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Government

Dakota Rigsby may be getting a post office named in his honor.

Less than a month after Rigsby, 19, died in an accident aboard the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan, Representative Tom Garrett (R-5th District) has introduced House Resolution 3183 to designate “the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 13683 James Madison Highway in Palmyra, Va., as the ‘U.S. Navy Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby Post Office.’”

There are more than 31,000 post offices in the United States and the vast majority of them are unnamed. Bills to dedicate them in honor of notable local residents have mushroomed in recent years. According the Congressional Research Service, at least 20 percent of all public laws passed by Congress are naming bills. 

The process, while simple, can take several months to complete. Garrett’s bill has already been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Once approved by the committee, it will be sent to the House for a simple voice or roll call vote before heading to the Senate, where it will likely pass by unanimous consent.

The local post office will later dedicate a small place somewhere in the lobby saying the building had been named after Rigsby by an act of Congress.

Garrett has also submitted a bill to name a post office on the University of Virginia (U.Va.) campus in honor of Captain Humayun Khan, the U.Va. alumnus who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The congressman’s office said in a press release that both the Rigsby and Khan families approved the bills.

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Joe HinesJoseph C. “Joe” Hines has officially qualified to be on the ballot for the Jan. 10 special election for the Virginia Senate.  Hines will focus his efforts on creating jobs and greater economic opportunity throughout the district.

“We need a strong leader who will fight for us,” said Hines, who grew up on a farm in the district. “When people are worrying about paying their bills, we need to focus on creating greater opportunities for them to advance their lives and careers.  With more economic development policy to be determined in the next three years than in recent Virginia history, we have incredible opportunity to bring jobs and prosperity home to our district. I’m committed to being the independent voice this district needs to ensure long-term economic growth.”

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A debate which has dogged the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors since early spring was finally put to rest at its meeting Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 7) when a majority of supervisors voted to retain land use in its current form.

The 3-2 vote (Supervisors Tony O’Brien and Mozell Booker dissenting) came after heated discussion in which O’Brien, the only supervisor without land in the program, pointed to what he saw as conflicts of interest among other supervisors and suggested some of them recuse themselves from the vote.
Land use, a program conceived in the 1970s, gives substantial tax breaks to landowners who keep their property rural through agricultural, forestal, or open space uses. But it comes at a price. During the most recent budget season, county staff said that the land use program had cost Fluvanna $2.7 million in uncollected revenue the preceding year.

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To the casual observer driving through Fluvanna’s historic yet shabby little river community of Columbia, it may not appear that much is being done to improve conditions there. Fluvanna County Administrator Steve Nichols says just the opposite is true; progress is being made – it just can’t see be seen yet

“We are just in the preliminary phases of the process,” Nichols said, referring to the county’s plans to use grant money from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase blighted properties in the flood zone and tear them down. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) has worked with the county to obtain the grant and is assisting with the administration of it. Add a comment

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Supervisors honor Rudy GarciaThe Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors clashed over the definition of good stewardship as it examined $29,000 in additional money for county staff pay Wednesday night (Aug. 17). Some supported stewarding funds by keeping an eye on dollars spent while others championed stewarding people by looking out for county workers.

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