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Sue Randolph


An interview with Sue Randolph

Sue Randolph has served Hanover County residents in many ways. She was the first Black woman to join Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. She entered as a deputy in the Court Services Unit in 1978 and retired as captain in 2020. Her work ethic and leadership were instrumental in the development of the unit.

Randolph is also part the Community Services Board and previously served as secretary. She is a mom to eight foster children and two sons of her own. 

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Hanover family ‘driven’ by ancestors to inspire youth

Lucian Hunter Trail road sign

Following his marriage to Sarah Shelton, Hanover County’s Patrick Henry lived on a 300-acre lot off Rural Point Road known as Pine Slash. Little did the man remembered as the “Voice of the Revolution” know another would begin right there on the property over 150 years later. 

Pine Slash resident Lucian Hunter revolutionized school transportation for Black students across the country. The farmer and son of a slave purchased a bus in the early 1930s and arranged for three of his sons – Clarence, Earl and Chester – to drive students to school.

Before the Hunter family bus, Black students were forced to walk miles to school – from eastern Hanover to Ashland – if they had any dream of getting an education. This $50 purchase made Lucian the first person in Virginia to provide a bus for Black students.

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Mechanicsville brothers carry on five-generation family tradition of military service

For five generations the Brooks family of Mechanicsville has served our country in the armed forces. The youngest includes six brothers — Frazier, Leon, Gary, GeRald, Avus and Eric. They are all military veterans following in the footsteps of their father Oscar and their forebears who came before him.Brooks brothers Memorial Day 2023

From the Virginia Army National Guard to the Air National Guard to the Air Force to the Army to the National Guard, the Brooks brothers have answered the call to service. Some served in combat in places like Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

All retired now, the five brothers who remain in Mechanicsville (Eric lives in Florida) recently shared stories around a table at First Union Baptist Church. 

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Davies recognized as a founding father of religious freedom

Samuel DaviesThe Rev. Samuel Davies wrote to a friend, “I want to live after I am dead, not in name, but in public usefulness.”

Three hundred years after his birth, he continues to live on through his espousal of religious freedom and his impact on a young man whose cry of “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” still resounds in the hearts and minds of Americans.

The Rev. Samuel Davies was the leader of a group of Hanoverians who dissented from the notion that all must belong to the established Church of England. His Presbyterians sought religious freedom to worship in their own way, and many of them met in what we know as the historic Polegreen Church on Rural Point Road.

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Become besties and bond over sewing!

In honor of National Women's Small Business Month, we are spotlighting May Gonzalez and her at-home sewing studio, Sew Brave.

Whether you work best one-on-one or in groups, May Ab-SEW-lutely has what you are looking for! And if your mom is your bestie, she has you covered too. 

Learn more by visiting www.sewbraverva.com.

Hanover County Fire-EMS celebrates grand opening of state-of-the-art tactical training tower

Hanover County Fire-EMS cut the ribbon on its new state-of-the-art Class B burn building. The $3.9 million tactical training tower offers a safer environment for firefighters to train for residential, commercial and technical rescues. 

“We are extremely excited about our new burn building,” said Hanover Fire-EMS Chief Jethro Piland. “It is a state-of-the-art facility that provides our firefighters real world training scenarios while providing top tier safety procedures.” 

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Hanover's Don Lee retiring after interesting career

Don Lee is retiring September 29 as Deputy Director of General Services. It’s been an interesting career progression for a man who started out as a custodian 35 years ago.Donald Lee Landscape

“My dad always told me never settle,” Don recalls. “I didn’t.”

After graduating from Matoaca High in 1984, he bounced from job to job before taking an entry level position as a custodian for Chesterfield County Public Schools. His father Harry, who worked for VDOT for many years, had touted the value of a steady government job with good benefits and health insurance.

Custodian work wasn’t exactly the field he was looking to break into. He was interested in automobile repair and had taken auto technician classes at Chesterfield Technical Center. But his upbringing by two loving parents on a small family farm in rural Chesterfield had taught him some valuable lessons that he still applies in his life, such as:

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Hanover DASH - The County's Specialized Transportation Program

Hanover County is reducing the copay cost for riders who use the Hanover DASH specialized transportation program from $6 to $5 per ride. Operation hours for the program are expanding to seven days a week effective Sunday, Oct. 1.

The program provides personalized transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, employment and formal social programs for the disabled and residents 65 years and older.

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Team Hanover gives back during 9/11 Day of Service

Team Hanover came together with community members and not-for-profits to participate in this year's National 9/11 Day of Service. From beautifying our schools to cleaning up our roadsides, we did it all! Thank you to everyone who played a part in making this day special for our community.

Pound it

With 40 flavors of pound cake, Gimme Pound is bound to have a treat that satisfies your sweet tooth. In honor of Black Business Month, we visited Kimberly Fox-Knight, a Hanover native bringing the community together one pound cake at a time. She makes around 25 cakes a week that are available in stores throughout the area. Learn where to get yours and how to order your dream pound cake at www.gimmepound.com.

Community collaboration creates confident employees

Hanover County's supported employment program collaborates with community partners and businesses to help residents with disabilities find a job. 

This program creates self-sufficient, responsible and confident employees just like Corey. 

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Mike Flagg retiring from Hanover County after distinguished 27-year careerMike Flagg Landscape

Mike Flagg managed it all – solid waste and recycling, road construction, project management, compliance with environmental regulations, crisis response, flood mitigation and Hanover’s airport, to name just a few. That might sound daunting, but for Hanover County’s retiring Public Works Director, responsibility and initiative are fundamental parts of his character.

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Parlez-vous francais?

One of the newest members of Team Hanover comes to us all the way from Quebec, Canada! Fannie Giguere is a recreation coordinator with Hanover County Parks and Recreation. Her husband's career landed the family of five in Ashland, making us the luckiest team in the universe. We are excited to introduce to you another member of Team Hanover working to make our community fun, educational and safe for our little ones.

Montpelier Recreation Center and Library goes vertical

Montpelier Recreation Center and Library has gone vertical! There are walls, floors, rooms and we are excited to watch Western Hanover’s community hub come to life.

The 20,000-square-foot building will house a recreation center with a full-size gymnasium and two classrooms in addition to a new library with a conference space and study rooms. It's expected to be complete later next year.

Keep up with the project's progress here.

From farm to festival

The Hanover Tomato Festival is right around the corner! We went behind the scenes with Hanover Vegetable Farm to see how their tomatoes get from the farm to the festival. The farm is supplying 500 boxes for the festival, which is nearly 6 acres of tomatoes! Watch to see how this family farm is preparing for the County’s biggest event of the year. 

Family connects foodies with fruit through region's only farm share program

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month and Hanover is blessed with the best! Agriberry Farm grows blackberries, raspberries and more and is the only fruit-oriented CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in the Richmond area. This allows customers to purchase products during preseason, supporting local farmers during winter months.

Pick your own berries every other Saturday through August from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farm, 6289 River Road. 

Hanover veterans recall historic events

Veterans Committee 5-11-23

May is Military Appreciation Month, and Hanover’s veterans give us much to appreciate. Some have experienced history up close.

On September 11, 2001, Commander George Navas was serving in the Navy’s Quadrennial Defense Review Office at the Pentagon. His actions on that tragic day resulted in him being awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have achieved distinction through outstanding non-combat meritorious achievement or service to the United States.

When al-Qaeda terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon at 9:37 that morning, Navas was in a third-floor hallway near the impact location. “I heard the aircraft before impact,” he recalls. “I heard it throttle up before it hit the building. I was close enough to be knocked down by the pressure.”

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New teaching garden takes root

Hanover Master Gardeners’ Horticultural Learning Center is looking a lot different these days! We broke ground on the center last October and plant beds are now filled! 

Watch the garden come to life with the help of talented volunteers and generous donations. 

To get involved or learn more about the center, visit www.hanovermastergardeners.org.

Food, fun and friendship

Meet other Hanover residents at Senior Connections’ new Friendship Café in Mechanicsville!

Seniors can enjoy a nutritious midday meal while interacting with good friends and participating in diverse activities. 

Step out of your comfort zone and meet community members just like you! 

Learn more about the County's three Friendship Cafés by visiting bit.ly/3WCSgpx

Coffee community in the County

What started as a coffee cart in Memorial Regional Medical Center is now a brick-and-mortar store on Route 360. This year's National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day feature is Rivers Edge Coffee Company!

Watch to learn more about brothers Jett and Micah Odle's coffee community that may be coming to a neighborhood near you very soon.

Hanover County honors volunteers at Spirit of Volunteerism celebration

Hanover County recognized outstanding volunteers at a celebration Tuesday night at Atlee High School. The Spirit of Volunteerism ceremony highlighted individuals who spend countless hours helping their community.

“This event is a beautiful reminder of how blessed we are in Hanover County because of our volunteers, who go above and beyond each and every day to elevate the lives of others and make our community a great place to live,” County Administrator John A. Budesky said.

Judges awarded volunteers from nine organizations. Recipients included Girl Scouts, business owners and retirees. This is the 21st year for the Spirit of Volunteerism recognition.

County recognizes longtime employees

Employee Service Awards 2023The Board of Supervisors on May 10 recognized nearly 100 Hanover County Government employees for their length of service, including one employee with 40 years of service to the public: Mike Whitley with the Department of Public Utilities.

Whitley has been with the department almost since its inception and is its longest serving employee.  He started with Public Utilities in 1982 as an operator-in-training at the Doswell Water Treatment Plant. In 1988 he moved to field operations and in 1993 was promoted Superintendent of Field Operations, the position he holds today. 

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Hanover County recognizes 100-year-old residents

Hanover residents who have turned 100 years of age were celebrated April 13 as the centerpiece of the County’s “Finding Value in Your Prime” event for senior citizens.

Nine residents ranging in age from 99 to 103 received a certificate of recognition from the County Administrator and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in a collective “Happy Birthday” event attended by about 280.

“It was so lovely,” said Ardenar Giles, who will turn 101 next month. “I could feel the love.”

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Foster parents needed in Hanover County


Hanover County’s Department of Social Services (DSS) is in need of foster parents following a significant increase in children entering foster care.  

“We now have our largest pool of children in foster care that I've seen in my 14 years doing child welfare in Hanover,” said family services specialist Matthew Eakin.  

Eakin said this increase can be attributed to the financial and emotional stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increases in substance use in families.  

Recently, DSS has been challenged with finding homes for older children entering foster care.    

“We can often find that it's no trouble getting a home for an adorable little baby,” Eakin said. “But, we have a lot of preteens and teenagers who have been through a lot and need stability just as much as our younger kids do.”