NEW RIVER HEALTH DISTRICT OFFERS SEASONAL FLU VACCINE, FREE TO UNINSURED!

The New River Health District will hold walk-in flu vaccine clinics at each of its local health departments on Friday, Oct. 24. No appointments are necessary. For those with vaccine coverage, the health department will bill your insurance carrier. For those without such coverage, the vaccine is free. Supplies of free vaccine are limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clinic hours are as follows:

8 – 11:30 a.m.             Floyd County Health Department

123 Parkview Rd., SE

Floyd, VA 24091

8 – 11:30 a.m. Giles County Health Department

120 North Main Street

Pearisburg, VA 24134

8 – 11:30 a.m. Radford City Health Department

212 Third Avenue

Radford, VA 24141

8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.       Montgomery County Health Department

210 South Pepper Street, Suite A

Christiansburg, VA 24073

1 – 4:00 p.m.              Pulaski County Health Department

170 Fourth Street, NW

Pulaski, VA 24301

“We’ve already documented cases of influenza this season in the New River Valley, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health recommend vaccination each year for everyone 6 months and older,” said Margaret O’Dell, M.D., director, New River Health District. “Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its potentially severe complications, and this unique ‘drive-thru’ approach is proven to be a fast and efficient way to vaccinate a large number of folks in a short time.”

“The timing and duration of flu seasons vary – they can occur from early fall to late spring – so you should get the vaccine as soon as it’s available,” said Brenda Burrus, RN, MSEd, nurse manager senior for the New River Health District. “It takes up to two weeks to develop the vaccine’s full protection, and the benefits last for up to a year.”

All persons aged 6 months or older should be vaccinated against influenza each year. Particular effort should be made to vaccinate people at higher risk for influenza complications, including:

  • Pregnant and postpartum women, or those who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • Persons over 65 years of age, including residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
  • People who have chronic lung or heart problems, including asthma; and
  • People who have other serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, cystic fibrosis, anemia, cancer, weak immune systems (including those with HIV) or a seizure disorder.

To help prevent the spread of influenza to people in high risk groups, those who live with people in a high risk group and healthcare workers should also receive an annual influenza vaccine. Travelers to countries outside of the U.S. may also need to consider influenza vaccination, even at different times of the year.

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is a serious disease caused by the influenza virus that affects the respiratory tract. It is highly contagious and generally spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be transmitted even before flu-like symptoms appear. A person usually becomes sick one to three days following exposure to the virus. Typical flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

To minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting the flu, follow these simple steps:

  • Get vaccinated;
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds;
  • Cover your cough, either by using a disposable tissue or coughing into your sleeve, not your hand; and
  • Stay at home when you are sick.

For more information, call the New River Health District at 540-585-3300 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov.

2014 Southern Christmas Show Trip Announced­­

The Radford Parks and Recreation Department is offering a Sunshine Tours bus trip to the Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, NC on Wednesday, November 19th.  The bus will depart at 6:00 a.m.

The fee will be $28.00 per person based on a full bus load and advance reservations are required.  Please note, the fee per person is subject to change depending on the amount of participants.

The Southern Christmas Show is a festive way to kick off the holiday season.  The show features Christmas Tree Lane with dozens of Fraser firs and holiday designer rooms decorated by top interior designers.  In addition, there will be tiny trains and miniature villages and The Enchanted Village with marvelous doll houses and miniature scenes, all created by the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts (N.A.M.E.)  Over 500 merchants are set up to help you find something for everyone on your shopping list!

Cafeteria-style food, as well as concession-style food will be available and popular choices are roasted nuts and piping hot strudel as well as hand dipped chocolates.

Standard size push wheelchairs are available on a first-come basis at the front entrance coat check.  Rental is $1.  Over 150 benches are available to sit and rest throughout the show, and seating is available at many of the food areas.

More information is available by calling 540-731-5517.

Searchers rescue lost hiker in Montgomery County

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — Police say a hiker is in good condition after being rescued from a heavily wooded area in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says searchers found the 76-year-old woman around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Bottom’s Creek area near the borders of Floyd and Roanoke counties. It took rescue teams another hour and a half to get the woman out of the woods due to the density of the area.

The sheriff’s office says the woman called dispatchers around 5:30 p.m. Monday and reported she was lost.

Assisting in the search were numerous fire departments, rescue squads, search and rescue teams, and law enforcement agencies.

First Lady Helps Virginians Stay Warm This Winter

~ 2014 Fuel Assistance Application Deadline Is Nov. 14 ~ 

RICHMOND, Va. – First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is leading efforts this fall to make sure there is help available for low-income Virginians who have difficulty paying their heating bills.

The First Lady appears in a new Public Service Announcement encouraging individuals and families to apply for fuel assistance through the Energy Assistance Program, which is implemented by the Virginia Department of Social Services. Applications are being accepted now through Friday, Nov. 14.

“No Virginian should have to face the winter months without heat, so I’m encouraging them to submit an application, as soon as possible, to their local department of social services,” said Mrs. McAuliffe.

The program assists with various types of energy sources, including electricity, natural and liquid propane gas, oil, kerosene, coal and wood. Families and individuals must apply through their local department of social services office.

“Last year, Virginia experienced a pretty harsh winter, and we anticipate similar conditions this year. This program is designed to ensure eligible citizens have access to the heating assistance they need,” said Margaret Ross Schultze, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services.

To qualify for Fuel Assistance, the maximum gross monthly income for a one-person household cannot exceed $1,265.  For a household of four, the maximum gross monthly income is $2,584. Nearly 126,000 households received assistance last year.

The VDSS Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant. LIHEAP provides funds to states to assist low-income households in meeting their home energy needs.

“This program is essential to many Virginia families who struggle to pay their winter heating bills,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. “We appreciate this federal program, which helps Virginia meet the needs of thousands of Virginians.”

For more information on the EAP, visit http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.cgi, to screen for services, or to apply online, visithttps://commonhelp.virginia.gov/access/.

 

Radford Police Department Asking for the Public’s Help Identifying a Suspect

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From Radford City Police
On October 19, 2014 at 1:29 a.m. officers responded to the 1200 Block of East Main Street for a fight in progress. A subject reportedly brandished a firearm and pointed it at bystanders before officers arrived, then left in a gold 4 door sedan.
Please contact Detective Cross at 540-267-3191 or call the Crime Line 540-731-5040 if you have any information about this incident or can help identify this suspect.

Virginia Department of Health Provides Ebola Information in Multiple Formats

877-ASK VDH3 Ebola Hotline Now Open 

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) opened an Ebola Hotline today to help answer questions from the public and provide the most up-to-date information to Virginians.

The number — 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343) — is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Virginia’s 211 Call Center will be handling these calls using frequently asked questions (FAQs) developed by VDH.

“Virginians are understandably concerned about their risk of catching Ebola,” said State Health Commissioner Marissa J. Levine, MD, MPH, FAAFP. “My colleagues and I at VDH have heard those concerns and are responding through multiple channels, including the newly opened VDH Ebola Hotline.”

Additional questions from the public not on the FAQs list are added to the FAQ document on the VDH website daily. Any updates or changes in guidance are also included in that information. Updates and answers to the FAQs are also shared daily via the VDH website, Facebook and Twitter.

“VDH and I will continue to work tirelessly to do our very best to protect people in Virginia from Ebola,” said Levine. “We want to be sure people have the most accurate and timely information to be able to make good decisions to protect their health.”

Griffith Statement on Continued Lack of Obamacare Transparency

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement on the failure of Obama Administration officials to release health insurance rates for 2015 until after the November midterm elections:
“At a May Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing, I asked representatives of some of the nation’s largest health insurance providers about their companies’ Obamacare rates for 2015.  The insurance executives would not commit to sharing their proposed rates with Congress, but did indicate that they would be submitting them to the Department of Health and Human Services and certain states by the end of June.”

“I have made it clear in the past that I want the President and Obamacare officials to release data on the premium data for the 2015 plans in a reasonable timeframe, and not play political games with this important information.  I even introduced a bill that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to release the information to Congress within 30 days of receiving it from insurers.  At the time, I introduced this bill in an effort to increase transparency and ensure that the American people are not kept in the dark for political reasons.  Clearly my efforts to have this Administration keep its promise to be transparent and not play political games with the Obamacare rate increases have been unsuccessful.”

“Instead of transparently sharing this information with the American people, the Administration has chosen to wait until after the midterm elections.  Why?  The answer is clear: prices are going up, and in some states they are going to go up a lot.  And the President is afraid to admit yet another failure of his Obamacare promises.”

“Also notable is the fact that a former head* of Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (which is responsible for implementing Obamacare) has filed suit, arguing that HHS is improperly hiding the insurers’ requested rates for 2015 in violation of Obamacare itself.”

“The Administration’s failure to release this important data is a sure sign that it is bad news for the American consumer.  As the old saying goes, ‘The proof is in the pudding.’  But when the Obamacare cooks refuse to bring their ‘pudding’ out of the kitchen while the customers wait impatiently, one has to believe it’s a bitter dish.  Otherwise, the President and his allies would most certainly want to give the American people a taste.”

“I call on the President to do the right thing and release the new Obamacare insurance rates by Tuesday, October 28 – one week before the election – so the American people will know the facts before going to the polls.”

Video of Griffith questioning insurance providers about health insurance premium rates and other issues with Obamacare can be found here.

* http://www.findjustice.com/#!jay-angoff/cqkf

BACKGROUND:

On Friday, May 9, 2014, in an effort to increase transparency and ensure that the American people are not kept in the dark for political purposes, Griffith introduced the Insurance Rate Transparency Act (H.R. 4633).  This bill would require that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submit specific health insurance premium increase information to Congress within 30 days of receiving it from insurance providers.

Voting advocates fear impact of Va. voter ID law

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting rights groups are worried that Virginia’s new voter ID law, which will require people to show a photo ID to vote, will disenfranchise some in next month’s midterm elections.

“There are so many cases where voters who have every right to vote potentially can be turned away,” said Anne Sterling, president of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. She said rural, poor and elderly voters could face a harder burden.

It’s an issue in states across the U.S., with the Supreme Court last weekend allowing Texas to use its strict voter ID law, over the vehement objection of three justices. The Texas law, unlike Virginia’s, doesn’t allow college student IDs as a form of identification.

Defenders of Virginia’s law say it provides ample opportunities for people who don’t have photo IDs to get them in time to vote. And opponents such as the League of Women Voters are working to help people obtain IDs ahead of the election.

Just how many voters lack an acceptable ID is difficult to say. The State Board of Elections last month said that just under 200,000 active voters in the state lack a Department of Motor Vehicles-issued photo ID, the most common form of ID that voters are expected to use at the ballot box. But the elections board stressed that there are several other types of IDs that voters can use, such as U.S. passports.

Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said the law will have a disproportionate impact on lower-income and African-American voters. The law “is likely to mean tens of thousands of people are no longer going to possess the documentation to be able to vote.”

“Those people who will find it most difficult to participate are more likely to vote Democratic,” he said. But he didn’t expect any of Virginia’s races to be close enough for the new law to make a difference in the outcome.

Virginia State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, a Harrisonburg Republican who sponsored the state’s voter ID law, said he didn’t expect a drop-off in any group of voters, except perhaps fraudulent votes.

Obenshain cited a 2005 bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, which called for states to require voters to present photo IDs and offer free photo IDs to those who don’t have driver’s licenses.

“The most compelling argument for a voter ID law in Virginia is it buttresses voter confidence,” he said.

Reagan George, president of the conservative Virginia Voters Alliance, dismissed concerns that some people might not be able to obtain a photo ID.

“As long as you’re a registered voter in Virginia, you can go to any facility, and they will make a picture and give you a photo ID to vote,” he said.

A coalition including the League of Women Voters, the Fair Elections Legal Network and other organizations is distributing fliers and other materials educating Virginians about what they need to vote, and how to obtain a photo ID.

“We are working flat out, by ourselves and with coalition partners, to inform people as fast as we can,” said Sterling, of the League of Women Voters.

Things to know about Virginia’s voter ID law

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

Associated Press

Virginia voters in next month’s midterm elections will have to bring a photo ID to vote. Here are things voters need to know about the new requirement:

—Several different types of photo ID are acceptable, including a driver’s license or other ID issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles; a U.S. passport; an employer-issued ID; a student ID from a college or university in the state; a photo ID card issued by the federal, state or local government; and a state-issued voter photo ID card.

—People who don’t have one of those forms of ID can get a free voter photo ID card from their nearest Voter Registration Office. A list of those offices can be found here:

http://sbe.virginia.gov/Files/VoterRegistration/Information/Physical-Registrar-Addresses-2014.pdf

—Voters who arrive at their polling place without proper identification can still cast a provisional ballot. Such voters will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of their photo ID to the voter registration office, which they can submit by fax, email, in-person, mail or commercial delivery service. People casting provisional ballots can also apply for a Virginia voter photo ID card by noon of that Friday.

Pulaski County governmental meeting, holiday dates for Nov.

Pulaski County governmental meeting, holiday dates for November:

  • Tuesday, November 18th, Pulaski County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, 7:00 p.m., County Administration Building, 143 3rd Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301. Contact:  Danny Wilson, Zoning Administrator, 540-980-7710, dwilson@pulaskicounty.org) The deadline for submitting zoning applications to the Pulaski County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals is November 15th  to be reviewed in December.  (Contact:  Danny Wilson, Zoning Administrator, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA  24301, 540-980-7710, dwilson@pulaskicounty.org).  This is for anyone wishing to request rezoning to current property or appeal a decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Monday, November 24th, Pulaski County Board of Supervisors meeting, Pulaski County Administration Building, Board Room, closed session 5:30 p.m., regular session 7:00 p.m. (Contact: Gena Hanks, Executive Secretary, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7705, ghanks@pulaskicounty.org).  The Board of Supervisors is the government seat for Pulaski County to oversee the County budget and concerns of Pulaski County citizens.
  • Tuesday, November 4th, Clean Community Council, Pulaski County Administration Building, Central Conference Room, 11:00 a.m., (Contact: Kim Wright, Technical Assistant Clerk, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA, 24301, 540-980-7710, kwright@pulaskicounty.org.)  This committee is responsible for the oversight of community, roadside and property clean-ups.
  • Wednesday, November 5th, New River Valley Airport Commission, NRV Airport Terminal Building, 5:00 p.m. (Contact: Danny Wilson, Interim Community Development Director, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7710, dwilson@pulaskicounty.org ),  This committee is responsible for the oversight of the decisions and activities related to the NRV Airport.
  • Thursday, November 6th, Pulaski Encouraging Progress (PEP) Steering Committee, New River Community College, Edwards Hall, Room 208, 8:00 a.m., (Contact: Kim Wright, Technical Assistant Clerk, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7710, kwright@pulaskicounty.org.)  This committee is responsible for promoting economic development and growth in the County.
  • Monday, November 10th, Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, Pulaski County Courthouse, New River Room, 7:00 p.m., (Contact: Anthony Akers, Interim Assistant County Administrator, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA, 24301, 540-980-7705, aakers@pulaskicounty.org.  This committee oversees historical events and anniversaries related to Pulaski County.
  • Holiday – County Offices will be closed all day on Tuesday, November 11th for Veterans Day.
  • Wednesday, November 12th, Pulaski County Public Service Authority, Pulaski County Administration Building, Board Room, 9:00 a.m. (Contact:  Gena Hanks, Executive Secretary, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7705, ghanks@pulaskicounty.org)  This committee is responsible for the oversight of water, sewer and garbage issues and concerns for the Pulaski County citizens.
  • Wednesday, November 12th, Pulaski County Planning Commission, Pulaski County Administration Building, Board Room, 7:00 p.m. (Contact: Danny Wilson, Zoning Administrator, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7710, dwilson@pulaskicounty.org).  This committee oversees zoning issues related to Pulaski County properties.
  • Friday, November 14th, Commission on Children & Family, Dept. of Social Services, Maple Shade Offices, Commerce Street, Pulaski, VA, 8:30 a.m., (Contact: Anthony Akers:  143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7705, aakers@pulaskicounty.org.)  This committee is responsible for the oversight of Community Services Act (CSA) funding to children & families in need of those services.
  • Tuesday, November 18th, Industrial Development Authority, 11:00 a.m., Pulaski County Administration Building, Downstairs Conference Room. (Contact: Danny Wilson, Zoning Administrator, 143 Third Street, NW, Suite 1, Pulaski, VA 24301, 540-980-7710, dwilson@pulaskicounty.org.)
  • Holidays – County Offices will be closed at noon on Wednesday, November 26th and all day on Thursday and Friday, November 27th and 28th for the Thanksgiving Holidays.