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Sharon James settling into new central office position for King George Schools

Sharon James is settling into the new position of coordinator of communication for King George

County Schools, which was established with the new fiscal year, which began on July 1.

It’s a central office position reporting directly to division Superintendent Rob Benson.

Benson had been asking to create a similar new position since early 2013.

The position description appears to have been tweaked in the last couple of years to combine

several functions into one, which made it into the adopted 2016­17 budget.

Benson discussed the position and his recommendation of James for it in a recent interview.

“Sharon James brings a wealth of talent and dedication to our team as our coordinator of

communication. Her primary role will be to support our schools and departments in providing

timely and relevant outbound communication with our school families and the King George

community in general,” Benson said.

“Another of Ms. James' responsibilities will be to help us recognize the myriad accomplishments

of our students and schools to promote community pride and enthusiasm for our school

division.”

But that’s not all. “She will also help us seek and pursue grants or in­kind resources that are

aligned with the needs and curricular pursuits of our schools or school division,” Benson said.

James has been employed by the division as the lead instructional technology liaison since

September 2005 and was a classroom teacher in the division prior to that.

She earned a master’s of education from George Mason University in 2006 with a focus on

instructional technology and curriculum strategies for integrating technology.

She had earned a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in 1983, followed by

classroom teaching for 22 years in Portsmouth, Norfolk and finally King George.

After earning her master’s, she also worked at George Mason University from January 2007 to

August 2011 as a graduate education adjunct instructor, teaching others to integrate technology

in schools, as well as providing online mentoring with various other communication duties using

technology.

She’s excited about taking on the new position as part of the leadership team in the school

division.

“King George County has been a home for my family for over 17 years. In that time, I have

become acquainted with many wonderful people, both young and old, who have a heart for

making our schools excellent. It is a joy to be able to continue serving our schools from this new

vantage point by helping to find innovative ways to support and brand our school mission of

Excellence for All,” James said.

“Technology enables schools to flatten their walls and become more transparent in the types of

learning taking place. Our division strives to communicate the amazing things that are happening

in all of our schools. We believe that excellent teaching and learning are worth sharing with all

stakeholders. Ultimately, we are proud of our students’ accomplishments and desire to find

innovative ways to inform the community of their success,” James said.

The School Board had approved hiring James for the new position back in June at a salary of

$79,205.

Phyllis Cook

Hearing aid expert provides advice for seniors

Bert Ferren owns the New Life Hearing Health business in King George in the First Lady’s

Shopping Centre next to the King George post office on Route 3.

“Having been at this for a long while now, I believe I have a perspective on the industry, hearing

loss, and hearing aids,” Ferren said.

Forget about what he calls the ‘dark age’ of hearing aids, with those large banana­shaped

appliances perched on the ears for all the world to see. Now they come sized smaller than a

penny.

“Those were linear processors that merely amplified. Today they are digital. That means they are

controlled by a computer chip to give what you need when you need it,” Ferren said.

Using those old hearing aids in churches and large halls and restaurants was a problem.

“They would just amplify everything,” Ferren said.

“The old hearing aids had no discrimination and would simply amplify the wall of sound.”

That was the state of technology then.

In about 2002, companies started coming out with digital hearing aids. Now patients are tested

on a computer and the hearing aids are programmed on a computer for the various hearing

frequencies.

“The new hearing aids are little computers. They contain an amplifier, processor, two

microphones and a chip,” Ferren said. “There is no annoying feedback like in the old days.”

He’s been in the business since 1989.

He’s had customers dragged in by spouses or with appointments made by close friends.

Sometimes, others notice someone avoiding social situations and suspect the person is mentally

slowing down, when often the reason is gradual hearing loss.

About every three to five years, most people experience hearing shifts, and they can become

more prevalent with aging.

Thirty percent of people between the ages of 50 and 59 suffer some degree of hearing loss in one

or both ears. Forty­five percent between 60 and 69 have impaired hearing, and it’s about 75

percent for hearing impairment in people over 70.

“Most people go through about seven years of denial,” Ferren said.

It happened to him.

He said he got grumpy about going out with his wife for social engagements and appeared surly

when he seemed to ignore conversations around him.

“It just got to the point where I had to take my own advice,” Ferren said.

“By owning my practice, I’m able to teach, counsel and educate on a very personal level. I’ve

been wearing aids for eight years, for the same issues many people experience, understanding

conversations in restaurants, meetings, dialogue on television.”

He said what decided it for him was the state of the technology.

“After having worked in private practice and doctor offices, it is still satisfying to see the wonder

in a patient’s face when they allow themselves to hear and understand.”

Ferren provides a full money­back guarantee to all customers during a 30­day trial period.

He opened his business in King George a year ago next month.

“In the past year, I’ve no returns. Once they put the hearing aids in, they get it. They see what all

the fuss was about.”

Ferren advises all of his patients to stop back about every three months for cleaning and any

adjustments needed.

That after­care is free. It’s part of his service for hearing aid purchasers.

Customers may make an appointment by calling 540­775­5400, or stop by to see if they can

catch Ferren between appointments.

New Life Hearing Health’s address is 7971 Kings Highway in King George, at the Route 3 end

of the block of businesses a few doors down from King’s Pizza.

Phyllis Cook

King George woman arrested on manslaughter charge

The King George Sheriff's Office last week arrested a King George woman and charged her with involuntary

manslaughter in connection with a drug death that occurred in the county last year.

Mary Evelyn Trainum, 53, had been indicted by a King George County grand jury in connection with the death

of a 26­year­old man who died of a fatal drug overdose. Sheriff's officers said they found her hiding in a shed in

Westmoreland County.

In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Trainum was charged with illegally distributing drugs. Law enforcement

officers said Trainum was released on bond after being held briefly at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

Sheriff's officers said Trainum allegedly supplied the drugs that resulted in the death of a King

George man on Oct. 30 of last year. At the request of his family, authorities have not made

public the identification of the victim, who was found dead at his residence as a result of an

overdose of oxymorphone, the chemical designation for brand names Opana, Numorphan and

Numorphone.

Sheriff's officers said the victim was connected to Trainum, who officers said has several past arrests for illegal

drug offenses, by cellphone records. Trainum was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in 2008, but

all but seven months were suspended, according to authorities.

Richard Leggitt

King George Sheriff's Office arrests, July 27

July 13

Brandon Russell Hamilton, 29, of Indian Head, Md., was charged with entering property to damage, trespassing

and public intoxication.

Deshawn Lamont Robinson, 29, of Port Royal was charged with obstructing justice, reckless driving,

possession of marijuana, use of the identification of another, driving without a license and providing false

information.

July 14

Marguerite Lorraine Hangliter, 52, of Montross was charged with revocation of suspended sentence and

probation.

Michael Troy Langley, Jr., 30, of Leonardtown, Md., was charged with revocation of suspended sentence or

probation.

Chris Jerrel Jester, 33, of King George was charged with destruction of property.

July 15

Rebecca Ann Bloxton, 31, of King George was charged with assault and battery.

Westmoreland Sheriff's Office arrests

July 11

Cory Flannery, 19, of Montross was charged with grand larceny, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of

marijuana and driving with a suspended license.

Lisa Marie Foster, 41, of Colonial Beach was charged with failure to appear.

July 12

Tony Brian Wormley, 59, currently held at Northern Neck Regional Jail, was charged with probation violation.

Justin Tyree Newman, 30, currently held at Northern Neck Regional Jail, was charged with probation violation

July 13

Sharia Durante, 26, of Montross was charged with assault and battery.

Christopher Bryan Durante, 32, of Montross was charged with assault and battery.

King George Fire Department responds to fire at landfill

A fire of undetermined origin erupted at the King George landfill on Bullock Drive Saturday. A King George

sheriff's deputy first noticed the smoke from the blaze and notified fire and rescue authorities.

"Once we arrived at the scene we did confirm that the fire was at the landfill," said King George Fire and

Rescue Chief David Moody. "The fire was approximately one half acre in size and burning on the southwest

bank and and at the top of the landfill."

"It included burning trash, petroleum based products and some pieces of tires," Moody said. "The fire was

surrounding a methane gas well pipe. Extinguishing the fire around the area became our priority."

Moody said fire crews worked at the scene of the landfill fire for several hours and used eight tanker loads of

water as well as shuttling water to the fire site in one of the department's pumper trucks. Stafford County

provided water to fight the blaze from a pumper truck as well.

Richard Leggitt

 

 

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The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

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