YEAR IN REVIEW: June

CCPS employees to receive one-time pay bump

The School Board unanimously approved using about $6.5 million in projected savings in fiscal 2010 to fund one-time payouts to employees equal to 2 percent of their current salaries.

At a press conference at O.B. Gates Elementary School, Superintendent Marcus Newsome said the school system’s budget office was projecting approximately $15 million in savings in fiscal 2010. Newsome later said employees would receive the one-time payments by June 30.

Sabra dips in Chesterfield

The theme for the dedication of the Sabra Dipping Company was sharing: Sharing a conversation, sharing friendships, sharing the environment and sharing a fresh meal. Sabra, which is jointly owned by Strauss Ltd., of Israel, and PepsiCo, had spent the last 13 months building a state-of-the-art facility in the Wathall Industrial Park that now produces a variety of dips, primarily hummus.

About 400 people, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, attended the plant’s opening celebration and were treated to tastings of the multiple varieties of dips with fresh vegetables, breads and crackers to dip. The festivities also included speeches from local dignitaries, as well as from a contingent from Sabra.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this incredible milestone in Sabra’s history with our partners and our new neighbors,” said Ronen Zohar, chief executive officer of Sabra. “Americans are moving towards broadening culinary horizons and increasing experiences with a variety of foods and we are as a green factory.”

According to Will Davis, director of Chesterfield’s economic development department, the county is finding a niche in the food industry. With Fiorucci Foods and the expansion of the Maruchan Ramen noodle maker and now Sabra, he said, Chesterfield could become a center for food producers.

“The food industry is one of our targets,” Davis said. “You could say the flavor of Chesterfield is changing.”

Pennies in remembrance

When they heard of the death of Holocaust survivor Alexander Lebenstein, Academic Success Program students at Meadowbrook High School began collecting pennies to add to the Virginia Holocaust Museum’s Penny Campaign in his memory. Students donated 111,945 pennies to the program, which seeks to collect one penny for each of the 6 million lives lost in the Holocaust.

High-speed rail study complete, hearings next

After the Federal Railroad Administration approved the Tier II study, an environment impact statement on the high-speed rail project through Chester, Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) moved to the next step of the process: Public hearings on the environment impact.

During the CCA meeting, Christine Fix, rail planning coordinator for DRPT, said that depending on funding, high speed trains could be running through Chesterfield by 2018.

Wild Sound Unlimited reunites in Petersburg after 20 years

After 20 years, the members of Wild Sound Unlimited returned to the stage for two shows in Petersburg. The band played together locally in the late 60s and early 70s, even cutting a single in Philadelphia. Pictured left is the band’s first publicity photo, pictured above is the band today, absent three members not available for the photo.

Local team wins state tournament

The XPA Generals 10U baseball team won the Nations Baseball State Championship tournament held Memorial Day weekend. The team consists of youngsters from Chesterfield County and the surrounding areas.

A new journey

More than 4,100 Chesterfield County students received their high school diplomas during graduation ceremonies held June 9-12 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center.

Nearly 2,000 of those graduates were in the Village News readership area.

  • L.C. Bird High School bade farewell to 383 seniors.
  • Meadowbrook High School issued 422 diplomas.
  • Matoaca High School graduated 412 students.
  • Chesterfield Community High School certified 154 graduates.
  • Thomas Dale High School, which had the largest class, issued 588 diplomas.

Robinson wins 27th District seat

In June, Republican Roxann Robinson won a special election for former state Del. Sam Nixon’s open seat in the 27th House of Delegates District.

Robinson, a self-employed optometrist, faced Democrat William “Bill” Brown, a certified public accountant and retired college professor, in the contest.  Robinson won by a nearly 3-1 margin, getting 3,429 votes to Brown’s 1,295. The election drew 4,736 voters, little more than 8.6 percent of the county’s 55,055 total voters, the website says.

Robinson’s victory came after she missed a May debate with Brown sponsored by the Chesterfield Business Council and the Chesterfield County Council of PTAs. Ray Allen, Jr., a partner at Marcus and Allen, LLC, a political consulting firm, said his client, Robinson, was not available for the debate.

Nixon represented the 27th District, which is entirely in Chesterfield County, for 16 years before being appointed to serve as chief information officer of the Virginia Information Technology Agency in March. Nixon left his house seat on April 5.

Thomas Dale grad intervenes in deadly shooting, remains in hospital

The parking lot outside of Pietro’s Italian Restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway offered a much different scene on Friday, June 25, following the Wednesday, June 23, murder of a woman and the heroic attempted intervention of a former Thomas Dale High School graduate.

Michael Dudley, 18, was witnessing a domestic dispute, according to police reports, between Richard E. Parker, 56, and Cindy M. Parker, 45, of Rivers Bend, when Richard shot his wife, Cindy, killing her. Witnesses say Richard Parker then turned the gun on Dudley.

Friends and family members washed cars to raise money for the Dudley family outside Pietro’s Friday, collecting almost $8,000 in washing fees and donations.

“I saw the kids washing cars out there,” said Nicole Jordan, a Chester resident. “But I didn’t need my van washed, so I just gave them some money.”

Parker was charged with second degree murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

BOS cements closing of CMS

After months of debates and discussions in the community, the Board of Supervisors in a 4-1 vote took no action on the Planning Commission’s May 18 determination that Chester Middle School would be permitted to be closed and converted to a ninth-grade academy for the overcrowded Thomas Dale High School.

School Board Chairman David Wyman said it could be 2018 before the middle schools reach capacity and the School Board has a chance to finance a new high school and build it, thereby returning the CMS building to a middle school use.

 

 

 

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