- Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 19:54
- Published on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 19:54
- Hits: 758
Bids for Sheriff’s office also lower than estimated
The King George Board of Supervisors voted last week on March 17 to award a contract to Gulf Seaboard General Contractors, Inc., in the amount of $1,502,000 for construction of a new county animal pound.
The best news is that there were numerous bidders and all the qualified bids came in substantially under the cost estimate provide by URS for the construction project, which was $2.75M, for the base bid and the alternate.
Supervisor Dale Sisson pointed that out, saying, “This is a really good-news story.”
Chairman Joe Grzeika commented that with the amount of the bid, they would get the full build-out to include the alternate of an expanded number of dog runs to 24, instead of 16 as contained in the base bid.
Supervisor Jim Howard stated, “This is something that we have needed in King George for a long time.”
County Administrator Travis Quesenberry also had good news regarding the bids opened that day for construction of a 42K square foot Sheriff’s Department.
Quesenberry that the bids on the Sheriff’s Department needed to be checked for completeness and accuracy, but the initial tabulation indicated that of the 14 bids received, the apparent low bid came in at $7.335M.
That bid was almost $6M less than the cost estimate of $13M. The high bid of $8.7M for the Sheriff’s project was also well below the cost estimate.
Both facilities will be constructed at the site planned for a new government center on Route 3, east of Route 205 at Purkins Corner and next to the YMCA.
~ FUNDING Action was taken on November 4 by Supervisors to approve a resolution for a loan from the Virginia Resources Authority (VRA) for about $25M for the two buildings, in addition to other funds rolled in to refinance a couple of other smaller loan balances.
Grzeika stated, “Again, it is the time, and it is the best use of taxpayer dollars at this time.”
Supervisor Dale Sisson said, “I would never had guessed it would be that low.”
Grzeika agreed, saying, “That is really astonishing.”
~ OTHER PROJECTS? The news of the low bids may mean that remaining funding can go toward one or more other construction projects planned by the county.
Under strong consideration could be expansion of the Smoot Library estimated at $4.5M and/or a new stadium estimated at $3M.
Sisson said as much, stating, “We have the library expansion and maybe we can apply some of it to the stadium at this point.”
Supervisor Cedell Brooks, Jr., was also interested in what the remaining funds could be spent on, saying, “By saving so much, can we use that money for other things?”
Two other planned government center buildings are also on hold. Those include an operations center and a health and human services building.
Grzeika directed Quesenberry, saying, “Let us know what our legal abilities are.”
Quesenberry said, “We’ll check that and bring back to the board some options. There were certain things in that bond issuance that we were restricted to use the money for.”
Grzeika noted that construction prices could now start going up, saying, “If you put out bids now, I don’t think there will be as good as prices were now. There will be stimulus money out there that will bring it back into more normalcy.”
He added, “We hit it right at the sweet spot. This one really was a home run. We rolled the dice on this and it really came out in our favor.”
~ CONTRACTOR The approved contractor for the animal pound, Gulf Seaboard, is a commercial construction company established in 1982 and located in Ashland.
The contract is expected to be executed by the end of next week, when the notice to proceed will be given.
The language in the contract agreement provides for slightly less than 6 months to achieve final completion of the construction project.
The would put completion of the animal pound in the end of September, with the contract providing 127 days to reach substantial and another 45 days to reach final completion.
~ SPECS Supervisors had reviewed and approved a design in October 2007. The animal pound will be about 5,500 square feet for the building, along with 24 outside dog runs.
The new pound will replace the existing one.
Its construction and design will meet requirements of the state veterinarian for such facilities, with floors and walls to resist bacteria growth, 10 air changes per hour for the mechanical system, and a pressure washer system for cleanliness.
~ BIDS 24 bids were submitted for the animal pound project with two rejected as incomplete. Gulf Seaboard was selected as the apparent responsible and responsive low bidder out of a total of 24 companies responding. The bids were opened on March 3. The bids ranged up to a high of $2,230,000.
The architectural firm which designed the animal pound, Dominion Seven Architects, recommended the contractor be awarded the bid following a complete review of the contractor’s bid and qualifications.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Monday, 11 February 2013 08:18
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:38
- Hits: 818
March 28 Family Celebration at Sealston Sports Complex
Games, food and lots of fun for kids and families will be the order of the day on Saturday, March 28, at Sealston Sports Complex, adjacent to Sealston Elementary School.
The kickoff event at the new Sealston Sports Complex is being jointly hosted by King George Little League, the KG REDS Challenger Division Baseball and King George Parks & Recreation. A formal dedication of the new county sports facility is expected to be scheduled later this spring.
The King George community is invited to the family celebration to help Little League celebrate county athletes and the volunteers who support them.
The free event begins at 10:00 a.m. and will run until 3:00 p.m. The Baltimore Orioles’s mascot will be on hand, along with members of the Baltimore Oriole Advocates.
It will include balloons, games, various contests, face painting and other activities. While admission is free, attendees are asked to consider bringing a canned good or other non-perishable food item for donation to the King George Food Bank.
The organization will also be accepting donations of gently-used sports equipment to donate to the Baltimore Oriole Advocates “Cardboard to Leather” program.
Linda Davis, vice president of King George Challengers Division Baseball told The Journal, “Every charitable organization survives through the generosity and support of the local community. This year, we are making a concerted effort to give back to the county in this special way. We truly appreciate its continued support.”
Concession items will be for sale, expected to include hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and beverages.
If your team or group would like to participate with Little League with an exhibition or other entry in the celebration, please call Linda Davis at 540-809-8205 or P&R’s Tim Smith at 775-4FUN.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:32
- Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009 16:32
- Hits: 775
LoBuglio may challenge Howard for Supervisor seat
As winter winds down, hints of spring spur plans for the coming year, and some in King George might consider adding a possible run for local election to their calendars.
If you’re interested in seeking a position in public service, it’s time to start gathering 125 signatures on the required petitions now.
There are four elected positions up for grabs in King George later this year, including two on the Board of Supervisors and two on the School Board.
Running for local office is not as difficult as many think. Sure, there are a few complicated forms to fill out, but it’s not such a tough hurdle for those who wish to give back to the community with a job in public service.
So far, John LoBuglio is the only non-incumbent seeking signatures for his petition to consider a run for the James Monroe seat on the Board of Supervisors.
That seat is currently held by Jim Howard, who was first elected to the seat in 1999 and is seeking a 4th consecutive term as representative from the James Monroe election district.
Howard has a long history of public service and served on the School Board in the 1980s, after a previous term on the Board of Supervisors.
LoBuglio gathered signatures and introduced himself to voters during the recent Home & Craft Show.
LoBuglio told The Journal, “Many friends and neighbors have contacted me to ask that I seriously consider running and that I would serve our community well in this capacity if the voters so elect it.”
LoBuglio is a bachelor and has worked as a federal government employee in the Department of Defense and Navy for over 31 years. He is a senior business financial manager on the Tomahawk Cruise Missile Program.
LoBuglio earned an associate’s degree in 1973 in business administration from Erie Community College in Williamsville, NY and a bachelor’s in business administration in 1975 from the State University College of NY at Fredonia, NY.
He has been active and involved in activities in the King George community since 1989, prior to purchasing property in 1996 moving here from Northern Virginia in early 1999.
LoBuglio is a member of St. Anthony Mission Parish, a charter member of the Friends of Caledon Natural Area State Park, and the King George Animal Rescue League, Northern Virginia Gun Club and King George Republican Committee.
“I love the rural atmosphere that exists here and want to protect that character and guide future growth. I’ve lived through the growth and sprawl in Northern Virginia and how it can easily become out of control by so many various factors that completely change the community character over the course of just a few years,” LoBuglio said.
“Having lived there, I have a deeper appreciation of why I love this community and the need to protect what this community has to offer its citizens and generations to come. I am a conservative and try to always keep a perspective of what immediate decisions have on long range planning for future implications. I believe in fiscal responsibility and protecting future generations from unnecessary tax burdens and constraints.”
o SUPERVISOR SEATS UP FOR ELECTION In addition to the term coming up for election on the Board of Supervisors in James Monroe, the Shiloh position held by Cedell Brooks, Jr., is also up for grabs.
Both incumbents have said they are planning on seeking reelection.
The terms are for four years. Though time-consuming, the board positions are part-time. Members of the King George Board of Supervisors are paid $5,000 per year.
o SCHOOL BOARD SEATS UP FOR ELECTION For the School Board, the terms coming up mirror those in the same districts as the Supervisors.
The James Monroe School Board seat is held by Payne Kilbourn. The Shiloh School Board position is currently held by Sherrie Allwine.
Neither incumbent has publicly announced their desire to run for reelection at this time. Nor has any resident announced an intention to run for either position.
The terms are for four years. Though time-consuming, the board positions are part-time. Members of the King George School Board get $3,600 per year, with an additional $500 going to the chairperson.
o REQUIREMENTS TO RUN FOR OFFICE If you are interested in running for local elected office, you may do so as long as you meet certain basic requirements.
You must be a registered voter. You must also be a resident of Virginia for at least one year immediately preceding the election; a resident of the election district to be represented by the time of filing; a United States citizen; and at least 18 years old, though any person who is 17 years old and will be eighteen years of age at the next general election shall be permitted to register in advance.
The necessary forms can be downloaded free from the state Board of Elections website, or purchased from the state Board of Elections for $10.00.
The Registrar’s office can provide an info sheet for those interested in finding out more about running for office, which lists the state web address. Her office will also supply copies of blank petitions for potential candidates.
o BECOMING A CANDIDATE Those seeking election for any of the local elected positions must file 125 signatures on candidate petition forms with the county registrar by 7:00 p.m. on June 9.
Petitions can be circulated either by the candidate or another person who is registered, or eligible to be registered, to vote in the district in which the candidate is seeking election.
When each petition sheet is completed, the person circulating the petition must affirm before a notary or other person authorized to administer oaths, that she/he personally witnessed the signatures.
Falsely taking the affidavit is a felony under Virginia law. This means that petitions can never be left unattended, for example on a counter at a store, restaurant, business, etc.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 20:00
- Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 20:00
- Hits: 645
Two more spending lists also ask for an additional $1M+
The King George School Board last week presented its 2009-10 budget request to the Board of Supervisors, asking for $39,722,566, which includes a proposal for $33,667,370 for the School Board’s operating budget.
The total budget request of $39.7M includes $4.7M for debt service and $1.3M for the Cafeteria Fund.
The School Board’s budget request was presented to the Board of Supervisors last week on March 3. Superintendent Candace Brown and Chairperson Sherrie Allwine provided an overview of the request.
Brown said the School Board’s budget priorities were threefold, as noted in the slide presentation, to maintain current staff, provide a safe environment and meet the academic needs of all students.
That would presumably be accomplished with the requested $33,667,370 for the School Board’s operating budget.
But, not so. Several additional spending lists were presented to the Board of Supervisors as noted below.
Brown also said the division exceeds requirements for the Standards of Quality (SOQs) in several areas.
Those include no requirement for any assistant principal at Potomac Elementary, since the SOQs call for one half-time assistant principal at an elementary school once the student population reaches 600 students. Potomac Elementary only has 486 students.
Brown noted that the number of assistant principals at the high school also exceeds the SOQS. High schools must have one assistant principal for each 600 students. King George High School has 3 assistant principals with an enrollment of 1,247, which is just over the line for needing 2 assistants.
Secondary guidance was also noted as exceeding SOQ requirements. That’s likely why Brown had proposed cutting guidance hours. The School Board has put it on a list to add it back into the budget, if additional funding can be secured from the county.
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL NEEDS LISTS School Board Chairperson Sherrie Allwine provided numerous additional spending lists, requesting funding an additional $1,071,637 for items called “Critical Needs.” The lists are enumerated below.
$376,379 FOR CRITICAL NEEDS Allwine provided four additional spending lists for “Critical Needs for Safety & Remediation,” “Critical Instructional Requirements,” “Other Priority” for more guidance hours and for “Head Start.”
The four lists total $376,379.
The Safety & Remediation list is further broken down.
SAFETY NEEDS The items on the spending list for safety comes to $124,680 and includes the following:
$25,000 for a part-time physical education teacher at the high school
$16,000 for a physical education paraprofessional (aide) at Sealston Elementary
$16,000 for a physical education paraprofessional at King George Elementary
$5,400 for an after-school hall monitor at the high school, $4,018 for 10 walkie-talkies at King George Elementary
$21,847 to add a custodian at the high school
$21,847 to add a custodian at the middle school (at the old high school)
$14,568 to add a bus paraprofessional
REMEDIATION NEEDS The items on the spending list for remediation comes to $102,552 and includes the following:
$18,000 for after-school tutoring at the high school
$18,000 for after-school tutoring at the middle school
$57,552 for an activity bus run
$9,000 for supplements for speech teachers
OTHER PRIORITY NEEDS Allwine also noted another School Board priority was to provide for additional hours for guidance counselors:
$13,393 is the cost for additional hours for guidance.
HEAD START PROGRAM At all School Board budget meetings, keeping the Head Start program was noted at a cost of $96,668.
For the benefit of the Supervisors, the additional transportation cost for transportation was also provided to bring the total cost to $135,754:
$96,668 to be paid to the Regional Head Start program
$39,086 for transportation costs
It’s not clear why the Head Start program has been deleted from the proposed School Board budget. At budget meeting after budget meeting, the School Board has unanimously agreed that Head Start will be put back into the budget, even if they have to delete something else, if they don’t get any additional funding over their current request.
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL INSTRUCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS Allwine presented another spending list adding up to $727,258, calling this one critical instructional requirements.
The spending list is enumerated below.
$25,000 for a part-time career/technical education (CTE) teacher at the high school
$75,000 for 1.5 full-time equivalent elective teachers at the middle school
$16,000 for a paraprofessional (aide) for K-1st grade at Potomac Elementary
$2,700 for purchase of a kiln at Potomac Elementary
$50,000 for an additional 1st grade teacher at Sealston Elementary
$150,000 for 3 computer lab teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$150,000 for 3 science lab teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$150,000 for 3 reading resource teachers, one at each of the elementary schools
$108,558 for technology hardware
REQUEST FOR LOCAL FUNDING The School Board is requesting $13,445,008 in county funding from the Board of Supervisors, compared to $10,696,752, as required by the state for local funding from King George.
That comes to a request for $2,748,256 more than the required local effort.
County Director of Finance/Deputy County Administrator Donita Harper has noted that each penny on the real estate tax equates to $261,970.
The School Board’s request for more local funding than the state requires would equate to a 10.5-cent increase on the real estate tax rate.
By Phyllis Cook
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 17:33
- Published on Wednesday, 04 March 2009 17:33
- Hits: 940
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.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2009 19:22
- Published on Thursday, 19 February 2009 19:22
- Hits: 613
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.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 20:51
- Published on Wednesday, 11 February 2009 20:51
- Hits: 862
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.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 February 2009 18:54
- Published on Wednesday, 04 February 2009 18:54
- Hits: 968
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.”