YEAR IN REVIEW: April

Reminiscence: Deep roots and a long memory

Elizabeth Winfree Quaiff, 87, lives not more than five miles from where she grew up.

 “There is lots of history on my mother’s and father’s side,” she said.  Her grandparents’ home on her father’s side still stands today on Hopkins Road and is known as Edgewood.

The Winfree house, Quaiff’s family home, equipped with a red-clay tennis court, was located on 4 acres where McDonald’s is located on Hopkins Road. 

Quaiff began her formal education in that one-room school house until it burned when she was in the first grade. They took up classes at the former location of Beulah United Methodist Church. It was also during those years that she met Charlie Quaiff; they became sweethearts and were soul mates until his passing shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary.  The Quaiffs raised four children.

“Charlie and I were sweethearts in the first grade,” she said.  “I still have his Valentine.”

Groups step up to help keep parks, programs running

In April, several options for restoring some of the parks and recreation programs that were not funded in the fiscal 2011 budget were on the table.

About $1.9 million in budget cuts were proposed for the Parks and Recreation Department, including cuts included eliminating adult athletic programs, half of senior and adult education programs, historical programs and outdoor adventure/nature programs.

At the time, Parks and Recreation Director Michael Golden said the adults sports groups were “pretty much” going to take over the maintenance of the soccer and softball fields.

The Chesterfield Historical Society had agreed to pay $32,000 in each of the next two years toward the salaries of the personnel needed to keep several historical sites open, Golden said. The funds were offered as a match to the county’s funds, which would be needed to pay the rest of the roughly $80,000 in salaries annually, he said.

The proposed cuts had prompted a healthy discussion, he said, and the calls and e-mails the PRAC and department have received “certainly had a lot of good things to say” about the programs.

“I get the impression the county administration and board have heard that, and I’m hoping that some of these programs will be restored as a result of that public discussion,” he said.

Various groups have stepped up, he said, and the budget challenge has brought the community together.

Upward Soccer provides opportunity for 175 Meadowbrook area youngsters

Beulah United Methodist Church embraced the Upward Sports concept and hosted 21 soccer teams each Saturday morning, fulfilling Upward’s mission to introduce children to Jesus Christ by creating opportunities through sports.

On any given Saturday, some 75 volunteers are actively working with the neighborhood children. Church members serve as coaches and officials. One of the Sunday school classes mans the concessions stand, proceeds from which go toward providing scholarships for youngsters unable to pay the $65 registration fee. Church members also deliver the weekly devotionals.

Supervisors approve next year’s spending plan

The $701.2 million fiscal 2011 general fund budget approved by the Board of Supervisors, when coupled with the efforts of county leagues and organizations, largely restored the parks and recreation cuts that were originally proposed.

About 150 full- and part-time employees were cut in the budget, Budget and Management Director Allan Carmody said.

An additional $739,000 in funding was recommended for the Parks and Recreation Department, Carmody said. That money, coupled with the efforts of leagues, nonprofits and other organizations, restores a large part of the reductions, he said.

“There would be no facility that, in essence, would be completely closed,” he said.

Though other libraries would be closed on Thursday, the adopted budget allotted an additional $80,000 to the library system to keep the Central Library open six days a week. The budget also included the $25 fee for curbside recycling, but participants would be able to opt out this year, he said.

On the revenue side, $338,500 in parks and recreation program revenues – including a $5 fee for youth sports – was expected, Carmody said.

Officials expected to lose just over $1 million in recycling revenue, as about 45 percent of households were expected to opt out of the program, he said.

The supervisors also voted to keep tax rates for 2011 at the 2010 levels, and increase utility fees.

McDonnell speaks at breakfast

Gov. Bob McDonnell (left) and Del. Kirk Cox (center) spoke with past Colonial Heights councilman Gary Farley at the annual legislative breakfast at the Swift Creek Mill Theatre.

Special election for Nixon seat set for June 15

By April, two candidates for the Republican nomination for Del. Sam Nixon’s seat emerged, but a Democratic contender had yet to be found. Chesterfield County Democratic Committee Chairman Bill Brown said he had no doubt the party would have a candidate well before the May 14 filing deadline.

Former Chesterfield County Planning Commissioner Sherman Litton announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the seat, and optometrist Roxann Robinson also sought the Republican nomination. Ultimately, Robinson defeated several challengers in the primary, winning her party’s nomination.

Nixon represented the 27th House of Delegates 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.

Matoaca Women’s Club dedicates historical marker

On Saturday, April 24, the Matoaca Women’s Club dedicated a historical marker at the site of Matoaca Hill off of Picket Aveneue. Pictured are local historian and author Keith McCray and Madeline Batts. Batts’ father was the last superintendent of the mill when it closed in the 1930s.

Morgan Keegan makes it official

“This idea really started about two years ago, to really open a Main Street office again,” Vice President Chris Sovine said before a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially mark the opening of Morgan Keegan’s new Chester Village Green branch.

Most brokerage businesses operate out of high rises now, Sovine said, and they’re not as accessible to people as they once were. Before moving to the Chester office, located at 3712 Festival Park Plaza, Sovine’s office was in downtown Richmond. Now, she said, she works a couple blocks from where she lives.

The new office isn’t “really, really big,” but it’s not meant to be, she said.

The only way to stop them is to close them

For the ninth straight season, the Chester Eagles girls’ track team has took the Southern Division Crown. The Eagles closed strong with:

  • Deja Powell, Tiara Royal and Shayla Johnson finishing third, fourth and fifth in the 200 meter and finishing the 4 x 400 relay with a time of 4:30.6.
  • Tiffany England and Sydney Johnson winning the triple jump and discus, respectively.
  • Allison Jeter and Anna Crawford going one-two in the 3,200 meter.
  • Carter McCants, Allison Jeter and Natalie Smith sweeping the 1,600 meter. 
  • Jessica Watson winning the 800 meter.
  • Lauren Breiner winning the 100 meter.

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