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August 2019

Lynda Jennings King

 

9/24/1948 - 8/8/2019

Visitation Services

2 p.m. Sunday, August 11

Zion Baptist Church
974 Zion Church Rd
Skippers, Virginia

3 p.m. Sunday, August 11

Zion Baptist Church
974 Zion Church Rd
Skippers, Virginia

Lynda Jennings King, 70, of Emporia, passed away Thursday, August 8, 2019. She was the daughter of the late William and Mattie Jennings and also preceded in death by her son, Chris King. She is survived by her husband  Edward Marvin “Red” King; two sons, William King and wife Stacy and James Edward King and wife Lynette, daughter-in-law, Tabby Owen and husband John Michael; thirteen grandchildren, Sheree Coleman and husband Richard, Jesse King and loving companion Megan Burke, Mattie and Britt King, John Luke Owen, Austin, Stephen, and Chassity King, Jennifer Benton, Brittany Boland, Kathy Harvey, Ashley Musselman and Victoria Auton; seven great-grandchildren, Alia Wulf, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dunn, William Coleman, Addison and Dakota King and Zoe and Zane Auton; one sister, Marie Butler and husband Tommy, three brothers, Harold, Johnny and Butch Jennings.

Lynda adored children; A brilliant twinkle was evident in her eyes and her smile was infectious when she interacted with children. She was quick to get eye to eye with children and talk to them in a manner that put them at ease.  She especially loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She was a devoted and loving grandmother who was always present.  She lives in their hearts and they will always remember her eyes full of infinite tenderness.

The funeral service will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, August 11 at Zion Baptist Church, 974 Zion Church Rd, Skippers, Virginia where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Online condolences may be made at www.owenfh.com.

SVHEC Welcomes New Community College Presidents

It was a day of camaraderie and collaboration as the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) hosted a welcome reception for the region’s new community college presidents. Dr. Jacqueline Gill-Powell, Danville Community College (DCC) and Dr. Quentin R. Johnson, Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) took the helm of their respective institutions on July 1st. By virtue of their positions, they will each have a seat on the SVHEC’s Board of Trustees.

“We enjoyed a phenomenal day meeting and celebrating with our new Community College Presidents. Both presidents impressed me as sincere, down-to-earth, collaboratively-minded professionals who want to do what's best for students. I’m excited to work with them to strengthen our region,” said SVHEC Executive Director, Dr. Betty Adams.

Dr. Johnson stated, "We are excited about our partnership with the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center! Many thanks to Dr. Adams, and the entire SVHEC Team, for the warm welcome and excellent tour provided during the recent reception in South Boston. We are looking forward to building a stronger partnership moving forward as we collaborate to better serve the workforce and educational needs of the Southside Virginia region."

The tour of SVHEC facilities provided Dr. Gill-Powell and Dr. Johnson with an opportunity to learn more about the SVHEC, their off-campus operations at the Center, and options for expanding the community colleges presence. A welcome reception provided community leaders and stakeholders with a chance to meet and introduce themselves to the new presidents.

“The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center provides a great opportunity for the people in Halifax County to receive a quality education at DCC and other institutions,” said Dr. Gill-Powell. “As I gain more understanding during my first year as president at DCC, I look forward to collaborating on future initiatives with SVHEC. Expanding on the key partnerships we have developed in South Boston and Halifax County to bring in-demand workforce training opportunities to the great people of Southern Virginia is something the three of us, Dr. Adams, Dr. Johnson, and myself do not take lightly and will make every effort to ensure the success of this new chapter together. I am humbled and honored to have been so warmly received by the community at the elaborate reception held on July 31st. I look forward to extending that same warmth and welcome to students, colleagues, and new industry partners as our regional economy continues its transformation.”

DCC and SVCC are founding partners at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, with a collaboration that dates back more than 30 years.  Today, the majority of students who attend classes at the Center are enrolled with one or both community colleges.

“The SVHEC can't be successful if our Community College Partners are not successful,” Adams stated. “I pledge that the SVHEC will do everything it can to support and complement the work of our Community Colleges, and to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Adams believes those future opportunities include:

  • Developing feeder programs from SVHEC technical programs to Community College Associate Degree programs;
  • Featuring Community College degrees in an upcoming marketing campaign;
  • Participating in the College & Career Readiness Initiative under the Halifax County Community Strategic Plan; and
  • Expanding the use of technology to livestream instruction from DCC & SVCC campuses to the SVHEC.

***Updated-Upcoming CSX Railroad Crossing Closures-Updated***

The Following Rail Road Crossings in the City of Emporia and Greensville County will be closing on or near the dates below. Changes will be posted as they are made available. During the Closures both East Atlantic Street and Low Ground Road will remain open as detours.

As of 8/15/2019, Southampton St, Hicksford Ave, and Greensville Ave. have closed

The plan for next week is as follows:

  • Briggs Street-Close on 8/19

  • Low Ground Road (will not close until Hicksford, Greensville, and Briggs all re-open)- Tentative closure of 8/21 or 8/22

  • Liberty Road (Stage emergency response vehicles at crossing)- Tentative closure of 8/19 or 8/20

  • East Rock Bridge Road- Tentative closure of 8/21 or 8/22

  • Bass Road-TBD

  • Rolling Acres Road-TBD

  • Forrest Road-TBD

Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Winners

Kenneth Pitts, Auxiliary President; Mary Anne Carter, Auxiliary Member; Jessica Johnson, RN; Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech; W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer; and Darlene Ferguson, Auxiliary Member.

The VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital’s Auxiliary recognized the Elizabeth T. Moseley Scholarship Fund Winners Jessica Johnson, RN, and Jennifer Weston, Acute Care Cardiac Monitor Tech.

Applicants for the scholarship, funded by donations to the “Tree of Love,” had to pursue a degree or certification that would enhance the employee’s capabilities in a position at the hospital. Both Jessica and Jennifer were selected after the committee evaluated each applicant’s required essay on how “receiving the scholarship would enhance your life.”

As part of Jennifer’s essay, she revealed how an organ transplant saved her life.

“I would love the opportunity to be present when others receive this life saving gift and to help take care of them,” she said. Jennifer is in the RN program at Southside Virginia Community College.

Jessica Johnson stated how much the scholarship would help offset the cost of books and supplies in her continued education being “13 months away from the completion of my post masters certificate in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.” Jessica attends Maryville University online.

W. Scott Burnette, Chief Executive Officer and members of the Auxiliary were on hand to congratulate the winners and present the award.

Chester Rotary Presents Corn Hole Sets to Jackson-Feild

On a hot summer evening members of the Chester Rotary Club met with residents of Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services to present six corn hole sets. Members of the club constructed the sets and residents helped them with the final assembly. The club also donated bags for each set.

The construction of these sets was a labor of love headed by Rotarian Peter Adler and his Rotarian helpers. The Chester Rotary Club has constructed sets for our charities and causes in the past.

After the final assembly of the legs and the presentation of the sets to the children the Rotarians, children and staff sat down to an old fashioned ice cream social. Brownies and cookies were also a part of the fare. Nothing tastes as great as ice cream on a hot summer night.

The residents of Jackson-Feild are most grateful to the Chester Rotarians for constructing these sets which will give them hours of enjoyment in the future.

Our Future Health Care Providers

Career Scene Investigators - 1st row left to right: Abbie Long, Mary Katelyn Hite, Meredith Graham, Drew Jones, Claire Williams, Jayla Whitehead. 2nd row left to right: Hazel Willis, Education Manager and Camp Coordinator,  Kailey Smith, Alease Cleaton, Tristan Buchanan, Cassidy Smith, Lexi Weaver, Grace Howell, Yyetta Carter, Theresa Griles, RN Educator

Submitted by Hazel Willis, RN, BSN

CSI (Career Scene Investigators) returned to VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital, not to investigate crime scenes, but to explore the suspects of health care. VCU Health CMH offered a week camp to seventh and eighth graders from local middle schools July 29th thru August 2nd.  Thirteen students from Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, and Brunswick County Middle Schools participated in the camp. The focus of the camp was to give students an opportunity to learn about the many exciting careers available in health care. The camp offered a variety of activities that allowed the students to observe and interact with health care professionals in their work environment.  The campers rotated through various departments getting hands on experience with simulated activities that health care professionals perform daily.         

The middle school years are the ideal time to introduce students to the various career opportunities in health care. It attributes to the selective science, math, and or English courses that they may include into their curriculum as they choose their classes throughout their high school years. By the end of the week some of the campers want to be doctors, nurses, and physical, speech or occupational therapists; while others want to become engineers, computer technologists or marine biologists.  We are excited that some of our campers from previous years chose health care careers; have graduated from college; and are currently employed here at VCU Health CMH as registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and exercise physiologists.   

VCU Health CMH is pleased that they can offer this excellent opportunity to area students to learn about the world of health care.  Southside Virginia Community College in Alberta participates and supports the camp each year with the provision of activities and a pizza lunch. Southside Virginia Rescue and VCU Health Med-Evac also participate in the activities for the campers. According to the students, it was a fun week and they learned what health care professionals do daily to help and provide care to others. 

We encourage other middle school students to apply to attend the CSI Camp next summer. The information and the application for the camp will be delivered to the local schools in the Spring of 2020 and it will also be available on VCU-CMH.org.

McEachin Announces “For the People” August District Work Period Events

Richmond, Va. – Congressman A. Donald McEachin has spent the past 200 days working to lower health care costs, protecting our environment, increasing paychecks by rebuilding American and restoring ethics and integrity in our government to deliver progress to the people of Virginia’s fourth congressional district. He will be holding events to discuss his vision for the country, give legislative updates, and hear directly from his constituents on what matters most to them. Congressman McEachin issued the following statement:

"After spending several months advocating and passing good policy For The People, I am very excited to be coming home with extended opportunity to meet with constituents,” saidCongressman A. Donald McEachin. “We have events planned all over the district - a town hall about gun violence in Petersburg with special guest, Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran, another town hall with Congressman Scott in Chesapeake and a town hall in Emporia about healthcare. I will also be doing several book drops at libraries in the district and I will also meet with constituents in Surry to discuss food deserts, an issue in which I have introduced bicameral legislation with Senator Warner.

“I plan to be all over the district to hear the concerns of my constituents and share information about the first seven months of this Congress. It will be a busy time and I look forward to being out around the district for an extended period.”

August 7th at 6:30pm: Emporia Health Care Town Hall in cooperation with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, City of Emporia, and local health care experts City Council Chambers;Municipal Building,  201 S. Main St. Emporia, VA 23847

SVCC Grad’s Cool Job Is A Family Tradition

By Meredith Feinman, SVCC Intern

Whitney Hawkins' job is cool because she followed in her parents’ footsteps by becoming a school teacher.  She grew up in Alberta, Virginia and attended Nottoway High School and the Governor’s School of Southside Virginia at the same time. 

Whitney said, “I chose to attend the governor's school while in high school because I wanted a head start when it was time for me to graduate and attend a university. Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC)  allowed me to get a feel for college-level coursework while also allowing me to prepare myself to be successful for life after high school.” 

Since graduating from high school and SVCC with an Associate degree in General Studies, Whitney transferred to James Madison University where she majored in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in 2016 and went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Teaching the following year. She now teaches kindergarten in Brunswick County Public Schools and was recently named Teacher of the Year for both her school, Red Oak-Sturgeon Elementary School, and the entire county. 

Her dad, Crawley Hawkins, teaches at Red Oak-Sturgeon and has been a teacher for 25 years and her mother, Priscilla, retired after 30 years in the classroom.  

Outside of teaching, Whitney runs a program called “Bike and Read”. In this program, students are provided with the opportunity to enjoy bike rides on a local trail, have lunch, and read books throughout the year. She also recently hosted an event called “The Mommy and Me Brunch,” where she celebrated all mothers do for their daughters and recognized key mothers from the local area. 

In the future, Whitney says she plans on “pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership with hopes of becoming a principal. I also would like to work on getting my summer Bike and Read program to be an official nonprofit organization.” Whitney also said, “Many people dream of moving far from home and establishing themselves, but I truly love making an impact here in my hometown.”

Looking back on her experience at SVCC, Whitney had these thoughts: “My time at SVCC was challenging but so well worth it. I was able to experience college-level course work while still in high school in a more personal setting, and I encountered some of the best professors such as Dr. Joyce Hurt, Mrs. Celeste Paynter, and many more. I also made lifelong friends who I am still in contact with to this day. I continue to rave about the wonderful experience I had while attending SVCC for governor's school, and recommend all high school students to look into it and apply if the opportunity arises for them.”

She is proof that you don’t have to land far from home to have a very rewarding and cool career!!

5 Ways to Use Social Security Online

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

Social Security is here for you, not just when you need us financially, but when you need accurate information about our programs, retirement, and more. There are many online sources for Social Security information, but you need to make sure you’re getting the right information.

By using www.socialsecurity.gov, you know that what you’re reading and watching is approved by our experts and specifically created for you. Here are five of our resources that can offer you invaluable information.

Want access to our latest news, retirement planning tips, and helpful information? Social Security Matters is our blog at blog.socialsecurity.gov. From there, you can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, where you can watch our popular videos.

Our online calculators, such as the Retirement Estimator, the Life Expectancy Calculator, and the Early or Late Retirement Calculator, can be found at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/calculators.

Have you lost or misplaced your Social Security card? Find out how to get a new, replacement, or corrected card at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber. In fact, you may be able to quickly request a replacement card online with a my Social Security account, if you meet certain qualifications, at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Verify your annual earnings and review estimates of your future Social Security benefits when you access your Social Security Statement, one of the many services available with a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Do you have to pay taxes on Social Security benefits? How do you apply for Social Security retirement benefits? What is your full retirement age? Discover the answers to your Social Security related questions at our Frequently Asked Questions page at www.socialsecurity.gov/faq.

With so many services available online, Social Security is here for you when your schedule allows. And we’re the authority for Social Security program and benefits information. Be sure to tell friends and family about all the business they can do with us from the comfort of their home or office at www.socialsecurity.gov.

SVCC STEM Camp Students Launch Rocket Replicas of Apollo 11

Students work at Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center on rockets at a STEM Camp offered through Southside Virginia Community College.  The Saturn V replicas of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon were successfully launched after being constructed by the students.  The camp was designed as a commemoration of the actual trip to the moon undertaken by Americans 50 years ago. 

During July of 2019, Associate Professor Brent Richey from Southside Virginia Community College(SVCC) led a group of  Mecklenburg County students through a space camp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 crew completed the national goal set by President John F. Kennedy eight years prior: to perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth.

Held in South Hill’s Lake Country Advanced Knowledge Center, this camp was made possible by a grant from the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. The students spent two days creating four feet tall replicas (1/100 scale) of the Saturn V rocket that launched Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin,  and Michael Collins into space.

On the third day of the camp, which was the actual date of the moon landing 50 years ago, the students got to see if their rockets would successfully launch. There were many excited spectators present at Parker Park to view launching of the model rockets including the South Hill Volunteer Fire Department who were there as a precaution. The spectators watched in wonder as all 20 rockets built by these young scientists launched as planned. 

Richey said, “The students had to commit to all four days of the camp, or not at all since there was no way to "catch up" if someone missed a day.  Also, the construction of the rockets is tedious but rewarding and there is no cost to participants.”  

He noted that the rocket kits are very detailed and the finished product makes a great display once finished properly.  

“Everyone got to keep his/her rocket after the launch, provided it survived,” he said.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SECURES $6 MILLION FROM CISCO SYSTEMS IN MULTISTATE SETTLEMENT

~ Virginia to receive $546,000 as its part of the settlement ~

RICHMOND (August 1, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in settling a multistate lawsuit against Cisco Systems, Inc. concerning security surveillance system software sold to Virginia, a collection of other states, and the federal government. A whistleblower came forward under the federal False Claims Act to assert that Cisco’s software had major flaws rendering the system vulnerable to hackers, and that despite learning of the exposure, Cisco failed to report or remedy this security flaw for several years. Virginia will receive approximately $546,000 of the total settlement payment.

“It is inexcusable that Cisco was aware of the security flaws in its software for years, yet failed to do anything about it,” said Attorney General Herring.“These security flaws opened our surveillance systems up to hackers and could have put Virginians at risk. My team and I will continue to hold manufacturers accountable and make sure they know that they must report and repair any flaws that they find or they will have to deal with the consequences.”

In 2009, according to the action, Cisco discovered security flaws in a software product designed to control security camera systems sold to Virginia, multiple other states, and the federal government, but the company failed to report or remedy these flaws until 2013, and only after commencement of the investigation of the action.

The now-discontinued software contained flaws that would permit unauthorized access to the system, with the potential to control and otherwise manipulate security cameras and the recorded footage. 

The investigation began after parties involved in the settlement received information from a former Cisco employee who came forward as a whistleblower and filed an action under the federal False Claims Act and whistleblower acts of the multiple states involved. The joint investigation uncovered no evidence that a hack or any unauthorized access of security surveillance systems ever took place.

The $6 million fine will be distributed among the plaintiff states, with a share for the whistleblower. The Virginia False Claims Act allows private persons to file civil actions on behalf of the government, and to share in any recovery.

Attorney General Herring and his team conducted this investigation in coordination with the States of California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

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