The Central Virginian

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2017 Year in Review

Posted on Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 5:00 am

JANUARY

Special election results in new senator for District 22

Voters in five Louisa County precincts participated in a special election Jan. 10 to fill the unexpired term of former Republican Virginia State Senator Tom Garrett, who was elected to a congressional seat. Mark Peake, a Lynchburg-based attorney, won with 53 percent of the 22nd District vote.

FEBRUARY

Team LCPS goes high tech

Louisa County Public Schools rolled out an app in an effort to better communicate with parents of students. The Team LCPS App offers another avenue for parents to obtain information from their child’s school in addition to the school website, robo-calls and notes home and allows them to choose which method of communication they prefer.

Residents see increase in 

property values

Annual real estate tax assessments rose slightly under three percent last year as a result of higher property values due to supply and demand of homes. The total increase in the value of existing property, according to the Jan. 1, 2017 assessment, was $56 million, Louisa County Assessor Richard Gasper said. New construction accounted for $83 million in new value. In 2016, those figures were $40 million and $77 million, respectively.

MARCH

Time crunch leads to Saturday Court dates

As the volume of criminal and civil cases grew in Louisa County Circuit Court, Judge Timothy Sanner began scheduling hearings on Saturdays. The number of cases filed in Louisa jumped dramatically in 2014, from 1,141 in 2013 to 2,079, according to data prepared by the state Office of the Executive Secretary. The number had climbed slowly during 2015 and 2016. Though it was not apparent from the data which offenses were driving the increased caseload, drug-related crimes were on the rise in Louisa and surrounding counties. A 2016 Virginia State Police report showed there were 203 drug-related incidents in Louisa the previous year, compared to 129 in 2010.

APRIL

Court eases policy on 

paying fines

People who owed money in Louisa General District Court learned that the rules had been tweaked in their favor, although the change wouldn’t help the 531 county residents whose driver’s licenses had already been suspended because they didn’t pay on time. Essentially, the new policy allowed people to make smaller down payments and extended the length of time to pay the fines off. The change was brought about by a Virginia Supreme Court ruling. Of the 531 residents in Louisa whose licenses had been suspended, 242 had been found guilty of motor vehicle-related offenses; 221 were guilty of charges unrelated to driving; and 68 were guilty of crimes in both categories.

To read more on the Year in Review, see the Jan. 4 edition of The Central Virginian.