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Flucos in a scrimmage against Spotsylvania.  Photos by  Fluvanna Sports Photos/ www.fluvannaphotos.comFlucos looking to improve

The Flying Fluco football team will open its regular season play on August 29 when the team travels to William Fleming High School. The Flucos’ home opener, at Phil Browning field, will be on Friday, Sept. 5. The team will host Spotsylvania with a start time of 7:30 p.m. At home, the Flucos play on an outstanding artificial turf field in a bright and shiny new stadium. Anyone who is into the tradition of Friday night football should come and check out the team.
Coach Jason Barnett’s team this season will rely on some talented up and coming underclassmen and some seasoned veterans. Barnett advises that junior Gavin Patrick will be the team’s starting quarterback this year. Patrick is a good-sized athlete with a strong arm. The featured running back is expected to be sophomore Mark Grooms. The major wide receiver target for Patrick’s passes will be senior Macen Dahl. Chris Kidd and Jake Mooney are also expected to be in the mix in the offensive skills positions.
On the line Barnett is looking for senior Brendan Goode to be a standout performer. Barnett is also looking forward to top-quality performances from Peter Lacey and Sean Lynch, two players who will be changing positions this season.
The coach notes that he has a lot of senior leaders this season and that he feels this will be a strength of the team. He mentioned Brandon Goode, Peter Lacey, Macen Dahl, Alex Turley, Luke Norcross and Zach Kent in this category.
Special teams, and in particular the kicking game, may be strong for the Flucos this year. Junior Marcus Ditta returns as the kickoff specialist and the place kicker. Barnett notes that Ditta has been making 45 yarders in practice. The punting duties will be handled by Ditta or Mooney.
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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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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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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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Aerial view of Pleasant Grove Park. Photos by Lisa HurdleFrom the air, the Fluvanna County fair cut a bright streak of color through the spread of dark green pine trees blanketing the ground. White tent tops lined the gravel path that snaked over the land, and throngs of people moved up and down. But all the sounds of the fair – the strumming of guitars, the bleating of goats, the cheering of contest winners – were drowned out by the rhythmic whirring of helicopter rotors.
Paul Jackson, from Victoria, Virginia, had his Robinson R44 helicopter up in the air most of Saturday (Aug. 23), despite the occasional sprinkle of rain. For $30 per person he’d take up to three passengers into the sky, flying them over the fair at Pleasant Grove, Camp Friendship, Lake Monticello, and parts of the Rivanna River. “It’s been a good response from people,” he said. “I’m glad they asked me to come. If it works out I’d be glad to do it next year.”
Down on the ground the fair was in full swing. Crowds of people gathered around the apple slingshots, the pie-eating contests, and the livestock shows. Over by the dunk tank, Fluvanna celebrities such as Superintendent Gena Keller, Sheriff Eric Hess, and candidate for sheriff Mark Belew took turns plunging and re-plunging into the cold water.
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