2018-02-14 / Announcements

Airport hangar renamed for fallen State Police pilot


Virginia State Police dedicated its Chesterfield Aviation Base last week in of honor Lt. H. Jay Cullen III, who died in the line of duty on Aug. 12, 2017, in Albemarle County.

State and local officials, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and former first lady Dorothy McAuliffe, dedicated the aviation hangar during a ceremony honoring Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. Cullen and Bates died when their helicopter crashed after conducting surveillance of violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protestors last year in Charlottesville.

Cullen, a resident of Chesterfield, “had one goal as the Aviation Unit Commander and that was to make the unit the best it could possibly be,” said Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. Gary T. Settle. “And he succeeded through his exemplary leadership, professionalism, integrity and fortitude.”

The Chesterfield Aviation Base, located at Chesterfield County Airport, has been renamed the Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen Hangar. Cullen, a 24-year veteran of Virginia State Police, joined the department’s Aviation Unit in 2005.


The Chesterfield County Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services will be hosting its Citizen’s Fire Academy beginning on April 9. The citizen’s academy gives participants unique insight into how Chesterfield Fire and EMS operates. The class is scheduled to meet from 6-9:30 p.m. on April 9, 16, 23 and 30, May 7 and 14, and June 4, and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Topics will include the history of the fire service and fire prevention; fire operations and after-action review; CFEMS Special Operations; portable fire extinguisher training; EMS operations; live demonstrations and hands-on evolutions; and tours of a fire station and the Emergency Communications Center. Classes will take place at the Eanes-Pittman Public Safety Training Center, 6610 Public Safety Way. For more information or to register call 748-1426 or email


Swift Creek Mill Theatre has announced the appointment of Steve Koehler as the new managing director. Koehler most recently was managing director of the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette in Lafayette, Indiana. He returns to Richmond after leaving in 2004, and brings more than 20 years of experience in theater administration to Swift Creek Mill. During his many years in Richmond, he worked with a number of area theater organizations, including Swift Creek Mill Theatre as a lighting designer for a number of productions.

Matthew Dini, audit manager with Chesterfield County’s Department of Internal Audit, recently earned the Certified Information Systems Auditor credential from ISACA. The CISA designation is a globally recognized certification for information systems audit control, assurance and security professionals. The CISA certification demonstrates Dini has the knowledge, skills and credibility to offer opinions and solutions, and to audit all areas related to information systems.


Los Angeles playwright Stephen Gregg attended the opening of his play “Why Do We Laugh,” performed earlier this month by the Broken Leg Theater Company at John Tyler Community College. The cast reached out to Gregg with some questions about the play, which Gregg wrote when he was 16. He provided guidance to the cast and accepted an invitation to attend the Feb. 2 opening of the show. The following morning, he held a playwriting workshop for middle and high school students.

The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield has an urgent need for volunteer drivers to transport seniors to critical medical appointments and the grocery store/food pantries. Areas in need of drivers include Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights, Chester, Dinwiddie, Hopewell and Prince George. The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield, a nonprofit interfaith organization, offers free accompanied transportation, in-home handyman services and low-cost classes to adults 60 and older. Volunteers who can offer a few hours to provide a ride or perform minor home repairs can call The Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield at 706-6689, or visit

Health Care

The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization, has selected Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center as a Top General Hospital for 2017. Only four hospitals in Virginia received the Top General Hospital recognition for 2017, and this is the first recognition for St. Francis Medical Center.


The Community Foundation invites students, parents, colleagues, school personnel and administrators (except for the school principal), and the community at large to nominate an outstanding teacher for an R.E.B. award of up to $12,000. The R.E.B. awards are designed to identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the metropolitan Richmond public school systems. Professional development grants ranging from $4,000 to $12,000 each will be awarded to teachers who have distinguished themselves by their inspiring classroom performance. The nomination deadline is Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. For more information and nomination forms, visit

Announcements can be emailed to, faxed to 744-3269 or mailed to Chesterfield Observer, Attn: Announcements, P.O. Box 1616, Midlothian, VA 23113.

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