Jaeckle HSR meetings draw crowd, but lack answers

Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle held two community meetings in September to discuss the Southeast High-Speed Rail Project and its impact on her district. As many as 180 people attended an evening meeting at Thomas Dale High School; some in attendance made political statements about the project, and some were aggravated that the presentation maps didn’t included a significant portion of Chester, although paper maps were available.

Jaeckle agreed with the political statements, saying she didn’t think high-speed rail was needed here.

No one from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) attended the Thomas Dale meeting; when some realized there were no state or federal officials present, they left the meeting.

“Where is the person who can answer these questions?” asked Centralia resident Tom Tennille.

During the supervisors’ meeting, Jaeckle asked the board to vote to extend the comment period for the Tier II Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

“I can’t imagine Foxcroft, Woodlake, Brandermill, Salisberry or the Highlands and this board being content with a 40-day window to log citizen concerns,” Jaeckle said. “I think we need to take a stand as supervisors to ask for an extension of the public comment period because I have been told that once we submit it will be very difficult to get anything changed.”

The board approved the resolution, which stated in part that the board only supported the project if certain conditions were met, such as “additional information be provided to the county.” The “additional information” reflected many of the concerns related by citizens during the Bermuda District community meetings.

Supervisors unanimously deny landfill request

“You had a deal in ’97, and absent of any material change in circumstance, there is no reason to refine or change the zoning case,” Supervisors Chairman Dan Gecker told representatives of Shoosmith Bros. Inc. That night, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to deny a request from Shoosmith Bros. Inc. that would have allowed the company to bring out-of-state waste into the section of its landfill permitted in 1997.

No school left behind

Colonial Heights Baptist Church sent out more than 600 volunteers to local schools to complete projects that the fiscal 2011 budget didn’t cover. The event involved about 20 schools, including:

  • Matoaca High
  • Community High
  • Marguerite Christian Elementary
  • Matoaca Elementary
  • Ettrick Elementary
  • Carver Middle
  • Harrowgate Elementary
  • Matoaca Middle
  • Curtis Elementary
  • L.C. Bird High

Cutline - Justin Larue places in tournament

The Jason Larue, a 7-year-old second grader at O.B. Gates Elementary School, placed in his age group at the U.S. Kids World Championship for Golf at the Mid-Pines Resort in Pinehurst, N.C.

Henricus Historical Park kicks off year-long celebration with Publick Days

This year’s Publick Days event on Sept. 18-19 at Henricus Historical Park kicked off a year-long commemoration of the establishment of the second successful English settlement in the “New World.”

Special events planned for the Year of Henricus included Pocahontas, Rocke Hall and the Powhatan People in November. Future events include:

  • Henricus Colledge – First University Chartered in North America:  March 26-27, 2011                   
  • Mount Malady – America’s First Hospital:  May 7-8, 2011                           
  • Tobacco – First Successful Commercial Export:  July 23-24, 2011                       
  • Publick Days and the Godspeed: Sept. 17-18, 2011          

County fair attendance up

Through the first five of this year’s nine fair dates, attendance was up some 10 percent over last year’s figures, according to fair manager Karen Buskey.  The fair had a chance of besting its 2009 attendance mark, which was the best in nearly 10 years.


Tucker, Dale victorious in first outing

First-year coach Kevin Tucker led the Thomas Dale Knights to an opening night victory over Manchester in a fiercely competitive 20-16 ballgame. The final points came on a 39-yard touchdown strike from rookie quarterback Quinton Taylor to Desmond Frye.

Bird PTA wins Denim Drive

L.C. Bird High School’s PTA collected $1,000 for winning this year’s Denim Drive at Chesterfield Towne Center.

The Bird PTA collected 504 pieces of denim, nine more pieces than second-place finisher Alberta Smith Elementary School collected.  More than 200 pieces of denim separated the second and third place finishers.

“I think it just really speaks to how the … PTSA really got the parents behind it to support it,” Bird Principal Beth Teigen said. “It was a collaborative effort of our parents to make it happen.”

Gates Elementary School came in fourth by collecting 205 pieces of denim, and Hening Elementary School, which finished ninth, collected 67 pieces of denim. Both schools received checks for $100. A total of 2,577 pieces of denim were collected for the drive. Prizes were provided by area businesses.

The checks were presented at the unveiling of a new website,, designed to encourage shoppers to spend their money in Chesterfield.

Festival attracts its largest crowd yet

Wide-brimmed hats, shorts and lots of fluids helped ChesterFest goers brave temperatures in the 90s while perusing artisan booths, lunching on Greek, Mexican and southern treats and listening to music.

At ChesterFest:

  • A total of 82 runners competed in the ChesterFest 5K.
  • Thomas Dale High School’s Key and Keyette clubs and JROTC volunteered, as did members of the Chester Community Association.
  • John Manual won the pie eating contest for the second year running.
  • The best of show winner in the Dog Show was Charlton, a Great Dane owned by Linda Lipton.

Low lake levels prompt emergency water restrictions

Emergency water restrictions went into effect Tuesday, Sept. 28, due to the record low water levels in Lake Chesdin.

On Friday, Sept. 24, the Appomattox River Water Authority asked that localities served by Lake Chesdin issue emergency water restrictions to their customers because of the lake’s declining water level, an ARWA press release says. The authority serves Petersburg, Colonial Heights and portions of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, the release says.

On Friday, Sept. 24, Chesterfield County announced that emergency water restrictions would go into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Emergency water restrictions are triggered when 125 days of water remain in Lake Chesdin. Mandatory water restrictions, which are triggered when 200 days of water remain in the lake, went into effect in Chesterfield County on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

At a Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 22, Bill Dupler, interim deputy county administrator for Community Development, said this year’s rainfall totals are about 10 inches short of where they should be.

“We really are facing an unparalleled situation today,” he said. “This will no doubt go down as a historic drought.”

Ruritan Club Honored by county leaders

While celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the South Chesterfield Ruritan Club was honored by Chesterfield County’s Board of Supervisors. Matoaca Superivor Marleen Durfee presented the award to the club’s president, Harold Himes, members Martin Deal and Franklin Weathers, and vice president Harry Marsh at a Board of Supervisors meeting.


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