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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 30­-day 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

Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins coming to Dahlgren

King George will be getting a Dunkin’ Donuts in Dahlgren on the vacant parcel next to McDonald’s on US 301 (James Madison Parkway).

County officials are pleased, with Ruby Brabo encapsulating the sentiment.

“The addition of a Dunkin’ Donuts to our community will be well received,” Brabo said. She’s chairwoman of the King George Board of Supervisors.

The popular franchise offers hot and cold coffee and other beverages, along with sandwiches, doughnuts and other bakery products.

It’s expected to be a hit with residents, as well as with employees of the Dahlgren Naval base and its contractors outside the gate.

In addition to Dunkin’ Donuts, the restaurant will also contain a Baskin-Robbins shop, with ice cream cones, shakes, treats, cakes, pies, and more. Baskin-Robbins is the world's largest chain of ice cream specialty shops.

That’s according to Shawn Palivoda, who with his father, Stan, is involved in the property ownership. “It will be awesome. I just can’t wait,” Palivoda said.

Palivoda also said construction will begin as soon possible, after a needed easement is finalized with the shopping center for the entrance.

Linwood Thomas, director of the county’s department of Economic Development, was also happy with the news.

“We are excited to add Dunkin’ Donuts as the newest addition to the long line of recent major corporate retail stores that have located near Dahlgren in the last 28 months,” Thomas said.

“The Department of Economic Development looks forward to working with Dunkin’ Donuts as they grow and expand in King George.”

The restaurant will be constructed on a triangle-shaped parcel in front of the Food Lion Shopping Center, between two existing entrances connecting to US 301, with one running through the McDonalds parking lot.

The project consists of a 2,353 square foot restaurant building, associated parking and stormwater management. Access to the site will be provided by an access easement located through the Food Lion Shopping Center, on the north side of the Dunkin’ Donuts parcel site.

The property is zoned General Trade (C-2) which permits the planned restaurant by right.

The Palivoda property owners had requested approval of the final site plan on behalf of the developer, Aashni Enterprises, LLC, with the Planning Commission voting unanimously to approve the site plan on July 12.

As part of that action, the commission also granted an exception to reduce the width of the required landscape buffer from 25 feet to 10 feet along US 301.

That had been requested by the applicant and recommended in the staff report prepared by Jack Green, county director of the Community Development department.

The reason for the narrower landscape buffer is due to the small size of the lot and to provide consistency with the existing developed sites adjacent. The reduction will not adversely affect

the use of adjacent properties nor endanger public safety along US 301.

The restaurant is required to have 16 parking spaces with 22 to be provided, for customers not using its drive-through window. The development will be served by public water and sewer provided by the King George Service Authority.

Phyllis Cook

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