- Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:03
- Published on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 15:03
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A King George man is being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail after leading King George sheriff's officers on a high speed pursuit into Caroline County. Roger Christopher Atchison, 41, is facing a number of felony charges as a result of the arrest.
Law enforcement officers said Atchison was at a residence off Route 17 in Caroline County Monday afternoon when he got into an argument. According to officers, Atchison left the Caroline residence and returned to his home in Dahlgren where he loaded his car with a number of firearms and then began a return trip to Caroline.
A King George deputy sheriff running radar on Route 301 clocked Atchison driving at more than 90 miles per hour. The deputy chased down Atchison, who was driving a Dodge truck, and stopped him near Poplar Neck Road.
"When the deputy attempted to approach the vehicle, the driver sped away and continued southbound on Route 301," said King George Sheriff's Sgt. Kecia Wharton. "King George Sheriff's Office deputies pursued the vehicle southbound on Route 301, which was at times traveling at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour."
The officers chased the truck across the Rappahannock River bridge into Port Royal and through the intersection with Route 17 at Horne's Restaurant. Atchison made a right on Route 17 and roared off toward Fredericksburg as Caroline sheriff's officers joined the chase.
The pursuit ended when Atchison pulled into a driveway in Caroline and hit a vehicle parked at the residence where he had the argument several hours earlier. Because residents of the home had already called the Caroline Sheriff's Office during the earlier dispute, Caroline deputies were at the residence when Atchison crashed his car.
Atchison has been charged with felony eluding, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated and two counts of failure to obey a traffic signal, according to Wharton.
However, an investigation into the incident is continuing and further charges may be filed.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:49
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:49
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A popular King George gospel group, the Voices of the DMV, has been nominated in four categories and will appear at the national Rhythm of Gospel Awards in Jacksonville, Fla., this summer.
The group, led by songwriter and minister Ralph Johnson, a Colonial Beach resident and graduate of King George High School, will perform at the Rhythm of Gospel Awards June 21 to 25 in Jacksonville. The group has been nominated for the top performance by a group, best gospel group, traditional song of the year and traditional artist of the year.
Joining with Johnson to lead the group to success are four talented King George women: Talithea Pierce, an elementary school teacher; Latoya Logan, a social worker; Sydney Ball, an employee of the NWSC Credit Union; and Lavita Cobb, an administrative employee of King George County.
"I have a passion for the Lord and with this passion I choose to live my life," said Logan. "I share that same fun loving approach with my Voices of the DMV family and look forward to many more years serving the Lord through song."
Johnson said the group has been together for three years and started off together as part of a large choir. Johnson, who taught himself to play the piano when he was a little boy, is a member of the Little Zion Baptist Church in Oak Grove.
"The music is a passion for me as well," Johnson said. "I am booked every Sunday at Little Zion or other churches around the area. Johnson said the group has recently released its first CD, entitled "Hold On."
"We are spreading the message of Christ," Johnson said. "And we are bringing young people to Christ."
He said additional information about the group can be found on Facebook and their music is a available on Google Play or I-Tunes.
The winners of the Rhythm of Gospel Awards are selected in part by online voting and Johnson said area residents interested in voting for the group can do so by going to www.therhythmofgospelawards.com.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:48
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:48
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“Dr. Benson has been an outstanding leader for this division. He is visible and available for staff, students and parents. He participates in many personal and professional development opportunities that allow him to grow in his knowledge and position. His professionalism is nothing less than stellar and his sense of humor and involvement in division activities is commendable. He is never afraid to 'roll his sleeves up' and help in any project or situation.”
The above statement is the short, sweet and condensed version of the School Board’s evaluation of Superintendent Rob Benson’s performance over the last year.
There is no reason to suggest that the rest of the report card wasn’t also glowing, though, as is the custom, the actual written evaluation of a superintendent in King George is exempt from public release as a personnel matter. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows public bodies to keep personnel matters from the public, but they are not obligated to by the law.
The overall comments were read by Chairman T.C. Collins following a closed session last week on Oct. 26 including discussion of the superintendent’s evaluation.
The public statement was the result of an in-depth evaluation conducted by the School Board, including during several previous closed-session meetings to discuss Benson’s performance.
Such formal annual evaluations of division superintendents are required by state law to be conducted by local school boards.
Following the meeting, Benson provided comments in an interview.
“I am very grateful for the school board’s thoughtful praise and will do my best to continue to lead our school division in a manner that is efficient, effective and aligned with the priorities and goals of the board,” Benson said. “Every day I am privileged to work with dedicated and talented colleagues who make what we have, and continue to accomplish, with children possible.”
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:46
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:46
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King George Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Ruby Brabo activated the county’s Rural Impact Challenge Task Force for an initiative to help advance the county’s efforts to reduce the number of children and families living in poverty.
The board had approved participation in the challenge back in April, and Brabo held its first meeting at that time.
The challenge task force challenge is an initiative by the National Association of Counties and the White House Rural Council to help to reduce the number of rural children and families living in poverty by finding ways to break the generational cycle of poverty.
The second meeting was held on Oct. 18, with subsequent meetings taking place on regular board meeting days, earlier in the afternoon.
Members of the task force include those attending the April meeting, Superintendent Dr. Rob Benson, school division director of administrative services Dashan Turner, Sheriff Steve Dempsey, Chris Buck with Love Thy Neighbor and resident Holly Graf, and the new members added at the October meeting, including county attorney Eric Gregory, Canice Graziano and David Baladez both representing Rappahannock Community College, Director of Social Services Dave Coman, Project Faith Executive Director Fronce’ Wardlaw, resident Ken Novell, and King George Family YMCA executive director Elizabeth Taylor.
The diverse group reviewed the list of initiatives already taking place in the county to help alleviate poverty and agreed to establish three priorities on which to concentrate.
Discussion and brainstorming took place with Brabo suggesting they take the list developed from the previous meeting and narrow it down by grouping similar areas.
The three priority areas selected are health and human services, transportation and workforce development and training.
Dempsey had suggested the health and human services component to include medical, dental and counseling.
“We have nothing here like Moss Free Clinic. If children don’t feel good they aren’t going to learn. And the counseling component is very important,” Dempsey said.
Wardlaw and Buck agreed to work on the health and human services piece with a possible emphasis on a remote area medical event focused over a weekend with free services offered by medical professionals to eligible residents.
Coman spoke about the county’s at-risk children and summed up why transportation should be selected as a priority.
“It’s not only the kids on Medicaid. There’s not a single Medicaid counselor in the county,” Coman said. “And they can’t get to the dentist to use their Medicaid, and can’t get to the grocery store to spend food stamps. There isn’t a good system here for transportation.”
Brabo agreed on the need for transportation as a county priority.
“The Board of Supervisors is trying to look at transportation from a different standpoint, with bike lanes, intermodal transport,” Brabo said. “Supervisors tasked the county administrator to look at where the best place would be to put bike lanes and intermodal transport.”
Novell agreed to assist Coman with the transportation component.
For workforce training, Taylor said she was scheduled to attend a state partnership conference to address the connection between early childhood and workforce training, developing the idea of workforce development for out of school time. She said she would come back with ideas.
Brabo asked Graziano and Baladez to come back to the next meeting on what the college would need to expand its workforce training and what type of training is necessary.
“What are the top three workforce training initiatives and say what you would need from the county to fulfill those initiatives?” Brabo asked.
Brabo encouraged the task force members to come back with ideas.
“Remember, you have to tackle these three areas and show progress. Start with a baseline in county and go from there,” Brabo said.
The task force has a short timeline, with Brabo saying they have until mid-2017 to develop a plan with measurable outcomes and implement approaches to advance it.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:34
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 09:34
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A King George man is being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail this week charged with breaking into a home of a woman and her small children in the Dahlgren area. George Joseph Schlereth, 36, was arrested outside the home by King George sheriff's officers.
King George Sheriff's Sgt. Kecia Wharton said officers responded after the woman in the home called 911 last week saying a man was banging on her door at midnight. The woman did not open the door and was advised by 911 officers to lock herself and her children in a second floor room of the house.
The man entered the house through a rear door, but then fled after he apparently heard officers arriving. He was arrested as he was attempting to leave the house in a dark colored SUV, according to Wharton.
An investigation into the incident is continuing, but Schlereth has been charged with possession of burglary tools and breaking and entering. He is being held in the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.