- Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 16:27
- Published on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 16:27
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Spring vacationers returning to part-time Westmoreland County homes are discovering it was a hard winter as they attempt to negotiate a path between the overflowing ditches and the pitted surfaces of the county’s narrow and winding secondary roads.
It’s spring vacation time in Westmoreland County and the traffic is heavier than it has been for many months, but vacationers are discovering they must share the roads with school bus traffic. The county school division’s spring break had been sharply abbreviated by weather events that occurred earlier this year.
Loss of a meaningful spring vacation was a discussion topic at last week’s county school board meeting. The holiday would be limited to April 2 and 5.
School Board members acted on the calendar revisions reluctantly. Days lost to snow events had to be restored and Standards of Learning (SOL) test performance was a big consideration.
Longer school day hours were a consideration that failed to take flight. Subjects needed to be taught before SOLs were administered or the exhausted students’ test scores would be low.
The school board members were advised that neighboring divisions were making school days longer in order to avoid disrupting spring vacation plans. It was stated that spring break is needed to preserve everyone’s morale.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 16:26
- Published on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 16:26
- Hits: 933
The lawyers, the upset county residents and one or more O’Gara training facility principals gathered this Monday morning in Westmoreland Circuit Court to learn the fate of five pending litigations.
When the proceeding concluded, there were minor victories for all the players in the O’Gara exercise that began on January 12, 2009.
Parties wishing to challenge the local government’s O’Gara actions were still standing when substitute Judge Jay Swett concluded the business of March 29.
Two days had been set aside to settle the pre-trial business following a preliminary hearing teleconference in December 2009 between the judge and attorneys.
This week five attorneys and the substitute judge from the Charlottesville area designated September 20 and 21 as tentative trial dates. County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) Attorney Roger Wiley was absent from the proceeding and his availability had yet to be established when this edition of The Journal went to press.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 15:16
- Published on Wednesday, 24 March 2010 15:16
- Hits: 1239
“It’s not too late to tell the supervisors that we are willing to have our taxes raised.”
The Westmoreland County School Board met this Monday and adopted the budget for next year. The new budget’s $16.3 million bottom line reflects a 12 percent revenue loss when compared to the division’s current operating budget.
The actual vote was 3 to 2, with Rosemary Mahan and Bryan Oliff delivering the dissenting votes. No School Board member willingly embraced the program and other cuts, but the need to adopt a balanced budget in a timely manner was openly acknowledged.
According to the discussion, it was late in the afternoon last Thursday when the state delivered its numbers to the county school division. Superintendent Elaine Fogliani and Finance Officer Linda Nettler immediately began cranking numbers in order to be ready for the budget hearing advertised for March 22.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 18 March 2010 19:30
- Published on Thursday, 18 March 2010 19:30
- Hits: 960
Second teen seriously injured
A Westmoreland County teenager is dead following a single-vehicle crash this morning, Thursday, March 18, 2010. At 8:21 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper J. M. Brooks was called to the scene on Route 625, Horners Mill Road, approximately a quarter of a mile west of Route 697, Lapkin Road, in Westmoreland County.
A 1995 Saturn Coupe was traveling east on Route 625 when the driver ran off the right side of the roadway, over-corrected and struck a tree. The passenger, Jareka Shepherd, 14, of Westmoreland County, died at the scene. Shepherd was wearing her safety belt.
The 17-year-old driver was seriously injured in the crash and flown to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg. It is not clear whether the driver was wearing his safety belt.
The Virginia State Police Division One Accident Reconstruction Team is assisting with the investigation of the fatal crash. The cause of the crash is still under investigation and charges are pending at this time.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:09
- Published on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:09
- Hits: 1061
The Westmoreland Supervisors met last week with county school division Superintendent Elaine Fogliani and high school athletics coach Malcolm Lewis to address plans to construct a new concession stand on Washington and Lee football field.
Fogliani and the supervisors had discussed the plans to replace the old dilapidated structure many months ago and concerns were raised about a $125,000 expenditure to support athletics programs during a difficult economic period.
Initial designs have since been reviewed in hopes of minimizing costs and revised plans are currently being scrutinized by county school board members. Last week County Administrator Norm Risavi expressed an intention to participate in those school board deliberations.
Risavi shared intentions to make county personnel and regional inmates available to assist with construction of the new building. Sewer lines will be installed to accommodate the building’s kitchen and restroom facilities.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:56
- Published on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 15:56
- Hits: 1026
Residents attending the March 8 Board of Supervisors meeting have been put on notice that they can expect no changes to the county’s by-right land use practices until after legal questions associated with the O’Gara Group’s presence in Westmoreland have been settled in the courts.
Monday’s agenda included a second work session on the Planning Commission’s set of recommended changes to by-right land use practices in residential and agricultural zoning districts. Commission Chairman John Felt and Zoning Administrator Robert Fink attended the session and actively participated in the Board’s discussion.
In June 2009 Supervisor Lynn Brownley persuaded board colleagues to task the commissioners with reviewing by-right land use practices and delivering a set of recommended changes. The initiative was launched in response to concerns that the county’s zoning regulations were more lax than other Virginia localities.
- Last Updated on Friday, 05 March 2010 16:06
- Published on Friday, 05 March 2010 16:06
- Hits: 843
The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 8 in A.T. Johnson auditorium. Brownley, who resigned from his elected position following the 1988 arrest, made it known on Thursday that he has unfinished public business on the Board of Supervisors. There will be no immediate opportunity for other Board members and the court to select and appoint a District 3 successor.
King George Commonwealth's Attorney Matt Britton assumed the role of special prosecutor in the Circuit court on Thursday. Westmoreland's own Dean Atkins has recused himself, as did Judge Joseph Ellis.
According to Britton, Brownley has provided the police with a full statement detailing his drug activities.
Brownley expressed remorse when he addressed the court. He said he had tried very hard to recover his standing in the community.
The Westmoreland County native was released from jail on Thursday afternoon.