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The Westmoreland Journal
King George, Virginia
January 13, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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January 13, 2016

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NEWS NEW ANTIQUE OUTLET OPENS IN PORT ROYAL PAGE 8 FOXES FLY IN INDOOR TRACK & FIELD MEETS PAGE 4 VA. GOVERNORS SHOULD HAVE TERM OPTIONS PAGE 2 41XED ADC 207 000009 000001 -'.MALL TOWN PAPERS W COTA ST :HELTON WA 98584-2263 VOLUME 40, NUMBER 2 HELPING YOU RELATE TO YOUR COMMUNITY WEDNESDAY~ JANUARY 13, 50 CENTS I Gig Michaels belts out a tune at the second annual Bike Fest in Colonial Beach in June. Michaels died Jan. 3 LINDA FARNETH body was just too weak to go on." "I met him at the first Annual Colonial Beach Despite being a world-famous band, Swamp Bike Fest))' Coffman said he was "not at all" intimi- Fans of Gig Michaels, lead singer of the band De Wamp has performed for many small locali- dated by his fame and describes Michaels as a big Swamp De Wamp, were shocked to hear of his ties. Colonial Beach, a town of roughly 5,000, was gentle giant. "You didn't feel intimidated around death Jan 3, just a day before the singer's 52nd blessed to have Gig Michaels and his band per- him. I've had people tell me they have had conver- birthday. Friends and family are still grieving the form for two years, kicking off the new annual sations with him, wondering who he was, then he loss. Colonial Beach Bike Fest. Swamp De Wamp also was up on stage))' returned to perform at High Tides in Colonial Swamp da Wamp has fan clubs all over the world Beach several times throughout the last two years. Coffman said he and Michaels had a good re- in the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Brazil, Swe- At the Second Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest, lationship. "We'd talk on the phone. He would den, India, France and the UK. Their music can Michaels announced plans to return to Colonial come down and see us a lot when he wasn't play- be heard on over 65,000 Touch Tunes jukeboxes Beach for a 2015/16 New Year's Eve Party at High ing." Coffman added, "Everybody who met him, across the U.S. Several songs have been licensed Tides. he touched very deeply. He would give the shirt for use in video games by the gaming giant Xbox. During his visits to Colonial Beach, Michaels off his back for you, even though he couldn't wear Michaels contracted bronchitis in October became good friends with Bryan and Vickie Coff- yours))' 2015. While undergoing treatment he fell, injur- man, owners of High Tides. Bryan Coffman re- Coffman said he knew Michaels was sick but "I ing his knee in mid-December, limiting his mobil- called many visits when he and Gig just "hung didn't know it was that bad. None of us knew he ity. It is believed he caught the flu during this time out))' Coffman said he and Michaels never went was that bad. I'm still hurting inside))' which further complicated his recovery, fishing but loved to hang out. Amanda Miller Dyer, Swamp De Wamp's band According to a press release issued "All of these "Gig was our icon for the BikeFest. He was the manager, says the band is like family. As is ev- events combined to cause the perfect storm and home guy. He played two times at High tides dur- eryone Michaels became friends with, according right before Christmas, Michaels was admitted ing the summer. He was scheduled for Memorial to those close to him. Dyer said, "His family and into the hospital for treatment for pneumonia. On day and July 30, 2016. There were plans for a New friends meant everything to Gig. If you are one of the 2nd day into his hospital stay he was admit- Year's Eve party, but he got sick))' Coffman said. the lucky ones who fall into either of those catego- ted into the ICU for respiratory distress from the ries, you knew it because he loved you relentlessly))' pneumonia and later diagnosed with advanced But Michaels was more than a famous singer, [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. After he was a down-to-earth good friend to many who See MICHAELS, page 8 fighting for 12 days in ICU, and fight he did, his knew him. The Colonial Beach School Board modular classrooms at Colonial The complaint was filed in the that supplied the modular units has ers, after Trinity received the Board's Dec 17, Trirqty has not provided and the Colonial Beach SchoolBeach High School . The modular Westmoreland Circuit Court onnot been paid. Mobile Modular as- demand that it pay Mobile Modu- specifics describing Mobile Modu- System have filed a lawsuit against classrooms were necessary to house Dec. 22. The complaint alleges that serts that they are owed a total of lar, Trinity asserted unspecified and lar's performance issues, as requcst Trinity Building Company LLC for elementary school students who Trinity Builders was obligated to $17,540.00 for instillation charges, previously undisclosed objections to ed. breach of contract, were displaced from their campus pay all subcontractors involved in Colonial Beach School system Mobile Modular's work as a reason Trinity Builders contracted with on Douglas Avenue after a fire ren- the project as part of the agreement, stated in the complaint, "Despite why Mobile Modular had not been As of Jan. 10, 2016 no response Colonial Beach Schools in July dered one of the buildings a collapse According to the complaint, Mo- Trinity's prior assertion that it had paid))' had been filed with the court by 2014 to oversee the installation of hazard, bile Modular, the subcontractor paid its subcontractors and suppli- The Board also asserts that as of Trinity Building Company LLC. LINDAFARNETH The CIP covers improvements planned for the next five years and At the Jan 7 Colonial Beach Plan- the commission will continue to up- ning Commission meeting, corn- date it each year. missioners voted to reinstate Robin One of the other items not listed Schick as Chairwoman and Maureen but discussed was addressing un- McCabe as Co-Chairwoman. paved roads in Colonial Beach in- The commission then reviewed the cluding the Meadows area. In order Capital Improvement Plan, prioritiz- to pave these road they must be ing projects to make recommenda- brought up to Virginia Department tions to the Colonial Beach Town of Transportation standards in or- Council. The council plans to hold a der to be placed in the streets and special meeting at 10 a.m. Jan 20 to road budget provided by the VDOT. discuss town priorities and goals. Schick said, "I think it would do a The commission hopes to havedisservice to a large part of our com- their final recommendations to the munity if we don't put addressing council prior to the Jan 20 meeting, unpaved roads on the CIE' Some of the items that made the The group also agreed that revi- list of top priorities are new, im- talization efforts not covered by the proved or repaired public restrooms, revitalization grants should be a water system replacement along Ir- high priority as well. A revitalization ving, Lossing and Bancroft avenues grant of $750,000 has been awarded on the point and walking/bike path to the town by the Department of from Irving Avenue to Boundary Housing and Community Develop- Street. ment o enhance the downtown area Although the bike path improve- around the boardwalk and a VDOT ments are part of the comprehensive plan, the commission discussed pro- grant of $500,000 has been approved viding upgrades to the existing bike to install a spray park and pedestrian path from 12th Street to the Mead- plaza at the end of Colonial Avenue. ows. DHCD looks favorably on locali- The priority of many of the school ties that continue to revitalize with items listed in capital improvements public and private money after re- vitalization grant money is utilized, will coincide with building the new elementary school. Not all of the commission staff stated. items are covered under the school The commission also discussed bond, but are needed either before or filling one of the two remaining va- after the new school has been built, cant seats with a town council mem- Some of these items include play- ber. Schick said she recently learned ground and basketball court equip- during her commissioner certifica- mentand resurfacingofpavedareas, tion training that many planning crosswalks and sidewalks on First commissions make it a practice to Street. include council members on their One of the high priorities recom- boards. mended by the commission is the Anyone interested in applying for paving of the rear driveway and in- a seat on the planning commission stallation of sidewalks with a safety may visit town hall at 315 Douglas rail between the two. Ave. to fill out an application. eant wmner Belle Grove Plantation, the his- toric, luxury King George bed and breakfast that was the birthplace of President James Madison, has become an elegant setting for wed- dings, meetings and patriotic events since it opened for business more than two years ago. "When we opened Belle Grove Plantation, one of our goals was to get the word out about this historic site and home as well as to bring vis- itors to King George County from around the world;' said Michelle Darnell, who along with her hus- band, Brett, operates the increas- ingly popular venue. "Belle Grove Plantation has been featured on two national television shows and has earned some impres- sive awards and recognition;' said Michelle Darnell. "Many people are beginning to recognize Belle Grove Plantation as more than a bed and breakfast, more than a historic site and more than a special event ven- ue))' That increasing recognition last week brought Miss United States, Summer Priester of Aiken, S.C., to Belle Grove for a four-day modeling shoot. "It is an amazing place" said Priester, who was at Belle Grove modeling beautiful wedding gowns for advertising photos for My Dress Bridal and Prom of Fredericksburg before she returns to Columbia, S.C., for her last semester at the University of South Carolina. Priester, 21, was crowned Miss United States in July in Washing- ton, D.C., in a philanthropy-based pageant that focuses on the goals of young women seeking to help oth- ers. "It is an excellent opportunity for me to promote my platform, which is helping feed the hungry;' Priester said. And her visit to Belle Grove where she was able to model wed- ding dresses against a backdrop of natural beauty and historic architec- Summer Priester, Miss United States, recently modeled wedding fashions at Belle Grove. ture provided Priester an additional ion:' Priester said. "My big goal is to opportunity to advance her interest move to New York and work in the in fashion and merchandizing. "I have always had a sense of fash- See GROVE, page 8 Now you can follow local breaking news daily on our website at www.journal