Articles from May 2008



County to contribute $1,200,000 to school system.

The Board of Supervisors agreed last night to contribute $1,200,000 in local funding to the school system.

$600,000 will come from the general fund.

The other $400,000 will be sent back to the schools from the school’s unencumbered balance (i.e., money that is left over from this closing fiscal year that would go back to the county normally).

And they [the Caroline BOS] have a Plan — oh wait, no they don’t.

(Pardon the vague reference to Battlestar Galactica.)

To recap:

  1. Caroline County has requested and received $490,000 from the federal government in the form of a FY08 earmark for a “commuter rail station” (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008; p. 2465).*
  2. Caroline County has received $100,000 from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation in the form of a grant “to study building a passenger rail station in the Carmel Church area”. (The Free Lance–Star).
  3. Caroline County has requested an additional $800,000 from Congressman Rob Wittman via a FY09 federal earmark (Appropriations Requests FY 2009).

When Gary Wilson was questioned if the county was negiotating with any organization to provide service to a “commuter rail station”, he provided the following response:

The County has been in contact with Amtrak regarding city to city service from a Caroline station to Washington, DC.  Others who own or use the line have also been contacted to obtain a preliminary understanding of the needs those entities will have should there be additional traffic on the existing lines.

I sent a follow-up email with the following questions (slightly edited to be more concise):

  1. “In contact”? Is that the same as a guarantee that the station will have service from Amtrak when/if it is built?
  2. What routes by Amtrak will be offered at the station?
  3. In addition, why is the county considering building a station with service from Amtrak when Amtrak ridership in Fredericksburg went down 6.82% last year (Ridership statistics fiscal year (FY)06, FY07)?

Gary Wilson’s response (I kid you not):

Staff is still in the early stages of studying this project.

We are not yet at a point to address the questions you have raised.

Oh, the staff isn’t at a point where they can answer a couple simple questions but they are at the point where they can request $1,400,000 in funding for a project when they don’t even know if service will be provided.

Other problems with the Board’s (and Gary Wilson’s) master-plan:

A) Ridership on Amtrak trains dropped 6.82% between Amtrak’s FY06 and FY07. This was not part of a general decrease in Amtrak ridership since ridership as a whole across Virginia went up 3.35% (Ibid).

B) Amtrak is not a commuter rail service: There are only two trains that are ran by Amtrak in the morning that can be used to commute to Washington, D.C. (Schedule).

One leaves the Fredericksburg station at 6:55 a.m. and arrives at Union Station (Washington, D.C.) at 8:15 a.m. This train does not stop at Leeland Road, Brooke, Rippon, Lorton, Franconia-Springfield (start of the Metro’s blue line), and Crystal City (Ibid).

The only other morning train leaves Frederickburg at 8:55 a.m. and arrives at Union Station at 10:06 a.m., making it useless for anyone working a 9-to-5 job. In addition, the 10:06 a.m. train does not stop at Leeland Road, Brooke, Rippon, Woodbridge, Lorton, Franconia-Springfield (start of the Metro’s blue line), Crystal City, and L’Enfant (the only station to be served by four Metro lines [Green, Yellow, Blue, and Orange]) (Ibid).

C) The cost of an one-way ticket between Fredericksburg and Union State in Washington, D.C. is $21. For both ways it will be $42. $42 a day to use Amtrak to commute to D.C.

D) During the last Board of Supervisors meeting the Board was complaining that the county doesn’t have any money to pay for road improvements; how about this: Instead of asking for $1,400,000 for a “commuter rail station”, why not ask for that much for road improvements in the county like Stafford and Prince William Counties did (Appropriations Requests FY 2009)? How about asking for money to improve radio communications between emergency services like Stafford County did (Ibid)?

Up next: Why is the county moving county services out of (essentially) the county seat to the Hanover County border?

*I had previously stated the amount received was $500,000, however I did not note that all earmark requests were reduced by 2%, therefore making the amount received $490,000 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008; p. 2464).

Those damn city folk don’t know nothin’ ’bout no bears.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Just before 1 p.m. yesterday, Richmond authorities received a call of a black-bear sighting on Helen Lane, off Commerce Road in South Richmond. A number of police officers were called to the area to search for the bear.

[…]

Officers cruising the area did not find any bears — but did come across two large black dogs. A police airplane flying above the area also failed to find any bears.

More Alleged Drug Dealers Arrested

On May 15, 2008, the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office SERT (Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team) Team deputies executed a search warrant at the Ruther Glen, Howard Johnson’s Hotel.  The investigation continued which led the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Investigators to a second hotel.  As a result, multiple arrests were made.

According to Sheriff A. A. “Tony” Lippa, Jr., “This investigation started when we received information from concerned citizens about illegal drugs being sold from a room located at the Howard Johnson’s.  Investigators and Deputies simultaneously executed a search warrant at the Howard Johnson’s, later conducted a traffic stop of a second suspect and made contact with a third suspect in the Ruther Glen Super 8 Motel.”

As a result of the search of the Howard Johnson’s Hotel room, Investigators found a baggie containing what appeared to be powdered cocaine lying on top of a container of baby formula which was meant for a ten month old child that was also living in the room. The occupants of the room were identified as Corey Tillman, 39, and Iisha Crichlow, 24, both of Ruther Glen. Tillman was charged with distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine. Crichlow was charged with felony child neglect.

The third suspect, identified as Tyrone Baylor, 38, of Dawn was charged with possession of cocaine after the Caroline Deputies conducted a traffic stop of his vehicle.

The fourth suspect in the investigation was identified as Adam Butler, 23, of Dawn. During a search of Butler’s vehicle and hotel room at the Super 8 Motel, Investigators recovered a semi-automatic handgun and suspected cocaine. Butler was charged with distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine, possessing a firearm while possessing cocaine and child neglect.

Sheriff Lippa further stated “This investigation was a success because of the citizens of Caroline County who provide information and assistance to the Caroline Sheriff’s Office. I want to thank those who call us with information and encourage all citizens to continue to help their Sheriff’s Office in our fight against crime.”

Tyrone Baylor

Adam Butler

Iisha Crichlow

Corey Tillman

Weekly News Media Briefs – Week Ending May 17, 2008

From the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office: Weekly News Media Briefs – Week Ending May 17, 2008:

On May 10, 2008, Deputy C. S. Wooldridge responded to an assault call at a business in Ladysmith.  After investigating, Jesus R. Rodriguez, 55, of Providence, RI was charged with domestic assault.  He was ordered held under a $2500 bond and a court date of May 15, 2008 was set.

On May 11, 2008, Deputy W. D. Lipscomb stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction.  After investigating, Michael L. Call, 18, of Ruther glen was charged with driving under the influence.  He was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of June 13, 2008 was set.

On May 12, 2008, Deputy T. J. Ketchem responded to a domestic in Rappahannock Academy.  After investigating, David A. Brooks, 34, of Rappahannock Academy was charged with domestic assault.  He was ordered held on a $1500 bond and a court date of May 13, 2008 was set.

On May 12, 2008, Deputy C. S. Wooldridge encountered a motorist on I-95.  After investigating, Kathleen M. Spalding, 36, of Villas, NJ was charged with driving under the influence.  She was ordered held under a $1500 bond and a court date of May 14, 2008 was set.

On May 13, 2008, Deputy C. M. Hall encountered a subject on the grounds of the high school.  After investigating, a juvenile was charged with destruction of property and underage possession of alcohol.  He was released to his parents.

On May 13, 2008, Deputy J. K. Miller responded to a domestic in Bowling Green.  After investigating, Jerry L. Smith, 48, of Bowling Green was charged with being drunk in public.  He was released when sober and a court date of July 25, 2008 was set.

On May 13, 2008, Sergeant R. L. Hixson responded to a report of an assault.  After investigating, Michael V. White, 26, of Woodford was charged with domestic assault and resisting arrest.  White was ordered held for psychiatric evaluation and court information was unavailable.

On May 13, 2008, Deputy F. L. Brennan responded to a domestic in Ruther Glen.  After investigating, Konyar D. Coates, 29, of Ruther Glen was charged with domestic assault.  He was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of May 20, 2008 was set.

On May 15, 2008, Deputy R. J. Anderson responded to a fight call in Ruther Glen.  After investigating, Bobby R. Wright, 18, of Ruther glen was charged with malicious wounding.  He was ordered held without bond and a court date of May 16, 2008 was set.

On May 15, 2008, Deputy J. K. Miller and Sergeant S. L. Cary responded to a domestic in Woodford.  After investigating, Christopher G. Simpson, 23, of Woodford was charged with domestic assault. He was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of May 20, 2008 was set.

On May 16, 2008, Deputy P. E. Ford stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction.  After investigating, George A. Sampson, 50, of Ruther Glen was charged with driving under the influence of drugs.  He was ordered held under a $3500 bond and a court date of May 21, 2008 was set.

On May 17, 2008, Deputy C. A. Heywood received a report of a larceny.  After investigating, Carrie Sue Duke, 30, of Bowling Green was charged with 3 counts of forgery, 3 counts of uttering, 3 counts of identity theft, and 4 counts of larceny.  She was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of May 27, 2008 was set.

On May 17, 2008, Deputy C. M. Polliard stopped a vehicle for a traffic infraction.  After investigating, Mekel L. Grant, 29, of Milford was charged with driving under the influence and failing to submit to a breath test.  He was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of May 23, 2008 was set.

On May 17, 2008, Deputy P.E. Ford Miller responded to a domestic in Ruther Glen.  After investigating, Cheri Sullivan, 26, of Ruther Glen was charged with domestic assault.  She was released on a personal recognizance bond and a court date of July 23, 2008 was set.

Caroline County Sheriff’s Office Wrap Up

According to Sheriff Tony Lippa, Caroline Deputies made 9 drug arrests, 4 driving under the influence arrests, 12 domestic violence arrests, and 126 other criminal arrests during the past week.  The deputies served 177 civil papers, issued 147 traffic summonses, handled 6 motor vehicle crashes, responded to 45 alarm calls, and dealt with 8 juvenile offenders.  The Sheriff’s Office Communications Center dispatched 553 calls for service and handled 1,212 telephone inquiries.  The CCSO also logged 32 calls assisting outside agencies and had 158 self initiated calls.

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to operate Selective Enforcement in the following areas, Belmont subdivision, Carmel Church intersection Rogers Clark with Ruther Glen Rd. (Rt. 207 & Rt. 652), Ladysmith Village, Lake Caroline, Lake Land Or, Port Royal, Rt. 30

And Huck Finn is a poor attempt at a politican.

WUSA9:

His words come just one day after an impromptu joke during a speech he delivered at a National Rifle Association convention put him in an uncomfortable political spotlight.

Huckabee was distracted in the middle of the speech by an offstage thump. He interrupted his sentence to respond with a joke: “That was Barack Obama,” Huckabee said. “He just tripped off a chair. He was getting ready to speak. Somebody aimed a gun at him and he … he dove for the floor.”

Today, he told 9 NEWS NOW his comment was a poor attempt at humor.

Cleaning up Caroline County one ten POSs at a time.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Authorities in Caroline County arrested a ninth suspect yesterday on a charge of murder by mob.

He is the fifth male juvenile to be charged in the Nov. 10 shooting of Raquel Hunter, 16. Four adults were charged, too.

Until this week, only Lashawn Montque Monroe, 23, of Ruther Glen had been arrested in Hunter’s death. He was charged soon after the killing with murder and use of a firearm in a felony.

This week, authorities charged Monroe, along with three other adults and five minors, with murder by mob, or lynching.

A law addressing lynching has been on the books in Virginia since 1928. Under Virginia law, lynching means any act of violence by a mob on another person that results in the death of that person.

Virginia law defines a mob as a group of people “assembled for the purpose and with the intention of committing an assault or a battery upon any person or an act of violence . . . without authority of law.”

Caroline Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony G. “Tony” Spencer said yesterday that he plans to drop the first two charges against Monroe and focus prosecution on the mob charge.

Hunter was shot in the head as a birthday party was ending for another 16-year-old. His body was found on the ground outside the Madison Ruritan Club in Ladysmith.

Spencer said yesterday that a person does not have to physically harm someone to be guilty of murder by mob.

[…]

Along with Monroe, the following three adults were charged with murder by mob: Antoine Johnson, 18; Dwight Leo Smith II, 19; and Deon Alexander Terrell, 19.

All nine defendants are from Caroline.

And from the AP:

Virginia State Police say they have arrested a man accused of murdering his wife in 1995.

Police say 44-year-old Lawrence Peter Gaudenzi of Timberville was arrested without incident during a traffic stop Friday afternoon in Shenandoah County.

Sergeant Thomas A. Cunningham Junior said Gaudenzi initially reported his 31-year-old wife, Lisa Kathy Gaudenzi, missing to authorities in Caroline County, where the couple lived. State police became involved in the case in 1997 and recently discovered crucial information that was presented to a grand jury in Caroline, which returned a murder indictment.

More from The Free Lance–Star:

According to state police, Spencer recently presented evidence to a special grand jury, which then returned the indictment for murder.

[…]

Lisa Gaudenzi, who was last seen with Lawrence Gaudenzi Jan. 26, 1995 in Ruther Glen, was reported missing when she never showed up for scheduled officer training school with the Army.

Originally, the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office handled the case, but the state police began investigating in 1997.

Joe Marto, Lisa Gaudenzi’s father, said he’s overwhelmed at the news.

“It’s a great feeling after all this time to know that I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight,” he said. “You don’t know what a feeling it is.”

Marto said he always knew the day would come that Lawrence Gaundenzi would be arrested, but when he finally got that phone call today, he started crying tears of happiness.

The Huckster opens his mouth, removes any doubt of his stupidity.

AP:

Republican Mike Huckabee responded to an offstage noise during his speech to the National Rifle Association by suggesting it was Barack Obama diving to the floor because someone had aimed a gun at him.

Hearing a loud noise and interrupting his speech, Huckabee said: “That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He’s getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he—he dove for the floor.”

There were only a few murmurs in the crowd after the remark.

Or as another blog puts it: “It’s not as bad as that suggests but it’s bad enough to probably keep him off the ticket. Fortunately.”

How considerate: Moron politicians cause eight mile backups on the Inner Loop.

Everyone needs a good photo op: WTOP:

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge — the expansion of which has been touted as a major improvement along Interstate 95 — was to blame for huge delays on the day the bridge’s second span was dedicated.

Preparation for the event began early Thursday, and caused drivers to slow down to see what was happening. The ceremony started at 11 a.m. and ended around noon.

[…]

At one point, the Inner Loop backups on the Maryland side of the bridge extended for more than 8 miles.

“There is definitely some rubber-necking going on, and some additional traffic. The message we would like to get out to motorists is, ‘Please keep driving,'” Wilson Bridge Project spokesperson Michelle Holland said of the backups.

For 5 1/2 hours, the backups were consistently 7 to 8 miles long.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Lisa Baden said it took drivers as much as 1 hour, 30 minutes to go those 7 or 8 miles.

“The port-a-potties are starting to look very tempting to the people sitting the backups for an hour and a half,” Baden said.

[…]

Local leaders including Govs. Tim Kaine and Martin O’Malley, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters were on hand for the dedication.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) tightened the last bolt on the bridge into place.

Republicans support $290,000,000,000 corporate welfare bill.

The WaPo:

The House yesterday passed a final version of a new five-year farm bill by a vote of 318 to 106, a margin large enough to override President Bush’s promised veto of the nearly $300 billion measure.

[…]

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer released a statement saying the vote “sends the wrong message to the rest of the country who are not experiencing the boom of the agriculture sector,” and, “This bill is loaded with taxpayer funded pet projects at a time when Americans are struggling to buy groceries and afford gas to get to work.”

Bush has charged that the bill allows payments to wealthy individuals. He has also criticized restrictions on the use of food aid dollars in the midst of food shortages abroad, and he said that protectionist provisions, including “an egregious new sugar subsidy program,” could worsen trade relations.

The United Nations and the World Trade Organization have increasingly gotten annoyed at the massive subsidies provided by the United States Government (The WaPo, different link).

Vote round-up provided by James Atticus Bowden at his blog:

Democrats — Boucher, Y; Moran, Y; Scott, Y.

Republicans — Drake, Y; Forbes, Y; Goodlatte, Y; Wittman, Y;

Fiscal Conservative Republicans – Goode, N;Cantor, N; Davis, Tom, N; Wolf, N.

Wolf, Goode and Cantor have farmers in their districts, yet they voted “No”. Good job, guys.

And the corporate welfare aspect:

Continues to subsidize millionaires. Cur­rently, all full-time farmers may be eligible for farm subsidies regardless of income (part-time farmers must earn less than $2.5 million annu­ally). President Bush reasonably proposed lim­iting farm subsidies to those who earn less than $200,000 a year.

Rather than follow that commonsense approach, the conference agreement reportedly rejects all farmer income tests for the countercyclical and marketing loan subsidy programs and includes only a weak net farm income cap for direct pay­ments ($750,000 for single farmers and $1.5 million for married farmers after all business de­ductions). Direct payments would also be re­stricted to singles with non-farm incomes under $500,000 ($1 million for married couples).

That is not reform. Farmers with incomes in the millions of dollars would still be eligible for permanent subsidies. Farm subsidies would remain America’s largest corporate welfare pro­gram: Most subsidies would continue to go to large agribusinesses. President Bush is right to insist that farmers earning more than $200,000 per year no longer be eligible for subsidies.


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