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
Teacher from magic school bus
15 WASHINGTON (AP) — Food banks across the country are experiencing a critical shortage of volunteers as the omicron variant frightens people away from their usual shifts, and companies and schools that regularly supply large groups of volunteers are canceling their participation over virus fears. The end result in many cases has been a serious increase in spending by the food banks at a time when they are already dealing with higher food costs due to inflation and supply chain issues. “Food banks rely on volunteers. That's how we keep the costs low,” said Shirley Schofield, CEO of the Food Bank of North Alabama. “The work still gets done but at a much higher expense.” The extent of the problem was highlighted this past week during the national holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when many food banks have traditionally organized mass volunteer drives as part of a day of … [Read more...] about Omicron wave leaves US food banks scrambling for volunteers
Shawn Jones has had plenty of spectacular dunks before, but Friday night was the first one he finished that ended up putting shards of glass in his arm. In the opening minutes of the Sharks' game at Alief Hastings, the 6-foot-6 Jones, who is committed to Texas State, snagged a rebound off a missed 3-pointer from Cam Amboree and threw down a dunk that shattered the backboard and sent glass flying everywhere. "Cam shot it and it looked like it was coming off right, so I just timed it perfectly," Jones told KHOU Sports' Matt Musil . "My big was going for the rebound, I just snatched it from where he was and I dunked it. I didn’t know I’d broke the rim. I looked at the rim, and it was just all exciting." @the_shawnjr5 @SCSharkBball pic.twitter.com/4UU8kX8Uro — Cam’s Mom (@BBMom2022) January 22, 2022 Jones, who wasn't hurt but did say he got pieces of glass on his arm, said he'd never felt something like that on a dunk and actually didn't realize what … [Read more...] about Watch Shadow Creek’s Shawn Jones shatter the backboard during a game
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.
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, the first woman of color to hold statewide office in the commonwealth, continued to make history - and some waves - in her first week on the job. A conservative Republican, Jamaican immigrant and former Marine, Earle-Sears only had to gavel the Senate into session for the first time to draw the approval of nearly 34,000 people on Twitter. "Badass," one person tweeted approvingly. "True patriot," wrote another. "Semper Fidelis @WinsomeSears," Sebastian Gorka, a former adviser to President Donald Trump, tweeted to his 1.1 million followers - along with a campaign photo of Earle-Sears with an assault rifle strapped over her dress. The conservative Republican won praise from her party and condemnation from Democrats for saying that Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin could withhold funding from school districts that defy his Inauguration Day order to make mask-wearing optional in K-12 classrooms - stating flatly what the famously … [Read more...] about Virginia lieutenant governor Earle-Sears makes her mark in Richmond during tumultuous first week