Sat05282016

Last updateWed, 25 May 2016 2pm

Leckner auto dealer holds grand opening in KG

Leckner auto dealer holds grand opening in KG

The Leckner Ford and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram grand opening took place on May 14, with lots of custom...

KG Farmers Market opens for season

KG Farmers Market opens for season

The King George Farmers Market opened Saturday for the 2016 season, with asparagus, greens, strawber...

School Board makes cuts to meet budget

Raises still included for some
The King George County School Board approved a list of reductions to c...

S2S program helps students adjust to new school after military, other moves

S2S program helps students adjust to new school after military, other moves

A school program is making a big difference to new kids entering King George’s two secondary s...

KG Supervisors agree to allow beekeeping in residential zones

KG Supervisors agree to allow beekeeping in residential zones

Yolanda Williams successfully persuaded the King George County Board of Supervisors to consider allo...

King George tax hike, budget approved

The King George County Board of Supervisors approved new taxation rates on April 19 for 2016

with a...

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Banner printing Comm Dental

Outdoor center at Shiloh Park added to budget

The King George Planning Commission reviewed a new capital project request unveiled and distributed at the May 10 meeting by Parks & Recreation Director Tim Smith for an outdoor education and activity center at Shiloh Park.

Read more: Outdoor center at Shiloh Park added to budget

Navy, officials meet to discuss cooperation on base issues

Officials from King George, Westmoreland and Colonial Beach met last week in Colonial Beach with representatives of the Naval Support Facility in Dahlgren to discuss the Navy's growing economic impact on the area.

Read more: Navy, officials meet to discuss cooperation on base issues

KG Supervisors let sun shine in

OK lease contract for solar panel facility
 The King George County Economic Development Authority unanimously approved a lease and option to buy on May 12 with Coronal Development Services LLC, to build a solar electric power generation facility at the King George Industrial Park.

Read more: KG Supervisors let sun shine in

Leckner auto dealer holds grand opening in KG

The Leckner Ford and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram grand opening took place on May 14, with lots of customers, community groups, associates, celebrities and King George officials helping to celebrate.
It featured NASCAR driver David Polenz No. 33, country singer Tommy Wood, free food, pony rides and other activities for children, along with prizes and a live radio broadcast.

Read more: Leckner auto dealer holds grand opening in KG

KG Farmers Market opens for season

The King George Farmers Market opened Saturday for the 2016 season, with asparagus, greens, strawberries, plants, jams, jellies, baked goods, natural skin products, organic meat and other items offered by area growers and vendors.

Read more: KG Farmers Market opens for season

S2S program helps students adjust to new school after military, other moves

A school program is making a big difference to new kids entering King George’s two secondary schools.mJunior Student to Student, called JS2S, is a strong program at the middle school, and the high school is restarting its own Student to Student program, called S2S.

Read more: S2S program helps students adjust to new school after military, other moves

King George tax hike, budget approved

The King George County Board of Supervisors approved new taxation rates on April 19 for 2016

with a seven cent increase for real estate taxes and 25 cent hike on personal property taxes, as

had been proposed.

Real estate taxes on land, homes and mobile homes go from 61 cents to 68 cents per $100

valuation and personal property tax rates go from $3.25 to $3.50 per $100 valuation for such

items as cars, trucks, boats and trailers.

The tax rates go into effect immediately. Under state law, tax bills must go out a minimum of 14

days before they are due to be paid.

Treasurer Randy Jones said the tax rates were approved by the board a little earlier than in past

years. He said his office hopes to have tax bills also out a little earlier.

“We’re shooting for early May,” Jones said.

First half payments are due on June 5, which this year falls on a Sunday. Jones said payments

will be accepted through June 6 without penalty.

The second half tax payments are due Dec. 5.

The vote to approve tax rates and the new budget by the Board of Supervisors was 4-1, with

Supervisor Jim Howard voting against the real estate tax increase and against the $75 million

2016-17 county budget which the new tax revenue supports.

“I’m just going to say, as I’ve previously stated, I’m not going to support 7 cents. The most I

would support is 4 cents,” Howard said.

He had made similar comments at the last regular meeting on April 5 following a public hearing

with comments from 25 people, most of them in favor of the budget and the tax increases

proposed.

“When the county administrator presented his budget option with a 4 cent increase, I said I could

support that, and am still there,” Howard said.

“I think there are still some efficiencies we could realize in this budget.”

Chairwoman Ruby Brabo had likewise responded April 5.

“Mr. Howard, if you think there are any more efficiencies you think we can take, we would like

to hear from you between now and [April 19],” Brabo said. The additional three cents represents

about $750,000 in local revenue.

Howard had his chance at the work session on April 7, but didn’t take it, after hearing comments

from the four other supervisors, firmly in favor of the tax hike.

The county’s proposed budget also includes increases in residential and commercial building

permit fees updated to cover the costs expended for staff time.

It also includes $41.4 million for the School Board’s operating budget, including state funding

and federal grants.

The School Board is expected to provide raises for its employees based on new salary scales

recommended by Superintendent Rob Benson.

That budget is expected to be discussed and adopted by categories sometime in May.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to appropriate the School Board budget and those for other

county departments prior to the beginning of the 2016-17 fiscal year on July 1.

Phyllis Cook

Conservation Police Officer K-9 Unit Visits KG Outdoor Club

Virginia law enforcement has within its ranks many K-9 units but the state has only four Conservation Police

Officer K-9 Units. One of those units, Senior Conservation Police Officer (CPO) Frank Spuchesi and

Comet, took time out of their busy schedule to visit with the King George Outdoor Club on Friday.

The twenty plus members of the King George Outdoor Club were able to meet and greet Comet and her

handler, Senior CPO Spuchesi. Before they actually saw Comet on April 22, Spuchesi gave a little

background on his job as a CPO, formerly known as a game warden. He discussed how he enforces game

and fish laws to protect our resources for all to enjoy safely. Many of the King George Outdoor Club

members enjoy fishing and about half of the audience has tried and enjoys hunting. The students

listened attentively as they were told what a CPO does. Most of the students had never seen Comet

before so Spuchesi explained how Comet became a K-9.

Spuchesi estimates that Comet is approximately 5 years old. Comet came from a pound so

they are not sure. The crowd was also a bit surprised to find out that Comet is a mixed breed dog. Some

found this surprising as most think of a K-9 as a mean and tough German Shepard. What Officer

Spuchesi said that he looked for in a K-9 was drive. He looked, in particular, for a dog that played really

hard and was enthusiastic. Comet displayed these attributes when he saw her in the pound.

Comet is trained to do article searches, track and to detect game. This means that, upon command,

Comet will search for things like shotgun shells, firearms, blood, game animals or find a track of a

trespasser. Officer Spuchesi asked the audience how they thought that Comet tracked people. Some of

the students responded that she followed the smell of the person’s shoes or clothes. It was a great

guess, but it turns out that Comet and other K-9s follow the scent of skin cells that people have

sloughing off of them constantly. Officer Spuchesi explained how if we could see the skin cells it would

look like a cloud coming off of us and drifting downwind of us as we moved around.

“These thousands of cells are what Comet can smell to track people,” he explained.

He went on to tell the kids how the wind will push the cells downwind before they hit the ground. For

that reason, Comet may not be on the exact trail that the person walked or ran on but she will be close.

And, because it can take time for the cells to settle, it is actually a little better or easier on Comet to

follow a track that is more than a few minutes old. Officer Spuchesi told of a time that Comet actually

tracked someone on a trail that was over a day old.

Comet has made some big cases in the state and has found many, many trespassers. She has also

located firearms and game that may not have been found by humans. For this reason, many violators of

the law will confess their crimes once they see that Comet is going to bust their story wide open.

After the students asked some questions, Officer Spuchesi went and got Comet and let the kids come up

a few at a time to pet her and play with her. The students were all able to see her official badge and see

how friendly she can be. Comet lives to work though and enjoys showing what she can do.

Next, the group of students followed Officer Spuchesi outside. He asked a student to go hide an item in

the grass. The student tucked the item under some grass while Officer Spuchesi explained how Comet

loves to play and she works for a toy and time to play with that toy. Comet was all ears and attentive

when she saw the collars and leads come out. Once the student came back from hiding the item, her

work collar went on and she was given the command to search. The search took a whopping one minute

and eight seconds for her to accomplish. She was impressive. Once she found the item she stood there

for a few seconds and then sat down awaiting her handler’s next order. She wanted her reward and got

to play tug of war with Officer Spuchesi for a few minutes. Mission accomplished!

The demonstration was impressive and the professionalism that Officer Spuchesi displayed, showed the

students what life as a CPO and K-9 officer might be like if they should choose to consider that career. It

is nice to know that our region has a K-9 officer to help protect our game and fish resources and help

track down violators. The King George Outdoor Club thanks Senior CPO Spuchesi and Comet for stopping

by the school to educate us about CPOs and K-9 officers.

Mark Fike

 

 

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