LFCC’s newly-redesigned website was recently named a Gold winner in the institutional website category in the 2021 Education Digital Marketing Awards.
The website award was just one of seven awards won during the ceremony by Roanoke-based Access, which specializes in graphic design, advertising, web and app development, public relations, video content creation and more. Access assisted LFCC in creating its new website.
The Education Digital Marketing Awards recognize the best educational websites, digital content, electronic communications, mobile media and social media from colleges and universities nationwide. A national panel of industry specialists reviewed the entries, judging creativity, marketing execution, message impact, technology application and innovation content.
LFCC’s new website launched in August with a focus on search ease and being mobile-friendly with clean scrollable content.
“We’re very proud of this award and thankful for all the hard work Access put in to helping us redesign our site,” said LFCC Public Relations Director Brandy Boies. “When students are researching colleges, the first place they look is at the college website. We wanted to make our site as user-friendly as possible with easily accessible and searchable information for our prospective students and their supporters, and as this award demonstrates, we succeeded in doing that.”
Visit the college’s website at www.lfcc.edu.
Port of Virginia secures all necessary federal investment for making Virginia the US east coast’s deepest port
The Port of Virginia® and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today, May 20, 2022, signed the agreement committing the federal government to begin its financial investment in the construction effort to widen and deepen the commercial shipping channels and Norfolk Harbor. Close collaboration with Army Corps has the project on schedule for completion in 2024.
With a group of federal and state officials in attendance, Virginia Port Authority CEO Stephen A. Edwards and Col. Brian P. Hallberg, the US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District commander, signed the Project Partnership Agreement. The document formally commits the port and the Army Corps to collaborate to deliver the Norfolk Harbor widening and deepening project. Further, it allows the Army Corps to use federal funding to award its first construction contract on the project.
“The importance of this moment in the evolution of The Port of Virginia cannot be overstated,” Edwards said. “This is a modern, 21st-century port, and when you couple our land-based assets and capabilities with the deepest and widest channels — and safest harbor — on the entire U.S. East Coast, you have a recipe for success here for decades to come.
“We absolutely would not be here today if it weren’t for the perseverance of our elected leaders at the federal and state levels, the US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District office, and the Virginia Maritime Association. Everyone played a critical role in this project, and it is important to thank them for their support and effort. The Virginia Legislature funded the entire project cost up-front with the understanding that the federal government would share half the cost. Today, we welcome the federal government representatives who are here to finalize that commitment,” Edwards added.
The signing ceremony was attended by US Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Shalanda D. Young, director of the US Office of Management and Budget, US Reps Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), Jamie A. Pinkham, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Virginia Transportation Secretary W. Shepphard “Shep” Miller III, Virginia Sen. Louise Lucas, and Virginia Del. Robert Bloxom Jr.
The commercial shipping channels from the Atlantic Ocean and into the harbor are being deepened to at least 55-feet and made wide enough to safely accommodate two-way traffic of ultra-large container ships. These features put the port ahead of its East Coast peers and in a unique position to attract more cargo and increase efficiency at its terminals. Edwards said the biggest ships afloat will be able safely sail to-and-from the port fully laden with containers. And, he said, the wider channels and two-way ship traffic means greater use of the port’s vessel berths.
“The benefits of this project are unparalleled anywhere on the US East Coast,” Edwards said.
The final installment of the federal investment, $72 million, included the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The federal government and the port agreed to a 50-50 cost share of the project at its outset in 2015 when the Army Corps began evaluating the economic value of a deeper and wider Norfolk Harbor and commercial shipping channel. The dredging work began in December 2019, nearly two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver for Hampton Roads, Luria said. “I was proud to join my colleagues in securing an additional investment of more than $69 million in the port to expand economic opportunities for Coastal Virginia, the Commonwealth, and the country. This agreement today will strengthen the public-private partnership that supports the Port of Virginia and ensures that the Port remains a vital economic engine.”
“This historic investment through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow more goods to move faster through the port, drive significant new economic opportunities to Norfolk, and help bring down costs for families across Virginia and the country,” said OMB Director Young. “This [investment] is in addition to the $150 million the Biden-Harris Administration is providing to protect families and businesses in Norfolk and across the region from the impacts of climate change by building floodwalls, storm surge barriers, levees, and other flood-control measures. I want to thank Senator Warner, Representative Scott, and Representative Luria for their partnership in securing these federal investments to keep this community safe.”
While the project will help drive the port’s cargo volumes, the dredge work contains an important and useful byproduct: dredge material that will benefit regional beaches.
“Over the course of the project, we’ll dredge a large volume of sands – millions of cubic yards,” said Keith Lockwood, Norfolk District Water Resources Division chief. “The US Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Port Authority are collaborating with the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach to maximize the beneficial use of this dredged sand by placing it along beaches for additional coastal protection.”
(The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and, through its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, and the Virginia Inland Port in Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. A recent economic impact study from The College of William and Mary shows that The Port of Virginia helps to create about 437,000 jobs and generated nearly $100 billion in total economic impact throughout the Commonwealth on an annual basis.)
Laurel Ridge partners with Opportunity Scholars to bring more education and career training opportunities to students
Laurel Ridge Community College on Wednesday signed an agreement with Opportunity Scholars that will open the door to higher education and career training for more students who come from families with lower and middle incomes.
Opportunity Scholars provides the up-front costs of education and career training – including short-term training – to Winchester and Frederick County students who plan to pursue jobs in their own communities in one of the following high-demand, high-skill areas: public service, healthcare, education, business, IT and trades.
Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser said Knox Singleton, CEO of Opportunity Scholars, reached out to her in early 2018, shortly after she became president. He told her he was very interested in helping secure educations for young people. The two met shortly after and discussed the barriers to education many young people face.
“Knox is a great listener and he and I talked about the support systems that are often missing, and how those missing supports keep students from achieving all they can,” Dr. Blosser said.
She said it has been proven that “it’s better to be born rich than smart” when it comes to an individual’s later socio-economic status.
“We simply have to change that,” said President Blosser. “There is no reason these smart kids who just need the extra social and emotional and financial supports to be successful can’t achieve all they’re capable of achieving.”
Singleton said he was fortunate to be born into a middle-class family, which afforded him many opportunities.
“You don’t get to pick your parents, you don’t get to pick where you’re born,” he said. “This is really about the American dream.”
Nearly half of area students don’t further their education beyond high school, according to Singleton.
“At Opportunity Scholars, that is our mission,” he said. “We want to step in with that half, and we want to help them get an education. We have wonderful partners who will make that happen.”
As part of the agreement, Opportunity Scholars will pay for and provide personal, career and academic mentoring for high school and college preparation, as well as most of the expenses related to earning a degree or certification. Opportunity Scholars staff will articulate transfer pathways from Laurel Ridge to Shenandoah University for those careers that require a bachelor’s degree.
2019 Millbrook High School graduate Tihany Martinez-Gonzalez said she hopes to become an English as a Second Language teacher with the help of Opportunity Scholars.
“Before I met Opportunity Scholars, I was worried – where was my career going to go, was I going to be able to go to school?” she said. “I couldn’t afford it.”
When she arrived in the U.S. from El Salvador, Martinez-Gonzalez didn’t speak English, and learning ESL is difficult, she said.
“When I saw a lot of kids needed help [with ESL], I thought, I want to do that, too,” she said of her decision to teach English.
Del. Mark Keam, who represents Virginia’s 35th District, and has previously served as vice chair of the Finance Committee and chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee, was impressed by the program.
“This is such an amazing opportunity that you’re creating, not just for our students, but for the entire region,” he said.
Del. Keam said he’d like to see Opportunity Scholars extend around Virginia. Rather than thinking of education as a product, we should be thinking of it as part of the nation’s infrastructure, he said.
“It’s the backbone for every other service that America needs,” said Del. Keam.
Learn more about the program at opportunityscholars.org.
Fauquier Health names Amanda O’Neill as 2022 Mercy Award Winner
Fauquier Health recently announced that Amanda, or Mandy, O’Neill has been recognized as the facility’s 2022 Mercy Award winner. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s facilities who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded.
The Mercy Award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life and contributions of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive.
“At Fauquier Health, we share LifePoint’s commitment to making communities healthier, and we recognize this is supported by the good work and service of our employees on and off the job,” said Anthony Young, Interim-CEO of Fauquier Health. “We are extremely proud to recognize Mandy for her efforts on behalf of our patients and our community. She goes above and beyond each and every day to ensure that every person she encounters receives the highest level of care and compassion.”
Mandy was nominated by her peers for the Mercy Award. A selection committee came together to review over 50 award nominations and she was chosen as an exemplary employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty. Mandy is a Certified First Assist in Fauquier Hospital’s OR and demonstrates a level of commitment and caring that transcends the everyday. She respects others in everything they do, educates, and inspires others.
According to Mandy’s winning nomination, “Our staff look up to Mandy as an informal leader because of all of these superior qualities and she is an inspiration to all surgical techs who are looking to grow and become a first assistant.”
Off the job, Mandy is a devoted mother who loves spending time with her husband and raising her daughter. We are so proud to recognize Mandy with this award for her hard work and dedication to advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier.
Each facility winner, including Mandy, will be considered for LifePoint’s 2022 companywide Mercy Award. The companywide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn., to which Mandy and all facility winners are invited to attend.
About Fauquier Health
Fauquier Health is a community health system dedicated to high-quality, patient-centered care in a unique environment that considers the multiple facets of healing and respects the individuality of each and every patient. Located at 500 Hospital Drive in Warrenton, Virginia, Fauquier Health serves the residents of Fauquier and several surrounding counties. It comprises: Fauquier Hospital, a fully-accredited, 97-bed hospital; Fauquier Health Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a 113-bed long-term care and rehabilitation facility; the Villa at Suffield Meadows, an assisted living facility; the Wound Health Center and a medically supervised Wellness Center offering health and wellness programs. Fauquier Health also operates nine physician’s offices, including primary care and specialties. More information on Fauquier Health is available online at FauquierHealth.org or by calling 540-316-5000.
LFCC celebrates its 51st graduating class with two commencement ceremonies
LFCC’s 51st commencement exercises were held during two separate ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. The college’s health professions graduates had their ceremony Friday afternoon, with the remainder of the Class of 2022 graduating Saturday morning.
Both ceremonies were outside on the grounds of the Middletown Campus. There are nearly 1,000 students in this year’s graduating class.
“This is a wonderful day of celebration and my favorite day of the year,” LFCC President Kim Blosser told the graduates. “This is what it’s all about – recognizing our outstanding graduates and the hard work that has brought you to this point. For college personnel, this is the event that brings us our greatest satisfaction and pride.”
She noted that resilience and perseverance are needed to complete a college credential, especially in light of the challenges placed before students during the past two pandemic-marked years.
“I know that many of you have been fighting through challenges your entire college career and we’re so proud of you for continuing to move forward and accomplish your goals,” said Dr. Blosser. “Thank you for the resilience, grace and compassion that you have demonstrated. Whatever your journey entailed and wherever it takes you next, you have earned this moment.”
Commencement speaker Luna Chiarito told her classmates there are three keys to success: showing up, dreaming about your future and always welcoming new opportunities.
“Think about your own dreams and goals,” she said. “Sometimes we are so overwhelmed by the challenges we face, we forget it is okay to take a moment and focus on the small things. As you accomplish smaller tasks, you will be one step closer to fulfilling your bigger goals.
“The best advice I can give you is to always push through the most challenging situations, take risks, and enjoy everything that life gives you. Before you know it, you will be showing up for those that you care, dreaming about your future, and welcoming new opportunities.”
Two students were named Outstanding Graduates for 2022, one for the Fauquier Campus and one for the Middletown Campus. The Fauquier Outstanding Graduate was Elayna Caron, who earned her associate degree in general studies, with a specialization in administration of justice, and is heading to the U.S. Air Force Academy this fall. The Middletown Outstanding Graduate was Emma Hockman, who also received the Col. Harry Rusham Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture/Natural Resources award, and is transferring to Virginia Tech.
Additionally, the college has conferred emeritus status to two recently-retired professors: Engineering Professor Bill Lewis, who retired in 2021, and Anatomy and Physiology Professor Ramon Selove, who retired in 2020. Professor Lewis was responsible for creating the college’s engineering program and taught more than 35 different courses during his tenure. Professor Selove prepared thousands of students for careers in the health professions, and his dedication to his students was demonstrated through his creation of the B.O.N.D. (Bureau of Neuro-Diversity) club.
Also, the College Board recently presented Medallions of Recognition to the following individuals:
- Math Professor Frank Borleske, who is retiring this spring – although he is returning as an adjunct professor. Professor Borleske has been with LFCC since the very first day the college opened in September 1970.
- Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn DuBois, who is retiring in June after more than two decades in the role. Among the VCCS’s accomplishments during his tenure are transfer agreements signed with dozens of universities, tuition rates that are one-third the cost of those at four-year universities and being the state’s top provider of workforce development training.
- Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, who continues to teach political science. Dr. Fitzsimmons and SU have forged stronger ties with LFCC, and also were responsible for vaccinating thousands of individuals against Covid-19 through clinics set up at the university in partnership with Valley Health and the Lord Fairfax Health District.
- Dr. Colin Greene, who was the director of the Lord Fairfax Health District – and interim director of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District – during most of the pandemic and guided local leaders as they navigated how to keep students and staff as safe as possible while keeping them in class. Dr. Greene has been appointed acting state health commissioner by Gov. Glenn Youngkin.
For more about this year’s commencement, including photo galleries, visit lfcc.edu/commencement.
Millions of dollars raised In Maryland congressional races, but just a couple of real contests
WASHINGTON – Candidates in competitive congressional races in Maryland are raising millions ahead of the July 19 primary, while Democratic incumbents in what are considered safe seats are using their fundraising power to support the party and its candidates elsewhere Federal Election Commission filings show.
Maryland has just two high-profile House contests this year.
In the 4th District, a handful of Democrats are vying in the primary to succeed Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Upper Marlboro, including former Rep. Donna Edwards. A primary victory is tantamount to an election in the heavily Democratic district.
In the 1st District, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville, is running in the more competitive territory and appears headed for a serious challenge in November, most likely by well-funded Democrat Heather Mizeur.
The stakes for Democrats are high in the midterms.
“History would tell us to expect Democrats to lose both chambers — definitely lose seats in both possibly,” Candace Turitto, a University of Maryland political science professor, told Capital News Service. “Then you have divided government. You’re kind of putting on the chopping block (President Joe) Biden’s entire second-half agenda. He needs congressional action on a lot of things.”
Nine Democrats are vying for the 4th District seat, but only two have shown fundraising prowess.
Edwards, who represented the district for eight years before losing a Senate bid in 2016, has raised over $625,000 since January 2021. Glenn Ivey, the former Prince George’s County state’s attorney, raised more than $297,000 since January. Ivey entered April with more than $583,000 cash on hand, while Edwards had more than $460,000.
Ivey is making a third run for the 4th District seat: he ran unsuccessfully against Edwards in 2011 and in 2016 lost to Brown, who is leaving Congress to run for Maryland attorney general.
Former Del. Angela Angel was the only other Democratic candidate to file an FEC report. She has raised just over $99,000.
Of the three Republicans in the GOP primary, Jeff Warner has raised less than $38,000. The two other candidates did not file reports.
Ivey has received endorsements from state lawmakers and is also backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee political action committee, which gave him more than $158,000 this cycle. Ivey also loaned his campaign $150,000 in February.
Edwards has snagged endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and other lawmakers in the House. Emily’s List, the liberal group that supports female candidates, endorsed Edwards and gave her $5,000 in March.
Harris has been in the House since 2011 and has occupied what analysts considered a safe Republican seat.
But redrawn district lines encouraged a serious challenger in Mizeur, who has outraised the incumbent so far, with a total of more than $1.7 million to Harris’ nearly $1.3 million. But Harris reported more than $1.8 million in cash on hand, while Mizeur reported more than $1.1 million.
Victory Now, a leadership PAC of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, has given Mizeur’s campaign $5,000. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Kensington gave $5,000, while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, gave $4,000 to support Mizeur’s House bid.
Mizeur’s primary opponent, Dave Harden, a former official in the Obama administration, raised close to $333,000. Another Democratic challenger, Malcolm Colombo, raised less than $2,000 and withdrew last month.
The Maryland primary was originally scheduled for June 28 but was moved to July 19 because of delays in the redistricting process.
A state judge rejected the Democrats’ redistricting map in mid-March, arguing that it was a blatant bid to gerrymander districts in their favor and get rid of the only Republican-held seat in Congress. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan finally approved a map in late April that increased the number of Republican-leaning areas in Harris’ district.
The new map also rendered the 6th District, now held by Rep. David Trone, D-Potomac, more competitive. The Cook Political Report, for example, considers the seat competitive but leaning Democratic.
The National Republican Campaign Committee included Trone on its target list this cycle.
Trone loaned his campaign $2 million in March, according to FEC filings. Trone’s personal loan total is more than $2.5 million this cycle.
Trone largely self-funded his unsuccessful 2016 House bid, as well as his winning 2018 and 2020 campaigns.
Trone is also boosting the party, giving $365,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. His wife, June Trone, gave $95,000 to the DCCC in February.
Of Trone’s three Democratic primary challengers, Benjamin Smilowitz raised close to $63,000 by the end of March after spending nearly $28,000 since January.
On the GOP side, six candidates are vying for the chance to take on Trone.
Washington County Del. Neil Parrott, who ran against Trone two years ago, easily leads in fundraising, taking in more than $188,000 this cycle and ending March with nearly $262,000 in cash on hand. Two other Republican candidates in the race, Jonathan Jenkins and David Wallace, collectively raised slightly more than $60,000.
Since January, Raskin raised nearly $908,000, bringing his total contributions this midterm election cycle to more than $2.8 million to retain his seat in the 8th District.
Raskin, who rose to national prominence during impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump, has given the DCCC $250,000, FEC records show. He transferred another $100,000 to the committee in March, bringing his total contributions to $350,000.
In the 5th District, Hoyer raised over $1.9 million this cycle, including more than $388,000 since January, according to FEC filings.
Hoyer has two primary opponents, but only McKayla Wilkes, a progressive Democratic challenger, filed an FEC report. She raised over $134,000.
Of seven GOP primary candidates in Hoyer’s district, Republican Christopher Palombi was the only one to file a report with the FEC, and it showed he raised less than $24,000.
Democratic incumbents continued to outraise their challengers in the other House districts.
In the 3rd District, Rep. John Sarbanes of Towson raised more than $150,000 this cycle, including more than $47,000 since January. His campaign had over $1 million in cash on hand heading into April, according to FEC filings. His four Republican challengers have collectively raised less than $84,000.
In the 2nd District, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Timonium, raised over $625,000 this cycle. His three other Democratic challengers, including former Baltimore County progressive activist Brittany Oliver, collectively raised over $58,000.
Republican candidate Bernard Flowers raised just over $10,000. The other Republican challengers in the race did not submit FEC reports.
In the 7th District, Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Baltimore entered April with more than $476,000 million in cash on hand. The former NAACP president raised nearly $287,000 this cycle. Neither of the two other Democratic primary candidates and none of the four GOP candidates filed fundraising reports with the FEC.
Van Hollen, running for his second term in the Senate, is far outraising his challengers.
His campaign has raised more than $7.6 million this cycle.
Ten Republicans are vying for the opportunity to take on Van Hollen. Only one, James Tarantin, a merchandising company owner, has raised significant sums: just over $164,000.
The Cook Political Report rates the seat as solidly Democratic.
Van Hollen finished March with more than $5.4 million in his war chest.
Van Hollen’s Victory Now leadership PAC gave $15,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in March 2021 and another $15,000 in February.
The PAC also gave to the campaigns of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock in Georgia and Mark Kelly in Arizona, among others in the Senate.
By TATYANA MONNAY
Capital News Service
White House: A Proclamation on Remembering the 1,000,000 Americans Lost to COVID-19
Today, we mark a tragic milestone: one million American lives lost to COVID-19. One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss. Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a Nation forever changed because of this pandemic. Jill and I pray for each of them.
As a Nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible. In remembrance, let us draw strength from each other as fellow Americans. For while we have been humbled, we never give up. We can and will do this together as the United States of America.
In memory of the one million American lives lost to COVID-19 and their loved ones left behind, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset May 16, 2022. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.