YEAR IN REVIEW: March

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10,000 meals

A whole lot of clattering and chattering was coming out of The New Covenant Presbyterian Church  when over 70 volunteers representing six churches began scooping, weighing, packaging and boxing 10,000 dehydrated, high protein and highly nutritious meals in less than two hours for a Stop Hunger Now event. Ninety percent of the meals went to school feeding programs that feed families in areas such as Uganda, Haiti, South Africa and other areas where there are food shortages. Ten percent will be used for disaster relief.

Chester’s Country Style Ice Cream closes, for sale

When Country Style Ice Cream opened in Chester’s Village Green development, it was the only permanent structure that had been completed on what would become the center of the village of Chester. Restaurants, gift shops, offices and apartments now occupy the 30-acre site. Mike and Barb Leatherwood opened the frozen-confection shop in 1999 with their family. It became an instant staple in the community. It truly was a family-run business with the entire Leatherwood family working after school and during the summers. Several area teens worked their summers there, becoming a part of the Country Style family. After 12 summers, the shop closed. Country Style is still for sale and the Leatherwoods have a number of options available for any potential buyers.

Many Had To Dig Deep For These Dugouts

Four years ago, Thomas Dale alumnus Keith Togna began an effort to build the Thomas Dale baseball squads a new dugout. Togna’s combined forces with several individuals, community organizations and businesses to build dugouts that would protect players from the elements. The previous dugouts were nothing more than a roofless chainlinked box. Kevin Eaton, owner of Eaton General Contractor Inc., got involved and was able to obtain several donated and reduced cost materials that cut the cost from $50,000 to $16,000. The dugouts were completed in time for Thomas Dale’s first home baseball game of the 2012 season.

JTCC gets a new safer entrance, exit

A new road leading from Weir Road to the John Tyler Community College (JTCC) was completed. Getting in and out of the entrance to JTCC had always been both an exercise in patience and an accident waiting to happen. The issue was dealt with by adding a new access road that allows students and faculty to use the traffic light at Weir Road. The new access road is two lanes wide, and was provided by an easement from DSRA II LLC.The traffic light at Weir Road will give students and faculty a safe way to enter and exit the community college.

Tourism Manager hired by Chesterfield County

John Watt was hired as Manager of Tourism. He will organize and promote tourism for the county. He will be promoting Chesterfield sports venues, and the rich historical sites, as well as the upcoming cultural locations. The hire happened so quickly that the economic development department hadn’t had a chance to get the story out. This is not a new position. Watt is paid $59,000 a year. Mr. Watt works from Chesterfield’s Economic Development office to attract business to the county, especially those that want to locate in an area because of a good tourism culture. He coordinates tourism for the county; he’ll be working real close with businesses and how the county can assist them through various events that happen throughout the county; he works with Parks and Recs on sports tourism initiatives and with the historical assets in the county and how to better promote them.

Iron Bridge, Chester Road traffic issues fixed

The project to widen Iron Bridge Road at Beach Road and alleviate the slowdowns began. The 1.6 mile project will provide six-through lanes, three each way, and is expected to alleviate traffic. Two additional left-turn lanes are being added at Beach Road to help clear one of the most intense intersections during rush hour. The road widening was a fast-paced project that lasted about six months. Further east on Route 10 at Chester Road, the turning lane from Chester Road onto Route 10 westbound was started this month.

Mom's Home

Second Lieutenant Cheri Bright was home for a three-week leave and surprised her five children. Second Lieutenant Bright was on a three-year tour of duty in the U.S. Army when she was welcomed by Assistant Principal Glen Pike at Elizabeth Davis Middle School. It was a typical day for her two seventh-grade children when their mom walked into the lunchroom and joined them for lunch. They were also joined by their father and three other siblings. It had been almost eight months since the seven enjoyed a meal together. “It was the second happiest day of our life other than our wedding day,” said Bright’s husband, Derek.  “It is a blessing to have her back with us. I know the kids are happy.  It has been a long time.”

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