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RoundaboutAfter almost a year of construction, the roundabout at Routes 15 and 53 is finally complete.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) estimated throughout the past year that the roundabout would be finished as of Wednesday (Aug. 23). Both Lou Hatter, of VDOT district communications, and Alan Saunders, VDOT resident engineer, confirmed earlier this month that construction should be completed on time.

The roundabout has transformed the landscape of one of Fluvanna’s busiest T-intersections. During school and rush hour traffic, vehicles often remain stopped for several minutes. VDOT hopes the roundabout will transform traffic congestion as well.

“The roundabout should work extremely well in that location,” said Hatter. “One of the issues that we had was an increase in traffic volume after [Fluvanna County] High School was relocated to Route 53. The advantage to a roundabout is that it allows traffic to flow through the intersection using the natural breaks in the traffic flow, so you tend to not get the stacked-up traffic at the stop sign.” Add a comment

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FirefightersThirteen Fluvanna firefighters from three Fluvanna County fire companies graduated Sunday (Aug. 13) from a tough college level class on how to fight fires. One firefighter from Albemarle County also graduated.

The graduation ceremony for those completing the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, Firefighter 1 course of study was held at the Lake Monticello Fire Department’s Maple room.

A Firefighter 1 curriculum is considered a college level class whereby the student firefighters engage in over 200 hours of lectures, and hands-on practical training.

Instruction was conducted by 11 Virginia state certified fire instructors, who are members of the Fluvanna County fire companies. The instructors taught many subjects, both in classroom and in the field, to train the students in the proper and appropriate methods of executing their duties as firefighters. All training was conducted under controlled settings with the student’s personal safety as the top priority. Add a comment

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EclipseThe path of the Great American Solar Eclipse that takes place Monday (Aug. 21) misses Virginia. But Fluvanna residents who have chosen not to travel to see it will still be in for a show.

Although people in Fluvanna will not be able to see totality – the fleeting minutes during which the moon completely covers the face of the sun – they will witness a partial solar eclipse.

By coincidence or design, the apparent size of the sun and moon are nearly identical when seen from the earth. Though the sun’s diameter is 400 times bigger than the moon’s, its extreme distance from the earth – 93 million miles compared to 239,000 miles from the earth to the moon – makes it appear almost exactly the same size as the moon in the sky.

This phenomenon makes it possible for Earthlings to witness what is rightly called one of nature’s most spectacular displays: a solar eclipse. Add a comment

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School busAll Fluvanna County school buses are now compliant with a safety standard that requires buses manufactured after a certain date to have an additional parking brake feature.

School buses with automatic transmissions do not have a park setting. In order to park, a bus driver puts the vehicle in neutral then engages the parking brake. But if the parking brake were to become accidentally disengaged – say, by someone tripping and falling against it – the bus could begin to roll.

“The issue was discovered when the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) transportation person was out in the field and was doing spot tests,” said Julie Grimes, VDOE communications manager.

A safety device called a brake interlock prevents this possibility. “On buses equipped with a brake interlock, it is not possible to release the parking brake without first depressing the brake pedal,” according to VDOE. Add a comment

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County fairWhile area farmers revived the Fluvanna County Fair in 2014 so 4-H kids would have a local place to show their animals in the summer, there is so much more than animals at the upcoming county fair.

The fair runs from Wednesday through Saturday (Aug. 16-19) at Pleasant Grove Park on Route 53. Gates open Wednesday with a carnival. Attendance is free, but tickets to ride are a dollar apiece.

Thursday, children 18 and under get in free. Friday and Saturday admission is $2 per person and children two and under are free, said fair treasurer Channing Snoddy.
There is something for everyone:

  • High school pep rally – Thursday;
  • Wing eating contest – Thursday;
  • Hot air balloon and helicopter rides – Thursday and Friday;
  • Antique tractor pull – Friday;
  • Equine trials and obstacle challenge – Saturday;
  • 4-H livestock sale – Saturday;
  • Jalapeño eating contest – Saturday;
  • Rodeo – Saturday;
  • Live music – throughout; and
  • Home arts display and competition – throughout. Add a comment

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