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flooding 2Tremendous amounts of rain fell on Fluvanna over the weekend, causing flooding across the county. A Palmyra weather station monitored by Weather Underground recorded that a total of 4.09 inches of rain fell from Saturday (Feb. 10) at 12:01 a.m. to Monday (Feb. 12) at 9 a.m.altflooding

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SoftballThe Fluvanna Girls’ Softball League plays its games at the fields at Carysbrook, which were once regarded as nearly unplayable rock fields. However, over the years, the league has been responsible for significant upgrades to the facilities there. In 2012 the league erected a substantial concession stand that included the fields’ first real bathroom. Then in 2016 it installed substantial dugouts.

Now the infield is being renovated and redesigned and the 40-year-old backstop is being replaced. With some assistance from Fluvanna County, the league plans to level the outfield and install a new fence at the standard distance of 180 feet from home plate.

The league is self-financed, raising its funds from an annual golf tournament and a raffle. The 21st annual golf tournament will be held May 6 at the Lake Monticello golf course. League president Chris Fairchild said that all the money collected in player fees goes to equipment and umpires. Money for the field upgrades came through the league’s fundraising.

The league will hold an in person sign-up session Saturday (Feb. 17) at Dick’s Sporting Goods in 5th Street Station from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Players may also sign up online at any time by visiting www.fluvannagirlssoftball.com. The league is for girls ages 5-18. It has four age divisions and normally has about 150 participants. Players are required to be Fluvanna County residents and must present a birth certificate for proof of age.

After a brief tryout to assess skills, scheduled for March 10, players are normally organized into 12 teams. The teams play each other from March to June. After the season ends, all-star teams are selected from each age group and those teams play in the year-end Dixie Youth District tournament. The District is geographically different from Fluvanna County High School’s Jefferson District. It includes teams from Buckingham, Goochland, Powhatan, Cumberland and Amelia counties. The District tournament winner moves on to the State tournament. Add a comment

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The Fluco wrestling squad, the Fluco indoor track and field squad, and the Fluco swim and dive team all competed in Jefferson District year-end events Feb. 2-3.

The wrestling squad under Coach Michael Gore traveled to Orange County High and placed four of its seven competitors in the top four in their weight classes. John Bland, wrestling at 152 pounds, was 3-1 for the day and captured third place in his class. The Flucos also did well in the lower weight classes. Tyler Haynes was fourth at 106 pounds. Wyatt Dillon was fourth at 113 pounds and Shawn Metcalf was fourth at 138 pounds.

The Jefferson District indoor track and field meet was held Feb. 3 at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, with Fluvanna County High acting as the host school. The girls’ team finished in fourth place and the boys’ team was fifth.
A number of Fluco athletes did well individually and one relay team also excelled. Coaches Tom Casto and Rose Brogan reported the following outstanding performances: Winning All-District honors for the girls were: Kaitlin Bower in the 55-meter dash, Emily Smeds in the 1,600-meter run (metric mile), Kieri Hart in the 500-meter run, Kristen Cabrera and Saige Haney in the 1,000-meter run, Brianna Parker in the 3,200-meter (two mile) run, and Amina

Wilson and Ashlee Pieno in the pole vault. Cabrera was second in her event, earning a time less than one second off the winning time.

The 4x800 relay team of Hart, Haney, Smeds and Cabrera won the Jefferson District championship. The relay team’s time was 10:32.06, which was an impressive 34 seconds faster than the second place time.

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Carolyn HerbertCarolyn Herbert’s 92-year-old mother inspired her wine jelly business. Herbert wanted to do something nice for her mother and went online to look up wine jelly recipes. Her mother, who enjoys half a glass of wine, became the tester for Herbert’s wine jelly. Then her son suggested a jelly made from beer and her friends encouraged her to go further with her products. Herbert built a business.

However, the business soon became less about the product itself, which she enjoys creating, and became more a crusade for mental illness awareness when her son had mental health issues as a result of injuries suffered in an accident. Herbert saw an opportunity to combine a growing business with helping those who are in need of jobs and who experience ongoing mental health issues.

“Did I ever think I would have a business – heavens no – I was a school administrator in special education for years,” Herbert said. What started with an idea to please her mother turned into something Herbert never dreamed of when she made her first batch of wine jelly.

The jelly-making process is tedious and has to meet certain standards before being allowed on the market.

“There are recipes out there for making wine jelly but you cannot sell them because of the alcohol content,” Herbert said. She began research and development a year ago and now is in the process of expanding her business. She has 10 flavors thus far and as ideas flow, more will come. Each has a subtle fruity flavor with a hint of wine taste. The Pear Pinot Grigio can be used in cooking or to enhance the taste of something as simple as an English muffin or cream cheese and crackers. Among the flavors are Apple Merlot, Blackberry Sauvignon, Orange Pineapple Chardonnay, and even Lager. For the winter holidays, she features specialty jellies such as Pineberry Julep and for summer Orange Mojito. Add a comment

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Thomas MatthewsHistory repeated itself when the Fork Union fire department elected Christopher White as chief in December.

The problem? Few knew it. Even White was unaware that he was not the first African American fire chief.

But Kents Store’s Teresa Matthews Baskfield and Linda Brown, who are black, knew their father, Thomas Matthews, headed up the local fire department for years.

As secretary for Kents Store fire department, their mother Eva Matthews kept meeting minutes in her graceful script.

Current Kents Store Chief Andrew Pullen uncovered books of meeting minutes from April 1967 when the department first started. He’s working with the director of the Fluvanna Historical Society to preserve the records.

The information was news to Mozell Booker, Fluvanna County supervisor representing Fork Union.

All met recently at the fire department to talk about the history and Thomas Matthews’ role in it.

“The important and delightful thing is this [the report of White becoming Fork Union’s fire chief] uncovered past history,” Booker said. “The present often helps us uncover the past.”

White, who couldn’t make the get-together because of work commitments, said shortly after the Jan. 11 Fluvanna Review article came out about him, he heard he wasn’t the first black fire chief in Fluvanna.

“Please pass on that I’m sorry if I took anything away from their family,” White wrote in a text message.

Meeting minutes from March 30, 1973, show members voted Thomas Matthews captain.

Pullen said the captain and modern-day chief role are essentially the same.

Baskfield has vivid memories of her father responding to calls to duty.

“I remember the red fire phone being on the wall in the house by the back door,” she said. “It would go off and we’d all go help him get ready so he could get out as quickly as possible. It was like he was in the army.”

Matthews served as an Army firefighter during World War II and saw action in Japan, Baskfield said.
She doesn’t remember how long her dad served as chief in the Kents Store department, but she knows it was for years. “It was until he couldn’t get up in the truck,” she said. Add a comment

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