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Fluvanna sports photographyTop Fluco boys 66-41

The Fluvanna County boys’ basketball team played evenly with the Louisa Lions for three of the game’s four quarters Friday (Jan. 26). Of course, anyone who has watched the New England Patriots knows that three quarters are not the whole game.

Fluco Coach Jason Davis noted that the Lions are one of the best teams in the state at their school size level. They came onto the Munro Rateau Court at Fluvanna High with only two losses. The Flucos came in with 11. Naturally, the Lions were heavily favored.

In the first quarter the Flucos held their own well against the Lions. Fluco junior forward Andrew Pace started the scoring with a rebound put back. The Lions then ran off seven straight. The quarter ended with the Flucos responding with a five point run for a 7-7 tie. The Fluco scores were a free throw by senior A.J. Gregory, a diving lay-up by senior DaShon Carter and a lay-in off a steal by Pace. The low score at the end of the quarter reflected the strong defense being played by both teams. The Flucos were mostly in a man-to-man defense, while the Lions were in a trapping half court zone.

The second quarter was a disaster for the Flucos. The Lions made a couple of steals and hit a rare three pointer while running off the first nine points of the stanza. Carter made a nice pass to Pace underneath for a lay-in that broke the run but the Flucos were still down seven and they would never be that close again. Louisa followed with a three-point play. Carter made a nice left-handed lay-up for a score of 11-19.

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The Fluvanna County High School wrestling team hosted a match Jan. 20 involving nine wrestling squads at the Fluvanna High gym. In addition to the Fluco squad, teams came from William Fleming High, Clover Hill, Colonial Heights, Fort Defiance, the Covenant School, Madison County, and the Huguenot School. The final team of the nine competing teams was a bandit squad consisting of wrestlers from various schools, who were not their teams’ first wrestler in a weight class.

The event was held to benefit Billy Wensel, a long-time Fluvanna County resident, wrestler and wrestling coach, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

William Fleming High won the meet, with the Fluco squad finishing sixth. The Fluco squad is young with limited experience, said Coach Michael Gore; however, “they came together and continue to grow as a team and as individual wrestlers.” Gore thought that his team did well in this match in light of the fact that he was only able to field competitors in seven of 14 weight classes. Most teams are not able to field 14 wrestlers, but seven holes in the lineup is a big disadvantage. “Our wrestlers wrestled hard and competed well [but] the holes in the lineup cost valuable team points,” said Gore.

Gore said that Wensel and his family attended and enjoyed the tournament. Fluvanna High hopes that the tournament will continue to grow in future seasons, with more teams signing up to compete.

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Linda StaigerRetired orthopedic surgeon and oil painter Linda Staiger spoke to members of the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) at their monthly meeting Jan. 19 about her artist’s journey, her painting process and how to create good compositions from photos.

Staiger is passionate about painting landscapes and expressing her love for the natural environment through her artistic approach. Growing up on a farm in Fluvanna reminded Staiger of what keeps her painting. Her favorite subjects are the area’s rivers and woods.

“When I was in college and later studying medicine, I would go to museums,” she said. “I was always fascinated by the variety of artists and wondered how they did what they did.” This is a method that many artists learning about art employ. It can be useful to deconstruct great works in order to have a better understanding of their meaning and composition.

For the last 15 years, Staiger returned to art, taking classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College, including graphic arts and ceramics. Later she attended workshops at The Beverly Street Studio and McGuffey Arts Center, where she studied with artist Rick Weaver. 

“He was a very cerebral artist. Many artists cannot explain the how and why of art,” she said. She then listed the key points of painting: “The formal elements are lines and colors; what is the subject; what is it about.” Add a comment

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The Board of Supervisors met all day Saturday (Jan. 20) to hash out Fluvanna County’s direction moving forward into 2018.

Sitting in the new Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department building, supervisors pored over two lengthy lists: their strategic initiatives and their goals from the 2015 iteration of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.
Rather than taking concrete actions reserved for regular Wednesday meetings, supervisors spent their time reworking the lists: removing items deemed to be complete, adding tasks that have arisen over the past year, and tweaking plans that need further attention.

Master water and sewer plan
Developing a master water and sewer plan for Fluvanna County needs to be the Board’s top utilities goal for the year, said Wayne Stephens, director of public works.

Supervisor goals called for providing water and sewer to the county’s community planning areas (CPAs), but Stephens said the language was too vague. Instead, supervisors need to come up with an actual plan as to how to accomplish that task, he said – an undertaking that will require significant study.

“Until we have some serious looking into the topography and the geographic layout of our CPAs, and have somebody looking at how you would provide water and sewer on such and such a road… Until you start generally mapping some of that stuff out, you’re not really going to know how much it’s going to cost to provide water and sewer to a certain area,” Stephens said.

The county has undertaken two major water projects: the James River Water Authority, which will pipe water from the James River through Louisa to Zion Crossroads, and the Zion Crossroads water system, which will take water from the women’s prison on Route 250 and route it to the Zion Crossroads area. Add a comment

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The saying “be careful what you ask for” seemed at play at the School Board Budget seminar Friday (Jan. 19).

Often in response to Board member inquiries, Superintendent Chuck Winkler supplied so much information the seminar went over the allotted time by three hours.

All five members of the Board wanted to focus on salaries. Andrew Pullen (Columbia) also asked for specifics on the cost of athletics, career and technical education; Brenda Pace (Palmyra) on special education issues; and Chair Perrie Johnson (Fork Union) on evaluations, staffing ratios and alternative education.

Current budget
Winkler reported there is a low projected surplus of a half million dollars in the 2017-18 budget. When the last Board built the current budget, the governor talked about providing a 1.5 percent raise to school employees.
That did not happen, but the Board decided to include it anyway and find a way to give the money to employees, Winkler said. 

Operations costs have been low in a couple of the past months which also played into the surplus, he said.

Winkler proposed giving a 1 percent raise to all employees, with no employee receiving less than $300. That adds up to $280,000.

At the end of the school year, if there is still a surplus, Winkler proposed giving employees another bonus. He asked the Board for direction so he could bring back a solid proposal in the Feb. 14 meeting.

Pullen suggested using the money to work toward a long-term goal of giving raises and getting all staff on one pay scale. Right now they are on two. Johnson said she also preferred a raise over a bonus.

Winkler said if they did that, it would double next year’s budget because it would be a recurring cost. He reminded them those costs include retirement and FICA they’d be committed to providing.
“This money is here now; I can’t guarantee it’ll be there next year,” he said.
After discussing and deciding against capping the bonus for employees at the high end of the pay scale, the Board suggested a flat-rate bonus rather than one based on income.
Winkler said he’d work out the numbers and have them ready for the next meeting.
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