Free clinic in SW Va. offering more services thanks to grant
WISE — A free clinic that serves Southwest Virginia is expanding its offerings to include new diagnostic and specialty services such as ultrasounds, mammograms and X-rays.
The Health Wagon announced Thursday that the new offerings are possible thanks to a three-year, $1 million grant from the United Health Foundation.
Dr. Teresa Gardner Tyson is executive director of The Health Wagon, which was established in 1980 and provides free care in a six-county area with two mobile units, two clinics and several special events. She says the new funds will mean an expansion of “lifesaving specialty and diagnostic care.”
Four officers on leave after reports of handcuffing kids
PORTSMOUTH — Four police officers in Virginia have been placed on paid leave after reports that they handcuffed a group of kids who were caught shoplifting.
Officers with the Portsmouth Police Department were called to a convenience store Tuesday after a report of a group of children shoplifting. Department spokesman Lt. B.K. Hall says a citizen submitted an anonymous complaint about the incident. Police Chief Angela Greene reviewed it and assigned staff to investigate it.
Greene said she would take action to ensure that department interactions with the community “are respectful and appropriate under the circumstances.”
Va. Beach center to help those affected by mass shooting
VIRGINIA BEACH — Virginia Beach will be opening a community center in October to provide free mental health counseling and other services to people affected by a mass shooting earlier this year.
The “VB Strong Center” is being funded through a federal grant.
Erin Sutton, director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, says many city workers are still on edge after the May 31 shooting. A city employee fatally shot 12 people at a municipal building before being shot and killed by police.
Other services at the center will include support groups, meditation and yoga classes.
Tangier waterman sentenced for overharvesting oysters
NORFOLK — A waterman from Tangier Island was sentenced to a year in prison for overharvesting oysters.
Gregory Parks, 44, pleaded guilty earlier this year in federal court in Norfolk to harvesting 38 bushels of oysters in excess of daily limits while working between January and March of 2015. Parks falsified records to hide the overharvesting.
The illegal oysters had a value of between $15,000 and $40,000. State law restricts commercial fisherman to eight bushels a day to protect oysters from overharvesting.
The sentence issued Aug. 22 was in line with what prosecutors requested. Defense attorneys had asked for probation.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, G. Zachary Terwilliger, said in a statement that protecting the oyster is critical to the state’s economy and to the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
State gets federal funding to expand apprenticeships
RICHMOND — More than $1.6 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to Virginia to expand apprenticeships in fields ranging from computer programming to the building trades.
The funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will be used for the Registered Apprenticeship Program administered by the state Department of Labor and Industry.
Through partnerships with about 2,200 employers, the program serves approximately 12,000 Virginia-based apprentices.
The goals of the three-year grant include adding 800 apprenticeships in high-demand areas.