Henrico seeks volunteer workers for Civil War battle reenactment Sept. 26-28

Henrico County is looking for volunteers to help staff and support a reenactment of the Battle of New Market Heights, a fight significant for the role played by African-American soldiers serving in the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT).

At least 50 volunteers are needed for the reenactment, set for Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Runnymede property near the Malvern Hill site of Richmond National Battlefield Park, 8750 Willis Church Road. Henrico’s Division of Recreation and Parks is organizing the event, which is scheduled to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle.

County officials anticipate up to 1,000 reenactors and 10,000 spectators for the weekend-long event, which will feature demonstrations and tours for school groups on Friday and a total of three battle reenactments on Saturday and Sunday. It also will offer live performances of period music, popular food and merchandise from the era and educational activities for children.

Volunteers will help guide school tour groups, provide line and crowd control, and assist children’s crafts and games, among other duties. Volunteers can work single or multiple shifts. They should be 16 or older and able to work outdoors on field terrain.

Volunteers can sign up and get additional information at www.civilwarhenrico.com or by contacting Anna Truong at tru08@co.henrico.va.us and (804) 501-2130. The deadline to register is July 25.

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“We’re excited to commemorate this historic battle that took place on Henrico soil and bring to life an important moment in the county’s — and our nation’s — history,” said Neil Luther, director of Recreation and Parks. “We need the support of our community volunteers to help make it happen.”

The Battle of New Market Heights took place the morning of Sept. 29, 1864, as part of a broader Union assault against Confederate defenses southeast of Richmond. Several regiments from the U.S. Colored Troops, which had crossed the James River at Deep Bottom the night before, spearheaded an attack on elevated, entrenched Confederate positions along New Market Road near Four Mile Creek. At the same time, additional Union forces moved against Fort Harrison a little more than 2 miles to the west. USCT units suffered heavy casualties in the attack but dislodged Confederate forces from New Market Road; simultaneously, Union troops captured Fort Harrison.

Fourteen African-American soldiers received the Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest military honor — for their heroism in combat at New Market Heights (18 African-American soldiers received the Medal of Honor over the course of the Civil War). Their actions helped dispel the notion, widely held at the time, that African-American soldiers were unfit for combat.



Refuse and Recycling Pickup Schedule

Refuse collection is delayed one day with Friday routes scheduled for pick up on Saturday.

Curbside recycling pickup by CVWMA is delayed one day with Friday routes scheduled for pick up on Saturday.



Holiday Closing and Refuse/Recycling Schedule

Henrico County General Government offices, courts & libraries will be closed Monday, May 26  for the Memorial Day holiday.

Refuse will not be collected Monday, May 26. Pickup is delayed one day with Friday routes scheduled for pick up on Saturday. Public use areas will be OPEN on Monday.

Curbside recycling by CVWMA will not be collected Monday, May 26. Pickup is delayed one day with Friday routes scheduled for pick up on Saturday.



Fairfield meeting June 9 to highlight regional planning agencies

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Monday, June 9 to spotlight the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission (RRPDC) and Richmond Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (RAMPO) and their work in Henrico County.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. Robert Crum, executive director of RRPDC, and Daniel Lysy, director of transportation of RAMPO, will join Thornton for the discussion. A question-and-answer period will follow.

For information, call (804) 501-4208.



Henrico 4-H team wins Virginia title, ties for fourth nationally in LifeSmarts

A Henrico County 4-H team recently completed a successful run in the LifeSmarts consumer education competitions, capturing the Virginia championship and finishing tied for fourth nationally in Orlando, Florida.

A program of the National Consumers League, LifeSmarts is a consumer education competition that challenges students in ninth through 12th grades with questions about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

The Henrico 4-H team — known as WSIWYG, an abbreviation for “what you see is what you get” — consists of students Emma Shepard, Curtis Cantwell, Joshua Hyde, Steven Baker and George Evans. Coach Karie Dawkins leads the squad with assistant coaches Kathleen Cantwell and Sheila Hyde.

Teams across Virginia competed online early this year for a chance to participate in the state’s LifeSmarts finals, held March 7 at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center in Henrico. WSIWYG defeated seven teams to capture the Virginia State LifeSmarts Championship and qualify for the LifeSmarts National Championship, held April 26-29 in Orlando.

In the national competition, WSIWYG ranked eighth overall in points after eight rounds, which allowed the team to advance to the quarterfinals. The team finished tied for fourth, with teams from Pennsylvania, Arizona and Tennessee. Overall, the competition featured 34 teams representing 32 states, Future Business Leaders of America, and Future Career and Community Leaders of America. Two WSIWYG team members placed in the individual competition. Emma Shepard finished second nationally in health and safety, while Joshua Hyde placed fourth in environment.

Henrico’s 4-H program has had four teams to represent Virginia in the national LifeSmarts competition since 1995.

“LifeSmarts participants in Virginia have gained many of the consumer ‘smarts’ they’ll need to make it in the real world,” said Kimberly Edmonds, family and consumer sciences extension agent for Henrico and co-coordinator of LifeSmarts for Virginia. “We are proud of the WSIWYG team and how well it represented Virginia.”

Henrico 4-H is a comprehensive youth development program that offers hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of 4-H agents and trained adult or teen volunteers. Program offerings include recreational camps and a variety of contests and clubs.

For information on Henrico’s 4-H or LifeSmarts programs, go to henrico.us/extension.

A 4-H team from Henrico County, known as WSIWYG, competed in the LifeSmarts National Championship from April 26 to 29 in Orlando, Fla., after winning the Virginia State LifeSmarts Championship on March 7 in Henrico. Pictured left to right are WSIWYG team members Emma Shepard, Curtis Cantwell and Joshua Hyde, assistant coach Kathleen Cantwell, coach Karie Dawkins, and team members Steven Baker and George Evans.
A 4-H team from Henrico County, known as WSIWYG, competed in the LifeSmarts National Championship from April 26 to 29 in Orlando, Fla., after winning the Virginia State LifeSmarts Championship on March 7 in Henrico. Pictured left to right are WSIWYG team members Emma Shepard, Curtis Cantwell and Joshua Hyde, assistant coach Kathleen Cantwell, coach Karie Dawkins, and team members Steven Baker and George Evans.


Henrico temporarily shuts down intake pumps overnight; no oil detected

Henrico County is continuing to test water quality and is taking other precautionary measures to protect its drinking water supply following Wednesday’s crude oil spill into the James River after a CSX train derailment in Lynchburg.

Officials shut down the intake pumps at the county’s water treatment plant from approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday as a precaution after a reconnaissance flight observed an oil sheen on the river near Cartersville in Cumberland County. During that time Henrico stopped producing drinking water and used supplies from storage tanks while testing samples taken from the river. No oil was detected in the samples and the intake pumps were restarted and were operating normally Friday, said Assistant Director of Public Utilities William Mawyer.

Swift-water rescue boats deployed Thursday by the Division of Fire did not observe or detect oil in the water or along the river’s shoreline.

Henrico now is refilling its water storage tanks, which have a capacity of 35 million gallons. Mawyer said the water treatment plant will continue to run its ozone disinfection system at elevated levels as an additional precaution.

Also, the county will continue to take river samples on Friday to test for the presence of hydrocarbons and to monitor water quality. Hydrocarbons have not been detected in samples taken since Thursday, Mawyer said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is assisting and also is taking river water samples.

The Division of Police’s Metro Aviation Unit has resumed reconnaissance flights to look for and monitor any oil sheen on the river.

County officials continue to work with state agencies including the departments of Health, Emergency Management and Environmental Quality, the city of Richmond and CSX.

“Henrico County will continue to be vigilant and track this situation closely,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “We remain prepared to take additional measures to protect our drinking water supply, if necessary.”



Henrico commits multiple resources to effort monitoring oil spill in James River

Henrico County continues to monitor Wednesday’s crude oil spill into the James River following a CSX train derailment in Lynchburg and is taking a number of precautionary measures to protect its water supply.

County officials anticipate the oil could flow into the region after 6 p.m. today, based on estimates from state agencies and CSX. Officials emphasized there continues to be no indication the oil will enter the county’s water supply.

Assistant Director of Public Utilities William Mawyer said the county’s intake was 10 feet below the level of the James River yesterday, a depth that should allow any oil to pass over. If necessary, the county is prepared to close the intake temporarily.

On Wednesday, Henrico began filling its water storage tanks, which have a capacity of 35 million gallons. The water treatment plant has turned up its ozone disinfection system as an additional precaution, Mawyer said, noting that water quality is tested continuously as standard practice.

Henrico is taking hourly samples from the river and analyzing them for the presence of hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons were not detectable in the water samples taken today at approximately 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., Mawyer said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is assisting with the sampling.

The Division of Fire has launched two swift-water rescue boats, staffed by firefighters from the marine patrol and hazardous materials team, to help assess water quality. The team is deploying its detection and monitoring equipment above the county’s James River intake.

The Division of Police’s Metro Aviation Unit is conducting reconnaissance flights upriver of Buckingham County to look for and monitor any oil sheen on the river. CSX and the Virginia State Police are providing helicopters to assist with river observations.

Representatives from Henrico Fire and the Henrico County Health Department are in Lynchburg assisting with the on-site response and assessing potential impacts to central Virginia.

County officials continue to work with state agencies including the departments of Health, Emergency Management and Environmental Quality, the city of Richmond and CSX.

“Henrico County has multiple resources engaged in this effort and is tracking this situation closely as it continues to develop,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said.



Henrico to offer rabies vaccinations for pets May 17

The Henrico County Division of Police will offer rabies vaccines for dogs and cats from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 17 at the Henrico County Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road. The clinic will be on the first level of the parking deck adjacent to the Administration Building.

The vaccines cost $10 and must be paid in cash. A rabies tag and certificate of inoculation are included. Pets from all localities are welcome. Cats must be in carriers.

Under Virginia law, dogs and cats 4 months of age and older must be vaccinated for rabies.

Henrico dog licenses will be available for $10, for a one-year license, and $15, for a three-year license. Officers will be available to discuss license options and vaccination requirements.

For information, call the Animal Protection Unit at (804) 727-8801 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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