Henrico CASA seeks volunteers for training as child advocates

April 24, 2015

CONTACT: Barbara Herzog, Director, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates

PHONE: (804) 501-1671


Henrico CASA seeks volunteers for training as child advocates

Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will offer a training program beginning Saturday, June 6 for volunteers who would work in the court system on behalf of abused or neglected children.

The free, nine-session training course will include classes at the Henrico CASA office in suite A of the Hungary Spring Office Park, 3001 Hungary Spring Road. A swearing-in ceremony will follow Wednesday, June 24 at the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Anyone interested in serving as a volunteer advocate must apply by Friday, May 22, be at least 21 years old and have regular access to a computer. Applicants will be interviewed, fingerprinted and undergo criminal background and reference checks. For information, contact Jeannine Panzera at (804) 501-1673 or pan01@henrico.us. Applications are available at henricocasa.org.

Henrico CASA is a private, nonprofit organization that has worked closely with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for 20 years to serve children in the community. Working typically 10 to 15 hours per month, volunteer advocates gather information on a child’s circumstances to supplement information provided to the court.

The training program prepares volunteers to interview children and others involved in their cases, submit reports to judges and assist case attorneys. Henrico CASA volunteers worked 8,000 hours and served 316 children in fiscal year 2013-14.

Henrico prepares for heavy traffic during NASCAR races April 24-25

Henrico's Richmond International Raceway (RIR) hosts both NASCAR and IndyCar Series events each year. Total seating capacity is 97,912, and RIR is the only track to hold all of its major events "under the lights."

The Henrico County Department of Public Works will temporarily alter traffic patterns on roads around Richmond International Raceway (RIR) to accommodate fans attending the NASCAR races Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25.

Motorists are advised to expect heavy traffic and delays in the area on both days, especially from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., before the races, and from 10:15 p.m. to 1 a.m., afterward.

Henrico Police officers will direct motorists before and after the races. Race fans and other motorists are encouraged to check traffic updates on message boards along interstates and other roads approaching RIR. Police also will post updates on its Twitter account, @henricopolice, and its Facebook site.

View traffic patterns

Recreation & Parks Summer Registration Update

The Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks will reopen registration for summer programs and camps on Saturday, April 25.

Online registration will be available beginning at 8 a.m. at connect.henricorecandparks.com. Walk-in registration will be offered from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Deep Run, Belmont and Eastern Henrico recreation centers.

To see what programs are available, read the Summer 2015 Program Guide. For information, call (804) 501-7275 (PARK) or send an email to registration@henrico.us.


Tax break for spouses of military killed in action

Surviving spouses of members of the U.S. armed forces who were killed in action can qualify for a tax exemption on their home that took effect Jan. 1.

Henrico County is encouraging any residents who qualify to apply with the Department of Finance. For information, call (804) 501-5335 or go to henrico.us/finance/divisions/real-estate-division/surviving-spouse.

Homeowners should have received details about the exemption with their 2015 real estate assessment notices. Information also will be included with the May mailing of the year’s first-half real estate tax bills.

To qualify for the new exemption, a homeowner must be the spouse of an armed services member who was killed in action as determined by the Department of Defense.

The spouse may qualify for exemption as long as he or she does not remarry and continues to use the property as a primary place of residence.

A home – including the property on which it is located – is tax exempt only up to the average assessed value of single-family homes in the country for the most recently ended tax year. Any value above the average will be taxable.

In 2014, the average value of a single-family home in Henrico is $227,000, according to Finance’s Real Estate Assessment Division.

If a home qualifies, the exemption applies to as many as 10 acres of land.

Officials have no estimates of how many homeowners might qualify or what the impact on real estate tax collections could be.

Virginia voters overwhelmingly approved the exemption in November as a state constitutional amendment. In Henrico, the measure passed with 89 percent support, which compared with 87 percent support statewide.

In 2010, Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment granting a tax exemption on the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent and total disability. The value of that exemption is unrestricted.

Henrico supervisors to hold public hearing April 14 on proposed fiscal 2015-16 budget

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Tuesday, April 14 on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015-16.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., one hour earlier than usual, in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center’s Administration Building, 4301 E. Parham Road.

Residents may provide oral or written comments on the $1.1 billion plan, which would guide operating and capital spending for the year beginning July 1. The general fund, which supports the operations of Henrico’s general government, including the divisions of Police and Fire, and Henrico County Public Schools, would total $785.8 million. That would represent an increase of $18.4 million, or 2.4 percent, over the current year’s plan.

The proposed budget recommends no change to the real estate tax rate of 87 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Residents are encouraged to register in advance to speak at the public hearing. To sign up, call Board of Supervisors Clerk Barry R. Lawrence at (804) 501-4318. For information on the proposed budget, call Director of Finance Gene Walter at (804) 501-5200.

Copies of the proposed budget are available for public inspection at Henrico libraries, the Office of Management and Budget in the Henrico Government Center and at henrico.us.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote April 28 to adopt a budget for fiscal year 2015-16. The board typically meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in the Board Room of the Henrico Government Center.

‘Superhero’ runners needed for April 25 race to benefit child-advocacy programs

The Henrico County and Chesterfield County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organizations will hold their sixth-annual Superhero Run on Saturday, April 25 to support local programs for abused and neglected children.

The event, which includes a 5-kilometer race and a half-mile Kids’ Fun Run, will be held at St. Joseph’s Villa, 8000 Brook Road, in recognition of April as national Child Abuse Prevention Month. Helped by their “superhero” volunteers, the private, nonprofit CASA organizations work with local courts on behalf of abused and neglected children.

“Henrico and Chesterfield CASA are excited once again to hold the Superhero Run and help increase awareness of the special needs of abused and neglected children in our community,” said Barbara Herzog, executive director of Henrico CASA. “We are grateful for the many sponsors who support this special event.”

The 5K race is open to all ages. The cost is $30 for runners 13 and older and $20 for runners 6 to 12. The Kids’ Fun Run is open to children 12 and younger at a cost of $10. Parents may accompany their child at no cost. All fees will increase by $5 beginning Friday, April 24. To register, go to casarun.com.

All participants are encouraged to run in the costume of a favorite superhero character. Prizes will be awarded in each age group to the top finishers and for the best costumes.

Activities will begin with the Kids’ Fun Run at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K race at 9:30 a.m. and a post-race fair. The event was inspired by The Superhero Foundation, a Texas-based organization working to prevent child abuse.

For information, call (804) 501-1671 or send an email to info@casarun.com.

Fairfield meeting April 20 to feature Elegba Folklore Society, Recreation and Parks

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will hold a constituent meeting Monday, April 20 to highlight the Elegba Folklore Society and opportunities available through the Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave.

Janine Bell, founder and artistic director of the Elegba Folklore Society, and representatives of Recreation and Parks will join Thornton for the discussion and will answer questions.

For information, call (804) 501-4208.

Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition to host April 30 forum on youth

The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition will hold its third-annual It Takes a Village Community Forum on Thursday, April 30 to discuss ways to promote good health and wellness among youth in Henrico County.

The forum will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Strawberry Hill Ballroom of the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. The event is open to the public and intended for youth, parents, professionals and others interested in making a positive impact on local youth.

The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition also will recognize an outstanding youth, a community champion and a prevention professional for their support to the organization. The Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition promotes health and wellness in Henrico and focuses on reducing substance abuse by youth.

To register for the forum, contact Kathy Johnson at kjjohnson@henrico.k12.va.us by April 19. For information, go to toosmart2start.com.

Henrico Extension to offer lawn care workshop

The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension will offer a free workshop at three locations of the Henrico County Public Library this spring to explain how to grow a healthy lawn without harming the environment.

The Get SMART with Lawn Care workshop will be held Monday, March 30 at North Park Branch Library, 8508 Franconia Road; Tuesday, March 31 at Sandston Branch Library, 23 E. Williamsburg Road; and Thursday, April 2 at Twin Hickory Area Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Road. Each session will start at 7 p.m.

The SMART Lawns program is designed to share practical ways to control weeds, increase turf density and prevent diseases using organic or conventional products. The workshop will explain the five concepts of SMART turf management — Soil conditions, Measuring, Aerating, Right fertilizer and Trouble-free maintenance.

Each workshop session is open to the public, but registration in advance is encouraged. Extension also will be accepting applications for its SMART Lawns program, which provides Henrico residents with customized plans for growing attractive, healthy lawns.

To register for a workshop session or to receive an application for the SMART Lawns program, call (804) 501-5160 or send an email to cmitchell@vt.edu. For information, go to www.henrico.us/extension.

Henrico salutes accomplishments of individuals with developmental disabilities

Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services will sponsor an ice cream social Friday, March 27 to recognize Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and to celebrate the achievements and successes of people with developmental disabilities.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. at Hermitage Enterprises, 8247 Hermitage Road. Festivities will include presentations highlighting individuals and their talents, hopes, dreams and accomplishments.

Hermitage Enterprises works with local employers to promote the hiring of individuals who have developmental disabilities and live in Henrico, New Kent and Charles City counties. The individuals also serve various organizations as volunteers. For information about Hermitage Enterprises and its programs, call Shirley Lyons at (804) 262-6665, ext. 8803.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Virginia. Nearly 150,000 adults and children across the state have developmental disabilities.

As part of the statewide observance, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services supports greater awareness of people’s abilities and similarities, and promotes employment and residential opportunities that more fully integrate individuals with developmental disabilities into the community.

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