Partners Sniff Out Arson

The house had burned to the ground, and its embers still smoldered. Fire investigator David Doehler ’02 and Cadet worked the perimeter, but the Labrador’s well-trained nose detected no trace of accelerant. To himself, Doehler thought, probably not arson. But the next day, when the debris had cooled, they returned for a closer sniff at the foundation. This time, Cadet calmly sat down at the threshold, alerting Doehler that he’d picked up the odor of a flammable liquid. Tests of samples from the site proved that the fire had indeed been set, and the perpetrator was arrested and convicted. That was just one of many fire scenes Doehler and Cadet worked between 2004 and ’09 as the first dog-and-handler accelerant-detection team for the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue. Doehler, who earned a bachelor of liberal studies degree, had been a firefighter for 18 years and an investigator for another eight when he got the chance to work with an accelerant-detection dog. He … [Read more...]

Farmer’s Field Goals

Courted to play hoops, '76 grad filled record number of baskets

Emmett C. Snead III ’76 became an agricultural success at a time when many other small farmers caved to debt and the pressures of giant agribusiness. It would be easy to credit Snead’s first bachelor’s degree, a double major in economics and business, with giving him the foresight and flexibility to make his living from the land throughout the late 20th century and into the 21st. But Snead also finds lasting value in his second bachelor’s, the one in geography from Mary Washington. The one he didn’t plan to get. Born into a dairy farming family in Fredericksburg, young Emmett always knew he would be a farmer like his father. At 6, he helped out by washing udders. By 10, he was raising his own leghorn chickens and delivering eggs by bicycle. He graduated from James Monroe High School; got a two-year degree from Louisburg College in North Carolina; and earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College in 1973. He moved back home to his parents’ farm, where he helped … [Read more...]