Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Some students are just perfect!

King George High School students earn perfect scores on SOLs
King George Superintendent Dr. Candace Brown last week released the names of King George High School students achieving perfect scores on Standards of Learning (SOL) tests taken during the first semester.  
SOLs are given at the high school twice each year, since the school is on a 4-block system which provides students the ability to earn full-year course credits during each semester.  The rest of the county’s schools take SOLs in the spring.  

Fall 2008 Perfect SOL Scores for End of Course Tests:
• English – Writing:  Christopher Braccini, Margaret Gruen, Phillip Hinkes, Devon Jeffery, Sarah Lundberg, Diana Mendez, Caroline Merryman, Richard Portner, Hollis Pultz, Sloane Salkey, Stephanie Such, Michael Torres.
• English – Reading:  Christopher Braccini, Margaret Gruen, Sarah Lundberg, Daniel Pearson, Hollis Pultz.
• Algebra II:  Kathleen Gilmer, Beth Loudin, Brett Wilson.
• Geometry:  Hunter Josemans, Adam Shelkey.
• VA & US History:  Christopher Braccini, Darren Breton, Jamie Clift, Joshua Cordes, Joseph Embrey, Benjamin Hankins, Crystal Kimbro, Sarah Lundberg, Dylan Manard, Austin Miller, Tyler Nobles, Daniel Pearson, Hollis Pultz.
• World History II:  Alexander Askin, Alexandra Bentz, Christiana Bentz, Tyler Collins, Taylor Coxon, Joseph Durling, Joshua Johnson, Taylor McDermott, Stephanie Merryman.
• Earth Science:  Tasha Barker, Michael Bewick, Katherine Canaday, Sean Collins, Tyler Collins, Tyler Furjes, Christen Green, Margaret James, Travis Kline, Matthew Payne.
• World Geography:  Sean Collins, Brett Wilson.


By Phyllis Cook
Staff Reporter


Devastating house fire

Per David Moody, the Fire Chief:
911 was called shortly after 7:00 PM Monday evening reporting that the car was on fire in the garage.  Fire crews arrived on scene to find the home almost completely engulfed in fire.  Fire crews battled the fire from the outside vs. trying to go inside due to the roof collapse.  

No human casualties, however one dog was lost in the fire but a cat was saved.  One person was treated for smoke inhalation but did not require transport by EMS.  

Some of the challenges that we had that evening were the location, water supply and the wind helping to feed the fire.  

Fire crews responded from King George in addition to crews from Stafford County, Charles County (Fire Boat to supply water from the Potomac River).  We also had a crew from Westmoreland County to back-fill Company 1 and a crew from Charles County back-fill Company 2 in case we received any additional calls.  As far the number of firefighters on-scene, we had a total of approximately 50 firefighters from King George and mutual-aid units that were on-scene.  The fire did in fact start from the garage area of the home, but the cause is still under investigation.

The guiding light

Her hands are the inspiration of beauty and the guiding light of King George County.

   Ida Bertha Hodge’s life-long dream of providing hair care in the form of cosmetology for the residents of her beloved community has lasted for nearly 50 years. In 1962, during the days when the state of Virginia required beauty salons to have licensed operators, Ida Bertha Styling Salon was established in the heart of King George—adjacent to her home.
   Her presence was unique in several respects. Not only was she an accomplished beautician, but also, she became the first licensed African American beautician in King George County—and remained the only one for many years.
   Her salon offers relaxers, permanents, coloring, cutting, sets, treatment for damaged hair, and the “back in the day” hard press and curl. Although clients have come and gone, after 52 years of making the ladies beautiful and on occasion, making the male clients handsome, her business continues to thrive.
   Before embarking on her career in hair care, Hodge realized that she needed a firm foundation built on education. She graduated from Edgehill Training School, before graduating from Apex Beauty College in Richmond, Virginia.
   She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cosmetology in 1973 at the National Convention in Denver, Colorado. In order to keep abreast of the latest trends, she attends clinics and workshops related to her vocation. Throughout the years, Hodge has won numerous State and National awards and certificates.
   An ardent believer in sharing her craft with aspiring beauticians, she has also been an instructor for hair coloring classes.  Her vibrant and classy personality transcends into her unique style of fashion. To date, she is known throughout the Virginia Beauticians Association [VSBA] as a fashionable model, and as the lady who can model those hats.
   Hodge has also given back to the community in the form of volunteerism. She is a 50-year member of the Guiding Star Chapter, #216, Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliated, King George Chapter of the NAACP, King George County Officer of Elections, King George Democratic Party, Lifetime Member of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association, Fredericksburg Local Beauticians Association [50 years], Board of Directors for VSBA, National Beauty Culturist League Association, Little Ark Baptist Church [Usher Board, Kitchen Committee, Trustee Board, Choir], and volunteer for nursing homes.
   Her late husband, Lawrence Hodge, Sr. was also an entrepreneur in King George County as the owner of Hodges Welding Service for 45 years and a retiree from NSWC, Dahlgren Laboratory after 36 years of dedicated service.
Hodge is the proud mother of Lawrence Hodge Jr., who served in the United States Air Force and retired from the United States Postal Service. Her daughter Gail is a graduate of Hampton Institute [University] and a Program Analyst, currently supporting the United States Navy as a defense contractor.
   She has seven living siblings: Mageline, Adelle, Alice, Rosie, Benjamin, Eugene and Mary Ann.  Her three deceased siblings are James, Tommy and Sadie.
   Through segregation, to integration, Hodge has been steadfast in her convictions to strangers, friends and family that anything is possible if you strive to achieve and keep the faith in God. And achieve she has; her chosen profession and a life long of lasting friendships. Most recently, she was honored by the NAACP annual banquet that was held at the King George Citizens Center.
   She has always lived by the biblical passage, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

A life fulfilled - Dr. Lillian Parker Wright, an example of high achievement

   Throughout her life, Dr. Lillian Parker Wright has always traveled along the road of academia. Now a retired professor and administrator from Norfolk State University, Dr. Wright continues to inspire everyone around her, including her constituents on the Norfolk Public Schools School Board. Her humble beginnings during the era of segregation while attending the less than favorable environment associated with the King George Training School [KGTS] did not discourage her from her professional destiny—it made her stronger.
   “We knew what we had, and we made the best of what we had,” Dr. Wright said. “I felt that succeeding in education would make it possible to do better.”
Dr. Wright not only graduated with a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Virginia State University, but she was the first KGTS graduate to return to King George as an educator at her high school alma mater, whose name had changed to Ralph Bunche High School. She later received a Masters Degree from Columbia University Teachers College and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
   She was influenced to pursue a career in the field of home economics education by her high school home economics teacher, Ms. Nelson T. Higgenbotham. Higgenbotham bestowed upon her the value of personal preparation, and how it could benefit her later throughout her life. “Home economics prepared students for the world,” Dr. Wright said. “It was more than just cooking and sewing, it dealt with consumer practices that everyone needed to be efficient in. Among the life skills that prepared students for their journey through life, were food preparation, apparel selection, housing decisions and family relations.”
   She and her late husband Dr. William Wright served as examples to their children, Wilhelmina [Mimi] and William II, that academics will forever be the key to their future. “Education is very important in our family, because we know what it can do for you,” Dr. Wright said. “It’s my philosophy that education is your key to freedom. If you want to be free, get your education, otherwise you will be a slave to man.”
Wilhelmina and William excelled in their chosen fields, both professionally and academically. Wilhelmina completed her undergraduate’s degree at Yale before completing Harvard Law School. Among her classmates at Harvard was the First Lady, Michelle Obama. The Governor of Minnesota later appointed her as a judge to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. She also served as a federal district judge and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the state of Minnesota. In addition, she also worked at the prestigious law firm of Hogan & Hartson during her clerkship.
Wilhelmina’s brother William graduated from Yale before receiving his Masters from the University of Virginia. Currently he works for Morgan Stanley as a managing director, on Wall Street in New York.  Most recently he was honored as being one of Yales most outstanding alumni.
   Dr. Wright’s late husband, William was a well-respected member of the community of college professors. While working at Norfolk State University, he was the assistant Dean for the School of Education and the Head of the Health & Physical Education Department for thirty years.
   Dr. Wright’s siblings, Garnet, Stanley, Leroy and George, and their children have all succeeded in their chosen professions.
Nowadays, Dr. Wright continues to make a positive impression in her community. Among her many accolades while serving on the Virginia School Boards Association [VSBA] and the National School Boards Association [NSBA] are as follows: 2004-2005 Delegate, VSBA General Assembly; 2005 Presenter, VSBA Annual Convention; Member, VSBA Federal Relations Committee; Member VSBA Regional Nominating Committee; Presenter, NSBA/CUBE Convention.
Her community and civic activities include: Trustee, Bank Street Memorial Baptist Church; Treasurer, Campostella Heights Civic League; Member, Virginia    School Boards Association Advisory Board; Delta Sigma Theta.
   After experiencing the growth of political accomplishments in the African American culture for over 70 years Dr. Wright remains cautiously optimistic when it comes to the country’s ability to embrace many cultures. “I never focused on if I would ever see an African American president; however, I felt if the right person, with the right credentials, and the right philosophy ran for President, that person would win,” Dr. Wright said. “Education can prepare you for life’s challenges; however, we live in a society than can block you from your efforts.”

Leonard M. Banks

Harris Teeter to invest $101M in KG Industrial Park

King George is getting a big economic boost with a new business establishing in the King George Industrial Park.
The major economic development announcement took place last Thursday, January 22, with action by the Board of Supervisors and the county’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) to approve a purchase agreement for 100 acres to Harris Teeter Properties, LLC, and a performance contract.    
The actions by the King George Board echoed a news release late that same day from Governor Tim Kaine announcing that Harris Teeter, Inc would invest $101 million to open a 500,000 square foot food distribution operation in King George, creating 335 jobs.
Kaine’s release said the distribution facility would “service existing storefronts in the Virginia market and expand service in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.”
Virginia successfully competed with Maryland and North Carolina to bring the project to the state.
Harris Teeter is a food market chain that operates in the eight-state area of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland and Delaware, along with additional stores in the District of Columbia.  In addition to its 176 retail stores, it also currently operates grocery, frozen food, and perishable distribution centers in Greensboro and Indian Trail, NC, as well as the Hunter Farms milk and ice cream facility in High Point, NC.
Harris Teeter is headquartered in Matthews, NC, and has approximately 21,000 employees.
Harris Teeter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation, which is traded on the NY Stock Exchange at RDK.  
Kaine’s release noted that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with King George and the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia.  
Kaine approved $200,000 from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist King George with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
Kaine’s release included comments from a Harris Teeter rep.  “The factors that attracted us to this site were its location, workforce potential and proximity to major highways that supplement our logistics network,” said Larry Cooper, Vice President of Distribution for Harris Teeter.
Cooper added, “We will be finalizing our overall evaluation process during a 90 day due diligence period as outlined in the contract. We look forward to and are excited about our partnership with King George County and are appreciative of the Governor’s Opportunity Fund’s assistance with our proposed new distribution center.”
At the Board meeting when the action was taken, four of the five Supervisors had comments regarding the project.
Chairman of the Board Joe Grzeika said, “This is a major economic development win for King George County at a time that couldn’t be more perfect.  We’re extremely pleased that Harris Teeter has selected King George as the site for its Virginia distribution center.  This development has been a team effort and our Board views Harris Teeter as a key to diversifying our business base in the county as well as further endorsement of the industrial development potential along straight Route 3.”
Grzeika added, “This wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of Theresa O’Quinn, our Economic Development Director, Travis Quesenberry, this Board, the Economic Development Authority board and the partners.  Today, a member from Harris Teeter team who made this happen, who was engaged on this on a daily basis, Miss Susan Liberty is here.  We are pleased to have you and thank you for your hard work.”
Grzeika also thanked Gene Bailey from the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, adding, “The Regional Alliance was at the front of this process when it was learned that there was an opportunity being looked for and he brought King George to the table as one of the potential sites.  The role of the Regional Alliance is to bring these types of developments to the region and then he passes it to localities and it’s the locality’s job to do the deal.  And we’ve done the deal.”
Supervisor Cedell Brooks, Jr., stated, “I’m excited about this.  It’s a good thing.”  Brooks also said, “We waited a long time for this and it’s going to create 335 jobs for King George County.  And that’s what we need.  With the economy the way it is, jobs are the key thing and this is great that we’ve got something coming to the county that will bring this number of jobs and will employ people, with many people losing jobs across the region.”
Supervisor Jim Howard said the project “is a very good thing for King George.”  He also said the county Board has been working to expand and diversify its tax base, adding, “We know that our landfill has about a 20-year life (remaining).  We are looking hard at opportunities, we will probably never replace that type of revenue, certainly in one facility, but we’re looking in that industrial park.  And that was our impetus to start the park and to get an option for additional land to expand that park.  Because we know we’re going to need that diversified tax base, especially next year, and it looks like maybe a couple of years until things in the economy straighten out.”
Howard added, “This is a real boost to King George.  Thanks so much to those so many people who worked so long and for so hard.”  
Supervisor Dale Sisson said, “It’s certainly a very exciting day for King George County.  I do appreciate all the efforts of all involved and the amount of months that we have invested in this process.  And I think this is going to pay off handsomely.  Harris Teeter is exactly the type of partner that we want to have in King George County.”
Sisson added, “We’ve talked about the jobs that this will add in terms of working at the facility.  There also will be a significant boost in the local economy to build an infrastructure that requires a $100M investment.  So, not just the operation of the facility itself, but the ramp up over the coming months and years in bringing this facility to life is going to be a huge economic boost.”
~ LOCATION    The Harris Teeter distribution facility will be located on Route 3 (Kings Highway) and the intersection of Route 605 (Bloomsbury Road).
It will be located on 100 acres of a total of 343 acres on which the county holds a purchase option, which it acquired in September 2007 from Plentiful Farm Family Limited Partnership and Mount View Family Limited Partnership.  
The property being purchased by Harris Teeter is contiguous to the King George Industrial Park and is expected to become incorporated into the park after the property transfers are completed.
The purchase option sets the price of the land to the county at just under $25K per acre.  The county holds the option to purchase the all 343 acres by the end of this year.
~ PERFORMANCE    Under the terms of the performance contract, Harris Teeter is to invest at least $101,011,517 to make capital improvements within two years of closing on the property.  
Those improvements include site work, construction of a warehouse, office building, returns building and maintenance facility, machinery, fixtures, software, and vehicles along with other expenditures including the cost of the property at $40K per acre, which comes to $4M for the 100 acres.
Within three years following issuance of an occupancy permit, Harris Teeter is to create and maintain for at least 5 years, a minimum of 335 new jobs having an average annual wage of $38K.  
~ INCENTIVE FUNDS    King George is to provide $2.5M to Harris Teeter as incentive funds on a schedule that provides for payments of $625K in each of four fiscal years starting this year, 2008-09.  
In addition, the county, through the EDA will provide a financial contribution of between 200K-$350K to Harris Teeter to match obtainable grant funding through Virginia state programs.  
~ 90-DAY FEASIBILITY PERIOD     The contract with the county provides Harris Teeter with a 90-day feasibility or “due diligence” period.  During that time, the company has the opportunity to conduct studies, tests, evaluations and investigations of the property prior to purchase of the property.

Phyllis Cook







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