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Fluvanna County High School celebrated the graduation of 273 students of the Class of 2017 Saturday (May 20) at the Phil Browning Stadium in the R.J. Searcy Sports Complex. Graduation 2017

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The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night (May 17) to move forward with a fiber network project that will benefit both the school system and county government.
The fiber project will connect key school spots, including the Abrams building, the School Board office and the bus garage, onto the same network. The schools are under a federal requirement to up their bandwidth by 2020.

This project will result in fiber being laid near key county buildings. In some cases, the fiber will cross in front of county building entrance roads. For this reason, the county can piggyback onto the project at a tremendously lower cost than if it undertook a fiber connectivity project on its own.

Supervisors therefore decided to connect the library, sheriff’s office, county administration building, Palmyra fire station, and social services building.

Money from a federal program known as E-rate and from the Virginia Public School Authority (VPSA) may help to significantly lower the cost of this project. Josh Gifford, IT director for the schools, estimated that the project has an 80 percent chance of securing those funds. It may take a year or more to learn whether the project was approved for E-rate and VPSA rebates, Gifford said.

Without any rebate, the total cost of the school project is $440,000. If the E-rate and VSPA dollars come through, the cost will plummet to $88,000.

Last December supervisors approved a $430,222 carryover of unspent fiscal year 2016 (FY16) school funds to the FY17 capital improvements plan (CIP) and earmarked it for the fiber network project.

The December price tag was an estimate as the project had not yet gone out for bid. Supervisors voted 4-0 Wednesday night (Chairman Mike Sheridan absent) to allocate a supplemental appropriation of $9,778 to fully finance the project.

They also voted 4-0 to approve a transfer of $43,500 from unassigned fund balance to the FY17 CIP for the county fiber network project.

Owning its own fiber will allow the county to cut the amount it pays for internet to the tune of $24,000 a year, according to information presented at a Jan. 18 meeting. The project will therefore pay for itself in less than two years, and additional savings will continue to accrue.

The library portion of the project is eligible for E-rate dollars. If that money comes through, the cost of the county project will decrease to $36,900.

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Questions about the community pool and food service dominated a candidates’ forum hosted by the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Wednesday night (May 17) at the new Fairway Clubhouse.
LMOA Board President Rich Barringer, Secretary Tom Braithwaite, and Director Bing Spitler are running unopposed for new three-year terms.

Barringer voiced “extreme disappointment” that “we couldn’t get three people together to run for the Board.” Their reelection bids were rooted primarily in ongoing projects they want to see through to completion.

“I think the last two or three years have been pretty exciting years here,” said Barringer.

With the clubhouse renovations now complete, each candidate listed off multiple goals for the next three years and beyond: walking trails, changes to the marina, continued upgrades to the playground and beaches, expansion of the dredging program, and reviews of staffing procedures and safety protocols.  

“And I’ve always wanted a zip-line,” Spitler joked, “but I’ve been told not to bring it up.” Add a comment

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Carol EddyCarol Eddy’s elaborate and detailed work on a petite scale is astounding. Not one of her unique jewelry pieces is the same. Though she crafts them with precision her creative whimsy is obvious, especially in her spoon pendants that feature all kinds of little things from pearls to delicate little flowers, hearts, tea cups and butterflies. Her work is reminiscent of the Victorian jewelry designers, where graceful yet flawless details were added into every piece.

Eddy also has a neuromuscular disease, called Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy, which causes a gradual loss of muscle that is not regained. Hip weakness was the first thing she noticed. Having lost her ability to walk, she is now confined to her scooter to get around the house. It has now affected her shoulders and she is unable to lift her arms very high, but said she can easily work at a table with her supplies in front of her.

“Gradually I lost function from the age of 29, but it was slow enough that I could keep ahead of the disease and adjust the way I do things.  My hands have always been one of my greatest assets,” she said. “As a quilter, I could do tiny stitches piecing together pieces of cloth. Now I do another kind of piecing with E6000 glue instead of thread. My hands are working for me, but they, too, will get weaker over time. When that time comes, I’ll just have to find another way to find a happy pastime. I never give up.”

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County joins school fiber network project

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night (May 17) to move forward with a fiber network project that will benefit both the school system and county government.

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