Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recent Local Headlines!

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by Caroline Jackson

Biologists are trying to find and protect streams as part of Virginia's Healthy Waters Initiative. According to a November 30th Richmond Times Dispatch article, VCU scientists and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have checked out 2,000 waterways in the last 5 years, looking at the health of the wildlife and land around these areas. They found that more than half of these bodies of water are not healthy. The project seeks to locate streams that are "gems" and prevent them from becoming pollutant filled and ecologically unsound.

A Henrico mother and daughter both died last week on the same stretch of Springfield Road. Danielle Bellio died while running from police after she ran a red light. Bellio had been drinking and was facing a suspended license charge in Decemeber. Her grandmother Ruth died while getting out to put flowers on the spot her granddaughter was killed. The curving area of the road near Jones Road is the site of numerous crashes according to a November 30th Richmond Times Dispatch article.

No charges are being filed against Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody who allegedly forcibly kissed and fondled a female sergeant in his office. A special prosecutor for the Commonwealth investigated the charges and says there isn't enough evidence. Woody's accuser Anita Willoughby told WTVR on November 24th she received her termination letter a day after the special prosecutor announced he wouldn't file any charges. The director of Human Resources at the Sheriff's office told the Richmond Times Dispatch the sheriff can hire and file at will.

Project Winterfood aims to show how easy it is eat local and preserve local food culture on December 2nd at Gallery 5. VCU Graphic Design Students hope they can educate Richmonders in an interesting and informative way. Free samples from Ipanema, Savor, and Rostov's coffee will be at the event along with vendors who deliver locally grown food. The event also features a spinach, apple and sweet potato themed art exhibition. And the proceeds from artwork sold will go to the Central Virginia Foodbank and Gallery 5.

The first new local restaurant to have smoking and non-smoking rooms opened last week. The Republic bar and restaurant brought the corner of Allison and Broad St. back to life just in time for the smoking ban to go in effect December 1st. The separate rooms have their own entrances and bathrooms necessary to allow smoking afer the ban. Many pre-existing restaurants WRIR Local News spoke with last week, chose to go smoke free instead of putting this time or effort in to renovate their spaces. The Republic also boasts green features like recycled wood, solar hot water and plans to recycle, according to a Style Weekly article.

Last week, the city council voted unanimously to allow man's best friend in certain areas of Byrd Park. For the last year, there has been a trial run of the new ordinance, allowing leashed dogs to roam the park with their owners. And now it is official. Though some areas designated for exercise and sunbathing will still be bark free.

Police are looking for a robbery suspect who fled the Fasmart on Westover Hills Boulevard November 29th on his bicycle. The man was armed and masked, taking off with cash, lottery tickets and cigarettes, according to a November 30th Richmond Times Dispatch article. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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