YEAR IN REVIEW: August

Local star Berkley Hawkins headed to VMI

Berkley Hawkins, a 2010 graduate of Trinity Episcopal, decided to continue his college and baseball career at Virginia Military Institute. A two-time, first team all-VISAA performer, Hawkins hit .500 as a junior shortstop and followed that up with a .480 average as a senior catcher. He was recognized as a second team all-metro performer this spring.

HSR project threatens Centralia property owner

About half of Michale and Ellen Maxey’s six acres off Centralia Road is wetlands protected by a conservation easement, which keeps it in a natural state – a dense forest canopy shading several species of ferns, milkweed and calico aster. Great Branch Creek winds through the property, providing an easy water access for deer, beaver and geese.

The Maxey’s property is ground zero in what may become a battle of property rights when high-speed rail is built through Chesterfield. The South East High-Speed Rail (SEHSR) project will add an additional track, if and when it’s funded, to the CSX rail that runs north and south through the county. The completion of a Tier II environment impact study provided detailed maps of how the project would affect property owners along the route. An aerial crossover that will span the tracks and Chester Road and then loop back to Chester Road could take most the Maxey’s property and their home.

Maxey laments the loss of his home and the natural habitat it, and questions the validity of the project overall. “I’m surprised no one has offered any opposition, there’s no economic justification to put in high-speed rail; Amtrak is losing money so how do you expect high-speed rail to make money?”

He added: “This was going to be our last house. What do you do when your last refuge is stripped away from you?”

McDonnell announces $20 million facility in Chesterfield

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced in August that DuPont would invest $20 million to establish a facility in Chesterfield County to make the first nanofiber-based polymeric separators for high-performance lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and many other potential commercial uses.

The facility, an early commercial-scale plant to produce the new material, would be located at a leased building in Chesterfield County and begin operations in early 2011, according to a press release. DuPont has been in Chesterfield County since 1929 and is one of the county’s largest private employers.

TDHS grad shares details of June 23 shooting

On June 23, Chester native Michael Dudley stepped up to help a woman he saw being beaten by a man. Ultimately, according to police, the man, Richard E. Parker, 56, shot and killed the woman, his wife, Cindy M. Parker, 45, and then shot Dudley.

“People call me a hero. I’m not a hero,” Dudley said. “That’s the right thing to do, that’s what I should have done.”

Dudley still carries the bullet in his abdomen, he said, since removing it would have caused more damage. He has told his story hundreds of times, he said, and he doesn’t mind talking about it.

“None of it bothers me mentally, I think because it happened so fast,” he said. In situations like this, “you either accept it or don’t, and if you don’t, it won’t be pretty. The easiest way to get over it is not to think about it.”

Though his doctor said he could play football by the end of October, he planned to be a redshirt this year; he should be able next year to take to the field at Virginia State University, where he is now a student

In August, Dudley said his mind was already on college, his career and ways to get rid of or cover the roughly six-inch scar he has from the surgery in the wake of the shooting. Now, he’s considering a zipper tattoo.

“I mean, I got shot,” he said. “I’m not dead.”

Dudley has since received a resolution from the Board of Supervisors recognizing his bravery, and served as the Grand Marshall of the 2010 Chester Kiwanis Christmas Parade.

Community collects Tools for School

Community members filled the bags for students whose families are served by the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services as part of the department’s annual Tools for School program.

“We’re giving them more than a bookbag,” said Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services Volunteer Coordinator Kathy Perun. The students get confidence, she said, and something that’s their own.

This year, the program helped about 900 children. Among the biggest single donors are churches, several of which assemble 40-50 bags each year. This year, an area hospital that typically contributed 30 to 40 bags contributed more than 80 bags, she said.

August is the hottest month for youth baseball

● Chesterfield Baseball Club’s (CBC) 11U Bronco Team

 As Chesterfield hosted the second consecutive 11U Bronco World Series Championship for youth baseball, our very own team from CBC had early success in the tournament before losing in the semi-finals to Torrance, C.A.

● South Chester Express 14 U baseball team

After a successful season of travel baseball, including a 13th place finish in the Summer Nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the South Chester Express 14U baseball team was ranked third in the state.

● Chesterfield Nationals for CBC

At the 53rd Annual BIB (Boys Invitational Baseball) Tournament at Shepherd Stadium in Colonial Heights, CBC’s Chesterfield Nationals fell in the Championship game to Sussex.

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