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Hills & Heights

Young man dies in James River near Belle Isle

The James River can be dangerous no matter the level.

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Update 7/17 12:49 PM:

The Richmond Police Department has identified the man who drowned in the James River on Saturday as Rudy Organiz-Aguilon, 20, of the 100 block of North Laburnum Avenue.

At approximately 3:25 p.m., an officer on Belle Isle was alerted to a male needing assistance in the James River. The Richmond Fire Department River Rescue team responded and located Organiz-Aguilon in the river, brought him to shore and attempted to resuscitate him.

Organiz-Aguilon was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No foul play is suspected.

Original Post:

Saturday around 3:42 PM Richmond Police responded to a report of a person in the water near Lee Bridge. It wasn’t until 5:14 PM that the body was brought to shore.  CPR started immediately but at 6:15 PM it was determined that the young male did not have a heartbeat.The man has only been identified as a 19-year-old Hispanic male.

According to RTD this is the second body recovered from the James this year:

The death is the second recorded recovery of a body from the James River by Richmond firefighters this year, Armstrong said. In 2017, the department has responded to 48 river-related calls and rescued 29 people.

Armstrong said the number of calls is consistent with recent years, although the frequency greatly increases in summertime, when people flock to the river.

On Sunday, two rescue teams training on the James happened upon two separate incidents that required rescue assistance. They pulled to safety one man and, later, an adult and child stranded on the rocks. Both occurred about 2:30 p.m.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Science Museum of Virginia and RVAir Looking for Volunteers to Check Out Forest Hill Park

Collaborators will take walks through Forest Hill Park or other Richmond neighborhoods to collect data using hand-held AirBeam sensors to test for particulate matter (PM).

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Details snagged from the Science Musuem of Virginia RVAir page.

What Is RVAir?

The Museum’s current community science project is studying air quality in Richmond neighborhoods and we need you! We need individuals and community partners to help us measure local concentrations of airborne pollution known as particulate matter (PM), a mixture of microscopic particles in the air that has been linked with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Why Is This needed?

According to our project partners at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Richmond region experienced zero unhealthy ozone air quality days for the first time since monitoring began in the 1970s in 2019 (yay!). However, the National Asthma and Allergy Foundation consistently ranks Richmond as the 12th worst city in the U.S. for asthma sufferers. Why might this be?

Air quality ratings for the entire Richmond area are based on data collected that represents the regional “airshed.” We know from studies in other cities that local changes in the environment such as wide streets, traffic volume, close proximity to interstates and the number of trees lining streets can significantly change the amount of pollution in the air we breathe at the hyper-local level.

By getting local experts (you!) to help us get locally-specific air quality data throughout Richmond, we can help create home-grown solutions to Richmond’s climate resiliency challenge.

How Can I Get Involved?

We need collaborators to join us on walks through Richmond neighborhoods to collect data using hand-held AirBeam sensors to test for particulate matter (PM). By joining us whenever you can, you’ll be helping us collect data that will be directly uploaded to public, open source GIS maps showing local PM concentrations.

Additional Information:

  • Feel free to bring kids! Families are encouraged to participate. Just have one lead adult fill out the form.
  • You must be 18 or older to participate on your own.
  • Routes vary from 2-4 miles and typically take about an hour, but shorter 30-minute options are available.
  • Most route options are on flat, paved surfaces and are wheelchair accessible.
  • Accompaniment is available for anyone who may require assistance.
  • Biking is an option.
  • There are options for remote participation.
  • There’s no cost to participate.
  • Let us know about anything else you may need to ensure this project is accessible and inclusive.

Register Here

Looks like they need 12 folks each day for three different days later this month. They’re also looking for volunteers to hit up Abner Clay Park and the Science Museum of Virginia.

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Goats Return and a Tree Fundraiser at Forest View Cemetery

Goats, radar, and a massive dead tree are what’s happening in the local once-forgotten cemetery.

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Friends of Forest View Cemetery are working to revitalize a forgotten cemetery 4909 Bassett Avenue. RVA Goats have been there a couple of times to fight the overgrowth and they’re back this week. The exciting reason that they’re back is to prepare the ground for Ground Penetrating Radar. With help from Enrichmond Foundation, the radar will be scanning the grounds in July which will give a much better picture of what lies beneath years of neglect. Hopefully, this will also locate the graves as all the grave markers are missing/buried.

The other bit of news is a new fundraiser to get work done on a massive dead tree. The plan is to have True Timber come in and remove the limbs from the dead tree, while maintaining 30 feet of the trunk for wildlife. These old trees provide the home very a large variety of critters and are an important part of our urban ecosystem.

You can make a donation to the tree effort here.

Previous Post on Forest View Cemetery:

Bonus Goat Picture

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Get More Stuff at the Woodland Heights Neighborhood Yard Sale

The nasty weather should be gone so head over to Woodland Heights on Saturday and get all the stuff.

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Details come to you from Facebook. As always there will be some sales not listed as people miss the deadline to get listed.

Your neighbors are selling household items – now’s the time to buy someone else’s stuff and have a great time!
3002 Ferncliff Rd.
3006 Ferncliff Rd.
2904 Riverside Dr.
3105 Stonewall Ave.
2901 Stonewall Ave.
706 W. 26th St.
708 W. 24th St.
600 W. 25th St.
2402 Semmes Ave.
3002 Springhill Ave.
218 W. 30th St.
3200 Porter St.
3156 Forest Hill Ave.
Each participating home and those going to the yard sales are expected to follow all public health recommendations for social distancing, face masks, and hand hygiene.

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