Virginia

ROUNDUP | Richmond Free Press

Virginia health authorities made CDC grants

Virginia’s public health operations will get a boost over the next five years thanks to a $67.5 million grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The grant was announced last Wednesday and is part of funding distributed nationwide through the American Rescue Plan Act. Among the groups receiving CDC funding will be the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Virginia Beach Department of Public Health.

The grant is coordinated by the Virginia Department of Health and Human Services and is focused on increasing the health workforce statewide, modernizing data infrastructure and processes, and improving organizational systems.

“This grant provides a very timely opportunity to support critical public health infrastructure in the Commonwealth,” said State Health Commissioner Collin Greene. “The funding will allow us to invest in our outstanding public health professionals and provide Virginians with improved systems to protect the health and promote the well-being of all.”

Buckle up, put down your phones, officials are advising

In light of the holiday season, city officials are urging residents to fasten their seat belts, avoid driving after drinking and take other measures to stay safe on the road.

Richmond’s new campaign to combat vehicle-related injuries from inattentive, unprepared or collision drivers is part of its Vision Zero action plan to end road-related deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

As part of this plan, the Richmond Department and officials are attempting to address unsafe behavior on the road, with lack of seat belts and speeding cited in their own studies as consistent factors in many of the injuries on Richmond’s streets.

News of speeding, seatbelt use and distracted driving will be shared by Richmond officials over the next few weeks to remind drivers and pedestrians of the need to stay safe on city streets.

“From the Richmond Police Department to the Department of Public Works, the city wants our residents and visitors to take the time to buckle up, don’t write or speak while driving, obey the speed limits, and refrain from drinking and driving.” reads a statement from Petula Burks, Richmond’s director of strategic communications and civic engagement.

“We’re asking Richmonders to accept the challenge of buckle up and put their phones away.”

For more information, see www.rva.gov/public-works/vision-zero.

The Sandston Library is now open

The Sandston Henrico County Branch Library recently reopened after more than a month of renovations and improvements. The library, the longest-serving location in Henrico County’s public library system, has been closed since September as part of a renovation project, and the new additions mark the first phase of its renovation.

“Neighborhood libraries strengthen communities and families through connection, reading and enjoyment,” said Library Director Barbara Weedman. “The updated Sandston office is brighter all around with new shelving and a wealth of books that we hope will stimulate your learning or let your imagination run wild.”

New additions to the library include modern shelving, updated audio-video equipment and lighting, refreshed paint and carpeting, and remodeled parking lots. Future additions include a computer work and play station inspired by a custom design for the Fairfield Area Library.

Stephen “tWitch” Boss, DJ of the “Ellen” show, dies at the age of 40

From The Associated Press

Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the longtime and popular dance DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and former contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, has died by suicide at the age of 40.

Twitch boss

His wife, Allison Holker Boss, confirmed his death in a statement published on People.com on Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that my husband Stephen has left us,” she said. “Stephen lit up every room he walked into. He valued family, friends and community above all and guidance with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father and an inspiration to his fans.”

Her statement did not provide details on the cause of death, but the Los Angeles County coroner confirmed the suicide.

Twitch began working on The Ellen Show in 2014 and was later promoted to Co-Executive Producer in 2020.

“I’m lovesick. Twitch was pure love and light. He was my family and I loved him with all my heart. I will miss him. Please send your love and support to Allison and his beautiful children – Weslie, Maddox and Zaia,” Ellen DeGeneres said on Twitter, alongside a photo of the two embracing backstage.

Compiled by George Copeland, Jr.

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