Fluvanna Review

Brandie Harris with her family. Photo by Tricia Johnson, The Harris family grew from a family of three to a family of seven overnight when Harris took in her aunt’s four children after a terrible tragedy. Now Brandie Harris is asking for her community’s help to add bedrooms and another bath to her home to accommodate them all.
Brandie Harris’s life seemed to be on the right track. This single mother of two young girls was able to purchase a modest HUD foreclosed home – just the right size for herself and her daughters. She had a job that was paying the bills and was in school, working towards a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Then, on a tragic morning last August, everything changed. Harris’s aunt, Crystal Trent of Fork Union, was shot by her estranged boyfriend Jerry Palmer, who then killed himself.
It was Harris’s mother who called to tell her the news – her aunt had been shot, and Harris needed to go to her aunt’s house to see what was happening. “I got down there and saw the police cars and my heart just dropped,” said Harris. “I told myself, ‘She is going to be okay’ – and then they took her away by helicopter.” Harris was with her family at the hospital, waiting for her aunt to come out of surgery, when she received a call from Fluvanna Social Services-- Trent had listed her as the children’s emergency contact. She arranged for a family member to pick the children up from school and take them to her home. “They have been here ever since,” said Harris. Trent died from her injuries the next day. In that instant, Trent’s children were orphaned.
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Peg Redd's artwork

Eight area artists will be participating in the upcoming Second Annual Artist’s Studio Tour to benefit the Fluvanna County Historical Society on June 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Historical Society is sponsoring a studio tour to raise money for the Endowment Fund while promoting Fluvanna’s artists.
New to the tour this year are longer hours to allow visitors to reach every studio. Add a comment

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Frank Leech. Photo by Tricia JohnsonAbrams Academy is the home of alternative education in Fluvanna County. Frank Leech, director of student services for Fluvanna County Public Schools, wants citizens to understand that students come to Abrams Academy for a variety of reasons and learn in a variety of ways, but for each individual, the staff at Abrams has the same goal: successful personalized intervention, education, and integration back into the student’s home school.
“We evaluate students when they come here to see what their needs are – we look at them academically, behaviorally, and socially to assess their needs. Our goal is to help a child learn strategies so when they go back to their regular home school, they have tools they can use so they can be successful.”
A common misconception is that all of the students at Abrams Academy are there for disciplinary reasons. “Students in alternative education are not always there for disciplinary reasons – some are there because they learn differently,” said Leech. “A student here can be a child with a behavior issue – one that is acting out – or it can be a child that is just really struggling for various reasons,” he added. Students arrive at Abrams a variety of ways; either a referral can be made from the administration of a student’s school because of behavior, social, or learning problems; or a family can request that their child be sent to Abrams. In either process, the child is thoroughly screened and the situation assessed before the decision is made to move him to Abrams. Often, Leech said, things can be done to help the student without removing him from his home school.
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Candidates Page Gifford, Dick Cummings and Charles Harrelson stood at the meeting where election results were announced. Charles Harrelson and Dick Cummings were elected as directors of the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association, the LMOA announced Saturday (June 30).

The LMOA oversees the huge Lake Monticello subdivision in Fluvanna County.

Harrelson, a retired businessman, garnered 811 votes. Cummings, a retired CPA, got 810 votes. Page Gifford, a freelance writer and community volunteer, received 430 votes.

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Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) has taken a position in opposition to the application by Aqua Virginia to increase its water and sewer rates. In November 2011, Aqua Virginia filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a statewide increase averaging 9.9%. The increase for Lake Monticello residents would be more than 13% for water and more than 11% for sewer. The application comes just months after Aqua Virginia attempted to impose ownership of grinder pumps onto homeowners. Aqua Virginia‘s last rate increase was approved in October 2010.

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