Life & Culture

Hospitality and a bit of help: Manchester YMCA debuts new immigration Welcome Center

Audio Article

On a sauna-like day last week, the bright interior of the Manchester Family YMCA is teeming with activity. It’s the third day of summer camp, and almost 100 kids are buzzing about inside and out among the regular attendees that executive director Adam Foster knows by name. “There’s a lot of love in this building,” Foster says as he walks […]

Midlothian runner outpaces tragedy, earns recognition

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After a year of athletic triumph and academic success, Gabriella Garcia capped her high school career on June 6 by accepting the 31st Annual Richmond Times-Dispatch/Sports Backers Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Garcia graduated third in her class at Midlothian High School and won the 2021-22 state cross-country championship. Next fall, she will attend James Madison University to study kinesiology. […]

The romantic roller coaster: Swift Creek Mill Theatre looks at love’s highs and lows

Audio Article

Tom Width, artistic director at Swift Creek Mill Theatre, calls himself a fan of Tony-winning actor-playwright John Cariani. So, in 2018, when he found himself sitting a few tables down from Cariani in the Cosmic Diner on Eighth Avenue in New York, he had to introduce himself. “We had just done his play “Almost, Maine” at the Mill, and I […]

Fables and family: Chesterfield author Kris Spisak channels her Ukrainian heritage in first novel

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When a book is published, every writer hopes their work is timely. Relevant literature is more widely read, more likely to influence a reader. But Kris Spisak, author of “The Baba Yaga Mask,” did not want it to happen like this. The book is Spisak’s fourth publication and first novel. A Wyatt-McKenzie Publishing release, “The Baba Yaga Mask” follows two […]

Pursuit of precision: County program aims to introduce young and old to the sport of archery

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When Melody Scott joined Chesterfield Parks and Recreation 10 years ago, the county offered one introductory archery class. Scott was charged with gaining certification to teach the class, one of her many duties as a new hire. “I ended up really loving it,” says Scott. “At that time, people would take our one class and ask what they could do […]

Justis House in dry docks: Nonprofit makes moves to acquire historic home’s materials

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When Old Hundred Elementary School opened in 2019, the brick antebellum home on its property was in danger. The 2,900-square-foot home, built on Turkey Run Farm in 1836, was best known to Midlothian residents as the home of Virginia Justis, biology teacher for 38 years at Midlothian High School and beloved community member. The house – abandoned since 2017 – […]

Texan fish tale: Thirty-seven years later, Swift Creek reprises ‘Greater Tuna’

Audio Article

This spring, a west Texas town has been transported to Chesterfield. Or at least, that’s how the Swift Creek Mill Theatre audience may feel, as the playhouse dusts off an old favorite, “Greater Tuna.” The 1981 comedy about a small town called Tuna, Texas, opened March 19 and runs through April 30. Mark Costello, who began his career at the […]

Clearing the air: Skinquarter Landfilll contends with residents’ odor complaints

Audio Article

In response to months of odor complaints alleging hydrogen sulfide emissions from the Skinquarter Landfill, the county, landfill management and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality are increasing accountability to better address a lingering and confounding issue. Last week, Matoaca District Supervisor Kevin Carroll hosted a community meeting with Skinquarter site manager David Valdez and DEQ land protection manager Shawn Weimer […]

Panel: End of rent aid may fuel evictions

Audio Article

As spring approaches, there are signs the nation is rising from the fatigue of the COVID-19 pandemic – positive, hard-data signs, like a rising vaccination rate and dropping case rates. But as the health crisis eases, the end of one COVID-era development may put another crisis in its place: the expiration of the local rent-relief program. On Feb. 21, in […]

Open spaces: Homebuilders reshape designs, amenities to meet changing needs

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Homebuyers’ changing preferences continue to push builders toward new design trends in the wake of COVID-19, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Increased desire for bigger homes, suburban locations and more outdoor amenities are driving new home design. “Right now, buyers are looking for availability and timing as the most important feature when starting their search,” says Tim […]


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