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New video footage shows wrath of EF-1 tornado at West End church

The footage, shot by a parking lot security camera, shows trees toppling and rain blowing sideways. The church suffered damage to its gym roof, and five air conditioning units were blown off.

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New security footage released by Henrico church West End Assembly of God shows the power of an EF-1 tornado that ripped through the West End campus on September 17th.

The storm, with winds estimated of up to 95 MPH, was one of ten to touch down in Virginia – all of which were spawned by the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

The footage, shot by a parking lot security camera, shows trees toppling and rain blowing sideways. The church suffered damage to its gym roof, and five air conditioning units were blown off.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Business

Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market planning to double size of Short Pump store

Construction on an expansion of the locally-owned store should commence this Spring.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market, which has operated in western Henrico County since 2004, is getting bigger.

The 15,000-square-foot market will nearly double in size when the store expansion project is completed later this year, owner Tom Leonard said.

Construction should begin late in the spring.

The expansion will take over the tented area to the left of the store – where pumpkins and Christmas trees are typically sold.

The added space will enable the market, off Tom Leonard Drive, to expand and move its bakery and deli departments into the new space. The bakery will be able to make fresh-boiled bagels – “the way they do them in New York,” Leonard said.

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Education

For two weeks, Douglas Freeman students can enter an immersive portal and meet people around the world

It’s long been the stuff of science fiction: step into a portal and be instantly transported to the other side of the globe. And while students at Douglas S. Freeman High School won’t technically be leaving their Three Chopt Road campus, a new student-driven project might give them the next best thing.

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It’s long been the stuff of science fiction: step into a portal and be instantly transported to the other side of the globe. And while students at Douglas S. Freeman High School won’t technically be leaving their Three Chopt Road campus, a new student-driven project might give them the next best thing. From Feb. 17 to March 1, students at the school will be able to step into an immersive, audio-visual chamber and interact with residents of Afghanistan, Uganda and other places far from Henrico County.

The Douglas Freeman portal is constructed from a repurposed steel shipping container, painted gold. It and similar portals are dimly lit and include a floor-to-ceiling screen, giving people at each location the illusion of being in the same room. The portal will sit at the front of campus, where the HCPS Technology and Facilities departments have run power and internet lines.

The portal, one of more than 60 worldwide, is the creation of Shared_Studios of Brooklyn, NY. Douglas Freeman students proposed bringing one of the portals to campus, and funding from the Henrico Education Foundation made it happen. The Foundation supports innovative teaching and learning in Henrico’s 72 schools and program centers.

“One of our roles as a school is to expose students to new ideas and different ways of thinking — to broaden their view of the world,” said John Marshall, Douglas Freeman principal. “The school’s diversity is a strength in this regard, and embracing that is one of our core values. The portal gives us the chance to do this at an even greater scope. It highlights the fact that we’re creating global citizens who learn much more than just facts and content during their time at DSF.”

Douglas Freeman is the first public school in Virginia to host a portal. Teachers plan to use the portal to add a new dimension to coursework. For example, Freeman students studying art, geometry and Spanish plan to talk with street artists using a portal in Mexico City, who use ratios in their designs. Photography students hope to learn from artists in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, who use that medium to tell their stories.

The public is invited to use the portal on two successive weekends to interact with people in other nations:

  • Feb. 22 (9-11 a.m. with Herat, Afghanistan; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with Mexico City)
  • Feb. 23 (Noon-2 p.m. with an Erbil, Iraq camp for displaced persons)
  • Feb. 29 (10-11:30 a.m. with Lagos, Nigeria; Noon-2 p.m. with El Progreso, Honduras)
  • March 1 (Noon-2 p.m. with Kigali, Rwanda)

Find out more about the Douglas Freeman portal at freemanportal.org. A short video produced by Shared_Studios explains more about the project below.

The portal project is an example of the concepts laid out in the Henrico Learner Profile, the school division’s framework for the skills students need and how they can best attain them. It uses many concepts included in the Henrico Learner Profile, including global citizenship and the idea that learning should be student-owned, authentic, connected and take place anytime and anywhere.

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Sports

Photos and Game Summary: Spiders Dominate Rams

The Spiders took the lead shortly after tip-off and never looked back.

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UR (19-6,9-3 Atlantic 10): 77
VCU (17-8,7-5 Atlantic 10): 59

Box Score

Official UR Game Summary

All five starters scored in double figures and Richmond men’s basketball never trailed in a dominating 77-59 win over VCU Saturday evening in front of a sold out crowd at the Robins Center in the Lumber Liquidators Capital City Classic. The 18-point margin of victory tied the largest for the Spiders in their 85 all-time meetings vs VCU.

“This was a big game and I thought we rose to the moment and met the opportunity head-on.” said head coach Chris Mooney. The victory moves the Spiders to 19-6 on the season and 9-3 in Atlantic 10 Conference. The 19-6 record is the Spiders best after 25 games since 2010-11 while the 9-3 start moves Richmond into sole possession of third place in the A-10.

Junior guard Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) scored a game-high 23 points while adding eight rebounds. Sherod connected on 5-of-7 from three-point range, including hitting his first four from distance. Junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) added 15 points and 10 rebounds while also dishing out six assists in the all-around performance.

Golden connected on seven of his 11 field goal attempts, helping the Spiders shoot 50 percent (29-of-58) from the field in the victory. Richmond also shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from three-point land on the night, led by Sherod’s five and four threes from redshirt junior guard Blake Francis (Herndon, Va.).

The Spiders came out of the gate on fire, led by Sherod who scored nine of the Spiders’ first 11 points as Richmond opened an 11-4 lead. Sherod would go on to hit his first four three-pointers of the game as the Spiders used a 20-7 run to open to a 33-16 lead 14 minutes into the game.

Richmond hit three-straight three-pointers to close out the run, including a four-point play by Francis and a deep ball from junior guard Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.). Richmond did damage on the inside as well during the stretch as Golden scored a pair of buckets and junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) converted a three-point play.

VCU found life later in the first half, scoring eight-straight points to pull within nine at 33-24 but the Spiders did not back down. Richmond scored the final nine points of the half, including a Golden three-point play through contact that ignited the crowd. The Spiders took a 42-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Rams scored the first five points of the second half but the Spiders again had the answer waiting with a 12-2 run, to take a 54-31 lead. This time the damage was done from in close as Cayo scored five in the run while Gilyard scored a pair of baskets off the drive for the 23-point lead.

VCU would have one final push, scoring nine-straight to trim the deficit to 68-55 but the Spiders would not be deterred on their way to an 18-point victory. The win was tied for Richmond’s largest ever against its crosstown rival. The Spiders also recorded 18-point wins over VCU on December 3, 2003 (70-52) and February 27, 2001 (72-54).

Francis, who missed the first meeting against the Rams, scored 13 points in the victory and helped the Spiders’ defense limit the Rams on the perimeter. Cayo added 11 points and six rebounds while Gilyard was strong all night with 10 points, six assists and five steals. The Spiders held VCU to just 59 points and –following consecutive losses to Dayton and VCU in January —  has kept four straight opponents under 60 points, Richmond’s longest stretch since a six-game run in February-March, 2011.

“After the Dayton and VCU games we clipped up a lot of really good defensive possessions and said to the team ‘hey – we’re close here.’ It has felt like the past four games we’ve really played tremendously on defense.”

Next for the Spiders is a home date with George Mason Wednesday night on NBC Sports Washington Plus. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at the Robins Center.

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