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MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014 • WWW.NEWSLEADER.COM
PROUDLY SERVING OUR COMMUNITY FOR 107 YEARS
STAUNTON, WAYNESBORO & AUGUSTA CO., VA.
VOL. 124, NO. 174 • COPYRIGHT 2014 • $1 RETAIL • FOR HOME DELIVERY PRICING,
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WASHINGTON — Thousands of immi-
grant children fleeing poverty and vio-
lence in Central America to cross alone
into the United States can live in Amer-
icancities, attendpublicschoolsandpos-
sibly work here for years without conse-
quences.
The chief reasons are an overbur-
dened, deeply flawed system of immi-
grationcourts anda 2002 lawintendedto
protect children’s welfare, an Associat-
ed Press investigation finds.
Driving the dramatic increases in
these immigrants is the recognition
throughout Honduras, GuatemalaandEl
Salvador that children who make the
dangerous tripcaneffectivelyremainin
the U.S. for years before facing even a
moderate risk of deportation.
The Obama administration estimates
it will catch90,000childrentryingtoille-
gally cross the Mexican border without
their parents by the end of the current
budget year in September. Last
RECENT INFLUX ACROSS MEXICAN BORDER WREAKING HAVOC
System lets kids remain in U.S.
Overburdened courts,
2002 law led to
immigration issues
By Alicia A. Caldwell
Associated Press
Children
detainees
sleep in a
holding cell
at a U.S.
Customs
and Border
Protection
processing
facility in
Brownsville,
Texas, on
June 18. AP
See KIDS, Page A2
FISHERSVILLE
E
ntering Augusta Expo, the build-
ing is dark. A few lights flicker
and then a growl emerges.
Some children entering “Dino-
saurs ComeAlive!” withtheir parents are
hesitant, but turning the corner, their
eyes light up as they see large dinosaurs.
Morethan30large-scaledinstallations
filled the expo center. Made out of fiber-
‘DINOSAURS COME ALIVE’ INFISHERSVILLE
A young boy's head gets chomped by the Tyrannosaurus rex while he was being photographed during the Dinosauria
Experience at Augusta Expo in Fishersville on Sunday. MIKE TRIPP/THE NEWS LEADER
Dino-mite
experience
Augusta Expo becomes
prehistoric land before time
By Laura Peters
lpeters@newsleader.com
See DINOSAURS, Page A3
Tim Brady of Harrisonburg gets a surprise head chomp
from the T-rex as his son, Donald Brady, 2, watches
Sunday. MIKE TRIPP/THE NEWS LEADER
Attendees browse the various dinosaur exhibits at the
Dinosauria Experience at Augusta Expo in Fishersville on
Sunday. MIKE TRIPP/THE NEWS LEADER
ONLINE
Visit news
leader.com
for a photo
gallery and
video from
“Dinosaurs
Come
Alive!”
DUBLIN — It’s not hard to guess why
Nelson Banes, of Max Meadows, was sit-
ting at a table inside Red Sun Farm’s job
fair at New River Community College:
He needs work.
Like many of the job seekers who
flocked to hear about opportunities at
the region’s newest major employer,
Banes is a longtime gardener and
jumped at the chance to work at Red
Sun’s newhigh tech greenhouse.
With plans to get the first crop in the
ground by July, director of operations
JayAbbott saidRedSunis about to go on
a hiring spree. Pretty soon, he expects to
employ between 75 and 100 people.
And that’s just the beginning.
Red Sun, a subsidiary of Mexican-
based vegetable grower Agricola El Ro-
sal, announced plans in March 2013 to
openits first Americanfacilitythis sum-
mer. It’s the first business to build in the
longvacant, 1,000-acreNewRiverValley
CommerceParkjust downtheroadfrom
the community college. With similar op-
erations in Canada and Mexico, the com-
panyisalreadyamajorvegetablesuppli-
er to some of the largest grocery store
chains in the country.
In an attempt to get closer to its cus-
tomers, Red Sun said it was going to
build a facility in Dublin that would sup-
ply tomatoes to Virginia, Tennessee and
North Carolina.
The Red Sun project is about to open
the door to an entire newindustry as it’s
the first commercial greenhouse opera-
tion to set up shop in the NewRiver Val-
ley, according to New River Valley Eco-
nomic Development Alliance Executive
Director Aric Bopp.
In a region that was hit hard by the
collapseof theAmericanmanufacturing
industry, new jobs like these are cele-
brated with the kind of fanfare that
Massive farm
preparing to
house 600,000
tomato plants
By Jacob Demmitt
The Roanoke Times
Phase one of Red Sun Farms greenhouses
covers 18 acres and is being constructed to
eventually house 250,000 tomato plants in
Dublin. AP
See TOMATO, Page A2
Staunton News Leader 06/23/2014 Page : A03
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MONDAY, J UNE 2 3 , 2 014 • T HE NE WS L E ADE R • WWW. NE WS L E ADE R . C OM S E CT I ON A, PAGE 3
LOCAL &STATE
LOCAL EDITOR: WILLIAM RAMSEY, WRAMSEY@NEWSLEADER.COM, 540.213.9182
RICHMOND —About seven
years ago, Allison Parcell and
Tanner Sigmon noticed that
one of the desks in their fifth-
grade classroom was not like
the others.
“We see a tiny desk and a
tall chair. We’rethinkingmay-
be a midget is coming,” said
Sigmon, 18. “And then James
comesin, andweseehehasno
arms, and he starts to write
with his feet.”
Since that day, the three of
them have been friends, sup-
porting one another through
tumultuous teenage years.
James Dennehy, now 18,
was born without arms in In-
dia. He was adopted when he
was 2
1
⁄2 years old by Mike and
Sharon Dennehy. Now, he’s
graduating from high school
and going on to Christopher
Newport University to pur-
sue his dream of becoming a
teacher.
“It’s going to be weird not
seeing them constantly. But
our friendship is strong
enough to keep in touch,”
James Dennehy said.
Parcell will be attending
the University of Virginia,
and Sigmon will be going to
George Mason University.
The three friends graduat-
edfromHanoverHighSchool
this month at the Siegel Cen-
ter in Richmond.
Dennehy said his path to
self-acceptance was a slow
one.
“Through middle school, I
really struggled with being
armless and why I was creat-
ed that way —what purpose I
served in society because I
wasn’t normal,” he said.
Through working at Camp
Hope Richmond, a weeklong
Christian summer camp for
inner-city youths, he found
his sense of purpose.
“When I was at that camp,
it kind of all just clicked one
day,” said Dennehy, who has
volunteered there during the
summer for the past four
years. “Oh my goodness, why
am I letting it define me and
holding me back from what I
want to do?” he said of his
birth defect.
On Friday, the three
friendssat aroundthekitchen
counter inthe Dennehys’ spa-
cious andcozyhouse inHano-
ver County, recounting nu-
merous jokes theyhave made
about Dennehy’s condition.
Dennehy recalled hiking
with Sigmon and getting
stuckinapit withnoapparent
way out. Through some
thoughtful maneuvering, he
managedtoextricatehimself.
“It was funny for a couple
of seconds,” Sigmon said.
Dennehysaidhe wouldtell
the kids at the camp — who
were speculating wildly
about his condition — that he
hadlost his arms inasharkat-
tack. He even joked that he
lost his arms because he
didn’t eat his vegetables.
He said it helped him get
closer to the campers. By
sharingtheobstacleshefaced
on his path to accepting his
condition, Dennehy helped
thechildrenopenupabout the
hardships they had faced.
“We all find our places,”
Dennehy said. “You are who
you are. You can serve a pur-
pose no matter your physical
or mental hindrance.”
His self-acceptance is ex-
pressedthroughself-loveand
self-mockery.
“You play the hand you
were dealt, or not dealt,” he
joked.
Dennehy recounted dis-
cussing Ernest Hemingway’s
“AFarewell toArms”inhisto-
ry class.
“That’s my book,” he joked
then.
“I’ve never seen my histo-
ry teacher laugh so hard,”
Dennehy said.
Dennehy said he shrugs
off the misunderstandings
that arise from his disability.
He said many strangers do
double-takes seeinghimdriv-
ing with his feet. Ashland Po-
lice Chief Doug Goodman,
who Dennehy said is a family
friend, sent his picture to the
officers so they would recog-
nize the young man who con-
trols the steering wheel with
his feet.
Dennehy has 11 siblings,
eight of whomare also adopt-
ed. His adoptedolder brother,
George, was born in Romania
without arms. Georgewent on
to become a professional mu-
sician and motivational
speaker. His younger sister
Hope was adopted fromThai-
land without any limbs.
“Our Christian faith teach-
esusthat Godispleasedwhen
we reach out to the ones un-
lovely to the world,” Sharon
Dennehy said.
MikeDennehyremembers
James’ transition to life in
Connecticut after living in an
orphanage in India. He re-
counted a time when James
kicked a plate of food toward
himto get his attention.
“When a new child comes
from another country, we
give thema lot of runway. Ev-
erything in the world was dif-
ferent,” Mike said.
But Mike quickly sawhow
resilient James was. He re-
membered when James’ old-
er brother took a toy from
him.
“I said, ‘James is tootinyto
mess with George,’?” Mike
said. “Then James had
George on the ground. And
James has George’s head be-
tween his legs. . That was the
day I knewhe was going to be
fine.”
Sigmon said he does not
viewJames as a disabled per-
son.
“He is able to reach people
without arms,” Sigmon said.
“When James is in my
dreams, he always has arms.
He can do everything we can
do and can’t do.”
PREPARINGTOBE A TEACHER
James Dennehy, center, and his friends Tanner Sigmon and Allison Parcell relax in his Hanover County backyard on June 13. Dennehy, now18, was born without arms in
India. He was adopted when he was 2
1
⁄2 years old by Mike and Sharon Dennehy. Now, he's graduating from high school and going on to Christopher Newport University
to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. AP
INSPIRING TEEN
Richmond youth born without arms prepares for college
By Cindy Huang
Richmond Times-Dispatch
James Dennehy, center, and his friends Tanner Sigmon and Allison
Parcell jump on the trampoline in James' backyard in Hanover
County on June 13. AP
glass, latex and metal
frames, different species
of dinosaurs were moving
and making sounds for
visitors to see and hear.
As children pass, they
look at their parents and
can name every species.
The million-dollar pro-
duction started this past
February in Houston,
event spokesman Brian
Fischer said. Every week
since then, the Dinosauria
Experienceteamhasbeen
on the move.
The brainchild of
brother and sister duo Ar-
nold and Roxanne Duke,
the exhibit showcases
replicated dinosaurs,
fairies, dragons and fos-
sils. With educational dis-
plays and interactive ac-
tivities for families, thou-
sands came to the center
over the weekend.
Children of all ages
love the prehistoric age,
Fischer said his son knew
all the species and could
rattle them off the top of
his head.
“Youcanjust take your
imagination and go with
it,” said Laurie Reluzco,
the Dinosauria Experi-
ence operations manager.
“The kids just love to
think that. When you’re
that age and you can take
yourself to another place
just for a little bit of time
then go home and think
about it ... then they want
to learnmore about a time
that doesn’t exist any-
more.”
Thechildrenwhocome
to the event come dressed
up as dinosaurs or fairies,
Reluzco said.
“Kids just want to be-
lieve,” Fischer said. “It’s
just a fantasy that we love
to make here. There’s al-
ways been a fascination
with dinosaurs.”
Children between ages
2 and 10 filled up the cen-
ter. With rides, face paint-
ing and bouncy blow-up
castles, parents and their
children communally had
a fun time Sunday.
Miles Davis of Char-
lottesville put his 3-year-
oldsonKadenona dragon
ride. Asd he took him off
the ride when it was over,
he got a high-five from
Kaden.
“He’s had a blast,” said
Davis, who was with his
familyat AugustaExpoon
Sunday morning before
thedoorshadopened. By1
p.m., they had to peel Ka-
den away fromthe place.
The Conley family cut
theircampingtripshort to
allow 3-year-old Cayden
to enjoy the dinosaurs.
Donnie Conley, Cay-
den’s grandfather, was
beaming as he watched
Cayden.
“This is awesome,” he
said. “See my little man
here? He’s having a blast.
I’m so happy (the show)
came here.”
Fischer said his favor-
itethingtodois lookat the
parents, especially the
dads that bring their chil-
dren in.
“The dads grew up
with it and they’re reliv-
ing their youth,” Fischer
said. “They’re coming
back and seeing the dino-
saurs. I just like to watch
their faces, I think it’s
great.”
It takes eight tractor
trailers to transport the
show from place to place,
he added.
The displays come
from all over the world.
Arnold Duke, a collector,
wantedtobringhis loveof
dinosaurs to the public.
“We are very proud of
this show,” Fischer said.
“This is truly a family
showthat makes children
happy. You will see kids
with smiles just ear to
ear.”
Continued from Page A1
Dinosaurs
Families take in the dinosaur exhibits Sunday at the Dinosauria Experience at Augusta Expo in Fishersville. MIKE TRIPP/THE
NEWS LEADER

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