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Harvey Lee Johnson Aug. 26, 1941 - March 2, 1961Linda Harris, 11, sat watching Little Rascals with her family one March evening in 1961. The cast was wearing sailor hats, which reminded her of her beloved uncle, Harvey Lee Johnson. Harvey was a sailor in the Coast Guard.

Harvey was only eight years older than Linda. The two of them would drive up and down Kidds Dairy Road, where they both lived, before he enlisted. “I thought he hung the moon,” she said.

Linda and her family laughed at the sailor hats on the TV screen. “We thought it was funny how that was the kind of hat he had,” she said. “We didn’t know he had died earlier in the day.”

Linda used to tease Harvey about his car. “He was driving this old car but he was so proud of it,” she said. “I would make fun of it. One day he said, ‘Hey, if you don’t like it, you can get out.’ He was very mischievous.” Add a comment

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Terry Anderson, when hostage in LebanonAs a Marine he was shot at in Vietnam.

As a journalist he witnessed the oppression of apartheid in South Africa and the seeds of revolt that would ultimately end it.

He was kidnapped, beaten and held hostage for nearly seven years in Lebanon.

He was even kicked in the face by a horse.

In spite of these experiences, or perhaps because of them, he is passionate about humanitarian causes. He is passionate about journalism.

And, because he is no longer required to be publicly neutral about politics since his retirement from the Fourth Estate, he is involved with the local Democratic Committee, proudly proclaiming to a gathering of like-minded folks, “I am a liberal Democrat.”

Former Associated Press (AP) foreign correspondent Terry Anderson now calls a little cottage in Orange County “home,” a place where he, his three dogs, two cats and about a dozen chickens have planted roots.

“I bought a little cottage, four rooms, a little box. The first thing I did was rip out all the walls and redesign the kitchen. I love to cook. I also love to eat, as you can see,” he said, alluding to the girth he has added in the 25 years since his captivity.

He talks freely and expansively about his past and what he hopes for the future of the world on which he reported for more than two decades, from the Far East to the Middle East, as well as a future of freedom and wellbeing for his two daughters.

“I joined the Marine Corps when I was 17 in 1965. I found myself in a rather hot, wet Asian country,” Anderson remembered.

After six years in the Marines he worked in television and newspapers and eventually joined the AP, “where I found my professional home for quite a while.”

Before Anderson turned 30 he was an American reporter based in Tokyo covering Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and then went on to South Africa in 1980. Two years later the Israeli army crossed into southern Lebanon to chase the Palestinians away from Israel’s northern border. Unhappy with his experiences in South Africa, Anderson asked his AP foreign desk supervisors for a crack at reporting on the turmoil there. Add a comment

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CopperheadMel Cawley had just clicked off her flashlight as she and her dog reached the top of the driveway at her Lake Monticello home one warm Friday night when she heard “a single rustling sound in the leaves next to my foot. I turned the light on expecting to see a cute frog or something.”

Instead, it was a copperhead.

“I stared at it probably a stupid amount of time hoping it would morph into ‘not a copperhead’ if I waited long enough,” she said in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, I know what they look like, and the markings, head and eye shape remained copperhead.”

With the return of warm weather, reports of copperheads are popping up all over Lake social media channels.

Copperheads are one of three types of poisonous snakes found in Virginia and the most prevalent here in Fluvanna. Cottonmouths are confined to the southeastern part of the state and while timber rattlesnakes are found in the county, they are comparatively rare. Add a comment

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LMOA Chief of Police Tom Boisvert, Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess and  Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff HaislipA group of about 30 Lake Monticello residents met at the Fairway Clubhouse Tuesday night (May 23) for the latest in a series of community forums with local law enforcement officials.

Featuring Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Haislip and Lake Monticello Chief of Police Thomas Boisvert, the forum was designed to update residents on the efforts of local law enforcement to build trust with the community they serve.

Based on the findings of the 2015 presidential task force on 21st century policing, the officials talked about the ways they were supporting six “pillars” of modern professional law enforcement: building trust and legitimacy, responsive policy and oversight, use of technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, officer training and education, and supporting officer safety and wellness. 

The program highlighted a wide array of training initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and outreach events. “The best thing we do is [being] out there in the community,” Hess said. “We’re part of the community.” Add a comment

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Palmyra women embrace karate

Karate enthusiasts Cindy, Renae and MaryRenae Chiovaro, Mary Elizabeth Allen and Cindy Girard have taken a stand (or a sparring stance) to improve their health – an effort that requires sheer physical stamina and mental grit.

The Lake Monticello residents joined the growing number of women who have learned to successfully fend off attackers and get in great physical shape by training in martial arts.

“I go straight from work to the dojo every day,” said Chiovaro, whose physical trainer at the gym encouraged her to practice karate to increase her body’s fluidity. “It’s something that doesn’t come easily for me and I love the challenge. It builds confidence.” And while she’s there for the workout, Chiovaro is increasingly glad she is able to learn ways to defend herself.

“Everybody should know how but especially women,” she said. Add a comment

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