Fluvanna Review

A national group will spotlight the case of Renee Field – whose mysterious disappearance has puzzled both family and police – at a September event in Zion Crossroads.
Help Save the Next Girl will have information on the case and that of missing women from surrounding counties.
Renee Field’s husband, Lewis Field, no longer has any idea what happened to his wife, who has been missing from their Scottsville-area home since July 2, almost two months ago.
At first, he thought she may have left him temporarily, perhaps in an effort to get his attention. But he expected her back by now – and he was puzzled as to why she hadn’t contacted her parents to reassure them that she was all right.
“At this point, I don’t know,” Lewis Field told the Fluvanna Review. “I had figured that somewhere in the week to two-week time period, doing what she was trying to do would have been done. So that was my expectation [that she would return]. But I didn’t have any really good reason for that expectation. I guess it was more of a hope.”
When asked if any new information has come to light, Lewis Field replied, “None that’s worth passing on. Investigator [Lt. David] Wells is continuing to investigate, but nothing has stood out of the woodwork that anyone has mentioned. I think Lt. Wells would probably mention it if there was something.”
Renee Field’s father, Waverly Branch, echoed his son-in-law’s report. “Nothing new,” he told the Review. “I don’t know where she’s at. I’m hoping she’s okay – that’s the main thing.”
The last time Branch saw his daughter was June 15 for Father’s Day. But he talked to her on the phone June 30, just two days before she disappeared. “She sounded fine,” he recalled.
Lewis Field was the last to see his wife on July 2, and when she didn’t return home that evening, he became concerned. On July 3 she became a missing person, and in the early morning hours of July 4 her car was discovered at the park and ride commuter lot in Zion Crossroads.
To help shine some light on Renee Field’s case, a national non-profit organization called Help Save the Next Girl is getting involved. Founded in 2011 by Dan and Gil Harrington, whose daughter Morgan Harrington was murdered in the Charlottesville area in 2009, the organization seeks to spread information about safety in order to help prevent future crimes against young women. Keeping information about missing women in the media spotlight is also a goal of the organization.
To that end, Help Save the Next Girl has organized an event for Renee Field at the Lowe’s in Zion Crossroads on Saturday, Sept. 6 from noon to 3 p.m. According to Kenny Jarels, who works with the organization, the event will have a table set up with “all sorts of information” on Renee Field and three other women from surrounding counties who have gone missing or been murdered but not located.
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Mayor supports special election

The vote to disincorporate the town of Columbia won’t happen until next year because a legal deadline wasn’t met.
At a town council meeting on Aug. 20, Jessica Phillips, attorney for the Columbia Town Council, said that the issue of disincorporation can’t appear on the ballot in the Nov. 4 general election as planned.
“We have been informed by the Virginia Department of Elections that they consider a referendum to always be a special election, even though it is on the same ballot as a general election, and therefore it must be in compliance of a deadline of 81 days,” said Phillips. “This means it must be ordered by a circuit court judge to be placed on the ballot 81 days in advance of the general election.”
That means the referendum should have been placed on the ballot by Aug. 16.
Columbia’s town council must now decide whether to hold a special election early next year, or wait until next November. Should the council decide to hold a special election early next year, it will come at a cost. “The preliminary estimate is somewhere between $2,500 and $4,000.” said Phillips.
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Director, Charlie Fawcett. Photo by Christina Dimeo GusemanSince last November, when Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed repeatedly by his mentally ill son, Gus, who then committed suicide, mental illness has risen to a higher prominence in both lawmaking and community awareness.
Charlie Fawcett, director of Region Ten’s Fluvanna Counseling Center in downtown Palmyra, has noticed an increase in concerns from county residents regarding mental illness within the community. “It’s more on people’s minds,” he said.
So he and Lt. Von Hill of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office are working to bring more transparency to how their agencies go about taking custody of those who are mentally ill – and how citizens can become involved if they see a need.
The first thing Fawcett and Hill want Fluvanna residents to know is that any member of the public can go to law enforcement with concerns about a person exhibiting symptoms of mental illness in crisis. “It can be a family member, a physician, law enforcement – anyone who has knowledge,” said Fawcett.
A person with concerns should go to the sheriff’s office, said Hill, any hour of the day or night. Via video link, the citizen and law enforcement would speak with a magistrate about specific knowledge regarding the potential crisis state of the mentally ill person in question. “If the magistrate determines those circumstances meet the criteria for an emergency custody order, then he or she will issue one,” Hill said.
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Sage Garden owners Roberta and John Mann and their golden retriever Tara.The proposal. It’s one of those family stories their now grown children have heard countless times. John and Roberta attended the same high school in New Jersey, but never met until they ran into each other in Colorado several years later. They started dating and discovered how much they had in common. When John felt it was time to pop the big question, Roberta had a question for him.

“Yes, but only if we live on a farm,” she replied. “I’m going back East to be closer to my family, and I’m going to buy a farm. Are you on board?”

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Erin Edgerton won Best In Show.There were not many entries in this years’ annual photo contest sponsored by Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation but those who participated showed some awe-inspiring work including Erin Edgerton, one of the youngest entrants at age 15.

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