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Gasoline spillGov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in Virginia on Friday (Sept. 16) in response to a possible gasoline shortage that may sweep the state.

A gasoline leak was reported on Sept. 9 from the Colonial Gas Pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama – the same pipeline that runs through eastern Fluvanna. The pipeline was shut off within four hours.

The halt of the transport of millions of gallons of gasoline each day through the pipeline system is anticipated to cause a fuel crisis, including a possible gasoline shortage in parts of the southeast.

Four other governors have joined McAuliffe in issuing states of emergency in order to temporarily loosen some of their regulations in an attempt to mitigate the shortage.
McAuliffe’s order lifts restrictions on the distances and number of hours that can be driven by gasoline tanker trucks in an attempt to compensate for some of the loss of gasoline normally transported by pipeline.

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Monarch butterflyA few years ago, Fluvanna resident Jan Crowther decided to take her mother to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond to see the butterflies for her birthday. Little did she know that visit would lead to a newfound passion, as Crowther set out to learn more about the almost endangered species known as the monarch butterfly.

Crowther began her new hobby of raising monarchs from eggs and releasing them into the wild when they complete their life cycle after emerging from their chrysalises.  Crowther has “butterfly habitats” on her back porch in Palmyra where she cares for them, keeping caterpillars found in the wild separate from those she raised from eggs to protect them from possible disease.

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James Collins, owner of Pantops Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, opened a new office at Lake Monticello on Sept. 20.

After serving Charlottesville and its surrounding counties for over 12 years, the physical therapist decided to expand into the Fluvanna community, setting up shop between the Lake and Sycamore Square beside KC’s Burgers.

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Bears in a treeBear sightings in Fluvanna are on the rise.

Chris Heberling, a Virginia wildlife officer, confirmed that the recent increase in social media reports of bear sightings in the area is in fact real. “Normally the most active times for bear are between February and May and again in July and August,” he said, “but this year has been uncommonly active all along.”

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A debate which has dogged the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors since early spring was finally put to rest at its meeting Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 7) when a majority of supervisors voted to retain land use in its current form.

The 3-2 vote (Supervisors Tony O’Brien and Mozell Booker dissenting) came after heated discussion in which O’Brien, the only supervisor without land in the program, pointed to what he saw as conflicts of interest among other supervisors and suggested some of them recuse themselves from the vote.
Land use, a program conceived in the 1970s, gives substantial tax breaks to landowners who keep their property rural through agricultural, forestal, or open space uses. But it comes at a price. During the most recent budget season, county staff said that the land use program had cost Fluvanna $2.7 million in uncollected revenue the preceding year.

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