Rural Retreat Depot in Final Acquisition Phase

The Rural Retreat Depot, made famous by O. Winston Link in his 1957 photographs entitled “Birmingham Special Gets the High Ball at Rural Retreat” and “The Pelican at Rural Retreat, VA”, is about to be spared the bulldozer if the Rural Retreat Depot Foundation is successful in raising $90,000 by October 1, 2012 to purchase it from its current owner. Railroad buffs and fans of O. Winston Link’s works are encouraged to donate to save the depot.

The Town of Rural Retreat grew up around this Norfolk and Western Depot in the 1800’s, essentially relocating a village that had formed a few miles away along the Great Road of Virginia. The original depot was burned during the Civil War, and was replaced by the present structure in 1866. The depot operated as a passenger station and Railway Express Office for many years but was closed by Norfolk Southern when it ceased passenger operations. For the past 50 years the depot has been used by local businesses as a warehouse and has gone into disrepair.

The citizens of Rural Retreat, Wythe County and others from around the country have formed the Rural Retreat Depot Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving and restoring the depot. “The Town of Rural Retreat is delighted to have the Foundation working on behalf of the depot. The depot is the centerpiece of Rural Retreat and we look forward to its restoration,” said Tim Litz, Mayor of Rural Retreat. The restoration plans will focus on history, learning and community activities.

The Rural Retreat Depot Foundation
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that is seeking tax free donations for the acquisition of the depot. Following the acquisition a variety of grants will be sought for the restoration, complementing the commitment of local contractors and artisans to donate their services. To make a donation please visit the Foundation website atwww.ruralretreatdepot.org, or send your check to

The Rural Retreat Depot Foundation, P.O.Box 843, Rural Retreat, VA 24368

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“R.I.P., G.O.P” Says Republican Anti-Romney Activist

Will the GOP survive Mitt Romney? No chance, insists a Republican precinct committee officer (PCO) from Redmond, Wash., who has renounced the ticket on two of his websites, RIPGOP and RINORomney.

Lord Nigel Featherston, a former Microsoft engineer who holds 12 patents, thinks the Grand Old Party can be saved, but not by the Romney-Ryan ticket.

“Electing Romney would drive another nail into the party’s coffin,” Featherston declares on his website. Although he rants against RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and labels Romney a “liberal RINO who lacks any basic conservative principles,” the 66-year-old entrepreneur isn’t suggesting conservatives cast votes for Democrats.

“We must vote for conservative congressional candidates and we must fight the destructive RINOs by rejecting Romney,” he urges, adding, “Vote or write-in a true conservative, perhaps the Libertarian candidate.”

Regardless of the outcome of November’s election, Featherston believes a new conservative party must be created. RINOS killed the GOP, he says.

As for Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Featherston says voters must realize this is “a total sham.” If Romney were a true conservative he would not have the support of Karl Rove and the GOP country club RINOs, Featherston contends. The notion that Ryan’s conservatism will make Romney more conservative is ludicrous, he insists. “Romney only pretends to be conservative in hopes of getting elected.” After the election, Featherston predicts Ryan will regret being Romney’s running mate,” realizing he was chosen just to provide conservative lip-service and to appease conservatives and the Tea Party. Although Featherston has donated to Republican candidates in the past and served multiple terms as a GOP PCO, he now leans toward the Libertarian party.

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Charity Educating the Children Benefits from Support of Leading Web Agency Alchemy Viral

Children in the Masai Mara region of Kenya will now be helped further following the announcement that one of the UK’s leading Web Search Optimisation agencies is backing charity Educating the Children. Alchemy Viral has this week announced its support for the leading international children’s charity.

Educating the Children works to raise awareness of the issues affecting children throughout the Masai Mara region, including things like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and enforced childhood marriages for young girls.

Masai Mara is a time-honoured favourite destination for tourists from all over the world, yet the region’s inhabitants remain neglected and abused. Educating the Children was set up after one of the charity’s founder visited Masai Mara and found poor education conditions, with not enough teachers and poor schooling levels for children throughout the region.

In Masai Mara some girls are forced into marriages as young as 8 years old. Andreas Voniatis, Managing Director of Alchemy Viral, wants his company to commit to supporting forward-looking projects like the current Educating the Children scheme to build a secondary school for girls in the region.

Andreas Voniatis says, “I have great sympathy with the aims of ETC. My daughter is just 3 months old. Like every parent in every country I have high hopes for her. I can’t imagine her being denied an education, or even worse being a victim of enforced marriage or FGM”.

“I want to spread the word about the charity’s work. We will be quite overt in our support of ETC to all of the people we communicate with, be it by email, our website, or corporate activities. We are also supporting the charity with what we do best… raising their profileon the web. We have already created a Facebook page for the charity and added a link to our Facebook page. We are Tweeting regularly about ETC and teaching them also the importance of regular publishing and how to earn coverage across the web”, Andreas went on.

Sonal Kadchha, co-founder of ETC, said of the backing of Alchemy Viral:

“I’m very pleased that Andreas has come on board to support ETC – not only is he contributing financially but his help in increasing our online presence is invaluable given the importance of social media in the world today”, commented Sonal.

Alchemy Viral’s Andreas Voniatis will visit Masai Mara this year to observe Educating the Children’s work for himself – the visit will coincide with Educating the Children having recently named one of the new school’s classrooms after Andreas’ daughter, Julia.

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Core Children’s Services Develops Bespoke Education Packages

Core Children’s Services, one of the leading national providers of children’s services, has launched a wide range of its bespoke education packages for academies, schools and teachers within the education sector.

Core Children’s Services offers tailor-made educational support programmes to children and young people in order to improve their academic achievements, school attendance and behaviour. Support is delivered in the form of training programmes for staff working with young people as well as offering targeted intervention programmes to help raise attendance.

Core Children’s Services also offers one to one support as a real alternative to exclusion. Our programmes extend to parenting programmes enabling families to develop their parenting skills.

The services offered also include alternative provisions for disabled children which have been developed in response to the Aiming High for Disabled Children Agenda and extended to support the Breaks for Carers of Disabled Children Regulation 2011. It continues to support the families of disabled children by means of a “no size fits all” policy with regards to personalising education.

Some of the areas the educational packages can help to support include attendance issues and behavioural problems as well as offering family support and parenting programmes. These are tailored to meet the individual needs of children, their family as well as the teaching staff.

By delivering education services to young people through an evidence-based, flexible approach, Core Children’s Services believe they can improve the social skills, interaction and personal development of the young people who can benefit from the extra support that these programmes deliver.

It is hoped that by bringing these resources into schools, vulnerable children such as those in fostering will benefit.

Education programmes can promote literacy, numeracy and can also assist with the effects of bullying on behaviour which may restrict children from achieving their full potential.

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