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John HalpinJohn Halpin was the last person to realize what everyone around him already knew: He was an addict.

Now a substance abuse counselor living with his wife and children at Lake Monticello, 30-odd years ago Halpin was living in a friend’s basement in his native southern New Jersey. The drinking and drug use that had once been “a lot of fun” had turned into something destructive.

Halpin grew up in an environment where drug and alcohol abuse was common and where alcohol, in particular, was always around. “It would have been unusual if I didn’t drink,” he said.

Like many who develop substance abuse problems, he didn’t recognize that his need to keep using was not a matter of choice but rather a physical dependence that became harder and harder to rationalize away.

“I wasn’t really working,” he said of those days. “My family had written me off.” He was facing multiple DUIs and drug possession charges. To top it off, he crashed his car and went through the windshield, causing injuries to his face and eyes that required several rounds of plastic surgery to repair. “Not just emotionally and not just spiritually, but physically...I was in pretty bad shape,” he said. Add a comment

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The call to care for the emergency placement of a siblings group in our Lake Monticello home very quickly turned into a community-wide welcome thanks to the power of love and social media.

My husband, Robert, our adult daughter, Manna, and I met the threesome of small children on a late Thursday night. We decided we were ready and would somehow be able to open our home to them and to the opportunity to serve as God would have us do.

We had prepared to be a foster family, having gone through training, background checks, a home study, and extended workshops. Our guest room was rigged with a gorgeous full-sized bed and all the basic amenities any school-age child could need. But these weren’t school-aged children, we had very little in terms of basic necessities, and they were coming to stay with us on Monday.

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Two Fluvanna households are holding out against attempts by the James River Water Authority (JRWA) to take easements through their land for a water pipeline.

George Bialkowski, Jr., is opposing the JRWA on behalf of himself and his father, George Bialkowski, Sr.

Barbara Seay, who declined to be interviewed, has also not reached an agreement with the JRWA.

Both Bialkowski and Seay were vocal opponents of the JRWA project’s location when it came to a head last winter. They live at Point of Fork, in the path of the approved but unbuilt pipeline.

The JRWA project consists of a water intake facility on the Point of Fork where the James and Rivanna Rivers meet near Columbia, and a raw water pipeline stretching a little over a mile to Route 6.

From that point, the Louisa County Water Authority will construct its own pipeline at its own expense to funnel water northwest through Fluvanna to Louisa County. Louisa has promised to have 400,000 gallons of treated water at Zion Crossroads for Fluvanna’s use by the end of 2018.

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Connor ReillyThere is a star in Fluvanna’s galaxy but we might have missed it because our telescope isn’t trained on that orbit.

We give props to top athletes, high academic achievers, Eagle Scouts and heroes.

But a bassoon player? It’s about time.

Fluvanna County High School senior Connor Reilly joined a rare group when the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America chose him as one of five bassoonists to become a part of its elite family.

That means together with other top student musicians, Connor will study in New York this summer for a three-week residency, as well as play a July 21 concert at Carnegie Hall followed by a performance trip through Latin America.
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From a survey designed to help the Board of Supervisors decide on budget priorities to a program to recognize those that contribute to the community, Fluvanna County government wants to know what you think. 

“We always, always, always want to hear feedback from the community – good, bad, indifferent, preferences – especially during budget season,” said County Administrator Steve Nichols.
To that end, the county website (fluvannacounty.org) is hosting a 2017 citizen survey that asks residents to weigh in on their satisfaction with the county’s current services and direction. Nichols plans to present the data from the survey at the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 15.

He encouraged residents to take the survey, accessible from the website’s homepage, before March 15. “The Board does really listen and they are very interested,” he said.

Residents can always reach out using My Two Cents, a virtual comment box available on the website. People can leave compliments, criticisms, concerns or suggestions for departments or staff members.


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