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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Plan to regulate short-term home rentals on hold

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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Stock Photo
Fauquier County has 117 “unpermitted,” short-term rentals, according to Host Compliance.
I think doing this right is more important than doing it fast.
— Planning Commissioner Bob Lee
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s planning commission Thursday indefinitely postponed action on proposed zoning ordinance amendments designed to regulate short-term rental homes.

Five people — four of whom maintain such rentals in Fauquier — raised concerns about the proposal during the commission’s public hearing Thursday night in Warrenton.

The proposal includes rules that address “by-right” short-term home rentals with administrative approval and those that would require special permits from the county board of zoning appeals.

The special permit process includes a public hearing before the BZA.

Among other things, the proposed amendments relate to occupancy limits, the number of consecutive days people can rent the units, owner residency requirements, safety, parking and road standards.

Fauquier has 117 “unpermitted” short-term home rentals — most of them listed with Airbnb, according to Host Compliance, a company that monitors short-term rental conformance. 

Linda Cunningham of Warrenton told the commission she manages a “vacation” home in another Virginia county and one in West Virginia.

Requiring an “annual special use permit is burdensome and expensive,” Ms. Cunningham said.

A short-term rental permit “is valid for one year from the date of approval,” the proposal reads. “The administrative permit, or special permit, may be renewed annually by the zoning administrator prior to the expiration of said permit subject to an inspection affidavit verifying all standards are being met.”

Mrs. Cunningham called the proposal “ridiculous and overreaching.”

Though she and her husband “have been looking for a suitable property in Fauquier to continue our business, if this ordinance passes, we will pass,” she said.

The proposed restrictions also concern Geoffrey and Vicki Lindsay of Northern Virginia.

A Realtor, Mr. Lindsay and his accountant wife and children don’t live on the property “full-time,” he said.

Under the proposal, a special permit would be needed if the owner/property manager:

• “Does not live on-site during rental periods.

• “Does not occupy the dwelling more than 183 days out of the year.”

Renting the home helps grow the local economy, pay increasing real estate taxes on the property and cover college expenses for the couple’s three children, Mr. Lindsay said.

Another speaker questioned the occupancy limit for accessory dwelling rentals. Under the existing ordnance, no more than three people can occupy such a building — a cottage on a farm, for example — at a time.

Commissioner Bob Lee (Marshall District) suggested leaving the public hearing open and delaying a vote to further study the proposed ordinance.

“I think doing this right is more important than doing it fast,” Mr. Lee said.

The commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which has final authority.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

Town will hire consultant for review of manager

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The town council in January extended Brannon Godfrey’s contract by a year and raised his salary by $5,000.
J. Brannon Godfrey Jr.
• Age: 53

• Work: Warrenton town manager, Oct. 5, 2015-present.

• Salary:

• Experience: Interim city manager, Portsmouth, 2015; deputy city manager, Portsmouth, 2009-15; city manager, Winchester, 2008-09; town manager, Culpeper, 2001-07; city manager, Emporia, 1995-2001; town manager, Brandon, Vt., 1992-95; assistant to city manager, Goldsboro, N.C., 1989-92; management intern, City of Rock Hill, S.C., 1987-88.

• Education: Master’s degree, public management, University of North Carolina, 1989; bachelor’s, government, University of Virginia, 1987.

• Family: Wife, Leslie; sons, Collier and Harrison.

• Hobbies: Outdoor sports, including kayaking, fishing and duck hunting.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Warrenton’s town manager soon will get a formal, “360 review” that will include evaluations from the municipal staff.

After two closed sessions in the last 11 months to discuss the manager’s performance, the town seeks a consultant to help conduct a formal review of Brannon Godfrey after three years on the job.

> Document at bottom of story

Council members and the mayor recently have questioned Mr. Godfrey’s handling of a new police chief’s recruitment, an incident involving off-duty town cops in a local bar, the proposed Broadview Avenue project and even the permitting of a food truck that sells ice cream.

“The Town Council shall budget for a consulting firm to be engaged by the Town of Warrenton no later than August 2018 to conduct a ‘360 Degree’ analysis of the Town Manager’s performance,” says an amendment to Mr. Godfrey’s employment contract, adopted in January.

But, August came and went without the required evaluation.

Mr. Godfrey failed to include line-item funding for the review in the fiscal 2019 budget, which the town council reviewed for months before adoption in June.

The council on Oct. 9 convened in closed session — running from 10:27 p.m. to midnight — to discuss “the performance of the town manager.” The council took no action and said nothing after emerging into an open meeting.

In January, after months of private conversations, a divided town council agreed to extend Mr. Godfrey’s contract a year and raise his salary by $5,000. He earns $155,000 under the amended contract that runs through June 30, 2019.

The contract calls for the council to inform Mr. Godfrey by February whether it will extend the employment agreement.

> Contract and amendment at bottom of story

The town issued the request for town manager evaluation bids on Friday, Oct. 12. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, Oct. 30. Town officials hope to award a contract by Nov. 13.

It remains unclear what the town will spend for the evaluation.

A town council committee will evaluate the proposal submissions, rank them, and Mr. Godfrey will award the contract.

The consultant will conduct interviews and complete its review process by the end of December.

Mr. Godfrey started as Warrenton’s manager in October 2015 at a salary of $150,000.

He came to Warrenton after six years as an assistant city manager in Portsmouth. Mr. Godfrey previously worked as the town manager in Culpeper for six years and the city manager in Winchester for a year.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.

RFP Town Manager 360 Evaluation by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Town Manager Godfrey Contra... by on Scribd

Town Manager Employment Con... by on Scribd

Italian Wedding Cake misnamed, but who cares?

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

We’ll host a family reunion next week. When planning a dinner party, half of the challenge is deciding on the menu. For this, I decided to go with an Italian theme.

One friend asked if the menu selection has anything to do with my heritage. No, I just love Italian food — colorful and relatively easy to make.

The menu will include lasagna, Caesar salad, focaccia bread and Italian Wedding Cake also known as Italian Cream Cake.

The three-layer cake is dense and quite moist. The ingredients include buttermilk, pecans and coconut. It’s much like a coconut cake. Honestly, to make it seem like an authentic Italian recipe, possibly mascarpone or ricotta should be substituted for the cream cheese.

The history/origination of any recipe is something I enjoy learning. Leafing through several of Italian cookbooks, I found no recipe even remotely came close to this one.

Online, I read many recipes and chuckled over some of the comments, each with the same theme. One described it as “more Southern American than Italian and no one seems to know where the recipe originated.”

Another said: “Is there anything remotely Italian about” this cake? “Or is it a misnamed Southern dish?”

And finally in Savannah Now, a writer said, “the origin has been lost, but one food writer suggested it was created by an Italian baker in the South.

Mildly disappointed that it probably isn’t an authentic Italian dessert, I’ll serve it anyway. It’s too delicious.

Italian Wedding Cake
Serves 12

The cake
2 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1-1/3 cups vegetable shortening
½ cup butter, softened
5 extra large eggs, separated
1-¼ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

The icing
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional

Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly butter and flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, knocking out excess flour.

In a bowl, shift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Place the shortening, butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour a half-cup at a time, alternating with the milk. Add the vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then fold into the batter gently but thoroughly.

Divide the batter equally among the pans and smooth the tops. Bake in the upper two-thirds of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester (toothpick) comes out cleanly. Cool the layers on racks for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely.

While the cake cools, use the paddle attachment blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add in the confectioner’s sugar and beat until creamy. Ice the cake allowing for a half-cup of frosting between each layer and the rest for the top and sides. Should you want to decorate a little more, press coconut and pecans onto the cake sides.

> Click here for information about Ellen’s cookbook, No Sacrifices — Entertaining Gluten-Free

Planners support Vint Hill data center proposal

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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DVA Architects LLC
Data center conceptual illustration, one of many Vint Hill property owners’ representative showed to Fauquier County Planning Commission staff and chairman.
We are trying to move forward a development pattern in Vint Hill that complements the people that are there and respects the rural heritage that’s around it.
— Landowners’ planning consultant Chuck Floyd
Public Hearing
• Topic: Proposed rezoning amendments to concept development plan and proffers to allow an additional 751,265 square feet of nonresidential building space at Vint Hill; additional square feet requested would apply to only data center and government uses.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Action: Commission unanimously recommended board of supervisors’ approval of application.

• Length: About 8 minutes.

• Speakers: 2 Vint Hill residents who voiced concerns about site-related issues, the size and site of a planned electrical substation to serve potential data centers and lighting; the applicant/landowners' representative.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• Applicant: EFO Capital Management Inc.

• Property owners: Vint Hill Village LLC and Vint Hill Land 1 LLC.

• Next: The board of supervisors, which will take final action on the application, could hold a Nov. 8 work session and public hearing on the project.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s planning commission Thursday night unanimously backed a proposal that aims to attract data centers to Vint Hill.

After an eight-minute public hearing, the commission recommended approval of applicant EFO Capital Management Inc.’s request for an additional 751,265 square feet of buildings on the former Army base near New Baltimore.

The 24.2-percent increase would apply to only data center and government uses on 124 acres at Aiken Drive and Kennedy Road.

Vint Hill has approval for 3.1 million square feet of nonresidential structures. To date, 850,000 square feet has been constructed at the former 695-acre property.

An advisory panel, the commission makes recommendations to the board of supervisors, which has final authority.

The supervisors will hold a public hearing Nov. 8 on EFO’s application to amend Vint Hill’s concept development plan and proffers.

Two people — both Vint Hill residents — and the applicant/landowners' representative spoke during the planning commission public hearing Oct. 18 in Warrenton.

Melanie Whitesides expressed doubts about using the proposed site for data centers.

“I’m not opposed to data centers,” said Ms. Whitesides, a 14-year resident of Vint Hill. “I’m just questioning why they’re using the best property in Vint Hill — it’s going to be across from (the planned) veterans’ hospital — for these data centers.

“There’s plenty of other locations in Vint Hill that it could be located,” she said.

Planning consultant Chuck Floyd, who represents the applicant and landowners, told the commission he believes the proposed location represents the best remaining option for that property.

The proposal seeks to “isolate” potential data centers from residential areas and locate them in the “industrial park part of Vint Hill,” Mr. Floyd explained.

Julie Sweedler, who moved to Vint Hill five years ago, wanted to know about the height and visibility of the planned, on-site electrical substation that would serve potential data centers.

Specifics about a substation would be detailed in a separate application, requiring special exception approval, Mr. Floyd said.

That review process involves public hearings before the planning commission and the board of supervisors, which will have the final say.

As required by the zoning ordinance, all power lines serving the substation would be underground, Mr. Floyd said.

“We are trying to move forward a development pattern in Vint Hill that complements the people that are there and respects the rural heritage that’s around it,” he added.

Planning Commission Chairwoman Adrienne Garreau, whose Scott District includes Vint Hill, called data centers “a good fit” partly because of limited road access to the property.

Data centers typically don’t generate a lot of jobs or much vehicle traffic.

“It’s not that we’re getting thousands and thousands of new employees,” Ms. Garreau said. “That’s the good news and bad news.”

The proposal also helps retain the “rural feel of the area adjacent to Vint Hill,” the chairwoman added.

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Pick-your-own orchards

Posted Friday,
October 19, 2018
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File Photo/Cassandra Brown
Wyatt Malay, then 2-1/2, picks Hartland Orchard apples at Markham in September 2013.

Pick-your-own apple orchards operate in Fauquier County:

Hartland Orchard at Markham

Hollin Farms near Delaplane

Valley View Farm at Hume

Stribling Orchard at Markham


Fauquier County Public Schools starting teacher salary for those with bachelor’s degrees.

The starting teacher pay in the seven counties that border Fauquier:

• Loudoun, $50,171

• Prince William, $47,724

• Stafford, $44,075

• Warren, $43,247

• Culpeper, $43,240

• Clarke, $41,750

• Rappahannock, $40,742


The number of “unpermitted” short-term home rentals in Fauquier — most of them listed with Airbnb, according to Host Compliance, a company that among other things monitors short-term rental conformance. 

After a public hearing Thursday night, Fauquier’s planning commission indefinitely postponed action on proposed zoning ordinance amendments to regulate short-term rental homes.

The proposal also effectively would impose a 2-percent lodging tax based on the gross income of each short-term rental unit.


The total budget for Warrenton elected officials’ travel and conference expenses in fiscal 2019, which began July 1.

Of the $7,000 allocated for travel expenses, the town has spent $575 so far.

Of the $3,500 budgeted for conference registrations and training, the town has spent $1,200 so far.

If they choose, council members and the mayor may get reimbursed for mileage in personal vehicles, parking, airline tickets, meals and lodging, according to Finance Director Stephanie Miller.


Tax bills the county commissioner of revenue prepared in fiscal 2017.

That total includes 69,726 personal property, 65,655 real estate and 3,245 business license tax bills.

Fauquier bills real estate owners twice a year — in May and November. For each period in fiscal 2017, that resulted in 32,827 tax statements.

Personal property owners and businesses get billed once a year. About half Fauquier’s businesses pay no county business taxes because their annual gross incomes fall below the $200,000 threshold, which triggers the levy.

Remington hopes planned park becomes a draw

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
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The idea is to keep the traction we’ve gained over the last two or three years. This is not the end-all. This is a springboard to so much more.
— James Steele, Remington businessman
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Remington councilman hopes the planned outdoor gathering place next to Town Hall will become a destination for residents and visitors alike.

“We want to create a focal point on Main Street downtown,” explained Marcus W. Bones Sr., chairman of the town’s Facilities and Maintenance Committee. “We’re thinking it’s going to add a lot of ambience to the town.”

Under the proposal, the town would install a gazebo, with seating for 20, four wood benches, landscaping and sidewalks that would link the pavilion to Town Hall and Main Street.

The layout also shows a concrete pathway that meanders along the edges of the municipal building lot at 105 E. Main St.

> Video at bottom of story

The council expects to largely fund the proposal with a “Make It Happen” grant from Warrenton-based PATH Foundation.

On the town’s behalf, local Famers Insurance agency owner James Steele submitted a grant application to the nonprofit for $24,892 — the cost of the project.

The “Make It Happen” program applies to requests of $10,000 to $25,000.

Mr. Steele last Friday submitted the application to PATH. The town will learn within 30 days whether the foundation approves the request.

Describing the project as a group effort, Mr. Steele praised the town council, police department, Remington Community Partnership, Remington Fall Festival Committee and surveyors Mary and Ray Root.

The partnership will donate shrubs and the festival committee a pair of dogwood trees. The Roots, who live in town, prepared the lot survey and layout at no cost.

Remington also plans to seek a $2,500 Virginia Conservation Assistance Program grant for additional landscaping, Mr. Bones said.

Mr. Bones and Mr. Steele hope the planned gathering place will boost Remington’s economic development fortunes and civic life.

The project should make downtown more appealing to business prospects, expanding the town’s commercial tax base, the first-term councilman suggested.

“There are some vacant buildings,” Mr. Bones said. “But we’re working that. There could be a restaurant coming in.”

“We don’t have a well-known central location that everybody is aware of, that everybody uses,” said Mr. Steele who lives in King George County but eventually plans to move to Remington.

The proposed outdoor gathering space, which could accommodate community-scale events, would provide one, he explained.

“It’s to enhance that community feeling, to give us a place to sit down and talk to each other face to face, instead of relying on social media,” said Mr. Steele, who rents an office in the old Culpeper Co-op building at 301 E. Main St. “We need a visual anchor. We need a beautiful spot — something to be proud of that’s going to be the vitality of town.”

He considers the proposed meeting space part of Remington’s “big picture,” which includes new downtown businesses, town activities such as the fall festival, the free, outdoor summer movie series and the Remington Community Garden.

“The idea is to keep the traction we’ve gained over the last two or three years,” Mr. Steele said. “This is not the end-all. This is a springboard to so much more.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0700.

International Gold Cup ticket discounts available

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
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School security officers will carry firearms on the job

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
Like 0 · 19 ·
Stock Photo
All of the new security officers — school system employees with law enforcement experience — will carry guns.
We are doing more because we care and recognize there is truly a need.
— School board member Duke Bland
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. 
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

All Fauquier County Public Schools soon will have armed security officers.

The school board Wednesday night unanimously authorized 12 new security officers — whom it will employ — to carry firearms.

> Document embedded at bottom of story

School and county officials earlier this year quickly agreed to add the positions after the Feb. 14 massacre of Parkland, Fla., high school students.

“We are doing more because we care and recognize there is truly a need,” Duke Bland (Marshall District) said Wednesday night. “Through the hard work and dedication of everyone here . . . (we’re) making it safer for our teachers, staff and students.”

Since May, the school system and sheriff’s office have filled seven of the 12 new security officer positions.

Five already work in elementary and high schools, with two more starting Nov. 1.

“Our hopes are that we will have the remaining five filled by the end of the year, if not, (then) the beginning of next year,” Human Resources Director Janelle Downes said Wednesday.

A committee of two school administrators and two sheriff’s office employees has interviewed security officer candidates — all of whom have law enforcement experience.

“I’m proud of the fact that we are not trying to hurry through this,” Superintendent David Jeck said Wednesday. “Our approach is to get quality folks, with a law enforcement background, with spotless records. We are certainly happy to take our time and get to that place rather than trying to hire people quickly.”

One security officer will work at each high school — Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty — joining county sheriff’s deputies, who serve as uniformed, armed school resource officers.

Nine elementary schools — Bradley, Brumfield, Coleman, Greenville, Miller, Pearson, Pierce, Ritchie and Smith — will have SSOs, wearing street clothes, including labeled polo shirts.

The other two elementary schools at the county’s southern and northern extremities — Mary Walter near Morrisville and Claude Thompson near Rectortown — have new SROs, members of the sheriff’s office.

The school system employs the security officers. 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 report to the principals and will conduct daily building checks and drills, investigate incidents and monitor social media.

Each county public high school and middle school campus — including Southeastern Alternative School for the first time this fall — has an armed sheriff’s deputy in uniform. The sheriff’s office has employed school resource officers for almost 25 years. 

The three new school resource officers and 12 school security officer positons will have a total annual cost of $1.2 million, including about $265,833 in startup costs. A state grant will help fund the positions.

Resolution for SSO to Carry Firearm by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Throwback Thursday: FHS picks basketball coach

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
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October 1993: Ellen Ebersbach succeeds Margaret Lowery as the Fauquier High School girls’ basketball coach.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of October 22, 1993

FHS names basketball coach

Fauquier High School finally has chosen a varsity girls’ basketball coach.

With less than three weeks until the first day of practice, Ellen Ebersbach will take the reigns, the FHS athletic department announced Tuesday.

Ebersbach, 27, replaces Margaret Lowery, who last year took a job as a guidance counselor at North Stafford High School.

The new coach graduated from high school in Cumberland, Md., and scored more than 1,000 points as a basketball player at West Virginia Wesleyan College, from which she graduated in 1988.

Ebersbach said she probably will run “more man-to-man defenses. I try to really stress defense . . . . I’m going to work them pretty hard.”
By 9 a.m., the crowd of more than 5,000 began streaming into town for food, country music and the offerings of vendors lining the street.

Local jockey wins International Gold Cup

There’s no place like home.

A crowd of more than 30,000 watched local rider James “Chucky” Lawrence, a Marshall native, and his mount Jamaica Bay win the Lexus International Gold Cup last Saturday at Great Meadow near The Plains.

Lawrence had a busy day, riding in six of the seven races. His triumph on Jamaica Bay was his lone victory.

But, Saturday’s win keeps Lawrence atop both the National Steeplechase Association and Virginia Steeplechase Association list of wins for a jockey this season.

Czarda promoted at George Mason University

Fauquier County School Board Chairman Lawrence Czarda has been promoted to an executive position in the George Mason University president’s office.

Czarda, who joined GMU administration in 1983 after serving as Fauquier County’s first finance director, worked as an associate vice president for finance and planning. In his new job, he will serve as the primary staff assistant to GMU President George W. Johnson.

Czarda, 41, his wife and four sons live near Orlean.

Rappahannock dumps deal on landfill

An agreement that would have allowed Rappahannock County to dump its trash in Fauquier’s new landfill fell apart last week. Rappahannock officials expressed concerns about delays in opening the new landfill at Corral Farm, south of Warrenton.

Fauquier would have received about $213,000 a year from the deal. But, county officials insist the loss of potential revenue will be negated by a projected increase in the amount of solid waste dumped in the new landfill.

Fauquier Supervisors Georgia Herbert (Scott District) said the broken agreement would have little effect.

“My support for it mostly had to do with being neighborly” and offering “a regional solution,” Ms. Herbert said.

Wakefield School plan approved

The county supervisors Tuesday cleared the way for Wakefield School to move to The Plains next year.

The board unanimously granted a special exception permit for the school on 50 acres of Andrea Currier Squires’ 1,375-acre Archwood Farm on Route 245 just south of town.

The private school has 176 students, 75 of them from Fauquier, from prekindergarten through 12th grade and 34 employees. Since 1991, Wakefield has operated in a wing of Marshall Manor, an elderly care facility off Main Street in Marshall.

School officials plans to invest $2.5 million, including construction of a 25,000-square-foot building that will include a gym. Archwood’s mountain-top manor house will serve as office space.


Fantastico Ristorante Italiano presents>

An Evening in Tuscany

Enjoy a taste of Italy. Franco has chosen for you the best food and wine, reflecting the finest tradition of Tuscany. Join us for another wonderful dinner.

7 p.m. Wednesday, October 27th

$55 per person (inclusive)

640 Warrenton Center • Warrenton

Affordable housing group hires new executive

Posted Thursday,
October 18, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Contributed Photo
Darryl Neher recently headed Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County in Bloomington, Ind.
He’s result-oriented. He’s just going to bring the organizational ability to take Habitat to the next level.
— Steve Crosby, Fauquier Habitat for Humanity board president
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier Habitat for Humanity has new executive director.

Darryl Neher started the job Oct. 13.

Mr. Neher succeeds Paul Linz, who announced his resignation in August. Newly married, Mr. Linz quit because he and his wife decided to move to Florida.

Mr. Neher recently headed Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County in Bloomington, Ind.

The Warrenton-based affordable housing organization, which serves Fauquier and Rappahannock counties, received about 200 applications for the position, said Habitat board of directors President Steve Crosby.

Habitat’s executive committee screened the applications and sent the top three to the board of directors to make the final call.

“Any of those three, the board would have been happy to have as executive director,” said Mr. Crosby, Fauquier’s former long-time county administrator.

But, “Darryl came across to the board as someone who is a high-energy, extremely intelligent, thoughtful guy,” the group’s president added. “He’s result-oriented. He’s just going to bring the organizational ability to take Habitat to the next level.”

That includes the organization’s community revitalization and home repair programs, Mr. Crosby said.

“Everybody was just impressed with Darryl’s personal and executive skills.”

The board also believes Mr. Neher will boost the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts and raise its profile.

“Fundraising is a critical factor,” Mr. Crosby said. “We’re very confident Darryl is really going to help us with that.”

The organization also must do a better job of creating greater awareness of its mission, he said.

Doing so will increase contributions, Mr. Crosby said.

“Right now we’re not at the top of the list for donors.

Mr. Neher couldn’t be reached for comment.

He “brings deeply developed skill sets, including leadership and communication skills, political and business acumen, training and teaching expertise, knowledge of land use and housing policy, and the ability to articulate and implement strategic vision,” the press release said.
As a Bloomington City councilman, Mr. Neher “made sheltering and housing affordability priorities in city policy and funding, including successfully securing multi-year funding for a struggling emergency homeless shelter,” the press release states.
His decision to take the executive director’s job with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County proved a “natural fit, and one that Mr. Neher says brought all of his capabilities into sharp focus. . . He looks forward to doing the same in Fauquier and Rappahannock.”
Mr. Neher plans to engage “stakeholders” in both counties.

“Every Habitat community has different needs and expectations,” Mr. Neher said in the press release. “I know Habitat’s language and institutions, but I’m not yet familiar with Fauquier and Rappahannock. I need to get a broad view of the organization, so I can start thinking about what questions should be asked.
“It’s easy to focus on the tangible element of homes, and that’s important,” Neher says. “But the bigger impact by far is the increased dignity and hope that leads to transformational generational change.”
Established in 1991, Fauquier 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.

Best Bets: Remington Zombie Prom, beer festival

Posted Wednesday,
October 17, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
A zombie-themed dance in Remington, Halloween party near Marshall and beer festival near Midland top Fauquier weekend entertainment.
The season for 5K runs, beer festivals and Halloween activities comes to Fauquier this weekend.

Topping the list, a Halloween zombie dance takes place Saturday with a costume contest and music.

A Halloween party near Marshall, beer festival at Powers Farm & Brewery, a 5K benefit run at Old Bust Head Brewery, country breakfast and horses in Casanova, and Warrenton’s Got Talent wraps up other entertainment options.

Casanova Blessing of the Hounds
8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
5108 Weston Road, Casanova

The popular fall event includes a country breakfast at the Grace Church Parish Hall from 8 to 10 a.m. and the opening of the Casanova Hunt season. At 9 a.m. members of the Casanova Hunt will ride up Weston Road on horseback surrounded by hound dogs to the Casanova Green for a blessing. Free-will donations taken at breakfast.

Old Bust Head Brewery benefit 5K/walk
11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
7134 Farm Station Road, Warrenton

Benefitting Finley’s Green Leap Forward, the fifth annual 5K includes a course for great for serious runners as well as participants who want to walk or stroll. The race starts and ends at Old Bust Head Brewery. Participants receive a cold glass of beer or root beer at the finish line. $35 per person.

Howl-o-ween Paw-ty
Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
4155 Monroe Parkway, Marshall

The Northern Fauquier Community Park hosts its third annual Halloween party. Children and four legged friends can participate in a costume contest. The event also features a magic show, moon bounce, caricature artist, face painting, crafts, sheriff’s office K-9 demonstration, dog adoptions, and other activities. Free.

Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
9269 Redemption Way, Midland

Powers Farm & Brewery hosts its second annual festival featuring beer, music, children’s activities, vendors, games food trucks and beer. Dog and child friendly. Advanced tickets online, $5 per person. Ages 21 and younger, free.

Shop-with-a-Cop spaghetti dinner
4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
6209 Old Auburn Road, Warrenton

The Fauquier Sheriff’s Office hosts its largest fundraiser for the Shop with a Cop program. The menu includes all-you-can-eat spaghetti from Café Torino, bread, salad, desserts and beverages. The event also features a raffle, bake sale, auction and Moo-Thru ice cream. Adults, $10; children ages 6 to 12, $5; children 5 and younger, free.

10th annual Warrenton’s Got Talent
6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20
430 E. Shirley Ave., Warrenton

Local musicians, dancers and performers will compete in the final Warrenton’s Got Talent show. Audience members will get to vote for their favorite act. Hosted by the St. Patrick Orthodox Church youth group. Concessions and silent auction available. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Free admission. Donations accepted to help local children in need.

Zombie Prom
8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 20
11326 James Madison Highway, Bealeton

This zombie-themed dance features music by the band, Gingerfunk Allstars. Zombie makeup or attire required. Judges will choose the best-dressed guests to be crowned prom king and queen. The event also features a macaroni and cheese bar, appetizer buffet and desserts. Guests are invited to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Mixers, non-alcoholic beverages, and a limited selection of beer and wine available for purchase. Zombie makeup available for $10. Hosted by the Remington Lions Club. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Tickets online from $10 to $25.

Other options in and around Fauquier:

> Family fall festival near Marshall

> Fauquier SPCA Mutt Strut rescue dog show

> Warrenton Vol. Fire Company Open House

> Family fun night in Southern Fauquier

> Middleburg Film Festival

> Paws to Read in Bealeton

> Haunted Hollow near Warrenton

> Fall farm days at Sky Meadows State Park

> Corn maze in The Plains

> Messick’s Farm Market fall festival near Midland

> Hartland Farm Orchard Fall Festival near Markham

> Cows-N-Corn fall festival in Midland

> Flying Circus Airshow

> Warrenton Farmer’s Market

For more events, click here.

Biz Buzz: McDaniel promoted to Airlie GM

Posted Wednesday,
October 17, 2018
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Christine McDaniel moves up to general manager at Airlie.
Tripp Butler joins UVA Community Credit Union as senior commercial loan officer.
Trevor Rollison joins UVA Community Credit Union as a mortgage loan officer.
Airlie, the conference and hospitality center just north of Warrenton, has promoted Christine McDaniel to general manager, Executive Director Chuck Smith announced.

Ms. McDaniel joined Airlie in 2017 as director of operations. She has a wealth of knowledge from her tenure in the hospitality industry.

“Since her arrival, Christine has done a tremendous job elevating organizational excellence at Airlie, and I am excited to see her continue to lead the property in this new role,” Mr. Smith said.

As general manager, Ms. McDaniel “will oversee daily hotel operations with a special focus on cultivating a positive team culture, and community outreach,” he added.

Ms. McDaniel’s 20 years of previous hospitality management experience included positions with Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel in Metropolis, Ill., the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel in Maryland, the Bethesda Marriott Suites and the Georgetown University Conference Center hotel in Washington, D.C.

At Airlie, she heads an organization of 160 employees on the 300-acre property. Airlie hosts about 650 events — including an average of 75 weddings — a year. In 2017, the center posted record revenue.

American University, which took ownership of Airlie in 2016, has made major investments in expanding the organic/humane farm operation and in building Harry’s restaurant. The organization also plans renovations of the property’s 150 guest rooms.

“I’m thrilled to continue my career at Airlie, and help the property exceed in every way as it continues to grow,” Ms. McDaniel said.

Warrenton couple buys Pizzarama

Longtime Warrenton residents Roy and Ellen Samlall have purchased the local Pizzarama restaurant.

Basem Saleh, who had operated the Warrenton Pizzarama for 25 years, decided to sell his business and retire.

“Our family has loved the recipes for as long as I can remember, and we wouldn’t dream of changing them,” said Mr. Samlall, who has extensive experience in the food service industry. “We will keep serving really great pizza. People can expect family-friendly service and quality food that has kept people coming in for years. That is not going to change.”

But, the Samlalls plan to update the Warrenton Village Shopping Center restaurant’s interior “to have more of a Brooklyn-pizzeria feel,” he said.

The changes will include a chalkboard menu by a local artist, as well as fresh paint and new bar tables in the lobby.

The menu includes pizza, gyros, steak and cheese subs and calzones.

Mr. Saleh’s family founded Pizzarama restaurant group in 1972. They had restaurants in Chantilly, Great Falls and Haymarket, along with Warrenton.

The restaurant at 252 W. Lee Highway operates seven days a week.

Tri-County Feeds celebrates 40th anniversary

Tri-County Feeds, Fashions, Finds near Marshall will host its first Family Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 20, to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. will feature local businesses and organizations, including the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, musical performances and complimentary food and wine tastings from local vendors.

Bill Jackson in 1978 started Tri-County Feeds Inc. in a Middleburg garage. With his wife Jeri, Mr. Jackson over the decades expanded Tri-County to include a range of products and services. The business a decade ago built its three-story, 12,000-square-foot warehouse and moved east on Route 55 from downtown Marshall.

“Whether you have been a customer for 40 years or for four minutes, we want to express our thanks and appreciation of your business,” Mr. Jackson said. “Tri-County wouldn’t be successful today if it weren’t for caring customers, community and friends who helped to pave the way

“The people involved in the daily operations — from the truck driver, bookkeeping, inventory control people to the sales floor and the cashiers — everybody who puts time and effort into the feed store experience has a hand in its success.”

Butler, Rollison join UVA Community Credit

Two veteran loan officers recently joined UVA Community Credit Union to work with customers in Fauquier.

Senior Commercial Loan Officer William T. “Tripp” Butler III will be responsible for building business relationships in Culpeper, Fauquier,
Orange and Rappahannock counties.

Mortgage Loan Officer Trevor Rollison will work with homebuyers and refinance clients in the Warrenton and Culpeper branches.

Mr. Butler has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including 13 years in commercial lending. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Hampden-Sydney College and completed the American Bankers Association program at the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He most recently worked as vice president for commercial banking at Virginia Community Bank.

A longtime Culpeper resident, he chairs the county Economic Development Authority, represents the town on the Culpeper Economic Development Advisory Commission and serves as treasurer of both Culpeper Wellness Foundation Inc. and Career Partners Inc. Mr. Butler also volunteers as an assistant football coach at Eastern View High School.

Mr. Rollison has worked in the financial services industry since 2001. Most recently, the Brandy Station resident served as production coordinator at Union Mortgage Group in Warrenton. A native of Harpers Ferry, Mr. Rollison served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves before starting his career in banking.

UVA Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative that provides a range of financial services.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
October 17, 2018
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FHS graduate moves forward on “The Voice”

Posted Wednesday,
October 17, 2018
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Click above to watch Fauquier High School graduate Mike Parker’s winning performance Tuesday night on “The Voice.”
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mike Parker, a 2013 Fauquier High School graduate, advanced Tuesday night during the first battle round on “The Voice,” the NBC TV show.

In a dueling duet, Mr. Parker and Natasia Greycloud of Nashville sang John Mayer’s “Gravity.”

But, Mr. Parker’s coach and judge Jennifer Hudson ultimately chose him as the winner in the first round of voice battles.

Last week, Mr. Parker’s rendition of NE-YO’s “So Sick” prompted Ms. Hudson to turn her chair at the last second and choose him during blind auditions.

As a singer, Mr. Parker, 23, released a single, “Raise a Glass,” on Sept. 1, 2018. He has two other originals, “Galaxy” and “Put Me in the Game,” on his Instagram account.

Mr. Parker lives in Prince William County, near Gainesville and currently works in construction.

His mom, DeJuanna, could see her son’s passion for music at a young age.

“He has been singing since he was in elementary school,” Ms. Parker said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He did a talent show at P.B. Smith Elementary . . . He played the piano and wore a white suit and sang a song he learned at church and everyone was taken with it.”

With three older siblings, Mr. Parker grew up in a musical family in Warrenton.

His father, Mike, played the saxophone and his sister, Samone, played the drums. Ms. Parker sang and was active with the Fauquier Community Theatre at Vint Hill.

“I think growing up with music always in the home, that certainly had an impact with Michael,” Ms. Parker said.

The local singer starred on the football field at Kettle Run, scoring five touchdowns and intercepting six passes during his junior season, when the Cougars advanced to the state semifinals. But, he ultimately graduated from Fauquier High.

“I think sports are his talent, but singing is his gift,” Ms. Parker said.

Many people have said his voice reminds them of singer-songwriter John Legend, she added.

Ms. Parker remembers her son performing in many talent shows throughout middle and high school.

“Performance has always been in his DNA,” Ms. Parker said.

Reacting to last night’s results on “The Voice,” Ms. Parker said: “We are in the moment where we are seeing what Michael has been gifted with.

“Seeing him walk in that gift is nothing short of amazing and a blessing to us. This is just the beginning. This show has an expiration date, but his career will continue on. We are seeing it as a place where he gets a wonderful head start,” she added. “We are elated and appreciative of all the encouragement we have gotten through all the media we are connected to.”

Mr. Parker will perform at Harry’s restaurant at Airlie 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.

Judge imposes life sentence for Warrenton CVS murder

Posted Wednesday,
October 17, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. on Wednesday morning formally imposed the jury’s life sentence for Bernard C. Duse Jr., who shot and killed Warrenton CVS Manager Rex Olsen, 64, the night of July 26, 2017.
The victim: Rex M. Olsen, 64.
I think it’s unfortunate it’s come this far. I think this is a travesty of justice.
— Convicted murdered Bernard Duse
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26, 2017, execution-style shooting in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

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

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

• Jury trial:  July 30-Aug. 3 in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

• Convictions: First-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit murder.

 • Sentence: Life in prison for murder, plus three years on the felony weapon charge, imposed by the judge Wednesday morning, Oct. 17.

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

• Prosecutors: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook and Senior Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail Owens. 
• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Alexandria man who brutally murdered his Warrenton CVS pharmacy boss in July 2017 will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. on Wednesday morning formally sentenced Bernard C. Duse Jr., 77, to life and three years in prison for murder and use of a weapon to kill Rex Mack Olsen, 64, of Culpeper.

First-degree murder carries a penalty of 20 years to life behind bars.

Mr. Duse maintained his innocence to the end.

“I think it’s unfortunate it’s come this far,” Mr. Duse, who had no prior criminal record, said moments before the judge imposed the sentence. “I think this is a travesty of justice.”

As he did during the five-day trial in July and August, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher recalled that Mr. Duse had executed a “planned,” “assassination-style” murder of Mr. Olsen.

Mr. Fisher described the act as the “horrific” and “brutal” killing of a “friendly” and “unsuspecting victim.”

Mr. Olsen’s murder left his family and friends “devastated,” the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney John F. Carroll noted that his client has argued that he didn’t commit the crime.

“From Mr. Duse’s perspective, he’s not the person who did that,” Mr. Carroll said.

To underscore that point, the Fairfax lawyer noted that prosecution witness Joshua Lloyd had insisted for nearly a year after the murder that he had seen a white person leave the crime scene.

But on the witness stand, Mr. Lloyd couldn’t be certain of that person’s race, Mr. Carroll added.

Seeking leniency, he asked the judge to reduce Mr. Duse’s sentence to the minimum 20 years because that punishment would be equivalent to life in prison.

Representatives of the Olsen and Duse families declined comment after Wednesday’s 13-minute hearing.

At the time of the July 26, 2017, killing Mr. Olsen worked as the manager and Mr. Duse as operations manager of the CVS store on Blackwell Road.

A jury on Aug. 3 convicted Mr. Duse of first-degree murder and the use of a weapon to commit murder in the shooting death of Mr. Olsen at about 10:15 o’clock at night in the parking lot of the CVS pharmacy on Blackwell Road.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated two hours before rendering the verdicts on Aug. 3.

That afternoon, the jury fixed Mr. Duse’s first-degree murder sentence at life in prison. The jury also gave him three years on the weapon charge.

The prosecution contended Mr. Duse murdered his boss partly because he had given him an unfavorable job performance review that prevented him from participating in CVS’s store manager-in-training program.

That led to Mr. Duse’s “planned assassination” of his boss, Mr. Fisher told the jury during the trial.

At close range, Mr. Duse shot the store manage twice — first in the back of the head and then in the face, as he lay on the ground, according to the investigation.

Mr. Duse, who had filed an age-discrimination complaint with CVS, testified he had no quarrel with Mr. Olsen and therefore no motive to murder him.

Before resting its case, the prosecution put 22 witnesses on the stand, including Mike Melson, a California-based telecommunications 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 indicated 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.

The day before his conviction, Mr. Duse took the witness stand and testified that perhaps two men he barely knew might be responsible for murdering Mr. Olsen.

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

Mr. Duse called them Luther Williams and “Scatter.” He had no last name for “Scatter,” whom he also referred to as Clarence. 

He described them as African-Americans — one in his late 20s, the other in his early 30s.

Under Mr. Fisher’s sometimes-intense questioning, Mr. Duse said 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 admitted he loaned the duo his 2005 Saturn Vue on three occasions, including the night of Mr. Olsen’s death.

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

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.

“You’re just floating it out there as a suggestion,” Mr. Fisher said.

He praised his two co-prosecutors, staff and detectives for their work on the case.

“I’m very pleased with the maximum sentences in this case,” Mr. Fisher said in a prepared statement after Wednesday’s hearing. “Successful outcomes in court happen with good teamwork.”

Mr. Duse’s convictions also “achieve a measure justice,” he said.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

Remington bridge project public hearing tonight

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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County seeks to regulate short-term home rentals

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Airbnb map shows the location of some of its short-term rentals in Fauquier County.
Fauquier County currently has approximately 117 unpermitted short-term rental properties listed on a variety of websites including Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey, to name a few.
— County zoning staff report
Public Hearing
• Topic: Proposed zoning ordinance text amendments related to the by-right regulation of short-term rental properties.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Next: The board of supervisors, which will take final action on the application, could hold a Nov. 8 work session and public hearing on the proposed changes.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier County officials hope to get a handle on the short-term residential rental market.

The county planning commission Thursday night will conduct a public hearing on proposed zoning ordinance changes that would allow short-term rentals by-right.

The commission meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

> Documents at bottom of story

The county has received complaints about “strange” vehicles regularly entering and leaving neighborhoods, county Zoning Chief Rob Walton said.

Regulation would enable the county staff to track short-term rentals and inform residents, when asked, that they operate with local government approval, Mr. Walton explained.

“Fauquier County currently has approximately 117 unpermitted short-term rental properties listed on a variety of websites including Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey, to name a few,” according to his staff report, which used data from Host Compliance — a company that among other things monitors short-term rental conformance.

Under the proposed amendments, property owners would be allowed by-right a maximum two people per approved bedroom within their primary residences; the ordinance already limits the number of people who can occupy an accessory dwelling to three. That cap would apply to such units used as short-term rentals.

The proposal places no limit on the number of days per year a primary residence could be rented — provided the owner and/or property managers occupies the property during rental periods.

Renting properties without that supervision would require special permit approval.

To qualify as primary residences, owners must live there at least 183 days per year.

Individuals can’t rent rooms for more than 29 consecutive days, according to the proposal.

Structures used for short-term rentals also must meet safety, parking and road standards.

The proposal states that property owners “shall register the rental use annually with the Commissioner of the Revenue and promptly pay any applicable rental use taxes assessed.” Fauquier collects a lodging tax based on 2 percent of the gross revenue generated by a room.

The community development staff has recommended approval of the proposed amendments.

In September 2017, the board of supervisors conducted a work session on short-term rentals. A month later, it initiated the text amendment process that led to the proposed changes.

The commission in April conducted and left open a public hearing on proposed zoning ordinance amendments to govern short-term rentals.

The commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which have final authority.

If it acts on the application Thursday, the supervisors could hold a work session and public hearing at their Nov. 8 meeting.

Short-term Rentals Ordinanc... by on Scribd

“Bealeton is no longer a divided community”

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Now my children . . . are able to walk to school functions and home without having to cross (Route) 17.
— Ryan Carroll
Safe Routes to School
• What: Approximately one-mile paved walkway for students and the community in Bealeton.

• Where: Along Schoolhouse Road near Cedar Lee Middle School to the intersection at Remington Road; under the Route 17 overpass and to a trail in Waverly Station subdivision.

• Project: Sidewalk construction and improvements, bicycle and pedestrian crosswalks and signs, bicycle racks, fencing and bridge under Route 17.

• Cost: $657,372 with a $550,000 grant from VDOT and balance from county.

• Construction: April to September.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Students who live nearby in Bealeton have safer routes to and from Cedar Lee Middle School.

After nine years of planning and construction, a one-mile system of trails and sidewalks connects neighborhoods east of four-lane Route 17 to the school on the west. The project also has produced safer walking conditions around the campus along Schoolhouse Road.

The Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department on Oct. 5 dedicated the new paved walkways along Schoolhouse Road and under Route 17, connecting with a trail in the Waverly Station subdivision.

“Bealeton is no longer a divided community,” Fauquier Trails Coalition President Jimmy Messick said. “Without risking life and limb . . . students can now make it across” Route 17.

The non-profit Fauquier Trails Coalition in 2009 started working with the parks department on a plan to connect the community.

In 2012, the county received a $550,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation “Safe Routes to School” program to construct the walkways.

The county board of supervisors also appropriated $107,372 for the project, which cost a total of $657,372.

The project included sidewalk construction and improvements, bicycle and pedestrian crosswalks and signs and bike racks near Cedar Lee. It also required construction of a bridge and fencing under the Route 17 overpass.

Completed last month, the work started in April.

“It provides wellness opportunities,” county parks Director Larry Miller said of the trail. “It reduces pollution. There are so many advantages.”

Ryan Carroll and her children, who live near the Bealeton library branch, already have used the walkway.

“I think it’s great,” Ms. Carroll said. “Now my children, who are in middle school, are able to walk to school functions and home without having to cross (Route) 17.”

She believes the improvements will benefit her 12- and 13-year-old children who use the trail to walk home after cross country and soccer practice.

“It’s safe. It’s convenient and pretty. And there’s even a convenience store (5 De Mayo) on the corner there now,” said Ms. Carroll who has used the trail for her work as a dog walker.

Ms. Carroll looks forward to the development of more trails in Southern Fauquier.

Cedar Lee staff member Deanna Perry, who lives near the school, plans to use the path to get outside more with her children.

“It’s great not only to have a safe way to walk to school, but a place to ride bikes and spend more time outside,” Ms. Perry said.

In the future, the parks department hopes to build a trail extension from Cedar Lee along Bowens Run to Route 28.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

As a motorist, how do you deal with Broadview Avenue in Warrenton?

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Climate change discussion Sunday in Warrenton

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Bullying not an acceptable way to make the case

Posted Tuesday,
October 16, 2018
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Planners ponder Vint Hill data center rezoning

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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This conceptual plan shows how the commercial property at Vint Hill might develop.
I’ve been talking to folks — specifically neighbors over at Vint Hill and the area — about what’s been happening over there. And so far as the application is phrased, they’ve been able to support it.
— Holder Trumbo, Scott District supervisor
Public Hearing
• Topic: Proposed rezoning amendments to concept development plan and proffers to allow an additional 751,265 square feet of nonresidential building space at Vint Hill; additional square feet requested would apply to only data center and government uses.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Applicant: EFO Capital Management Inc.

• Property owners: Vint Hill Village LLC and Vint Hill Land 1 LLC.

• Next: The board of supervisors, which will take final action on the application, could hold a Nov. 8 work session and public hearing on the project.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s planning commission Thursday will conduct a public hearing on a proposal designed to attract data center or government uses to Vint Hill.

The commission meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

An advisory panel, the commission makes recommendations to the board of supervisors, which has final authority.

EFO Capital Management Inc. wants board approval for an additional 751,265 square feet of buildings at the former Amy base near New Baltimore. That amounts to a 24.2-percent increase. Vint Hill has approval for 3.1 million square feet of nonresidential structures.

If approved, the increase would apply to only data center and government uses on the 124-acre site at Aiken Drive and Kennedy Road, stressed planning consultant Chuck Floyd, who represents the applicant and landowners.

> Documents at bottom of story

“There are ongoing discussions right now about potential acquisition” with data center industry representatives, Mr. Floyd said. “Everybody’s kind of doing their due diligence to understand the fiber infrastructure, where NOVEC (Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative) is going to be with their power source and substation, where that is on the timetable and how much power they can get.”

The additional square feet of building space sought “will go a long way” toward sending a message that “Fauquier County would like Vint Hill to be developed,” he added.

Data center industry representatives he has spoken with “are very hesitant to believe that Fauquier County will support this application, because they’ve paid attention to the Fauquier market,” Mr. Floyd said. “And they haven’t seen a lot of necessarily good things to facilitate commercial/industrial development.”

The request for more building space also might make the property appealing to “something like the FAA, the CIA, NSA — one of those three-letter organizations who want to purchase some property,” he said. “We want to make sure we have the ability to sell it to them and they be able to develop it the way they want.”

In 2011, the FAA opened a 64,000-square-foot air traffic control system command center at Vint Hill and may lease a structure or build a new one there to meet its needs. The FAA employs about 800 people at Vint Hill.

While county Supervisor Holder Trumbo, whose Scott District includes Vint Hill, wants to hear more from citizens about the proposal, “I can tell you I’ve been talking to folks — specifically neighbors over at Vint Hill and the area — about what’s been happening over there. And, so far as the application is phrased, they’ve been able to support it.”

In answer to questions, he has assured neighbors that development on the site would be adequately buffered, the supervisor said.

“It’s like any other process, you walk through it,” Mr. Trumbo said. “But, at this point in time, I don’t have people coming at me going, ‘No, no. Don’t let this happen and here’s why.’

“For that reason, I think it probably is going to be supported.”

If the commission acts on the application Thursday, the supervisors could hold a work session and public hearing at their Nov. 8 meeting.

He favors data centers “in the right spot in the right way,” Mr. Trumbo said. “We want economic development.”

He appreciates criticism that data centers don’t create many jobs.

But “when you look at Vint Hill as an industrially zoned area and recognize that it is almost strangled by a lack of access as far as roads go, that’s why data centers make sense, because you don’t have a workforce with 1,000 people on a shift trying to get in and out of Rogues Road.”

French-based OVH, one of the world’s largest “cloud computer hosting companies has pledged to invest $150 million at Vint Hill, creating at least 100 jobs

The new rezoning application includes several concepts that show only data center buildings, data center and office buildings and a distribution center, a data center and two data or office buildings.

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.

Vint Hill Rezoning Applicai... by on Scribd

“Shop with a Cop” dinner Saturday at fairgrounds

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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Warrenton area home and 40 acres bring $1.75 million

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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Photo/Allen Real Estate
Grandview, on 40 acres six miles west of Warrenton, sells for $1.75 million.
A five-bedroom custom home on 40 acres west of Warrenton sold last week for $1.75 million.

Built of stone and stucco in 1996 for former Washington Redskins tackle Joe Jacoby and his family, Grandview features five bathrooms, three stone fireplaces, a library, a pool, patios, a four-bay garage, a barn and a pond.

Along Harts Mill Road six miles from town, the property has great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Listed with Allen Real Estate of Warrenton, Grandview went on the market in April 2017 with an asking price of $2.975 million, according to

The property last sold in 2001 for $1.775 million, according to county real estate records.

The Marshall District sale tops the most recent Fauquier County real estate transactions.

Also of note, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors last week bought 51 acres near Calverton for the mass drainfield that would serve a planned central wastewater treatment system for that village and Catlett. The county paid $572,638 for the property in Cedar Run District.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Oct. 5-11, 2018:

Cedar Run District

CBAY-VA LLC to Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, 51 acres, Route 28, near Calverton, $572,638.

Paradigm Farm LLC to Atkins Construction Group LLC, 2.19 acres, Lot 4, Paradigm Farm Subdivision, off Green Road, near Warrenton, $100,000.

Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC to Mara and John Desmedt, 3.36 acres, Lot 3, S.S. Wean Estate Subdivision, 4300 Ringwood Road, near Nokesville, $323,100.

Lucille B. Washington, Fran W. Taylor and others to Jose A. Barriga, 5 acres, 1562 Sowego Road, near Catlett, $135,000.

Cummings Investment Associates Inc. to Justin S. Johnson, 15.77 acres, Midland Road, southeast of Midland, $50,000.

Gregory A. and Kathleen M. Rizzo to Zachary W. Gregor, 0.95 acre, Lot 21, Renaissance Woods Subdivision, 7678 Greenwood Way, near Nokesville, $415,000.

NVR Inc. to Gregory B. and Melissa B. Howell, 0.59 acre, Lot 12, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6431 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $523,755.

Center District

Gabriela R. Six to Matthew and Jessica Wahlstrom, 1.39 acres, Lot 67, Phase 3, Millwood Subdivision, 6278 Millwood Drive, near Warrenton, $444,900.

Eric and Allison D. Brindley to Joshua B. and Amanda G. Sowers, Lot 203, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 6481 Lancaster Drive, near Warrenton, $375,000.

Michael L. and Terry A. Straight to Robert J. Rill and Annie Zheng, Unit 7, Phase 16, Villas at The Ridges Condominiums, 156 Topaz Court, Warrenton, $322,000.

Lee District

Dorris M. Baringer to Arco O. Padilla, 1.01 acres, Lot 5, Rankin Division, 7211 Covington’s corner Road, near Bealeton, $337,000.

Susan W. and Steven M. Lewis to Alan W. Smith Jr. and Marcia A. Marsh, trustees, 40 acres, 9255 Harts Mill Road, near Warrenton, $1,750,000.

Khalid Majeed to Donald L. Sherbeyn, 0.75 acre, 7472 Sumerduck Road, near Remington, $94,500.

Marshall District

Raine M. Gilbert to Medici Investments LLC, 15.16 acres, Lot F, Gilbert Division, off Old Waterloo Road, west of Warrenton, $210,000.

Scott District

Natalie A. and Joshua M. Erdossy to Justin E. and Cassi E. Mehaffey, Lot 9, Phase 13-A, Brookside Subdivision, 2222 Pump House Court, near Warrenton, $520,000.

Michael A. and Nicole C. Oliver to Gary M. and Yunsun K. Bronson, Lot 35, Phase 12-A, Brookside Subdivision, 7124 Shepherdstown Road, near Warrenton, $459,000.

Fauquier Lakes Partnership LP to NVR Inc. Lots 101 and 109, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $415,561.

William B. and Cynthia A. Ellis to Daniel Lipovsky, Lot 34, Phase 1-A, Jamison’s Farm Subdivision, 5564 Angus Hill Drive, near Warrenton, $600,000.

Peter G. and Dorothy U. Johnson to Stephen J. and Janet W. Miles, Lot 62, Land Bay G, Vint Hill Subdivision, 6827 Averbach Court, near Warrenton, $500,000.

Paul L. Smith Jr. estate, by Wanda Smith Browning as executor, to Umvinho Investments LLC, 7.5 acres, 5472 Merry Oaks Road, near The Plains, $325,000.

Marshall Main St. Project key to village vitality

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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Faces of Fauquier: Ham radio led to arts career

Posted Monday,
October 15, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
“We happened to drive through Warrenton several times and just kind of fell in love with the area,” Rick Davis says of the decision he and his wife made to move here two decades ago.
Education is fundamental to society, and I think arts, as part of education, are fundamental to unleashing people’s creativity and giving them a sense of hope and positive experiences.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In a pinch, his western Wisconsin hometown community theater needed a lighting board operator.

Rick Davis didn’t know a lick about staging a play but had a knack for electronics.

“I got my ham radio license when I was 10,” recalls Dr. Davis, a Warrenton resident who wears many hats at George Mason University, including executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center near Manassas. “My mother was a volunteer costume designer for our community theater, and they lost their lighting board operator for a summer theater show.”

Recognizing an opportunity, she volunteered him for the job.

“My mother just perked up and said, ‘My little Ricky’s only 10 or 11, but he knows electronics.’ So I got pulled into the theater that way and just never left.”

The La Crosse native eventually got a bachelor’s degree in theater and a master’s and his doctorate in fine arts.

After professional and college teaching stops in Pittsburgh and Chestertown, Md., and Baltimore, Dr. Davis in 1991 joined George Mason University as artistic director of the Theater of the First Amendment.

Rising through the university’s ranks, he became executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center in 2011 and four years later dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“The great thing about George Mason is that we make a lot of it up as we go along,” Dr. Davis, 61, modestly insists. “So, I was tapped at various times to do jobs that I really never intended to do.”

As dean of the visual and performing arts college, he oversees a $30 million budget and a full- and part-time staff of about 530.

The performing arts center has a $3-million-per-year operating budget, with 15 full-time staffers.

> Video at bottom of story

In his wildest dreams, Dr. Davis hardly envisioned that kind of responsibility would be his someday.

“My career as an artist, as a stage director and as a dramaturg, you never imagine that you’re going to be sitting at the head of a $33-million operation,” he admits. “But, I have sort of grown with the university. When I came here in ’91, it was less than half the size it is today.”

Twenty-seven years ago, GMU had 17,000 students, he says.

Today, it has 37,000, Dr. Davis added.

While administrative duties claim a big part of his day, he finds time to direct.

“I do at least one show a year to keep active,” he says. “In practice, I end up doing two or three, and they vary from a fully, professional downtown opera, musical theater thing to student work at Mason to the Stone Hill Players in Rappahannock County.”

A tenor, Dr. Davis also occasionally performs in the Messiah production at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, does solos with the university’s symphonic chorus and appears in musical theater and opera roles.

In his spare time, Dr. Davis flies a 1966 Piper Cherokee, which he co-owns with a mechanic at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland.

He and his wife Julie Thompson take the plane to North Carolina’s Outer Banks — a trip that takes about 2-1/2 hours by air versus nine hours on the road.

But, “mostly I fly around the area — maybe go over to the Shenandoah Valley and do a little sightseeing. It’s just really beautiful.”

• Age

• Home 

• Work
Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts, George Mason University, 2015-present; executive director, Hylton Performing Arts Center, 2011-present; theater school professor, GMU, 1991-present; associate provost, undergraduate education, GMU, 2007-11; artistic director, Theater of the First Amendment, GMU, 1991-2012; associate artistic director, Baltimore Center Stage, 1990-91; resident dramaturg, Baltimore Center Stage, 1986-91.

• Why do you do the job?
I really can’t imagine doing anything else. I love theater; I love music; I love the arts; I love teaching.

The particular job that I’m in right now — and it’s been true throughout my career — I’ve been able to somehow find a way to do all those things at the same time. It’s just so rewarding.

• Family
Wife Julie Thompson; Dickens, 8-year-old border terrier.

• Education
Doctorate, fine arts, Yale University, 2003; master’s degree, fine arts, Yale University, 1983; bachelor’s degree, theatre, Lawrence (Wis.) University, 1980; La Crosse (Wis.) Central High School, 1975.

• Civic involvement
Fauquier Community Theatre board member, 2015-present.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
20 years

• Why do you live here? 

We lived in Arlington, and we started to take long, lovely country drives on weekends. And we happened to drive through Warrenton several times and just kind of fell in love with the area.

• How do you describe this county? 
It’s a blend of rural and town life. I love the fact that we live right off of Old Town, and we can walk to the shops and restaurants on Main Street. In a 10-minute drive, you’re in the country and in the beautiful rolling hills.

My work often takes me into the District and to New York and London. I love cities. But, as far as a place to live, you couldn’t ask for a better fit than Warrenton.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
We need a great bookstore. When we first moved to Warrenton, there was a very nice local bookstore on Main Street. That’s a very embattled sector — the independent bookstore.

Somebody needs to take the bull by the horns and open a really great independent bookshop. I think the tide is turning, the pendulum is swinging back to that.

• What do you do for fun? 
The most fun thing I get to do other than direct plays and operas and teaching, for recreation, I’m a private pilot and an airplane owner at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.

I’m a ham radio operator, though I’m not as active as I used to be.

I also do a little, tiny bit of watercolor painting, but only on vacation.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
There are some roads and some turns, and anybody who lives in this area will know what I’m talking about. You make a turn on a road and you get a new vista of the mountains and the farm fields and a pond and a fence line. And at the right time of the day, it all comes together.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think it’s not going to change very much.

Warrenton is on a really good path, with some of the improvements that are being made in the traffic area, the streetscape.

I’m interested in the amphitheater project that’s being talked about. I think it’s a neat idea.

I think the county is so beautiful and so well-balanced in terms of agriculture and small towns and tourism, it seems like it’s pretty much got it right. So now we have to not mess it up.

• Favorite TV show?
“Stranger Things”

• Favorite movie? 
“Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb”

• Favorite book?
The favorite book I read recently is “Lincoln In The Bardo” By George Saunders.

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Ocracoke, N.C.

• Favorite food? 
Any great seafood.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
I had a mentor in college who changed the direction of my career in the theater, with a very simple observation. He said, “Rick, I think you’re a dramaturg.” That’s a profession in the theater where you’re sort of a critic/theorist/production advisor.

I was doing set design and lighting design and not doing very well at it. My mentor pulled me aside one day — I had no idea what a dramaturg was — and said I think you should look into this.

That was the path that took me to Yale and on into a professional theater career.

• Who’s your hero and why?
I really admire the late 19th Century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. He used his art as a powerful agent of social change and progress on women’s rights and social institutions. He helped change the world through his art.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
I would love to do some good things for the institutions that I care about, which include George Mason (University), Lawrence (University), Yale.

Education is fundamental to society, and I think arts, as part of education, are fundamental to unleashing people’s creativity and giving them a sense of hope and positive experiences.

I’d like to set up scholarship funds and program funds that allow people who otherwise might not have access to either study or perform or attend performances.

And then I’d probably buyer a bigger airplane with what’s left over.

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540270-0700.

Pundits: 5th District race uncharacteristically close 

Posted Sunday,
October 14, 2018
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Photos/Lawrence Emerson
Denver Riggleman (R) and Leslie Cockburn (D) vie for the 5th District U.S. House of Representatives seat, which Tom Garrett will leave at year’s end.
“Cockburn will probably have to run a nearly perfect race to win in a district Trump carried by 11 points.
— U.Va. Center for Politics’ “Crystal Ball”
On the Ballot
Tuesday, Nov. 6, election

U.S. Senate
Tim Kaine (D)*
Corey Stewart (R)

5th House District
Leslie Cockburn (D)
Denver Riggleman (R)

1st District
Vangie Williams (D)
Rob Wittman (R)*

* Incumbent

Voter registration
5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, deadline
By Leland Schwartz
For FauquierNow

Voters in Fauquier and throughout Virginia have until 5 p.m. Monday to register for the Nov. 6 election.

Those who cast ballots will elect U.S. House of Representatives members and one of Virginia’s two U.S. senators.

In the historically Republican 5th Congressional District, which includes most of Fauquier, some political pundits see an extremely close race for the open seat between Leslie Cockburn (D) and Denver Riggleman (R).

Professor Stephen Farnsworth, director of the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies, said last week called the race “50-50.”

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight site gave Ms. Cockburn a slight lead — 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent —over Mr. Riggleman. The site ranks the 5th District 14.4 percent “more Republican-leaning than the country overall, based on how it has voted in recent presidential and state legislative elections.”

The Cook Political Report has the district “leaning” Republican, as does the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, which stands near the geographic center of the sprawling 5th that extends to the North Carolina border.

“Cockburn will probably have to run a nearly perfect race to win in a district Trump carried by 11 points,” the U.Va. center’s “Crystal Ball” reported earlier this year.

“The biggest challenge for Riggleman is to be heard in the windstorm that is the Trump presidency,” Dr. Farnsworth said in a phone interview. “It’s very hard for any candidate to get all that much public or media attention when the president seems to dominate every minute of every news cycle.” 

Ms. Cockburn, he said, needs “to convince the generally conservative district to support more progressive policies than the district usually does.”

Dr. Farnsworth described the 5th as “really a bunch of districts — a slice of the Washington suburbs, the Charlottesville area, the Lynchburg area, and a solid core of Southside Virginia, all rolled into one.”

He said Democrats will do well in the more urban and suburban areas, while the Republicans will do very well in the rural areas. 

Dr. Farnsworth, who moderated one of the candidates’ four debates in Madison County, said both Mr. Riggleman and Ms. Cockburn “presented themselves effectively” showing “a solid grasp of issues that one does not always see in first-time candidates for Congress.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, the Republican who dropped out of the race in May to face his problems with alcoholism, won the seat by nearly 17 percentage points in 2016.

Mr. Garrett on Friday said he would be “shocked if Riggleman doesn’t win by a comfortable margin.” While the congressman has seen the pundits’ predictions of a close race but said, “I just don't buy it” and predicted Mr. Riggleman would win by 10 points.

Mr. Riggleman owns a distillery in Nelson County and works a Pentagon consultant. A Rappahannock County resident, Ms. Cockburn is a former journalist and author.

In the 1st District — including the Fauquier precincts of Bealeton, Catlett, Lois and Morrisville — Rep. Rob Wittman (R ) faces Democratic challenger Vangie Williams.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D) faces Republican challenger Corey Stewart.

As of last Wednesday, Fauquier County had 50,721 registered voters, about 2,000 more than at the same date in 2016, according to county General Registrar Alex Ables.

Mr. Ables said his office has processed 1,154 applications for an absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election, while at the same point in 2016, the county had processed 1,800 applications.

Voter registration “fluctuates depending upon where we are in the four-year election cycle, with the presidential election being the zenith,” he said.

Generally, Mr. Ables said, “voter registration activity ramps up in the 45 to 60 days prior to Election Day and that model is holding true for this election.

“Everyone needs to be aware that the voter registration deadline for the November general election is October 15 the at 5 p.m.,” he said.

Citizens can register vote in the general registrar’s office at 528 Waterloo Road in Warrenton. You can check your registration on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Threatening the safety net for millions of citizens

Posted Sunday,
October 14, 2018
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State police investigate Warrenton town cops

Posted Friday,
October 12, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton Police Department started an internal investigation before the commonwealth’s attorney asked the state police to find out what happened Wednesday night, Sept. 19, in the local bar.
We can’t allow our police force to be tarnished by one or two officers with inappropriate behavior.
— Mayor Carter Nevill
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

State police continue to investigate the actions of off-duty Warrenton cops in a local bar where a woman allegedly suffered a broken nose in an altercation with them.

The incident — involving six Warrenton police officers — took place Wednesday night, Sept. 19, at Fat’s (formerly Fat Tuesday’s) in the Warrenton Village Shopping Center, according to a letter from Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher to town officials and interviews with local authorities.

All off-duty, the officers reportedly started a retirement celebration at a bar in Gainesville and later came to Warrenton.

One version of the incident has an officer assaulting a woman in her early 20s and breaking her nose. The other version describes an accident involving horseplay.

That officer remains on “desk duty,” pending the outcome of the state police investigation.

In his three-page Oct. 3 letter to town officials, Mr. Fisher said he — as Fauquier’s chief prosecutor — immediately should have been contacted about the incident by “protocol.”

But, he learned about it when the woman’s lawyer contacted him Sept. 27 “with information that his client was assaulted at a local bar by an off-duty police officer and that several other off-duty police officers were witnesses to the incident,” Mr. Fisher said in his letter, a copy of which FauquierNow obtained this week.

“One version indicates a potential criminal assault, while another version indicates negligence or potentially gross negligence,” the prosecutor added. “All versions include public intoxication on the part of more than one officer as well as the woman injured in the matter.”

Mr. Fischer’s letter includes a photocopied Oct. 1 police department email that says another town officer arrived at the bar after the incident to give “rides home” to some of his colleagues. The next day, that officer notified department command staff members, according to the email.

Town Manager Brannon Godfrey said Friday he learned of the incident “either the next day or within a matter of days . . . . So, I was made aware of it certainly by Thursday or Friday.”

But, Mr. Godfrey did not immediately contact the town attorney or commonwealth’s attorney.

“It’s not been a procedure I’ve had to perform in the past,” the town manager said. “Thankfully, officer conduct with internal affairs is rare. I’m not making an excuse for not doing it . . . but haven’t had to do it since I’ve been here.”

Mayor Carter Nevill and town council members gradually heard about the incident, they said.

Mr. Nevill said he first learned about it in a discussion with Councilman Bob Kravetz (Ward 4), chairman of the Public Safety and Transportation Committee, who maintains close contact with the police department.

“The proper protocol should have been a memo sent to us from the town manager,” the mayor said. “It is a staff incident and he is head of staff . . . . That is potentially serious in nature, and we should be informed immediately.”

Mr. Nevill added: “I am disappointed in the way that the process was handled.”

A town police department internal investigation started Thursday, Sept. 20, the day after the incident, according to Mr. Godfrey.

“By Monday, October 1, 2018, my office had still not been contacted by any official with the Warrenton Police Department, so I asked my Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney (Jamey Cook) to make formal contact with a supervisor at the department who confirmed that there was an inquiry into the matter, but that an official internal affairs investigation had only recently opened,” Mr. Fisher wrote.

He added: “In short, I am more troubled by the delay and apparent lack of formal protocol in immediately invoking the protocols of the department’s rules and regulations. As a result, I am exercising my authority to ask the Virginia State Police to investigate this matter for any potential criminal liability.”

Mayor Nevill said Friday: “We need to have officers . . . to serve and protect. If they violate and dismiss that responsibility . . . they need to be dealt with.

“We can’t allow our police force to be tarnished by one or two officers with inappropriate behavior,” Mr. Nevill said.

“The matter is under investigation,” Mr. Fisher said in an interview Friday. “So at this point, it’s inappropriate for me to comment. We’ll have to let the process play out.”

In his letter, the prosecutor wrote that potential police misconduct could jeopardize any criminal case in which that officer made the arrest.

Town Attorney Whit Robinson had not learned about the incident as of Oct. 1, Mr. Fisher wrote. On Sept. 28, Mr. Robinson prosecuted misdemeanor cases involving at least two of the officers involved in the bar incident, according to the prosecutor.

“My office is attempting to discern if any felony cases are pending involving the officers in question,” Mr. Fisher wrote. “Again, we need this information to comply with our constitutional obligations to any defendants who may have been charged by officers involved in conduct that could be in violation of Virginia law.”

It remains unclear when the state police will complete the Sept. 19 incident investigation.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: County buys office building

Posted Friday,
October 12, 2018
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The community services board’s mental health services will move from Hospital Drive to this building at 12 North Hill Drive in Warrenton. Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday night agreed to buy and renovate the vacant building at a total estimated cost of $2.47 million.
$1.14 million

The price Fauquier’s board of supervisors and two partner organizations will pay for a 7,736-square-foot office building at 12 North Hill Drive in Warrenton.

The board approved the purchase, 4-0, Thursday night. The two-story brick building will house the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board’s mental health services, which will move from a county-owned building at 340 Hospital Drive.

With renovations and installation of an elevator, the total cost of North Hill Drive structure will be $2.475 million, with these funding sources:

• $708,000 each from the county and the community services board.

• Just more than $1 million from the PATH Foundation.

After the community services board moves, the plan calls for reuse of the Hospital Drive building to house a residential addiction treatment center.

“This is a huge step,” Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District) said of the effort to provide space for residential treatment and to expand mental health services in Fauquier.

$1.9 million

The total Town of Warrenton budgeted but unspent funds in fiscal 2018, which ended June 30. That represents 6.8 percent of the total budget of $27.8 million.

Most of the surplus results from projects not completed during the fiscal year and “proffers” received in connection with past residential rezonings.

The town council Tuesday voted, 7-0, to amend the fiscal 2019 budget to include the “carryover.”


The number of “civil papers” the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office had served this year, as of Sept. 30.

Those documents include summonses to appear in court and petitions that initiate lawsuits. They also include eviction notices, Virginia Employment Commission documents and notices of wage garnishments.


Real estate foreclosures that banks, mortgage companies and individuals who hold notes on property filed with the Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office in 2017.

In 2016, the office recorded 84 foreclosures, or 18.3 percent more than last year.

From January 2018 through Sept. 30, the office processed 40 foreclosures.

Five years ago, it recorded 95 foreclosures.


Number of road vehicles owned by the Town of Warrenton.

The police department has the most vehicles, including 22 cruisers, two Harley Davidson motorcycles and to vans.

Ranking second among town departments, public works has 19 road vehicles, with a 2020 Freightliner dump truck on order.

Hope dominates at local vigil for those lost to opioids

Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
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We’re starting to treat it as a public health problem. We need to ensure as a community we provide safe places for all who seek help.
— Powell Duggan, keynote speaker
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Despite Fauquier County’s continuing death toll in the battle against opioid abuse, they expressed hope and spoke movingly of changing attitudes.

About 125 people gathered at a vigil Wednesday night on Warrenton’s Courthouse Square to remember those who’ve lost their lives to heroin and other drugs.

His office so far this year has investigated 39 opioid overdoses and 13 resulting deaths, Sheriff Bob Mosier told the crowd.

“We’re starting to treat it as a public health problem,” said former Warrenton Mayor Powell Duggan, the vigil’s keynote speaker. “We need to ensure as a community we provide safe places for all who seek help.”

Mr. Duggan spoke of his struggles to deal with the March 2015 overdose death of his 38-year-old son Dan.

“I remember all too well the day 12 years ago when Dan confided in me about his addiction . . . and the day 3-1/2 years ago, when he died,” the local lawyer said. “As a parent, you wonder, ‘What could I have done differently? . . . Why was Dan in this position?’ ”

Mr. Duggan added: “There are things I didn’t know then that I know now.”

He seemed to speak for the community, which has grown much more supportive of the effort to save addicts and to support their families.

A reporter from Denmark, researching a story on the epidemic in the U.S., recently interviewed him. During the interview, Mr. Duggan asked the journalist whether Denmark has a similar problem.

“ ‘No,’ ” the reporter replied. “ ‘You leave the hospital with a whole lot of Advil’,” not a month’s worth of narcotics, Mr. Duggan said.

Sheriff Mosier said his deputies will continue to arrest those who traffic in drugs but also will attempt to help them lead productive lives after incarceration. He described a six-step process for the community:

• “Acknowledgement of the problem.”

• “Assessment to get (addicts) to solutions.”

• “Detoxification. There has to be a process to rid the body of the chemicals.”

• “Therapy.” He mentioned the range of groups working in Fauquier with addicts.

• “Aftercare.”

• “Abstinence. You’re using, you’re clean or you’re in jail.”

Survivors — mostly parents of addicts who’ve died — organized the second such vigil in Warrenton. The first took place two years ago.

“Together, we can fact this a lot better than facing it alone,” said Caroline Folker, one of the organizers.

Contact Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.

Elderly couple found dead in Warrenton Lakes

Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
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Fauquier sheriff’s detectives on Thursday continued to investigate an elderly Warrenton Lakes couple’s apparent murder-suicide that took place Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office issued this press release Thursday afternoon:

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, deputies responded to a residence on Marr Drive near Warrenton for a possible suicide. The caller contacted the Emergency Communications Center at 12:31 p.m. advising there was a note on the door stating not to enter because of a suicide in the residence. The caller is a home health care provider. 
Deputies and Fire/Rescue personnel entered the home and located two adults, a man and a woman, deceased inside the home. Sheriff’s detectives conducted an investigation and examined the scene. The couple lived at the residence in the 7200 block of Marr Drive. The male was under the care of a home health care provider and recent calls to the couple had gone unanswered.
Based on evidence located at the scene including written communications by the female, preliminary investigation determined the female shot the male with a handgun and then turned the gun on herself. However, the exact cause and manner of death will be determined by autopsy. The deceased were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Prince William County for autopsy. 
They are identified as Clark Marlo Johnson, 75, and Linda Melvin Johnson, 75, both of Warrenton. This investigation continues.  Detectives continue to work with the medical examiner to determine the exact cause and manner of death. 

Donations sought to bury Marshall Main St. utilities

Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
Like 1 · 1 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Burying utility lines would cost an additional $1.5 million.
I understand that we’re not always going to get exactly what we want on a project like this. But what we get is so important to the health, the vibrancy of this community.
— Mary Leigh McDaniel, Marshall District supervisor
Marshall Main St. Project
Key features include:

• New sidewalks and crosswalks along Main Street from just east of Winchester Road (Route 17) to just west of Frost Street near the old IGA.

• New sidewalks and crosswalks on Winchester Road.

• Moving electrical, phone and cable TV lines underground, eliminating utility poles.

• New street trees, lamps, benches and landscaping.

• A decorative, knee-high brick wall fronting 7-Eleven store at Rectortown Road and Main Street.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A plan to improve a one-block portion of Marshall’s Main Street could include burying utility lines after all.

County Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel, whose Marshall District includes the Northern Fauquier village, Tuesday night outlined a fundraising strategy to raise the $1.5 million needed to cover that expense during the Marshall Business and Residents Association meeting.

That would push the improvement project’s total cost to about $6.3 million.

The plan also calls for new sidewalks, crosswalks, street trees, lamps benches, landscaping along Main Street from just east of Winchester Road (Route 17) to just west of Frost Street near the old IGA.

Those improvements would cost about $4.8 million, including $3.6 million in federal funds.

A 20-percent local match — including revenue from Marshall’s special district for street lights and a $400,000 developer proffer — totals $1.2 million.

To proceed with the project, the county must get construction bid approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation by Nov. 20, or risk losing all federal funding.

Fauquier could get VDOT approval by that date for just the planned streetscape improvements.

But some critics argue the county should scrap the entire project, if it doesn’t include burying utility lines, as originally planned.

Ms. McDaniel learned about a month ago that VDOT would give the county an “extension” to raise funds to move electrical, phone and cable TV lines underground and eliminate utility poles.

“VDOT has said, even though our deadline for the project to go to bid is Nov. 20, they are going to give us some additional time to raise the $1.5 million that will allow us to do the undergrounding as part of the initial project,” she told the MBRA meeting audience.

But, the Nov. 20 deadline may not be critical.

“The federal government is not the quickest,” project manager and county Office of Management and Budget Director Erin Kozanecki said in an interview. “They don’t necessarily pull back funds until the end of their fiscal year.”

The fiscal year will end Sept. 30, 2019.

Beginning Nov. 20, 2008, Fauquier effectively had 10 years to get to the bid approval stage of the project.

Based on the county’s recent efforts to advance the project, it would appear “the spirit of that (10-year) rule would be met,” suggested Stacey Londrey, assistant district manager in VDOT’s Culpeper office.

“They want to see these projects succeed,” Ms. Londrey said of the Federal Highway Administration.

“I do believe the goal of the FHA is to see the money allocated” for transportation projects, “to be used and be productive.”
VDOT didn’t give the county a deadline to raise the $1.5 million.

As a practical matter, Fauquier should have the $1.5 million in hand by Dec. 1, so that it can bid the complete project in the spring, Ms. Kozanecki said.

If the additional money can’t be raised by then, the project will be bid without the utility component.

Ms. McDaniel about 10 days ago assembled Marshall business people, property owners and residents to develop a fund-raising plan.

The nine-member “focus group,” which met for about 90 minutes, identified 30 potential “donors” and agreed to prepare “talking points” to sell the project to them and the community, the Marshall supervisor said.

“If we’re working together as a community, we’re going to be stronger,” Ms. McDaniel told the audience. “I’m confident we can do this $1.5 million, if we all work together to get there.”

Hosted by the MBRA, about 70 attend the hour-and-20-minute meeting in the Marshall Ruritan Club building on Salem Avenue.

MBRA’s board prepared dozens of questions, which Ms. McDaniel, Ms. Kozanecki and others helped answer.

Audience members posed questions of their own.

Topics ran the gamut, including various issues related to burying utility lines, the proposed street light type, the use of brick versus stamped concrete for sidewalks and landscaping.

The association in September conducted a contentious information meeting on the project.

A few people on Tuesday night doubted the wisdom of narrowing Main Street lanes in the project area from 12 to 11 feet wide.

Narrower lanes accomplish a few key objectives, Ms. McDaniel said.

They slow traffic, improve safety and still can accommodate all types of vehicles, she explained.

They also add an extra foot to sidewalks on both sides of Main Street, making them Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and more pedestrian friendly, Ms. McDaniel added.

In answer to several questions, the county has obtained all easements needed for the streetscape portion of the project, she said.

Fauquier still needs two easements related to undergrounding utilities, the supervisor said.

“There’s no pressuring of anybody. We’re just hopeful that people will see the benefit of this wonderful enhancement of Main Street and will be willing to give us the necessary easements.”

Ms. McDaniel rejected the idea that Fauquier would walk away from the project.

“If we had a community that worked on a project for 20 years (that) at the last minute decided they didn’t want to do it for whatever reasons, then I can pretty much guarantee that the federal government and VDOT are not going to give any more money to this community” any time soon, Ms. McDaniel said.

If Fauquier cancelled the project, taxpayers also would “be on the hook” to reimburse VDOT almost $500,000 spent mostly on engineering work, according the supervisor.

“I understand that we’re not always going to get exactly what we want on a project like this,” Ms. McDaniel said. “But what we get is so important to the health, the vibrancy of this community.

“We simply can’t lose sight of that.”

The planned improvements — even if they don’t immediately include undergrounding utility lines — will enhance Main Street, drawing more people and businesses to downtown for the benefit of all, Ms. McDaniel told the audience.

“Main streets are the lifeblood of small towns, and this is certainly true in Marshall.”


Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
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Throwback Thursday: 5,000 at Remington festival

Posted Thursday,
October 11, 2018
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October 1993: More than 5,000 people attend the 12th annual Remington Fall Festival on Main Street.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of October 15, 1993

5,000 attend Remington Fall Festival

In the heart of downtown Remington, attorney Robert Niles had things under control at 7:45 a.m. Saturday.

Niles monitored the flow of crafters and other exhibitors onto Main Street for the 12th annual Remington Fall Festival. Dressed in a camouflaged jacket and old khakis, the unshaven lawyer easily controlled Remington’s biggest traffic jam of the year.

He and fellow Remington Lions Club Member J. Arnold Helm, a real estate broker, played major roles in keeping the October tradition strong. Helm smiled and offered greetings as he leaned on the Town Hall railing as he watched the festival come together.

By 9 a.m., the crowd of more than 5,000 began streaming into town for food, country music and the offerings of vendors lining the street.

Veterans memorial dedication planned

There will be plenty of pomp and circumstance on Warrenton’s Hospital Hill on Veterans Day. Local veterans organizations, citizens and a host of dignitaries will gather to dedicate a monument to those from Fauquier County who lost their lives in military service.

The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11. Speakers will include U.S. Sens. John Warner and Chuck Robb and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown, a Fauquier resident. The Marine Corps Color Guard and Echo Taps Unit from Quantico and the Fauquier High School Marching Band will perform.

The stone and granite monument is within two weeks of completion, according to Warrenton attorney Dudley Payne, who has led fund-raising efforts and helped organize the dedication.

A sculpture depicting a line of marching soldiers will arrive within three weeks, Payne said. The sculpture is the work of Frederick Hart, who also designed the statue at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Hart also will speak at the dedication.

Payne said organizers have raised $132,000 for the memorial, with $10,000 more needed to meet their goal.

Supervisors question school budget figures

Three months into fiscal 1993, the school board still doesn’t know exactly how much money it has to fund its $48.9-million budget.

School Finance Director Bryan Tippie last week told the school board and county supervisors that a $796,000 surplus will be left from the 1992-93 budget.

The supervisors, however, questioned the figures during a special meeting called to improve communication about the budget. Last March, school officials anticipated a surplus of only $100,000 for the fiscal year that ended June 30, noted supervisors Chairman Georgia Herbert (Scott District).

Until an audit confirms Tippie’s latest estimate, the school system essentially has a budget deficit Supervisors Dave Mangum (Lee) suggested.

The school budget, which took effect July 1, includes a “carryover” or surplus of $800,000 from last year. Mangum questioned whether that money really exists.

Warrenton curbside recycling popular

Recycling has become a way of life in Warrenton.

Almost nine of 10 households use the town’s curbside recycling program, completing its first year of operation next week.

The program has helped Warrenton 39.6 percent of its waste stream.

“I have gone out and actually counted the residences that are not participating,” said Judy Almquist, the owner of A.C. Trash, the town’s contractor. “There’s probably not more than 25 single-family homes that are not participating.”

“First Night” plans launched

More than 30 volunteers have begun organizing and fund-raising for the inaugural “First Night” New Year’s Eve celebration in Warrenton.

Sponsored by the Bluemont Concert Series, the Town of Warrenton and Fauquier County, the family-friendly event will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight Dec. 31. The alcohol-free celebration will feature 12 to 15 performing groups, including puppeteers, theatre artists, musicians and storytellers. Performances will take place at six or eight sites, in the lobbies and larger rooms of public buildings in the downtown area.

The budget is $13,000.


For your skating fun . . .

We offer private & group lessons, private party rentals, birthday parties, skate shop and widescreen TV.

New hours: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, 7 to midnight Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Hugo’s Skateway
Bealeton Virginia

Will plans for public access make you more likely to spend time on the Rappahannock River?

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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Warrenton police chief hiring process stalled

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Former Warrenton Police Chief Louis Battle, who retired in May, with Lt. Tim Carter, who will take over this week as interim chief, at the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce’s Valor Awards banquet in April.
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After five months, the Town of Warrenton remains without a police chief and apparently won’t fill the position anytime soon.

Town Manager Brannon Godfrey launched a “nationwide search” soon after Chief Louis Battle’s abrupt, unexpected retirement announcement May 1.

A month later, Mr. Godfrey appointed Don Boring of Tucson, Ariz., as the acting chief of the 27-officer department. The manager and Mr. Boring previously worked together in Culpeper.

The Warrenton police chief position — advertised with a salary of up to $148,490 — drew 47 applicants.

On Monday, Aug. 6, the six finalists interviewed with three panels that Mr. Godfrey appointed — one of town citizens and one each composed of police chiefs and of city/town managers from around Virginia.

The panels reached “a consensus” on the top candidate, according to Mr. Godfrey, who then contracted with a Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police member to conduct a background investigation of the selection. The investigator completed his work, the town manager said Tuesday night.

The top choice also apparently had worked in Culpeper, according to a letter Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher sent to Mayor Carter Nevill and the seven-member town council.

In that Sept. 25 letter, Mr. Fisher questioned the selection process and raised concerns about what he learned as the special prosecutor in a police shooting case in Culpeper.

That apparently stopped the hiring process.

> Letter at bottom of story

Mr. Boring, who has earned $10,000 a month in the position, will complete his tenure as interim chief Friday. He and his wife will leave on a long-planned trip to Italy before returning to Arizona, Mr. Boring said Tuesday night.

Lt. Tim Carter, a 25-year veteran of the town police force, will assume the interim chief’s position. Lt. Carter will earn $86,728 in the new position — a 5-percent salary increase.

“That’s yet to be determined,” Mr. Godfrey said Tuesday night in response to a question about when he would hire a permanent police chief. The town charter gives the manager complete hiring/firing authority for that position.

He had planned to offer the position to a candidate by Oct. 1, according to a document Mr. Godfrey prepared this summer.

> Document at bottom of story

The town council spent almost 90 minutes late Tuesday night in a closed session to discuss “the performance and appointment of personnel to the police department.”

Council members made no comment after the closed session. Town officials remain tight-lipped about the chief’s position and the process to fill it.

The council Tuesday also convened another closed session — running from 10:27 p.m. to midnight — to discuss “the performance of the town manager.”

Staff Writer Cassandra Brown contributed to this report.

Contact Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.

Fisher Letter on Warrenton ... by on Scribd

Warrenton police chief sele... by on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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Electrical classes spark students’ career options

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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I must have 50 (students) out there now. They’re getting jobs around here, Culpeper, some in Maryland, D.C.
— Randy White, instructor
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Throughout the huge classroom, students cut, strip, twist and connect wires that they have pulled through wooden framing and into electrical boxes.

Tucked away in the annex at Fauquier High School, 17 teenagers learn the basics of residential electrical work.

Amid the din of hammering, each student from FHS or Liberty High works diligently in a wooden cubicle — while one occasionally gets shocked — during the three-hour electrical course.

Those who take the elective develop hands-on skills that could land them entry-level apprenticeships with electrical companies — sometimes before graduating.

On this Tuesday afternoon, Electrical II and III students practice wiring outlets, lights and breaker boxes. They learn to energize water heaters, stoves and other household appliances.

“By the time they get through the third year here, they ought to be able to wire a complete house,” electrical trade instructor Randy White says.

“It’s something they can rely on for a lifetime, but also if they don’t go into it (as a career), 10-to-1 they will own a house someday,” Mr. White says. “If they can do their own work, they can save a whole lot of money.”

Students focus on residential wiring, but some of the skills apply to commercial work, according to Mr. White.

The course also encourages participation in regional and state competitions.

Although sophomore Cole Johnson remains uncertain whether he wants to pursue a career as an electrician, he believes the skills will pay dividends.

“I thought it would be a good thing to know in life if you own a house,” Cole says.

In his third year of the program, senior Brendan Daly took the first course out of curiosity.

“My dad always told me there’s a shortage in skilled trades,” Brendan says. “I took the class and then realized it was something I want to do.”

Over the summer Brendan worked full-time as a helper at Coastal Electric of Manassas.

He believes the hands-on skills learned at FHS got him the job, helping to wire a new apartment building in Woodbridge.

“I was pretty much doing what everyone else was doing,” Brendan says.

After graduating from Fauquier High in May, he hopes to apply for an apprenticeship through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers office in Manassas.

Because of all the construction in Northern Virginia, the demand for electricians has grown in recent years, according to Mr. White.

By 2026, jobs for electricians will have risen 9 percent in a decade, thanks to an “increase in construction spending and growing demand for alternative energy sources,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.

Electricians earned a median salary of $54,000 — or $26 an hour, according to the agency.

But, depending on experience, some can earn six-figure salaries.

Fauquier High senior Elberto Arellano took an electrical course at the urging of his father. A landscaper, “my dad never learned a lot of electrical things,” Elberto says.

So the teenager decided to learn all he could and to teach his father a few things about electrical work. The work requires strong organizational skills and a good memory, he says.

“Mr. White is a great teacher,” Elberto says. “I like doing hands-on things. I’m not just sitting in a classroom.”

Elberto already has used his skills at home to replace outlets and to install a three-way dimmer switch in his sister’s bedroom.

“It’s something my dad couldn’t have done, and it saves money. I enjoy it,” he says.

After high school Elberto plans to enroll in a trade school and work toward a journeyman’s license, which usually takes four years.

“I’m hyped for my career,” he says.

Students previously gained electrical competency along with carpentry and other skills through Fauquier High’s building trades course.

But, three years ago educators decided to create a separate electrical course.

“We knew from our business partners, they needed electricians,” says Sarah Frye, the school system’s supervisor of career and technical education. “We knew there was high demand.

“It’s a good fit for our students and local businesses,” Ms. Frye adds. “Students aren’t just able to get a job, but begin a career in that field. It’s a great entry-level job. This is a career they can grow in.”

During the 2018-19 term, more than 100 county students will take electrical courses.

“The program is virtually at capacity,” with a limit of 20 students per class, Ms. Frye says.

Mr. White started teaching the building trades course at FHS 23 years ago. He has transitioned to teaching only electrical courses.

A master electrician, Mr. White formerly worked in the commercial and residential fields for about 30 years.

“I enjoy teaching the young people,” he says. “A trade is something they will never forget and something they can always fall back on.”

His former students have gone on to trade schools or jobs with electrical companies right out of high school.

“A lot of the local electricians will hire them as apprentices, and they don’t have to go through the (trade) school to get their license,” Mr. White says. “I must have 50 (students) out there now. They’re getting jobs around here, Culpeper, some in Maryland, D.C.”

Former building trades student David Krisel, 30, says the course helped him get a summer job as a junior at Sundance Electric in Warrenton before he graduated from Fauquier High in 2006.

“You learned all the basics there, where you’re in a safe environment and not costing your company money . . . . And, you understand basic material and wiring and that can set you up,” Mr. Krisel says. “I have people out here working three to four years who don’t know the basics of a three-way system, which we learned three weeks into the course.”

A field supervisor and foreman at Sumpter Electric in Fredericksburg, Mr. Krisel says the skills learned in high school helped launch his career.

“My options were join the military, pay for college yourself or find a trade,” he says. Electrical work has “given me the ability to provide for my family. I have two kids and a wife. A good, honest living. I was never really a good student . . . . It gave me an opportunity.

“Straight out of high school, a kid can make $10 an hour (as a helper) and grow depending on how well you pick up the trade,” Mr. Krisel adds.

Depending on experience, an electrician can earn $50,000 to $100,000 annually, he says.

One of Mr. White’s former students makes a six-figure salary working as a commercial electrician.

“They can make a good living without college,” the instructor says. “You’re always learning in this” trade.

“We are actually having difficulty finding help,” says Rachael Bowley, owner of Warrenton-based United Electric Co. “To find third- and fourth-year apprentices is very hard right now.”

Ms. Bowley’s company, which has hired two students from Lord Fairfax Community College’s electrical apprenticeship program, offers tuition reimbursement to those with good grades.

United Electric this year has doubled its workforce.

“The demand is definitely high, not only in residential, but also commercial. We are a small business and started three years ago,” Ms. Bowley says. “It’s a combination of having a little more experience in the community and having a higher need for it.”

“The vocational programs in high school are so important,” says Mr. Krisel, who took many trade courses at Fauquier High. “Too many kids are told you need to go to college to be successful in life, and that’s simply not true.”

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

Big land donation includes Rappahannock River access

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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File Photo/Friends of the Rappahannock
The donation would provide Fauquier County’s second public access to the Rappahannock River, with another also planned 15 miles downstream at Remington. Another five miles south of Remington, the state maintains a public access point at the Kelly’s Ford Bridge.
The property that Charles K. MacDonald plans to donate lies along the river at Waterloo, just north of Route 211 about seven miles west of Warrenton.
We couldn’t be more thrilled by this generous donation. It’s just a great opportunity for the county.
— Marshall Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel
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Thanks to an unprecedented land donation, Fauquier next spring could have another public access on the Rappahannock River.

Charles K. MacDonald of Madison County has agreed to give the county 196.6 acres along the Rappahannock River about five miles south of Orlean.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday will vote to accept the largely forested property along Leeds Manor Road.

Besides a canoe launch west of the Waterloo bridge, plans for the site, which has eight-tenths of a mile of riverfront, initially call for hiking trails and a parking area, county parks and recreation Director Larry Miller said.

The property already has a trail network, an entrance and a gravel road that will need some work, Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Miller estimates the project’s start-up cost for the proposed park at $45,000 and annual maintenance at $12,500.

Construction of a wooden canoe launch — steps down to the river — would cost about $5,000, he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled by this generous donation,” said Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel, whose Marshall District includes the property. “It’s just a great opportunity for the county.”

Since moving to Madison 10 years ago, “I hardly use the it,” said Mr. MacDonald, explaining his decision to offer the land to Fauquier. “That’s a shame, because it’s beautiful.”

He originally planned to build a home there but decided not to because that would have required the removal of “mature” hardwoods.

“I didn’t want to do that,” said Mr. MacDonald, a retired investments manager for a New York firm.

> Document at bottom of story

The department plans to open the park in the spring, Mr. Miller said.

“This means that country residents will have their second (public) access to the Rappahannock River in Fauquier,” he said. “And they will have some worthwhile distances to hike over some very beautiful and varied terrain.”

The county’s only Rappahannock River public access lies immediately south of the Kelly’s Ford Bridge, five miles downstream from Remington.

The parks director in January learned about Mr. MacDonald’s interest in donating the property.

They first met at the site in May to discuss the potential transaction.

“We were out there for about two hours and walked most of the trails,” Mr. MacDonald recalled.

He paid $2 million for the property in 2007, according to court records.

A Virginia Outdoors Foundation easement prohibits further subdivision of the land. The easement allows a maximum of two, single-family dwellings but does permit construction of “nonresidential” buildings, “connecting” private roads and farm structures.

The easement also places limits on the square feet of certain structures and their proximity to the river.

Because of the easement, the county for tax purposes values the property at just $45,700.

But treated as a charitable contribution, Mr. MacDonald would be eligible for the full federation tax deduction and a portion of state tax credits, based on the fair market appraisal of the property.

County planning commission member Bob Lee (Marshall District) in June toured the site along with Mr. Miller and other county officials.

“It’s just a fabulous property,” said Mr. Lee, who canoes and hikes. “We need more access to the Rappahannock.”

In June, Piedmont Environmental Council staff member Julie Bolthouse and others visited the site.

“It’s a gorgeous piece of property,” Ms. Bolthouse said “It’s going to be a beautiful river access.”

But, there should be “a balance” between recreational uses and the “ecological and historical significance of the site,” she said.

Fauquier next spring also hopes to construct a public canoe launch on the Rappahannock River at Remington, about five miles upstream of the existing one at Kelly’s Ford Bridge.

If both planned public boat accesses remain on track, Fauquier could have three by the spring.

Mr. MacDonald’s property lies about 15 miles upstream of Remington.

Review of Land Offered to t... by on Scribd

Candlelight vigil will honor those killed by drugs

Posted Wednesday,
October 10, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
About 75 people attended the first vigil in October 2016 — the year in which a record 22 people died of overdoses in Fauquier. So far this year, the sheriff’s office has investigated 12 overdose deaths.
The stigma is real and it drives families to isolation, as well as the addict. I don’t want anyone ever feeling like they have to go through this alone.
— Elizabeth “Libby” McAuliffe, whose son died of an overdose last year
A candlelight vigil to remember “those who have lost the battle with addiction” will take place Wednesday, Oct. 10, in downtown Warrenton.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Courthouse Square.

Powell Duggan, Warrenton’s former mayor, will deliver the keynote remarks. Mr. Duggan’s 38-year-old son Dan died of an overdose in March 2015.

Sheriff Bob Mosier and Warrenton Police Chaplain Wally Smith also will speak.

The Travis Project, Families Overcoming Drug Addiction, the Come As You Are Coalition and SpiritWorks have organized the vigil. The first such event in Fauquier took place two years ago.

The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office has investigated 51 drug overdoses — including 12 deaths — so far this year.

Drug overdoses killed eight people in Fauquier last year, a dramatic decline from a record 22 fatalities in 2016.

“My son (Ben) passed away November 13, 2017,” said Elizabeth “Libby” McAuliffe, one of the volunteers organizing the vigil. “He struggled for 10 years, and if I had the support and resources to help him during this time, maybe he would still be here.

“The stigma is real and it drives families to isolation, as well as the addict,” Ms. McAuliffe added. “I don’t want anyone ever feeling like they have to go through this alone. We need to rethink how we look at addiction if we are going to tackle this problem.” 

About 75 people attended the first vigil in October 2016.

Candlelight Vigil 2018 by on Scribd

Three senior semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Marshall home on 27 acres sells for $1 million

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Google Earth
This home on 27 acres near Marshall sold last week for $1 million.
A four-bedroom home on 27 acres near Marshall sold last week for $1 million.

In addition to the home, built in 1984, the Woodward Road property includes a large barn, several other outbuildings, a pond and a riding ring, according to county tax records. The home also has solar panels.

The Scott District property last sold for $1.3 million in 2017.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2018:

Cedar Run District

Kenneth L. and Natalie Ortberg to Jeremy and Dina Dens, 6.9 acres, Lot 1, Forest View North Subdivision, Green Road, near Warrenton, $213,000.

Garrett L. and Beth A. Giles to Jorge H.G. Avila, 3.5 acres, 4688 Catlett Road, near Midland, $358,000.

Marilyn L. Scott-Perez to Mary C. Sabatino, 5 acres, Lot 13, Tower Hill Subdivision, 12441 Tower Hill Road, Midland, $499,900.

Bernie L. O’Bannon Jr. to Bryan R. and Catherine E. Gilray, 2 acres, Lot 5, Twin Oaks Subdivision, 9578 Green Road, near Warrenton, $347,000.

Champ Construction Inc. to Lorena D.C. Vigil, Jose A. Funes and Kimberly A.V. Gonzales, 1.07 acres, 5539 Dumfries Road, near Warrenton, $350,000.

Trigon Homes LLC, Walter M. Cheatle as manager, to Christopher and Alyssa Schlientz, 1.25 acres, Lot 5-A, Bridleridge Woods Subdivision, 5925 Wickie Court, near Warrenton, $515,991.

Megan K. and Ronald R. Turner Jr. to Justin M. and Kristen T. Salmeto, 0.68 acre, Lot 31, Phase 3, Cedar Knolls Subdivision, 7505 Cedar Knolls Drive, near Warrenton, $405,000.

Center District

MTGLQ Investors LP to Diane Edgley, Lot 55, White’s Mill Subdivision, 6466 Whites Mill Lane, near Warrenton, $455,000.

Robert J. Rill and Annie Xheng to Anthony T. and Pamela F. Hare, 0.36 acre, Lot 1, Gaines Subdivision, 46 Fairfax St., Warrenton, $379,900.

Charlotte P. Sedam estate, Kathryn Lamonia as administrator, to Anne M. Rogers, Lot 24, Block C, Lee Heights Subdivision, 354 Wilson St., Warrenton, $325,000.

David Naines to Clayton S. Stagg, Lot 16, W.U. Parkinson Division, 164 Sterling Court, Warrenton, $291,337.

Darin M. Short to Pedro T.C. Diaz and Juan C. Caballero, Lot 30, Mews at Menlough Subdivision, 11 Quarterpole Court, Warrenton, $300,000.

Matthew R. Karns to Edwin A. and Eduardo Escorcia, Unit 53, Hillside Townes Subdivision, 10 Aviary St., Warrenton, $250,000.

Kathryn E. Lewek to John C. Hartbarger, 0.85 acre, Lot 411-A, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 7169 Westmoreland Drive, near Warrenton, $372,500.

Lee District

Paul C. Reaves to Argent Development LLC and Surrey House LLC, 1.26 acres, O’Keefe Road and James Madison Highway, $115,001, foreclosure.

Dorothy R. Maxwell to Robert J. and Catherine A. Blount, 3.74 acres, 10515 Saint Pauls Road, near Bealeton, $395,000.

Ruth A. Huffer to Richard S. and Sarah E. Joyner, Lot 4, Section A, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 11041 Blake Lane, near Bealeton, $249,000.

Darlene P. Murphy to Jaclyn R. Young, 1.73 acres, Lot 7, Tanglewood Estates, 14066 Silver Hill Road, Sumerduck, $247,500.

Julius R. and Adina Y. Villena to Christian C. Kresge, Lot 7, Phase 2, Riverton Subdivision, 7149 McHenry Court, Remington, $303,650.

Danilo A. and Lourdes M. Rodriguez to Joseph W. Carroll, Lot 2, Kings Hill Subdivision, 11558 Kings Hill Road, Bealeton, $369,000.

Greta R. Santillan and Edwin S. Reyna to Thomazette Martinez and Anthony Walker, 2.12 acres, 11676 Cemetery Road, near Remington, $283,500.

NVR Inc. to Lamoines and Kaitlyn President, Lot 149, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 4092 Clarke St., Bealeton, $362,189.

Frank C. Poland Inc. to Joshua P. Brown, 1.9 acres, Lot 1, Miller Woods-West Subdivision, 11033 Ransome Lane, Bealeton, $340,000.

David S. Cooper to Jason P. and Kellie Walter, 10.58 acres, Tract 27, Cooper Division (North Wales), 8293 Lock Lane, near Warrenton, $689,996.

Cameron S. and Shelby D. Rivenbark to Alfredo V. Cobain and Alfredo J. Villasenor, Lot 68, Phase 2, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 6591 Constitution Way, Bealeton, $384,000.

Jonathan T. and Susan O. McCauley to George T. Heulsman II, Jean Heulsman and Kyle Heulsman, 18.32 acres, 6108 Sumerduck Road, near Remington, $439,000.

Marshall District

3967 Hidden Valley Lane LLC, Christopher N. Korjus as member, to Joseph M. and Esmeralda Krahn, 5 acres, Lot 12, Section 1, Hidden Valley Farms Subdivision, 3967 Hidden Valley Lane, near Linden, $350,000.

Kirk O. Peterson Sr. to Bank of New York Mellon Trust, trustee, 1.55 acres, Lot 44, Phase 2, Waterloo North Subdivision, 7884 Wellington Drive, near Warrenton, $538,840, foreclosure.

Bruce F. and Fern V. Bratten to Marcos J. and Betty Y. Melendex, 6 acres, 6508 John Barton Payne Road, near Marshall, $343,000.

Norman and Elizabeth Owen to Danielle Caponite, 10 acres, 6028 Keyser Road, Hume, $597,000.

Edward L. and Shelly L. Hancock to Jawad N. Sarsour, 2.4 acres and 5.7 acres, 4528 Grove Lane, near Marshall, $550,000.

John A. and Rose M. Kendrick to Darin Shartzer, 4.26 acres, $125,000.

Cesar P. and Yasmine P. Bachmann to Stefan A. Bachmann, 5 acres, 7596 Leeds Manor Road, near Marshall, $500,000.

Scott District

Stuart E. Houston to Leslie Page, Lot 1, Aspen Hill Subdivision, 6506 Crummeys Run Lane, near Middleburg, $585,000.

Life Church DC to Kenneth E. and Mary Jo. Katona, Lot 70, Land Bay F, Vint Hill Subdivision, 4086 Von Neuman Circle, near Warrenton, $539,900.

Fauquier Lakes LP to NVR Inc., Lot 69, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $200,576.

Mary A. and George M. Corder Jr. to Luke R. Ramsey and Veronica Redmond, 10.45 acres, Lot 8-B-1, English Chase Subdivision, 8819 Woodward Road, near Marshall, $599,000.

Helen E. Grimsley, trustee, to Drew D. and Christen D. Vermeulen, 36,808 square feet, Lot 18, Block B, Rock Springs Estates Subdivision, 5177 Albrecht Lane, near Warrenton, $330,000.

8722 Woodward Road LLC, Timothy P. Dunn as managing member, to Aynsley J. and Suzanne S. Musroe, 26.9 acres, Lot 22-R, English Chase Subdivision, 8722 Woodward Road, near Marshall, $1,000,000.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Q&A: Warrenton hospice director to retire soon

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Gill Brooker has worked as Hospice Support of Fauquier’s executive director since 2012.
I feared that I was not going to live long enough to see my boys grow and have families, and that my wife and I would not be able to grow old together.
Gil Brooker
• Age: 74

• Home: Rappahannock County

• Work: Executive director, Hospice Support of Fauquier County, 2012-present; community outreach director, Hospice Support of Fauquier County, 2005-2012.

• Family: Wife Betsy; 2 sons; 9 grandchildren.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, business, Marquette (Wisc.) University, 1966; Notre Dame (Ill.) High School, 1961.

• Hobbies: Hiking
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The kidney cancer survivor knew that someday he would help others battle the disease.

“I wanted to give something back,” says Gil Brooker, who joined Hospice Support of Fauquier County as a volunteer 29 years ago.

But Mr. Brooker never could have predicted where that would take him.

In 1991, he became a member of the Warrenton-based nonprofit’s 10-member board of directors.

And then a staff reorganization resulted in his hiring as hospice support’s first community outreach director in 2005 — the year he retired as a mall and shopping center manager. (In 1980, Mr. Brooker opened Fair Oaks Mall, where he worked for 16 years.)

He held the part-time outreach job until 2012, when the board appointed him executive director.

But as much as he likes the job — the part-time executive puts in at least eight hours on his day off — the former Fauquier resident about two weeks ago decided to retire.

“It’s time,” Mr. Brooker says of the move. “I’m 74 years old, and there are other things I want to do. I told the board I would stay until the end of the month. But if they haven’t found anybody by then, I’m not going to leave them high and dry.”

As director, he supervises two part-time workers — a community outreach director and a patient care coordinator — about 40 volunteers and wears many hats.

Mr. Brooker, recruits and trains volunteers, processes donations, maintains the equipment and supplies rooms, writes four newsletters per year, prepares monthly reports for the board of directors and does “any heavy work here that’s necessary — lifting, carrying.”

Among other things, volunteers visit patients at home, providing them companionship and assistance and their caregivers relief.

> Video at bottom of story

Founded in 1981, hospice support offers grief counseling services and an array of equipment and supplies at no charge, Mr. Brooker says.

“Everything we do is free,” says the Rappahannock resident.

While the organization focuses on terminally-ill Fauquier patients, it turns away no one in need.

“We have people coming in from all over the place — from Bethesda, Fredericksburg, Orange and Madison,” Mr. Brooker adds. “We will serve anybody as far as the loan closet, from anyplace. We’ll serve anybody as far as grief counseling, as long as they come to us.”

He knows of no other organization like it in the region.

It maintains two bulging “loan closets” for equipment and supplies — one in its office at 42 N. Fifth St. and the other at the CubeSmart Self Storage across from Walmart.

“The philosophy is we take everything, absolutely everything you can think of, except for medication,” Mr. Brooker explains.

Its inventory includes hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, bathing benches, bedside commodes, bed pads, adult diapers, sheets, hospital gowns, cushions, nutritional drinks and much more.

The organization relies on donations — money, equipment and supplies — from individuals, businesses and foundations, Mr. Brooker says.

“We depend totally on the generosity of the community we serve.”

He estimated that grants account for 20 percent of hospice support’s funding.

Fauquier County government and the Town of Warrenton — longtime contributors — this year gave the organization $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

Mr. Brooker declined to discuss the nonprofit’s finances.

Edited interview excerpts follow.

• Why did you get involved with Hospice Support of Fauquier County?
I had cancer in 1989, and I was supposedly terminally ill. Some tests came back that showed that it was likely that my cancer had spread to my spine, my skull and my back. And they were wrong.

I had cancer, but it was in my right kidney. They removed the kidney. It took me a long time to recover, but I ended up fine.

I really wanted to do something as a thank-you for not being terminally ill. I got involved as a volunteer.

• Did you fear death because of the cancer?
I feared that I was not going to live long enough to see my boys grow and have families, and that my wife and I would not be able to grow old together.

• Did cancer change you in any way?
Betsy and I always had a good marriage. It made it even better; it made us much closer.

It probably made me more religious, because I was pretty thankful it turned not to be terminal. I was blessed to have more years with my wife. I didn’t think that was going to happen. I was only 45 at the time.

• Many people probably associate hospice with terminally-ill cancer patients.
It’s much broader than that. People succumb to heart disease, dementia; there are several forms of dementia. There’s lung disease. There’s failure to thrive; people slow down and come to a stop.

The rest of it is a mixed bag.

• What percentage of patients suffer from cancer?
Maybe 20 percent. I would say 30 percent have dementia.

• What are the biggest challenges facing the organization?
We are growing so rapidly that we need a new location. If you saw our loan closet last week, if you saw our secondary closet at the CubeSmart (Self Storage across from Warrenton’s Walmart), you would understand we need twice as much space as we have.

• Other big challenges?
I always need more volunteers, because the number of patients we serve is growing.

Volunteers will work for you a couple of years, and they may burn out and may want to do other volunteering. You’re constantly looking to replace those that leave.

There are certain things we’re always running out of — incontinent supplies, diapers. We always need those. We always need nutritional drinks. We need walkers with a seat so patients can sit and rest.

We take everything but medication.

• What do like most about the job?
The helping people part. I’m selfish that way. I get more than I give. I get thank-yous; I get appreciation. Even if I don’t get that verbally, I feel good that I’m helping somebody. This is a feel-good job.

• What do you like least about the job?
Periodically — not for long — there are slow periods, where I’ve got everything done. Then it’s, “Now what am I going to do? I’ve got to do something? What is it?”

• Post-retirement, what will you do with the extra free time?
I’ve been approached by the food bank in Rappahannock to volunteer out there. That’s one of my soft spots — feeding the hungry.

• Will you miss the job?
Oh, yeah.

• How so?
I’ll miss the people contact, the volunteers, all the people who know me by my first name, because they come in here all the time and need assistance.

• What won’t you miss?
Having to lift heavy equipment — hospital beds, motorized wheelchairs, motorized scooters — and loading them into trucks to get to patients.

• What are you most proud of during your tenure as executive director?
The quality of the volunteers we have — both the patient care and the ladies that volunteer in the front office.

I’m proud of the growth and use of our loan closet and the steady growth in the number of patients we serve.

• Would you do anything differently?
Not really. I think the systems we set up and the progress we’ve made in our outreach in advertising, web page and Facebook is miles ahead when I started as executive director.

• Any regrets?
I hope I don’t regret retiring (laughs).

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0700.

Catlett, Calverton, Casanova Ruritans celebrate 80th

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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2013 Fauquier High graduate advances on “The Voice”

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Click above to watch Mike Parker’s performance Monday night on NBC-TV’s “The Voice.”
Mike Parker, a 2013 Fauquier High School graduate, advanced in blind auditions Monday night on “The Voice,” the NBC TV show.

Mr. Parker’s rendition of NE-YO’s “So Sick” prompted judge Jennifer Hudson to turn her chair at the last second.

The local singer starred on the football field at Kettle Run, scoring five touchdowns and intercepting six passes during his junior season, when the Cougars advanced to the state semifinals. But, he ultimately graduated from Fauquier High.

As a singer, he released a single, “Raise a Glass,” on Sept. 1, 2018. He has two other originals, “Galaxy” and “Put Me in the Game,” on his Instagram account.

Mr. Parker lives in Prince William County, near Gainesville.

Update: Dementia patient found in unlocked car

Posted Tuesday,
October 9, 2018
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Josephine Totterdale
UPDATE: Ms. Totterdale was founded at 8:58 a.m. Tuesday, lying in the back seat of a neighbor’s unlocked car.

“She was checked out by EMS and found to be in good condition,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

• • •

A 91-year-old woman with dementia disappeared from her home Monday night.

Josephine Totterdale stands 5-feet-5 and weighs 130 pounds. She wore a “gray fuzzy robe,” blue jeans and blue slip-on sneakers when last seen at 10 p.m. Oct. 8, according to the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.

Ms. Totterdale left the home on Coopers Hawk Drive, just east of town.

“Josephine has dementia and other medical issues,” the sheriff’s office said in an alert Tuesday morning.

Deputies will use drones over the area in the search.

Anyone has information should call the sheriff’s office at 540-347-3300.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
October 5, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Scarecrows in Old Town

Posted Friday,
October 5, 2018
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
The Francis Fauquier Garden Club and almost two dozen other organizations and businesses will have creative scarecrows in Old Town Warrenton for Halloween.

Organizations and businesses had agreed to decorate Old Town Warrenton lampposts with scarecrows as of Thursday.

Eleven already have installed displays on Courthouse Square and along Main Street to Fifth Street.

“It’s something to make our town look good, festive and fun,” explains Rachel Pierce, executive director of Familes-4-Fauquier, a Warrenton nonprofit that organized the project. “We want to draw a crowd to Old Town” for Oct. 5’s First Friday celebration.

A committee of judges will award first-, second- and third-place ribbons for the most creative scarecrows.


The amount Midland’s Dayspring Mennonite Church raised at its benefit auction and bake sale Friday, Sept. 28.

That money will be donated to CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Manassas and Woodbridge and two Mennonite-affiliated organizations — New Horizons Ministries of Cannon City, Colo., and Good Life Ministries of India.

The church auctioned about 475 donated items and services, including small kitchen appliances, quilts, furniture, power tools, toys, vehicle oil changes, chiropractic sessions and music lessons, according to Dennis Reitz, the event’s assistant chairman.

Mr. Reitz estimated at least 1,000 people attended the 17th annual event, which took place at the church on Catlett Road.


The median age of Fauquier residents, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimate.

The county’s median age exceeds that of the state and nation by almost four years.

And, Fauquier’s population continues to age rapidly, as the county Comprehensive Plan notes:

“The aging of the Baby Boomers, coupled with a decline in the fertility rate, is leading Fauquier County into unchartered territory. By 2025, for the first time in the County’s history, the population aged 65 and over will outnumber the school aged population. This shift in age distribution is likely to have effects on the County’s economy, housing, community facilities, and the built environment in general as more funds will be required to meet the needs of the booming older population.”


Visitors the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail recorded in the first nine months of this year — up 30 percent from all of last year.

Open six days a week, the museum had 3,457 visitors in 2017.

At 10 Ashby St. in Warrenton, the museum regularly hosts lectures and history tours, in addition to its regular exhibits.


Hair salons and barbershops have business licenses in Fauquier County:

• 40 in Warrenton.

• 3 in Remington.

• 1 in The Plains.

• 13 outside of incorporated towns — including Bealeton and Marshall.

Union Bankshares buying Middleburg Bank’s parent

Posted Friday,
October 5, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Based in Caroline County, Union has this branch on Broadview Avenue and another on Warrenton’s Main Street. Reston-based Access owns the Middleburg Bank offices in Warrenton and Marshall.
Access brings extensive commercial and industrial lending expertise as well as strong wealth management and trust businesses in addition to their attractive Middleburg Bank retail operation. Increasing our presence in Northern Virginia is a priority.
— Union Bankshares CEO John C. Asbury
Two regional banks with significant market shares in Fauquier will merge.

Union Bankshares Corp. will aquire Access National Corp. in an all-stock transaction, the companies announced Friday morning.

Union has two branches in Warrenton. Reston-based Access, which bought Middleburg Bank early last year, has an office in Warrenton and one in Marshall.

The combined company would have total assets of $16 billion, total deposits of $11.9 billion and gross loans of $11.4 billion.

The transaction will strengthen Caroline County-based Union’s presence in Northern Virginia, company leaders said.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring our companies together to enhance both our products and customer service capabilities,” Union Chairman Raymond D. Smoot Jr. said. “We believe that our two companies are stronger together, and the combination gives Union a uniquely valuable franchise to create long term shareholder value.”

Union CEO John C. Asbury added: “Access brings extensive commercial and industrial lending expertise as well as strong wealth management and trust businesses in addition to their attractive Middleburg Bank retail operation. Increasing our presence in Northern Virginia is a priority . . . .”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each outstanding share of Access common stock will be converted into the right to receive 0.75 shares of Union common stock. That values the transaction at approximately $610 million, or $29.19 per share, based on Union’s closing stock price of $38.92 on Thursday.

Both companies’ stock trades on Nasdaq.

The boards of each company have approved the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Union Bank & Trust has 140 branches and approximately 200 ATMs throughout Virginia and in portions of Maryland and North Carolina.

Union branches in Fauquier held total deposits of $186.3 million as of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Middleburg’s branches in Fauquier had $101.2 million.

Allegation of FHS student with gun investigated

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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School officials notified parents of the Facebook post, made around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
The sheriff’s office Thursday night began investigating a Facebook post that alleges a student had a gun at Fauquier High School earlier in the day.

“The alleged incident was described in a post made on a local yard sale site and was not reported to law enforcement or the schools by the person posting,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

Sheriff’s investigators are “working to verify the identity of the person making these statements and to prove the veracity of the information contained in the post,” Sgt. Hartman said.

The school system notified parents of the online allegation, posted around 6:30 p.m., he added.

“There is no evidence that substantiates the information contained in the post at this time,” Sgt. Hartman said. “Additional police presence will be at Fauquier High School tomorrow.”

The sergeant added: “It should be noted that information such as this should be immediately reported to law enforcement and not (posted) on a local yard sale site.”

He encouraged anyone with information about the incident to call the sheriff’s office at 540-347-3300. A caller’s name can remain anonymous.

Bridge on Blackwell Road closing Tuesday, Oct. 9

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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How have political differences affected your friendships?

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Infinity Art and Comics opening in Remington

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Photos/Cassandra Brown
David Willingham’s five children helped prepare the shop for opening.
Infinity Art and Comics occupies part of this building at 227 E. Main St.
A Captain America painting on the shop floor.
Infinity Art and Comics
• What: Retail store and art gallery selling comic books, action figures, collectibles, artwork and other items.

• Where: 227 E. Main St., Remington

• Owner: David Willingham

• Space: About 850 square feet in former variety store

• Investment: About $30,000

• Opening: Saturday, Oct. 6

• Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday; Monday and Tuesday by appointment.

• Instagram: Click here

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

He has dreamed of opening a comic book store since age 12.

Almost 30 years later, David Willingham’s dream will come true Saturday, Oct. 6, when he opens Infinity Art and Comics on Main Street in Remington.

“This is home, so I wanted it to be here to give back to the community, give kids something to do,” said Mr. Willingham, who grew up in Remington. “My main goal is to give kids somewhere to be . . . where they can tap into their creative side.”

The 850-square-foot store will sell comic books, action figures, novelty items, artwork and other items.

In the future, Mr. Willingham plans to give youth art lessons and host “sip and paint” events for adults and children. He also hopes to host a comic book convention at the shop.

Paintings of superheroes, villains and Star Wars characters decorate the walls and floors at 227 E. Main St.

Mr. Willingham hopes his shop will “spark imagination” in children.

On a busy corner, the store will also serve as his art studio.

A self-taught, freelance artist, Mr. Willingham, 41, focuses on pop culture drawings, paintings and some landscapes.

He routinely sells his art at comic book conventions in Virginia, Kentucky and other states. He went to 15 conventions last year.

Mr. Willingham’s interest in art started after watching “Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back” as a child. He began drawing Darth Vader and moved on to superheroes.

As a young adult volunteer at Remington’s fire and rescue company, he would read comic books and draw between calls.

Mr. Willingham’s inspiration to open a comic store came up again about two years ago.

“I’ve always pushed my dreams to the side,” said Mr. Willingham, who also owns a general contracting business, Wilderness Homes.

“When my kids started getting heavily into comic books, I knew it was time” to open a shop, he said.

His five children, ranging in age from 10 to 22, helped paint characters that decorate the shop floor.

Other comic book shops in Fredericksburg and Gainesville don’t have artwork, which sets him apart, Mr. Willingham said.

He and his three adult children will run the shop Wednesday through Sunday. Monday and Tuesday the shop will open on an appointment only basis.

He rents the space from Remington resident James Cheatham, who bought the 100-year-old building in June 2017.

Today, a karate studio and two upstairs apartments occupy other parts of the former variety store.

Mr. Willingham invested between almost $30,000 to start the business.

“We (Mr. Cheatham and I) are trying to put Remington back on the map,” he said.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

Ralph Crafts to receive Good Scout Award

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Sheriff’s raid of home nets 4 arrests on drug charges

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Fauquier sheriff’s deputies Wednesday night arrested (clockwise from top left): Roni N. Reedy, Joseph D. Reedy, Jonathan B. Reedy and Jeremy M. Reedy.
Fauquier sheriff’s deputies charged four local residents with possession of methamphetamine or heroin after the raid of a New Baltimore area home Wednesday night.

The raid and arrests resulted from an “investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine,” Sgt. James Hartman said.

The deputies executed a search warrant at 6437 Culver Drive around 6 p.m. Oct. 3 and arrested:

• Roni Nichole Reedy, 28, of Warrenton, charged with possession of methamphetamine.
• Joseph Daniel Reedy, 33, of Warrenton, charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm while in possession of Schedule II narcotic.
• Jonathan Brian Reedy, 34, of Warrenton, charged with possession of methamphetamine.
• Jeremy Michael Reedy, 31, of Warrenton, charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. 
“All four suspects were taken before a magistrate and released on their personal recognizance,” Sgt. Hartman said.
The sergeant asked that anyone with information about the investigation call the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office at 540-347-3300 or Fauquier County Crime Solvers at 540-349-1000.  A caller’s identity can remain anonymous. 

County program offers free smoke detectors for homes

Posted Thursday,
October 4, 2018
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Political scientist, author Putnam will speak here

Posted Wednesday,
October 3, 2018
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Click above to watch Los Angeles Times interview with Robert Putnam about his 2015 book, “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.”
The first 150 people who register for Robert Putnam’s speech Nov. 13 at Highland School in Warrenton will receive free copies of his latest book.
Political scientist and bestselling author Robert Putnam will speak and sign copies of his latest book Tuesday night, Nov. 13, in Warrenton.

The PATH Foundation will host Dr. Putnam at Highland School’s Rice Theater. The “PATH to Better” event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Check-in will begin at 6:30.

The first 150 people to register will receive a free copy of his latest book Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. Dr. Putnam will sign books after his speech.

Click here to register to attend. Registration is required.

He has earned international recognition for his study of opportunity gaps facing children.

In Our Kids, Dr. Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at the new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents.

But, their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Dr. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, blended with the latest social-science research. Our Kids combines individual testimony and rigorous evidence

“No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity,” a reviewer wrote in The New York Times.

The Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, Dr. Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. He has received numerous scholarly honors. He has written 14 books, translated into more than 20 languages.

His Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work rank among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century. His 2010 book, co-authored with David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, won the American Political Science Association’s 2011 Woodrow Wilson Award as the best book in political science.

He has consulted for the last three American presidents, the last three British prime ministers, the last French president, prime ministers from Ireland to Singapore, and hundreds of grassroots leaders and activists in many countries.

Fall stargazing, Warrenton 1st Friday among best bets

Posted Wednesday,
October 3, 2018
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1st Friday on Warrenton’s Main Street, star gazing at Crockett Park and a concert at Drum & Strum.
Fall activities are in full swing around Fauquier this weekend. Topping the list, Warrenton hosts its final 1st Friday block party on Main Street with vendors, music and a beer garden.

Other options include “Steel Magnolias” at the community theatre, stargazing, a concert at Drum & Strum and a celebration at the Warrenton Branch Greenway.

Warrenton 1st Friday
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5
Main Street, Warrenton

The final block party of the year features a fall-themed Friday on Main Street with music, food, a beer garden, a wine tasting, vendors, shops open late, and children’s activities. Free.

“Steel Magnolias”
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7
4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

The Fauquier Community Theatre at Vint Hill presents its 41st season opener, “Steel Magnolias.” The play runs each weekend until Oct. 14. Based off the 1989 comedy-drama film, the play follows six ladies from the South who weather the sunny and stormy days throughout life, together at Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana. Adults, $17; children ages 3 to 18 and seniors 60+, $15. Tickets available online or by calling 540-349-8760.

Warrenton Branch Greenway celebrates 20 years
10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 6
South Fourth Street, Warrenton

Fauquier parks and recreation celebrates the establishment of the greenway trail — formerly the railroad spur that connected downtown with the main Norfolk Southern line to the east. The event features caboose activities, railroad artifacts and a history discussion of the greenway from John Toler, along with a Zumba and yoga class. Children will learn about Smokey the Bear, native plants and how trees grow. Free.

Fall star gazing at Crockett Park
3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
1066 Rogues Road, Midland

Attendees can view constellations, galaxies and other cosmic objects at Crockett Park. The popular fall event includes about 100 telescopes, special videos, slide shows and discussions. Free.

Bryan Bowers Band at Drum & Strum
8 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
102 Main St., Warrenton

The Gloria Faye Dingus Music Alliance welcomes legendary singer, songwriter storyteller and master autoharp player, Bryan Bowers to the listening room. $20 per person. Seating limited. Tickets available online.

Other options in and around Fauquier:

> Haunted Hollow near Warrenton

> Fall farm days at Sky Meadows State Park

> Corn maze in The Plains

> Messick’s Farm Market fall festival near Midland

> Hartland Farm Orchard Fall Festival near Markham

> Cows-N-Corn fall festival in Midland

> Flying Circus Airshow

> Warrenton architectural walking tour

For more events, click here.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
October 3, 2018
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Catlett builder follows Golden Rule to success

Posted Wednesday,
October 3, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Golden Rule Builders has grown to 30 employees and $7.5 million in projected revenue this year, says Joel Barkman, pictured here in the company headquarter’s conference room.
It’s just good to be able to work with somebody you can trust. I never had any concerns that everything that was suggested to me wasn’t for the better of the whole project.
— Jimmy Messick, Messick’s Farm Market co-owner
Golden Rule Builders
• Owners: Joel and Patty Barkman

• What: Custom home building and remodeling company

• Where: 3409 Catlett Road (Route 28), Catlett.

• Founded: 1987

• Employees: 30, including 12 who live in Fauquier.

• Projected 2018 revenue: $7.5 million.

• Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or by appointment.

• Phone: 540-788-3539

• Website:

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

When the Ohio native moved to Fauquier in the mid-1980s, he planned to get a degree in electrical engineering.

To pay the bills, including community college tuition, Joel Barkman went to work for a local homebuilder.

Around that time, Marvin Mast — a friend he made through a Northern Virginia company that distributes Christian-themed publications — suggested they start a home-construction business, Mr. Barkman recalled.

“Marvin said we would build one or two houses a year, and I could still take classes,” recalled Mr. Barkman.

In 1987, they established Golden Rule Builders of Catlett. But Mr. Mast didn’t care for the home construction business.

After a year, the men — both devout Mennonites — parted on good terms, with Mr. Barkman retaining the company, which partly takes its name after the Biblical principle “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“He didn’t want employees,” Mr. Barkman said of his former partner. “I really wanted to grow it.”

Did he ever.

Today, Golden Rule has 30 employees, with projected 2018 revenue of $7.5 million.

Next year, the design-build company, which specializes in custom homes, remodeling and additions, expects to do $10 million worth of business, Mr. Barkman said.

It builds about 10 homes a year, along with 40 to 50 remodeling jobs, including additions, bathrooms, kitchens, basements and sunrooms.

He never thought the company would achieve anything like those numbers, Mr. Barkman admitted.

“It’s been conservative growth from the start until now,” he explained. “My intent was to finish school. I wanted to grow and have a few employees. But vision always drives you.”

Mr. Barkman, 57, quit college after three semesters to focus on the business. But someday he hopes to return to school and get a degree.

In the company’s second year, he hired a couple of carpenters to help him.

“We did our own framing,” said Mr. Barkman, who picked up carpentry skills from his father and from working around the family farm. “The first few houses I did my own electrical. We did our own trim work. We built our own cabinets for quite a while.”

He initially built “spec” homes, using “stock” plans.

Partly because of market conditions and personal preference, Mr. Barkman switched to custom homes.

“I really enjoyed working with the client directly and didn’t return to spec homebuilding.”

The largest home the company has built totals 10,000 square feet. The most expensive one — with an elevator, movie theater and an ice cream parlor — cost $2.6 million.

“Our niche is really to have distinguished homes and projects,” said Mr. Barkman, noting the company never has built the same design twice.

As the company expanded, he began spend more time behind a desk than with a hammer in his hand.

Mr. Barkman struggled with that.

“I always thought if you had to be in an office, that would not be me.”

But, “I pretty much had to make a decision of what I’m going to do. Do I want to be in the field, or do I want to build a company that can do more and other things? At that point, I made a conscious decision to grow the company.”

In 2006, Golden Rule employed 15 people, built about four homes, did about a dozen remodeling jobs and generated approximately $3.5 million in revenue, according to Mr. Barkman.

A year later, “The Great Recession” took hold.

“Our numbers went down more than half,” he said. “But we didn’t lay off a single person.”

Instead, the company left some positions vacant when employees left, Mr. Barkman said.

“I thought we were going to bleed red ink, but we never did. Work just kind of came in. The Lord just provided as we needed the work.”

As the economy rebounded, so did Golden Rule, he said.

Warrenton financial advisor Stan Parkes got to know the homebuilder when they served on the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Volunteering at the Warrenton Spring Festival two years ago, Mr. Parkes had a casual conversation with Golden Rule Design Manager Dennis Reitz about his interest in building new home.

“That’s kind of how it got started,” Mr. Parkes said of the decision to hire the company.

Mr. Barkman and his staff couldn’t have been more accommodating, Mr. Parkes said.

“I wanted a Mediterranean-style house,” he recalled. “I found this house that was designed to be a winery. My wife wanted more of a French, countryside type of house.”

The couple met with Golden Rule staff about a dozen times, with Mr. Barkman participating in about half of those sessions.

It took about a year to design the two-story, approximately 4,000-square-foot stucco home, which will stand on 14 acres in Culpeper County, Mr. Parkes said.

“It wasn’t because they were slow. It’s just we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do. And, I was in no real big hurry.”

Workers broke ground in mid-summer on the home. Mr. Parkes expects it will cost about $850,000 and be completed by January.

“I just trust them,” he said of Golden Rule. “I know they’ve got my best interests in mind. They’re not the cheapest people around. I don’t want cheap.

“But I feel like they treated me fairly. They’re great to work with. No attitudes.”

While residential construction comprises most of its work, Golden Rule occasionally does church additions or a commercial project.

Four years ago, the company built Messick’s Farm Market — a 2,500-square-foot, post-and-beam, barn-like structure on Route 28 near Bealeton.

It took about 18 months to design, obtain county permits and complete the building, market co-owner and dairy farmer Jimmy Messick said.

Mr. Messick praised the Golden Rule staff for its responsiveness and attention to detail.

“It’s just good to be able to work with somebody you can trust,” he said. “I never had any concerns that everything that was suggested to me wasn’t for the better of the whole project.”

Mr. Messick also spoke about the owner’s relentlessly positive attitude, which seems to set the company’s tone.

“Joel’s just a great guy,” he said. “You never see him without a grin from ear to ear. And regardless of what kind of day you’re having or what kind of mood you might be in, you always part uplifted.”

Mr. Messick estimated the metal-clad structure cost $1.2 million.

Always thinking about ways to extend Golden Rule’s reach, Mr. Barkman believes Millennials could represent the next opportunity to do that.

“We have a close eye on them right now,” he said. “They’ve been living with Mom and Dad through the recession. We thought they would always be renters, and that’s proven very wrong.”

His staff continue to work on “plans” to tap that market. “We’re starting to dabble a little bit with it. We really haven’t refined it.”

Despite a work schedule that has kept him on the run for decades, he finds time and resources to give to local and other causes.

His family last year pledged $250,000 for the construction of a science and technology building at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Fauquier Campus.

He also leads organizations — one based in Colorado, another in India — that serve the disadvantaged.

And though Mr. Barkman remains committed to strengthening the company and shows no signs of slowing, retirement could be eight to 10 years away.

“It’s on the horizon. I’m not sure what I’ll do. But, I will probably always be involved in charities.”

96% of Fauquier seniors graduate on time this year

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Class of 2018 files into Falcon Field on May 23. Out of the three county high schools, Fauquier High posted the best on-time graduation rate at 98.8 percent.
The on-time graduation rate for Fauquier public school students this year reached its highest point in a decade, the Virginia Department of Education reported Monday.

Of 972 students who entered the ninth grade in the county’s three high schools four years ago, 96.1 percent graduated on schedule — the Fauquier school system’s best performance since the state started its annual report in 2008.

Twelve other public school systems — among 133 statewide — posted higher graduation rates this year.

The school system’s highest on-time graduation rate was 95.5 percent last year.

Statewide, 91.6 percent of high school seniors graduated on time this spring.

Last year, 95.5 percent of Fauquier public school seniors graduated on time.

Among county high schools, Fauquier High posted the best on-time graduation rate at 98.8 percent.

At Kettle Run High School, 98 percent earned diplomas in four years. At Fauquier High School, 91.7 percent graduated on time.

Superintendent David Jeck credits the teachers, students and staff.

“Ninety-six percent is an amazing statistic. Everyone should be very proud,” Dr. Jeck said. “The ultimate goal, of course, is a 100 percent graduation rate, but the fact that 96 out of 100 students are graduating on time in this school division says something very positive about the students and the people who work here.”

“Graduation rates tell the collective story of our kids’ journey through our schools,” said Major Warner, associate superintendent for instruction. “We have an outstanding instructional staff that genuinely cares about the kind of experiences our kids are exposed to, and they are to be commended for their efforts.”

Twenty-one Class of 2018 students — or 2.2 percent — dropped out since entering Fauquier high schools four years ago.

Ten members of the Class of 2018 earned GEDS.

The FCPS graduation rate for students with disabilities ranked at 95 percent.

“This kind of outcome reflects a commitment to providing equity for all students . . . it does not happen by chance,” Dr. Jeck said. “Reaching 95.5 percent in this subgroup category is nothing short of phenomenal. My hat is off to the kids especially. I hope they are aware of how huge an accomplishment this is.”

Other highlights of this year’s report for the Class of 2018 at Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty high schools include:

• 97.3 percent of females graduated on time, compared to 95.1 percent of males.

• 385 — or 39.6 percent — earned standard diplomas.

• 536 — or 55 percent — earned advanced studies diploma.

• 95.5 percent of black students graduated on time — up eight percent.

• 91.8 percent of Hispanic students graduated on time — up 3.9 percent.

• 52 class members had limited English proficiency at some time during their high school years. Of those, 80 percent earned diplomas on time — up 5.2 percent.

• The class had 37 students homeless at some time during their high school careers; 83.3 percent graduated on time — down 0.7 percent.

The 2018 FCPS on-time graduation rate ranks favorably in comparison to school divisions of similar size throughout the state.

Fauquier landed second among the 18 school divisions in the Commonwealth that have student enrollments ranging from 8,000 to 15,000 students. York County public schools landed first.

For more information from the Virginia Department of Education, click here.

County bank deposits rise $159 million in a year

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Fauquier Bank maintained the top position in deposits, with $464 million on June 30.
Deposits in Fauquier bank branches increased 9.1 percent in a year, according to an industry report released recently.

As of June 30, the county’s banking offices held $1.9 billion of customers’ funds, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported in its annual market share study.

A year earlier, the total stood at $1.74 billion.

That amount grew by $159 million in 12 months.

The county had 22 bank branches at the end of June, three fewer than a year earlier.

The Fauquier Bank remained in the top position, with $464.3 million in deposits, accounting for a 24.4-percent market share.

BB&T and Capital One also had double-digit shares of the county market — 18.7 and 14.7 percent, respectively — based on deposits in local branches.

The 2018 FDIC market share report for Fauquier:

• $464.6 million — The Fauquier Bank, 6 offices here.

• $355.7 million — BB&T, 4 offices.

• $280.8 million — Capital One, 1 office.

• $186.3 million — Union Bank & Trust, 2 offices.

• $166.4 million — Oak View National Bank, 2 offices.

• $117.6 million — Wells Fargo Bank, 1 office.

• $101.2 million — Access National Bank (Middleburg), 2 offices.

• $84.5 million — SunTrust Bank, 1 office.

• $76.2 million — PNC Bank, 1 office.

• $44.8 million — Sonabank, 1 office.

• $25.1 million — Summit Community Bank, 1 office.

First “Domestic Violence Awareness Fair” Oct. 13

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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Convenience store proposed near Walmart in Warrenton

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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Photo/Google Earth
The convenience store would provide the first gas pumps south of the Wawa at Frost and Shirley avenues in Warrenton.
Proposed Gas Station
• What: 3,000-square-foot convenience store with 6 gas pumps and 10,000-square-foot retail building.

• Where: 2.17 acres at James Madison Highway and Industrial Road, near Warrenton’s southern gateway.

• Zoning: Industrial.

• Owner: Red Road Inc. (Shakiba Hakami) of Annandale.

• Applicant: Sohaila Shekib of Sanie Consulting Group LLC of Fairfax.

• Needed: Rezoning to commercial and Comprehensive Plan amendment.

• Next: Work session with town planning commission, probably in November, with a possible public hearing in December.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A convenience store could open across the street from Walmart in Warrenton by 2022.

Property owner Shakiba Hakami of Annandale proposes a 3,000-square-foot store with six gas pumps at James Madison Highway and Industrial Road, near the town’s southern boundary.

Mr. Hakami’s Red Road Inc. paid $500,000 for the 2.1-acre site in June, according to county real estate records.

Acting on the property owner’s behalf, Sohaila Shekib of Sanie Consulting Group LLC in Fairfax submitted the development plan to the town in September. Construction of the store would require a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning from industrial to commercial use.

“There is no gas station nearby that area, so we thought there’s a need,” Ms. Shekib said Monday.

Exxon could be the gasoline provider, she said.

The applicant also proposes a 10,000-square-foot retail building on the site.

“My client was thinking maybe restaurant . . . a beauty salon — something that an individual can rent a unit,” Ms. Shekib said. “He doesn’t want to go with a grocery store or anything like that. Small shops.”

The development would include 67 parking spaces, according to a conceptual plan filed with the town.

Ms. Shekib said her client believes a gas station on the site would be convenient and beneficial to the community.

“Across the street is Walmart and big stores, but no gas station,” she said.

Plans for nearby development, such as the approved 227-home Alwington Farm subdivision and the potential expansion of Lord Fairfax Community College, also make the spot ideal, according to the property owner’s application.

The proposed gas station would have one entrance/exit on Industrial Road and another on an existing service road.

“It is going to be a little bit of a cost for him because of the topography . . . . He understood that. He likes the area (Warrenton) very much,” Ms. Shekib said.

The town’s planning commission will conduct a work session with the applicant, probably in November. The commission could hold a public hearing on the application in December. The town council will then discuss the project and decide whether to approve it or not after another public hearing.

If the project gets approved, Mr. Hakami hopes to start construction in 2020 and finish within two years.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.

Do you plan to get the flu vaccine this year?

Posted Tuesday,
October 2, 2018
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Man allegedly gave teenage girl marijuana for sex

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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Robert Warren McMeans Jr., 46, of Bealeton, faces charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and distributing marijuana.
Fauquier sheriff’s deputies Friday night charged a 46-year-old Bealeton man for allegedly giving marijuana to and engaging in sexual activity with a teenage girl.

Deputies on Sept. 28 executed a search warrant at the home of Robert Warren McMeans Jr. in the 12000 block of Marsh Road.

The investigation started Sept. 26 when the sheriff’s office received a tip from the Northern Virginia/District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children task force, Sgt. James Hartman said.

Mr. McMeans “has been charged with three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after the investigation alleged (he) was meeting a minor female to engage in sexual activity,” Sgt. Hartman said. “He is also charged with three felonies for one count of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and two counts of distributing marijuana to a minor.”

The 15-year-old girl and the suspect connected on Facebook and started sending messages to one another in July, according to an affidavit Detective Candyce Shaw filed to get the search warrant. The girl also sent Mr. McMeans sexually explicit photos.

Twice, he allegedly went to the girl’s house. Both times, they smoked marijuana and engaged in sexual activity in his SUV, parked outside, Detective Shaw wrote.

During the Friday night search, deputies “recovered a significant amount of marijuana from the (suspect’s) home and a vehicle,” Sgt. Hartman added.

The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the ICAC taskforce. 

Marshall home, 118 acres sell for $2.1 million

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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This post-and-beam home on 118 acres near Marshall sold for $2.1 million.
This house on 25 acres near The Plains sold for $1.75 million.
A large post-and-beam house on 118 acres near Marshall sold last week for $2.1 million.

Built in 2003, the 7,600-square-foot Ada Road home features four bedrooms, 4-1/2 baths, vaulted ceilings, decks, patios and a three-car garage. The property, known as Mount Jett Farm, has two large outbuildings and an apartment/office.

Listed with McEnearney Associates, the Marshall District property went on the market in March 2017 with an asking price of $2.65 million, according to

Also last week, a home on 25 acres near The Plains sold for $1.75 million.

The original log portion of West Riding dates to the 1700s. The house on Rock Hill Mill Road has three bedrooms, including a first-floor master suite. The home has 3-1/2 baths, brick floors, exposed beams and patios. The Scott District property has a barn, paddocks a large arena.

Listed with Thomas & Talbot, West Riding went on the market in June with an asking price of $1.9 million, according to

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Sept. 21-28, 2018:

Cedar Run District

Cooper Fox Investments LLC, George Scheulen as managing member, to Joseph C. Jacobs, Marilyn N. Jacobs and Erik J. Jacobs, 3.34 acres, 6464 Balls Mill Road, near Midland, $120,000.

Charles H. and Sheila Jenkins to David M. and Jennifer K. Lux, 1.25 acres, 9286 Rogues Road, near Midland, $362,500.

Jacquelyn A. Ireland to David J. Stockdill, one-half interest, 41.5 acres, 3128 Thompsons Mill Road, near Goldvein, $73,997.

Seth T. and Sydney Atterholt to Brandon S. Fields, 2.53 acres, Lot 1, Elk Run Acres Subdivision, 4122 Midland Road, near Midland, $304,900.

Aran Capital Partners LLC, Mark S. Kelly as managing member, to Kyle A. and Jessica M. Rouse and Marla Rouse, 6.27 acres, Lot 10, Cattle Lands Subdivision, 3639 Cattle Lands Drive, Catlett, $490,000.

Richard P. Redman and Susannah Letouze to Thomas J. Degan and Laura Pardue, 10.47 acres, 10066 Green Road, near Midland, $560,000.

Center District

Lee A. Dart to Robert M. and Teresa Husted, 0.64 acre, 140 W. Shirley Ave., Warrenton, $420,000.

Jessica Henderson to Dollie and Ramon Ordonez, Unit 41, Hillside Townes Subdivision, 202 Aviary St., Warrenton, $188,500.

Skyline Capital Group LLC, Richard H. Laimbeer as manager, to N&P Renovations LLC, Lot 74, Block 3, Foxhills Subdivision, 157 Piedmont St., Warrenton, $230,000.

Lee District

Stephanie L. Payton to Jose M. Gamez and Johanna Zarate, Lot 63, Section 2, Phase 1, Lee’s Glen Subdivision, 11751 Battle Ridge Drive, near Remington, $257,500.

Stephen L. and Debra S. Meeks, by substitute trustee, to Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 4.7 acres, 11319 James Madison Highway, near Bealeton, $203,350, foreclosure.

Matthew May to Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Townhouse 55, Phase 4, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 6197 Newton Lane, Bealeton, $214,328, foreclosure.

Alan B. Lane and Stephen J. Lane Jr. to Leftery N. Tsouroutis and Kelly M. Green, 2 acres, 11248 St. Paul’s Road, near Remington, $268,000.

NVR Inc. to Douglas M.M. Amaya, Lot 128, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7609 Hancock St., Bealeton, $487,950.

Christopher G. Vuxton to Nicholas and Magdaleno Briones, Lot 42, Section 1, Phase 2, Lee’s Glen Subdivision, 11673 Battle Ridge Drive, near Remington, $310,000.

Marshall District

Marlene J. Windsor to Lori A. and Richard L. Rivers J., 4.3 acres, 10767 Cliff Mills Road, near Orlean, $380,000.

Melville D. and Mary E. Conner to David M. and Mara Seaforest Charvonia, 17.1 acres, 10871 Crest Hill Road, near Marshall, $500,000.

Harold E. McCarty Jr. and Marlene M. Hahn, trustees, to Mount Jett Farm Real Estate LLC, 117.79 acres, Mount Jett Farm, 10306 Ada Road, near Marshall, $2,100,000.

MSH Construction Inc. to Carolyn A. Early, trustee, 1.17 acres, 6651 Carters Run Road, near Marshall, $345,000.

Scott District

Frank C. and Ruth W. Ripley to Quarter Moon LLC, 3.09 acres, 4.87 acres and 17.64 acres 6224 Rock Mill Road, near The Plains, $1,750,000.

James H. Parsons and Lisa A. Turner to Frank W. and Andrea L. Epinger, trustees, 4.44 acres, 3489 Halfway Road, near The Plains, $585,000.

Karen E. Ryan to Mark and Alicia Dale, 5 acres, 6710 Warwick Lane, near Warrenton, $725,000.

Joseph M. and Ruth H. Varona to Richard P. and Ssang K. Johnson, 1.43 acres, 6172 Mint Springs Drive, near Warrenton, $549,900.

Robert L. and Athalia D. Donaldson to Jean W. and Kenneth D. Kopp, 1.04 acres, Lot 32, Phase 3, Auburn Mill Estates Subdivision, 7164 Auburn Mill Road, near Warrenton, $499,000.

NVR Inc. to Mnorama Rani and Arthur Lovelace, Lot 84, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 7415 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $622,912.

Michael and Terry Straight to Avenir Properties LLC, 1 acre, 7113 Grays Mill Road, near Warrenton, $178,000.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Nathan D. Guilmain and Trisha Cronk, Lot 19, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4871 Point Road, near Warrenton, $862,463.

NVR Inc. to Jessica A. Thompson, Lot 1, Phase 11-A, Brookside Subdivision, 7226 Heron Place, near Warrenton, $557,730.

Motorcyclist loses control and dies near Bealeton

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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A West Virginia motorcyclist died Saturday afternoon in a high-speed accident on Route 17 near Bealeton.

Southbound near Morgansburg Road, the 2010 Harley Davidson sped through radar at 90 mph, Fauquier sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

Operating radar in the 55-mph zone, a deputy “waited for oncoming traffic and then entered Marsh Road southbound” at 2:30 p.m., Sgt. Harman said. “The deputy observed the motorcycle make lane changes and then turn into the crossover. Moments later the deputy came upon the crash in the northbound lanes.”

The motorcyclist lost control as he entered a median break on the four-lane road and “laid the motorcycle down in the northbound lanes,” Sgt. Hartman added.

A tractor-trailer struck him in the right, northbound lane.

Jordan Douglas Placka, 28, of Burlington, W.Va., died at the scene.

“The investigation is ongoing, pending autopsy results,” Sgt. Hartman said Monday.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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A call for better stewardship along trail at the WARF

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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Brewery and restaurants proposed for Remington

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Chat Hughey of McLean has received three proposals, including one that could combine a brick oven pizzeria and a craft brewery, for his 204 E. Main St. building.
I’d rather have another restaurant. It gives you more options.
— Melissa Haines, Groves Hardware office manager
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Remington soon could get its first craft brewery or a new restaurant.

Chat Hughey of McLean has received three proposals, including one that could combine a brick oven pizzeria and a craft brewery, for his 204 E. Main St. building.

The other two prospects call for restaurants in the one-story, 4,100-square-foot stucco storefront, Mr. Hughey said. One of them operates an eatery in the Town of Culpeper.

“We have three prospects for the space, and we hope one of them will open in that space,” said Mr. Hughey, who declined to discuss specifics about the potential uses.

His building has commercial zoning, which allows a brewery there by-right.

“A brick oven pizza (restaurant) and craft brewery, I think that would be a very positive thing for the town,” Councilman DeVada Allison said. “I think it’s a perfect location for a craft brewery.”

He also would welcome a restaurant or any business to Remington that would “benefit” citizens and other merchants, Mr. Allison added.

“The big thing is bringing business to town . . . that embrace (its) small feel,” the council vice chairman explained.

A Culpeper restaurateur has talked about opening a place that would feature seafood, Councilman Van Loving said.

“He’ll have like steamed shrimp, crab,” said Mr. Loving, who declined to identify the restaurant owner. “Moderately-priced, something everybody could afford.”

Mr. Hughey could act on the proposals within a few weeks, the councilman said.

“It’s great you can pick and choose,” Mr. Loving said. “He wants to make the right decision. . . . It’s a big step.”

Mr. Hughey owns two other downtown commercial structures, including the old Culpeper Co-op building at 301 E. Main St.

Two businesses occupy the 204 E. Main St. building — Black Sheep Studios, a tattoo parlor and art gallery, and Sean’s Smokehouse BBQ.

Sean’s, which will vacate the building, uses its space for storage.

Under one scenario, Black Sheep Studios would move to the old Culpeper Co-op building. That would make the entire 204 Main St. structure available for a brewery or restaurant.

“I would take anything that would help with foot traffic in Remington and supports Remington businesses,” Black Sheep Studios owner Jen Poteet said.

But Ms. Poteet, who opened the studio and art gallery last November, voiced some concerns about a restaurant/brewery.

“I have three kids,” she said. “I’m not going to bring my kids there. I might get a pizza to go.”

Ms. Poteet believes a restaurant, however, would appeal to a broader audience, including families.

Melissa Haines, office manager for Groves Hardware at 202 E. Main St., also expressed doubts about a brewery.

“To me, that makes no sense,” said Ms. Haines. “I’d rather have another restaurant. It gives you more options.”

The town council last week unanimously approved a zoning ordinance amendment to allow microbreweries in the Commercial-1 district, which includes Mr. Hughey’s building.

Courtney E. Ashby, owner of Remington Family Dentistry at 206 E. Main St., and others spoke during a public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance change.

“I’m much very for having a brewery in Remington,” Dr. Ashby said in an interview. “I definitely think the community can support it.

“It would bring people into Remington, which is a good thing.”

At the same time, the town also “could definitely use another restaurant,” Dr. Ashby added.

Fauquier has four craft breweries:

Old Bust Head Brewing Co. at Vint Hill.

• The Barrel Oak Farm Taproom near Delaplane.

Wort Hog Brewing Co. in Warrenton.

Power’s Farm & Brewery near Casanova.

Early next year Warrenton will get its second brewery.

The owners of Altered Suds Beer Co. LLC plan to open a 5,000-square-foot brewery at 36 Main St. — in the basement below Molly’s Irish Pub and Hartman’s Jewelers.

You can contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0700.

All Fauquier public schools earn full state accreditation

Posted Monday,
October 1, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Statewide, 92 percent of schools earned full accreditation.
The state is now recognizing and emphasizing what we’ve known for a long time . . . that there are many indicators of student success that should factor into school accreditation
— Fauquier Superintendent David Jeck
All 19 Fauquier public schools earned full state accreditation for 2018-19, according to a report released Thursday.

The Virginia Department of Education bases accreditation on academic performance, achievement gaps and student engagement and outcomes. 

“Of course I am happy that all of our schools are fully accredited, and credit should go to those who deserve it most: the teachers and students,” Fauquier Superintendent David Jeck said.

“The state is now recognizing and emphasizing what we’ve known for a long time . . . that there are many indicators of student success that should factor into school accreditation,” Dr. Jeck said. “This is the way it ought to be. For far too long overall results on standardized, multiple choice tests have been the sole measure of how our schools are performing. I am very glad to see that other indicators are now being recognized.”

Across Virginia, 1,683 schools — or 92 percent — earned full accreditation.

The state education department previously based accreditation primarily on Standards of Learning test results. The state has expanded its evaluations to include:

Elementary and middle schools

• Overall proficiency and growth in English reading/writing and math, including progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency.

• Overall proficiency in science.

• English and math achievement gaps among student groups.

• Absenteeism.

High schools

• Overall proficiency in English reading/writing, math and science, and progress of English learners toward English-language proficiency.

• English and math achievement gaps among student groups.

• Graduation and Completion Index.

• Dropout rate.

• Absenteeism.

“As the state transitions to a more comprehensive view of school quality, we are equally excited about the opportunities to engage students differently, to see the concept of mastery through a more authentic and relevant learning experience that is meaningful to kids and focused on skill development,” county Associate Superintendent for Instruction Major Warner aid.

In 2021-22, the college, career and civic readiness indicator will be added to the high school evaluation. That will consider students’ successful completion of advanced coursework, career/technical classes and credentials, along with work and service-based learning such as internships.
Last year,18 of 19 county public schools earned full state accreditation with H.M. Pearson Elementary receiving a “partial accreditation.” 

Historic Warrenton home sells at auction Friday

Posted Saturday,
September 29, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Property owner Ann Gravett and auction high bidder Angela Smith at 74 Waterloo St. on Friday.
We love a good challenge. Every place I have needs a lot of work.
— Angela Smith
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

It took just three minutes Friday afternoon for the old Warrenton home to sell at auction for $379,500.

Fauquier businesswoman Angela Smith outbid 13 other prospective buyers for the 4,100-square-foot, Federal-style home at 74 Waterloo St.

About 50 people attend the property’s front-porch sale.

Auctions typically last about two to three minutes, said John Nicholls, whose Fredericksburg-based Nicholls Auction Marketing Group Inc. handled the transaction.

Ms. Smith, who with her husband Mark owns Savory Fare Catering and Stone Ridge Events Center just north of Warrenton, has no immediate plans for the four-story structure, which stands in the town’s historic district.

“There are a number of options,” which could include business and/or residential uses, she said. “We really have no idea.”

But local custom homebuilder Mark Houser will do a “spectacular” job of remodeling it, added Ms. Smith, who acknowledges the circa 1812 structure needs plenty of work.

She and her husband like to buy old buildings and restore them, she explained.

“We love a good challenge. Every place I have had needs a lot of work.”

The brick structure features nine rooms, three bathrooms, five fireplaces and pine hardwood flooring throughout. The property also has 14 parking spaces.

The vacant building, which has housed offices and a golf equipment and apparel shop, stands on a 0.35-acre lot, zoned commercial. For tax purposes, the county values the property at $557,300.

For about 15 years, Ms. Smith owned and operated Legend’s restaurant in Warrenton. In 2004, she closed the place but moved Legend’s catering business to Fauquier Springs Country Club west of town.

Would she consider opening a restaurant in the Waterloo Street building?

“I’m done” with restaurants, Ms. Smith said with a laugh.

Ann Gravett, the previous owner, attended the Sept. 28 auction.

Since her husband Ben’s death in 2014, the family systematically has sold their Fauquier real estate, Ms. Gravett said.

“This is just one we didn’t need any more,” the Madison County resident said of the Waterloo Street property.

The family last week accepted an offer for the historic Menlough home and 8.8 acres along Culpeper Street, also previously scheduled for auction Friday. Ms. Gravette declined to discuss the pending sale. For tax purposes, the county values Menlough at $1.9 million.

You can contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake great for brunch and more

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Late in October, we’ll host a family reunion, with brunch one of the many meals planned.

Brunch provides a favorite way to entertain. It’s far more relaxed probably because many of the menu items can be made well in advance.

But, it must include breakfast bread. So, I plan to do something a little different — a Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake. Who doesn’t like chocolate chips or coffee cake? Combine them and you have a terrific breakfast treat. And, the leftovers make a great afternoon snack or dessert served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This recipe takes some planning in that it needs at least an hour to rise.

1¼ cups milk
½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 extra large eggs
3½ cups gluten-free flour
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
½ cup chocolate chips

½ cup gluten free flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cups pecans, chopped
½ cup chocolate chips
¼ cups soft butter
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon

Grease and flour a 10-inch angel food cake pan.

Scald the milk, then remove from heat and add the butter, sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool to lukewarm. In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast over warm water and let ferment. After a few minutes, add the milk mixture, eggs, flour and xanthan gum. Using paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until smooth. Blend in chocolate chips with a spoon. Transfer to cake pan and let rest while making the topping.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Work in the butter, mixing until coarse crumbs form.

Sprinkle the topping over the cake, cover and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Bake cake for 35 minutes. Place on rack, cool slightly then remove from cake pan. It’s best served warm.

> Click here for information about Ellen’s cookbook, No Sacrifices — Entertaining Gluten-Free

Road closures near Calverton next week

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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Winchester St. subdivision design talks proceeding

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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Ryan Homes representatives showed Architectural Review Board this conceptual drawing of possible designs for homes fronting Winchester Street in Warrenton.
We tried to make sure, going through the historic guidelines and seeing the properties within the area, that we could accommodate and match up with the different designs within the town.
— Ryan Homes Division Manager Brett Sechler
Winchester Chase
• What: Planned 72-lot subdivision, with 49 lots in Phase I.

• Where: 475 Winchester St., Warrenton.

• Site: 25 acres along east side street; entrance would align with North Court Street.

• Property owner/developer: Jeffery K. Rizer.

• Builder: Ryan Homes.

• Needed: Certificate of appropriateness from the town architectural review board; final site plan approval from town staff.

• Previous: Town planning commission in August 2013 voted, 5-2, to recommend approval the preliminary plat; after Mr. Rizer and the town settled lawsuit, the town council approved the preliminary plat in August 2014.

• Next: ARB and Ryan Homes will hold another work session in November.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Construction of 49 houses along Warrenton’s historic Winchester Street could start next summer.

After five years of debate, litigation and negotiation, plans for the “Winchester Chase” subdivision continue to move forward.

The “by-right” development along the east side of the street has zoning for lots smaller than a quarter-acre each. The subdivision’s lone entrance will align with North Court Street.

In August 2014, the town council approved a preliminary plat for 72 lots along with the general layout and street access.

A year earlier, the planning commission recommended approval of the controversial subdivision.

But, property owner Jeffery Rizer will develop only 14 of 25 acres during the first phase.

Once Mr. Rizer gets final site plan approval from the town staff, he will start installing utilities and streets for the first 49 lots. He will sell “finished lots” to Ryan Homes, which put the property under contract about a year ago.

Mr. Rizer from 2012 to 2014 purchased the five parcels for a total of about $3.7 million, according to county real estate records.

Home prices probably will start at just less than $500,000, according to Ryan Homes Division Manager Brett Sechler.

Fifteen homes will stand within the town’s historic district, requiring architectural review board approval.

Ryan Homes representatives met with the ARB on Thursday night to discuss materials and design of the houses proposed in the historic district.

The four houses fronting Winchester Street would stand about 50 feet from the pavement.

“For most of these lots, they weren’t required to do any of this,” town Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer told the ARB. “They asked to meet with you early. They’ve been very willing to work with us, and we really appreciate it.

“They went out and hired an architect and drew up things they had never done before,” Ms. Schaeffer added.

“It’s really important and we want to make sure they look good,” said Mr. Sechler.

Board members discussed the proposed designs and materials’ adherence to historic district guidelines.

“We tried to make sure, going through the historic guidelines and seeing the properties within the area, that we could accommodate and match up with the different designs within the town,” Mr. Sechler said. “As mentioned, they are very eclectic houses within the area.”

ARB Chairman Steve Wojcik told the Ryan representatives: “We appreciate the fact that you are trying to particularly focus on these homes and customize them as much as possible so they fit in as best as they can to the surrounding (area) as opposed to standing out from Winchester Street.”

Board members generally seemed comfortable with the proposed appearance of the four homes that would front Winchester Street but offered suggestions on how to add variety.

“I’m trying to stress the fact that if these are in fact going to be closer together than other houses on Winchester Street, they are going to be very prominent, hence they should be . . . non-cookie-cutter looking,” ARB member Kevin Roop said.

Board member Laura Bartee suggested using brick instead of HardiePlank siding on at least one of the houses.

Mr. Wojcik suggested Ryan “vary the roof. Consider metal or cedar shake. That would be helpful . . . . Varying the porch material to brick, cement, stone that would help them . . . fit with the surroundings more and not stand out as a subdivision.”

He also suggested reducing the number of windows on the front of the houses because, “that’s a telltale sign of a home that’s a subdivision home.”

Willing to work with the town on varying the homes, Mr. Sechler said, “Our goal is to never sell the same house across the street or right next to each other.”

Driveway access would be behind the four homes, with garages on the side.

The average lot in the subdivision would be 7,325 square feet. But the four lots along Winchester Street would be the largest, approximately 12,000 square feet apiece. Each of those homes would have four bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths.

“I think this has been very productive,” Mr. Wojcik said of Thursday night’s meeting. “I think we are eager to work with you on the next steps . . . . I think this is a good start. Thank you for all of your hard work.”

The ARB probably will conduct another work session with the Ryan Homes representatives in November. The board then will schedule a public hearing on a certificate of appropriateness for the homes.

PATH Foundation awards grants totaling $2 million

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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File Photo/Cassandra Brown
The FRESH program, promoting healthy activities and nutrition in Fauquier County Public Schools, will receive $944,301 in grant funding for 2018-19 from PATH.
Having collaborative relationships with area organizations and funding partners has certainly enhanced our ability to identify and respond to areas we can impact.
— John McCarthy, foundation’s outgoing chairman
The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation announced Thursday that it has awarded $2 million in grant funding to 14 projects representing 12 organizations since the end of May.

The programs received funds outside of PATH’s traditional grant cycles, President/CEO Christy Connolly explained.
“The programs we’ve been able to fund are already making a difference in the community,” Ms. Connolly said. “Though funding for FRESH and the Fauquier Free Clinic’s telehealth work is continued program support, the other efforts are new.

“We are again inspired by the work of area organizations to strengthen the health and vitality of our community.”
PATH’s outgoing Chairman John McCarthy added: “As we have grown as a foundation over the past five years, it has been rewarding to see the scope of our work grow as well. We’re able to not only award traditional grants, but to respond to needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment and address issues affecting our community.

“Having collaborative relationships with area organizations and funding partners has certainly enhanced our ability to identify and respond to areas we can impact.”
PATH Foundation continues to accept applications for general operations grants, with up to $750,000 total available for organizations serving Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper counties. Application information and more can be found at

The found awarded these grants over the summer:
• $944,301 to Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health (FRESH).
• $306,000 to Fauquier Free Clinic for its telehealth program that provides mental health services.
• $250,000 to Fauquier Habitat for Humanity for its Haiti Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative in Warrenton.

• $200,000 to Culpeper Development Community Corp. for Ann Wingfield Commons affordable housing project that will renovated 33 units and build 10 more.
• $100,000 to the SpiritWorks Foundation for the Warrenton Recovery Center to address drug addiction.
• $73,500 to Fauquier County Public Schools to address opportunity gap issues and remove barriers that can negatively impact students’ education.
• $45,815 to the Town of Warrenton for expansion of the Circuit Rider bus service.  
• $13,170 to the Fauquier Free Clinic for Medicaid expansion preparation.
• $7,854 to Fauquier County government for on-demand transportation enhancement.
 • $8,170 to the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office for the “Hidden in Plain Sight” education program about possible high-risk behaviors among youth.
 • $29,570 to the Windy Hill Foundation for a playground at Washburn Place, the new affordable housing development in Marshall. 

• $20,000 to Margaret M. Pierce Elementary School toward construction and equipping its new playground in Remington
• $8,751 to the Land Trust of Virginia for five staffers and four board members to attend the National Land Conservation Conference in October.     
• $6,996 to The Plains Community League for new laptops to meet an anticipated growth of students in after-school tutoring programs.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Commutes grow longer

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Southbound traffic stacks up on Warrenton’s Eastern Bypass during the afternoon rush. The morning drive averages 42 minutes for Fauquier commuters.

Minutes — the average time it takes Fauquier commuters to get to work, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

The overwhelming majority, 82.1 percent of those who commute from Fauquier drive alone, while 7.4 percent carpool and a mere 0.8 percent use public transportation.

A third of Fauquier commuters travel an hour or more to work, according to data from the Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey, released this month.

The average commute from Fauquier increased 3.1 minutes in 2017, compared to the previous year, and by almost six minutes from 2007.

The Washington region has the nation’s second-longest commutes, trailing only New York.


Estimated pounds of non-perishable food items Fauquier County government employees last Friday donated for the community’s needy.

Workers brought the items to their annual cookout on the adjoining lawns of the county’s adult court services and emergency services offices on Culpeper Street in Warrenton. The items went to the Fauquier Community Food Bank and Thrift Store.

For the second year, sheriff’s deputies who serve civil process papers and provide courthouse security challenged the circuit court clerk’s office to collect the greatest number of food items.

The deputies donated about 730 items and the clerk’s office about 550.

In 2017, county government workers collected and donated 3,300 pounds of food. This year’s total represents a 3-percent increase.


The amount Fauquier County Public Schools has budgeted per student in fiscal 2019.

This represents a 4.3-percent increase since fiscal 2015.

Last year’s budget allocated $12,757 per student.


Parking tickets issued since last October, when Warrenton restarted enforcement in Old Town. Police also issued 1,413 warnings during that period.

The town had gone about two years without a dedicated parking enforcement officer.

From October 2016 through September 2017, the town issued only 333 parking tickets and 868 warnings.


Deed book recordings processed the Fauquier’s County Circuit Court clerk’s office processed in 2017.

The volume declined 8.5 percent from 2016, when the office handled 12,515 recordings.

While most transactions involve the sale or transfer of real estate, others include land plats and surveys, liens, bankruptcy orders, contracts or leases to mineral rights and condemnation certificates.

Vint Hill intersection improvements investigated

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The suggestions include cutting the hills and adding turn lanes to Route 29 at Vint Hill Road.
The next step for us is to see if what we said is fully possible, and then come back to you to see if it makes sense.
— VDOT Chief Engineer Garrett Moore
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A transportation advisory panel Thursday backed a series of potential improvements at Route 29 and Vint Hill Road near New Baltimore to improve safety and traffic flow through the busy corridor.

The group has been charged with recommending improvements to an approximately three-mile portion of the highway between Warrenton and Prince William County.

The panel also endorsed a plan to remove hills on Route 29 south of the Vint Hill Road traffic signal to improve visibility along a notoriously dangerous stretch of the four-lane highway.

Additionally, it supported the installation of a traffic light at an upgraded U-turn on Route 29 just south of the hilly area. That would allow drivers to double back onto Route 29 north and make a right turn onto Vint Hill Road.

In some ways, the proposed Vint Hill Road intersection improvements mimic those at Routes 29 and 605 near Warrenton. They include:

• A second left-turn lane from Route 29 south onto Vint Hill Road. Those dual lanes would taper to one just east of the intersection.

• A left-turn lane on Vint Hill Road to serve Monterey Church, just west of Route.

• A second left-turn lane from Vint Hill Road onto Route 29 south toward Warrenton.

The plan also calls for installation of a traffic signal where a right-turn “slip” lane off Vint Hill Road connects to Route 29 North. The signal would replace a stop sign.

The eight-member panel includes Fauquier and Prince William County officials and merchants and residents of the New Baltimore and Vint Hill areas.

“What we’re trying to do is give the citizens here what you need and keep it functioning as long as we can,” Virginia Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Garrett Moore told panel.

Based on an “eyeball” examination, Mr. Moore, who heads the panel, believes existing VDOT right-of-way could accommodate the proposed Vint Hill Road intersection improvements but cautioned that more study would be needed to determine that.

“The next step for us is to see if what we said is fully possible, and then come back to you to see if it makes sense,” he told the advisory group.

The panel also discussed potential improvements at the Route 600 intersection, including:

• Additional turn lanes from Route 600 onto Route 29.

• Extension of the turn lane on Route 29 North that serves Route 600 East.

• Re-painting that turn lane line to distinguish it from the adjoining Route 29 through lane.

Ike Broaddus, who co-owns Old Bust Head Brewing Co. at Vint Hill, asked VDOT to revisit the viability of installing roundabouts along the nearly three-mile study area.

“I’m not sure that I’ve ever been satisfied with the answers that have been brought forward regarding roundabouts,” said Mr. Broaddus, a panel member who represents Vint Hill businesses.

Mr. Moore said he would research the matter.

But, he said of roundabouts: “With the kind of volume we have (on Route 29), I wouldn’t see that working.”

Route 29 through New Baltimore carries more than 40,000 vehicles per day.

The advisory plans to meet five more times: Oct. 25, Nov. 29., Jan. 24, Feb. 28 and March 28. Meetings will take place 1-3 p.m. in the Warren Green Building.

Click here for meeting agendas, presentations and information about the advisory panel’s work and previous studies of this section of the highway.

Videos of the group’s meetings can be viewed on VDOT’s YouTube channel and via a link on the Route 29 study webpage.

Will the Senate confirm Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court?

Posted Friday,
September 28, 2018
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Local tech firm among region’s fastest growing

Posted Thursday,
September 27, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
From left: Joan Pearson and CFO Anne Pappalardo talk with Chairman/CEO Jodi Johnson at Titania Solutions Group’s headquarters.
The government services business is very complex and difficult, especially in a company’s first three years.
— David L. Young, Titania co-founder
Titania Solutions Group Inc.
• What: Government technology services contractor.

• Where: Headquarters at Vint Hill, with office in Arizona and employees in Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Washington, D.C.

• Employees: 105

• Revenue: $14.5 million in 2017, up 48 percent in year, earning spot last month on Washington Technology’s “Fast 50” list.

• Clients: Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration.

• Leadership: Chairman/CEO Jodi L. Johnson of Warrenton

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

The numbers sound glitzy: Seven-figure contracts. Year-over-year growth of 48 percent to $14.5 million in 2017 revenue.

That trajectory earned the Vint Hill-based federal services contractor a spot on Washington Technology’s “Fast 50” list, announced in August.

But, “I’m not a fancy person,” Titania Solutions Group Chairman and CEO Jodi L. Johnson insists. “I’m a dig-the-ditches person.”

Ms. Johnson and her husband Dale, who live near Warrenton, could have retired comfortably after selling their former business for $170 million in 2008. Employees and investors shared in the proceeds.

After expiration of the sale agreement’s three-year “not-to-compete” requirement, however, she grew restless.

The couple began to discuss the possibility of starting another company to provide technical services to government agencies and the military.

“I was still jazzed,” Ms. Johnson, 56, recalls. “I told Dale, ‘I think I can build another company’.”

Her husband, “a quiet, Midwestern engineer,” as she describes him, “picks up a quarter and hands it to me. ‘Heads, we do it. Tails, we don’t’.”

The quarter hit the floor, tails up. She wanted a do-over.

“ ‘Then why are you even asking me?’ ” Mr. Johnson responded with a smile.

So, Titania — named for the largest moon of Uranus — sprang to life in 2012. It had a few employees, no revenue and mainly the reputations of its founders.

Along with experienced contracting executive David L. Young of Culpeper, the Johnsons over five years had built Oberon to 700 employees and $560 million in contracts. Also named for a Uranus moon, Oberon started at Vint Hill in 2002, and Stanley Inc. bought the company six years later.

Networking intensely to launch Titania, Ms. Johnson contacted former customers and bigger companies that needed subcontractors.

She attributes the new company’s early success to “customers who want to see you again and (former) employees who want to come back.”

The year after its founding, Titania earned revenue of $3 million. The total more than doubled to $7.2 million in 2014, and double-digit growth has continued.

“The government services business is very complex and difficult, especially in a company’s first three years,” says Mr. Young, who has built and sold several firms over four decades. “You end up being a subcontractor the first three years to build credibility and get on bid lists.”

Budget cuts and “sequestration” have made the industry even tougher since the entrepreneurs ran Oberon, which did much of its business with the military, including work on a “biometrics automated toolset” and other “cool and sexy” systems that supported national security, according to Ms. Johnson.

Titania has a different mix of contracts, with health care accounting for half its business and about a quarter each from the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Defense.

One of the Washington region’s fastest-growing tech companies rents 18,000 square feet of a gray, two-story building that also houses a day care center at Vint Hill. The location, which costs far less than office space to the east, means Ms. Johnson gets up at 4 a.m. and drives about three days a week to client meetings at L’Enfant Plaza, Crystal City and the Pentagon.

Half of the company’s employees work at Vint Hill. Titania also has an office at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and employees “on site” for clients in D.C., Maryland, New Jersey and Texas.

“We lost money in the early years and took no salaries,” Ms. Johnson says of the company’s founders. “We have less infrastructure but more experienced folks . . . . And, we’re all willing to take out the trash if we have to.”

Titania spends about $60,000 a month on employee health insurance and an equal amount on 401(k) contributions.

Ms. Johnson has hired well-compensated talent earlier in Titania’s evolution than she did at Oberon and already has given about one-fifth of the company stock to the staff. Of the company’s first 30 hires, 25 previously had worked with her.

The business remains rooted in family and relationships to the Johnsons, married more than 29 years. They have hired some people met through their connection to Highland School in Warrenton, where she served on the board and to which they donated $1 million toward a new middle school library that opened six years ago.

Mr. Johnson oversees accounting, finance, facilities and security.

“She does things I’m not good at, and I do the things she’s not good at,” the 57-year-old Wisconsin native, who grew up on a dairy farm, says of his wife.

Her oldest son, Charles McCormick, oversees human resources. The Johnsons’ two other sons have worked in the business and her parents, who have moved to Fauquier, also have helped.

In an industry rife with acronyms and certifications, a new one has grown increasingly important to DOD contracts: LPTA — “lowest price technically acceptable.”

That has made it more challenging to “take care of people, which is the basis of my business,” says Ms. Johnson, who puts the company’s profit margin at 6 to 8 percent on most of its work. “If you can’t pay people well and provide benefits for them and their families, they aren’t happy.”

It takes happy employees to perform well, making clients happy, she adds. Most of the company’s employees at Vint Hill live in or near Fauquier, allowing them to avoid the challenging commutes of others who work in government contracting.

The area has “a tremendous pool of talent,” Ms. Johnson says.

The Army brought her, a Connecticut native and then a single mom, to Vint Hill Farms Station in the mid-1980s. Working as an intelligence senior operations specialist, she also met David M. Johnson, a Department of the Army civilian employee, there when he came by her desk for a temporary security badge.

After leaving the Army, Ms. Johnson went to work for a Manassas-based defense contractor purchased by Mystech Associates, which Mr. Young and others owned. She stayed, learned and moved up to Mystech’s vice president for human resources. She remained for a while after a publicly-traded corporation bought Mystech.

“She was young and energetic,” Mr. Young recalls. “As I got to know her, I saw a lot of talent.

“She’s got great people skills . . . and a whole lot of common sense,” he adds. “I don’t know why they call it common sense, because it’s uncommon.”

Invested in a range of other businesses, Mr. Young serves primarily as a Titania board member and advisor. He suggests that Ms. Johnson has the skills to run a Fortune 500 company.

Hard work has a lot to do with her success. Fitting classes around her career, Ms. Johnson took 18 years to earn her bachelor’s degree in organizational development from the University of Maryland in 1989. She devotes about 60 hours a week to Titania.

The company has seven contract proposals in process and considers about 25 a year, Ms. Johnson says.

But, if a company waits for government agencies to announce bid solicitations, it seldom has a chance, she explains. The business requires deep understanding of clients and their needs to anticipate those announcements.

Ms. Johnson adds that the next year will be “really compelling” for Titania, with most of its contracts up for “recompete.”

Although it will get “harder and harder,” she expects double-digit annual growth to continue, with the potential to add as many as 50 employees a year. The founders have invested heavily in executive talent to ensure they have the ability to staff up quickly.

“There’s no one way to run a company. I lead this team the only way I know how, with my sleeves rolled up,” Ms. Johnson says. “We work hard and I expect others to work hard. I’ve always found that if you tell people what you want, they will try very hard to achieve it . . . .

“I’m very hands-on. That doesn’t mean I can do everything. I’m not a software engineer . . . . I think I like to lift people up. I like coaching.”

Titania’s leadership devotes a lot of attention to communication with employees, team-building and charitable work in the communities where it operates.

“You see what kind of good things you can do, such as the donation to Highland,” Mr. Johnson says of the work’s rewards. That — along with his wife’s drive — influenced his agreement to launch Titania.

As for the long term, Ms. Johnson says: “I would like to get to a point where I can take a little more time” to spend with their two grandchildren and on vacation. “I’ll find out if I’m the type of person who can do that.”

> CLICK here to watch a video in which Jodi Johnson and Dave Young talk about building a business.

You can contact Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-1845.

Throwback Thursday: Fire kills 10 snakes in The Plains

Posted Thursday,
September 27, 2018
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1993: Ten pet snakes died in this house fire in The Plains.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of October 1, 1993

Fire kills 10 pet snakes in The Plains

A collection of large snakes surprised but did not delay The Plains firefighters who battled a blaze Saturday night at a house on Route 245.

Christine Graves notified firefighters of the pet snakes in her house about 30 minutes into the operation. She owned four adult pythons, two indigos, several baby pythons, an albino python and one unidentified snake.

Firefighters controlled the fire within 20 minutes, The Plains Chief Fred Wines said.

All the snakes, kept in aquariums on the second floor, died in the fire, according to Wines.

Two of the pythons were 8 to 10 feet long. Indigoes, or gopher snakes, are large, harmless, blue-black snakes from the southern U.S.

Cindy Carter named to lead vo-ed program

Cindy Carter hopes to lead the county’s vocational education program into the 21st century. As Fauquier’s new vocational education coordinator, she can start by integrating the TechPrep program into the school curriculum.

“I’m very excited,” said Mrs. Carter. “It’s a good opportunity for me professionally and personally.”

Mrs. Carter, currently the vocational assessment coordinator and a teacher at Fauquier High School, has worked 11 years in the county system. She also served as the cooperative office educational coordinator and as the business education coordinator.

Two escape injury as train hits car

Two Fredericksburg women escaped injury Monday night when a freight train struck their stalled car on a railroad crossing in Markham.

Sherri Steck, 38, drove her 1992 For Taurus over a private rail crossing on a steep grade just south of Route 55, according to state police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

Ms. Steck’s car stalled and drifted back onto the rail line. The driver’s sister, Susie Albertson saw the train approach and “bailed out of the car,” Ms. Caldwell said.

The driver stayed with the vehicle. “She was unable to get it started,” Ms. Caldwell said. “The train clipped the car and pushed it about 16 feet.”

Ms. Steck was shaken but unhurt. The eastbound train struck her vehicle at 30 mph, according to police. The speed limit on that section of track is 32 mph.

The accident caused about $2,000 worth of damage to the car.

Albanian bankers spend day at FNB

The Fauquier National Bank recently hosted eight Albanian bankers visiting the U.S. for training.

Agricultural Cooperative Development International and the Independent Bankers Association of America sponsored the Sept. 17 program on community banking, using FNB as a model.

“We hope that by sharing our knowledge and experience . . . our visiting bankers will take with them an understanding of the commitment community banks have to serving their customers,” FNB President C. Hunton Tiffany said.

Blackwell speaker at business seminar

Jeanne M. Blackwell, president of MadCap Farm Equestrian Training Inc. near The Plains, was the featured speaker at the Greater Roslyn Business and Professional Association’s 23rd annual “Salute to Business and Professional Women.”

Ms. Blackwell’s topic was “A Success Formula for Small Business.”


Just Arrived . . .

Lamps, Lamps, Lamps, Lamps

Stop in to see our selection!

Tutto Bene, Ltd.
29 Main Street, Warrenton

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
September 27, 2018
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Warrenton consultant will study office space needs

Posted Thursday,
September 27, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Town Hall provides 9,250 square feet of office space, housing 23 employees.
Cubicles define much of Town Hall’s main level office space.
A curved wall defines the Town Hall meeting space, with seating for about 40 citizens.
The town and recognizes that none of its current buildings can accommodate its existing needs at the present time.
— From Warrenton’s bid invitation
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Warrenton’s government soon might consider renovating Town Hall, constructing a new municipal building or leasing more office space.

In the next month, the town will award a contract to study how much office space will be needed for municipal workers in the next 20 years.

“The town ideally desires to consolidate its operations at one location owned by the town and recognizes that none of its current buildings can accommodate its existing needs at the present time,” town staff wrote in a request for bids issued Aug. 20.

> Document at bottom of story

Town Hall provides 9,250 usable square feet for administrative offices. Since June 2017 the town has rented office space on the second floor at 19 Culpeper St. from property owner Walter Story.

Twenty-three employees, including the town manager and the finance, human resources and community development departments, occupy those offices. 

When the town hires a human resources manager, possibly in October, he or she will work in the Culpeper Street offices. Two employees — the town's economic development manager and community development director — currently occupy the 750-square-foot space that the town rents for $1,200 a month.

“Every position we add in Town Hall is a challenge to find space here and rented at 19 Culpeper,” said Town Manager Brannon Manager.

The town also has offices at the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreational Facility, the police department and public works and utilities building.

Built at 18 Court St. in 1938, Town Hall originally served as The Fauquier National Bank (now The Fauquier Bank) headquarters. Real estate investor Edward Stevenson bought the building — after the bank moved to a new Courthouse Square structure in the early 1970s — and donated it to the town.

The soaring, two-story lobby remains intact, divided as office and meeting space with a curved wall and cubicles. Building inspectors and planning/zoning staffers occupy the basement, where the huge vault houses municipal documents.

One of downtown’s iconic structures, Town Hall features large Palladian windows in a brick and granite facade.

Warrenton officials in the early 1990s evaluated options for Town Hall’s replacement. In addition to considering new construction, the town hired local architect James “J” Tucker to survey existing buildings for potential adaptive reuse.
One proposal called for construction of a new municipal building and donation of the existing Town Hall for a performing arts center that a nonprofit organization would own and manage.
Ultimately, the council abandoned the idea of replacing Town Hall — then estimated to cost $4 million — and funded the 2002 construction of a new police station on Carriage House Lane.

Last month, Warrenton advertised for bids to study its office space needs.

As of the Sept. 7 deadline, the town had received bids from two Richmond architectural firms, Moseley Architects and HBA. Town Manager Brannon Godfrey decided not to award the contract to either firm because the proposed bids were over budget.

The town will solicit new proposals in the near future.

The contract winner will conduct a detailed study and recommend how the town can meet the current and future space needs.

The town budgeted $15,000 for the study, which should take about two months to complete.

The Novak Consulting Group in March conducted an organizational assessment and recommended the town conduct an office space needs study.

Town of Warrenton Space Needs RFP by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fauquier needs better resources for bicyclists

Posted Wednesday,
September 26, 2018
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New county environmental services director withdraws

Posted Wednesday,
September 26, 2018
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In Fauquier, Clarke W. Gibson will head a department with a $7.7 million budget and 37 full-time equivalent positions.
I think he’s going to be a very good fit. He’s got the right education and also the right experience.
— County Administrator Paul McCulla
Clarke W. Gibson
• Age: 55

• Home: Bedford

• Work: Starts Oct. 15 as Fauquier County director of environmental services.

• Salary: $140,000

• Experience: Director, Region 2000 Services Authority, 2007-present; director, public works, City of Bedford, 1994-2007.

• Education: Master’s degree, public administration, Virginia Tech, 1998; bachelor’s degree, civil engineering, Virginia Tech, 1986; Northside High School, 1981.

• Family: Wife Linda; 2 grown children.

• Hobbies: Boating, hiking and gardening.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, County Administrator Paul McCulla said the candidate hired to head the Fauquier Department of Environmental Services has decided to withdraw after accepting the job.

Fauquier County has a new director of environmental services.

Clarke W. Gibson will start the job Oct. 15, according to County Administrator Paul McCulla.

Mr. Gibson, who will oversee Fauquier’s landfill just south of Warrenton and five “remote” trash/recyclables sites around the county, will earn $140, 000 per year, Mr. McCulla said.

The position pays $97,245 to $162,385 annually, according to Fauquier’s payscale.

Mr. Gibson, 55, serves as director of the Region 2000 Services Authority, which operates a landfill for Appomattox, Campbell and Nelson counties and the City of Lynchburg.

“I think he’s going to be a very good fit,” Mr. McCulla said. “He’s got the right education and also the right experience” to handle, among other things, the closure and post-closure activities related to the county’s old landfill.

Region 2000 Services Authority’s first director, Mr. Gibson oversaw the $4.8 million closure of Lynchburg’s landfill and the relocation of regional operations to the Campbell County facility, which required a major upgrade.

An unlined portion of Fauquier’s landfill must be closed by Dec. 31, 2020, according to Mr. McCulla. That process will cost $4.2 million.

The rest of the site won’t be shut because it will continue to receive construction debris.

The board of supervisors in December 2014 agreed to export trash. Except for construction debris, county trash gets hauled to the Republic Services-Old Dominion Landfill in Henrico County. That started July 1, 2015.

Fauquier last fall opened a permanent transfer station at the Corral Farm landfill.

Calling Fauquier’s solid waste program “very progressive,” Mr. Gibson looks forward to heading the department.

“The first thing I want to do is get to know all of the employees,” said the Virginia native, who lives in the Town of Bedford with his wife Linda, a school nurse. “I’ll be evaluating operations and speaking to employees and asking them where they think things can be improved. That’s where I like to start.”

Fauquier initially advertised for an assistant director, who would be groomed to succeed Director Mike Dorsey.

That generated 16 applications. But none proved satisfactory to the six-member interview committee, Mr. McCulla said.

“We decided that one of the reasons we weren’t getting enough applicants was because maybe people who wanted to be director didn’t want to hang around for a year as assistant,” he explained. “So we moved it up to the director’s position.”

The advertisement for a new director produced nine applications, he said.

Reviewing a total of 25 applications, the committee interviewed five candidates, including Mr. Gibson.

Mr. Dorsey, who became director in 2004, will retire in February — after helping with his successor’s transition.

“I’m just going to support Clarke and get him acclimated to the department,” he said.

During the four-month transition, Mr. Dorsey, 63, will serve as assistant director. He will continue to earn $108,729 per year, Mr. McCulla said.

The county administrator gave several reasons for the difference between Mr. Gibson’s and Mr. Dorsey’s salaries.

For one thing, a recent compensation study shows that as director Mr. Dorsey’s salary should have been increased to $130,000, Mr. McCulla said.

Mr. Gibson also will draw a bigger salary because of his “experience,” “unique qualifications” and cost-cutting track record, the county administrator said.

As a certified professional engineer, for example, Mr. Gibson will be able offset related landfill costs, according to Mr. McCulla.

Fauquier also will realize further savings because Mr. Gibson’s skill set will not require the county to fill the assistant’s job, he added.

That position pays $82,076 to $137,072 per year, according to Fauquier’s pay scale.

Mr. Dorsey got to know Mr. Gibson about 24 years ago. At the time, Mr. Dorsey served as Bedford County’s solid waste director and Mr. Gibson headed the City of Bedford’s public works department. (Bedford reverted to a town in 2013.)

“I think he’s a good match” for the director’s job, said Mr. Dorsey, a member of the interview committee. “He’s well-experienced and will do fine.”

Mr. Gibson has headed the Region 2000 Services Authority since its inception in 2007. Before that, he served as Bedford’s public works director for about 13 years. From 1987 to 1994, he worked as an engineer for firms in Roanoke and Fairfax.

Mr. Gibson earned a master’s degree in public administration (1998) and a bachelor’s degree (1986) in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. He also serves on the board of the Old Dominion Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America.

The Region 2000 Services Authority has a $6.8 million budget and 20 employees.

Fauquier’s environmental services department budget totals $7.7 million, with 37 full-time equivalent positions.

Besides Mr. Dorsey, the interview committee included Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage, Human Resources Department Director Janelle Downes, Office of Management and Budget Director Erin Kozanecki, General Services Director Michael Kresse and Stafford County Environmental Services Director Ben Loveday.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
September 26, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
September 25, 2018
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Courthouse clock tower will get fresh coat of paint

Posted Tuesday,
September 25, 2018
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Scaffolding Solutions Inc. workers Tuesday morning put the finishing touches on work platforms around the old courthouse clock tower.
I love historic buildings. When you can be part of this, it means something to the company.
— Scaffolding Solutions Superintendent David Herbert
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The old courthouse clock and bell tower in Warrenton soon will get a much-needed facelift.

When the weather permits, Warrenton-based Dyne Development will begin to prepare and repaint the beige-colored tower.

It will take about three weeks to complete the $48,700 project, according to the contractor.

A Dyne subcontractor, Richmond-based Scaffolding Solutions Inc. has erected six levels of steel and wood decks around the tower — accounting for about 40 percent of the project’s total cost.

The top level of scaffolding stands about 80 feet above Main Street, according to Construction Superintendent David Herbert.

His five-man crew installed a temporary stairway and five decks of scaffolding around the clock tower Friday. They returned Tuesday to add a sixth, at Dyne’s request, Mr. Hebert said.

Though the tower restoration represents a simple project, his company takes pride in working on landmark structures, the superintendent explained.

“I love historic buildings,” said Mr. Hebert, whose company has seven offices and employs about 165 people. “When you can be part of this, it means something to the company.”

The county’s first courthouse at Main and Ashby streets opened in 1795, according to information provided by the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail.

A new courthouse, including a bell tower, replaced it in 1819. But fire destroyed that structure 34 years later.

In 1854, a new courthouse, including a clock and bell tower, opened at the site.

But in 1889, that structure “burned down as a result of a fireworks display celebrating an election victory.”

A year later, workers completed the landmark structure that houses Fauquier County General District Court. The building underwent a major renovation in 1975.

Fauquier received six bids to repaint the clock and bell tower.

Dyne submitted the second lowest bid to paint the tower, after Tito Contractors Inc., which apparently passed on the project. Tito’s bid totaled $48,570 — just $130 less than Dyne’s.

Using a mobile hydraulic platform, a contractor last year repainted the rest of the courthouse exterior.

You may contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0700.

How much time per day do you spend watching cable TV news programs?

Posted Tuesday,
September 25, 2018
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