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January 3, 2019

Throwback Thursday: 1,500 attend 1st “First Night”

A fife and drum corps performs as revelers on Courthouse Square await the stroke of midnight and the start of 1994.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of January 7, 1994

Inaugural “First Night” a hit

Warrenton’s first community-oriented, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration drew 1,500 people.

First Night Warrenton offered a variety of entertainment in Old Town. A jazz band, classical musicians, colonial dancers and puppeteers performed indoors up and down Main Street, where hayrides also proved popular.

The event concluded with a grand illumination in front of the old courthouse, where participants held candles and sang Aude Lang Syne.

Dr. Royston sells practice to hospital

For the last three years, Northern Fauquier’s only full-time family physician pondered options that would allow him to continue practicing.

Mounting paperwork and dwindling insurance reimbursements demanded a change in his Marshall-based practice, Norris Royston Jr. explained.

That change came Dec. 31, when a Fauquier Hospital Foundation subsidiary bought Dr. Royston’s practice. He became an employee of the new company, which relieved the 46-year-old physician of management headaches so he can concentrate on patient care.

Dr. Royston’s arrangement signals the beginning of a trend, according to other local physicians. The rural family doctor in solo practice quickly could become a memory.

County might export — not bury — trash

Is there a viable market for trash?

Fauquier officials intend to find out before committing to build a new landfill.

The county will solicit bids for construction and operation of a waste “transfer station” on the Corral Farm site planned for use as the new landfill.

The new $7-million landfill — scheduled to open just south of Warrenton in July — has entered the second phase of a two-part state permitting process. The county supervisors Tuesday said they plan to continue with that process while studying the benefits of a transfer station instead.

Bealeton man’s fate in governor’s hands

Death-row inmate Earl Washington Jr. may find out next week if he’ll go free or to the electric chair.

Attorneys for the Bealeton man have asked Gov. L. Douglas Wilder for an executive pardon. Wilder’s term expires Jan. 15. The governor returns this weekend from a week-long trip to Africa.

Washington, 33, was convicted for the 1982 rape and murder of Rebecca Lynn Williams, a Culpeper woman. But DNA test results, released in October by Attorney General Stephen Rosenthal, cast doubt on the conviction.

The DNA test revealed a genetic trait belonging neither to Washington, the victim nor her husband. Mrs. Williams, stabbed 39 times, told police before she died that a black man attacked her. Washington’s lawyers say the test results prove his innocence.

Local estate donates Dali, Hassam paintings

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond has received oil paintings by American impressionist Frederick Childe Hassam and Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali from the estate of Hildegarde G. van Roijen.

Mrs. van Roijen, a noted sculptor who lived for many years at St. Leonard’s Farm just west of Warrenton, died last summer.

The Dali painting, The Bay of Roses, is a 1944 work that depicts a nude figure floating slightly above a pedestal.

The oil is the first major painting to enter the collection and is a virtuoso example of Dali’s technique, according to Frederick R. Brandt, the museum’s curator of 20th-century art.

The year’s news in review

We will remember 1993 as the year when Bill Clinton came to town, when senseless vandalism swept through Northern Fauquier, when the the Pentagon decided to close Vint Hill Farms Station and when Mickey Mouse came knocking at our doorstep.

A chronology of the year’s most interesting events in Fauquier includes:

• Jan. 17 — President-elect Bill Clinton’s inaugural bus tour — from Monticello to Washington — stops in Warrenton for a half-hour. Clinton, his wife Hillary, Vice President-elect Al Gore and his wife Tipper address the 5,000-person crowd on Main Street.

• March 10 — An arsonist sets fire to eight roadside barns in Northern Fauquier, resulting in the deaths of seven horses. (The arsons remain unsolved.)

• March 12 — Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announces that Vint Hill Farms Station is among the military bases slated for closing. The county would lose more than 1,500 jobs if the plan wins congressional and presidential approval, as planned by Sept. 1.

• Nov. 11 — Walt Disney Co. officials announce plans to develop a historical theme park, “Disney’s America,” on 3,000 acres near Haymarket in Prince William County.
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