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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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Fund raiser for libraryIt was the brainchild of Mona Orange and Martha Horsfall. While swimming laps in the pool at Health Nutz one day, Horsfall and Orange exchanged ideas about the annual event for members of the Friends of the Library.

“I suggested we have a thrift shop fashion show,” said Orange. “Martha and I laughed and kept laughing until we realized it was a pretty good idea.” They brought it up to the committee and everyone jumped on board.

The idea was to get at least 10 models to show off outfits, including accessories, they purchased from area thrift shops, yard or estate sales. It developed into a practical showcase for recycling and frugality. The Salvation Army may not be Saks Fifth Avenue, but with a little creativity and some savvy fashion know-how, no one would know the difference.

They gathered 18 willing models who went out shopping for various types of clothing ensembles for men, women, children and teens. No one was able to tell the difference between the store-bought items and those that were secondhand. All the clothing was well-coordinated and looked brand new.

Some purchased clothing items sit in the back of the closet and never sees the light of day, or may be worn only once before being consigned or donated. Most of the clothing is in good condition and in some cases may be brand new. Thrift shopping is a great way to find designer labels, as some of the models discovered.

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Radar gunA familiar scenario: You’re driving along the highways and byways of Fluvanna County – perhaps in a hurry, perhaps just not paying attention – and you suddenly see those flashing blue lights in the rearview mirror.

According to statistics provided by the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), deputies made 2,995 traffic stops between Aug. 1, 2016, and Aug. 1, 2017, and issued 903 traffic summonses. Of those, 476 were for speeding, 66 were for reckless driving, and 12 were reckless driving at 20 miles per hour (mph) or more over the posted limit. Deputies also made 74 arrests for driving while intoxicated.

Capt. David Wells of the FCSO said the overall goal of traffic enforcement is safety. “We try to focus on needs-based enforcement,” he said. “We target locations that either generated traffic-related complaints [or] an area that may be prone to motor vehicle crashes.”

Deputies responded to 473 crashes since August 2016, and three people were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on Route 15 in late January, but the emphasis on the most trouble-prone areas has helped improve overall safety. Earlier this year the county was recognized by the Department of Motor Vehicles for having zero traffic fatalities in 2016.  Add a comment

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