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Frances HillFrancis Hill, 92, sat outside on her swing waiting for me to arrive.

She is bright and full of life. In spite of having to use a cane because she can’t trust her left knee not to give out, she looks far younger than her age. She and her husband live with their grandson in Bremo Bluff.

How long have you lived in Fluvanna?
All my life. I was born here. I started school at [age] 7. West Bottom. I had to walk three miles every day rain or shine. My grandma wouldn’t let me stay at home. My grandma raised me. I never knew my mother. She died when I was a baby. My father’s mother raised me. My father’s name is George Armstrong. My mother’s name was Margaret.

Tell me about your family.
I had 11 children; six boys and five girls…I didn’t go to the hospital for any of them. Miss Murry Scott was my midwife. My husband, Bennie Hill, Sr., worked at Farmington Country Club. I don’t know what he did there. At one time I think he worked construction. My kids live all over. Some in New Jersey. Some in Atlanta.  One lives in Short Pump.
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Football may be the fall sport that attracts the most attention, but it is not the only sport that athletes compete in very seriously from August until November. The Flying Flucos of Fluvanna County High School field teams in volleyball (girls only), cross county (boys and girls), golf (mostly boys, but girls have been on the team) and competition cheer (girls only).

The Fluco volleyball team under Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett has a history of success. Several Fluco volleyball players have gone on to play at the college level.  Last season was a bit of an off year as the team came in at 12-12, but the team’s games are always fast-moving and enjoyable to watch.

High school volleyball is now played with a point scored on every serve and the serve changing sides whenever the serving team loses the point. Games are played to 25 points, win by two, and a match is played until one team wins three games. If the first four games are split, necessitating a fifth game, that final contest is played to 15 points, win by two.

The volleyball season opens Aug. 12 with a match against Rockbridge High School. The Flucos’ first home match is Aug. 17 against Waynesboro High. On Aug. 22 the Flucos travel to Broadway High. On Sept. 5 they start a strenuous run of competitions against the schools that make up what has always been known as the Jefferson District. In September they play Monticello High, Albemarle High, Louisa County High, Orange County High, Charlottesville High and Powhatan High in that order.

Cross country is also a sport in which the Flucos have had some continuing success. The girls’ team under Coach Rose Brogan usually boasts a host of runners. Brogan said that returning from the top seven last year are seniors Saige Haney and Niva Hoffman, junior Brianna Parker and sophomores Shae Jonkman, Hattie Lintecum and McKenzie Morris. Last year the team finished fourth in the Conference and sent two runners to the State meet.    Add a comment

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Persimmon tree playersPersimmon Tree Players (PTP) is getting ready for a new season of shows. The future looks bright for a theater group that has been in existence for over 20 years.

The saying in some theater circles is “creativity is contagious,” and it is challenging, magical, imaginative and fun. However, turnover in community theater often arises due to time constraints and other commitments of those who participate.

“There is a tremendous satisfaction in being part of creating an enjoyable experience for my neighbors. I enjoy the company of my theater community, whether I am building a set or playing a role on stage,” said longtime PTP veteran George Gaige.

Gaige said he would like to see PTP include specialty shows such as musicals, children’s theater and variety or talent events. Gaige’s enthusiasm and energy is evident when speaking about theater and he puts that same energy into his performances and set designs. When President Warren Johnson left in February after 13 years, Beth Sherk took over, and Gaige has been supportive of building the group and keeping it moving forward. Add a comment

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waterFor the fifth time in 13 years, Aqua Virginia has started the process of raising water and sewer rates for its customers in Fluvanna.

Aqua’s biggest customer in Virginia is the Lake Monticello system, which serves Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square. Aqua also provides water service to Columbia, Palmyra, and Stagecoach Hills. All told, the company provides service to 4,648 locations in Fluvanna. Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square account for 4,550.

Aqua plans to file its rate case with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on or around Aug. 1, said Gretchen Toner, spokesperson for Aqua America.

Aqua has not released any specifics on how high it wants to raise water and sewer rates, and the rate case filing was not available at press time. John Aulbach, president of Aqua Virginia, will discuss details of the rate case with the Fluvanna Review after the paperwork is filed, Toner said.

Because one rate increase was phased in over two years, Aqua customers have actually seen their water and sewer rates increase six times since the company purchased the system in 2003.

The average water and sewer bill at Lake Monticello is $118 – an amount that has more than tripled since the average customer paid $38 a month in the years before and immediately after Aqua bought the system. Add a comment

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Changes may help division run “smoother and leaner”

Even though Chuck Winkler has served in the role of superintendent since Jan. 1, he officially assumed the job on July 1. As he ushers in the new school year, Winkler announced changes in the School Board Office staff.

Perhaps the biggest change is in the top administrative structure.

Winkler eliminated the positions of assistant superintendent, director of finance and director of student services.

Brenda Gilliam’s title and role has changed. Gilliam was the director of curriculum and instruction. She is now the executive director for instruction and finance.

Don Stribling is now the executive director of student services, operations and human resources, Winkler said.

“As I began my new role, I worked with the administrative team to determine how to best structure the School Board Office staff to best serve the school division,” Winkler said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with and leading the dedicated, caring staff to continue to make a quality difference for the children of Fluvanna.” Add a comment

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