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Illustration by Lynn Stayton-EurellNew attractions are coming to Old Farm Day this Saturday (Oct. 4), lending a sparkle to Fluvanna’s most beloved county tradition of the year.
Receiving top billing is the opening of the Pleasant Grove House, the newly restored and expanded historic home at Pleasant Grove. Built in 1854, the home originally belonged to the Haden family of Fluvanna County. Though the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the house’s restoration won’t come until Nov. 6, the county is opening the home for self-guided tours during Old Farm Day, and invites the public to stop in and take a look at the nationally registered historic home.
Those strolling up and down the gravel path may notice the absence of what’s become a familiar sight: Terry Lintecum of Fruit Hill Orchard stirring a smoking cast-iron pot full of apple butter. Instead, the county’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) students are making the apple butter to raise money for their program.
Russell Jennings, agriculture and horticulture teacher at the high school, set his students to work at the beginning of this week peeling 20 bushels of apples donated by Fruit Hill Orchard. On Saturday, Jennings plans to arrive at 4:30 a.m. to start 15 gallons of apple cider – pressed from the discarded peels and cores – boiling in his 50-gallon copper pot. “It takes 12 to 14 hours to make apple butter from apples,” he explained. Throughout the day at least 20 of his students will come and help out, slowly adding the apples, the 35 pounds of sugar, and the liquid cinnamon. Jennings plans to make some no-sugar-added apple butter, as well, for Fluvannians watching their waistlines.
Proceeds from apple butter sales allow the FFA to take trips, like the students’ upcoming visit to the state fair; purchase supplies for the program; and provide for events throughout the year.
Not only did Fruit Hill Orchard donate the apples for the FFA apple butter, but they gave up any revenue they would have received selling their own apple butter at Old Farm Day. But they were glad to do it, said Barbara Lintecum. “My husband and I both really want to support the FFA,” she said. “We’re so glad they’re back in Add a comment

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Illustration by Lisa HurdleThe Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors has dropped its long-running and costly lawsuit against its former financial advisor Davenport & Company LLC.
At a special meeting held Thursday (Sept. 25), the Board voted unanimously to accept an offer from Davenport’s attorneys, ending the three-year legal battle over the issuance of bonds to fund the new high school.
In a letter dated September 15, Davenport attorney Joe Reid laid out the offer which included a request that the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors dismiss the lawsuit and issue a public statement to the following effect: “The lawsuit against Davenport was initiated by a prior Board of Supervisors in 2011. The current Board has re-evaluated the merits of the case, including recent information about the value of the refinancing of the high school debt which has since occurred, and concluded that the financing votes by the Board and advice from Davenport concerning the bond issuance in 2008 have not proven to be unreasonable or caused the County financial harm. Therefore the Board does not see the value in continuing to pursue the prior Board’s suit, and is voluntarily dismissing the litigation. The Board further acknowledges that certain statements were made in the lawsuit about Davenport, and Mr. David Rose in particular, which were not accurate, and the Board regrets this mistake.”
In exchange for the county’s withdrawing the lawsuit and issuing a statement in keeping with the draft above, Davenport agreed to withdraw its motion for sanctions and associated request for recovery of Davenport’s attorneys’ fees which, at last count, were in excess of $1.5 million.
“We understand that yesterday evening the Board accepted this offer,” said Reid, a lawyer with McGuireWoods in Richmond. “Davenport is very pleased to see this litigation end, to have its reputation cleared in this matter, and to have played a role in bringing a new high school to Fluvanna.”
Attorneys’ fees alone have cost Fluvanna County more than $500,000. The county has paid around $90,000 in compensation to expert witnesses it had intended to call in the case.
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Aqua Virginia customers may soon pay more for their water and sewer.
If Aqua receives the full amount of the increase it requested from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) in August, its customers will pay between 8 and 21 percent more for water and between 4 and 13 percent more for sewer.
Shannon V. Becker, president of Aqua Virginia, estimates that Lake Monticello customers would see a 15 percent increase in water rates and a 5 percent increase in sewer rates. So for the average Lake Monticello household using 3,150 gallons of water per month, the Aqua bill would increase from about $110 to about $120.
In its application with the SCC, Aqua gave three reasons for its request for rate increases: significant infrastructure improvements the company completed for its water and sewer systems, increases in operational expenses, and a decrease in customer water usage.
Just this past summer at Lake Monticello, said Becker, Aqua replaced the surface water plant’s filter media in order to better filter deposits. Recently Aqua has also installed plate settlers, a new vacuum system, filter drains, and a chemical building. It has replaced 4,000 manual water meters with new radio-frequency meters, installed remote monitoring systems, and upgraded several sewer lift stations.
Operational expenses are also on the rise, Becker said, between increases in medical costs and benefits for employees, jumps in fuel and chemical prices, and raised rates from vendors that do lab testing. Plus, Aqua has to base its rate increase requests on expenses as they exist at the time of the application. Right now Aqua’s rates reflect expenses as they were in November 2011. So they continually operate off of outdated expenses: “We’re always looking backward,” Becker said.
Decreases in customer water usage also plays a role in pricing, Becker explained, because prices set with a certain usage in mind don’t yield as much revenue when customers end up using less water than they did before. “In the last six years we’ve seen a 12.8 percent average decrease in consumption for metered customers across the state,” he said. Not only that, but the average Lake Monticello household uses 650 gallons less per month than the average Virginia household, Becker said.
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The Carysbrook Center for the Performing Arts and the Fluvanna County Arts Council (FCAC) has rolled out their 2014-2015 season of performances and this season is infused with a myriad of performances sure to please the most selective of music and theater lovers.
The performances include everything from country music to bluegrass, from live theater with the Persimmon Tree Players and Langden Mason to singers, comedians, and the Charlottesville Municipal Band ensembles. The FCAC has gone all out to make this a season people will remember and bring people back to live theater beginning with country duo Wilson Fairchild set to play on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m.
If you are a fan of country music, don’t miss Wilson Fairchild. Their rich vocals and classic country sound are evocative of the days when country music was pure in sound and unique in its own rhythm and genre.
“We love country music and will never let it die,” says the duo. Will and Langdon Reid, sometimes known as the Reid boys among those who know them well, have been performing, composing and playing music ever since they were in their teens. Will Reid is the son of Harold Reid and Langdon is the son of Dan Reid of the legendary Statler Brothers.
Following Wilson Fairchild will be Fluvanna’s only community theater group, the Persimmon Tree Players. This season they will be performing Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap, still running in theaters in London and the U.S. It’s a classic whodunit in the Christie style with twists and turns sure to keep everyone wondering “Who done it?”
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The members of Perfect Slight. Photo by Erin EdgertonNot many high schoolers can say that they spent their weekend performing at a music and performing arts venue that dates back to 1923 and has hosted famous musicians such as Foo Fighters, The Killers, and Switchfoot. But on Sept. 20, local rock band Perfect Slight had the honor of playing at Richmond’s National Theater for the On The Verge: Best of 804 Locals event, featuring up-and-coming local bands.
After meeting at Fluvanna County High School, the members of Perfect Slight – seniors Bowen Reed, Joe Osteen, Ryan Boone, and FCHS 2014 graduate Maxx Turner – formed a band and have been performing together for 1 1/2 years. How did they decide on their unusual name? “My dad and I made it up,” said Reed. “Every guy in the band has been ‘slighted’ by a girl, so it fit.”
The group started by performing small gigs at the Downtown Mall and Cuppa Joe and has worked its way up to bigger venues such as Millers Downtown and The National. “Being able to hear the music at such a high volume in such a big venue was my favorite part about playing the National,” said Reed. A lot of the support for the band comes from other FCHS students who went out to see them play at The National. FCHS senior Erin Edgerton, of EEE Photography, was asked by the band to take their official photos at the venue. “I was so excited for the guys to play at The National and getting a press pass was such an experience. It was so much fun shooting them,” said Edgerton.
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