June 2014

  1. Lawrenceville VFD Cornhole Tournament Winners

    The Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Department hosted a Cornhole Tournament Fundraiser on Saturday.  1st Place was won by the G&G Boys – Ryan and Tony Gittman and the Runners-up were the Harrell Boys – Keith and David Harrell.

    G&G Boys – Ryan and Tony Gittman

    Harrell Boys – Keith and David Harrell

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    Tuesday, July 1, 2014                  Monday, June 30, 2014

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014              Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Thursday, July 3, 2014                 Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Friday, July 4, 2014                      Thursday, July 3, 2014








  3. Animals Unlimited Visits Richardson Memorial Library

    Animals Unlimited visited both the Brunswick County Library and Richardson Memorial Library on Thursday as part of the Paws to Read Summer Reading Program.  A god variety of animals visited the crowd; including a Capuchin Monkey, from South America, a Ringtail Lemur, from Madagascar, and Bearded Dragon, native to Australia.  Also present were a duck, a rabbit, a snake and a hedgehog.  

    We learned where each animal was from, what they ate and how they lived.  Victor, the Capuchin Monkey stole the show from the very beginning, though, while the Bearded Dragon (named because he scares predators away by puffing up his neck)  was the most eager to be photographed.

    The Reading program is simple:

    Read...as many Children's books or Chapter books as you can this summer and record them on your reading log.

    Explore...all that your library has to offer - Books, Movies, Magazines, Music, Audio Books and more.

    Attend...FREE library performances! Arrive early, seating is limited by the size of the building.  To avoid distractions, latecomers may not be admitted.  Children disrupting others may be asked to leave.

    Dream...of all the places you can go and the adventures you can take when you READ!

    Excel...improve your reading skills by completing the challenge of reading Children's Books or Chapter Books this Summer!

    Remember...to turn in your reading log at the last program, or before, to be eligible for a certificate and Grand Prizes.

    Smile...enjoy your time at the Library! Photos will be taken during events and at other times.

    Upcoming programs include: 

    Cynthia Gregg from the Virginia Cooperative Extension will be at both Libraries on Thursday, July 3, to share fun facts about wildlife. (Brunswick County Library at 10:30; Richardson Memorial Library at 2:00)

    Sundae Puppets, featuring folktales, live music, storytelling and audience participation. will be at both Libraries on Thursday, July 10  This is a great show for ALL AGES!  (Brunswick County Library at 10:30; Richardson Memorial Library at 2:00)

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    Junior Law Cadets Graduate Friday from State Police Academy

    RICHMOND – High school students from across the Commonwealth today became the newest graduates of the Junior Law Cadet program, which is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Police and The American Legion. The 39 teenagers were presented their graduation certificates at the Virginia State Police Academy in Chesterfield County during Friday afternoon’s ceremony.

    The 25th Annual Junior Law Cadet program is a weeklong training curriculum for high school students who have completed their junior year. Cadets experience a life similar to a trooper-in-training, complete with daily room inspections and instruction by state police troopers on Department operations, crime scene investigations, officer survival, undercover operations, driver improvement, scuba training, defensive tactics and firearms safety.

    As part of their training, the cadets also undergo a variety of physical agility exercises used in the Virginia State Police applicant testing process.

    “The daily instruction and exercises give the young men and women a glimpse into the life and training a Virginia State trooper undergoes,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Superintendent of the Virginia State Police. “It’s a valuable experience, especially for teenagers who have an interest in pursuing law enforcement as a career. More importantly, the Junior Law Cadet program is one of the best ways for our Department to make contact and build positive relationships with today’s young people.”

    The American Legion selects and sponsors the students to represent the organization’s Virginia districts. Attached is a list of all participating students and their hometowns.

    Cadet Ihsanullah Lodin of Alexandria, Va., was selected for the Jessica J. Cheney Spirit Award. The annual award is presented in memory of Trooper Jessica J. Cheney who was the first cadet to graduate from the program and go on to become a trooper. Trooper Cheney died of injuries suffered Jan. 17, 1998, after being struck by a vehicle as she directed traffic at a crash scene on Route 1, north of Fredericksburg. The award is presented to the cadet who demonstrates the same motivation, drive and enthusiasm that Trooper Cheney displayed as a cadet.



  5. Obituary-Pattie Warren Wood Tillar

    Pattie Warren Wood Tillar, 70, of Emporia, Va, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her husband and daughters, on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, after a courageous struggle with Alzheimer's disease and Lewy Body Dementia. 

    Born on July 13, 1943, in Richmond, Va, she was predeceased by her parents, Edward Massenburg and Jessie Watkins Wood.  Pattie was a devoted wife and mother, always putting her family first.  She is survived by her loving husband of almost 50 years, Dr. William Thomas Tillar, III; and daughters, Anne Warren Tillar, and Julia Leavelle Tillar; grandchildren, Alexander Thomas Younger, Meredith Claire Younger and Christian Timothy Younger, of Waxhaw, NC, and brother, Edward Massenburg Wood (Carolyn), of York, SC. She is also survived by brothers-in-law, Donaldson Preston Tillar (Hazel), of Williamsburg, VA, and David Billingsley Tillar (Ames), of Emporia, VA, and several nieces and nephews. 

    Pattie graduated from Greensville County High School in Emporia in 1961 and Westhampton College in Richmond in 1965, earning a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She married her high school sweetheart, Bill, on August 15, 1964. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Emporia. She began her career in Franklin, Va, as a first grade teacher. After returning to Emporia, Pattie was active the Junior Woman's Club and the Presbyterian Women of the Church. She worked part-time at the old library and was instrumental in the formation of the Richardson Memorial Library.  She went on to become librarian at Brunswick Academy, retiring after 28 years.  Pattie was a voracious reader and loved reading stories to children, especially her grandchildren, whom she always had books on hand to give to them. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday, June 27, 2014 at Echols Funeral Home.

    A celebration of life will be held Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Emporia, with graveside services immediately following at Emporia Cemetery. There will be a reception at the church following the burial. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Brunswick Academy, 2100 Planters Rd, Lawrenceville, Va, 23847, or the Lewy Body Dementia Association, 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047. The family would like to thank Hospice of Virginia for their outstanding care over the last few months, and would also like to thank her caregivers, Hattie Lee, Delphine Hall, and Teri Vaughan.

    Condolonsces may be sent toecholsfuneralhome.com.

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  6. SVCC Instructors Receive 2013-2014 Virginia Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Award

    Southside Virginia Community College instructors, Clint Johnson (left) and Ronnie Cole (right), received the 2013-2014 Virginia Career and Technical Education Creating Excellence Award for CTE Postsecondary Programs on June 12 during a luncheon held at the Richmond Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.  Johnson and Cole received the award for their work done on the "Integrated Robohand Project".  The instructors winning nomination was determined by a competitive review conducted by recognized CTE professionals from business, industry and education.

    The "Integrated Robohand Project" was a collaboration between SVCC's High Performance Technology and Industrial Design and Development programs. The groups completed a real-world design to provide a prosthetic hand for instructor Ronnie Cole's daughter, Abby, who was born without fingers on her left hand.  Dual-enrollment students from Halifax County High School were eager to create the prosthetic hand for Abby.  Employing mathematics, teamwork, design, and production, and applying STEM concepts, the students imagined, designed, redesigned, refined, and made the functional prosthetic hand using the MakerBot 3D printer.

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  7. Virginia Participating in Operation Dry Water to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Boating Under the Influence

    Richmond, VA – The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) will be participating in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI) and reduce the number of accidents and deaths related to alcohol use on our waterways.

    Operation Dry Water weekend, June 27-­29, is the national weekend of heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. VDGIF will be reaching out as part of the yearlong Operation Dry Water campaign to inform and educate boaters about the dangers and effects of boating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreation boater deaths in the United States. By participating in Operation Dry Water, VDGIF is helping to keep recreational boaters safe and working toward reducing the number of accidents and deaths on the water.

    "Our agency wants to encourage boaters to enjoy the upcoming recreational season in a safe and responsible way,” says Colonel Ron Henry, Chief of Law Enforcement for the Virginia Conservation Police. “Drinking alcohol and operating a boat can have deadly consequences and is never a good idea.  Our goal is to make sure everyone enjoys their time on the water in the safest manner possible.”

    In Virginia, boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level exceeds the state limit of [.08] can be arrested for BUI and face serious penalties upon conviction including, a fine of up to $2500 and incarceration for a period up to 12 months.  Additionally, the operator may lose his privilege to operate a boat for one year on a first offense and up to three years for any subsequent offense. VDGIF supports the Operation Dry Water message, which encourages boaters to never boat under the influence and enjoy their time on the water responsibly.

    Operation Dry Water is a joint program of the VDGIF the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other state agencies. For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit: http://www.operationdrywater.org/.


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  8. Barnes-Spengeman wedding announcement

    Mr. and Mrs. Donald Franklin Spengeman of Franklin, Virginia are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Sara Marie, to Edward Collins Barnes III, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Collins Barnes Jr. of Smithfield, Virginia.
    Sara is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Skeen of Rosedale, Virginia, and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Spengeman of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Edward is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Collins Barnes Sr. and Mrs. Carolyn Fajna and the late Mr. John L Fajna Sr., all of Emporia, Virginia.
    Sara is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Nursing.  She is employed at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk.
    Edward is a graduate of James Madison University.  He is a member of the Virginia Air National Guard and is employed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.
    The couple will exchange wedding vows on September 20th in Franklin.

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  9. Obituary-Doris Rawls Miller

    Mrs. Doris Rawls Miller, age 86, died June 22, 2014.  She was born Sept. 21, 1927 in Southampton County. Mrs. Miller was a former Director of the Community Action Program in Danbury, Conn. , she was also  a long time member of Persons United Methodist Church.   Mrs.Miller was married January 13, 1946 to John Gaines Miller, III in Galena, Illinois. She was predeceased by her parents, Charles Person and Hattie Grizzard Rawls, 2-sons John Gaines Miller, IV and Charles Russell Miller, 1-daughter Sharon Leigh Miller and brother Charles Person Rawls, Jr.  She is survived by her husband John Gaines Miller, III, son Dwane Henry Miller and wife Dee B. Miller, brother Melvin Lee Rawls, sister Connie Temperance Rawls, Daughter-in-law Karen Fitzsimmons Miller, grandchildren ; Jennifer  O’Neill Howard and husband Sloan Howard  ,  Erica Trout and husband Joe Trout, Russell F. Miller, Laura M. Ross and husband Jason Ross, and Eleanor M. Robertson and husband Tim Robertson.; Great-grandchildren; Cierra Howard, Chayne Howard,  Nathan Trout, Natalie Trout, Gracyn Ross, Coral Ross, Gabriella (Bella) Robertson, and Burkley Robertson.

    Visitation will be held 11:00 A. M. Wednesday , June 25,  at the Persons  United  Methodist  Church , 27642 Old Church Rd., Drewryville, Va. where funeral service will follow 12:00 P.M. (Noon)  with burial to follow in church cemetery.  In lieu of flowers family request Memorial donations be made to Persons United Methodist Church , Attention Mark Person, Treasurer, P. O. Box 14121, Richmond, Va. 23225.

    Condolences may be made to www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  10. Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Holds 2014 Annual Membership Meeting


    Over 600 Brave Intense Heat to Participate in Business Meeting, Elect Directors

    CHASE CITY – In spite of a heat index of 106 degrees in Chase City on Wednesday afternoon, over 370 committed members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) and their families attended the Annual Membership Meeting held at the Cooperative’s pavilion.  Following food and fellowship among the members, the Cooperative’s business meeting opened with Chairman of the Board David Jones calling the meeting to order and offering his opening comments saying, “I’m pleased to report that 2013 was yet another successful year for your cooperative. As you know, safety is, and always will be, our number one priority. Our safety record continues to improve as Mecklenburg was recently recognized as having worked over 500,000 man-hours without a lost time accident. Our safety program continues to get stronger and more effective.”

    He added, “Additionally, your cooperative remains financially sound and fiscally healthy. Even with little growth in kwh sales and revenue and unexpected expenses due to storm restoration, your cooperative returned over $700,000 in capital credits to you, the member-owners last November. Your cooperative’s aggressive capital credit policy has resulted in the return of over $33 million to its membership to date.”

    Jones closed his remarks by saying, “The theme of this year’s meeting is, “A Relationship Built on Trust;” and your Board of Directors, Management Team and Employees here at MEC understand that it can take a lifetime to build trust, but that trust can be lost in a brief moment. After 76 years of service to its members, your cooperative’s primary goal remains the same as it was the first year in 1938, to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our members and to continue to build and maintain your trust in MEC.”

    The meeting invocation was provided by MEC Director Donnie Moore, and the Presentation of Colors was executed by the Marine Corps League Lake Country Detachment #1085, who were impressively led into the pavilion by the Fifes and Drums of York Town, Va. The Fifes and Drums Corps, comprised entirely of youth between the ages of 10 and 18, played the National Anthem, performing in Regimental uniforms reminiscent of the 18th century musicians who served in the Continental Army in Yorktown, Va. Peyton Moore, a rising senior at Bluestone High School, led the audience in the singing of “God Bless America.”

    MEC Director Peggy Lee introduced the Cooperative’s Board of Directors, and Director Frank Myers introduced special guests in attendance, including Virginia Senator Frank Ruff, Tommy Wright of the Virginia House of Delegates, representatives from the offices of Delegate Roslyn Tyler and Congressman Robert Hurt, officials from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) and the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC), retired MEC employees and directors, Chase City and Charlotte County Rescue Squads, and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department.

    Jack Reasor, president and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), the wholesale power supplier for Mecklenburg and ten other electric cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, made a presentation to those gathered.  In his remarks, he pointed out that ODEC derives power from four sources: renewable energy (wind turbines, hydro and landfill gas), natural gas, nuclear, and clean coal. He emphasized that “taking a balanced approach in meeting cooperative members’ energy needs, along with being environmentally responsible, are fundamental objectives of both Old Dominion and MEC.”   

    In his comments, Reasor also explained ODEC’s relationship with Mecklenburg Electric, saying, “Where Mecklenburg is a distribution cooperative—they are responsible for the wires and poles and the meters and bringing the wires and electricity to your homes, and your businesses, and your churches and your schools—Old Dominion is a generation and transmission cooperative that generates electricity through its owned facilities, or purchases it through power supply contracts, from different sources, and delivers that power to MEC for distribution to all of you. So our most critical responsibility is to make certain the power is there to be delivered through the substations, wires and transformers, so capably built and maintained by your MEC team here, and flow into your homes and businesses when you need it. We, like MEC, also try to accomplish our responsibilities by striking an appropriate balance between the very lowest possible cost and being as environmentally sensitive as possible.”

    He continued, “We are proud to be owned by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and our other ten electric cooperative members.  Representatives from each cooperative make up our board of directors, so Mr. Jones and Mr. Lee are both on our board of directors and give us good insight, assistance and strategic direction on how we can best be reliable, be as low cost as possible, and also be environmentally balanced. And this, to us, is a very important process.”

    He concluded by explaining that ODEC is well underway in the process of building a combined cycle, natural gas facility in Cecil County, Md. He stated that most of the environmental and regulatory approvals had been secured, construction should begin this fall, and the facility is scheduled to be operational in the spring of 2017 providing 1,000 megawatts of power.

    Following Reasor’s comments, the business session of the meeting began with Stan Duffer, secretary-treasurer of MEC, reporting on the financial status of the organization. He noted that the Cooperative has net electric plant of over $118 million, a figure that includes buildings, land, substations, equipment, vehicles, and over 4,400 miles of energized power lines, with the Cooperative’s total assets valued at $166.9 million at year end. He also called attention to an itemization of expenses for the year 2013 that indicated the largest expenditure (64 percent) was for “Purchased Power,” the cost of the electricity the Cooperative buys and distributes to its Members.

    President and CEO John Lee moved to the podium next and gave the annual President’s Report based on the theme of the meeting, "You and Your Cooperative, a Relationship Built on Trust.” Lee emphasized the importance of the Members being able to place trust in their not-for-profit organization. His seven key points were:

    (1)   You trust us to keep you and your family safe around our electric distribution system, and ensure our employees are working safely.

    (2)    You trust us to anticipate, and successfully meet, your current and future electric needs.

    (3)   You trust us to find, secure and deliver reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity for your use.

    (4)   You trust us to make a difference in, and support, your communities.

    (5)   You trust us to operate your cooperative prudently and return Capital Credits.

    (6)   You trust us to keep you well informed.

    (7)   You trust us to deliver all the above with the very best in customer service.

    Lee stated, “We hold ourselves accountable to design, build, and maintain for you an electrical system that reliably provides power to your homes and businesses around the clock, year after year.  However, when subjected to Mother Nature’s fury, there is none better than your MEC team at repairing the system on which you rely to stay warm or cool, to prepare your family’s meals, and to power the tools and equipment needed to operate your businesses.”

    Lee also recognized Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s employees, stating, “They are where your trust begins and ends, and it is built upon their credibility and commitment to you. I am honored, and I truly mean honored, to be a part of their team. Because of their talent and dedication, your organization is widely recognized in cooperative circles as a leader, and our employees are renowned as being among the best.

    “And your team is a very competitive group that will settle for nothing less than first,” Lee added, stating, “For example,earlier this year, at the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo, line crews from nine states and utilities all over the east, gathered to compete in events showcasing their skills. Your cooperative’s three teams competed strongly, brought home a lot of trophy hardware, and represented MEC very capably and with great pride.In fact, the Chase City District team of Jason McKinney, Paul Underwood and Brad Clark won the acclaimed Jimmy Gardner Award recognizing the top scoring, and very best cooperative line crew, in the competition. Your employees are a proud and capable lot, but it is their character and integrity that fuels their sense of duty, and drives our desire to be the best.”

    Lee continued by thanking the Board of Directors for their support and guidance. “They share our pride in this organization, and support our ambition to always do what is right by you,” he says. “Trust me when I tell you that they very capably represent you in conducting the business of your cooperative.”

    In closing, the MEC President and CEO commented “Old Mr. Webster defines trust as “to firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”……we sincerely hope that also defines how you feel about this cooperative. Thanks to all of you for your support, for your confidence in us, and for the opportunity to earn and maintain your trust. Safe travels home, thanks again for your attendance here today and as always please let me know if ever we are not meeting your expectations.”

    Following his remarks, four directors of the Cooperative were re-elected for three-year terms: Peggy Lee of Freeman, Donnie Moore of Chatham, Mike McDowell of Vernon Hill, and Frank Myers of Gasburg.

    The Cooperative would like to thank the following for their assistance at this year’s meeting: Chatham High School’s Robotics team, Boy Scout Troop 7400 from South Hill, Macy Mills, and Lauren Jones.

    Chatham High School’s Robotics Team enjoys a meal at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s Annual Meeting of the Members before demonstrating the robot that they designed and built.

    The Fifes and Drums Corps of York Town provide an impressive performance as part of the opening ceremony of the Annual Meeting of the Members of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative.

    Four directors of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative are re-elected at the Annual Meeting of the Members on June 18 for three-year terms. Pictured from left are Frank Myers of Gasburg, Donnie Moore of Chatham, Peggy Lee of Freeman and Mike McDowell of Vernon Hill.


  11. It's Beach Party Week at the YMCA Preschool.

    Octopus  and Visor crafts

    Going on a scavenger hunt 

    Doing the limbo

    Making fruit kabobs

    Sharing kabobs shows we care about our YMCA members

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  12. Library Kicks off Summer Reading Program with Animals Unlimited

    The Meherrin Regional Library invites you to come and be a part of the Summer Reading Program: Paws to Read onThursday, June 26th.  Enjoy an educational live animal show with exotic animals from around the world, with Animals Unlimited.  The event will be held at 11:00 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville, and 1:00 pm at the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.

    On Monday, June 30th, be a part of Monday Morning Movies with the animal action adventure movie The Nut Job.  The Nut Job is rated PG and is 86 minutes long.  The movie will be shown at 10:30 am at the Brunswick County Library, Lawrenceville and the Richardson Memorial Library, Emporia.  Children ages 8 and under must be supervised.

    Events begin promptly and seating is limited to a first come basis.  For more information contact the Brunswick County Library 434-848-2418, ext. 301, the Richardson Library at 434-634-2539, or visit www.meherrinlib.org.


  13. This Just In-VBS Starts Tomorrow

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  14. GES Growing Green

    Encouraging healthy eating and growth one student at a time!

    The Greensville Elementary School “Growing Green” initiative has been successfully sprouting since 2012. Each growing season students are invited out to the garden to assist with planting seeds chosen by their class.  At this time we get to find out what they know about gardens, plants, and agriculture. The garden is maintained during the growing period by Peggy Loveless(VCE 4-H/Master Gardener Volunteer), Brittany A. Council(Agriculture & Natural Resources Extension Agent), & Ms. Porcher Bradley(GES Guidance Counselor) in addition to participating classes. This project promotes teamwork, self-respect, responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment within the students because of the end result; reaping the harvest of their hard-work.

    Each year we make sure to plant items that the students will enjoy and recognize and so far lettuce seems to be a big hit. This year courtesy of Peg’s Flower Power and Wooten Bros. Nursery, students were able to see tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, peas, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, lettuce, squash, chives, sage, and a host of other herbs and flowers. Once all the produce matured we held our annual taste testing with the students where they enjoyed lettuce and cucumbers grown fresh from their garden boxes. By offering students the opportunity to grow their own produce and seeing them genuinely enjoying the fruits of their labor a pathway towards agriculture appreciation is created. Greensville/Emporia is a highly rural area and we need to educate our youth about where their food is coming from and show them how they can grow their own. If we all work together to promote healthy eating and support local producers we can keep the continuing cycle of agriculture alive through our youth.

    To find out more about the “GES Growing Green” initiative please feel free to contact Brittany A. Council at (434)-348-4233. Make sure you stop by and check out our beautiful gardens!


















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  15. Ancient Civilizations Studied

    Students in Mrs. Anderson's third grade Social Studies class studied the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Mali.  As part of their SOL curriculum they had to know about the different types of architecture of these civilizations. The students were asked to do a project displaying the different types of architecture either through a 3D model or a poster.

    Ciara Taylor, Cameron Gilliam, Chelsea Barnes, Amaia Dickens

    Lexi Phillips, Quadarius Nicholson, Jesse Owen, Zarion Seldon

    Marqui Hargrove, Anaia Jones

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  16. GES Students Win Bikes

    In an effort to motivate students to give their very  best during recent SOL testing a drawing for two girls and 2 boys bikes were held.  The names of all 3rd and 4th grade students who passed an SOL were entered into the drawing. For every SOL test the students passed, their names were placed in the drawing.  Mr. Anthony Parks, a Central Cafeteria employee at GES, wanted to motivate and reward the hard work of our students.  He contacted Wal-Mart who willingly donated 4 bikes for this drawing.   The names of two third graders and two fourth graders were drawn and awarded the bikes.
    Pictured left to right Mr. Parks, Mr. Young, 4th Grader Ramiyah Dunn, 4th Grader Robert Owen

    Pictured left to right Mr. Young, Mr. Parks, 3rd Grader Shirley Gaither, 3rd Grader Zamari Turner



  17. SVCC Student Selected to Attend SVA Leadership Institute

    Southside Virginia Community College student Monica McMillan has been selected to attend the 2014 Student Veterans of America Leadership Institute in Bentonville, Arkansas. She was one of 125 student veteran leaders from across the country selected to attend this program.

    The 2014 SVA Leadership Institute will be held at the Wal-Mart Headquarters in Bentonville, AR. This all-expenses paid, multi-day training seminar will bring a select number of up-and-coming chapter leaders together for a unique professional development opportunity.

    “I am honored that our chapter was chosen to attend out of 1000 campuses. My club advisor Tonia Talbott and my director Dean Schwartz are excited about this opportunity,” McMillan stated.

    McMillan said that her “family is very military oriented,” and has many veteran and active duty family members. She signed up for the Army Reserves at age 17. “I wanted to get out of the small town of Lawrenceville to see what else the world had to offer and to serve my country,” she said.

    McMillan did her Basic Training at Ft. Jackson, SC and her Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Lee, VA. McMillan then drilled with the 275th Quartermaster unit at Ft. Pickett, VA as a Food Service Specialist.

    In January 2000, McMillan relocated to the 542nd Quartermaster unit in Harrisburg, PA, changing her MOS to Medical Specialist and she received additional AIT at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. McMillan also traveled to Germany twice while serving.

    In January 2003, McMillan received her Honorable Discharge.

    After relocating back to Virginia in July 2012, she began working with the Veterans Rapid Response Program here at SVCC in 2013 as a Veterans Career Coach.       

    In November 2013 she was elected President of the Veterans Club for her chapter. This organization is open to all student Veterans, spouses and dependents of Veterans, and Veteran faculty members.

    McMillan is a full time student in the Human Services Program at SVCC. McMillan is the youngest daughter of Clinton and Gwendolyn McMillan of Lawrenceville, VA, and she has two sons, Tylik McMillan, an upcoming senior at Brunswick High School who is the Battalion Commander LTC for the JROTC program, and Jusiah Harvey, an upcoming first grader at Totaro Elementary School.

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  18. Powell Family Coming to First Presbyterian Churh

    You're invited to share in an evening of gospel music with the Powell family from Raleigh, North Carolina. This special concert will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at First Presbyterian Church in Emporia. Tony, Joy, Cameron, Christopher and Mollie seek to glorify God, encourage their fellow Christians, and introduce the Lord to the lost through their music ministry. Invite a friend and join us as we praise Him together! There is no charge for admission and a love offering will be received. For more information visit www.powellfamilymusic.com



  19. More Oversize Shipments Coming Our Way

    Beginning on, Monday, June 16th, and Weather Permitting “Mammoet” will be moving over size loads thru Emporia and Greensville County to the Dominion Power Plant Site in Brunswick County each night through Thursday, June 19th. These shipments will have minim impact on traffic! The most impact on traffic will be at the I-95 Overpass and that should only be for 10 to 15 minutes. They should start around11:00 PM each night.

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  20. Weird Animals Comin to Emporia This Summer


    Main Street Baptist Church and Main Street United Methodist Church at



    EMPORIA, VA  23847

    DATES:  JUNE 23-27

    Time:  6:15 PM – 8:30 PM

    June 27  6:30 PM– Celebration and Picnic

    Ages 4 through 6th grades

    And at

    Calvary Baptist Church

    310 North Main Street

    July 6-10



  21. SVCC Truck Driver Training Program Returning to Emporia

    The Southside Virginia Community College Truck Driver Training Program is returning to Emporia on August 11 and classes will be held Monday-Friday from 5:00pm-10:00pm at the Southside Virginia Education Center. The Truck Driver Training Program consists of a twelve week program where students will spend fifteen percent of instruction time in the classroom and eighty five percent of the time in and around the trucks. Financial aid programs are available to assist students in reaching their academic goals. For more information about the SVCC Truck Driver Training Program in Emporia call (434) 634-9358 or (434) 292-1650.

    To Download and/or print the flyer, click here

    Runners Point


  22. Lake Gaston Air Fair Next Saturday

    High-flying action, amazing tricks, crashes, sexy new boats, sunshine, great tunes, new friends, and free swag are just some of the exciting things you'll find at a wakeboarding event. 

    AF Wake's headline event of the season, the 2014 Lake Gaston Big Air Fair is this coming Saturday, June 21st!  This year, AF Wake and Centurion boats are bringing the world's best wake athletes front and center for an interactive day of fun. First enjoy a spectacular on-water show from 12:30-3:30, then be on-land until 6:30 for the dinner hangout and Centurion owners reunion party. See the action live by boat or car. Meet the riders personally after they ride. Incredible promotions are going on during the entire day. Hope to see you there! 
    All the action takes place at the south end of Eaton's Ferry Bridge on Lake Gaston, at South Shore Realty, 1876 Eaton's Ferry Rd  Littleton NC 27850.
    Rider lists and last minute information are going to be posted on the events Facebook page - @2014 Lake Gaston Big Air Fair 

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  23. Football Sign-ups Saturday



  24. 2014 Virginia Pork Festival Highlights


  25. Energy Saving Tips from Dominion

    As Summer Approaches, Dominion Virginia Power Offers Programs and Tips to Help Residential Customers Save Money

    • Minor adjustments can result in big savings
    • Rebate programs provide incentives
    • Proper maintenance essential to energy efficiency

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Dominion Virginia Power is offering customers multiple ways to save money on their energy bills this summer. Programs with financial incentives offer customers ways to complete home-nergy audits, upgrade mechanical equipment and tune up their heating and cooling units. Low and no-cost tips help save energy and lower bills.

    “Making minor adjustments at home can result in big savings on your energy bill,” said Gianna Clark, vice president of Customer Service. “Dominion offers rebates that can cover the cost of having a contractor evaluate your home’s energy efficiency.”

    Home Energy Check Up Program

    When customers complete a home energy checkup, they receive a personalized report showing the potential cost savings they could earn by implementing energy-saving measures. Participating contractors collect home energy consumption data to recommend and install energy-saving improvements including:

    • compact fluorescent light bulbs
    • efficient faucet aerators and showerheads
    • replacement air filters for air conditioners
    • door weather-stripping
    • smart outlet strips

    The program reimburses customers up to $250 in qualified energy-saving improvements. For more information on the Home Energy Check Up, visit: dom.com; keyword “conservation” or call 1-866-DOM-HELP.

    “They actually repaired some things that will save me money,” said Alan Lipford, a Dominion Virginia Power customer from the Richmond area. Lipford recently took advantage of the Home Energy Check Up. “There is no downside. It’s a win-win situation.”

    Start Saving Today

    You can save a lot with easy, do-it-yourself projects. The number one way to conserve energy is to set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher during the summer months. A savings of up to 3 percent on cooling costs can be achieved for each degree the thermostat is increased.

    “We recognize home heating and cooling systems can use a large amount of energy,” said Clark. “Routine inspections can help those systems operate efficiently.”

    Sunlight shining through windows can account for up to 40 percent of unwanted heat gain forcing the air conditioner to work two to three times harder. Closing the blinds or curtains during the day offers one solution. Turning off lights and the TV as you leave the room or unplugging appliances are simple solutions that yield immediate energy savings. The following tips will help you save energy and money:

    • In the summer, set the thermostat to 78 degrees or the highest comfortable temperature.
    • Use programmable thermostats that turn up the AC when you’re away.
    • Turn off and unplug everything possible when not at home.
    • Turn off ceiling fans when leaving the room. Ceiling fans don't cool spaces, but cool people by creating a wind chill effect.
    • Replace or clean forced-air heating/cooling system filters monthly.
    • Keep the water heater set at 120 degrees and insulate the heater and adjacent pipes to prevent heat loss.
    • Close the flue to the fireplace when not in use.
    • Use an outdoor grill during hot weather to reduce heat from indoor cooking.
    • When closed and lowered on sunny days, highly reflective blinds can reduce indoor heat by as much as 45 percent.
    • Consider installing LED light bulbs in outdoor fixtures for their durability and energy savings.
    • Energize Your Summer Contest

    Enroll in eBill or the Heat Pump Tune-Up Program by June 30, and customers will automatically be entered to win a $500 grand prize home improvement gift card, or one of three monthly $100 home improvement gift cards. eBill, Dominion’s paperless billing program sends an email notification when a customer’s bill is ready to view and pay. For added convenience, eBill customers can make free same day payments from their bank account. The Heat Pump Tune-Up provides customers with up to a $90 rebate to help prolong the life of existing equipment. Additional details can be found at www.domsavings.com/energize or www.dom.com/ebil.

    For more ways to save on your power bill, visit: www.dom.com; keyword “energy saving tips.” For additional information about energy conservation programs, including duct testing, sealing and the Heat Pump Tune-Up Program, visit www.dom.com/savenowVA.

    Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 23,600 megawatts of generation, 10,900 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,400 miles of electric transmission lines.  Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 10 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.



  26. Raney Graduates from North Carolina State University

    Brittany Temple Raney graduated from North Carolina State University, Saturday May 10th, 2014.  Brittany is the daughter of Mike & Beverly Raney, of Freeman.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Wildlife Science.


  27. Elliott Fausz challenges Forbes for 4th Congressional Seat

    Elliott G. Fausz (D) is announcing his candidacy to challenge Congressman Randy Forbes (R-4) for Virginia's 4th Congressional District seat. According to his supporters, he will be an advocate for the district and a leader in the House of Representatives.

    "For too long, the people of the 4th District have been under represented by Congressman Forbes, who focuses his attention on special interests," says Mr. Fausz. "It's time we put petty politics aside and move America forward with 21st century leadership."

    Mr. Fausz is a longtime resident of Chester, VA, where he manages day-to-day operations of his family's local newspaper, the Village News. Fausz received a Bachelors degree in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and continued his studies for a Master of Business Administration at VCU. During his studies, Fausz traveled to over 25 countries where he studied various cultures and languages, including Chinese and Spanish. Recently, he spent time in both Finland and Greece consulting with startup companies on how to bring their products to market in America.

    Fausz serves as President of the Chester Community Association, a civic organization that promotes smart growth and community events. Also, he is the chairman and a founding member of the Chesterfield County Twinning Association, which connects Gravesham, England, and Chesterfield for purpose of cultural exchange.

    Fausz's experience has given him a unique set of skills that will enable him to be a powerful voice and advocate for Virginia's 4th Congressional District. Fausz vows to fight for every citizen across the 4th district and the country by putting constituents first.

    "I will find success by listening to the constituents of the 4th District and putting their interests a head of K Street lobbyists,” says Fausz. “There is a lot to be done in Washington, and as long as we keep the residents of the 4th District in mind, we can overcome any obstacles that are standing in our way.”

    Fausz continued by emphasizing the importance of cleaning up the Veterans Administration, reforming the student loan system, balancing the budget, developing clean energy and hi-tech jobs, and defending America's boarders without encroaching on privacy.

    For more information about Elliott Fausz and his plans for the future, go to www.fausz4congress.com.

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    (EMPORIA, VA) – Frank Greenway has been named the Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) Employee of the Month for May 2014.  Mr. Greenway, who has been employed with the hospital since April 2006, is a Radiology Technologist (RT) in the Radiology Services Department.

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  29. Softball Season is Here!

    It's time to register for the Emporia-Greensville Recreation Association's 2014 Women's Summer Softball League.  All teams within a 35 mile radius of Emporia are invited to participate.  The season will consist of 7 weeks of regular play beginning on July 7, 2014 followed by a double-elimination tournament at the close of the season.  Teams must have a minimum of 12 and no more than 18 players on a roster.  Teams may have 2 players who are between the ages of 16 and 18, all other players must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to participate.  All participants must complete a registration form that can be picked up at the UPS Store of Emporia adjacent to Sadler Travel Plaza or online at www.egra.org.  The registration fee  is $45.00 per participant.  All forms. fees and completed rosters must be submitted to the league commissioner, Calvin Draper, or can be dropped off at the UPS Store of Emporia by 4:00 p.m. on June 27, 2014. For additional information or roster forms please contact Calvin Draper at (434) 634-6018, (434) 637-6011 (c) or by email at egraump@yahoo.com.



  30. Obituary-Margie Harp Ferguson

    Emporia, Margie Harp Ferguson died Monday, June 09, 2014.  She was born in Roanoke Rapids, N. C., the daughter of the late Walter P. and Allie Parks Harp.  She was preceded in death by husband Henry Clayton Ferguson and brother Alfred Lee Harp.

    She was a member of Forest  Hill Baptist Church.  She loved her Lord and Savior, family church family and everyone.  She dedicated her time to serving the Lord as an Adult Sunday School teacher, pianist, organist, music director and various other committees at Forest Hill Baptist Church.

    She is survived by her son Michael W. Ferguson and wife Carolyn, daughter Debbie F. Moseley and husband Leslie.  Six grandchildren; Craig Ferguson, Clay Ferguson and wife Teresa, Chris Ferguson and wife Stephanie, Kirk Moseley and wife Erica, Kristen Moseley and eight great-grandchildren , Skylar, Tucker, Tyler, Tori, Haley, Joshua, Bailey and Ashlynn, all of Emporia.  One brother, Mason Harp and wife Helen of Roanoke Rapids, N. C., a nephew Timmy Harp, cousins and many friends.

    The family will receive family and friends at Echols Funeral Home, Wednesday June 11th 6:00 P. M. till 8:30 P. M.  Funeral services will be held Thursday, June 12th at 2:00 P. M. at Forest Hill Baptist Church, with Reverends Marcus Daly, Terry Corder and Lamar Boulware officiating.  Interment will follow in the church cemetery  In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to:  Forest Hill Baptist Cemetery Fund, 5010 Brink Road, Emporia, Va. or Greensville Rescue Squad, 513 South Main St., Emporia, Virginia .

    Pallbearers, Timmy Harp, Robert Story, Len Hobbs, Kennon Ferguson, Jr., Charles King, Glen Bradley, Danny Rook, & Thurston Vann.  Honorary Pallbearers, Mason Harp, Arnold Vincent, Bernard Lee, Steve Ferguson, Gene Frazier, Bobby Lee, Dave Driver, Elwood Vincent, G. L. Rawlings, Pender Smith, Jr. and Jimmy Ferguson .  Echols Funeral Home, Emporia, Va., will be in charge of arrangements.  Condolences may be made to www.echolsfuneral home.com.

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  31. Southside Virginia Community College's Foundation Scholarship Golf Classic Nets $14,500

    The 7th Annual Southside Virginia Community College Golf Classic was held at the Lake Gaston Golf Club on May 28th.  The golf tournament was a success again this year bringing in more than  14,500 to be used toward SVCC Foundation scholarships.  The Foundation would like to extend a special "Thank You" to all the players and sponsors who made the tournament possible and contributed to it's success.

    Championship Flight 1st Place

    Buck’s No Names - (L to R) Buck Brockwell, Topper Watson, Josh Booth, William Thompson 


    Championship Flight 2nd Place

    Biggs Construction - (L to R) David Biggs, Ron Palmore, Buck Johnson, Stephen Hite


    Championship Flight 3rd Place

    GEO #2 - (L to R) Scott Ridge, J.C. Rodgers, Jeff Dilman, Buck Rogers

    Lower Championship Flight 1st Place

    Felix Anderson - (L to R) Larry Jones, Felix Anderson, Ken Catritt, Bill Woodfin


    Lower Championship Flight 2nd Place

    Dr. D’s Longknockers - (L to R) Dennis Smith, Doug Smith, Jesse Rollins, Jamie Jones


    Lower Championship Flight 3rd Place

    Valley Proteins - (L to R) Ron Field, Maggie Field, Mark Mitchell, David Sponaughle


    !st Flight 1st Place

    Arcet - (L to R) Steve Goin, Lawson Marshall, Sammy Johnson, Jason Edwards

    1st Flight 2nd Place

    Fluor #2 - (L to R) Adam Stitzer, David Clarke, Paul Mazur, Chris Nee



    1st Flight 3rd Place

    Russ Hicks - (L to R) Harlan Wrenn, Billy McGraw, Duncan Quicke, Russ Hicks



  32. Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15

    WASHINGTON, June 6, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins Sunday, June 15, 2014.

    “County committees are a vital link between the farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Vilsack. “I hope that every eligible farmer and rancher will participate in this year's county committee elections. Through the county committees, farmers and ranchers have a voice; their opinions and ideas get to be heard on federal farm programs.”

    Vilsack added, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of nominations of women and minority candidates, and I hope that trend continues.”

    To be eligible to serve on an FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by FSA, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the local administrative area where the person is nominated.

    Farmers and ranchers may nominate themselves or others. Organizations representing minorities and women also may nominate candidates. To become a candidate, an eligible individual must sign the nomination form, FSA-669A. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/elections. Nomination forms for the 2014 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by close of business on Aug. 1, 2014. Elections will take place this fall.

    While FSA county committees do not approve or deny farm ownership or operating loans, they make decisions on disaster and conservation programs, emergency programs, commodity price support loan programs and other agricultural issues. Members serve three-year terms. Nationwide, there are about 7,800 farmers and ranchers serving on FSA county committees. Committees consist of three to 11 members that are elected by eligible producers.

    FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning Nov. 3, 2014. Ballots are due back to the local county office either via mail or in person by Dec. 1, 2014. Newly elected committee members and alternates take office on Jan. 1, 2015.

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  33. Historic Brunswick County School gets Highway Marker

    The St. Pauls Chapel School in rural Brunsiwck County, restored by Erwin Avery and on the National Register of Historic Places since 2004, now has it's own iconic historic marker. (Photo by Marc Wagner, Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

    Built in 1920, the St. Pauls Chapel School is among the earliest of the schools build by Sears and Roebuck magnate Julius Rosenwald, and was, in fact, built before the national Rosenwald School program was even founded.

    Julius Rosenwald began building schools in the south after being shown the vast disparity in the education of Black children in the South.  Social issues, and especially the plight of African-Americans had been topics of conversation between Rosenwald and Paul Sachs (a senior partner at the financial firm of Goldman Sachs) as early as 1906; it was Sachs that introduced Rosenwald to Booker T. Washington.  Washington was already a very well respected educator, and the driving force behind Tuskegee Institute.  Washington urged Rosenwald to help address the state of African-American education in the United States.

    Rosenwald was on the Board of Directors of the Tuskegee Institute by 1912, and was funding the first six schools within the next year, all in Alabama.  Those six schools were so successful, that 100  more were funded in Alabama, followed by 100 more by 1915.  It was in that second wave of 100 that included funding for the St. Paul's Chapel School.    It took nearly five years for the people that school would serve to raise the remainder of the funds to build the one teacher school, due largely to a recession in the early part of the 20th century.  In 1919, under the leadership of Virginian R. R. Moton, that a fund was established by the Rosenwald Foundation to finish schools like St. Paul's Chapel School.

    From the beginning, Rosenwald plan schools were build with several forward thinking features.  Even the earliest Tuskegee plans included large, south-facing windows.  Each of the six windows in the St. Paul's Chapel School are 91 inches (that's over 7 1/2 feet) tall, allowing plenty of light in a building with no electrical service.  The plans were not based on rooms, but rather on the number of teachers. The one teacher schools build in this era actually had three rooms; in addition to the Class Room, there was also a Cloak Room and a Work Room.  There was no indoor plumbing when this school was built, so two privies were built on the north side of the building (one for boys and one for girls).

    The St. Paul's Chapel School served the community from 1920-1960 before being closed and abandoned.  The property was purchased by Stewart Avery in 1941 as part of the 123 acre farm he purchased from Delia Bailey.  It remained in Avery's ownership until 1951, after a special commissioner decided that the Brunswick County School Board.  The two acre site was eventually purchased by Stewart Avery's daughter, Ella Avery Smothers, and her brother saved the historic building from ruin. 

    The new marker, sponsored, in part, by Dr. Bill Olson and the Old Brusnwick Circuit Foundation, was dedicated Saturday afternoon. During his remarks, Dr. Olson pointed out that "history unrecorded is history forgotten."

    Mark Wagoner, of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, shared that he has been to many marker dedications, but that this one was special as the subject was still here. "I go to many marker ceremonies were the thing we are celebrating with a marker is long gone." Wagoner stated the "having the school here as a direct connection to all who walked its floors and felt the sunlight through its large windows—to all who learned and played here. It is a monument to all those teachers who shined for and struggled with students.   This school is on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic places because it is still here 94 years after it was built."

    Wagoner also shared some of the history of the Marker Program, which was started by Governor Byrd in 1927 and is one of the earliest in the nation.  The program was intended to boost tourism with the rising popularity of the automobile.  There are currently over 2400 markers with up to 30 new markers added every year.  Markers are no longer paid for by the Commonwealth, and are part of a competitive process.  The subject of the marker must be of "statewide significance, like the St. Paul's School."

    Ella Avery Smothers, the current owner of the building shared a great deal of the history of both the Rosenwald program and her school, and thanked the people involved; including Dr. Olson, the Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation and "local home people.  You are the people that made the school what it is.  This spirit of cooperation put this school here.

    After the speeches on the grounds of the school, those gathered moved to the marker itself, which was unveiled by former students of the school.  After the unveiling there was a short litergy of dedication from Rev. Alma Charles of St. Pauls AME Zion Church, just across the road, and Rev. Dr. Jack Martin, President of the Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation.

    The entire event had the air of a family reunion, with members of St. Pauls AME Zion Church serving cookies and lemonade after the unveiling.  Many of the Alumni shared stories of their time at the school before and after the dedication ceremony, and children once again played around the school that was once the center of this community. 

    Mark Wagoner summed up the day, "We know that this is a cherished landmark in Brunswick County—and this marker tells everyone the story that all should know about this special place.  It will be here long after all of us are gone—to keep this story alive.  On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and on behalf of Governor McAuliffe, we are proud to share this special day and officially present this marker."

    Rosenwald Schools were once found in nearly every county in Virginia.  Brunswick County had 13, with St. Paul's Chapel School the last remaining building.  Greensville County had a similar number of Rosenwald Schools, and the only remaining example is the six teacher example known as the "Greensville County Training School", on Ruffin Street in Emproia, which has been allowed to fall into a state of ruin. There is a group working to restore the Greensville County Training School, more information about Emporia's school can be found here



  34. Obituary-Grace O’Neal Acree Wright

    Grace O’Neal Acree Wright, age 74, died Saturday, June 7, 2014.  She is survived by 1-daughter Wendy Wright (Michael Shearin) of Emporia; 1-son Randy Wright (Donna) of Emporia; special companions Toby and Jenny.   Visitation will be held Monday night June 9 from 6:00 to 7:30 P. M. at the Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, Va.  A graveside service will be held  Tuesday, June 10 , 2014, 11:00 A. M. at the Mt. Vernone Baptist Church Cemetery,  16489 Dry Bread Road, Emporia, Virginia .

    Condolences may be sent to www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  35. Freedom Salute honors National Guard Service in Afghanistan

    Nearly 160 Citizen Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s 1710th Transportation Company, based here in Emporia, gathered together on Sunday at the Greensville County High School gymnasium for a Freedom Salute to honor of their service in Afghanistan. The Soldiers returned to Virginia in February.  While in Afghanistan the guardsmen assisted in transportation support operations in Afghanistan since June 2013. They have been serving on federal active duty April 1, 2013.

    Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran pinned the Soldiers with the Governor's National Service Medal, stating that his favorite job had been being a prosecutor, until now.  Moran also commended the service of the former Adjutant General and shared that we were “in god hands here in Virginia.”  In closing, Moran thanked the Guardsmen on “behalf of the Governor and 8 million grateful Virginians.”

    Some of the Guardsmen pinned today had served their third deployment.

    Also attending the ceremony were Brigadier General Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia; Brig. Gen, Blake Ortner, Land Component Commander; and Colonel Michelle Rose, Commander of the 329th. In addition to Secretary Moran, Civilian guests included Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Adam Thiel; Delegate Richard Anderson (VA-51st); Delegate Roslyn Tyler (VA-75th); Mike Dunham of VFW Post 6364;  and Emporia Mayor Mary Person.

    Delegate Roslyn Tyler read Joint General Assembly Resolution 5066, commending the men and women 1710th for their service in Afghanistan. Delegate Richard Anderson of the 51st District and co-chair of the Virginia General Assembly Military Caucus also thanked the Soldiers and families for their service.

    Beverly Donati, director of the Division of Registered Apprenticeship, presented 74 Guardsmen with apprenticeship certificates to Soldiers of the 1710th.  These certificates will demonstrate how their military service, and the skills learned during that service, are beneficial to civilian employers.

    Several civilians were also presented with awards, including several volunteers with the Family Readiness Group. Capitan Rodney Rhodes also presented certificates of appreciation to the Military Family Support Center in Salem, Va, for the assistance they offered to families of the Guardsmen while deployed; Mike Dunahm of VFW Post 6364 in Richmond, for their ongoing support and two outstanding employers for their stellar support of their employees in the Virginia National Guard.  Emporia Mayor Mary Person was presented with a certificate and flag that flew over the Headquarters of the 1710th in Afghanistan.

    The Colors were presented by the Greensville County JROTC and Soldiers from the Clifton Forge-based 29th Division Band provide music for the event. 

    Read more: http://vaguard.dodlive.mil/2014/06/05/5458/

    Photos on Flickr:


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  36. Area Residents Join Ranks of Virginia State Police

    RICHMOND – The Virginia State Police will celebrate the addition of 44 new troopers to its ranks at a graduation ceremony Friday, June 6, 2014. Commencement exercises for the 121st Trooper Basic Session begin at 10 a.m. in the Virginia State Police Gymnasium at 7700 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond.

    The graduating troopers come from every corner of the Commonwealth as well as Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. Many in the class sought out the Virginia State Police because “this is what I planned to do after serving my country…it’s continuing to serve my community” and “I left the cubicle government life to make a ‘boots on the ground’ difference in the state I love.”

    A number of the new troopers, prior to entering the Academy to begin their new career with the Department, served with other law enforcement agencies and/or with a branch of the military. The 121st Basic Session yields more than 12 years of previous law enforcement and corrections experience, as well as almost 68 years of prior military service.

    Recently, the class helped kick-off the Drive to Save Lives initiative on the steps of the State Capitol with Governor Terry McAuliffe. The 121st Basic Session was part of the 111 law enforcement officers in attendance to help promote and introduce the Commonwealth to Drive to Save Lives, a the nationwide traffic-safety initiative aimed at reducing traffic deaths by 15 percent in 2014  and to improve officer safety on the highways.

    Members of the 121st Basic Session began their probationary training phase Aug. 25, 2013, followed by 26 weeks of academic, physical and practical training at the Academy. The probationary phase, which allows recruits to train in the field prior to attending the Academy, requires trainees to complete two and half weeks of introductory training at the Academy before being assigned to a Field Training Officer (FTO). The new troopers have received more than 1,500 hours of classroom and field instruction in more than 100 different subjects, including crime scene investigation, survival Spanish, judicial procedures, self defense, cultural diversity and firearms.

    Following graduation, the new troopers final phase of training begins Monday, June 9, 2014, when the new troopers report to their respective duty assignments. Each trooper will spend a minimum of six weeks with a field training officer learning his or her new patrol area and day-to-day duties.

    Brunswick County Native Joins VSP

    Among the 44 new graduates is Brunswick County native, Trooper Katherine W. Tucker, following in her father’s footsteps, Master Trooper C.D. Tucker. Prior to joining state police, Tucker, 26, of Triplet, earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology from Old Dominion University. She also achieved a master’s in criminal justice from Norfolk State University. On Monday she will report to Area 32 for patrol within the cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

    “Virginia State Police sets the standard and holds troopers to a higher standard,” said Tucker about her reason for pursuing a career as a trooper. “I am honored to serve in an organization that is so well respected.”

    Southampton County Brothers Become State Troopers

    Also among the graduates are brothers, Trooper David A. Balek and Trooper Joseph M. Balek, of Branchville. Prior to joining the state police, David Balek, 32, served four years with the U.S. Army during which he served in Iraq. He returns home to Southampton County on Monday for his first patrol assignment.

    Joseph Balek, 34, begins his career with the state police on patrol in Greensville County. He sought out a career with the state police because he “felt it was a great way to serve the community.”

    As the need for highly-skilled and capable law enforcement officers increases, the Department continues to seek qualified applicants for the trooper and commercial vehicle enforcement officer positions. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police Recruitment Office visit the Department’s website www.vsp.virginia.gov.

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  37. GCHS Senior Awards Night

    Greensville County High School recently held its annual senior awards ceremony to congratulate the class of 2014 and to bestow scholarships and awards to those seniors having earned distinction during the 2013-2014 school year.  Master of Ceremonies and soon to be graduate of GCHS, Jameel Adams, began the evening’s events by introducing and welcoming his fellow classmates to the evening’s festivities.  Several students from the graduating class of 2014 were honored during the joyous but somewhat emotional ceremony.

    Mrs. Sarah Poarch, GCHS culinary arts instructor, was the first to present a scholarship in memory of her daughter, Ann Louise Poarch.  She began by reminding this year’s graduates that their futures are completely in their own hands.  She said, “Where you go from here is entirely up to you.  I challenge you to take advantage of every opportunity life offers.”  Five seniors received the Ann Louise Poarch Memorial Scholarship—Avery Allen, Kortni Ivey, Aaron Marable, Matthew Jones, and Sabra Davis.  Each was awarded $500.

    Emily Pope and Ashley Walker each received the Amanda J. Edwards Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $250.

    In an emotional speech to the class of 2014 while naming the recipient of a scholarship in honor of her daughter, Kimberly Swenson said, “Continue to use your talents.  Make a positive impact on the world.”  Aaron Marable was the recipient of the Avery Drew Swenson Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

    Drexel Pierce, Jr. presented Donnell Sykes with a $100 scholarship from the Greensville County 4-H Club.

    Kortni Ivey and Jameel Adams were each the recipient of the SVRMC Auxiliary Julian and Mattie Hughes Watson Memorial Scholarship.  They each received $500.

    Retired teacher, Glenn Pair, Sr., returned to GCHS to award D’jsha Daniels and Janae Adams each with a $300 scholarship on behalf of the Greensville County Retired Teachers Association.

    Sharebra Doyle received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award in the amount of $500.

    Stephen Russo presented four students, Aiysha Edwards, Kayla Arrington, Janae Adams, and D’jsha Daniels, each with a $500 scholarship on behalf of Georgia Pacific Wood and Fiber Division and Emporia Mill.

    Mayci Clements and Emily Pope fought back tears as they each accepted the Heather Danielle Seal Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $250.

    Sharebra Doyle was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Lawrenceville Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.

    Mrs. Florence Hampton awarded Jamel Adams and Taylo Harrison each the Rev. Dr. Dennis Hampton Memorial Scholarship, in memory of her late husband.  Each recipient received $500.

    Sierra Mitchell was awarded a $500 scholarship from Mecklenburg Electric.

    Jasmine Jones received a $300 scholarship from the Pride of Emporia Chapter 137 Order of Eastern Star (P.H.A.).

    Jameel Adams received the Marcus 6’9” Clark Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $300.

    The Riparian Woman’s Club awarded Janae Adams with a $500 scholarship.

    D’jsha Daniels and Matthew Jones were each recognized for their commitment to join the United States Army. 

    Sierra Mitchell received the National Scholar Award from the United States Army in the amount of $35,532.

    Shanice Mason was awarded a $250 scholarship on behalf of the Upsilon Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

    Matthew Jones received the Vilage View/Merle Vassar award in the amount of $500.

    Youth and Family Services of Virginia awarded LaQuana Sledge with a $500 scholarship.

    Mrs. Helena Johnson-Henson, guidance counselor at Greensville County High School was proud to award Taylor Givens with the Marcia Mitchell Memorial scholarship in the amount of $250.  She also presented Janae Adams, Jameel Adams, and Nathan Allen with the Brown-Smith Memorial scholarship.  Janae received $70; Jameel received $60, and Nathan received $130.

    Janae Adams also received a $1000 scholarship from the Comcast Foundation.

    Catherine Chatmon was the recipient of the Eagle Challenge in the amount of $500.

    Emily Pope was presented with a $500 scholarship on behalf of the Emporia Rotary Club.  The Emporia Rotary Club also awarded Aaron Marable and Kortni Ivey each with $1000 scholarships.

    LaQuana Sledge, Shanice Mason, Marion Gilliam, Bréonna Harrison, and Taylor Givens each received $300 on behalf of the EGCCA.

    Emily Pope received $700 from the Brink Ruritan Club. 

    The night concluded with each senior being awarded a certificate to recognize their accomplishments and plans after completing high school.  A reception to honor the graduates followed the ceremony.  Refreshments were prepared by Sarah Poarch and students from the culinary arts class at GCHS.

















    RANDY KIETRON POPE better known as "Loki" departed this life on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.

    Randy was born to Juanita Pope and Randy Dobie on October 19, 1989 along with his twin brother; Shawn Pope. He received his education through Greensville County Public Schools Systems. Randy was a very talented young man and was viewed as a role model for many younger men in town.

    Randy was raised with an abundance of respect for his elders through the guidance of his grandmother; Mrs. Emma Dean Smith.

    Randy leaves to cherish his beloved memories a loving mother: Juanita Pope of Emporia, VA, his father; Randy Dobie of Maryland, his loving and devoted grandparents; Emma Dean and Ronnie Smith of Emporia, VA, a fiancé; Tiffany Woodruff, two sons; Elijah and Kietron Pope all of Emporia, VA, seven brothers; Shawn D. Pope, Leo Pope, Christopher Rodgers, Marcel Rodgers, Derek Pope, Author Maryland and Tyron Everett, one sister; Felicia Pope, one devoted aunt; Julia Pope and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN JEFFERSON was called to his heavenly home on Monday, June 2, 2014 at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia, VA. He was born April 9, 1928 to the late Benjamin and Annie Taylor Jefferson in Greensville County, Virginia.

    Benjamin accepted Christ at an early age and joined the St. Paul Church of God In Christ under the leadership of the late Elder R. N. Johnson, Sr. He later moved his membership to St. John Church of God In Christ in Jarratt, VA, where he became ordained as a deacon. Deacon Jefferson served faithfully as a Deacon and Trustee of the church until his health began to decline.

    In 1957 Deacon Jefferson married Thelma Iola Harding of Pleasant Hill, NC and to this union one daughter was born; Sandra Faith Jefferson.

    Benjamin was a hard worker and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He also worked at Georgia Pacific for over 20 years before retirement. After retirement Mr. Jefferson could be found working over the grounds of Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, sitting under the carport or often down at the late Deacon Billy Potts Church Supply Store. Deacon Jefferson also ran Chapel Hill Grocery, Halifax Grocery and worked at the Emporia Dye Plant.

    Mr. Jefferson was preceded in death by his three sisters; Alma J. Morgan, Lelia J. Washington and Suretha J. Jones and one nephew; Alvin "Pee-Wee" Washington.

    Left to cherish his loving memories a loving and devoted wife; Thelma H. Jefferson, one daughter Sandra F. Jefferson of the home and friend Gilbert P. Lucas, one grandson; Najah R. Travis of Ettrick, VA, one granddaughter; Adrienne G. Giles (Lamar) of Great Bridge, VA, four sisters-in-law; Lola Ferguson of Capital Heights, MD, Martha Scott of New York, NY, Georgetta White (Arthur) of Brooklyn, NY and Marie Harding of Richmond, VA. He also leaves to cherish his memories an adoptive brother; George Milton (Brenda) of Richmond, VA and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends

    A wake will be held on Friday June 6, 2014, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Knox-High Mortuary Chapel.

    Funeral Services will be held on Saturday June 7, 2014, 12:00 Noon at Knox-High Mortuary Chapel with Interment following at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens.

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  40. Obituary-Mabel Lewter Grizzard

    Mabel Lewter Grizzard of Emporia, Va., born on May 23, 1921 in Pendleton, N. C.,passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center, Emporia.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Hugh Swanson Grizzard, Jr.  She leaves behind  to cherish her memory 3-sons; Swanson Grizzard of Williamsburg along with his son Kyle, Wiley Grizzard and his wife, Nita of Emporia along with their sons Brian and Joshua, Ben Grizzard and his special friend Kim Mousa of Emporia along with his children Amanda, Michael and Tiffany, and two daughters, Angie Claire Grizzard and her special friend Pam Thomas of Oakland, California, and Christine Williams of Roanoke Rapids, N. C. along with her two children Jason and Kim; also left to cherish her memory are seven great-grandchildren as well as many special nieces and nephews and her church family at Adams Grove Baptist Church.  Visitation will be held 1:00 P. M.  Saturday, June 7, 2014 with funeral service to follow at 2:00 P. M. at the Echols Funeral Home Chapel, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia,  with interment to follow in the Emporia Cemetery.   In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Adams Grove Baptist Church, 24463 Adams Grove Road, Emporia, Va. 23847 or the Emporia-Greensville Vol.Rescue Squad, 513 South Main St., Emporia, Va. 23847.  Condolences may be sent to www.echolsfuneralhome.com.

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  41. Freedom Salute to honor Emporia-based National Guard 1710th Transportation Company service in Afghanistan

    SANDSTON, Va. — Approximately 145 Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard’s Emporia-based 1710th Transportation Company will gather Sunday, June 8, 2014, at the Greensville County High School gymnasium located at 403 Harding Street in Emporia at 10 a.m. to conduct a Freedom Salute in honor of their service in Afghanistan. The Soldiers returned to Virginia Feb. 22, 2014, after conducting transportation support operations in Afghanistan since June 2013. They began serving on federal active duty April 1, 2013.

    Soldiers from the 1710th Transportation Company drove more than 304,000 miles and conducted 43 sustainment and retrograde missions where they hauled more 3,200 20-foot container units for resupply operations and 100 pieces of rolling stock for transport out of country. During these operations, they maintained a 99% operational readiness rate and received a safety streamer for having no serious accidents. The company’s maintenance performed nearly 800 quality assurance and quality control inspections before each vehicle left on a mission. They also performed 95 repairs and completed 55 annual services.

    The company had no Soldiers killed in action or seriously wounded.

    The Freedom Salute will recognize the Soldiers, their families, employers and organizations that contributed significantly to supporting the unit during its deployment. The Freedom Salute Campaign is one of the largest Army National Guard recognition endeavors in history, designed to publicly acknowledge Army Guard Soldiers and those who supported them during the President’s call to duty for Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

    As part of the Freedom Salute ceremony, the Soldiers are scheduled to receive the Virginia Governor’s National Service Medal. The medal was created in 2005 by then-Governor Mark R. Warner to recognize the service of the men and women of the Virginia Army and Air National Guard called to active federal service since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The award was first presented Nov. 11, 2005 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond.

    Prior to this deployment to Afghanistan, the 1710th Transportation Company served on active duty in Iraq from May 2008 to February 2009.

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  42. National Lightning Awareness Week is June 22-28

    Do You Know the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule?

    Summer is on the way, and that means summer storms are, too. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur in the summer months when people are caught outdoors during the afternoons and evenings. Reduce your risk with these safety tips:

    • If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you.
    • When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter – a substantial building or a metal-topped vehicle with windows up.
    • Remember the 30/30 lighting safety rule: Go indoors if after seeing lightning you can’t count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
    • If you are anywhere you feel your hair stand on end, then squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target, and minimize your contact with the ground.
    • Avoid contact with anything metal – tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts and golf clubs, and bicycles.
    • If you are in an open area or on open water, then get to land and find shelter immediately.

    Lightning is one of the top three storm-related killers. It often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Stay informed about changing weather conditions during the summer by tuning in to local media weather reports and monitoring NOAA Weather Radio.

    National Lightning Awareness Week is June 22-28. For more about lightning safety, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov orwww.lightningsafety.noaa.gov

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  43. Obituary-Steven B. “Steve” Taylor

    Steven B. “Steve” Taylor, 57, passed away Tuesday, June 3, 2014. A Virginia Tech graduate of 1979, he worked over 30 years with Ted Lee, Inc and was a member of Concord United Methodist Church. He was preceded in death by his parents, Billy Buck Taylor, Jr. and Frances Gay Stansbury and stepfather, Horace L. Stansbury. Steve is survived by his wife, Ann Marie Barnes Taylor; daughter, Ellie Taylor; four sisters, JoAnn Williams and husband, Eddie, Sue Ivey and husband, Rick, Sherry Fraunfelter and husband, Bill, and Donna Pulley; one brother, Bill Taylor; father-in-law, David Barnes; brother-in-law, Curtis Barnes and wife, Sherry and a number of nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at Concord United Methodist Church, 18591 Concord-Sappony Rd, Stony Creek, Virginia. The family will receive friends at Steve’s home in Dinwiddie 5-8 p.m. Friday; 2-5 p.m. on Saturday and at church following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Concord United Methodist Church, c/o Alice Spiers, 25713 Courthouse Rd, Stony Creek, Virginia 23882. Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

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  44. SVCC Faculty Member Chosen as Outstanding Alumni

    Danville Community College’s Alumni Association honored Dr. Percy Richardson, faculty member at Southside Virginia Community College as a 2014 Outstanding DCC Alumni in banquet ceremonies April 11 in Oliver Hall on the DCC campus.  Honorees represent Danville Community College and its two predecessor institutions, Danville Technical Institute and Virginia Polytechnic Institute—Danville.

    Dr. Richardson graduated from Danville Community College in Business Management.  Since graduating from DCC, he has obtained two Master's degrees and a doctorate.  Currently employed as a Professor of Business/Coordinator of International education for Southside Community College at Keysville Virginia, he resides in Halifax, Virginia. 

    "My educational success,"  Dr. Richardson emphasizes, "comes from the positive and supportive experience I had at DCC. The education I received from DCC has been the hallmark of my academic achievement.   I owe special "Thanks" to great educators like Dr. Wayne McCubbins, Mrs. Sharon Scott, Mr. Russell Scruggs, Mr. Joseph (Joe) Carr, Mr. Wayne Martin and Ms. Allen, and the late Mr. Fred Lloyd. These individuals gave me a sense of confidence that I can do anything that is humanly possible."

    After leaving DCC, Dr. Richardson received his BS in Management Science from Averett University, his MSA in General Administration from Central Michigan University, his Master of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University and his DA in Community College Education with a concentration in Public Management from George Mason University.

    Dr. Richardson instructs and advises 150 students per year at SVCC’s John H. Daniel Campus in business management, human resources, and international business through in-class and on-line instruction.  He directs the business graduates seminar and project while marketing and recruiting for the college's Global Education Program.  He has served as the Honors Program Advisor and taught in the Correctional Education Program.

    Dr. Richardson promotes SVCC abroad to potential foreign students while working with college departments to support foreign students.  He is assigned to lead the instruction of MBA and MLS graduate students.

    From 2001-2005, Dr. Richardson was adjunct Professor of Business at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia.  He has been published twice in The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges concerning teaching with a global perspective and international travel and learning from a community college perspective.

    Dr. Richardson is Co-chair of the Southside Virginia Community College Golf Tournament held to raise scholarship money for the college's endowment and for students to study abroad.  He also helps raise money for SVCC's Study Abroad Program for scholarships by including community citizens in the study abroad program.

    Richardson was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps from 1976 to 1979.  After military service, Dr. Richardson aided his church, White Oak Fork Baptist Church, in helping those less fortunate.  He regularly helps collect and distribute toiletry items for the residents of Berry Hill Nursing Home.

    Dr. Richardson is the 2013 VCCA Showcase winner for Outstanding Faculty on the John H. Daniel Campus.  He was nominated in May 2010 for the Virginia's Community Colleges Community Services Award, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Workforce Training and Instruction.

    He is the father of one daughter and grandfather to three grandchildren.

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  45. Junior Marshalls Announced

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce its Junior Marshals for its 50th Commencement Exercises.  These students serve as greeters.

    Left to Right - Lauren Thompson, Laren Butler, Madison Lewis, Brent Hofmann, Lukas Curtis (Chief Marshal), Jessica Rivas, Cora Sadler, Lexi Smith

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  46. Brunswick Academy Honor Graduates Announced

    Brunswick Academy is pleased to announce its Honor Graduates for the 50th Commencement Exercises on Friday, June 6, 2014.

    Honor graduates, wear gold cord and tassel and must have a 95 cumulative grade point average or above.  They are also members of the National Honor Society.  
    L - R:  Dustin Peebles Clary (Salutatorian), Christin Michaela Copeland (Valedictorian) and Travis Graham Browder

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  47. Obituary-Daniel Parker Slagle

    Daniel Parker Slagle, of Emporia, Virginia, age 71, died Monday, June 2, 2014.  Mr. Slagle was a mechanic for Life Star Ambulance Service; a member of Emporia Vol. Fire Dept. since 1962,and Fireman of the year 1979.   He is survived by 1-son Jason Parker Slagle and wife Tiffany of Emporia; 1-daughter Stacy Slagle True and husband James of Palymra, Va.;6 sisters; Lucille Taylor, Marion Wright, Nell Prince, Lorine Bradley, Lily Ruth Mitchell all of Emporia, Va.and Edna Newsome, of Kernersville, N. C.; 1-grandson Jacob Russell True, Palymra, Va.  Visitation will be held at the Echols Funeral Home, 806 Brunswick Ave., Emporia, Va., Wednesday, June 4, from 6 to 8:00 P.M. where funeral service will be held Thursday 11:00 A. M. with interment to follow in the Greensville Memorial Cemetery, Emporia.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Emporia Vol. Fire Dept.,  411 Halifax St., Emporia, Virginia.  Condolences may be sent to www.Echolsfuneralhome.com.

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    RICHMOND – Virginia’s official and only comprehensive report on local and statewide crime figures for 2013 is now available online at the Virginia State Police website at http://www.vsp.virginia.gov, under “Forms & Publications.” The detailed document, titled Crime in Virginia, provides precise rates and occurrences of crimes committed in towns, cities and counties across the Commonwealth. The report breaks down criminal offenses by the reporting agency as well as arrests by jurisdiction.

    The following 2013 crime figures within Virginia are presented in the report:

    • Virginia experienced a decline in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) of 1.6 percent compared to 2012, less of a decline of the 3.0 percent decrease comparing 2011 with 2012. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
    • Property crime such as burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft continued to decrease for the previous year (3.9 percent) which was even greater than between 2011 and 2012, a decrease of 3.3 percent. The FBI figures for the most recent reporting period of time are not yet available.
    • The homicide rate per 100,000 population remained the same for 2013 (3.84) as in 2012 (3.86). Based on the ages reported, victims tended to be older than offenders; 20 percent of homicide victims were 50 years of age or older, while only 11 percent of offenders were in the same age group of 50 and older.
    • Motor vehicle thefts and attempted thefts decreased 6 percent.  Of the 8,396 motor vehicles stolen, 4,480 or just over one-half were recovered (53.4%). Trucks and automobiles stolen had the highest percent recovered (65%, 63%, respectively), while recreational and “other” motor vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc.) had the lowest percent recovered (36%, 32.1%). Nearly four-out-of-10 (39.2%) of all motor vehicle offenses were reported stolen from the location of a residence or home. The value of all motor vehicles stolen and attempts to steal was $57,927,170, while the value recovered was $32,225,988 (55.6%).
    • Drug and narcotic offenses showed slight decreases in 2009 (-2.5%) and 2008 (-3.5%). For the past four years drug offenses have increased (5.3% in 2010, 7.1% in 2011, 9.4% for 2012 and 3.8% in 2013) in Virginia.
    • Fraud offenses increased by 7.6 percent when compared to 2012.
    • Robbery decreased 3.7 percent. Of the 4,555 robberies and attempted robberies, just over one-third (34%) took place between 8 p.m. and midnight. The days of the week showed little variability with a separation of less than 2 percent between the highest and lowest numbers reported.
    • Of the weapons reported for violent crimes, firearms were the most frequently used in homicides (70%), followed by robberies (55%) and aggravated assaults (20%). 
    • There were 123 hate crimes reported in 2013. Nearly two-thirds or 61 percent were racially or ethnically motivated. Bias toward religion was next highest with 24 percent while bias toward sexual orientation comprised 11 percent. The remaining 4 percent reported was attributed to a bias against a victim’s physical or mental disability. The offense of destruction/damage/vandalism of property was associated with 47 percent of all reported bias motivated crimes while 44 percent of reported hate crimes involved assaults.        

    The report employs an Incident Based Reporting (IBR) method for calculating offenses, thus allowing for greater accuracy. IBR divides crimes into two categories: Group A for serious offenses including violent crimes (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault), property crimes and drug offenses; and Group B for what are considered less serious offenses such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, bad checks and liquor law violations where an arrest has occurred.

    For Group A offenses, between 2012 and 2013, adult arrests in Virginia decreased less than one percent (-0.19%). Juvenile arrests for Group A offenses decreased 10 percent statewide during the same period of time. Crime in Virginia reports that Group B arrests decreased 6.8 percent for adults, and decreased 12.8 percent for juveniles between 2012 and 2013. For both Group A and Group B offenses, there were a total of 341,557 arrests in 2012 compared to 325,504 arrests in 2013, representing a decrease of 4.7 percent.

    Per state mandate, the Department of Virginia State Police serves as the primary collector of crime data from participating Virginia state and local police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The data are collected by the Virginia State Police Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division via a secured Internet system. This information is then compiled into Crime in Virginia, an annual report for use by law enforcement, elected officials, media and the general public. These data become the official crime statistics for the Commonwealth and are sent to the FBI who modifies and incorporates them in their annual report, Crime in the United States.




    This is the first in a series of articles from Virginia Legal Aid Society on housing and landlord tenant issues. These articles are intended to inform Virginians of their rights and responsibilities concerning housing and landlord tenant issues.

    Everyone who rents a home in Virginia has the legal right to a safe and healthy rental. All landlords and tenants have specific duties to keep rental property safe.

    Under Virginia law, all landlords must:

    • Follow building and housing codes affecting health and safety.
    • Make all repairs needed to keep the property fit and habitable.
    • Keep in good and safe working order all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances that the landlord supplies or must supply.
    • Supply running water, hot water, air conditioning if provided, and heat in season; unless the tenant alone controls the heat, air conditioning, or hot water, or unless provided directly by a utility company to the tenant on a separate meter.
    • Prevent and remove accumulation of moisture and growth of mold.
    • Prevent and remove infestation of rodents.

    A tenant and landlord may agree in writing that the tenant will perform some of the landlord's duties, but the duty to follow building and housing codes affecting health and safety must remain the landlord’s responsibility. Any agreement giving responsibilities to the tenant must be in writing and must be made in good faith.

    Landlords have additional responsibilities if they rent multi-family dwellings such as apartments; if they rent rooms in hotels, motels, or boarding houses to any tenant renting more than 90 days; or if they rent more than a minimum number of single family residences. These landlords and rentals are covered by the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA). The minimum number of single-family residences required for the VRTLA to apply is currently more than ten residences in a county or more than four residences in a city. However, beginning July 1, 2014, that law will apply to landlords anywhere in the Virginia that rent more than two single family residences.

    In rentals covered by the VRLTA, landlords must also:

    • Keep clean and safe any common areas used by more than one tenant household.
    • Provide and maintain trash containers (except for single family houses).

    Virginia tenants also have certain responsibilities for keeping rental property in safe repair. Every tenant must:

    Follow building and housing codes affecting health and safety imposed on tenants, (such as keeping the property interior free from excess garbage and allowing access by building code officials investigating code violations).

    • Keep the rented space and plumbing as clean and safe as conditions permit.
    • Use all utilities and appliances reasonably, and dispose of trash.
    • Not destroy or damage the property, or allow anyone else to do so.
    • Not remove or tamper with any properly functioning smoke detectors.

    Use the property in a way that will prevent accumulation of moisture and growth of mold.

    In rentals covered by the VRLTA, tenants must also:

    • Keep the rented space free from insects and pests and notify the landlord of any insects and pests.
    • Not remove or tamper with any properly functioning carbon monoxide detectors.

    When problems arise, Virginia law provides a precise and effective method for insuring that repairs are made. If the problem is one that the landlord has a duty to repair, the tenant must do the following to protect his or her rights:

    • Give the landlord notice in writing of each repair that needs to be made.
    • Allow the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make the requested repairs.
    • If the repairs are not made, take the landlord to court.

    If a landlord has not made necessary repairs, the tenant cannot just stop paying rent. If a tenant does not pay rent when it is due, he or she can be evicted. In order to request repairs by going to court, the tenant must be up to date in rent and stay current while the lawsuit is pending.

    Any notice to the landlord of necessary repairs must be made in writing. Telling the landlord in person or by telephone, even repeatedly, is not enough. The notice should be sent to the landlord by certified mail, return receipt requested. If court action is later necessary, the tenant will need the certified mail receipt and return receipt along with a copy of the letter sent.

    A reasonable time to repair will depend upon the repair to be made. If the problem is an emergency, such as no heat in winter, or no water, the landlord must make the repair right away. For other repairs, more time may be reasonable. The law presumes that a reasonable time to make repairs is thirty (30) days or less.

    If the landlord does not make repairs after written notice and a reasonable opportunity to make them, the tenant can take the landlord to court. Such a lawsuit can be filed in the General District Court in the city or county where the rental property is located or where the landlord resides. The tenant’s rent must be paid up to date when the lawsuit is filed. While the case is pending, ongoing rent must be paid to the court “in escrow” within five days of the date it becomes due.

    In such a “rent escrow” lawsuit, the tenant can ask and the judge can order any of the following relief:

    • That repairs be completed by the landlord before the rent is released to the landlord.
    • That repairs be completed and some or all of the rent money be returned to the tenant.
    • That the lease be terminated without the tenant owing future rent.

    Virginia law provides protections for landlords and tenants alike. When parties to a rental agreement cannot resolve problems by agreement, an aggrieved party can obtain relief in his or her local court.

    Virginia Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm providing free legal assistance to low income persons and families with many types of civil legal problems, including housing. If you think you may be eligible and have a civil legal problem, call 1-866LeglAid (1-866-534-5243) toll-free to apply for services or to listen to free recorded information. www.vlas.org

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  50. Greensville Elementary Student Isaiah Stephens Among National Leaders in two Track and Field Events

    Surrounded by family and friends Emporia natives Isaiah Stephens a nine years old fourth grader at Greensville Elementary made his mark once again in the world of USATF and AAU Youth Track and Field records book.

    The nine year old continue his Virginia dominance in the Shot Put by tossing the 6LB Shot 33 feet on Saturday May 31st at the 29th Annual Cannonball Cooper Age Group track and field Championship at Varina High School in Richmond.  Isaiah who is no stranger to Track and Field success has not lost a competition in the short 2014 track and field season.  His average margin of victory in Virginia stands at 10 feet this year in the shot put.  On Saturday, Isaiah throw was 12 feet better than the second place competitor  “Isaiah’s Dominance is no surprise, says his Club Coach, Les Young, Isaiah has always express interest in being number one in the country”

    According to www.eliteyouth.net Isaiah’s toss of 33’ feet in the shot put would rank him 2nd in the country in the 9-10 age group under USATF reported results, the leader is from California and is presently throwing 37’.  “Based on the elite youth ranking we have some work to do to be number one, but rest assure Isaiah will work as hard as he needs to”, Coach Young. 

    Stephens is one of the few athletes in Emporia that can boast All-American status.  Isaiah finish fifth in the Nation in the eight and under age group his first year in Lazers Track Club, the next year competing in the 9-10 age group he finished ninth just missing the All-American status.  Top eight at the Junior Olympics earn All-American status.  This year Isaiah has competed in several track meets and he is undefeated throughout the early spring season in the state of Virginia.  The road to the Junior Olympics will consist of an association meet in Suffolk VA a regional meet in Durham NC and then the Junior Olympic meet in Humble Texas on July 21-27.  

    Isaiah will not only compete in the shot put of which he is number two in the country, but Isaiah will also compete in the Javelin.  This weekend at the Cannonball age Group Championship Isaiah tossed the Javelin 106 feet and 10 inches almost 50 feet better than his closest competitors.  According to www.eliteyouth.net this would make Isaiah the number one Javelin thrower in the nation 9-10age group under USATF reported results.  “Although it is very early in the season this is great for his confidence and for his training, it lets us know where we are in the training phase of the season” Coach Young.

    May 31st Javelin Results

    Isaiah began competing with the Lazers Track Club,  a non-profit track club founded by Coach Les Young in 1992, two years ago .  According to Coach Young, all Greensville County High School athletes and Emporia residents have the opportunity to participate.  However, very few athletes demonstrated the desire and determination to practice and had the parental support necessary to make it happen.

    Lazers Track Club, which has athletes in Virginia Beach, Petersburg, and Emporia, has been in Emporia since 2005.  William “Bill” Cain and Coach Young coach the Emporia division of Lazers Track Club.

    Isaiah is determined to be good.  He works hard and has the full support of his family.

    This weekend his grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Smith, his mom LaTina Smith, his aunt, and nieces came and supported him as he put his mark in the track and field record books.

    In-fact track and field has slowly become a family affair for Isaiah, his older sister Laricesa Miles is a former state qualifier in the discus and his younger sister five-year old Victoria Stephens has started competing in the 50m dash.

    Lazers track Club is reaching out to area businesses in the community to support our Club, financially, in our quest to continue to provide an avenue for our students to be successful in the sport of track and field.  We are hoping this will open the door for more athletes to participate and be able to achieve success in something tangible.

    To donate to Lazers Track Club and the Emporia athletes going to USATF Junior Olympics make checks payable to: Lazers Track Club and send  to:  24516 Plantation Drive Petersburg, VA 23803,  or call Coach Young at 757-582-0087 or visit www.lazerstrack.com and hit the donate button.



  51. Emporia Man Dead After Party Dispute

    Emporia native Randy Keitron Pope, 24, died after being shot during a dispute at a party in the 100 block of School Street during the early hours of Saturday, May 31.  Warrants have been obtained for Devin McCoy Rawls. Charges against Rawls include Murder and the Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. 

    Randy Pope was taken to Southside Virginia Regional Medical Center before being transferred to the Medical College of Virginia, where he later died, after being shot during the dispute.

    Anyone with information leading the arrest of Devin McCoy Rawls should call the Crime Line at (434)634-1111.  Callers may remain anonymous, and there is a reward of up to $500.00.

    More information will be published as it is made available.

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