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Fluvanna County residents have some of the highest annual Social Security payments in Virginia, according to the financial planning website SmartAsset.com.

According to their calculations, annual Social Security payments average $20,602 in Fluvanna.

Goochland County residents topped the list at $21,868. For Virginia as a whole, average annual payments for Social Security recipients were $17,674.

The Social Security Administration said around 5,850 Fluvanna residents received benefits in 2016, the most recent year for which county-level data was available. That works out to about 22 percent of the county’s population.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator indicates that the required annual income for Fluvanna residents is about $20,946 after taxes.

All this means – at least in theory – that Fluvanna County is a cost-effective place to live for those on fixed incomes.

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Fluvanna Sports PhotographyThe Fluco boys’ basketball team was playing its third game in four nights when it hosted the Orange County Hornets Feb. 2. Although the 44-63 final score of the Flucos’ contest with Orange County makes it look like a blow-out, it was not. The Flucos were in contention throughout and the Hornets only pulled ahead in the final minutes.
The Flucos, who had been making their free throws, suddenly went cold from the line, making only three of 10 in the final quarter, while the Hornets converted their free throws. Playing from behind, the Flucos repeatedly sent the Hornets to the line and the gap widened to the final margin of 19.

The game started with Orange scoring the first five points. The Flucos responded with five of their own. Senior forward A.J. Gregory made a short jump shot and senior guard DaShon Carter followed with a three-point play. In the rest of the quarter the Flucos only managed four points on two jump shots by Gregory. Meanwhile, the Hornets put up 14 points to establish a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter.

The Flucos came alive in the second quarter. It started with two quick baskets by the Flucos. Sophomore guard Cameron Shields and Carter both scored on quick drives to the hoop to make the score 13-19. After an Orange basket, sophomore guard Keyshawn Fisher sunk two free throws. Carter then made a steal and took the ball coast to coast. He was fouled on his lay-up attempt, and he also made two free throws. The Hornets’ lead was down to four. But the team responded with a steal that led to a thunderous dunk.

Shields then made two free throws to bring the margin back to four. Orange took the lead back up to eight, but Fluco freshman John Boy Rittenhouse made the first of his two three pointers for the night and sophomore center Elijah Johnson scored on a put-back as the quarter ended. The Flucos trailed 25-28.

Orange started the scoring in the second half with a basket on a nice in-bounds play. The Flucos responded with five quick points to tie the score at 30-30. The five points came as Gregory hit a three point shot and junior forward Drew Pace scored on a lay-in on an assist by Gregory. Unfortunately, Orange outscored the Flucos 15-9 in the rest of the quarter to build a six-point lead going to the final stanza. Add a comment

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Langden MasonLangden Mason, who writes the popular column Don’t Get Me Started, brilliantly weaves into his writing the influences and experiences of growing up on a farm in rural Fluvanna.

Born in 1963, he recalled being content growing up in an age when one used a phone booth instead of a cell phone, drank from a garden hose instead of bottled water, and sat down as a family for dinner instead of microwaving meals individually. He does not dismiss the technological and medical advances over the last 50 years, but believes we’ve somehow lost a lot of the core beliefs that made us a great nation such as patriotism, trust, and the art of conversation without polarization.

He went on to say his parents instilled in him a belief that one could achieve happiness by working hard, doing the right thing, and being a good citizen without bullying and hurting others’ feelings. He believes they were right. He sees the diversity in his friendships as a path to better understanding and cites his upbringing as something that made him a good writer and a better person.

Smiling and sharing memories and witticisms, Mason is always engaged with those around him. His column and plays capture the lament of what we’ve left behind in our past.

Writing began with his parents informing him that great adventures were only a book away.

“I read a lot and my mother taught me to color within the lines, but left room to think outside the box,” he said. After tackling great literature and poetry, his favorite English teacher had his class diagram sentences to learn the structure of writing.

“I learned the importance of word placement and the need for proper grammar,” he said. “A picture is worth a thousand words, but a single sentence, when structured properly, can provide a pretty amazing picture.” Add a comment

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Gold StarKhizr Khan, the father of fallen Army Captain Humayun Khan who repudiated then-candidate Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, told a crowd of Fluvanna residents that journalism keeps America free.

Khan, a Muslim American, spoke before a crowd of 150 people gathered at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Monday night (Jan. 29). His rousing 40-minute speech was bracketed by standing ovations.

“The press is the voice of democracy,” he said to a journalist. “This nation will be forever grateful. Believe me, once these clouds are gone, you will see that the press has maintained its service to democracy, to our Constitution, to our nation, and it will be remembered. It will be written in history in golden letters, so thank you. Thank you for your service.”

The Gold Star father who offered the humbling words of thanks lost his son in 2004 when he was killed while on active duty in Iraq.

Khan told the crowd he has twice lived in countries that did not recognize what he called “human dignities.”

“Dictators don’t like free press and the rule of law,” Khan said. Speaking from the perspective of a dictator, he said, “These judges are no good; throw them out. I will decide what is good for the country.”

He paused. “You draw the conclusions of what we are facing today – without naming names,” he said.

The audience laughed darkly. Add a comment

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WaterFluvanna’s Zion Crossroads area will not have water from the James River this year after all.

A necessary permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the James River Water Authority (JRWA) project has not arrived. The expected completion date of the project has now shifted back a year from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019, said County Administrator Steve Nichols. 

The JRWA project, a joint venture between Fluvanna and Louisa Counties, consists of a water intake facility on the Point of Fork where the James and Rivanna Rivers meet near Columbia, and a raw water pipeline stretching a little over a mile to Route 6.

From that point, the Louisa County Water Authority will construct its own pipeline at its own expense to funnel water northwest through Fluvanna to Louisa County. Louisa has agreed to “make all reasonable efforts” to provide up to 400,000 gallons of treated water per day to Fluvanna’s Zion Crossroads area by the end of 2018.

But the historic nature of Point of Fork, on which the intake facility will be built, has complicated the issue and delayed the issuance of a permit necessary for construction.
Point of Fork housed Rassawek, the capital city of the Monacan Indians, and a Revolutionary War arsenal. Several Fluvanna residents have expressed the belief that Native American artifacts will be disturbed or destroyed by construction on the site.

Point of Fork’s history has necessitated a so-called Section 106 review before USACE can issue a permit for construction of the water intake facility.
“Section 106 of the historic resources federal law basically states that we have to evaluate any impact to historic resources if there’s a federal undertaking, and that includes if there’s a federal permit,” said Patrick Bloodgood, USACE spokesperson.

“They are going through what they call a Phase 1 archaeological investigation on the project site to see what exactly is out there that they’re going to encounter,” Bloodgood said. “We are working in coordination with the historical preservation office as well as different consulting parties.” 

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