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September 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Two die in Marshall plane crash

September 1993: The debris of a Cherokee Piper Lance Turbo II lies along Route 710 near Marshall after the plane crashed into a utility pole.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of September 17, 1993

Marshall witnesses airplane’s fatal fall

Hume farmer Ross Poe saw disaster coming as he cashed a $20 check in Marshall on Friday afternoon.

“I saw the airplane . . . maybe a quarter-mile away, banking to the northwest,” Poe said. “His nose was down; he was going down fast, and I knew he was going to crash.”

Poe quickly left the Peoples National Bank drive-through window and crossed the street to the Marshall firehouse. He and county paramedic Bill Pittard jumped into the latter’s red Ford Bronco and sped north on Route 710.

A mile later, just after crossing the railroad tracks, they encountered the burning debris of a single-engine Cherokee Piper Lance Turbo II. The bodies of two men lay among the wreckage, strewn around a power pole and across the two-lane road.

“When we got there, it wasn’t any use,” Poe said.

Authorities identified the victims as Steven Dickson, 37, a lawyer from Topeka, Kan., and Stanley Heard, a 48-year-old chiropractor from Hot Springs, Ark.

The men had attended a briefing on the Clinton administration’s health care reform proposals Friday in Washington, D.C., and crashed on their trip home to the Midwest.

Enrollment nears 8,500

Enrollment in Fauquier’s 15 public schools reached 8,436 by the end of last week, and administrators expect the student population to surpass 8,500 by month’s end.

Grace Miller in Bealeton ranked as the most crowded of the county’s 10 elementary schools with 665 students. C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary near New Baltimore had 652.

Taylor Junior High had the highest population of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders with 555, while Fauquier High had an enrollment of 1,571.

School officials project an enrollment increase of about 160 students, compared with the 8,356 who left the county’s classrooms in June. The school system’s student-teacher ratio stands at 20-to-1.

$10 million in taxes on vehicles due Oct. 5

The county treasurer’s office last week mailed 29,030 personal property tax bills — most for vehicles.

The bills total $10.1 million, with payment due Tuesday, Oct. 5. Late payment penalties will take effect after that date.

“These taxes . . . are based on what personal property was owned in Fauquier County on Jan. 1, 1993,” explained Treasurer Bitsy Lineweaver.

Landfill receives “marginal grade”

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality have the Fauquier County landfill a “marginal grade” this month after an Aug. 19 inspection. Other possible grades were satisfactory and unsatisfactory.

The state report cited four violations, including insufficient daily cover, failures in the stormwater control system, problems with the county’s methane gas management plan and the lack of a properly documented disclosure statement.

In his report, inspector Ted Teague docked the county 17 points for the four violations.

Landfill Manager Ellis Bingham has until Oct. 1 to correct the violations.

In past inspections, the state has criticized the county for not putting on more daily cover, burning trash without a permit, stockpiling sludge and erosion problems.

State regulators require that the county cover trash dumped each day at the landfill with at lease 6 inches of soil.

Inspection reports as far back as 1984 cite the need for more daily compaction and covering of trash.

Night lights on courthouse

A project to provide night lighting on the old Fauquier courthouse will be unveiled during the Partnership for Warrenton’s Evening Under the Starts fund-raising event, 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 18, on Courthouse Square.

The $3,000 lighting project is part of long-range plans that include eventual lighting of other prominent buildings.

“The old courthouse is a significant focal point in historic Warrenton, and the nighttime lighting will enhance its impact on the community,” said Partnership Program Director Anne-Marie Walsh.

The Partnership hopes illumination of such buildings will be an incentive for more people to visit, shop and dine in Old Town. Bill Richardson, a member of the Partnership board, is overseeing the project.


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