The Gloucester County School Board has scheduled a special meeting at 5:30 tonight at Thomas Calhoun Walker Education Center to discuss plans for the new Page Middle School. The meeting is open to the public but there will be no opportunity for public comment. The meeting will be followed by a public forum on synthetic drugs beginning at 7 p.m. in the Walker Education Center auditorium. The forum is sponsored by Gloucester Public Schools along with the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office and the Gloucester Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
An assault that occurred more than six years ago at Gloucester High School that left a student seriously injured and launched a legal odyssey culminated in a confidential settlement. Former student Gregory Gagnon formally agreed to the settlement Wednesday afternoon in Gloucester County Circuit Court, capping a five-year legal fight that saw his case go all the way to the Virginia Supreme Court. Gagnon initially prevailed against three defendants, including the fellow student who punched him in the face in Dec of 2006, following a trial in August 2010. The jury awarded Gagnon $5 million for permanent brain injuries.
Mathews supervisors came down hard on Virginia Department of Transportation assistant residency administrator Joyce McGowan during last week’s board meeting. Supervisor Neena Putt told McGowan that standing water continues to be a problem in Diggs near Ocean Products. Although VDOT dug out ditches in the area, the ditches are deeper than the culverts, causing water to pool in the yards. McGowan said she wasn’t aware of the situation and asked Putt to e-mail her the location so she could include it on a list of items to check. Putt told McGowan that the main problem in Mathews County is the ditching, and that the board has done everything it could to deal with the problem. She said board members hear from concerned residents and pass along those concerns along to VDOT, but that “we’re not paid to do VDOT’s job.”
The House Finance Committee approved Gov. Bob McDonnell’s plan for a major transportation funding overhaul that would eliminate the state’s gasoline tax and replace it with an increase in the state sales tax. In addition to raising the sales tax from 5 percent to 5.8 percent, the measure also increases the amount of revenue generated from the current sales tax dedicated to transportation funding from 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent. The plan includes a $15 increase in vehicle registration fees, and a $100 annual fee for alternative fuel vehicles. The revenue generated from these fees would be dedicated to expanding mass transit and passenger rail service in the commonwealth.