Bluebirds on nesting houseTime flew by for the Lake Monticello Wildlife Committee since setting up bluebird houses around the Lake. It has been two years since they proposed and implemented a plan to bring back bluebirds by setting up nesting areas.

Spring begins on March 20, and this is the time bluebirds start building their nests. Jim Haney, a volunteer with the wildlife committee who monitors the birdhouses, said, “When you see activity around the birdhouses, start monitoring. They begin building nests by the end of March.”

Haney was specific about the different types of nests that are distinguishable from bluebird nests.

“Bluebirds use pine needles and they are neat, and wrens will use moss. Chickadees’ nests are messy. They use moss, sticks and other things. But they are not as bad as the sparrows – they literally use garbage,” he said. Haney has seen plastic and other unnatural things in sparrow nests. They are considered the recycling birds, since everything and anything goes into the building of their nests. Add a comment


Eleventh green at Lake MonticelloThe Lake Monticello Golf Course is gearing up for a busy 2017.

Golf contracts at the Lake course run from March 1 to the end of February, so the 2017 season is just under way. PGA golf pro Mark Marshall said that due the mild nature of the winter so far, there has been a high level of play on the course in January and February.

Now that March has arrived, the organized activity will start to flourish. Players need to get their 2017 contracts signed and pay their handicap fee. If payment is not in by March 15, Marshall said that players will be dropped out of the system and will have to reestablish themselves in the system when they do pay. Add a comment


Fire escapeThe smart actions of a Lake Monticello woman during a Feb. 7 house fire likely saved her life and that of her daughter, said Fire Chief Richie Constantino of the Lake Monticello Volunteer Fire Department (LMVFD).

In the middle of the night, Freddie Simpson awakened to heavy smoke in the second-floor bedroom of her Jefferson Drive home, according to a public post she made on her Facebook page.

“I felt the door and it was hot,” she wrote. “I remembered the movie Backdraft and did not open it.”

The decision not to open the door may have meant the difference between life and death, said Constantino. He praised Simpson for having the presence of mind to check the heat of the door. Had she opened it, he said, superheated gases and smoke might have incapacitated Simpson and her daughter before they could make their escape. Add a comment


The Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Board of Directors is considering spending up to three-quarters of a million dollars on a new pool. The expense may require that LMOA residents foot the bill by means of a special assessment.

Repairs to the Lake Monticello community pool have totaled more than $208,000 in the past decade and repairs could cost another $200,000 or more, according to information released by LMOA this week.

A timeline compiled by Angie Cooke, LMOA contracts manager, for the Jan. 26 Board of Directors meeting listed the enhancements and repairs made on the pool, beginning with the installation of a new liner in 2006. That liner is now believed to be failing, along with parts of the plumbing and circulation systems. Add a comment


The small fire could have quickly engulfed the house. A tragedy was avoided this past Saturday (Nov. 12), thanks to a group of Lake Monticello teenagers who happened to be walking by at the right time.

Dillan Cobbs, Michelle Harris, Brycen Baber, Andrew Ward, Ethian Kidd, Ashton Brown and Michael Brown were talking a walk together in the Cherokee section of the Lake a little after 9 p.m. that night. The teens smelled smoke and noticed a fire on the porch at 19 Tuscarora Drive.

“It was on top of the porch and under the porch,” Cobbs, 13, said of the fire he saw as he walked by. Cobbs said Ward and Michael Brown immediately began to attempt to smother the fire while the others ran around the house, banging on doors and windows to alert the family who was sleeping inside.

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