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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Fauquier County real estate transfers Jan. 11-17

Posted Tuesday,
January 22, 2019
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The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Jan. 11-17, 2019:


Cedar Run District

Franklin H. and Lisa Potter to Mark K. and Jean M. Brumagim, 2.63 acres, Lot 4, Phase 2, Benner Division, 7706 Frytown Road, near Warrenton, $615,000.

William Chichester Sr., by substitute trustee, to Federal National Mortgage Association, 3.55 acres, 9114 Meetze Road, near Warrenton, $194,150.

Brenda L. Hutt and Charles L. Walls to Stanley H.B. Korson, 0.2 acre and 0.8 acre, 9194 Prospect Ave., Catlett, $279,000.

NVR Inc. to Franklin H. and Lisa L. Potter, 0.58 acre, Lot 36, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 7744 Warrenton Chase Drive, near Warrenton, $693,015.


Center District


Steven M. and Barbara S. Parr to Ryan M. Loreno, Lot 46, Phase 2, Ridges of Warrenton Subdivision, 353 Cannon Way, Warrenton, $465,000.


Lee District

Erick M. Campos to Manuel D. Campos and Anna F. Lemus, Lot 71, Section E, Fox Meade Subdivision, 11151 Crest Lane, Bealeton, $295,000.

Branch Banking & Trust Co. to Main Street LLC, 0.34 acre and 0.49 acre, 100 N. John Stone St., Remington, $300,000.

Bradley S. Wampler to Nelida G. Barajas and Tiburcia Flores, Lot 104, Section C, Edgewood East Subdivision, 6556 Cottonwood Drive, Bealeton, $344,000.

Neal and Megan Rei to Jose Ulloa Jr., Lot 190, Section O, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 10828 Blake Lane, Bealeton, $310,000.

F&F Properties USA Inc. to Peter M. Moskowski, 0.23 acre, 201 N. Church St., Remington, $299,900.

Elmer W. Velasco and Gloria Guevara to Academy Street LLC, Lot 47, Section B, Edgewood East Subdivision, $225,000.


Marshall District

Secretary of Veterans Affairs to JDC Trust, 1.55 acres, 11510 John Marshall Highway, Markham, $265,000.

O’Shaughnessy-Hurst Memorial Foundation Inc. to Locust Run Holdings LLC, 87.5 acres and 4.63 acres, 9523 Cliffs Mill Road, near Warrenton, $775,000.

Dean V. and Darlene M. Jacobson to Marlene Hylton, 1.36 acres, Lot 39, Phase 2, Waterloo North Subdivision, 7828 Wellington Drive, near Warrenton, $622,000.

Eric D. and Nancy M. Miller to Ronald A. and Linette R. Sparacino, 4.37 acres, Lot 2, Watery Mountain Subdivision, 7610 Bear Wallow Road, near Warrenton, $750,000.


Scott District

James H. and Pamela G. Ferebee to Anna Henke and Samuel Runolfson, 30,031 square feet, Lot 4, Vintland Subdivision, 4223 Broad Run Church Road, near New Baltimore, $367,500.

Michael L. Thompson to John A. and Mary J. Labounty, 0.91 acre, 6827 Grays Mill Road, $310,000.

NVR Inc. to Paul E. and Kathy R. Clements, Lot 69, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 7438 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $547,810.

Government stability and the belief in falsehoods

Posted Sunday,
January 20, 2019
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Bealeton man and burglar struggle early Saturday

Posted Saturday,
January 19, 2019
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After searching area with dogs, Fauquier sheriff’s deputies arrested Bradley Russell Lewis, 22, at house near Remington.
A Bealeton resident early Saturday morning confronted a man trying to steal items from his unlocked vehicle.

Fauquier sheriff’s deputies later arrested and charged Bradley Russell Lewis, 22, of Remington, with entering a vehicle to commit larceny and petty larceny, according to Sgt. James Hartman.

At 2:05 a.m. Saturday, a 911 caller reported “a neighbor confronting a man in an unlocked vehicle on private property” in the 11100 block of Cedar Lane in Bealeton, Sgt. Hartman said in a press release. “The victim reported being alerted by an exterior light activated by a motion sensor.

“The victim looked outside and observed someone in his car. The victim advised he went outside and confronted the individual.”

The men got into a physical struggle and “the suspect ran away towards Schoolhouse Road,” Sgt. Hartman said.

Deputies searched the area with tracking dogs and identified Mr. Lewis as a suspect.

They found Mr. Lewis at a home on Helm Drive near Remington and arrested him “without incident,” the sergeant said.

He remained in the county jail Saturday morning.

The investigation continues. The sheriff’s office asked that anyone who thinks someone may have entered their vehicle call 540-347-3300.


Planners recommend denial of Islamic retreat on farm

Posted Friday,
January 18, 2019
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Ultimately, we believe if God is in favor of it, he will let it happen. If He doesn’t want it to happen, it won’t.
— Organization Spokesman Harris Zafar
Public Hearing
• Topic: Special exception permit to allow an annual, three-day spiritual retreat for a maximum 5,000 people and up to three, annual three-day events for a maximum 1,000 each at Meetze and Turkey Run roads southeast of Warrenton.

• When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Length: 1 and 40 minutes.

• Speakers: 37, with 29 opposing, six supporting the application and two who supported the idea but apparently remained undecided about the site’s suitability for the proposed use.

• Action: Commission voted, 5-0, to recommend denial of the special exception permit application.

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

• Applicant: Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA, Silver Spring, Md.

• Property owners: Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler, Oak Creek Farm LLC.

• Zoning: Rural.

• Next: The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. The board plans to conduct a public hearing on the project Thursday, Feb.14.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In the end, they think a higher power will decide the fate of the proposed Islamic spiritual retreat southeast of Warrenton.

“Ultimately, we believe if God is in favor of it, he will let it happen,” Harris Zafar explained Thursday night, after the Fauquier County Planning Commission unanimously recommended denial of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA’s special exception permit application to conduct a spiritual retreat for a maximum 5,000 people and three events for up to 1,000 people on 515.6 acres at Meetze and Turkey Run roads.

The annual events would last three days.

“If He doesn’t want it to happen, it won’t,” said Mr. Zafar, spokesman for the Silver Spring, Md.-based nonprofit, which has 17,000 members nationwide. “No harm, no foul.”

If the effort fails in Fauquier, the organization will search elsewhere for a permanent site for the events, he said.

“I feel really disheartened” over the commission’s recommendation,” Rafiq Sayed, the organization’s property secretary, said after the meeting. “It’s a sad day. We’ll go back and pray some more, ask for God’s guidance.”

The organization also will explore its options, Mr. Sayed explained.

They include moving the application forward to the county board of supervisors, which will have final authority on the special exception permit request; postponing it to work with staff and the community to address concerns and withdrawing, modifying and resubmitting the application, he said.

The supervisors could conduct a Feb. 14 public hearing on the project.

Meantime, the group “absolutely” remains open to discussing the project with the community, Mr. Zafar added.

The planning commission’s public hearing, which took place Thursday night in Warrenton, lasted an hour and 40 minutes.

About 150 people crowded the Warrenton Green Building meeting room, two conference rooms, the hallway and stairs.

Thirty-seven people spoke during the hearing, with 29 opposing, six supporting the application and two who supported the idea but apparently had no opinion on the site’s suitability for the proposed use.

Many opponents said they support the idea of the spiritual retreat, which would feature prayer, speakers and food, but consider the scale of the proposed activities incompatible with the predominantly rural and residential area.

Many focused on traffic issues, arguing Meetze Road couldn’t safely handle the additional vehicles the events would attract.

They also raised noise, lighting, property value, water use and wastewater disposal issues related to the proposal.

Some fear the events, if approved, would attract more people than allowed and questioned the county’s ability to enforce that and other conditions of the special exception permit.

Mr. Zafar gave the commission an overview of the organization and sought to correct misinformation about the proposed events.

The worldwide nonprofit organization established a United States presence in 1920.

It has about 17,000 members across the country and operates dozens of mosques, including two in Northern Virginia.

“We have been at the forefront of confronting religious extremism and serving our local communities in 74 chapters around the country as law-abiding citizens of this great nation,” Mr. Zafar said.

He described the proposed annual convention, which would allow a maximum 5,000 people on the site per day, as a family-friendly event that would draw a diverse group.

“These are black, white, Hispanic, from Asia and all parts of the world in terms of their background,” Mr. Zafar said.

Those who claim the organization hates Christians, America or “American culture are simply wrong,” he said.

The group also would not sacrifice animals at the proposed site, Mr. Zafar said.

“Nothing of the sort was put in our application,” he stressed.

Aware of traffic concerns, the organization would “implement everything the county recommends” to address them, Mr. Zafar said.

The group also will hire law enforcement officers to help “ensure smooth traffic control” and “safety,” he said.

Alcohol and music would be prohibited on the property.

The plan calls for no new permanent structures, according to the application. The proposed site includes two single-family homes and several farm structures and outbuildings.

Microphones and speakers only would be used in the tents to accommodate activities, Mr. Zafar said.

“There will be less disturbance than if someone had a rooster on their property,” he said of noise caused by events.

In response to concerns that “farmland lost is farmland lost forever” — as one speaker put it later in the hearing — Mr. Zafar noted that 80 to 100 acres of the site would be affected by the proposed use.

“I think they’ve got the right idea,” Eric Brener, who lives on Windhaven Lane, which adjoins the proposed site, said of the proposal. “I think they’ve got the wrong location. And here’s why.”

On event days, vehicles entering the site could create a five-mile back up along Meetze Road, Mr. Brener said.

If the nonprofit ultimately buys the site, the county would collect no real estate taxes on the property, he said.

Those attending events would remain onsite all day and therefore put nothing into the local economy, Mr. Brener suggested.

“I’m not seeing how they are a benefit from a taxpayers’ standpoint,” he said.

Like others, John Griffin, who also lives on Windhaven Lane, spoke about the combined traffic effects of the proposed retreat, the annual Fauquier County Fair and the planned Central Sports Complex on Meetze Road.

If those activities occur at the same time, they would produce a “continuous, treacherous and untenable situation on Meetze Road,” Mr. Girffin said.

The organization’s proposed 5,000-person-per-day annual “convention” probably would take place in July, as does the four-day county fair, Mr. Griffin said.

Four of the planned 11 sports fields could be completed and in use by August. The 74-acre complex’s main entrance will be on Meetze Road.

The organization’s proposed events also could “destabilize” the area and devalue real estate, according to Mr. Griffin.

Before hearing started, planning commission Chairman John Meadows (Lee District) told speakers their remarks should be limited to related land-use issues.

The commission wouldn’t “tolerate” remarks dealing with “religion or race,” Mr. Meadows said. “We want to be civil at all times.”

Only three times, did Mr. Meadows have to remind speakers to stick to the subject.

Gar Schulin, who lives near Warrenton, shares the concerns of other critics.

But, “above all else, I would say that my deepest concerns are the safety of our community, the security of our community and of this group — however well-intentioned they may be,” Mr. Schulin said. “I’ve heard 15 minutes of proselytizing in their opening remarks and in their written application.

“But if they’re also targets of violence, that’s a potential liability for our community, tranquil community.”

Calmly interrupting, Mr. Meadows warned Mr. Schulin: “Careful where you go.”

Ending his remarks, Mr. Schulin urged the commission to recommend denial of the application.

Scott Christian, who lives on Winchester Road (Route 17) south of Marshall, spoke in support of the application.

“At present, Fauquier County is home to a Sikh worship center, as well as at least two Buddhist communities,” Mr. Christian told the commission. “I think it would be an important moral statement for our community to embrace its first Muslim faith community,” because “our future depends” on the “strength that diversity brings.”

He also touched on traffic, speaking about his 15 years’ experience as a volunteer for the annual Delaplane Strawberry Festival, which takes place in Sky Meadows State Park off Winchester Road (Route 17).

The busy two-lane road links John S. Mosby Highway (Route 50) near Paris and Interstate 66.

Besides selling strawberries, the popular festival in 2018 featured live music, children’s games, hayrides, pony rides, a 4-H petting zoo, crafts, strolling entertainers and a 5-k trail run.

“Over the years, we had over 1,000 cars,” with many making left turns, crossing the southbound lane of Winchester Road, to enter the park, Mr. Christian said.

Largely because of skillful traffic management, he “was always impressed with how smoothly that occurred.”

Moments before Thursday’s vote, Planning Commissioner Matthew Smith, whose Cedar Run District includes the proposed site, explained his opposition to the proposal.

It doesn’t conform to the county comprehensive plan, “specifically some of the goals . . . aimed at persevering agricultural areas and the rural character of the county and preserving and protecting open space and scenic beauty,” Mr. Smith said reading a motion to recommend denial of the application.

The project would “adversely affect neighboring properties because of (its) visual impact, noise, light and traffic,” Mr. Smith said.

The proposed events specifically would “have a negative impact on existing and anticipated traffic” on Meetze Road, he added.

The site’s proposed entrance on Meetze Road near an S-curve “could lead to accidents,” Mr. Smith said.

While the organization “was very well-intentioned . . . unfortunately, I believe the location is not an appropriate one,” Planning Commissioner Bob Lee (Marshall) said.

Like several speakers, Mr. Lee said of the proposal: “This is the right thing in the wrong location.”

The organization has a contract to buy the property from Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler and Oak Creek Farm LLC for $3.8 million, Mr. Zafar said.

The Fauquier site appeals to the group because it provides an open environment and relatively easy access to Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports, which out-of-town members would use to attend the convention.

The Northern Virginia area also has plenty of hotel rooms, restaurants and other services to accommodate people attending the retreat, according to the organization.

The organization conducted the first convention in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio. The convention has taken place in Harrisburg, Pa., for the last 10 years. Prior to that, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held it at the Dulles Expo Center on Route 28 near Chantilly.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.


AppMaterials SOJ AMC-Jalsa by on Scribd


New column to feature vehicles and their owners

Posted Friday,
January 18, 2019
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49 county students qualify for Jan. 26 spelling bee

Posted Friday,
January 18, 2019
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Snow days for students

Posted Friday,
January 18, 2019
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Days of classes Fauquier County Public Schools students have missed so far in 2018-19 because of inclement weather. The school system has 10 makeup days built into its calendar. 

Spring break — April 15-19 — remains intact. But, if schools close five more times, administrators would need to consider options.

The school system set a record with 20 weather-related closings in 1993-94.

School closures in recent years:

• 7 in 2017-18.

• 3 in 2016-17.

• 8 in 2015-16.

• 11 in 2014-15.

• 17 in 2013-14.


60

Snow shovels Rankin’s True Value Hardware in Warrenton sold from last Thursday though Wednesday because of the weekend storm.

The store has ordered another 60 shovels, according to Manager Kent Rankin.

During the same period, the hardware store in Warrenton Village Center on West Lee Highway sold 40 bags of salt, weighing 50 pounds each, 100 bags at 20 pounds each, 48 plastic toboggans and 48 round plastic sleds called “snow disks.”


4,644

Pages of documents filed with Fauquier County Circuit Court in the Walker Drive mixed-use development lawsuit.

In July 2017, the Warrenton Town Council voted, 6-1, to rezone the 31-acre site for offices, shops, restaurants, 76 apartments, 40 condominiums and, possibly, a multiscreen movie theater and/or a bowling alley.

A month later, seven neighbors who live near the planned site, filed a lawsuit challenging the council’s decision.

They allege the project would cause them undue harm related to traffic, lighting and noise it would generate.

In an opinion issued Monday, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker dismissed the last two of the lawsuit’s 10 counts — which dealt mostly with traffic — ruling the council did nothing improper in approving the rezoning application.

The town and the plaintiffs also filed “dozens of pages of exhibits,” Judge Parker wrote.

Seventeen months of litigation produced “an extraordinary number of documents,” the judge said.

After Judge Parker’s new ruling gets filed — a process that could take several weeks — his clients would have 30 days to decide whether to seek an appeal before the seven-member Virginia Supreme Court, according to Woodstock lawyer Bradley G. Pollack.


445

The number of Fauquier Education Association members, including teachers, substitutes, bus drivers, custodians and administrators.

Yearly dues range from $144 to $566, depending on temporary, part-time and full-time employment.

The local organization, associated with the state and national associations, provides professional development opportunities, policy and funding advocacy in the General Assembly, retirement advocacy and legal protection for members.


$2.1 million

The increase in local funding for Fauquier County Public Schools that the board of supervisors tentatively budgeted for fiscal 2020, which will begin July 1.

The supervisors last March adopted a “biennial” budget. But, state law allows local governments to adopt budgets only one year at a time. So, that planned allocation for 2020 serves only as a marker, with no binding effect.

The supervisors will discuss the 2020 budget over the next 10 weeks, with adoption likely in late March.

The planned increase would bring the county share of the school budget to $91 million.

The school board probably will seek a larger funding increase from the supervisors.

This year, the school system operates with $140.7 million, accounting for about 59 percent of the total county budget.


Walker Drive rezoning done properly, judge rules

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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The Warrenton Town Council in July 2017 acted properly in rezoning 31.4 acres along Walker Drive for a mixed-use development, Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker ruled this week.
The court felt that the record of the deliberations before the town council were thorough and the council did their job.
— Henry C. Day, attorney representing town council
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After 17 months of litigation, a circuit court judge ruled this week that the Warrenton Town Council did nothing improper in rezoning 31 acres for a large, mixed-use development along Walker Drive and the Eastern Bypass.

Six neighbors, who in August 2017 filed a lawsuit challenging the council decision, soon could decide whether to petition the Virginia Supreme Court to consider their objections to the rezoning.

The town council in July 2017 approved the rezoning by a 6-1 vote.

A month later, citizens who live near the site filed suit in Fauquier County Circuit Court. They allege the project would cause them undue harm related to traffic, lighting and noise it would generate.

In an opinion letter issued Monday, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker dismissed the last two of the lawsuit’s 10 counts, which dealt mostly with traffic.

> Document at bottom of story

Judge Parker ruled that the town council had acted reasonably in deciding to approve the application.

“The problem for plaintiffs is the standard of review which the court must apply, which mandates that the court not substitute its judgment for that of the legislative body,” the judge wrote. “But instead determine if there was sufficient evidence to support the reasonableness of the decision.”

The judge twice had allowed the plaintiffs to update and buttress their arguments as the case proceeded through a series of three hearings in the Warrenton courthouse. Judge Parker last summer dismissed eight of the lawsuit’s 10 counts but allowed the case to proceed.

“The court considered the plaintiffs’ challenge to the rezoning but found no basis in fact to overturn the council’s decision,” said Warrenton attorney Henry C. Day, who represented the town in the lawsuit. “The court felt that the record of the deliberations before the town council were thorough and the council did their job.”

As of Thursday morning, Woodstock-based lawyer Bradley G. Pollack, who represents the Walker Drive neighbors, had not read the seven-page opinion.

“I heard about it yesterday morning,” Mr. Pollack said of the judge’s decision. “I assume it’s in my mailbox. I was in Charlottesville yesterday.”

He added: “I’ll be studying the opinion on my way to Florida this evening. If I have any comment, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

Although not a lawyer, William T. Semple did much of the legal work for the challenge to the town council decision. Mr. Semple and his wife live on Falmouth Street, overlooking but not adjacent to the 31-acre development site.

But, Judge Parker’s ruling last July removed Mr. Semple from the case because he lacked “standing,” meaning the project would not directly affect him.

The other plaintiffs — Carol Hegwood, Lee T. Rowland, Kathlyn Rowland, Craig A. Updike, Elbert Michael Ussery and Elizabeth S. Ussery — live along Hidden Creek Lane, which intersects Walker Drive directly across from the development site.

Bill and Bob Springer, brothers from Warrenton, and Kim and Mike Forsten, who own Old Town Athletic Club on the site, formed a partnership to develop the property.

Their plan calls for offices, shops, restaurants, 76 apartments, 40 condominiums and, possibly, a multiscreen movie theater and/or a bowling alley. The property lies between the Eastern Bypass and Walker Drive, with East Lee Street along its south side.

After Judge Parker’s new ruling gets filed — a process that could take several weeks, his clients would have 30 days to decide whether to seek an appeal before the seven-member Virginia Supreme Court, Mr. Pollack said.

Typically, a three-judge panel would decide whether to accept the case for briefs and oral arguments before the full court.

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

Walker Drive Lawsuit Ruling... by on Scribd







Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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Knife-wielding suspect arrested at Home Depot

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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Warrenton police arrested Ivan Anthony Greaves, 33, without injury.
Warrenton police Wednesday night arrested a man who allegedly held a knife to the neck of a female employee in the paint department at Home Depot.

Officers responded to “a report of a man causing a disturbance” at 7:33 p.m., Interim Police Chief Timothy Carter said in a press release Thursday morning.

“Upon arrival, they found Ivan Anthony Greaves, a 33-year-old black male from Gainesville, Georgia, holding a female employee from behind while displaying an edged weapon,” Chief Carter said. “Officers disarmed Mr. Greaves and took him into custody without incident. The female employee was unharmed.”

A shopper who witnessed part of the incident said it happened in the paint department and that three town police officers took the suspect into custody. Chief Carter confirmed those details by phone Thursday morning.

“The victim and the defendant do not know each other,” he added. But, police have provided no information about what may have provoked the attack.

Held without bond in the county jail Thursday morning, Mr. Greaves faces one count of abduction and one count of assault and battery.

Marchers defending human life and human rights

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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Throwback Thursday: Local mission heads for Bosnia

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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1994: The local medical mission prepares to leave Dulles on Tuesday. From left: Sandy Fraser, Dr. David Snyder, Roma Sherman, Les Enterline and Dr. Douglas Clark.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of January 21, 1994


Medical mission heads for Bosnia

Five Fauquier residents have started a two-week medical relief mission to war-torn Bosnia.

Two doctors, two medical technicians and Roma Sherman, the mission organizer, flew out Dulles International Airport in high spirits Tuesday afternoon.

Three native factions have fought two years for control of the former Yugoslavia. Sarajevo, the group’s destination, has endured almost constant bombardment and sniper fire. The country’s leaders met this week in an attempt to stop the fighting long enough to allow entry of United Nations relief missions.

A team of 10 Fauquier doctors and support staff had planned to leave last Saturday, but because of heavy shelling in Sarajevo, the U.N. would allow no missions into the country.

Seeking an alternative way into Sarajevo, the local team of five went through Frankfurt, Germany, to Split in the former Yugoslavia.

The team includes Dr. David Snyder, Dr. Douglas Clark, physician’s assistant Les Enterline and shock trauma technician Sandy Fraser.





10-below zero temperature recorded

For weather watcher Robert Dornin, who lives near The Plains, this week’s arctic conditions have been wonderful.

“It’s a beautiful, bright sunny afternoon, with temperatures around 10 to 15 degrees,” Dornin joked by phone Wednesday afternoon.

Dornin said the 10-below-zero temperature Tuesday night equaled his lowest on record (December 1988).

Fauquier County Public Schools will remain closed all week, Superintendent Tony Lease said. That will bring the total to nine days of school closings this winter.


Highland considers adding high school

The addition of high school grades to Highland School in Warrenton looks like a real possibility, according to Headmaster David Plank.

Independent School Management Senior Consultant Don Fudge told Highland administrators Thursday that 75 percent of parents would be interested in sending their children to a ninth- through 12th-grade school.

Fudge studied the area’s demographics and held on-site interviews for three months before presenting the report.

The school has 192 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Most Highland students to to area private schools after graduation, but many attend Fauquier High.


Winfree elected chamber president

Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce members have elected Jefferson Savings & Loan Association CEO Thomas W. Winfree as president of the 300-member organization.

“Our agenda needs to shift to helping business and economic development and to more tangible, direct benefits we can provide our members,” Winfree said.

The new chamber president cited the proposed “Disney’s America” theme park at Haymarket, which the organization has endorsed, and the Army’s planned closing of Vint Hill Farms Station as two major issues for the business community.


Community leader Bob Gilliam dies

Robert Lawrence Gilliam, 69, of Warrenton, a former Fauquier County supervisor and school board chairman, died Jan. 13 of cardiac arrest while duck hunting in Knotts Island, N.C.

Mr. Gilliam served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a pilot in North Africa and Italy in World War II. He also served in Korea, bringing his total bombing missions to 146. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Duke University.

In 1960, he joined District Properties of Washington, D.C., and until retiring in 1993, managed its shopping centers in Warrenton.


PEC says Disney inflates job and tax projections

The Walt Disney Co. has it all wrong about the much-ballyhooed financial benefits of its proposed history theme park near Haymarket, the Piedmont Environmental Council says.

The company predicts Disney’s America, a 3,000-acre history theme park and mixed-use development, would produce $2 billion in taxes over three decades and 12,400 new jobs.

In a 34-page report released Wednesday, PEC contends the state and Prince William County effectively could lose $5.5 million annually on the project.

“We stand by our analysis,” Disney spokeswoman Jane Adams said Wednesday when asked about the PEC study. “We believe our assumptions are very conservative. They’re based on experience in looking at data for parks for more than 40 years.”

A Warrenton-based organization with 2,500 members, PEC heads “Disney: Take a Second Look,” a campaign designed to persuade the company to seek a site closer to Washington, D.C.

Can Fauquier County find its financial balance?

Posted Thursday,
January 17, 2019
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Prosecutor James P. Fisher appointed to judgeship

Posted Wednesday,
January 16, 2019
Like 1 · 2 ·
File Photo/Don Del Rosso
James P. Fisher waits for his Dec. 7 interview with the Virginia House and Senate Courts of Justice committees.
James P. Fisher
• Age: 56

• Home: Near The Plains.

• Appointed: To 20th Circuit judgeship, vacant since Jan. 1, 2017, when Judge Burke McCahill retired from the Loudoun County Circuit Court bench.

• Work: Fauquier County commonwealth’s attorney, 2011-present.

• Experience: Chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney, Loudoun County, 2003-11; private practice, 1993-2003; assistant commonwealth’s attorney, Fairfax County, 1988-93.

• Education: Law degree, Capital (Ohio) University, 1988; bachelor’s degree, political science and communications, Shepherd (W.Va.) University, 1985; Stonewall Jackson High School, Manassas, 1981.

• Family: Wife, Nono; children, James, 24; Joseph, 20; Audrey, 15

• Hobbies: Fishing, reading, recreational shooting and sports.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Virginia General Assembly on Wednesday appointed Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher to a circuit court judgeship.

Starting July 1, Mr. Fisher will serve as the newest 20th Judicial Circuit judge, hearing cases in Loudoun County, where he previously worked as a prosecutor.

The 40-member Virginia Senate elected him with a slate of new judges by voice vote, without dissent. The 100-member House of Delegates voted, 50-0, on the same slate.

Appointed to eight-year terms, circuit court judges in Virginia start at a salary of $171,000.

“I’m excited for the opportunity . . . to take another step in my career,” Mr. Fisher said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.

His 30-year career includes two decades as a prosecutor and a decade in private practice, handling a variety of civil and criminal defense cases.

It started during summer break after his freshman year at Shepherd College (now University), when the 19-year-old told his late father, Prince William County Police Lt. James E. Fisher about his newfound interest in the law as a career.

The elder Fisher suggested his son spend some time watching legendary Prince William Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert prosecute cases.

The college student quickly grew enamored of what he continued to watch for several years in court. That led to law school, clerkships and eventually his first job as a rookie prosecutor in Fairfax County.

He often thought about potentially seeking a judgeship, Mr. Fisher said Wednesday. He considered it two years ago, when Judge Burke McCahill retired from the Loudoun County Circuit Court bench.

Mr. Fisher had worked from 2003 to 2011 as the chief deputy prosecutor in Loudoun. But, his friend Alex N. Levay, a Leesburg attorney, applied for the job. The General Assembly, however, withheld funding to fill the seat in 2017.

When the legislature began consideration of filling the position last fall, Mr. Levay had a change of heart.

“He would have been a great judge,” Mr. Fisher said.

Around Thanksgiving, the Fauquier prosecutor decided to pursue the appointment.

“I think every lawyer thinks about it from time to time,” Mr. Fisher said of becoming a judge. “But, even two years ago, it might not have been the right time for me . . . .

“But, I’m 56 years old. It makes sense at this point . . . . There isn’t a lot in a courtroom I haven’t seen.”

He has handled criminal cases from both sides, worked more than 60 cases involving the appointments of guardians for minors, represented insurance companies and a large real estate management firm.

Mr. Fisher estimated that he has worked in front of 100 different circuit court judges.

With powerful Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-26th/Harrisonburg) introducing him, Mr. Fisher in December appeared briefly before the House and Senate Courts of Justice committees, which deemed him qualified for the judgeship.

No other candidate appeared at that Dec. 7 joint hearing.

Legislators, local government officials, lawyers and others in Loudoun argued that candidates from that county should have gotten more notice and opportunities to appear before the committees.

But, the legislature this week moved on the appointments as planned.

Mr. Fisher, a Republican who previously chaired the Fauquier GOP committee, will join three other judges hearing cases in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

The 20th Judicial Circuit also includes Fauquier and Rappahannock counties.

Mr. Fisher has suspended his campaign for re-election as Fauquier’s commonwealth’s attorney.

The 20th Circuit judges appointed him in June 2011 to succeed Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney Jonathan Lynn, whom the General Assembly elected to the juvenile and domestic relations court bench. Mr. Fisher won election that November and re-election in 2015 — both times unopposed.

In August, Christopher B. Moorehead, who works as an assistant prosecutor in Culpeper, announced plans to seek the Republican nomination for commonwealth’s attorney. The Fauquier County Republican Committee in the spring will decide how to select its nominees for the November 2019 ballot.

As Fauquier’s chief prosecutor, Mr. Fisher oversees a staff of 16 and a $1.48-million annual budget.

The circuit’s judges will appoint a prosecutor to serve as Fauquier commonwealth’s attorney for the second half of this year.

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


The House of Delegates adopted an identical resolution:

Virginia Senate Resolution ... by on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
January 16, 2019
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At some point, we lack capacity for more

Posted Wednesday,
January 16, 2019
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Former Remington bank building sold for $300,000

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
Jim Cheatham paid less than half the original asking price for the building that the State Bank of Remington built in 1972.
When BB&T left the property, they left behind the desks and chairs, conference tables and deposit boxes. They left most everything except the money.
— Real estate investor Jim Cheatham
Remington Bank Building
• What: 1.5-story, all-brick structure and approximately eight-tenths of an acre lot.

• Where: 100 and 101 N. John Stone St., Remington.

• Owner: Main Street LLC; member/manager Jim Cheatham on Monday paid Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T $300,000 for property

• List price: $675,000.

• Property’s taxable value: $968,200, according to county land records.

• Details: In May 2018, BB&T shut the branch. In the fall, real estate investor Jim Cheatham of Bealeton offered $350,000. Mr. Cheatham later reduced the offer to $300,000, which BB&T accepted. On Monday, he paid cash for the property, which includes 32 parking spaces and room for 20 more spaces.

• Prospects: Urgent care medical center and day-care center have expressed interest in the property.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The local real estate investor thinks he knows a bargain when he sees it.

“It’s an excellent deal for the price,” Jim Cheatham said of his purchase Monday of the vacant BB&T bank building and property along North John Stone Street in Remington.

Mr. Cheatham, who lives near Bealeton, paid $300,000 in cash for the approximately 8,600-square-foot, all-brick structure and two parcels, which total about eight-tenths of an acre.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T initially wanted $675,000 for the property. For tax purposes, the county values it at $968,200.

He got a deal on the property largely because electronic banking has made many branches obsolete, Mr. Cheatham explained.

“The need for brick-and-mortar branches has changed, with online banking, ATM banking, the use of cell phones,” he said. “You no longer need to visit a bank.”

But he believes the building presents of other opportunities.

“An urgent care (medical clinic) is looking at the property,” Mr. Cheatham said of the 1.5-story structure, which features two handicap-accessible entrances. “So, they would take most of the first floor, if not all of it.”

A day-care provider also has expressed interest in the building, he said.

> Video at bottom of story

Constructed in 1972 as the State Bank of Remington headquarters, the structure would lend itself to various general office uses, Mr. Cheatham added.

With rental fees of $10 to $11 per square foot for the first floor and probably a dollar less for the second, he hopes to lease portions or all of the building by May.

BB&T’s closure of the Remington branch means the Southern Fauquier town has no bank.

Though a long shot, the building still could function as a bank, said Mr. Cheatham, who owns four fully leased commercial buildings and four undeveloped residential properties in Remington.

“When BB&T left the property, they left behind the desks and chairs, conference tables and deposit boxes,” he said. “They left most everything except the money. Another bank could come and start operations almost immediately.”

He plans to talk with representatives of The Fauquier Bank and Oak View National Bank, both headquartered in Warrenton, about whether they might want to open a branch there.

The Vienna-based real estate firm Renaud Consulting listed the property last spring.

A few reasons account for the big gap between the sale and asking prices for the Remington BB&T property, said Renaud commercial Realtor Brendan Clark, who handled the sale.

For one, he overvalued the property, Mr. Clark said.

And BB&T’s determination to sell a “nonperforming” property figured into the bank’s decision to take less for the property, he said.

As Mr. Cheatham noted, online banking has revolutionized the banking industry at the expense of branches, the Realtor said.

BB&T also took less than Mr. Cheatham’s initial $350,000 offer because he made a convincing argument that modifications to the building for tenants other than a bank would “cost him a lot of money,” Mr. Clark said.

“We could probably have pushed back a little more” and persuaded Mr. Cheatham to pay more than $300,000 for the property, he said. “But BB&T wanted to get it off the books and move on.”

Warrenton-based real estate appraiser Al Henry understands BB&T’s eagerness to unload branches.

In 2016, the bank sought $379,000 for its vacant two-story, 4,000-square-foot structure and half-acre site in New Market, a Shenandoah Valley town along Interstate 81.

With no intention of purchasing the property, Mr. Henry contacted the Realtor handling it.

After that, the Realtor “started calling me up continuously for about a month,” Mr. Henry said. “I literally had to give him an offer ($150,000) that I thought was an insult to get him to get him to quit calling me.”

The Realtor made a counter offer of $250,000, which Mr. Henry rejected.

“Then, six months later, they called back and said I could have it” for $150,000, he said.

The 1801 New Market building houses his son’s business, Jon Henry’s General Store. The Henry family also operates a farm stand at Waterloo and Sullivan streets in Warrenton.

BB&T wants to sell as many "nonperforming" branches as quickly as possible, often in rural areas or small towns, Mr. Henry said.

That creates potentially attractive real estate deals for patient investors, he said.

“The more time passes, the less money they’ll take,” Mr. Henry said. “It’s a declining value. At some point in time, they cut it loose.”

Meanwhile, local commercial Realtor Bill Chipman continues to market the vacant BB&T branch at 21 Main St. in Warrenton.

The bank shut the 30,000-square-foot building in July. The next month, Mr. Chipman listed the structure and 1.25-acre lot for $3.5 million. For tax purposes, the county values the property at $4.2 million.

In the past seven months, several parties have expressed interest in the property, suggesting retail and restaurant use of the structure and redevelopment of the parking lot for high-end apartments or condominiums, he said.

In November, County Administrator Paul McCulla sent Mr. Chipman a “letter of intent” outlining the conditions under which Fauquier would buy the property for $2.5 million. The building would be used for future county government office space.

Mr. Chipman emailed a counteroffer of $3.3 million that included several conditions that differed from those spelled out in the county administrator’s letter. The supervisors indicated no willingness to budge from their original offer.

“There’s luke-warm interest” in the property “but nothing solid,” Mr. Chipman said Tuesday.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Warrenton Pregnancy Center open house Friday

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
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Should Virginia ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment?

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
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Events Saturday, Monday celebrate Dr. King’s legacy

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The MLK Community Ensemble performs at last year’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church celebration at Highland School in Warrenton.
3 MLK Events
• 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 — Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, 4243 Loudoun Ave., The Plains.

• 1 p.m Monday, Jan. 21 — Highland School Center for the Arts, 597 Broadview Ave., Warrenton.

• 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 — Lord Fairfax Community College, 6480 College St., Warrenton.
A public event Saturday, Jan. 19, and two more Monday, Jan. 21, will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Fauquier.

The Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County will host a celebration of Dr. King’s birthday from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at its museum and headquarters on Loudoun Street in The Plains.

The event will include a concert by the MLK Community Choir, under the direction of Pastor Lemuel Montgomery of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Amissville. The 30-member choir includes members of several area churches.

Keynote speaker Ellsworth Weaver will discuss The Slave Dwelling Project, which brings history to life by focusing attention on structures where slaves lived throughout the country. Dr. Weaver will highlight slave dwellings three former plantations in Fauquier County:

• Owl Run Farm (Weston) at Casanova.

• Clifton Farm near Warrenton.

• Sky Meadows near Delaplane.

“We know something about how they lived and, in some cases, we have the names of those who lived there,” Dr. Weaver said.

As of 1860, Fauquier County had 1,285 slaveholders, 2,146 slave dwellings and 10,455 enslaved people.

Dr. Weaver teaches as an adjunct professor at four community colleges, including Lord Fairfax. He received the Chancellor’s Award for outstanding instructor at Virginia Colleges in 2008 and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Award in 2001. He is a deacon of the St. James Baptist Church near Bealeton, vice president of Fauquier chapter of the NAACP and former president of the men’s fellowship of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association.

The historical association has hosted an annual MLK celebration for more than 20 years. Saturday’s event will kick off 2019, which commemorates 400 years since the first 20 blacks were brought to Virginia.

Those wishing to attend the MLK celebration may register here. It will take place in the lower auditorium, which lacks handicapped access, but live-streaming will be available on the main floor of the museum for anyone who would like to attend. Call 540-253-7488 for more information.

Two other MLK events will be held on Monday, Jan. 21.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church will host its 30th annual community celebration of Dr. King’s life at 1 p.m. at Highland School’s Rice Theater in Warrenton.

Decker H. Tapscott, Sr., senior pastor of the Faith Christian Center and International Outreach Center near Warrenton, will deliver the keynote address.

The MLK Community Choir will provide the music. The ceremony also will include the presentation of community service awards.

Lord Fairfax Community College will host the community’s third MLK event at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Warrenton campus.

Earlene Morgan, of the First Baptist Church in Warrenton, will deliver the keynote address. The MLK Community Choir again will perform.

“Let Justice Ring Everywhere!” will serve as the theme for all three events.

A Baptist minister and activist, Dr. King became the most visible leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his April 1968 assassination in Memphis.

Born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, he would 90 this year.

State and local government agencies will be closed Monday for Dr. King’s birthday.

Those agencies also will close Friday, Jan. 18, for Lee-Jackson Day.

Cause of accident that killed bicyclist still unknown

Posted Tuesday,
January 15, 2019
Like 1 · 7 ·
A passerby found mortally-injured Matthew P. Freivalds and his bicycle in a ditch along the eastbound side of Grove Lane, just west of Oak Hill Road.
Matthew P. Freivald
As a family, we have accepted the fact that we may never know what actually happened. At this point, without a witness or involved party coming forward, we simply cannot know.
— Jon Freivalds, victim’s brother
By Leland Schwartz
For FauquierNow

With the cause still unknown, Virginia State Police plan to close their investigation of the Sept. 18 accident that killed a 52-year-old bicyclist near Delaplane.

A passerby found Nokesville resident Matthew P. Freivald and his bike lying in a ditch along the eastbound lane of two-lane Grove Lane just before 6:30 p.m. that Tuesday night, according to State Trooper Daniel Garasimowicz.

Mr. Freivald died of head trauma later that night at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Lacking any new evidence four months later, his agency plans to end its inquiry, according to Trooper Garasimowicz, the investigating officer.

In its report to state police last month, the Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office deemed death an accident. Nothing indicated an intentional act killed Mr. Freivald, according to Jennifer Starkey, a representative of the medical examiner’s office.

What occurred on Grove Lane, just west of Oak Hill Road, may remain a mystery, said Jon Freivald, a Charlottesville police officer and one of the victim’s brothers.

“As a family, we have accepted the fact that we may never know what actually happened,” Mr. Freivald said. “At this point, without a witness or involved party coming forward, we simply cannot know.”

If something on a truck or trailer hit his brother, “the responsible party may not even know what happened,” he added

A senior evidence technician with the Charlottesville force, Mr. Freivald said: “All indicators are that something sticking out of or protruding from a vehicle struck him in the back of the head. 

“This could have been a mirror, piece of board, the end of a weed-whacker or just about anything else. We could speculate endlessly to no purpose.”

His brother “obviously did fall after the impact” and suffered secondary injuries to the front of his head, Mr. Freivald said. “But the primary injuries” affected the back of his head.

He called the state police work “as thorough an investigation as was possible . . . . I myself have investigated many accidents, and sometimes the pure lack of evidence is truly frustrating,” he said. “We can’t create truth out of thin air.

“It is perfectly appropriate for the case to be closed at this point.”

When discovered, Matthew Freivald remained attached by toe clips to his bicycle pedals. He rode with his wife, who went ahead of him and turned back when he did not catch up.

Trooper Garasimowicz said Mr. Freivald could have gone off the road and hit his head.

“The shoulder on that road is not the greatest,” the trooper said. “I noticed, when I was there, a lot of gravel and chipped-up asphalt. It’s possible he did go off the road and crashed.”

A successful technology executive, Mr. Freivald’s survivors include two college-aged children and his wife.

Fourteen fatal bicycle accidents took place on state roads in 2017 — the latest year for which data is available, according to the Virginia Highway Safety Office.

Anyone with information about the Sept. 18 on the road just west of the Blue Vineyard and Barrel Oak wineries should call the state police office in Warrenton at 540-347-6200. New evidence could prompt authorities to reopen the investigation, Trooper Garasimowicz said.

Contact Leland Schwartz at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 202-236-0919.

Business owners still oppose Broadview plan

Posted Monday,
January 14, 2019
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We feel like we’re getting it crammed down our throats. They’re bound and determined to do something, even if it’s wrong.
— Brian Montgomery, Broadview Avenue business and property owner
Information Meeting
• Topic: Latest plan for improvements to Broadview Avenue in Warrenton.

• When: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.

• Where: Fauquier High School cafeteria.

• Host: Town of Warrenton.

• Details: Town alternative to VDOT plan includes more and longer median breaks, more access to businesses and two pedestrian crossings.

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

After more than a decade of planning and debate, many Broadview Avenue business and property owners continue to oppose planned safety improvements, which include construction of medians along the busy commercial strip in Warrenton.

Town officials last week reviewed their latest plan with business owners.

> Document at bottom of story

Citizens this Thursday night also will get a chance to review the plan and comment. The town will host a public information meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. in Fauquier High School cafeteria.

Working with a traffic engineering consultant, the town in September unveiled an alternative plan that provides more median breaks and more access to businesses between the Waterloo Street/Route 211 intersection on the south end and Roebling Street (McDonald’s) on the north.

The Virginia Department of Transportation accepted the changes to its plan, which included a more consistent series of medians to control left turns across traffic.

But, some business owners contend their sales volume and property values still would suffer.

“I think everyone is trying,” said Brian Montgomery, who owns Warrenton Foreign Car and three commercial rental properties along Broadview. “But, I don’t see how this is going to get more traffic down the bypass” that handles about 35,000 vehicles a day.

Mr. Montgomery, whose family has owned the property since the 1950s, called the project a waste of $8 million.

He suggested three things would improve Broadview traffic flow:

• Installing a stoplight at Gold Cup Drive, which would give motorists and pedestrians breaks to cross traffic.

• Lowering the 40 mph speed limit.

• Building two free-flowing merge lanes for southbound traffic to Route 211 west.

“We feel like we’re getting it crammed down our throats,” said Mr. Montgomery, who has operated his vehicle repair business on Broadview for 45 years. “They’re bound and determined to do something, even if it’s wrong.”

Business owners and others have criticized the plan’s 5-foot-wide bike lanes on either side of Broadview as dangerous and unnecessary.

But, the project relies largely on “Smart Scale” federal funding, which VDOT administers. The scoring for bike lanes and other features helped Warrenton land $7 million for the eight-tenths of a mile project.

The town already has spent $1 million, which it would lose if the $8-million project gets abandoned.

The project includes two pedestrian crossings and changes to the Route 211 intersection, including the construction of a second westbound merge lane.

But, many believe the plan for Timber Fence Parkway — since abandoned — would solve most of Broadview’s congestion. That road would have connected Route 17 just north of Warrenton to Route 211 west. It would have included an already-built section between the Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup subdivisions.

But, a previous Fauquier board of supervisors opposed the parkway — which the town supported — and removed it from the county’s comprehensive plan. With part of the route outside Warrenton’s corporate limits, the project would require county approval.

Ever since, town and VDOT officials have tried to craft a plan to improve Broadview, a wide swath of undivided pavement with two travel lanes and a turn lane in each direction.

Left turns in and out of businesses create much of the danger.

Five years ago, a consultant proposed closing about half of the business “curb cuts” — entrances and exits — along Broadview and building a continuous, wide median. Business interests objected loudly.

The town started over, visiting every business up and down Broadview in preparation for a new proposal, which VDOT unveiled last May.

That plan included a series of smaller, narrower medians and no business entrance closures. But, it would have encouraged more U-turns and would have made it more difficult to reach some businesses — especially those near the Route 211 intersection.

The town council directed its staff to look for viable alternatives.

“l’ve been working on this project, heart and soul, the last year,” Warrenton Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer, also the interim town manager, told business owners in last week’s meeting. “We’ve looked at areas we can open up without compromising safety.”

She and other town staff members, along with their consultant, used Maple Avenue in Vienna as a similar “case study” commercial strip.

With more and, in some cases, longer median breaks, the alternative to VDOT’s plan improves access to about half the businesses along Broadview, according to Ms. Schaeffer.

Safety concerns preclude better access for some commercial property, she added. “Some of you are frustrated, but we’ve been working on it . . . . The message from the council was to strike a balance.”

Burger King owner Jim Walther said he would not have invested $600,000 to renovate his business — a project completed 18 months ago — if he had known how the proposed changes would restrict access to the property at 34 Broadview Ave.

Mr. Walther predicted millions of dollars in property value loss along the corridor if the project moves ahead as planned.

VDOT will conduct a public hearing on the plan in April. If the town wants to go forward, construction could start in 2022.

Before the VDOT hearing, the town wants to ensure it has consensus, according to Ms. Schaeffer.

How will that happen?

“Elected officials will know by the end of the day,” she said. “They’re trying to find balance.”

Some business owners have indicated support for the plan, Ms. Schaeffer said.

But, none of the 11 who attended last Thursday’s meeting said they back the plan.

“It’s hard to buy into anything that doesn’t look any better,” Mr. Walther said.

Mr. Montgomery said: “There’s no buy-in.”

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

19.1.10 Business Informatio... by on Scribd

Saint James’ School opens new, $3-million addition

Posted Monday,
January 14, 2019
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It shows our commitment to a foundational education for the youngest members of our community.
— Head of School Stacey Irvin
St. James’ School Addition

• Where:
73 Culpeper St., Warrenton

• What: 10,000-square-foot addition to existing school and renovations to church and classrooms in old space.

• Opened: Jan. 8, 2019.

• Ribbon cutting: 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27.

• Cost: About $3 million, with $2.7 million raised with capital campaign the balance financed.

• Construction: November 2017 to December 2018

• Enrollment: 165 students, preschool through fifth grade.

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

With large windows and tall ceilings, the modern space gives a fresh appearance to the private school.

First- through fifth-grade students at Saint James’ School in Warrenton moved into the new, 10,000-square-foot education wing last week, after a year of construction.

“I think it shows the community we are here to stay,” Head of School Stacey Irvin said of the new wing. “It shows our commitment to a foundational education for the youngest members of our community.”

The two-story addition, adjacent to the rear parking lot, includes five new classrooms, a main school office, handicap-accessible bathrooms, an elevator and an unfinished basement.

“The old part has such charm,” third-grade teacher Nell Lawrence said of the church building at Culpeper and Beckham streets. “They did such a good job of blending the two.”

Each new classroom also has a big-screen TV to replace old projectors, “enhancing learning” for students, third-grade math and science teacher Sarah Stitely said.

“With the added space, there are larger open areas perfect for hands-on activities,” Ms. Stitely said.

The new wing faces South Third Street, which serves as the new front entrance for the school. Construction started in November 2017 and wrapped up last month.

“Saint James’ has always been about the community — students, faculty and church staff — not necessarily the building,” Ms. Irvin said. “The new building is an added bonus.”

The addition allows for “more age-appropriate-sized classrooms, which are important for our elementary program to flourish,” she added.

Improvements to the parking lot added nine spaces — for a total of 37 — and a one-way student drop-off/pickup lane for better traffic flow. 

In the future, the school may finish the basement and use it as classrooms or a science lab, according to Ms. Irvin. But for now the school will “live in the space for awhile to see what our needs are.”

Enrollment at the pre-school through fifth-grade parish school will remain around 165 students, according to Ms. Irvin. Class sizes will remain small, with about 16 students per class.

The church and school raised about $2.7 million to fund the $3-million addition and renovation project. The church took out a loan for the remaining $300,000.

Founded as a preschool in 1982, Saint James’ school grew to include kindergarten through fifth-grade students over the last 12 years.

Elementary students previously used Sunday school classrooms and other church rooms for classes. The addition will allow the school to give some of those rooms back to the church, according to Ms. Irvin.

“The school couldn’t have grown without the support of the church community,” she added.

Preschool (starting at age 2) and kindergarten classes will remain in the old space.

The project included renovating areas that the church and school share, including two preschool classrooms, the music suite and children’s chapel. The project also added handicap-accessible restrooms and hallways.

The town’s architectural review board unanimously approved a certificate of appropriateness for the new wing with a flat roof in February 2017.

Warrenton’s town council last February also approved a special use permit.

The school will host a ribbon cutting for the new wing at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 27.

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

Fauquier County real estate transfers Jan. 4-10

Posted Monday,
January 14, 2019
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The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Jan. 4-10, 2019:


Cedar Run District

Amos L. and Jane E. Shipe to Johnny R. and Deborah A. Vannory, 10.16 acres, Lot 4, Shipes Ridge Subdivision, near Morrisville, $175,000.

Denise G. and Michael S. Davis, by substitute trustee, to Federal National Mortgage Association, 3.42 acres, 12058 Greentree Lane, Midland, $311,200, foreclosure.

Robert A. and David M. Graves to Robert A. and Jean A. Resch, trustees, 5.10 acres, near Elk Run, $40,000.

Barrett L. and Kristine M. Trimble to Academy Street LLC, 1.59 acres 11414 Eskridges Lane, Catlett, $250,000.

RFI WC LLC, Steven W. Rodgers as managing member, to NVR Inc., 0.61 acre, Lot 30, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, near Warrenton, $215,286.

Deborah McCarthy to Melaney and Jonathon Karnbach, 5.62 acres, 10491 Peters Run Road, near Calverton, $440,000.

James W. and Lois A. Carter to Jeffrey and Jenise Birks, 1 acre, 7345 Greenwich Road, near Nokesville, $375,000.



Center District

Mina G. and Ereny Y. Shokry to Lisa A. Livermore, Unit 3, Hillside Townes Subdivision, 374 Falmouth St., Warrenton, $250,000.

Thomas J. Brown to Eric Valdez, 0.52 acre, Lot 154, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 6406 Lancaster Drive, near Warrenton, $415,000.

Robert B. and Mary E. Rust to Teresa Bowles, 0.19 acre, Chestnut Street near Winchester Street, Warrenton, $155,000.


Lee District

Karen H. Charnock to Springfield Real Properties LLC, 34 acres, near Remington, $155,000.

Christopher and Christina Barton to Austin Whitlock, 16,367 square feet, Lot 38, Section 1, Meadfield Subdivision, 6403 Beales Court, Bealeton, $318,000.

Richard M. Barb to Morris and Yvonne Page, 0.57 acre, Lot 25, Phase 2, Crestwood Knolls Subdivision, 6636 Hanback Court, Bealeton, $329,900.


Marshall District

Shawn E. Cox and Diane Moore to Tanya Y. Decell, trustee, 6.77 acres, 4631 Leeds Manor Road, Markham, $704,000.

Matawin Ventures REO 2016-2 LLC to Restoration Enterprises LLC, 10.5 acres, Lot 24, Wheatley Estates, 7904 Belmont Court, near Orlean $320,000.

Gunda M. Fisher to Leonard B. and Mercedes McNeal, 5 acres, 10507 Cliff Mills Road, near Marshall, $438,000.


Scott District

P.R. Real Estate Holdings LLC, Paul A. Reimers as manager, to Scott K. and Renee D. Knepper, 0.16 acre, two lots, Rts. 706 and 626, Halfway, near The Plains, $205,000.

Margaret H. Woolis, Julia W. Bolt and others to Marshall C. Campbell, 94.8 acres, 5750 Georgetown Road, near Broad Run, $750,000.

Fauquier Lakes LP to NVR Inc., Lot 85, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $253,912.

Donald L. and Barbara J. Zimmerman, trustees, Maurizio G. and Giuseppe Dilisi, 2.3 acres, 4369 Scotts Road, near Marshall, $180,000.

Sen. Jill Vogel’s support for Equal Rights Amendment

Posted Monday,
January 14, 2019
Like 0 · 2 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
January 11, 2019
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Supervisors OK 24-bed addiction recovery center

Posted Friday,
January 11, 2019
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Former pro basketball player Chris Herren, a recovering addict, tells the supervisors Thursday night that the idea of bringing his recovery program to Fauquier “came about because of the student response” to his middle and high school presentations here.
Daniela Bushara says she and her husband welcome the center but want PATH to put the property on conservation easement to prevent commercial expansion in the area.
The special exception permit will allow up to 24 clients to stay at Twin Oaks, off Route 17 about 2-1/2 miles north of Warrenton. Airlie formerly owned the house, used to host wedding receptions and other events.
They’re here for the long haul. They’re going to make sure this works out.
— Supervisor Chris Granger
Public Hearing
• Topic:  Special exception permit to establish a 24-bed residential addiction recovery center on 50 acres at 6791 James Madison Highway (Route 17) just north of Warrenton.

• When: 7:12 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10.

• Agency: Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.

Length: About 40 minutes.

• Speakers: 14, with nine supporting the project and five voicing concerns about a commercial use in a rural area, impacts on drinking water supplies, traffic and lighting.

• Action: Board voted, 5-0, to approve the application.

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

• Applicant: Warrenton-based PATH Foundation.

• Property owners: Mark S. and Angela S. Smith.

• Zoning: Rural, with a small amount of village fronting James Madison Highway.

• Details: The PATH Foundation and Massachusetts-based Herren Wellness Group plan to establish a residential “spiritual wellness” center on the property to treat up to 24 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The “private-pay” retreat model uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life.” It would employ 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.

• Next: PATH will need special exception permit approval from the board to enlarge the property’s drainfield system to accommodate to 24 residents and staff. That will require a public hearing before the planning commission and the board, which has final authority.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As expected, Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday gave the go-ahead to a proposed residential addiction recovery center just north of Warrenton.

After a 40-minute public hearing, the board unanimously approved the PATH Foundation’s special exception permit application to establish the 24-bed, “private-pay” Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks on 50 acres off James Madison Highway (Route 17).

The residential treatment center would be the first of its in Fauquier.

Fourteen people spoke during hearing, with nine supporting the project and five voicing various concerns related to its potentially negative effects on the rural area.

Employing 12-full and eight part-time or contract workers, the center will use the main house — a 2-1/2-story, 11,700-square-foot stucco structure — and a 760-square-foot stucco home on the property. The site also includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, a barn and various outbuildings.

Three PATH representatives and Herren Wellness Group founder Chris Herren spoke in support of the project.

The center “would provide local access to residential recovery, which speaks to two of our four focus areas — access to care and mental health,” PATH Foundation CEO Christy Connolly told the supervisors.

Since its inception five years ago, PATH has “invested nearly $2.5 million in (local) programs and services to address mental health alone,” Ms. Connolly said.

PATH’s association with Mr. Herren, a recovering addict, began in 2017 when the organization brought the former NBA guard to Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock to speak to students about his drug addiction and recovery.

“The idea of bringing Herren Wellness to Fauquier County came about because of the student response” to his middle and high school presentations, said Mr. Herren, who operates an addiction recovery retreat in Seekonk, Mass. “I can’t tell you many students of this county reached out to me and said, ‘I wish my mom, I wish my dad could hear you speak. I wish they had a place to recover close by’.”

Ms. Connolly, other PATH staff members and Mental Health Association of Fauquier County Executive Director Sallie Morgan last summer visited the Herren Wellness Center in New England.

“We were very impressed with the program there and started talking about possibilities within our community,” Ms. Connolly told the supervisors.

Like the Herren center in Massachusetts, the planned Fauquier retreat would use meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life,” according to the special exception application.

Ms. Connolly called the planned Herren retreat “an important part of the puzzle for mental health solutions.”

And though “not the only solution . . . it’s one of many that we are supporting and will support in the future,” she added.

Daniela and Leon Bushara, who own the 128-acre Loretta that adjoins the planned retreat site, don’t object to the project.

But the family worries about commercial uses of rural land in the area, Mrs. Bushara told the supervisors.

“Perhaps our gravest concern is with the potential long-term impacts of this special exception,” she said. “To protect the area from longer term degradation, we believe the PATH Foundation should donate a conservation easement to the county to ensure Twin Oaks is not the first step in the permanent establishment of commercial activities in the heart of a conservation area.”

Her family has placed their farm under a conservation easement, Mrs. Bushara said.

As did others Thursday night, she also expressed misgivings about the retreat’s potential impacts on the Warrenton Reservoir, which provides the town much of its drinking water, screening and traffic.

One nearby landowner, who “generally” backs the project, asked the board consider the effects any additional lighting related to the retreat would affect area residents.

Another raised speed concerns along that portion of Route 17.

The property’s drainfield can handle no more than 18 people, according to the county. To accommodate the 24 residents and retreat staff, PATH will need special exception permit approval by the board of supervisors to expand the wastewater treatment system.

Supervisor Chris Granger, whose Center District includes the retreat site, remains confident the special exception permit conditions plus efforts by PATH, Mr. Herren and local recovery groups will address most of the neighbors’ concerns.

“They’re here for the long haul,” Mr. Granger said of the participants. “They’re going to make sure this works out.”

PATH has a contract to buy the proposed wellness retreat site from Angela S. and Mark S. Smith, who live there and rent eight of Twin Oaks Historic Manor House’s bedrooms on Airbnb

For tax purposes, Fauquier County values the property at $1.9 million. The Smiths bought it in May 2017 from Airlie Foundation for $1.1 million.

No closing date has been set for the property’s sale to PATH, according to Ms. Smith.

Supervisors Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) and Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) serve on PATH’s 15-member board of directors. Mr. Gerhardt and Ms. McDaniel voted to approve the special exception permit after the county attorney determined they, under state law, have no conflict of interest because the PATH directors serve as volunteers.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.


Wellness Retreat at Twin Oa... by on Scribd

Independent bookstore coming to Main Street

Posted Friday,
January 11, 2019
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Rachel Sirene and Cammie Fuller, along with another partner, will open Old Town’s Open Book at 104 Main St. in about six weeks.
The bookstore will occupy the former Latitudes Fair Trade space, which the Virginia ABC had considered for a new liquor store. That store could open around the corner on South Fifth Street.
It is an act of faith. You’ve got to believe in your model; you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and get really good at it.
— Old Town’s Open Book co-owner Cammie Fuller
Old Town’s Open Book
• Owners: Cammie Fuller, Rachel Sirene and a silent partner.

• What: Independent, general bookstore, with 7,000 to 10,000 new hardcover and paperback volumes.

• Employees: Three owners, 5 to 6 part-timers.

• Where: 104 Main St., Warrenton.

• Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday.

• Planned opening: March.

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

The two Warrenton friends had no doubt Old Town needed an independent bookstore.

On and off for about five years, Cammie Fuller and Rachel Sirene talked about how to fill that retail void.

“Every time we talked about this, it ended up with, ‘Well, if no one else does it, by the time I’m ready, I’ll do it’,” explained Ms. Fuller, recalling their conversations.

Ms. Fuller reached the point of readiness last spring, launching what became an “intense” research and planning process that will result in the March opening of Old Town’s Open Book at 104 Main St.

Main Street’s first independent bookstore in decades, Old Town’s Open Book will carry only new titles.

With a range of books designed to appeal to all readers, the inventory will total 7,000 to 10,000 volumes, said Ms. Fuller, who last spring left her job as the Saint James’s Episcopal Church School librarian to start the business.

To learn more about the independent bookseller business, she and Ms. Sirene purchased how-to and other materials from the American Book Sellers Association, visited more than 20 “indie” stores in Virginia and elsewhere and talked with countless local merchants, public school librarians and Fauquier’s public library director.

“I had a business before,” said Ms. Fuller, who served as Saint James’ librarian from 2011 to 2018. “And I knew that you can’t take it lightly. You can’t cut corners; you’ve got to know what you’re doing; you’ve got to know the landscape.”

Bookstore owners that the partners consulted stressed the importance of “community engagement” and a deep knowledge of the local market demands, Ms. Fuller said.

“Independent bookstores right now are surviving and thriving because they tie into their community and they learn what their community wants,” added the 45-year-old mother of three young children. “I heard that over and over again.”

Ms. Fuller took that approach to building the Saint James’ school library collection from 200 to 2,000 volumes and will apply it to Old Town’s Open Book.

“I knew what the students wanted,” she said. “I knew what they were drawn to, but I also wanted to challenge them. You’ve got to provide something that sparks the open mind, that makes people think, makes them want to have conversations and engage in conversations.”

The partners want the store to function as that kind of venue and more.

They also expect to conduct at least one store event per week, including story times for children, author events, writing workshops and adult book clubs.

Old Town’s Open Book also plans to work with schools, the public library and the PATH Foundation on projects of mutual interest, she added.

E-commerce — particularly Amazon — can’t do any of that, Ms. Fuller stressed.

If the shop doesn’t carry titles customers want, it will special order them.

The owners knew they wanted a store in Old Town, preferably on Main Street.

In some ways, “it is an act of faith,” Ms. Fuller said of the business. “You’ve got to believe in your model; you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and get really good at it.”

“Old Town is really the heart of our community,” said Ms. Sirene, 45, the Saint James’ school director of curriculum and instruction and the mother of three young children. “It’s where so many people come to look for local items — whether it’s locally crafted piece of art, or they’re supporting a local jeweler or whatever their reason is.

“We just felt strongly about being part of the Main Street community.”

The partners considered about a dozen Old Town properties, including five or six on Main, before deciding on the former Latitudes storefront, a 1,500-square-foot space they will lease at $2,000 per month.

Nearby Main Street merchants welcome the addition.

“A bookstore is going to bring in people that wouldn’t have been inclined to come into town,” said Pablo Teodoro, whose corner Great Harvest Bread Co. at 108 Main St. adjoins Old Town’s Open Book space.

The bookstore also represents a “near perfect match” with his bakery, Mr. Teodoro said. “My customers are automatically going to go there.”

“I think it will be wonderful,” said Annette Johnson, owner of The Town Duck, a wine and gift shop at 100 Main St. “I think it will bring a lot of people to Main Street. Independent bookstores are on the upswing. I can’t see anything but positive about it.”

Across the country, independent bookstores continue to prosper, according to American Booksellers Association Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen.

“Nationally, new stores are opening, established stores are finding new owners, and a new generation is coming into the business as both owner/managers and frontline booksellers,” Mr. Cullen said in an email.

In 2018, independent bookstores experienced almost a 5-percent “year-over-year increase in sales compared to the previous year, he said.

Mr. Cullen attributed those and other related gains to the “unique and unparalleled opportunity” independent bookstores give readers to discover “new authors and great writing.”

Old Town “absolutely” needs an independent bookstore, Warrenton Mayor Carter Nevill said.

Mr. Nevill believes Old Town’s Open Book will appeal to all kinds of people.

“It’s got a universal appeal,” suggested the co-owner of Carter & Spence, jewelry and gift shop at 41 Main St. “It’s going to be a destination.”

Through conversations and social media, few if any potential retailers generate as much enthusiasm as a bookstore, Mr. Nevill said.

“I know this community,” he said. “I know the desires of the community. I know what a bookstore brings to a community. Everything lines up for (Old Town’s Open Book) to be a success.”

Old Town’s Open Book will occupy the storefront that the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Department in November had identified as a potential liquor store location.

As an alternative, Mr. Teodoro believes ABC will consider the vacant space at 10 S. Fifth St. that adjoins his corner bakery.

ABC Spokesperson Valerie Hubbard declined to confirm that.

“We are currently evaluating other sites in downtown Warrenton for a potential ABC store to determine if any of those other locations are more favorable than the previously proposed Main Street location,” Ms. Hubbard said in an email Thursday. “It would be premature to disclose these other potential locations, before we are able to make a site visit and evaluate the merits of each location.”

John Capetanakis, who owns the former Latitudes storefront and the vacant Fifth Street space, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Fauquier’s last independent bookstore — BJ’s Books at Waterloo Station shopping center in Warrenton — closed in 2014.

The nonprofit Friends of the Fauquier Library operates The Book Cellar at the John Barton Payne Community Hall downtown. It sells only used books, typically costing 50 cents to $1. All proceeds help support county library programs.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.


5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Veteran county employees

Posted Friday,
January 11, 2019
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Contributed Photo
The Fauquier Joint Emergency Communications Center 9-1-1 calls averaged more than 2,000 a month last year.
1,215

Total years of work logged by 96 county government workers honored Thursday during the annual service awards ceremony at the Warrenton Community Center on West Shirley Avenue.

Three employees marked 35 years on the job:

• Family Social Services Worker Barbara Crowling.

• Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike “Moose” Miller.

• General Services Fleet Manager Raymond Mills.


1,119

Fauquier government and school system employees used the county’s wellness center from last April, when it opened at 98 Alexandria Pike in Warrenton, through November.

In 2017, the county board of supervisors hired Vermont-based Marathon Health LLC to establish a clinic to serve employees who receive health insurance through the county.

Established through Marathon, the clinic helps reduce and control health care insurance costs by:

• Addressing “low-intensity” medical problems for which employees often seek treatment at emergency rooms or urgent care centers — typically at higher costs.

• Eliminating unnecessary tests and procedures.

• Providing preventive care and encouraging good lifestyle habits.

• Detecting undiagnosed conditions and treating them before they get serious.

• Providing pre-employment and annual physicals.

• Providing prescriptions, flu shots and various routine tests and office procedures.


4

Non-certified teachers working in Fauquier County Public Schools. The school system has 950 teachers.

To obtain certification, teachers must apply through the Virginia Department of Education, pass several training exercises and pay a $100 fee, among other requirements.

Fauquier schools work with non-certified teachers to obtain licenses during a three-year provisional period.


857

The number of business licenses in the Town of Warrenton as of Tuesday — not including out-of-town contractors.

Business licenses run from July 1 to June 30 each year. The town bases the license tax on prior year gross receipts.


24,450

9-1-1 calls the Fauquier County Joint Emergency Communications Center received in 2018.

The center has 24 public safety telecommunicators — formerly called dispatchers, a trainer and three administrative staffers.

The center handles communications with the sheriff’s office, Town of Warrenton police and fire/rescue units.








Faces of Fauquier: Bus driver “also teaching” riders

Posted Thursday,
January 10, 2019
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
After 31 years as a Fairfax County Public Schools supervisor, Robert “Bobby” Jenkins started driving a Fauquier bus in 2010.
You have to have patience and, if you can’t get along with kids, this is not your cup of tea. You’re the principal, the psychologist, the secretary, the nurse.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Driving a 45-foot-long bright yellow vehicle comes naturally to him.

Robert “Bobby” Jenkins started at the wheel of a Fauquier County school bus nine years ago because of his family’s history.

“My mother and father drove school buses” for Fairfax County, Mr. Jenkins said. “My mother for 36 years, my dad for 38 years. I had aunts and a cousin who drove, too.”

Navigating narrow roads around New Baltimore and Warrenton in a huge vehicle would prove quite challenging for some, but Mr. Jenkins doesn’t seem to mind.

“To me it’s no different, because I have a 35-foot camper that I pull behind my truck,” he said. “The only difference is when you make a turn you have to go out further into the road. You can’t make a sharp turn, so you don’t tear a sign down. And, you have 77 kids on the bus.”

His bus rarely runs at that capacity, with three to a seat. Usually, he transports about 56 Kettle Run High School students and 40 to 50 Brumfield Elementary pupils on separate daily runs.

He starts picking up students at 6:03 a.m.

Mr. Jenkins estimates he drives about 130 miles a day, including the extra mid-day trip, shuttling Kettle Run governor’s school students to the Lord Fairfax Community College campus just south of Warrenton.

The job involves lots of multitasking — watching students, other drivers and the road at the same time.

“You have to watch out for deer, dogs, and cows sometimes are out on (Route) 605. Sometimes it’s so foggy you can barely see. Cars come down with no headlights on. High school kids fly down 605.”

He often encounters drivers “not paying attention. I’ve seen a lady putting eye makeup on when she was driving with her knees.”

Turning the bus around in a cul-de-sac with snow piled high also proves challenging.

“You have a lot of responsibility . . . . You have to have patience and, if you can’t get along with kids, this is not your cup of tea,” he said. “You’re the principal, the psychologist, the secretary, the nurse . . . . You’re out there by yourself. At least in the school, you have all of that.”

After a 31-year career as a maintenance supervisor in Fairfax County Public Schools, Mr. Jenkins signed on as a bus driver in Fauquier to have an easier commute.

“I like working with kids. Anything you do in the school system, you are also teaching children.”

Mr. Jenkins drives the school bus about 31 hours a week, occasionally including field trips or athletic events on weekends if time allows.

“I have great kids” on the bus, he said. “You see them growing up. I would say 90 percent of the kids talk to me.”

Routinely, he gives certificates to elementary students who exhibit good behavior and follow all the bus rules.

“It shows them that I’m appreciative of what they’re doing for me,” he said. To earn certificates, students must be “on time (at the bus stop), sitting in their seat, not yelling or screaming and being courteous to other students.”

Mr. Jenkins has attended many fifth-grade and high school graduations to support the students who ride his bus, sometimes even giving them a congratulatory card.

He serves on the school system’s snow team to help test the road conditions around 3 a.m. when inclement weather strikes.

“In the north, it could be snowing like crazy, and the south gets nothing,” he said of the big county’s diverse conditions.

He also actively participates in the Fauquier Education Association, organizing meetings to discuss transportation issues with other drivers and school administrators.

• Age
61

• Home
Bealeton

• Work
Bus driver, Fauquier County Public Schools, 2010 to present; janitor, American Legion Post 180, Vienna, 2008-10; maintenance worker and supervisor at about 30 schools, Fairfax County Public Schools, 1977 to 2008.

• Why do you do the job?
I like the kids. My mom said it’s in your blood. I like the hours. They are great because you get the middle of the day off. The flexibility. You can still do errands and doctor appointments in the daytime.

• Family
Mother, Roma; brother, Richard; daughters, Morgan and Leigha.

• Education
Northern Virginia Community College, 1976-77; Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, 1976. (“Now it’s like a college campus, it’s so huge.”)

• Civic and/or church involvement
Fauquier Education Association member; Warrenton Baptist Church member and sound assistant.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 2001. Before that I lived in Manassas for 12 years.

• Why do you live here?
I moved out here because it was quiet. But now we are getting bigger by housing, not by businesses. Until you get businesses in here, we are never going to get the money the county needs.

• How do you describe this county?
I think it’s fabulous. Everybody gets along. My neighborhood is quiet. I like it out here because you have a little bit of country and a little bit of city. But it’s growing too big. Before we know it it’s going to be little Fairfax or Prince William, and we don’t have the schools for that.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Nothing.

• What do you do for fun?
I used to bowl, but now that’s closed. I used to be a soccer coach from 2002 to 2014 with the Fauquier County Soccer Club.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I used to take my kids over to Hugo’s to go skating, but it’s not there now. Country Cookin’.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think it’s going to be the next Fairfax County. It’s going to be too large. It’s sad when somebody dies and the kids sell a farm.

• Favorite TV show?
“Last Man Standing.”

• Favorite movie?
“Caddyshack.”

• Favorite book?
Anything sports-related. I’m not much on reading, but I read the newspaper.

• Favorite vacation spot?
On a cruise to Puerto Rico. I’ve been twice.

• Favorite food?
Lasagna. I don’t know how to cook it, so I buy Stouffer’s.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
To listen. I had a supervisor in Fairfax, and he told me when you become a supervisor you have to listen because you’re not always right. Remember where you came from.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My ex-boss, Bob Sisson, at Fairfax County Public Schools, because he taught me everything I know about supervising. I applied for 51 jobs as a custodian. Everybody said I was too young, but he gave me a chance.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I would get out of debt and take another cruise anywhere in the Caribbean or a 21-day cruise to Alaska.

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
January 10, 2019
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Throwback Thursday: Real estate market rumbles back

Posted Thursday,
January 10, 2019
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1994: Procraft Construction’s John and Charles Oddenino hammer away on a new home near Marshall.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of January 14, 1994


Housing rumbles back with highest permits and sales since ’89

Rising consumer confidence, lower interest rates and a stable economy breathed new life into Fauquier’s housing industry in 1993, local Realtors and builders said this week.

Housing starts and home sales hit their highest levels since 1989. And, while real estate hasn’t started another boom like the one it enjoyed in the late 1980s, industry observers predict the surge will continue into 1994.

“We’ve seen a great deal of improvement in the last year,” said Marshall builder Walter Story, who specializes in homes that sell for about $150,000. Story said the 11 homes his firm built in 1993 “were the most we’ve done in quite a while. It was a good year for us.”

The Fauquier Association of Realtors reported a 14-percent increase in sales — to 669 homes — last year. In 1987 and ’88, single-family home sales exceeded 1,000.

The county issued 262 building permits for single-family homes, up 39 percent from 1992. The county issued a record 829 building permits in 1986 and more than 700 in three others years during the ’80s.





Panel recommends nurse in each school

The state-mandated Health Advisory Committee this week asked the school board to put a registered nurse in each of Fauquier’s public schools within four years.

Assigned an RN to each of school would cost $480,000 annually. The school system spends $223,878 on salaries and benefits for 16 clinic aides. They earn $8,182 to $19,000 each.

Pam Trude, who chairs the 20-member committee, said the $30,000 salary for each nurse would be worth it, because the school system would spend on a lawsuit resulting from improperly giving medication.


Governor-elect taps Jay Adams to help cut fat

John B. “Jay” Adams Jr. of The Plains will serve on Gov.-elect George Allen’s “Blue-Ribbon Strike Force” executive committee, which will look for places to cut the state budget.

Allen announced appointments to the 15-member committee Monday.

Adams, who heads A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, and other executives and public officials on the committee will determine the overall effectiveness of state government, according to Allen.


Davenport unveils new film series

Award-winning filmmaker Tom Davenport of Delaplane will premiere Making Grim Movies, his newest educational project Saturday, Jan. 15, at Ki Theatre in Washington, Va.

Making Grimm Movies, a media literacy series aimed at middle and high school students, includes three 20-minute videos designed to help students master the fundamental concepts of film and video production.

“Media literacy is one of the buzz words of contemporary education, but it means different things to different people,” Davenport said. “As it is being taught, media literacy is primarily critical. It teaches how to ‘read’ film and television, how to look at advertisements or news show and become aware of them as constructions with a particular purpose and point of view.”


Town OKs wine festival

Despite the same objections raised last year, the Warrenton Town Council this week granted a permit for a June 25 wine festival on Main Street.

The 4-3 vote followed more than 40 minutes of debate Tuesday night.

Arguing the town should not promote Main Street activities involving alcohol, council members Fred Austin, Kathryn Carter and Robert Walker voted against the permit.

They also opposed Ernest L. “Bud” Hufnagel’s permit for the “In Good Taste” festival a year ago. It drew an estimated 7,000 people in July, and town police reported no problems.


Tighter rules for school suspensions considered

Fauquier public schools during the first semester suspended 350 students for behavioral problems, cutting class or carrying weapons.

“If you look at the whole school population, 10 percent are giving us trouble,” Administrative Assistant Fred Essex said.

But, for those students, the system could get tougher. The school board next month will consider tightening the appeals process for expulsions and suspensions.

“We’re finding that people are becoming more sophisticated and aggressive about challenging” suspensions, Superintendent Tony Lease said. “At one time, (punishment) was accepted. Now, people are bringing lawyers with them.”


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School board adopts calendar for 2019-20 term

Posted Thursday,
January 10, 2019
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
January 9, 2019
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Fauquier educators joining Jan. 28 rally in Richmond

Posted Wednesday,
January 9, 2019
Like 1 · 1 ·
Photo/From Facebook Video
Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott District) listens Dec. 13 as Jennifer McIntyre encourages the county board to attend the Jan. 28 rally in Richmond.
The RedforEd movement started last year in West Virginia and spread to other states.
We are asking for the legislature to fully support the budget proposed by the governor.
— Jennifer McIntyre, teacher and Advocating for Change co-founder
“Red for Ed” March and Rally
• When: Monday, Jan. 28; march starts at 11:30, rally at noon.

• Where: State capitol, Richmond.

• Who: About 200 Fauquier teachers, school staff, elected officials, citizens, joining thousands from around the state.

• Why: To demand the General Assembly increase public school funding and teacher salaries.

• Organizers: Virginia Educators United and Virginia Education Association.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

About 200 Fauquier teachers will skip school for a trip to Richmond late this month.

Those teachers — along with Superintendent David Jeck, school board Chairwoman Suzanne Sloane (Scott District) and others — will join a rally at the state capitol Monday, Jan. 28, to demand more school funding and higher pay.

“The march represents the power of employees that have been underfunded for too long . . . and coming together to change that . . . doing it in a way that is keeping it positive and professional,” said Jennifer McIntyre, co-founder of a Fauquier school employee group, Advocating for Change. The group formed after the county board of supervisors’ budget hearing last March.

The march will “draw attention to the lack of funding to public schools,” added Ms. McIntyre, a fourth-grader teacher at C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School near New Baltimore.

Thousands of school employees, parents, elected officials and other citizens from across the commonwealth will dress in red for the #RedforEd march and rally.

Virginia Educators United, which organized the march, wants the state to “restore” funding cut after the Great Recession, increase teacher pay, provide competitive wages, recruit and retain high quality and diverse teachers, help localities address school infrastructure needs and ensure all schools have adequate support staff.

“I’m looking forward to the event and think it’s going to be a positive event for teachers statewide and quite a bit of energy and a great presence from folks in Fauquier County,” Dr. Jeck said at Monday’s school board meeting.

As of Monday afternoon, 197 of Fauquier’s 940 teachers had asked for personal leave Jan. 28 to participate in the rally, he told the board.

Never have 21 percent of Fauquier’s teachers been absent from classrooms the same day, which will present staffing challenges for the school system.

But, schools will remain open on Jan. 28, according to Dr. Jeck.

School employees get three days of personal leave per year, according to the Fauquier human resources department.

“We have 133 covered with (substitute teachers),” Dr. Jeck said. Associate Superintendent for Instruction Major Warner “is actively recruiting central office and complex staff to help cover classes on the 28th.”

Substitutes earn $70 to $100 a day, depending on education and experience. County schools will spend about $12,000 for them to lead classes during the rally.

“I’m not recommending that we close on the 28th,” Dr. Jeck told the board. “I think we’ll be able to cover (classes) and provide meaningful instruction.”

Ms. McIntyre has worked with Fauquier Education Association President Lauren Brill to get the word out to school employees and community members about the rally.

“This needs to be a unified message to everybody — employees, to parents, to students — that we are working together to dig out of this underfunded mess,” Ms. McIntyre said.

“As a parent, I want my students to have access to highly-qualified educators,” she added. “We are unable to attract and retain highly-qualified educators.

“I myself, with a master’s degree, deserve to be appropriately financially compensated for the role I play in students’ lives and their future, along with every other educator in this county.”

She said the school system lost 12 percent of its workforce last year and 7 percent the year before.

Fauquier teachers will carpool or ride a Virginia Educators United charter bus to the rally.

In Richmond, they will march about a mile with other demonstrators to the state capitol, where the Virginia Education Association will host the rally.

Participants will push legislators to pass Gov. Ralph Northam’s proposed 5-percent raises for teachers, along with other funding increases for schools in fiscal 2020, which starts July 1.

“We are asking for the legislature to fully support the budget proposed by the governor,” Ms. McIntyre said. “While that is not enough . . . we need that piece fully funded” to help “ease the burden” on counties.

Fauquier public schools this fiscal year receives $45.7 million from the state — about one-third of the $140 million county budget for education.

Over the last two years, state funding has remained relatively flat in Fauquier because of the county’s affluence.

Fauquier real estate values, household income and retail sales — which factor in the state “composite index” for school funding — all continue to rise. That hurts Fauquier in the competition for financial support from Richmond.

“It’s time for Richmond to step up . . . . That’s the bottom line,” Dr. Jeck said at a school board meeting in December. Virginia ranks “35th in the country and average teacher salary is $6,500 below the national average . . . . We’re not paying our teachers what we ought to.”

The “Red for Ed” movement started last year with teacher demonstrations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina and other states, according to the National Education Association.

In West Virginia, 20,000 educators went on strike from Feb. 22 to March 7 last year. The strike ended when state officials agreed to fund 5-percent raises, despite West Virginia law prohibiting such a work stoppage.

Virginia law also prohibits public employees from striking. But, teachers in Fauquier and elsewhere around the state previously have threatened to “work to the contract” unless salaries increase.

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

After the president’s Jan. 8 address, how long will the government shutdown continue?

Posted Wednesday,
January 9, 2019
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Legislators outline mental health services proposals

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
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Photo/Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Western State in Staunton and Virginia’s eight other mental health hospitals have a total of fewer than 1,500 beds — often too few to meet demand.
We’ve got to build a system of care, so that people no matter where they are in Virginia have access to the services they need.
— Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County)
2019 General Assembly
• Convenes: Noon Wednesday, Jan. 9

• Adjourns: Saturday, Feb. 23

• Website: virginiageneralassembly.gov


Fauquier’s legislators


• Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27th/Upperville).

• Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

• Del. Elizabeth Guzman (R-31st/Woodbridge).

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Fredericksburg).
By Saffeya Ahmed
Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Legislators proposed recommendations Tuesday to expand Virginia’s mental health services — including “right-sizing” the state hospital system, altering law enforcement training procedures and providing correctional facilities access to health records.

A General Assembly subcommittee will push legislation requiring the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to “right-size” the state hospital system by ensuring the appropriate number, capacity and locations of state hospitals. The legislation seeks to improve the current state hospital model and increase access to beds across Virginia.

As of 2017, Virginia had fewer than 1,500 hospital beds spread across nine state mental health hospitals, according to DBHDS. The hospitals also consistently operate at peak occupancy, which is nearly 15 percent above the 85-percent occupancy rate considered safe for both patients and staff, according to the same report.

“Access remains an issue,” said Paula Margolis, senior health policy analyst for the Joint Commission on Health Care, a research group created by the General Assembly. “Temporary detention order process remains an issue, with how there’s not enough hospital beds for people. [The legislative panel is] restructuring the system so that people are better served.”

The Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services in the Commonwealth in the 21st Century focuses on the delivery of all mental health services — short-term, long-term and emergency — to all Virginians.

“There’s somewhat of a stigma built up around mental health that prevents people from getting care,” said Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County), chairman of the subcommittee. “It’s important that mental health issues [are] given the same dignity as physical health issues.”

Sen. Deeds has a personal connection to the issue. In 2013, he took his son, Austin “Gus” Deeds, to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, but the young man was released because no psychiatric beds were available. Less than 24 hours later, Gus stabbed his father multiple times and then committed suicide. Sen. Deeds later said the system failed his son.

Last year, he sponsored legislation that requires schools to teach about the importance of mental health in ninth and 10th grades.

During the legislative session that begins Wednesday, the subcommittee will seek approval of legislation that updates training standards for law enforcement personnel to include mental health sensitivity and awareness.

From 2012 to ’17, Virginia experienced an 18-percent increase in the number of people with mental illnesses held in local jails, according to a 2017 report by the Virginia Compensation Board. The inclusion of sensitivity and awareness training is specifically focused on people experiencing behavioral health issues or substance abuse crises.

“We’ve got to build a system of care,” Sen. Deeds said, “so that people no matter where they are in Virginia have access to the services they need.”

The subcommittee also hopes to amend state law so that correctional facilities can obtain patient mental health records when needed without requiring consent.
Other legislative recommendations for 2019 include:

• Expand “telehealth” — providing health care via technology.

• Support the University of Virginia in developing a clinical fellowship in telepsychiatry.

• Ask the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to explore treatment options for people in mental health crisis who have complex medical needs

• Fund a pilot program for a psychiatric emergency center.

Addiction recovery center public hearing Thursday

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
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The PATH Foundation has a contract to buy “Twin Oaks,” valued at $1.9 million for tax purposes, if the board of supervisors grants the special exception permit.
Chris Herren, who has spoken to students in Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock about addiction, testifies at the Dec. 20 planning commission public hearing.
Public Hearing
• Topic:  Special exception permit to establish a 24-bed residential addiction recovery center on 50 acres at 6791 James Madison Highway (Route 17) just north of Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10.

• Agency: Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.

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

• Applicant: Warrenton-based PATH Foundation.

• Property owners: Mark S. and Angela S. Smith.

• Zoning: Rural, with a small amount of village fronting James Madison Highway.

• Details: The PATH Foundation and Massachusetts-based Herren Wellness Group want to establish a residential “spiritual wellness” center on the property to treat up to 24 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The “private-pay” retreat model uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free and full and productive life.” It would employ 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.

• Previously: The five-member county planning commission on Dec. 20 unanimously recommended approval of the application.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday will conduct a public hearing on a proposed residential addiction recovery center just north of Warrenton.

The PATH Foundation seeks special exception permit approval to establish the 24-bed, “private-pay” Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks on 50 acres off James Madison Highway (Route 17).

The Jan. 10 hearing will take place in the Warren Green Building in Warrenton. The board meets at 6:30 p.m.

> Agenda and documents at bottom of story

After a 36-minute hearing Dec. 20, the county planning commission unanimously recommended approval of the application. The five-member commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which has final authority.

Twelve speakers, including three PATH representatives and Herren Wellness Group founder Chris Herren, backed the proposal.

Two neighbors, who had no objections to a recovery center, questioned whether the proposed use would be appropriate in the predominantly rural area.

They also expressed concerns about groundwater use, drainfield treatment capacity and traffic related to the center.

Employing 12-full and eight part-time or contract workers, the center would operate in the main house — a 2-1/2-story, 11,700-square-foot stucco structure — and a 760-square-foot stucco home on the property. The proposed site also includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, a barn and various outbuildings.

PATH has a contract to buy the proposed wellness retreat site from Angela S. and Mark S. Smith, who live there and rent eight of Twin Oaks Historic Manor House’s bedrooms on Airbnb.

For tax purposes, Fauquier County values the property at $1.9 million. The Smiths bought it in May 2017 from Airlie Foundation for $1.1 million.

The center “would provide local access to residential recovery, which speaks to two of our four focus areas — access to care and mental health,” PATH Foundation CEO Christy Connolly told the planning commission. “In the last five years, since our inception, we have invested nearly $2.5 million in (local) programs and services to address mental health alone.”

PATH’s association with Mr. Herren began in 2017 when the organization brought the former NBA guard to Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock to speak to students about his drug addiction and recovery.

Ms. Connolly, other PATH staff members and Mental Health Association of Fauquier County Executive Director Sallie Morgan last summer visited the Herren Wellness Center in Seekonk, Mass.

“We were very impressed with the program there and started talking about possibilities within our community,” Ms. Connolly explained to the commission.

Like the Herren center in Massachusetts, the proposed Fauquier retreat would use meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life,” according to the special exception application.

Insurance doesn’t cover services provided by Herren Wellness.

Residents of its Massachusetts center stay at least four weeks and may remain there as long as six months, according to the group’s website. A four-week stay costs $12,500 to $15,000.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Fauquier BOS Agenda Jan. 10... by on Scribd

School board elects Sloane chairman for 2019

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
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GOP’s D.J. Jordan declares for 31st District House seat

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
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Darrell “D.J.” Jordan Jr.
If elected, I will advocate for policies that build a culture of human dignity, expand economic and educational opportunities for families, and help small businesses innovate and create high-paying jobs.
— Darrell “D.J.” Jordan Jr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Republican from Woodbridge announced Monday that he will seek the party’s nomination for the 31st District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Darrell “D.J.” Jordan Jr., a public relations executive with the Alexandria-based Pinkston Group, hopes to unseat Woodbridge resident and first-term Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st/Woodbridge) in the November general election.

Prince William County dominates the district, which includes five of Fauquier’s 20 voting precincts: Casanova, Catlett, Kettle Run, New Baltimore and Vint Hill.

“I am excited to announce my campaign for the 31st District of the Virginia House of Delegates,” Mr. Jordan, 41, said in a press release. “If elected, I will advocate for policies that build a culture of human dignity, expand economic and educational opportunities for families, and help small businesses innovate and create high-paying jobs.”

Married with four children, he has served on several boards of state agencies and nonprofit organizations focused on family issues, Mr. Jordan said.

All 100 state House and 40 Senate seats will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Republicans hold slim majorities in the House and Senate, controlling 52 and 21 seats, respectively.

A first-time candidate, Mr. Jordan wants to reverse the GOP’s recent slide, particularly since Democratic candidates in 2017 won four-year terms as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

“Democrats control every statewide office in Virginia right now and Republicans maintain slim majorities in the state House and Senate,” said Mr. Jordan, appointed in 2013 by Republican Gov. Bob MacDonnell to a four-year term on the Virginia Board of Social Services. “I think we all know we need a strong two-party system in Virginia, not to sow divisiveness and discord, but to make sure every good idea is presented and every voice is heard.”

In November 2017, Ms. Guzman defeated 16-year legislator Scott Lingamfelter with 54 percent of the district vote and 2,808-vote advantage.

Del. Lingamfelter carried all five Fauquier precincts, with a vote advantage of 4,168 to 1,906 in this county.

Mr. Jordan last summer joined the Pinkston Group, where he handles public relations accounts for companies and nonprofits.

From 2008 to 2018, he served as communications director for a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, communications director for the U.S. House Committee on Small Business and press secretary for a U.S. representative from Alabama.

Before that, Mr. Jordan worked as news assignment editor for Fox News' national network. Prior to joining Fox, he served three years as a CNN field producer.

In 2013, Mr. Jordan in earned a master’s degree in public management from The Johns Hopkins (Md.) University. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Liberty University in 2002.

To his knowledge, no other Republican has declared for the 31st District seat.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
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Guv pushes voting rights, campaign finance reform

Posted Tuesday,
January 8, 2019
Like 0 · 1 ·
Photo/Governor’s Office
Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also wants to end Virginia’s requirement that voters present photo IDs to cast ballots.
Our commonwealth has an opportunity to reform campaign finance laws by banning direct corporate and business donations. Virginians want legislators who represent their interests, and this reform will foster more trust in the legislative process.
— Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st/Woodbridge)
2019 General Assembly
• Convenes: Noon Wednesday, Jan. 9

• Adjourns: Saturday, Feb. 23

• Website: virginiageneralassembly.gov


Fauquier’s legislators


• Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27th/Upperville).

• Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall).

• Del. Elizabeth Guzman (R-31st/Woodbridge).

• Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Fredericksburg).
By Owen FitzGerald
Capital News Service

RICHMOND — Gov. Ralph Northam at a press conference Monday introduced two legislative proposals aimed at improving voting access and transparency in the campaign finance system.

One proposal would allow Virginians to vote absentee without having to provide an excuse — legislation the governor said would reduce crowds at the polls on Election Day. The current law, which Gov. Northam called “arbitrary,” requires citizens to give one of 20 reasons to vote absentee.

The Virginia General Assembly will open its 46-day session at noon Wednesday.

The governor said that voting in the days before an election is “just as American” as waiting in line at the polls and that similar proposals have been made since the 1990s. Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate (SB 1035) and Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) is sponsoring it in the House (HB 1641).

The Democratic governor also endorsed legislation to repeal the Virginia law requiring voters to present a photo ID to be able to cast their vote.

“While photo ID laws are intended to reduce voter fraud, very little such voter fraud actually exists,” Gov. Northam said. “Instead of fixing the problem, the photo ID law just makes it harder for people, especially minority voters or low-income voters, to lawfully vote.”

This proposal will be sponsored by Sen. Locke and Del. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax).

The Democrats also want legislation that limits campaign donations and restricts how candidates can spend political contributions.

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) is sponsoring legislation (SB 1146) that would limit individual donations to $10,000 per candidate during a given election cycle. Virginia is one of only 11 remaining states that have no limits on campaign contributions.

“There’s too much big money in politics,” Sen. Petersen said. “We need some reasonable limits on what people can contribute in order to keep the process honest.”

A second proposal to be sponsored by Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Woodbridge) would ban corporate and business campaign donations. It also would ban corporations or businesses from making direct contributions to their own political action committees.

“Our commonwealth has an opportunity to reform campaign finance laws by banning direct corporate and business donations,” said Del. Guzman, who represents five of Fauquier’s 20 precincts in the House. “Virginians want legislators who represent their interests, and this reform will foster more trust in the legislative process.”

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) is the sponsor of a bill (HB 1699) to ban candidates from using campaign money for personal expenses.

A spokesman for the Republican Party said GOP officials would not comment on the legislation until they had read over the proposals in full.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
Like 0 · 0 ·

What ranks as the most important issue facing our nation?

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
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Islamic organization seeks “spiritual retreat” approval

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
Like 0 · 33 ·
Contributed Photo
In years past, the retreat has taken place in Harrisburg, Pa., and at the Dulles Expo Center.
We want to be very transparent with everything we’re doing. It’s like an open book.
— Spokesman Amjad Kahn
Public Hearing
• Topic: Special exception permit to allow an annual, three-day “spiritual retreat” for a maximum 5,000 people and three, annual three-day events for a maximum 1,000 each at Meetze and Turkey Run roads just southeast of Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

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

• Applicant: Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA, Silver Spring, Md.

• Property owners:
 Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler and Oak Creek Farm LLC.

• Zoning: Rural.

• Next: The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. If the commission acts on the application Thursday, Jan. 17, the board could conduct a public hearing on the project at its Feb. 14 meeting.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Silver Spring, Md.-based Islamic group wants to hold four big annual events on a sprawling farm just southeast of Warrenton.

Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA seeks special exception permit approval for a three-day “spiritual retreat” for a maximum 5,000 people and three, three-day events for up to 1,000 people on 515.6 acres at Meetze and Turkey Run roads.

Fauquier’s planning commission will conduct a public hearing on the project Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Warren Green Building in Warrenton. The commission will meet at 6:30 p.m.

The five-member advisory panel makes land-use recommendations to the county board of supervisors, which will have final authority on the nonprofit’s special exception application.

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form,” according to the nonprofit’s application.

With about 17,000 members in the United States, the community “continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities,” the application states. “It champions the empowerment and education of women.

“Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.”

With the first taking place in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio, the retreat “has been going on for many, many years,” Spokesman Amjad Kahn said.

The “family-oriented” convention features “prayer, speakers, food and fellowship” and comprises mostly “family groups,” according to the application.

There would be no alcohol or music at the event, which often happens in late July.

Mr. Kahn had no specifics about the 1,000-person events proposed.

But, “we want to be very transparent with everything we’re doing,” he said. “It’s like an open book.”

While the project doesn’t call for new structures, tents would be erected for the proposed events, the Los Angeles lawyer said.

The proposed site, which the organization plans to purchase if the supervisors approve the special exception permit, includes two houses and several farm structures and outbuildings.

Activities and parking would be concentrated on relatively small portion of the farm, Mr. Khan said.

No one attending events would spend the night on the property, he stressed.

The convention has taken place in Harrisburg, Pa., for the last 10 years. Prior to that, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held it at the Dulles Expo Center on Route 28 near Chantilly.

Purchasing land to establish a “permanent” home for the convention appeals to the organization for several reasons, Mr. Kahn said.

“It makes sense to invest in a property to have events, rather than renting,” he said. “We’re just a Muslim community. We’re a nonprofit organization.”

With six paid staffers, the 73-chapter organization heavily relies on volunteers, Mr. Kahn said.

The organization also likes the Fauquier site because it provides an “open-air” environment and relatively easy access via Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports to out-of-town members who would attend the convention, he added.

And, the area has plenty of hotel rooms, restaurants and other services to accommodate people attending the retreat, Mr. Kahn noted.

Potential traffic impacts associated with the proposal represent perhaps the “foremost concern,” Mr. Kahn said.

“Traffic control will be coordinated with local law enforcement and Virginia Department of Transportation,” according to the application.

The organization on Sept. 8 contracted to buy the 515.6-acre site from Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler and Oak Creek Farm LLC.

Rafiq Sayed, the nonprofit’s property secretary, declined to say how much it would pay for the real estate.

But for tax purposes, the county values the seven parcels and structures at $3 million.

Supervisor Rick Gerhardt, whose Cedar Run District includes the proposed site, had no specific comments about the application.

“I want to hear what’s going on,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “What with multiple things going on in the area” — the Fauquier County Fair on Old Auburn Road and the planned Central Sports Complex on Meetze Road — “I’m curious what VDOT has to say” about traffic issues related to the proposal.

“I’m hoping” transportation and other issues associated with the organization’s project “get fleshed out at the planning commission.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

AppMaterials SOJ AMC-Jalsa by on Scribd


No “national emergency” along U.S. southern border

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
Like 0 · 53 ·

97-acre Goldvein horse farm sells for $1.3 million

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
Like 1 · 0 ·
A 97-acre Goldvein horse farm, including this five-bedroom house, sold for $1.3 million.
A 97-acre horse farm near Goldvein sold last week for $1.3 million.

The Thompsons Mill Road property includes a five-bedroom house built in 2002, a 10-stall barn, two other barns and an 19th-century farmhouse.

The property originally went on the market in April 2016, with an asking price of $1.75 million, according to Zillow.com.

The Cedar Run District deal tops the most recent list of Fauquier property sales.

The list also includes the Foothills Housing Corp.’s $2.5-million purchase of the 36-home Fletcherville subdivision, north of Warrenton in Marshall District.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Dec. 28, 2018-Jan. 3, 2019:


Cedar Run District

M.D. Russell Construction Inc. to Kolyn L. Brock and Nichole A. Shiels, 4.1 acres, 13600 Sillamon Road, Goldvein, $410,000.

David M. Charvonia to Stephanie E. Shifflett, 2.69 acres, 6398 Stoney Road, Midland, $322,500.

Joanna J. Yates to Sophia T. and Lyttleton M. Yates Jr., 5 acres, 12239 Elk run Road, near Midland, $385,000.

Laura’s Farm LLC, Laura Stone and James Herrman as managers, to Billy and Ottoway Cooper, 10 aces, 14453 Warrenton Road, near Goldvein, $325,000.

Steven F. and Doreen A. Turco to Krista A. Gibbs, 97.49 aces, 3258 Thompson’s Mill Road, Goldvein, $1,314,750.

David E. Wurst to Angela and Eric D. Regis, 1.76 acres, Lot 6, High Meadow Subdivision, 10420 Liberty Drive, Midland, $313,000.

F&S Investments LLC, Andrew Farrar as member, to Jason T. Atkins, 0.87 acre, Dumfries Road, near Warrenton, $52,000.

RFI WC LC, Steven W. Rodgers as managing member, to NVR Inc., 0.71 acre, Lot 41, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision 6466 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $229,286.

NVR Inc. to Jennifer and Sara B. McPherson, 0.58 acre, Lot 32, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6412 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $642,603.


Center District

Nicole L. Radd to Thomas E. Norskog, Townhouse 72, Phase 2, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 536 Highland Towne Lane, Warrenton, $278,000.

Meredith Krueger, Mark Riedeau and Robert S. Schneider to Mitchell Ly and Larissa A. Knott, Lot 198, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 6451 Lancaster Drive, near Warrenton, $282,000.

Peter and Sharon Marti to Thomas C. and Lynn Webb, Condo Unit 7, Phase 1, Cedars of Warrenton Subdivision, 716-A, Cedar Crest Drive, Warrenton, $205,000.

Ricky D. Cook to Wesley A. McCarville, Lot 12, Monroe Estates, 196 Meadowville Lane, Warrenton, $500,000.

Paper Street Soap Co. LLC, Thomas J. Ross II and Tyler J. Ross as managing members, to Michael D. and Denise Loxtercamp, Condo Unit 322, Phase 3, Warrenton Gardens, 641 Waterloo Road, Warrenton, $92,500.


Lee District

Sumerduck Property Management LLC, Gayle Niles as managing member, to Bernabe A. and Maria Ramos, 1 acre, 5483 Sumerduck Road, Sumerduck, $90,000.

Cranes Corner LLC to Mathai Real Estate Holdings LLC, 7.3 acres, Liberty Station, Bealeton, $710,000.

Greg A. Liptak, by substitute trustee, to Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 10.6 acres, Lot 31 Cooper Communities (North Wales) Division, 8298 Lock Lane, $407,643, foreclosure.

NVR Inc. to Samuel Asiedu, Lot 563, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 6600 Lafayette Ave., Bealeton, $369,105.


Marshall District

Maria L. Tufts, trustee for Johan Lennman Revocable Trust, to Maria L. Tufts, 195.5 acres, three parcels, Springs Road, near Warrenton, $1,000,000.

K&S Fletcher Rental Properties LLC, Stewart K. and Keith N. Fletcher II as managers, to Fletcherville Estates LLC (Foothills Housing Corp.), 27 acres, 23 parcels, James Madison Highway and Keith Road, two miles north of Warrenton, $2,500,000.

Edith A. and Earl N. Andreasen Jr. to Derek M. Vanwerkhoven and Paige A. Gehrke, 7.89 acres, 6615 Wilson Road, near Warrenton, $334,500.

Lisa Spalding to Justin P. and Ashleigh N. Lloyd 6.41 acres, Hidden Springs Drive, near Marshall, $95,000.

William H. and Ellen G. Ussery to Brett J. Ludden, 0.68 acre, 5049 Leeds Manor Road, Hume, $200,000.


Scott District

NVR Inc. to Linda and Charles Sakevich III, Lot 100, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7495 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $672,116.

Kendall and Courtney Blackwell to Trigon Homes LLC, 11.02 acres, Lot 35, Valley Green Subdivision, 6177 Lerner Lane, Broad Run, $285,000.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Kevin and Tina M. Freeman, Lot 13, Phase 13-C, Brookside Subdivision, 3689 Dockside Drive, near Warrenton, $696,314.

Jean M. Coleman and John F. Urban to Katherine P. Suto, Lot 27, Land Bay G, Vint Hill Subdivision, 3591 Sutherland Court, near Warrenton, $380,000.

T. Annetta and Karen G. Timmermans, trustees, to Shirley S. Romesburg and Beth E. Alford, Unit 106, Phase 91, Suffield Meadows Condominiums, 6696 Club House Lane, near Warrenton, $246,250.

Robert J. Wolownik and Kathleen S. Keller to Philip B. and Elizabeth Burnside, Lot 24, Section 1, South Hill Estates, 5209 Graystone Road, near Warrenton, $369,900.

Fauquier sheriff’s office issues “10 Most Wanted”

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
Like 0 · 1 ·
The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, Jan. 4, released an updated “10 Most Wanted” list of fugitives.

Those on the list, updated each quarter:

• Daniel Cox on unauthorized use of a vehicle charge.

• Jaylyn Franklin on failure to appear in court charge (drug possession case).

• Tara Gladhill on failure to comply with alternative community service charge (manufacturing methamphetamine case).

• Aaron Hutcheson on probation violation charge (drug possession case).

• Tajia Jackson on failure to appear in court charge (possession of firearm by convicted felon case).

• Jesse Pinkham on probation violation charge (possession of cocaine and grand larceny cases).

• Robert Pruitt on failure to appear in court charge (drug possession case).

• Samantha Rogers on probation violation charge (possession of heroin case).

• Gerald Shepard on felony hit-and-run charge.

• Brandie Tunnell on probation violation and failure to appear in court charges (drug and larceny cases).

Anyone with information about one of these suspects may call the sheriff’s office at 540-347-3300 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For warrant and fugitive information and inquires or tips requiring immediate assistance, call Sgt. John Sealock at 540-422-8667.

Supervisors again elect Chris Butler as chairman

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
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Virginia finally should pass Equal Rights Amendment

Posted Monday,
January 7, 2019
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
January 4, 2019
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School board to consider $11-million energy contract

Posted Friday,
January 4, 2019
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The school system could save $487,000 year in electricity costs by installing $4.6 million worth of LED lighting, according to ABM, a global consulting company.
The project will allow us to get modern systems that require less maintenance and provide a better learning environment for kids.
— Prashant Shrestha, assistant school superintendent for business and planning
Energy Savings Project
• What: Replacing or upgrading HVAC, lighting and other equipment to cut energy costs.

• Where: 20 Fauquier County Public Schools. 

• Consultant: ABM, a global contractor with offices in Alexandria and Ashburn. 

• Cost: Possibly $11.3 million over 15 years under a lease/purchase agreement. 

• Previously: School board in October hired ABM to conduct an energy savings audit of all 20 bulidings at a cost of $185,000.

• Next: School board will review consultant recommendations Monday, Jan. 7. Final decision could come Jan. 22.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s school board this month could decide to spend $11.3 million on HVAC equipment and lighting that would save $13.7 million in energy costs over 15 years, according to a consultant.

For example, replacing old lighting with LED bulbs and related equipment in 18 of the county’s 20 public schools would cut $487,000 a year in electricity costs, according to ABM, a global company with an office in Alexandria.

Replacing the lighting would cost $4.6 million. Over 15 years, that would save the school system $7.3 million, according to the consultant.

The school board in October awarded ABM a $185,000 contract to audit the equipment and energy costs in all 20 buildings. The firm completed that work in December.

Overall, ABM identified $40 million worth of potential equipment upgrades. Working with school administrators and board members, the consultants narrowed the list to 88 projects with the highest priorities.

> List at bottom of story

“You’re consistent with every other clients we’ve worked with,” ABM Senior Vice President Daniel Dowell told the school board Building Committee on Thursday. “There’s always more need than you can fund. Now we are trying to find the balance. What are the must haves.”

The full board will review that list and ABM’s proposed contract in a meeting at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7.

Under one proposal, the school board would enter a lease/purchase agreement for the equipment and its installation. A bank would finance the project, with annual “lease” payments totaling $915,000.

If the upgrades failed to produce the guaranteed energy savings, ABM would pay the difference.

Some of the projects on the list show no energy savings, however, school board Chairman Donna Grove (Cedar Run District) noted during Thursday’s meeting.

“I’m thinking because this has been sold as an energy savings project, I have a hard time including $1.5 million in projects that aren’t saving any energy,” Ms. Grove said. “Those projects definitely need to be done, but we’ve sold this whole thing as an energy savings project.”

Traditional debt financing to buy and install the equipment would make it more difficult to tackle the long list of projects. Taking on $11 million in debt would require board of supervisors’ approval.

“Part of the reasons this package was so attractive was to knock out things we can’t do otherwise,” said Dave Graham, the school system’s director of administration and planning.

“The project will allow us to get modern systems that require less maintenance and provide a better learning environment for kids,” Assistant Superintendent for Business and Planning Prashant Shrestha said.

In 2017-18, the school system spent $2.9 million on utilities. The upgrades would reduce that annual cost almost one-third, according to the consultants.

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


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“Pit bull” development lawyer retires after 34 years

Posted Friday,
January 4, 2019
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Merle Fallon frequently testified before Fauquier’s planning commission and board of supervisors, which changed the county zoning ordinance 27 times because of his work, the lawyer says.
Mr. Fallon joins Piedmont Environmental Council staff member Rob Marmet at Old Bust Head Brewery in 2015 to discuss how the community can stop construction of a high-voltage transmission line through eastern Fauquier.
We’re not enemies. I don’t think we ever had a cross word with each other. I don’t think he ever yelled at me or I yelled at him.
— Supervisor Holder Trumbo
Merle Fallon
• Age: 72

• Home: Nokesville until recent move to K

• Work: Warrenton-based land use lawyer, 1984-2018; Fauquier County Parks and Recreational Department director, 1975-81.

• Education: Law degree, George Mason University, 1984; master’s degree, education, Virginia Tech, 1975; bachelor’s degree, history and political science, 1971, Virginia Tech; George Mason High School, 1964.

• Family: Wife Vicki; 2 grown daughters.

• Military service: Army, corporal, 1967-69.

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

He came to Fauquier more than four decades ago as the county’s first parks and recreation department director.

About six years after he joined the agency, Merle Fallon in 1981 quit the job to attend George Mason University’s law school, planning to return to Fauquier to clean up in the land development business.

By most measures, Mr. Fallon, who opened a practice in Warrenton in 1987, did just that.

The list of commercial and residential projects he got approved and/or developed in Warrenton alone includes:

• The Walmart at 700 James Madison Highway (Route 29).

• A 45,000-square-foot office building at West Shirley Avenue and Carriage House Lane.

• The Children of America daycare center off West Shirley Avenue.

• 750-unit Southside Self-Storage on Industrial Road.

• The 350-home Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup subdivisions.

• The 120-lot Whites Mill subdivision.

Mr. Fallon also handled the rezoning of the 1,000-home Brookside development near New Baltimore and managed the project during its first four years.

Along the way, he established a track record of successfully challenging local land-use regulations that he viewed as obtuse, unfair or illegal.

“I counted a few years ago the county had changed its zoning ordinance 27 times to deal directly with things I had done,” Mr. Fallon told more than 100 people who attended his Oct. 12 retirement party in the John Barton Payne Community Hall in downtown Warrenton. “And there have been at least 10 more changes since then.”

Former county Zoning Administrator Carolyn Bowen, who attended the party, described her relationship with Mr. Fallon as friendly but frank.

“He told me the way it was, and I told him the way it would be” on land-use matters that required her interpretation, Mrs. Bowen, who served as zoning chief from 1972 to 2003, recalled with a laugh. “But, I never had a run in with him. I always liked him and got along with him.”

Not one to mince words, he also believes in transparency, Mr. Fallon said.

“I think (county) staff would tell you that I would stab them in the chest, but I would not stab them in the back,” he said.

Even so, some county government and elected officials mostly have good things to say about him.

“He’s been a gentleman and a professional,” Deputy County Attorney Tracy Gallehr said. “I wouldn’t say that about a lot of attorneys I’ve dealt with.”

County Administrator Paul McCulla agreed: “I’ve always found him to be extremely professional and willing to discuss matters intelligently. He always had what he considered the betterment of the county at heart.”

While he and Mr. Fallon disagreed on land-use matters, they did so constructively, Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott District) said.

“We spent a lot of time on issues — how to make them work better,” Mr. Trumbo explained. “For all of our differences of opinions on things, I think in the end we had a relationship that functioned very well.”

The Scott District supervisor likes to “kid about the whole adversarial thing” between them.

“We’re not enemies,” Mr. Trumbo said. “I don’t think we ever had a cross word with each other. I don’t think he ever yelled at me or I yelled at him.”

It helped that they understood their respective roles as supervisor and attorney in Fauquier’s land-use review process, he said.

“Just as I am a gear in the machine, Merle is a tool used by the development community to get things accomplished,” Mr. Trumbo added. “And that’s why I think both of us never took what we were going through personally.”

To the contrary.

When Mr. Trumbo needed the county zoning ordinance amended to allow him to operate a vehicle storage business in his family’s former IGA supermarket building in Marshall, he hired Mr. Fallon to represent him before the planning commission and board of supervisors, which has final authority.

Because of Mr. Fallon’s “experience” and track record, “he seemed to be the choice,” said the supervisor, who recused himself discussing or voting on the request.

“I’ve seen Merle operate enough to know that he would handle the situation efficiently and get the results I needed,” Mr. Trumbo said.

Warrenton lawyer Robin Gulick has known Mr. Fallon for more than 40 years.

As a former member of the county’s parks and recreation board, Mr. Gulick helped him to lead the department.

Mr. Fallon has a “disarming” and admirable gift for candor, he said.

“He was that way with the parks board,” Mr. Gulick said. “He’s that way today. He’s just honest without any varnish. He tells it like it is.”

After Mr. Fallon earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia Tech in 1971, the West Virginia native planned to attend law school.

But a chance to help coach Tech’s cross country team and manage its student center sidetracked him.

“I ran a bowling alley, pool hall, game room and helped book concerts and speakers,” Mr. Fallon said.

Little did he know that an invitation to attend the May 1975 Gold Cup races — then at Broadview Farm in Warrenton — would prove life-changing.

“While we were up here, I saw the advertisement (in The Fauquier Democrat) for the recreation director’s job and applied for it and was hired” in October 1975, he recalled.

Among other things as director, he oversaw the planning of C.M. Crocket Park near Midland.

The project involved county government’s purchase of 17 acres adjoining the park’s future lake.

Mr. Fallon and Mr. Gulick negotiated the land acquisition deal with owner Leslie Jean Hinegardner.

Mr. Hinegardner had agreed to sell the 17-acre parcel to the county for $15,000 — a big bargain in those days for potential lakefront real estate, Mr. Fallon suggested.

He and Mr. Gulick outlined the deal in a closed session with the county board of supervisors.

“They refused to spend $15,000 for the land until they needed it, even though I explained to them it would cost a lot more, once (the plan for) the lake was generally known,” Mr. Fallon said. “I walked out of that meeting, I looked at Robin Gulick and said, ‘These folks don’t have a clue about what’s coming. I’m going to quit my job and go to law school and become a land-use lawyer.’ And that’s what I did.”

In 1981, Mr. Fallon’s first year of law school, the county paid Mr. Hinegardner $176,000 for the 17 acres.

“I recognized that there was an opportunity here to be in the right place at the right time, as the county began to grow, and I knew it would,” Mr. Fallon said of his decision to pursue a land-use law career. “I anticipated the county — 40 miles from the capital of the most powerful nation on Earth — was going to grow, and in fact it has.”

As a new lawyer, Jennifer Moore joined Mr. Fallon’s firm about 11 years ago.

“He’s a wonderful guy to work for,” Ms. Moore said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”

A born teacher, Mr. Fallon gave generously of his time when she had questions about land-use or municipal law, she said. “He loves explaining things and how things work. It’s just in his nature to do that.”

And despite the perception of him as a “pit bull” or “junkyard dog” in advancing clients’ interests, Mr. Fallon has mellowed, she said.

“He has a soft side,” Ms. Moore said. “He really does. People on the other side of the case don’t see it, but it’s there.”

A few factors figured into his decision to retire at the end of 2018.

“I’m 72,” he said. “And I don’t want to work 70, 80 hours a week. You’ve got to do that, if you’ve got a trial. If you don’t, you get your hat handed to you, and that’s not fair to the client. It’s just time.”

He wants to spend more time with family and “do other things” with his life.

In the fall, Mr. Fallon sold his interest in Fallon, Myers & Marshall to his partners. He and his wife Vicki recently sold their home near New Baltimore.

Today, the couple, who have two grown daughters, bought a $1-million place on Kiawah Island, near Charleston, S.C.

“I’ve never belonged to a country club,” he said. “Now we belong to the country club in Kiawah. I’m going to run on the beach, probably a marathon, maybe teach at a community college.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Perennial poinsettia possible with simple care

Posted Friday,
January 4, 2019
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Airbnb payments in 2018

Posted Friday,
January 4, 2019
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$550,000

The total that Fauquier property owners received from 3,400 Airbnb “guest arrivals” in 2018, according to the online hospitality booking company.

Virginia hosts earned almost $104 million from about 750,000 guests in last year, Airbnb said.

The company has about 10,200 Virginia hosts, typically earning about $5,500 annually in supplemental income.

Arlington County led the state with 57,000 guests paying hosts $10.8 million last year, followed by:

• Loudoun County, 20,500 guests and $3.1 million.

• Montgomery County (Blacksburg), 17,800 and $2.2 million.

• Page County, 16,000, $2.2 million.


$25,835

Revenue the Friends of the Library’s Book Cellar generated last year.

Operating in the basement of Warrenton’s John Barton Payne Community Hall at Courthouse Square, the nonprofit organization uses book sale income to support various library programs.

Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the group relies on donated books and staffs the operation with volunteers.

Last year’s top revenue-generating “regular” weekend — Jan. 12 and 13 — produced $740. Most paperbacks and hardcover books cost 50 cents and $1, respectively.

The Book Cellar’s 40 volunteers last year logged 3,196 hours of service.


13,000

Rounds of golf played last year at Fauquier Springs Country Club west of Warrenton, according to Assistant Golf Professional Justin Deal.

The club offers various membership plans, all of which require the purchase of two stock shares at $1,000 apiece.

Under the family plan, for example, members pay $360 per month, with unlimited use of the 18-hole course, which opened in 1957.


$45,706

Donations to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign in Fauquier from Nov. 15 to Dec. 24.

The charity had kettles outside seven stores around the county.

Shoppers donated $13,622 at the Walmart in Warrenton to lead the local campaign.

Safeway in Warrenton followed with a total of $12,558.

In 2017, the organization raised a total of $51,588 in Fauquier.

The funds support the organization’s charitable work year-round.


$9.4 million

The Fauquier County Public Schools budget for student transportation in fiscal 2019.

The Transportation Services Department has a fleet of 182 buses that travel more than three million miles a year, hauling more than 11,000 students.

Transportation accounts for 7 percent of the school system’s $140.7-million budget. The department has 12 administrative and training employees, 164 bus drivers and 30 assistants.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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Foothills Housing closes   36-home subdivision deal

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The property two miles north of Warrenton includes several dozen homes and the former Ben & Mary’s Steakhouse building.
I think it’s gonna be a great asset to the community. We’re gonna spruce it up a little bit and address some deferred maintenance.
— Foothills Housing Corp. President John Wayland
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s largest affordable housing organization recently completed its purchase of a 36-home subdivision north of Warrenton.

The nonprofit Foothills Housing Corp. paid $2.5 million for “Fletcherville,” a 27-acre subdivision on the south side of Route 17, about two miles from town.

More than a year ago, Foothills signed a purchase contract with owner Keith N. Fletcher and began an in-depth study of the property, which includes the vacant building that for decades housed Ben & Mary’s Steakhouse.

Discovery and removal of abandoned fuel tanks under the former restaurant parking lot last fall delayed the closing.

“I think it’s gonna be a great asset to the community,” said Foothills President John Wayland, who helped found the organization’s processor, the Fauquier Housing Corp., in 1970. “We’re gonna spruce it up a little bit and address some deferred maintenance. But, we won’t spend a whole lot of money.”

Most of the homes remain in good shape, Mr. Wayland said.

The organization plans to update leases but will maintain the subdivision for low- and moderate-income residents, Foothills Director John Reid said.

To finance the purchase, Foothills borrowed $2 million from Virginia Community Capital Inc. in Christiansburg. The nonprofit also used its Oaks I apartment complex in Warrenton to secure an additional $1.27-million line of credit from VCC.

The loan proceeds give Foothills “some working capital,” Mr. Wayland said.

Next year, the organization will apply for a $1.25-million grant to upgrade the Fletcherville houses with new windows and HVAC systems, as needed, according to Mr. Reid.

“It’s a big deal for Foothills Housing Corporation to be able to finance this,” he added. “It has come a long way.”

The Fletcherville acquisition continues the organization’s mission “to maintain safe and affordable housing,” said Mr. Reid, who speculated that another buyer might have planned much more expensive homes on the property.

The Fletchers, who also owned a Warrenton shopping plaza that included the bowling alley, built the homes — most of them ramblers — in the 1960s and ’70s. The neighborhood produces a strong cash flow, with an annual profit of about $190,000, according to the real estate listing’s information packet. Monthly rents range from $650 to $1,500, affordable by Fauquier standards.

Foothills soon will decide what to do about wastewater treatment for the subdivision. A half-dozen mass drainfields receive effluent from most of the neighborhood’s 37 septic tanks. Some of the rental homes along Keith Road have their own drainfields.

Warrenton officials two decades ago made sewerage available to protect the municipal water supply from Fletcherville’s “problematic” drainfields, Public Works Director Edward “Bo” Tucker said last year.

It would cost Foothills an estimated $2 million to construct a sewer main to town, a pump station and a neighborhood collection system of underground lines.

But, with a $15,000 PATH Foundation grant, the organization has hired Dominion Soil Science of Goldvein to evaluate options, which include a new mass drainfield or improvements to the existing systems, Mr. Reid said.

Foothills also will consider improvements to the neighborhood street system.

At least one potential restaurant operator has inquired about the former steakhouse building, Mr. Reid said. Foothills will consider leasing or selling that property, he added.

In addition to 111 apartments in Warrenton, the organization has rental homes in The Plains and townhouses in Bealeton. Foothills will manage Fletcherville with its existing staff and rely on established relationships with contractors for maintenance and repairs, Mr. Reid said.

Almost a half-century ago, Foothills got started making improvements to single-family homes that lacked indoor plumbing. Gradually, the organization grew and took on more complex projects, including construction of The Oaks apartments along Oak Springs Drive and work beyond Fauquier.

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






Burglar shot Wednesday night at Old Tavern home

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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Matthew Darolyn Hawkes, 39, and George Cornelius Grant, 39, both of Marshall, face multiple charges after their arrests Wednesday night.
The confrontation took place in at a rented home just north of Great Meadow, on Old Tavern Road near The Plains.
A resident of Old Tavern on Wednesday night shot an armed burglar, whom deputies later arrested and charged, according to the Fauquier sheriff’s office.

Matthew Darolyn Hawkes, 39, of Marshall, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, Sgt. James Hartman said.

Charged with four crimes, Mr. Hawkes remained in a Northern Virginia hospital Thursday afternoon, according to Sgt. Hartman.

Armed with a handgun, the suspect allegedly kicked in the front door of a rented home in the 4900 block of Old Tavern Road near The Plains late Wednesday.

“Multiple callers (to 911) advised gunshots had been fired” at 10:24 p.m., Sgt. Hartman said.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, “occupants of the residence described a short male wearing a mask entering through the door,” he added. “One of the occupants of the residence fired several gun shots at the man who then fled on foot.”

The deputies identified a suspect “after learning of a . . . recent altercation between the homeowner and a male acquaintance,” the sergeant said.

A sheriff’s office tracking dog and Fairfax County Police helicopter joined the manhunt.

“The K-9 led to an area near Old Tavern Road and Old Winchester Road,” Sgt. Hartman said. “A Virginia state trooper observed a suspicious vehicle come from that area and initiated contact with that vehicle on Old Tavern Road. The suspect identified earlier was found to be an occupant of that vehicle and was detained.”

That suspect, George Cornelius Grant, 39, of Marshall, also faces charges.

Meanwhile, deputies searching along Old Tavern Road found Mr. Hawkes, wounded at the home, hiding in a ditch.

Staffed with medics, the Fairfax helicopter flew him to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities had both suspects in custody before midnight.

Mr. Hawkes faces charges of burglary at night while armed, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit abduction and wearing a mask in public.

Authorities charged Mr. Grant with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit abduction and violation of a protective order. He remained in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center without bond Thursday afternoon.

Neither of the people in the home — a man and a woman — suffered injury, according to Sgt. Hartman, who said the investigation continues. The man fired a handgun at the intruder, according to the sergeant.

2 Broadview Avenue plan meetings this month

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Commonwealth Transportation Board last year allocated $7 million in federal funding for the Broadview Avenue project, with the Town of Warrenton committed to the other $1 million.
It’s an economic driver for us; it’s a huge traffic volume carrier. So, there were many factors to weigh when looking at solutions for Broadview.
— Brandie Schaeffer, interim town manager
Broadview Ave. Project 
• Concept includes: Series of mostly short medians between Route 211 and Roebling Street, 2 pedestrian crosswalks, a bike lane on each side, replacement of parallel turn lanes in middle with alternating turn lanes and improvements to Route 211 intersection.

• Why: To improve safety, traffic flow and business access.

• Where: About 1 mile between Route 211 and Roebling Street (at McDonald’s).

• Estimated cost: $8 million.

• More information: Click here

• Funding: State has allocated $7 million in federal funds; town would pay the balance. 
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Town of Warrenton this month will conduct two public meetings on proposed Broadview Avenue improvements, intended to enhance safety, traffic flow and access to businesses along the busy, four-lane road.

Focusing on Broadview merchants and landowners, the first meeting will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, in the community meeting room of the Warrenton Police Station at 333 Carriage House Lane.

The Thursday, Jan. 17, “citizen input” meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Fauquier High School at 705 Waterloo Road in Warrenton.

The Virginia Department of Transportation in April expects to conduct a public hearing on the project.

Key elements of the town’s alternative to VDOT’s plan for the almost one-mile project area between the WaWa convenience store/gas station and just south Winchester Street include:

• A series of medians — many including turn lanes — to more efficiently manage access to businesses.

• A dual merge lane from Broadview to serve westbound Route 211 traffic toward Culpeper. Today, a single lane serves that traffic. The intersection would include a traffic signal.

• Two landscaped crosswalks with traffic signals — one near Gold Cup Road and Stuyvesant Street and the other at Chappel Street — that would operate only when pedestrians activate them by pushing buttons.

• A bike lane on each side of Broadview.

While the plan doesn’t provide businesses “everything they wanted,” it attempts to balance “all the different things that that corridor tries to be,” interim Town Manager and Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer said in an interview. “It’s an economic driver for us; it’s a huge traffic volume carrier.

“So, there were many factors to weigh when looking at solutions for Broadview.”

VDOT has allocated $7 million in federal funds for the project; the town will spend about $1 million toward the proposed improvements.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Throwback Thursday: 1,500 attend 1st “First Night”

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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A fife and drum corps performs as revelers on Courthouse Square await the stroke of midnight and the start of 1994.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of January 7, 1994

Inaugural “First Night” a hit

Warrenton’s first community-oriented, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration drew 1,500 people.

First Night Warrenton offered a variety of entertainment in Old Town. A jazz band, classical musicians, colonial dancers and puppeteers performed indoors up and down Main Street, where hayrides also proved popular.

The event concluded with a grand illumination in front of the old courthouse, where participants held candles and sang Aude Lang Syne.





Dr. Royston sells practice to hospital

For the last three years, Northern Fauquier’s only full-time family physician pondered options that would allow him to continue practicing.

Mounting paperwork and dwindling insurance reimbursements demanded a change in his Marshall-based practice, Norris Royston Jr. explained.

That change came Dec. 31, when a Fauquier Hospital Foundation subsidiary bought Dr. Royston’s practice. He became an employee of the new company, which relieved the 46-year-old physician of management headaches so he can concentrate on patient care.

Dr. Royston’s arrangement signals the beginning of a trend, according to other local physicians. The rural family doctor in solo practice quickly could become a memory.


County might export — not bury — trash

Is there a viable market for trash?

Fauquier officials intend to find out before committing to build a new landfill.

The county will solicit bids for construction and operation of a waste “transfer station” on the Corral Farm site planned for use as the new landfill.

The new $7-million landfill — scheduled to open just south of Warrenton in July — has entered the second phase of a two-part state permitting process. The county supervisors Tuesday said they plan to continue with that process while studying the benefits of a transfer station instead.


Bealeton man’s fate in governor’s hands

Death-row inmate Earl Washington Jr. may find out next week if he’ll go free or to the electric chair.

Attorneys for the Bealeton man have asked Gov. L. Douglas Wilder for an executive pardon. Wilder’s term expires Jan. 15. The governor returns this weekend from a week-long trip to Africa.

Washington, 33, was convicted for the 1982 rape and murder of Rebecca Lynn Williams, a Culpeper woman. But DNA test results, released in October by Attorney General Stephen Rosenthal, cast doubt on the conviction.

The DNA test revealed a genetic trait belonging neither to Washington, the victim nor her husband. Mrs. Williams, stabbed 39 times, told police before she died that a black man attacked her. Washington’s lawyers say the test results prove his innocence.


Local estate donates Dali, Hassam paintings

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond has received oil paintings by American impressionist Frederick Childe Hassam and Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali from the estate of Hildegarde G. van Roijen.

Mrs. van Roijen, a noted sculptor who lived for many years at St. Leonard’s Farm just west of Warrenton, died last summer.

The Dali painting, The Bay of Roses, is a 1944 work that depicts a nude figure floating slightly above a pedestal.

The oil is the first major painting to enter the collection and is a virtuoso example of Dali’s technique, according to Frederick R. Brandt, the museum’s curator of 20th-century art.


The year’s news in review

We will remember 1993 as the year when Bill Clinton came to town, when senseless vandalism swept through Northern Fauquier, when the the Pentagon decided to close Vint Hill Farms Station and when Mickey Mouse came knocking at our doorstep.

A chronology of the year’s most interesting events in Fauquier includes:

• Jan. 17 — President-elect Bill Clinton’s inaugural bus tour — from Monticello to Washington — stops in Warrenton for a half-hour. Clinton, his wife Hillary, Vice President-elect Al Gore and his wife Tipper address the 5,000-person crowd on Main Street.

• March 10 — An arsonist sets fire to eight roadside barns in Northern Fauquier, resulting in the deaths of seven horses. (The arsons remain unsolved.)

• March 12 — Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announces that Vint Hill Farms Station is among the military bases slated for closing. The county would lose more than 1,500 jobs if the plan wins congressional and presidential approval, as planned by Sept. 1.

• Nov. 11 — Walt Disney Co. officials announce plans to develop a historical theme park, “Disney’s America,” on 3,000 acres near Haymarket in Prince William County.

Historical society to honor retired teacher Deardoff

Posted Thursday,
January 3, 2019
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Estate north of The Plains sells for $4.9 million

Posted Wednesday,
January 2, 2019
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Built in 1936, this stone manor house on 150 acres along Old Carters Mill Road near The Plains sold for $4.9 million.
This 143-acre farm near Catlett sold for $1.8 million.
A 150-acre estate northwest of The Plains sold for $4.9 million late last month.

Cloverland Farm features a 1936 stone manor home, designed by architect William Lawrence Bottomley and built by W.J. Hanback. The 9,500-square-foot home has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, formal gardens, a sunroom, terrace, tennis court, pool, greenhouse, tenant house, garage and barn.

The late Abe and Irene Pollin, who owned the Washington Capitals and Wizards sports teams, lived there from 1984 to 2011.

On and off the market since November 2015, the property most recently had an asking price of $5.5 million, according to Zillow.com.

Also late last year, a 143-acre farm near Catlett sold for $1.8 million.

The farm, along Route 28 just north of the village, includes a three-bedroom house and a variety of barns and sheds.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Dec. 21-27, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Simon W. and Cora A. Byler, trustees, to Barn Property LLC, 143.18 acres, 3153 Catlett Road, Catlett, $1,800,000.

Al-Mara Farm Inc. to Mark Weekley, 48.48 acres, Parcel C, Germantown Road, Midland, $499,900.

James M. and Alicia M. Shiels, by substitute trustee, to Robert M. and Laine W. Iten, Lot 74, Phase 2, Woods at Warrenton Subdivision, 6370 Redwinged Blackbird Drive, near Warrenton, $452,001, foreclosure.

RFI WC LC, Steven W. Rodgers as managing member, to NVR Inc., 0.57 acre, Lot 49, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, near Warrenton, $229,286.

Benu Shrestha and Tara Rai to Gobina P. Poudel, 16,949 square feet, Rts. 28 and 616 (Catlett and Bristersburg roads), Calverton, $240,000.

Timothy J. and Janine K. Vannorman to Michael S. and Kristie L. Parkinson, Lot 9, Section 2, Antique Hills Subdivision, 7755 Neavils Lane, near Catlett, $516,000.

Lynn A. Pirozzoli to Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, 2,822 square feet, Meetze Road, near Warrenton, $12,452, condemnation certificate.

CBAY-VA LLC to John P. and Johnathan M. Chamberlain, 39.21 acres, Catlett Road, $20,000.


Center District

Garrett J. and Kathryn N. Simpson to Pamela A. Bray, Lot 50, Section B, Bear Wallow Knolls Subdivision, 475 Denning Court, Warrenton, $246,000.

James B. Burke, trustee, to Courtney C. Musser, Lot 15, Phase 2, The Reserve at Moorhead Subdivision, 332 Preston Drive, Warrenton, $480,000.

Dawn H. Gregory W. Smith Sr. to Meghan A. Costello, Unit 57-C, Phase 8, Cedars of Warrenton Subdivision, 203-C Fernwood Place, Warrenton, $200,000.

Margaret L. Blank to Joseph Volpe III, Lot 18, Phase 2, North Rock Subdivision, 94 North View Circle, Warrenton, $450,000.


Lee District

Mathai Real Estate Holdings LLC, Benjamin Mathai as manager, to Bealeton Retail Inv LLC, Unit 4-A, Phase 4, and Unit 1-A, Phase 1, Liberty Station Condominiums, 11085 and 11083 Marsh Road, Bealeton, $5,600,000.

Nokesville Properties Inc. to F&F Properties USA Inc., 0.23 acre, 201 N. Church St., Remington, $90,000.

Prime Construction Co. of Virginia to Brittany E. and Carl E. Lewis, 0.9 acre, 13868 Union Church Road, Sumerduck, $312,000.

Patrick D. Ellrich to Michael and Brittany Inzeo, Lot 39, Phase 1, Southcoate Village Subdivision, 6565 Constitution Way, Bealeton, $340,000.

NVR Inc. to Thomas W. and Stephanie K. Franks, Lot 133, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7602 Hancock St., Bealeton, $408,285.

Raymond L., Teresa A. and Malinda Willingham to Wilderness Homes Inc., 0.24 acre 204 N. Franklin St., Remington, $173,000.


Marshall District

NVP Inc. to William C. and Erin B. Brummett, Lot 5, Stone Crest Subdivision, 9049 Stone Crest Drive, near Warrenton, $520,000.


Scott District

Meteren Farm LLC to Altair Farm LLC, 246.92 acres, 6488 Lambdon Road and 2706 Zulla Road, near The Plains, $5,825,000.

Jason and Jinhee Allen to Christopher and Jennifer Dietrich, Lot 6, Land Bay I, Vint Hill Subdivision, 4182 Cray Drive, near Warrenton, $535,000.

Connie L. Walton to Bwindi Mazey LLC, 0.49 acre, Cromwells Run, and 150.36 acres, 7295 Old Carters Mill Road, near The Plains, $4,900,000.

Fauquier Lakes LP to NVR Inc., Lots 91 and 99, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, $468,836.

Constance and David Wilfong to Lori L. and James G. Mittong Jr., Lot 4, Block E, Rock Springs Subdivision, 5048 Dogwood Drive, near Warrenton, $320,000.

Attempt to destroy Trump employs every tool possible

Posted Wednesday,
January 2, 2019
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Lee District supervisor sees three years of progress

Posted Wednesday,
January 2, 2019
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How do you feel about 2019 as the year begins?

Posted Tuesday,
January 1, 2019
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
December 31, 2018
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What do you plan for New Year’s Eve?

Posted Friday,
December 28, 2018
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Kettle Run’s Linda Correll top Va. biology teacher

Posted Friday,
December 28, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
December 28, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Year’s top political donors

Posted Friday,
December 28, 2018
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Clockwise from left: Boom lifts at Sunbelt Rentals, Remington Drug Co. among 10 Fauquier pharmacies and state Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Upperville) makes campaign contributions totaling $17,500 in 2018.
$146,674

The total state and local political campaign contributions that Fauquier County citizens, businesses and organizations have made this year, as of Friday morning.

State Sen. Jill Vogel’s organization tops the list with $17,500 in donations, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Rounding out Fauquier’s top five donors: Ann M. Backer of The Plains, Landon V. Butler of Upperville, Chris Cochrane of Warrenton and John “Til” Hazel Jr. of Broad Run.


10

Retail pharmacies operate in Fauquier County:

• Warrenton — CVS, Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Walgreens, Walmart and WeCare.

• Bealeton — Rite Aid.

• Remington — Remington Drug Co.

• Marshall — Mayson’s Pharmacy.

Fauquier Hospital also has an in-house pharmacy to serve patient needs.


$152,208

When fully leased, the annual revenue generated by the 47 county-owned hangars at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland.

The airport’s 41 T-hangars rent for $264 per month, according to Director Dave Darrah. They account for $129,888 in revenue per year.

The six, larger box hangars rent for $310 per month, producing $22,320 annually.


78

The number of boom lifts, also known as cherry pickers, available for lease at Sunbelt Rentals on Lee Highway near New Baltimore, according to store Manager Derek Black.

Lifts range from 40 feet to 120 feet at maximum extension, with daily rental fees of $330 and $1,125.

Sunbelt Rentals offers and array of equipment serving commercial, industrial, municipal and residential needs.

The New Baltimore store opened in 2002 as Theros Equipment Rentals. In 2015, Sunbelt Rentals of Fort Mill, S.C. — one of the largest equipment rental companies in North America — purchased the Virginia-based company, which also had outlets at Fredericksburg, Springfield and Sterling.


$5,400

Amount that the Just Cause Jingle Jog 5-k and Fun Run raised on New Year’s Day in 2017.

Each registration fee goes directly to a participating non-profit of the runner’s choice.

Eleven nonprofits and 230 runners participated two years ago. The 2018 event got cancelled because single-digit temperatures, according to county parks and recreation Eastern Region Superintendent Jimmy Lyon.

Tuesday’s event will take place at the Vint Hill Community center. Forty-six runners and nine nonprofits had registered as of Dec. 26.

Remington druggist reflects on 43 years of service

Posted Friday,
December 28, 2018
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Photo/Don Del Rosso
“No matter how hard I tried, I found it very difficult,” Wilbur Heflin says of his four years (1988-92) on the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors. “I’m a compromiser, and I found it difficult to get things done, because everybody always thought the worst.”
His philosophy in life is everyone matters and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. That’s an awesome thing.
— Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary President Darlene Kelly
Wilbur Lee Heflin
• Age: 79

• Home: Near Remington.

• Work: Retired pharmacist, former owner of Remington Drug Co., 1972-2015.

• Elective office: Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, Lee District, 1988-92, Remington mayor, 1987; Remington Town Council, 1986-87; Remington Town Council, 1974-75.

• Family: Widower; 4 children; 2 stepchildren; 14 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, pharmacy, University of Wyoming, 1961; Warrenton High School, 1957.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The retired Remington pharmacist never thought twice about covering the medication costs of customers struggling to make ends meet.

“If I had to pay for it out of my pocket, I paid for it out of my pocket,” Wilbur L. Heflin explains matter-of-factly during an interview at his home just west of town. “That’s just the way I worked. If you needed it, you needed it.

“There are some people that just don’t have the money, and you have to help them. That’s part of the American way.”

For more than four decades of professional and volunteer service work in the community, Mr. Heflin received the Fauquier Hospital Auxiliary’s annual “Top of the Tree” award during the nonprofit’s Dec. 5 “Lights for Life” celebration at Fauquier Springs Country Club near Warrenton.

“When you think of Mr. Heflin, he didn’t just reach the Remington area where his pharmacy was, he was out reaching a lot of places” in Southern Fauquier, Culpeper and other counties, auxiliary President Darlene Kelly says. “His philosophy in life is everyone matters and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. That’s an awesome thing.”

Warrenton businessman Jim Rankin, who served with the pharmacist on the county board of supervisors from 1988 to 1992, agrees.

“Wilbur’s a good fella,” says Mr. Rankin, whose family owns Rankin’s True Value Hardware and Rankin’s Furniture in Warrenton. “He’s done a lot for the community — a lot more than people know.”

The 79-year-old Fredericksburg native brushes aside that sort of talk.

“A lot more could have been done,” quietly insists Mr. Heflin, who served on the Fauquier Hospital Board of Directors from 2001 to 2007.

In a roundabout way born of tragedy, Mr. Heflin got hooked early on the idea of a pharmacy career.

“My dad was a carpenter who worked when it wasn’t hunting season,” he recalls. “And a lot of people did that during those times. So, we kind of lived off the land.”

Until his father died in 1944 as a result of a hunting accident.

“A shotgun slid off a (tree) trunk, went off and hit him in the groin.”

At age 5, Mr. Heflin lost his father, just 35 years old.

With no source of income, Mr. Heflin and his family — mother, grandmother and his younger brother Robert — moved from their Richardsville home in Culpeper County to Remington.

At the invitation of his great uncle and druggist Evan H. “Doc” Ashby Sr., they lived rent-free over the pharmacy at 207 E. Main St. from 1944 to 1947. The family then moved to a home on Washington Street.

Mr. Heflin’s mother worked as a clerk at the pharmacy.

“She did everything except fill prescriptions,” he recalls.

From the start, Mr. Heflin performed routine chores around the drug store — washing dishes, sweeping the floor and eventually manning the register.

“Looking back, they were really good times,” he says. “I can remember Saturday night. We wouldn’t close until 12 o’clock, people coming in and having ice cream sundaes and sodas, sitting at the tables and talking about what was going on in town.”

> Video at bottom of story

In those days, the pharmacy doubled as something like a general store.

“We sold everything you could imagine,” Mr. Heflin says. “Garden seed, paint, shotgun shells.”

Watching his uncle’s every move, Mr. Heflin knew before long that he wanted to follow in the pharmacist’s footsteps.

“It was his influence,” he says. “He was a professional. He wore a bow tie and a dress shirt. It was his knowledge, the way he handled himself, his ability to handle finances.

“When I was 5 years old in 1944, that was pretty impressive,” recalls Mr. Heflin, smiling.

The 1957 Warrenton High School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Wyoming.

He chose to study there largely based on glowing comments by a drug salesman who did business with the Remington store and had received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from university.

The teenager also headed west because he wanted a change.

“The thing was, back then, if you lived in Virginia, you went to school in Virginia and you probably went into business in Virginia,” Mr. Heflin says. “You never saw anything else. You never met anybody else. And I thought, ‘I want to see more of the world than what I’m seeing in Remington, Virginia’.”

In 1961, he graduated from the University of Wyoming and married his first wife, Susan. The following year, Mr. Heflin and a friend bought the pharmacy in Moscow, Idaho.

“I had a Corvair and $200 and he had a Lincoln and $5,000, because he had been out of school longer than I had.”

The partnership lasted about 10 years.

“While the business grew, it wasn’t fast enough to support two families,” Mr. Heflin says.

The Heflins had had four children when they started to feel the financial pinch.

“So, it was either purchase another store in the area — and we talked about it – or I would come back and take over the (Remington) store.”

Mr. Heflin’s partner bought him out, the family moved to Remington, where he purchased the Main Street pharmacy and building from his great uncle in 1972.

Interested elective office, Mr. Heflin in 1974 sought and won a two-year term on the Remington Town Council.

In 1986, the council to appointed him to complete an unexpired term. The next year, the panel appointed him mayor to finish the term of John Henry Jones, who had resigned.

A proposed annexation to more than triple Remington dominated his second tour on the council. The Southern Fauquier town measures about two-tenths of a square mile.

“If we could have gotten that annexation deal, we would have been the perfect spot to develop the town center that Bealeton ended up doing,” says Mr. Heflin, a vocal and dogged advocate for the failed effort.

In 1987, the Democratic Party nominee won election as Lee District representative on the five-member board of supervisors. But, Mr. Heflin never took to the job.

“No matter how hard I tried, I found it very difficult. I’m a compromiser, and I found it difficult to get things done, because everybody always thought the worst.”

Back then, development issues often sharply divided the community.

“The group that was considered no-growthers remained that way — not giving one way or another.”

Land-use rules sometimes made it legally impossible for the board to kill a development application, Mr. Heflin says.

“But, if you voted in favor of a particular subdivision or particular development, then you immediately achieved the title of a ‘pro-growther’,” he says. “It was discouraging.”

He and Supervisor Georgia Herbert, who represented Scott District, served one term together on the board.

On some land-development matters, critics labeled him “pro-growth” and Ms. Herbert’s detractors called her “anti-growth.”

The two occasionally crossed swords over development issues.

“Georgia’s super-intelligent, and I always respected her,” Mr. Heflin says.

For her part, Ms. Hebert says she never doubted his integrity or determination to do right by the county.

“I felt always that I was working with somebody who was honorable, smart and committed to the community,” The Plains lawyer says. “We might not agree on what the best plan might be, or what the best way to get there might be.

“But I never had a question about what he knew, what he was doing, whether he thought it through, whether he prepared for that decision.”

Contentious issues marked his first and only term on the board.

The idea of establishing a new county government center at Corral Farm just south of Warrenton backfired.

Many insisted that moving most county government functions out of town would lead to downtown’s economic ruin.

Among board members, only Mr. Heflin and Mr. Rankin supported such a plan.

“The whole town revolted against us,” the former Lee District supervisor says.

Today, the supervisors continue to wrestle with county government office space demands. The board last month rejected a concept to purchase the vacant BB&T Bank building at 21 Main St. in Warrenton to house unspecified county agencies.

After an exhaustive search for a new landfill site, the 1988 board of supervisors agreed to expand the existing one at Corral Farm, which infuriated neighbors.

“It was one thing after another,” Mr. Heflin says of his tumultuous, four-year term.

But no dispute during those years rivaled the controversy over the lease-purchase contract between the board and local developer SPR Corp. to construct what would be named the Alice Jane Childs Building at the foot of Hospital Hill.

When the board tried to back walk away from the deal, the developer sued the county.

Four of five supervisors, including Mr. Heflin, testified during the trial in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

As part of a settlement, Fauquier purchased the building.

“We ended up owning it,” Mr. Heflin says. “And we ended up owning it because it was necessary.”

The debacle also helped end his political career.

“It made up my mind — that I didn’t want to serve another term,” Mr. Heflin admits. “That did it.”

Four years of dickering and the challenges of “trying to get things done” also left bitter taste in his mouth.

“After one term, you’ve compromised yourself,” Mr. Heflin says. “There’s no way that you have not. I felt like I could not then run on ‘I’m my own boss. I do what I want to do. I’m not going to be talked into these things’.”

Steve Crosby served as county administrator from 1978 to 1990.

“Wilbur was just such a nice guy,” says Mr. Crosby, who resigned midway through Mr. Heflin’s term. “And I don’t mean this in a negative way. It turned out he was very naïve.

“He came in full of expectations that everyone eventually would become reasonable and would meet some middle ground somewhere and make things better in general.”

But Mr. Heflin soon learned otherwise.

“I think he was shocked to find out that some people just didn’t operate that way,” Mr. Crosby says. “They weren’t interested in any kind of compromise or softening of their positions. And that really frustrated him.”

Leaving the board after one term freed Mr. Heflin to focus on family and the business, which he sold Dec. 1, 2015.

Until then, the Ashby/Heflin clan had owned and operated a pharmacy in Remington since 1908. Mr. Heflin ran the business for 43 of those years.

He and his second wife, Bettie, talked about they would spend their retirement years together.

“Travel, the whole bit,” Mr. Heflin says of their plans.

But 45 days after the pharmacy sold, Mrs. Heflin died at age 81 as a result of an aneurism. The couple had been married for 31 years.

In February, Mr. Heflin will move to North Carolina, near his son Mitch, a geriatric physician and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University.

“I’m going there because of Mitch,” he says. “Him being a geriatric physician and being at Duke — that’s a big plus.”

He will live in a planned community that guarantees the full range of care options to allow residents to age in place.

Moving there will provide him the company of peers with shared interests, Mr. Heflin says.

“I needed to be around people that I could talk to – that we could build on each other,” he says. “You could discuss events, food. If you wanted to go out some place, there’s got to be somebody there that wants to go and have dinner or that type of thing.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300. 


Throwback Thursday: “Big” start for Jacoby dealership

Posted Thursday,
December 27, 2018
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1993: General Manager John Kuvakas and Joe Jacoby in the showroom of his new Jeep dealership.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of December 31, 1993


Jacoby dealership enjoys “big” start

Professional athletes often put their names on businesses, hire people to manage them and play lots of golf.

National Football League veteran Joe Jacoby has an entirely different plan for his new vehicle dealership in Warrenton.

“I’m gonna be down here 10, 12, 14 hours a day,” said the 34-year-old Washington Redskins offensive lineman, who will retire from the game soon. “I won’t just have my name on it. This is what I plan to do with my life.”

Last year, he and local Ford dealer Rick Hunt formed a partnership to buy the old dealership at Routes 211 and 29. They have invested $2 million in the property, improvements, equipment, inventory and 13 employees at Joe Jacoby Jeep-Eagle-Chrysler-Plymouth.

Jacoby has sold 48 new vehicles in the first month — twice the expected number, according to General Manager John Kuvakas, an 11-year veteran of the car business who has worked with Hunt since 1987.





RTC to sell Liberty Savings Bank

The boom-and-bust saga of Liberty Federal Savings Bank in Warrenton finally will end next year — probably in September.

The Resolution Trust Corp. last week announced it will auction what remains of Liberty and 60 other thrifts nationwide in the final phase of the savings-and-loan cleanup.

In the case of Liberty, the successful bidder — probably a financial institution — will get the offices and two acres fronting Broadview Avenue, valued at $1.7 million for county real estate taxes, and a customer base representing $28.5 million in deposits.

Liberty had $94 million in total assets when federal regulators deemed it insolvent and seized the institution in July 1992. Since then, the RTC has continued operating Liberty and has sold some of its assets — generally repossessed real estate and nonperforming loans.

At its peak, the thrift has $121.8 million in total assets. It recorded a record $797,394 profit in 1987.


Potter to head Federal Election Commission

Marshall resident Trevor Potter earlier this month was elected chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

Potter, 38, will serve a one-year term as chairman. FEC members may serve as chairman only once during a six-year term.

A Republican, Potter was appointed to the six-member panel by President Bush in 1991. His term will expire in 1997.

Potter said 1994 “will be a difficult and important year for the commission. Americans remain intensely concerned about the fairness of the federal political process.”

He said campaign finance legislation before Congress “could significantly increase the complexity and the size of the commission’s workload.”


Five Who Made a Difference in 1993

The Fauquier Citizen has honored five citizens for community service this year:

• Janice Adams of Warrenton, who works as the emergency home repair coordinator for the Fauquier Housing Corp.

• Carl Bailey of Midland, a building company president who leads youth baseball programs and serves on the county parks and recreation board.

• Davis Chung of Warrenton, a Warrenton Junior High School history teacher who helps coach cheerleading at Fauquier High.

• Ava Paden of Auburn who helps other survivors as co-president of the Fauquier Unit of the American Cancer Society.

• Lawrie Parker of Sumerduck, who works as director of the Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center.


Warrenton to host First Night

Old Town Warrenton will host its inaugural community New Year’s Eve celebration from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday.

First Night Warrenton will feature 45 performances at 10 locations downtown.

Organized by the Bluemont Concert Series, it will be the smallest of 85 First Night events around the country.

Fauquier County and the Town of Warrenton have appropriated $2,000 apiece to help fund the family-friendly celebration. Businesses, organizations and individuals also have contributed funds.

Admission will cost $5 per person and $1 for children younger than 12.


Home schooling grows much more popular

With more parents questioning issues such as prayer and sex education in public schools, the number of students taught at home has risen dramatically.

In the 10 years Virginians have been permitted to educate at home, the umber has skyrocketed from 503 in 1984 to more than 7,000 in 1993, according to a report issued by the Virginia Department of Education.

In Fauquier this year, 110 of 8,356 school-aged children — or 1.31 percent — are taught at home.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
December 27, 2018
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Soil and water conservation efforts for 2018 honored

Posted Thursday,
December 27, 2018
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Contributed Photo
John Marshall Soil and Water Conservation District 2018 award winners: James Spencer of Husson Lewis Enterprises LLC, Dr. Bridgett McIntosh of the MARE Center, Del. Michael Webert of the JMSWCD board, Leslie Grayson and Mike Barreda of Blue Ridge Farm and Marsha Woolman of the Goose Creek Association.
From press release

Two farms, a veterinarian, a fencing contractor and an environmental group have received awards for their contributions to soil and water conservation this year in Fauquier County.

The John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District recognized the recipients at its annual awards luncheon Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Stoneridge Events Center in Warrenton.

Founded in 1966, the conservation district staff consults with landowners and administers cost-share reimbursement programs for projects that protect natural resources. It also has well-established educational program that involves students throughout Fauquier.

The 2019 JMSWCD honorees:


Edwin Gulick Conservation Educator Award
Dr. Bridgett McIntosh

Since joining the Virginia Cooperative Extension as an equine specialist in 2014, Dr. McIntosh has championed research, outreach and education in support of the conservation of soil and water resources on horse farms. Graduate students under her mentorship initiated research on the integrated use of warm season grasses, select forage species ability to withstand soil erosion and compaction, horse paddock management and other topics relevant to the needs of Fauquier and surrounding counties.

Since 2015, Dr. McIntosh has served as a resource and presenter at several well attended horse pasture management seminars sponsored by VCE, JMSWCD, Piedmont Environmental Council and Goose Creek Association, as well as a variety of equine organizations. For the past two years, she has worked with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and other groups to present the Healthy Land Healthy Horse short course, which has expanded from its roots at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension 
Center to locations statewide.

As a result of Dr. McIntosh’s efforts, nearly 6,000 direct contacts have been made through MARE Center tours, seminars, short courses and presentations to local, regional, and national equine organizations.


Conservation Partner Award
Goose Creek Association

The Goose Creek Association formed in 1970 to protect and preserve the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek Watershed. Its has been working for clean water since then. The association has implemented a long-term water quality monitoring program with 21 sites throughout the watershed.

In 2012, it initiated the Goose Creek Challenge to help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement by planting trees and shrubs along streams within the watershed. That challenge has led to more than 7,000 trees and shrubs being planted on local farms in Fauquier County, resulting in the reestablishment of almost 16 acres of riparian buffer.

More than 240 volunteers have planted these trees and learned about macroinvertebrates, stream health, wetlands, soils, and the benefits of riparian buffers.


Conservation Contractor Award
A&J Fencing

A&J Fencing has worked with local farmers for several years to assist them in implementing Best Management Practices to help improve water quality.

Since 2012, Alvin and Amos Lantz and their crew have demonstrated exceptional work in installing more than 69,000 feet (13 miles) of fencing on nine farms in Fauquier County, as part of the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share program.

Their fence installations are of superior quality, and local landowners have expressed appreciation for A&J’s professionalism, quality of installations and strong work ethic.

“A&J Fencing treats you like family,” one landowner said. “They are conscientious and helped with questions about the turns, gate locations and crossings.”


Conservation Farm Award
Husson Lewis Enterprises LLC

Husson Lewis Enterprises owns and operates a 120-acre farm that includes a significant segment of Buck Run, a major tributary of the upper Rappahannock River. The property supports a grazing herd of 40 beef cattle and houses Spencer Sport Horse, a boarding, lesson and training facility.

From 2014 to 2016, the owners installed two livestock exclusion projects that protected 11,800 feet of stream bank and created more 20 acres of riparian buffer. A third and final stream exclusion project under construction will protect a series of hillside springs and pond outlet, adding 820 feet of stream bank protection to the farm total.

Tree planting projects took place in December 2017 and April 2018, in cooperation with JMSWCD, PEC, Friends of the Rappahannock, Trout Unlimited, Highland School and Greystone.

Clean Water Farm Award
Blue Ridge Farm

For more than 20 years, Blue Ridge Farm near Upperville has implemented conservation practices. Its first BMP (best management practices) project on record with the district was completed in 1995, excluding cattle from one of the streams on the property.

Since then, Blue Ridge has completed 11 conservation practices with the JMSWCD and the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, protecting 32,250 feet (six miles) of stream bank. More than 200 acres of the farm has been dedicated specifically to conservation through exclusion fencing and native plant restoration.

For many years they hosted groups as part of JMSWCD’s 3rd Grade Farm Field Days as well as Fauquier County Farm Tours. Blue Ridge Farm became one of the first in Fauquier to implement the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which incentivized planting native trees along streams.

For the past two years, the farm hosted the district and partners, including the Goose Creek Association and local schools, to plant native trees and shrubs in recently protected stream corridors. Farm owners Leslie Grayson and Mike Barreda previously received JMSWCD’s 2003 Conservation Farmer Award.

Cream of broccoli and cheddar soup warms things

Posted Wednesday,
December 26, 2018
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Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

This a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup provides the perfect antidote to a cold winter day. Relatively quick to make, it would qualify as a comfort food.

I like making soups because they’re easy to make and hard to mess up. Often the ingredients don’t need to be exact. For instance, if you like thicker soups, use less broth and, for thinner soups, add more. I like them thicker, so I add more of the main ingredient — broccoli and cheese in this case.

To make this soup into a meal, serve with a sandwich or salad. Another option would be to serve in a cup (as pictured) as an appetizer.

Cream of Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup gluten-free flour
2 cups milk
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
3 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in a 3½-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle in the thyme.

Lower temperature to medium low and whisk in flour, cooking until it starts to thicken. Gradually whisk in the milk, one-quarter of a cup at a time, forming a roux and whisking constantly. Add the chicken stock and simmer until mixture thickens — maybe 15 minutes.

Add the broccoli and simmer until tender, another 15 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with broccoli florets.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
December 26, 2018
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Director brings “gung-ho” approach to Old Town

Posted Wednesday,
December 26, 2018
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I really feel like if you want a better community, you need to roll up your sleeves and make it happen rather than just complain about it,” says Experience Old Town Warrenton Executive Director Charity Furness, who has a degree in nuclear engineering.
She comes to our merchant meetings. She’s listening and, if she can’t do it, she will send you in the right direction.
— Danielle Schwarz, Earth, Glaze and Fire co-owner
Charity Furness
• Age: 38

• Home: Warrenton

• Work: Full-time executive director, Experience Old Town Warrenton, since August.

• Experience: Director, Fauquier FISH, 3 years; stay-at-home mom, 10 years; WARF childcare volunteer; assistant manager at Expo Design Center in Fairfax, 4 years.

• Civic involvement: Board member, FISH (For Immediate Sympathetic Help), Fauquier County Soccer Club committee; board member, Fauquier Community Coalition; steering committee, Partnership for Community Resources.
 
• Education:
Bachelor’s degree, nuclear engineering, Purdue University, 2004; Orange County High School, 1999.

• Family: Husband, Steve; children, Timmy, 10, and Julie, 7.

• Hobbies: Volunteering and coaching girls U8 soccer team with Fauquier County Soccer Club.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The experienced nonprofit leader hopes to strengthen connections among merchants, property owners, municipal government, shoppers and others to improve Old Town Warrenton.

Warrenton resident Charity Furness in August accepted the job as Experience Old Town Warrenton’s first full-time executive director.

Part of the Virginia Main Street program, the nonprofit group works to preserve history and to promote economic vitality, business and social activities downtown. It continues the work that started 30 years ago.

Ms. Furness calls Old Town “a place to come and walk the street and run into your neighbor.”

Passionate about helping her community, she worked three years as the director of FISH (Fauquier’s For Immediate Sympathetic Help), which provides food to needy children and families.

“I’ve worked with the community and networking and non-profits and really helping people connect with each other and with resources,” Ms. Furness says.

She accepted the Main Street position because, “I saw this as a way to connect with a broader base of the community, not just those in poverty. But, I can make an impact in the community in which my children were growing up.”

With a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering, Ms. Furness decided to pass on a career in that field and do something that mattered for her community.

“I can see changes made,” she says. “I want to build a better community. I really feel like if you want a better community, you need to roll up your sleeves and make it happen rather than just complain about it.”

Ms. Furness has started her new job simply, building relationships with merchants and property owners.

“It’s really walking up and down the streets . . . getting to know people. Sitting down and having coffee . . . conversations with them,” she says. “Finding out what their view of Warrenton is and the historic district and blending those and finding how we can best create something we all want.”

Ms. Furness attends monthly merchant and property owner meetings to hear concerns firsthand.

“My biggest goal is to bring our community together to develop the relationships with our business partners, with the town and the council . . . . It’s making improvements and continuing to see that change that is small, appropriate growth. We’re looking at revitalizing historic buildings that are underutilized.”

Experience Old Town Warrenton recently received a $25,000 grant from the Virginia Main Street program to conduct a feasibility study for adaptive reuse of the vacant church at 79 E. Lee St.

The study will explore the best use for the historic building, possibly an “anchor business” to connect the Warrenton Branch Greenway and Claire’s at the Depot restaurant with the rest of Old Town, according to Ms. Furness.

“It brings that draw and strengthens our community if we get the right business in there,” she explains.

Ms. Furness also has worked with property owners to bring in temporary “pop up” businesses to fill vacant storefronts during the Christmas season.

“People point out vacant buildings, but Warrenton actually is a very healthy community. If you go . . . look at other communities that have ignored their historic district, they are vacant and it’s sad,” she says.

“We are authentic. Gainesville is building these lifestyle centers and town centers, but based on retail and mimicking historic districts such as Warrenton.”

Keeping Old Town alive ranks as the top priority.

“I’ve gone into merchants’ stores and asked, ‘How can I help?’ And they say, ‘Just bring the people’,” Ms. Furness says. “Making all of Old Town a desirable place to come” will help.

“It’s the small details — the flags at Veterans Day and the Fourth of July. It’s the flower baskets that make it an appealing place and welcoming place to be.

“Then, it’s the merchant’s responsibility to have a great shop, great service or experience.”

During her first six months on the job, Ms. Furness has helped organize First Friday celebrations and GumDrop Square, which features visits with Santa and a shop where children can buy inexpensive gifts.

Making minor changes, she altered the layout of GumDrop Square so visitors would enter in the front door and exit out the back, near the Book Cellar in the John Barton Payne Building — improving the flow.

“Little changes like that that allow more space, more time with Santa,” Ms. Furness notes.

“Charity is really gung-ho and seems like a natural leader,” says Meleana Moore, co-owner of Framecraft and EOTW member. For GumDrop Square, “she brought her own flair and ideas, and it was nice to see her take the reigns and accomplish it. That instilled a lot of confidence in her for me.”

Formerly the Partnership for Warrenton, founded in 1988, the nonprofit in recent years struggled financially and endured the conviction of a former chairman for embezzlement. 

But, the organization last year relaunched with a new name, logo and leadership, including a board that practices stricter governance, especially of finances.

Ms. Furness acknowledges the group’s challenging past.

“It’s rebuilding those relationships, earning trust of community and being good stewards,” she says.

EOTW has a 14-member board and a $89,000 budget, with funding coming from community sponsors, the town and grants.

The FISH experience helped prepare her for the Old Town job, Ms. Furness says. She created the Weekend Power Pack program, which serves more than 350 Fauquier County food-insecure students, during a tenure in which FISH’s budget increased sixfold, to more than $300,000. 

“That was just from building relationships within the community,” Ms. Furness says.

Danielle Schwarz, co-owner of Earth, Glaze and Fire, says promotion and communication have improved since Ms. Furness became the EOTW director.

“She comes to our merchant meetings,” Ms. Schwarz says. “She’s listening and, if she can’t do it, she will send you in the right direction.”

Ms. Schwarz believes Ms. Furness will help address merchant concerns, such as working with the town to install more signs directing visitors to shops.

Ms. Moore agrees.

“She seems to be in it for the right reasons,” Ms. Moore says. “The merchant voices were heard” when Ms. Furness recently spoke before the town planning commission meeting about the sign ordinance.

Ms. Furness serves “the point person . . . instead of bouncing from store to store to try to tell everyone” what to do in terms of promotions and events, Ms. Moore adds. “She’s always comes to merchant meetings with information.”

For example, the director recently shared marketing data and demographics with merchants, says Ms. Moore. “I feel like 2019 is the time for Old Town Warrenton to really thrive.”

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

Fauquier County real estate transfers Dec. 14-20

Posted Wednesday,
December 26, 2018
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The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Dec. 14-20, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Ryan W. and Amanda L. Sprague to Brian H. and Marcie D. Kozlencer, 2 acres, Lot 6, Phase 2, Old Mill Estates Subdivision, 9227 Old Mill Estates Lane, near Warrenton, $490,000.

Larry D., Lee M. and Lisa M. Hethcox to Laine J. and J. Hall, 10 acres, Lot 8, Deep Run Estates Subdivision, 13242 Martin Drive, Goldvein, $405,000.


Center District

Edison A. Bouroncle to Kyle J. Donovan, 0.24 acre, 378 Curtis St., Warrenton, $296,000.


Lee District

NVR Inc. to Alvin L. Hamilton III and Kelly N. Zettenberg, Lot 100, Phase A Section 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 10005 Stubenhofer St., Bealeton, $394,085.

Nannette T. Craun to Joshua J. and Amber M. Oertle, 2.77 acres, 4545 McMillian Drive, Sumerduck, $229,000.

Federal National Mortgage Association to Daniel E. Kratzer, Lot 2, Silver Hill Estates Subdivision, 4474 Silver Hill Court, near Sumerduck, $180,000.

NVR Inc. to Arturo and Michelle Herrera, Lot 126, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7601 Hancock St., Bealeton, $416,520.

Jonathan L. Marshall to American Battlefield Trust, 0.84 acre, six parcels, East Street and James Madison Street, Remington, $455,000.

Kimberly Nesci to Elizabeth A. and Arlie P. Scott IV, 2 acres, 11010 Weaversville Road, Bealeton, $450,000.


Marshall District

Martin K. and Eileen G. Reherg to Luis O. Jones, 1.33 acres and 1.3 acres, 3108 Tuckers Lane, near Linden, $465,900.

Jacqueline and Daniel S. Seeba to David Malone, 1.88 acres, Lot 8, Morgan’s Bluff Subdivision, 4644 Morgan’s Bluff Drive, near Marshall, $435,000.


Scott District

NVR Inc. to David A. and Anna R. Saks, Lot 80, Phase 11-A, Brookside Subdivision, 4923 Sinker Court, near Warrenton, $573,925.

Zaur Aliyev to Nicholas G. Crispino, 0.47 acre, Lot 4, Pinewood Subdivision, 6532 Pinewood Lane, near New Baltimore, $200,000.

Helen W. Buckley, trustee, to Henry B. and Claire B. Hart, trustees, Unit 66, Suffield Meadows Condominiums, 6744 Stream View Lane, near Warrenton, $393,000.

NVR Inc. to Jeremy L. and Erin Keck, Lot 97, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7487 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $674,260.

Trigon Homes LLC, Walter M. Cheatle as manager, to Shannan R. and Richard V. Burke Jr., 3.71 acres, Lot 4-A, Evergreen Mountain Subdivision, 6226 Old Bust Head Road, near Broad Run, $468,212.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Ryan and Kathryn Myers, Lot 8, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4016 Lake Ashby Court, near Warrenton, $770,149.

Soma LLC, Sandra H. Loar as managing member, to Torch VA LLC, 1.37 acres, 7081 Farm Station Road, Vint Hill, $278,898.

C. Hendricks LLC, Collin C. Hendricks as managing member, to Thomas G. and Rebekah J. Fremont, 10.48 acres, 7158 Gray’s Mill Road, near Warrenton, $455,000.

Planners endorse 24-bed addiction recovery center

Posted Friday,
December 21, 2018
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The PATH Foundation has a contract to purchase the 50-acre Twin Oaks property, assessed at $1.9 million for county tax purposes, from Angela and Mark Smith.
“I’m very concerned about the permanent change in the status of the land we’ve work hard to keep open and rural,” neighboring landowner Kim Head says. “I don’t understand why this is the right place for this center.”
I saw hope. Hope is the key to recovery; hope is the key to turning your life around; hope is the key to wellness.
— Mental Health Association of Fauquier Executive Director Sallie Morgan
Public Hearing
• Topic:  Special exception permit to establish a 24-bed residential addiction recovery center on 50 acres at 6791 James Madison Highway (Route 17) just north of Warrenton.

• When: 6:40 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Length: About 36 minutes.

• Speakers: 12, with 10 supporting, one opposing the application; one speaker took no position.

• Action: Commission voted, 5-0, recommended approval of the application.

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

• Applicant: Warrenton-based Fauquier Health Foundation, doing business as PATH Foundation.

• Property owners: Mark S. and Angela Smith.

• Zoning: Rural, with a small amount of village fronting James Madison Highway.

• Details: The PATH Foundation and Massachusetts-based Herren Wellness Group want to establish a residential “spiritual wellness” center on the property to treat up to 24 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The “private-pay” retreat model uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life.” It would employ 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.

• Next: The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. The board Jan. 10 probably will conduct a public hearing on the application and could approve it that night.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Clearing the first of two important hurdles Thursday night, the PATH Foundation won the support of Fauquier’s planning commission to establish a residential addiction recovery center north of Warrenton.

After a 36-minute public hearing, the commission unanimously recommended approval of the Warrenton-based nonprofit’s special exception application for the proposed 24-bed, “private-pay” Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks on 50 acres along James Madison Highway (Route 17).

The five-member commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority on the project — Fauquier’s first residential treatment center.

The board will conduct a Jan. 10 public hearing on the application and could approve it that night.

Twelve speakers, including three PATH representatives and Herren Wellness Group founder Chris Herren, backed the proposal.

A neighboring landowner opposed the application, arguing the use would be inappropriate in a rural area. Another adjoining landowner expressed similar concerns but took no position on the matter.

Employing 12-full and 8 part-time or contract workers, the center would operate in the main house — a 2-1/2-story, 11,700-square-foot stucco structure — and a 760-square-foot stucco home on the property. The proposed site also includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, a barn and various outbuildings.

The center “would provide local access to residential recovery, which speaks to two of our four focus areas — access to care and mental health,” PATH Foundation CEO Christy Connolly told the commission. “In the last five years, since our inception, we have invested nearly $2.5 million in (local) programs and services to address mental health alone.”

PATH’s association with Mr. Herren began last fall when the organization brought the former NBA guard to Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock to speak to students about his drug addiction and recovery.

A few schools started “Project Purple” clubs — a method the Herren Wellness Group uses to “raise awareness of substance use issues,” Ms. Connolly explained to the commission.

That led to discussions about “other ways” the two nonprofits “might work together” to address substance abuse in the area, she added.

Ms. Connolly, other PATH staff members and Mental Health Association of Fauquier County Executive Director Sallie Morgan last summer visited the Herren Wellness Center in Seekonk, Mass.

“We were very impressed with the program there and started talking about possibilities within our community,” Ms. Connolly said.

Like the Herren center in Massachusetts, the proposed Fauquier retreat would use meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life,” according to the special exception application.

“We think this is an important part of the puzzle for mental health solutions,” Ms. Connolly said. “It’s not the only solution, but it’s one of many that we are supporting, and will support in the future.”

Her tour of the Herren center in Massachusetts demonstrated “what a difference a nurturing wellness-oriented community can make,” said Ms. Morgan.

“And you know what I saw?” she continued. “I saw hope. Hope is the key to recovery; hope is the key to turning your life around; hope is the key to wellness.”

Mr. Herren spoke about his decision to help addicts and their families.

In the last eight years, he has talked to more than one million children about substance abuse and created a nonprofit that has assisted about 4,000 families affected by addictions unable to afford treatment.

Determined to do more, he last spring opened the wellness center in Massachusetts, Mr. Herren said.

“I wanted to think outside of the box and not leave anybody behind,” he said.

The feedback generated by his presentations to area students made him “feel a part of this community,” Mr. Herren told the commission.

“I love this community,” he said. “I look forward to a long-lasting relationship.”

Insurance doesn’t cover services provided by Herren Wellness.

Residents of its Massachusetts center stay at least four weeks and may remain there as long as six months, according to the group’s website. A four-week stay costs $12,500 to $15,000.

Richmond-based SpiritWorks Foundation operates a counseling center at 30 Marshall St. in downtown Warrenton.

Rev. Jan M. Brown, SpiritWorks’ founder and executive director, has no doubt Fauquier would benefit from the proposed wellness center.

The Herren approach has proven effective and the proposed setting provides the kind of environment critical too “early recovery,” Rev. Brown said.

“This is ideal, because it’s not in town,” she said. “It’s away from a lot of activity, and it will allow for the healing aspects to be addressed.”

Leon Bushara lives on the 128-acre Loretta Farm next to the proposed center site.

“No reasonable person objects to the proposition that (addiction recovery) facilities ought to be made available as close to patients as possible, and those facilities should be as accessible as possible,” Mr. Bushara said.

He views the proposed use as incompatible with a rural area.

He also expressed concerns about the effects a “dramatic” increase in well water use by clients and employees would have on aquifers that serve nearby landowners.

Mr. Bushara also worried about how the property might get used if the Herren center “were to not succeed at this location, and PATH found itself owning a piece of real estate that it no longer continued to want.”

Kim Head, who owns 40 acres adjoining the proposed site, voiced concerns about groundwater use and traffic related to the center.

Ms. Head, whose late father Murdock Head founded the nearby Airlie Center, also fears the illness retreat would be a threat to the area’s rural character.

“I’m very concerned about the permanent change in the status of the land we’ve work hard to keep open and rural,” she said. “I don’t understand why this is the right place for this center.”

Planning Commission Chairwoman Adrienne Garreau (Scott District) noted that a special exception permit unused for two years would expire.

A proposed change of use for the property also would require a new special exception permit from the supervisors, Ms. Garreau said.

PATH has a contract to buy the proposed wellness retreat site from Angela S. and Mark S. Smith, who live there and rent eight of Twin Oaks Historic Manor House’s bedrooms on Airbnb

For tax purposes, Fauquier County values the property at $1.9 million. The Smiths bought it in May 2017 from Airlie Foundation for $1.1 million.

Planning Commissioner Bob Lee (Marshall) said he appreciates neighbors’ misgivings about the project, including safe vehicle access to and from the site.

Mr. Lee encouraged PATH officials to continue to talk with neighbors about their various concerns.

At the same time, “I feel like it’s something needed in the community,” he said moments before the commission’s vote. “I don’t know that there’s not a better place . . . but it seems to me it can be done here the right way.”

Supervisors Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) and Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) serve on the PATH Foundation Board of Directors.

But, based on County Attorney Kevin Burke's interpretation of state law, both supervisors would have no conflict of interest if they choose to discuss and vote on PATH's special exception permit application.

“There is no legal prohibition against their participation,” because Ms. McDaniel and Mr. Gerhart “receive no compensation for their service on the PATH board,” Mr. Burke said in an email.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300. 

PATH:Herren Wellness Specia... by on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
December 21, 2018
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5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Food for school break

Posted Friday,
December 21, 2018
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Clockwise from top left: Cafeteria milk cartons, FISH Power Packs, fueling stations and GumDrop Square.
350

Children received 16 days of breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with snacks, for the winter school break through Fauquier’s For Immediate Sympathetic Help (FISH) Weekend Power Pack program.

The program, which began in 2014, supplies students with food on weekends, snow days and holiday breaks during the school year.

School counselors, teachers and other staffers identify students who may need extra food over the breaks. Permission slips go home for parents to sign so students can get into the program. 

Students don’t have to be on the free or reduced school meals list to qualify.

Fauquier FISH also gave out 240 Christmas baskets full of food to local families in need this week.


1,992

People visited GumDrop Square in Warrenton over the last three weekends since in opened Friday, Nov. 30.

Housed in the John Barton Payne building, GumDrop Square gives children time to talk with Santa and buy inexpensive gifts for themselves and family members.

It will be open for the last time this season 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21.


1.3 million

Approximate number of half-pint cartons of milk the Fauquier County Public Schools nutrition department will purchase during the 2018-19 term.

The school’s nutrition department this year has a $5.6 million self-supporting budget.

Approximately $2.1 million goes to purchase food for breakfast and lunch over 180 school days.

The remaining $3.5 million funds staff salaries, benefits, technology and other supplies.


22

The number of gas stations in Fauquier, according to Reference USA, an online demographics, consumer and business data base.

Warrenton’s three zip code areas contain 13 of the stations — most of which include a convenience store or an eatery.


$1.9 million

To date in 2018, the amount of license fees assessed for 86,078 vehicles owned or bought in Fauquier County, according to Commissioner of Revenue Ross D’Urso.

Although the county years ago did away with windshield stickers, it stall applies the license fees to vehicle owners’ personal property tax bills.

Middleburg merchant sold endangered species items

Posted Thursday,
December 20, 2018
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The former owner of The Outpost LLC in Middleburg, Keith Foster pleaded guilty to selling more than $250,000 worth items made from endangered and protected species, including sea turtles.
Rest assured, I’m gonna bring more in. ’cause I’m the only fool in the States that probably wants to risk it
— Defendant’s statement to undercover federal agent
ALEXANDRIA — The former owner of an antiques and specialty shop in Middleburg pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to violating the Lacey Act by illegally selling and transporting between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of items made from endangered species, migratory birds and other wildlife.

Keith Foster, 60, of Upperville, owned The Outpost LLC, which specialized in selling foreign-sourced merchandise, a portion of which included wildlife products made from endangered species such as crocodiles, sea turtles and sawfish, according to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“To evade enforcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Foster relied on a shipping company to falsify import records in order to hide wildlife items and avoid inspection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other law enforcement officials,” said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

“On numerous occasions beginning in December 2016, Mr. Foster discussed with a customer the unlawful nature of his conduct, including telling a customer it was illegal to import sawfish blades but he was going to continue to smuggle them, saying, ‘Rest assured, I’m gonna bring more in. ’cause I’m the only fool in the States that probably wants to risk it’,” Mr. Stueve wrote in a press release.

In March and April 2017, Mr. Foster imported more than 100 undeclared wildlife items, including items protected by the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, such as sea turtle shell, sawfish blades, crocodile skin bags, coral, and mounted birds of prey. CITES is an international treaty that provides protection to fish, wildlife and plant populations that are or could be harmed as a result of trade and restricts the international trade and transport of species that are threatened with extinction.

Mr. Foster on April 12, 2017, showed a customer numerous wildlife pieces for sale, including sawfish blades, turtle shell, ivory, zebra hide, crocodile, and various birds and bird parts, according to court documents. He told the customer about smuggling wildlife, about lacking the proper CITES permits to purchase, export, and later import some protected wildlife, and about the dangers of being caught by United States Customs.

The “customer” — an undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent — then purchased numerous wildlife items including sawfish blades, a mounted barn owl and a jar made from sea turtle shell, all of which were previously smuggled by The Outpost.

As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Foster and The Outpost forfeited $275,000 and more than 175 items made from wildlife, which were previously smuggled and being offered for sale.

Mr. Foster pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on March 8. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District G. Zachary Terwilliger and Edward Grace, acting assistant director of law enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea Wednesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg is prosecuting the case.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
December 20, 2018
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Throwback Thursday: Toys and food for 325 families

Posted Thursday,
December 20, 2018
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1993: Warrenton-Fauquier Jaycees Greg Kalinsky and Steve Potucek load a truck with gifts and food for delivery to needy families.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of December 24, 1993


Jaycees take toys, food to 325 homes

More than 80 volunteers worked from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday to deliver food and gifts to 325 homes with the Warrenton-Fauquier Jaycees Christmas Toy Workshop.

The workshop, started in 1951, gives needy families help at Christmas by providing food and clothes. This year, the organization raised $9,000 to buy new toys.

“No other organization has a project of this scope,” said Ronnie Messick, a Midland dairy farmer who has volunteered with the workshop for 14 years. “Hundreds and hundreds of man-hours go into this project alone, but all the work is forgotten during the deliveries.”





Peoples National Bank will merge with F&M

Eight months after stockholders organized to demand such change, the Peoples National Bank of Warrenton has reached a tentative agreement to merge with a regional holding company.

The PNB Financial Corp. board last Thursday unanimously agreed to become part of F&M National Corp., based in Winchester.

Under the proposals, PNB would continue to operate as an independent bank, with its own board of directors and three offices — two in Warrenton and one in Marshall.

But, the banks stockholders would exchange their shares for interest in F&M, with total assets of $1.4 billion.

“It came out a lot better than I thought it would,” said Edward L. Stephenson, a major PNB stockholder. “All the employees will have their jobs, and with much better benefits; customers will have a local bank; we won’t have to go to Winchester for permission to give loans, and the stockholders should be happy.”

Stephenson and Alan L. “Pete” Day Jr. — whose families own more than 13 percent of the shares — led the group that complained PNB’s size and modest earnings made selling large amounts of stock practically impossible. That created problems for major stockholders attempting to simplify their estates, the group argued.


Fight, weapons prompt FHS meeting

Last year, officials took 12 knives and three handguns from Fauquier High School students.

So far this school year, FHS officials have found six knives.

On Dec. 16, a fight broke out between two groups of FHS students. One teen has been taken into custody for carrying a sawed-off shotgun in connection with that incident.

Fearing a trend toward violence among students, Principal Roger Sites met with parents and teachers Monday night to discuss the problem.

“I’m trying to be proactive, so parents will start saying they have to help these kids,” said Sites, who called the session. “I’d rather attend meetings than funerals.”


Community Action leader Guerrant retiring

Herb Guerrant thinks the Fauquier Community Action Committee represents one of the best things ever created in the county.

Of course, after 24 years as executive director of the organization, Guerrant admits his bias. Next week, the 61-year-old will retire as head of Community Action, which has helped thousands of residents in the struggle against poverty.

Community Action formed in 1965 and Guerrant two years later started as its director of community organizations. He became executive director in 1969.

“We basically provide the type of resources to let people become self-sufficient,” he said. “We use the center (on East Lee Street in Warrenton) as a training ground to give opportunities no other businesses provide. Then, they move on to bigger and better things.”

The programs include Head Start, fuel assistance, rental assistance and substandard housing rehabilitation.”


Auburn Dam design contract awarded

The county supervisors Thursday approved the award of a $192,500 contract to GEI Consultants of Raleigh, N.C., to design the Auburn Dam east of Warrenton.

The dam will provide flood control for Southern Fauquier farmers and up to 2.3 million gallons of water per day for the New Baltimore area.

County officials hope to complete the $9.4-million project by late 1997. Fauquier will pay 18 percent of the design and construction costs, with the federal government picking up the rest of the tab.


Local medical team going to Sarajevo

Ten local residents will give up the comfort and safety of their homes next month to provide medical relief in war-torn Sarajevo.

The volunteers will leave Jan. 15 from Dulles International Airport for a two-week mission in Kosovo Hospital, which has limited medical supplies and staff, no electricity, no heat, inadequate water and a rising number of deaths.

Roma Sherman, co-owner of the Ashby Inn in Paris, organized the mission to help citizens suffering in the former Yugoslavia.

Other volunteers for the mission are: Dr. Ralph Robinson (general surgeon), Dr. Margaret Jeffries (pediatrician), Lawrence A. Gillingham (operating room/x-ray technician), Sandy Frazier (shock trauma technician), Les Enterline (orthopedic physician’s assistant), Dr. Douglas Clark (radiologist), Bruce Norton (shock trauma technician), Dr. David Snyder (orthopedic surgeon) and Sunny Reynolds (photographer and Red Cross volunteer).

Report of an armed person at school investigated

Posted Wednesday,
December 19, 2018
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File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Students reported a suspicious siting to the school resource officer at 10:15 a.m.
Fauquier sheriff’s deputies Wednesday morning investigated what turned out to be an inaccurate report of a person with a handgun outside Claude Thompson Elementary School near Rectortown.

The sheriff’s office issued this press release just before 3 p.m.:

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Claude Thompson Elementary School this morning after students reported observing a female child outside carrying what appeared to be a handgun. Students were outdoors in a fenced-in playground at approximately 10:15 a.m. when the observation was made. The report was made directly to the SRO assigned to this school.

Students in a second grade class reported seeing a Hispanic female walking outside of the fence carrying a doll and what they thought was a handgun. The female was further described at being their age or younger, 5-7 years old, wearing a white dress and black “Mary Jane” shoes. The students were immediately brought inside and the SRO notified the Emergency Communications Center.

An extensive search was conducted on the ground by deputies and K-9 to include a canvass and search of neighboring houses, farms and businesses and by air using drones and a helicopter from the United States Park Police in Washington, D.C. No individual matching this description could be located. Adult staff at the school who were supervising the playground at the time reported they did not observe this individual and school video cameras provided no evidence.

A student head count was conducted and all Claude Thompson students were present and accounted for. The principal at Claude Thompson issued a notification to parents. School activities were returned to normal with an additional law enforcement presence for dismissal. Sheriff’s deputies continue to look into the report.

Addiction recovery center public hearing Thursday

Posted Wednesday,
December 19, 2018
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The PATH Foundation has a contract to buy Twin Oaks, north of Warrenton, where the Herren Wellness Group would operate a 24-bed addiction treatment center with up to 20 employees.
Public Hearing
• Topic: Special exception permit to establish a 24-bed residential addiction recovery center on 50 acres at 6791 James Madison Highway (Route 17) just north of Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

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

• Applicant: Warrenton-based Fauquier Health Foundation, doing business as PATH Foundation.

• Property owners: Mark S. and Angela S. Smith.

• Zoning: Rural, with a small amount of village fronting James Madison Highway.

• Details: The PATH Foundation and Massachusetts-based Herren Wellness Group want to establish a residential “spiritual wellness” center on the property to treat up to 24 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The “private-pay” retreat model uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life.” It would employ 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.

• Next: The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. If the commission acts on the application Thursday, the board could conduct a public hearing and approve the project Jan. 10.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s planning commission Thursday will conduct a public hearing on a proposed 24-bed addiction recovery center just north of Warrenton.

PATH Foundation seeks special exception permit approval to establish the “private-pay” Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics on 50 acres along James Madison Highway (Route 17).

The commission will meet 6:30 p.m. at the Warren Green Building in Warrenton.

The proposal also calls for up to 20 employees, including 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.

The center would operate in the property’s main house — a 2-1/2-story, 11,700-square-foot stucco structure — and a 760-square-foot stucco home next door. The proposed site also includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, a barn and various outbuildings.

The Seekonk, Mass.-based Herren Wellness Group already operates a retreat for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics in that state and would apply the same model in Fauquier.

The center uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life,” according to the application.

Under the county zoning ordinance, PATH would need to upgrade the property’s septic and drainfield system to accommodate the proposed number of clients and employees.

That would require special exception permit approval by the supervisors.

Until that occurs and the system gets expanded, “effectively, there shall be no more than 18 total people” on the property “at any given time,” according to a county staff-proposed condition for the wellness center.

PATH would have to obtain a third special exception permit if “aboveground water and sewer pumping storage facilities” become necessary to support fire-safety sprinklers to serve the center.

But, a special exception permit would be unnecessary if an underground system works.

PATH “is aware of these additional requirements and has indicated the additional applications will be made in the near future,” according to the county’s community development staff.

The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. If the commission acts on the application Thursday, the board could conduct a public hearing and approve the project Jan. 10.

PATH in the summer began discussions with the Herren Wellness Group about establishing a Fauquier recovery center.

The Warrenton foundation last fall brought founder Chris Herren, a former NBA guard, to Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock to speak to students about his drug addiction and recovery.

PATH has a contract to buy the proposed wellness retreat site from Angela S. and Mark S. Smith, who live there and rent eight of Twin Oaks Historic Manor House’s bedrooms on Airbnb.

For tax purposes, Fauquier County values the property at $1.9 million. The Smiths bought it in May 2017 from Airlie Foundation for $1.1 million.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300. 


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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
December 19, 2018
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Old Cheswick Motel bound for the county landfill

Posted Wednesday,
December 19, 2018
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Cheswick Motel
• What: One-story motel

• Where: 4 acres at 394 Broadview Ave., Warrenton 

• Built: 1960

• Building: 15,958 square feet

• Rooms: 32

• Owner: Goal L.C., Giancarlo Oderda of Palm City, Fla.

• Estimated demolition costs: $126,000

• Assessed value: $2.4 million for real estate tax purposes

• Listed for sale: At $2.2 million with RE/MAX Regency
By week’s end, the 58-year-old Cheswick Motel in Warrenton will disappear.

After the town condemned the 16,000-square-foot structure in June, property owner Giancarlo Oderda of Palm City, Fla., considered the options before agreeing to demolish the Cheswick, built in 1960.

Mr. Oderda then had to get town permits for asbestos abatement and demolition.

Last year, German grocer Lidl abandoned its plan to build there and on several other sites in the region.

The four-acre property at 394 Broadview Ave. remains on the market, with an asking price of $2.2 million.

The demolition and cleanup with cost an estimated $126,000, according to Dominion Construction Group’s permit application in Town Hall.

Heavy equipment operators from Complete Site Services and SMB Unlimited, both of Bealeton, started knocking down the one-story building Monday.

After separating masonry, metal and wood, dump trucks will haul the debris to Fauquier’s landfill.

Complete Site owner Kip Hull estimated the trucks, rated at 18-ton payloads, would make 30 trips to the dump.

What grade do you give the school board over the last 3 years?

Posted Tuesday,
December 18, 2018
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Warrenton police officer will fight assault charge

Posted Tuesday,
December 18, 2018
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A state police special agent on Dec. 6 filed the assault charge against Warrenton Police Officer Carl M. Ferguson.
He’s trying to vindicate his reputation. We thought at this point it was right and proper to take this case to trial.
— Defense lawyer Scott Hook
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Warrenton police officer who allegedly broke a woman’s nose at a local bar will challenge an assault and battery charge against him in Fauquier County General District Court early next year.

Carl M. Ferguson requested a trial during his brief court appearance Monday morning. Judge J. Gregory Ashwell will hear the unusual case Feb. 7.

The bench trial “easily” will require two hours, Fauquier Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Charles K. Peters told the judge.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher, who couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, might appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case because his office routinely works with local police.

Warrenton lawyer Scott C. Hook, who represents Mr. Ferguson, 47, refused to comment on an apparent agreement with the prosecutor’s office that indicated his client would resign by year’s end and victim Kristen M. Abshire could receive financial compensation.

Mr. Hook also declined to comment on Mr. Fisher’s Dec. 6 press release that described a plea agreement.

The defense lawyer refused to say whether Mr. Fisher’s prepared statement prompted his client to contest the misdemeanor charge.

“He’s trying to vindicate his reputation,” Mr. Hook said of his client’s decision to let a judge decide the case. “We thought at this point it was right and proper to take this case to trial.”

Monday’s procedural hearing, during which Mr. Ferguson formally learned of the assault and battery charge, didn't require him to enter a plea. Because Mr. Ferguson appeared with his attorney, a trial date could be set.

In the press release a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Fisher, who seeks appointment to a vacant circuit court judgeship early next year, said that “based upon information compiled during a Virginia State Police investigation,” he had “authorized assault and battery charges against” Mr. Ferguson.

The state police investigation report remains unavailable. The court record provides little information about what allegedly happened in the local bar three months ago.

State Police Special Agent Kevin S. Newland charged Mr. Ferguson, a Woodbridge resident, on Dec. 6.

The Sept. 19 incident — involving six off-duty Warrenton police officers — took place at Fat Tuesday’s in the Warrenton Village Shopping Center. The officers reportedly started a retirement celebration at a bar in Gainesville and later came to Warrenton.

The department placed Officer Ferguson on “desk duty,” when state police started their investigation in early October.

Ms. Abshire, 21, “was more interested in receiving compensation for medical bills for her broken nose and broken mobile phone, which was damaged during the incident, than obtaining a conviction in the case, which is what this particular law allows,” Mr. Fisher said.

Officer Ferguson would resign from the police department, effective Dec. 31, according to Mr. Fisher’s press release. 

The prosecutor added that he would document “the findings and conclusions of this investigation as well as reasons why the Commonwealth would not permit Ferguson to testify as a witness in any court of the jurisdiction due to credibility concerns based not only upon the incident, but also upon Ferguson’s personnel file from his previous employment with the Fairfax County Police Department.”

Mr. Hook expects all town police officers involved in the incident, including his client, and Ms. Abshire to testify during the trial.

Mr. Ferguson joined the Warrenton department as a patrol officer in May 2016. He previously worked 13-1/2 years in the Fairfax County Police Department — the last six years as a detective. Before that, the Marine Corps veteran served 7-1/2 years as a Prince William County patrol officer.

More than two weeks passed before Mr. Fisher learned of the Fat Tuesday’s incident. He wrote a letter to the town council, raising questions about the way the case got handled. The lack of communication angered council members and may have contributed to their firing of Town Manager Brannon Godfrey in October. 

In 2017, Mr. Ferguson received a Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce Valor Award for saving a life. 

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
December 18, 2018
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Family will spend second Christmas out of home

Posted Tuesday,
December 18, 2018
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Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Lam Ralvinskas decorates a young fig tree in her Warrenton Lakes yard on Tuesday, Dec. 11, exactly one year after a fast-moving fire destroyed the family home.
Firefighters pour water onto the Mosby Drive home the afternoon of Dec. 11, 2017.
The fire suppression effort stopped the blaze before it consumed the attached garage, but the family lost virtually everything inside the home.
I looked down and saw white smoke billowing (beneath the back deck). Then, all of a sudden — in two seconds — it’s black.
— Lam Ravinskas
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

She snatched her 17-month-old grandson from the family room sofa and bolted as flames consumed their Warrenton Lakes home.

Lam Ravinskas, 52, retraces her steps and recalls the terror of Monday afternoon, Dec. 11, exactly one year after the house went up in flames.

Jackson had woken from a nap around 2 o’clock.

“I was finishing his milk” in the kitchen, says Mrs. Ravinskas, standing behind the rebuilt lakefront house, still months from completion. “I looked down and saw white smoke billowing (beneath the back deck). Then, all of a sudden — in two seconds — it’s black.”

She grabbed her grandson.

“I turned and ran down the hallway toward the front door. Then, I said, ‘I need to call 911 so I can save my house’!”

She spun back toward the family room, where her phone lay on a table by the sofa.

Glass started breaking. She saw flames and retreated instantly, pausing in the dining room to grab her Ford Excursion keys and taking a deep breath from the only clear air left on the first floor.

“God, please, help me! Please, help me!” she screamed, running out the front door as flames chased the two of them.

Mrs. Ravinskas wore pajamas and socks without shoes.

Similarly dressed, Jackson had little protection from a steady breeze that drove the wind chill into the 20s.

The petite grandmother jumped into the big, black SUV with the toddler on her lap and pulled up the short driveway, away from the house.

Jackson grabbed the wheel as he often did to play driver.

“Flames were already out the front door.”

The neighborhood seemed deserted as Mrs. Ravinskas left the SUV to look for help — a phone, a safe place for Jackson.

Carrying her grandson, she found nobody in the Mosby Drive homes to her left and right.

Then, a white pickup came along, and its driver called 911.

A neighbor up the street took Ms. Ravinskas and Jackson into her home.

Firefighters raced to the house and poured thousands of gallons of water on the wind-whipped inferno that produced a black plume visible for miles. They saved the attached garage to the left of the three-level home, which Lam and Mike Ravinskas had built two years earlier.

Medics took Mrs. Ravinskas and Jackson to Fauquier Hospital to make sure they suffered no injury.

Later that day, she returned to the place where her family lost virtually all household possessions.

Mrs. Ravinskas in five decades already had endured more than most people can imagine.

In the spring of 1978, three years after the fall of Saigon, her parents acted on a secret plan to flee their home on a small South Vietnamese island.

During the war, South Vietnam had drafted her father to fight the communists. Her mother made and sold banana pudding at a local market to help provide for seven children. A boat mechanic, her father returned to what work remained. After the war, persecution, poverty and uncertainty dominated life in the south.

Suddenly one night, a canoe began shuttling the family two at a time to a small fishing boat anchored offshore. From there, the boat headed northeast toward Thailand.

A storm battered the family for three days and nights. Taking on water, the boat drifted aimlessly after its engine died.

But, fishermen rescued the family, taking them aboard their boat in the Gulf of Thailand.

“It was just the grace of God they saw us,” Mrs. Ravinskas says.

Despite a language barrier, she recalls her father using hand signals to negotiate, agreeing to give the fishermen the foundering boat’s engine in exchange for their help. Eventually, the family made its way to a refugee camp in Thailand. They spent 14 months there with their future uncertain.

They might go to Holland or Germany, her parents heard. But, ultimately, they came to Arlington and lived with another family in a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment along Glebe Road.

Her parents scrambled to find work and the children entered public schools.

Mrs. Ravinskas describes a difficult childhood. Other youngsters “bullied” the small, Asian girl, who then spoke little English.

But, she says, “I am a survivor.”

Almost two decades later, her chance meeting with Mike Ravinskas, an Arlington police officer, led to their marriage in October 1998.

A year later, the couple bought a house in Reston, where they lived with his children from a previous marriage.

“We did a lot of renovations — hardwood floors, bathrooms,” Mr. Ravinskas says.

His wife frequented Home Depot and developed serious DIY skills.

After 16 years, they decided to escape to less-crowded Fauquier and bought a one-acre waterfront lot in Warrenton Lakes, where David James Homes built their new, three-bedroom house.

“It was a good market for sellers” when they listed the five-bedroom Reston home, Mr. Ravinskas recalls. “So, we passed the house along to another family with children” and skipped bargaining for a higher price they probably could have gotten.

All went well until the afternoon of Dec. 11 last year, when an electrical malfunction in their basement sparked the fire.

“It was just a horrible day,” says neighbor Julie Lewis, who returned home to the disaster next door. “They had worked so hard to get that house built . . . .

“I think about Lam and Jackson just getting out of the fire.”

Almost immediately, help arrived from all corners — Warrenton Lakes neighbors, churches, businesses, complete strangers, the Arlington County Police Department, Fauquier law enforcement.

Gift cards, clothing, food and household necessities arrived daily. The family took shelter in a hotel as Christmas approached.

“Everybody wanted to help in some way,” Mrs. Lewis recalls. “It was a constant wave of neighbors they knew and neighbors they didn’t know . . . .

“Jackson was getting clothing and toys. It was an outpouring of kindness. We had lived here 2-1/2 years, but we got to know a lot more people because of what happened.”

The family found a rental nearby in Warrenton Lakes, but it looked as if they might remain in the hotel through Christmas.

Finally, on Christmas Eve, they moved back to the neighborhood. They got a Christmas tree, and Mrs. Ravinskas stayed up until 3 a.m. decorating.

She looks forward to having as many as 30 friends and family members in their rebuilt Mosby Drive home for Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas — holidays that have become very important to her.

It has taken far longer than expected to recover and to rebuild. They parted ways with the first contractor who failed to perform as promised. But, they praise Culpeper-based Cornish Builders, hired recently to complete the work, finally back on track.

Mrs. Ravinskas spends much of her time around the house, moving rocks at the lakefront retreat she envisions and tending newly-planted trees, including a small fig near the street. She clears leaves from the lake, tosses grapes to the carp that patrol the bottom and feeds wood into a fire pit to ward off December’s chill.

She wants a small zipline and a dock where Jackson and his friends can play.

“I should be decorating my Christmas tree,” says Mrs. Ravinskas, gazing at a 6-foot-wide opening where French doors will open to a rear deck.

She tears up when recalling the close call.

“I’m pretty sure it lasted no more than 30 seconds, but it seemed much longer.”

The outpouring of support also tugs at her heart.

“It’s just so generous,” she says, opening plastic envelopes that preserve dozens of cards from friends and strangers. “I just don’t know what to say, except I am so grateful. It’s sometimes so hard to contain my emotions when I read the cards . . . .

“This is part of me. I’m not going to be able to escape it. I want to be here with the neighbors who were so generous . . . . It gives me a lot of hope that things are moving in a good direction. I don’t have to be sad.”

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












Lt. Mark Jones graduates from FBI National Academy

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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Conservation payout spiked because of floodplain

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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File Photo
Since 2002, Fauquier County has spent $16.8 million to extinquish 660 potential home lots on more than 13,000 acres of qualifying farmland.
You’re buying a worthless right, because there’s no development potential.
— Supervisor Chris Butler
Purchase of Development Rights
• What: Fauquier County’s voluntary program pays property owners who meet criteria $25,000 for each potential home lot they agree to “extinguish” through deed restriction; it seeks to help working farmers stay on their land and reduce the financial impact of new homes on public services.

• Established: 2002.

• Potential home sites purchased: 660

• Acres preserved: 13,177.

• Money spent: $16.8 million.

• Program funds: Mostly county tax revenue, plus state and federal grants.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For the first time in the farmland conservation program’s history, Fauquier’s board of supervisors last week rejected a committee-endorsed application to eliminate eight potential development rights on a Southern Fauquier farm.

Established in 2002, the county’s voluntary purchase of development rights program pays qualified property owners $25,000 for each potential lot they agree to “extinguish” through deed restriction.

But Supervisors Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) and Chris Butler (Lee) questioned whether the Brown’s Run LLC property should be admitted into the program because a large portion of the 212.4-acre farm near Bealeton contained floodplain, where no construction can take place or traditional septic drainfields can be installed.

Fauquier’s five-member Purchase of Development Rights Committee recommended that the supervisors approve the Brown’s Run application.

After brief discussion during a work session last Thursday, however, the supervisors killed it.

Had the board approved the application, Brown’s Run LLC would have received $200,000 to eliminate eight potential home lots.

Mr. Butler suggested the farm, which has no access to public sewer, couldn’t possibly accommodate drainfields to serve the wastewater demands of eight homes.

“You ride down there right now, almost all of that property is underwater,” he told the board.

Alternative treatment systems also wouldn’t work there, County Administrator Paul McCulla told the supervisors.

The PDR program seeks to help working farmers stay on their land and to reduce the financial impact of new homes on public services.

While he “fully” supports the program, “it just doesn’t make sense to take taxpayers’ dollars to extinguish a right” that can’t be used because of floodplain restrictions, Mr. Butler said.

“I couldn’t agree more with the chairman,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “What concerns me is (the application) made it to this point in the whole process. Why the PDR committee didn’t pick up on this on this — I have questions as to the whole process.”

“You’re buying a worthless right, because there’s no development potential,” Mr. Butler added.

Mr. McCulla stressed that a property’s agricultural value figures heavily into the PDR committee’s determinations and that advances in wastewater treatment technology might make land that can’t be developed today subject to residential subdivision pressure in the future.

Mr. Gerhardt sounded unconvinced.

“I would think one of the qualifying elements here would be we’re buying a development right to protect for future farmland,” the supervisor said. “And if there’s no development to speak of, it really shouldn’t be coming to this level.”

As part of its analysis, the PDR committee doesn’t calculate a property’s home-lot potential based on the presence of floodplain.

But its existence on property “is pointed out when doing the evaluation,” Agricultural Development Director Ray Pickering, who staffs the PDR committee, said in an interview.

“I’ll talk to Mr. Pickering about the concept the board wants a percability analysis” to determine if PDR applicants’ properties could accommodate drainfields, Mr. McCulla told the board last Thursday. “If it’s not percing, the board does not desire to buy” theoretical home lots from landowners.

County staff can determine properties’ suitability for drainfields through a review of soils maps, Mr. Pickering said.

“The board’s decision” to reject the Brown’s Run application “is good,” PDR Committee Vice Chairman Ike Broaddus said.

“It’s never been an issue,” Mr. Broaddus said of limitations floodplains might place on developing home sites on farms in the context of the PDR program. “It’s never been anything that we thought about.”

Supervisor Gerhardt considers the Brown’s Run circumstances an “anomaly.”

“I believe the PDR process has worked well since its inception, and I have no reason to believe previously approved PDR’s weren’t solid choices,” he explained in a text. “I have faith in the PDR process, and I remain a steadfast supporter of the program.

“It has helped keep thousands of acres in productive farmland.”

Still, he plans to discuss the review process with those involved “to ensure we don’t run into this situation again,” Mr. Gerhardt said.

Beside Mr. Broaddus, the panel includes:

• John Schied.

• Douglas Larson.

• Daron Culbertson.

• Ann McCarty.

The board of supervisors last Thursday approved two PDR applications, paying:

• $150,000 for six development rights on Still Waters Farm near Bealeton.

• $150,000 for six development rights on Claude Price Jr.’s farm near Morrisville.

To date, Fauquier has purchased 660 development rights, protecting 13,177 acres from development, according to Mr. Pickering.

Fauquier ranks first among Virginia municipalities for acres saved through PDR programs, according to the county’s agricultural development department.

County landowners have received about $16.8 million through the program.

Most of that has come from county tax revenue and the rest from state and federal grants.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.

Faces of Fauquier: Native found her calling in law

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I’ve always loved Fauquier and knew I would come back to practice,” Marie Washington says. “I’m not a city person.”
Usually when people come to me, it’s a traumatic part of their life and they don’t always want to remember that time . . . . It’s very rewarding to help people.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A passion for helping others radiates through her infectious laugh, volunteerism and work as a lawyer in Warrenton.

Energetic and competitive, Marie Washington enjoys “giving closure to clients” and explaining the legal process simply.

“I really want to help as many people as I can and get rid of the stereotype that lawyers are stuffy old men . . . . We’re down to earth; we’re human,” Ms. Washington said.

A Liberty High School basketball star, who scored 1,269 career points in the mid-1990s, Ms. Washington might have seemed an unlikely lawyer.

But, watching “Matlock” regularly with her grandfather and earning a minor in government at the College of William and Mary helped the Fauquier native realize her calling.

“Seeing how the attorney (on the show) really helped people, and everyone in the community knew him — that’s when I thought, ‘I want to be a lawyer’,” Ms. Washington said.

After earning her bachelor’s and law degrees, Ms. Washington returned to her home county in 2003.

“I’ve always loved Fauquier and knew I would come back to practice,” she said. “I’m not a city person.”

Warrenton lawyer “Mark Williams let me shadow him when I was in law school. I got to watch him go to court,” she said. “Back in the day, I went to all the attorneys in the phone book, and only two attorneys called me back to shadow them. One of them was Mark Williams.”

He later hired the rookie lawyer.

“He was nice enough to give me the opportunity to be an entry-level attorney,” she said. “I hadn’t even passed the bar yet and he took me on as a member of his team.”

Ms. Washington started her own general practice firm in 2011.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own business, my own hours, be able to do more community service,” she said.

Ms. Washington believes her “down-to-earth” character and focus on community service set her apart.

“Since I’m from here, I love Warrenton.”

Last week, she counted 63 active cases in Fauquier and eight nearby jurisdictions.

“Usually when people come to me, it’s a traumatic part of their life and they don’t always want to remember that time . . . . It’s very rewarding to help people and give back to the community.”

Ms. Washington goes to court three to four days a week and often talks with clients on weekends.

“I like the good old Andy Griffith of Mayberry, where anyone can just walk off the street and have a question about something,” she said. “It could be business, traffic, estate planning. I like to do a variety of things. It keeps me on my toes and helps you not forget that one area of law.”

Occasionally, Ms. Washington will invite a released inmate to have a cup of coffee in her office across West Lee Street from the Fauquier jail.

She recruits local high school and community college students for internships.

But, a solo practice comes with challenges.

“You really have to stay within a budget, and you don’t have time for a sick day,” Ms. Washington said. “At a big firm, you can send one of your associate members to go to court for you. But with me, it’s just me.

“That’s why it’s nice to practice in Warrenton, because everybody knows everybody and you could call somebody the morning to cover court for you,” she said. “I’ve never done that, but it’s nice to know people will step up to the plate for you.”

Volunteering with several local organizations over the years, Ms. Washington also has served as a bell ringer in the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign since high school.

“I feel like you have to (volunteer). It’s my upbringing. When I was little, my mom would never walk by a kettle and not put something in it.”

On the job, she derives particular satisfaction from “getting people’s restoration of rights, because everyone messes up in life,” Ms. Washington said.

“It’s a learning experience, even for lawyers. That’s why they call it the practice of law. It’s nice to see people who . . . are so honored to get their rights back, especially because it can be a long process sometimes.”

Along the way, several local lawyers have helped Ms. Washington, allowing her to use office space and giving her filing cabinets.

“Practicing in Warrenton, the lawyers are really good to each other. I just don’t think people would get that in another jurisdiction.”

The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce recently named her its Business Person of the Year and county Supervisor Chris Granger selected her as Center District’s Citizen of the Year.

Away from work, she frequently walks Cody, her 9-year-old Great Pyrenees, around Warrenton.

• Age
40

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Owner and lawyer, Law Office of Marie Washington, 2011 to present; Mark B. Williams & Associates, 2003-11.

• Why do you do the job?
I really want to help as many people as I can and get rid of the stereotype that lawyers are stuffy old men. We’re down to earth, we’re human and to be able to explain the legal process . . . . Simplify things for people.

I like giving closure to the clients. Because sometimes the legal process can be very long. I like to make them feel comfortable before they go to court.

It’s seven days a week . . . . People will call me on weekends and ask questions.

• Family
Parents, Willie and Katherine Washington; sister, Angel; Great Pyrenees dog, Cody.

• Education
Law degree, Washington and Lee University, 2003; bachelor’s degree, major in psychology and minor in government, College of William and Mary, 2000; Liberty High School, 1996.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church and Mount Zion Baptist, both in Warrenton, Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, Fauquier Bar Association and Culpeper Bar Association; volunteer at Fauquier Hospital, Experience Old Town Warrenton and the Fauquier Salvation Army.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
My whole life.

• Why do you live here?
I’m from here. I wanted to come back. I love Fauquier County.

• How do you describe this county?
The county has really grown. But it’s not like Fairfax, so it’s still nice. Here it’s competitive but not cutthroat. People really want everybody to succeed. If we as attorneys can’t do something, we will refer it to another attorney.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
The parking — add more of it. People will call and get stressed about where to park and ask if it’s two-hour parking, and they have to be in court for three hours. The parking is an issue. I want people to shop on Main Street and not have to worry about where to park.

• What do you do for fun?
I like to go to the gym. I like my Peloton (workout bike). Walk my dog. I do road cycling.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I like Rady Park. You meet some nice people there. I also like Claire’s at the Depot restaurant.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
It’s still going to have that small town feel and have that sophisticated elegance. I think people are still going to walk down the street and say hello to each other. But I think we will be more advanced with our parking and have more trails.

• Favorite TV show?
I really don’t watch TV. If I had to watch something it would be “The Big Bang Theory.”

• Favorite movie?
None.

• Favorite book?
None.

• Favorite vacation spot?
I like to travel. For the Virginia Bar Association, we go a different country each year to get continued legal education. I just went to Portugal. The people are really nice. It’s nice to learn about different legal aspects in different countries.

• Favorite food?
Indian cuisine. Taj Palace in Warrenton.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Probably from my mom. She would say, don’t let anyone kill your spirit. Everyone has different viewpoints, but you just have to be yourself.

• Who’s your hero and why?
That’s easy for me. That would be my mom. She’s my best friend. She has been there for me through thick and thin from me stressing through law school finals. During that time, she would send me things . . . and she would drive to Manassas to get me these Vietnamese spring rolls and drive them all the way to Lexington.

She always has a quote from the Bible she gives me. She always tells me to pray to God that I can say the right things in court to help my client.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I would be giving Warrenton money to help with parking. I would be like MC Hammer and give all the money away and then be bankrupt. My love sign is giving people things. It’s hard for me to receive.

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


School bus tracking mobile app comes to Fauquier

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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Fauquier County real estate transfers for Dec. 7-13

Posted Monday,
December 17, 2018
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The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Dec. 7-13, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Eleanor V. and Andrew L. Washington Sr. to Home Buyers of America Inc., 12.35 acres, 9352 Redemption Way, Midland, $315,000.

NVR Inc. to Michael and Adriana Maxwell, Lot 17, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6399 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $572,354.

RFI WC LC, Steven W. Rodgers as manager, to NVR Inc., Lot 34, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, near Warrenton, $229,286.

Atkins Construction Group LLC, Danny M. Atkins as managing member, to Thomas and Stacie L. Clater, 3.24 acres, Lot 1, Paradigm Farm Subdivision, near Warrenton, $170,000.

NVR Inc. to Joseph and Shirley Hite, 0.62 acre, Lot 26, Phase 1, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 6378 Bob White Drive, near Warrenton, $628,984.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to AJJ Concrete Works LLC, 0.93 acre, Lot 5, Woodside Village Subdivision, 7817 Rogues Road, Catlett, $260,000.

Emmanuel and Corrie Warren to Chadwick and Mary Cowger, 43.2 acres, 1998 Ecoganic Farm Lane, near Warrenton, $699,999.


Center District

Saadat Laiq to Andrew M. and Kaylyn A. Mummert, Lot 56, Edgemont Subdivision, 353 Hidden Creek Lane, Warrenton, $441,000.

Michael W. Jenkins to Horace E. Thompson, Lot 80, Block B, Broadview Acres Subdivision, 225 Gay Road, Warrenton, $350,000.

Malcom W. Alls and Priscilla G. Hottle to Karin C. Casner, 0.11 acre, 23 Smith St., Warrenton, $280,000.

Aaron and Ryane Zenoniani to Lee A. Spetch, Lot 18, Breezewood Subdivision, 213 Breezewood Drive, Warrenton, $365,000.

Kimberly S. and Thomas H. Carter Sr. to Aaron C. and Ryane E. Zenoniani, 2 acres, Lot 85, Phase 3, Millwood Subdivision, 7486 Waters Place, near Warrenton, $445,000.

Gregory M. Steve to Deborah S.H. and Richard E. Watts, Unit 69, Phase 18, Villas at The Ridges Condos, 219 Amber Circle, Warrenton, $370,000.

U.S. Bank NA, trustee, to Adam T. and Margaret N. Hammer, Lot 42, Whites Mill Subdivision, 7627 Morven Lane, near Warrenton, $400,000.

Darin K. Eller to Eva Watterson, 1,133 square feet, Townhouse 3, Kingsbridge Court Subdivision, 17 Kingsbridge Court, Warrenton, $216,000.


Lee District

Constance T. Kelgin to Jeffrey M. and Diane L. Ruby, 0.35 acre, Lot 9, Virginia Meadows Subdivision, 405 W. Main St., Remington, $255,000.

Malibu Investments LLC to James R. Cheatham as managing member, to Michael J. Eskridge and Constance T. Kelgin, 0.39 acre, 302 N. Church St., Remington, $350,000.

Lucy E. Beatty to Anthony L. and Julie L. Corbin, 0.31 acre, Lot 69-A, Perrow Subdivision, 12051 N. Duey Road, Remington, $123,000.

Paul and Shelby Cooper to Jeffrey R. Kitts and Rachel Baehr, Lot 7, Section 1, English Meadows Subdivision, 9864 Cobblestone Drive, near Opal, $407,000.

Carmen M. and Edward L. Fox Jr. to Jeremy E. Fox, 3.28 acres, 14012 Royalls Mill Road, Sumerduck $134,000.

Joal Watts and Sharon J. Wagner to Thomas E. Elder, Lot 88, Phase 8, Cedar Brooke Subdivision, 10780 Reynard Fox Lane, Bealeton, $405,000.


Marshall District

Karin C. Casner to Aaron G. and Rachel A. Hermann, 14.5 acres, 5652 Enon School Board, near Marshall, $437,500.

Eastwood Management LLC, Margaret C. Arundel as trustee, to Alexander T. and Ann M. Dial, 6.4 acres, 5650 Merry Oaks Road, near The Plains, $421,000.

Randolph G. and Linda L. Terelecki to Alexander T. Hunt and Natasha L. Rankin, 11.03 acres, 7424 Leeds Manor Road, near Orlean, $747,900.

Eric Hunter and Adam Hunter to Erick and Amanda Kling, 13.1 acres, Lot 20, Summerfield Hills Subdivision, 8047 Summerfield Hills Drive, near Warrenton, $499,900.

High Heeled Houses LLC, Gwendolyn Sadowski as managing member, to Piedmont Red LLC, 1.67 acres, Lot 28, Section 2, Edgehill Subdivision, 7267 Ridgedale Drive, near Warrenton, $525,000.

Daniel E. and Mary E. Lewis heirs to Joaquin Padilla, 1.65 acres, 4238 Ashville Road, near Marshall, $195,000.


Scott District

NVR Inc. to Jean and Lynetta Dumay, Lot 104, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7482 Lake Willow Court, Warrenton, $647,620.

Justinian R. and Jean R. Ngaiza to Dustin A. and Janelle Yelinek, Lot 2, Phase 7-B, Brookside Subdivision, 6945 Tanglewood Drive, near Warrenton, $624,900.

Fauquier Lakes LP to NVR Inc., Lot 88, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $253,279.

Trigon Homes LLC, Walter M. Cheatle as manager, to Matthew E. and Jillian S. Moore, 1.99 acres, 6477 Imagination Way, near Warrenton, $499,087.

Karen H. and Michael R. Bill to Matthew M. and Sara McGury, 1.47 acres, 6952 Great Oak Way, near Warrenton, $586,000.

NVR Inc. to Keith and Elizabeth Cox, Lot 106, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7470 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $686,755.

David D. and Candace A. Hugdahl to Travis A. and Sarah H. Sherman, Lot 73, Land Bay F, Vint Hill Subdivision, 4062 Von Neuman Circle, near Warrenton, $500,000.

Stephanie Litter-Reber seeks Lee school board seat

Posted Friday,
December 14, 2018
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“I’m very used to dealing with budgets that don’t contain the money we need,” Stephanie Litter-Reber says. “Sometimes you need to be creative and think outside the box to accomplish what you need to accomplish.”
When she puts her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until it’s complete, no matter the outcome. She’s open-minded as well.
— Lee District resident Dana Meacham
Stephanie Erin Litter-Reber
• Age: 43

• Home: Remington.

• Office sought: Lee District school board seat.

• Work: Information Technology manager, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at Mount Weather, Bluemont, 2016-present.

• Experience: IT specialist, FEMA, 2010-16.

• Military: Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 2007-16; U.S. Navy, active duty, 1994-2000.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, information technology, American Intercontinental University, 2007; associate’s degree, computer science, University of Maryland, 2000; Boardman High School, Ohio, 1993.

• Organizations: Remington United Methodist Church, Remington’s Harold J. Davis American Legion Post 247, Remington Community Partnership on the fall festival, car show and Hero’s Bridge 5-K committees, volunteer with her son’s boy scout troops and former Fauquier School Support Council member 2016-17.

• Family: Husband, Shawn; children, Harrison, 12, and Benjamin, 10.

• Hobbies: Photography, karate, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities with her son’s Boy Scout troop.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A parent and federal government employee who lives near Remington will run for Lee District’s school board seat in 2019.

Stephanie Litter-Reber, 43, this week announced her candidacy for election next November.

She will focus on teacher pay and better school board communication with the community and the county supervisors, Ms. Litter-Reber said.

She has thought about running for a seat on the board over the last year and half. Her mother taught home economics for more than 30 years and her father served on a school board in western New York.

Inspired by her children’s teachers, she decided last weekend that she would run for the position that Donald Mason won in 2016.

“If I’m going to complain about it, I am going to do something about it,” Ms. Litter-Reber said in an interview Tuesday.

“I see what (teachers) go through. I see how much of their own money they have to put back into their classrooms, and it’s not fair,” she added.

Ms. Litter-Reber doesn’t suggest Mr. Mason has dropped the ball on anything during his time on the school board.

“I have nothing against Don. My decision is solely based on I have some skin in the game,” she said. “I have kids in the school district.”

A Fauquier resident for 15 years, Ms. Litter-Reber has two sons — one at Margaret M. Pierce Elementary in Remington and the other at Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton.

Lee District resident and Fauquier school bus driver Dana Meacham, who met Ms. Litter-Reber through church about three years ago, supports her candidacy.

“The first thing that always comes to mind is her persistence,” Ms. Meacham said. “When she puts her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until it’s complete, no matter the outcome. She’s open-minded as well. Between those two qualities, she’s bound to get something done. We need some changes.”

Ms. Meacham, who has two children at Pierce Elementary, believes the school system needs to do a better job of providing “more visibility to the general public on how things are being spent and the allocation of the funding.

“She is a wonderful person,” Ms. Meacham said. “She’s a little bit of a spitfire, which I love. She’s no-nonsense. At the same time, she’s very well-educated, which goes a long way . . . . She’s going to have the tenacity needed to stand her ground when the time comes, if the time comes.”

Teacher salaries and retention top the list for Ms. Litter-Reber.

“My son Harrison was at Pierce for six years . . . . The only teachers that are still there are two teachers he had — his kindergarten teacher and one of his fifth-grade teachers. Everyone else has either left, retired, passed away,” Ms. Litter said. “I’m friends with quite a few of the teachers. One of the big reasons (they left) is pay.”

Concerned with higher salaries in surrounding counties such as Culpeper, she believes Fauquier teachers “should be paid more. Unless they are a new teacher out of college, the teachers in Fauquier County don’t make enough to live, especially if they have a family.

“But without intimate knowledge of the budget right now, it would be difficult to say how I would make sure that funding got there without raising taxes,” she added.

“If you are a teacher, a few extra hundred dollars a month is huge,” Ms. Litter-Reber said.

She also thinks the school board needs to improve its communication and cooperation with the board of supervisors, staff and citizens.

“I think there’s a big disconnect between what the community wants, what the board of supervisors is giving and how that money is being spent,” Ms. Litter-Reber said.

If elected, she hopes to improve communication by “being more present.”

“I’m off every other Monday with my schedule, so I would actually like to get into the schools and get first-hand knowledge of the issues they’re having so that I can take that back to the people who control the money,” Ms. Litter-Reber said. “And also hear from the parents. One of the big things is people don’t want their taxes to go up. They can’t afford it.”

Remington resident Earl Arrington, who has two children at Pierce Elementary, also supports Ms. Litter-Reber.

“She’s extremely plugged into the local community,” Mr. Arrington said. “The best thing that qualifies her is having children in the schools and having a pulse on what is happening in those schools.”

Last year, Ms. Litter-Reber spearheaded a campaign to collect money and gift cards for a school janitor whose husband had lost his job around Christmas, Mr. Arrington said.

In 2017, Ms. Litter-Reber petitioned the Virginia Department of Transportation to make improvements at the dangerous intersection of James Madison Highway and Freemans Ford Road near her home.

Although she has never attended a school board meeting, the candidate said she plans to start soon.

Ms. Litter-Reber suggested her work with the federal government has prepared her for the school board position.

“We never have enough money to do what we need to do, and yet we have to accomplish the mission,” she said. “I’m very used to dealing with budgets that don’t contain the money we need . . . . Sometimes you need to be creative and think outside the box to accomplish what you need to accomplish.”

On the debate of what to do with the Center District’s two aging middle schools, Ms. Litter-Reber favors a consolidated school on Warrenton Middle campus, along with redistricting and using Taylor for office space.

“It doesn’t make sense to have two schools that close together,” she said.

“The districting lines are also very strange,” she said. “Kids who went to Pierce and live right down the street from us go to Taylor” and not Cedar Lee in Bealeton.

All five school board members’ terms will expire Dec. 31, 2019. Candidates for the Nov. 5 election can begin filing paperwork in January. Getting on the ballot requires 125 signatures from registered voters in their respective districts. 

Elected every four years, the board sets policy for a system of 20 schools, with an annual budget of $140 million, about 11,100 students and 1,800 employees. It approves the budget but, under Virginia law, has no taxing authority, which resides with the county board of supervisors.

Most school board members will seek re-election in 2019.

Contact Cassandra Brown at CBrown@FauquierNow.com or 540-878-6007.


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