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Spotlight on Jobs by the Virginia Employment Commission


Social Worker: Use your natural gift of education and persuasion to help patients and their families cope with the effects of kidney disease. Life on dialysis can be a difficult transition for many patients-and you'll be there to support and advocate for them. In this vital role, you will help patients understand their rights and responsibilities, and guide them in managing the physical, mental, emotional and financial demands of End Stage Renal Disease.  Job Order 2552812

Food Service Director: The Food Service Director plans, directs and coordinates the activities associated with running a single site, stand-alone food service operation in a facility with only one kitchen and less than 1,000 inmates/beds. This position is in charge of the operational and financial responsibilities for the kitchen and supervises an Assistant Food Service Director and/or a team of Food Service Supervisors and/or Cooks who are involved with the preparation, serving and clean-up of food in a secure correctional facility. What You'll Need: Five years' of management or supervisory experience in a food service environment, ServSafe Certification, Knowledge and experience managing and applying kitchen sanitation and safety standards and methods, Knowledge of basic accounting and mathematical abilities to complete necessary reports High School Diploma or Equivalent, Ability to pass pre-employment (post offer) Company or Facility background check and drug screening. Job Order 2555605   

Skidder Operator:   Local logging company is look for a Skidder Operator to haul wood to loader.  No experience is required and employer will train.  All applicants must be registered in  Once applicants are registered they can then call the employer to set up a time for an interview. Pay will range from $750.00 to $1000.00 a week depending on experience. Job Order 2554808





  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.


2020 Mecklenburg County Traffic Stop Earns Trooper National Recognition

RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police (VSP) is proud to announce the selection of Virginia State Police Trooper Jonathan R. Davis as the recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) 2021 Leadership in Looking Beyond the License Plate Award. Trooper Davis, who is assigned to the Area 22 Office in the VSP Appomattox Division, was recently presented his award by Colonel Gary T. Settle at the VSP Superintendent Awards Ceremony in North Chesterfield County.

“The Virginia State Police is extremely proud of Trooper Davis for being the only law enforcement officer in the nation to be selected for this esteemed recognition,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Trooper Davis’s extraordinary efforts not only disrupted a major credit card theft operation, but also prevented countless, innocent people from being victimized by these suspects. Virginia, and especially Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties, are fortunate to have Trooper Davis on patrol and protecting their communities.”

The IACP award announcement described the investigation as follows: Trooper Davis has pursued a path of valor, service, and leadership. Trooper Davis's traffic stop on a minivan and the legal search of the vehicle ultimately uncovered a credit card theft ring that was operated by two foreign nationals residing in New York. The search of the vehicle yielded the discovery of a large bag containing a credit card skimmer, 14 debit/gift cards, and $140,000 in US currency. Trooper Davis proactively contacted the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine if the agency had any intel or interest in these two individuals. An agent was dispatched to respond to the scene. The DHS agent ran all the cards through a mobile scanning device and determined that seven of the cards had been rewritten with stolen credit card identifications. Trooper Davis also contacted the VSP High-Tech Crimes Division for analysis of cell phones and other electronics seized from the vehicle to bolster his case and assist the federal agents with their investigation. Trooper Davis pursued state charges while a grand jury indicted both individuals on more than six felony charges.

The traffic stop took place April 23, 2020 along the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 near South Hill, Va. The purpose for the traffic stop was initially for a speeding violation of 84 mph in a posted 70 mph zone. Upon his approach of the vehicle, Trooper Davis observed a homemade, paper license plate taped to the upper left hand corner of the rear window. The license plate information and title the driver presented to him did not match nor were valid, which led Trooper Davis to further investigate and uncover the illegal credit card theft and skimming operation.

The IACP Leadership in Looking Beyond the License Plate Award recognizes the dedication and initiative of individual police officers whose daily efforts during traffic stops play a large part in preventing additional, more severe crimes. This award is designed to substantiate and document the importance of license plates as law enforcement tools and recognize officers who use license plates to prevent and detect both civil traffic violations and further criminal conduct.

Trooper Davis, 32, joined the Virginia State Police in July 2018 as a member of the 129th Basic Session Academy Class. He has been assigned to Area 22, which encompasses South Hill and the counties of Mecklenburg and Lunenburg, since graduating from the academy.

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Falls for 17 Months Straight, Lowest in Mid-Atlantic

Unemployment rate drops to 3.6% in October, with employment increases across ten out of eleven major industries

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Virginia’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in October, which is 2.5 percentage points below the rate from one year ago. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to be below the national rate of 4.6 percent.

The Commonwealth’s labor force participation rate rose to 63.0 percent. This rate is above the national rate of 61.6 percent. 

“Virginia’s economy is making great strides, with the lowest unemployment rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said Governor Northam. “The positive trend is the result of careful fiscal management and our extensive work to make Virginia a welcoming and open place. This approach has served Virginia well and continuing it will deliver further economic gains for the Commonwealth.” 

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 19,400 jobs in October. The labor force increased by 5,918 to 4,256,634, as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 7,566 to 154,126. The number of employed residents rose by 13,484 to 4,102,508. In October 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 2.0 percent. 

“The declining unemployment rate and growth across many industries suggest that Virginia’s economy is as dynamic as ever,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “Employers and employees are working together on our economic recovery, and we should all be proud of how far we have come.” 

“The Commonwealth’s job market recovery maintained its momentum through October, another positive sign of what’s to come for Virginia’s post-pandemic economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “With nearly 20,000 jobs added and growth across ten of the eleven major industrial sectors since last year, Virginia’s economy continues its favorable growth trajectory.”

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, ten of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment increases. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 25,200 jobs or 7.6 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 24,500 jobs or 3.2 percent. Government experienced the third-largest over-the-year job gain of 9,700 jobs or 1.4 percent. 

For a greater statistical breakdown, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.

Coming Soon: “The Bank - Inspired by Lucy and Linda”

The Mayor and City Council would like to welcome a new eating establishment to our Downtown area. “The Bank - Inspired by Lucy and Linda” will be located at 401 South Main Street, Emporia Virginia and plans to be open prior to the beginning of 2022. 

The INSPIRED menu will include local favorites such as chicken, pork, seafood, and beef dishes. They will also serve sandwiches, great appetizers, and desserts. INSPIRED will also have a full bar including mixed drinks, wine, and beer.  A children’s menu will also available. Their plans are to be open on Tuesday through Saturday during lunch and dinner hours. 

Clifton and Kimberly Threat are the owners of the new restaurant and Tomaya Turner is part of the management staff.  Mrs. Threat hopes that the restaurant will serve in "bringing family together with some good southern food, one plate at a time."

The City is excited to see the restaurant reopen and bring additional business downtown. Please look out for times and dates to open as well as advertisements for the hiring of people from the food-service industry.

Molly’s Bicycle and Colonial Heights Rotary Help Jackson-Feild

Colonial Heights Rotarians teamed with the staff at Molly’s Bike Shop to help

restore wellness and support the children at Jackson-Feild who are suffering from severe mental illness and emotional trauma.

A bad storm in August caused a tree to fall on the covering under which bikes were stored, destroying several bikes. The bikes were a great source of fun and recreation for residents.

A Rotarian who leaned of this issue donated three bikes and reached out to Louis Sheer owner of Molly’s to service the donated bikes.

Molly’s is a wonderful community partner who lends a helping hand to young and old in the community. Rotary is in international service organization which has helped millions around the world since 1905.

Over the years, the Colonial Heights club has helped the children at Jackson-Feild repeatedly and has conducted countless service projects in the Petersburg- Colonial Heights area since its inception.

Tyler Andrew Barton

July 21, 1987 - November 10, 2021


Thursday November 18, 2021 at 2 PM

Echols Funeral Home
806 Brunswick Avenue
Emporia, Virginia

Tyler Andrew Barton, 34 of Emporia, found his peace on November 10, 2021. Tyler is survived by his adoring wife, Erica, his three beautiful children, Shelby Grace (mother, Sara Mayton), Liam Buck and Korrine Rose. He is also survived by his loving parents, David Barton (Havre de Grace, MD) and Linda Perkins Barton (Danieltown). Tyler had many wonderful friends that share the most amazing memories of his life, including Wil Daniel, Matt Barnes, Bobby Burrus and Terry Burrows. Tyler has an extensive family of grandparents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and a nephew, that he also leaves behind to cherish his memory. Tyler was a devoted father and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his children and giving them the experiences that his parents shared with him growing up. Tyler loved hunting, fishing, and baseball and took pride in creating those memories with his children. Tyler never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. This amazing personality led to his career advancement at Penske Truck Leasing, where he started as a diesel technician at the Chester location and ended up as a Branch Service Manager in Chesapeake. The memorial services to honor Tyler’s life will be held, Thursday November 18, 2021 at 2 PM at Echols Funeral Home in Emporia. In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made to benefit his children’s future.

"It's no Accident"

It's easy for people to say
that they don't like it a bit
yet the trash aside our hyways
is because some threw it.
The scenery is ruined
for tourists traveling through
still they are just as responsible
as the likes of me and you.
We all know when you take a trip
trash is sure to accumulate
yet when we stop for gas or the night
to get rid of would be great.
Yes trash in the ditches and on the road
is not a pretty sight
now wherever you come from or who you are
we all know it's not right.
Now to stop it won't be easy
but it sure is worth a try
but the effort is for everyone
not just you and I!
                         - Roy E. Schepp

Jackson-Feild Re-Accredited by the Council on Accreditation

Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) received a three-year re-accreditation by the Council on Accreditation (COA).  COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, organization that partners with human service organizations to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

Jackson-Feild is pleased to announce that the organization received no out-of-compliance ratings for any standard.  This is an amazing achievement. In its on-site review, the COA inspector noted that JFBHS was the nicest program she had ever visited and was highly impressed with the campus.

Reaccreditation is a noteworthy achievement that recognizes JFBHS as a residential treatment provider that successfully implements high performance standards delivering high quality services to mentally ill children.  

Through objective and reliable verification, accreditation instills confidence and provides credibility to Jackson-Feild’s parents, donors, board members, community partners and stakeholders. 

The accreditation process involves a detailed self-study that analyzes both administrative operations and service delivery practices.  Organizations are measured against national standards of best practice, and examine their operations and practices to ensure they are accessible, appropriate, responsive, evidence-based and outcomes-oriented.  It confirms that services are provided by a skilled and supportive workforce and that children are treated with dignity and respect.  Accreditation is conferred on the entire organization and not just one specific program or service with the intent to inspire confidence, credibility, integrity and achievement.

President and CEO Tricia Delano notes that “This is a noteworthy milestone. An extensive amount of time and hard work went into this process but it is well worth the investment of time, energy and effort. I salute our dedicated staff members who ensured that JFBHS was re-accredited. I want to especially commend Tanyah Jones who coordinated the accreditation efforts.”

Sydney Paige Paul- BA November 2021 Student of the Month

Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce that Sydney Paige Paul has been selected as the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month for November 2021. Sydney, a senior, is the daughter of John and Tonya Paul (‘91) of Emporia. Her brother, Jonathan, graduated from Brunswick Academy in 2019. She is the granddaughter of Wanda Proctor of Emporia and Ronald and Virginia Paul of Henrico, NC.

Sydney is in the Brunswick Academy Honors Program and is taking dual enrollment courses through Southside Virginia Community College as well as Liberty University. She has been named to the All-A Honor Roll each year during her time at the academy. Regarding academics, Sydney is a member of the National Honor Society, the Student Council Organization (3 years), and the Latin Club (5 years), and has served on the Honor Council (2 years). In 2019, she was selected for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar. Her academic accomplishments earned her the honor of serving as a Junior Marshalduring the 2021 Commencement Exercises.

Throughout her years at Brunswick Academy, Sydney has participated in athletics at the junior varsity and varsity levels. She has played volleyball since the 7th grade and basketball and softball since the 6th grade. She served as captain of the volleyball team her junior and senior years and was recently awarded VCC All-Academic, 2nd team All-Conference and All-Tournament. In basketball, she has received the Coaches and Most-Improved awards and was named VCC 2nd team All-Conference her sophomore year. Sydney was MVP for the varsity softball team her freshman, sophomore and junior years while also earning VCC 1st team All-Conference and 1st team All-State her freshman year. In May 2021, she was named VISAA’s All-State Division III Softball Player of the Year. She enjoys all athletic competitions and appreciates the opportunity to represent her school.

Outside of school, Sydney is a member of Main Street United Methodist Church in Emporia, where she has served as a scripture reader since the 3rd grade. She is also a member of Main Street’s Youth Group and has participated in 3 week-long mission trips where the group has traveled to different states to perform a variety of tasks including home repairs for the elderly, serving food to the needy as well as assisting with the renovations of a camp cabin on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Sydney has played travel softball for 9years and is currently a member of the Hanover Hornets organization. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and playing the piano.

Sydney is in the process of applying to college and is interested in studying Chemistry. Please join us in congratulating Sydney on this achievement! #SOM  #VikingProud

Meet the new dentist at CMH Family Dental Services

Abdallah A. S. Al-Oweidi, D.D.S., known as “Dr. A,” among his colleagues and patients, recently joined CMH Family Dental Services in South Hill.

Sometimes you can just tell when physicians really care about their patients. Dr. Abdallah A. S. Al-Oweidi, D.D.S., is one of those physicians. Known as “Dr. A.” among his colleagues and patients, Al-Oweidi comes to CMH Family Dental Services from private practice in Richmond.

Meet Dr. A. at our next virtual Community Out-Reach Education program on December 1, 2021, at noon via Zoom. Learn how to avoid gum disease, dentures and root canals. Visit for the link.

“I love to help people any way I can,” said Dr. A. “People feel more confident when they have a good smile. I want to be involved and have a positive impact on my patients’ overall health — not just their dental concerns.”

Dr. A. has several family members who are physicians, so dentistry was a natural career choice for him. He earned his doctor of dental surgery from the University of Jordan in Amman as well as VCU School of Dentistry. He completed an internship at the Ministry of Health in Amman and spent a month at an externship performing simple surgical extractions at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Dr. A. is an Invisalign-certified provider. He is a member of the American Dental Association, Virginia Dental Association and Richmond Dental Society. He is fluent in English and Arabic.

Dr. A. has an uncle who is an oncologist, and cancer has reared its ugly head in his family, so he took a year to study cancer biology and therapeutics in Boston and conduct stem cell research in Chicago. First-time patients will notice the in-depth health history he takes that covers the whole body, not just dental health.

“My education focused on comprehensive care for patients and took a holistic approach,” he explained. “As a dentist, I need to know if my patients have had chemo because other complications can occur.”

Dr. A. understands the financial burden patients face in this area. He wants to make sure patients don’t have to choose between medical bills and food. CMH Dental Services accepts Medicaid and families with no ability to pay who have been approved for CMH Financial Assistance. The practice is supported by a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation.

“I walk the extra mile to empower my patients to ensure they have the health knowledge, experience and education to live a comfortable life,” he said.

When Dr. A. is not working, he enjoys climbing, cycling and Crossfit. He enjoyed volunteering with Rotaract Clubs overseas, which are Rotary-affiliated organizations for students and young adults. There he served elderly and underprivileged communities with financial and food-related support.

Dr. A. is located in the C.A.R.E. Building at 1755 N. Mecklenburg Avenue in South Hill. Make an appointment today by calling (434) 584-5590 or visit for more information.

McEachin Highlights Impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package for Virginia

“The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act Will Revitalize the Commonwealth’s Infrastructure”

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) highlighted key provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package, and their impacts for Virginia.

“I was proud to help pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package to deliver historic investments to the Commonwealth and improve the lives of Virginians,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “The legislation will provide our great state with crucial funding to rebuild our roads, bridges, and highways, bolster our public transit system, improve our water infrastructure, and expand access to broadband internet for communities that are currently lacking it. The package includes important provisions for superfund remediation and lead-based paint and pipe replacements to ensure all Virginians can breathe clean air and drink clean water. Finally, it takes important steps in developing the necessary infrastructure to support the transition to electric vehicles and clean-energy alternatives. I am confident the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package will save Virginians time and money, create thousands of new jobs, and make a meaningful difference for the Commonwealth.”

Over the next five years, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide Virginia with:

  • $7 billion to repair and rebuild our roads and bridges through federal-aid highway apportioned programs.
  • $537 million to repair and replace bridges that are in poor condition.
  • $1.2 billion to improve public transportation options, like our passenger rails, throughout the state.
  •  $106 million to support the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations across the Commonwealth.
  • $100 million to help provide broadband coverage to all Virginians, including the 473,000 who currently lack it.
    • 1,908,000 Virginians (23% of the population) will be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
  • $15 million to protect against wildfires and make our infrastructure more climate resilient.
  • $21 million to protect against cyberattacks and ensure our state’s continued security.
  • $738 million to improve water infrastructure, including wastewater management and lead pipe remediation to ensure clean, safe drinking water for all Virginians.
  • $386 million to improve our airports and develop new airport infrastructure.
  • $238 million to support the Chesapeake Bay Program to restore and preserve the Chesapeake Bay.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the House with bipartisan support (228-206) on November 5th and was sent to President Biden’s desk for signature.

Read more about its impacts for Virginia here.

Governor Northam Dedicates Virginia’s 26th State Forest

New state forest is Charlotte County’s first publicly accessible land

CHARLOTTE COUNTY—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the dedication of the Charlotte State Forest, opening the first publicly-accessible state land in Charlotte County. The 5,004 acre state forest is Virginia’s 26th state forest in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Department of Forestry will sustainably manage the forest under Sustainable Forestry Initiative and American Tree Farm Standards, conserving key habitat areas and providing new public access to outdoor recreation activities.
“Virginia’s state forests are critical to preserving environmental sustainability and a strong economy across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Charlotte State Forest will conserve wildlife habitats, enhance water quality, provide recreational opportunities for the public and support local economies. We look forward to enjoying this new outdoor asset.”
The forest was owned by Governor Thomas B. Stanley, who served from 1954 to 1958, and the Stanley Land and Lumber Corporation prior to The Conservation Fund’s purchase in 2019. It was used to provide shortleaf and Virginia pine, as well as white oak and hickory, to local mills for furniture.
Virginia’s forests contribute $21 billion annually to the economy and employ more than 108,000 workers. Charlotte County is located within the state’s highest timber producing region. The river, stream and wetland resources on these forests drain into Kerr Lake, which provides drinking water to nearly 500,000 residents in Virginia and North Carolina. 
“As Virginia’s third largest industry, forestry plays an essential role in Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “Close collaboration between the Virginia Department of Forestry, The Conservation Fund, the Stanley family, and other public and private partners made this important acquisition possible and will ensure that it is sustainably managed for current and future generations.” 
“This property is a very special place. Its legacy of sustainable management for both timber and wildlife habitat, combined with its important water resources have made it an important location here in Charlotte County,” said State Forester Rob Farrell. “Today we celebrate the future of Charlotte State Forest, its continued sustainability, its contribution to Virginia’s economy, and its importance to the many individuals and families who will have the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities here.”
“Ensuring the integrity of large forested landscapes and keeping them in sustainable management is one of the most important conservation strategies today,” said The Conservation Fund Virginia State Director Heather Richards. “By continuing the legacy of three generations of the Stanley family and the Stanley Land and Lumber Corporation and creating Virginia’s newest State Forest, we are safeguarding the forest’s ability to provide vital climate, economic and ecological benefits for generations to come. We are grateful to our partners in the Commonwealth and the U.S. Forest Service, support from Virginia’s U.S. Congressional delegation, and funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Together, we made this wonderful outcome possible.”
To acquire the forestland from The Conservation Fund, the Virginia Department of Forestry leveraged federal, state and private funding through the USDA Forest Legacy Program, the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, agency mitigation funds, and additional Land and Water Conservation Fund Stateside grant funding.
“The United States Forest Service is pleased to support and partner with the Virginia Department of Forestry to protect this important and historic working forest that will provide wildlife habitat, abundant recreational opportunities, and timber resources through ongoing sustainable management,” said Southern Regional Forester Ken Arney. “Forest Legacy projects can take several years to accomplish and require a high degree of commitment from partners and landowners. We applaud the amount of work that went into making this happen.”

Virginia State Police Investigate Saturday Crash that Resulted in Double Fatality in Greensville County

Greensville County, VA: -  On November 6, 2021 at approximately 11:59 a.m., the state police was called to investigate a motor vehicle crash, southbound Low Ground Road, south of Chambliss Road. 

Upon arriving at the scene troopers located the vehicle and found both the driver and passenger to be deceased as a result of the crash. 

Preliminary investigation reveal that the driver of a 1985 GMC C10 pickup truck, Gregory Taylor, was traveling southbound on Low Ground Road when he ran off to the right side of the roadway, overcorrected, ran off the left side of the roadway, struck an embankment causing the vehicle to roll over and land against several trees.

Seat belts were worn for both occupants, and alcohol was not a contributing factor in the crash. Identification and notification was made to family members.

Driver - Gregory Lorwell Taylor, 51 years of age, of the 300 block of Jones Mill Road, Emporia.

Passenger - Tyrone Kindred, 68 years of age, of the 400 block of Brunswick Avenue, Emporia, Virginia.


McEachin, Davis Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Increased Prescription Drug Costs

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) introduced the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act to protect patients from increased out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

The bipartisan bill builds on previous efforts to lower out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for patients by prohibiting the use of copay accumulator programs, ensuring insurers cannot exclude the value of pharmaceutical manufacturer cost-sharing assistance from counting toward an enrollee’s annual cost-sharing limit.

“Access to life-saving prescription drug medications should not be complicated by undue financial barriers,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “As Americans continue navigating the coronavirus pandemic, we must take steps to protect them from undue out-of-pocket expenses. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation, alongside Congressman Davis, to protect patients who rely on copay assistance.”

“Making prescription drugs more affordable for everyone is one of my top priorities and a bipartisan goal shared by Congress,” said Rep. Davis (IL-13). “Especially with the costs of goods and services on the rise, patients shouldn’t have to face complicated financial barriers when purchasing prescription drugs. Every dollar saved counts. That’s why I’m proud to join Congressman McEachin in introducing this bipartisan legislation so we can provide financial relief to patients and promote their health at the same time.”

Historically, when a patient has utilized cost-sharing assistance at the pharmacy counter, the amount has counted towards a patient’s deductible and maximum out-of-pocket limit, thereby lowering patient’s overall out-of-pocket spending. In June 2020, former Trump Administration HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar, II finalized the 2021 NBPP rule, reversing that policy and allowing health insurers to adopt “copay accumulator adjustment programs.” These programs permit issuers to exclude cost-sharing assistance towards a patient’s OOP maximum, making it difficult for patients to afford their medicines. Moreover, allowing copay accumulator programs also impedes patient access to treatment amid an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis.

“The National Hemophilia Foundation thanks Congressman McEachin and Congressman Davis for introducing the HELP Copays Act,” said Dr. Leonard A. Valentino, President/CEO, the National Hemophilia Foundation. “This critical bipartisan legislation will prevent health plans from implementing programs that are creating significant treatment access barriers. Considering the ongoing challenges that COVID-19 poses for many, this is an especially positive step in protecting patients with any sort of pre-existing, complex, or chronic health conditions.”

“Patients with HIV, hepatitis, and other chronic illness are struggling to afford their medicines as health care costs continue to rise. The bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives McEachin and Davis will provide relief to many individuals who are facing the tough choice of paying for necessities like rent and groceries and filling a prescription for a life-saving medication,” said Rachel Klein, Deputy Executive Director, The AIDS Institute. “We urge Congress to take swift action to protect patients, ensuring that patients living with serious, complex chronic illness can get the health care they need.”

“Copay accumulator programs from insurance companies disproportionately affect those who are the sickest among us. Ensuring that copay assistance is counted toward the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum will ensure that patients receive financial relief immediately, and protecting essential health benefits ensures that individuals living with autoimmune disease and other chronic diseases aren’t treated differently just because they live with a chronic disease,” said Molly Murray, President & CEO, Autoimmune Association. “On behalf of the millions of patients living with autoimmune disease, we applaud this bipartisan bill that addresses out-of-pocket costs and protects essential health benefits for patients during a time that financial security and health is paramount.”

Reps. McEachin and Davis have continuously advocated for patients and have been outspoken critics of copay accumulator programs. Earlier this year, they sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reverse the copay accumulator policy change included in the 2021 NBPP. Last Congress, Reps. McEachin, Davis, and Wattson Coleman introduced the Preserving Patient Savings on Drug Costs Act to take immediate action on the NBPP rule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Help Ensure Lower Patient (HELP) Copays Act bill text and fact sheet.

Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Team reaches $50,000 milestone

Organization supports cancer care

Sue Williams, Suzie Goertemiller, Teresa Collins, Sandy Burch, Fran Steiert

The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Team is a long-time supporter of VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital. They’ve been donating to the Cancer Care Fund for many years and most recently donated $1,000, bringing their lifetime donations to $50,000.

“The Ladies of the Lake have met the CMH Foundation’s Cornerstone Gold level,” Interim Director of Development Brenda Palmore said. “This is an amazing accomplishment. We are so grateful for their continued support.”

The Ladies of the Lake is a service organization that benefits cancer patients in the five counties surrounding Lake Gaston in Virginia and North Carolina.

One member, Suzie Goertemiller, has a sister in Utah undergoing cancer treatment. She understands how travel costs can add up for cancer patients. Because she can’t be there in Utah to help her sister, she donates money to help those like her sister who are dealing with the disease. Ladies of the Lake funding helps cover travel expenses for patients visiting the Hendrick Cancer Center or Solari Radiation Therapy Center for daily chemotherapy and/or radiation services.

The oncology team thoroughly evaluates each patient request to determine exactly what assistance is needed and decide if the Cancer Care Fund is an appropriate resource.

“Support for the Cancer Care Fund can give these patients monetary support, and also give them peace of mind, knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment,” Radiation and Medical Oncology Director Teresa Collins explained.

The Ladies of the Lake is gearing up for its Holiday Homes Tour, which returns this year on the first Saturday of December. Tickets will be available at the South Hill Chamber of Commerce.


On today's date (Oct. 26), the Virginia State Police investigated a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian, which resulted in a fatality. The crash occurred at approximately 5:51 a.m., on Route 1, south of Route 46 in the county of Brunswick. 

Carlton Stith, 61 YOA, was traveling southbound on Route 1, in a 2019 Chevrolet pickup truck when he observed his brother, Jerry Stith walking on the shoulder of the roadway. Carlton Stith placed the vehicle in reverse, in an attempt to back up to his brother, and give him a ride. Upon reversing, Carlton Stith ran over his brother. Jerry Van Stith, 63 YOA, of Lawrenceville, was pronounced deceased at the scene. Carlton Stith was subsequently charged with improper backing.

Notification has been made to family members.

McEachin Announces Winners of the VA-04 Photo Competition

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) announced the winners of the annual VA-04 Photo Competition. Heath Covey, City of Chesapeake, took 1st Place with his “Great Bridge Sunrise" submission.

Heath Covey, City of Chesapeake, “Great Bridge Sunrise

“I am thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 VA-04 Photo Competition,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “Each year, I am so impressed by the creativity and skill of our contestants, and I thank you for your participation. Congratulations to our winner, runner ups, and all of the participants in this year’s competition. Your photos were incredible and truly captured the beauty of Virginia’s Fourth.”  

Rep. McEachin also announced the following runner ups:

The VA-04 Photography Contest challenges constituents to submit photographs of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District. The competition is open to all residents of the district, regardless of age, and the winner’s photograph will be displayed in Rep. McEachin’s congressional offices and on his social media platforms.

View the winning photos featured on the Congressman’s website here. View all of the submissions for the 2021 VA-04 Photo Competition here.


New acquisition comes just months after announcement of high-capacity sawmill in Weldon, N.C.

Springfield, Ore. – Just months after the announcement of a state-of-the-art lumber mill in Weldon, N.C., Roseburg Forest Products has purchased an additional 30,000 acres of timberland in Halifax County, N.C., and southeast Virginia. The well-managed loblolly pine plantations are in addition to the 158,000 acres of timberland that Roseburg owns in the Roanoke Valley area, making it the largest private timberland owner in the region.

“This expansion is just another example of our commitment to the Weldon community and investment in the surrounding Halifax County area,” Roseburg Senior Vice President of Resources Scott Folk said. “The addition of these high-quality properties to our existing Roanoke Tree Farm allows us to add more scale and operational efficiency to our southeastern timber operations.”  

In addition to this latest acquisition, Roseburg expects to break ground on Roanoke Valley Lumber in the first quarter of 2022, with startup scheduled for later in the year. The new 375,000-square-foot facility located on approximately 200 acres of land in Weldon will bring 137 jobs to the area over the next two years. The sawmill will be capable of producing as many as 400 million board feet of dimensional lumber per year, making it one of the highest-capacity mills on the East Coast.

For more information about the progress of the project, as well as upcoming hiring opportunities, please visit the Roanoke Valley Lumber website.

Vulcan Materials donates pizza for front-line hospital workers on the night shift

Vice President of Professional Services Todd Howell, Vice President of Patient Care Services Mary T. Hardin and Chief Medical Officer Ikenna C. Ibe thank Vulcan Materials for showing such generosity to the night shift.

Despite reports of overall decreases in COVID cases statewide, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Hospitals are full, health care workers are exhausted, and people are still refusing to be vaccinated, causing unnecessary deaths. One local business hasn’t forgotten the need for morale boosting.

Vulcan Materials in South Hill recently had 17 pizzas delivered to front-line night shift workers at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital.  

Vice President of Patient Care Services Mary T. Hardin, said, “Thank you – they were enjoyed by many!”

“It is a very small gesture for what you all are going through,” Brandy Clary with Vulcan Materials in South Hill said. “Thanks to everyone for the hard work and relentlessness through these very tough times.”

McEachin Votes to Pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) voted to pass H.R. 3110, the bipartisan, bicameral Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act to expand workplace protections for breastfeeding mothers. This bill updates and improves the 2010 break time for nursing mothers’ provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act to provide reasonable break time to pump for one year after a child’s birth and ensure proper accommodations for mothers to pump.

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act would protect millions of employees inadvertently left out of existing legislation by extending protections to cover salaried employees, such as teachers, nurses, and farmworkers. It also clarifies paid versus unpaid pumping time to protect salaried workers from having their pay docked. Finally, it ensures that nursing mothers have avenues of legal recourse under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“I was proud to help pass this crucial legislation to provide additional workplace protections for mothers,” said Rep. McEachin (VA-04). “All working mothers who want to breast feed should have reasonable accommodations to do so. Too often mothers feel forced to choose between nursing and returning to work successfully.  No mother should have to make the untenable choice between earning a living or feeding their child. The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act is an important step in protecting the rights of working mothers, and I urge the Senate to take up this bipartisan legislation without delay.”

The PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act is supported by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), National Retail Federation, National Education Association, NARAL Pro-Choice America, HR Policy Association, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, A Better Balance, and UC Hastings Center for Work Life Law.

Read H.R. 3110, the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act bill text here.

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.8 Percent in September

Unemployment rate has dropped every single month for 16 straight months

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam announced today that Virginia’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in September, 2.8 percentage points below the rate from one year ago. Virginia unemployment continues to stay below the national rate of 4.8 percent.

In September, the private sector recorded an over-the-year gain of 69,300 jobs and the public sector gained 3,700 jobs, totaling 73,000 new jobs.

“September marks the sixteenth consecutive month Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped,” said Governor Northam. “People are working, businesses are hiring, and that’s all good news. This consistent progress shows the strength of Virginia’s economy, and we need to keep this momentum going.”

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2,700 jobs over-the-month. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 8,606 to 159,786. The number of employed residents rose by 4,747 to 4,084,410. In September 2021, Virginia saw over-the-year job gains of 1.8 percent.

“Even with an unemployment rate well below the national average, our administration remains committed to helping those Virginians who are still searching for work,” said Secretary of Labor Megan Healy. “We will continue to work with our workforce development partners to ensure that all Virginians have access to the resources and skills they will need to find a high-quality career in this new job market.”

“Since this time last year, employment in Virginia has increased by more than 70,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has dropped by 2.8 percentage points,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These numbers are just a few of the latest encouraging signs for the Commonwealth’s economy in a post-pandemic world, and we are optimistic that job growth will continue in the months ahead.”

Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, nine of eleven major industry divisions experienced employment gains. The largest over-the-year job gain occurred in professional and business services, up 23,800 jobs or 3.1 percent. The next largest over-the-year job gain occurred in leisure and hospitality, up 19,300 jobs or 5.9 percent. Trade, transportation, and utilities experienced the third largest over-the-year job gain of 10,500 jobs or 1.6 percent.

For more details, visit the Virginia Employment Commission’s website.

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 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!

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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