introduced a new look and feel to the Social Security Statement, available online through the my Social Security portal at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and by mail. The Statement is one of the most effective tools people can use to learn about their earnings and future Social Security benefits. This fresh look will allow millions of people to see their earnings information and estimates of future benefits quickly and securely.

“One of my top priorities is to provide information to people in clear and plain terms about Social Security’s programs and services,” said Acting Commissioner Kijakazi. “The streamlined Social Security Statement contains clear messaging and makes it easier to find information at a glance, helping to simplify our complex programs for the public.”

The agency conducted extensive research, review, and testing to make the updated Statement easy to understand. The new Statement is shorter, uses visuals and plain language, and includes fact sheets tailored to a person’s age and earnings history. It also includes important information people have come to expect from the Statement, such as how much a worker and family members could expect to receive in Social Security benefits and a personalized earnings history, in a clear, concise manner. Examples of the new Statement and fact sheets are available at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/statement.html.

More than 61 million people have already created mySocial Securityaccounts.  U.S. citizens age 18 or older can easily view their redesigned Social Security Statement online by creating a my Social Security account. People age 60 or older who do not receive benefits and do not have a my Social Security account will receive their Statement by mail three months before their birthday. Workers should check their Statement at least once a year for accuracy.

People can check information and conduct most Social Security business through their personalmySocial Securityaccount.  If they already receive Social Security benefits, they can start or change direct deposit online, request a replacement SSA-1099, and if they need proof of their benefits, they can print or download a current Benefit Verification Letter from their account.

In addition to obtaining their personalized Social Security Statement, people not yet receiving benefits can use their account to request a replacement Social Security card online if they meet certain requirements. The portal also includes a retirement calculator and links to information about other online services, such as applications for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits.

Many Social Security services are also conveniently available by dialing toll-free, 1‑800‑772‑1213.  People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call Social Security’s TTY number, 1‑800‑325‑0778.

Governor Northam Announces Efficiency Efforts Have Saved Virginians $1 Billion in Energy Costs

Virginia is the second state to achieve this milestone

RICHMOND—Governor Northam today announced Virginia has reached more than $1 billion in energy savings through the Virginia Department of Energy’s Energy Savings Performance Contracting Program. More than 30 states have similar programs, and Virginia is only the second state to accomplish this milestone.

“Achieving this impressive level of energy savings shows that Virginia is ready and poised to be a national leader on clean energy,” said Governor Northam. “Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective ways to meet energy needs. These savings are a huge win for sustainability and reaching our ambitious clean energy goals.”

Virginia Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Performance Contracting Support program was created in 2001. Through the program, state agencies, higher education facilities, and other public bodies enter into a contract with an energy services company to significantly reduce energy costs through one or more conservation or operational measures. The cost of the project must equal the projected savings. The program has helped save $1,011,581,170 in energy costs since it was created.

“Working closely with state agencies, local governments, utilities, and the private sector, Virginia Energy has administered this important program, helping Virginia establish itself as a national leader in the expansion of energy efficiency,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These efforts and others are part of Virginia’s commitment to clean energy, and I commend Virginia Energy and those that worked with the agency for meeting this outstanding goal.”

“This significant milestone shows what we can accomplish when our public bodies work together with our vendor community to achieve common goals,” said Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson. “Through innovative contracting, strategic management and collaboration, we’re able to once again show why Virginia is a leader in business and energy efficiency.” 

Since 2001, Virginia Energy has completed 271 energy efficiency projects: 166 for public bodies, 50 for state agencies, and 55 for higher education systems. The average project value was $3.7 million. Annually, Virginia Energy completes projects totaling an average of $50.5 million. To learn more about the program, click here.

“The General Assembly and Virginia Energy saw the rewards of energy efficiency improvements early—creating an avenue to facilitate those improvements through our agency in 2001,” said Virginia Energy Director John Warren. “Our team has spent many hours visiting localities throughout the Commonwealth to ensure successful projects, and the results speak for themselves. We are excited to see what the results of the next 20-years of work will be as more public bodies realize the benefits of the program.”

This announcement comes on Energy Efficiency Day, designated annually on October 6 and celebrated by a nationwide network of energy efficiency groups and businesses. More than 80,000 Virginians work in the energy efficiency sector in high-skilled, good-paying, clean energy jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Virginia State University Offering Annual Ginger and Turmeric Field Day at Randolph Farm

IN-PERSON WORKSHOP AND FIELD DAY WILL EXPLORE THE MANAGEMENT, PRODUCTION, AND BENEFITS OF GINGER AND TURMERIC

Ginger and Turmeric Field Day: Dr. Razie Rafie and his team of researchers provide information on turmeric & ginger crop production to small farmers in Virginia

PETERSBURG, VA. – Virginia Cooperative Extension is hosting its annual Ginger and Turmeric Workshop and Field Day at Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm on Thursday, October 21, 2021. The event will provide participants with information on how to successfully grow, harvest, pack, and market ginger and turmeric. Experts will present research-based information about the health benefits of ginger. This event is for new and experienced ginger and turmeric growers alike to learn how to better grow and market these crops. 

In 2020, the United States imported 88,000 metric tons of fresh ginger with a total value of $104 million; a 12% increase in imported volume from 2019. Due to its numerous health benefits, the consumption of fresh ginger has increased significantly in the United States.  

At the field day, participants will learn from leading experts about the health benefits of ginger consumption, sustainable production and management of ginger and turmeric, integrated pest management, and how to properly harvest and package these crops.

Presenters include Brian Nelson of Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, VA; Jim Provost of I Love Produce in West Grove, PA; Dr. Reza Rafie, the horticulture Extension specialist at VSU, Dr. Rafat Siddiqui, professor and researcher of food science and food chemistry at VSU, and Dr. Zelalem Mersha, plant and soil science specialist at VSU.

Each presenter will share their knowledge indoors, after which guests will take a trolley to the field for demonstrations.

This workshop and field day will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at VSU’s Randolph Farm Pavilion. Visit the calendar of events at ext.vsu.edu. to register for this event. Pre-registration is required to attend this event and cost $10 per person. Space is limited is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  

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 jharris@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-5964 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 am. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Greensville County Public Schools Announces the Sponsorship of the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program

The same meals will be available at no separate charge to all participants.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

Submit your completed for or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider

Meals will be provided at these facilities:

E. W. Wyatt Middle School (snack)                                     
206 Slagles Lake Road                                                                     
Emporia, VA 23847

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.

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.)

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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