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Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.

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Juvenile Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

Mature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Photo from AllAboutBirds.org

Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name:  Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker aka Mr. Ye Olde Tyme Cartoon Insult
Scientific Name: Sphyrapicus varius
Average Length: 8-9 in
Average Wingspan: 16-18 in
Average Weight:1.5-1.7 ounces

Quick Facts

  • Yellow-bellied sapsuckers will drum on metal surfaces such as signs, gutters, or vents to increase the resonance and more broadly proclaim their territory.
  • Arthropods, tree sap, fruits, and nuts compose the majority of the yellow-bellied sapsucker’s diet.
  • Before feeding consistently on a tree, this sapsucker lays down exploratory bands near a live branch. These bands are laid down in horizontal rows.
  • This bird is monogamous, and nests in pairs,[with both sexes working to make the nest. Excavation of the cavity is done mostly by the male.

Goggles at RACC

Goggles is looking for a special someone to help him learn manners and be a well-behaved boy. He was once a yard dog. His previous owners didn’t teach him anything so he needs to start with a basic manners training class so that he can be the best version of himself possible. He can be very affectionate with his caretakers, especially after he gets some of his energy out running around in our play yard with his favorite toys. The staff here have been working with him on leash manners (he walks better on a harness), getting him to be more polite with toys, dog socialization, and verbal commands like “sit” and “down”. He has a lot of potential, and we love his goofy face. If you are looking for a rewarding challenge, ask to meet with Goggles!

Primary Color: Blue Brindle
Weight: 55
Age: 1yrs 7mths 1wks
Sex: Male
Pet ID: 83313

Adopt Goggles at RACC

Learn more about their Adoption Process or how to Foster A Pet.

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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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Henrico names new deputy county manager for community affairs

Smith-Callahan has served as assistant superintendent of policy, equity, and communication for the Virginia Department of Education since April 2019. She brings more than 20 years of experience in community engagement, public and media relations and event management in the public, nonprofit and business sectors.

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Henrico County has appointed Monica Smith-Callahan as its deputy county manager for community affairs, a newly restructured position focusing on community outreach.

Smith-Callahan has served as assistant superintendent of policy, equity, and communication for the Virginia Department of Education since April 2019. She brings more than 20 years of experience in community engagement, public and media relations and event management in the public, nonprofit and business sectors.

As deputy county manager for community affairs, Smith-Callahan will promote relationships with nongovernmental entities and will serve as a liaison to Henrico County Public Schools and other governmental entities. She also will provide expertise on federal, state and local regulations, legislation and policies affecting the county and will oversee or serve as a primary contact for various departments, agencies, and functions, including the Henrico County Public Library, Health Department, Capital Region Workforce Partnership, Electoral Board, Extension Office, and legislative affairs.

She will be Henrico’s fifth deputy county manager, joining others focused on administration and community services, community development, community operations, and public safety. Her appointment is effective Tuesday, Feb. 18.

She also has served as director of workforce programs for ChamberRVA, director of outreach and development for Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond, community engagement director for Richmond 2015 Inc., chief of staff for U-Turn Sports Performance Academy and communications assistant to the vice president and public relations manager for Comcast Cable.

Smith-Callahan holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from George Mason University and a master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University.

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Community

Nathan Burrell Leaving City Parks and Recreation for State Gig

When Nathan moves into his state position at the end of the month, the city will have to work hard to find a worthy replacement.

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Anybody that has done any significant amount of volunteering in James River Park has run across Nathan Burrell. He’s one of those hard-working, kind of quiet guys that simply gets things done. Thoughtful and passionate he has been a part of the park system for the past 17 years.

Nathan took over as Superintendent of the Park system in 2013 after equally well-known Ralph White retired. Most recently in 2018, Nathan was promoted to facilities maintenance manager of the city parks department. This chapter of his professional life is coming to a close. Yesterday he announced that he would be leaving the parks department to take a job with the state government as deputy director with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Nathan’s last day will be January 29th, if you seem out in the park be sure to give him a hearty thank you from all of us that use the park on a daily basis.

Richmond.com has more:

He said he accepted the new job “with a heavy heart and gratitude.”

Burrell said that over the past 17 years, he had witnessed Richmond change from a “capital of the South” mentality to a city that sees itself as one of the best places to live, work and play in the nation, which is related to enjoying and preserving James River Park.

He mentioned several improvements at the park during his time, including “the development of over 40 miles of single track trails, multiple river access points, the development of a mountain bike skills course, legitimization and expansion of a bike jump park, increased operational and capital funding for James River Park System and … a master plan to guide and further protect it into the future.”

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Northside

Former Braves star Andruw Jones coming to Richmond for Flying Squirrels’ opening night

The five-time NL All-Star and former Richmond Braves outfielder will help ring in 2020 season at The Diamond.

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Former MLB standout Andruw Jones will be the special guest for Opening Night as the Richmond Flying Squirrels begin their home schedule at The Diamond on April 16, the team announced on Wednesday. The five-time National League All-Star will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs for fans.

Opening Night with the Flying Squirrels, presented by Virginia Birth Father Registry and Chick-fil-A, will include dueling fireworks to ring in the new season. The first pitch between the Flying Squirrels and Bowie Baysox is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the ballpark gates open at 5 p.m.

“Opening Night in Richmond at The Diamond is a very special thing with 10 straight sellouts and a long list of popular ceremonial first pitch participants, some with ties to the Braves’ history here in Richmond,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “Andruw Jones is certainly one of them. Many remember him for his hitting prowess, but his 10 Gold Gloves in the outfield is a high standard. We look forward to welcoming him to Richmond as we pursue our 11thconsecutive Opening Night sellout at The Diamond on April 16.”

Jones played 17 seasons in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. A star in Atlanta for 12 seasons, Jones earned 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1998-2007 and was later selected to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. In 2005, Jones won the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award while leading the majors with 51 homers and pacing the National League with 128 RBIs.

Prior to his major league stardom, Jones suited up for the Richmond Braves in 1996. His stop in Richmond lasted 12 games, during which he hit .378 with five homers and 12 RBIs before earning a call to the majors in mid-August at just 19 years old.

The Willemstad, Curacao native hit .254 in his 2,196 career MLB games, adding 434 home runs over 17 years from 1996-2012.

The Flying Squirrels’ first 10 home openers have all sold out, including franchise-record crowds of 9,845 fans in each of the last two years. Since the franchise’s first season in 2010, the Flying Squirrels have welcomed a special guest to help open the home schedule at The Diamond. Jones joins the list of sports stars and dignitaries to celebrate the start of the new baseball season in Richmond.

Previous guests include:

  • 2019 – Ryan Klesko
  • 2018 – Fred McGriff & Gov. Ralph Northam (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2017 – David Justice (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2016 – Jerome Bettis
  • 2015 – Will Wade (caught by Gov. Terry McAuliffe)
  • 2014 – Michael Robinson
  • 2013 – Javy Lopez & Ryan Kerrigan
  • 2012 – Dale Murphy
  • 2011 – James Farrior, Brandon Rozzell & Chris Mooney
  • 2010 – Gov. Bob McDonnell

Information on group packages for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 are available here or by contacting the front office at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

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