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December 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday: VT dorm named for FHS grad

Photo/Virginia Tech
2015: Renae and “J” Pearson, a Fauquier High graduate, get a formal welcome at the Pearson Hall dedication ceremony.
Two Years Ago
December 2017

Virginia Tech names dorm for Fauquier native and wife

Virginia Tech’s new, $45-million residence hall bears the name of a Fauquier native.

The university Nov. 20 dedicated Pearson Hall, a Corps of Cadets dorm named for James “J.” and Renae Pearson.

A 1983 Fauquier High School graduate, Mr. Pearson founded, built and sold Carry-On Trailer Corp., a manufacturer with seven factories in six states and 1,000 employees. By the time he sold the company in 2010, Carry-On had built 1.3 million trailers, with Lowe’s and Tractor Supply as its top retailers.

In 2013, former Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger approached the Pearsons about a naming opportunity for the first of two new Corps of Cadets residence halls. Follow-up conversations the next year sealed their commitment.

Although university officials and the Pearsons decline to discuss the total of their gifts, Virginia Tech inducted them into the President’s Circle, whose members have donated at least $1 million.

Students moved into the five-story, 101,422-square-foot Pearson Hall in early November.

Neighbors press for town dog park reconsideration

Citizens this week again voiced frustration about the lack of communication from Warrenton municipal government — this time in opposition to a planned dog play area at Rady Park.

About 30 residents attended a one-hour informational meeting about the dog park plan Tuesday night at Town Hall.

“My biggest problem is we were not consulted,” said Jean Hines, a resident of the neighborhood for 37 years. “My main concern is the dogs, when they are let out of the car . . . they have to go . . . where the majority of people are.”

Most at the meeting said they don’t oppose a dog park in Warrenton, but overwhelmingly, the residents don’t want it at Rady, a seven-acre recreational area off Fauquier Road at the town’s northwestern edge.

Several citizens, including Patrick Nye, suggested building the dog park instead at the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreational Facility (WARF).

“It’s a great idea, just not the best use of the area,” Mr. Nye said of Rady Park.

Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ expands to Warrenton

The country music provides the soundtrack air as customers flow steadily into the family-friendly barbecue restaurant.

Shawn’s Smokehouse Barbecue opened for business in the Warrenton Village shopping center on Nov. 14.

The family-owned and -operated restaurant company launched two years ago in Culpeper.

Shawn Moss says his eatery differs from other local barbecue businesses because of homemade rubs and sauces used on the meats.

“It’s about giving more than what people expect, whatever we do, whether it’s the food or the service,” Mr. Moss says.

Shawn’s serves pulled pork barbecue, beef brisket, chicken, ribs, wings and a variety of homemade side dishes and desserts.

Video gives a detailed look at Bealeton bank robber

The FBI and Fauquier’s sheriff’s office Wednesday released video that provides much clearer images and more information about the man who robbed a Bealeton bank Oct. 23.

Wearing a blue cap, white shirt, jeans, sunglasses and bandage on his nose, the man hit The Fauquier Bank branch at 10:25 that Friday morning. He carried a black briefcase, wrote with his right hand and wore a wedding band on his left hand.

The video also shows him walking calmly from the bank after handing a teller a note and demanding money.

Investigators also think he may have used a white pickup truck depicted in the video.

A man and truck matching the same descriptions also show up in video from a bank 24 miles south on Warrenton Road near Falmouth.

Fauquier schools stand to lose funding

Seven months before the new fiscal year begins, Fauquier’s public schools stand to lose $1.7 million in state funding.

That would represent a decline of 3.7 percent from this year’s $45.1 million the county gets from Virginia for public education.

But, the General Assembly and Gov. Terry McAuliffe will determine the actual amount of state funding next spring.

Fauquier this year gets just more than one-third of its $131.6-million school budget from the state.

But, the Virginia Department of Education’s newly calculated Composite Index for Fauquier assumes the county can afford to provide more local funding for schools. The new calculations rank Fauquier 19th among 135 counties and cities.

The Composite Index determines a school system’s ability to pay costs associated with the state’s required Standards of Quality. The state uses three indicators of local funding capacity:

• The true value of real estate.

• Residents’ adjusted gross income.

• Taxable retail sales.

LFCC workforce training expands in Fauquier

Opportunities to learn a well-paying trade will increase in Fauquier next month.

Lord Fairfax Community College will expand its Workforce Solutions training program, with classes in Warrenton and at Vint Hill.

An innovative partnership will put one of the training centers in the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier.

Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones spoke during an open house to introduce the program at the club Wednesday.

In economic development, “we can promote our broadband . . . our roads . . . our (tax) incentives,” Mr. Jones said. “But the most important asset is the workforce and the most important thing we can do is provide the workforce for the 21st century.”

He praised the collaborative effort, which includes Fauquier’s economic development department.
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