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Culpeper Times • May 19-25, 2016 HIGHER EDUCATION

Germanna one of select colleges to participate in Pell Grant Pilot Program For low income students in Culpeper and Orange counties, a new opportunity offers a better chance of earning your associate degree by the time you graduate from high school. Then, with two years of college credit earned, you can transfer to a four-year institution. It's part of a program the Obama administration plans to launch this summer. The administration will invest about $20 million in the 2016-17 school year to help about 10,000 students. A Department of Education official said the amount of money each college will receive will be determined by the number of applications it has for dual enrollment Pell Grants and the depth of each applicant's financial need. GCC applied last fall to become part of the program. It already has a similar program based at its Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania. There the Gladys P. Todd Academy, funded by philanthropist Doris Buffett, helps low income, first generation students from James Monroe and Spotsylvania high schools. GCC also has a Germanna Scholars program at its Daniel Center in Culpeper that involves scholarships for all students--some partial and some full. Funding from Culpeper businessman Joe Daniel launched that program two years ago and the first cohort of 22 students from Culpeper and Eastern View high schools graduated from Germanna last week. "Germanna is pleased and honored to be one of 44 colleges to pilot this effort. We hope that this leads to full Pell Grants being available to high school dual enrollment students and their parents throughout Virginia and the nation,” said GCC President David A. Sam adding “too often dual enrollment courses are available only to families who can afford the tuition books and fees. This is a win-win-win any way you look at it and Germanna is proud to be one of the pioneers. We thank Orange and Culpeper County Schools for their partnership in this effort.”

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Click It or Ticket Campaign


Paul Simon has a song that starts, "They tell me it's all happening at the zoo." Well if you live in Culpeper it is all happening at Yowell Meadow Park. Last Saturday as I drove by the parking lot I saw a small group of women gathered. I could tell that they were not dressed for the swings or monkey bars. I stopped in and found the group preparing for a small outdoor wedding in the park. In the middle was Constance Hepner who was the bride. The groom was John Walter Bielanski, but I never met him. I asked if I could take a photo of the bride. Here she is. I hope they can treasure this forever. ➤ Check out Rich’s blog at and Faces of Culpeper on Facebook






Wedding Day




From May 23 to June 5, 2016, Virginia’s local law enforcement and Virginia State Police will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period is in advance of and includes the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. There were 310 unrestrained fatalities in Virginia last year, and 71 were recorded so far this year, between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2016. Nationally, 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but almost 50 percent of fatal crash occupants were not restrained. In some states, the rate was as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. “This fact gravely highlights the need for increased enforcement and awareness of seat belt use,” said Chief Chris Jenkins. “Time after time, we see the deadly results that come from drivers and passengers refusing to wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the most important steps in increasing survivability in a crash. Our job is to stop those who are not buckled up and to keep them from repeating this potentially deadly mistake.” Virginia’s statewide seat belt use rate was 80.9 percent in 2015, 77.3 percent in 2014, 79.7 percent in 2013 and 78.4 percent in 2012. The 310 unrestrained fatalities in Virginia last year represent 41 percent of the 753 total traffic fatalities. “The numbers tell us that young males, many of them drinking and driving, are the ones not wearing seat belts and are dying on our roadways,” said Chief Jenkins. “We want to do everything we can to reach these people and save their lives.” Culpeper Police Officers will be conducting additional patrols during this campaign. Their goal is to enforce the traffic laws with a particular focus on occupant safety. The Culpeper Police Department asks everyone, “To buckle up and put the phone down while driving.”

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May 19th, 2016 -- Culpeper Times  

May 19th, 2016 -- Culpeper Times