Bridging the gap
The public got to weigh in on a major bridge replacement project on Route 250 in Ivy, and it picked closing the main thoroughfare west of town for two weeks rather than reducing the flow to a one-lane road with a traffic signal for three months. Those two weeks in July are upon us starting Friday the 13th.
The 1932-built bridge over Little Ivy Creek in the heart of Ivy is deficient, says VDOT, and it carries approximately 11,500 vehicles a day.
Using accelerated construction techniques, four precast box culverts and incentives, Burleigh Construction has a nearly $1.3 million contract, with a $25,000 bonus if the bridge is substantially complete and open July 27, and a $15,000-a-day sweetener for every day it’s open before July 27. If not substantially complete, it will cost Burleigh $15,000 for every day after July 27 the bridge is closed.
VDOT is urging drivers to use I-64 during construction, and warning the interstate will be pretty clogged with the extra traffic during commute times. Cross streets and private entrances on either side of the Route 250 bridge will be open, but traffic will not be able to cross the bridge.
At least school is not in session, which is why July was picked for the work.
Another new chief
Northwestern University Police Chief Tommye S. Sutton will take the reins of the UVA Police Department from retiring Chief Mike Gibson on August 1. In law enforcement since 1982, Sutton is known for mandating training on mental health first aid and fairness, inclusion and understanding bias at the private university based in Illinois.
Bannon’s bookstore barrage
A Richmond bookstore owner is under scrutiny for calling the police on a woman who accosted former White House strategist Steve Bannon at Black Swan Books. Owner Nick Cooke told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Bannon “was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business,” when the woman called him “a piece of trash” on July 7. Said Cooke, “Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody.”
Donovan Webster dies
A journalist whose work appeared in National Geographic, the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine and many others died July 4 at age 59. Webster was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the August 2014 drunk-driving crash that killed 75-year-old Waynesboro man Wayne Thomas White Sr. and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with eight suspended.
Virginia State Police are investigating a drug raid gone wrong in Waynesboro, where members of the Skyline Drug Task Force and SWAT team encountered 52-year-old William Tucker forcing a bag filled with a white, powdery substance into his mouth, and allegedly refusing their aid when it became lodged in his throat. Police believe Tucker choked on a bag of cocaine, but the exact amount he ingested is still being investigated.
Nineteen-year-old Hasaun Stinnie was found guilty of second-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony July 6, for allegedly shooting and killing 45-year-old Brooklyn, New York, man Shawn Evan “Lucky” Davis in September in a parking lot on South First Street. Stinnie accused Davis, who was dating his sister, of beating her. He fired his revolver five times, hitting Davis in the left arm and chest. A jury recommended he serve eight years.
July 1 always brings the latest legislation passed into law by the General Assembly. Here’s what citizens can now look forward to:
- Raccoon hunting after 2am Sunday.
- Grand larceny felony threshold upped from $200 to $500. To get this, the House had to pass a couple of Rob Bell’s
victim restitution bills.
- Medicaid expansion. Those eligible probably won’t be able to file a claim for six months.
- Dogs at wineries. Pooches allowed within designated areas except those involving food prep.
- Longer recesses. School boards can lengthen “unstructured recreational time.”
Quote of the week
“We take this journey to gamble on the ancient notion that the truth will set us free.” —Reverend Susan Minasian, who is one of three clergy on the 100-person pilgrimage from Charlottesville to the recently opened lynching memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.