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DELIVER TO: Postal Patron Mechanicsville, VA 23111 PRSRT. STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Mechanicsville, VA Permit No.141 STOPS AT EVERY HOME IN TOWN Vol. 30, No. 39 | Richmond Suburban News | January 29, 2014 ‘Strong’ school budget proposal presented By Jim Ridolphi for The Mechanicsville Local What a difference a year makes. Dr. Jamelle Wilson, superintendent of Hanover County Public Schools, presented what she described as a “strong budget message” to the Hanover County School Board on Tuesday, Jan. 21, as she unveiled the system’s 2015 budget. Relying on additional state and local funds, Wilson said this year’s $170.7 million is the first step in recovery in a system that has struggled economically for the past five years. The proposal includes the creation of 18 new teaching positions, the first increase in the classroom for several years. “This is huge. You know that we have been focused on reducing our instructional staff. If there’s a theme, we are beginning to restore some things we had to reduce before,” Wilson said before presenting her budget to the board. The added classroom positions include 14 teachers, two gifted teachers and two elementary resource (music and physical education) teachers. Wilson’s proposal also includes a 2 percent across-theboard raise for school employees, in line with a proposed raise for all county employees. see STRONG, pg. 7 Piedmont Region Princesses County attorney monitoring General Assembly action By Jim Ridolphi for The Mechanicsville Local With the Virginia General Assembly in full swing in downtown Richmond, Hanover County Attorney Sterling Rives is keeping a close eye on legislation that could affect local taxpayers. “There are a number of bills we are monitoring that could have impact on Hanover,” Rives said after presenting a legislative update at last Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. Hanover County had traditionally and continues to oppose any efforts to alter opening day requirements for schools across the state. Current law restricts systems from opening earlier than Labor Day, and Rives said the county wants to keep it that way. In addition to the uniformity argument, Rives said the tourism industry in Virginia is reliant on a work force that will be available Labor Day weekend. “Virginia is highly dependent upon the tourism industry, which benRIVES efits tremendously from the traditional Labor Day long weekend,” Rives said. Another bill introduced in the House would require every school in the state to have a school resource officer in place. see ASSEMBLY, pg. 31 Photo courtesy of Rick Myers of Myers Photography Olivia Utley, Lorelai Brown, Celia Wood and Lydia Whitlow of Mechanicsville were crowned Miss Piedmont Region Princesses on Saturday, Jan. 18, Holman Middle School in Glen Allen at the Miss Piedmont Region Scholarship Pageant. Come see our five decorated models in Hanover We build on your lot or ours! HANOVER’S #1 LOCAL BUILDER! www.r-ci.net 804-249-2798