In the News
– Local News: Swine flu cases confirmed in Lexington, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
– Event: Art collection will help create healing environment, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
– Local News: DCCU announces scholarship winners, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
– Capitol Hill: Perriello-sponsored protections for consumers facing excessive credit fees pass House, posted Friday, 9:10 a.m.
– Politics: Wagner accepts debate invitation, posted Friday, 9:10 a.m.
Local News: Swine flu cases confirmed in Lexington, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, M.D., MBA, said Friday that there are two probable cases of infection with the new influenza A (H1N1) virus, also called “swine flu,” at Washington and Lee University in Lexington.
“Both students had mild illnesses, both are recovering well, and both were suspected early of possibly having influenza A (H1N1) and were appropriately treated,” said Dr. Remley. “Neither student had traveled outside the country, but both had visited other states recently. None of the states visited were known to have confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1).”
“Given the fact that college and university students tend to travel frequently and are involved in many social activities, cases on a college campus are not unexpected. However, the appearance of two probable cases on the same campus increases the possibility that transmission has occurred locally and prompted me to release this information in an abundance of caution,” said Dr. Remley.
The Virginia Department of Health does not release information on probable cases unless there is public health reason to do so, as is the case here.
Washington and Lee President Kenneth P. Ruscio said, “We are working very closely with the Department of Health to make sure our students stay healthy so they can continue to focus on their studies. I am very pleased with the University’s response to this challenge and am thankful for our exceptional Student Health Center.”
VDH has been working closely with W&L investigating these probable cases and has been impressed with the exceptional job the University has done in caring for these students, in educating students and others about the risks of influenza A (H1N1), and in minimizing risks to others. VDH and W&L are continuing to work together to ensure all appropriate control measures are being taken.
Friday, Dr. Remley wrote an open letter to all college and university students throughout the Commonwealth, noting the presence of the H1N1 virus in the state, emphasizing the value of seeking immediate medical care if symptomatic and asking students to assist in preventing the spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus.
Dr. Remley said the state will continue to work closely with all community partners as part of its long-standing emergency response plan. “In addition to our interaction with colleges and universities, our local health districts are monitoring developments on an up-to-the-minute basis and providing care and treatment guidance to clinicians, hospitals, and pharmacists,” she said.
The current H1N1 influenza outbreak is caused by an influenza A virus not previously detected in humans or animals. Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and typically include fever, cough and sore throat. Additional symptoms may include headache, chills and fatigue. Persons with H1N1 influenza are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they are still symptomatic.
VDH has established an information line at (877) ASK-VDH3, or (877) 275-8343, for anyone with concerns or questions about H1N1 influenza. The hotline is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and May 3, and during weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
For further information consult the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu and the VDH website at www.vdh.virginia.gov.
Event: Art collection will help create healing environment, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
More than 100 area artists have submitted work for display consideration at the new Rockingham Memorial Hospital, set to open mid-2010, but the art committee for the new hospital wants to add to that number.
“We continue to seek the talent of the community to fill the new RMH hospital and health campus with artwork that conveys the history and beauty of the Shenandoah Valley,” said Merv Webb, vice president, RMH Foundation, and co-chair of the art selection committee for the new hospital.
The goal of the committee is to have 100 percent of new hospital art be from local artists or artists whose work is influenced by the Valley, Webb said. Of particular interest, Webb noted, is 3-dimensional artwork, including sculpture, mosaic, mobiles, ceramics and textiles as well as contemporary and abstract 2-dimensional work.
RMH is working with The Ambiance Group of Nashville, Tenn. to select artwork. The Ambiance Group is an art services company specializing in art for healthcare, senior living and corporate environments. The company provides art consulting, framing and installation and has helped furnish artwork for hundreds of health care facilities across the United States.
The Ambiance Group will help RMH to assemble a permanent art collection for its new facility, Webb said. All artists are asked to contact the Ambiance Group to submit work for consideration. Artwork purchase is set to begin in fall 2009, according to Ginny Parker of the Ambiance Group.
To have work considered for display at the new hospital, artists should submit a portfolio that includes the artist’s biography and digital images of artwork. Web site or e-mail portfolios are preferred.
Portfolio submissions and all inquiries should be directed to Ginny Parker at email@example.com. For more information, visit www.ambianceart.com. To contact Parker by mail, write to The Ambiance Group, 6015 Neighborly Ave., Nashville, TN, 37209. Artists who have difficulty submitting a digital portfolio may contact the Ambiance Group at 615.353.0723 for assistance.
Those who wish to make a monetary donation to add art to the permanent art collection of RMH may receive more information by contacting the RMH Foundation at 540.564.5959.
Local News: DCCU announces scholarship winners, posted Saturday, 9:30 a.m.
For the 14th consecutive year, DuPont Community Credit Union announced the 19 scholarship winners at the 50th annual Membership Meeting. Since beginning the scholarship program over $133,000 has been awarded to high school seniors, and over 140 seniors applied this year.
“We are very pleased with this year’s recipients of our scholarship awards,” said Everett Campbell, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Each winner receives $1,000 to continue their education, and the Credit Union strongly believes that by assisting in their post secondary education it is a winning combination for the students and our community.”
Among the 2009 winners are: Molly Snyder, Buffalo Gap High School, daughter of Barbara Snyder; Conner Rund, The Covenant School, son of Garry and Jane Rund; Allison Bailey, Fort Defiance High School, daughter of Darrell and Barbara Bailey; Caroline Roberts, Robert E. Lee High School, daughter of Thomas and Cindy Roberts; Brian Freed, Riverheads High School, son of Leslie and Kelly Freed; Daniel Quillen, Stuarts Draft High School, son of David and Karen Quillen; Peter Bihl, Waynesboro High School, son of David and Amy Bihl, and Nicholas Quillen, Wilson Memorial High School, son of Stan and Patricia Quillen.
To qualify for DCCU’s scholarship, a high school senior must submit an application and essay to the Credit Union. The students are not required to be a member of the Credit Union or have interest in a financial career path. The Credit Union has scholarships available again after the start of the next academic year in 2010.
Capitol Hill: Perriello-sponsored protections for consumers facing excessive credit fees pass House, posted Friday, 9:10 a.m.
Congressman Tom Perriello on Thursday supported the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, which would create new protections for consumers facing excessive credit card fees, sky-high interest rates, and unfair, incomprehensible credit card company agreements. In addition, the House passed by unanimous voice vote an amendment written by Perriello to require credit card companies to have a six-month minimum period for promotional rates, or “teaser” rates, which primarily target college students.
“The movement for accountability scored a victory today against the tricks, traps and usurious greed in the credit card industry. If they can’t sell the product without using traps, that’s a good time for consumer protection,” said Perriello. “This bill and my amendment put in place common-sense regulations that will protect all consumers, but especially college students who are disproportionately targeted.”
The legislation would ban retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances (except when payments are more than 30 days late), double-cycle billing, and due-date gimmicks. Specifically, the bill protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases, and empowers them to set limits on their credit and requires card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments. It also prohibits charging fees just to pay a bill by phone, charging over-the-limit fees unless a consumer opts-in in advance or issuing credits cards to minors. The legislation is supported by the National Federation of Independent Business and the National Small Business Association because small business owners, as credit card consumers, often experience unfair practices by the industry.
Politics: Wagner accepts debate invitation, posted Friday, 9:10 a.m.
Jody Wagner announced on Thursday that she had accepted an invitation to attend a fourth debate between the candidates for lieutenant governor, hosted by TV Inside Scoop in Northern Virginia. The forum, to be held on May 10 at 6:30 p.m., will be hosted by 11th Congressional District Chair George Burke at the Fairfax Public Access studios in Merrifield. It will be broadcast live on both Northern Virginia cable television systems, as well as on the internet. This will be the fourth time the candidates for lieutenant governor have debated.
Elisabeth Pearson, campaign manager for Virginians for Wagner, said: “Jody looks forward to debating her opponents for the fourth time. As a key member of the Warner and Kaine administrations, Jody is eager to discuss her plans to get Virginia’s economy back on track and create new jobs, and once again discuss with her opponents their experience and vision for the Commonwealth.”