House fireA Lake Monticello family is safe after escaping an early-morning fire that destroyed their home on Seminole Trail in Cherokee Section today.

Delton and Donna Hanson were asleep in the basement master suite when Delton awoke to see their ceiling in flames at around 3:40 a.m. on Monday (Aug 21).

They were able to get their children and the family dogs outside and call the Lake Monticello Fire Department for help. One daughter sustained minor burns on her hand as they exited.

Hanson said the smoke detectors didn’t go off until the house was almost fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters did what they could to salvage some of the family’s possessions while extinguishing the fire, but the fast-moving blaze left little behind. Add a comment


RunnersAs a result of an online poll, Fourth of July activities at Lake Monticello were held on Saturday, July 1, this year. The activities began early and continued all day. Two of the annual athletic competitions are the Spirit 5K run and the Swim across the Lake.

The 16th annual 5K (three mile) Spirit Run started promptly at 7 a.m. Many contestants arrived at least half an hour early to warm up. The race begins at the Bunker ball field and it is run mostly on the Lake Monticello golf course cart paths. This year there were 210 entries that included pre-teens to retirees.

In the men’s division, the outcome was no surprise. Matt Barresi has been winning the Spirit Run 5K for a number of years. He notes that he has not run every year, but he has won every time in which he has run. This year Barresi completed the course in an impressive time of 16:35, which is about 5:30 per mile – too fast, by a wide margin, for most of the competition. Barresi ran track and cross country in college for American University and now runs for the Ragged Mountain Running team, concentrating on the marathon.

On the women’s side of the race the first-place finisher was Fluvanna County High School rising senior Saige Haney, who has been a standout for the Flying Flucos for several years, running under the tutelage of her mother, Coach Rose Brogan. Brogan did well herself, winning in her age group. Add a comment


altLake Monticello is so excited about the Fourth of July, it can’t wait. This year, the community is holding its annual celebration on Saturday (July 1) in the hopes that the maximum number of Lake residents are able to join in the fun.

As has become the tradition, events kick off the night before (June 30), with a parade from Ashlawn Clubhouse to the Marina at 6:30 p.m.

On July 1 events run literally from dawn to dusk and include a little something for everyone.

Want to compete in the sand sculpture competition at the Main Beach? You can start building your masterpiece at sun-up. The judging, however, doesn’t take place until noon.

Want to run? The 16th Annual 5K Spirit Run takes off from Bunker Park at 7 a.m. Sign up starts at 6:15 a.m.

Prefer to swim? Take the plunge for the always-popular Swim Across the Lake starting at 3 p.m. from Beach 3.

Other highlights include the horseshoe tournament at Ashlawn Courts (9 a.m.), the boat parade from the Marina to the Main Beach (4 p.m.), and a performance by the Patriotic Skiers starting from the Marina (2:45 p.m.). Add a comment


Residents urged to vote on pool, directors at annual meeting

What percentage of Lake Monticello’s population is over 65 and what percentage is below? Ask any five Lake residents and you’ll likely come away with five different answers.

Lake Monticello has traditionally been marketed as a gated haven for retirees and weekenders that is focused around amenities like golf and fishing.

Plus, said General Manager Catherine Neelley in an email, “The bulk of our volunteers are primarily retirees.” This includes the Board of Directors and members of the 15 standing committees governing the community.

This often leads to the sense that Lake Monticello is an older community into which younger people have moved in recent years, and that the number of retirees is consequently dropping.   

Yet a survey of U.S. Census records going back to 1990 shows that percentage of residents over the age of 65 has actually grown – not shrunk – over the past 27 years.

While data is not available for the first 16 years of the development, in 1990 the community became a “census-designated place,” with demographics compiled specifically on Lake Monticello. Lake Monticello does not compile its own demographic statistics.

That year, only 15.6 percent of Lake residents were 65 or over. By 2000, the figure had climbed to 18.2 percent. Today it’s 20.56 percent. Add a comment


Questions about the community pool and food service dominated a candidates’ forum hosted by the Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) Wednesday night (May 17) at the new Fairway Clubhouse.
LMOA Board President Rich Barringer, Secretary Tom Braithwaite, and Director Bing Spitler are running unopposed for new three-year terms.

Barringer voiced “extreme disappointment” that “we couldn’t get three people together to run for the Board.” Their reelection bids were rooted primarily in ongoing projects they want to see through to completion.

“I think the last two or three years have been pretty exciting years here,” said Barringer.

With the clubhouse renovations now complete, each candidate listed off multiple goals for the next three years and beyond: walking trails, changes to the marina, continued upgrades to the playground and beaches, expansion of the dredging program, and reviews of staffing procedures and safety protocols.  

“And I’ve always wanted a zip-line,” Spitler joked, “but I’ve been told not to bring it up.” Add a comment