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Drifters' Steve Swope will be absent from varsity sports for one year

An area sports legend takes a sabbatical

 

altAfter 30 years and numerous championships, varsity baseball and basketball head coach Steve Swope (left) has decided to take a sabbatical from coaching. He will maintain his teaching job at Colonial Beach Elementary School as a physical education teacher.

 

   Drifter sports icon Steve Swope has decided to step aside from his duties as the Drifters

Read more: Drifters' Steve Swope will be absent from varsity sports for one year

How about all those tickets at the Beach?


Click it or Ticket and C.A.R.E.

Have you been hearing those commercials from the Division of Motor Vehicle where the teenager said his friend ruined his concert experience because he didn’t buckle up and wound up paying a ticket for not having his seat belt buckled? Have you seen the signs posted on the roads and front fenders of police cruisers saying, “Click it or Ticket”? Did you believe it could happen to you?
Well if you have been stopped for any other violation and didn’t have your seat belt buckled, chances are you got a ticket.

Read more: How about all those tickets at the Beach?

Thanks to her helpful friends, Miss Ada Keys is back home, in her new home

 

Home at last.

Miss Ada Keys moves into her new home from which she was displaced by fire five months ago.
Some people know her as Ada Keys, some know her as Ada Posey but everyone in town knows her as the woman who rides her lawn mower all over town.

On Friday January 23rd 2009 as students were just getting into school at approximately 7:40 a.m., Rescue Station One (Colonial Beach) and Engine Company One (Colonial Beach) were dispatched to Miss Key’s house at the end of Lincoln Ave. for a house fire.

 

Read more: Thanks to her helpful friends, Miss Ada Keys is back home, in her new home

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood at Riverwood

“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!” This was the general sentiment of approximately sixty children and their families at Riverwood Apartments at Colonial Beach.  On Saturday at about 11 o’clock Pastors James and Angela Kittrell, along with 25 youth volunteers from Emmanuel Faith Ministries in Colonial Beach, came to Riverwood to sponsor a day of fun and fellowship. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. children played tag football, had water balloon tosses, jumped double Dutch rope, painted faces, created arts and crafts projects, competed in hula hoop and dance contests and feasted on all-you-can-eat lunch.
   Sounding over the jubilant screams and laughter of children was the friendly siren of Colonial Beach Fire Department arriving to allow the children to explore the firefighting and rescue truck and tools.  
   Not only were the children engaged in the day’s activities, but so were parents and other adult residents. Mayor Rummage, Chief Hawkins, Officer Lionel Richards, Commonwealth Attorney Dean Atkins and his wife Wanda came to take part and to show their support for such a positive effort to build community.
   Businesses and individuals such as WalMart, MacDonald’s of Colonial Beach, Hall’s Market, Hilltop Cleaners, Anointed Hair, Kittrell’s Chicken and Ribs, and Food Lion of Colonial Beach, made donations and otherwise stepped up to the plate to help make this event successful.
   This Fun Day was the brain child and vision of Riverwood manager Valerie Jones, and Pastor Angela Kittrell.  They defined what they wanted to accomplish and passed the vision on to Emmanuel Faith’s Youth Minister, Jennifer Redman.  
   Minister Redman is a federal probation officer. She handles several cases where youth are involved, and she has a heart for the progress of young people. She believes that what many young people need to see is unity, where people of all social experiences can come together and build coalition communities that create platforms where children can excel.  
   Many in attendance agreed that this day was only the beginning of many more positive youth oriented activities to come to the Colonial Beach community. Asked how she thought the event turned out, Pastor Angela replied, “We were concerned that the weather forecast for Saturday called for rain. I suppose divine intervention held the rain in the sky until our event was over.”
   Over the years Emmanuel Faith Ministries has served on several mission fields in Africa and Israel. Yet, Pastor Angela insists that foreign missions become less meaningful when we ignore the need to be proactive and productive in our own community. “I think the thing I liked the most about the day is that we all just came to get together to enjoy each other’s company,” Pastor Angela added.  “We can be so serious on our jobs and even in church.  It’s just good that everybody can come together and lightened up for just plain fun.”

By Marie Shadd

God willing, Ada Keys will spend her next birthday in her new home

   Ada Keys’ life was changed dramatically when her house caught on fire.
   She not only lost her home but many worldly possessions which she had accumulated throughout her lifetime, which she maintain has only been 96 years. When this reporter revealed that someone reported seeing her birthday listed on her Medicaid card as June 16th 1906 making her 103 next month she said, “My lord! I’m not that old!”
   Wearing high heals and jumping puddles at her new home's construction site should convince anyone that age is a state of mind and that Miss Keys is going through her second, maybe third childhood. Keyes' mind is sharp as a tack. Sometimes she gets a bit forgetful but within minutes what she is trying to remember comes right back to her.
   On that fateful day the fire was quickly put out by the Colonial Beach Fire Department only to have it re-ignite an hour later.
   Thanks to Chris Saulnier, a Colonial Beach volunteer fireman, some of her belongings were recovered after the second fire was put out. One of those articles was a framed story from a local paper telling the story of how she was the first African American to be allowed permission to ride the famous St. John's paddle boat to Washington DC when she was 18.   She lived in D. C. and worked at the Pentagon for 9 years.
   Miss Keys is a very strong and independent woman. Many people describe things about her - her good-natured ways, her snappy dress and her vibrant lust for life. But what she is most noticed for is her mode of transportation. She gets around town on her riding lawn mower.
   After the fire gutted her home, she was put up in the Day’s Inn Hotel in Colonial Beach where the employees check on her often. The hotel has allowed her to stay rent free until Social Services can reimburse them.
   Many people have rallied around Miss Keys, offering help in small ways right after her home was destroyed, but there are a few people who have stuck it out and persevered to help get her into a new home.
   Volunteer firefighter Chris Saulnier (aka Pork Chop) and his wife Amanda quickly opened their hearts and schedules to help Miss Keys by checking on her almost daily, taking her to the doctor when needed and shopping, helping with demolition, making sure her riding mower was kept safe and getting the ball rolling to enlist the help of many people and local businesses to help her regain her independence.
   After working with Zedda Viets at Miss Key's bank, and looking into her insurance, Chris Saulnier discovered that her insurance fell short of what was needed to replace her house. Not wanting to give up, he got in touch with Danna and Cathy Reed who own D & C Holdings, a Company that specializes in Cardinal Modular Homes.
   Chris and Amanda credit the Reeds for getting her house built. But the Reeds credit Chris with keeping them focused and not losing hope.
   Once the Reeds knew how much money would be available from insurance, they contacted a network of local contractors and started negotiations to get reduced rates to help get the new house under way. Several companies who either knew of Miss Ada or heard her story all offered work at, or below cost.
   C. F. Smith performed the demolition of the old home; Richard Rose and Sons dug the footers, Sonny Camp will be hooking up the water connection, P.D. Lovell will handle the heating and Air. The Trivetts Family Furniture has offered assistance to get furnishings for the home and, of course, the Reed's company, D & C Holdings provided the modular home.
Miss Keys has a strong will.
   Westmoreland County Social Worker Toni Carroll has been very helpful making sure that Miss Keys interests have been protected since Miss Keys’ adoptive daughter Ms. Grey lives out of state and could not convince Miss Keys to move in with her. Likewise, Ms. Carroll could not convince Miss Keys to leave the Beach to move into a temporary apartment in Montross while her house was being built.
   Miss Keys keeps a cool head.
   In an interview with Mrs. Reed she recalled an incident several years ago when she and a friend were at the First Virginia Bank, now BB&T, when they observed a commotion across the street in the 7-11 parking lot which they believed to be a drug bust. A car was blocked in by one Town police car, a county Sheriff's deputy vehicle, and a State police cruiser.   Throughout all the commotion they observed Miss Keys ride up in her riding lawn mower, stop at the pump and tap the local police officer on the shoulder and ask him to help her pump her gas, never once being concerned with the police activity going on around her.
   Even without her house Miss Keys has never lost her faith in God.
   Ada says you take the first step and God will make two for you.
   During a day at the site of her old home shortly after it was torn down Amanda Saulnier set out a picnic lunch for everyone. Amanda and Cathy observed Miss Ada taking a moment to say her prayers before eating. Every day she puts her life in God's hands and cherishes every moment of life.
   Even though she is relying on many people until her home is built, she still maintains her independent spirit. One day Amanda went to check on Miss Ada and she was nowhere to be found. A few hours later she was found walking in her high heals coming back from the bank and Town Hall.
    Keys was walking one day around the construction site of her new home when Amanda took her arm to try to help her navigate a puddle. Just before she could get the words out to walk around one side, Miss Keys hopped over the puddle. When this reporter met with Miss Keys at the site on Monday Miss Keys was in red high heels and continued to say, "Watch your step."
   Even though the project ran into a delay with Virginia Power which is now resolved, the Reeds are hoping to have the house complete and an occupancy permit sometime in May.
The new home will have all new appliances, central heat and air, a large screened in back porch, and small front porch and furniture.
   Cathy Reed has known Miss Keys for years and said, “If you live in the Beach, you can’t help but get to know her, she is so friendly.” Cathy recalls many times seeing Miss Keys walking in the snow or heat of summer and offering her a ride. But Cathy was quick to say many people in this town have helped Miss Keys and wants to thank everyone over the years that have helped her out.
   All who have been involved in this rebuilding would like to set up an account at the BB&T bank for anyone interested in giving a donation as Miss Keys will be in need of the little items such as small appliances, toiletries, clothes, dishes and cookware just to name a few.
Any one who wishes to make a donation before the account is set up can contact Cathy for information.
   People with soft hearts and strong wills seem to gravitate towards each other and you can rest assured those people in Colonial Beach will all be celebrating together with Miss Keys when her new house is built.

Linda Farneth

 

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