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AUDITIONS Hanover Idols auditions scheduled Jan. 24

Calendar of events Happy New Year! PAGE




Vol. 1 No. 26 | Richmond Suburban News | December 30, 2015

Top 10 stories of 2015 New rules governing long-term 1 Ashland Police Department and 1 Ashland Town Council address issue of long-term residents at local motels


2 R-MC record enrollment 3 HCPS superintendent resigns, Gill appointed 4 Prichard and Peterson win HCBOS races 5 HCPS tuition policy









6 HHS graduate re: Ebola treatment 7 “Light Up the Tracks!” a success 8 Ongoing discussion about the future of the Ashland Theater 9 2015 Musical Variety Show a success 10 First-ever Spooktacular draws Halloween fans to downtown Ashland

motel stays in town named top story By Meredith Rigsby News Editor


aced with increased criminal activity and concern from local faith-based organizations, the Town of Ashland’s decision to toughen rules on longterm motel stays takes the lead in the Top 10 stories of 2015. For years, Ashland Town Council has struggled with the problem of homelessness and long-term rentals at the town’s 14 hotels and motels, and has considered numerous measures to combat the situation.

On Nov. 17, members took action that begins to address the problem. Prompted by an increase in police calls to area motels regarding longterm residents involved in crime, and a willingness of the local faith community to assist and fill gaps the new regulations might create, council unanimously approved new rules regarding long-term rentals at Ashland motels. The action does not target residents who are experiencing hard times and using the motels for transitional housing, but, according to

Mayor George Spagna, puts teeth in current ordinances governing the rentals. Hotels or motels with 25 rooms or more and two floors must obtain an extended stay permit that allows long-term rentals of 30 days or less in 5 percent of the rooms on the site. The changes do not affect motor courts along U.S. 1 because they don’t have 25 rooms or two floors. Ashland Inn owner Siddharth Rangan told council members the new ordinance would affect his revsee TOP, pg. 3 

Martin’s presents donation

‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ in Ashland

Senior Law Day event held Photo submitted by Tom Harris

The Ashland Theater was filled with excitement on Tuesday, Photos submitted by Jen Chambers Dec. 15, when Head Start children from Hanover County were treated to a showing of “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer joined in the festivities.

The Senior Law Day program, sponsored by Senior Connections and the Williams Mullen law firm, recently wrapped up another successful halfday session for older adults in Hanover County seeking legal life planning documents. Held at the First Baptist Church in Ashland and coordinated locally by the Hanover Council on Aging, the session provided simple wills, advance medical directives, and power of attorney documents for 17 residents, at no cost to the participants. Shown are, from left, Dylan Arnold and Grey O’Dwyer, students from University of Richmond, along with Ronald Martin of McCaul, Martin, Evans & Cook; Senior Law Day founder G. Andrew Nea Jr. of Williams Mullen; Lisa Adkins of the Hanover County Department of Community Resources; Virginia Grigg of Christian & Barton; and Karen M. Matthews of Karen M. Matthews Law Office. Also participating were attorneys Rebecca Bray of Rebecca Law office and Robert Kane of Kane, Jefferies, Cooper and Corollo.

Meredith Rigsby/The Hanover Local

Beverly Samuels, left, Louis Luscher, manager at Martin’s, and Kay Beazley, 2015 Hanover Christmas Mother gathered at the Ashland store last week for a check presentation. Luscher, on behalf of Martin’s Food Markets, gave the Christmas Mother program a donation of $14,060.47. So far, the Christmas Mother and volunteers have been able to help 668 families, 1,578 children and 120 seniors through fundraising and other selfless acts.

Happy New Year! Police Officers’ Ball to be held Jan. 16 Contributed Report

Exciting times, with another successful year behind us we would like to say to all our family, friends and customers alike, we wish for all of you a very happy, healthy, prosperous 2016. Judy Kilgour Serving Hanover County since 1989.

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HANOVER PARKS AND RECREATION PATRICK HENRY YMCA RITE AID RISE N SHINE DINER 10372 Leadbetter Road SHEETZ / ASHLAND 12341 North Washington Highway SHEETZ / LEADBETTER 10037 Sliding Hill Road SKATELAND 516 North Washington Highway STARBUCKS 704 England Street


7-ELEVEN 10126 Kings Dominion Boulevard WOODY’S TOWING 16424 Washington Highway

ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Foundation will present its Second Annual Police Officers’ Ball on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Brock Center on the campus of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. According to Police Chief Doug Goodman, this event is the main fundraiser for the Ashland Police Foundation. Musical entertainment will be provided by by Kings of Swing. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be catered by Chartwell’s Catering. There will be a cash bar and silent auction items from the Ashland business community. Those interested in sponsoring the event are asked to visit uploads/2015/10/2016-APF-

SHERIFF’S REPORTS | Crime, Accidents, Fire & Rescue 


Suspect damaged victim’s property on Atlee Station Road.

Dec. 17

16600 Pouncey Tract Road

Suspect assaulted victim on Marimel Lane.


Suspect used victim’s information without permission on Pembridge Drive.



Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Mechanicsville Turnpike/ Interstate 295.


16575 Mountain Road FOOD LION 16615 Mountain Road MONTPELIER LIBRARY 17205 Sycamore Tavern Lane MONTPELIER PHARMACY 17128 Mountain Road MONTPELIER POST OFFICE 17132 Mountain Road

The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

Bell Creek Road.

Dec. 16



Submitted photo

Caroline Billingsley holding her first place winning poster.


Ball_Sponsor-form-w-choice_ contact.pdf. Several levels are available. Tickets may be purchased online at Tickets also may be purchased at Cross Brothers Grocery and Caboose Wine and Cheese. The costs are $50 per ticket or $300 for six tickets and a reserved table. (That option is only available online.) Foundation officers are: Rhett Townsend, president; John Leber, vice president; William D. Hamner, secretary; and Upton S. Martin III, treasurer. Members of the Board of Directors are: Lee Roy Boschen Jr., Meriwether Gilmore, Lou Ann Z. Jewell, Ross Luck, Art McKinney, Kimberly S. Mills, Paul Sikkar and Joyce Smith. Chief Goodman serves as an ex-officio member.

Suspect used victim’s information without permission on Sandy Lane. Suspect stole items on

Suspect forged bank note on Sliding Hill Road.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Studley Road/Avondale Drive.

Dec. 18 

Suspect obtained money under false pretense on Summer Plains Drive.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Ellerson Drive.

Suspect damaged victim’s property on Fox Hill Farm Road.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on see SHERIFF’S pg. 12 

Caroline Billingsley places first in contest Contributed Report


aroline Billingsley, a third grader at South Anna Elementary School, won first place for her entry in the 2015 NACD/VASWCD Poster Contest. She is the daughter of James and Hillary Billingsley. Caroline submitted her poster locally through the Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District. This year the theme

was “Local Heroes — Your Hardworking Pollinators.” Caroline’s first place award is the statewide top honor in her category of grades 2 and 3. Her poster will be entered into the national competition held by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD). The conservation poster contest is co-sponsored annually by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (VASWCD) and the NACD.

Continued from pg. 1 

enues, especially in the winter months when tourist traffic is down. Rangan said he realized there is a problem and has contacted other motel owners in the area. As an initial step, his motel is notifying other owners of problem tenants in an effort to clean up. Shashi Zota, a co-owner, said they have invested $300,000 in improvements since they purchased the property in the past six months. Most who addressed council during a public hearing expressed compassion for those in serious situations that have forced them into a full-time hotel existence. “We don’t want to put anyone out on the street,� council member Faye O. Prichard said. However, most of the speakers agreed with council’s proposed action, stating “that something had to be done.� According to some who addressed council, there would appear to be a small amount of renters causing the most amount of trouble. Ashland police responded to 859 calls at the town’s 14 motels and hotels during 2014, a 52 percent increase from 2008. Town Manager Charles Hartgrove said the county studied plans in other localities, including Newport News and Hampton, and looked as far away as California for answers. In the second story of the year, Randolph-Macon College broke enrollment records, and welcomed its largest new student class. For the fall 2015 semester, Randolph-Macon welcomed 413 incoming freshmen, including 60 transfer students, and broke enrollment records with 1,420 overall students. This year’s freshman class also is the college’s largest new student class. This is the fourth consecu-

Submitted photo

R-MC record enrollment

tive year that enrollment numbers have exceeded 1,300. “We extend a heartfelt welcome to the Class of 2019,� Robert. R. Lindgren, president, said. “The Randolph-Macon College community is thrilled that our newest Yellow Jackets are joining the family. Our historic enrollment numbers underscore the attraction to this great school and its reputation for preparing our students to succeed in life.� Included in the Class of 2019 is a set of quadruplets, three girls, including two identical twins, and a boy, that are the only quadruplets in the nation entering the same college as freshmen in fall 2015, according to Randolph-Macon College. The incoming freshman class also represents 20 states, the District of Columbia and two foreign countries. Forty-seven percent of the new students are male and 53 percent are female. Based on grade point average (GPA), class rank and/or test scores, the Class of 2019 is the most academically qualified class Randolph-Macon College has enrolled to date. The resignation of Dr. Jamelle Wilson as Hanover County Public Schools superintendent and the in-house appointment of Dr. Michael Gill as her replacement took the No. 3 spot in the top stories for 2015. Wilson accepted a dean’s position at the University of

Richmond. “We are building people; the work that we do in schools is about children. We don’t teach content; we teach – that’s our focus and that’s something that I know our staff embraces. It’s about children,� she said. As Wilson prepared to say goodbye to the school division, she beamed with pride in talking about the successes she has enjoyed as superintendent and in the classroom. Sometimes, the answer to

schools. He was selected over a number of qualified and impressive candidates, according to board

chair Bob Hundley. “The school board was impressed with the exceptionally strong applicant pool that

pursued this position, which made this a highly competitive process,� Hundley said in a presee TOP pg. 4 

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a problem lies closer to home than anyone realizes. In June, Hanover County School Board members began searching for a new superintendent after accepting Wilson’s resignation. In the end, the best candidate was right in their own backyard, and, during the second week of November, school board members made their unanimous choice public. After an extensive national search, Gill, who was serving as assistant superintendent for instructional leadership, was appointed superintendent of

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The Hanover Local December 30, 2015


TOP Continued from pg. 3 


pared statement. “In the end, Dr. Gill clearly rose to the top.” Board members were more than satisfied with the selection. The election of Faye O. Prichard as the new Hanover County Board of Supervisors member for the Ashland District and W. Canova Peterson’s retention of his board of supervisors’ seat representing the Mechanicsville District came in as the No. 4 story. In a hard-fought battle for the Mechanicsville District seat, incumbent Peterson, a Republican, defeated Democrat Glenn T. Millican Jr. by 223 votes in the Nov. 3 General Election. Peterson garnered 1,519 votes to Millican’s 1,296. There were 12 write-in votes in that race. Prichard, a former mayor and current member of Ashland Town Council, captured the Ashland District seat being vacated by G. Ed Via III, who chose not to seek re-election. Prichard, a Democrat, received 1,845 votes to Republican W.W. “Web” Stokes’ 1,052. There were 17 write-in votes. Prichard and Scott A. Wyatt are newcomers to the board. Wyatt replaces Elton Wade, who, like Via, chose not to seek re-election. At No. 5 is the violation of Hanover County Public Schools’ tuition policy by students living outside of the county. Two students recently were removed from Hanover County


Public Schools for violating the system’s policy on out of county attendance and tuition costs associated with those students. And, they may be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to out of county students attending Hanover schools at taxpayers’ expense. The two students in this case attended Hanover schools since 2007 while their parents allegedly lived in King William County. It appears that Hanover County Public Schools has a “practice” to not request payment for recovery on the tuition not paid and to just remove the student in these cases when the parents mislead school officials in claiming residency in the county. Officials are investigating about a dozen possible similar cases in Hanover schools. Parents could eventually be charged with a Class 4 misdemeanor and be required to repay the tuition. Students attending Hanover schools who do not reside in the county are required to apply and to pay $5,690 a year in tuition, a policy that is enforced in most school divisions across the state. The actual cost to educate a student in Hanover County is about $7,500. At least one Hanover County School Board member said the current practice is wrong and should be changed. Norman Sulser, Cold Harbor District, said he planned to attempt to correct the current practice with a motion at the May 12 regular school board meeting. According to Sulser, the motion will read that “Effective June 15, 2015, any parent caught having their child illegally attending a Hanover County school will be required to pay the $5,690 for each year and for each child and the student will be removed from the Hanover County school.” The No. 6 story features a Hanover High School graduate and current Virginia Commonwealth University

The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

(VCU) student’s decision to use his summer break to research a possible treatment for the Ebola virus. When VCU sophomore Joshua David began making plans for his summer break, he knew he wanted to get away — but not necessarily to lounge on a beach and soak up rays for three months. David, a chemistry major and Hanover High School graduate, decided to take the opportunity during his time off from the school year to expand his knowledge and experience


in the areas of research and biochemistry. Specifically, David applied, and was accepted, to a 10week program at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. There, he worked with Scripps Research Institute graduate student Charles Murin and associate professor of the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at The Scripps Research Institute Andrew Ward, Ph.D., to try to develop a medication to treat the Ebola virus. “The Scripps Research Institute is really, it’s actually one of the second best places for biochemistry in the whole country, and they specialize in a lot in something called structural biology,” David said. “It’s looking at what the molecules that make up life, cells, our whole body, what they actually look like at the molecular level.” The Ebola virus is up to 90 percent lethal and patients initially experience flu-like symp-

Submitted photo

The Town of Ashland literally took advantage of being a railroad community by hosting the firstevern “Light Up the Tracks,” with CSX and Amtrak trains taking part in the festivities.

toms such as fever, muscle pain, diarrhea and vomiting, until the virus progresses, resulting in symptoms such as hemorrhage and organ failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. What David will be doing at The Scripps Institute is learning, experimenting and trying to understand different antibodies and how they affect the Ebola virus. An antibody is a protein produced by white blood cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, according to It can target the virus or bacteria and bind to it either to let the immune system know there is something wrong or to interact with the virus or bacteria so it doesn’t work well anymore, David said. Taking the No. 7 spot on this year’s list of top stories is Ashland’s “Light Up the Tracks” holiday illumination event. About 3,000 people gathered along the train tracks Saturday, Dec. 5, in the Town of Ashland’s downtown corridor to experience the first of what will now be an annual event known as “Light Up the Tracks.” Around 5:30 p.m., emcee Hugh Joyce led a countdown and plugged in a mile-long display of lights along the railroad tracks that run through town, highlighting the commercial structures in the district and creating a “live postcard” for those

travelling through Ashland on CSX and Amtrak trains. In addition to the light display along the train tracks, Randolph-Macon College allowed the town to use an area of land across from Ashland Coffee and Tea for a holiday

Submitted photo

Ashland Town Council and concerned citizens continue to discuss the future of the Ashland Theater. The town treasure is being used through the holiday season.

tree illumination. Accompanying the light display was a group of about 130 volunteer carolers who gathered on the steps of the Henry Clay Inn providing holiday music for all in attendance. The idea for the “Light Up the Tracks” event came months ago from local resident Dan Bartges, who would not have been able to bring his proposal to life without the enthusiastic and helpful citizens of Ashland. At No. 8 is the town’s continued talks about what to do with the Ashland Theater. After months of discussion,

Ashland Town Council, at its Dec. 1 meeting, approved a draft resolution stating that the council would support the operation of the Ashland Theater by a nonprofit organization by providing financial assistance annually in future budgets beginning with fiscal years 2016-2017; that the Ashland Town Council would retain ownership of the Ashland Theater for at least 10 years and that the Ashland Town Council would repay the full amount of the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) grant in the event that the operation of the Ashland Theater by a local nonprofit should fail to meet the requirements of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). In 2014, town council submitted an application to the DHCD for a $500,000 IRF grant proposing a plan that would allow the Ashland Theater to be operated by a for-profit entity, based on a $25,000 Feasibility Study conducted by Waukeshaw Development. After overwhelming citizen input against the for-profit plan, the Ashland Theater Committee submitted a separate proposal to operate the theater through a nonprofit entity, the Ashland Theater Community Foundation (ATCF), a registered 501(c) (3). At the Dec. 1 meeting, Town Manager Charles Hartgrove explained that he and town staff had been working with comsee TOP, pg. 5 

Circles Ashland organization recruiting ďŹ rst class of Circle Leaders Contributed Report ASHLAND -- Circles Ashland is a new organization working with people living in poverty in the Ashland area, helping them move up to a sustainable income. The organization will be recruiting its first

class of Circle Leaders (who are seeking a way out of poverty) and Allies (who provide encouragement and emotional support) this spring. Volunteers will commit to four to five hours per month. People with a strong commitment and an ability to work together with others on a team are needed.

File photo by Melody Kinser

“Ashland, Ashland, Center of the Universe� brings together all Musical Variety Show participants, as well as the audience, at the end of the every other year production.

TOP Continued from pg. 4 

mittee members and its leadership as well as with DHCD staff to see if the DHCD would consider allowing the town to keep its originally approved grant funding under its new concept, which shifts the proposal from a private sector partner to a nonprofit partner. Ashland’s 2015 Musical Variety Show was selected as the No. 9 story of the year. Love was the theme for the three-evening Ashland Musical Variety Show and the songs chosen filled the bill – and thrilled the audience. Thursday, March 19, through Saturday, March 21, “Ashland, Our Valentine Town� continued a tradition that started in 1982. The production, co-directed by Sue Watson and Lorie Foley, is brought to the stage at the Blackwell Auditorium on the campus of Randolph-Macon College every other year. While the attendance numbers were unofficial on Monday, March 23, Sara Holloway, executive director of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center, said reserved seating sales were so successful that there were only 18 unsold Thursday, all sold Friday and five unsold Saturday. With general admission, over 300 tickets were sold for the three nights. Proceeds from the variety show support the Hanover Arts and Activities Center, a nonprofit that has a mission of arts, education and community. The No. 10 story of the year was Ashland’s first-ever Spooktacular event. Ghosts, witches, Spiderman and ninja turtles

could be seen roaming the streets of Ashland or catching a ride on the trick-or-treat trolley Saturday, Oct. 31, during the town’s first Halloween Spooktacular event. Activities for the Halloween-themed event began at 10 a.m. with a Pumpkin Chuck-aThon and free hayrides at Ashland Garden and Nursery to benefit Hanover ARC. Kids could then head over to the Ashland Theater to grab some popcorn and watch a 12 p.m. showing of “Toy Story of Terrorâ€? followed by “Scooby-Doo!â€? At 2 p.m., the trick-or-treat trolley made its first stop at Sweet Frog to pick up and transport Ashland residents between the Ashland Town Plaza and the Ashland Library so they could visit all of the Spooktacular event sites. “I’m very excited, actually it’s been a long day already,â€? Arthur Brill, creator of the Ashland Spooktacular event, said. ‌ “We have corn hole set up over there, the pumpkin drop is being set up, we’ve got a selfie booth with silly sticks for costumes for kids to take pictures or their own costumes, trick-or-treat bag decorating and then a lot of the businesses in town are handing out candy and have story book themes.â€? Fifteen local businesses transformed their shops into storybook themes, including the library, which adopted “The Wizard of Oz;â€? Fin & Feather, which adopted “Where the Wild Things Are;â€? Sugar Fix Bakery, which adopted “Hansel and Gretel;â€? The Giving Tree Depot, which adopted “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe;â€? and Trackside Grill, which adopted the “Headless Horseman.â€?

Specific needs include:  Serving on the Advisory Team  Coordinating fund development  Recruiting Circle Leaders and Allies  Supporting other resource team needs Members of the public are invited to a gathering to learn more about helping. The session will begin with an overview of the The themed businesses also were handing out candy to all of the trick-or-treaters. Residents could listen to a reading of “The Raven� at Bell, Book & Candle and then head over to the Robinson Street Corridor to pick up some “Witches Stew� (Brunswick Stew) provided by the Iron Horse Restaurant, grab some hot cider from The Giving Tree Depot to benefit foster families, drop off food for Hanover Safe Place, decorate trick-or-treat bags and participate in the costume parade. Also in the Robinson Street Corridor was The Great Pumpkin Drop, sponsored by the Home Energy Store, and a visit from the Pink Panther. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., parents could take their goblins to the Hanover Arts and Activities Center to listen to the Hanover Concert Band or go to Ashland Coffee and Tea at 8 p.m. to listen to the band The Taters. “We put ‘The Bowman Body’ set on the stage [at Ashland Coffee & Tea],� Brill said. “So they’ll [The Taters will] be playing tonight in front of ‘The Bowman Body’ set. What’s neat about it is Bowman actually does a voiceover on their new CD for the opening and they are long-time Bowman fans.� At 9 p.m., there was an Ashland Halloween Spooktacular Kickoff Party with Josh Duncan at the England Street Tavern.

Circles Ashland program, then a discussion of the roles and responsibilities of these tasks. The meeting will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at the Ashland Branch Library at 201 S. Railroad St. in Ashland. For more information, contact or 804-496-1212.

File photo by Meredith Rigsby

Arthur Brill, right, spearheaded the “Spooktacular� in the Town of Ashland as a way for the municipality to join in some Halloween fun.

The event culminated with the Ashland Haunted History Tour, which began at The Henry Clay Inn and ran from 9 to 11 p.m. With spooky decorations all along the downtown corridor, Ashland residents and local businesses all worked together to make the first Ashland Halloween Spooktacular a success.

Ashland’s Newest Community





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Model open Sunday from 1-3 pm The Hanover Local December 30, 2015


OPINION | The Local Views

Restrictions on learning? By Roslyn Ryan for The Hanover Local The recent upheaval in Augusta County, which made national news, served as yet another reminder that the application of common sense seems to be less common these days than ever. If you missed the story, here is the abridged, two-sentence version: Schools in Augusta were shut down for a day last week — the last school day before Christmas break — after a furor erupted over a World Geography class lesson on calligraphy that asked students to copy the Islamic statement of faith. Some parents, outraged, claimed the school was attempting to indoctrinate their children and convert them to Islam. While this makes little sense to me, I think the theory could hold the key to never-before-seen advances in parenting. Think of the possibilities here, people. Going by this theory, we can get our kids to do anything we want— from deciding that homework is fun to embracing the merits of eating vegetables. All one would need to do is to put it in a textbook, have a student copy it over, and wham — you get a totally transformed individual, willing to throw off all that they have been taught up to that point and embrace a new worldview to which they previously had zero exposure. In all seriousness, particularly when it comes to this latest flap, I think we’re giving our students too

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little credit — and we’re giving textbooks far too much. Could the upheaval in Augusta have been avoided? Probably. A forward-thinking educator — working in a rural community, in America, in 2015 — might have had the forethought to amend the lesson ahead of time. (Is there seriously no other Arabic phrase that could have been used? Because Google Translate could have turned this entire editorial into Arabic faster than you could read the first line). But that also is beside the point. The crux of the matter is that when we start preventing children from learning or experiencing the world because we fear they will be “indoctrinated,” we risk beginning a long slide down a slippery slope. Should children be prevented from learning about Amazonian tribal life because of the chance they will find it more appealing than suburbia? Do we avoid talking about World War II, just in case some child might embrace the Nazi cause? No. Because that would be ridiculous. If we ever hope to stop wars caused by religion, or the bigotry and hatred caused by ignorance, we are going to have to understand more about the people who share this planet with us. And that means an education that is more comprehensive, not less. Unpalatable as it may be to some, it’s food for thought. Joy Monopoli Publisher Melody Kinser Managing Editor Denine D’Angelo Production Manager David Lawrence Sports Editor Meredith Rigsby News Editor Tom Haynie Sales Representative Sarah Suttles Sales Representative Online: For news: For events: For advertising: For classifieds: For circulation:

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The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

Not ready to give up on live tree By Jim Ridolphi for The Hanover Local Sometimes, it takes a little extra effort to ensure holiday traditions continue, especially in a fast-paced world that often favors the new and trendy over the old and established. For the past several Christmases, I’ve considered giving in and purchasing an artificial tree. It’s something most of my friends did long ago, and they are all too willing to declare the benefits of a fake tree. When the subject comes up, they speak as if they have a personal stake in the sales of artificial trees, and I’ve never heard the first complaint from any of them regarding their decision to switch. But, being old and stubborn, I have refused the impulse to forego the agony of finding, selecting, mounting, and disposing of a once alive piece of greenery that emits a unique aroma that only fills my home at Christmastime. But, this year I decided it was all too much, and I shopped around for a suitable facsimile of the trees that have highlighted my holidays for many decades. I suppose I was much too particular, and all the options fell woefully short of my expectations, and not a single one smelled like a Christmas tree. “You can buy scents that smell just like a Christmas tree,” the helpful clerk said at one display. True enough. I also can sit by a video-induced fireplace and pretend I’m feeling the warmth of an open flame, but it’s not even close to the real experience. To be honest, the only tree I found that came close to my unreal expectations would have required a payment plan. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, I ventured out one night after dinner and retrieved a small

but aromatic tree from the local home improvement box store. After the normal several tries, the tree was leveled and ready for lights and ornaments. My children shouldered the burden of the task, and the result was usual, but a real and appreciated centerpiece of our holiday decorations. As I sat and admired the colorful lights as they reflected off ornaments and produced glows of all colors, I was pleased with my decision to at least wait another year before retiring the tradition. And I couldn’t help but think of a Christmas long ago, when we pulled our car into a small Christmas tree lot on a rural road. A rigged extension cord with a few dimly lit bulbs provided the only light over the few rows of recently cut trees. We clutched our coats and bundled our scarves as a cold wind greeted us. My father inspected many trees before he found the perfect one, always larger than the one my mother suggested. But, even she would say many years after his death, he always picked the prettiest tree, and took the most particular care in its decoration. In the many years since that winter night, I’ve realized Christmas is much more than a tree, or a smartly decorated house. The closeness of family, the wish of the message and the warmth of good will toward all are things I now associate with the season. The memories made beside this year’s tree joined a collection of reflections that fill a lifetime of memories, and created new ones that will last a lifetime. Here’s hoping your moments around the tree this year were filled with cheer and happiness, and the memories you made will fill your heart with warmth for years to come.

LETTERS | Reader Views

Resident urges county leaders to help those who volunteer I sent a letter to the editor a couple weeks back in reference to fundraising. I thought it would be of some benefit to the volunteers. It is almost unthinkable to encourage people to volunteer for any position and then expect them to raise money for their needs. I was totally under the impression that Hanover County had taken over the Fire and EMS, especially after see LETTERS, pg. 7 

Letters to the Editor The Local welcomes your signed letters to the editor on topics of interest to Mechanicsville residents. Letters must include your address and a daytime telephone number. We reserve the right to edit letters. We do not guarantee that every letter received will be published. Letters reflect the opinions and positions of the writers and not The Hanover Local. Send letters to: The Hanover Local, 8460 Times-Dispatch Blvd. Mechanicsville, Va. 23116. Fax: 730-0476 E-mail:

| Death Notices & Funerals NATHANIEL HARRIS Nathaniel “Teggie” Harris passed December 9, 2015. Homegoing services were held at 1 p.m. Saturday, December 19, 2015, at the Shiloh Baptist Church at 106 South James Street in Ashland. Interment will be private. F.A. Dabney Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

MARY MASON Mary Mason, 87, of Ashland, entered eternal rest on Monday, December 14, 2015. She was preceded in death by her husband, James H. Mason; and son, James Mason Jr. MASON “ B u c k .” Left to cherish her memory are seven children, Joyce Foster (Leroy), Arnie Woods, Clyde Mason, Carol Mason, Raymond Mason (Gretel), Kenneth Mason and Michael Mason (Sharon); 14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, along with other relatives and friends. Homegoing services were held at noon Monday, December 21, 2015, at the Union Baptist Church in Ashland, with the Rev. Darrell Leftwich, pastor, officiating. Interment followed in Belmont Cemetery in Doswell. F.E. Dabney Funeral Home in Ashland was in charge of arrangements.

RICHARD PERRY Richard “Rick” Perry 66, of Ashland, passed away quietly surrounded by family on December 17, 2015. He was predeceased by his parents, Albert M. Perry and Lucille Bostick Perry. He is survived by his wife, Sandi; mother-inlaw “Tootie;” daughter, Jennifer

(Dan); sons, Andrew (Nancy), Richard and Steven; grandchildren, Daniel, Ben, Micha, Amber and Taylor; and five great-grandchildren; brothers, Edward, Albert and William; and sister, Lynda; also, a host of golf buddies, Walmart and Home Depot associates and many friends. A memorial service was held at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 19, 2015, at the Discovery United Methodist Church at 13000 Gayton Road in Henrico. Please make any contributions to to the Central Virgina Food Bank at

GRACIE PETTIS Gracie Pettis, 92, of Rockville, passed December 18, 2015. Homegoing services were held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 23, 2015, at the F.E. Dabney Funeral Home Chapel at 600 V Street in Ashland. Interment followed in Roselawn Memory Gardens.

DOROTHY WRIGHT Dorothy Virginia Wright, 71, of Ashland, went home to be with the Lord on December 17, 2015. Dorothy was survived by her husband, Charles E. Wright Sr.; children, June McGuire, “Chucky” Charles E. Wright Jr. (Joyce), Sandra Farmer (George), Stefanie Gable (Clyde) and Brandie Waters (Richard), seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, four brothers and two sisters. The immediate family had a private viewing on Monday, December 21, 2015. A graveside memorial service was held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, at the Forest Grove United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations “In memory of Dorothy Wright” to National Jewish Health, P.O. Box 17169, Denver, Colo. 80217-0169.

Continued from pg. 6 

available information that the county/taxpayer combo had built all new firehouses and given Fire/EMS a $15 million budget. Simple deduction, I thought. Such things as building repairs, uniforms, gear and training for volunteers should be paid with Hanover County tax dollars. We can’t do it halfway; if we don’t have enough in the budget to take care of our volunteers, we should raise the budget. I’m fully aware that we have had “so-so” boards in Hanover’s past but now we have a board of supervisors that found a way to cut $30 million out of a budget passed by the 2009 board and did so without raising or lowering taxes. A practically new and inexperienced board saved us $30 million right off. What could we expect if we had term limits of four or max eight years? New thinking and newer ideas come from new people as this board has proven. What a blow it must have been for the old board members to learn that first time supervisors knocked $30 million off their 2009 budget. Assuming the $30 million saved is just floating around to be found again at a later date, why not use a million of it now to help out the volunteers? Requiring people who work for no pay to raise money for uniforms and training is nonsense. Thirty million saved each year and none given back to the taxpayers will add up quickly, so I’m wondering if that savings could accumulate and at some future date the county will operate off the savings and give us a year off without taxes.

2.0 GPA athlete requirements The Hanover County School Board is considering requiring all students who compete in athletics to have a 2.0 GPA (grade point average. To the general public, this sounds like a good idea.

The PR is hard to refute until one understands that currently Hanover County students do not need a 2.0 GPA to graduate from high school, serve their country in the military, take classes at a community college or attend a technical school. There are hard working students who may never get to a 2.0 but they can graduate and be productive citizens. Some of these students will be denied the positive aspects of high school athletics if this change is adopted. Why set the standard higher for athletes then for others in the school system? What is fair about that? If you want to raise grades, why not do it across the board and require all students to

have a 2.0 GPA to graduate high school like colleges do? This would set the bar higher for all students, a much fairer option. Can’t argue with that, can you? Of course not — everyone would make the 2.0 and that would reduce the graduation rate, which the school board might not like to see made public. If they consider athletics a privilege, then make participants in all extra-curricular activities meet the same requirement, not just athletes. This would include marching band, performing music and drama, all clubs and non-athletic activities. Be fair to all or drop the idea of just going after one group. Bruce Bowen Mechanicsville

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James Munsey, board member, said in his letter to the editor, “The volunteers need money for everything from uniforms, training, public outreach, internal furnishings and certain equipment within the station.” And he pointed out that “donations have seen a steady decline over the last few years.” How can we expect to have people give up their downtime and volunteer as firemen or EMS and expect them to pay their own way? I’ve heard from time to time that Hanover is low on volunteers — could that be one of the reasons? Call your supervisor and demand a change in our volunteer compensation policy before someone gets the idea to sneak a BYOG (Buy Your Own Gear) policy into our sheriff ’s office. Ted Mentz Old Church

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The Hanover Local December 30, 2015


CALENDAR | News, Updates & Listings Saturday, Jan. 9

Monday, Feb. 1

An all-you-can-eat Salt Fish Breakfast will be hosted from 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. by the Independence Ruritan Club, which is located behind the Independence Christian Church at 14033 Independence Rd. (off U.S. 54, west of Ashland). The fundraiser will benefit Ashland Christian Emergency Services (ACES). Breakfast includes salt herring fillets, scrambled eggs, bacon, spiced apples, cornbread, grits, coffee and orange juice only. The cost is $9 for adults. For more information, call 804-798-6579.

Applications are now being accepted for the following programs for the 2016-2017 school year, which are specifically intended for rising 9th through 11th grade students:  The Advance College Academy (http://  The Health Sciences Specialty Center (  The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology ( Zb7qPG3OrF)  International Baccalaureate (http://goo. gl/forms/krQC90avyX) Applications are due by Feb. 1, 2016. Space is limited in most programs. Apply today by clicking on one or more of the links provided above. For more information, contact your school’s counseling department.

Sunday, Jan. 24 Charles Bryant, past president of the Virginia Historical Society, will speak at 3 p.m. at the Ashland Library. He will discuss “The History Crisis in America – Myth or Reality.” He also will sign copies of his new book, “Imperfect Past – History in a New Light.” Bryant’s appearance is being presented by the Ashland Museum.

Ongoing Families Anonymous Support Group meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday at the Episcopal Church of the Creator at 7159



Mechanicsville Turnpike in Mechanicsville. The group is a self-help fellowship for the friends and family members of addicts who are in need of understanding and healing themselves. For details, call Sandy at 804-7304812 or email Overcomers Outreach and Women’s Codependency, a Christ-centered anonymous support program offering hope and healing for recovering alcoholics, addicts and their families meet every Monday at 7 p.m., at the Mechanicsville Christian Center at 8061 Shady Grove Road in Mechanicsville. For more information, call 804-366-9645 or email

Tuesdays General cancer support group meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Cancer Resource Center in Medical Office Building 1 on the hallway leading to VCU Massey Radiation Oncology. The group is co-facilitated by an oncology social work navigator, registered nurse navigator and survivorship nurse practitioner

First Tuesday Cancer caregiver support group meets from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Cancer Resource Center in Medical Office Building 1 on the hallway leading to VCU Massey Radiation Oncology. The group is facilitated by a Bon Secours oncology social work navigator and VCU Massey social worker

Second Tuesdays Hanover Family Support Group, a support group for family members of a loved one with a mental illness, meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. the second Tuesday evening of each month at the Ashland office of Hanover Community Services located at 12300 Washington Highway in Ashland. Attendees support one another, share experiences, challenges and resources and to advocate for their loved ones. For more information, contact Jennifer K. Edelman, LCSW, at 804-365-4145.

Contest Puzzles Coloring Games Fun Facts

Our next publication will be on January 27th Deadline: January 13 Call Sarah at (804) 775-4620 to reserve your ad space!

CareShare, a faith-based support group for anyone who cares for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease meets at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the New Highland Baptist Church in Room 103. For more information, call 804-550-9601. Caregivers can join the group at any time. The Hanover County Historical Society will


The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

be conducting free tours of the Old Hanover Courthouse on the Historic Courthouse Green from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every second Tuesday through December. The address is 13182 Hanover Courthouse Road in Hanover. For more information, visit

Second and fourth Tuesdays Cancer support for men meets from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Cancer Resource Center in Medical Office Building 1 on the hallway leading to VCU Massey Radiation Oncology. The group is facilitated by an oncology social worker.

Second Wednesday The Greater Richmond Alzheimer’s Association and the Hanover Adult Center will host a caregiver support group from 9:30 to 11 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Hanover Adult Center at 7231 Stonewall Parkway in Mechanicsville. The meetings will provide an opportunity for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s to exchange coping skills and give mutual support. Co-facilitators are Vivian Bagby and Barbara Allen. For more information, call the Greater Richmond Alzheimer’s Association chapter at 967-2580.

Fourth Thursdays Laryngectomees, patients who may be undergoing a laryngectomy in the future, their families, caregivers and the medical community, meet at 5:30 p.m. to provide support, education and socialization at the American Cancer Society at 4240 Park Place Court in Glen Allen. For more information, visit

Thursdays GriefShare, a Christ-centered support group to help those who have lost a loved one, will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Nov. 12 at the New Highland Baptist Church at 9200 New Ashcake Rd. in Mechanicsville. Participants do not have to attend every meeting; people can drop in at any time. For more information, call 804-550-9601. Fax submissions to calendar to 730-0476, email to, or mail to 8460 Times-Dispatch Blvd., Mechanicsville VA 23116. Deadline is 1 p.m. Thursday for the following week’s issue. Calendar announcements cannot be taken by phone. We reserve the right to edit all items submitted to The Hanover Local.



02 2015

Men’s basketball: Guilford at Randolph-Macon 2:00 p.m.


03 2015

Women’s basketball: Greensboro at Randolph-Macon 2:00 p.m.

| Youth, High School, College, Recreational & Professional

2015: A year of achievement in local sports By Dave Lawrence Sports Editor ASHLAND – As the year 2015 comes to a close, Hanover County has had many sports achievements to celebrate, both at Randolph-Macon and at Patrick Henry. But the year was made extra special when the world came to the county for the UCI Road World Championships in September. The biggest event of the year was the UCI Road World Championships. The international bicycle race brought racers, crews and journalists from around many nations – some familiar, some not so – to bring a rare global vibe to the region. While most of the action took place in Richmond and adjacent areas of Henrico County, Hanover County played a pivotal role for one of the week’s events: the men’s elite individual time trials, which began at King’s Dominion and ran through Hanover Courthouse and Mechanicsville before ending in Richmond. Crowds – locals and visitors -- gathered along the roads throughout the county to observe the proceedings. Randolph-Macon athletics have had an historic year. The women’s volleyball team won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season and tournament title, and fought see 2015, pg. 10 

Dave Lawrence/The Local

Dave Lawrence/The Local

Patrick Henry’s Tiffany Harris (top) ran to a runner-up finish in the 300-meter run at the Group 5A indoor track and field state championships in March and in the 400 in the outdoor championships in June. Grant Davis (above) ran to a top 10 finish at the Region 5A North cross country championships in November.

The world came to Richmond (above) for the UCI Road World Championships in September. Race events included the men’s elite individual time trials, which began at Kings Dominion and came through Mechanicsville (left) before ending in Richmond. Patrick Henry’s Ted Schubert (far left) successfully defended his Group 5A championship in the 100-meter butterfly in March as well as qualified in July for the U.S. Olympic trials which will be this summer.

The Hanover Local December 30, 2015


2015 Continued from pg. 9 

through its regional to claim its first regional championship before reaching the NCAA Division III quarterfinals for the first time in team history. The Yellow Jackets ended their season with a 28-8 record. Randolph-Macon’s softball team won its first ODAC championship ad clinched a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time in its history, holding on until it lost in the region final to tournament host Christopher Newport University. The Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team swept its ODAC schedule this year, with a 160 league record, a 28-3 overall record, and an ODAC tournament championship. They also advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. After the season ended, head coach Nathan Davis left to take the head coaching job at Division I Bucknell. Josh Merkel was quickly hired as his replacement. Randolph-Macon’s baseball team set a season record for victories with a 26-10 record. While the Yellow Jacket football team had a something of a down year this season, it won its final three games of the 2015 season – including a 14-0 victory over rival Hampden-Sydney for the Yellow Jackets’ second straight win in “The Game” and their fourth in five years. Randolph-Macon’s men’s and women’s swim teams continued their growth. The men’s team finished second in the first ODAC men’s swimming championship, while the women’s team finished third in the women’s meet standings. Patrick Henry High School likewise had its share of successes this year. The softball team made another deep run into postseason, defeating Briar Woods in the Region 5A North cham-


Dave Lawrence/The Local

Randolph-Macon’s women’s volleyball team (top) advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time in team history. Patrick Henry’s Andrea Dill (above) finished her high school career at the VHSL Girls Open in October.

pionship game. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they ran into a destiny-driven Atlee team in the 5A semifinals. The Raiders, who spent much of the season in the shadow of strong Patrick Henry and Lee-Davis teams, defeated the Patriots and went on to win the state championship. The Patriots’ baseball team likewise had a strong outing this season, finishing strong to reach the Region 5A North semifinals before being ousted by George Marshall. Patrick Henry’s girls took the lead on the golf team, with Andrea Dill and Shea Burch providing most of the team’s better outings. Dill and Burch

The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

Dave Lawrence/The Local

Randolph-Macon’s defense came up with enough plays, like this pass breakup by defensive back Deshaun Rogers (above), to eke out a 14-9 victory over Hampden-Sydney in “The Game” and close out a disappointing 2015 season with three straight wins. Patrick Henry’s baseball team (left) advanced to the Region 5A North semifinals, where it fell to George Marshall. The Patriots’ softball team (below) advanced to the Group 5A state semifinals before falling to Atlee.

closed out their high school careers in the VHSL state girls open in October. Ted Schubert successfully defended his Virginia High

School League Group 5A state championship in the boys 100meter backstroke. Tiffany Harris and Jean Woodrum both brought success

to the girls track and field teams. Woodrum won the group 5A outdoor discus championships. Harris finished as runner-up in the 300-meter run at the state

indoor meet and again as runner up in the 400 in the state outdoor meet. Grant Davis made his presence felt in cross country this fall, dominating a number of races locally before winning the Conference 16 championship and running to a top 10 finish in the Region 5A North meet and a top 20 finish in the Group 5A state meet. Dave Lawrence can be reached at

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ADVERTISE Advertise with The Hanover Local Call 746-1235 to find out about upcoming opportunities to advertise with The Hanover Local!

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Call (804) 746-1235 for advertising information today! The Hanover Local December 30, 2015



Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Mount Hope Church Road/ Doswell Road.

Suspect assaulted victim on New Farrington Court.

Continued from pg. 2 

Mechanicsville Turnpike/Cold Harbor Road. 

Suspect damaged victim’s property on Cold Harbor Road.

Suspect damaged victim’s property on Foxal Road.

Suspect obtained money under false pretense on Clak Circle.

Suspect assaulted victim on Clipit Court.

Suspect trespassed at listed location on Beulah Church Road.

Contributed Report

Dec. 20 

Suspect assaulted victim on Mary Ann Lane.


Suspect stole items on Bell Creek Road.

Suspect extorted victim on War Horse Lane.

Suspect used victim’s vehicle without permission on Waldrop Lane.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Cold Harbor Road/Catlin Road.

Suspect stole items on Marshall Arch Drive.

Suspect violated protective order on Willow Avenue.

Suspect damaged victim’s property on Craney Island/Cudlipp Avenue.

Suspect threatened victim on Mechanicsville Turnpike.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Sliding Hill Road.

Suspect was in possession of controlled substance on Sliding Hill Road/Atlee Commons.

Dec. 19 

Suspect damaged victim’s property on Hepburn Court.

Suspect stole items on Bell Creek Road.

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Hanover Idols auditions scheduled for Jan. 24 SHLAND — It’s not too early to think about auditioning for the Hanover Idols Competition. Song selection takes time, and this competition takes place every other year. Auditions for the 2016 Hanover Idols are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. This is the sixth time the Hanover Arts & Activities Center is sponsoring a singing competition for Hanover residents. Two winners were selected in 2014 by a panel of local celebrity judges: Sarah Hopkins was crowned Hanover Idol 2014 and Audrey Kate Taylor was crowned 2014 Hanover Junior Idol. These two “idols” went on

Is your marketing plan in the penalty box?

SaQuaney Fuller


Tom Haynie

The Hanover Local December 30, 2015

Sarah Suttles

to perform at various events in 2014 and 2015, including special appearances at the Ashland Musical Variety Show. Sarah is attending Trevecca Nazarene University and is part of the National Praise and

Photo courtesy of Lorie Foley

Sarah Hopkins, the 2014 Hanover Idol winner, is shown performing. Auditions for the 2016 event are scheduled for Jan. 24.

Worship Institute in Nashville. Audrey Kate is a seventh grader at Chickahominy Middle School, and is featured in many local musical productions, including Virginia Rep productions. Sue Watson and Lorie Foley, who team up every other year for the Ashland Musical Variety Show, are once again producing Hanover Idols. Hanover Idols is open to Hanover residents ages 10 and older. To audition for Hanover Junior Idols, applicants must be 10 to 15 years of age (as of Jan. 1, 2016). To audition for Hanover Idols, applicants must be 16 years of age or older (as of Jan. 1, 2016). Application forms are available at or by calling 804-798-2728. Signup forms are due to the Hanover

Arts and Activities Center on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. The producers will contact applicants to schedule auditions to be held Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center. Judging will be based on vocal ability, performance standards, stage presence, power to evoke emotion, and suitability for the Ashland Musical Variety Show and other public venues. All varieties of music are encouraged, including, but not limited to, show tunes, church music, gospel, opera, rap, hip/ hop, pop, folk, country, etc. “We want to stress that our local celebrity judges are friendly, talented and nurturing,” Watson said. Candidates are encouraged to sing with musical accompaniment, Karaoke CD, or a cappella for the two-minute audition. Fred Horn, music director at Berea Baptist Church in Rockville, will provide piano accompaniment for the actual competition. The 2016 Hanover Idols Junior Competition will take place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, 2016, at the Ashland Theatre. Doors will open at 3 p.m. The 2016 Hanover Idols Competition will take place at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 6, 2016, at the Ashland Theatre. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Donations of $10 will be accepted at the door for both shows. For more information, contact Lorie Foley at 804-339-6175 or or Sue Watson at 804-402-0296 or All proceeds benefit the Hanover Arts & Activities Center, a nonprofit organization.

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Ashland-Hanover Local – 12/30/15  

Ashland-Hanover Local – 12/30/15 © 2019 by Richmond Suburban News. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be re...

Ashland-Hanover Local – 12/30/15  

Ashland-Hanover Local – 12/30/15 © 2019 by Richmond Suburban News. All advertising and editorial matter is fully protected and may not be re...