augusta free press news

In the News

State News: Governor prepares Virginia for swine flu, posted Monday, 9 p.m.
State News: Ordinance banning panhandlers pulled off table in Richmond, posted Monday, 9 p.m.
Event: Yoga, human rights focus of one-woman show in Charlottesville, posted Monday, 11 a.m.
Event: Friday Night Lights in Downtown Lexington this week, posted Monday, 11 a.m.
Event: Wintergreen Resort Golf Academy set for Aug. 1-5, posted Monday, 11 a.m.


State News: Governor prepares Virginia for swine flu, posted Monday, 9 p.m.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced today that, though there are no confirmed cases in Virginia, the Commonwealth is preparing for any outbreak of swine flu by increasing its communication with healthcare providers, and is preparing to receive additional antiviral medication from the Centers for Disease Control. The state’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Karen Remley, is declaring a public health emergency which will give her more tools to coordinate any necessary response, including access to the state’s database for all licensed health care providers so that information can be more effectively and widely communicated. The state is also extending and enhancing its seasonal flu tracking program to ensure that any confirmed cases are promptly reported and tracked.

“We have been planning for a situation like this for many years,” Gov. Kaine said. “We have a surveillance system in place that is closely tracking reports of influenza-type illnesses, our state laboratory is prepared to quickly conduct and report tests on suspected cases and we currently have some 770,000 courses of antiviral medication in our stockpile and will be receiving an additional 280,000 courses from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control within a week.”

Since 2006, the state has conducted six exercises to test its emergency preparedness plan for pandemic flu outbreaks.

“I share the concerns of health officials at home and abroad regarding swine influenza,” said Gov. Kaine. “Virginia is working in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies as well as other states, including those in the National Capitol Region. Our 35 health districts across the state, which have been active participants in our planning exercises, are working closely with their local communities.”

Dr. Remley said that the current swine influenza outbreak is caused by a virus not previously seen in humans or animals. “Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and typically include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and runny nose. Additional symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, headache, chills and fatigue,” Dr. Remley said.

Persons with swine flu are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they are still symptomatic. The CDC and the scientific community are still learning more about this new virus.

“Many Virginians have travelled to Mexico this Spring. If you have been back in the U.S. for at least a week and are not already ill, it is very unlikely that will develop swine flu from that exposure. If you have symptoms of flu and have travelled to this and other areas where swine flu has been identified stay home and call your local health care provider or health department,” Dr. Remley said.

Virginians can monitor any developments regarding the swine flu on the websites of the CDC and VDH.

The governor advised anyone with influenza like illness to protect themselves, their families and their fellow Virginians by following these standard guidelines:

• If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

• If you feel you need medical attention, call ahead first so health care providers can take necessary infection control measures.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth to prevent the spread of germs.


State News: Ordinance banning panhandlers pulled off table in Richmond, posted Monday, 9 p.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has learned that Richmond City Council member Bruce W. Tyler is withdrawing a proposed ordinance that would prohibit panhandlers on sidewalks or curbs from soliciting vehicle occupants.

In testimony and written memos, the ACLU of Virginia warned members of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that the proposed ordinance violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The civil liberties group also told city officials it was prepared to challenge the ordinance in court.

Tyler’s announcement that he intended to withdraw the proposal came shortly after the Public Safety Committee voted 2-1 last Monday not to endorse the measure. The withdrawal should become official at tonight’s City Council meeting.

“Richmond has the right to pass laws that maintain traffic safety and that protect pedestrians,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis, “but without showing a compelling reason, it cannot trample on the First Amendment right to ask for money.”

Proponents never produced any evidence that sidewalk solicitors caused accidents or interfered with traffic,” added Willis. “This ordinance was clearly motivated by the discomfort some city leaders feel when they see homeless people asking for money. But public officials can’t censor panhandling — and the message of despair and poverty it conveys — any more than they can ban political messages they don’t like.”

The proposed ordinance is the third attempt in recent years to limit panhandling. In 2006, Richmond attempted to pass an ordinance that would have banned all panhandling in the Central Business District. In 2007, council considered but rejected an ordinance that would have required a $25 permit to panhandle vehicle occupants.

As proposed, the ordinance reads: “It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit, by spoken word, written sign or gesture, contributions of any nature from the drivers of motor vehicles or passengers therein. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.”

A copy of the legal memo sent to the Public Safety Committee in January is available online at


Event: Yoga, human rights focus of one-woman show in Charlottesville, posted Monday, 11 a.m.

Yoga maven Jennifer Schelter (of Philadelphia, Pa.) makes unexpected connections between yoga and human rights in her one-woman presentation …

Love Lessons from Abu Ghraib

Wednesday, April 29, 7 p.m. at the

Tandem Friends School in Charlottesville

To reserve your tickets, call 434.296.1303 x 0

Love Lessons from Abu Ghraib is a telling of the improbable bravery and beauty of victims of torture at the Abu Ghraib prison as told through Jennifer Schelter’s unique artistic language. Inspired by interviews of Iraqi prisoners of war, these powerful tales uncover the best of friendship, justice, art, and even dating advice.

Schelter became involved with the prisoners at Abu Ghraib as a result of her friendship with an attorney whose firm had filed a class action suit against Titan Corporation and CACI International, firms that supplied the military with translators and interrogators. Schelter was invited to travel to Turkey in August 2006 and December 2006, staying about a week each time. Schelter’s official role was that of a paralegal: She took notes and acted as a compassionate observer.

Despite the serious nature of its subject matter, Love Lessons from Abu Ghraib is lighthearted and sometimes humorous. Directed by Ann Zumbo, the play combines storytelling and dialogue, yoga and movement. Schelter takes on more than half a dozen roles, including two versions of herself. Schelter emphasizes that the play does not proselytize and has no political message. Still, she hopes Love Lessons will encourage viewers to get involved.

Her performance at Tandem Friends School is sponsored by Tandem and the Charlottesville chapter of Amnesty International. Tickets are $15/Adults and $10/Students, Seniors. Tickets may be reserved by calling 434.296.1303 x 0. There will be at least 30 tickets available at the door. The show will begin at 7 p.m. The box office opens at 6 p.m. There will be a question/answer session after the performance. TandemFriendsSchool is located off of Mill Creek Drive across from Monticello High School.

Jennifer Schelter is a certified yoga instructor and director of Yoga Schelter, located in Philadelphia. For more on Yoga Schelter go to


Event: Friday Night Lights in Downtown Lexington this week, posted Monday, 11 a.m.

This coming Friday, May 1, is the next Friday Night Lights and we’re inviting everyone to come downtown and enjoy the festivities. The merchants of Downtown Lexington have a lot in store (pun intended) for this event.

As always, the businesses are offering refreshments (served with a smile), demonstrations, exhibitions, receptions and much more. Mary Harvey and Marla Palma will provide the evening entertainment and big hats are in!

Wear your best Derby-styled hat and win a $50 gift certificate for downtown Lexington. Participating merchants will have the register forms…Derby style, of course and will serve as the judges. The gift certificate will be held awarded at Hopkins Green (a.k.a. the “Winners Circle”). Children are invited to bring their stick horses and parade them around as parents shop and enjoy the festivities. The owner of the best decorated stick horse wins a prize, also to be awarded at the “Winners Circle”.

For more information about the event please Lisa Markham at the Lexington/Rockbridge County Chamber of Commerce at 540.463.5375 or e-mail


Event: Wintergreen Resort Golf Academy set for Aug. 1-5, posted Monday, 11 a.m.

By combining the teaching techniques of major college golf coaches with high-tech video swing analysis, and then blending them with numerous fun summer activities, the Wintergreen Resort Golf Academy is again offering junior golfers a program that targets the development of each student, on and off the course.

This year the annual Coaches Camp Junior Golf School is Aug. 1-5, led by University of Notre Dame golf coach Jim Kubinski at Wintergreen’s two award-winning golf courses – Devils Knob and Stoney Creek. Instruction covers the complete swing, short game skills, four rounds, rules and etiquette training, as well as on-course management and strategy needed to compete at the collegiate level.

Extracurricular adventures include swimming at Lake Monocan, Out of Bounds Adventure Center and movie night. Daily games and contests also are part of the camp program. Tuition is $1,199 for five days, including all meals and accommodations for four nights in the Blue Ridge Commons, part of Wintergreen Resort, one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier year-round golf destinations located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Some tax and resort fees apply.

“The response to our Coaches Camps has been outstanding,” said Sean Taylor, Director of Golf at Wintergreen Resort and the head of the Wintergreen Golf Academy. “Our goal now is to continue to provide students personal interaction with coaching that is found at the elite level of college golf. Our program gives each student a chance to gather insight to the work ethic and other requirements necessary to be successful at the collegiate level.”

The daily schedule for the Coaches Camp Junior Golf School is from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Each group of students is assigned a personal coach and a counselor from the Professional Golf Management internship program.

For more information about the Coaches Camp and other programs and packages at the Wintergreen Golf Academy, call (434) 325-8251, or visit

augusta free press
augusta free press