2013 in review: A look back at the year that was in Mathews

- Posted on Jan 08, 2014 - 01:51 PM
Photo: A dedication ceremony was held in November to mark the handing over of the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing of the Mathews Memorial Library to the county. Cutting the ribbon, from left, were Mathews Memorial Library Board of Trustees’ chairman Carolyn Taylor, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library president Maree Morgan, and Mathews Board of Supervisors’ chairman Edwina Casey. File photo

A dedication ceremony was held in November to mark the handing over of the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing of the Mathews Memorial Library to the county. Cutting the ribbon, from left, were Mathews Memorial Library Board of Trustees’ chairman Carolyn Taylor, Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library president Maree Morgan, and Mathews Board of Supervisors’ chairman Edwina Casey. File photo

 
 
JANUARY: Joyce and Don McKelvey of Mathews compile the results of sightings of approximately 14,000 birds of 108 species as recorded by 45 participants in the 113th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count … Mathews Ruritans recognize Steve Wiseman, owner of Best Value Supermarket, as its Citizen of the Year; Dan Reno as Mathews Ruritan of the Year; and donate $500 in support of the county’s Meals on Wheels program … Milford, an historic property at Moon that has been in the same family for 350 years, changes hands following an auction with Tom and Robin Field of Gloucester purchasing the house … The Mathews Land Conservancy receives a gift of 100 acres at Sandy Point on Gwynn’s Island from WEM, LLC … MVRS names Tom Jarvis as its 2012 Squad Person of the Year … MHS wrestling team finishes second out of 10 teams competing in the Mathews Invitational … Cathy Rowe, 2012 Christmas Blessing Fund treasurer, reports a total collected of $25,939.78, allowing assistance to 106 Mathews households … School board members are pleasantly surprised at their first look at the draft 2013-2014 budget; division seeking an increase of only $152,801 in local funds … The Wetlands Board approves parts of a Mathews County Land Conservancy application for construction at Williams Wharf Landing after a public hearing but denies one part of the project and tables action on two other parts … A capacity crowd fills Zion Baptist Church in Cardinal for the Martin Luther King Day service sponsored by the Mathews County chapter of the NAACP … Edwina Casey is elected chair and Neena Putt as vice chair for the upcoming year at the board of supervisors’ organizational meeting; rather than an evening meeting every other month as it has been for the past two years the board will only have three evening meetings this year, in March, June and September … Lawsuit settled in Mathews Circuit Court finds in favor of Joe Ortiz of Callinectes Boatworks, Mathews, in breach of contract suit against Mathews Maritime Foundation … Robert Respess of Foster and his daughter are treated with rabies prevention shots after coming into contact with a calf with the disease … Agencies, civic organizations, churches and nonprofit groups are working together to form a Mathews Resource Council which will provide networking for those in need who otherwise might slip through the cracks,
 
FEBRUARY: Lee-Jackson Elementary School faculty and employees wear red for a day to show their support for Women’s Heart Health Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association … Mac and JC Casale of Gwynn’s Island and Cresco, Pa., have purchased the White Dog Inn in Mathews and plan to reopen it in April as the White Dog Bistro … Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad seeks an additional $40,000 from the county for personnel costs … The MHS Scholastic Bowl team places second in Region A competition qualifying for the state tournament where they fall in a double-elimination to Honaker and Radford …  MHS varsity girls’ basketball team easily defeats King and Queen to clinch the Tidewater District regular season title, claims the district tournament crown, then falls to Lancaster in the regional semifinals … The MHS Key Club, in memory of a classmate who committed suicide the previous year, raises $1,100 during a spaghetti dinner to benefit the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Community Services Board Suicide Prevention Services Division … During the school board meeting, Coalition 4 Kids representative Judy Rowe stresses affordable countywide broadband internet service and its importance to student success; the retirement of Thomas Hunter Middle School principal Michael Comer at the end of the 2012-2013 year is accepted … English Setter Champion Pinekone Black Rose, owned by Ashby Morgan of Mathews, wins the 2013 National Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America Championship … County supervisors pledge to provide matching funds and in-kind services for a pair of grant applications (if approved) to improve the Court House area; support also given to grant application for a countywide historical survey … Dave Parker of Hallieford is named Ruritan of the Year.
 
MARCH: For the second time in 40 days, a calf belonging to Robert Respess of Foster becomes infected with rabies … Sequestration, federal budget cuts, cause uncertainty in the 2013-2014 school board budget process … A groundbreaking ceremony for the Fort Nonsense Historical Park is held … Mathews Family YMCA opens its spring soccer program on brand-new fields in Hudgins … Mathews Memorial Library and Friends of the Library launch the construction of the library addition to be named The H. Bland Hudgins Wing … Efforts are being made to restore and identify a portrait of a young Confederate soldier that had been hanging for a long while in the Mathews historic courthouse … Revenue Commissioner Les Hall is changing the way business personal property is assessed for tax purposes; requests new business property tax returns annually … Two Mathews campgrounds are sold for total of $16.7M; Sun Communities, based in Southfield, Mich., purchases New Point RV Resort and Gwynn’s Island RV Resort  … The Cater family escapes a house fire on Callis Field Lane; pets perish …  the Mathews County School Board approves a resolution naming C. Ben Lennon, D.D.S., to the 2013 Virginia School Boards Association Business Honor Roll … The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired senior pastor of  Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ and a polarizing figure during President Obama’s 2008 campaign, is guest speaker at the annual Men’s Day Celebration at Antioch Baptist Church, Susan … Friends and co-workers honor Nancy Roche, retiring Mathews County Cooperative Extension agent, with an informal retirement party.
 
APRIL: Mathews County Visitor & Information Center receives certification by the Virginia Tourism Commission  … Schools Superintendent David Holleran asks the county to fund two new school buses … Supervisor Neena Putt questions VDOT official Sean Trapani on Mathews drainage issue at monthly meeting … Mathews County receives a 2013 Sunny Award for online transparency for the third straight year … Springdale, an estate owned by Art and Ann Miller of Mathews, is named to the Virginia Landmarks Register and nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places … Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles marks its 10th anniversary of partnership with Mathews County with a celebration; ribbon cutting for the DMV 2 Go mobile unit held … Country Casuals, a Mathews County clothing store for the past 20 years, announces a going-out-of-business sale … Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Services names Kent Owens of the Mathews Farm Bureau office in Dutton as a 2013 Master Agent …  The Gallery, a center of art on Mathews Main Street for over 20 years, closes its doors … Research by Becky Foster Barnhardt determines that the fortifications at Fort Nonsense were probably built by Confederate forces during the Civil War … Mathews Teachers of the Year—Lee Ann Bray, LJES; Jerry Ligon, THMS and LeAnne Shields, MHS—are honored at a school board meeting … MHS rowers place three boats in the Darrell Winslow Regatta … Magnolia, Springdale, Buckley Hall and the gardens at Samarkand, all located in Mathews County, as well as the sailing ship Godspeed docked at Williams Wharf, are on tour as the Garden Club of Gloucester celebrates the 80th anniversary of Historic Garden Week in Virginia … Rob Ruffin of Mathews helps earn for the Virginia Shakespeare Festival at the College of William and Mary the designation of official Shakespeare festival of Virginia … Neena Putt announces her candidacy as an independent for the 98th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates this year … Supervisors vote 4-1 to approve the $23.94 million county budget; unanimously support keeping all tax rates the same … A house fire at Cobbs Creek leads to the discovery of a large marijuana growing operation and the arrest of the homeowner, Kenneth M. Putt, on drug charges; Putt is later convicted on charges …  Deanna Christy Haywood, 19-year-old Mathews resident and MHS senior, dies following a single-vehicle accident on Route 14 … Seven MHS boats post wins at second home regatta.
 
MAY: “Saved by Grace from First to Last” by retired Baptist clergyman Brian A. Russell of Cobbs Creek is in its second printing; royalties subsidize tuition of seminary students in Third World countries … Sam Spadaccini, Carole Bell, Chris Perreault, Kristin Fauber and alternates Katie van Emmerik and Caleb Miller are chosen as MHS representatives for Boys and Girls State … An application by the Mathews Land Conservancy for construction of a 10,800-square-foot boathouse/sailing center at its Williams Wharf site causes a dispute between supervisor Neena Putt and wetlands board member Ted Broderson; Wetlands Board later approves Conservancy’s application after it is initially remanded to them by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission … After nearly a decade of planning, fundraising and saving, ground is broken on a 900-square-foot addition to the Gwynn’s Island Museum … County supervisors approve extending the deadline for collection of the first half of the 2013 real estate taxes; June tax deadline was also extended in 2012 … Mathews residents Wade and Susan Brooks prevail against a Kentucky firm in home elevation suit … “Seasons with Brian and Julia,” a full-length documentary about Mathews farmers, premieres at the American Film Documentary Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., and is scheduled for screening across Virginia … Nearly 350 cyclists from around Virginia and beyond flock to Mathews to take part in the 15th annual Tour de Chesapeake and related activities … Plans for a possible senior housing development in Mathews Court House are discussed in a planning and zoning meeting  … Laurel Byrd, long-time Spanish teacher at MHS  and assistant principal at Thomas Hunter Middle School for the past two years, is appointed principal at THMS … MHS jayvee softball finishes the season with a 12-3 record … The MHS track team takes third in the Tidewater District championship meet … MHS boys’ varsity baseball team advances to the second round of the Region A tournament … MHS senior Mackenzie Moughon is selected as the Tidewater District Female Athlete of the Year … Retired U.S. Ambassador Morris D. “Buzz” Busby is the guest speaker at the Memorial Day service held at American Legion Post 83 … the Chasing Pavement Vintage Automotive Festival is held at Mathews Court House; net proceeds benefit the sheriff’s office, MVRS and MVFD.
 
JUNE: Mathews Relay for Life 2013 is held with a special lap around the track honoring the memory of teen accident victim, Deanna Haywood, who had been a part of the relay for the past five years … Mathews Community Foundation awards $46,000 worth of grants to local nonprofit organizations … An attempted robbery is reported at Hudgins Pharmacy; suspect demands drugs but flees before obtaining any narcotics … Mathews schools hold inaugural Eco Expo at Williams Wharf; students engage in hands-on science … Amy Hauser is named assistant principal at THMS … Mathews Heritage Park on Billups Creek, property donated by Conrad Hall in 2010 for the benefit of county residents, is facing an uphill battle over right-of-way … The MHS varsity soccer team finishes the season as the Tidewater District tournament runners-up; posts an 8-7-1 record … Lady Devils’ varsity softball team compiles a 6-2 Tidewater District record, places second in both regular season and tournament play … Cobbs Creek resident W. Keith Hudgins is named First Vice President, Investments at Davenport & Company … With hurricane season upon them, county officials hold roundtable discussion on handling emergency operations before and after storms hit … 88 seniors receive diplomas at Mathews High School’s 74th commencement; class president Kayla Robins, salutatorian Allison Scribe, and valedictorian Carlyn Tillage give speeches …  In the first reported rabies incident involving a raccoon in Mathews this year, a Gwynn’s Island resident undergoes treatment after touching her dog who had come into contact with a rabid raccoon …  A record number of vendor booths (104) set up for the 65-year-old Gwynn’s Island Festival.
 
JULY: Animal control officer Ralph Horn resigns from his position, cites services “cut back to nothing”; Jean Roberts of Gwynn’s Island is appointed as his replacement … In Mathews, $1.5 million in road projects are included in VDOT’s six-year budget for improvements … Virginia Living magazine’s “Best of Virginia 2013” ranks The Inn at Tabbs Creek in Port Haywood, as the “Most Welcoming Bed and Breakfast” in Eastern Virginia; Bay School’s Fine Art Auction wins first place in the category “Most Creative Charitable Event” … Mathews Little League Junior Girls’ Softball Team wins the state title in a tournament held in Broadway … the possibility of abandoning plans to make Rappahannock Community College the county’s emergency shelter is discussed by the board of supervisors … McKennah Moore, 20, of Moon, dies after her vehicle strikes a front-end loader that was in the roadway on East River Road.
 
AUGUST: Mathews Volunteer Fire Department and Bush Construction execute contract to build a new 2,800-square-foot station on Route 198 at Cobbs Creek; projected cost is $253,000 …  Ryan Wenner, previously the Gloucester High School jayvee coach, takes over as head football coach at MHS … Mathews Lions Club member David Rowe is presented the Melvin Jones Award, Lions International’s highest award for service to the community and the world … Bob and Kathy Roper of Hallieford issue challenge grant for the Mathews Community Foundation; couple agrees to match all contributions that exceed the 2012 level of $81,961 up to $50,000 … The new director of the Mathews Boys and Girls Club is Jim Highsmith of Newport News … The Virginia Association of Counties awards Mathews County one out of 12 statewide achievement awards for its volunteer rescue squad in improving response times in a rural county … Mary Lee Andrewskiewicz, a May 2013 University of Florida graduate, is the county’s new 4-H agent … Barbara Bass, Susan resident and 31-year Market Days volunteer, is named honorary mayor of this year’s festival … The Boys and Girls Club holds a grand opening for its new multipurpose activity structure; project is completed by rising MHS sophomore Zachary Foss as his Eagle Scout project … A broken shaft causes problems at the Gwynn’s Island bridge; both boat and automotive traffic are affected … Linda’s Diner celebrates its 30th anniversary.
 
SEPTEMBER: VMRC unanimously votes to uphold the wetlands board decision to approve the Williams Wharf rowing and sailing center expansion project … coyotes kill a dozen cats in Onemo … Alfred Harris retires as Mathews County VDOT superintendent after 32 years of service … An Eagle Court of Honor is held for Sean Rhodes of Mathews; pavilion at Lee-Jackson Elementary School is repaired as his project … Beautiful weather attracts an estimated 10,000 to Market Days  … Mathews resident Betsy Henderson takes over as acting director of the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society … The board of supervisors approves matching funds for a National Park Service grant for the old sewage treatment plant on Put-In Creek and approved applying for a $50,000 Game and Inland Fisheries grant for building a pier for power boat access at the East River Boat Basin … Fifty-one swimmers raise $13,000+ for the Mathews Land Conservancy’s boathouse project at the seventh annual Wharf to Wharf Swim … MHS senior Elizabeth Ransone is named a Commended Student in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program.
 
OCTOBER: The West Mathews Community League celebrates the 100th anniversary of its building, the former Peninsula High School, in Bohannon; former students share memories …Earl Soles, chairman of Mathews County’s New Point Comfort Lighthouse Preservation Task Force, is named Keeper of the Quarter by the United States Lighthouse Society … A rechristening ceremony and fundraiser is held for the historic fishing boat “The Peggy,” one of the last remaining deck boats operating in the Chesapeake Bay … Retired teacher Debbie Holaday is grand marshal of the MHS Homecoming Parade; Christopher Perreault  and Jacqueline Stewart are crowned Homecoming King and Queen … Mathews schools celebrate full state accreditation for 2013-2014 … The Church of the Nazarene, Hudgins, marks its 50th anniversary … $50,000+ is raised for the Bay School Community Arts Center at its 15th annual auction … More than 200 animals are inoculated at the annual rabies clinic … Dr. Sterling N. Ransone Jr. of Mathews is installed as president of the Medical Society of Virginia.
 
NOVEMBER: Incumbent O.J. Cole retains his seat on the board of supervisors while newcomer Jack White is elected to the seat that is being vacated by Neena Putt; school board incumbent Ginger Richards retains her seat while Linda Hodges will step into the position being vacated by Bill Johnson; Angela Ingram retains the seat of clerk of circuit court … Upgrades to the Mathews County historic courthouse, intended to enhance communication between officials and the public during meetings, are completed; floor is made one level creating room for a new U-shaped meeting table …  Crawford Moving and Storage, Inc., celebrates its 40th anniversary … The Seabreeze Restaurant, a fixture on Gwynn’s Island for many years, is sold by longtime owners Ralph and Mary Valdrighi to Gary and Noelle Galluzzi … A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held at the Civil War-era site Fort Nonsense to open the county’s newest park … Mathews resident Kevin Stewart has the honor of escorting Tyne Berlanga, granddaughter of President Gerald R. Ford, at the christening of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at Newport News Shipbuilding …  Waterman James Dean Close of Moon has been named to a seat on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission … 35-year-old Christy L. Carlton of Mathews dies in a single-vehicle accident on East River Road …  A dedication ceremony is held to mark the handing over of the H. Bland Hudgins, M.D. Wing of the Mathews Memorial Library to Mathews County … Virginia Board of Education president David M. Foster comes to Mathews on a listening tour, much of two-hour meeting focuses on complaints from those present about the state’s SOL … The Mathews Christmas Blessing Fund gets underway with pharmacist Christy B. Brown as its chairman …  Mathews County is in the running for the “Smallest Cool Towns 2014” contest …  the Cricket Hill chapter of the DAR commemorate the group’s 90th anniversary.
 
DECEMBER: MRA’s seventh annual Turkey Trot collects over 100 pounds of food for Hands Across Mathews; 58 people participate … Nelda Gibbs of Moon is the grand marshal of the Mathews County Christmas Parade which goes on despite drizzle … David Freeman is recognized as the 2013 Mathews Ruritan of the Year for his work in the club’s fundraising activities … Attorney Bill Johnson of Bavon publishes his first novel, “A Silent Tide,” which is set in Mathews .. the county is awarded a $666,696 Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development for a business district revitalization project in the downtown area … Barbara Thompson of Cobbs Creek dies after her vehicle runs into the back of a stopped dump truck on Ridge Road … Mathews icon Captain Sally Tompkins is chosen to be honored in an oval garden monument slated to be built in Richmond’s Capitol Square; her bronze statue is one of a dozen honoring Virginia women who made significant contributions to the commonwealth during its 400-year history  … Carrying on a tradition of 27 years, friends and members of American Legion Post 83 gather to pack and deliver 41 Christmas dinners to local Meals on Wheels recipients … Thomas Jenkins, 25, joins the Planning and Zoning office as a planner and wetlands/marine projects coordinator … A two-vehicle accident just east of Route 631, Cobbs Creek, results in the death of Samuel Warren Thompson of Village Green Lane, Gloucester … The Inn at Tabbs Creek, Port Haywood, is selected as one of the Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in the U.S. by the website BedandBreakfast.com.