Fluvanna Review

Coach Michele Caron (left) and her assistants brief the Sharks.The Lake Monticello Swim Team defeated the Key West Swim Club by a score of 378-306 on Wednesday (July 18). The meet was held at the Key West neighborhood pool. First year head coach, Michelle Caron said that her team of over 100 youth swimmers has not lost a meet this year, and this was the team’s sixth and final swim meet of the regular season.

Caron, who is a rising junior and varsity swimmer at Bridgewater University, is well known for her swimming prowess. She won the Lake Monticello Fourth of July lake swim repeatedly while she was swimming for the Flucos.

Add a comment

Read more...

Ben Hudson, 54, announced Friday (July 3) that he is “ending all campaign activities for the office of Fluvanna County treasurer.”
Though his name will still appear on the ballot, Hudson hopes Fluvanna residents won’t vote for him. “I’m not running an active campaign,” he said.
Hudson no longer wants to be treasurer because he has “accepted an offer to do something else,” he said. He will work in the technology education department at Fluvanna County High School, teaching students in grades 8-12 classes related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), such as engineering process, design, and modeling.
“Hudson would like to express profound gratitude to his campaign staff and the many volunteers and supporters for their commitment and loyalty to his campaign,” a press release stated.
Linda Lenherr, long-time Fluvanna treasurer, is the only other candidate in the race. The election is Nov. 3.

Add a comment

Lifeguard Cody Abbott. photo by Lisa HurdleFourth of July activities start early at Lake Monticello. Registration for the 14th annual Spirit Run 5K began at 6:15a.m. and ended at 6:45a.m. The race started promptly at very near the scheduled 7a.m. time. The weather was cloudy and cool with a threat of rain. A few sprinkles fell, but there was no serious precipitation.
The number of entrants in this year’s race was up by five from the 251 who ran last year. Participation would no doubt have even higher, but the threat of rain probably deterred some of the potential run-walkers and some of the parents who push strollers, and possibly some contestants who jog with their dogs. However, there were plenty of serious runners on hand. On the men’s side, it seems that no one can even come close to Matt Barresi. He has won this race numerous times, and did it again this year. He crossed the finish line in a very impressive time of 16:14, well ahead of the second place finisher, Chris Markham. Markham recently completed a distinguished career as a distance runner for the Fluvanna High Flucos, so Barresi is besting some very competent runners.
In contrast to the men’s side of the Spirit Run, the women’s side seems to have a new winner every year. This year, Tiffany Benby, a former cross country runner at Longwood, and a new resident at the Lake, led the field, finishing in a time of 20:26. Kristen Cabrera, currently a runner for the Flucos, finished in second place on the women’s side for the second year in a row.
As with the Spirit Run, participation in the afternoon Lake swim was up slightly from 2014. The 2015 event attracted almost 20 more swimmers than were in the water last year. The swim from beach 3 to the main beach at the Lake is approximately 500 yards, or roughly 1/3 of a mile. Several years ago it was decided, for safety reasons, to limit the swim event to those participants who officials were confident could make the swim, without the aid of flotation devices. As a result, this event is mostly all serious swimmers with strong swim backgrounds.
Add a comment

Read more...

In an effort to tackle the problem of unapproved roads – that is, roads not accepted into the state system – plaguing various subdivisions county-wide, the Fluvanna County planning department is working on assembling a complete list.
This list will enumerate the county’s unapproved roads and the subdivisions in which they are located. Jason Stewart, planning and zoning administrator, told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday afternoon (July 1) that his department is peering into another question, as well – whether bonds remain on the roads, and if so, how much.
Not all of the county’s unapproved roads have bonds, or money put up by the developer to pay for the work required to bring those roads into the state system. And even if they do, the money may not be enough to cover the needed repairs.
According to Fluvanna’s zoning and subdivision ordinance, major subdivisions – those with more than five lots – require roads to be improved to standards set by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and dedicated to public use.
Under Virginia code, the county has no obligation to pay for the completion of the roads, Stewart said, and can’t be compelled to do so.
When Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch asked whether that meant that the county could choose to pay for the roads, County Attorney Fred Payne said that two recent amendments made the law debatable. When pressed for a definitive answer, Payne said that he thought it “likely” that the county could spend the money if it so desired.
Through no fault of their own, said Ullenbruch, many Fluvanna citizens are “in a bad spot,” living on streets they were told would be state-maintained. Instead they drive daily on roads that no one will plow or maintain – and they run the risk of footing the bill themselves.
When Stewart said that ultimately the developer and homeowners bear the responsibility to bring the roads into the state system, Payne spoke up. Calling that a
“last ditch” statement, he said that while technically correct, if a developer exists the law clearly points to the developer as the responsible party. The only way a developer can get out of this obligation is by going bankrupt, he said. That, however, is exactly what happened in the case of some of these subdivisions in question.
In that case, the successor developer bears the responsibility of bringing the roads into the state system. But identifying the successor developer can be trickier than it seems. While a successor developer was defined at one point in the meeting as someone who buys lots in a subdivision with a desire to build on them, one such company denied to the Fluvanna Review that it was, in fact, a successor developer, claiming instead to be merely an owner of lots.
Two subdivisions with unapproved roads and no road bonds, both on Rt. 53, are Cunningham Meadows and Taylor Ridge, said Stewart. His office hopes to have the complete list ready to present to the Board at its Aug. 5 meeting.
In other business:
• The Board also turned its attention to the new E911 radio communications system project, approving a contract for just under $100,000 with RCC Consultants. As the county’s consultants, the company will work with vendor Motorola to make sure that the county receives everything that has been agreed to, said Joe Rodish, procurement officer, and to see that the project goes as smoothly as possible. The money comes from the existing radio project fund, which now has an uncommitted balance of about $287,000.
Add a comment

Read more...

Lewis and Renee Field. Photo courtesy of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office For the first time since the mysterious disappearance of Scottsville-area resident Renee Field one year ago, authorities have confirmed that they believe she was the victim of foul play and is likely dead.
Besides her husband, Lewis Field, Renee Field’s “closest living connection” was with her parents, Waverly and Irene Branch of Lexington, who spoke with their daughter on the phone every week, said Investigator David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office. “There’s no indication why she’d break up contact with her parents,” Wells said.
Though the Fields had no children, they did have an elderly cat that required special daily medical care. The cat was “like her baby,” said Wells. “We don’t think she would leave her cat of her own free will.”
And Wells doesn’t believe Renee Field picked up and left. “There’s no logical reason for her on her own to take off,” he said. She didn’t have a job and no accounts have shown any financial activity since her disappearance. If she and her husband had argued, “we’re told she would have taken the cat and reached out to her parents,” Wells said.
According to her husband, Renee Field, 49, left her home July 2, 2014, in her 2010 burgundy Subaru Forester and did not return. Then around 2 a.m. on July 4, a Fluvanna patrol deputy found her car parked in the Zion Crossroads park and ride commuter lot. Her purse, cell phone, and keys were in the car but her credit cards, cash, and driver’s license were gone.
Four months after Renee Field’s disappearance, her mother, Irene Branch, 82, died in the Roanoke Memorial Hospital without knowing what happened to her daughter. Her obituary said she was “survived by” her daughter Renee. “Losing my wife and then Renee missing – this past year hasn’t been good at all,” said Waverly Branch.
In trying to puzzle out Renee Field’s disappearance, “We look for means, motive, and opportunity,” said Wells. “Who has those?”
But searches haven’t uncovered any other close connections. She had no best friends, no real social media presence, and wasn’t “a big Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest type of person,” Wells said. When searching her computer, authorities found nothing of interest but plenty of photos of her cat.
Her cell phone records don’t help, either. “She wasn’t a big mobile phone user,” Wells said. In fact, the last time she used her cell phone was June 26, 2014 – days before she went missing.
Add a comment

Read more...