Last week, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Congressman A. Donald McEachin announced nearly $6.4 million in federal funding for the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority to make improvements at Ettrick Station. The upgraded station will attract additional rail service and approximately 10,050 new passengers each year.
The funding was provided through the Department of Transportation’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Grants Program. Specifically, this funding will be used to make improvements to the existing station building and upgrade its parking and lighting. It will also be used for the construction of a new 850-foot-long platform, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This funding comes on top of $1 million for the station that Warner, Kaine and McEachin secured as part of the government’s funding bill for fiscal year 2022.
Chesterfield and CCPS issue joint statement after school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Following the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Chesterfield County government and public school officials jointly issued a statement last week on behalf of Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Winslow; Ann Coker, School Board Chair; County Administrator Joe Casey; Merv Daugherty, school superintendent; Colonel Jeffrey Katz, Chief of Police; and Kelly Fried, Director of Mental Health Support Services.
The statement reads as follows:
“We would like to express our deep sadness regarding the horrific shooting that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. So many lives were lost and the lives of their families were irrevocably altered. Just 12 days, we were reeling from another senseless shooting in Buffalo, New York, and here we are, once again, struggling to make sense of it all. Prayers go out to the families and communities directly affected by both tragedies.We want our community to know that the government and Chesterfield County School Division share a commitment to maintaining a safe learning environment for all students and staff. That’s why four years ago we formed a Joint Safe Schools Task Force, and since then we’ve made improvements to school building safety to limit access for s visitors among those who could pose a risk to students and teachers.
All schools in Chesterfield have a threat assessment team trained in evidence-based practices to assess potential disruptions and respond appropriately. Each school also has a team trained to respond to issues affecting students and staff members in relation to the critical incident and emergency response plan.
The school division proactively responds to the behavioral and mental health needs of students through the implementation of anti-bullying initiatives and positive behavioral interventions, while also offering counseling and other supports in school environment such as conflict resolution and team building.
We also continue to deploy highly trained School Resource Officers and our partnership with Chesterfield County Public Schools is strong. Our commitment to working collaboratively with parents, teachers and students to provide safe schools is ongoing.
We understand that these recent events upset everyone. Our Department of Mental Health Support Services is working with school staff to support students and families in need during this difficult time. A crisis line is available by calling 804-748-6356, and same-day access is available for anyone in need of this type of assistance by calling 804-768-7318. Help is also available through the county’s website.
As a community, we must come together to help each other.