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Youth Boardgaming League leader Craig Girard tells students how to playCraig Girard, a board game-loving father, decided to share that love with Fluvanna’s middle school students by creating the Youth Boardgaming League.

Every Thursday after school, about 10 students gather with Girard and Vinnie Carrion, a fellow game-loving dad, to play board games and try their hand at creating new ones.

And we’re not talking Life, Monopoly or checkers.

When seventh graders Noah Young and Aidan Girard started playing games as toddlers and preschoolers, their favorites weren’t Chutes and Ladders or Memory. Noah’s favorite game was chess. Aidan said he never played “those classic games.” His favorite was Bakugan

It’s a board game inspired by Bakugan Battle Brawlers, a Japanese-Canadian television series.
You get the picture.
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Finn Proctor and DarlaWhen Finn Proctor, 7, of Troy, entered his chicken, Darla, for a chance to win a local “Cutest Critter” contest, he never imagined he would get kickback.

But that’s what happened once the chicken settled in beside other more traditional pets in the running. So Finn sent a video response to naysayers about being nicer.

It quickly went viral, gathering over 5,000 views in only two days.

Finn and Darla’s two-year relationship began when Finn brought Darla and two other baby chicks who desperately needed homes to live with him and his family. Darla and her “siblings” weren’t in the best of health but Finn made it his mission to try to make them well.

“I help take care of all our chickens,” he said. He also posts social media updates on his feathered friends. Add a comment

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Susan Beattie  and her husband, Troy Weidenheimer.Those who rub shoulders with Susan Beattie of Palmyra in the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program usually have no idea she used to work with the greatest names in folk music.

Beattie, who refers to herself as “homely” at that time in her life, may have seemed like a wallflower, but she had one of the best seats in the world as secretary for a New York City attorney’s office that functioned as a talent booking agency.

After growing up in Union, Mo., Beattie was awed by New York. “Imagine how I wandered around!” she said.

Her job at Len Rosenfeld’s place, as it was known, was to help with arranging recording contracts and booking.

“The biggest name in the office was a blues singer named Josh White,” said Beattie. White filed the first civil rights act suit in the state of Maryland against public accommodations because somebody refused to serve him in a bar, Beattie said. “He won and we went back there and had a drink!”

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Painting by TartaglinoBecause his last name seems unpronounceable to most, Tom Tartaglino (the “G” is silent) is known in the community and in local art circles as Tom T. But most know him by his massive panoramic oil paintings often composed on non-traditional supports, such as doors. Tartaglino’s work speaks for itself in its bold realism.

At its monthly meeting Feb. 17, the Fluvanna Art Association welcomed Tartaglino and engaged in a lively discussion about oil painting and how he takes an idea and builds on it layer by layer.
Like many artists, Tartaglino felt artistic yearning early but never acted on it until he was 40, he said. He earned his degree in art from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), studying painting and printmaking.
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Aerial viewThe controversial proposed development that rocked Fluvanna County, known first as Walker’s Ridge and then as Poplar Ridge, is officially over.

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors approved Feb. 15 a request by the land’s owner, Hotel Street Capital, LLC, to put its 232 acres into a conservation easement.

“The effect of this [conservation easement] is to restrict land in perpetuity,” said County Attorney Fred Payne. “It’s a serious step.”

The land sits primarily on the western side of Route 15 at its intersection with Route 644 near Palmyra, adjacent to Camp Friendship.

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