Fluvanna Review

Lewis Field believes that his wife, missing for almost a month, is alive – and thinks she left their Fluvanna County home voluntarily.
In fact, he has a message for Janet Renee Field: “I want her to know that she’s done nothing illegal,” he told the Fluvanna Review. If she just wants to be away, that’s fine. She just needs to contact law enforcement near her who can certify that she’s fine. There are no issues there – it’s not like if she contacted somebody she’d suddenly go to jail or something.
“If she sees this, just get in touch with somebody – your parents, myself, or the police. If anybody recognizes her wandering around, get in touch with the local law.”
When asked if his wife - who goes by the name Renee - could have left on her own, Lewis Field replied that though they “sort of come and go,” they never stay away overnight. Nevertheless, he said, “I do think it’s possible that she’s away for a while. I think her intent was to do something short-term.”
What’s confusing him now, if his guess is correct, is why she’s stayed away for so long without contacting her parents – or him – to let them know she’s okay. “Maybe she’s embarrassed because of the stir-up,” he said – but he’s concerned.
Renee Field’s car was discovered in the early morning hours of July 4 in the park and ride lot at Zion Crossroads. Lewis Field said he can only assume someone picked her up there. “She doesn’t have a lot of close friends, just family. She’s a stay-at-home person, so it’s hard to know if she made a friend. During the day when I’m working…I guess it could be an entirely different world.”
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Members of the Foundation for Columbia’s Future include Paul Grady, Bob Ullenbruch, Dick Harry and Donna Harry. Photo by Tricia JohnsonA new foundation hopes to raise $20,000 in 20 days to keep Columbia a town.
The Foundation for Columbia’s Future, formed in reaction to plans to dissolve Columbia’s town charter, announced its incorporation at a press conference on July 31 and highlighted plans to help preserve Columbia’s township and history.
“In the next 20 days we hope to raise as much money as we can to show the Columbia Town Council that there are people out there who care,” said Paul Grady, foundation spokesman. The organization hopes to assist in “preserving Columbia, documenting its history, and raising awareness,” according to its press release.
Grady added that whatever happens with Columbia’s charter, the foundation will continue its work to highlight and maintain Columbia’s historic resources.
“Our goal is to make the situation in Columbia better for the town residents and for the property owners,” said Grady. “We hope to show that we can raise money to help steer the town and the task force towards preservation,” he added.
Columbia Mayor John Hammond said the foundation’s goal to help the Fluvanna County river town was welcome. “Any effort to fundraise to improve the condition of the buildings located in the Columbia Task Force Project would be welcomed by the town and the county.”
Bob Ullenbruch, vice-chair of the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors, attended the press conference and was critical of how the town has been run.
“Each and every county and city and town in Virginia has to file a Comprehensive Plan every year - even if it is just the same plan as last year’s. To my knowledge, Columbia hasn’t filed one in the last five years,” he said. “It isn’t a big thing - all it takes is five minutes in a meeting to review it and then submit it to the state.”
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Elizabeth Pellicane.One of the Internet’s more popular Virginia vacation-planning websites is run by Lake Monticello resident Elizabeth Pellicane.
Eight years ago Pellicane was looking for a way to combine her love of travel with a means of making income. So, with the click of a mouse, www.virginia-beach-family-fun.com was born.
Meticulously researched and frequently updated, Pellicane’s website contains pages and pages of money-saving tips, special deals, and personal recommendations.
And when she gives personal reviews, she means them – “as in, my family has actually been there and we’ve given it thumbs up or thumbs down,” she writes on her site. “I’ve checked out the sights and found the best places to visit… and what to skip.”
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Dave Jewell of the Kents Store Fire Company 3 is the volunteer chaplain for the Fluvanna County Fire Department. Frank Signoretti is the volunteer chaplain for the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office.  Photos courtesy of Dave Jewell and Frank SignorettiFirefighter Dave Jewell runs with the Kents Store Fire Company 3, fighting fires and working vehicle accidents with the rest of the crew. But something sets him apart.
“As soon as possible, I’ll get away from working the actual incident and I’ll start to minister to the firefighters or to the family,” he said. After all, that’s his first calling – helping others in his role as volunteer chaplain for the Fluvanna County Fire Department.
For six years now Jewell has turned his attention toward the people behind the fires – those who have lost their homes or loved ones, and those who risk their lives to put the fires out.
Sometimes helping the people in the aftermath of a fire – or after a visit from rescue personnel, whom Jewell also assists – involves very simple things. “They might need water,” Jewell said. “Or to have family members notified. Or even just a shoulder to cry on.”
Oftentimes people need more from him than a glass of water. “Pretty often I work when someone has a heart attack, or there’s a known death,” Jewell said. “I’ll stay at the scene with the family for several hours after the ambulance leaves just to help them through the process.”
But bereaved family members aren’t the only ones who need help. Hero work can take a real toll on firefighters and other first responders.
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CSX train crossing at Columbia. Photo by Tricia JohnsonA CSX train headed to Fluvanna County – hauling combustible crude oil – derailed in Lynchburg April 30, setting off an explosion and fire and raising questions about the safety of Fluvanna’s tiny river towns.
The train was traveling the CSX rail line that runs along the James River on the southern edge of Fluvanna, and passes through Scottsville, Bremo Bluff, and Columbia. The accident prompted Virginia’s governor to form a task force to consider ways of improving the safety of crude oil transportation by rail in Virginia.
The railways have traditionally been considered good neighbors by the communities in Virginia they pass through. For more than a century in the sleepy rail towns of Virginia, a derailment usually meant that the railroad had to bring equipment in to right the train and clean up the coal, loading it back into cargo vessels to head east. But since December 2013, when Bakken crude oil first appeared on Virginia’s tracks, a derailment can mean a devastating explosion and fire, and a community that must struggle to recover.
Crude oil drilled from the Bakken fields has a different, more combustible composition than traditional crude oil which means that during a derailment or other accident, if the tanker is breached, it is likely to explode. Media reports quote rail company officials as saying that U.S. freight railroads are likely to carry 650,000 carloads of crude oil in 2014, up from a mere 9,500 carloads in 2008 – a 6,742% increase in potentially explosive rail traffic. In the last year alone, there have been Bakken crude-oil-related train accidents in Alabama, North Dakota, and Alberta, Canada.
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