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June 28, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Flying Circus in mourning

Flying Circus members listen somberly to the briefing before Sunday’s show, a day after two members died in a New Hampshire accident.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of July 2, 1993

Fellow flyers mourned at local air show

Each member of the Flying Circus Air Show knew it could have been him or her.

Many in the last 24 hours had seen the awful video on CNN.

Ron Shelly’s red-and-white 1941 Stearman biplane came out of one counter-clockwise barrel roll, went into another and abruptly plummeted less than 100 feet, exploding into a fireball on the ground in Concord, N.H.

Shelly, a 61-year-old pilot from Midland, and his 31-year-old daughter, Karen Duggan of Warrenton, died instantly just before 3 p.m. last Saturday at the Concord International Air Festival.

Ten thousand people saw the father-daughter aerobatic and wing-walking team meet their deaths.

A day later and 450 miles away, their friends and neighbors also had a crowd waiting — about 300 people for the weekly Flying Circus show near Bealeton.

“I guess everybody’s pretty quiet today,” began Flying Circus President Tex Goppert, standing on a chair in front of 30 khaki-clad air show members at a briefing before their 2 p.m. performance Sunday. “We’ll dedicate today’s show to Ron and Karen . . . . We’ll do the missing man formation with our opening.”

The pilots, wing-walkers and show helpers talked matter-of-factly about their upcoming performance. But, sitting around three bettered picnic tables, some stared off at memorabilia plastering the hanger meeting room’s walls.

Expert: No “Taps” for Vint Hill

The loss of Vint Hill Farms Station will hurt, but a Northern Virginia planning expert believes it shouldn’t be a fatal blow to the community.

John E. Lynch, a Fairfax-based consultant who has helped oversee numerous military installation transformations, said this week that base closures can translate into new opportunities.

“The process does work,” Lynch said. “The community, however, has to prepare for it and put into place a reuse plan that spells out what they hope to accomplish.”

The figures support him.

In the last 32 years, 158,104 new jobs have replaced 93,424 Department of Defense civilian positions lost in base closings, according to the Pentagon.

Fauquier could lose about 1,500 civilian jobs and other positions attributed to base contractors if President Clinton and Congress by Sept. 1 agree with the closure plan that includes the Army’s Vint Hill and 43 other military installations nationwide.

To help deal the closure, Fauquier County officials will apply for a portion of the $25 million the federal government has set aside for planning the future of closed bases.

75 percent pass “Literacy Passport”

If test scores provide any indication, the “three R’s” made a comeback this year in Fauquier’s elementary schools.

The county’s sixth-graders posted the highest-ever success rate on the Literacy Passport, a state-mandated test of reading, writing and mathematics skills. Students must pass all three portions of the exam to qualify for high school diplomas.

Fauquier students showed improvement across the board, as 74.9 percent of the 669 sixth-graders tested passed all three portions — a 9-percent increase from the 1992 success rate.

In addition, the success rate in each portion of the test improved 7 to 9 percent.

Free clinic to open

The new Fauquier Free Clinic will open Thursday, July 8, in the county health department building at 330 Hospital Drive in Warrenton.

Staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, the clinic will provide free medical services to those who have no insurance and no coverage under Medicare or Medicaid.

The clinic will register patients from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. next Thursday. Then, the doors will close and the staff will see all patients who have been registered.

Dr. L. Trice Gravette is the medical director of the clinic, and Linda Coyt is the executive director.

Community college seeks 50-acre site

With the board of supervisors’ help, officials at Lord Fairfax Community College hope to expand the Fauquier campus.

Representatives from the college will be at the supervisors’ July 20 meeting to request 50 acres of the 235-acre Corral Farm, which the board in April bought from Realtor and developer Bob Sowder for $2.6 million.

The county plans to use 100 acres of the site for a new landfill, the college’s classroom building.

“We’re in the preliminary stages,” LFCC President Marilyn Beck said. “It’s really up to the community and the board of supervisors to determine where we go from here.”

Help Wanted

Administrator of Consolidated Services

Fauquier County government seeks a dynamic individual to serve in this newly created role. This position will manage the County and Schools information and automation service program, and is responsible for development a detailed plan for possible consolidation of County and Schools accounting, purchasing and personnel functions. Requires bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) . . . and seven years of increasingly responsible experience in supervision and administration, including a minimum of two years at the department head level or above . . . . Salary $60,000+, depending upon qualifications.

Dept. of Personnel
6 Culpeper St.
Warrenton, Va. 22186

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