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CopperheadMel Cawley had just clicked off her flashlight as she and her dog reached the top of the driveway at her Lake Monticello home one warm Friday night when she heard “a single rustling sound in the leaves next to my foot. I turned the light on expecting to see a cute frog or something.”

Instead, it was a copperhead.

“I stared at it probably a stupid amount of time hoping it would morph into ‘not a copperhead’ if I waited long enough,” she said in a Facebook post. “Unfortunately, I know what they look like, and the markings, head and eye shape remained copperhead.”

With the return of warm weather, reports of copperheads are popping up all over Lake social media channels.

Copperheads are one of three types of poisonous snakes found in Virginia and the most prevalent here in Fluvanna. Cottonmouths are confined to the southeastern part of the state and while timber rattlesnakes are found in the county, they are comparatively rare. Add a comment

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LMOA Chief of Police Tom Boisvert, Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess and  Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff HaislipA group of about 30 Lake Monticello residents met at the Fairway Clubhouse Tuesday night (May 23) for the latest in a series of community forums with local law enforcement officials.

Featuring Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Haislip and Lake Monticello Chief of Police Thomas Boisvert, the forum was designed to update residents on the efforts of local law enforcement to build trust with the community they serve.

Based on the findings of the 2015 presidential task force on 21st century policing, the officials talked about the ways they were supporting six “pillars” of modern professional law enforcement: building trust and legitimacy, responsive policy and oversight, use of technology and social media, community policing and crime reduction, officer training and education, and supporting officer safety and wellness. 

The program highlighted a wide array of training initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and outreach events. “The best thing we do is [being] out there in the community,” Hess said. “We’re part of the community.” Add a comment

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Watercolor painting by Linda BethkeArtist Linda Bethke has her own philosophy when it comes to her watercolor paintings. She shared her thoughts and discussed her style and techniques at the monthly meeting of the Fluvanna Art Association (May 19).

She began talking about the unusual circumstances that led her to art as well as music in her childhood.

“When you can’t run and play you draw and play the piano,” she said, leaving some curious as to what she meant. She was told at an early age she would never walk due to deformed feet and twisted ankles. There seemed to be nothing that could be done for her club feet. The daughter of a military doctor, he found the only surgeon who could do the surgery but was told by the surgeon, “You can’t afford me.” That did not deter her parents who, through the Shriners, were able to have this surgeon perform what was close to a miracle for Bethke.

Once past the hurdles of her physical problems, Bethke could run and play but still chose to make art her focus. But when it came time for her to go to college her parents, like many, were skeptical that anyone could make a living from art, no matter how gifted.

“My father was a practical man, so I went to college and became a teacher and taught third grade,” she said. While she taught she continued to share her love of art with her students, which kept her passion alive.

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Law enforcement discusses community policing

A group of about 30 Lake Monticello residents met at the Fairway Clubhouse Tuesday night (May 23) for the latest in a series of community forums with local law enforcement officials.

Featuring Fluvanna County Sheriff Eric Hess, Commonwealth's Attorney Jeffrey Haislip and Lake Monticello Chief of Police Thomas Boisvert, the forum was designed to update residents on the efforts of local law enforcement to build trust with the community they serve.

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Sophia KershnerParents
Nicholas and Michelle Kershner

Destination after high school
University of Virginia

Plan of study
Pre-Med: Chemistry

Dual enrollment/AP credits
33 with six pending   

Achievements:
14 Academic Excellence Awards
National I Dare You! Leadership Award
William and Mary Leadership Award
AP Scholar Award
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