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.

Governor McAuliffe Announces 51 New Jobs in Carroll County

~ Andrews Farming Inc. and ANDCO Logistics, Inc. to invest more than

$5.6 million to expand operation ~

 RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Andrews Farming Inc. and its sister company, ANDCO Logistics, Inc., will invest more than $5.6 million to expand their agricultural production, warehousing and distribution operation in Carroll County. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project, which will create 51 new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage.

Friends of Pulaski County Library plan Monthly Book Sale

Please join the Friends of the Pulaski County Library (FOL) for their monthly used book sale on Friday, November 7, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Saturday, November 8, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Our used bookstore is located in downtown Pulaski across the street from the Pulaski Library on West Third Street.  Look for our large book sale banner!

Hundreds of hardback and paperback books (many like new) are available for sale.  Categories include, fiction, non-fiction, gardening, sports, religious, cooking, and many biographies.  Hardback books sell for $1 each, paperback books sell for $.50, and children’s books sell for only $.25.  A number of large print editions are in stock.   New plastic clear magazine holders are now available for only $1 each. These holders are a great way to organize your past editions.

Funds raised by the Friends of the Library are used to support the many activities of the Pulaski Library System.

For information on donating books to the Friends bookstore or joining our efforts, please contact Mr. Lance Hudnall at (276) 728-4626 or Mrs. Nancy Hudson at (540) 639-1950.

Please plan to join us on November 7th and 8th!  Your support is greatly appreciated.

County’s reassessment nears completion

The Pulaski County general reassessment is on the down slide in being completed. The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors hired Wampler-Eanes Appraisal Group to perform the general reassessment for Pulaski County this year.

As of October 10, 21,474 parcels have been field inspected. This is approximately 94% of the total number of parcels for the county. In addition, about 19,585 parcels, approximately 86% have been updated in the new Proval assessment software. A process of proofing the Proval output records against the current Eagle records is roughly 56% complete. Adjustment of values to track 2014 sales data is being performed concurrently with the proofing process.

The current expectation is to complete the field inspection by the end of October and to complete all data entry and review by November 12th in order to mail value notices in late November. The new values have not been calculated yet, as they have to be ran through several processes before the values can be arrived at and set. After the notices are mailed out, the property owners will have the chance to come in and have an informal hearing with the Wampler-Eanes appraisal group if the property owner thinks the value assessed to their property is out of line. These hearings will be completed in mid-December if the schedule remains on tract. When you receive your new value notices, the telephone number and all of the necessary information will be listed on your notice that you will need to make an appointment to schedule a hearing about your property. The Commissioner of the Revenue Office cannot make adjustments to the new values, as that will have to be done by the Wampler-Eanes appraisal group as part of the reassessment.

Trina N. Rupe
Master Commissioner of the Revenue
Pulaski County

Pulaski County wins federal grant

Governor McAuliffe Announces Federal Grants to Improve School Safety and Mental Health Services for Students

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced last week the Commonwealth has been awarded two five-year federal grants totaling nearly $13.3 million to improve mental health services for students and expand programs to make schools safer by reducing violence and disruptive behavior.

A five-year “Project Aware” grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will provide more than $9.7 million between now and 2018 to support statewide training for teachers and other public school employees to respond to mental health issues in children and youth; and connect troubled students with appropriate community- and school-based services.

The Project Aware grant also will fund pilot programs in three school divisions — Montgomery County, Pulaski County and Fairfax County — to create safer learning environments by improving communication and coordination between public schools, mental health service providers and other public and private agencies that focus on the well-being of children and young adults.

In addition, a five-year “School Climate Transformation” grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide more than $3.5 million to expand the “Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports” (PBIS) program to 45 additional school divisions. The PBIS approach to improving behavior and safety emphasizes consistent schoolwide rules, consequences and reinforcements for appropriate conduct, and intensive support and services for students engaging in disruptive behavior.

Currently, 61 of the Commonwealth’s 132 school divisions have implemented the PBIS approach. Funding from the School Climate Transformation grant will support training and technical assistance for the additional school divisions and supplement the nearly $1 million in annual state funding appropriated by the 2014 General Assembly for PBIS implementation.

Virginia is one of only nine states whose applications for the two grants were approved. States were required to explain in their applications how funded services would be integrated into a broader initiative to improve school climate and the well-being of students.

Funds sought for Mt. View Cemetery upkeep

The Mountain View Cemetery on Wilderness Rd was established in 1885.  It is adjacent to Mt. View United Methodist Church.  Many old graves are there as evidenced by the headstones and markers, some dating back to the mid 1840s.  Squares were sold that would accommodate approximately 8 – 10 graves.  Most of the squares are family owned.  Generations are laid there as their final resting place.  In the oldest part of the cemetery, some graves have no known family members to continue their upkeep.

As a child, I remember going with my family to the cemetery for my Dad to mow our “square.”  That was a once a week job during the summer months.  Everyone who owned a square was responsible for its upkeep.  A group of Church and community members worked together to establish a fund to pay for mowing of the cemetery.  The newest part of the cemetery was donated to the Mt. View Cemetery fund.  This is the area where new plots are now for sale.

We are now at a time, when additional funds are needed to assure that care of the cemetery is carried on for years to come.  Also, there are some projects that need to be done for general maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.  If you have family members resting at Mt. View Cemetery or are interested in its upkeep, please consider making a contribution to the cemetery fund.  You can mail your contribution made payable to Mt. View Cemetery, c/o Patsy Hill. 5020 State Park Rd., Dublin, VA 24084