King George Industrial Park under consideration for established Virginia business

Authorization to proceed with appraisal of a lot in the King George Industrial Park was provided on ...

King George Ruritan Club honors county veterans

The King George Ruritan Club’s annual Veterans Day program proudly recognized five King George...

South Korean minister of national defense tours directed energy facilities at Dahlgren base

U.S. Navy scientists and engineers briefed a delegation of defense officials from the Republic of Ko...

King George School Board honors its longest-serving bus drivers

Four senior school bus drivers for King George County Public Schools were honored for their excellen...

Complaints over dirt bike noise at Cleydael, again

Complaints over noise caused by dirt bike events adjacent to Cleydael subdivision in King George hav...

State update on gas and oil drilling regulatory process

The King George Board of Supervisors heard a report from Michael Skiffington, Policy and Planning Ma...


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King George man sentenced for injuring Colonial Beach couple

A King George man, who was driving a vehicle that collided with a motorcycle carrying a Colonial Beach couple after last year's Colonial Beach Bikefest, was sentenced to prison In King George Circuit Court last week.

Circuit Judge Herbert Hewitt sentenced Keith Jordan Watson, 28, to two consecutive terms of five years in prison, with four years and six months of each suspended upon good behavior. Watson will serve at least one year in the penitentiary.

Watson was charged with driving under the influence and driving under the influence maiming after the vehicle he was driving on Oct. 10, 2015, collided with a motorcycle carrying Richard and April Martin of Colonial Beach.  Prosecutors said both of the Martins suffered extensive and permanent injuries.

Richard Leggitt

Gregory Gaines, victim to convict after King George robbery

Gregory Gaines, a 22-year-old King George man who was the victim in a robbery last year that took the life of his cousin, was himself convicted of robbery last week and sentenced to prison.

King George Circuit Judge Patricia Kelly sentenced Gaines to five years in the penitentiary, but suspended all but one year and 10 months. Prosecutors said Gaines was one of three people involved in a robbery last September at the Princess Anne Trailer Park.

King George Commonwealth's Attorney Keri Gusmann said Gaines and two brothers. Deandre Reynolds, 19, and James Lee Reynolds, 15, approached a home of a 56-year-old trailer park resident.

Gaines approached the victim and lured him outside his home. His two accomplices then attacked the resident, knocking him to the ground. The trio of robbers then stole the victim's wallet.

The King George County Sheriff's office was called and quickly located the trio, but the Reynolds brothers ran and escaped. Gaines was captured immediately and his two accomplices were arrested several days later.

The Reynolds brothers, neither of whom had a criminal record, pled guilty to a reduced felony charge of larceny from a person. Kelly sentenced both of them to five years in prison, with all but a month suspended.

Gaines was on the other end of the justice system in another King George robbery last year. He was shot by three assailants in a robbery on Winston Place on April 29, 2014, and Gaines' cousin, 20-year-old Ronelle Johnson, was slain.

The three robbers in that instance, Anrhony Goodman, Michael Clinton and Tennase Shanks, were convicted for their participation in that crime and are currently serving prison terms ranging from 10 to 45 years.

Richard Leggitt

King George schools: Casey Nice is new assistant principal at Potomac Elementary

Casey Nice is the new assistant principal of Potomac Elementary School.

The action by the King George School Board became effective on July 1 at a salary of $78,617.

The slower summer pace has given him the time to settle in and begin partnering with Principal Angie Harris and making plans for the upcoming school year. Nice has also repainted his office a

calming shade of blue and done some decorating.

Now he’s looking forward to teachers and other staff coming in, followed by students returning to school.

“Although I am new to Potomac Elementary School, I have received such a warm welcome that I already feel like a part of the family,” Nice said. “I am very excited for our teachers to return, but I can't wait to see our students’ smiling faces on Aug. 15. This is going to be another great year at Potomac and I'm so fortunate to have the opportunity to help our students learn and grow.” 

Nice is new to Potomac but not to the King George school division. He’s been the Special Education Secondary Program Specialist for the division since 2013. Superintendent Rob Benson spoke about the appointment.

“Mr. Nice is a very accomplished and caring professional who is a champion of quality learning and opportunity for all children,” Benson said. 

“His enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of teaching and learning, in particular his expertise in special education, will serve the students, staff and community of Potomac Elementary well.”

Prior to coming to the King George school division, Nice was a special education teacher at Massaponax High School from 2008 to 2013, where he was also a case manager and school behavior specialist.

Before that, Nice gained three years experience as a teacher and cognitive therapist at Learning Enhancement Centers in Fredericksburg.

Nice earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in 2004 and a Master’s in Education from University of Mary Washington in 2010. Earlier this year, he also earned a K-12 Certification in Administration and Supervision from Liberty University.

Nice took the position vacated by long-time associate principal Scott Gilbert. Gilbert said he wanted to return to the classroom.

“I will be teaching kindergarten, where I started my career 30 years ago,” Gilbert said.

Phyllis Cook

VCLA Tutoring celebrates move to new location

VCLA Tutoring celebrated its move into a new location across from the King George courthouse

on Route 3, 9508 Kings Highway, with a ribbon cutting and open house on July 15 with teachers,

county officials and community leaders. Treasurer Randy Jones provided a testimonial. “My

niece goes here and needed some in math skills. This place has been amazing for her,” Jones



Pictured: (from the left) Dawn Hillis, Kerry Whitmoyer, VCLA Tutoring Director/business

owner Carolyn Berry, King George Economic Development Director Linwood Thomas,

Economic Development Authority Chairman Jim Hull, King George Treasurer Randy Jones,

David Clare of Union Bank, Don Smith of NSWC Federal Credit Union and Tracey Hammett.

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 2016-­17 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 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


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


July 14

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


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


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.


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