YEAR IN REVIEW: June

Severe storm wreak havoc on area

It was like watching a disaster movie, but the effects were real and for some residents, painful. Storms ravaged the county on June 29 then again on June 30. The event is being compared to Isabel. Jeffrey Morris, owner and operated of Old Dominion Line-X, lost his business when was engulfed in flames. Morris said the fire started when powerlines behind the business fell during the storm and set the building on fire. In the 4800 block of Hopkins Road, homeowners breathed a sigh of relieve that no one was injured when a mammoth tree was blown over and crashed into a home in the block in the Meadowbrook area. The front entrance of the home was destroyed, but most of the home remained intact.

Sabra adds 100 jobs in Chester

The Ruffin Mill Industrial Park at Walthall got a boost from the food industry. Sabra Dipping Company, the country’s leading hummus manufacturer, made plans to expand its food manufacturing operation in Chesterfield County and establish a Center of Excellence research and development facility on the company’s 49 acre campus at 15881 Port Walthall Court. They immediately began a significant expansion of its production capacity enabling the addition of two new lines, a packaging automation system, water waste systems and related plant improvements. The factory expansion planned increase the Chesterfield plant’s production capacity by 50 percent in response to the continued increased demand for Sabra hummus. The expansion is expected to add 100 new jobs to the facility. 

State Senator Steve Martin announced run for Lt. Governor

After the closing of the special session of the Virginia General Assembly, Senator Steven Martin threw his hat in the ring for the 2013 race for the Lt. Governorship. Sen. Martin has served in the Virginia Senate for 18 years and was a member of the House of Delegates from 1988-1994. “My wife and I have been discussing this for quite a while and decided this was the thing to do,” said Martin, in June. “We are well-down the road on our campaign.” He is the only candidate “south of the Occoquan” river to announce his candidacy, so far. He joins many Northern Virginians who are considering running. If Martin can gain the nomination during the Virginia GOP convention, he will then face-off with one of the slate of Democrats that may be running, none of which have officially declared their candidacy.

Class of 2012

Chesterfield graduated one of its largest classes yet with over 4,500 students accepting their high school diplomas in 2012. Chesterfield Community High School graduated 141 students which was led by Valedictorian Julia Fournier and Salutatorian Jeri Absher. The commencement speaker was fine arts teacher Dawn Lentz. At L. C. Bird, 424 students graduated and received $5.78 million in scholarships. Valedictorian of the class was Kristen Marie Christopherson and Emily Christine Dance was Salutatorian. Matoaca High School graduating class was led by Valedictorian Melissa Nicole Skoff with a 5.14 GPA. James Joseph Warren Russell was named Salutatorian with a 5.1 GPA. Students presented their Senior Class gift of $1,000 to Principal Stephen Cunningham to be used for the Matoaca Autistic Program. Dr. Millard D. “Pete” Stith, Jr., was the commencement speaker at Meadowbrook High School’s graduation, opening with a line from The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” Christina Hamm was named Meadowbrook’s Valedictorian and Leticia Ayala was named Salutatorian. Thomas Dale High School graduated its 104th class. Of the 548 graduates, Ainsley Parrish was named Valedictorian and Kelsey Cunningham was named Salutatorian.

Dauber Dash attracts hundreds to Henricus Park

It was a muddy fun-filled day for hundreds of runners trudging through the five-mile Dauber Dash course at Henricus Park. Runners were faced with 12 obstacles that included a climb over a wall of hay, a splash through the James River and a head-first dive into a shallow pool of mud. A total of 678 runners, ages 13 and older ran the full course while several younger runners ran the Mud Guppy course, a one-mile run without obstacles. Top finishers were Baylor Dickerson (Men’s Division) of Ashland, 34:13, and Kathleen Lautzenheiser (Women’s Divisions) of Midlothian, 35:50. Beth Repole and Melissa Reams, friends since high school, are no strangers to these types of runs. Both have run in the Monument 10K multiple times and Reams ran at Dominion Riverrock just a few weeks ago. This is the first Dauber Dash for both of them. They came out to run in memory of a dear friend, Carrie Egland, who was shot and killed by her estranged husband last year.

Taste of India

The Cultural Center of India hosted a few thousand guests over the last weekend in June for the 9th Annual Taste of India.  Cultural Director Bina Shah and associate directors Deepali Keskar and Simran Chiplunkar introduced entertainment that included 34 acts of folk dances and Bollywood Fusion performed by children, teens and adults. Music and drum ensembles rotated on the stage throughout the day during the event. The market place included vendors with jeweled and beaded Indian dresses, everyday wear, scarves and jewelry. Several young folks lined up at the henna table to receive an artful design on their hands and arms. Food tastings from 14 food vendors offered choices of several snacks and meals like Dhokla and Panipuri and Goat Biriyani; desserts from the Indian Pastry House; and specialty drinks like fresh Ginger Lemonade from BAPS Mender.  

Notables

  • Chesterfield Libraries released their first edition of Loud & Clear, a publication keeping citizens up-to-date on library activities.
  • Just before sunset on June 5, Erin, Kathy and Brad Peebles were able to view the planet Venus as it moved between the Earth and the Sun. For safe viewing Brad Peebles adapted his bird spotting scope to project an image of the sun on a sheet of cardboard mounted behind the eyepiece of the scope.

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