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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Facebook pages so named

Posted Friday,
August 17, 2018
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Profile images from eight of the 199 Facebook pages with the word “Fauquier” in their names.
199

Businesses, groups and organizations have Facebook pages with “Fauquier” in their names.

They range from volunteer fire/rescue companies to high school graduating classes and Fauquier Health to Fauquier Trivia.


2,497

The number of calls for service the sheriff’s office Animal Control Division received in fiscal 2017.

That represents 35 fewer calls the division got during the previous year.

Calls include domestic and sometimes wild and exotic animals. The division responds to calls related to owned, stray, injured, at-large and neglected animals. It also handles bite reports, license violations and humane investigations.


746

The number of backpacks full of school supplies that Fauquier FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help) gave to children in need on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Warrenton Community Center.

Citizens, churches and businesses sponsor and volunteer to help FISH pack the book bags. 


36

Criminal case jury trials took place in Fauquier Circuit Court last year, according to the clerk’s office.

The court scheduled 112 criminal jury trials in 2017. But in 76 of those cases, defendants pleaded guilty before trials took place or they got continued or dismissed.
 
In the first six months of this year, , the court scheduled 37 criminal jury trials and conducted seven.

Many cases heard require no jury for trials or get conducted without a jury by agreement of the parties, noted the clerk’s office.



11,105

Total first-day enrollment in Fauquier County’s 19 public schools on Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Last year, enrollment totaled 11,087 after Labor Day.

The schools this week opened with 940 teachers and 586 support staff members, including cafeteria workers, janitors and office workers. Ten teaching positions remained unfilled as of Wednesday.





Affordable housing group seeks new executive

Posted Friday,
August 17, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Executive Director Paul Linz in Fauquier Habitat’s former office at St. James’ Episcopal Church. The organization recently moved to 98 Alexandria Pike.
We’ve raised the profile of the affiliate. We’ve become something people want to invest in and become involved in.
— Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Paul Linz
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Warrenton-based affordable housing organization hopes to hire a new executive director by the end of September.

For personal reasons, Fauquier Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Paul Linz last month announced his resignation, after leading the nonprofit group for about two years.

“I’ve gotten married,” Mr. Linz said Thursday. “And, my wife and I have decided we’re going to make our home in Florida. I’m doing it for love.”

He will help train his successor, Mr. Linz, 60, explained.

“This is a passing of the baton. There is no hard date” for his departure, he said. “I declared the intent to keep my hand on the flight controls to hand it off to a competent pilot.”

Habitat board President Steve Crosby said, “Paul’s been extremely generous and has said he would be available during the transition to make it a smooth as possible.”

To date, the organization, which serves Fauquier and Rappahannock counties, has received more than 100 applications for the executive director’s job, Mr. Crosby said.

Habitat’s executive committee met Thursday to discuss the interview process and related issues, the former Fauquier county administrator said.

The organization’s full board will conduct final interviews and select the new executive director, Mr. Crosby said. The organization initially had hoped Mr. Linz’s successor would be hired and trained by Sept. 30.

“That’s our goal,” Mr. Crosby said. “From a practical standpoint, that will be difficult to do,” unless Habitat hires from within the organization.

That could happen.

Habitat’s Community Development Director Mary Correia, 49, has applied for the job.

“I think I bring the experience and the passion needed to do it well,” Ms. Correia said when asked why she seeks the position. “I think I’d really be a good fit for it . . . . I think I bring the necessary continuity.”

Ms. Correia, who has an extensive housing, community and economic development background, joined the Fauquier Habitat office as a consultant in February 2017.

About six months later, she became a full-time consultant there.

Last March, Habitat hired Ms. Correia as its community development director.

Form the start, she has focused on neighborhood revitalization, particularly in Warrenton’s Haiti area, a historically African-American neighborhood.

“You want the perfect person” for the executive director’s position, Mr. Crosby said. “That’s not going to happen.”

But he believes besides “core” supervisory, construction management, grant-writing competency experience, top job candidates should possess affordable housing experience and a track record of working with communities and boards.

Mr. Crosby also considers fundraising skills critical.

“Somebody that knows their way around fundraising is extremely important.”

Habitat has “no established” salary range for the executive director’s job, Mr. Crosby said.

Habitat, which operates The ReStore in Warrenton, has eight full- and four part-time employs and a budget of $968,000, according to Mr. Crosby.

Among notable achievements during Mr. Linz’s tenure, the organization has built two homes — one in Warrenton’s Haiti area and one in Rappahannock. It also recently broke ground on a home lot on Haiti.

The organization also launched a home-repair program.

“We’ve raised the profile of the affiliate,” Mr. Linz said. “We’ve become something people want to invest in and become involved in.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
August 17, 2018
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Liberty High School opens its 25th year immaculately

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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Begin to see how you can use your talents this year . . . . The most important thing you can do is be nice to others.
— Principal Sam Cox
Liberty High School
• Where: 6300 Independence Ave., Bealeton.

• Enrollment: About 1,200 students, grades 9-12.

• Built:1993.

• Opened: 1994.

• Square feet: 244,514

• Website: Click here.

• Principals:

John C. Harrison, 1994-2000
Trudy K. Peterson, 2000-01
John C. Harrison, 2001-02
Roger Lee, 2002-14:
Sam Cox, 2014 to present

John Harrison opened the school in August 1994 and retired after six years. His successor, Trudy Peterman lasted less than a year on the job, getting reassigned to the central office during a public battle with Superintendent Dallas Johnson about LHS’s inadequate air-handling system and resulting mold. Mr. Harrison returned for a year and half. Roger Lee, a former assistant principal at Liberty, then got the job.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The front lobby and main corridor buzz with a cacophony of student voices echoing off tall ceilings before school starts Wednesday morning.

Starting its 25th year, Liberty High School looks about the same as it did in August 1994, with concrete walls painted in patriotic colors and teenagers packing its wide hallways.

All summer, Building and Grounds Director Greg Carter and his 11-member staff worked to prepare for the new term.

“We try to keep it up, like a new school,” Mr. Carter says. “It takes a lot of work.”

New teachers recently have told him that the school only looks about 5 years old, he says.

“Once school’s out . . . each floor gets about four or five coats of wax,” Mr. Carter says. “Over the summer we take all the stuff out of the classrooms, scrub the floors, wax it up and put it back in. It’s a big job. It takes all summer to do that.

“It starts with us. We need to keep it clean so (students) are relaxed and ready to learn,” says Mr. Carter, 60.

Mr. Carter and seven others remain from the staff that opened Liberty, built to alleviate crowding at Fauquier High School.

Scenes from Wednesday, Aug. 15, the first day of the 2018-19 term follow.


7:30 a.m. Block One
Technical drawing
Teacher: Mike Potts


Bright-eyed and energized, the career and technical education teacher stands in the hallway helping students find classrooms and catching up with coworkers.

Holding a Pittsburgh Steelers mug, Mike Potts got to school around 6:30 a.m. for the first day. An original Liberty staff member, he came to Fauquier County 33 years ago from a technical school in Pennsylvania.

When the bell rings, Mr. Potts begins to take attendance before Principal Sam Cox chimes into the overhead speaker with morning announcements.

Twenty-two bleary-eyed students, mostly freshman, sit at drafting tables.

“I’m going to try to learn your names as soon as possible,” Mr. Potts says. “I’ve been teaching here since Liberty opened. I love Liberty. I’ve coached football here.”

Handing out a description of the class, along with other important first day documents, he delves into his introduction.

“We’ll have fun in here and learn a lot,” he says. “We’ll be learning about (technical) drawing and CAD (computer-aided design software).”

“If you have questions, ask. (In school) I was shy. I probably didn’t ask enough questions.”

The large room, flooded with natural light contains several computer stations.

“This is probably the most expensive room in the school. We got new computers, technology last year,” Mr. Potts says. “Take care of the things you use.”

Mostly a hands-on class, students will learn how to design, sketch and make technical drawings and models and use a 3-D printer, among other skills that will help prepare them for possible careers in engineering or architecture.

Students become more alert when they start to participate in a “getting to know you activity.”

Students pair up and interview one another, asking questions such as: “Who is one person you respect?” “What’s your favorite sports team?” “If you could have lunch with any one person, who would it be and why?”

After five minutes, each group stands up to share what it has learned.

“(Eli Wilder) would have lunch with Gordon Ramsey so he could make us good food,” Tyler Dyson says his classmate.

“I can be as goofy as anyone. I’ve been at this a long time,” Mr. Potts says. “I like to have fun, but get things accomplished.”


9 a.m. Block Two
Calculus
Teacher: Bev Wynn


“My name is Hunter and I like hamburgers,” senior Hunter Lambert tells 18 of his classmates.

“My name’s Zach, and I guess zebras are pretty cool,” senior Zachary Wilkins says.

The five-minute activity helps math teacher Bev Wynn learn student names on the first day.

“Do you know how many students I’ve been teaching in my 30 years? Probably 3,000,” Ms. Wynn tells the class.

“I try to avoid rules on the first day and always include math,” Ms. Wynn says in an interview later that day. “We’ve always had good kids.”

After the quick activity, she jumps right into a math lesson, giving students a problem to solve.

“One of the most important things in this class is that you can communicate your thoughts,” Ms. Wynn says. “This is not about how quick you can be, but about how you got to the answer . . . . If I ask you to explain it, what are you going to say?”

She started teaching at Fauquier High School and decided to transfer to Liberty when it opened.

“People had chosen to be here and there was a feeling that we’re all in this together, and it’s going to be great,” she says. “The people are great to work with. I haven’t wanted to go anywhere else.”

She believes teachers “should be approachable and make (students) feel welcome” on the first day.

Over the years she has watched technology change in the school.

“We use to average grades by hand,” she says. “Now we can plug the numbers into the computer.

“Now, we got robo calls on snow days, and you don’t have to wake up and turn on the TV to see Fauquier County on the bottom of the screen. That’s fabulous.”


10 a.m. Block Two
Auditorium

Hundreds of juniors file in for a half-hour class assembly.

“Class of 2020, you are now leaders at Liberty High School,” Mr. Cox says. “This year’s theme is ‘Be the Difference’.”

Delving into staff and student class representative introductions, Mr. Cox and assistant principals take turns reminding students about the dress code, safety and spreading positive messages on social media.

“You have no right to pick on someone . . . You have no right to be a bully,” Mr. Cox says. “You must, as juniors, do the right thing.

“How can you help someone be better? How can you make a difference in someone’s life?

“Begin to see how you can use your talents this year. I’m going to be preaching that a lot to you this year,” Mr. Cox adds. “The most important thing you can do is be nice to others.”


10:30 a.m. Block Two
Main corridor

Walking down the main hallway and into the cafeteria, Greg Carter, wearing a Liberty polo shirt, smiles and gives high fives to students walking to the auditorium.

He pauses to talk whom senior Kinsley Lewis about her plans after graduation.

“Where do you want to go to college?”

“Radford,” Kinsley replies.

Mr. Carter coached Kinsley for three years in basketball. After coaching for 23 years, he stopped last year.

“He kept everything level-headed all the time,” Kinsley says.

“It’s sad because it’s our last year, but also exciting,” she adds.

As the first lunch shift begins at 11:10, Mr. Carter makes his way into the cafeteria to help monitor students.

He fields requests for routine repairs around the campus. For larger jobs, Mr. Carter submits a work order to the county general services department.

Almost 25 years later, Mr. Carter still cooks breakfast — pancakes and sausage — for teachers the day before schools starts. This year about 150 teachers attended.

“Our main thing is to make sure the building is clean,” Mr. Carter says. “If a kid comes into a clean building, they don’t have to worry about anything and just come in and learn. I think it’s a big responsibility.”

The day before school starts, he always reminds his staff to unlock the front door for teachers and staff arriving early.

“Back when I started, we didn’t lock all the doors” during the school day, Mr. Carter recalls.

Today, the school has more surveillance cameras and doors remain locked during class time.

But, for the most part, the building looks the same.

“The staff here is great to work for,” he says.

These days, the school uses Twitter and Instagram to promote events and congratulate students on their accomplishments.

To celebrate its 25th school year, Liberty will conduct a spirit day each month, create a special video and possibly prepare a time capsule, among other activities.

Throwback Thursday: Slow going as Rt. 28 gets busier

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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August 1993: Karla McCoy, Paige Brunswick and Allsha McCoy play in a yard along Route 28 in Bealeton.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of August 20, 1993


Route 28 becomes busy commuter corridor

The tractor-trailers and dump trucks hurtle past with frightening speed and intensity.

Impatient commuters pass slower motorists with little regard for double yellow lines and the dangers of oncoming traffic.

And, everyone hangs on for dear life.

While the country stores and dairy farms that line Route 28 in Southern Fauquier provide a pleasant, bucolic backdrop, what takes place on the asphalt turns the road into traffic hell.

Traffic on the 13.6-mile stretch of two-lane pavement increased 58 percent between 1980 and 1991.

“I think it’s impossible to got 55 miles per hour between here and Manassas,” said Bealeton resident John McCoy Jr., a pipe-fitter who drove Route 28 to Northern Virginia until “it just got out of hand.

“It’s wall-to-wall in the evenings,” said McCoy. “I just go down (Route 29) now.”





Street sign color debated

The Fauquier supervisors can’t decide what color street signs to buy.

Sky blue or forest green.

An easy choice, right?

Wrong.

The supervisors Tuesday delayed a decision on the signs that should be installed by July 1. Part of the county’s new E-911 dispatching system, the signs will make it easier for emergency response.

The county’s E-911 Steering Committee recommended blue signs with white letters on 12-foot metal poles.

Virginia Department of Transportation regulations limit the color of street signs to blue or green.


For many, cable will be cheaper

Local cable TV subscribers will notice something new in their bills next week.

Most of them will find their rates reduced.

Prestige Cable on Wednesday announced steps it would take to comply with new federal regulations governing the industry. Some of Fauquier’s 5,300 cable subscribers should see their rates decrease by as much as one-third.

“Overall, the customer bills will be coming down,” Prestige General Manager Bill Smith said. “There will be charges where there haven’t been charges before, but we ask the to look at their total bill.”

Monthly rates for basic cable service will remain at $22.95. But, customers can limit their subscriptions to local, over-the-air stations and government and programming information channels for $9.09. Popular satellite channels, including recently-added Home Team Sports, The Learning Channel and C-SPAN II (covering the U.S. Senate) cost another $13.86.

Premium channels, such as HBO and Showtime, have additional costs.


Teachers’ group snubs Wood and Katzen

The Fauquier Education Association rarely passes up a chance to make endorsements in local political races. But, in the 31st House of Delegates District, the organization has made an exception — backing neither Del. Jerry Wood (D-Warrenton) nor Republican challenger Jay Katzen of Markham.

The FEA refused to back Wood, whom it endorsed in 1991, because: “We had a problem, frankly with his responsiveness with some of the things we advocated,” said Chuck Schonder, chairman of the FEA Political Action Committee.

The FEA also refused to endorse Katzen, because he favors tuition credits or vouchers for parents with children in private schools and because he opposes collective bargaining for teachers, Schonder said.


Historic marker placed at John Ashby’s grave

About 40 descendants of John Ashby, a captain in the Third Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War, gathered Aug. 14 at his Greenland Farm gravesite near Delaplane for a ceremony honoring his life and service.

The Sons of the American Revolution Culpeper Minutemen Chapter sponsored the ceremony, which included placement of a Maltese cross marker on his grave.

John Ashby (1740-1815) was the third son of Robert Ashby, who lived at Yew Hill near Delaplane.


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Biz Buzz: Homes sell quickly in second quarter

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The average Fauquier home sold in the second quarter stayed on the market just 26 days.
County residential real estate market “tight”

With the number of residential listings down 10 percent from a year ago, Fauquier homes continued to sell quickly in the second quarter of 2018.

Local Realtors describe the market as “tight,” with typical listings selling quickly.

Homes that sold in April, May and June stayed on the market just 26 days, compared with 43 days in the same period last year, according to a Greater Piedmont Realtors report.

The average sale price of $434,133 declined 4.1 percent from a year earlier.

For the second quarter of this year, 352 homes sold — down 4.6 percent from the same period in 2017.

As July began, Fauquier had 409 homes listed for sale — or 47 fewer than a year earlier.


Crest Hill moves within The Plains

Crest Hill Antiques & Tea Room has moved to a new location in The Plains.

After seven years on Fauquier Avenue, the business has opened at 6488 Main St. in the historic Middleton building, at the corner of the town’s main crossroad.

The shop serves lunch, desserts and afternoon tea Wednesdays through Sundays. It also offers vintage items, gifts and tea accessories but no longer carries large furniture pieces, according to owner Sally DeLuca.


Pharmacy offers free children’s vitamins

The Remington Drug Co. offers free chewable vitamins to families with children ages 2 to 12.

The “Healthy Kids Free Vitamin Program” provides 30 chewable vitamins a month for children 2 to 4 years old and 60 a month those 5 to 12.

“All it requires is for a parent or guardian to come visit us at the drug store and fill out an enrollment for each child,” said Travis Hale, president of the local pharmacy company. “In turn, we will provide the parent or guardian with a ‘punch card’ that will serve as proof of their enrollment and so we can keep track of their vitamins pick up each month.”

The drug store at 207 E. Main St. in Remington has promoted the program at back to school night and other community events.


Warrenton residents can save on prescriptions

A new program offers Town of Warrenton citizens average discounts of 24 percent on their prescription drug purchases.

Warrenton has joined the National League of Cities “My Healthy Hometown” Prescription Discount Program, open to all residents.

To get the discounts, a resident shows his or her prescription discount card at a participating pharmacy.

“There are no annual limits placed on use, no forms to fill out, no waiting periods, no age or income requirements and no medical condition restrictions,” town officials said in a press release.

Residents can obtain the free prescription discount cards at Town Hall, the Warrenton police station, WARF and other locations. They can also download a card at www.nlc.org/resident-discount or obtain one by calling toll-free 1-888-620-1749.

The discounts apply to the whole family and to pet medicines, too. Residents who do not have insurance can show their cards to save on the cost of all prescription purchases. Those who have insurance can show the card when their prescription medicines are not covered.

Administered by CVS/caremark, the program provides discounts on prescription medications at more than 68,000 pharmacies nationwide.

Best Bets: Hot Air Balloon Festival, Dixie Power Trio

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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Video: Click above to watch Dixie Power Trio in action.
Big, colorful orbs will float above the lush green carpet of Southern Fauquier farms and forests this weekend, when the Flying Circus Airshow hosts its annual Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Other options for Fauquier fun include the final Allegro summer concert of the season in Old Town Warrenton, an ice cream festival in Midland, Twilight Polo at Great Meadow and a family fun fest in Remington.


Hot Air Balloon Festival
6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18-19
5114 Ritchie Road, Bealeton


The Flying Circus Airshow hosts its largest annual event. Gates open at 6 a.m. Hot air balloons will take off between 7 and 9 a.m. and 6 and 8 p.m. Expert pilots will perform daring stunts in vintage biplanes, complete with a parachute jumper and wingwalker at airshows on both days, starting at 2 p.m. Balloon rides and airplane rides available depending on weather conditions.
Adults, $15; $7 children ages 5 to 12; free, children 4 and younger.





Ice Cream Festival
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
5225 Catlett Road, Midland


Cows-N-Corn hosts an all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. The event includes hayrides, a moo bounce, cow train, the chance to meet a cow and other activities. $12 for those 10 and older, $10 for children ages 4 to 11.


Twilight Polo at Great Meadow
5:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains


Great Meadow celebrates 25 years of the popular equestrian sport at the Greenhill Stadium. The evening features three polo matches, halftime games for children and adults, and dancing in the pavilion. Guests are welcome to bring blankets, chairs and a picnic. Food and wine available for purchase. General admission, $25 per vehicle online or $30 at the gate.


Remington Fun Fest
6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
150 W. Bowen St., Remington


The Remington Community Garden hosts a family festival with reggae, pop, funk and classic rock by Josh Lowe and a showing of the movie Thor Ragnarok at dusk. Children can make homemade slime. The event features barbecue for sale with popcorn and sno-cones provided by the American Legion. Free. Donations accepted for food.


Dixie Power Trio
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18
Court and Hotel streets, Warrenton


The final Old Town summer concert of the season, hosted by Allegro Community School of the Arts, features the Dixie Power Trio playing New Orleans jazz, Zydeco and rock. Citizens can bring blankets and chairs. Children’s activities, games and crafts available from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. before the concert. Food, beer and wine available for purchase. Rain location at Taylor Middle School. $5 per person; $4 for Allegro friends and children; free for children 4 and younger.


Other options in and around Fauquier

> Paws to Read at the library

> Country music concert in Remington

> National Honeybee Day at Sky Meadows State Park

> Music at McMahon’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

> Music at Molly’s Irish Pub

For more events, click here.

Block on Warrenton’s Main Street will close Monday

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
August 16, 2018
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Auction fetches top prices for abandoned airplanes

Posted Wednesday,
August 15, 2018
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The Slave Dwelling Project coming to Fauquier County

Posted Wednesday,
August 15, 2018
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Video: Joseph McGill, founder of South Carolina-based organization, explains his travels, sleeping in former slave dwellings.
Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.
— Slave Dwelling Project founder Joseph McGill
The Slave Dwelling Project will offer a 24-hour immersion in Fauquier County history Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25-26.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Afro-American Historical Museum in The Plains, with a kick-off lecture by Joseph McGill, founder of The Slave Dwelling Project, headquartered in South Carolina.

Mr. McGill will be introduced by Dr. Kelley Deetz, Director of Programming, Education and Visitor Engagement at Stratford Hall.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., three historic Fauquier sites will be open to the public for tours and demonstrations. Visitors to slave cabins at Sky Meadows, Weston Farmstead and Clifton Institute will learn how enslaved people lived. They will have opportunities to see a meal cooked over an open fire, watch a blacksmith at work, talk with re-enactors in the roles of enslaved people, participate in hands-on archaeology, enjoy dinner with neighbors, spend the night in a slave cabin and wake up to a sunrise service Sunday morning.

Mr. McGill will be on hand to help participants become aware of Fauquier County slave dwellings and the importance of preserving them. He has traveled the country and slept in slave cabins from as far north as Ft. Snelling in St. Paul, Minn., to as far south as Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, Fla. He has reached more than 90 historical sites in almost 20 states, giving lectures, conducting programs and sleeping in the dwellings.

“Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history,” Mr. McGill said.

Space is limited for the morning lecture in The Plains and the dinner, campfire and overnight stay at The Clifton Institute near Warrenton. To register for those programs go to cliftoninstitute.org/events.

No registration is required for the interactive public history programs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weston also will host its annual Family Fun Day with children's games.


The local sponsors

The Afro American Historical Association of Fauquier at 4243 Loudoun Ave. in The Plains, AAHA seeks to teach a complete and accurate history of the United States by including the influences of African Americans, Native Americans of both North and South America, and European Americans.

The Clifton Institute at 6712 Blantyre Road near Warrenton provides environmental education, conducts ecological research and restores habitat for native plants and animals. The Clifton Institute works to preserve and interpret the historic and cultural resources present on its approximately 900-acre field station.

Sky Meadows State Park provides recreation that allows visitors to feel a part of the land, and a connection with the agricultural practices which formed its unique pastoral landscape over time. This 1,860-acre park has scenic views, woodlands and the rolling pastures of a historic farm that captures the colonial through post-Civil War life of the Crooked Run Valley.

Weston Farmstead, 19th- and 20th-century home at 4476 Weston Road in Casanova, is supported by the Warrenton Antiquarian Society to promote historic education and preservation.

Do you support the concept of constructing an amphitheater in Warrenton?

Posted Tuesday,
August 14, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
August 14, 2018
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By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Consultant: WARF offers best amphitheater location

Posted Tuesday,
August 14, 2018
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The arts play a huge role in building community for the town, and an amphitheater could potentially could help bring that to the community . . . . We need to make sure it’s something you can walk or commute easily to.”
— Councilman Renard Carlos
Poll Question
Do you support the concept of constructing an amphitheater in Warrenton?

> Click here to vote.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility offers the best potential location for construction of a municipal amphitheater, a consultant told the town council last week.

Based her research, which include an online survey of citizens, Debra H. Smyers of Arts Consulting International LLC recommended the WARF as the only site with space for an outdoor performance concerts, plays and other events.

> Report embedded below

While planning remains very preliminary, Ms. Smyers said the amphitheater should include an audience seating area, a covered stage and storage space.

During the council’s work session Thursday night, she cited Verdun Adventure Bound’s amphitheater near Rixeyville, used for summer camps and concerts, as a good example. Warrenton architect David Norden designed the structure, which features a large, covered stage and ample storage for props and equipment.

Last year, Warrenton United Methodist Church representatives approached the town council and offered to help build an amphitheater to commemorate the congregation’s 200th anniversary.

Since November, the council has narrowed the potential sites to three — the WARF, Eva Walker Park along Alexandria Pike and the lawn of the Warren Green Building on Culpeper Street.

Old Town advocates support the decades-old concept of a terraced gathering spot on Culpeper Street to honor the memory of Meade Palmer, a noted landscape architect who died in 2001 and who cared deeply about the town in which he practiced.

“Although I wish the amphitheater could be in Old Town, we still have other things going on there,” said Ms. Smyers, noting the lack of space for a permanent stage or storage.

Of the other potential site, she said: “It really would destroy the beauty of Eva Walker Park, plus there’s the noise factor” for neighbors.

The town paid Ms. Smyers $7,000 to conduct a citizen survey and deliver an analysis of the potential sites.

She collected responses from 354 citizens who took the survey online or by phone or whom she interviewed in person.

The amphitheater would provide much needed rehearsal space and could be used for summer camps and sports award ceremonies, according to her report.

The WARF’s master plan already includes an amphitheater, potentially near the farthest sports fields, on the hillside at the 65-acre property’s western edge. It would not encroach on the fields, according to town Parks and Recreation Director Margaret Rice.

“I think they all have merit,” Councilman Sean Polster (At-large) said of the three sites. “At the WARF, you lose synergy with creating economic development for businesses. It’s not walkable.”

But, he agrees the WARF offers more space and less conflict with neighbors.

“I’m thrilled that the citizens weighed in, and citizen input is not over,” Mr. Polster said in a phone interview Monday.

“The arts play a huge role in building community for the town, and an amphitheater could potentially could help bring that to the community,” Councilman Renard Carlos (At-large) said during a phone interview Tuesday.

“Based on (Ms. Smyers’) analysis, the WARF would be the leader,” Mr. Carlos said. “There may be another location that we could possibly use. We need to make sure it’s something you can walk or commute easily to.”

He believes the council should consider the price tag and discuss where the amphitheater stands on the town’s list of priorities.

Ms. Smyers said the town could build an amphitheater for $100,000, $300,000 or $3 million, depending upon complexity and features.

“It doesn’t even have to cost that much. It can be done in phases. It can start with $100,000,” she said.

The town has planned $300,000 for an amphitheater in its capital improvement program. Although the council has yet to appropriate funds, the project appears in the plan for 2019-20.

Town officials, who expect most of the funding to come from grants and donations, said they will continue to study the possibilities.

Town of Warrenton Analysis for Amphitheater by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Survey Response Data for amphitheater by Fauquier Now on Scribd




Warrenton “fair-trade” shop moving to bigger space

Posted Tuesday,
August 14, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Lee Owsley and her husband Terry, started Latitudes in 2010, have since added stores in Fredericksburg and Staunton.
Our mission is to help artisans in Third World countries by selling their goods, and I guess the hope is, with the bigger space, I will be able to sell more of them.
— Latitudes co-owner Lee Owsley
Latitudes
• Owners: Lee and Terry Owsley

• What: “Fair-trade” store, which carries range of items, including clothes, jewelry, stationary, coffee, tea, home goods and toys.

• Where: 104 Main St., Warrenton; owners in September plan to move business to larger storefront at 78 Main St. Latitudes also has stores in Fredericksburg and Stauton.

• Warrenton hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

• Phone: 540-349-2333

• Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

• Website: latitudesfairtrade.com

• Facebook page: Click here

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Fauquier County school teacher went to Guatemala nine years ago to sharpen her English-as-second-language instructional skills.

But Lee Owsley returned from the Central American country with a radically different career in mind.

While in Guatemala, the Culpeper resident took a weaving class with a cooperative of Mayan women and bought hand-made items for gifts.

On the flight home after a two-week stay, it occurred to Ms. Owsley that she should have filled a box with such items, because local artisans “have this great thing going, but they need more customers.”

Ms. Owsley decided to take that idea step further.

“I think I got off the plane and told my husband I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she recalled. “ ‘I think I’m going to start a store on Main Street in Warrenton and sell things that women made in other countries who needed a market’.”

> Video at bottom of story

In December 2010, Ms. Owsley opened Latitudes, a “fair-trade” store, at 104 Main St. in Warrenton.

The business became almost an instant hit.

Because it continues to prosper, Ms. Owsley and her husband Terry, 61, in September will move Latitudes to the former Fabric Emporium storefront at 78 Main St. — nearly doubling the shop’s retail space to about 2,300 square feet.

The store will move west 266 feet — less than the length of a football field — on the same side of Main Street.

Ms. Owsley, who quit teaching in June 2011 after eight years in the classroom, manages the Warrenton store. Four years ago, the couple opened a Latitudes in Fredericksburg.

Mr. Owsley, who retired from Sprint three years ago, manages that operation. Each store employs five people.

The couple’s oldest daughter, Anna Schoenduby owns the Staunton store, which opened in 2015.

Ms. Owsley cited a few reasons for moving the Warrenton store to larger quarters.

“Our mission is to help artisans in Third World countries by selling their goods, and I guess the hope is, with the bigger space, I will be able to sell more of them.”

The fair-trade system tries to ensure that “marginalized” artisans and farmers in those countries get paid a “fair wage” for their products, “instead of being exploited, where somebody is saying how little can I pay this person,” she said.

“I call it capitalism with a conscience, so everybody along the supply chain is being compensated in a manner that is just and dignified. So there’s no sweatshop, there’s not a kid working when they should be in school.”

The Warrenton store typically carries about 2,000 items, from about 40 countries, Ms. Owsley said.

Jewelry accounts for about 33 percent of sales, home goods 20 percent and clothing 10 percent.

“Our concept is to try to have something for everyone in every price range — almost.”

Prices range from 25 cents (a piece of chocolate) to $180 (a leather handbag made in India). The average customer purchase totals $30.

Ms. Owsley declined to discuss the Warrenton store’s annual revenue or details related to the lease agreement for the new space. Blair Lawrence, co-owner of the 78 Main St. storefront, couldn’t be reached for comment.

The larger space will allow more “creative” and less-cluttered displays. Ms. Owsley also plans to include seating “up front,” where customers can “just linger.”

After 22 years in business, Fabric Emporium closed in December. That space since has remained vacant. That worried Ms. Owsley.

“I have a passion for Main Street and for Warrenton,” said Ms. Owsley, whose family lived in Fauquier from 2000 to 2015, before moving to Culpeper. “And it’s so awful to see that big, empty space. I really hoped that when it became available that we’d get a really cool, great new business to fill that big space. And it didn’t happen.”

Absent that, “it seemed like maybe I could do it. I could offer something to the town.”

Improvements to the space, including new wood flooring, lighting, painting and displays, will cost about $30,000, according to Ms. Owsley.

To help with that, town government recently gave Latitudes a $7,500 small business grant.

“It’s good to see them expand,” town Economic Development Manager Tom Wisemiller said. “They get bigger; they sell more things. If things go well, they potentially could have another person.”

Because of Latitudes’ unique business model, “it creates a memorable experience,” Mr. Wisemiller said. “I think the free-trade element is appealing to people.”

Linda Bueno, a retired nurse from Culpeper, likes the store’s “diversity of products” and supports its mission.

Ms. Bueno, 63, has purchased assorted items for herself and others — earrings, scarves, pottery and stationary.

“Everybody needs a present.”

But, more importantly, “people need to have a fair price for the work they do so they can continue to care for their families, said Ms. Bueno, wearing a Panama she bought at Latitudes. “If they can make enough money to live decently, that’s important.”

Lori Working, a second-grade teacher at Saint James’ Episcopal Church School in Warrenton, agrees.

Purchases at the store “help women all over the world earn a fair wage” for their products, Ms. Working said.

The owners “really want to make the world a better place,” the 47-year-old Warrenton resident added. “So, I feel really good about shopping there.”

Sue Brittle, 53, of Warrenton has shopped at all three Latitudes stores.

“I love them,” Ms. Brittle, a retired Fauquier County school system nurse, said in a phone interview. “You’re getting quality, and your money is not just going into a register. Your money is going to help women rise from poverty.”

Over the years, she has bought jewelry, clothing, home goods, coffee and candy.

“I think what makes Latitudes so special is the people who work there. They’ve never met a stranger; they’re just good people.”

> Video below:

Free “All About Shrubs” program offered Aug. 28

Posted Monday,
August 13, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
August 13, 2018
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Fauquier County real estate transfers for Aug. 6-10

Posted Monday,
August 13, 2018
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The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded the real estate transfers Aug. 6-10, 2018:


Cedar Run District

NVR Inc. to Bryce W. and Lisa M. Tomes, 0.6 acre, Lot 31, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6406 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $551,039.

Grady Morris and Crystal L. Arentson, by bankruptcy trustee, Ronnie W. and Glenda L. Smith and Dana S.L. Garvey, 9.38 acres, 6732 Beach Road, south of Warrenton, $335,000.

Deutsche Bank Trust Co, trustee, to Joseph and Debra Tribodeau, 0.95 acre, 11312 Shenandoah Path, near Catlett, $156,000.

Damian M. McDonald to Bradley and Candace R. Jones, 4.8 acres, Lot 12-B, Golden Brook Estates Subdivision, 13026 El run Road, near Morrisville, $400,000.

Lara D. Phillips, Charles G. Phillips Jr. and others to Jonathan A. and Nicole E. Bolton, 40 acres, Green Road near Meetze Road, south of Warrenton, $300,000.


Center District

William E. Moore, by special commissioner, to Fauquier Habitat for Humanity, two parcels, 141 Haiti St., Warrenton, $85,000.

Michael R. ad Brittany D. Dicesare to Robert P. and Amanda C. Crumpler, Lot 448, Second Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 7221 Princess Anne Court, near Warrenton, $330,000.

Rodney I. Smith to Marygay and Charles L. Cross III, Lot 44, Monroe Estates Subdivision, 606 Galina Way, Warrenton, $528,000.

Spain L. and Linda M. Snow to Regina L. Martin, Lot 109, Section C, Bear Wallow Knolls Subdivision, 532 Tiffany Court, Warrenton, $325,000.


Lee District

NVR Inc. to Derek and Amy McKinney, Lot 26, Phase 3, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, 2212 Sedgwick Drive, Remington, $283,110.

John C. and Frances E. Nichols to Cameron O.A. Nichols, 0.43 acre, Lot 4, Virginia Meadows Subdivision, 300 N. Duey St., Remington, $265,000.

Kimberly M. Bell to John E. Bell, Unit 208, Building 1, Phase 1, Waverly Station at Bealeton Condominiums, 6185 Willow Place, Bealeton, $150,000.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lot 126, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $108,285.

Jaime Sanchez to Alejandro and Blanca Martinez, 10,383 square feet, Lot 145, Section L, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 10910 Blake Lane, Bealeton, $302,500.

Paul F. and Gabriela L. Trump to Spain L. and Linda M. Snow, Lot 138, Section D, Edgewood East Subdivision, 11328 Whipkey Drive, Bealeton, $377,000.


Marshall District

Glen Daniels LLC, Michael Canard as managing member, to John D. and Frances E. Barber, 7.76 acres, 6247 Enon School Road, near Marshall, $560,000.

Paul R. Tetreault and John E. Jeter, trustees, to Theodora R. and Matthew H. Marlowe, 6.36 acres, 6069 Free State Road, near Marshall, $395,000.

Dale W. and Yvonne V. Rankin to Chris and Shino Brown, Lot 33, Stonelea Estates, 7527 Admiral Nelson Drive, near Warrenton, $510,000.

Angela M. and Jonathan W. Crouch to Lisa Rader, 2.94 acres, 3006 Carter Hill Lane, ear Warrenton, $319,900.

James T. Atkins to Michael L. Breeding, 3.52 acres, 9521 Old Waterloo Road, near Warrenton, $275,000.


Scott District

Keith H. and Signe W. Gardner to Matthew R. and Kelley W. Wycoff, Lot 61, Phase 6, Brookside Subdivision, 4543 Spring Run Road, near Warrenton, $679,900.

John D. and Lori Pope to Devin B. and Jessica M. Yankey, 1.01 acre, Lot 25, Section 1, Addition to Marstella Estates Subdivision, $424,900.

Linda A. and Charles P. Yochem to Salvador E. and Dalia C. Benavides, 0.93 acre, Lot 3, Fenton Chase Subdivision, 5437 Mongoose Court, near Warrenton, $475,000.

Margaret S. and David W. Young III to Naomi W. and Andrew G. Gale, 2.49 acres, Lot 51, Phase 2, Snow Hill Subdivision, 5865 University Court, near Warrenton, $757,500.

NVR Inc. to Lindsay Sheldon and Nicholas Hoefer, Lot 52, Phase 10-C, Brookside Subdivision, 3067 Joy Court, near Warrenton, $556,445.

Mark D. and Stacey L. Phillips to Justin and Suzanne May, Lot 14, Phase 4, Brookside Subdivision, 6876 Tulip Hill Drive, near Warrenton, $622,000.

Ryan and Kathryn H. Myers to Zachary and Tanya Palik, Lot 28, Phase 13-A, Brookside Subdivision, 2202 Pump House Court, near Warrenton, $520,000.

900-acre preserve focuses on environmental education

Posted Monday,
August 13, 2018
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Bert and Eleanor Harris joined The Clifton Institute as executive director and managing director, respectively, about six months ago.
It’s really important to get kids out there. Some of our campers go camping with their parents, but others have almost never been on a hike in the woods. It’s great we are able to expose them to what we have. Not all of them will become environmental scientists and conservationists, and that’s fine,
— Executive Director Bert Harris
The Clifton Institute
• What: Non-profit providing environmental education, ecological research and restoration for native plants and animals.

• Where: 6712 Blantyre Road, north of Warrenton.

• Property: 900 acres under permanent conservation easement.

• Offers: Field trips, educational events, research opportunities, guided walks and workshops.

• Founded: 1985 as the International Academy for Preventive Medicine.

• Executive director: Bert Harris

• Employees: 4 full-time; 4 part-time.

• Volunteers: 65 so far in 2018.

• Phone: 540-341-3651

• Facebook: Click here

• Website: cliftoninstitute.org
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The group of campers stood silently near the edge of a field.

Mesmerized by a bird’s whistle, head counselor Bert Harris said, “Listen . . . . How would you describe that?”

“It’s like a bouncing ball,” one camper said.

“It’s a field sparrow,” said another.

Peering under leaves and searching along the edge of fields and forest, six young adults kept their eyes peeled for unique plant and animal species on a rainy Friday morning.

Participants in the youth hike summer camp at The Clifton Institute covered more than a mile while identifying mushrooms, flowers, butterflies and baby stinkbugs, among other species.

“I like that we can venture out and try to find new things and identify things like grasshoppers, flies and plants,” said Paige Makely, 12, of Amissville.

Covering 900 acres north of Warrenton, The Clifton Institute focuses on environmental education, ecological research and restoration for native plants and animals.

One part of the non-profit’s outreach includes a youth summer camp for 20 participants.

The five-day camp teaches 7- to 14-year-olds about plants and animals that live in the northern Piedmont region and about ecology and the environment.

“It’s really important to get kids out there,” said Mr. Harris, the non-profit’s executive director and a camp counselor. “Some of our campers go camping with their parents, but others have almost never been on a hike in the woods.

“It’s great we are able to expose them to what we have. Not all of them will become environmental scientists and conservationists, and that’s fine,” Mr. Harris added. “Hopefully, they will remember we came from this ecosystem, and it’s important for our own survival that we try to minimize our impact.”

Each day, campers start with a three-hour exploration hike around the property with counselors. In the afternoon, they participate in crafts, games and occasional animal dissections.

Earlier in the week, students watched a black snake climb a tree.

“I enjoy being here,” said Olivia Gatchell, 10. “Being able to see what’s around, like fungi.”

The property off Blantyre Road near Airlie features a beaver damn, several bodies of water, fields and about 10 miles of maintained trails.

“If we just . . . sat them down classroom-style and talked to them all day, it would be useless,” Mr. Harris said. “By taking them on a hike and spending about 10 percent of our time lecturing, you can actually engage them.”

Besides education, the non-profit focuses on research, conservation and restoration.

At the end of August, The Clifton Institute along with several other sponsors will host an interactive, public history program at a log cabin on the property that formerly housed slaves.

Each month, The Clifton Institute hosts butterfly and plant survey programs in which citizens identify different species, along with a Saturday youth hike and other events. The non-profit has hosted 26 public programs so far this year.

Its staff hopes to eventually identify every species on the property.

Using the iNaturalist phone app, visitors and staff members have identified 561 plant, animal and fungi species on the property.

“We would think we would already know what all the species are . . . but that’s not the case at all. We might have about 1,300 plant species on the property, about 1,000 moths, but no one knows, and it’s not easy to identify them all,” Mr. Harris said.

“It’s endlessly fascinating. Today, I saw some flies I had never seen before,” he added. “There are definitely species in the site that have never been described.”

The non-profit allows school groups to visit for field trips and college students to conduct research on the property.

Recently, an intern from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation studied how salamander eggs develop in different habitats on the property.

“We have about 165 species of birds,” Mr. Harris said. “The ones that are in the most trouble are shrub birds, such as the prairie warbler and field sparrow.

“By maintaining a 100-acre shrub field we are doing a service for those species.”

The staff soon will begin to restore a cow pasture into a grassland area to help protect declining bird species and restore native plants.

“People protect what they understand and love,” President Doug Larson said. “I think if you gain an appreciation for the natural world you are more inclined to protect and respect it.”

“There’s incredible diversity in our own backyards and people don’t realize. Just by showing people what we have here, I think they are going to want to have a lighter hand in how they manage their own property,” Mr. Harris said.

More than 30 years ago, Murdock Head founded the non-profit as the International Academy for Preventive Medicine. The late Dr. Head also founded the conference center — deeded to American University four years ago — and other organizations at Airlie.

When Dr. William Sladen moved his swan research project to the 900-acre Clifton Farm property in 1999, he founded the research, education and conservation organization, Environmental Studies on the Piedmont.

As the non-profit transitioned from providing health conferences to environmental education and research programs, board members decided to change its name to The Clifton Institute in 2011. The non-profit inherited the property from a wealthy patron several years earlier.

“Education, especially for young people is our main role,” Mr. Harris explained. “It doesn’t sound like much, taking a kid on a hike, but I think it opens up a lot of opportunities to teach them about ecology and conservation.”

Grants and donations fund the non-profit’s annual budget of approximately $250,000.

Mr. Harris, an ecology expert, and his wife Eleanor, the managing director and a biology expert, started six months ago at The Clifton Institute. They hope to offer more educational programs and intern research opportunities in the coming years.

Until that point, citizens and campers will continue to explore and preserve the property while identifying species such as the Indigo Milk Cap mushroom — a fungi one camper spotted in the woods on the rainy Friday morning.

“That’s the great thing about camp: They spot things I don’t see,” Mr. Harris said. “You never know what you’re going to see.”


Section of Kennedy Road closed for utility work

Posted Monday,
August 13, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
August 10, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Circuit Rider passengers

Posted Friday,
August 10, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton Circuit Rider bus averages about 480 passenger trips a week.
25,000

Passenger trips the Warrenton Circuit Rider bus recorded in fiscal 2017.

The small bus travels a one-hour loop around town Monday through Saturday.

Passengers pay 50 cents per ride, except on fare-free Mondays.

Operating in Warrenton for two decades, the service will add a second bus on weekdays, starting Oct. 1. Each will run a route in half the town — north and south — every 30 minutes. Both buses will stop at Fauquier Hospital.

Federal, state and local funds subsidize the “rural” bus service, which Leesburg-base Virginia Transit Services operates.


9.1 percent

The Fauquier County Public Schools employee turnover rate in fiscal 2018.

According to a report the school board will review Tuesday night, 175 employees left the system in 2017-18. That includes 83 teachers or diagnosticians, 23 bus drivers or aides, 19 cafeteria workers, 17 custodians and 16 instructional assistants.

Not counted as part of “turnover,” 56 employees also retired.

In 2016-17, turnover was 5 percent. In preceding years: 6.8, 8.3 and 7.8 percent.


1,488

People took part in the Fauquier County Public Library’s summer reading program.

That total includes 1,057 young children, 234 teenagers and 197 adults.

The program — June 1 to Aug. 4 — included more than 150 events, with sponsorship from 23 local businesses and organizations.


$18,711

To date, the amount the Town of Warrenton has paid Pennsylvania-based Mosko Cemetery Monument Services to repair 62 vandalized headstones in the municipal graveyard at Keith and Lee streets.

Late one night in April 2017, vandals knocked down more than 90 headstones in the town-owned cemetery.

Mosko estimated it would cost $28,430 to repair 88 of them. The crime remains unsolved.


1,836

The number of people Fauquier’s tourism industry employed during fiscal 2017, according to the Richmond-based Virginia Tourism Corp.

That represents 3 percent more people employed by the county’s tourism industry than during the previous year. In fiscal 2016, the corporation determined that sector of Fauquier’s economy employed 1,782 people.

History, family ties inspire $1 million gift for bridge

Posted Friday,
August 10, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Joan and Russell Hitt accept a resolution of appreciation from the Fauquier supervisors Thursday night for the family’s $1 million donation to help restore the Waterloo Bridge.
The $3.9-million renovation of the 140-year-old, single-lane span across the Rappahannock River should begin next year.
The Waterloo Bridge had gotten to the point where it needed a hero. The Hitt family stepped in and became the hero.
— Piedmont Environmental Council staff member Julie Bolthouse
Waterloo Bridge
• What: Wrought iron truss with wooden deck, erected in 1878; renovated in 1919.

• Where: Waterloo Road (Route 613) across Rappahannock River west of Orlean, connecting Fauquier and Culpeper counties.

• Closed: January 2014 because of deterioration.

• Estimated rehabilitation: $3.9 million.

• VDOT project info: Click here.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The owner of one of the Washington region’s biggest commercial general contractors gave a simple reason for pledging $1 million to help restore the Waterloo Bridge over the Rappahannock River.

“History of my family and ancestors are here,” Russell A. Hitt, 83, explained Wednesday from the porch of his cabin in Rappahannock County near the single-lane, metal truss span. “I became interested in history.

“History’s important, preservation’s important.”

Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday night gave Mr. Hitt and his wife Joan, 83, a proclamation recognizing their donation to save the 140-year-old bridge, which links Fauquier and Culpeper counties west of Orlean.

“He heard about the bridge,” Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel, whose Marshall District includes the bridge, said in an interview. “And he thought it was important enough to make an extremely generous contribution” to the $3.9-million project.

“My understanding is Mr. Hitt’s a modest person. And I was concerned he wouldn’t attend” the Aug. 9 board meeting. “But, bless his heart, he agreed to come.”

Reluctantly.

He went the meeting because his wife — standing at his side — “pestered” him into doing so, Mr. Hitt told a big audience of mostly family members and a few friends.

Not one for ceremony, he has tried to avoid public recognition for the couple’s decades of philanthropic giving to their church, higher education, hospitals and community service and youth organizations.

> Video at bottom of story

The bridge project calls for “dismantling and removing the truss structure, making repairs and then reinstalling the bridge” with a 12-ton weight limit, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Before the Hitts’ gift, the restoration seemed unlikely. But, VDOT embraced the proposal after their donation.

Built in 1878, the span provided a popular shortcut on Old Waterloo Road (Route 613) from western Fauquier to Clevenger’s Corner, where Routes 211 and 229 meet in Culpeper.

VDOT shut the wooden-deck bridge in January 2014 because of deterioration. It carried an average of 630 vehicles per day.

The transportation agency expects a contractor will begin work on the 18-month project in 2019.

It just seemed unconscionable to tear down the old bridge and replace it with a “modern” one, Mr. Hitt said.

“I think the bridge is good the way it is, if it’s repaired,” he added, praising Piedmont Environmental Council staff members Julie Bolthouse and Kristie Kendall for their efforts to save the span. “I knew it could be repaired.”

“The Waterloo Bridge had gotten to the point where it needed a hero,” Ms. Bolthouse said. “The Hitt family stepped in and became the hero.”

In some ways, his can-do spirit captures the essence of her father — practical, plain-spoken and confident, explained Jodi Hitt Nash, a law clerk for Fauquier Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker.

“He’s classic Type-A,” said Ms. Nash, a lawyer who worked in the family business for about 18 months in the 1980s on a dispute involving Georgetown University. “Very entrepreneurial, incredible work ethic, very goal-oriented.

“There’s always a way to solve a problem.”

He learned that and more from his parents — Warren and Myrtle Hitt, who founded the family business in 1930.

In the early years, the couple operated W.A. Hitt Decorating Co. from the dining room of their Arlington home, Mr. Hitt recalled.

“It was a repair business. Most of the work was in D.C., because there was nothing in Virginia, back then. We had trucks in the driveway and everything else.”

An only child, Mr. Hitt began working for the company at about the age of 6.

“Cleaning trucks, cleaning garages for storage,” he said. “My parents told me, ‘We’re not going to give you an allowance, because you have something the other kids don’t have: You have a business here and something always to do’.”

But they did pay him for his labor.

“So, I saved my money, and I was the only guy in the neighborhood who could buy a car when I was 15.”

Over the years, Mr. Hitt grew the business — renamed Hitt Construction — to a $1-billion-plus per year, commercial general contractor with 1,000 employees and 11 offices around the country. The Falls Church-based firm has projects in at least 20 states and Washington, D.C.

The company eliminated residential construction — single-family homes and townhouses — about 30 years ago, although it continues to do apartment work, he said.

“People are just a pain in the butt to work for,” Mr. Hitt said. “With commercial, they want the work done, and they stick to a schedule. The homeowner doesn’t care if you don’t stick to a schedule.

“You can’t make any money that way. It’s just not profitable.”

Besides “hard work” and smarts, he attributes the company’s continued success to an ability to understand and respond to shifting markets.

“You have to change with the times,” said the chairman emeritus, who goes to the office three to four days a week. “Data centers are coming up. You’ve got to get into data centers, because the work is there. They’re crying for people.”

After more than 70 years in the business, he has no favorite projects — “There have been so many” — but a few of stories worth repeating.

“We built out the tape room that brought Nixon down,” Mr. Hitt said. “It was in the Old Executive Office Building” next to the White House. “We built the cabinets. We didn’t know what it was for, of course.”

The room contained equipment that President Nixon used to secretly record conversations in the Oval Office that figured into the Watergate scandal, his impeachment and eventual resignation on Aug. 9, 1974.

Mr. Hitt tries to visit the Rappahannock cabin 15 to 20 times per year, usually a few days a time.

The peace and quiet appeal to him.

“You hardly ever hear a car,” said Mr. Hitt, nodding toward a distant highway. “You hardly ever hear a plane. A little different from being in Falls Church.”

Mrs. Hitt occasionally joins him.

“She thinks it’s dark.”

Maybe more than anything, memories of the “old days” make the farm irresistible.

As a boy, he witnessed and heard his parents and other family members talk about “living off the land,” the Arlington native recalled.

His family acquired a portion of the 300-acre Rappahannock County farm prior to the Civil War.

His parents began taking him there at the age of 6 or 7, Mr. Hitt said.

Most people had a garden and canned. After Thanksgiving, his family and neighbors slaughtered and butchered hogs.

Back then, everybody cut logs for firewood to heat their homes, Mr. Hitt said.

“Had a horse and a chain and dragged the logs. Used a cross-cut saw.”

His Aunt Susie Hitt hosted big family meals on Sunday.

“Have all these people in,” Mr. Hitt recalled in mouth-watering detail. “There was a little-bitty kitchen and this little-bitty dining room. It’d only hold about eight people, and she’d feed them in shifts.

“Three kinds of bread every single meal; three meals a day you had cornbread, biscuits, white bread.”

He vividly recalls those days and the people who made them memorable.

“I loved them. I wish they were still here.”

How do rate race relations in Fauquier County?

Posted Friday,
August 10, 2018
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Throwback Thursday: Last FHS season for Chmara

Posted Thursday,
August 9, 2018
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August 1993: Starting his final season, Fauquier High football Coach John Chmara, with the best record in school history, hopes to improve on last year’s 2-8 record.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of August 13, 2003


Final season of Chmara kicks off at FHS

In the final season of the John Chmara era at Fauquier High School began somewhat modestly Tuesday morning.

The Falcons has 65 players submit to physicals for the first day of football practice. Declining numbers have been a concern the last few years, with opening day rosters of 55 and 48, respectively, in 1992 and ’93.

Fauquier’s winning percentage has dropped along with turnout. After posting 8-2 records and reaching the playoffs five straight seasons, the Falcons fell to 7-3 in 1991 and missed the playoffs. Last year, the bottom dropped out as Fauquier plummeted to 2-8 and suited up only 30 players by season’s end.

The most successful football coach in FHS history, with a 56-29 record over seven seasons, Chmara announced in June that he would retire in a year.





Experimental wetlands proposed at old school

The board of supervisors Tuesday will determine whether Schoolhouse 18 near Marshall can be used for an innovative environmental test.

Keep Fauquier Clean and other organizations propose “constructed wetlands” to help treat wastewater from the 105-year-old structure, undergoing renovation for historical and environmental education purposes.

“We consider this to be an exciting concept and one that, if successful, could have important ramifications for the quality of life for residents who have inadequate or failing drainfields,” KFC Executive Director Paddy Katzen said.

Fauquier has hundreds of failing drainfields, particularly in the Catlett and New Baltimore areas, according to Charles Shepherd, environmental health manager for the county health department.


Tolson’s Appliance opens new store

With a red metal roof, it’s hard to miss the new location of Tolson’s Appliance Center at Broadview Avenue and Fauquier Road in Warrenton.

And that’s just the way owner Church Matthews wanted it.

“People will be able to find us much easier now,” Matthews said of the new, 8,400-square-foot building that cost about $350,000.

The 47-year-old business on Aug. 2 moved from space on East Shirley Avenue that it had rented for five years.


School system reports $800,000 budget surplus

Two months after finishing a bruising battle with the county supervisors over the 1993-94 budget, the school board got some good news Monday.

School Finance Directory Bryan Tippie announced the school system’s 1992-93 “carryover” will far exceed earlier projections. After predicting a budget surplus of $155,000 in May, Tippie this week said the school system should have $796,000 left after closing the books on the last fiscal year, subject to a final audit report in October.


Farm drought relief sought

He’d much rather have rain, but for now Extension Agent W.C. Brown will settle for some drought relief.

Brown next week will as the Fauquier supervisors to file a request with Gov. L. Douglas Wilder to declare the county a drought disaster area.

Corn and soybean crops in the county could be off 60 to 70 percent, Brown said.

The disaster declaration would make affected Fauquier farmers eligible for low-interest loans from the Farmers Home Administration.

Although Fauquier typically gets about 4 inches of rain in July, the county last month got just over an inch.


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2012 Upperville murder probe details unsealed

Posted Thursday,
August 9, 2018
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Firefighters discovered the body of Sarah Greenhalgh, fatally shot in the neck, in the bedroom of her burned rental house near Upperville on the morning of July 9, 2012.
The house, since razed, that the victim rented.
Details about the investigation of an unsolved Northern Fauquier murder six years ago became public Wednesday, with the expiration of a judge’s orders sealing search warrant affidavits.

Someone shot and killed journalist Sarah L. Greenhalgh, 48, on July 9, 2012, before setting fire to her rented house just outside of Upperville.

A year later, Fauquier County Circuit Court Herman A. Whisenant Jr. ordered new search warrant affidavits sealed for five years. Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher requested the judge’s action to protect details of the sheriff’s office investigation.

The murder remains unsolved, and investigators have placed no charges.

Judge Whisenant granted search warrants for email accounts, phone records, GPS data, a vehicle and DNA in the investigation, which continues.

The Winchester Star, where Ms. Greenhalgh worked as reporter, broke the news of the affidavits' unsealing:

By Evan Goodenow
The Winchester Star

Six years after her death, new details have been released about the murder of Winchester Star reporter Sarah Libbey Greenhalgh and John Sheldon Kearns, the man suspected of killing her.

Greenhalgh, 48, was found fatally shot in the neck July 9, 2012, in the bedroom of her Upperville cottage, which had been set on fire. Kearns, who had dated Greenhalgh and argued with her the night before she was killed, was named as a suspect by the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office in court documents in 2014.

Search warrant affidavit information concerning the case was unsealed Wednesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court. The documents were provided to The Star by Melissa Boughton, a former Star reporter and former Greenhalgh colleague who wrote extensively about the homicide.

> Click here to continue reading

One of more than a dozen affidavits unsealed Aug. 8, 2018:

Greenhalgh Murder Investigation Affidavit by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fire engulfs home under construction on Green Rd.

Posted Thursday,
August 9, 2018
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Photos/Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.
Fire engulfs the home in the 9700 block of Green Road, south of Warrenton.
The county emergency communications center dispatched the first firefighters at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday.
A fire Wednesday night heavily damaged a two-story house under construction south of Warrenton.

At 10:45 p.m. firefighters got dispatched to the blaze in the 9700 block of Green Road.

The firefighters arrived at a “two-story house that was under construction — almost completed, not furnished, no one living in the home yet,” Warrenton Assistant Fire Chief Sam Myers wrote in an email early Thursday. “About a third of the home was on fire upon arrival. Crews contained the fire quickly and then spent the next two hours performing overhaul.”

Units from Warrenton, Remington, Catlett, Brandy Station, Stafford, New Baltimore and the Fauquier County Fire/Rescue Department responded.

An investigation of the fire’s cause continues.


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
August 9, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
August 8, 2018
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Poplar Springs specializing in events and weddings

Posted Wednesday,
August 8, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Antonio Cecchi, who with two partners bought the property last month for $4 million, talks Tuesday night with Casanova resident Ike Miller.
The dining room at Poplar Springs had been open to the public for about 15 years.
We’re not in the inn business, we’re not in the restaurant business. Our bread and butter is weddings and corporate events.
— Antonia Cecchi
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The new owners of Poplar Springs in Casanova have changed the iconic property’s “business model.”

No longer open to the public for drinks and/or dinner, the 172-acre estate focuses on the events business, especially weddings.

Antonio Cecchi confirmed the plan for Poplar Springs during a wedding showcase Tuesday night at Foxchase Manor near Manassas, one of his company’s three other events centers.

“We’re not in the inn business, we’re not in the restaurant business,” Mr. Cecchi said. “Our bread and butter is weddings and corporate events . . . .

“The restaurant is available by reservation for special events if somebody wants to have 50 people for dinner. But, the days of having two people in there for dinner with 15 staff members have passed.”

Built in 1928, the stone manor house seven miles southeast of Warrenton had operated as a restaurant under two different owners for about 15 years.

Mr. Cecchi and longtime business partners Amar Camara and Sammy Hatami last month paid $4 million for the property.

They closed the restaurant, refreshed the buildings and grounds and rebranded the venue as Poplar Springs Manor, dropping inn and spa from its name.

Those two elements will reopen to the public, however. The spa offers a range of services, and patrons may buy passes to its saltwater pool for $15 a day or $100 a month. The pool and spa have limited beverage and food services.

Available first to wedding and events clients, 21-room inn also will offer its services to the public on a limited basis, Mr. Cecchi explained. An online booking service soon will allow guests to reserve rooms on dates that don’t conflict with events there.

He described the Fauquier property as a natural complement to his company’s other venues, which include Raspberry Plain Manor and Rose Hill Manor near Leesburg. Along with Foxchase Manor in Prince William County, those venues host more than 700 weddings and events a year, according to Mr. Cecchi.

Already, he said, clients have booked Raspberry Plain Manor for every Saturday and Sunday through 2019.

That will create more opportunities for Poplar Springs, which already had a base of events business, and Gala Cuisine, the parent company that offers a range of catering services, Mr. Cecchi said.

“We have venues in Loudoun, Prince William and, now, Fauquier,” he said. “Each one offers something a little different.”

Rental prices for Poplar Springs Manor range from $8,000 to $10,000 for an event. The company offers a range of a la carte options for food, beverages and service. Clients also can use outside caterers.

A client can rent the entire inn for $4,000 a night or a suite for $500.

Will the venue make money?

“Oh, of course,” Mr. Cecchi said. “We don’t start without knowing the outcome we expect . . . .

“Overall, we’re just cleaning it up, giving it the TLC it needs . . . . The building’s in great shape.”

Hoping to learn more about the plans for Poplar Springs, Casanova resident Ike Miller drove up to Foxchse for Tuesday night’s event.

“I’m disappointed that you won’t be open for dinner,” Mr. Miller told Mr. Cecchi. “But, I understand your business model.”

As they talked, dozens of couples wandered around the large ballroom, talking with photographers, DJs, bartenders and caterers eager for their business. With a large, diverse staff, Gala Cuisine handles lots of international weddings, with a range of global food options and customs.

Mr. Miller, who owns a flooring business in Warrenton, later said: “I’m glad someone with experience and means bought (Poplar Springs). They know what they’re doing.”

Poplar Springs will host an open house to showcase its offerings on Sunday night, Nov. 4, Mr. Cecchi said.




SpiritWorks Foundation offers addiction counseling

Posted Wednesday,
August 8, 2018
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Video/Don Del Rosso
Video: SpiritWorks Foundation Executive Director Jan Brown explains the nonprofit’s history and its expansion to Warrenton.
We checked other communities they served and were impressed with what we heard.
— Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage
SpiritWorks-Warrenton
• What: Peer-to-peer addiction recovery counseling center.
.
• Where: 30 John Marshall St., Warrenton.

• Provider/tenant: SpiritWorks Foundation, Williamsburg.

• Property owner: Fauquier County government.

• Office hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

• Center manager: Chris Connell.

• Website: spiritworksfoundation.org

• Facebook: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The circumstances seemed ideal for the Williamsburg-based addiction recovery foundation to establish a Warrenton office.

“The timing was right for us” to open a counseling center at 30 Marshall St. in downtown Warrenton, explained Rev. Jan M. Brown, founder and executive director of SpiritWorks Foundation. “This area is an example of how all the players work together.”

They include local government, social service groups, law enforcement agencies, churches and a range of nonprofits, added Rev. Brown, an ordained Episcopal minister.

“We’re all sitting at the table, recognizing the problems (of addiction) and working on solutions. I’ve done this work for many, many years. It’s unbelievable the way this community is addressing this issue.”

Founded in 2005, nonprofit SpiritWorks succeeds The McShin Foundation of Richmond, which opened an addiction recovery center at the Marshall Street office building last September.

McShin offered peer-to-peer counseling to recovering drug addicts and alcoholics at the center and to inmates in the county jail on nearby Lee Street.

But because of financial problems, McShin in May announced it would abandon the Warrenton operation three months later.

That led to a local effort to identify an organization to provide similar peer-to-peer services to recovering citizens, inmates and their families and friends. Community leaders in recent years have focused on solutions to the spike in opioid abuse and overdoses, which have killed dozens in Fauquier.

Earlier this summer, Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage and a search group learned about SpiritWorks.

As a result, Ms. Heritage, former Warrenton Mayor Powell Duggan, PATH Foundation Senior Program Officer Andy Johnson and sheriff’s Capt. Ray Acors spent a day visiting SpiritWorks, which occupies two adjacent buildings in Williamsburg.

“We visited them and were very impressed,” Ms. Heritage recalled. “We checked other communities they served and were impressed with what we heard. They have a good reputation working with the CSB (community service board) down there.”

SpiritWorks took over the Warrenton office Aug. 1.

The foundation’s Williamsburg office employs two full-time workers, including Rev. Brown, and has about 25 volunteers.

The Warrenton office has one full-time worker — Manager Chris Connell — and three part-timers who staff the office and provide counseling.

Ms. Connell served as McShin’s Warrenton office manager.

Her decision to join SpiritWorks figured significantly into the foundation’s agreement to open a Warrenton center, Rev. Brown said.

“One of the conditions for us to come here is to have someone on the ground who knows the resources and is from this area,” she explained Monday in an interview at the foundation’s Warrenton office.

The Marshall Street property has commercial zoning, which allows counseling services by-right.

McShin sought special-permit approval from the town council to operate a 16-bed residential recovery facility. But, citing the zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan, the town council unanimously denied the application.

In doing so, it pledged to help find an alternative site for an overnight recovery center.

The council in June unanimously approved plans to allow a residential addiction recovery center in a county government-owned building on Hospital Hill.

Meanwhile, the county, town, PATH and others continue to look for organizations that would operate a residential recovery center at the 340 Hospital Drive building, Ms. Heritage said.

SpiritWorks has no residential recovery component to its counseling services.

The organization’s Williamsburg office provides addiction recovery services for adults, young adults and children.

For now, the Warrenton office will provide services to adults only, Rev. Brown said.

The foundation plans initially to spend about $10,000 to remodel the three-story, 4,500-square-foot Marshall Street building.

The organization’s budget for both the Williamsburg and Warrenton operations totals $250,000, Rev. Brown said.

“We do a lot with a little.”

The foundation relies largely on grants, but plans generate additional income through the sale of branded products — mugs, shirts, hats and the like — and fundraisers.

For example, it plans in September to hold a “Blue Jeans Ball” fundraiser at the Great Marsh estate near Bealeton to help fund the Warrenton office, Ms. Connell said.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday probably will approve an agreement to lease the 30 Marshall Street building to SpiritWorks.

The rent-free agreement requires SpiritWorks to pay for utilities and to maintain the building and property. 

Gardening: Stopping the nasty tomato hornworm

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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Ross publishes children’s book about baseball

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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Appreciation for justice, compassion in Fauquier

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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Will Republicans maintain their U.S. House of Representatives majority after the Nov. 6 elections?

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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Supervisors to review rural land plan draft Thursday

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The 41-page draft “Rural Lands Plan” outlines policies to protect and preserve Fauquier farmland.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s board of supervisors on Thursday will conduct a work session on recommended revisions to the rural chapter of the county comprehensive plan.

The 41-page draft outlines policies and plans to protect and preserve farmland. It also recognizes the importance of Fauquier’s agricultural uses, historic sites and “unique” opens spaces.

> Draft plan at bottom of story

The Aug. 9 work session on the “Rural Lands Plan” will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

The supervisors last approved a complete review of the plan in 1994.

In 2010, Fauquier’s population stood at 65,203. By 2016, the population grew by 3,866, according to the draft plan.

About 1,200, or 30 percent, of those new residents moved to the county’s rural areas, the document states.

Since the adoption of Fauquier’s first comprehensive plan in 1967, the county has sought to channel growth into designated grow areas called “service districts.”

About 296,000 acres, or 71 percent of the county, enjoy “some form of protection from development through” various preservation programs.

In other matters Thursday, the supervisors:

• Will conduct a 2 p.m. work session on the effects Medicaid expansion will have on Fauquier. Expanded medical coverage for qualified needy citizens will take effect in January.

• Probably will approve an agreement to lease a county-building at 30 Marshall St. in downtown Warrenton to Williamsburg-based SpiritWorks Foundation, a nonprofit group that will provide a range of counseling services to recovering drug addicts, alcoholics and their families.

The rent-free agreement requires SpiritWorks to pay for utilities and to maintain the building and property.

For a year, The McShin Foundation of Richmond provided similar counseling services at the Marshall Street property. But, citing financial problems, McShin discontinued its Warrenton operation last month.

Fauquier County Rural Lands Plan Draft by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Fauquier Supervisors 8-9-2018 Agenda by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Vehicle show raises $7,000 for “Rise Against Hunger”

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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The third annual Grace Church Community Car Show drew 59 classic vehicles and 500 tire kickers — OK, spectators — to The Plains on Saturday.

The show raised $7,000 for Grace Episcopal’s participation in “Rise Against Hunger.” Volunteers will gather Nov. 10 at the church to package 20,000 meals for the needy. Last year, the food went to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

“The weather gods were good to us Saturday, but a lot of participants stayed home I believe because of the rains Friday night,” show Co-chairman Paul Smith said. He and other organizers had hoped for as many as 150 vehicle entries.

But, weeks of almost constant rain yielded to hot, humid conditions Aug. 4.

The Rev. West Mathews, Grace’s new rector, perhaps had the best assignment Saturday, getting soaked in the dunking booth just outside the parish hall.

The shows top winners:

• Rector’s Award — 1964 Austin Healy 3000 owned by Michael Maloney of Warrenton.

• Best in Show — 1953 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, owned by Jim Mitchell of Warrenton.

• Kids’ Favorite Award — 1942 Chevrolet, owned by Dennis Gilliam.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
August 7, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
August 6, 2018
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Bealeton woman, 24, dies after wreck near Quantico

Posted Monday,
August 6, 2018
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A 24-year-old Bealeton woman died Sunday, four days after she suffered injuries in a traffic accident on Brent Town Road (Route 612) near the Quantico Marine Corps Base.

Vera Elena Marra drove a 2006 Toyota Camry south on the two-lane road when she crossed the centerline in a curve, according to state police Sgt. Les Tyler.

Ms. Marra’s sedan struck a 2003 Ford van, driven by Benjamin Garcia-Zuniga, 50, of Stafford, at 8:08 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

The crash took place about 1.3 miles south of Courthouse Road (Route 609) in Southeastern Fauquier.

Both drivers suffered injuries, Sgt. Tyler said. A passenger in Mr. Garcia-Zuniga’s van escaped injury.

But, Ms. Marra died of her injuries at 11:24 a.m. Aug. 5 at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Sgt. Tyler said.

Trooper D.J. Mabie investigated the crash, with help from the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.

5-bedroom home, 39 acres sell for $2.8 million

Posted Monday,
August 6, 2018
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Built in 1969 this house and 39 acres on Old Goose Creek Road near Middleburg sold for $2.8 million.
Melrose Castle and its 50 acres near Casanova sold for $2 million.
A five-bedroom home on 39 acres in Northern Fauquier near Middleburg sold last week for $2.8 million.

The property along Old Goose Creek Road features an eight-stall barn with office, a four-stall barn with an apartment, an indoor arena, perennial gardens and fenced paddocks.

Built in 1969, home last sold in 1997 for $1.5 million, according to county real estate records.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds a conservation easement on most of the Scott District land.

Also last week, historic Melrose Castle — on 50 acres near Casanova — sold for $2 million.

Built in 1857, the Gothic Revival stone house has six bedrooms and seven baths.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Melrose had an asking price of $2.19 million. The property lies in Cedar Run District.

Additionally, 207 acres just east of Upperville sold last week for $2 million.

Part of the late Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon’s estate, the Marshall District property lies along Rokeby Road.

Those three sales top the most recent list of Fauquier real estate transactions.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers July 31- Aug. 2, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Mary S. Ashton to Zara Slader, 5.73 acres, 4539 Old Auburn Road, near Warrenton, $455,000.

Peter S. and Dorothea K. Markakos to Wanda L. and Warren H. Ours, 50 acres, Melrose Castle, 8871 Rogues Road, near Casanova, $2,000,000.

Michael A. and Anne M. Cardin to Timothy L. Losito, 1 acre, 4444 Ringwood Road, near Nokesville, $355,000.

Justin R. Jenkins to Dwight A. Agnew, 1 acre, 2374 Carriage Ford Road, southeast of Catlett, $280,555.

Hometown Properties & Investments LLC, Jason Decatur as managing member, to Danielle and Preston R. Quick, 6.5 acres, 12493 Elk Run Road, near Midland, $394,835.

Lisa Peterson, trustee, to Deborah Repass, Lot 14, Poplar Grove Subdivision, 8101 Poplar Grove Drive, near Warrenton, $360,900.

Mounzer Sibay to Tail Race LLC, 58.25 acres, Beach Road, near Warrenton, $325,000.

Luther J. Sesler, Charlotte M. Sesler and Brandon C. Sesler to Ramon A. Garcia and Ruth M. Avila, 2.11 acres, 9399 Green Meadows Road, south of Warrenton, $329,900.

Anna M. and Robert D. Vall to Jami L. Ross and Philip T. McVicker Jr., 2.01 aces, 12517 Bristersburg Road, near Midland, $132,000.

Annalee V. Fishback to Argent Development LLC, 4.18 acres, half interest in 0.38 acre, 2 acres and 1.76 acres, 7788 Greenwich Road, near Catlett, $437,500.

NVR Inc. to James and Marilyn Peworchik, 0.62 acre, Lot 23, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6367 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $542,130.


Center District

Joe M. and Cassandra J. Carbaljal to Elizabeth A. and Richard L. Baldridge Jr., Lot 12, Mews at Menlough Subdivision, 36 Quarterpole Court, Warrenton, $290,000.

Alan W. and Trudy F. Cahoon to Alexandra E. and Michael B. Spare Jr., 32,818 square feet, Lot 48, Phase 2, Ivy Hill Subdivision, 7208 Woods Edge Court, near Warrenton, $373,900.

Donna M. Adams to Rosario and Nathalie Lomoriello and Claudia V. Villagran, Lot 88, Phase 3, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 43 Morton Ridge, Warrenton, $285,000.

Catherine L. Connors to Deirdre Harb, 12,188 square feet, Lot 9, Kimberley Subdivision, 101 Brenda Court, Warrenton, $420,000.

Elizabeth A. Shaw to Joe M. and Cassandra J. Carbajal, Lot 33, Section 2, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 541 Estate Ave., Warrenton, $335,000.

Cannon Professional Center LLC, Serena W. Hendershot as managing member, to Cannon 559 LLC, Lower Unit 100, Battlefield Professional Building, 559 Frost Ave., Warrenton, $238,559.


Lee District

Andrea J. Autry to Alexandra P. Gels, Unit 305, Building 1, Phase 1, Waverly Station at Bealeton Condominiums, 6185 Willow Place, Bealeton, $182,000.

Tab L. and Cynthia M. Lantz, by substitute trustee, to U.S. Bank NA, trustee, Lot 224, Section Q, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 6717 Huntland Drive, Bealeton, $287,100, foreclosure.

David V. and Barbara J. Tenney to Debra L. Atkinson, 2 acres, 11009 Weaversville Road, Bealeton, $427,900.

Kevin G. and Debra K. Thornhill to Victoria and Raymone Murray, Lot 44, Phase 2-B, Section 2, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 11133 Kira Court, Bealeton, $335,000.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lot 53, Phase A, Section 2, and Lot 138, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $177,588.

Lynette B. and James R. Welshon Sr., by substitute trustee, to Federal National Mortgage Association, Lot 45 Canterbury Village Subdivision, 7936 Cooks Court, near Warrenton, $308,328.

NVR Inc. to Dawn L. and Kenneth J. Baize, Lot 132, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7600 Hancock St., Bealeton, $354,000.

Betty A. Hicks estate, by executors, to Max and Stephanie Hughes, 1.18 acres, Lot 27, Section 1, Drysdale Subdivision, 7563 Pilcher St., near Warrenton, $330,000.

NVR Inc. to Sian and Jonathan Terry, Lot 150, Phase A, Section 3-A, 4096 Clarke St., Bealeton, $441,009.

Jose M. Rocha to Alexander Perez Jr., 0.95 acre, 9821 Lees Mill Road, near Opal, $235,000.

Daniel J. and Rebekah F. Keathley to Juan Segura, 0.57 acre, Lot 118, Section D, Edgewood East Subdivision, 11316 Falling Creek Drive, Bealeton, $349,990.

NVR Inc. to Alex Merrill, Lot 44, Phase 3, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, 2252 Sedgwick Drive, Remington, $315,000.

Carrie H. Swain to Khalid Majeed, 0.75 acre, 7472 Sumerduck Road, near Remington, $18,000.

NVR Inc. to April Cassell and Oltar Quintanilla, Lot 137, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7620 Hancock St., Bealeton, $333,504.

Franklin G. and Lena L. Mullins to David Ayayla and Alexandra Lamett, Lot 79, Section B-2, Edgewood East Subdivision, 6890 Maplewood Drive, Bealeton, $335,000.

NVR Inc. to Eder Salguero, Rosa C. Guerrero and Dianne Bonilla, Lot 47, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 6620 Lafayette Ave., Bealeton, $310,280.

NVR Inc. to Bridget Harris and Patrick Smith, Lot 45, Phase 3, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, 2251 Sedgwick Drive, Remington, $314,170.

Christopher Mcinerney, Christian Mcinerney and Shelby Wetmore to Freddy A. Villarreal, Lot 85, Phase A, Section 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 9038 Randolph Circle, Bealeton, $399,999.

Ethel E. Sayles and Margaret M. Miller to Evelin Sorto, 3 acres and 0.99 acre, 10467 Saint Paul’s Road, near Bealeton, $250,000.

Pamela E. and Kenneth A. Vanscoy Jr. to Michael S. Copsey, 12.11 acres, 4225 Sumerduck Road, Sumerduck, $385,000.


Marshall District

Susan P. Hunter, trustee, to Jaime F. Polanco and Yoseli F. Berumen, Lot 9, 19,076 square feet, Salem Meadows Subdivision, 8561 Megs Drive, Marshall, $330,000.

Howard P. Jackson to Evelyn B. and Norman K. Brooks Sr., interest in 3.9 acres, 4.1 acres and 0.6 acre, John S. Mosby Highway, Upperville, $2,500.

Alan L. Day III to Alexandra K. Day, trustee, one-half interest, 15.23 acres and 2.03 acres, Maidstone Road, near Delaplane, $270,874.
Brandon L. Downs to Rodney C. McDonald and Stephanie M. Butler, 7.25 acres, 9343 Lake Daniel Road, near Marshall, $345,000.

Rodney R. and Gwendolyn N. Leon-Guerrero to Michael S. and Jennifer L. Wheeler, 2 acres, 9357 Lees Ridge Road, near Warrenton, $454,000.

Gerard B. Lambert Foundation to Skyfall Investments LLC, 207.49 acres, Rokeby Road, near Upperville, $2,000,000.

Deborah L. and Trigg S. Kincer Jr. to Teri L. and David A. Jackson Jr., 9.53 acres, 11463 Crest Hill Road, near Marshall, $565,000.

M.P. Homes Inc. to Tria P. Dove, 44,150 square feet, 1122 Poplar Row Lane, Upperville, $390,000.

Phillip E. Melissa Henderson Jennifer E. Fournier and Edward P. Durning, 1.97 acres, 9260 Belle Haven Lane, Marshall, $555,000.

James B. Fletcher Jr. to Terry W. Evans, 0.3 acre, Lot 2, Glascock Subdivision, 4138 Melody Lane, Marshall, $215,000.


Scott District

NVR Inc. to Chad and Stephanie Vieau, Lot 38, Phase 11-A, Brookside Subdivision, 3983 Lake Ashby Court, near Warrenton, $537,085.

Fauquier Lakes LP to NVR Inc., Lot 41, Phase 11-A, and Lot 92, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $449,714.

David W. Willis to Daniel F. and Janet A. Geldermann, trustees, 11 acres, 6221 Squirrel Nest Lane, near Warrenton, $480,000.

Jane C. Bishop to Michael Z. and Nathalie A. Jacoby, 39.35 acres, 6488 Old Goose Creek Road, near Middleburg, $2,800,000.

Mevans Enterprises Inc. to Charlotte L. Baptiste, 0.71 acre, Lot 1, Lofthouse Division, 6335 Cottage Lane, The Plains, $465,000.

James H. and Leah S. Pope to Bobby and Dawn Powell, Lot 6, Fenton Chase Subdivision, 5410 Mongoose Court, near Warrenton, $667,000.

Michael D. and Rachel B. Phillips to Eric D. and Carla A. Rogers, 2.69 acres, Lot 12, Phase 4, Auburn Mill Estates Subdivision, 5421 Wemberly Drive, near Warrenton, $590,000.

Katherine Carter and Michael Haynes to Gerald Mittelman III and Morgan J. Linares, 1.27 acres, 6564 Grays Mill Road, near Warrenton, $295,000.

Richard L. and Teresa B. Windman to Sonia S. Windman, Lot 40, Land Bay F, Phase B, Vint Hill Subdivision, 4093 Von Neuman Circle, near Warrenton, $410,000.

James E. and Kimberley A. Mills to Marc Stanyer and April M. Lacey, 1.93 acres, 6004 Beverleys Mill Road, near Broad Run, $530,000.

NVR Inc. to Christopher L. and Kelly E. Simmons, Lot 82, Phase 11-A, Brookside Subdivision, 4911 Sinker Court, near Warrenton, $531,090.

James C. Lunsford to Nancy J. Baldwin, 6.93 acres, 4203 Lee Highway, near Warrenton, $499,000.

William D. Smith Sr. to MLS-LESS LLC, 0.91 acre, Rt. 626, $53,273.

Constance R. Quick to Daniel J. and Rebekah F. Keathley, 2.05 acres, 5030 Oatlands Lane, near Warrenton, $512,000.

Kimberly D. Kelly to Richard T. Williams and Letitia Ord, 0.54 acre, 5507 Manleys Lane, near The Plains, $335,000.

Laura D. and Todd J. Finks to Jon H. Olsen, 1.42 acres, Lot 41-A, Baldwin Ridge Subdivision, 5314 Hillside Drive, near Warrenton, $522,500.

Robert P. and Vanessa L. Herman to Merlyn Jenkins, Lot 155, Phase 8-A, Brookside Subdivision, 3312 Boathouse Road, near Warrenton, $485,000.

Do you support Dominion Energy’s plan to build wind turbines off the Virginia coast?

Posted Monday,
August 6, 2018
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After survivors’ testimony, jury gives life sentence

Posted Saturday,
August 4, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Rex Olsen’s family waits for the trial to start Monday morning as defense attorney John F. Carroll enters the courthouse in Warrenton.
I think you can face anything, as long as you choose to face it . . . . I’m OK. Things will be OK, but things shouldn’t have to be that way.
— Julia Olsen
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

From the start, she knew her life would never be the same again.

“How am I going to exist for the next 30 or 40 years without my partner?” Julia Olsen told a Fauquier Circuit Court jury Friday afternoon, about an hour after the panel of seven men and five women found her husband’s killer guilty of first-degree murder.

In the sentencing phase, the jury deliberated just 30 minutes before giving the maximum penalty to Bernard C. Duse, Jr., 77, of Alexandria, in the horrific shooting death of Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper, last summer in the parking lot the Warrenton CVS on Blackwell Road.

The panel also gave Mr. Duse a three-year sentence for use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.

Until his murder on July 26, 2017, Mr. Olsen served as the store’s manager. At that time, Mr. Duse worked as the Warrenton CVS operations manager.

At close range, Mr. Duse shot his boss in the back of the head and then in the face, according to the prosecution.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher likened the attack, which took place at 10:15 p.m. near the dumpster site in the store’s parking lot, to an execution and assassination.

During Friday’s sentencing phase, Mrs. Olsen testified for about eight minutes about her husband, their relationship and the loss she has suffered as a result of his death.

“Our relationship has been a long a one,” during which the couple learned a lot from each other, she explained. “We’ve lived a very happy, contented life . . . . We were very lucky.”

Mrs. Olsen described her husband as an avid gardener. When not working his garden, he spent winter months planning one for the next growing season, she added.

Mr. Olsen also built and installed blue bird boxes on their property, according to his widow. He made careful note of their use — recording the number of eggs per box, “hatchlings” born and boxes occupied, Mrs. Olsen said.

“He was very, very fond of nature.”

In ways large, small and sometimes “ridiculous,” his death changed her life forever, Mrs. Olsen told the jury.

The couple talked of traveling more after Mr. Olsen’s retirement from CVS — to new and familiar places, she tearfully recalled.

“Now I have to go back myself” to places they loved, “if I choose to.”

His death also forced her to acquire never-before contemplated skills.

“I’ve never had to use power tools,” admitted Mrs. Olsen, smiling.

Still, she plans to sell their home, mostly because of its maintenance demands.

Life without her husband “will always be an adjustment,” Mrs. Olsen told the jury.

And though at loose ends over his murder, “I’m pretty tough,” she said. “I think you can face anything, as long as you choose to face it . . . . I’m OK. Things will be OK, but things shouldn’t have to be that way.”

The couple’s two sons — Hans and Colin Olsen — also testified during Friday’s sentencing phase.

“He was a good dad,” who loved his wife and holidays and vacations with family, Hans said. “He was a good guy.”

“My father was a kind loving man, probably the best person I know,” Colin said. “This has been an extremely rough year. I don’t have a dad anymore.”

One member of Mr. Duse’s family spoke during the sentencing hearing.

Fonda Duse regarded her uncle as a “surrogate father” and “patriarch of a large family.”

“Whenever we have an issue, he’s our go-to person,” said Ms. Duse, who described him as a compassionate, attentive and “very spiritual person.”

Jury returns guilty verdict in CVS murder case

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The jury found Bernard C. Duse Jr. guilty of murdering Warrenton CVS manger Rex Olsen on July 26 of last year.
Rex Olsen died after Bernard Duse shot him twice in the head behind the CVS store on Blackwell Road in Warrenton last summer.
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26, 2017, murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will began at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: Convicted of both charges Friday, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the killer shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook and Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens. 

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 7 men and 5 women.

• Verdict: Guilty, announced at 1 p.m. Friday. Jury will return at 2 p.m. to begin considering Mr. Duse’s sentence.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

UPDATE: Jury later Friday recommend life sentence for murder and three years in prison on weapon charge.


Deliberating for two hours Friday, the jury returned a guilty verdict in the CVS murder trial.

After five days of testimony and closing arguments, the panel of seven men and five women returned its decision at 1 p.m. in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. a turned the case over to the jury at 10:40 a.m.

After the verdict, Judge Whisenant called a recess until 2 p.m., when the jury will return for the sentencing phase of the case.

The panel found that Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria, shot and killed store manager Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper, at 10:15 p.m. on July 26, 2017, in the Blackwell Road pharmacy’s parking lot.

Mr. Duse, who filed an employment complaint with CVS, shot Mr. Olsen in the back of the head and the face.

He faces potential sentence of life in prison.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher and Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, made closing arguments Friday morning.

“It was a planned assassination,” Mr. Fisher said of Mr. Olsen’s execution-style murder.

An eyewitness saw “a man standing over another man, executing,” the prosecutor said.

Referring to a trove of evidence, Mr. Fisher told the jury: “We’re building a mosaic of guilt that ultimately leads to” Mr. Duse.

The prosecutor systematically attempted to debunk Mr. Duse’s two alibies.

Mr. Duse suggested that two African-American men he befriended in an Alexandria library might have committed the murder. The defendant Thursday testified that he met them in 2016 while he conducted research for his age-discrimination complaint against CVS.

The more the two men learned about his beef with CVS, the angrier they got, Mr. Duse said.

An African-American, the defendant loaned them his vehicle the week before and the night of Mr. Olsen’s murder, he said.

Mr. Duse said he never asked the men, whom he called Luther Williams and “Scatter,” planned to do with the vehicle.

Mr. Fisher dismissed the men as “make-believe . . . . library vigilantes” and Mr. Duse’s idea that they might have murdered the store manager as “fanciful” and “implausible.”

He also reminded the jury that the defendant’s wife Nancy Duse offered testimony that conflicted with statements to Fauquier deputies a year ago regarding her husband’s whereabouts the night of Mr. Olsen’s murder.

Mrs. Duse told the deputies she couldn’t recall where her husband had been that night.

But on Thursday she testified Mr. Duse was home and in bed when the murder took place.

Mr. Carroll told the jury the prosecution has failed to prove his client’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

“It’s just not there,” he said.

Mr. Carroll believes the prosecution had “rushed to judgment” in implicating his client early during the investigation.

After obtaining cell phone data that appeared to link Mr. Duse to the crime scene, the prosecution concluded, “They had their man,” the defense lawyer told the jury.

For more than 30 minutes, Mr. Carroll called into question the prosecution’s citizen, police and expert testimony that dealt with DNA, cell phone data and ballistics evidence.

Eyewitness Joshua Lloyd several times described the suspect as white to investigators on July 27 and July 29, 2017.

But under Mr. Fisher’s questioning earlier this week, Mr. Lloyd acknowledged he couldn’t be certain about the suspect’s race.

Nonetheless, Mr. Carroll on Friday showed the jury a photograph of Mr. Duse.

“Does that look like a white guy to you?” he asked.

Mr. Carroll suggested his client had “no problem” with M. Olsen and thus no reason to murder him.
 
“Bernard Duse is a man who served his country,” he told the jury. “He’s educated. If he ever had anything in his past, you would have heard about it.”
 
Mr. Carroll added: “He didn’t have to present evidence” in the case. “He told you what happened.”
 
Taken as a whole, the evidence proves Mr. Duse guilty beyond reasonable doubt, Mr. Fisher told the jury.


Previous coverage

> Taking stand, defendant suggest others did it

> Expert: Phone data links murder victim and defendant

> Victim’s widow and police officers testify

> Prosecution begins its case

> Jury selected Monday morning

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Warren Green porch repairs

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
Workman near completion of Warren Green Building porch repairs Thursday.
$60,519

Cost to repair the lower porch on the county-owned Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

The repairs included replacing floorboards and a column, fixing the roof, rerouting the downspouts and replacing rotted trim.

Originally estimated at $43,850, the work cost $16,000 more because of “significant damage” discovered after the workmen started, according to Michael Kresse, the county’s general services director.
  
General contractor Pastore Construction LLC from Front Royal and subcontractor G&S of Winchester last week started work on the porch at Ashby and Hotel streets. The repairs should conclude today (Friday).

Rebuilt in 1876 after a fire, the Warren Green houses county administration, the planning department, the commissioner of revenue and meeting spaces.


$100

The student parking at each of Fauquier County’s three public high schools during the 2018-19 term.

The high schools charge $1 per day for a temporary, daily parking pass.

Students with valid driver’s licenses — seniors, juniors and some sophomores — can buy school parking passes.

Student parking spaces available at each high school:

• Fauquier: 298

• Kettle Run: 416

• Liberty: 584


24

Different witnesses \testified during this week’s Warrenton CVS murder trial in Fauquier Circuit Court.

Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria, allegedly shot and killed his boss at 10:15 p.m. July 26, 2017, in the parking lot near the dumpster of the Blackwell Road store.

Shot in the back of his head and in the face, Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper, died at the scene. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s operations manager.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher called 22 witnesses, and Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll called three, including Mr. Duse and Warrenton police Lt. Tim Carter, who already had testified for the prosecution. The jury began deliberating Friday morning.


1,034

Acres of land and water that the Fauquier County Department of Parks and Recreation maintained in 2017.

The department has parks from Goldvein to Upperville.

Its largest property, C.M. Crockett Park near Midland features the 109-acre Germantown Lake, open to boating and fishing. The park also has 100 acres of rolling hills and woodland, picnic shelters, trails, volleyball courts, a concession stand and an amphitheater.


1,849

The number of boats registered in Fauquier County.

In Virginia, owners must register all motorized watercraft and sailboard longer than 18 feet. The state exempts canoes, kayaks and rowboats.

The boats registered in Fauquier have a total assessed value of $2.58 million, according to Commissioner of Revenue Ross D’Urso.

The county taxes those boats at $1.50 per $100 assessed value — the same rate applied to campers and RVs.

So, watercraft should produce about $38,700 a year in revenue for the county.








 


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Warrenton man redeems million-dollar lotto ticket

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Fred Dove finished a contract before claiming his prize.
I was so excited, but I needed to plan. I needed to get my thoughts together.
— Fred Dove
For two months, the Warrenton man kept his good fortune a secret.

Fred Dove had a 20X the Money ticket — worth $1 million — from the Virginia Lottery in his possession.
 
“I was so excited, but I needed to plan,” Mr. Dove said when he finally redeemed his winning ticket. “I needed to get my thoughts together.”
 
Not only that, but the self-employed service handyman stayed busy on a contract for some clients and didn’t want to claim his winnings before completing the job.
 
Mr. Dove had the choice of taking the full $1 million prize over 30 years or a one-time cash option of $657,030 before taxes. He chose the cash.
 
He bought his ticket at New Baltimore Shell convenience store on Lee Highway. The store receives a $10,000 bonus from the Virginia Lottery for selling the winning ticket.
 
Mr. Dove said he has no immediate plans for his winnings, but he said he may treat himself at some point.
 
He became the fourth and final person to claim the top prize in 20X the Money (Game 1781), which means the game will close. By policy, the Virginia Lottery ends a Scratcher game as soon as the final top prize gets claimed.
 
The chances of winning the $1 million top prize in this game stood at 1 in 1,162,800.

Mr. Dove bought his winning ticket in Fauquier County, which received more than $2 million in lottery funds for K-12 education in the last fiscal year. For more information and a complete list of lottery funds to Virginia school districts, click here.

Cash store robbery suspect nabbed in Warrenton

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Winchester police released this security system photo of the man who robbed Allied Cash Advance there earlier Thursday afternoon.
John Jairo Lopez Freyde booking photo from Fauquier County Adult Detention Center.
Alerted by a teller who recognized the suspect, Warrenton police Thursday afternoon arrested a man who allegedly robbed cash advance businesses in Front Royal and Winchester.

Town officers and Fauquier sheriff’s deputies at 3:12 p.m. sped to and surrounded the Advance America branch at 201 Broadview Ave. in Warrenton, according to Sgt. A. Scott Arnold.

They apprehended Jhon Jairo Lopez Freyde, 23, whom police believe is from Columbia, South America.

Mr. Freyde remained in the Fauquier jail without bond Friday morning, Sgt. Arnold said.

The Warrenton teller had received an internal company email, with photos of a man who at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday robbed the Advance America Cash Advance office in Front Royal.

The suspect’s description also matched that of a man who robbed Allied Cash Advance in Winchester about an hour earlier.

Witnesses described the robber as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, wearing dark clothes and a black cap.

In both robberies, the suspect indicated he had a gun but failed to show one.

Witnesses also described his vehicle as a green Ford Escape without a front license plate.

Mr. Freyde also could be a suspect in Fairfax and Leesburg robberies, according to authorities.


CVS murder defendant suggests others did it

Posted Friday,
August 3, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Bernard C. Duse Jr. leaves the Fauquier County Circuit Courthouse on Thursday, when he spent almost two hours on the witness stand.
Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher conducted a sometimes-intense cross-examination of the defendant Thursday afternoon.
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26, 2017, murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will began at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook and Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens. 

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 9 men and 5 women, including 2 alternates, selected Monday morning.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The defendant in the Warrenton CVS murder case dropped a bomb Thursday.

Bernard C. Duse Jr. testified in Fauquier County Circuit Court that perhaps two men he barely knew might be responsible for shooting and killing the pharmacy’s manager in the Blackwell Road pharmacy’s parking lot last summer.

Over a period of about 18 months beginning in January 2016, Mr. Duse told a jury that periodically he met the men in an Alexandria library, where he conducted research related to an age-discrimination complaint he lodged against CVS.

Mr. Duse, 77, of Alexandria, allegedly murdered Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper, at about 10:15 on July 26, 2017.

Mr. Olsen died of gunshots to the back of his head and face.

Earlier this week during the five-day trial, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher called it assassination.

Mr. Duse served as the store’s operations manager.

The defendant identified the men he met at the library as Luther Williams and “Scatter.” He had no last name for “Scatter,” whom he also called Clarence.

He described them as African-Americans — one in his late 20s, the other in his early 30s. One has skin lighter and the other darker than his own, Mr. Duse added.

Under Mr. Fisher’s sometimes-intense questioning, the defendant admitted he had no contact information for the two men, no knowledge of what they did for work and only a vague idea of where they lived.

Still, he loaned the duo his 2005 Saturn Vue on three occasions, including the night of Mr. Olsen’s death, according to the defendant.

Mr. Duse acknowledged he never thought to ask the men how they planned to use his small SUV. He “assumed” they might visit Washington.

Mr. Fisher seemed outraged by the scenario.

If the defendant had any reason to believe that his library acquaintances might have used the vehicle to drive to Warrenton to murder Mr. Olsen, why didn’t he notify police? the prosecutor asked.

Mr. Duse insisted he didn’t intend to implicate the two men.

In response, the perturbed prosecutor said: “You’re just floating it out there as a suggestion.”

Luther Williams and “Scatter,” whom he used as a “sounding board,” took a “strong interest” in his CVS complaint, Mr. Duse explained.

They wanted to know “how could (CVS) treat a man my age the way they treated me,” said Mr. Duse, who testified for almost two hours Thursday.

Extensive and detailed data indicate that Mr. Duse’s cell phone travelled the night of the murder from the Alexandria area, near his home, to the Warrenton area. The phone travelled the identical route Mr. Duse used to get to the store, according to the data.

The vehicle contained his iPhone the night he loaned it to the two men, Mr. Duse testified.

That seemed like an attempt to explain why the cell phone, but not he, got placed at the murder scene. Mr. Duse did not work the day of his store manager’s murder.

The defendant suggested the men knew the way to the Warrenton store because one of them and a female friend — on an unspecified date prior to the killing — visited him at the Blackwell Road CVS.

A video system records people who enter, leave and move around the store.

Mr. Olsen always carried his cell phone, according to his widow and others who knew him well.

But the shooter apparently stole his cell phone after murdering him.

The cell phone data show that both Mr. Duse’s and Mr. Olsen’s phones travelled together shortly after the murder to the Alexandria area, near the defendant’s home. The data also show that the phones followed the same route that Mr. Duse used to get to and from work.

The data indicate that the phones arrived in the Alexandria area at around midnight.

Mike Melson, a telecommunications data analysis expert who testified Wednesday, has little doubt the phones arrived in the same vehicle. If the devices moved separately, the two vehicles had to be “locked” at their bumpers, he said. 

Mr. Duse’s wife Nancy, a Filipino who speaks limited English and required a translator, testified Thursday that her husband had been at home and in bed when the murder occurred.

Mr. Fisher played for the jury two short audio clips drawn from an Aug. 2, 2017, interview of Mrs. Duse that appear to contradict her testimony.

During the 4-1/2-hour interview with two Fauquier deputies, Mrs. Duse twice seemed to state she that she couldn’t not recall her husband’s whereabouts the night of Mr. Olsen’s murder.

Based on that, Mr. Fisher repeatedly gave Mrs. Duse a chance to “correct” her testimony.

Declining to do so, Mrs. Duse said she believed the deputies wanted to know how her husband spent nights the week before the murder.

Hoping to establish motive, Mr. Fisher repeatedly asked Mr. Duse if he had developed a “hatred” of Mr. Olsen related to the age discrimination complaint.

Each time, Mr. Duse — a Vietnam War veteran with a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University — forcefully denied any disdain for Mr. Olsen.

“I never developed a hatred of Rex Olsen,” the defendant replied.

He filed the age discrimination complaint because CVS Regional Manager Robert L. Arnold suggested he was too old to get appointed manager of the company’s Manassas store, Mr. Duse said.

Mr. Olsen had nothing to do with that decision, the defendant insisted.

Based on a CVS evaluation system, Mr. Duse also failed to qualify for the company’s store manager-in-training program. That process included the preparation of a written assessment that proved critical of Mr. Duse.

Mr. Olsen helped create that document.

In an email Mr. Fisher introduced, the defendant called it a “hatchet job.”

But Mr. Duse testified he didn’t blame his boss.

“He was directed to do what he did, in my opinion,” principally by Mr. Arnold, the regional manager, the defendant testified.

In other emails quoted by the prosecutor, Mr. Duse spoke of CVS officials as “beneath contempt” and “extremely evil.”

But those remarks didn’t apply to Mr. Olsen, the defendant testified.

Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents the defendant, also recalled Warrenton Police Lt. Timothy Carter to the stand. Lt. Carter had testified as a prosecution witness Wednesday.

Mr. Carroll showed the jury video of Lt. Carter’s interview of eyewitness Joshua Lloyd within hours of the murder. During that interview, Mr. Lloyd identified the suspect as white or light-skinned. Mr. Lloyd testified Monday that he couldn't be certain of the suspect's race. The defense attorney questioned Lt. Carter about inconsistencies between Mr. Lloyd's video statements and testimony.

Twenty-four people testified during the trial.

The defense rested its case at 2:45 p.m. Thursday. Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. recessed the five-day trial until Friday at 9 a.m.

Mr. Fisher and Mr. Carroll each will get 30 minutes to make closing arguments Friday. Mr. Fisher also will have 15 minutes to rebut the defense attorney’s argument.

The case then will go to the jury for a decision.

If convicted of murder, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison. He also faces a weapon charge, which carries a maximum three-year prison sentence.



Previous coverage

> Expert: Phone data links murder victim and defendant

> Victim’s widow and police officers testify

> Prosecution begins its case

> Jury selected Monday morning


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
August 2, 2018
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Walter Robinson installed as Rotary Club president

Posted Thursday,
August 2, 2018
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Throwback Thursday: Corn crop wilts in drought

Posted Thursday,
August 2, 2018
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August 1993 — Catlett dairy farmer Garland Heddings among his 200 acres of drought-stunted corn.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of August 6, 1993


Drought scorches farms; corn harvest off 40 percent

Catlett farmer Garland Heddings knells and gingerly inspects a shriveled corn stalk with his bulky hands.

Baking under the hot morning sun, the stalk stands barely waist high.

“See how it’s rolled up there,” Heddings says. “When it gets like that, you know it’s dying of thirst.”

Cooperative Extension Director W.C. Brown doesn’t know how to explain it but says Catlett and Calverton have been hit by the region’s recent dry spell.

“We had a lot of wet weather this spring, but when it stopped, Bingo!” Brown says. “It was just like when you turn off a spigot: Nothing comes out.”

Each day the drought continues, he sees the county’s corn production decreasing. Without a substantial amount of rain in the next week, Brown estimates Fauquier’s corn harvest will be off at least 40 percent.





No movie theater here because of costs, population

Make the trip to see a flick in Manassas, Fair Oaks or Fredericksburg and you’ll probably encounter Fauquier neighbors.

Studies have estimated that county residents spend as much as $36 million a year outside of Fauquier, and hundreds of thousands of dollars must go for movie tickets, popcorn, candy and soda in other jurisdictions.

A rapidly-growing county of 50,000 people, Fauquier has been without a movie theater since 1974.

But, a recent study commissioned by The Partnership for Warrenton offers little hope for those who want a silver screen here soon. C. William Pacy, a movie theater consultant from Baltimore, concluded Fauquier lacks the population to support a successful cinema.


WSA sells first taps since ’89 in Marshall

Calling the wait “aggravating,” George Beavers of The Plains finally will be able to move into his auto repair shop, built two years ago.

Unable to use the building because it lacked utilities, Beavers, like many others, had to wait on the Fauquier County Water and Sewer Authority.

With all the capacity in use or allocated to other properties, WSA’s wastewater treatment plant at Marshall had sold no taps since 1989.

Beavers, however, was able to purchase a sewer tap for $6,500 on Monday, after the WSA made 100 connections available at the Marshall plant. It sold 24 that day.

The WSA has sold 369 taps that haven’t been used. Authority leaders decided they have enough time to expand the treatment plant if wastewater flow starts threatening its capacity.


George Allen raises $10,000 here

Area residents last week contributed more than $10,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate George Allen’s campaign, according to Jim Rich, chairman of the GOP 10th congressional district committee.

Republican’s gathered for the July 30 fundraiser at Alice DuPont Mill’s Hickory Tree Farm, just south of Middleburg in Northern Fauquier.

“We had a heck of a time,” said Rich, a Shell Oil Co. lawyer who lives near The Plains.


Betsy Ross new Old Town Association president

Betsy Ross of accounting firm Surles & Associates has been elected president of the Old Town Association.

Ms. Ross succeeds Susan Feeley, who recently resigned after two months in office. Mrs. Feeley, the owner of Jimmie’s Market and Kidwell Caterers, cited disagreements within the merchants group and complaints about her leadership as the reasons for resigning.

The OTA advisory board elected Ms. Ross to serve as the 60-member group’s leader for the balance of the 1993-94 term.


Real Estate for Sale

Rappahannock River farm, 60 acres at Tapps Farm. Small house and barn, some fencing, open/woods, ½ mile river. $360,000. Possible owner/agent terms. 703-937-xxxx.


Phone data expert links murder victim, defendant

Posted Thursday,
August 2, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Members of defendant Bernard C. Duse Jr.’s family wait for the Fauquier County Circuit Court to open for the first day of his trial Monday morning.
Lt. Tim Carter, who heads the Warrenton Police Department’s investigation of the case, testified Wednesday.
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26, 2017, murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher; Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook; Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 9 men and 5 women, including 2 alternates, selected Monday morning.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After putting 22 witnesses on the stand in Fauquier Circuit Court this week, the prosecution on Wednesday afternoon rested its case in the trial of an Alexandria man charged with murdering a Warrenton CVS manager in the store’s parking lot last July.

Bernard C. Duse Jr. allegedly shot and killed his boss, Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper.

Mr. Duse, who filed an employment complaint with CVS, allegedly shot Mr. Olsen in the back of the head and the face.

The defendant also faces a felony weapon charge. If convicted of both charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the weapon charge.

Five prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday, including a Warrenton police officer who headed the murder investigation, two CVS employees, an eyewitness who works at the nearby Ruby Tuesday restaurant and a telecommunications data analysis expert.

After a full day of testimony, Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. declared a recess until 9 a.m. Thursday.

On Thursday, Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, will present his client’s case to the jury.

Mr. Carroll expects to put up to four witnesses on the stand.

On Friday, Mr. Carroll and Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher will make closing arguments to the jury.

The jury then will decide Mr. Duse’s guilt or innocence.

His five-day trial began Monday.


Day 3
Wednesday, Aug. 1
Prosecution

• Robert L. Arnold
District manager, CVS Pharmacy

Mr. Arnold oversees 19 Virginia CVS pharmacies, including the Blackwell Road store. Three years ago, the company had to fill a Manassas store manager’s positon. Mr. Duse briefly managed that store until the company chose a permanent replacement.

The Manassas job ultimately went to another CVS employee, Mr. Arnold testified.

He discussed the decision with Mr. Duse, telling him that he would return to the Warrenton store and continue as assistant manager.

“He was not happy with that decision,” Mr. Arnold said. “He was very disappointed.”

Mr. Duse probably believed he would get the Manassas store manager’s job, the witness said.

As part of a corporate-wide restructuring plan, CVS in late 2015 or early 2016 eliminated the assistant manager position, replacing it with the operation’s manager post.

That plan also created a store manager in-training program.

Mr. Duse hoped he would be chosen to participate in the program. But he failed to meet various criteria and to attain a minimum score on a written assessment to qualify.

Mr. Duse filed an age discrimination complaint against CVS. He included a “draft” of the assessment in the complaint to help make his case.

Mr. Duse claimed he had found the draft assessment on his vehicle windshield.

The prosecution showed the jury a store video of Mr. Duse using a key to remove a multi-page document from a “lock box” in the Warrenton store manager’s office. The defendant reviewed and kept the document, according to the video.

The secured cabinet contains various confidential documents, including personnel files, according to Mr. Arnold.


• Simaranjit “Sammy” Kaur
Pharmacy supervisor, Warrenton CVS

Mr. Olsen gave her a set of store keys, including one that provided access to the “lock box,” Ms. Kaur explained. The secured cabinet contained documents related to the store’s annual “loss-prevention” audit.

Ms. Kaur testified she needed access the documents because she helped with that review.

Mr. Duse told her that he should have the store keys, she recalled. A former shift manager, Ms. Kaur gave him the keys while Mr. Olsen had been on vacation last year.

To her knowledge, no other shift managers had copies of the store keys.


• Heather Johnson
Ruby Tuesday employee

Ms. Johnson took a break at about 9:45 p.m. the night of the murder. From the restaurant’s side entrance facing the CVS, she noticed a person “pacing around” and apparently peering into the store’s fence-enclosed dumpster area.

She described the person’s behavior as “very odd.”

The individual seemed of “average height” and wore a black T-shirt, Ms. Johnson told the jury.

She couldn’t determine the person’s race.


• Timothy Carter
Lieutenant, Warrenton Police Department

At the time of the murder, Mr. Carter worked a sergeant in charge of the department’s criminal investigations. He heads the Olsen case investigation.

Lt. Carter interviewed two witnesses — Joshua Lloyd and Heather Johnson. Mr. Lloyd testified Monday, July 31.

Mr. Lloyd testified he stood in front of the nearby Ruby Tuesday restaurant when he saw person near the CVS dumpster area.

Both Mr. Lloyd and Ms. Johnson stood about 184 feet from the dumpster site, Lt. Carter testified. Landscaping partly obscured their view of the dumpster area, he said.

Mr. Lloyd initially told Lt. Carter that he couldn’t identify the potential killer race.

He later would describe the suspect as a “white guy” to the lieutenant. Mr. Lloyd also would describe the suspect as “tan”-colored.

Early search warrant affidavits related to the Olsen case prepared by Lt. Carter described the suspect as a “light-skinned male.”

But on the witness stand, Mr. Lloyd admitted he no longer could be certain of the suspect’s race.

Law enforcement authorities later identified Mr. Duse as a suspect, based on an accumulation of evidence.

For example, Lt. Carter soon after the murder interviewed Julia Olsen — the victim’s widow.

He asked Mrs. Olsen if she know of anyone who might do “harm” to her husband. Mrs. Olsen mention that he had trouble with the defendant related to the CVS employment complaint.

That led to a review of cell phone data that showed Mr. Duse’s and Mr. Olsen’s cell phones travelled at the same time the night of the murder from Warrenton to an area near the defendant’s Alexandria home, Lt. Carter said.

Mr. Olsen always kept his cell phone with him. But investigators never found that phone at the crime scene.

Police on Aug. 2 arrested Mr. Duse outside his home.


• Mike Melson
President, Hawk Analytics, Temecula, Calif.

A telecommunication data analysis expert, Mr. Melson used a software program he wrote to evaluate 60,000 records over a three-month period related to Mr. Duse’s and Mr. Olsen’s cell phones.

The data allowed him to track the movements of Mr. Duse’s and Mr. Olsen’s mobile phones as they accessed cell towers between their respective homes and the Warrenton CVS store.

When Mr. Duse and Mr. Olsen drove to work, cell phone data indicate they used the same routes.

The data also allowed Mr. Melson to spot “anomalies,” or departures from the routine.

One such anomaly occurred the evening of Mr. Olsen’s July 26, 2017, murder. While Mr. Duse didn’t work that night, the data place his phone in the Warrenton area around the time of the killing.

Mr. Olsen always kept his cell phone with him, but investigators didn’t find the device at the murder scene.

But, the data show that both Mr. Olsen’s and Mr. Duse’s phones left Warrenton that night at the same time and travelled the same route the defendant used to get from work to his home near Alexandria, Mr. Melson said.

Both phones also arrived near Mr. Duse’s home at the same time, he said.

Mr. Melson plotted the cell phone data on maps included in a slideshow presentation to the jury.

The analyst has little doubt the phones travelled in the same vehicle. If the devices travelled separately, the two vehicles had to be “locked” at their bumpers, he said.


Previous coverage

> Victim’s widow and police officers testify

> Prosecution begins its case

> Jury selected Monday morning

Tree crushes part of house, killing 10-year-old girl

Posted Thursday,
August 2, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
A neighbor called 9-1-1 at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday to report the incident.
To Help Lydia’s Family
Friends on Thursday established a GoFundMe page to assist the family of Lydia Gherghis.

With a goal of $15,000 the effort, the effort had received 161 donations totaling more than $9,900 in three hours.

Click here to donate.
A 10-year-old girl died Wednesday night when a huge tree fell on her family’s home in a quiet neighborhood just north of Warrenton.

A neighbor called 9-1-1 at 10:25 p.m. to report a “building collapse,” county fire/rescue Assistant Chief Mark Ciarrocca wrote in a brief synopsis Thursday morning.

“Units arrived on scene to find large tree that fell into the house,” Mr. Ciarrocca said. “Adult occupants reported child trapped inside. Child located and found to have fatal injuries.

“Crews worked to stabilize scene. Turned scene over to FCSO (Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office).”

On Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office released the girls name: Lydia Gherghis.

The fallen hardwood, which from the street looks to be about 2 feet in diameter near its base, crushed the left end of the split-foyer home.

“The tree was on top of the young lady” in her bed, Warrenton volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Sam Myers said Thursday morning. “She had gone to bed around 9:45.”

The first firefighters arrived within six minutes of the call, Mr. Myers said.

Quickly assessing the situation, they called for help from Prince William County’s technical rescue team, based in Gainesville. With “hydraulic struts,” firefighters raised the huge tree enough to remove the victim.

After authorities confirmed the girl’s death, first responders lined both sides of the driveway as her draped body and her teddy bear were taken to a waiting hearse.

The only other occupants of the house, her parents suffered no injury.

The death of a child ranks as one of the most difficult situations for first responders. A sheriff’s office chaplain and mental health counselors came to the scene, Mr. Myers said. A critical stress debriefing for the first responders will take place Thursday night at the Warrenton firehouse, he added.

The house stands off the cul-de-sac at the end of Highmeadow Place in the Cedar Run Subdivision.

Heavy rain again fell on the area Wednesday night, as one of the wettest periods in recent memory continued.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
August 1, 2018
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Victim’s widow and cops testify about CVS murder

Posted Wednesday,
August 1, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Julia Olsen enters the courthouse Monday morning for the trial of Bernard C. Duse Jr., charged with shooting and killing her husband behind the Warrenton CVS pharmacy July 26, 2017.
Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Jones, one of six law enforcement officers to take the stand Tuesday, testified that he oversaw the Aug. 2 search of the defendant’s home near Alexandria.
Duse Murder Trial
• What: July 26, 2017, murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher; Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook; Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 9 men and 5 women, including 2 alternates, selected Monday morning.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Holding a white handkerchief to her face, the Culpeper woman fought back tears as she testified about how she learned of husband’s late-night murder in the Warrenton CVS parking lot last July.

“I’m sorry,” Julia Olsen told a jury Tuesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Mrs. Olsen and 11 others, including law enforcement officers and other experts, testified about the July 26, 2017, murder of Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper behind the Blackwell Road store.

Bernard C. Duse Jr. of Alexandria that night allegedly shot and killed his boss. At the time, Mr. Duse served as the store’s operations manager.

The 77-year-old Mr. Duse faces charges of murder and use of a firearm in committing a felony. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and up to three years on the weapon charge.

His five-day trial began Monday in circuit court.

Tuesday’s testimony — often complex, technical and sometimes unsettling — dealt with DNA testing and analysis, Mr. Olsen’s autopsy, ballistics, cell phone data interpretation and the search of the defendant’s Northern Virginia home.

After a full day of testimony, Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. declared a recess until 9 a.m. Wednesday.

So far, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher has called 17 witnesses to testify. Mr. Fisher expects three more to testify for the prosecution Wednesday.

Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, will begin calling witnesses Wednesday afternoon.

Summary of Tuesday’s witness testimony

Day 2
Tuesday, July 31
Prosecution


• A. Scott Arnold
Sergeant, Warrenton Police Department

Sgt. Arnold was the first law enforcement officer to arrive at the murder scene. He got there at 10:38 p.m.

“There was a body laying on its back,” Sgt. Arnold testified. He checked Mr. Olsen’s body for a pulse but didn’t find one.

The sergeant videotaped and took still photographs of the victim and the immediate crime scene. The prosecution showed the video and displayed the photographs on a large monitor in the courtroom for the jury to view.


• Julia Olsen
Victim’s widow

Mrs. Olsen had been asleep the night of her husband’s murder when she received a phone call from a CVS employee asking if he had gotten home from work.

Mrs. Olsen checked the couple’s home but couldn’t find her husband.

Concerned, she several times left messages on and texted his cell phone. Mr. Olsen kept his phone with him at all times, she said.

Unable to reach him, she drove to a nearby area that lacked cell service. Mrs. Olsen worried that her husband may have been in an accident — perhaps struck a deer — but couldn’t be reached because of a cell phone service dead spot.

She didn’t find her husband along that stretch of roadway.

Mrs. Olsen returned home and made several phone calls, including one to Fauquier Hospital.

A hospital employee told her that she would be contacted about her husband, she recalled.

Later, Culpeper law enforcement officers visited Mrs. Olsen to inform her of her husband’s death. They remained with her until a family member arrived.

Overseeing the investigation, Warrenton Police Department Sgt. Tim Carter interviewed Mrs. Olsen.

They talked about her husband’s “work habits in general.” Mrs. Olsen also told Sgt. Carter that her husband had had “trouble” with Mr. Duse, related to the defendant’s employee discrimination complaint against CVS.


• Jocelyn Posthumus
Chief medical examiner

Dr. Posthumus conducted the autopsy of Mr. Olsen’s body. The killer shot Mr. Olsen in the face and the back of the head. Dr. Posthumus testified that evidence indicates the killer shot Mr. Olsen at close range — from several inches to up to 4 feet away.


• Cara McCarthy
Supervisor, Virginia Department of Forensic Science

Ms. McCarthy analyzed a bullet that struck Mr. Olsen. Her analysis indicated a “.38 special” or .357 magnum revolver could have been used to fire the shots, Ms. McCarthy testified. Investigators recovered no murder weapon.


• Brinana Tassinari
Trooper, Connecticut State Police

Connecticut requires individuals who acquire weapons to complete a record-of-sale documents, Trooper Tassinari explained. Those records show that Mr. Duse obtained a Colt .380 and a Smith & Wesson .38 handgun in Connecticut in 1984 and 1977, respectively.


• Jason Romero
Sergeant, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

Mr. Olsen’s cell phone apparently got stolen at the murder scene. Sgt. Romero used cell phone records, which showed that Mr. Olsen’s phone last accessed a cell tower about 2 miles from the defendant’s home near Alexandria.


• Justin Schmidt
Sergeant, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

Sgt. Schmidt participated in Aug. 2 arrest of Mr. Duse at his home near Alexandria. Using a swab, he took two DNA samples from the defendant’s mouth, the detective explained. That process provides “true” or “known” DNA for comparison to other DNA related to the crime, according to Sgt. Schmidt.


• Jessica Harris
Forensic scientist, Virginia Department of Forensic Science

Ms. Harris conducted DNA tests of several items, including the belt and the pockets of the pants Mr. Olsen wore the night of his murder. For various complex and scientific reasons, Ms. Harris eliminated Mr. Duse as a “major” contributor to the DNA “mixture” profiles associated those items, or “was unable to draw any conclusions” about the defendant’s contribution to them.

Ms. Harris sent the DNA samples to the department’s central lab in Richmond for sophisticated testing that uses a “statistical software” program developed by Dr. Mark W. Perlin.


• Mark W. Perlin
CEO, Cybergenetics Inc., Pittsburgh

Using the company’s software program — TrueAllele — Dr. Perlin and two colleagues prepared an analysis for the prosecution that indicates an overwhelming likelihood that Mr. Olsen’s shirt pocket contained Mr. Duse’s DNA.

For years, Virginia has used his company’s system for separating and analyzing “complex” DNA mixtures, Dr. Perlin said.

“It’s generally accepted that computers can get more information than the human eye,” he told the jury.

During more than an hour of testimony, Dr. Perlin also talked about DNA properties, kinds of DNA, surfaces that may be more or less conducive to DNA transfers and ways that DNA can get transferred by people to other people, objects and surfaces.


• Dawn Rosenberry
Detective, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

Det. Rosenberry on Aug. 2 helped search Mr. Duse’s home near Alexandria. Assigned to the defendant’s home office, the detective removed documents related to Mr. Duse’s discrimination complaint against CVS.


• Mark Jones
Lieutenant, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Jones oversaw the Aug. 2 search of Mr. Duse’s home. Officers removed boxes of documents. They removed from Mr. Duse’s home office safe a Colt .380 pistol, ammunition, a holster and documents, the lieutenant said.


• Douglas Degaetano
Forensic scientist, Virginia Department of Forensic Science

A residue analysis expert, Mr. Degaetano evaluated microscopic particles removed from the steering wheel, gear shift and driver-side arm rest/handle of Mr. Duse’s vehicle.

He described the particles as ones “we would expect to see from the discharge of a weapon.”


Previous coverage

> Prosecution begins its case

> Jury selected Monday morning


Roads flooded across Southern Fauquier

Posted Wednesday,
August 1, 2018
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35th New Teacher Dinner set Thursday, Aug. 9

Posted Tuesday,
July 31, 2018
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Biz Buzz: Local physician launches mobile practice

Posted Tuesday,
July 31, 2018
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Contributed Photo
Dr. William Simpson will travel to his patients when Doc At Your Door opens Aug. 15.
Dr. Simpson will take services to patients

A veteran Warrenton physician will launch a mobile practice Aug. 15.
 
After 25 years of providing office- and hospital-based primary care, William L. Simpson in the spring resigned from Piedmont Internal Medicine to establish Doc At Your Door.

Starting as a solo practitioner, Dr. Simpson said he “will provide a full spectrum of portable primary care for patients in any location they prefer: home, work, school, hotel, living facility or even via remote video visits.”

The physician will charge $5 a minute during regular hours, $7 a minute nights and weekends and $2 a minute for travel to and from Warrenton, according to his website. He will not accept insurance payments for his services, although coverage will apply to tests and prescriptions that he orders from other providers.

In one sense, the practice model resembles that of old-time doctors who made house calls. The practice will focus on home-bound patients and those who prefer that the doctor come to them.

“Dozens of the ambulatory patients I cared for in the office at Piedmont Internal Medicine have already requested that I continue as their primary care provider in their homes,” Dr. Simpson said. “So, I have willingly agreed to offer this new service both to those who need it, due to disability, and to those who simply prefer it for the convenience, personalization and privacy it offers.”

Patients will determine the location for their care and how much care they prefer.

“Unlike the increasingly rushed visits experienced in the office setting, my mobile visits will have no time limit,” said the physician, who came to Fauquier in 1993 to join Barry Lupton’s internal medicine practice.

Dr. Simpson and his partners in 2014 sold Piedmont Internal Medicine and its building on Holiday Court in Warrenton to Fauquier Health for $5.3 million.

He will provide a range of care and procedures in the new practice, which has an electronic medical records system.


Fauquier Bank earns $1.7 million in quarter

The Fauquier Bank’s parent company reported second-quarter profits of $1.7 million, up 67.58 percent from the same period in 2017.

For the first six months of 2018, Fauquier Bankshares Inc. (Nasdaq: FBSS) reported net income of $3.2 million, a year-over-year increase of 84.6 percent.

Earnings per share, return on average assets and return on equity all increased for the quarter and for the first six months of this year.

“We are very satisfied with second quarter and year-to-date financial results,” President/CEO Marc Bogan said. “We believe the strategies we have implemented are beginning to take hold, and the results are being realized. In spite of the continued positive trends in earnings, current loan and deposit competition in our local and regional markets is very challenging.

“Our lending team is focused on building relationships that will enhance and diversify our balance sheet while maintaining superior credit quality. Our retail deposit team is aligning our deposit products and pricing to encourage deposit growth and to retain our existing portfolio.”

Mr. Bogan added, “Our increased profitability, in part, is attributed to the efforts of managed asset growth and controlling our cost of deposits as changes in the interest rate environment impact our industry as a whole. We continue to be pleased with our progress as we enter the second half of 2018.”

At June 30, total assets stood at $651.5 million, an increase of 0.8 percent year-over-year.

Net loans totaled $505.6 million, an increase of $42.3 million from June 30, 2017.

Total deposits declined year-over-year to $565.8 million.

Nonperforming assets totaled $9.1 million on June 30, down from $10.7 million a year earlier. That included $2.7 million of nonaccrual loans and $1.4 million of other real estate owned.

Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Warrenton, The Fauquier Bank has 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.


Oak View National 2Q profit up 9.2 percent

Warrenton-based Oak View National Bank reported second-quarter net income of $373,917, up 9.2 percent from the same period last year.

For the first six months of 2017, Oak View’s profit rose 33.4 percent — to $739,270.

Earnings per share, return on average assets and return on average equity all rose in the quarter and for the first six months of 2018.

“The bank has enjoyed outstanding loan growth in the current quarter and first six months of 2018,” Chairman and CEO Michael Ewing said. “At the same time, however, increases in short term rates and local competition have combined to force the bank to become more aggressive in its deposit gathering efforts, which has impacted our net interest margin.

“While the environment is challenging, we believe we can manage our growth and continue to improve our overall profitability.”

Net interest income of $1.99 million in the quarter ended June 30 represented an 11.9-percent increase from the same period last year.

Loans, net of unearned interest and deferred costs, increased 19.6 percent to $201 million at the end of the second quarter.

As of June 30, Oak View had non-performing loans totaling $526,064.

Total deposits ended the quarter at $193.4 million, an increase of 18.7 percent from a year earlier.

Total bank assets rose 17.9 percent to $241.2 million at quarter’s end.

Established in 2007, Oak View has offices in Warrenton, Marshall and Culpeper. It grew from the roots of the old Marshall National Bank & Trust Co., which went through a series of mergers, starting in 1998.


LFCC offers cybersecurity certificate

Lord Fairfax Community College will offer an accelerated Cybersecurity Career Studies Certificate this fall at its Vint Hill center.

College officials will explain the program, which students can complete in less than one year — during an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 1, at 4151 Weeks Drive.

Classes will meet from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays at Vint Hill.

Click here for more information.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
July 31, 2018
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Prosecution begins its case in CVS murder trial

Posted Tuesday,
July 31, 2018
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Photos/Lawrence Emerson
Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria, arrives for his trial Monday morning at Fauquier County Circuit Court.
It’s going to be a great show.
— John F. Carroll, defense attorney
Duse Murder Trial
• What: July 26, 2017, murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher; Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook; Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 9 men and 5 women, including 2 alternates, selected Monday morning.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The prosecutor called last summer’s brutal murder of the Warrenton CVS pharmacy manager the “culmination” of a “bitter” 18-month employment dispute involving a disgruntled co-worker.

Bernard C. Duse Jr. of Alexandria last July allegedly shot and killed his boss, Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper, near a trash dumpster behind the Blackwell Road store.

The 77-year-old Mr. Duse — who faces charges of murder and use of a firearm in committing a felony — at about 10:15 p.m. on July 26, 2017, allegedly shot Mr. Olsen in the back of the head and then the face.

At the time, Mr. Duse worked as the store’s operations manager.

His five-day trial began Monday in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Mr. Duse, an African-American, blamed the victim and CVS’s area district manager for his failure to qualify for the company’s store manager training program.

In 2015, Mr. Duse filed a discrimination complaint against CVS.

That process eventually ran its course after an arbitrator rejected the defendant’s conspiracy theory related to his thwarted career, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher told the jury during his opening statement Monday afternoon.

“This defendant took his own brand of retaliation” when he “assassinated” Mr. Olsen in the CVS parking lot, Mr. Fisher said.

The prosecution will use testimony from its 41 potential witnesses, documents — including email, cell phone data and DNA and gunpowder residue reports — and other exhibits to make its case against Mr. Duse, the prosecutor explained.

In his opening statement, Fairfax lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, dismissed the prosecution’s case a “fantastic narrative” designed to distract the jury from truth.

“It’s going to be a great show,” Mr. Carroll said.

The defense attorney spoke of a witness who within two hours of the murder identified the killer as a “white guy.”

Mr. Carroll suggested investigators didn’t immediately pursue that lead.

“This was a rush to judgement from the beginning,” he said.

But, Mr. Carroll also told the jury the witness “changed his mind about” the suspect’s race.

He also plans to question the reliability of DNA evidence to prove his client’s innocence.

Wearing a dark suit, white shirt striped tie and white sneakers, Mr. Duse took notes on a yellow legal pad during Monday’s hearing.

It took about three hours Monday morning to impanel the jury. Following the attorney’s opening statements Monday afternoon, five prosecution witnesses took the stand before Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. declared a recess until 9 a.m. Tuesday, when Mr. Fisher will continue making his case.

Summary of Monday’s witness testimony

Day 1
Monday, July 30
Prosecution


• Brian McClain
Sales manager, Country Chevrolet

After work, on the night of the murder, Mr. McClain arrived at the CVS drive-through at 10:11. He testified that he heard at least three loud “smacks,” which he likened to wooden pallets striking the ground.

Mr. McClain saw no police or activity in the store parking lot that caused him concern.

“There was no commotion,” he said. “It was just normal.”

He left the drive-through at 10:29 p.m., according to his receipt.


• Joseph E. Murphy
Supervisor, Communications Division, Fauquier sheriff’s office

Mr. Murphy at about 10:32 p.m. took a 9-1-1 call related to the murder from a CVS employee and about four minutes later sent medics to the scene. A co-worker dispatched law enforcement authorities, who arrived first at 10:38 p.m.


• Joshua D. Lloyd
Stafford County resident

Talking on his cell phone, Mr. Lloyd sat on a bench outside the Ruby Tuesday restaurant adjacent to CVS when he heard what sounded like “fireworks.” He looked to his right, heard “another shot” and “saw sparks.”

Mr. Lloyd testified that he saw a person move a body and then walk away.

He testified that he headed toward the CVS, where he told the shift manager that he saw someone “bleeding out back.”

In interviews with investigators, Mr. Lloyd described the killer as a “white guy,” perhaps in his “early 40s.”

But, under questioning Monday by Mr. Fisher, he admitted he is no longer certain about the killer’s race.

Mr. Carroll reminded Mr. Lloyd that he had at least four times described the killer as white.

The defense lawyer asked if anyone later tried to persuade him to change his description of the killer?

“No,” Mr. Lloyd replied.

Mr. Lloyd said he believes the killer may have a “tan” complexion and wore a “tan” hat and jacket.


• Heidy-Beth Savering Knighting
Shift supervisor, CVS store

After talking with Mr. Lloyd, Ms. Knighting placed the 9-1-1 call. The overnight store shift manager also gave investigators a photograph of Mr. Olsen that allowed them to identify the victim.

A creature of habit, Mr. Olsen typically parked his “little red car” in the same space and as needed took a bag a trash to the dumpster behind the store at the end of his shift, according to Ms. Knighting.

Video from a camera at the store’s entrance shortly before Mr. Olsen’s death shows him toting a bag of trash in the direction of the dumpster. But, at the time of the murder, the store had no camera monitoring that area.

The defendant did not work in the pharmacy the night of the killing, according to Ms. Knighting.

To her knowledge, Mr. Olsen has no enemies.

“Rex was a great manager,” testified Ms. Knighting, who knew Mr. Olsen for eight years.

Do you think roundabouts — traffic circles — improve traffic flow and safety?

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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Town to award contract for roundabout construction

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
Eliminating the stop sign on Falmouth Street, the traffic circle will improve traffic flow onto East Shirley Avenue in front of Walmart, according to Town of Warrenton officials.
New Roundabout
• Where: East Shirley Avenue and Falmouth Street near Walmart in Warrenton

• Diameter: 75 feet

• Estimated cost: $434,000

• Bids: Range from $382,166 to $496,541.

• Construction: Could start in September.

• Completion: Possibly in November.

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Warrenton’s first traffic circle or “roundabout” on a major street could open by November.

The “mini roundabout” in front of Walmart — at East Shirley Avenue and Falmouth Street — will have an outside diameter of 75 feet and include a “bypass” lane for southbound vehicles turning right into the store. 

Warrenton’s town council approved the project in March 2017.

The town received four bids last week for the project:

• M&F Concrete, $382,166

• Arthur Construction, $424,551

• Finley Asphalt & Sealing, $473,438

• Kicken Asphalt, $496,541

The town public works department will evaluate the bids and award the contract this week.

Construction could start in September and take about two months, according to Warrenton Public Works and Utilities Deputy Director Paul Bernard.

The roundabout would improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, Town Manager Brannon Godfrey said during a February 2017 council meeting.

VDOT estimated the roundabout would cost $434,000, about the same as installing traffic signals. 

VDOT will provide $217,000 for the project. Walmart “proffered” $180,000 for intersection improvements when it expanded the store about three years ago.

Warrenton already has budgeted the remaining $37,000 in its fiscal 2017 capital projects fund.

The town also has budgeted $85,000 to improve the right turn lane into the Walmart parking lot off East Shirley Avenue.

The turn lane improvement would be a separate project and would “include the shaving off of the existing ‘turn control island’ . . . which would allow folks to continue in the thru-lane towards the existing Alwington Boulevard traffic signal,” according to the town budget.

Jury set Monday morning for CVS murder trial

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The family of murdered CVS Manager Rex Olsen listens to Fauquier Victim-Witness Case Manager Lori Jones explain some procedural matters before the courtroom opens Monday morning in Warrenton.
Bernard Clark Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria, allegedly shot and killed the Warrenton CVS pharmacy manager last summer.
Duse Murder Trial
• What: July 26, 2017 murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher; Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook; Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

• Defense lawyers: John F. Carroll and Colleen Sweeney of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.

• Jury: 9 men and 5 women, including 2 alternates, selected Monday morning.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

It took almost three hours Monday morning to select the jury that will hear testimony and weigh evidence in the trial of an Alexandria man charged with murdering a Warrenton CVS manager in the store’s parking lot last July.

Nine men and five women, including two alternate jurors, will determine the guilt or innocence of Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, an African-American. The jury includes only white citizens.

The jury selection process started at 9:40 a.m. in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

The court summoned 75 potential jurors. Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher and defense attorney John F. Carroll of Fairfax questioned 36 candidates, and selected 14 from that pool.

The scheduled five-day trial resumed at 2 p.m. Monday, with Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. providing jury instructions, followed by opening statements from Mr. Fisher and Mr. Carroll.

Mr. Duse allegedly shot and killed his boss Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper at about 10:15 p.m. on July 26, 2017, near the dumpster behind the CVS pharmacy on Blackwell Road.

He allegedly shot Mr. Olsen in the back of the head and then the face.

The defendant also faces a felony weapon charge. If convicted of both charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

At the time of the killing, Mr. Duse worked as the store’s operations manager.

If time permits, the prosecution will start presenting its witnesses and evidence Monday afternoon.

Mr. Fisher estimated he will need 12 to 15 hours to present the prosecution’s case, which could conclude Wednesday. The defense then will put its witnesses on the stand.

> Prosecution begins its case Monday afternoon


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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Warrenton sells Brentmoor and 1.38 acres for $425,000

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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File Photo
The home needs about $280,000 worth of work, including a new roof, according to an assessment the buyers conducted in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which holds an easement on the house.
After several years of debate, the Town of Warrenton last week completed its sale of Brentmoor, the Main Street home that housed the defunct John S. Mosby Museum.

Kirk and Rebecca Goolsby paid $425,000 for the Italian Villa-style dwelling, built in 1859, and 1.38 acres. The Goolsbys will restore the home to residential use and move there.

The town in 1999 bought the home and three acres for $460,000. 

A $1-million historical renovation — funded with donations and grants — converted it from a private home to the Civil War museum. The house has remained unused for 3-1/2 years, with the town maintaining it.  

The museum project restored Brentmoor to 1870 conditions, removing a kitchen addition and bathrooms, while upgrading the electrical system and installing geothermal heating and cooling.

Richmond-based Central Virginia Appraisal Service last year appraised the house and one acre at $574,000. 

The town listed the property for sale in October 2017 with an asking price of $595,000. 

The Goolsbys made a full price offer in November. But, the house’s condition led to a lower sale price through negotiations with town officials. The town council agreed to the lower price after a public hearing in May.

Brentmoor needs an estimated $280,000 worth of work, including a new roof, foundation repairs and stabilization of outbuildings, according to the Goolsbys’ assessment conducted in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, which holds an easement on the house.

To accommodate the home’s sale, the town subdivided its property at Calhoun and Main Streets. Warrenton will retain just more than half the land and the visitor center it built and opened in 2006.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers July 23-27, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Debra L. and Samuel T. Morgan IV, by substitute trustee, to Surrey House LLC and Argent Development LLC, 2.62 acres, Lot 3-A, Storybook Farms Subdivision, 13566 Storybook Farm Lane, Goldvein, $301,800, foreclosure.

KNR Holdings LLC, Neal A. Rosenquist as manager, to Robert and Pakaikeo Corriel, 11 acres, 1818 Patriot Way, near Midland, $375,000.

Nancy P. Miller to Little Choux LLC, 1.64 acres, 8722 Meetze Road, near Warrenton, $130,000.

RFI WC LC, Steven W. Rodgers as managing member, to NVR Inc., 0.6 acre, Lot 38, Phase 1, and 0.64 acre, Lot 28, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, near Warrenton, $412,572.

NVR Inc. to William and Amanda Weidman, 0.66 acre, Lot 54, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 7794 Warrenton Chase Drive, near Warrenton, $574,499.

Jeffrey M. Rash, Megan K. Rash and Barbara A. Rash to Richard and Jennifer Mast, 17.94 acres, 5377 Herdland Lane, Midland, $910,000.

Donna H. Abel to Murray Group LLC, 2.37 acres, off Razor Hill Road, near Morrisville, $80,000.

Christopher Hayes to Amy M. Allen and Ronald Chunik, 1.85 acres, 11353 Elk Run Road, near Bristersburg, $321,000.

Katherine Kane to Jeffrey N. Thomas, 2 acres, 5399 Casanova Road, near Warrenton, $328,750.


Center District

George F. Beecroft estate, Joyce Arndt as executor, to Corie and Benjamin Rainey Jr., Lot 23, Section B, Broadview Acres Subdivision, 219 Dover Road, Warrenton, $440,000.

N&P Renovations LLC, Michelle Noel and Michael Powell as members, to David W. Koerting, 0.27 acre, Lot 16, Moser Subdivision, 140 Frazier Road, Warrenton, $442,000.

Betty A. Compton to Alan and Christine N. Corbett, Lot 161, Section 2E, Olde Gold Cup Subdivision, 269 Equestrian Road, Warrenton, $525,000.

Wargo Properties LLC, Robert M. Wargo as member, to Dylan P. Serra and Paul C. Adkins, 0.37 acre, 319 Waterloo St., Warrenton, $425,000.

Opus I LLC, William M. and Sandra L. King as trustees, to S&J Capital LLC, 988 square feet, Condominium Unit 8, Waterloo Center, 77 W. Lee St., Warrenton, $109,000.

Donna D. Olinger to Steven C. and Michelle A. Payne, Lot 25, Alexandria Heights Subdivision, 232 Robinson St., Warrenton, $210,000.

Andrey Solntsev to Allison Johns, Lot 9 and Part of Lot 10, Section E, Bartenstein Subdivision, 183 Elm St., Warrenton, $375,000.

James L. Campbell Jr. to Pamela M. Mehiel, Lot 17, Section 1, Oak Springs Subdivision, 775 Cherry Tree Lane, Warrenton, $280,000.

Town of Warrenton to Kirk M. and Rebecca R.O. Goolsby, 1.38 acres, 173 Main St., Warrenton, $425,000.


Lee District

Michael E. and Caryn M. Block to Benaya Makamure and Patience D. Maswelaj, Lot 75, Phase 3, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 10844 Spencer St., Bealeton, $362,000.

Brandon and Angelis Hoffman to Quynh T.H. Nguyen, 2,516 square feet, Lot 110, Phase 4, Wankoma Village Subdivision, 7635 Wankoma Drive, Remington, $180,000.

Andrew W. and Stephanie N. Jones to Doug Hazelrigg, Lot 28, Phase 1, Riverton Subdivision 12209 Remland Court, Remington, $335,000.

Richard B. and Antoinette E. Buchanan to Keith M. and Melissa Woods, Lot 34, Crestwood Knolls Subdivision, 6364 Pitcher Court, Bealeton, $326,000.

Richard L. and Jennifer M. Mast to King C. Dao III and Brittney L. Ballenger, Lot 63, Phase 2, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 6584 America Way, Bealeton, $345,000.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lot 100, Phase A, Section 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $88,794.

Joann Aboe to Ernesto A. Arias and Astrid Ariason, 1.8 acres, 6586 Covington’s Corner Road, near Bealeton, $328,999.

Giovanna M. and Jonathan O. Drummonds Jr. to Fredis O.V. Maltez, 1.5 acres, 7467 Botha Road, bear Bealeton, $230,000.

Gail L. Hodges to Randy A. and Samantha M. Wright, Lot 72, Phase 2, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 6593 Declaration Court, Bealeton, $365,900.


Marshall District

Steven C. Jackson, by substitute trustee, to Argent Development LLC and Surrey House LLC, 5.56 acres, Lot 7-B, Runnymeade Farm Subdivision, 5542 John Barton Payne Road, near Marshall, $366,000, foreclosure.

Alice S. and John L. Oliphant Jr. to Donald R. and Natalie N. Bradner, 5 acres, Lot 2, Section 1, Appalachian Lookout Subdivision, 3763 Cherry Hill Road, near Linden $142,000.

Marcia A. Cronan and Elizabeth N. Mason to Beteseb Farm LLC, 10 acres, Lot 36, Fleetwood Farms Subdivision, 4092 Rolling Hills Drive, near Delaplane, $490,000.

Laura M. Miller to Barbara Scheide, 8.66 acres, off Enon School Road, near Marshall, $70,000.

Mustafa Denniz to Jose Roman and Anna Y. Salazar, Lot 22, Section A, Marshall Townhouses, 8589 Pelham Court, Marshall, $197,000.

Braden and Ashley Harigan to Douglas B. Hendrie and Quyen T. Vu, 5 acres, Lot 4, Greenelove Acres, 4706 Greene Love Lane, near Marshall, $475,000.


Scott District

James Robbins to Zane Whitney and Megan Piccione, 1.74 acres, 6511 Grays Mill Road, near Warrenton, $325,000.

Fauquier Lakes Limited Partnership to NVR Inc., Lot 36, Phase 11-A, and Lot 73, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $385,849.

Charles F. and Sandra K. Heid to Tammy L. and Homer A. Gaouette IV, 1.18 acres, Lot 44, Phase 1, Snow Hill Subdivision, 5749 Richlands Drive, near Warrenton, $596,000.


Bear wanders through neighborhood in Warrenton

Posted Monday,
July 30, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
July 27, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: County’s heavy drinkers

Posted Friday,
July 27, 2018
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One in five Fauquier adults overindulged in 2016, according to a survey.
19 percent

Of Fauquier County’s adults drank heavily — some of them binging — in 2016, according to countyhealthrankings.org.

Put differently, more than 9,000 Fauquier residents overindulged in alcohol.

The rankings define binge drinking as men consuming more than five alcoholic beverages — or four for women — on a single occasion in the past 30 days.

Heavy drinking means averaging more than two drinks per day for men and one drink for women.

Seventeen percent of Virginia’s population drinks excessively.


$848,862

Total grants the Fauquier Free Clinic has received from the Warrenton-based PATH Foundation over the last four years.

The grants have funded “a variety of work, including behavioral telehealth services, dental services and general operations,” PATH Communications Director Amy Petty said.

The foundation formed in late 2013, endowed with proceeds of Fauquier Heath’s sale to LifePoint Health.

PATH’s predecessor, the Fauquier Health Foundation, also provided financial support for the clinic in prior years.


5.9

Inches of rain had fallen on Warrenton this month as of Thursday afternoon, according to the town’s public works and utilities department.

The town monitors precipitation and its effect on the wastewater treatment system.

In June, the town recorded 6.9 inches of rain.

Fauquier averages about 4 inches of precipitation a month.


75

Fauquier citizens have been subpoenaed to appear for jury duty Monday morning, July 30.

From that pool, 14 will get selected to hear evidence and arguments in the CVS murder trial.

Two of the 14 will be alternates and will get dismissed before deliberations begin — unless one or two of the other 12 can’t complete their service.

Only the prosecutors, defense attorneys and judge will know which seated jurors get designated as the alternates until after the closing arguments and just before deliberations start.


$71 million

Fauquier Health’s employee payroll for 2017.

Fauquier Hospital and related businesses had 1,081 employees last year.

5-day CVS manager murder trial starts Monday morning

Posted Friday,
July 27, 2018
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July 2017 murder victim Rex Olsen, who managed the CVS pharmacy in Warrenton, and defendant Bernard Duse Jr., who worked as an assistant manager at the store on Blackwell Road.
Police found Mr. Olsen’s body near the dumpster behind the CVS store the night of July 26, 2017.
I’m confident in our case, as I am with all our cases. In the end, it will be up to 12 citizens of Fauquier County to decide.
— Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher
Duse Murder Trial
• What: July 26, 2017 murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

• Victim: CVS Manager Alex Olsen, 64, of Culpeper County.

• Court: Fauquier County Circuit.

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, of Alexandria.

• Schedule: Five-day trial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 30.

• Penalty: If convicted of both charges, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge.

• Fast facts: At about 10:15 p.m. last July 26, Mr. Olsen — the store manager — left the CVS to put trash in a dumpster at the back of the property. At close range, Mr. Duse allegedly shot his boss in the back of the head. Mr. Olsen collapsed to the ground, face up. At close range, the defendant then allegedly shot him in the face. Mr. Duse at the time worked as the store’s assistant manager.

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher; Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook; Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

• Defense lawyer: John F. Carroll of Fairfax County.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A former Warrenton CVS employee who last July allegedly shot and killed his boss in the store’s parking lot goes to trial Monday in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Bernard C. Duse Jr.’s scheduled five-day trial on charges of murder and use of a firearm in committing a felony will begin with jury selection at 9:30 a.m. July 30.

The 77-year-old Mr. Duse at about 10:15 p.m. last July allegedly fired two shots into Rex Mack Olsen of Culpeper, who managed the Blackwell Road store.

As Mr. Olsen, 64, left the store that night, he put trash in a dumpster at the rear of the building.

Mr. Duse, who had filed an age discrimination claim against CVS, allegedly used a handgun to shoot Mr. Olsen at close range in the back of the head and then in the face.

“Crumpling to the pavement, the victim landed face up and the killer stood over him, shooting him a second time,” the prosecution states in court documents. “The final shot struck the victim in the face.”

Mr. Duse “had been embroiled in bitter litigation with CVS and blamed (Mr. Olsen) for sabotaging his claim against the company,” Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher wrote.

The defendant, who has remained in Winchester’s Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, worked as the store's operation manager at the time of the murder.

Police recovered no weapon, and Mr. Olsen’s mobile phone, keys and wallet got stolen from the scene, according to authorities.

But, telecommunications data tracked the movement of Mr. Olsen’s and Mr. Duse’s phones to the Alexandria area near the defendant’s home, according to the prosecution.

“Mr. Olsen’s mobile phone, which was taken from his dead body, along with Duse’s mobile phone . . . paired together, leaving (phone data) at precise points travelling from Warrenton . . . to Eastern Fairfax County,” court documents say.

During a Fauquier General District Court preliminary hearing last November, Warrenton police Sgt. Tim Carter testified that he interviewed a witness the night of the killing who heard two “firecracker” noises, “saw one man standing over another man” and “saw a bright flash in front of the hand” of Mr. Olsen’s assailant.

“We’re working hard to get the case ready to present,” Mr. Fisher said in phone interview last week. “I’m confident in our case, as I am with all our cases. In the end, it will be up to 12 citizens of Fauquier County to decide.”

Mr. Fisher will be assisted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook and Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens.

Fairfax defense lawyer John F. Carroll, who represents Mr. Duse, failed to return a phone message seeking comment.

Married without children, Mr. Duse attended the University of Pittsburgh on scholarship, served in Vietnam as an Army lieutenant and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University, according to his family.

Mr. Duse, who years ago sued IBM and Barnes & Noble over employment discrimination charges, has no prior criminal record.

In letters and the Aug. 17 general district court hearing, relatives praised him.

In a letter, one niece called Mr. Duse “a positive man of great control and restraint . . . a man of great achievement with no blemishes on his character” and said she “cannot imagine anything in his character that would lead to his current situation.”

Another niece described “Uncle Butchie” in a letter as “wondrous” and “an outstanding, kind, gentle and helping man.”

Citing Mr. Duse’s use of due process in his Barnes & Noble and IBM lawsuits, she noted that, “My uncle does not take matters into his own hands . . . . I have never ever seen him angry nor heard him raise his voice.”


Timeline

• July 26, 2017: At about 10:15 p.m., Warrenton CVS Manager Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper shot and killed in Blackwell Road store’s parking lot.

• Aug. 2: Authorities arrest Bernard C. Duse Jr. of Alexandria for first-degree murder of Mr. Olsen and use of firearm in commission of felony.

• Aug. 18: Fauquier General District Court Judge J. Gregory Ashwell denies Mr. Duse bail. The defendant returned to Winchester’s Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

• Nov. 27: Fauquier County grand jury indicts Mr. Duse on murder and weapon charges.

• Jan 3, 2018: After a hearing, Fauquier Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker approves release of Mr. Duse on a $75,000 bond.

• Feb. 12: Virginia’s Supreme Court reverses Judge Parker’s decision to grant bail to Mr. Duse. Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher challenged Judge Parker’s ruling to Virginia’s Court of Appeals, which affirmed it. Mr. Fisher then appealed the decision to Virginia’s top court and prevailed.

• Feb. 13: Fauquier’s sheriff deputies take Mr. Duse into custody; he remains at the regional adult detention center near Winchester.

• July 30: Mr. Duse’s five-day trial begins in Fauquier Circuit Court.

Throwback Thursday: Race track proposed nearby

Posted Thursday,
July 26, 2018
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July 1993: Middleburg developer and horseman James J. Wilson explains his group’s proposal for a thoroughbred race track near Haymarket, just across the Fauquier line on Route 55.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of July 30, 1993


Area ripe for race track, Wilson says

Middleburg developer and horseman James J. Wilson hopes to give the Virginia thoroughbred industry a boost.

Entering the highly-competitive sprint to become the operator of the state’s first race track, Wilson on Tuesday proposed a 600-acre sports complex west of Haymarket in Prince William County.

Less than two miles from the Fauquier County line, the proposed $40-million complex would include a 5,000-seat grandstand, a 1-1/8-mile dirt track, two international turf tracks, a polo field, a steeplechase course and riding trails.

“We want to make Virginia a showcase for the rest of the country and we want to put the Virginia thoroughbred industry back where it belongs,” said Wilson, announcing the plan at a Manassas press conference.

Heading up the proposal for the Virginia Jockey Club, Wilson explained that the group has a contract to buy the land, contingent upon winning the state license for track. Five other groups also seek the license, which the five-member Virginia Racing Commission plans to award late next year.



Airlie loses tax-exempt status

Airlie Foundation Inc., which operates a conference center on 3,000 lush acres near Warrenton, has lost a five-year legal battle to retain its federal tax-exempt status.

The foundation this month paid the Internal Revenue Service $2.6 million in back taxes and penalties, Airlie Director Doug Larson said Tuesday.

A federal judge agreed with the IRS that the 37-year-old Airlie Foundation had violated its tax-exempt status by diverting funds to benefit its founder, Dr. Murdock Head, and his family.

“This case is about Dr. Head’s empire and the various transactions within that empire that benefitted him and his family,” U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Flannery wrote in his ruling. “The empire was centered around the activities of an exempt organization for personal inurement and private benefit.”

IRS charged that Head moved money, real estate and securities among his organizations — some taxable, some not — for personal benefit and failed to report income from some transactions.

“We’re very disappointed in the judge’s decision and, quite frankly, I’m surprised,” Airlie’s attorney Jack Worland said Wednesday in a telephone interview from his Washington office.

Head received no money from Airlie other than $68,900 in rent the foundation had paid his family every year since 1960, Worland said.

The lawyer said that by mid-August he will file for an appellate court hearing.

Head refused to comment.

Despite the big check he just wrote, Larson stressed the organization remains stable: “From an operational standpoint, there will be no difference. Airlie financially is quite secure.”

He said, the conference center will have its best year ever, hosting more than 700 events and an estimated 70,000 people in 1993.


County lists home for sale

Hoping to unload Elmwood, a stately 2-1/2-story home in Old Town Warrenton, Fauquier County has listed the property with Weichert Realtors.

The county wants $229,000 for the home and commercially-zoned lot at 74 Waterloo St.

The supervisors bought the 1812 home and two other houses on almost three acres for $1.15 million two years ago. The board didn’t want the old house, but it was included in the land deal.

The county has been unable to use the vacant house for office space because it would require costly repairs to meet fire and building codes.


Arson continues on county farms

Arsonists continue to strike Northern Fauquier farms.

In the last two weeks, the sheriff’s office has launched investigations of five more fires believed to be intentionally set. Investigators meanwhile continue to search for fresh leads in the March 11 spree, which left eight barns ablaze and five horses dead. No suspects have been arrested.

Recently, arsonists have destroyed $25,000 worth of hay and a $5,000 shed.

“What really bothers me is now they’re going off roads” to burn property not visible from public rights-of-way, said Cuno Andersen, chief arson investigator for the sheriff’s office.


Dam site survey will start

Residents living near the proposed Auburn Dam site should get a few visitors in the next couple of weeks.

The U.S. Soil Conservation Service has awarded a $25,000 contract to a Woodstock firm to do the historical, architectural and archaeological study of the dam flood pool areas.

A team from Thunderbird Archaeological Associates Inc. should complete an analysis of the area by September. The study must be done to satisfy state and federal requirements.

About five miles east of Warrenton, the 78-foot-high earthen and concrete dam, planned three-tenths of a mile upstream from the village of Auburn, would provide flood control and a possible drinking water supply.


Public Notice

The Town of Warrenton Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on August 17, 1993, at 7 p.m. to hear the following item:

Gold Cup (Chasewood) Rezoning Application

The property owners, Peter and Cynthia Giudici have requested the property identified on tax maps as Parcel 72(27), PIN #6974-98-1430-000, consisting of approximately 94.73 acres, be rezoned from R-10 and R-15 classifications to Planned Unit Development (PUD) District. The property is comprehensively planned as Low Density Residential.

All those persons having interest in this application are invited to appear and address the Planning Commission on the issue. The application and all related materials are available for review in the Planning and Community Development Department, Town Hall, 18 Court Street, Warrenton, Va.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
July 26, 2018
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10 county students named AP National Scholars

Posted Thursday,
July 26, 2018
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Leadership Fauquier names 20 to its fourth class

Posted Thursday,
July 26, 2018
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Healthcare with “dignity” given to those in need

Posted Wednesday,
July 25, 2018
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Without that clinic, people would be missing work, be in pain, and some people would die.
— L. Trice Gravatte, clinic’s founding medical director (pictured seeing a patient in July 1993)
Fauquier Free Clinic
• Where: 35 Rock Point Lane, Warrenton; 491-A Main St., Washington, Va.

• Staff: 3 full-time and 14 part-time

• Executive director: Rob Marino

• Patients: 2,146 last year

• Eligible: Uninsured Fauquier and Rappahannock residents earning no more than $24,280 annually.

• Hours: By appointment Tuesday through Thursday; walk-ins start at 5 p.m. Thursday.

• Annual budget:
$1.4 million

• Phone: 540-347-0394

• Website: www.fauquierfreeclinic.org

• Facebook: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The 56-year-old farm employee from Marshall works about 40 hours a week but doesn’t get insurance through his job.

James Thornley and about 6,200 fellow Fauquier residents — or 9 percent of the county population — go without health insurance coverage, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Mr. Thornley wonders what would happen to him without the Fauquier Free Clinic.

He suffered a heart attack a decade ago. When he got a new job at a farm in Northern Fauquier five years later, he lost his insurance and struggled to buy critical prescriptions.

“Everybody can’t afford insurance,” said Mr. Thornley, who raises three grandchildren with his wife. “If it wasn’t for (the free clinic), I don’t know where I would be . . . probably dead.”

For 25 years, the Fauquier Free Clinic has provided free medical, dental and, more recently, mental health services to low-income residents of Fauquier and Rappahannock counties. 

Last year the free clinic served more than 2,100 patients.

“Obviously, we’ve touched a nerve, and we are still meeting a need,” clinic Executive Director Rob Marino said.

What started as a small, after-hours clinic at the Fauquier Health Department building in 1993 has turned into a sophisticated organization caring for “the whole patient.”

More than 250 volunteers work alongside clinicians, nurses, dentists and administrators to run the non-profit clinic.

While working as a health department volunteer, family practice physician and emergency room doctor in Fauquier 25 years ago, L. Trice Gravatte IV saw a tremendous need.

“It was sad that people were not getting care because of expense barriers, and I knew the free clinic method could get people healthcare,” Dr. Gravatte said in a recent interview.

So he came up with a solution and started the Fauquier Free Clinic with several other local doctors and dentists.

Setting up at the Fauquier Health Department on Thursday nights, volunteer physicians treated walk-in patients.

Mr. Marino recalls his first night working at the free clinic after he became executive director in 2000.

“We could only see 40 patients, max,” Mr. Marino said. “I had to go out to the people standing in line, and I had to count to 40 . . . . Anyone behind that, we couldn’t see them. It was awful. We wouldn’t open again for a week.”

In 2006, the free clinic moved to a dedicated building that Fauquier Hospital owns on West Shirley Avenue and began to see patients two days a week by appointment.

“We definitely had tight budgets,” Mr. Marino said. “But, I would never say that in my experience we had a year when we didn’t come out OK. The community has come through for us . . . . When we raise the alarm and say we’re in trouble, they always seem to come through.”

After raising $1.5 million, the free clinic in April 2015 moved into a modern office building at 35 Rock Point Lane in Warrenton with updated technology and equipment.

The move allowed the clinic to expand, with the main floor devoted to medical and mental health services, and the second floor housing dentistry.

“It’s fantastic for us,” Mr. Marino said. “Patients walk in and feel like they’re going to get good healthcare, because it looks like the place where they will and, of course, they will.

“It’s good for morale. The key is the dental, mental health care and primary care are here all together, and our doctors can talk to our dentists, counselors and psychiatrists. They can actually be a team.”

Sophia Bumbrey of Midland has relied upon the free clinic’s services on and off for about three years.

“They treat you with respect,” Ms. Bumbrey said of the staff. “They are professional. Everyone is phenomenal.”

Her family cannot afford insurance through her husband’s truck driving job, which would cost about $1,200 a month for a family plan, she said.

“When you’re sick, the last thing you need is to worry about not being able to afford it,” said Ms. Bumbrey, a 51-year-old homemaker.

She has used the dentist, physician and mental health aspects of the clinic.

“I love that they are under one roof. They are healing the whole person, regrouping you and sending you (back) out there,” she said.

Most patients who receive care at the free clinic work part-time jobs and have an average annual household income of $11,771.

Today, about 20 local doctors volunteer once every eight weeks and sometimes more often. Another 40 doctors have agreements with the clinic to see uninsured patients in their own offices, according to Mr. Marino.

In 2017, the free clinic had a budget of $1.4 million, 87 percent of which comes from foundation grants, donations and local gifts.

The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation owns the building, for which the clinic pays $1 in annual rent. The foundation also routinely gives grants to the nonprofit clinic.

“It’s one of the organizations that focuses on our four priority areas: access to health, childhood wellness, seniors and mental health,” PATH President Christy Connolly said.

“What’s especially nice is it provides a model of integrated care,” Ms. Connolly added. “There are very few places you can go to get your primary care, dental care and mental health care under one roof.”

Fauquier Health “provides diagnostic services to our patients, and they don’t charge for that, which is a huge gift,” Mr. Marino said.

“I like to think we are helping the hospital because of what we do,” he said. “I think they see it that way. This is a healthier community because of us, and the patients we see don’t really have any other place to be. If they don’t, they go to the emergency room. That’s an expensive way to get care, and often it tends to happen too late in the process.”

In 2017, Fauquier Health delivered more than $6.69 million in charity care.

The free clinic gets about $6 million worth of prescriptions donated through manufacturers’ “patient assistance programs” each year, according to Mr. Marino. It spent about $144,000 last year for drugs and medications not accessible through that program.

“At the beginning, our biggest expense was paying for prescriptions we couldn’t get any other way,” Mr. Marino said. “That’s still a big chunk of our expenses.”

Getting citizens who need help to the clinic also remains a challenge.

“We tried hard in the last few years to solve transportation problems for people, but it’s a constant nagging issue,” Mr. Marino said. “Transport to healthcare prevents people from getting healthcare.

“We have a lot of patients cancel appointments, and when they call us, they say their ride fell through.”

The clinic hopes to expand its mental health program and get patients the care they need more quickly.

“I want people not to wait for healthcare. That’s how we know if we are doing enough or not,” Mr. Marino said. “If we have to say, ‘You need a filling, but it’s not an emergency; we can give you an appointment in six weeks,’ I really don’t like that.

“This is not a Fauquier problem, it’s a nationwide problem,” he added. “You can’t do anything else if you’re sick. You can’t thrive, you can’t be good at your job, you can’t go to school and get good grades if you’re ill.”

Dr. Gravatte agreed: “The short of it is, without that clinic, people would be missing work, be in pain, and some people would die.

“They truly, through that clinic, are able to get many of the same services that people who are insured do . . . . And, it’s a way to provide dignity to those in the community who don’t have those services.”

A patient at the free clinic for about five years, Mr. Thornley knows its care has made a difference in his life.

He takes six different prescriptions for blood pressure, diabetes and his heart. He visits the clinic every six months for a checkup.

“They make sure my blood pressure and cholesterol and my diabetes is level,” Mr. Thornley said. “They’re all nice . . . . It’s like a big family.

“They’ve kept me from having another heart attack . . . so I’m thankful for them,” he said. “They need more free clinics for people like me. I couldn’t thank them enough. I don’t have the words to thank them.”


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
July 25, 2018
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County to auction airplanes for delinquent storage fees

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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Contributed Photos
Slated for auction Friday, Aug. 10, at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport, this 1961 Cessna Skyhawk appraised at $3,600.
This 1946 ER Coupe 415-C has a broken window, allowing water and birds into the cockpit. The appraiser valued it at $1,950.
We’ve had people asking about the planes. There’s some interest.
— Bryan Huff, airport flight line technician
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

They resemble the old machines that get dragged from overgrown barns on American Pickers, the History Channel hit.

Long abandoned, two small airplanes sit rusting and rotting on the tarmac at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland.

Because their owners years ago stopped paying “tie-down” rental fees, Fauquier County will auction the aircraft — a 1946 ER Coupe 415-C and a 1961 Cessna 172-C Skyhawk — on Friday, Aug. 10.

The auctions will have no reserve and no minimum bid. But, the buyer(s) must pay cash.

To her knowledge, the Fauquier’s government never has auctioned airplanes, Senior Assistant County Attorney Mary Catherine Anderson said. “This is a new thing.”

Ms. Anderson recently oversaw the auction of 11 pieces of real estate for delinquent taxes. And, years ago, the county sold some vehicles to satisfy long-overdue personal property tax bills. In her research, however, the county attorney found only one other local government in Virginia that had auctioned an airplane to satisfy delinquent fees.

“These planes are in pretty rough shape,” Ms. Anderson said. “The older one has been there a really long time.”

Tires flat and paint fading, the single-engine planes haven’t moved in years.

The older plane has a broken window, allowing water and birds into the cockpit, airport Flight Line Technician Bryan Huff said.

“But, we’ve had people asking about the planes,” Mr. Huff said Tuesday. “There’s some interest.”

State law requires that fees or taxes must be at least three years overdue before local government can begin the process of conducting an asset auction to satisfy the debt, Ms. Anderson explained.

Over the years, the owners of the two planes habitually got behind and then caught up on monthly fee payments, she said. But, they have stopped responding to notices about their delinquent accounts.

The airport charges $72 a month for a single-engine plane tie down, in which the aircraft gets lashed to hooks embedded in the pavement. At Midland, about 25 plane owners regularly lease tie downs, along with pilots who pay $5 a day for shorter stays, Mr. Huff said.

Another 150 planes park in leased hangar space there.

The delinquent owners can prevent the sale of their planes by paying the past-due fees, interest and penalties, along with an appraiser’s fee of $375 per aircraft.

That appraiser valued the 1946 plane at $1,950 and the newer Cessna at $3,600.

By comparison, a new Cessna Skyhawk costs about $400,000.

So, a buyer with skills and time might get a diamond in the rough.

“We’ll be glad just to get them out of there,” Ms. Anderson said.

The auction will take place at 11 a.m. Aug. 10 at the airport.

Click here for details.

Veteran cops hired as first school security officers

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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Jeff Crane, Fran Mahler and Sal Torelli started work last week as the first of 12 new school security officers.
When a parent sends their child to school, they want to know two things for certain: Is my child safe, and is my child learning. By adding these positions, we’ve come a long way in better addressing the first question. Clearly, our schools will be much safer places with the addition of these officers.
— Superintendent David Jeck
SSOs vs. SROs
School security officers
• School employees.
• Comply with school policies and regulations.
• Under direction of school principals or designees.
• Primarily assigned to school campus activities.
• Enforce school policies.
• Can detain individuals.
• Can search students and others, based on reasonable suspicion.
• May detain and question students.
• May act in absence of parents.
• Use of force limited and only used in accordance with school policy.

School resource officers
• Sheriff’s employees.
• Under the direction of law enforcement command.
• Assigned to school and community activities.
• Enforce state laws.
• Have arrest powers.
• Searches must comply with state and federal law.
• May use force, as guided by department policy.
The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office has hired three retired law enforcement officers to bolster security in public schools.

Jeffrey Crane, Franz Mahler and Sal Torelli started work July 16 as the county’s first school security officers.

Earning annual salaries of $32,135 each, they will help establish the school security officer program, which will have 12 employees.

The school board and county supervisors worked together to beef up campus security here after the February murder of 17 students and staff members at a Florida high school.

Mr. Mahler served with the Virginia State Police from 1989 to 2018.

Mr. Torelli recently retired as the school resource officer at Fauquier High, after working more than two decades as a Fauquier sheriff’s deputy. He also previously worked as a Prince William County police officer and a Warrenton police officer.

Mr. Crane’s experience includes 33 years with the Fauquier sheriff’s office and eight years with the state police.

As lead SSOs, Mr. Mahler and Mr. Torelli will visit other school systems to learn about their programs, coordinate training with the sheriff’s office and work with principals to establish policies for the new program.

Fauquier’s school board soon will decide whether the SSOs carry guns on campus.

Each county public high school and middle school campus already has an armed sheriff’s deputy in uniform. The sheriff’s office has employed school resource officers for almost 25 years.

The school system and sheriff’s office by fall will add three more school resource officers and a dozen school security officers at a total annual cost of $1.2 million, which includes about $265,833 in startup costs. A state grant will help fund the positions.

“When a parent sends their child to school, they want to know two things for certain: is my child safe, and is my child learning,” school Superintendent David Jeck said of the increased security.

“By adding these positions, we’ve come a long way in better addressing the first question,” Dr. Jeck added. “Clearly, our schools will be much safer places with the addition of these officers.”

Southeastern Alternative Middle and High School near Midland and Thompson and Mary Walter Elementary schools — those near the north and south ends of Fauquier — will get one SRO apiece.

The school system will place one security officer at each high school — Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty — to join the SROs.  

One SSO will work at each of the other nine elementary schools — Bradley, Brumfield, Coleman, Greenville, Miller, Pearson, Pierce, Ritchie and Smith.

School security officers will be school board employees. Their duties include maintaining order and discipline, preventing crime, investigating violations of school board policies and ensuring the safety, security and welfare of students, staff and visitors.

SSOs will report to the principals and will conduct daily building checks and drills, investigate incidents and monitor social media.

The sheriff’s office employs school resource officers, deputies who carry guns on school property and have arrest powers.

To qualify for the new security officer positions, candidates must be former law-enforcement officers who left their departments in good standing.  

The sheriff’s office vets all SSO candidates and conducts background investigations.

More than 100 candidates applied for the security specialist positions this summer, but only 13 met the requirements, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office has hired five of the 12 SSOs. Sheriff Bob Mosier will reassign Deputy Joy Miller, a former K-9 handler whose dog recently retired, as a school resource officer.

Each SSO must complete training specified by the Code of Virginia and supervised by the sheriff’s office, including firearms qualification, active shooter training and Department of Criminal Justice Services training.

“Sheriff Mosier and his team have been the ultimate partners in terms of hiring and training these officers,” Dr. Jeck said. “I can’t thank them enough for the work they have done, and I can’t thank the county enough for the providing the funding for these incredibly important positions.”

14-lot Hume subdivision sells for $2.45 million

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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A subdivision of fourteen 50-acre lots near Hume sold last week for $2.45 million.

The 776-acre property lies near the Rappahannock River, northwest of Hume. Marriott Ranch and Desert Rose Winery stand nearby.

Two of the lots have old farmhouses on them, but most of the land remains undeveloped. The Blackrock Subdivision lots range from 50 to 59.74 acres, according to county real estate records.

The buyer paid approximately $3,150 per acre or $175,000 per lot.

The Marshall District sale tops the most recent Fauquier property transfers.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers July 16-20, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Gary M. Canard to Connie R. and Debra A. Powers, 7.21 acres, 9334 Meetze Road, near Midland, $474,500.

Thomas and Maxine Hardy to Kevin J. and Kristen B. Nufer, Lot 29, Section 2, Kettle Run Forest Subdivision, 3285 Daffan Drive, Catlett, $393,000.

NVR Inc. to Erica A. and Sean N. Sullivan, 0.58 acre, Lot 15, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6411 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $570,885.

Shirley M. Jackson, by special commissioner, to Charles C. Yancey 7.88 acres, south of Midland, $67,000.

Richard J. and Mary A. Canney to Nicolas C. and Kolby A. Berry, 2.91 acres, 7619 Kennedy Road, near Nokesville, $465,000.

George R. and Penny N. Houston to Argent Development LLC and Surrey Homes LLC, 2.81 acres, 7699 Kennedy Road, near Nokesville, $294,500, foreclosure.

NVR Inc. to Donald Farmer and Cynthia Benitez, 0.58 acre, Lot 52, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 7780 Warrenton Chase Drive, near Warrenton, $481,265.

Lester E. Davis to Scott Jacobs, 0.92 acre, 3349 Catlett Road, near Catlett, $82,000.

Charles and Jennifer Rath to Brandin L. Rosa and Robert S. Moss, 1.14 acres, Lot 13, Section 1, Warrenton Village Subdivision, 7371 Crown Lane, near Warrenton, $399,000.

Raymond J. and Rebecca Barnard to David C. Cook II and Wendy I. Lavilla, 1.69 acres, Lot 1, Moore Division, 5087 Old Auburn Road, near Warrenton, $429,000.

James E. and Susan W. Frankowski to Nicholas D. Wells and Trisha D. Attai, 2.52 acres, Lot 24, Phase 2, Auburn Crossing Subdivision, 7737 Overbrook Drive, near Catlett, $625,000.

PMC Reo Trust 2015-1 to Ken and Natalie Ortbert, 10.05 acres, Lot 10-A1, Casanova Hills Subdivision, 8747 Country View Drive, near Casanova, $345,000.

Richard W. Townley, trustee, to Justin D. Duvall, 15.73 acres, Lot 42, Blackwood Forest Subdivision, Gold Rush Lane, near Morrisville, $152,900.


Center District

Shirley Kushner to Charles J. and Kathleen C. Martin, Lot 99, Section C, Bear Wallow Knolls Subdivision, 561 Tiffany Court, Warrenton, $273,000.

Michael and Kimberly Forsten to Thomas L. and Sharon K. McKinley, 0.67 acre, Lot 6, Hastings Ridge Subdivision, 397 Willow Court, Warrenton, $525,000.

Joyce and Robert Tuholski to Kevin E. and Theresa M. Barty, Lot 56, Chestnut Turn Subdivision, 7255 Chestnut Court, near Warrenton, $360,000.

SCG Properties D LLC to N&P Renovations LLC, Lot 75, Block 3, Foxhills Subdivision, 167 Piedmont St., Warrenton, $185,000.


Lee District

NVR Inc. to Jennifer Hogan, Lot 156, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 4114 Clarke St., Bealeton, $538,304.

Ryan M. and Heather W. Michnya to Anthony H. and Monica J. Lawrence, Lot 44, Phase 1, Riverton Subdivision, 12226 Remland Court, Remington, $344,000.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lot 153, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, Bealeton, $108,285.

NVR Inc. to Joshua and Nikia M. Sandwell, Lot 71, Phase 3, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, 2245 Sedgwick Drive, Remington, $284,905.

Donald G. and Priscilla J. Neault to David O. and Kelley A. Mullikin, 26.15 acres and 2.1 acres, Lot E, English Meadows Farms Subdivision, 10070 Lees Mill Road, near Warrenton, $990,000.

Shirley B. Kushner to Min Goers, Lot 26, Phase 1, Wankoma Village Subdivision, 212 Wankoma Drive, Remington, $150,000.

Ronald H. and Eileen R. Deslauriers to Scott M. and Nicole D. Guskiewicz, Lot 107, Phase 3, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 11170 Eagle Court, Bealeton, $415,000.

Raymond W. and Shannon F. Hrabe Ronald H. and Eileen R. Deslauriers, Lot 150, Phase 4, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 10941 Southcoate Village Drive, Bealeton, $399,500.

Eric M. Dodge to Haydee D. Vigil, Lot 55, Phase 2, Section 1, The Meadows Subdivision, 12167 David Court, near Remington, $273,000.

NVR Inc. to David W. and Rose C. Ditmer, Lot 11, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 2984 Revere St., Bealeton, $490,938.

Joshua P. and Holly F. Newell to Gregory E. and Brittany R. Elliott, 1.67 acres, Lot 41, Section 2, English Meadows Subdivision, 9881 Molloy Way, near Warrenton, $407,000.

Diane M. Elam, Denise E. Brown and Michael T. Elam to Michael T. and Deborah H. Elam, trustees, Lot 42, Perrow’s Addition to Remington Subdivision, 12027 N. Duey Road, Remington, $90,000.


Marshall District

Cynthia A. Griffith to Maicol A.A. Garcia and Abel L. Ayala, 10,096 square feet, 4237 Warren St., Marshall, $249,000.

Jonathan and Carly E. Willard to Jay and Rosemary McNenny, 5.76 acres, 7603 Cannonball Gate Road, near Warrenton, $330,000.

Ralph E. and Mary Jane P. Williams to Dominic S. and Jennifer M. Timm, 2.19 acres, 9280 Patrick St., Upperville, $265,000.

Patrick J. and Jeanne M. Kidwell to Kenneth M. and Courtney E. Pomietto, 14.29 acres, 10139 Brown Moore Lane, near Orlean, $719,000.

Robert B. Rollins II to Jonathan Zimmer, 99.74 acres, 10244 John Mosby Highway, near Upperville, mostly in Loudoun County, not assessed or taxed in Fauquier, $1,685,000.

Mary Ann G. Ronald, successor trustee, to Theodore A. and Cori S. Kramer, 10.21 acres, Lot 34, Fleetwood Farms Subdivision, near Delaplane, $195,000.

Blackrock Limited Partnership to Jay D. Cecca, Lots 1-14, Hume Road, near Hume, $2,450,000.

Finkl Enterprises LLC, James B. Finkl as managing member, to Douglas C. King, 20.57 acres, 4585 Piney Branch Lane, near The Plains, $750,000.

Mark P. and Kimberly M. Bibb to Ericka M. and Michael A. Ferrette Jr., 1.8 acres, Lot 14, Edgehill Subdivision, 7475 Edgehill Drive, near Warrenton, $413,000.

NVP Inc. to Christopher D. and Keri L. Reams, Lot 3, Stone Crest Subdivision, 9037 Stone Crest Drive, near Warrenton, $598,000.


Scott District

Fauquier Lakes Limited Partnership to Lakeside Homes LLC, Lot 8, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, $187,500.

John and Darlene Case to Christopher J. Martz, 1.15 acres, Lot 31, South Hill Estates Subdivision, 5178 South Hill Drive, near Warrenton, $430,000.

Scott A. and Jessica A. Briggs to Kimberly L. Mignano and Eric A. Stierle, Lot 34, Phase 8-B, Brookside Subdivision, 3950 Lake Ashby Court, near Warrenton, $499,000.

David O. and Kelley A. Mullikin to Karen E. Knaut, Lot 14, Phase 2, Steeplechase Woods Subdivision, 4543 Canter Lane, near Warrenton, $595,000.

Michael F. Thomson to Saberton Co. LLC, 1 acre, Lot 2, Buckland Oaks Subdivision, Georgetown Road, near Broad Run, $114,995.

Joe L. and Susan M. Dove to Michael and Julia K. Diaz, 1.22 acres, Lot 48-R Section 1, Addition to Marstella Estates Subdivision, 7323 Auburn Mill Road, near Warrenton, $387,900.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Charles P. and Jenna Pipkins, Lot 68, Phase 14-D, Brookside Subdivision, 4686 Gates Road, near Warrenton, $703,225.

Lillian D. Bschorr, trustee, to John M. and Amy L. Calligan, 2.26 acres, 2806 Crenshaw Road, near Marshall, $560,000.

NVR Inc. to Steve and Denise Case, Lot 7, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4012 Lake Ashby Court, near Warrenton, $558,820.

Anthony J. and Wanda E. Occhionero to Jeff and Elizabeth Pasquino-Greco, 1.76 acres, Lot 72-R, Phase 2, Snow Hill Subdivision, 6595 Chesapeake Place, near Warrenton, $791,500.

Keith and Elizabeth Cox to Raymond W. and Shannon F. Hrabe, Lot 37, Phase 13-A, Brookside Subdivision, 7171 Shepherdstown Road, near Warrenton, $539,900.

Glenn A. and Monika M. Anderson to Joseph M. and Julia A. Vogatsky, 3 acres, South Run Road, near New Baltimore, $175,500.

Barbara Romney, trustee, to Barbara E. Bramlette and Mary K. Irick, Unit 46, Suffield Meadows Condominiums, 6739 Stream Valley Lane, near Warrenton, $429,000.

Ameka and Shane Williams to Vincent P. and Sarika Vella, Lot 45, Phase 12-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4609 Bee Court, near Warrenton, $469,900.

What do you think of teacher pay in Fauquier public schools?

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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Liberal calls to abolish ICE would leave us vulnerable

Posted Tuesday,
July 24, 2018
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Walker Drive development lawsuit will continue

Posted Monday,
July 23, 2018
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The judge’s ruling dismisses most of the plaintiff’s claims against the town but allows them to attempt to prove that increased traffic would cause particular harm to those who live on Hidden Creek Lane, directly across Walker Drive from the proposed mixed-use development.
The six plaintiffs who live on Hidden Creek Lane will have a chance to prove particular harm from increased Walker Drive traffic.
We’re very much alive. The judge is making it pretty clear that my clients have standing.
— Bradley G. Pollack, plaintiffs’ attorney
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Six Warrenton residents who live across Walker Drive from a planned mixed-use development have won a preliminary battle in their lawsuit to stop the project.

The Warrenton Town Council a year ago acted properly in rezoning the property for a large mixed-use development along Walker Drive, but nearby residents still have an opportunity to prove that increased traffic could cause them particular harm, a Fauquier judge ruled last week.

Those residents of Hidden Creek Lane will have about a month to file additional information to make their case in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

But, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker’s ruling dismisses eight of the plaintiffs’ 10 counts argued during a two-hour hearing June 15. Judge Parker also ruled that plaintiff William J. Semple, who organized the lawsuit, has no legal standing to challenge the town council decision.

Mr. Semple and his wife live on Falmouth Street, overlooking but not adjacent to the 31-acre development site. He could appeal that decision to a higher court.

But, the other plaintiffs — Carol Hegwood, Lee T. Rowland, Kathlyn Rowland, Craig A. Updike, Elbert Michael Ussery and Elizabeth S. Ussery — can proceed in the local court.

“Unlike Mr. Semple, these Plaintiffs by virtue of their location to the proposed development site property line, are potentially impacted more directly by the zoning changes, as supported by the attached exhibits to the Amended Complaint,” Judge Parker wrote in his seven-page ruling. “The only access to their homes for these residents is by Walker Drive.

“It is alleged that the increased traffic is a safety hazard which cannot be circumnavigated or avoided, and the projected increase in traffic will effect significant delays in accessing their homes.”

> Document at bottom of story

Mr. Semple said: “They are the ones who live right across from the development. They are the ones who would have to live with 500 to 900 percent more traffic.”

Woodstock lawyer Bradley G. Pollack represents those plaintiffs. Although not a lawyer, Mr. Semple has represented himself in the lawsuit, filed in August.

“We’re very much alive,” Mr. Pollack said Monday. “The judge is making it pretty clear that my clients have standing.”

After a first hearing on the case in November, Judge Parker ruled they had failed to demonstrate that the project — if constructed as approved — would cause harm particular to them, not shared by the public generally.

But, the judge gave the plaintiff’s an opportunity to amend the lawsuit in an effort to establish legal standing to challenge the rezoning from industrial to mixed use.

A third hearing on the lawsuit probably will take place this fall.

After three work sessions and two public hearings, Warrenton’s planning commission in February 2017 voted, 6-1, to recommend denial of the rezoning.

That May, the town council held a work session on the proposal.

After a two-hour public hearing last July, the council voted, 6-1, to approve the revised proposal. Councilman Sean Polster (At-large) cast the dissenting vote.

The plan calls for offices, shops, restaurants, 76 apartments, 40 condominiums and, possibly, a multiscreen movie theater and/or a bowling alley. The property lies between the Eastern Bypass and Walker Drive, with East Lee Street along its south side.

One of the development’s main entrances would lie directly across from Hidden Creek Lane, with stop signs on both sides and free-flowing, north-south traffic on Walker Drive.

Walker Drive Lawsuit Opinion July 18, 2018 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Renee’s Gourmet offers “fine and fast” lunch

Posted Monday,
July 23, 2018
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Mary Tremblay prepares tuna sandwiches for the busy lunch spot in Old Town Warrenton.
It’s a little hole in the wall, but we see repeat customers, and we get to know their names and a little of their story. It’s like ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name.
— Renée Yount
Renee’s Gourmet
• What: Café serving soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts to go or eat in.

• Where: 15 S. Third St., Warrenton

• Owner: Renée Yount

• Employees: 4 part-time

• Seats: Five inside, 14 outside

• Price range: $5 to $8.95 for soups, salads or sandwiches; most items $5.95.

• Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.

• Phone: 540-347-2935

• Facebook: Click here

• Website: reneestogo.com
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The aromas of bacon and brownies waft through the small café on a Thursday morning.

Tucked away on South Third Street in Old Town Warrenton, Renee’s Gourmet in a few hours will start to buzz with lawyers, county employees, physical therapists and other customers.

But at 10:30 a.m., owner Renée Yount and three employees prep “awesome chili,” tuna sandwiches, salads and desserts before the café opens.

“I’m trying to do something like you would find in someone’s kitchen,” Ms. Yount says.

A staple of Warrenton’s lunch crowd for almost 15 years, Renee’s Gourmet offers “fine and fast” food that customers can grab for lunch “in two minutes and they’re out,” she says.

Ms. Yount, 64, stands behind the counter helping customers select their favorite cold or hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, slices of quiche and homemade sweets.

French music plays as the lunch crowd filters into the shop. About 15 customers visit during the first 45 minutes the café opens on a Thursday in mid-July.

Most customers grab lunch and take it back to their offices, but some go outside to the patio which seats about 14.

“It’s a little hole in the wall, but we see repeat customers, and we get to know their names and a little of their story,” Ms. Yount says. “It’s like ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name.”

She estimates that 75 percent of customers have been coming to the café for several years.

Doreen Fawcett and Lindsay Hill from Blue Ridge Orthopedic & Spine Center visit on their lunch break and like the convenient location of the café.

“You can always count on whatever you get being good,” Ms. Fawcett says. “It’s very clean.”

“I feel like I’m going home (for lunch), but not my home because it’s not this good,” Ms. Hill says. “The BLT is to die for and the she crab soup is so good.”

A former French teacher at Highland School and county resident for more than 35 years, Ms. Yount knows most of her customers.

“Almost everyone who comes in is a friend or becomes a friend,” she says. “I know their name; we chat and I know a little bit about them. It makes (the job) fun.”

Originally from Quebec, Ms. Yount moved to Fauquier County in 1981.

“I came from a large family with nine siblings, and my mom always cooked in quantity and quality,” Ms. Yount says. “She always had soup on, ready for any drop-in visitor. I love the concept of soup and sandwiches.”

A passion for cooking led Ms. Yount to purchase the former “Claire’s Too” café in 2004 from Claire’s at the Depot owner, Claire Lamborne.

Ms. Yount bought the one-story building for $268,000, according to county real estate records.

Part of her secret to success lies in her employees, Ms. Yount says. “I have great staff who are very loyal, friendly and helpful.”

The she crab soup — available every Friday — and BLT sandwiches remain popular items with customers. Ms. Yount also rotates about 60 different soups.

“I’ve learned what people like over the years,” Ms. Yount says. “I’ve tweaked it to where I know what customers want, so there’s little waste.

“Salads, especially if you put a variety of things on it, become more attractive as a meal.”

Ms. Yount also does lunch catering on weekdays and customers can always call ahead to order a hot sandwich.

Over the years, Ms. Yount considered opening on weekends or expanding the hours for breakfast or dinner on weekdays, but she decided to keep things simple.

“I’m selfish and want weekends to myself,” she says. “Just lunch keeps me happy and customers seem to enjoy it.”

Gene Brady who works at the CFC Farm & Home Center in Warrenton grabs lunch at Renee’s almost every day.

“This is the best place ever to eat,” Mr. Brady says. “The scallop chowder is the best chowder I’ve ever had . . . . I’m Renee’s biggest fan.”

Fridays rank as the busiest days, with up to 120 customers during the “lunch crunch” between noon and 2 p.m., Ms. Yount says.

Bethany O’Neill from Front Royal, her daughter Emma and a friend visited Renee’s on Thursday.

“It looked cute from the outside. They had a really great selection of sandwiches,” Ms. O’Neill says. The food is “nice and fresh. They made the BLT on the spot. It was nice that they had some already prepared sandwiches as well.”

“I like the homey vibe,” Emma says.

“Happy customers and happy staff” make the job rewarding, Ms. Yount says. “It’s not like I’m making a fortune, but it’s good. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s not a hobby. I do make money.”

Utilizing the small, 667-square-foot space, she has created a niche café in Warrenton.

“I wish I had room to sell ice cream or have a drive-thru,” she says.

Ms. Yount remembers coming to Old Town Warrenton in the 1980s, when two Main Street pharmacies had lunch counters and Napoleon’s restaurant provided one of the few other options.

“Today, there are choices,” she says. “I think restaurants are a magnet for people to visit places.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
July 23, 2018
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Fauquier Health’s owner announces merger plan

Posted Monday,
July 23, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Since late 2013, Fauquier Hospital has operated as part of a publicly-traded corporation. But, after its proposed merger with RCCH HealthCare Providers, LifePoint Health would be a privately-held company.
LifePoint and RCCH are aligned in our missions and commitment to ensuring that non-urban communities across the country have access to quality care, close to home. Together, we can extend this shared focus while generating new opportunities for growth and partnerships that will help us navigate the changing healthcare industry dynamics.
— William F. Carpenter III, LifePoint chairman and CEO
Fauquier Health would revert to private ownership under a proposed corporate merger announced Monday morning.

Publicly-traded LifePoint Health Inc., which owns the Warrenton hospital and related assets, announced its intention to merge with RCCH HealthCare Providers. Both companies have their headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn., near Nashville.

LifePoint purchased an 80-percent stake in then-not-for-profit Fauquier Health in late 2013 and the remaining 20 percent interest earlier this year.

Funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC own RCCH HealthCare Providers.

If the merger goes through, LifePoint stockholders would receive $65 per share — a 36-percent premium on the stock’s closing price of $47.90 Friday, July 20.

The proposed merger has a value of $5.6 billion.

The merger would produce a privately held company operating under the LifePoint Health name and led by William F. Carpenter III, chairman and chief executive officer of LifePoint.

The combined company would operate 84 “non-urban” hospitals in 30 states.

The companies issued this press release Monday morning:

Brentwood, TN, July 23, 2018 – LifePoint Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPNT) (“LifePoint”) and RCCH HealthCare Partners (“RCCH”), which is owned by certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Apollo”), today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge. Upon closing of the transaction, LifePoint shareholders will receive $65.00 per share in cash for each share of LifePoint common stock they own, resulting in a LifePoint enterprise value of approximately $5.6 billion, including $2.9 billion of net debt and minority interest. The purchase price represents a premium of approximately 36% to LifePoint’s closing share price on July 20, 2018, the last trading day prior to the announcement.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will be privately held, operate under the LifePoint Health name and be led by William F. Carpenter III, chairman and chief executive officer of LifePoint.

LifePoint and RCCH are among the nation’s leading healthcare providers, owning and operating networks of hospitals, post-acute service providers and outpatient centers that are integral to their communities. Both companies share a commitment to providing high quality care to regional markets. The combination of these two companies will create an even stronger healthcare provider with pro forma 2017 revenues of more than $8 billion as well as 7,000 affiliated physicians, approximately 60,000 employees and more than 12,000 licensed beds. Following the close of the transaction, LifePoint will operate a diversified portfolio of healthcare assets, including 84 non-urban hospitals in 30 states, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute service providers, with leading market positions as the sole community healthcare provider in the majority of the regions it serves. The combined company intends to maintain strategic partnerships with well-known leaders in patient safety and clinical quality to bring leading practices in quality and patient safety to each of its communities.

William F. Carpenter III, chairman and chief executive officer of LifePoint, said, “LifePoint and RCCH are aligned in our missions and commitment to ensuring that non-urban communities across the country have access to quality care, close to home. Together, we can extend this shared focus while generating new opportunities for growth and partnerships that will help us navigate the changing healthcare industry dynamics. I am eager to work with the outstanding teams at LifePoint and RCCH as we continue advancing high quality patient care and Making Communities Healthier.”

Martin Rash, chairman and chief executive officer of RCCH, said, “The opportunity to join with LifePoint marks a significant milestone in RCCH’s history. The size, scale and focus on growth for the new organization will be impactful for our patients, employees and partners. I am thrilled that these two great companies are coming together.”

Matthew Nord, a senior partner at Apollo, said, “We are excited that LifePoint and RCCH are combining to create a national leader in community-based healthcare, and are looking forward to the next chapter of the combined company’s growth.”

Following the close of the transaction, the combined company will be named LifePoint Health, and the company’s headquarters will continue to be in Brentwood, Tennessee, where both companies’ headquarters are currently located.

The transaction is expected to be completed over the course of the next several months, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by LifePoint’s shareholders and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the LifePoint Board of Directors, LifePoint may actively solicit alternative acquisition proposals during a 30-day period following the execution date of the definitive agreement, continuing until 12:01 a.m. ET on August 22, 2018. There can be no assurances that this process will result in a superior proposal, and LifePoint does not intend to discuss any developments with regard to this process unless and until the LifePoint Board of Directors makes a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.

Financing is being provided by Barclays, Citigroup, RBC Capital Markets and Credit Suisse. PSP Investments Credit USA LLC and an affiliate of Qatar Investment Authority have also committed to provide a portion of the debt financing. The financing also includes an equity contribution from funds managed by Apollo.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to LifePoint and White & Case LLP is acting as legal advisor. Barclays and MTS Health Partners, L.P. are acting as financial advisors to RCCH, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP are acting as legal advisors.

About LifePoint
LifePoint Health is a leading healthcare company dedicated to Making Communities Healthier®. Through its subsidiaries, it provides quality inpatient, outpatient and post-acute services close to home. LifePoint owns and operates community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities in 22 states. It is the sole community healthcare provider in the majority of the non-urban communities it serves. More information about the company can be found at http://www.LifePointHealth.net All r.eferences to “LifePoint,” “LifePoint Health” or the “Company” used in this release refer to affiliates or subsidiaries of LifePoint Health, Inc.

About RCCH
RCCH HealthCare Partners works with communities to build strong regional healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, RCCH HealthCare Partners operates 16 regional health systems in 12 states. RCCH HealthCare Partners has more than 14,000 employees and 2,500 affiliated physicians and mid-level providers. For more information, visit http://www.RCCHHealth.com.

About Apollo
Apollo is a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Bethesda, London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Apollo had assets under management of approximately $247 billion as of March 31, 2018 in credit, private equity, and real assets funds invested across a core group of nine industries where Apollo has considerable knowledge and resources. For more information about Apollo, please visit http://www.apollo.com.

Additional information and Where to Find It
This communication relates to the proposed merger transaction involving LifePoint. In connection with the proposed merger, LifePoint plans to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) preliminary and definitive proxy statements and other relevant documents. This communication is not a substitute for the proxy statement or any other document that LifePoint may file with the SEC or send to its stockholders in connection with the proposed merger. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, STOCKHOLDERS OF LIFEPOINT ARE URGED TO READ ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, INCLUDING THE PROXY STATEMENT, WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain the proxy statement and other documents filed by LifePoint with the SEC (when available) free of charge at the SEC’s website, http://www.sec.gov and L,ifePoint’s website, http://www.LifePointHealth.net.

Participants in the Solicitation
LifePoint and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the holders of LifePoint common stock in respect to the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of LifePoint is set forth in LifePoint’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2018 and proxy statement for its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders, filed with the SEC on April 25, 2018. Additional information regarding potential participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in the proxy statement and other relevant documents to be filed by LifePoint with the SEC in respect of the proposed transaction.

Forward-Looking Statements
This communication contains certain information, including statements as to the expected timing, completion and effects of the proposed merger involving LifePoint, which may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. Such forward looking statements include, among others, statements about the benefits of the proposed transaction, including future financial and operating results, plans, objectives, expectations for LifePoint and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based on the current beliefs and expectations of the management of LifePoint and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties outside of LifePoint’s control. These risks and uncertainties include the possibility that the anticipated benefits from the proposed transaction will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time periods; the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstances that could give rise to termination of the proposed transaction agreement; the failure of LifePoint’s stockholders to adopt the merger agreement; operating costs, loss and business disruption (including, without limitation, difficulties in maintaining relationships with employees, customers or suppliers) may be greater than expected following the announcement of the proposed transaction; the retention of certain key employees at LifePoint; risks associated with the disruption of management’s attention from ongoing business operations due to the proposed transaction; the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals of the proposed transaction or the receipt of such approvals subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the risk that a condition to closing the transaction may not be satisfied on a timely basis or at all; the risk that the proposed transaction fails to close for any other reason; the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the proposed transaction; the parties’ ability to meet expectations regarding the timing and completion of the proposed transaction; the impact of the proposed transaction on LifePoint’s credit rating; and other risks described in LifePoint’s Form 10- K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Except as otherwise required by law, LifePoint does not undertake any obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update, alter or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Alwygnton Manor studied for housing development

Posted Friday,
July 20, 2018
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Built in 1855, Alwygnton Manor stands on 5.2 acres at Falmouth Street and Old Meetze Road.
Evergreene Homes produced this conceptual plan with 13 single-family home lots.
I want them to examine everything, before it becomes residential. If it becomes residential, it better be a creative solution to retaining the manor house.
— Warrenton Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

One concept for the Warrenton wedding and events venue calls for demolishing Alwyngton Manor and subdividing the property into 13 home lots.

Evergreene Homes’ other plan would preserve the 1855 house and create seven new lots on the 5.2-acre site at Falmouth Street and Old Meetze Road.

Town staff members on July 11 met with Lionel W. Carter, whose company has a Northern Virginia office, to discuss those and other potential uses of Alwyngton Manor.

“It’s still in the early stages,” town Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer said. “Staff wants to work with them on solutions that will be in the best interest of the community.

“For the most part, I don’t think they incorporated much creativity in the way of retaining the manor house.”

Evergreene’s two plans show a small park and lots up to 15,000 square feet that would be served by a cul-de-sac off Falmouth Street.

During last week’s meeting, Ms. Schaeffer produced two sketches that retained the manor house and showed five to nine new home sites, small park areas, a trail connection and a road that would bisect the property to link Falmouth Street and Old Meetze Road.

Town staff members underscored the importance of preserving mature trees and better shared open space and road “connectivity.”

Mr. Carter and the town staff also talked about additional potential uses of the house, including a restaurant, community meeting space or a residence. Capt. John Quincy Marr, the first Confederate killed in combat during the Civil War, built the home for his family.

They also discussed continued use of the manor house as a four-room bed-and-breakfast.

“He wasn’t opposed to examining alternatives to residential” redevelopment of the property, Ms. Schaeffer said of Mr. Carter, who failed to return messages seeking comment. “He seemed very receptive to feedback.”

But Mr. Carter, a principal with Evergreene Homes, questioned the viability of operating a restaurant in the manor house.

The property has industrial zoning. But Warrenton’s comprehensive plan ultimately envisions residential use of the site.

The property would require rezoning for residential use. That process involves public hearings before the town planning commission and the town council, which has final authority.

No matter how the property develops, “I want them to examine everything, before it becomes residential,” Ms. Schaeffer explained. “If it becomes residential, it better be a creative solution to retaining the manor house.”

The planning director called Alwyngton Manor an “important piece of real estate” because of the structure’s age, beauty, location and local “landmark” status for many residents.

Mostly for those reasons, Ms. Schaeffer believes Alwyngton Manor requires sensitive, careful planning.

But, the property lies outside of the town’s historic district and thus beyond the Warrenton Architectural Review Board’s purview.

While Evergreene’s concepts represent a “good starting point,” the town staff seeks a “more innovative design that is not a typical subdivision with a cul-de-sac for such a key piece of land,” she said.

Other developers have inquired about Alwyngton Manor, said owner Sherry Worsham, who indicated she may decide to keep the property and continue to operate it as a wedding and events center.

For tax purposes, the county values the property at $1.2 million.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
July 20, 2018
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How often do you eat prepared food from a convenience store?

Posted Friday,
July 20, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Bridges big and small

Posted Friday,
July 20, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
One of 222 VDOT bridges in Fauquier, this one carries Belvoir Road (Route 709) traffic over Interstate 66 west of The Plains and east of Marshall. VDOT also maintains 115 culverts in the county.
337

The number of Fauquier County bridges and culverts that the Virginia Department of Transportation maintains.

The total includes 222 bridges and 115 culverts found here:

• 202 on secondary roads.

• 91 on primary roads.

• 39 on Interstate 66.

• 5 on frontage roads.


2,500

Bottles of wine in The Ashby Inn & Restaurant’s inventory.

With the largest selection of any Fauquier restaurant, The Ashby has about 705 labels from five states and 15 countries.

Wine Spectator magazine recently gave the restaurant at Paris in Northern Fauquier its “Best of Award of Excellence” — the publication’s second-highest rating.

No other Fauquier restaurant this year received a Wine Spectator award.

The Ashby Inn has received the magazine’s annual “Best of Award of Excellence” for the last four years.

Per-bottle menu prices begin at $28. Thomas Jefferson’s favorite dessert wine — Chateau d’ Yquem — ranks as The Ashby’s most expensive bottle at $825.

Wine Spectator gave only one Virginia restaurant its top rating — The Inn at Little Washington, which has about 2,000 labels and 13,125 bottles of wine. The Inn received its first “Grand Award” in 1995.


23

The number of full- and part-time teacher vacancies in Fauquier County Public Schools as of Thursday afternoon.

As of June 1, the county’s human resources department has hired 91 new teachers.

Of Fauquier’s 968 teachers for the upcoming school year, 60 have taught in the county for more than 30 years.

Teachers will return to work Wednesday, Aug. 8, and classes start one week later.


9 percent

Of Fauquier residents 64 and younger had no health insurance in 2015, according to countyhealthrankings.org. The organization put the number of uninsured here at 5,475 people.

That year, 10 percent of Virginia’s residents had no health insurance.

The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Health Insurance Estimates program.


$1.11 million

The amount the Fauquier County school system plans to spend on textbooks during fiscal 2019, which began July 1.

That represents 5.6 percent ($66,128) less than last year’s textbook spending total of $1.18 million.

Fauquier has 21 schools and about 11,000 students.

5 De Mayo convenience store relocates in Bealeton

Posted Friday,
July 20, 2018
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Photos/Cassandra Brown
Delmi Velasquez operated her store in rented space nearby for about a decade.
The 113-year-old building’s interior features elegant woodwork.
It’s right on the way home. I’m from Mississippi, and right across the street where I lived there was a Mexican restaurant . . . . I’m a very international food guy.
— J.C. Howell, customer from Culpeper
5 De Mayo
• What: Convenience store selling drinks, food, candy, medicine, beer, Latin American spices, baked goods, vegetables, money transfer services, and other items.

• Where:
11222 Remington Road, Bealeton.

• Owners: Delmi and Oscar Velasquez.

• Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

• Building: Two stories, 3,800 square feet, constructed in 1905.

• Facebook: Click here

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Colorful piñatas, tortillas, beverages and spices line the shelves of the general store near the train tracks in Bealeton.

Opening the 5 De Mayo convenience store in a new location this week, Delmi Velasquez has breathed life into the 100-year-old building at the busy corner of Remington and Schoolhouse roads.

“My inspiration is to help people, especially Spanish people . . . to have food for them and different groceries and help them send money,” Ms. Velasquez said.

A steady flow of customers arrived Tuesday evening, buying tortillas for dinner or a quick snack.

J.C. Howell of Culpeper stopped after work in to buy tortillas, cheese and Mexican cookies.

“It’s right on the way home,” Mr. Howell said. “I’m from Mississippi, and right across the street where I lived there was a Mexican restaurant . . . . I’m a very international food guy.”

He hopes to come back when the store has fresh tamarind fruit.

“I like to explore different foods,” Mr. Howell said.

Ms. Velasquez had operated the business for about a decade in a building on Route 17, near the Little Caesar’s Pizza in Bealeton.

But, when the lease expired in December her landlord didn’t renew it, she said.

Searching for a new home, Ms. Velasquez and her husband, Oscar, looked at renting other spaces in Bealeton or Warrenton but ultimately decided to purchase a building.

In February, they purchased the old Bealeton General Store and an adjacent house on more than half an acre for $530,000.

Former owner James Cheatham purchased the property about 10 years ago and spent more than $100,000 on renovations to both buildings, including adding 18 parking spaces.

The convenience store will occupy the first floor of the commercial building and sell medications, beverages, sweet Quesadilla bread, homemade tamales, ice cream, fresh tamarind, bananas and vegetables, among other items. When Ms. Velasquez gets her state ABC license in the next few weeks, she will stock beer.

“Americans who love international food and Spanish people” shop at the store regularly, she said. “Especially when you sell beer, everyone comes.”

She also offers a money transfer service for customers who need to send money to relatives in other countries.

Store regulars for about 10 years, Kim Mendoza and her mom Noemi Reyes of Remington stopped by Tuesday for tortillas and medicine.

“It’s very convenient, and it has lots of things we don’t have to travel far for,” Ms. Mendoza said. “It’s much cheaper than going to Food Lion.”

On occasion, they transfer money to Ms. Mendoza’s grandmother in Mexico.

Ms. Velasquez plans to rent the second floor space to a commercial tenant, possibly as a hair salon.

“It’s ready for anything,” she said.

Originally from El Salvador, Ms. Velasquez lived in Falls Church before moving to Bealeton in 2005. Prior to buying 5 De Mayo, she cleaned houses and did other small jobs. Her husband owns a landscaping business.

Ms. Velasquez will have a grand opening celebration for the convenience store within the next two weeks.

In the future she hopes to open a deli and sell meats, as she did at the previous location.

“I have a lot of customers who buy meat for cookouts,” she said. “My goal is to have a kitchen and sell traditional food from different countries — pupusas (corn tortillas stuffed with filling) and carne asada (sliced grilled beef).”

On a busy corner near several condominium buildings, the store operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Ms. Velasquez plans to hire two employees and to install seating on the porch so people can enjoy snacks and watch the trains go by.

Perfect time of year for a batch of Gazpacho

Posted Thursday,
July 19, 2018
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Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

This time of summer provides the greatest rewards for gardeners, master or novice.

Gardens teem with ripe tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and much more. It delights me most when my tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers all ripen at the same time. All serve as key ingredients for my favorite summer soup — Gazpacho.

Gazpacho originated in Spain. A variety of raw vegetables go into this easy-to-make cold soup, perfect for weather. Gazpacho works perfectly as an appetizer, but you also can serve it as a meal.

Ingredients

2 large cucumbers
2 green peppers, cored and seeded
4 large tomatoes or 8 plum tomatoes, cored
1 small red onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced (equal to 1 tablespoon)
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 small can (11-½ ounces) of V-8 Juice (optional)

First taste each cucumber for bitterness. Peeling it might get rid of the bitterness. Cut the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and red onions all into 1-inch pieces.

Using the steel blade in your food processor, chop each vegetable and then transfer to a large bowl. With all of the vegetables chopped and in the bowl, add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend well.

At this point ,taste it for consistency and seasoning. You might find you like it thicker, or want to leave it alone. But, I’ve found one small can of V-8 thins it ever so slightly.

None of the measurements has to be exact, but this is a great place to start. As with most any soup, the longer it chills or rests, the better it tastes.

Before serving, stir again. For the finishing touch, add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with some fresh chopped chives, basil leaves or chopped avocado.

> Click here for information about Ellen’s cookbook, No Sacrifices — Entertaining Gluten-Free


“Good Bugs, Bad Bugs” garden seminar July 31

Posted Thursday,
July 19, 2018
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Another data center planned near Warrenton

Posted Thursday,
July 19, 2018
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Google Earth
Seattle-based Vadata Inc. invested at least $200 million and received Fauquier County economic development incentives to build this data center at the federal government’s Warrenton Training Center.
New Data Center
• Where: Warrenton Training Center Station B, just northwest of town on View Tree Mountain.

• Site: 40 forested acres, of which 10 to 20 acres would be cleared for concrete pads.

• Structures: Up to 27 “data containers,” each 80-by-65-by-12 feet; two new administrative buildings, along with supporting equipment.

• Backup power: 15 three-megawatt diesel generators, plus smaller generators for administrative buildings.

• Use: National defense and intelligence agencies.

• Jobs: 20 to 35 new, permanent positions.

• Cost: Classified.

• Equipment ownership: Classified; Seattle-based Vadata Inc. recently built a similar data center there and received county tax incentives.

• Construction: Could start as soon as August, with completion likely in 2020.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Construction soon will begin on a new data center just north of Warrenton.

The installation will cover 10 to 20 acres of the federal government’s secure and secretive Warrenton Training Center Station B, which serves national defense and intelligence agencies.

A 100-page document, recently placed in the public library in Warrenton, provides an overview of the project as part of the required environmental impact assessment.

“The data center would include approximately 27 data processing containers, up to 15 three-megawatt diesel engine generators, two smaller generators (each associated with one of the [two] new administrative buildings) along with supporting infrastructure such as air-cooled chillers, switchgear, transformers and telecommunications equipment,” the document says. “The data processing containers would likely be approximately 80 feet long, 65 feet wide and 12 feet tall.

“The data containers would be assembled in pieces with each section placed by crane onto a concrete slab foundation.”

Due for completion in 2020, the new data center would stand in dense forest just south of Bear Wallow Road on the 346-acre federal compound atop View Tree Mountain.

Vadata Inc., an Amazon subsidiary, in late 2015 got economic development incentives totaling $2.7 million from the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors to build a similar, $200-million data center on the compound. Although neither county officials nor real estate assessment contractors have seen that data center, Fauquier taxes the privately-owned equipment there, based on the information Vadata provides.

But, it remains unclear whether the new data center would expand Vadata’s presence at the training center, involve other private ownership or belong to the federal government. Nothing in the report mentions a private company.

“It could be part of Vadata’s expansion, which we’ve known all along could happen,” Fauquier County Economic Development Director Miles Friedman said.

But, Mr. Friedman admitted he knows little about the new data center.

Fauquier Commissioner of Revenue Ross D’Urso said he has received no request for information about potential local taxes on the proposed development.

Susannah York, a public relations officer at the training center, said she could provide no information about the new data center’s ownership.

“It is on federal property,” Ms. York said.

If government-owned, the new data center would be exempt from local taxes. The environmental assessment document provides no information about the new center’s cost. It will stand at an elevation of 615 feet and just northeast of the Vadata installation.

“Due to security and logistics reasons, the new data center needs to be located within the boundaries of WTC Station B,” the environmental report says. “Expansion of existing data centers at WTC would not provide sufficient capacity.”

The new data center’s backup generators could supply up to 45 megawatts of electricity, enough for about 11,000 homes, indicating another large installation.

Collectively, the 27 data containers would cover just more than 140,000 square feet — about the size of Warrenton’s Walmart.

The data center will create “20 to 35” permanent jobs, and more temporary positions during construction, the public document says. But, “the number of employees and the number of visitors (i.e. for training, meetings and conferences) at WTC is classified information.”

Because of the project’s size, it requires review by a number of environmental agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

In all categories of review, the project will have no adverse impact, according to the report.

The presence of the Northern long-eared bat and a species of freshwater clam on the property presented potential challenges. But, the training center agreed to start forest clearing after the bat’s “pup” season ends July 31 and to avoid water where the clam lives.

Cattail Branch, a stream in the Cedar Run Watershed, runs just north of the project site and just south of Bear Wallow Road.

The environmental report identifies a 40-acre area for the project and says half of that could get disturbed during construction, adding: “WTC would remove as few trees as possible to accommodate the layout of the data center and anticipates that closer to 10 to 15 acres of trees could be cut . . . .

“Most of the project site is on a moderately sloping hillside, with slope varying between approximately 10 and 20 percent,” the report says. It describes the land as “mature eastern U.S. mixed hardwood forest, with some area of pine forest” and underbrush.

The plan calls for retaining tree buffers of up to 500 feet deep around the new data center. Still, it at times would be visible from four private homes in the area, according to the report. And, for security purposes, it will be lighted at night.

“Data centers are ugly,” Ms. York said of the federal installation’s effort to screen the project as much as possible.

Fauquier in recent years has become a popular location for data centers. French cloud computing giant OVH has one at Vint Hill and the board of supervisors recently rezoned property near Remington for a Canadian company that plans a large data center complex.

Dominion Energy in recent years has upgraded electrical lines to the training center. The environmental impact report says the new data center would use existing utilities.

Throwback Thursday: Free clinic off to a slow start

Posted Thursday,
July 19, 2018
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July 1993: Dr. Trice Gravatte examines Anne Hume on the Fauquier Free Clinic’s second night of operation.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of July 23, 1993


Patients slow to use new free clinic

Doctors at the Fauquier Free Clinic — open one night a week — saw only four patients last Thursday. On the clinic’s opening night, July 8, three patients stopped by with medical problems.

“I think there’s a definite need; people just don’t know that the clinic exists yet,” Dr. Paul Schellenberg said.

Dr. Schellenberg and other professionals volunteer to staff the new clinic, which offers high-quality care without charge to needy residents.

Clinic Executive Director Linda Coit joked early Thursday night: “There’s been more of us than there’s been of them (patients).”

Even with four patients, Clinic Medical Director Trice Gravette said he’s not disappointed by the slow start.

“We have people in this community who are having a tough time making it,” Dr. Gravette said. “I’ve written off about $50,000 of free service (in the last year). There are doctors doing what I’m doing going bankrupt.”


New federal jobs unlikely at Vint Hill

Don’t expect the federal government to keep Vint Hill Farms Station or to move other agencies to the 700-acre Army base.

Pentagon representatives Monday told a Warrenton audience what it didn’t want to hear. New federal jobs seem unlikely to replace the 1,500 that will move to other states by 1999, when the base near New Baltimore closes.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va./10th), county officials and Vint Hill civilian employees have expressed hopes that other U.S. government agencies would move in when the Army leaves. Proximity to Washington and facilities for sophisticated electronics work make Vint Hill ideal for the CIA or other government agencies, many have suggested.

But, the Army by mid-decade plans to have selected 80 bases for closure, said Army Corps of Engineers representative Gary Patterson.

“We’ve have screened the 20 selected for closure so far with federal agencies and haven’t come up with many uses,” Patterson told 200 people at a community meeting in Warrenton Junior High School’s auditorium. “With all the budgets being cut, I couldn’t be very optimistic that another agency would take” Vint Hill.


Affordable housing recommendations offered

Attempting to tackle a countywide problem, Fauquier’s Affordable Housing Task Force on Tuesday offered the board of supervisors several interim suggestions.

The committee, formed last year, suggested that the county begin looking at its zoning ordinance and adopting practices that would encourage varied housing types.

In particular, the committee report requested the board consider one-stop permitting for low-income housing projects.

“One of the biggest problems has been some of our own regulations,” Supervisor Dave Mangum (Lee District) said. “They’re so complicated that you need a lawyer to understand it all.”


Main Street wine festival draws 6,000

Asked if he’d do it again, Warrenton wine festival organizer Bud Hufnagel replied unequivocally, “Yes.”

Though the July 17 event drew fewer than the hoped-for crowd of 10,000, Hufnagel recorded 4,200 paying guests.

Police estimates of the Main Street crowd last Saturday went as high as 6,000, but that included those younger than 21 and unable to participate, along with casual onlookers who declined to sample the wines and gourmet foods.

Hufnagel said expenses ran much higher than anticipated. For example, he needed extra crews to set up tents at 1:30 a.m. the day of the event. Those workers had to be paid triple rates.

Hufnagel sold 650 advance tickets at $10 each and tickets at the gate for $12. The event grossed about $49,000.

“Economically, for me, it was just barely all right,” he said. “But, it was a good thing for the economy.”


Marshall’s Class of ’43 reunites

Eighty percent of the Marshall High School Class of 1943 attended their 50th anniversary reunion Saturday night at Fauquier Springs Country Club.

Eighteen of the 26 graduates came. Of the other eight, four have died; three could not attend, and one, Stella Falls, couldn’t be found.

“I remember a lot of fun,” retired dairy farmer Albert Payne said of his high school days. “I didn’t hurt myself studying . . . . To me, going to a movie was a big event. We had a theater in Marshall and we would go to Warrenton on a big Saturday night.”

Barbara Willis Dubuc added: “Dating became very difficult. If a guy could borrow the family car, gas was a problem (because of wartime rationing). So we did a lot of things together. It wasn’t just double-dating. Sometimes, we’d have three or four couples stacked in a car.

“You sure didn’t have to worry about anything going on,” joked the 66-year-old grandmother of 10.


Help Wanted

Parking Enforcement Officer for Warrenton Police Department

Applicant must be at least 20 years old, in good condition, have high school diploma or GED, valid Virginia driver’s license and ability to deal with the public. Position responsible for enforcing state and local laws and aiding police officers. Salary $16,037, excellent benefits.

Apply to Personnel Director, Town of Warrenton, 18 Court Street.


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
July 19, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
July 18, 2018
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Will you attend any of the Summer on the Green Concerts this year in Warrenton?

Posted Tuesday,
July 17, 2018
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English teacher campaigns for state Senate seat

Posted Tuesday,
July 17, 2018
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Ronald J. “Ronnie” Ross has taught at Highland School in Warrenton since 2009.
One thing I’ve done my entire life is work hard. There’s no one that’s going to outwork me.
— Ronald J. Ross
Ronald J. Ross
• Age: 31

• Home: Near Middleburg in Loudoun County

• Work: English teacher and department chairman, Highland School, Warrenton, 2009-present.

• Family: Wife Josie and 10-month-old son.

• Education: Master’s degree, education, University of Pennsylvania, 2013; bachelor’s degree, English and philosophy, Wittenberg (Ohio) University, 2009; New Philadelphia (Ohio) High School, 2005.

• Organizations: Loudoun County Democratic Committee, Virginia League of Conservation Voters, Arbor Day Foundation, 2017-present; American Civil Liberties Union, 2016-present.

• Hobbies: Running, hiking, reading, genealogical research, travel and playing and watching sports.

• Website: www.ronnieross.com

• Facebook page: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Highland School English teacher considers education his life’s work.

“I love nothing more than helping young people learn and grow,” explained Ronald J. “Ronnie” Ross III.

But about three months ago while in the car with his wife Josie, an unexpected turn plunged Mr. Ross into the world of state politics.

“I was complaining about something or other on the radio,” recalled Mr. Ross, 31, who lives near Middleburg in Loudoun County. “I’ll never forget it.

“My wife looked at me and says, ‘Ronnie, for the love of God, stop complaining and do something about it’.”

He pressed her about options.

Run for elective office, she told him.

Taking her advice, Mr. Ross on July 2 announced he would seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 27th District in the Virginia Senate. The election will take place in November 2019.

The sprawling district includes Fauquier, Clarke and Frederick counties, the City of Winchester and parts of Loudoun, Culpeper and Stafford counties.

Three-term Republican incumbent Jill Holtzman Vogel of Upperville has represented the district since 2008. Virginia’s 40 senators serve four-year terms.

If he gets the Democratic nomination next June, Mr. Ross realizes it would be difficult to defeat Ms. Vogel in November 2019 general election.

Incumbency often translates into automatic, built-in advantages, he acknowledged.

Still, “I don’t think it’s about Jill Vogel so much as it is about the people of the 27th,” the Ohio native said of the campaign. “Technically, yes, I’m running against Jill Vogel. But more than that, I’m running for the people of the 27th. And the people of the 27th have some needs.”

The first-time candidate’s top issues range from education and the economy to health care and equality.

“Our teachers need help,” said Mr. Ross, noting that state lawmakers in 2018 approved a 3-percent pay hike for teachers. “But teacher pay, adjusted for inflation since 2010, has actually declined 7 percent.

“So while 3 percent is a good start, we have a lot more to do.”

The political newcomer also wants to focus on income disparity.

While the country has recovered strongly from “The Great Recession,” economic growth “hasn’t been evenly distributed,” said Mr. Ross, who moved to Virginia in 2009 to teach at Highland, “We’ve seen tremendous growth among the richest, but wages have been stagnant.”

Virginia’s decision this year to extend Medicaid insurance to more needy citizens represents a major achievement, he said.

But Mr. Ross, who lived in Warrenton for about six years before moving to Loudoun, also points out that the healthcare system doesn’t ensure access by all citizens to dental and mental health services, for example.

On matters of social justice, Mr. Ross believes Virginia should become the 38th state to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

He also would back legislation and policies to increase “protections for sexual orientation and gender identity” related to employment, housing and access to public accommodations.

Ms. Vogel, founder and managing partner of a Warrenton-based law firm, for now has no knowledge of Mr. Ross.

But competition will make the campaign “interesting,” the 48-year-old Virginia native said. “That’s the democratic process. So, I’m not the least bit offended that somebody who is a Democrat is going to be in the race. I think it’s important to talk about the issues.”

Democrat Justin Fairfax defeated her in last November’s election for lieutenant governor. Mr. Fairfax received 52.8 percent of the statewide vote and Ms. Vogel 47.2 percent.

Kay Gibson of Warrenton has known Mr. Ross since about 2016.

They met through Highland School, where he taught Ms. Gibson’s daughter English for two years.

“His values are my values,” explained the 63-year-old retired office administrator for a Washington, D.C.-based audio-visual production company. “I’m a progressive, whether it be on healthcare issues, the economic situation, immigration issues.”

Mr. Ross also possesses “a lot of admirable characteristics,” she said. “He’s very genuine, a very focused person, a very trustworthy person.”

The candidate also strikes her as “approachable” and open to “thinking outside the box,” something he encouraged his students to do, Ms. Gibson said.

“He’s a very sincere, bright guy.”

Mr. Ross sounds optimistic about his political prospects.

“Last year, there were a lot of people who were thought foolish for running” for Virginia House of Delegates’ seats, he said. “They presented a vision, and they worked their butts off. And, they won.”

Democrats gained 15 delegate seats in the 2017 election. Republicans still maintain a two-vote advantage in the 100-member body.

“One thing I’ve done my entire life is work hard,” Mr. Ross added, who plans to juggle Highland teaching and legislative responsibilities, should he defeat his Republican rival. “There’s no one that’s going to outwork me.”

Closed negotiations take place on middle school

Posted Tuesday,
July 17, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·
File Photo/Cassandra Brown
The school board hopes its new approach will convince the county supervisors to fund construction of a building to replace Warrenton Middle (pictured here) and Taylor Middle.
Two Aging Schools
> Taylor Middle

• Where: 350 E. Shirley Ave.

• Built: 1951, with addition in 1981.

• Enrollment: 443

• Capacity: 547

• Building: 93,000 square feet.

• Acres: 12

• Parking spaces: 58


> Warrenton Middle

• Where: 244 Waterloo St.

• Built: 1934, with addition in 1981.

• Enrollment: 417

• Capacity: 545

• Building: 94,000 square feet.

• Acres: 18

• Parking spaces: 103
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Five companies remain in the running to build Fauquier’s next middle school — assuming the project gets funded.

A nine-member committee — whose members’ name remain confidential — last week interviewed representatives of the finalists. The names of those companies also remain secret.

Sixteen companies in February submitted proposals to build a new middle school, according to County Procurement Manager Susan Monaco.

Fauquier’s school system in January issued a request for proposals from architectural and engineering firms for an 800-student building, with the ability to expand to 950. 

> Documents at bottom of story

The building would replace Taylor and Warrenton middle schools, built in 1951 and 1934, respectively. It would stand on the Taylor campus along West Shirley Avenue in Warrenton.

Without setting a budget for the project, the school board in November unanimously decided to seek new proposals. That decision came after months of failing to reach an agreement with the county supervisors for funding construction of a new school.

Ms. Monaco ranked the proposals and, working with the nine-member committee, has negotiated with the highest-ranked firms.

The committee could make a recommendation in August or September to the school board, which would select a contractor.

The board has remained steadfast in its preference for new construction on the Taylor campus. 

But, the board of supervisors, which controls funding, will have the final say. A year ago, the supervisors unanimously rejected proposals to build a 1,000-seat school for $55 million and then an 800-student version for $45 million.

The supervisors cited the costs of other county projects — including construction of a broadband network and new fire/rescue stations — in rejecting the school board’s proposals.

In September, the supervisors offered a $33-million plan to renovate and expand Warrenton Middle School, which would absorb most of Taylor’s student body.

The school board rejected that offer.

Working with consultants, a 40-member committee in December 2016 recommended the consolidation of Taylor and Warrenton middle schools. The school board last January agreed to pursue a 1,000-student school on Taylor’s campus. 

But, the two elected boards met three times last year without reaching consensus on funding a plan to address the aging middle schools in Warrenton.

The school board hopes that a new proposal — possibly using a “prototype” or existing design — will produce a plan that wins the supervisors’ approval.

Middle School RFP 2018 by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Middle school RFP addition 1 by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Middle School RFP addition 2 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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