July 24, 2014

CONTACT: Barbara Herzog, Director, Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates
PHONE: (804) 501-1671

Author K.L. Randis to speak Aug. 26 to promote awareness of child abuse

Best-selling author K.L. Randis will speak Tuesday, Aug. 26 in Henrico County as part of an event to recognize 20 years of work by Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Henrico CASA is organizing the event, which is free and open to the public, to increase public awareness of child abuse. Randis will discuss her best-selling novel, “Spilled Milk,” as well as her personal story of child abuse and child abuse prevention.

The event will be held at the Belmont Recreation Center, 1600 Hilliard Road, and include a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by Randis’ talk at 6 p.m. and a book signing. To reserve a seat, send an email to pan01@henrico.us or call (804) 501-1673 by Friday, Aug. 15.

Henrico CASA is a private, nonprofit organization that works with the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to advocate for children who have been abused or neglected. Working typically 10 to 15 hours per month, Henrico CASA’s volunteer advocates gather information on a child’s circumstances to supplement information provided to the court.

July 22, 2014

CONTACT: Dawn Miller, Tourism Supervisor, Henrico Division of Recreation & Parks
PHONE: (804) 501-5137

U.S. Baseball Championships to bring national webcast, thousands of visitors to Henrico and region

Henrico County will welcome close to 1,500 top high school baseball players from around the country — as well as college coaches and a national webcast audience — when the Triple Crown U.S. Baseball Championships take place July 23-Aug. 2.

This marks the fifth consecutive year Henrico and the metro region have hosted the Triple Crown tournament. The event is expected to bring at least 5,500 visitors to the area and provide a $3.95 million boost to the local economy, according to Richmond Region Tourism.

Seventy-eight teams from 17 states — ranging from California and Washington to Minnesota, Michigan, Connecticut, New York, Texas and Virginia — will compete at 16-under, 17-under and 18-under age divisions. A number of teams from the metro area are included in the field as well. Games will be played at several county facilities, including Glen Allen Stadium at RF&P Park and Tuckahoe Park, as well as other sites in the metro area, beginning Thursday (a complete schedule is available at www.triplecrownsports.com). All games are open to the public.

The 16-under/17-under North vs. South All-Star Game will be webcast live on WatchTCS.com from the Glen Allen Stadium at RF&P Park at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. Admission is free.

Neil Luther, director of Henrico’s Division of Recreation and Parks, said the event showcases prospective college athletes and attracts coaches from college programs including Richmond, Towson and Stony Brook to scout players. He also said the event is another highlight for Henrico’s growing sports-tourism program.

“The Triple Crown U.S. Baseball Championships make a significant impact on our community,” Luther said. “We are able to showcase our facilities and our hospitality, and they bring dollars to our hotels, restaurants and retailers.”

Additional information is available at www.VisitHenrico.com.

July 17, 2014

CONTACT: Karen F. Carter, Horticulture Extension Agent, Henrico County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension
PHONE: (804) 501-5160

Henrico Extension ready to help residents grow SMART Lawns

The Henrico County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension is enrolling residents in SMART Lawns, a program that provides customized plans for growing attractive, healthy lawns.

For a $20 fee, Master Gardener volunteers will visit a home, analyze the lawn and prepare a plan for improving its condition, appearance and health. Participants will receive recommendations for fertilizer and lime, as well as suggestions for environmentally friendly weed control, mowing and watering practices.

The SMART Lawns program follows the concepts of SMART — Soil test, Measure, Aerate, Right fertilizer and Trouble-free maintenance.

The deadline to enroll is Friday, Sept. 5. To sign up, go to henrico.us/extension or call (804) 501-5160.

July 14, 2014

CONTACT: Rebecca Parsio, Public Health Nurse Manager, Henrico County Health Department
PHONE: (804) 501-4954

Henrico meetings to highlight dangers of smoking

The Henrico County Health Department will hold four meetings in July to explain the public health risks associated with smoking and provide information on how smokers can quit the habit.

The meetings will be held 7 to 8:15 p.m. on Monday, July 21 at the Dumbarton Area Library, 6800 Staples Mill Road; Wednesday, July 23 at the Varina Branch Library, 2001 Library Road; Wednesday, July 30 at the Twin Hickory Area Library, 5001 Twin Hickory Road; and Thursday, July 31 at the Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave. The meetings are free and open to the public.

Public health officials will discuss how firsthand, secondhand and thirdhand smoke can be harmful to smokers as well as nonsmokers who are exposed to smoke or the residue it leaves on clothing, furniture, carpet and other surfaces.

For information, contact Public Health Nurse Manager Rebecca Parsio at (804) 501-4954 or rebecca.parsio@vdh.virginia.gov.

July 8, 2014

CONTACT: Barry R. Lawrence, Assistant to the County Manager for Board Affairs
PHONE: (804) 501-4318

Henrico wins National Association of Counties awards for 26 programs; Digital archive of zoning ordinance recognized Best in Category

Henrico County departments and agencies have earned 26 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), plus a Best in Category honor for an electronic library that chronicles changes to the zoning ordinance since its initial adoption in 1933.

Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Frank J. Thornton will accept the awards Sunday, July 13 at the 2014 NACo annual conference in New Orleans. The NACo Achievement Award Program recognizes groundbreaking programs and initiatives in 21 service categories, including children and youth, county administration management, parks and recreation, health, and human services.

Henrico’s 26 awards are the most of any county in Virginia for the ninth consecutive year and the fourth most nationally, behind Maricopa County, Ariz.; San Diego County, Calif.; and San Bernardino County, Calif. Each of those counties has at least 2 million residents, compared with Henrico’s about 318,000 residents. Henrico submitted 33 programs for awards.

“Henrico County employees perform exceptional work every day on behalf of our residents and businesses,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “The NACo awards reflect a commitment to public service within Henrico General Government and Henrico County Public Schools. Our employees are prepared to lead and encouraged to innovate in ways that help us provide the highest quality services at the lowest cost.”

The Department of Planning won an Achievement Award and a Best in Category honor for its Zoning Ordinance Digital Library, a searchable electronic archive of the county’s zoning ordinance.

With three spreadsheet indexes, the Zoning Ordinance Digital Library allows county staff to quickly research the zoning ordinance that was in effect at any point in its evolution. Such research, which can be helpful in determining the rights associated with the development and use of a particular property, previously required days sorting through worn, incomplete and poorly indexed paper copies of nearly 80 years of zoning ordinance records. Completed in 2012, the Zoning Ordinance Digital Library is updated with each amendment to the zoning ordinance.

Henrico has earned 524 NACo awards since 1985. Henrico’s awards in 2014 recognize the efforts of 11 general government departments as well as Henrico County Public Schools. The Division of Fire received or shared seven awards, more than any other county department or agency. The Department of Human Resources earned at least one award for the 28th consecutive year, a feat unmatched by any other human resources agency in the country.

Henrico’s award-wining programs and their submitting agencies are listed below. Detailed descriptions of the programs are available online at henrico.us/manager/programs/naco-awards.

  • After the Fire Program, Division of Fire
  • Relaunch of the Henrico Fire Safety House, Division of Fire
  • Central Virginia EMS Expo, Division of Fire
  • Intelligent Response: Data-Driven Fire Hazard Evaluation, Division of Fire
  • The Basic Special Services School, Division of Fire
  • Work Performance Evaluation, Division of Fire
  • Preparing for the Future: Promotional Process Feedback Program, Department of Human Resources, Division of Fire
  • Community Garden and Fresh Market: Growing a Service Learning Initiative, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Family Engagement through Family Advocates, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Wilder Middle School College Readiness Center, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Google Apps for Education, Henrico County Public Schools
  • School Forms Go Paperless, Henrico County Public Schools
  • From School Clinic Attendants to Licensed Practical Nurses, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Employment Readiness Program, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • The Weight Management Program, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • Crisis Intervention Team Crisis Receiving Center, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • Reimagine Training: Learning Through Conversations, Department of Human Resources
  • Police Division Fitness and Wellness Program, Department of Human Resources, Division of Police
  • Central Station, Virginia Center Commons, Division of Police
  • ESL Conversation Café, Henrico County Public Library
  • Transition from Bookmobile to Mobile Library Service, Henrico County Public Library
  • Online Construction Document Management System, Department of Finance
  • Zoning Ordinance Digital Library, Department of Planning
  • It’s Your Decision: Meals Tax Referendum Public Information Campaign, Department of Public Relations & Media Services
  • Who is Littering Henrico County?, Department of Public Utilities
  • Standing Water Initiative Mobile Application, Department of Public Works, Department of Information Technology