( 0 Votes )

Radar gunA familiar scenario: You’re driving along the highways and byways of Fluvanna County – perhaps in a hurry, perhaps just not paying attention – and you suddenly see those flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror.

According to statistics provided by the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), deputies made 2,995 traffic stops between Aug. 1, 2016, and Aug. 1, 2017, and issued 903 traffic summonses. Of those, 476 were for speeding, 66 were for reckless driving, and 12 were reckless driving at 20 miles per hour (mph) or more over the posted limit. Deputies also made 74 arrests for driving while intoxicated.

Capt. David Wells of the FCSO said the overall goal of traffic enforcement is safety. “We try to focus on needs-based enforcement,” he said. “We target locations that either generated traffic-related complaints [or] an area that may be prone to motor vehicle crashes.”

Deputies responded to 473 crashes since August 2016, and three people were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on Route 15 in late January, but the emphasis on the most trouble-prone areas has helped improve overall safety. Earlier this year the county was recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles for having zero traffic fatalities in 2016.  Add a comment

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( 2 Votes )

Reserve deputiesHundreds of residents joined first responders at Pleasant Grove on Tuesday (Aug. 1) for Fluvanna County’s Second Annual National Night Out. Featuring a “bike rodeo” course, a cornhole toss, a bounce-house, a “family fun run,” sno-cones and music, it was a great way to pass a summer evening – but it was also a way to build community between citizens and law enforcement.

Building bridges is more important now than ever as public confidence in law enforcement has dropped to near-record lows in recent years. From national controversies like the police shooting that sparked riots in Ferguson, Mo., to the local debate over the teargassing of protesters in Charlottesville after the Ku Klux Klan rally last month, the perception that the police are working against the people has eroded trust in law enforcement.

Even in the best of times, people tend to only come in contact with the police in moments of stress. First held in 1984, National Night Out was designed to give the public and law enforcement a space where they could relax and connect without stress.
“This shows that we are actually human beings,” Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Von Hill told Charlottesville Newsplex. “We’re doing jobs that ordinary people are doing.” Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

Persimmon tree playersPersimmon Tree Players (PTP) is getting ready for a new season of shows. The future looks bright for a theater group that has been in existence for over 20 years.

The saying in some theater circles is “creativity is contagious,” and it is challenging, magical, imaginative and fun. However, turnover in community theater often arises due to time constraints and other commitments of those who participate.

“There is a tremendous satisfaction in being part of creating an enjoyable experience for my neighbors. I enjoy the company of my theater community, whether I am building a set or playing a role on stage,” said longtime PTP veteran George Gaige.

Gaige said he would like to see PTP include specialty shows such as musicals, children’s theater and variety or talent events. Gaige’s enthusiasm and energy is evident when speaking about theater and he puts that same energy into his performances and set designs. When President Warren Johnson left in February after 13 years, Beth Sherk took over, and Gaige has been supportive of building the group and keeping it moving forward. Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

waterFor the fifth time in 13 years, Aqua Virginia has started the process of raising water and sewer rates for its customers in Fluvanna.

Aqua’s biggest customer in Virginia is the Lake Monticello system, which serves Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square. Aqua also provides water service to Columbia, Palmyra, and Stagecoach Hills. All told, the company provides service to 4,648 locations in Fluvanna. Lake Monticello and Sycamore Square account for 4,550.

Aqua plans to file its rate case with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on or around Aug. 1, said Gretchen Toner, spokesperson for Aqua America.

Aqua has not released any specifics on how high it wants to raise water and sewer rates, and the rate case filing was not available at press time. John Aulbach, president of Aqua Virginia, will discuss details of the rate case with the Fluvanna Review after the paperwork is filed, Toner said.

Because one rate increase was phased in over two years, Aqua customers have actually seen their water and sewer rates increase six times since the company purchased the system in 2003.

The average water and sewer bill at Lake Monticello is $118 – an amount that has more than tripled since the average customer paid $38 a month in the years before and immediately after Aqua bought the system. Add a comment

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( 0 Votes )

Changes may help division run “smoother and leaner”

Even though Chuck Winkler has served in the role of superintendent since Jan. 1, he officially assumed the job on July 1. As he ushers in the new school year, Winkler announced changes in the School Board Office staff.

Perhaps the biggest change is in the top administrative structure.

Winkler eliminated the positions of assistant superintendent, director of finance and director of student services.

Brenda Gilliam’s title and role has changed. Gilliam was the director of curriculum and instruction. She is now the executive director for instruction and finance.

Don Stribling is now the executive director of student services, operations and human resources, Winkler said.

“As I began my new role, I worked with the administrative team to determine how to best structure the School Board Office staff to best serve the school division,” Winkler said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with and leading the dedicated, caring staff to continue to make a quality difference for the children of Fluvanna.” Add a comment

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