T he POSTAL CUSTOMER Colonial Beach • Westmoreland Pages 13 &14 Volume 38, Number 7 Wednesday, February 12, 2014 50 Cents helping you relate to your community Double-shooting on New Monrovia Road; Shots fired into vehicle Vehicle crashes into home on Cedar Hill Road Linda Farneth New details in the case of last Wednesday’s shootings piece together events that unfolded that day, starting with a double-shooting around 2:30 p.m., and ending with shots fired into a car on Cedar Hill Road and another car running off the road and damaging the porch of a home at 1439 Cedar Hill Road. Police responded to a 911-call with a report of shots fired at a residence on New Monrovia Road (“The Old Road”) in Westmoreland County. When police arrived, they found two men shot, laying in close proximity to each other. One was described as a 25-yearold Montross man, found shot in the chest. Police said he was not a resident but was known to frequent the home to visit one of its occupants. The other shooting victim was also not a resident, but was described as a 33-year-old man from Maryland. He was suffering from gunshot wounds to the abdomen. Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson stated in a phone interview on Thursday, that the two gunshot victims were unable to speak, but it has been determined that they had shot each other. Law enforcement officers on the scene scoured the yard and surrounding area in search of evidence. The two victims where transported to Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg by ambulance with life-threatening wounds. There is no word on their conditions, and their names have not been released. Shortly after the shooting on New Monrovia Road, at around 4:05 p.m., Westmoreland County Sheriff ’s Office dispatched law enforcement when a call came in that a car had crashed into a home at 1439 Cedar Hill Road. The responding officer called in to dispatch reporting finding a car at a different location with its windshield blown out and no occupant in sight. Dispatch responded that a call had come into the Westmoreland Sheriff ’s Office of shots fired into a vehicle. Police were still trying to determine if the two incidents were connected to each other and/or to the shooting on New Monrovia Road. The responding officer asked dispatch to tell residents at 1439 Cedar Hill Road to go back into their home. The responding officer then confirmed that the home had a vehicle crashed into its porch, with its engine running, but said there was no danger to the residents at that time. He advised other responders to approach with caution, since the driver of the vehicle into the home of Cedar Hill Road had also not been located. Balderson confirmed on Thursday that two cars were traveling together on Cedar Hill Road- one red, and one black. A third car approached the red car and shot into its windshield. The black car continued on and veered off the road, hitting the front porch of the house on Cedar Hill Road. No one was reported injured in this incident. The shooting suspect in the third car drove off and has not been Linda Farneth The scene at New Monrovia Road, where the double-shooting occured. apprehended. Balderson also said that both shootings are still under investigation, and no charges have been filed. Police do have persons of interest on which they are not releasing information, at this time. Balderson asks that citizens please use due diligence, and if anyone has any information pertaining to these incidents, no matter how small, to please call the Westmoreland County Sheriff ’s Office at 804-493-8066 or text tips to 847411 (TIP411). Detective First Sergeant Vanessa Schock is the lead investigator in the case. Westmoreland County Sheriff ’s Office was assisted in Wednesday’s shootings by the Colonial Beach Police Department, King George County Sheriff ’s Office, Virginia State Police and Spotsylvania County Sheriff ’s Office’s K-9 unit. Also responding were the Colonial Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Westmoreland County Medic-One and Medic-Three, and the Colonial Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad. A New Bridge For Mattox Creek Linda Farneth The Mattox Creek Bridge showing signs of deterioration. VDOT officials say they are monitoring the bridge on a regular basis. Wmd. Board moves one polling location; refuses to move Oak Grove polling spot Richard Leggitt The Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors has approved moving the District One polling place from its current location at the Cople District Fire Station to the Carmel United Methodist Church at 9463 Cople Highway, in Hague. But the board, based on the strong opposition of Vice-Chairman Woodrow Hynson, declined to relocate the District Four polling place from its current location at the Oak Grove Fire Station to the Washington District Elementary School at 454 Oak Grove Road, in Colonial Beach. Westmoreland County General Registrar Kirstin Hicks wanted to move both polling locations before the 2014 elections. “There has long been a need for an alternative to using the Cople District Fire Station,” Hicks said. “Adequate lighting, heating, and cooling are issues that our elections officers must deal with during every election.” The board agreed and approved the Cople move unanimously during its Monday night meeting. “The comments I have received from the community have been positive,” said Board Chairman Darryl Fisher, who represents District One. Hicks also said, “The Oak Grove Colonial Beach updates Schools School Fire Investigation School officials have not received any updates from the fire investigators as to the cause of the fire that burned out the condemned old high school/ middle school building on the elementary campus, or whether it was accidental or due to arson. The fire remains under investigation, according to Sergeant Thomas J. Molnar, Director of Public Relations for Virginia State Police. Fire Fund School officials have thanked the public for all of the donations made to the Elementary School Fire Fund. The funds were used to replace supplies lost in the fire and to help move the elementary students into In addition, Hannon explains that “structurally deficient” means that there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored and/ or repaired. The fact that a bridge is rated “deficient” does not imply that it is likely to collapse, or that it is unsafe. It means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and maintained. Built in 1930, the Mattox Creek Bridge is inspected annually, with its last inspection in September 2013. The bridge currently consists of two 11-foot travel lanes and shoulders of varying widths. The estimated $7.3 million replacement bridge will be considerably wider, with two 12foot travel lanes and two 10-foot shoulders. Preliminary engineering, right-of-way acquisitions, utility relocation and construction are all factored in to reach the estimated See Polls, page 2 cost of $7.3 million. In order to minimize traffic disruptions, VDOT plans to install a traffic light to guide traffic alternating in one lane and will construct the new bridge in phases. The portion of the bridge remaining open during construction will continue to be inspected annually, according to VDOT. Hannon writes that motorists will observe visible construction at the project site beginning in midsummer 2014, and construction will continue through the summer of 2016. One lane of traffic on the bridge will be open for the vast majority of the project. Temporary traffic signals will be placed on either side of the bridge so that traffic from both directions can take turns See bridge, page 2 Permit or No Permit? That is the Question Eagles donation Fire Station has also not been particularly suitable as a polling place, due to heating and cooling inconsistencies, and because the firemen are often walking through the polling area to their meeting room, office or kitchen.” Hynson urged the board to vote against the Oak Grove move. “I have looked at it hard; that is my obligation to my constituents,” said Hynson, who represents District Four. “With improved communications, we can fix the problems. I think the current location is the best location.” Hynson said the Oak Grove Fire their temporary school at Oak Grove Baptist Church. School officials wrote, “Thank you seems inadequate to express our appreciation for the outpouring of financial and material support we have received since the fire of January 5th. Donations have come from churches, businesses, organizations, clubs, sports associations, other school districts, and individuals. Through your benevolent donations and fundraising efforts already scheduled, we are delighted to share The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will be replacing the Route 205 (James Monroe Highway) bridge over Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County this summer. VDOT Communications Manager Kelly Hannon said in an email on Thursday, Feb. 6, that work on the project is scheduled to begin in July. Hannon explained in her email, “The bridge is considered a structurally deficient bridge, which means that one or more elements of the bridge – bridge deck, substructure, or superstructure – received a rating of ‘4’ or below on the 9-point bridge scale. During the last inspection in September, the bridge deck received a ‘4’ rating, which is ‘poor’. The substructure received a ‘5’ rating of ‘fair’, and the superstructure received a rating of ‘6’, which is ‘satisfactory’.” Home repair, when a permit is required Colonial Beach Councilman Tommy Edwards, left, presents a check for $5,000 from the Colonial Beach Eagles Aerie 4315 to Debbie Ryan, second from left, of University of Virginia Health Systems. The check is to help fund UVA’s research into pancreatic cancer. At right are Sheila Massey and Wayne Johnson. They are the fiancée and son of longtime Eagle Tommy Johnson who died last year from pancreatic cancer. that we will have a sufficient amount of supplies for the remainder of the year.” CBES Move to High School Campus Due to the Jan. 5 fire, the Colonial Beach Schools’ plans to move the elementary school campus to the high school campus have been put on hold. Goodman and Gould, the consulting firm that is working on the schools’ behalf to ensure a fair insurance settlement, will need to finish their work before anything can move forward on the move. Before the fire, school officials and the town council had agreed to pursue a loan of around $800,000 to fund the move, as well as repairs to the high school on First Street. However, until the state completes their investigation, all actions have come to a halt. Despite the inability for school Spring is just around the corner. Time to start thinking about renovation projects. Some projects may be simple maintenance issues; others may involve serious construction work. So how do you tell if your project will require a building permit? Here is an overview from The Colonial Beach Building and Zoning Office. The following is meant to be a guideline and may exclude some projects requiring a permit. Anyone with questions should call their local building and zoning office. The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code 108.1 states that a permit is required before the See permits, page 2 See Updates, page 2 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at www.journalpress.com The ONLY credit card you need – a NSWC Federal Credit NSWC Federal Credit Union Visit nswcfcu.org for details. Union Credit Card SPECIAL Promotional Rate %APR at 3.9 through February 28, 2015 for balance transfers made between December 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014 After February 28, 2015 rate will revert to the existing non-variable rate of 9.9% APR or 12.72% APR depending on card product. Rates are current as of November 1, 2013. Applications for new credit cards must be submitted no later than February 15, 2014 to qualify for the promotional rate. Programs, rates, conditions and terms are subject to change without notice. Credit Union membership is required. Visit NSWCFCU.ORG for details on current rates, terms and conditions.