County Administrator's BLOG

Stay up-to-date with King William County news and happenings from the County Administrator, Percy C. Ashcraft.

Sep 12

High Participation Numbers Revealed in Youth & Adult Recreation Programs

Posted on September 12, 2023 at 12:48 PM by Percy Ashcraft

High Participation Numbers Revealed in Youth & Adult Recreation Programs

Judging from the registration numbers from summer and now early fall, recreation participation is high among youth and adults in King William County.

Parks & Recreation Director Kayla Huffman shared the numbers for various programs on September 7 with the members of the Parks & Recreation Commission:

  • Summer Sneakers – 134
  • Adult Kickball – 76
  • Blast Ball – 31
  • Summer Soccer Camp – 65
  • Fall Soccer – 189
  • Little League Baseball/Softball – 200
  • Raiders Football – 160

Huffman also reported there were 76 adults who participated in Adult Kickball, and the exercise classes are at full capacity.

The After School Program operated by Parks & Recreation has 99 children registered.

Huffman also shared that registration is underway for Youth Basketball, which also has high participation.

A Halloween Event from 6-9 p.m. on October 27 at the King William Recreation Park will also draw a large number of children, predicted Huffman.

Huffman also shared that some children and adults do participate in more than one program.

Also at the meeting, new officers were elected for 2023-24: Troy Simons will serve as Chairman, Bill Faulkner as Vice Chair, and Evelyn Martin as Secretary.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. October 5 at the Parks & Recreation building off Route 360.


Demond Claiborne College FB Watch: Sets Personal High for Rushing Yards and Carries

Former King William High School running back Demond Claiborne had his best game yet in the college ranks on September 9 by rushing for 165 yards on 26 carries in Wake Forest’s 36-20 victory over Vanderbilt. Both are personal highs.

Claiborne, a sophomore, averaged 6.3 yards per carry and his longest run was 17 yards. He was the workhorse as he doubled the number of carries compared to the other two rushers in the Wake Forest lineup.

Up next for Claiborne and the Deamon Deacons is a trip to Virginia to face Old Dominion Saturday. Kickoff is 12:00 noon and the game can be seen on ESPN 2.


King William School Division Shows SOL Improvement Despite Pandemic.

There was no question providing public education was a challenge during the pandemic. The King William County School Division seemed to survive it better than most.

According to Cardinal News reporter Lisa Rowan, the KWC School Division is one of just 18 school divisions out of 132 across the state that maintained or increased their Standards of Learning pass rate for at least one of the five subject areas, compared to before the pandemic. KWC exceeded its 2018-19 pass rate in English: Writing.

The 2018-19 school year was the last year SOL tests were administered before the pandemic forced sweeping changes to teaching methods for several years.

A news release from the Virginia Department of Education last week called declines in reading and math scores for elementary and middle-schoolers “alarming.”

SOL results released this week show that this year’s statewide average pass rates for tests in reading, writing, history, math, and science ranged between 65% and 73%. In 2018-19, the pass rate for each ranged between 75% and 82%.

“Grade 3 through 8 Virginia students are still struggling to recover the learning loss from the pandemic and are not performing as well as their pre-pandemic peers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said in a statement.

View the full list of Virginia school division SOL pass rates for 2018-2019 and 2022-2023.


Business & Marketing Top Bachelor’s Degree in the Last Decade

It remains one of the hardest decisions for students who are fortunate to enroll in college: “What am I going to get my degree in?”

Some students don’t reach this conclusion easily and often take at least two years through college before settling on a course of study that will produce success when the undergraduate days are over.

Reporter Kashish Rastogi for Visual Capitalist conducted research on the most popular bachelor’s degrees from 2011-2021. They are:

  1. Business, Marketing and related fields.
  2. Health professions
  3. Social Science
  4. Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  5. Psychology
  6. Engineering
  7. Computer & Information Science
  8. Communication, Journalism & related fields
  9. Visual & Performing Arts
  10. Education
  11. Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & related fields
  12. Interdisciplinary Studies
  13. Parks, Recreation, Leisure & Fitness Studies
  14. Liberal Arts & Sciences, General Studies & Humanities
  15. English Language & Literature
  16. Public Administration & Social Service Professions

Good luck to those gathering information!

Sep 05

Claiborne Scores First College TD in Wake Forest Opening Win

Posted on September 5, 2023 at 3:04 PM by Percy Ashcraft

Claiborne Scores First College TD in Wake Forest Opening Win

Former King William High School Football standout Demond Claiborne made a big memory on August 31 by scoring his first collegiate touchdown.

Claiborne, who was a key player in King William’s drive to the Class 2 title in 2021, took a handoff and rushed for 10 yards into the endzone to seal a 37-17 win for the Deamon Deacons against Elon College.

Claiborne saw plenty of playing time in the lopsided opener for Wake Forest by rushing for a team-high 70 yards on 13 carries (5.4 average). His longest tote was 16 yards.

Claiborne saw limited action as a freshman last season, but returned to Wake Forest for his sophomore year and seems poised to be a big contributor for the Deamon Deacons this season.

Wake Forest hosts Vanderbilt on September 9 in Game #2 of the young college season. Kickoff is 11 a.m.


Offices of Sheriff, Treasurer in Full Compliance After Review by Auditor of Public Accounts

The State of Virginia has issued a full-compliance letter after reviewing collections and remittances of the Offices of Sheriff and Treasurer in King William County.

Notification came from Staci A. Henshaw, Auditor of Public Accounts to Sheriff Jeff Walton and Treasurer Abbi Carlton:

Locality: County of King William 

We have reviewed the Commonwealth collections and remittances of Sheriff of the locality indicated for the year ended June 30, 2023. We also reviewed the Commonwealth collections and remittances of the Treasurer of the locality indicated, for the period September 24, 2022 through June 30, 2023. Our primary objectives were to determine that the officials have maintained accountability over Commonwealth collections, established internal controls, and complied with state laws and regulations. We limited our work to the collection of Commonwealth revenues. Local governments hire certified public accountants to audit all other financial activities of the locality and these firms issue separate reports on the results of their audits. 

The results of our tests found the constitutional officers complied, in all material respects, with state laws, regulations and other procedures relating to the receipt, disbursement, and custody of state funds. 


Congratulations to both Constitutional Officers on the efficient operating of their offices!


Important Parking Projects Wrapping Up

As summer draws to a close, two important parking projects are wrapping up that will create a safer experience for people attending County events and activities.

The first is a small but important area close to the entrance of Station1 that will increase accessibility for those who are visiting the facilities or voting at the District #3 voter precinct.

The second is the first of two phases of expanded parking at the King William Recreation Park. The first phase concentrated on outlining distinct areas for parking so vehicles don’t randomly park and often take up two or more spaces.

Phase #2 of the project will begin this fall and will be part of a larger endeavor to create a new parking lot and add a second entrance to the facility.


RCC Announces Fall Learning Opportunities

Classes are underway at Rappahannock Community College for the fall semester, but many openings are still available.

In “Retirement Planning,” Laura Bondurant, registered Social Security Analyst Elite, will discuss the importance and benefits of Social Security; how to calculate earnings and disbursements; cost of living adjustments; and then tackle questions about Medicare and Medigap plans. This course is designed to help you feel comfortable making decisions about retirement. Class will be held September 12, 19, and 26 from 1pm to 3 pm at RCC’s Glenns Campus. The cost is $35.

Explore the history and evolution of pirates. In “Scourge of the Seas: Pirates in History and Today” students will learn about the day-to-day life of a pirate, weapons, tactics, and ships, legends and lore, and more. Taught by Michael Knapp, retired U.S. Government civilian intelligence analyst, the class meets October 3, 10, and 17 from 1 pm to 3 pm at RCC’s Kilmarnock Center. The cost is $35.

On October 5, 12, 19, and 26, from 1 pm to 3 pm at RCC’s Kilmarnock Center, join Gail Kenna, longtime RILL instructor and published author, in “Landscapes of Literature, Memory, and Aging.” Classes will be a combination of lecture, group discussion, and optional writing, focusing on both old and new literary terrain. The cost is $35.

Also in October, “Writing Poetry and the Creative Process Using Robert Frost’s Life and Works” taught by Joseph Swonk, retired RCC professor. Class will meet October 9, 16, and 23 from 1 pm to 3 pm on RCC’s Warsaw campus. Students will examine Frost’s life and the state of poetry during his lifetime and include other prominent poets during the same time period. The cost is $35.

Other classes are “Introduction to Windows 11,” “The Civil War—The Towles Family: A Microcosm Story of Loss and Remembrance,” “When Intelligent People Make Irrational Decisions,” and “Floral Design.” 

Advance registration and tuition payment is required for each class. RW-C residents receive a 50% discount; Blue Ridge Bank Golden Advantage members receive a 15% discount. 

For more information on these and other RILL courses, or to register, please email Brittany Abdul-Malik at You can also register online.


Movie Soundtracks Stir Debate - Which Is the Best?

The success this summer of the Barbie movie has created discussion about which movie had the best sound track of all time.

Cultural Critic Steven Hyden did some research and came up with this all-time Top 10:

  1. Purple Rain (1984)
  2. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
  3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  4. Singles (1992)
  5. Super Fly (1972)
  6. Boogie Nights (1997)
  7. American Graffiti (1973)
  8. Dazed and Confused (1993)
  9. Trainspotting (1996)
  10. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Like all lists, let the debate begin.


Virginia Rich with Famous Recording Artists

Sometimes it is good to get a generational wake up call on famous people who came from Virginia. For those who have made Virginia home but were not born here, taking a peek of those who made it famous is interesting and fun.

Author Dan Farrant put together a list of the most famous musicians from Virginia. Here is where they are from and how they are ranked according to Farrant:

  1. Jason Mraz (Mechanicsville)
  2. Wayne Newton (Norfolk)
  3. Ella Fitzgerald (Newport News)
  4. Bruce Hornsby (Williamsburg)
  5. Patsy Cline (Winchester)
  6. Timbaland (Norfolk)
  7. Pharrell Williams (Virginia Beach)
  8. D’Angelo (Richmond)
  9. Hilary Hahn (Lexington)
  10. Chris Brown (Tappahannock)
Aug 30

VACo Region 2 Localities Share Issues of Importance

Posted on August 30, 2023 at 3:33 PM by Percy Ashcraft

VACo Region 2 Localities Share Issues of Importance

Representatives from the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) Region 2 met August 23 at the beautiful Compass Entertainment Complex in Lancaster County.

The annual gathering gives each locality an opportunity to discuss issues important to them and make recommendations for next year’s General Assembly.

Region 2 is comprised of Westmoreland, Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster, Essex, Middlesex, Mathews, King & Queen, Gloucester, York, James City, and King William.

Representing King William at the meeting was District 5 Supervisor Ed Moren, Deputy County Administrator Steve Hudgins, and myself.

Among the issues raised on behalf of King William for VACo representatives to share with legislators and state officials were:

  1. Support for Cybersecurity.
  2. No additional burden on counties fielding FOIA requests.
  3. Education funding and addressing teacher shortages.
  4. Keeping Land Use decisions at the local level.
  5. Utility expansion involving Economic Development and basic quality of life improvement for citizens of the Commonwealth.
  6. Support for regional jails.
  7. Tweaking of Smart Scale program.
  8. Support for VDOT.
  9. Closer observance for the promulgation of legislative rules in the oversight of DEQ, VDOT, public education, and public libraries.


Top Sayings & Phrases in the Commonwealth

Every state, and even every country, has a different way of saying things and the meanings that follow. Writer Margaret Minnicks has compiled a list of favorite sayings and phrases from right here in the Commonwealth:

1.     “Y'all" is the contraction for "you all."

2.     "Bless your heart" is a Southern phrase often used to show sympathy or pity.

3.     "Make groceries" simply means going shopping for groceries.

4.     "Old Dominion" is the nickname for Virginia, highlighting its status as one of the oldest states in the nation.

5.     "Ice box" is an old term for a refrigerator. Before refrigerators were plentiful, Virginians bought a block of ice and put it in an insulated cabinet or chest to keep food from spoiling.

6.     "Virginia Power" used to be the name of the power and energy company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Even after the company changed its name over a decade ago to Dominion Energy, Virginians still say, "Virginia Power."

7.     "Drink" is the generic word for any type of soda such as Pepsi or Coke.

8.     "Hissy fit" is an expression for a temper tantrum.

9.     "Fixin' to" is what a person is planning to do.

10.   "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for a coffee sweetener or a piece of candy. Older Virginians say that when they want a hug and a kiss from their grandchildren.

11.   "Gussied up" is an old-fashioned way of saying someone is dressed up.

12.   "I reckon" means "I guess, think, suppose, or imagine."

13.   "Going to the picture show" means "going to the movies or going to the theater."

14.   "Cuh" is the slang word for "cousin." People in the South call one another "Cuh" even if they are not related.

15.   "Fair to middling" is the answer people give when asked about their health. The expression means "mediocre, pretty good, so-so, or moderately good."


Parks & Recreation Planning ‘Fall Festival’ for October 27

Parks & Recreation Director Kayla Huffman and her Staff are putting together a fun family event for October.

A “Fall Festival” will be held Friday, October 27th, from 6-9 p.m. at the King William Recreation Park.

Details of the Halloween-themed event include: A Trunk or Treat, walks through the Haunted Trail, games, face painting, Food Trucks, and more.

Be sure to save the date on your calendar for this fun event for all ages. More details will be coming soon.


Virginia Plentiful in Designs for License Plates

It is very doubtful that you have the time, or really the concern, to total how many license plates there are in the United States. After all, you typically can only use one or maybe two at a time.

Writer John Keegan did the research and found there is “a vast menu of personalized plate options for a dizzying array of organizations, professions, sports teams, and other groups.”

Virginia ranks fourth in the total number of license plate designs with 335, but lags way behind the front runner Maryland with 989. Here are the top 10:

  1. Maryland – 989
  2. Texas – 476
  3. Pennsylvania – 425
  4. Virginia – 335
  5. Georgia – 315
  6. Colorado – 313
  7. Oklahoma – 298
  8. Mississippi – 291
  9. Ohio – 271
  10. Florida – 259

Who is last, you ask? Hawaii ranks last with only 14 different plates.

Before you speak up about the cost of so many license plates, Keegan reports that 80 percent of all license plates issued in the United States today are made by state prisoners.