hazel20160120

 

Rain fails to dampen spirits at Montross Fall Festival

After receiving a midweek weather forecast that indicated clearing for the weekend, organizers of the annual Montross Fall Festival decided to stay on schedule for the popular weekend event. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was incorrect, and participants in the festival events were drenched.

"The weatherman wasn't particularly honest with us, but we made the best of it," said Montross Town Manager Patricia Lewis. "I know the rain kept some away, but it was so much fun watching the people who embraced it."

"We are here and we are going forward," said Montross Mayor Joey King.  "Nothing is going to stop us."   

Town officials noted the festival was postponed because of weather last year and they were determined not to postpone it for a second year in a row.

Events like the Kids Zone, sponsored by the Cople and Washington District parent-teacher organizations, and the annual Chandler Three Mile Run were wet, but that seemed to have little effect on the many enthusiastic participants.

The fall festival, which was started more than 60 years ago, is held to celebrate the beginning of the fall season, but wet and sometimes cooler weather has often been a problem for the popular event.

"I think the weather affected the turnout for this year’s festival and I'm sure many of the vendors didn't get a chance to set up either. It's unfortunate but we still had a pretty turnout," said Montross Vice-Mayor Terry Cosgrove.

"The parade went on time and while we lost some participants due to the heavy rain about 2 p.m.'" Cosgrove said. "Those that took part got high marks from the viewers."

Parade participants dealt with the rain in different ways, from rain slickers, to umbrellas to a band which traveled the parade route in a school bus playing music with their instruments sticking out the bus windows.

"Fall Festival is apparently a tradition that locals are not willing to skip despite obstacles that might dissuade others " said festival organizer Becky Nelson. "It was amazing to watch emotions unfold and morph during the day."

"Wary vendors set up in the early morning drizzle, but remained unscathed, even as the precipitation taunted them with downpour and actual deluge," Nelson said. "They stayed and enjoyed the mood of the crowd which only seemed to defiantly embrace the circumstances."

"Instead of disappointment there was a childlike delight as the day culminated in a rain-soaked parade that went on as planned," Nelson said. "Montross is obviously a town that loves to gather and welcome others into their celebration of community. And even Mother Nature couldn't break their spirit. It was a fall festival that will not soon be forgotten!"

Richard Leggitt

 

Westmoreland artist shows rock ‘n’ roll art at General's Ridge Vineyard

Popular Westmoreland County artist Phil McKenney was featured at General's Ridge Vineyard over the weekend. McKenney, an illustrator and cartoonist, was the highlight of the Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll Art Show.

The show at the vineyard In Hague was well-attended.

"The images seemed to bring back a flood of memories for a lot of folks," McKenney said. "One woman said she'd seen Jerry Lee Lewis in person in Kentucky in 1970. Another said their first car was a 1957 Ford, one of the subjects depicted in the show."

McKenney said anyone who goes to the General's Ridge tasting room between now and end of November will be able to view his artwork.  

General's Ridge is open Thursday through Sunday each week noon until 6 pm. The vineyard has a seating area and tables and serves wine by the glass and some food.

Woman arrested in shed in Westmoreland allowed to remain free on bond

Judge Herbert Hewitt denied efforts by the King George Commonwealth's Attorney's Office last week to revoke the bond for Mary Evelyn Trainum, arrested earlier this month hiding in a shed in Westmoreland County and charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the drug death of a King George man.

Hewitt said he was uncomfortable with revoking the $10,000 bond since Trainum did not have an attorney present. Hewitt allowed Trainum to remain free, but ordered her to obtain an attorney and to return to court on Sept. 15 for an additional hearing on the bond issue.

King George Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Charlie Clark said prosecutors were seeking to revoke Trainum's bond because she "eluded police and lied to them about her whereabouts. She had family and friends lie about her whereabouts. And, when detectives found her hiding in a shed in Westmoreland County, she actively resisted arrest."

Trainum, 53, was indicted by a King George County Grand Jury in connection with the death of a 26-year-old man who died of a fatal drug overdose. In addition to involuntary manslaughter, Trainum is charged with illegally distributing drugs.

Richard Leggitt

Montross' Bob Fox Project may be nearing its end

The Bob Fox Project in Montross, which has been providing food and gifts at Christmas for those in need, especially seniors, in Montross and Westmoreland County for almost 34 years, unfortunately may be nearing its end.

"Sadly, all or part of the project may have to be discontinued this year," said Brenda Reamy, the former Montross town manager. "Funds were mostly depleted last year and at least $3,000 will be needed by October 1 if the project is to continue."

Reamy said only about $750 has been received so far in response to fundraising letters for the beneficial project that were sent out a few months ago.  "Help is needed," Reamy said.

The project was started more than three decades ago to provide holiday assistance for those in need as a memorial effort to honor former Westmoreland Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Fox. Sadly, Fox, who was a very popular public official, died of a heart attack in a Westmoreland County courtroom.  

Fox, who was known for his generosity as well as his legal skills, frequently lamented to friends and associates that he was worried about the large number of people in Westmoreland County who were without gifts, food or friendship during the holiday season.  

On March 11, 1983, when Fox died while trying a case in a Westmoreland County courtroom, his friends and associates vowed to keep his memory alive by establishing the Bob Fox Project to help those who are in need during the holiday season.

"It's done very quietly," said Reamy. "But it reaches out to many." Despite the Bob Fox Project's success, however, after three decades volunteer help and funding has not been what is necessary to sustain the worthwhile effort.

"The project each year remembers Westmoreland County people who now reside in nursing homes with a Christmas gift bag," said Reamy. "And for those living alone at home, a turkey dinner with all trimmings.  For some, this is the only holiday gift they receive."

Montross residents met earlier this year at the Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department to talk about ways to reinvigorate the project. "The success of this project depends completely on the generosity of our community," Bob Fox Project organizers said in a letter to Montross residents.

"We are again asking for your help in funding this yearly activity," the organizers said. "We also need worker bees to help cook, deliver, shop, wrap, bake and raise funds." The letter asked those interested in helping prepare for the 2016 holiday season to contact Pam Walsh at 804-493-8673 or to send contributions to the Robert B. Fox Memorial Project at 1623 Crookhorn Road, Montross, VA 22520.

"I was very glad to see a group of people step up to the plate to try and help keep the Bob Fox Project going," said Reamy.  "So many of our recipients look forward to this worthwhile project and I would hate to see them disappointed this year."

Richard Leggitt

Westmoreland Sheriff's Office Arrests

April 19:
Robert Clifton Creel, 49, of Colonial Beach was charged with stalking and assault and battery.
Casey Danielle Tibbs, 31, of Colonial Beach was charged with bail violation and pre-trial services violation.

April 20:
Adriauna Elette, 18, of Montross was charged with assault on law officer and disorderly conduct.

April 22:
Anthony T. West, 46, of Colonial Beach was charged with failure to appear on a warrant from Prince William County.

April 23:
Gregory Turner, 44, of Hague was charged for assault and battery on a warrant from Northumberland County.

April 24:
William Zachary Bryan, 37, of Montross was charged for drunk in public.
Stephen Ray Berry, 67, of Etlan was charged for drunk in public.
Simon Benjamin Berry, 26, of Etlan was charged with assault and battery on a law officer, resisting arrest and refusal to take a blood test.

Richard Leggitt

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