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The Metro Richmond Zoo has announced the birth of a male orangutan named Taavi born to first-time parents Farley and Zoe on March 2. After being neglected by his mother, Taavi is being hand-raised by animal care specialists. Taavi weighed 3.18 pounds at birth and is now 5 months old and weighing in at 10 pounds. The goal is to introduce Taavi to another orangutan to be his surrogate mother; Tasha, an experienced mother at the zoo, is the main candidate to be his surrogate. Currently, Taavi receives care behind-the-scenes at the zoo and is not on exhibit.
Earlier this month, the Virginia Association of Counties named Chesterfield County as the recipient of four 2021 Achievement Awards – including the county’s Innovation Bootcamp program, which received one of VaCo’s highest recognitions for “Best Large County Achievement Award.” The county leads the VACo all-time achievement list with 39 awards, earning at least one award annually since the program’s inception. The VACo Achievement Awards highlights innovative programs focused on addressing high-priority issues presently challenging counties. This year, the county received four awards recognizing Innovation Bootcamp; ChesterBOT – A Successful Collaboration of Communications and Technology; Labor Redeployment Initiative; and StratIS – Delivering Creative Cloud Solutions through Strategic Information Sharing. The awards come on the heels of Chesterfield receiving the Best Achievement Award in 2019 and Best Large County Achievement Award in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
For the 12th consecutive year, Chesterfield County continues to set an example for the innovative use of technology in local government, earning the second spot in the 2021 Digital Counties Survey. This is its seventh consecutive year being ranked in the top three among counties nationwide with populations between 250,000 and 499,000. Additionally, the county has placed in the top 10 each year since 2010, including four times ranked as No. 1. The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties recently announced the winners of the 19th annual Digital Counties Survey. The survey identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that streamline delivery of government services, encourage open data, collaboration and shared services, enhance cybersecurity and contribute to disaster response and recovery efforts.
Virginia State University has announced an initiative that makes the University a Community Center for Coding and Creativity. The program is a part of Apple’s $30 million Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2. The innovative teaching and learning initiative is designed to empower historically Black colleges and universities to expand technology and creativity experiences within their institutions and broader communities. Faculty and educators will work alongside Apple, while also learning about coding and app development. The goal is to identify opportunities to incorporate its comprehensive Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula, which utilizes the easy-to-learn Swift programming language. Support from Apple also includes mobile iPad and Mac labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff. As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting VSU with equipment and ongoing professional development to become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center to bring coding and creativity to the local community. Virginia State University is among nearly four dozen universities across the country serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs.
Announcements can be emailed to [email protected] or submitted online at chesterfieldobserver.com/community-submissions/.