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T he POSTAL CUSTOMER King George Page 10 Volume 38, Number 1 Two men arrested for robbery of tobacco store Richard Leggitt A prompt response by the King George Sheriff ’s Office has led to the arrest of two Washington, DC men after they are alleged to have robbed the Last Chance Tobacco store in Dahlgren last week. The armed robbery occurred at 6:39 p.m. on Dec. 23, at the small store located at 4963 James Madison Parkway (U.S. 301).  An old model green Jeep Cherokee pulled into the store’s parking lot, and a man armed with a handgun got out of the vehicle and entered the store. According to the King George Sheriff ’s Office, a clerk and a friend who were in the store at the time ran into the store’s office and slammed and locked the office door. A second man from the Jeep then entered the store, and the two men took several cases of cigarettes and left in the vehicle headed north on U.S. 301. Sheriff Steve Dempsey said that his officers arrived on the scene within five minutes and alerted sheriff ’s officers in Charles County, MD, on the other side of the U.S. 301 bridge.  The getaway vehicle was stopped shortly thereafter by Charles County sheriff ’s officers on U.S. 301, just north of La Plata. Arrested on fugitive warrants, pending charges of armed robbery were Artemus Riley and Louis Jackson. The arresting officers recovered the stolen cigarettes and a loaded handgun from the vehicle after the pair was arrested. Sheriff Dempsey also said that the two suspects are being held at the Charles County Jail in Maryland, pending extradition to Virginia, in King George County. There have been two previous robberies at the Last Chance Tobacco Store this year, and Dempsey said that his investigators are looking into the possibility that the two men arrested were also involved in those armed robberies. Dempsey credited his officers and their quick response for setting in motion the events that led to the capture of the two men. He also credited the quick work of the Charles County Sheriff ’s Office. “We have a good working relationship with Charles County,” Dempsey said. “They were very helpful.” Phyllis Cook King George Connected has another meeting scheduled for next week on Monday, Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. in the Smoot Library. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend. This is a group of about 30 King George residents who are pursuing options to see if it can get reliable and affordable high speed internet into sparsely-populated areas of the county which are under-served by broadband providers. King George Supervisors have encouraged the group and are expected to establish a technology committee with similar goals early in 2014. It is presumed that the committee would be peopled with volunteers from the residents group. Those wishing information about King George Connected can find it on Facebook where it is listed as King George Connected - Internet Infrastructure Group. Warren Veazey said he was representing the group when he spoke to the King George Wireless Authority at its last meeting on Dec. 17, saying, “We are not looking to the county to pay any money or build any wired infrastructure. We believe, just as the board has pointed out, that these solutions will be provided by private industry. We are simply trying to encourage that.” Veazey said the King George regulations refer to telecommunication towers and the ones he’s talking about need a much smaller footprint. Veazey said the group is asking the county to review its existing zoning ordinance and its permitting fees with an eye to lowering them, to allow a company doing business in some other counties to our east could also bring its service to King George. Veazey said, “What these systems do require is line of sight from pole to pole to go from their trunk line.” Veazey said the company would want the ability to cheaply install a series of 100-150-foot poles to get service to customers seeking it. Phyllis Cook Leonard Banks During the recent King George High School Holiday Tournament, King George point guard, Eian Chase (right) positions himself for a potential steal against a Nansemond player Jaylen Warren. Board member Joe Grzeika commented that he’d looked at what that same company is doing. He added, “I think there does need to be a review – and this is more for the county – to look at how we classify these new systems.” He also commented about permitting costs, saying, “The fee isn’t to milk people for money, I just want to make that clear. It’s to cover the cost of the administration.” He also related, “There are a number of things that need to be looked at, because you don’t want poles just sprouting up everywhere. We ought to have some control and some regulation on them.” He noted the county’s responsibilities for oversight including such things as visibility, liability, and other issues including placement and setbacks for safety issues regarding ingress and egress for traffic, including access by fire and rescue. Grzeika added, “I think it would be something worthwhile to look at. I’m not opposed to it. I agree that this is a solution where in the rural areas it will be wireless with the new technology coming online.” See Broadband, page 7 Ralph Bunche committee update Phyllis Cook The Ralph Bunche Advisory Committee continues to meet monthly after a short break last summer. At its last meeting, on Dec. 6, the committee got an update from Tim Smith, county director of Parks & Recreation, on the final result of an offer from Dominion Power. He said the Board of Supervisors had concurred with the committee’s suggestion to accept a donation instead of tree plantings in front of the former school building. Dominion had offered to provide some landscaping trees to lessen the visual impact of new power lines and poles from the historic Ralph Bunche school building. The new lines and poles are being installed as part of the company’s new transmission main line and will be on the opposite side of US 301 from the historic school building. Both county supervisors and the committee did not want the trees, since planting two clumps of three trees each in front of the historic building would also screen the public’s view of the building from US 301. Dominion Power will instead donate $1,250 as the estimated value of installing trees, with the money to be specifically used to go toward the cost of a visual interpretive display that would promote the history of the Ralph Bunche building. Such a display has been estimated at $3,000 to $5,000, to be professionally made, with the durability to be able to be moved about and shown at various locations throughout the region. The idea is to showcase the role that the original section of the Ralph Bunche High School played in challenging the “separate but equal” justification in public school systems and how this ultimately led to the desegregation of schools in Virginia. BACKGROUND The Ralph Bunche Advisory committee was established by Supervisors in August 2012 at the request of the Ralph Bunche Alumni Association. The committee’s charge is to make specific recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on matters relating to the renovation and future use of the former school building. It is also tasked to investigate and identify funding sources and develop an implementation schedule. PROGRESS SO FAR This past June, the committee’s Fracking issues to get airing in King George Focused and ready! KG Connected meeting next week Group and county to work together in effort to get broadband internet to areas Wednesday, January 1, 2014 50 Cents helping you relate to your community chairperson, Nadine Lucas, reported to the Board of Supervisors on the committee’s progress. The committee’s recommendations are currently centered on the original, front part of the building. It wants the gym to be renovated to be available for rental for community events, which might include receptions, recitals, art and cultural venues, guest speakers and lectures, as well as providing a community meeting space. The committee intends the history of the school to be told through photographs, plaques, and artifacts posted and displayed in the gym and throughout the original section of the building to indicate the role that Ralph Bunche High School had prior to the desegregation of schools in Virginia. Classrooms in the original section would also be renovated for use by the community for meeting spaces for local organizations and businesses and/or non-profits, training rooms for business education and other smaller events, with the idea that one or more of the classrooms be restored to the way they were when the school was in use for African-American high See Bunche, page 7 Plans for Community Care Clinic proceed The second call was still on hold as a third call came in from a worried mother with a son suffering from a brain trauma who was in need of his feeding tube to be changed, but she no longer had a primary care doctor since the King George Medical clinic declared bankruptcy. Other local doctors didn’t have room for more patients or didn’t take her insurance. This flood of calls since we made the decision to take the bull by the horns and launch off into the turbulent waters of medical care validates the venture but also fuels an urgency to have the 24/7 TLC Community Care Clinic (CCC) at full capacity quickly. But “quick” is not in any medical regulatory agency’s lexicon in the best of times and most certainly not over the holidays, and most certainly not when the medical world at large is in major upheaval with the arrival of Obamacare. It was just a few short weeks ago that a group of us made a major decision to step in where a corporate medical company had just failed, and after all the large medical providers politely declined the Herrinks’ solicitations to open service branches in the medical center. Dr. Dean, MD who just accepted the position of medical director shortly before Christmas explained “There is a lengthy red tape process to finalize all new contracts with HMOs and PPOs. However, as we work to put the entire necessary infrastructure in place my patients who have immediate needs can receive temporary service from Dr. Canizares.” Dr. Dean and Dr. Canizares are very concerned that people are able to retain access to medical care and will do all in their power to accommodate and bridge the transition for all patients. Dr. Canizares will continue to see patients at his current location until the move is completed to the new 24/7 TLC community Care Clinic at 11131 Journal Parkway, the former urgent care facility. Dr. Dean further states “24/7 TLC Community Care clinic is committed to finding solutions and assisting individuals in navigating the chaos so that a loss of medical care does not occur.” Theresa Gauvin, RN added “It is See clinic, page 9 2013 Accomplishments & Activities – King George Phyllis Cook It is a tradition for the King George Board of Supervisors to look back at what county departments worked on over the year. During the board’s final meeting of the year on Dec. 17, Board of Supervisors chairman, Dale Sisson, read numerous items from a list of accomplishments and activities of the county departments over the course of 2013. The list was supplied to Sisson by county administrator, Travis Quesenberry. It provides some key examples about what’s been happening behind the scenes in county government. It also serves to inform taxpayers and residents about some of the results achieved by county department heads and employees. Sisson introduced the list, saying, “I’d like to share some of the accomplishments that have resulted from our efforts, but really from the efforts of our very talented and dedicated county staff, and also through the help of all of you, the great citizens of King George.” Some of the items on the list refer to projects occurring within the county, but not undertaken by the county. The listing below has been edited for brevity: ~ Completed construction of 2nd phase of Sealston Parks Sports Complex. ~ Completed construction of Smoot Library expansion and renovation. ~ Commenced renovations and repairs to Company 3 Fire Station in Fairview Beach. ~ Completed Courthouse Renovation Project, including installation of security equipment and funding of two new positions for Courthouse security. ~ Continued construction renovations to Potomac Elementary School. ~ Awarded construction contract for renovation of the former Auto Auction property on US 301 for use as a Vehicle Maintenance Facility. ~ Completed stabilization work at the former Ralph Bunche school. ~ Substantially completed construction of the Shiloh Park project and the park’s access road project, with the access road and repaving of Henry Griffin Road See 2013, page 9 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at Residents in King George clearly expect fracking issues to be at the forefront of public discussion during 2014. Resident Mary Trout commented on the topic during the Dec. 17 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, which spawned remarks from several elected officials, all expressing concerns. Trout raised the issue of how hydraulic fracturing – fracking – might affect landowners on private roads should natural gas mining take place on neighboring property. She also raised the issue of noise from the industrial activity and noted that environmental and legal issues need to be considered. Hydrofracking is a process whereby chemicals and water are forced deep into the ground to fracture the shale rock strata to release natural gas. This fracking process consumes large amounts of water, and the chemicals can pollute aquifers. King George’s entire water supply is dependent on wells fed from underground aquifers. Trout said she was pursuing arrangements for a town meeting to be held in King George by the Friends of the Rappahannock, which had co-sponsored recent meetings in Caroline and Westmoreland Counties, drawing more than 250 interested residents. She stated, “I really want King George to take this seriously.” James Madison Supervisor Joe Grzeika responded during his board member report, telling Trout that the board has directed the county attorney, “To pull all ordinances regulations and look into the authorities that the state has allowed the localities to have.” Grzeika added, “And we’ll be entertaining bringing others.” County attorney Eric Gregory’s report has been tentatively set to take place during the board meeting on Jan. 21. Grzeika noted that that the two main agencies involved at the state level are the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), saying their regulations would be reviewed, as the county explores the issues. Grzeika stated, “I know we all worry about it and I’m still in the exploration and understanding time and doing a little bit of analysis and trying to sort out reality to get the science. I’m concerned about the aquifer, which is the water that we all depend on and drink. And so that’s the primary focus area and one that we have to guard at all expense. So, we’re going to have to take a look at that. But I want to understand all of the issues before I take a formal position.” Shiloh Supervisor Cedell Brooks said he planned to hold a town meeting in the Shiloh District in the New Year, “to talk about this to show how it affects all of us.” Dahlgren Supervisor Ruby Brabo distributed a handout to board members suggesting language that might be inserted into the county’s Comprehensive Plan. She also said that the president of Shore Exploration, which is actively pursuing leases See Fracking, page 7

01-01-2014 King George Va Journal

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