2012 in review: A look at Gloucester’s news stories

- Posted on Jan 02, 2013 - 01:36 PM

Photo: Gloucester County schools were in the news in 2012. T.C. Walker, above, closed as an elementary school at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year. The building is being repurposed as administrative office space for the division. File photo

Gloucester County schools were in the news in 2012. T.C. Walker, above, closed as an elementary school at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year. The building is being repurposed as administrative office space for the division. File photo

With a new year already begun, the Gazette-Journal looked back through its files on the year that has just passed. Here are some of the stories (big and small) that made the headlines in Gloucester in 2012.

Next week: Mathews.

JANUARY: York district supervisor Carter Borden and at-large supervisor Louise Theberge are unanimously elected as chair and vice chair, respectively. of the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors for 2012 … Bobbi Morgan is named general registrar, following the retirement of Carole Gates who served in that position for 25 years … The Gloucester County School Board unanimously approves a $25.5 million contract with RRMM Architects of Chesapeake for construction of a new middle school … Freshman 98th District Del. Keith Hodges (R-Middlesex) moves into his Richmond legislative office … Former Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert D. Hicks returns to private practice after 17 years as the chief county prosecutor … The first hint of dissension among members of the new county board of supervisors arises in a meeting in the colonial courthouse when a board member requests a discussion on the funding of Page Middle School … Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R-James City), who represents Gloucester in the 3rd District, officially becomes Senate Majority Leader when the Virginia General Assembly convenes … The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles announces plans to open a new Gloucester Customer Service Center at York River Crossing Shopping Center, Hayes … All traffic using the Fox Mill Run bridges will share the northbound bridge for the next 10 months or so, while the aging southbound bridge is replaced … John Milliman, Chancellor professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, is recognized as one of Virginia’s Outstanding Scientists for 2012 by Gov. Bob McDonnell and the Science Museum of Virginia … The Chick-fil-A restaurant at Fox Mill Center, Gloucester, earns the top Operational Excellence score among the Atlantic Region for the fourth quarter of 2011.

FEBRUARY: Gloucester Sheriff E. Steve Gentry abruptly announces his resignation, just one month into his second term of office; Major Darrell Warren, will take over … Gloucester supervisors vote to extend reassessment two years … Virginia Institute of Marine Science installs a camera atop its 65-foot tall water tower to watch an osprey nest that’s been used there for many years … The Gloucester School Board considers an alternative capital improvements plan that would spare the closure of T.C. Walker Elementary School but halt its new middle school construction project … American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester has lost its tax-exempt status and faces having to pay thousands of dollars’ worth of taxes if the situation cannot be rectified.

MARCH: Approximately 550 patients seen at the third annual Mission of Mercy free dental clinic held at Gloucester High School … Paul Long, Gloucester’s new emergency management coordinator, is working to improve community awareness of the department and its services … Riverside Walter Reed Hospital holds ground-breaking ceremony for an Intensive Care Unit and a family center … Gloucester will receive a grant for more than $1 million to elevate 11 residential structures in the county … Page Middle School cheerleading coach Wyvonnia "Bunny" Carter hangs up pompoms after 33 years … Robert Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is elected to a three-year term as vice chair of the federal Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee … Practical Energy Solutions is the first recipient to complete the Gloucester Green Office Challenge to reduce waste and pollution … The Gloucester School Board votes 4-3 to shut down the elementary program at T.C. Walker School as a cost-saving measure; the closure will disperse Walker’s 58 staff members to other county schools in the fall and force a redistricting of attendance zones, sending its 300 students to different campuses … The Gloucester supervisors vote unanimously to dissolve the county’s advisory board on housing … Twisted Botz, a local home school robotics team, takes first place with a 6-0-0 record in the Liberty VEX Regional Robotics Competition in Lynchburg … Both Gloucester and Mathews counties receive an "A+" rating by the editors of Sunshine Review for their websites … Jon W. West Jr., 57, of Gloucester, dies in motorcycle accident … Work begins to remove the southbound Fox Mill Run bridge on Main Street; project is expected to be completed by the fall … Gloucester Rowing Association celebrates its origins in a naming ceremony at Freeport Landing; newly refurbished crew shells were named for John F. Baxter, L.T. Wells and Jon Hatch … A Gloucester High School VEX Robotics team, including coach Rusty West, Josh Shulz, Chris Feigh, Zach Tilley and coach Richard Roane, win a top award in regional competition and earn a bid to the VEX national competition in California in April … Bethel Elementary School nurse Robin Zophy is honored as Virginia’s School Nurse of the Year at the Virginia Association of School Nurses annual conference in Williamsburg … Tyler Foster raises $5,500 for the Cancer Rockers, a Gloucester Relay for Life team, as part of his Gloucester High School senior project … Daffodil Festival still a success despite rain; GHS junior Alyssa Crone is crowned 2012 Gloucester Daffodil Queen; 13 World War II veterans serve as grand marshals for the parade … The Fairfield Foundation receives $15,000 contribution from Dominion Resources to for energy-efficient improvements in its renovation of the Edge Hill Texaco Station … Glenn Sturm becomes associate Extension agent for the six counties on the Middle Peninsula and is based at the Gloucester office … Starr Belvin, who represents the York Magisterial District on the Gloucester County School Board, announces that she will resign her seat effective July 1.

Photo: In August, what remained of tornado-ravaged Page Middle School was demolished and removed. The school board, meanwhile, moved ahead with plans to replace Page with a two-story schoolhouse on T.C. Walker Road, a decision that remains a source of controversy. File photo

In August, what remained of tornado-ravaged Page Middle School was demolished and removed. The school board, meanwhile, moved ahead with plans to replace Page with a two-story schoolhouse on T.C. Walker Road, a decision that remains a source of controversy. File photo

APRIL: Former staff and students say their goodbyes to the Page Middle School building that was severely damaged by last April’s tornado in a ceremony in front of the school; the Gloucester School Board votes to demolish the remainder of the school … Supervisors vote 4-3 in favor of 2015 reassessment … The largest Garden Club of Virginia daffodil show in the history of the club is held at Ware Academy with 108 exhibitors … County officials say they will refund more than $1,800 in taxes paid recently by American Legion Post 75 as the local organization tries to regain its tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service … Gloucester Schools Superintendent Ben Kiser receives the 2012 Jo Lynne DeMary Award during the College of William and Mary School of Education’s Educational Leadership Alumni Breakfast for his leadership and contribution in the field of education … The Gloucester School Board votes to move ahead with the plan to build a new $26 million middle school for grades 6-8 on the 140-acre undeveloped tract it owns on T.C. Walker Road … The old garage that sat near the corner of Guinea and Mark Pine roads in Bena is demolished to make way for the Guinea Heritage Museum … Gloucester supervisors adopt $109 million budget, with a seven-cent increase in the real estate tax rate and a 35-cent increase on the personal property tax … M.B. Sheppard Jr. of the Virginia Department of Health is presented with a Certificate of Merit by the National Environmental Health Association, recognizing a 35-year career in public service … Portions of Gloucester Library are closed to the public following extensive water damage to the building at Main Street Center.

MAY: Gloucester School Board votes second time to close T.C. Walker Elementary School … Garden Week attracts 550 visitors … Elijah Rodriguez, 28, of Gloucester, dies from injuries received in a single-vehicle accident on Hickory Fork Road … Two Gloucester non-profit organizations are working to recover from water damage that closed the Rosewell Visitor Center and threatened Rosewell Foundation and Fairfield Foundation artifacts … Gloucester Fair is cancelled for 2012 … New USPS plan calls for shorter hours instead of closing rural post offices … Pleasant weather and a myriad of hands-on activities draw more than 2,000 children and adults to Marine Science Day, the annual open house at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science … Steven Rea Johnson, 47, of Dutton, dies in a two-vehicle collision on Route 198 in Harcum … James Anderson Wiesel is the valedictorian of the Gloucester High School Class of 2012; Kevin Ethan Speray is salutatorian … Gloucester senior Hannah Joyce is named the Peninsula District Girls’ Softball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.