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Photos and Game Summary: Rams Fall Short in Overtime Against Duquesne

The last home game for the Rams didn’t finish on a high note. The Rams have lost six of the past seven games.

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VCU (18-12,8-9 Atlantic): 77
Duquesne (21-8,11-6 Atlantic): 80

Box Score

Official VCU Game Summary

The short story: Junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva led all scorers with 24 points for VCU, but it wasn’t enough to hold off comeback-minded Duquesne Tuesday night at the Siegel Center.

OPENING TIP

  • Santos-Silva scored 16 of his points in the second half and overtime to lead the VCU cause. He finished 9-of-14 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds, ripped three steals and blocked two shots
  • Senior Issac Vann matched his season-high with 13 points after shooting 5-for-8 from the field for the Black and Gold
  • Senior Mike’L Simms poured in 10 points for VCU. The veteran also snatched three boards. In addition, freshman guard Bones Hyland played a career-high 36 minutes and provided 13 points
  • Duquesne guard Tavian Dunn-Martin dropped a team-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds

THE DIFFERENCE

  • Duquesne’s Baylee Steele buried a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 1:58 left in overtime. Santos-Silva pulled the Rams within 78-77 with a bucket with 1:35 remaining, but the Black and Gold could get no closer. VCU missed a pair of 3-point jumpers in the closing moments and Duquesne’s Marcus Weathers connected on a pair of free throws to provide the final margin
  • VCU led twice in in the extra period, including 75-72 on a 3-pointer from the wing by Hyland with 3:42 showing
  • VCU led by as many as 12 points with 8:41 left, but Duquesne used a 12-2 run, punctuated by a 3-pointer by Lamar Norman Jr., to cut the lead to 63-61 with 4:54 left. The teams battled down the stretch, but Norman Jr. drove and hit a game-typing baseline jumper with 5.9 seconds left to force overtime
  • Duquesne owned a 40-29 advantage on the glass. The Dukes corralled 13 offensive rebounds to turned them into 18 second-chance points

NOTABLE

  • VCU scored 48 points in the paint
  • The Rams finished the regular season at home at 14-4
  • Tonight’s overtime battle was the first extra time that the Rams played this season
  • VCU leads the all-time series against Duquesne 7-1
  • Tuesday marked the 152nd consecutive sellout at the Stuart C. Siegel Center

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Virginia official says staffers are leaving mental health facilities to work at Chick-fil-A

“Part of it is some of those people do get paid less than you might get in fast food or Target or Walmart or something. And it’s not as stressful,” Littel said, adding that the state’s mental health workers are “doing lifesaving work every day.”

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At a meeting last week, Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel made an eye-opening remark about the state’s understaffed and overstressed mental health facilities.

“We’re losing a lot of people to Chick-fil-A,” Littel told the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Health Care. “And hopefully the budget will help with that.”

The staffing issues in Virginia’s mental-health facilities are no secret, but Littel’s comment stood out as a stark anecdote about the dire working conditions for some state employees helping with the crucial societal task of caring for the mentally ill.

In an interview Tuesday, Littel, an appointee of Gov. Glenn Youngkin and former executive with the Magellan health care company, said broader worker shortages have enabled the fast-food industry and others to offer more appealing jobs to state mental-health workers who have had to show up to relatively low-paying, difficult jobs “all through the pandemic.”

“Part of it is some of those people do get paid less than you might get in fast food or Target or Walmart or something. And it’s not as stressful,” Littel said, adding that the state’s mental health workers are “doing lifesaving work every day.”

He said he was mostly referring to workers who may be in housekeeping or direct support staff roles and might make around $13 to $18 an hour. Recent Virginia job postings for Chick-fil-A, which advertises all workers get Sundays off when its restaurants are closed, offered similar pay, with some locations offering starting pay of $15 an hour.

According to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services, average pay for entry-level direct care jobs currently ranges from a little under $12 an hour to about $17 an hour, which works out to roughly $24,700 to $35,500 per year.

Broader worker shortages, Littel said, have prompted the fast-food industry to get more aggressive on raising pay and sign-on bonuses. He said he couldn’t venture a guess at the number of state employees who have left for fast-food jobs.

“I’m just sort of referencing the anecdotes I hear from people,” he said, specifying he was making an “illustrative point” that wasn’t meant as a shot at Chick-fil-A.

Littel said he’s hopeful the upcoming state budget compromise will include significant new investments that will allow for better pay and conditions for the mental health workforce.

“The people that work in the system are all heroes,” he said. “For people to choose that as a specialty and commit to that, that’s really important. They’re not what’s wrong with the system.”

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Next Wednesday is Westover Hills ES Give Back Day at Laura Lee’s

Enjoy a lovely lunch or dinner at Laura Lee’s next Wednesday and a % of the sale will be going to support Westover Hills Elementary School’s PTA

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Enjoy a lovely lunch or dinner at Laura Lee’s next Wednesday and a % of the sale will be going to support Westover Hills Elementary School’s PTA as part of Give Back Day. Laura Lee’s is one of our go-to date night spots and love sitting at the bar.

This year they expanded their hours and are now open for lunch. Lunch is available 11AM-2:30PM Tues-Sun, and dinner is from 5-9PM Tues-Sun. Check out their menus here. Dinner always has some specials as well. For lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong with the Double Cheese Burger or the Fried Chicken Sandwich.

 

 

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Community

Forest Hill Park Invasive Plant Removal Work Day

Invasive plants harm the entire ecosystem.

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Spotted on Facebook. The workday is scheduled for Saturday from 10 AM – 12 PM.

Please join members of Friends of FHP for invasive plant removal. Invasive nonnative plants reduce populations of native, beneficial creatures. We will meet in the 3800 block of Forest Hill Avenue near the Forest Hill Historic District sign (east of Roanoke St. traffic light). Please bring gloves and hand pruners if you have them, and dress for the possibility of poison ivy (no open footwear). Thanks in advance for helping us restore some ecological balance in FHP!

You can see a list of invasive plants here. Hedera helix (common ivy or English Ivy) is one of the biggest and most obvious offenders in our area.

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