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Matthew McDaniel and Ian McDanielTechnology is moving at a faster pace than most of us can conceive. In a recent conversation with Ian McDaniel of Gravity’s Edge, a local business specializing in computer repair, networking and data recovery, the question came up of what to do with our old computers, laptops and desktops and whether they can be upgraded with new versions of software, such as Windows 8 and 10. As most of us now know, Windows XP and Vista are no longer supported, and that leaves some of us wondering if our old computers are worth saving or can even be upgraded.

McDaniel thinks it is wiser to simply buy a new computer, since the cost of upgrading an older computer would not be worth it. For those who have McDaniel’s know-how and skill, the process could be as simple as hunting for all the necessary hardware, including four gigabytes (GB) of random-access memory (RAM) and installing it for $100 to $200.

Then there is the added cost of software. McDaniel said there are no downloadable freebies; you have to purchase the pricey software. And if you are not skilled and knowledgeable about computers and installation then someone like McDaniel would also have to be called in to complete the job at an added cost. He pointed out that for the cost of improving an old computer, you can purchase a new one with Windows 8 or 10 for anywhere from $150 and up depending upon your needs. Add a comment

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Sluicing in streamThere’s a saying among the members of the Central Virginia Gold Prospectors: “If you want gold, buy it; if you want to have fun, prospect.” That philosophy is evident if you happen to attend one of the club’s monthly digs in Buckingham County. Hanging out with these guys is like reverting back to your childhood; that of playing in streams, digging, and hopefully, finding treasures.

On every third Saturday of the month since 1998, the club members have descended upon Buckingham County. They come from all over – Roanoke, Suffolk, Fredericksburg, Amherst, Powhatan, Midlothian, and as far away as Pennsylvania. One member, Jim Windle, decided to purchase a home in Buckingham after coming to the county for over 30 years. “My wife teaches at Longwood University,” said Windle. “She got tired of the weekend drives, so we moved here.”

Buckingham has a history of being an area that has some of the purest gold in the country. And that gold can be found, if you know where to look and how to prospect. 

In order to establish claims with Buckingham landowners, the club had to research historical archives and use word of mouth. “Buckingham was the largest producer of gold in the country before the Civil War,” said John Schlaback, club president, who hails from Waynesboro. “There were a large number of gold mines in the county.” Names such as Morrow Mine, Seay Mine, Booker Mine, and Bondurant Mine are part of Buckingham’s goldmining history.

The California Gold Rush enticed many prospectors to leave the Buckingham mines and head west. The Civil War also pulled the miners away, causing the mines to be abandoned. Many of the mines were also burned during the war. It has only been in the past 30 years that these mines have been rediscovered and explored.

“We have land rights to come to Buckingham and prospect,” said Lynne Shaw, club treasurer.  “We pay a lease to use private property. It’s sort of like hunting rights. Hunters take away game; we take away gold.” 

The club’s website has a large amount of information on the history of gold in Virginia. The site notes that Thomas Jefferson made one of the first references to gold in 1782, when he described finding a gold-bearing rock, weighing four pounds, north of the Rappahannock River. Buckingham County’s Booker Mine was opened in 1835 and the Bondurant in 1836, during a time that was known at the golden age, or the first gold rush.

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If your address is not listed, use the time closest to your residence. Please arrive 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time.

THIS LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED AS OF 08-03-17

Central Elementary
​West Central Primary

Columbia – Bus 4
Driver: Bill Blackford

6:40 am - Old Rectory
6:42 am - 1060 E. River Rd.
6:43 am - 1120 E. River Rd.
6:44 am - 603 Gravel Hill Rd.
6:45 am - 325 Gravel Hill Rd
6:49 am - 1859 E. River Rd
6:51 am - 1110 Bryants Ford Rd.             
6:52 am - Bryants Ford Rd / Rivanna Woods Dr.
6:58 am - St. James / Washington St.
6:59 am - St. James / Tammany St.
7:01 am - Old Columbia Rd / Saint Patrick St.
7:11 am - 1401 Stage Junction Rd.
7:12 am - Colemans Ln. cul-de-sac
7:14 am - 3915 Stage Junction Rd.
7:15 am - 4107 Stage Junction Rd.
7:16 am - 4855 Stage Junction Rd.
7:17 am – Shannon Hill / Greenwood Cir.
7:23 am - Wilmington Rd / Hells Bend Rd.
7:25 am – Rivanna Mills / Hells Bend Rd.
7:28 am - Wilmington / Green Shadow Ln.
7:30 am - Courthouse Rd / Wilmington Rd.
7:35 am-  397 Carysbrook Rd.

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Dunbar students Nearly 60 years after it closed, class was back in session at the Dunbar Rosenwald School, if just for a day. A team of engineers from Northrup Grumman in Charlottesville were on hand to introduce a group of about 20 local kids to the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the fun of a career devoted to making cool things.

The event was organized by Carmen Smith, a 28-year veteran of Northrup Grumman’s engineering department and the force behind the revitalization of the Dunbar School. Along with her husband, Stanley, she’s spent the better part of three years bringing the building back to life.

Dunbar is one of six Rosenwald schools in Fluvanna County. Julius Rosenwald, co-owner of Sears, Roebuck & Company, established the philanthropic Rosenwald Fund in 1917 “for the wellbeing of mankind.” In an unusual move for the era, he included African Americans in his vision of wellbeing. Beginning in the 1920s, the fund contributed over $4 million in matching funds to spur the construction of around 5,000 schoolhouses, most of them in the segregated South.

Fluvanna’s Dunbar, Hollywood, West Bottom, Douglas, Shiloh, and Fork Church were all built between 1923-1934 at a cost of  $14,300 (equivalent to approximately $200,000 in modern terms), with the expenses split between the Rosenwald Fund, the county, and the local African American community. Some of the schools have gone by more than one name.

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Dakota Rigsby may be getting a post office named in his honor.

Less than a month after Rigsby, 19, died in an accident aboard the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan, Representative Tom Garrett (R-5th District) has introduced House Resolution 3183 to designate “the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 13683 James Madison Highway in Palmyra, Va., as the ‘U.S. Navy Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby Post Office.’”

There are more than 31,000 post offices in the United States and the vast majority of them are unnamed. Bills to dedicate them in honor of notable local residents have mushroomed in recent years. According the Congressional Research Service, at least 20 percent of all public laws passed by Congress are naming bills. 

The process, while simple, can take several months to complete. Garrett’s bill has already been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Once approved by the committee, it will be sent to the House for a simple voice or roll call vote before heading to the Senate, where it will likely pass by unanimous consent.

The local post office will later dedicate a small place somewhere in the lobby saying the building had been named after Rigsby by an act of Congress.

Garrett has also submitted a bill to name a post office on the University of Virginia (U.Va.) campus in honor of Captain Humayun Khan, the U.Va. alumnus who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The congressman’s office said in a press release that both the Rigsby and Khan families approved the bills.

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