5 WASHINGTON - In the eight years she has worked at nursing homes, LaToya Francis, 34, has been yelled at, kicked at and had feces thrown at her for little more than the minimum wage. She endured it because she loved being a certified nursing assistant, she said. But she's not sure she can hold out much longer. As the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus drives record staff shortages at nursing homes nationwide, Francis has increasingly found herself alone on her $19-an-hour overnight shifts at Bridgepoint Healthcare's skilled nursing facility in Southwest Washington, fighting off panic attacks as she tries to feed, clean and rotate more bed-bound residents than she can handle. Some nights, she retreats to a corner of the facility, where she calls her partner and sobs. Other nights, all she can feel is anger. "I've never, ever felt this disrespected," Francis said. Frustration is surging among the low-wage workers who make up … [Read more...] about Low-wage workers prop up the nursing home industry. They’re quitting in droves.
14 GRETNA, Va. - There was so much Fredrick Miller didn't know about the handsome house here on Riceville Road. He grew up just a half-mile away and rode past it on his school bus every day. It was hard to miss. The home's Gothic revival gables, six chimneys, diamond-paned windows and sweeping lawn were as distinctive a sight as was to be seen in this rural southern Virginia community. But Miller, 56, an Air Force veteran who now lives in California, didn't give it much thought. He didn't know it had once been a plantation or that 58 people had once been enslaved there. He never considered that its past had anything to do with him. Two years ago, when his sister called to say the estate was for sale, he jumped on it. He'd been looking, pulled home to the place he left at 18. His roots were deep in this part of Pittsylvania County, and he wanted a place where his vast extended family, … [Read more...] about An old Virginia plantation, a new owner and a family legacy unveiled