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March 7, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Fairgrounds barn destroyed

March 1994: 4-H Extension Agent Loretta Washington examines the remains of the Fauquier County Fair show barn that a foot of wet snow crushed early Thursday morning, March 3.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of March 11, 1994

Snow crushes 4-H barn

A bit of Fauquier agricultural history collapsed under a foot of wet snow March 3.

The heavy white stuff crushed the 4-H pole barn at the Fauquier County Fairgrounds east of Marshall.

“It sounded like a rumble of thunder, Thursday morning between 3 and 4 o’clock,” said Betty McClanahan, who lives across Route 709 from the fairgrounds. “It woke me up, but I didn’t think anything about it until the next morning. My kitchen faces the road, and it was right across the wa
Built in the mid-1960s, the 129-by-60-foot barn hosted the 4-H/FFA Livestock Show & Sale each May and the county fair in July.

“The way it looks to me, I would say it’s a total loss,” 4-H Extension Agent Loretta Washington said as she surveyed the damage Monday.

Insurance officials early this week had yet to determine the monetary loss.

Williams seeks school board seat

Retired federal worker and active community volunteer John E. Williams stands a good chance of becoming the first African-American appointed to the Fauquier County School Board.

Williams, 61, announced his candidacy for the Center District seat at his retirement dinner Saturday night in Warrenton.

Meanwhile, Center District school board member Gary Watson said he will not seek reappointment when his four-year term expires June 30.

No other candidate has emerged. The board of supervisors probably will conduct a public hearing on the appointment in May and select a new school board member in June. School board members earn stipends of $3,500 a year.

FHS student charged with arson

Police have charged a 17-year-old Fauquier High School boy with arson.

Using a lighter, the student set fire to a bulletin board in the school’s main hallway around 11:30 a.m. Friday, sheriff’s detective Rick MacWelch said.

The blaze, which caused about $500 worth of damage, burned the bulletin board and some ceiling tiles.

A teacher put out the fire.

Warrenton council votes to ‘welcome’ Disney

The Piedmont Environmental Council’s campaign against Disney’s America fails to represent all of Fauquier County.

The Warrenton Town Council voted, 5-1, to send that message Tuesday night.

Even after complaining they have too little information and admitting they have no political authority in the matter, the council adopted a resolution to “welcome” the proposed history them park to Haymarket, 13 miles away in Prince William County.

“If we fail to support this, it will further the opinion that Warrenton and Fauquier County are opposed to all development and growth,” Councilwoman Kathryn Carter said. “I think we should be careful about opposing this, because we have a lot to lose.”

Council members John Lewis, John Mann, Robert Walker and Fred Austin also voted for the resolution.

Even Councilman Bob Rice, who voted against it, said: “I’d like to see Disney come over there in Prince William County.”

Calling it premature, Councilman Tom Finn cast the dissenting vote. “I don’t think I have any responsibility as an elected official to go on the record about Disney — pro or con,” he said.

County schools get ‘voice mail’

With a new “voice mail” system, Fauquier County Public Schools officials hope to hear from more parents and citizens.

The system, run through Bell Atlantic Telephone Co., allows parents who work during the day to call in the evening with concerns or questions for school administrators.

“It’s part of a continuing effort to provide citizens an opportunity to share their concerns and communicate as often as possible,” Director of Administrative Services Jim Snyder said.

The system has averaged 12 calls a night since its activation a month ago.

Public hearing set on proposed $88.8-million county budget

The board of supervisors will conduct a public hearing Wednesday, March 30, on County Administrator Bob Lee’s proposed budget that would raise the real estate tax levy by a penny.

The spending plan would decline to $84.7 million — down $3 million from this year.

But, the real estate tax rate would be 99 cents per $100 assessed value. For the first time, the county would earmark a half-penny of that rate for fire and rescue services.

The county school budget would increase 9.6 percent — to $54 million — under the proposal.
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