YEAR IN REVIEW: October

Rain brings some drought relief, leaves damages

The remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole brought some much needed rain to the area, making up the rain deficit for September. But, the rain opened a 25-to-30 foot hole in the back wall of Vernon’s Truck Repair Shop, located in the 11600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. The rain was also believed to be responsible for the opening of a pothole 20 inches long, 5 inches wide and 6 inches deep on Interstate 95, which snarled traffic for morning commuters.

Beulah students, parents share the joy of reading

The cafeteria at Beulah Elementary School was packed with students and their parents, grandparents or other caring adults who braved the autumn morning to enjoy Book & Breakfast. The event is offered six times throughout the year at Beulah Elementary, Title-I teacher Robin Daugherty said. Students in pre-kindergarten through third grade attend and bring adults, and are able to choose a free book to take home with them from the event.

Lead Title-I teacher Michelle Clements applied for and won a $7,392 First Book grant that would pay for 3,996 new books, or six books for each eligible student. Children can choose between hard and paperback books, Daugherty said.

Birds of a feather

To better welcome the new surge of students transferring from Chester Middle School, faculty members at Elizabeth Davis Middle School made and wore T-shirts to represent the cohesive atmosphere the school promotes.

Bird, Dale facilities named for longtime teachers

Facilities at L.C. Bird and Thomas Dale high schools now bear the names of educators who touched the lives of countless students during their tenures.

At its Oct. 12 meeting, the School Board voted unanimously to name the auditorium at L.C. Bird High for longtime music teacher and choral director Margaret F. Gregory and the athletic field house at Thomas Dale High after veteran football coach Vic Williams.

Gregory died suddenly on March 1, according to a School Board memo on the matter. She began her teaching career in Chesterfield County in 1987. Gregory was a teacher at L.C. Bird High for 22 of the 31 years since its founding, and she touched the lives of countless students

Williams, a Thomas Dale alumnus and former Knights quarterback, was an institution at the school when he retired, having won 213 football games, seven Central Region championships and one state championship in his 23 years as head coach, he said.

She Chester: Open for business

Mary Schindel, owner of She Chester (formerly Just the Thing), wielded the scissors at She Chester’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle and local business owners attended the opening of the shop, located at 11884 Chester Village Drive.

Hahns pace the field in MileStat Invitational

Colin and Randy Hahn ran away with the Middle School Division at the MileStat Invitational held at Pocahontas State Park. The Matoaca students traversed the 4K course in 13:44 and 14:03, respectively, outpacing the field. The 1-2 finish was nothing new for the brothers, who duplicated that result in each of their middle school meets earlier in the fall.

Commission says no to EMC sign

Though the Planning Commission recommended denial of a car wash’s request for an electronic sign in October, some commissioners stressed that they weren’t opposed to such signs in principle.

“What you’re asking for is not out of the question, but it’s not in the policy,” Matoaca District Commissioner F. Wayne Bass told the applicant last week.

Flagstop Car Wash and Quick Lube applied for a computer-controlled, variable message, electronic sign at its 11031 Iron Bridge Road location. The electronic message center (EMC) sign would have replaced the removable letter marquis sign that is part of the business’ shared sign with Wawa, according to a letter from Flagstop owner Robert C. Schrum, Jr.

At the commission meeting, planning staffer Robert Clay said the request didn’t conform to the county’s EMC policy. The application sought three lines of copy, a six-second message interval and full color; the policy permits no more than two lines of copy, a minimum 10-second message interval and white or amber lights.

Schrum said the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce would soon present something requesting a revision of the entire sign ordinance.

“I don’t think it’s right that the Planning Commission hold the business community hostage to get action from the Board of Supervisors,” he said.

Bass said some commissioners were not against electronic signs, “but we’re beating our head against the wall” until the Board of Supervisors allows them to change the policy.

“If you think we are holding you hostage, we’re not,” Bass said.

McAuliffe at Tavern Talk

Terry McAuliffe, a well know politico who worked for a number of Democratic presidents, spoke to area residents at the Chesterfield Historical Society’s Tavern Talk at Howlett’s Restaurant and Tavern.

The old one-two

In sports, rankings and statistics aren’t everything, but they do facilitate the process of spotlighting exceptional athletes. In fact, numbers alone brought two local standouts to a completely new level of illumination for their exploits on the football field.

During the high school football season in late October, Meadowbrook’s Domico Phillips and L.C. Bird’s Yahkee Johnson, both running backs, were ranked in the Central Region in rushing.

As of Oct. 27, Yahkee was ranked first in the region in rushing with 1,740 yards and 17 touchdowns as a first-year transfer student from Varina. Having solidified his reputation as a well-respected juggernaut from the start, he became a leader and stone-nosed player for the Skyhawks.

Yahkee also is a member of the school’s basketball team.

At the time of the ranking, Domico Phillips was second in the Central Region in rushing with 1,297 yards and 12 touchdowns. One of his best games was on Oct. 22 against Colonial Heights, when he scored 3 touchdowns and rushed for a total of 242 yards as the Meadowbrook Monarchs won 29-7.

A senior, Phillips shared that he had received interest from I-AA Kent State and Shepherd College, Coastal Carolina-another I-AA school- and West Virginia Wesleyan-a Division II school.

Also a long jumper on the Monarchs’ track team, Phillips has been ranked 30th in the nation and last year was fourth in the state, also winning the Central District championship in the 55 meters as a junior. He has been clocked at 10.9 seconds in the 100-yard dash.

Known for being in the video of MadSkillz airing on MTV2, Phillips is supposedly one of the best in state at “jerk” dancing.

As more football greats come through the area, folks in south-eastern Chesterfield are getting their fair share of high-quality high school football.

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