Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Local News: Waynesboro PD investing breaking and entering at church, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.
Local News: Pyles to host town hall, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.
Local News: Food Bank faces rising demand, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.
Local News: Staunton PD looking for missing juvenile, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.
Local News: Land ecosystems pioneer to speak at EMU, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.
Local Events: Asylum focus of talk in Charlottesville, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. 

 

Local News: Waynesboro PD investing breaking and entering at church, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.

The Waynesboro Police Department is currently investigating a Breaking and Entering at Bethany Lutheran Church located at West Main Street and Maple Avenue.

Unknown suspect(s) forcibly entered and ransacked the church sometime between 6 p.m. Monday night and 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. The burglar(s) appear to have been interested in cash and valuables that could quickly be converted to cash. Once inside they forced open offices and other rooms, went through drawers, file cabinets and moved items in an attempt to locate items to steal. Considerable damage was incurred in the process, and so far we have determined that a laptop computer, three digital cameras and a small amount of petty cash is missing.

This crime is currently under investigation, and anyone with information regarding same is asked to contact the Waynesboro Police Department at 540.942.6675 or Crime Stoppers at 800.322.2017.

 

Local News: Pyles to host town hall, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.

Pastures District Supervisor Tracy Pyles is hosting a town hall information session Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona.

The information session will focus on the 2009 county property reassessments. Pyles will present information on the reassessments to state his case that the reassessment for 2009 was flawed.

The public is invited to attend.

 

Local News: Food Bank faces rising demand, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.

As unemployment rates in the U.S. reach record levels, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network, today warned that it could soon be overwhelmed by demand.

In February alone, the Shenandoah Valley Area Branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank served 383,000 meals and snacks to needy individuals, families and children. That’s 72,000 more meals served than in February 2008. In addition, food distribution in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area is up 17 percent since the start of the 2009 fiscal year, providing over 2.9 million meals and snacks since July 2008.

The Shenandoah Valley Area Branch of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network provides emergency food assistance to residents living in the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Lexington and Buena Vista and the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland.

According to the United States Department of Labor, 651,000 jobs were lost in the month of February, increasing the number of persons unemployed in America to 12.5 million. The unemployment rate rose from 7.6 to 8.1 percent. More than 4.4 million people have lost their jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with more than half coming in the last four months.

Earlier this week the USDA announced that participation in the SNAP program (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) has also reached the highest levels ever. There was an increase of 700,000 food stamp recipients in the month of December 2008. Nearly 32 million Americans received SNAP benefits in December 2008, the most recent month for which figures are available, up from 27.5 million people enrolled just one year prior.

As of December 2008, Winchester’s unemployment rate was at 6.1 percent, slightly higher than Virginia’s unemployment rate of 6 percent.

“If there ever was a time to step up and lend a helping hand, it’s now,” said Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Network CEO Martin L. White. “We’re dealing with many folks who have spent their lives making a way for themselves, but today, they’ve run out of options. Demand for our services has been at an all-time high for the past two years, and it’s rising as more families struggle with job losses and the influence of a slow economy.”

There is a small glimmer of hope on the horizon. Virginia lawmakers recently allocated $1 million to the state’s seven food banks and the funds will be split evenly between them. In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recently signed into law by President Obama will bring relief to low-income Americans through major new investments in SNAP benefits and additional funds to purchase commodities for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). With more than $20 billion in funding for SNAP benefits, the average increase for a family of four receiving benefits will be $80 per month. Virginia will be receiving an additional $1.8 million for food purchases and $466 thousand in additional administrative funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in relation to the Emergency Food Assistance Program. The benefit increase will take effect April 1, 2009.

To help the growing number of hungry people in the Valley, please visit www.brafb.org.

 

Local News: Staunton PD looking for missing juvenile, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.

The Staunton Police Department is asking the public’s assistance in locating a missing juvenile. Lorenzo Antonio Boone left Abraxas House on Coalter Street on Feb. 26, 2009 at approximately 8:30 p.m..

Boone is a 17-year-old black male, originally from the Norfolk area. He is approximately 5’7″, 145 lbs and goes by the nickname “LA.”

Anyone having information about Lorenzo Boone is asked to call the Staunton Police Department at 540.332.3842 or Crime Stoppers at 800.322.2017.

 

Local News: Land ecosystems pioneer to speak at EMU, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.

A leading scientist recognized as pioneer in the study of land ecosystems and their fossil record through geological time will present the next Suter Science Seminar lecture at Eastern Mennonite University.

Anna K. Behrensmeyer, long-time research curator at the National Museum of Natural History (the Smithsonian) in Washington, D.C., will speak on “Climate Change and Human Evolution: Evidence from the Fossil Record of East Africa,” 4 p.m. Friday, Mar. 20, in room 104 of the Suter Science Center at EMU.

Much of Dr. Behrensmeyer’s career has involved paleontological and geological research in the field and laboratory, with a particular focus on the ecological context of human evolution in East Africa.

Her presentation will link patterns of climate change to events in human evolution, using accurate geological age determinations and careful assessment of all available evidence. Behrensmeyer received her doctorate in vertebrate paleontology and sedimentology from the department of geological sciences, Harvard University, in 1973. After post-doctoral positions at several major universities, including teaching for the Earth Science Board at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she joined the National Museum of Natural History staff in 1981.

In 2002, “Discover” Magazine named Behrensmeyer as one of the 50 most important women scientists in the U.S.

“On-land fossil records from different regions of Africa, together with better climate data from marine deep-sea drill cores, are strengthening understanding of climate change over the past six million years have affected the ecology and behavior of our earliest ancestors,” said Roman J. Miller, Suter Endowed Professor of Biology at EMU.

Refreshments will be served 15 minutes before the presentation. Admission is free.

 

Local Events: Asylum focus of talk in Charlottesville, Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.

David Ngaruri Kenney and his lawyer, Georgetown University law professor Philip Schrag, will talk about Kenney’s harrowing experience of gaining political asylum in the United States after he was arrested, tortured and nearly executed by the Kenyan government Thursday at the UVa. School of Law.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Caplin Pavilion at the law school.

A wine-and-cheese reception and book-signing will follow at 6:30 pm.

The talk is jointly sponsored by The Virginia Festival of the Book, UVA Law School Immigration Program & Amnesty International Group 157 – Charlottesville.


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