Chesterfield Observer

Chesterfield Observer Virginia's largest weekly newspaper.

The Observer is THE news source for Chesterfield. It's the county's newspaper of record, providing in-depth coverage of local government, schools, sports, community events, business and social issues. It's mailed, free, to 71,000 homes every week, which means we're by far the most well-read publication in the county. Since an estimated 2.4 people look at each issue that arrived at homes, our actual readership is about 170,000 people. And we've been thriving even though our industry is struggling. Our circulation has increased by 27 percent in recent years -- a time when most newspapers have been declining in circulation.

The Board of Supervisors has approved a tax abatement program for the Jeff Davis area.
07/05/2019
County pushes transit, rehab incentives for Jeff Davis | Chesterfield Observer

The Board of Supervisors has approved a tax abatement program for the Jeff Davis area.

When the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approved a new special area plan for the northern stretch of the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor in April 2018, civic leaders expressed cautious optimism that the local government might finally back up its lofty goals with the funding needed to bring them....

Virginia State Police are investigating a single-engine plane crash that occurred on July 2 at the Chesterfield County A...
07/04/2019
Single-engine plane crash under investigation | Chesterfield Observer

Virginia State Police are investigating a single-engine plane crash that occurred on July 2 at the Chesterfield County Airport, located at 7511 Airfield Drive.

UPDATE: Virginia State Police released on Wednesday afternoon the identity of the pilot, Jake F. Labello, of Midlothian. Virginia State Police are investigating a single-engine plane crash that occurred on July 2 at the Chesterfield County Airport, located at 7511 Airfield Drive. A preliminary inves...

Jerry Armeli, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, reflects on his military career.
07/04/2019
Veteran of three wars rings in the Fourth | Chesterfield Observer

Jerry Armeli, a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, reflects on his military career.

One look at the back of Jerry Armeli's blue Ford pickup truck, and you can tell he's no ordinary Army veteran. It's there that you'll find bumper stickers commemorating each of the three armed conflicts Armeli served in: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. But then, there's little that's ordinary about...

County police are reminding residents to refrain from celebratory gunfire this Fourth of July.
07/04/2019
Police warn against celebratory gunfire | Chesterfield Observer

County police are reminding residents to refrain from celebratory gunfire this Fourth of July.

As July 4 approaches, county police are reminding residents of the dangers of celebratory gunfire. In 2013, 7-year-old Brendon Mackey was struck and killed by gunfire before a Fourth of July fireworks display at Swift Creek Reservoir. Police believe the round that struck Mackey was fired randomly in...

Put some pep in your step with this recipe for stuffed poblanos.
07/02/2019
Embrace the gooey goodness of subtly spicy grilled stuffed poblanos | Chesterfield Observer

Put some pep in your step with this recipe for stuffed poblanos.

With the Fourth of July a week away, I'm again on the hunt for creative grilling options. Grilled stuffed peppers are a natural crowd pleaser, and this year, I've decided to kick them up a notch by making grilled stuffed poblanos. Poblano peppers were made to be cooked on the grill. Their natural sm...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Midlothian 15-year-old Thomas Theiner a patent for a new type of trick ...
07/01/2019
Local teen secures patent for trick yo-yo | Chesterfield Observer

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Midlothian 15-year-old Thomas Theiner a patent for a new type of trick yo-yo that would use magnets to spin for minutes at a stretch.

Thomas Edison. Alexander Graham Bell. Thomas Theiner? Perhaps it's too early to include Theiner, a 15-year-old from Midlothian, alongside those esteemed inventors, but that's not for lack of effort. In March, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Theiner a patent for a new type of trick yo-yo...

Butch and Kim Taylor, with business partner Brad Cooper, owner of Steam Bell Beer Works, plan to open a new brewery in t...
06/28/2019
Support grows for Skinquarter brewery proposal | Chesterfield Observer

Butch and Kim Taylor, with business partner Brad Cooper, owner of Steam Bell Beer Works, plan to open a new brewery in the Skinquarter area off of Hull Street Road.

Butch and Kim Taylor's auto repair business has thrived since they opened their first Chesterfield location in 2004, but it still took many years for Titan Auto and Tire to accumulate 1,000 "likes" on its page. The Taylors' new venture, a craft brewery they plan to build in the rural Skinqu...

The Chesterfield Planning Commission finally voted last Tuesday to send a new, business-friendly sign ordinance to the B...
06/28/2019
Planning commission greenlights new rules for electronic advertising | Chesterfield Observer

The Chesterfield Planning Commission finally voted last Tuesday to send a new, business-friendly sign ordinance to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval.

After working on it for more than eight months, the Chesterfield Planning Commission finally voted last Tuesday to send a new, business-friendly sign ordinance to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval. Three of the four commissioners present at the June 18 meeting expressed sup...

Nearly three decades in the making, the $16.9-million arts center aims to be unlike anything Chesterfield has ever seen....
06/27/2019
Groundbreaking held for long-awaited Chester arts center | Chesterfield Observer

Nearly three decades in the making, the $16.9-million arts center aims to be unlike anything Chesterfield has ever seen. The center will total 23,350 square feet and include a 352-seat theater, a multipurpose room and an outdoor events terrace.

It was with a count of three and a heave of 14 dirt-filled shovels that community members and county officials broke ground on the long-awaited Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts this Monday. Nearly three decades in the making, the $16.9-million public-private facility aims to be unlike anything C...

James Calvin Frye, principal at Swift Creek Middle, has been hired as the school system’s new director of student tran...
06/27/2019
School system hires Swift Creek Middle principal as transportation director | Chesterfield Observer

James Calvin Frye, principal at Swift Creek Middle, has been hired as the school system’s new director of student transportation.

The Chesterfield School Board has approved the hiring of James Calvin Frye as the school system's new director of student transportation. Frye, who has worked in the county since 2012 as principal of Swift Creek Middle School, officially starts his new assignment July 1. He takes over a department t...

County police are investigating after 33 vehicles at 27 residences had their tires slashed in North Chesterfield over th...
06/27/2019
Police investigate spate of tire slashings in North Chesterfield | Chesterfield Observer

County police are investigating after 33 vehicles at 27 residences had their tires slashed in North Chesterfield over the weekend.

County police are investigating after 33 vehicles at 27 residences had their tires slashed in North Chesterfield over the weekend. Between 1 p.m. on June 22 and 7 a.m. on June 23, tires were slashed at residences on several different streets, including Steven Hill Drive, Casey Savannah Lane, Bryanbe...

School leaders say they weren’t made aware of a park-and-ride lot planned by the county, and now they are considering ...
06/26/2019
Tech center plans spur tug-of-war over parking space | Chesterfield Observer

School leaders say they weren’t made aware of a park-and-ride lot planned by the county, and now they are considering moving central office headquarters – and about 80 employees – to the same location.

Chesterfield County leaders are planning to build a new park-and-ride lot at the Career and Technical Center @ Hull to help relieve congestion along western U.S. 360. There's only one problem: School leaders say they weren't made aware of the park-and-ride lot, and now they are considering moving ce...

Republican Speaker Kirk Cox, a 29-year veteran of the General Assembly, is running for reelection in a district 32 point...
06/26/2019
In a redrawn 66th, Speaker Kirk Cox finds himself fighting in unfamiliar territory | Chesterfield Observer

Republican Speaker Kirk Cox, a 29-year veteran of the General Assembly, is running for reelection in a district 32 points more Democratic than it was previously.

Located deep in Matoaca, Ivan Road is so far south in Chesterfield that some of its houses back up against the Appomattox River, the waterway that defines the county's southern border. It's a street of handsome but unpretentious homes set on lush front yards. Mailboxes, flags and license plate frame...

Since 2014, Isabella’s Bistro & Salumeria at Sycamore Square in Midlothian has been serving classic Italian favorites.
06/25/2019
Family fare: How two industry pros came home to classic Italian cooking | Chesterfield Observer

Since 2014, Isabella’s Bistro & Salumeria at Sycamore Square in Midlothian has been serving classic Italian favorites.

It was something of a running joke: No matter where he ate in Central Virginia, Brian Steele couldn't seem to find a decent chicken Parmesan. Steele, who originally hails from upstate New York, was appalled at what passed for the classic Italian dish – breaded chicken topped with tomato sauce, moz...

A lawsuit against Chesterfield County Public Schools alleging that a former teacher was discriminated against by the sch...
06/24/2019
School system lawsuit settled for $10,000 | Chesterfield Observer

A lawsuit against Chesterfield County Public Schools alleging that a former teacher was discriminated against by the school system has been settled for $10,000.

A lawsuit against Chesterfield County Public Schools alleging that a former teacher was discriminated against by the school system has been settled for $10,000. In the lawsuit, Dina Persico, a former teacher at Providence Middle School and Midlothian High School, said she was discriminated against b...

The Fourth Circuit has ruled that a May 2015 attack on a gay man at Chesterfield’s Amazon facility qualifies as a fede...
06/21/2019
Court expands reach of hate crimes law in Amazon attack | Chesterfield Observer

The Fourth Circuit has ruled that a May 2015 attack on a gay man at Chesterfield’s Amazon facility qualifies as a federal hate crime.

On June 13, the Fourth Circuit ruled that a May 2015 attack on a gay man at Chesterfield's Amazon facility qualifies as a federal hate crime, according to Courthouse News Service. The ruling expands the reach of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. On May 22, 2...

At a Monday afternoon work session last week, the School Board discussed ongoing efforts to address its transportation w...
06/20/2019
School Board tackles transportation, Title I issues | Chesterfield Observer

At a Monday afternoon work session last week, the School Board discussed ongoing efforts to address its transportation woes and the distribution of its Title I funding.

At a Monday afternoon work session last week, the School Board discussed ongoing efforts to address its transportation woes and the distribution of its Title I funding. Since the rollout of Chesterfield County Public Schools' new school start time schedule at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year...

An increasing number of citizens now oppose the county’s plan to build a fuel station for school buses and other count...
06/20/2019
Fuel station plan upsets residents who fear it's too close to reservoir | Chesterfield Observer

An increasing number of citizens now oppose the county’s plan to build a fuel station for school buses and other county vehicles behind the Career and Technical Center on Hull Street Road.

Undeterred by the Chesterfield Planning Commission's recommendation for approval last month, an increasing number of citizens now oppose the county's plan to build a fuel station for school buses and other county vehicles behind the Career and Technical Center on Hull Street Road. About 100 people a...

The state’s health commissioner has approved Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center’s plan to build a freestanding e...
06/20/2019
State approves Bon Secours ER in Chester | Chesterfield Observer

The state’s health commissioner has approved Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center’s plan to build a freestanding emergency room with CT imaging services on the Chester campus of John Tyler Community College.

The state's health commissioner has approved Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center's plan to build a freestanding emergency room with CT imaging services on the Chester campus of John Tyler Community College. Noting the facility will "enhance timely emergency medical services in an area of Chesterf...

The Midlothian Community Special Area Plan envisions street-level shopping, more sidewalks and on-street parking in plac...
06/19/2019
County rolls out new, more walkable vision for Midlothian | Chesterfield Observer

The Midlothian Community Special Area Plan envisions street-level shopping, more sidewalks and on-street parking in places such as Sycamore Square in the heart of the village.

As they crafted a document that will guide the long-range development of the village of Midlothian, Chesterfield County officials spent the past 28 months soliciting input from residents, local business owners and leaders of community organizations. They also hired one of the nation's premier urban....

Last Friday, the three-member electoral board certified Kevin Carroll as the winner of the Republican Party primary for ...
06/19/2019
Carroll edges out Stariha in GOP primary for Matoaca supervisor | Chesterfield Observer

Last Friday, the three-member electoral board certified Kevin Carroll as the winner of the Republican Party primary for the Matoaca District’s seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors by 63 votes over Craig Stariha.

Kevin Carroll was 11 years old when he learned a valuable lesson about the American system of government. In September 1974, Carroll's father, James, ran for the Democratic Party nomination for town council in their hometown of Coventry, Rhode Island. Carroll spent many hours helping his father pain...

Pimento cheese, please: Here's a scrumptious recipe for pimento beer cheese.
06/18/2019
The infinite adaptability of pimento cheese | Chesterfield Observer

Pimento cheese, please: Here's a scrumptious recipe for pimento beer cheese.

Pimento cheese has long been a staple in the South, but it's definitely experienced something of a heyday in recent years, what with the trending popularity of Southern cuisine in restaurants around the country. So, what I'm about to say might simultaneously blow minds and break hearts: Pimento chee...

The Chesterfield Economic Development Authority is financing construction of a trunk sewer line along Tomahawk Creek tha...
06/17/2019
$15M sewer line to open Roseland parcels for mixed-use | Chesterfield Observer

The Chesterfield Economic Development Authority is financing construction of a trunk sewer line along Tomahawk Creek that will facilitate development of more than 600 acres of commercial property along the Route 288 corridor in Midlothian.

Bad timing and an even worse economy combined to sink the largest mixed-use development in Chesterfield County history before it got off the ground. As approved by the Board of Supervisors in August 2008, Roseland was zoned for 5,540 homes and up to 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space...

The American Civil Liberties Union and others have filed a lawsuit against the owner of Chesterfield apartment complex S...
06/14/2019
ACLU sues county apartment complex for discrimination | Chesterfield Observer

The American Civil Liberties Union and others have filed a lawsuit against the owner of Chesterfield apartment complex Sterling Glen, alleging that its rental application policies discriminate against African Americans.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Virginia and Washington, D.C.-based law firm Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC have filed a lawsuit against the owner of Chesterfield apartment complex Sterling Glen, alleging that its rental application policies discriminate against African Americans. The la...

Carvana’s proposed facility in southern Chesterfield is expected to generate about 2,500 vehicles per day along Woods ...
06/14/2019
Carvana's storage and detail facility unnerves residents | Chesterfield Observer

Carvana’s proposed facility in southern Chesterfield is expected to generate about 2,500 vehicles per day along Woods Edge Road.

For people who live along Woods Edge Road in southeastern Chesterfield County, tractor-trailer traffic is part of the soundtrack of their daily lives. Because of its location between two interstate highways and proximity to both industrial sites and truck stops, residents of this area are all too fa...

After nearly a century, the Crump family is selling Crump's Store.
06/13/2019
End of an era: The family-run Crump's Store is changing hands | Chesterfield Observer

After nearly a century, the Crump family is selling Crump's Store.

The corn dogs and chicken wings beckon from inside a heated display case. On the walls, old family photographs share space with vintage tin signs advertising Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Above the chilled beverage cases hang planks of the original, worn hardwood floor. Customers pass through, purchasing a p...

Javaid Siddiqi has secured the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for the Midlothian District seat on the Chesterfie...
06/13/2019
Siddiqi wins Democratic caucus in Midlothian | Chesterfield Observer

Javaid Siddiqi has secured the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for the Midlothian District seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors.

After a bruising two-month campaign that divided local Democrats, Javaid Siddiqi has secured the party's nomination to run for the Midlothian District seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors in November. Siddiqi, vice chairman of the county's School Board, beat Bon Air commercial real estate b...

Markiya Simone Dickson, a 9-year-old girl from Chesterfield, was attending a community cookout on May 26 when shooting b...
06/12/2019
Family, friends gather to remember slain 9-year-old | Chesterfield Observer

Markiya Simone Dickson, a 9-year-old girl from Chesterfield, was attending a community cookout on May 26 when shooting broke out.

In the center of Richmond's Carter Jones Park, halfway between the skatepark and the covered shelters, there's an addition that wasn't there just a month ago. Bounded by scrolled metal edging and colorful pinwheels is a memorial for Markiya Simone Dickson, a 9-year-old girl from Chesterfield who was...

Kevin Carroll declared himself the winner of the Republican Party primary for the Matoaca District seat on the Chesterfi...
06/12/2019
Carroll claims victory in GOP primary | Chesterfield Observer

Kevin Carroll declared himself the winner of the Republican Party primary for the Matoaca District seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, following a post-primary canvass.

Kevin Carroll declared himself the winner of the Republican Party primary for the Matoaca District seat on the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, following a post-primary canvass by the local electoral board that found no discrepancies in Tuesday's vote tally. "Based on what....

A 16-year-old charged with the murder of an 87-year-old Bensley resident has claimed that it was a “friend” who carr...
06/12/2019
Teen charged with murder claims friend carried out attack | Chesterfield Observer

A 16-year-old charged with the murder of an 87-year-old Bensley resident has claimed that it was a “friend” who carried out the attack.

A 16-year-old charged with the murder of an 87-year-old Bensley resident has claimed that it was a "friend" who carried out the attack, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. At a preliminary hearing last Thursday in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, it was revealed tha...

Virginia’s 10th Senate District candidate Ghazala Hashmi beat out challengers Eileen Bedell and Zachary Brown for the ...
06/12/2019
Hashmi secures Democratic nomination in 10th | Chesterfield Observer

Virginia’s 10th Senate District candidate Ghazala Hashmi beat out challengers Eileen Bedell and Zachary Brown for the district’s Democratic nomination on Tuesday

Inside the community room of the Warsaw Condominiums in Richmond's Fan District Tuesday night, Virginia's 10th Senate District candidate Ghazala Hashmi and her supporters celebrated her win over challengers Eileen Bedell and Zachary Brown for the district's Democratic nomination. Standing atop the l...

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