Thursday, March 8, 2012

News from York County


This Sunday, "Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries"
March 8, 2012

It is that time of year again, when we "spring" forward from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time and adjust our clocks forwardone hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11.

In today's fast-paced world, we often forget to stop and do the small things in life that matter most. The York County Department of Fire and Life Safety would like to remind you that when you change your clocks, you should also change the batteries in your smoke alarms, especially if you have not changed them since September of last year.

York County Fire Chief Stephen Kopczynski states "The 'Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery' program urges everyone to adopt the habit of changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm batteries when changing clocks, which could make the difference in surviving a fire or succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.

"A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds. The sound of the alarm may give you and your family those few extra seconds to get out and stay out of your home. Smoke is usually what kills fire victims, not the fire, because the smoke puts you in a deeper sleep and without the sound of the smoke alarm, you succumb to the smoke as you breathe it in."

Chief Kopczynski also recommends purchasing a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm if you use natural gas, oil or propane in your home, have a fireplace, or have an attached garage. Install carbon monoxide alarms in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home. Because CO is about the same weight as air, it evenly distributes itself, so alarms can be placed on the ceiling or wall or even plugged into an outlet. These alarms are lifesavers because carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can kill you before you are even aware it is in your house. It causes side effects such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, disorientation and fatigue that are often mistaken for the flu. These effects can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and length of exposure.

To save lives and to prevent needless injuries, start a life-saving habit this year: when you "Change Your Clock, Change Your Batteries."  Checking your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and changing the batteries is one of the simplest things you can do to protect your family.

Additional information can be found on the Department of Fire and Life Safety website at or call the office Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m. at (757) 890-3600.


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Yorktown Trolley service resumes March 17
March 8, 2012

The free Yorktown Trolley will start its 12th year of service on Saturday, March 17, and operate daily through Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

The trolley transports nearly 100,000 passengers throughout Yorktown each season, which runs between the spring and fall.           

Though meant to create an old-world feel with their mahogany and brass trimmings, the trolleys are equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, wheel chair access and portable AED's in case of emergencies. The county operates two trolleys, both purchased mainly with state and federal grant money, and can transport up to 28 seated and 19 standing passengers at a time.

The trolley route begins at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and makes stops at the Victory Monument, Historic Main Street, Riverwalk Landing and the Watermen's Museum, among others, on its way to the Yorktown Victory Center on the other side of town.

The trolley operates in partnership with the Historic Triangle Shuttle, which connects Yorktown with Jamestown and Williamsburg via the Colonial Parkway. For more information about the Yorktown Trolley, visit

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Free Healthy Living conference for seniors to be held April 5
March 7, 2012

AARP Virginia and the Hampton Roads Coalition of Agencies will sponsor a free conference, "Healthy Living: Put Your Mind To It!" on Thursday, April 5 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the King of Glory Lutheran Church and School located at 4897 Longhill Road in Williamsburg. 

The free conference is open to the public and begins with registration and a continental breakfast at 8 a.m.

The purpose of the conference is to educate seniors about the components of healthy aging and empower them to take action. Topics and speakers will include James L. Brooks, Associate State Director of AARP VA and Jessica Hughes from By Your Side Technology on "Staying Sharp: Secrets to Brain Health"; Debra Elder Le Calm, MSCW with Colonial Behavioral Health will speak on Depression and Stress in Seniors; Rick Jackson, Executive Director for the Center for Excellence in Aging and Geriatric Health on Alcohol and Aging; Patricia Groeninger, RN, MS with Optima Health Susan Evans, and Sandy Lenthall will share personal success health stories. Chef Fred Rock from Heritage Commons is back with a cooking demonstration and tasting on preparing Meals for One or Two; and Warren Stewart, Ph.D., Virginia State President will provide a legislative update. 

            In addition, and sponsored by Walgreen's, pharmacist Pat Resto will conduct individual medication check-up consultations about drug interactions and side affects, as well as how to manage risks associated with taking different drugs prescribed by different doctors. Persons interested in consultations should bring a list of medications or actual medications and register for a time slot the morning of the event. There will also be free blood pressure checks.

Attendees can browse the exhibit area and win door prizes. Pre-registration is requested by March 30.

The conference is sponsored by AARP Virginia, Historic Triangle Senior Center, Olde Towne Medical Center, Peninsula Agency on Aging, Peninsula Health District, Sentara Community Health and Prevention, Senior Services Coalition, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and York County Community Services. For registration and information call the Peninsula Agency on Aging at 873-0541.

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Gallery at York Hall opening for the season on April 1

The Gallery at York Hall will open for its 11th season on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

The Gallery is operated by the Celebrate Yorktown Committee and managed by volunteer Sharon Owen. The Gallery, located in York Hall, is an art gallery with a variety of themed exhibits that change every six to eight weeks. The exhibits feature the works of over 30 local artists, increasing the awareness of high quality art in the community and showcasing historic Yorktown as an arts destination.

The Gallery's 30-plus volunteers also serve the community by maintaining a visitor information area, offering brochures, maps, discounts and friendly service and hospitality to over 13,000 guests annually.

Spring exhibits at the gallery include quilts, watercolors and wildlife, featuring artists Jim Wilson and Linda Miller. Summer exhibits continue with photography and more, featuring artist Shirley Whitneck.   

The Gallery at York Hall is located at 301 Main Street in historic Yorktown and is a cooperative effort between the Celebrate Yorktown Committee and York County. Starting April 1, the Gallery will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, call the Gallery at York Hall at 890-4490 or visit for a complete listing of planned 2011 exhibits.

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