Stay in the know! Sign up to get Fauquier County news updates delivered to your inbox.
Advertise on Fauquier Now!
FauquierNow.com
What do you think of Fauquier County real estate taxes? Vote!
HOME OBITUARIES NEWS HOME & GARDEN OPINIONS BUSINESS STYLE CALENDAR CLASSIFIEDS
Free classifieds! Members can also post calendar events, news, opinions and more ... all for free! Register now!
Login · Forgot Your Password?
« Share this page
Get email news alerts delivered to your inbox.
Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Polster seeking re-election to Warrenton council

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Sean Polster
Sean Polster
• Age: 47

• Work: Federal firefighter/paramedic at the federal government’s Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center; volunteer assistant chief and longtime member of the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co.

• Family: Wife, Nicole; children, Ethan, Ryleigh and Matthew.

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

Warrenton voters have a second at-large candidate to consider for the May 1 municipal election.

Sean Polster, 47, announced Friday that he will seek re-election to the seven-member town council.

If elected, Mr. Polster would serve a second term.

“There’s still a lot left to be done,” Mr. Polster said. “I think we’ve accomplished a lot over the last four years, but there’s still some unfinished projects. I think we need to make sure our government reflects our community.

“I’m committed and when I do something, I do it 110 percent.”

Councilman Linda “Sunny” Reynolds (At-large) also will seek re-election. 

Warrenton voters on Tuesday, May 1, will elect two at-large council members. Those elected will earn four-year terms that start July 1. 

Citizens also will elect a mayor to succeed Powell Duggan, who will step down June 30 after one four-year term. Downtown merchant Carter Nevill and legal assistant Grace Rigby have announced their candidacies for mayor.

Potential candidates must file petitions, with the signatures of at least 125 registered town voters, by Tuesday, March 6, to get on the ballot.

A federal firefighter/paramedic at the federal government’s Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Clarke and Loudoun counties, Mr. Polster also serves as the assistant chief and longtime member of the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co.

He has served on the town council since 2014.

Mr. Polster said he has increased the town government’s transparency by sharing public information with citizens.

“When I first came on council, I would take photos of everything I got and share it with everybody, because no body ever saw what council members got,” Mr. Polster said. “That morphed into me doing Facebook Live with all the meetings — bringing the meetings into someone’s living room where people could spend time with their kids, but still see what their local government was doing.”

The town recently began posting all agendas and public documents for council meetings online. It streams meetings on the internet, with recordings available for later viewing.

Mr. Polster also lists establishing the youth council and organizing the annual Warrenton Town Limits Fourth of July celebration among his accomplishments.

“I’m here for the people. I’m a citizen, not a politician,” he said. “I think one of the things that has helped me over the last three and a half years is my connection with the community, whether it’s coffee with the councilman, walk in the parks, Facebook live chats.

“Being able to connect with people and see what they want because in the end, it’s not my vote. I am elected by the people to represent them. It’s a privilege.”

Mr. Polster believes the town needs to focus on economic development, making the government more transparent and building more sidewalks and trails.

“We need to invest in our small businesses . . . figure out a way to reduce BPOL taxes and incentivize the growth of our existing businesses,” he added.

“Warrenton is one town and we really need to view things globally. What’s good for Main Street is good for the bypass and Broadview (Avenue). What’s good for Broadview is good for Main Street because the more cars we can bring in the more it helps everyone.”

He suggested changing meeting times to allow participation from more citizens and updating the town’s technology would help the community.

“We have had a demographic shift in the town with young families and children and we need to make sure we are giving them the amenities they want . . . whether it’s through making meetings accessible at times when the majority of our population is here or connecting through technology,” Mr. Polster said.

“Public safety is our number one function as government, but so is a healthy and active community.”

In terms of the financial future of the town, Mr. Polster said, “One of the things we need to do is be conservative with our money and ensure that when we spend we are fiscal stewards of the taxpayer’s money.

“For example, there’s a line item in the budget (preview) for a space needs assessment (with a consultant). We know we are out of (office) space. Why should we spend $25,000 of taxpayer money to tell us we don’t have space? Let’s create a vision of where we want our staff and how much office space we need and move towards that.”

Warrenton resident Bob Ruhland will serve as his campaign manager.

Mr. Polster plans to go door-to-door to talk to citizens and merchants.

“I’m a firefighter. I’m used to meeting people, talking to people,” he said. “I think that’s one of the things that has helped me over the last four years is maintaining contact with constituents. The best way to do that is get out and talk to them.”

Jason Bell, a native Warrentonian and accountant, has known Mr. Polster for several years.

“He’s a great leader for our community,” Mr. Bell said. “He brings not only a wealth of experience, but a true passion to make the community a better place. He’s a really fun and exciting person. He’s happy to help the community.”

A father of three, Mr. Bell said he can relate to Mr. Polster.

“He’s really diligent and a hard worker. If you look at his current track record, he’s brought a wealth of positive change to our town. Specifically one of the things I really like . . . monthly (Facebook live meeting agenda) update. He’s brought our local politics into the modern era,” Mr. Bell said.

“He’s constantly walking the street, talking to the people,” he added. “He’s easy to contact, easy to talk to.”

Mr. Polster has a Facebook page and soon will launch a campaign website.

Town council members earn $400 a month and the mayor gets $800 a month. Warrenton’s elected officials also qualify for the same town health insurance coverage that municipal employees receive.

Warrenton voters will elect council members in the town’s five wards in May 2020.

County schools nominate 19 for teacher of the year

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Johnny Kerns elected as Orlean’s new fire chief

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

First data center proposal public hearing Tuesday

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval construct up to six data-center buildings on 234 acres between Remington and Lucky Hill roads.
Public Hearing
• Topic: Rezoning application for data center on 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road just northeast of Remington.

• Applicant: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc.

• Landowners: Remland LLC (Bill and Bob Springer of Fauquier); VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

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

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide electricity to project.

• Under roof: 1.5 million to 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet each.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Next: County board of supervisors, which has final authority, expects to conduct March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier’s planning commission Tuesday night will conduct a public hearing on a proposed data center complex just northeast of Remington.

Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval construct up to six data-center buildings on 234 acres between Remington and Lucky Hill roads.

The proposed change from residential to “Business Park” zoning also would extinguish 199 undeveloped home lots.

If constructed as proposed, Point One would build 1.5 million to 1.8 million square feet of space over five to seven years for one or multiple users.

The planning commission public hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Warren Green Building in downtown Warrenton.

> Documents at bottom of story

The commission makes land-use recommendations to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority.

The Remington Technology Park proposal could create up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 180 permanent, “highly skilled and well-paid, full-time jobs,” the company’s rezoning application states.

Point One estimates its investment at $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

The first of six proposed data center buildings — ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet — would represent a $250 million to $270 million investment, according to the company.

The supervisors conducted a Feb. 8 work session on the proposal. The planning commission received an introductory briefing Feb. 15.

Fauquier residents Bill and Bob Springer of Remland LLC and VCA LLC of Alexandria own the proposed data center site.

They also own an undeveloped 197-lot subdivision called Fox Haven near Bealeton — about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

Point One Holdings has a contract to buy the data center property.

The landowners contend the proposed Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping or reducing the $2.7 million cash “proffer” tied to the Fox Haven subdivision site, which lies about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

That cash proffer — about $14,700 per dwelling — applies to the 189 new home lots created as a result of the property’s 2003 rezoning from rural to residential use.

Under a revised Fox Haven proffer proposed almost two weeks ago, the developer would pay Fauquier $14,700 for each of the 197 homes. But, after the county issues occupancy permits “for a minimum of 200,000 square feet of data center space,” the cash proffer would drop to $3,072 per home.

That represents the maximum amount the county could expect to receive under Virginia’s new proffer law, which took effect on July 1, 2016.

Proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” according the application. “While the two related rezoning requests are required to be processed separately, they are essentially a joint rezoning application with each being dependent upon the other.”

Justifying the proposed Fox Haven amendment, the landowners note that the data center project’s tax payments would far exceed the loss of the cash proffer tied to the subdivision.

Additionally, they note that rezoning the data center site from residential to “Business Park” could erase millions of dollars in potential public service costs if the permitted 199 single-family homes got at the edge of Remington. 

The landowners also want the Fox Haven rezoning amended to allow construction of 66 homes per year — twice the amount approved 15 years ago.

Because the planning commission has no role in the proposed changes to the 2003 proffers, Tuesday’s public hearing will be limited to the data center application.

The supervisors on March 8 expect to conduct public hearings on the data center and Fox Haven applications.

Remington Technology Park : Fauquier Planning Commission 2-27-2018 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

High schools getting more security officers ASAP

Posted Friday,
February 23, 2018
Like 0 · 3 ·
The unarmed security specialists will be “the eyes and ears of school administration.”
We feel like we need to do everything we can do to keep our kids safe, and this is something we can do right now.
— Superintendent David Jeck
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

All three Fauquier County public high schools will get extra security staff members this year.

Administrators as soon as possible will hire three safety and security specialists to monitor buildings and social media, and investigate incidents, among other duties.

“We want this person to be the eyes and ears of school administration and support the goal of the school administrators to monitor every nook and cranny of the building and . . . help monitor social media,” Superintendent David Jeck said Thursday.

Each campus — Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty — already has an armed sheriff’s deputy. The schools have about 1,300 students apiece.

Dr. Jeck explained how the security specialists will differ from an SROs: “They are not armed, not sworn officers. Their roles and responsibilities would be dictated by school administration, rather than by sheriff’s office.”

School officials already had started to discuss the hiring of three security specialists over the next several years, but Dr. Jeck decided to accelerate the plan because of the Feb. 14 murders of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“We feel like we need to do everything we can do to keep our kids safe, and this is something we can do right now,” he said. “So, we are going to do it.”

The security specialists also will develop relationships with students.

“For example, investigate a rumor of potential violence in a school,” Dr. Jeck said. “Depending on the nature of the threat, it might be better assigned to an officer, not an SRO. We end up with more broad coverage and security for students.”

Among other duties, the safety and security specialists will:

• Investigate and respond to security incidents.

• Perform security inspections of schools.

• Monitor social media.

• Detect and deter fire, theft, vandalism and other unauthorized activities that could endanger students and staff.

• Assist administrators with the school security plan.

• Promptly report any suspicious activities or people.

The school system will use money earmarked for a new bus to fund two of the positions, according to Dr. Jeck. “Asset funds” will pay for the third security officer.

The school system will purchase the bus through a different source of funding, he said.

While temporary this school year, the security specialists will become permanent in 2018-19, assuming school board approval. The positions will pay at least $15.71 an hour.

A candidate must have previous employment in a security-related field and must complete annual certification training approved by the Virginia Center for School Safety through Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.

“We are going to fill them as soon as humanly possible with qualified applicants,” Dr. Jeck said. “We are trying to move quickly, but at the same time make sure we are hiring qualified candidates.”

Other school systems in the region, including Prince William County, have security specialists and SROs.

“My overall thought is we have to do more to keep kids safe,” Dr. Jeck said. “If that means we are doing more unconventional, out-of-the-box things, then that’s what we need to do.

“We just need to be focused on what can we do as a community to enhance the safety of our schools,” he added. “This is not about politics. This is about . . . how to keep kids safe.”

Exterior doors at Fauquier schools remain locked throughout the day. Each school has an extensive system of video cameras and a front-door buzzer that allows the office staff to control who enters.

Safety and Security Specialist Job Description by Fauquier Now on Scribd


5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Height of the big skate

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Hugo’s big roller skate near Bealeton stands 10 feet tall, 5 feet wide and 11 feet deep.
10 feet
Height of the big roller skate in front of the former Hugo’s Skateway along Route 17 south of Bealeton.

The late Hugo Stribling in 1978 opened Hugo’s Skateway, which quickly became wildly popular. After his death, others rented the space and operated a roller skating rink there until early last year.

Built of wood and plaster for a parade float, the big roller skate measures 5 feet wide and 11 feet long. It remains a roadside icon, where travelers often stop to snap photos.


381
The number of times Fauquier school Superintendent David Jeck had tweeted and retweeted so far this year as of 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22.

Dr. Jeck at that point had tweeted a total of 2,644 times since he joined Twitter, a social media platform, in October 2010. He has 3,278 followers.


61
Approved telecommunication towers in Fauquier. That includes 22 monopole, 14 lattice, nine silo and five treepole towers.

Vint Hill has the county’s tallest tower — a 410-foot guyed structure built decades ago when the Army operated a military base there. Established during World War II, Vint Hill Farms Station shut 21 years ago as part of the Pentagon’s nationwide base closure plan.

Not all of the approved towers have been constructed.

Under Fauquier’s zoning ordinance, towers exceeding 80 feet require special exception permit approval by the county board of supervisors.


513
The number of speeding tickets — almost 10 a week —sheriff’s deputies issued to drivers between the Northern Fauquier villages of Delaplane and Paris last year.

That 6.7-mile stretch of Route 17, through the scenic Crooked Run Valley, has an unusual, 45-mph speed limit. Tractor-trailers may not use that section of two-lane highway.

As of last week, sheriff’s deputies had issued 53 speeding summons on that stretch of Route 17 so far this year.


46
Scheduled weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Fauquier. Of that total, 33 take place in Warrenton.

Meetings occur daily. More take place on Friday — nine — than on any other day of the week.

Some groups have distinctive names, including “Bealeton Boozers,” “Happy Hour Group,” “TnT Group” and “Sunday Serenity Group.”

Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken easy and flavorful

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Photo/Ellen Fox Emerson
After marinating, the “spatchcocked” chicken takes about an hour to roast.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Chicken ranks as my favorite fowl. Mild in flavor and quite versatile, chicken can be stretched to feed a crowd. It also remains relatively inexpensive — at least compared to beef and fish.

When young, single, on a tight budget and not into cooking for one, I would roast a chicken Sunday evening and enjoy it much of the week. I would continue that practice, but my husband prefers variety in his diet. Still, we eat more chicken than any other meat.

Four years ago, I learned the method of “spatchcocking,” which involves removing the backbone, breaking the breastbone and pressing the bird flat. It is very similar to a split chicken, but it keeps the bird in one piece versus two.

At the time, I wanted to have the perfect turkey, with all parts tender and moist, not dry. I found this method produces a more evenly cooked bird, much juicier meat and crispier skin. It also makes carving the bird much easier.

Lemon-Thyme Roast Chicken

1 three-pound chicken, spatchcocked
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons thyme
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
 
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Spatchcock it, removing the backbone, breaking the breastbone and pressing the bird so it will lay flat.

Mix the salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, juice and olive oil in a small bowl.

Place the chicken in a re-sealable bag and add the marinade, covering the bird. Seal and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or overnight.

Third minutes before cooking, remove chicken from fridge (leave in the marinade) to take off some of the chill.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place chicken in a roasting pan and brush with a little more marinade. Cook until the chicken turns golden brown — about one hour. Transfer chicken and let rest for 10 minutes.

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Throwback Thursday: Ranch rustles new business

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
1993 > Trail Ride Manager Doc Mitchell saddles up for a ride at Marriott Ranch, which plans Western “Steak Bake and Boot Scoot” events, starting in May.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of February 26, 1993


Marriott Ranch ready to rustle new business

Bethesda-based Marriott Corp. wants visitors to experience the Old West at its 4,200-acre ranch near Hume.

The ranch, which company founder J.W. Marriott began to buy in 1951, has lost money for the worldwide hotel and hospitality giant.

Against the wishes of many Hume-area residents, the board of supervisors last fall granted Marriott a special use permit to expand commercial activities at the farm to help make it self-supporting.

Toward that end, Marriott Ranch recently announced 10 “Steak Bake and Boot Scoot” events, beginning May 22 and running through October.

Featuring hayrides, food, music and dancing — plus cowboy hats, bandannas and speckled cups for everybody — will take place from 5:45 to 10:30 p.m. Saturdays at Marriott Forks Western Town, an existing barbecue area with six storefront facades on the north side of the farm.

Up to 100 guests per event will pay $55 each for the experience.





Landfill purchase vote due

Fauquier’s supervisors next week probably will authorize the largest land purchase in county history.

Three of the five board members have indicated they will support the $2.6-million purchase of Corral Farm at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board two years ago approved an option contract, which expires April 15, to buy the 235 acres from Realtor Bob Sowder. Under that contract, the county already has spent $356,000 toward the purchase. (Fauquier twice has paid $100,000 to keep the contract alive and $156,000 for soil from the farm for cover at the old landfill on adjacent property.)

If the purchase goes through, the county intends to build a 100-acre landfill there. The state has mandated that Fauquier open a new landfill by January 1994 or face a $25,000-a-day fine.


State OKs $28.6 million for Route 17 Spur

After nearly two decades of planning, public hearings and protests, the Commonwealth Transportation Board last week approved construction of the Route 17 Spur through Warrenton.

The board also approved overpasses at Blackwell Road and Hastings Lane for the four-lane highway.

Transportation officials, who expect construction to begin later this year, estimate the 2.5-mile project will cost $28.6 million — easily the most expensive highway per linear mile in Fauquier history.

It will connect the Eastern Bypass with Route 17 north of town.

“We’re very glad the transportation board approved those projects,” Mayor J. Willard Lineweaver said. “It’s something that’s been going on for quite a few years. And we weren’t even sure they were going to build the Blackwell Road and Hastings Lane bridges. That’s good news.”


Councilman switches; wine festival approved

The economy made him do it.

After downtown merchants and fellow council members lobbied him for 10 days, Warrenton Town Councilman Rob Rice last Friday changed his deciding vote on a controversial proposal to close Main Street for a July 17 wine festival.

With Rice switching sides, Middleburg promoter Ernest “Bud” Hufnagel received permission for the festival on a 4-3 vote. The council had denied Hufnagel’s request by the same margin Feb. 9.

“Downtown businesses cried out for this wine festival,” Rice said during a special council meeting Friday night, Feb. 19. “I have a strong sense that some are just holding on. Another will close April 1, after 50-plus years in business. This scares me.”


One-way street plan for Old Town debated

Proponents suggest a system of one-way streets would improve traffic flow in Old Town Warrenton and give more exposure to shops on Lee Street.

Opponents argue the system hurt Main Street businesses and address nonexistent “gridlock.”

Traffic engineers from Charlottesville and Fredericksburg gave some credence to both sides during a meeting last week in Warrenton. Several organizations sponsored the meeting to discuss local landlord Max Harway’s proposal to make Main and Lee streets one way in opposite directions.

Harway recently asked the town council to consider the plan — similar to those traffic studies have suggested over the years. But, there seems to be no strong support among council members.


Write smart an auction of Mosby letters

The Auction Barn in Catlett sold 41 letters from Confederate Col. John S. Mosby for a total of $61,200 in less than an hour Saturday.

More than 200 folks from New York to North Carolina packed the white cinderblock building on Route 28 for the biggest auction of Mosby letters in recent memory.

Dr. Robert Small, a Manhattan internist and self-proclaimed Civil War “expert,” walked away with seven Mosby missives for $19,800. They include the prized, 11-page “Keith letter,” in which Mosby vigorously defends Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s conduct in the Battle of Gettysburg. Dr. Small paid $5,250 for it.

$19.6-million contract let for LFCC interchange

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The project will include a highway overpass, with traffic circles and ramps on each side to distribute traffic.
New Interchange
• What: Interchange at Warrenton Eastern Bypass (Routes 15/17/29) and Lord Fairfax Drive, just south of town.

• Agency: Virginia Department of Transportation.

• Features: Interchange with roundabouts at exit ramps, eliminating traffic signals and at-grade intersection.

• Estimated cost: $26.9 million, approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board last June.

• Contract: $19.6 million to Shirley Contracting Co. and engineering firm Dewberry Inc.

• Construction: Starting in late fall with completion in November 2020.

• Project details: Click here.


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

In three years, the mile-long traffic backups on Warrenton’s Eastern Bypass should fade to memories.

Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board on Wednesday awarded a $19.6-million contract to build an interchange on James Madison Highway (Routes 15/17/29) near the community college at the southern edge of town.

Lorton-based Shirley Contracting Company LLC, working with Fairfax engineering firm Dewberry Inc., competed against two other teams of bidders to win the job.

Construction will begin this fall, with completion scheduled in November 2020.

The interchange will replace traffic signals at the intersection, which averages 44,000 vehicles a day.

A bridge will carry traffic over James Madison Highway to and from Lord Fairfax Community College, the county landfill and homes on the east side. Traffic circles east and west of the overpass will distribute vehicles entering and exiting the highway via a complex of ramps.

The Virginia Department of Transportation had estimated the project would cost $26.9 million. The winning proposal came in $7.3 million or 27.1 percent less than projected.

“It’s good that we have a contract in hand, with an experienced contractor and engineering firm, so we can get started on the project,” said Mark Nesbit, VDOT’s Warrenton resident engineer.

From nine candidates, VDOT in July picked three design-build teams to compete for the contract. The finalists included: 

• Allen Myers Inc./KCI, with a bid of $22.9 million.

• Branch Civil Inc./Whitman, Requardt & Associates at $23.1 million.

The project also will feature bicycle and pedestrian lanes over the highway and a small commuter parking lot near the college.

The busy intersection averages more than one traffic accident a month — some of them severe because of the speed of vehicles on the highway, according to VDOT.

The plans drew generally favorable comments during a public hearing last May at LFCC. But, homeowners in the area asked for provisions to reduce traffic noise. The number of homes affected fails to meet standards for sound walls, according to VDOT officials.

The project will include construction of a temporary road and traffic signal — south of the existing intersection — for traffic to and from LFCC, the landfill and homes east of the highway.

Setting the record straight about Fauquier GOP

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Big Picture: Liberty students call for change

Posted Thursday,
February 22, 2018
Like 0 · 4 ·

Former Marine gets 35 years for sex crimes

Posted Wednesday,
February 21, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
He’s a person who wanted to do grievous harm and did do grievous harm to an innocent kid.
— Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher
Murphy Assault Case
• What: Sexual assault of an 18-year-old female near Catlett on Aug. 18, 2007.

• Defendant: Richard T. Murphy, 35, of La Habra, Calif.

• Victim: Now 29, lives in Fredericksburg.

• Conviction: Mr. Murphy on Wednesday, Nov. 8, pleaded guilty to object penetration, forcible sodomy and abduction with the intent to defile. Each count carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

• Sentence: 65 years, with 30 years suspended; imposed by the judge Wednesday, Feb. 21.

• Defense attorneys: Jessica R. Clay of Gainesville and Thomas C. Soldan of Leesburg.

• Prosecutor: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher. 

• Judge: Jeffrey W. Parker.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The prosecutor portrayed the former Marine as a violent and remorseless sexual predator.

For nearly 15 minutes Wednesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court, Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher detailed the brutal attack of a teenage girl near Catlett in 2007.

Richard T. Murphy, 35, last November pleaded guilty to object penetration, forcible sodomy and abduction with the intent to defile. Each count carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

“He’s a person who wanted to do grievous harm and did do grievous harm to an innocent kid,” the prosecutor said of Mr. Murphy.

For those “heinous” crimes, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker on Wednesday sentenced Mr. Murphy to 65 years in prison, suspending 30.

The California man in November entered “Alford pleas” on each count. Under such a plea, the defendant asserts innocence but acknowledges enough evidence to support a conviction. 

Mr. Fisher during Wednesday’s hour-long hearing argued for at least one life sentence.

“There’s a place for Mr. Murphy in society and that’s behind bars,” the prosecutor told the Judge Jeffery W. Parker.

“You were clearly guilty” of the charges, Judge Parker told Mr. Murphy.

And “while I’m not going” to impose a life sentence in prison, “you’re going away for a long time,” the judge said.

Judge sentenced Mr. Murphy to:

• 25 years on for forcible sodomy.

• 20 years for object penetration, suspending 10 years.

• 20 years for abduction with the intent to defile, suspending all of those years.

Mr. Murphy, who will be placed on lifetime supervised probation after his release, also must register as a sex offender and for five years after his release must wear a GPS tracking device.

He must get sex-offender treatment and can have no contact with the victim. Mr. Murphy also can have no contact with minors unless properly supervised.

Only one witness, clinical psychologist Michelle Sjolinder — called by the prosecution — testified Wednesday.

Ms. Sjolinder conducted a psycho-sexual evaluation of Mr. Murphy.

In preparing the 16-page report, she reviewed court documents and met with Mr. Murphy.

Among other things, Ms. Sjolinder described him as an insensitive “narcissist” capable “unprompted” and “intense aggression.”

His criminal record from 2004 to 2014 includes seven convictions for offenses ranging from assault and domestic battery and driving under the influence to vandalism.

Mr. Murphy possesses a “superficial charm” and “disarming quality” that mask a pathological personality, the psychologist suggested.

Ms. Sjolinder believes he represents a high risk, repeat sexual offender.

One of Mr. Murphy’s lawyers — Jessica R. Clay of Gainesville — dismissed some of those conclusions as subjective.

Other psychologists might disagree with Ms. Sjolinder’s professional opinion, Ms. Clay told the judge.

The assault took place on a gravel road in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2007.

Mr. Fisher described the series of events and the attack as “a nightmarish scenario” during which the victim “was repeatedly battered and sexually assaulted.”

Mr. Murphy lied and deceived to have his way with the victim, the prosecutor said.

“It took a state of mind that was frightful,” Mr. Fisher said of Mr. Murphy, who sat few feet away from him.

Taken in by Mr. Murphy’s “superficial charm,” the victim made the mistake that adults warn young people against, the prosecutor said.

“ ‘Don’t let a stranger in the car’,” Mr. Fisher said.

Eighteen years old at the time, victim — whom the prosecutor several times described as a “kid” — had gone to meet a friend in a Stafford County shopping center.

The victim returned to her car shortly after midnight.

Mr. Murphy then approached her, knocked on the window and asked for a ride to a nearby restaurant.

He told the victim “that his friends ‘were drunk’ and he did not want to drive with them,” court documents state.

The victim and Mr. Murphy, then stationed at the Quantico Marine Corps Base, drove for a while in search of the restaurant and the relatives he claimed lived in southern Fauquier.

The two eventually turned onto a gravel road off Elk Run Road, where Mr. Murphy attacked her, according to investigators.

Mr. Murphy left her car to relieve himself.

When he returned to the car, Mr. Murphy told her he had dropped his phone on the ground and asked her to help him find it.

During the search, Mr. Murphy attacked her and removed the keys from the car’s ignition.

At the Mr. Murphy’s insistence, the victim removed her clothes, after which he sexually assaulted her, according to investigators.

After a tussle, the victim escaped and found held at nearby farm, whose owners called 9-1-1.

For almost nine years, Fauquier sheriff’s investigators had no suspect in the assault.

But DNA collected at the scene and other evidence lead to the 2016 arrest of Mr. Murphy in Orange, Calif. That year Fauquier sheriff’s Detective Brandon Lillard twice visited California to interview Mr. Murphy, collect his DNA and bring him to Warrenton.

Mr. Murphy denied any knowledge of the assault, until DNA evidence placed him as the scene, Mr. Fisher said.

The victim, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, declined to comment after Mr. Murphy’s sentence.

Mr. Fisher also refused to comment.

“It’s higher than we had hoped, but not unexpected,” Ms. Clay said of her client’s sentence.

Warning: This document includes explicit information and language.

02212018080942-0001 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Best Bets: Wine tasting competition, Pokémon Go

Posted Wednesday,
February 21, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Contributed photo
About 500 citizens attended last year’s wine tasting and competition at Airlie last year. This year’s event features 18 Fauquier wineries.
Topping the entertainment list in Fauquier this weekend, citizens can sample wine from 18 different Fauquier wineries at Airlie and vote for their favorites.

Other options include a Pokémon Go event in Old Town Warrenton, a puppet show at Vint Hill, a fundraiser for the Middleburg Humane Foundation at Barrel Oak Winery and a unicycle show.

Puppet show at Vint Hill
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 24
4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

Blue Sky Puppet Theatre presents “The Three Green Pigs” a story about children learn about the 6 Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Reduce, Repair, Respect and Responsibility. Held at the Vint Hill Community Theatre. $5 in advance; $7 cash or check at the door. Register online or in person at a county parks and recreation office.
www.facebook.com/events




People’s Choice Wine Tasting & Competition
Noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24
6809 Airlie Road, Warrenton

The Fauquier County’s Economic Development Department hosts the fourth annual People’s Choice wine tasting and competition at Airlie. Guests can sample wines from 18 Fauquier wineries and vote for their favorites. Citizens can choose from two sessions of wine tasting: noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3:30 to 6 p.m. Award ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Music from the Elizabeth Lawrence Band and Leon Rector. Bottles of wine for sale. Optional five-course dinner paired with local wines begins at 7 p.m. Tickets available in advance only. Wine tasting, $35 per person. Dinner $95 per person.
www.eventbrite.com

Warrenton Pokémon Go gathering
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24
22 Main Street, Warrenton

The Warrenton-Gainesville-Haymarket Pokémon Go Group will gather in Old Town Warrenton to play the popular mobile app game. Starts at Deja Brew Café. Free.
www.facebook.com/events

Spay-ghetti and No Balls fundraiser dinner
6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24
3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane

The Middleburg Humane Foundation hosts an Italian dinner and raffle to support the organization’s community cats trap/neuter/return program and low-cost spay-neuter program for low-income families. The menu includes potato gnocchi with alfredo sauce, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, veggie lasagna, pasta with marinara sauce, garlic bread, Caesar salad, dessert and wine or beer. Held at Barrel Oak Winery. Adults, $45 in advance online.
middleburghumane.networkforgood.com

Unicycle show and trial class
6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24
4235 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

Unicyclists will perform with skill and balance while riding two-to-six-foot tall unicycles in formations and navigating ramps. Citizens eight and older can try to ride a unicycle after the show. Free.
www.facebook.com/events

Other options in and around Fauquier:

> Art of the Piedmont in Middleburg

> Community barbecue lunch in The Plains

> Karaoke at Verdun Adventure Bound

> Sunday bicycle ride in Warrenton

> Music at Molly’s in Warrenton

> Music at Orlean Market

> Free community lunch in The Plains

For more events, click here.

Three cell towers proposed to serve rural Fauquier

Posted Wednesday,
February 21, 2018
Like 1 · 4 ·
File Photo/Don Del Rosso
The Calvert Crossland telecommunications tower near Casanova goes up last August.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

As county government struggles to develop a fiber optic network for broadband internet connections in remote areas, a Maryland developer wants to build three telecommunications towers that would serve villages in rural Fauquier.

Proposed monopoles near Goldvein, Catlett and Hume would stand 145 to 195 feet, according Baltimore-based Calvert Crossland LLC. The towers would improve data and phone services in those areas.

Under Fauquier’s zoning ordinance, towers that exceed 80 feet require special exception approval by the county board of supervisors.

Calvert Crossland plans to file special exception permit applications with the county “as soon as possible,” said Partner Barbara Pivec, whose company last year constructed the 140-foot monopole near Casanova.

While the Goldvien application probably will be the first submitted, “there’s no firm dates of when (the towers) will be constructed and the (phone and data service) carriers will be there,” Ms. Pivec added.

Calvert Crossland wants approval to construct:

• A 195-foot tower on 61.2 acres at 3590 Rivenoak Lane near Goldvein. John B. Woodburn and Siobhan Woodward own the property.

Under the zoning ordinance, Fauquier’s Architectural Review Board must evaluate and make a recommendation on towers that exceed 145 feet.

• A 145-foot tower on 43.2 acres at 8075 Taylor Drive near Catlett. Phillip J. Knapp and Gail W. Sander own the property.

• A 145-foot tower on 14.8 acres at 5060 Leeds Manor Road near Hume. Charles P. Fuller owns the property.

All three sites have rural zoning.

The special exception review process involves public hearings by the planning commission and the supervisors. An advisory panel, the planning makes recommendations to the board, which has final authority.

Ms. Pivec plans to seek special exception approval for “several more” towers but declined to discuss those potential sites.

“I’m really not ready to talk about that right now, because I haven’t done the due diligence.”

For about two years, Fauquier has struggled to expand and improve broadband and wireless phone service to rural areas.

The proposed Calvert Crossland towers could help advance those goals.

Fauquier had hoped to partner with a company that would build, own and operate a countywide fiber optic cable network. The company would sell network access to wireless providers that would create “last-mile” broadband connections to homes and businesses in unserved and underserved areas.

Maryland-based Freedom Telecom Services Inc., doing business as FTS Fiber, submitted a proposal to Fauquier to construct such a system.

The company had successfully installed a fiber optic cable network — worth an estimated $20 million — for Kent County, Md.

But FTS last year underwent a “restructuring” that involved the CEO’s departure and the unexpected sale of the Kent County system to a startup company.

Because no other firm submitted a proposal to build a network for Fauquier, the supervisors last month canceled the broadband project. 

And, because of uncertainty about FTS, the board withdrew its acceptance of the company’s proposal to construct a 129-mile network here.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 21, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

An idea for Old Town’s mixed-use redevelopment

Posted Wednesday,
February 21, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Duo allegedly dealt heroin from Warrenton home

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 2 · 1 ·
Rachel Lynn Griffith, 25, and Huixian Nadir Solis, 30,face charges of heroin distribution.
Fauquier sheriff’s detectives and Warrenton police charged two town residents with heroin distribution after searching a house on Gold Cup Drive early Tuesday morning.

“A month-long investigation into the alleged distribution of heroin by an occupant of the residence, and from the residence, resulted in the search,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said in a press release.

Sheriff’s Detective Jonathan Waddell got a search warrant for the home at 629 Gold Cup Drive on Feb. 13.

“Multiple controlled purchases of heroin have been conducted from or set up by Rachel Griffith,” Detective Waddell wrote in his affidavit for the warrant.

Another detective was present “during all controlled purchases,” the detective wrote.

After the 7 a.m. search of the home, authorities charged:

• Rachel Lynn Griffith, 25, of Warrenton, with three counts of distribution of heroin and one count of possession of a schedule II substance.

• Huixian Nadir Solis, 30, of Warrenton, with two counts of distribution of heroin. Mr. Solis was in jail on unrelated charges at the time of the raid, according to Sgt. Hartman.

Authorities held Ms. Griffith in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center on a $25,000 secured bond. Mr. Solis also had a $25,000 secured bond.

During the search, officers seized prescription pills, miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, a cell phone and digital scales, according to the inventory Detective Waddell filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Culinary arts program gives county students job skills

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Introduction to Culinary Arts
• What: Career and Technical Education elective course where students learn cooking and workplace readiness skills.

• Where: Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty high schools.

• Students: 112 enrolled in 2017-18 at Kettle Run; another 130 total at LHS and FHS.

• Next: Program expanding to Culinary II at KRHS and LHS.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Chopping, mixing and melting ingredients, Kettle Run High School students race against the clock to prepare appetizers and desserts for a special luncheon.

Split into groups at four kitchen stations, students in the Introduction to Culinary Arts course work together to create finger foods for a Fauquier Chamber of Commerce luncheon and to purify stock for a class project.

Wearing white kitchen caps and aprons, the teenagers have about 90 minutes to complete their assignments.

A flurry of action ensues as they prepare sugar snap peas stuffed with salmon mousse, cherry fluff dessert cups, red pepper humus bites and cucumber radish appetizers.

Intently focused on cutting cucumbers, sophomore Madison Daniels says she took the course because, “I cook at home a lot with my mom, so I wanted to do it at school and get more experience.”

Not only do students build cooking skills, they also learn valuable workplace skills, according to teacher Kathryn Kiser.

Through the course, students learn “time management, teamwork, reliability, consistency . . . all of those things employers are looking for,” Ms. Kiser says.

“About nine out of 10 kids are going to be in food service at some point in their lives,” she adds.

The lab-based course includes about 30 hands-on cooking sessions during the semester.

“Before they even go into the kitchen, they have to earn a 100 percent on a safety and sanitation test,” Ms. Kiser explains. “The first couple of weeks is spent solely on safety, sanitation . . . OSHA guidelines.”

Only 20 students can participate in each class because of strict OSHA guidelines.

The classroom has four kitchen stations, each equipped with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, sink, dishwasher and cooking utensils.

“They learn how to measure, sharpen knives, sauté. They learn about herbs, fancy napkin folds and how to serve beverages from the right and entrees to the left,” Ms. Kiser said. “They do several quarterly projects. One of them is to design a restaurant. We do a floor plan, a menu and create realistic pricing.”

To learn all the jobs in a professional kitchen, students each week rotate from sanitarian to supply manager, dishwasher, assistant chef and chef.

“Cooking isn’t as easy as it looks,” junior McKayla Holmes says of what she has learned.

“The fact that we are timed and have to have the food finished by a certain time” represents one of the challenges for sophomore Kaylee Melendez, 15.

More than 100 students have taken the popular elective course this term at Kettle Run. Fauquier and Liberty high schools also offer the culinary arts classes.

“I feel like it’s a good life skill to have and use when I go to college on my own,” Kettle Run junior Jack Riley says of his decision to take the class.

“They are learning not only the technical skills, but how to run their own business, market those services . . . provide customer service and presentation skills necessary to compliment the technical side,” says school system Career and Technical Education Supervisor Sarah Frye.

Next fall, the school system will offer Culinary Arts II at Liberty and Kettle Run for the first time.

The classrooms this summer will get commercial kitchens with new ovens, ranges, larger refrigerators, sinks and stainless steel tables.

“When we convert to a commercial kitchen, it will be . . . more set up like in a restaurant,” Ms. Frye says.

Administrators have planned to update Kettle Run’s kitchen for more than two years, but engineering the ductwork to vent the new ovens and fire suppression system held things up, according to Ms. Frye. Some of the previously purchased commercial equipment has remained in storage.

The school system has budgeted $165,000 next year for the kitchen renovations.

In the future, Ms. Kiser hopes to develop close relationships with local businesses to offer culinary students internships and career opportunities.

“That is our ultimate goal is that these kids are able to not only train in the county, but stay in the county for employment,” she says.

The food service industry in Fauquier needs more trained workers and faces high turnover, according to Ms. Kiser.

“We are developing them ready to enter the workforce with a valuable skillset,” Ms. Frye says. “We definitely know there is a need for employees, and we are hoping to make that connection between students and opportunities in their community.”

Jennifer Villatoro, director of catering and events at Stoneridge Events Center just outside of Warrenton, says the company plans to interview several high school culinary students.

At a recent culinary arts open house at Stoneridge, students highlighted their skills.

Ms. Villatoro says the students’ “drive, their presentation, the way they spoke about what they were offering and how they prepared it and their confidence” impressed her.

Stoneridge hires about four extra employees during the spring and winter seasons and hopes to fill those positions by hiring local students, according to Ms. Villatoro.

“We outsource staff (during peak seasons), so it’s great to have people in the community that we can offer that, too,” she says. “We spoke to one student who wanted to be behind the scenes (prepping hors d’oeuvres). Not a lot of people are looking for that.”

A Kettle Run senior who took the introductory culinary class last semester put her skills to use while serving appetizers at the Fauquier chamber luncheon.

“I liked learning all the basics, so I could cook for my family and myself,” Maura O’Hara says. “I could see myself becoming a chef in the future, but I’m focused on engineering now. I cook as a hobby right now.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Online threat not related to Fauquier High School

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The sheriff’s office beefed up security at FHS on Tuesday morning, but investigators determined the threat referred to another school.
An online threat did not target Fauquier High School on Tuesday morning, according to the county sheriff’s office.

Deputies rushed to the Warrenton campus after a citizen shared a threatening Instagram post about “FHS” just after 6 a.m., according to Sgt. James Hartman.

The Instagram post reads: “Don’t come to FHS Tomar Because You Going to Die I Am Going To Shoot That S--- Up.”

Many parents pulled their children from Fauquier High as news of the situation circulated.

But, later Tuesday morning, sheriff’s investigators determined the social media post referred to another school in Virginia.

The sheriff’s office issued this press release just after 11 a.m. Tuesday:

An early morning threat to cause violence at a high school with the initials “FHS” is determined to have occurred in a separate Virginia jurisdiction, not Fauquier County.

A screen shot of an Instagram post was circulated on social media overnight and made its way to Fauquier County residents. The sheriff’s office was alerted to the post shortly after 6 a.m. this morning. 
 
Sheriff’s detectives worked with Facebook, Instagram and an internet service provider to locate and confirm the origin of the Instagram post. The post originated in another Virginia jurisdiction and all indications are that it references a school in that jurisdiction. 
 
Detectives contacted law enforcement in that jurisdiction who were aware and conducting an investigation. Working with that jurisdiction, Fauquier sheriff’s detectives confirmed this Instagram post referenced that jurisdiction and not Fauquier County.  The acronym “FHS” references a school in that jurisdiction and not Fauquier High School.
 
Out of extreme caution, FCSO quickly coordinated with Fauquier County Public Schools to provide an increased law enforcement presence at Fauquier High School. Receiving the unconfirmed threat, coordinating safety and security at the school and initiating an investigation all occurred at the same time staff and students began arriving at Fauquier High School. 
 
Always remember: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING; SAY SOMETHING!
 
If you don’t call 9-1-1 you can contact the Sheriff’s office at the non-emergency number 540-347-3300.


On Saturday, the sheriff’s office investigated an online threat against “LHS.”

The investigation revealed it referenced a school in Florida — not Liberty High School in Bealeton.

Addiction treatment center options focus of group

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Under one scenario, the community service board’s mental health clinic would move to this building at 540 Hospital Drive. Dr. Norman Mauroner has offered to move his practice and sell the building, according to County Administrator Paul McCulla.
The McShin Foundation would operate a residential addiction treatment center in this building if the existing clinic moves to another structure.
The clock is ticking. People are dying; we need to step up to the plate. . . . Now is the time when the rubber hits the road.
— Warrenton Councilman Jerry Wood
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier officials last week unveiled a plan to establish an overnight residential addiction recovery center in Warrenton and a new home for a state-operated mental health clinic.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors in January discussed a $4-million proposal to demolish the existing Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board building at 340 Hospital Drive and replace it with two-story, 7,800-square-for structure to accommodate the mental health clinic.

The supervisors postponed action on that project to explore the possibility of adding a third floor to the proposed building for a residential addiction recovery center.

But that idea fizzled, partly because the community services board and Richmond-based McShin Foundation, which hopes to establish an overnight addiction recovery center in Warrenton, believed it would be complicated and impractical for them to operate in the same building.

But, County Administrator Paul McCulla then got a call from Dr. Norman Mauroner, who suggested that his family practice building at 540 Hospital Drive might serve mental health clinic’s needs.

For tax purposes, the county values the 9,500-square-foot building and 1.4-acre site at $1.3 million.

Mr. McCulla declined to discuss a potential purchase price but said the physician would move his practice if the county bought the property.

Dr. Mauroner failed to return a phone message seeking comment.

But, the Mauroner proposal could reduce the cost of providing space for the Fauquier Behavioral Health Clinic and an overnight addiction recovery center from about $4 million to $2 million or less.

Under a new plan Mr. McCulla outlined Friday during a three-hour “retreat” on opioid addiction, the mental health clinic would move to the Mauroner building and a residential addiction recovery center would open in the existing RRCSB building.

If the new plan proceeds:

• Fauquier and Warrenton-based PATH Foundation would buy the Mauroner building.

• The county probably would own the building and rent it to the RRCSB for a nominal fee. The state agency would remodel the Mauroner building to meet the clinic’s needs.

• RRCSB would donate its building at 340 Hospital Drive to the county. Fauquier would rent the 7,800-square-foot building for a small sum to The McShin Foundation, or another organization, that would operate a residential addiction recovery program. Constructed in the mid-1970s, the building stands on an acre that the county owns.

To allow a residential recovery center, the existing mental health clinic property would require rezoning and special permit approval by the town council. The one-acre lot has “Residential/Office” zoning and would need “Public/Semi-Public” for the proposed use.

County, Town of Warrenton, RRCSB, PATH and McShin representatives participated in Friday’s opioid retreat.

County Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District), who represents Warrenton, likes the concept.

“It sounds like a good solution,” Mr. Granger told the working group. “It sounds like Mr. McCulla’s got us pointed toward a winner.”

“The clock is ticking,” Town Councilman Jerry Wood (Ward 1) said. “People are dying; we need to step up to the plate. . . . Now is the time when the rubber hits the road.”

Mayor Powell Duggan agreed.

“I think the town is going to be behind this,” Mr. Duggan said.

He will ask the council to “take whatever action’s needed” to begin the process of rezoning the RRCSB site for residential recovery center use, the mayor said in an interview.

The proposal also would require RRCSB approval.

“I think it went well,” Chris Connell, who manages McShin Foundation’s Warrenton counseling office, said of the retreat. “It just brought us all together on the same page.

“I think it brought understanding that the town and county want to work together and follow through on what they said they would do — help us find another location.”

McShin’s proposal to establish a 14-bed addiction recovery center in downtown Warrenton helped to heighten awareness of the demand for such treatment. 

But the town council — citing zoning and the comprehensive plan — on Jan. 9 unanimously denied the foundation’s special permit application to operate a 28-day addiction recovery program at 30 John Marshall St.

Moments before the vote, council members pledged to help establish a recover center in town.

“I know they’re out there,” Councilwoman Linda “Sunny” Reynold’s (At-large) said of alternative sites. “We are all team players. And, I honestly believe we can find a location.”

Babysitter for hire

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

FHS “unconfirmed threat” prompts sheriff’s response

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The sheriff’s office dispatched deputies to the Fauquier High School campus Tuesday morning.
UPDATE: Sheriff’s investigators determined the threat refers to another “FHS,” elsewhere in Virginia.


The sheriff’s office Tuesday morning “increased law enforcement presence at the Fauquier High School campus” in response to “unconfirmed threats” on social media.

“Don’t come to FHS Tomar Because You Going to Die I Am Going To Shoot That S--- Up,” reads a post on Instagram.

“A concerned citizen” shared the post with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office early Tuesday, Sgt. James Hartman said.

Classes continue as normal, with deputies on campus, according to Sgt. Hartman said.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Virginia have investigated numerous online threats after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., he added.

The sheriff’s office posted this on its Facebook page at 8:09 a.m.:

The Fauquier County Sheriffs Office was made aware of a social media post earlier this morning containing unconfirmed threats to “FHS”. 

FCSO is coordinating with our public schools administration and FHS staff to provide increased law enforcement presence at the Fauquier High School campus. The safety of our schools and students is our greatest priority. 

The social media post is under investigation and we will provide further information as it becomes available. 

REMEMBER: if you see something, say something! 

Anyone with information can contact the Sheriffs Office via 9-1-1 if it’s an emergency or by calling the non-emergency number at 540-347-3300.

Fauquier County real estate transfers for Feb. 12-16

Posted Tuesday,
February 20, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Feb. 12-16, 2018:

Cedar Run District

Patsy M. and Marion H. Edmonds Jr. to Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC, 1.66 acres, Rt. 616, $16,600.

Rockwood Homes Inc. to Caitlin Feeley and Jon Palermo, 4.48 acres, 8303 Squires Lane, near Warrenton, $518,613.

Donna H. Abel to Robert M. Heflin, 4 acres, off Razor Hill road, $90,000.

Fray E. and A.J. Lowe Jr. to Alexandr and Katie Tarasevich, 10 acres, Lot 4, Section 1, Westwood Farms Subdivision, 10074 Westwood Road, Catlett, $460,000.

Caitlin R. and Bruce A. Cinibulk II to James T. Johns, 3.2 acres, Lot 3, Overgard Subdivision, 3449 Payne Lane, near Nokesville, $451,000.

Mildred E. Thomas to Janet M. Boots, 10.87 acres, Lot 12, Casanova Hills Subdivision, 8738 Country View Drive, near Casanova, $585,000.


Center District

Christina L. Koonts to Jennifer A. and Jeffrey A. Michael, 0.22 acre, Lot 4, Chestnut Turn Subdivision, 7194 Mosby Drive, near Warrenton, $367,000.


Lee District

Surrey House LLC, William H. Farley as manager, to Anthony Lucero, Lot 1, Quail Hollow Subdivision, 4367 Dyes Lane, Bealeton, $347,500.

David F. Reynolds to Cynthia L. Smith, 1.1 acre, 7297 Covington’s Corner Road, near Bealeton, $320,000.

Eileen F. Friganza Revocable Trust, Lynn Karcich as trustee, to Erik B. Heiser, Lot 10, Land Bay F, Section 1, Phase A, Vint Hill Subdivision, 6732 Eckert Court near Warrenton, $460,000.

Edward H. and Kelly R. Quick to Emily J. and Joseph P. Decker, 6.89 acres, Lot 14, Quail Hollow Subdivision, 13467 Silver Hill Road, Sumerduck, $380,000.

NVR Inc. to David and Calisia Harris, Lot 9, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 3000 Revere St., Bealeton, $397,812.

NVR Inc. to Megan R. Sierra and Luis A.S. Chavez, Lot 7, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 3008 Revere St., Bealeton, $411,430.


Marshall District

C. Kris Kirkpatrick, trustee, to Scott Avery, Lot 15, Section 1, Appalachian Lookout Subdivision, near Linden, $75,000.

C. Kris Kirkpatrick, trustee, to Rockwood Homes Inc., 48.54 acres and 5 acres, Cherry Hill Road, southwest of Linden, $275,000.

Richard H. Grefe to Christopher E. and Diane Frost, 10.84 acres, Lot 138-A, Bellevue Farms Subdivision, 7397 Wilson Road, near Warrenton, $650,000.


Scott District

Ryan W. and Christina E. Jones to John P. Turk, 30,189 square feet, Lot 18, Block A, Rock Springs Estates Subdivision, 5149 Rock Springs Road, near Warrenton, $328,000.

Elizabeth B. Wells Living Trust, Cynthia W. Hill as trustee, to Dawn M. and Paul F. Mercer III, 9.2 acres, 7084 Bunker Hill Road, near The Plains, $550,000.

John D. and Robin D. Vieke to Edward H. and Kelly R. Quick, Lot 19, Phase 12-A, Brookside Subdivision, 7155 Shepherdstown Road, near Warrenton, $485,000.

Rachel J. Chopp, by substitute trustee, to Misas Invest LLC, 1.18 acres, Lot 16, Section 2, Rolling Acres Subdivision, 5669 Linden Court, near Warrenton, $238,001, foreclosure.

Christiana Trust, trustee, to Reba Habati, 1.66 acres, 4316 Lee Highway, near Warrenton, $171,000.

Vint Hill Village LLC to Aarons Towing LLC, 2.79 aces, Lot 7-B, Land Bay K, Phase 2, Vint Hill, $609,840.

The race for chairman of the local Republican committee

Posted Monday,
February 19, 2018
Like 0 · 5 ·

Art of the Piedmont raises funds for Montessori school

Posted Monday,
February 19, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Faces of Fauquier: She used to type 112 words a minute

Posted Monday,
February 19, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
“I probably know at least half of my customers by name,” says Kristi Faull, manager of Red Truck Bakery’s store in Warrenton. “I know about their families and their jobs and various things about them.”
I feel like every day I have an opportunity to make somebody have a better day.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For more than two decades, the Idaho native worked as a medical transcriptionist and editor.

Because Kristi Faull had studied nursing in college and wanted a home-based career, the job seemed like a perfect fit.

“My daughter was 8 months old and I needed to work,” recalls Mrs. Faull, 53, who lives near Warrenton. “And, I had mad typing skills. I taught myself. I’m actually an anomaly; most people go to school.”

Though she began transcribing notes for kidney doctors, Mrs. Faull eventually mastered “all specialties.”

In her prime, she typed 112 words per minute, with a “99 percent accuracy rate. I never had any problems with my quality-assurance checks.”

But when Mrs. Faull moved from a small town near Boise to Fauquier about four years ago — her husband Charlie took a federal government job in Washington — she decided a “completely different” career would be in order.

“I’d spent all those years hearing voices,” she explains. “I was ready to be able to get up and move around, instead of being chained to a computer. And I wanted to interact with people.”

“I was going to do something that was a little bit more fun.”

When Mrs. Faull learned that Warrenton’s Red Truck Bakery needed help, she applied for a counter job.

While she had no retail or bakery experience, “I like people,” she says. “I’m a nice person. I think you can teach anybody to do a job. You can’t teach them to be kind. And I think kindness is the most important part of the job.”

Mrs. Faull started behind Red Truck’s register in August 2015. Last April, she got promoted to store manager.

Despite her administrative duties, Mrs. Faull finds as much time as ever to serve customers.

“The more I worked up front, the more I realized I really, really enjoyed the interaction with people,” she says. “I probably know at least half of my customers (about 200) by name. I know about their families and their jobs and various things about them.

“They’re not just my customers, they’ve become my friends.”

• Age
53

• Home
Near Warrenton. 

• Work
Manager, Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton, April 2017-present;
counter saleswoman, Red Truck, August 2015-April 2017; medical transcriptionist and editor, 1991-2013.

• Why do you do the job?
Primarily because I like people; I like my colleagues and adore our customers. We have the best customers in the world.

I just love being able to bring a smile to somebody’s face every day.

There’s little ways that we can make a difference in the world. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it when you’re doing it. I feel like every day I have an opportunity to make somebody have a better day.

• Family
Husband, Charlie; two grown children.

• Education
Emmett High School, Idaho, 1983.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
About four years.

• Why do you live here? 
It’s got kind of a country feel, but it still has amenities that you need that are conveniently located. It’s close enough that it only takes my husband about an hour to get to work; it’s close enough that if I want to go to the city, I can.

And, we were able to find a house that didn’t sit right smack-dab against its neighbor, which when you come from Idaho with lots of open space, that’s kind of important to you.

• How do you describe this county? 
It has a lot of characteristics that go back to old-time America. You get to know people, and there’s not that distrust that you see in a big city. Your neighbors actually know who you are and kind of keep an eye out on what’s going on around the place.

And I Iove Old Town when they put up the Christmas lights and it looks like it could be a Norman Rockwell painting.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
It needs to have more family-friendly type activities, like a movie theater, bowling alley or a skating rink — just something people can take their kids to.

We have parks, but you can’t always go to the park; and at some point, your kids reach an age when parks are not appealing to them. We have the WARF, but that’s not inexpensive for a family.

There are certain things that they could be a little bit more progressive on, like building a new library in Warrenton. I do like our library, even though it’s old and small.

• What do you do for fun?
Read and wrangle two cats and three dogs; I belong to a quilting group. So I hang out with my quilting “bee sisters” all the time; do stuff with my husband and my daughter, when she’s available. 

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Red Truck Bakery.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
I hope it’s not like Gainesville. I would hope we’ll see a little more growth, but not too much growth — kind of a happy medium. And I hope it still has lots of trees, because I love trees.

• Favorite TV show?
“Fixer Upper.”

• Favorite movie? 
“Return to Me.”

• Favorite book?
“The Pull of the Moon” by Elizabeth Berg.

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Anywhere there’s water.

• Favorite food? 
Turkish.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
My friend Kathy’s mom was dying of cancer, and I would sit with her sometimes. And Jerri was at a stage in her disease that she was pretty much eating only chocolates. I was with her one morning. She said, “You want a chocolate?” I said, “No, it’s kind of early.” She said, “Don’t make the mistake I made. Don’t wait until you’re dying to eat chocolate.” So the message is don’t wait until you’re dying to do something fun, that you enjoy.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents. My dad had a stroke when he was 68 and he wasn’t able to walk or talk. And my mom took him home from the hospital. She took care of him at home for 8-1/2 of the 10-1/2 years that he continued to live. He was always happy when you came to visit.

The job of a caretaker is tremendous. My mon was never bitter; she wasn’t resentful. Her whole life turned upside down overnight. I just felt we learned so much from them in all those years, watching her care for him and watching him deal with his life being completely changed.

Both of them continued to be just happy and they loved each other. They just were remarkable.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
First thing I would do is call my nephew-in-law, who’s a financial guy, and get him on the job.

I would make sure my house and my siblings’ houses were paid off, so they’d never have to worry about a mortgage.

I think that teachers spend so much money out of pocket to buy things for their classrooms. So I think it would be so cool to have some sort of a grant program that they could request “x”-amount of dollars for supplies.

I’d definitely donate money for the new library. My sister used to take me to the library. This is why I love the library so much. In the summer, she would ride with me on our bikes to the county library and we would check out as many books as our baskets would hold. Then the next week she would take me again. I learned to love the library when I was very, very young.

Suggest a profile candidate
Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at cbrown@fauquiernow.com, Don Del Rosso at don@fauquiernow.com or Editor Lou Emerson at LKE@FauquierNow.com.

Our thoughts and prayers don’t stop hail of bullets

Posted Monday,
February 19, 2018
Like 0 · 26 ·

Freeman’s Ford intersection subject of March 21 meeting

Posted Monday,
February 19, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

What do you think of Fauquier County real estate taxes?

Posted Friday,
February 16, 2018
Like 0 · 6 ·

Grace Rigby, 19, enters race for mayor of Warrenton

Posted Friday,
February 16, 2018
Like 2 · 16 ·
Grace Rigby, a Kettle Run High School graduate, works at a Warrenton law firm.
Grace Rigby
• Age: 19

• Home: Warrenton

• Work: Legal assistant at Howard, Clark & Howard, Warrenton, 2017 to present.

• Education: Lord Fairfax Community College, 2017 to present; Kettle Run High School, 2017.

• Family: Mother, Kim and stepfather Kevin Nay; father, Rob and stepmother Jackie Rigby; brothers, Michael and Joshua; stepsister, Kaleigh.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

About two weeks before the filing deadline, a teenage legal assistant announced Thursday that she will run for mayor of Warrenton.

If elected, Grace Rigby, 19, would become Warrenton’s first female mayor.

Ms. Rigby became the second candidate for the position in the May 1 election. Downtown merchant Carter Nevill also recently announced his candidacy to succeed Mayor Powell Duggan, who will step down June 30 after one four-year term.

“I think it would be an amazing experience, not only for me, but to have a member of the youth on the town council,” Ms. Rigby said. “I think we are often underrepresented. We have a lot of youth (in Warrenton). I think I could bring some refreshing ideas.”

Warrenton voters also will elect the two at-large council members in May. Those elected will earn four-year terms that start July 1. 

Councilman Linda “Sunny” Reynolds in January announced that she will seek re-election this year. Councilman Sean Polster has not indicated whether he will run again.

Potential candidates must file petitions, with the signatures of at least 125 registered town voters, by March 6 to get on the ballot.

A Lord Fairfax Community College student, Ms. Rigby works at the law firm of Howard, Clark & Howard. She has lived in Warrenton most of her life.

“I see all the opportunities that are here. I have an amazing job. I love it here,” she said. “My whole family has been here. You can’t not see people you know. I feel like I’m in the Andy Griffith Show. I know everyone.”

Ms. Rigby recently decided to run after reading a story about Mr. Nevill’s announcement.

“I think that just reading that inspired me to think that’s an option,” she said. “I’m very inspired by government, and I think the government has the potential to do so much for their constituents.

“No matter what social policies I want to run on, what’s most important are the people who I’m representing — what they think, what they want.”

She developed her leadership and public speaking skills at Kettle Run High School, where Ms. Rigby served as vice president of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club and as co-founder and president of the school’s chapter of Amnesty International.

Being a three-year member of the Model United Nations club sparked Ms. Rigby’s interest in politics.

“I’ve always been interested in politics, especially local government,” she said. “You can do so much good in your own community.”

Ms. Rigby has attended several town council meetings in the last two years, including work sessions on the Walker Drive mixed-use rezoning.

If elected, she hopes to boost youth involvement in the community through volunteerism and internships and to improve Warrenton’s waste management program.

“I think that that position some people might classify it as a figurehead, but I think it carries a lot of weight in the community,” Ms. Rigby said. “With that weight I’d probably implement the social policies I’m running on of involving youth in the community . . . . I think it would be beneficial for us to incentivize recycling.

“Obviously everyone wants to reduce town taxes, but I’d have to look at going about that without cutting programs,” she added. “It would be my ultimate goal to reduce taxes and get youth involved in the community.

“Across America, youth are familiarized with teaching and firefighters, but not a lot of people are considering politics. I think involving youth in the community and the youth council . . . would really inspire them and show them it’s possible.”

She said the town should “keep growing our economy and town, but also preserve our small-town feel. That’s why people are so drawn to Warrenton and come to Warrenton, to see our beauty.”

Ms. Rigby plans to talk to voters by going door-to-door on weekends.

Allison Coppage, who works as an attorney with Walker Jones and lives in Warrenton, has known Ms. Rigby her entire life.

“She has an amazing, youthful exuberance, which is missing in a lot of youth these days — motivation, dedication,” Ms. Coppage said. “She’s bringing to the forefront that youth can be involved in the government . . . . It may encourage other youth to say, ‘I can do this.’”

Ms. Rigby said she will launch a campaign Facebook page soon.  

Town council members earn $400 a month and the mayor gets $800 a month. Warrenton’s elected officials also qualify for the same town health insurance coverage that municipal employees receive.

Warrenton voters will elect council members in the town’s five wards in May 2020.

Data center site owners offer “proffer” compromise

Posted Friday,
February 16, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Although county officials have yet to produce tax revenue projections for the proposed Remington Technology Park, Fauquier would receive far more from data centers than from “proffers” tied to a Bealeton subdivision rezoning in 2003, the property owners contend.
We’re hopeful that has addressed questions that people brought up.
— Bob Springer, property owner
Data Center Project
• What: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval from county board of supervisors for data center campus.

• Where: 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road, just northeast of Remington.

• Property owners: Bill and Bob Springer of Warrenton; VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide electricity to project.

• Under roof: 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Applications: Request to rezone from residential to “Business Park;” site has approval for 199 home lots and to eliminate $2.7 million in cash proffers for a separate, 197-lot subdivision rezoned in 2003. 

• Schedule: An advisory panel to the supervisors, the planning commission will conduct a Feb. 27 public hearing; supervisors, with final authority, expect to conduct a March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The owners of the proposed data site near Remington this week offered a compromise to help convince Fauquier’s board of supervisors to approve the potential billion-dollar-plus project.

Fauquier residents Bob and Bill Springer and their partner GGFS/Foxhaven LLC of Alexandria own the 234-acre data center site along Lucky Hill Road just northeast of Remington.

They also own an undeveloped, 197-lot subdivision called Fox Haven at Route 28 and Schoolhouse Road near Bealeton.

The supervisors in 2003 rezoned that property — with a required $2.7-million cash proffer — from agriculture to residential.

But the landowners no longer want to pay Fauquier that amount to help offset the cost of public services that Fox Haven homeowners would require.

As an alternative, they have proposed giving the county at least $605,184.

The landowners offered that option partly in response to concerns that Supervisors Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall District) and Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run) raised during a Feb. 8 work session on the data center project.

The Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping or reducing Fox Haven’s cash proffer, according to the landowners.

That would “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” they contend. Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. has a contract to buy the data center site.

Under the revised Fox Haven proffer, the developer would pay Fauquier $14,700 for each of the 197 homes. But, after the county issues occupancy permits “for a minimum of 200,000 square feet of data center space,” the cash proffer would drop to $3,072 per home.

That represents the maximum amount the county could expect to receive under Virginia’s new proffer law, which took effect on July 1, 2016.

The landowners also believe the cash proffer should be reduced because the data center’s local tax payments would far exceed the Fox Haven subdivision’s public service costs to Fauquier.

Additionally, they note that rezoning the data center site from residential to “Business Park” could erase millions of dollars in potential public service costs if the permitted 199 single-family homes got built there.

Ms. McDaniel last week worried that eliminating the Fox Haven proffer might set a dangerous precedent. Mr. Gerhardt asked if the cash proffer could be incrementally eliminated as the data center developed.

He and his partners revised proffers attempt to satisfy those concerns, Bob Springer said.

“We’re hopeful that has addressed questions that people brought up.”

The Springer brothers and their partners also want the proffers changed to allow the construction of up to 66 Fox Haven homes per year — twice the number approved in 2003.

County staff members outlined the latest Fox Haven cash proffer revision Thursday, after a county planning commission work session on the data center project.

Any advisory panel to the supervisors, the commission has no role in the proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers.

During the work session, the commission discussed:

• Ways to cool the proposed centers, including potentially using effluent from the nearby Remington wastewater treatment plant. For a variety of reasons, including access, availability and state approval, that option seemed improbable.

• Future use of the proposed buildings and site should technology render them obsolete.

• Screening the site from neighboring landowners.

• The need for an emergency access that would cross the railroad track along the site’s western boundary.

Pointe One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval to construct six data center totaling up to 1.8 million square feet. Each building would range from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet.

The commercial real estate developer put the project’s investment at $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

The centers should create 120 to 180 high-paying, full-time jobs and up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs, according to Point One.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 27, on the data center application.

The supervisors, who have final authority, will conduct March 15 public hearings on the data center and Fox Haven applications.


5 Friday Fauquier factoids: 911 dispatchers stay busy

Posted Friday,
February 16, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
File Photo
Fauquier’s emergency communications center dispatchers handled an average of 66 calls a day last year.
24,246
The number of 9-1-1 calls Fauquier’s Emergency Communication Center received in 2017.

The county launched its 9-1-1 system on Dec. 30, 1994. The first caller reported cows on the road near Remington, according to the sheriff’s office.

The board of supervisors approved development of an enhanced 9-1-1 center in 1992.

The emergency communications center has 24 employees who field calls and dispatch emergency responders. They work in the lower level of the sheriff’s office at 78 W. Lee St. in Warrenton.


$3.4 million
Approved funds in the Town of Warrenton’s Capital Improvement Program for parks and recreation projects through fiscal 2022. 
 
The project list for fiscal 2019, which starts July 1, includes $854,750 for Timber Fence Trail, $225,000 to replace playground equipment at Rady Park, $200,000 for the Depot Park and $115,000 for a fence at Eva Walker Park.


$13,680
Revenue generated last year from 456 marriage licenses that Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office issued.

Costing $30 each, licenses expire in 60 days.

A person must be at least 18 to marry, unless otherwise allowed to do so by a circuit court judge.

Marriage ceremonies also must be performed in Virginia by a circuit court-authorized person.


231
Copies of “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero” checked out from Fauquier’s three public library branches in one week.

The book launches the library’s first “community read,” which encourages citizens to discuss the theme of triumph over adversity.

Using $2,760 in donations, the library purchased 250 copies of “Thunder Dog,” including print and electronic formats.

Author Michael Hingson on Wednesday, April 11, will discuss and answer questions about “Thunder Dog” during a free program at Highland School’s Rice Theater in Warrenton.


$373,599
Median price of Fauquier County homes sold in January, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

Forty-one “units” sold last month in the county, which had 324 dwellings on the “active” market, according to Long & Foster Real Estate.

Throwback Thursday: Taxes would increase $200

Posted Thursday,
February 15, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
1993 Fauquier County tax increases proposed.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of Feb. 19, 1993

Your local tax bills could climb $200

The average Fauquier taxpayer would dig $200 deeper into his or her pocket late this year if the supervisors approve County Administrator Bob Lee’s spending plan.

Lee’s $72.8-million budget proposal would raise the real estate tax rate to $1.06 per $100 assessed value, a 14-percent hike from the current 93 cents. Funding for Liberty High School’s ongoing construction would account for 2.5 cents of the tax rate increase.

For the current year, Fauquier budgeted $68.9 million, including $44 million for schools.

“It includes some fairly dramatic cuts, but I believe I left enough room there for the board of supervisors to put their signature on the budget,” Lee said.

His proposal also would raise the personal property tax rate — applied to vehicles — by 5.7 percent.





Rezoning would put Warrenton Lakes students in Marshall

Warrenton Lakes resident Mary O’Bryant has been down this road before and doesn’t want to travel it again.

The school board four years ago established new attendance zones for the county’s four junior high schools. Warrenton Lakes students who previously attended Warrenton Junior High, including Mrs. O’Bryant’s son, got rezoned to Taylor.

Next week, the Citizens Advisory Committee to Recommend School Attendance Zones will suggest moving Warrenton Lakes students again.

In its presentation to the school board Monday night, the committee will recommend that junior high students from Warrenton Lakes attend Marshall when the county adopts a middle school format in the the fall of 1994.

The rezoning also would affect Snow Hill subdivision near New Baltimore. Those students, who attend Warrenton Junior High, would go to Marshall.

“We’re tired of being the scapegoat of rezoning,” Mrs. O’Bryant said. “It’s like the stigma in the Warrenton Lakes community is, ‘Why is it always us?’ ”


County airport breaking even

Some people worried last year that county government’s purchase of the Warrenton/Fauquier Airport was a waste of money, but already there’s talk it could make a profit.

Jim Redway, chairman of the Airport Committee, told the supervisors Tuesday that at the vary least he expects the facility to break even this year.

With 97 airplanes based at the airport near Midland, Redway said it brought in $2.1 million last year. Expenses for the airport totaled $2.1 million, but most of that came from the $1.8-million purchase price.


New Baltimore volunteers honored

The New Baltimore Fire Co. recently honored Chief C.Q. Ritchie and Lt. Marvin Hereford for responding to the most calls, 254 and 169, respectively, in 1992.

The company, which responded to 460 calls last year, also named George Rosenberger “Firefighter of the Year” and awarded Bea Keefer an honorary membership for her support of NBVFC activities.

Four members received 5-year pins during the Jan. 30 banquet: Dave Steury, George Keefer, Mike Lander and Roger Lightner.


FHS’s Atkinson reaches new heights

Fauquier High junior Jeff Atkinson set a school winter track record, clearing 14 feet to win the pole vault at the Cardinal District meet.

The vault, a full foot-and-a-half higher than any of Atkinson’s competitors, gave Fauquier its only district champion.

“I knew I could do it, but I hadn’t quite done (14 feet) in practice,” said Atkinson, who has been vaulting since the spring of his freshman year. “With the weather begin so nice, I was pretty confident.”


Employment ad

VDOT Heavy Equipment Operator A
Bealeton Area Headquarters

Individual to perform physically demanding work in highway maintenance, construction and repair, including road patching, mowing, flagging traffic, erecting signs and snow removal. Operate and perform preventative maintenance on light and medium duty highway equipment . . . . Valid Virginia Operator’s License, safety shoes and timely receipt of Commercial Driver’s License are required. Graduation from high school and/or comparable experience which demonstrates the ability to do the work.

Salary $13,772 to $21,027

Each position offers an excellent benefit package. If qualified for any of these positions, send a Virginia State application to:

Human Resources, VDOT
P.O. Box 671, Culpeper, Va. 22701

Dominion Energy proposes new building in Warrenton

Posted Thursday,
February 15, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Dominion already has a substation on its 1.7-acre property on Linden Street.
We simply do not have sufficient space at our existing Meetze Road facility.
— Chuck Penn, Dominion spokesman
Office/Garage Proposal
• Applicant: Dominion Energy.

• Where: 200 block of Linden Street, Warrenton.

• Building: About 7,200 square feet total for vehicle storage and offices.

• Zoning: Residential.

• Needs: Special use permit from town council.

• Next: Staff will review and comment on the application before it goes to planning commission for consideration and a recommendation to the council.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Virginia’s largest utility company wants to construct two new buildings in Warrenton.

Dominion Energy recently submitted a special use permit application for a 6,670-square-foot garage and office building and a 600-square-foot storage building on Linden Street.

An electrical substation already stands on the 1.7-acre property, which Dominion Energy owns near the farmers’ co-op and the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds.

The company has a 13,000-square-foot office building on Meetze Road, just east town, but it has run out of space, according to Dominion Media/Community Relations Manager Chuck Penn.

“The simple reason is because our field personnel need more space,” Mr. Penn said of the proposed new structures. “We simply do not have sufficient space at our existing Meetze Road facility.”

Dominion has about 45 employees in its Warrenton office.

Seven transmission division employees would move from those offices to the new building. Transmission workers install, maintain and repair higher-voltage lines at substations, according to Dominion’s application, filed last month in Town Hall.

Those employees “work at many surrounding counties, and so the point is that they routinely would not be in the Linden Street area . . . . The site would be quieter than one might expect,” Dominion Commercial Facilities Construction Consultant Jim Mallon wrote in the application.

The office portion of the building would measure 1,540 square feet, with a four-bay garage area of 5,131 square feet. It probably would be a “Butler pre-engineered metal building,” according to the application.

Under the town’s zoning ordinance, Dominion needs a special use permit to construct the buildings in a residential area.

Dominion also would improve screening, build a utility pole storage rack, replace the rusty chain-link fence and install new lights around the property. They would remove contractor trucks on the property and would “generally clean up the site to be much more attractive,” Mr. Mallon wrote. A new, 8-foot-tall fence would surround it.

The town staff will provide comments on the application before it goes to the planning commission.

The commission will make a recommendation for approval or denial to the town council, which has the final authority.

Among three electricity providers in the county, Dominion has the most with 21,400 Fauquier customers.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 15, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Proposed county budget raises taxes 11.7 percent

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 2 · 24 ·
The vast majority of positions added are in the fire and rescue area. But, because of the austere nature of the budget, it does not meet anywhere near the school board’s request.
— County Administrator Paul McCulla
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Fauquier homeowners would face a significant jump in their real estate tax bills under the county administrator’s proposed budget for fiscal 2019.

Paul McCulla’s spending plan calls for the owner of an “average” home to pay $393 more taxes. That represents an 11.7-percent increase from this fiscal year.

The average tax bill would increase to $3,745, according to Mr. McCulla’s budget proposal.

Released Wednesday, the plan totals $335.9 million, an increase of $25 million or about 8 percent.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors will begin budget deliberations in March.

Mr. McCulla’s budget proposal would give the school system $3 million more — half the increase that Superintendent David Jeck proposed. Dr. Jeck’s plan totals $144.5 million.

Mr. McCulla’s proposal also would provide Fauquier’s emergency services department $3.1 million more for:

• 13 new fire and rescue technicians, funded only with county money ($1.4 million).

The department has 101 career firefighter/medics.

• The county’s $1.5-million match to fund 15 fire/rescue positions, created in 2017 after Fauquier received a three-year SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant from the federal government.

• A senior administrative assistant, the reclassification of nine positions and the purchase of three new ambulances.

The budget proposal also includes:

• $830,000 for nine new county government positions, including an assistant county administrator, marketing coordinator, budget coordinator, information security analyst and project manager.

• $1.1 million for a 1.4-percent cost-of-living raises and 1-percent merit pay hikes for county government’s approximately 600 workers.

County workers received no pay increase in fiscal 2018.

“The vast majority of positions added are in the fire and rescue area,” Mr. McCulla said. “It also seeks to provide the schools a sufficient level of funding to take care of their compensation increases. But, because of the austere nature of the budget, it does not meet anywhere near the school board’s request.”

Fauquier’s real estate rate stands at $1.039 per $100 assessed value. It did not increase this fiscal year.

For tax purposes, Fauquier reassesses the county’s real estate every four years. The Code of Virginia requires local government to reassess all property at 100 percent of fair market value.

Real estate owners received their new assessments in January.

Under the previous assessment, Fauquier valued the average home at $321,300. Based the new assessment, average residential value has increased 17.7 percent to $378,000.

A penny on the real estate tax rate generates $1.1 million in revenue — about $100,000 more than the previous assessment produced.

Fauquier’s proposed fiscal 2019-2023 construction plan totals $72.2 million, with an additional $212.3 million designated for “future” years.

The board will conduct work sessions on March 2, 6, 8, 13 and 19.

The supervisors’ public hearing on proposed budget and capital improvements plan will take place Thursday, March 15, at Fauquier High School in Warrenton.

The board expects on March 22 to adopt the budget, capital improvements plan and tax rates.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Fauquier Proposed 2019 Budget Summary by Fauquier Now on Scribd

GOP chairman endorses Burroughs as successor

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

A fiscal conservative can prove she has a heart

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 9 ·

Fauquier schools consider reviving EMT course

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
This is definitely training that will give students careers. It’s the hope that this course will build a pipeline of future employees.
— Career and Technical Education Supervisor Sarah Frye
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After a 10-year hiatus, the emergency medical technician course could return to Fauquier’s three public high schools next fall.

“We had EMT years ago, and it disappeared because of funding,” Career and Technical Education Supervisor Sarah Frye said.

The school system would partner with Fauquier’s emergency services department to hire an instructor and offer the class to students 16 and older, mostly juniors and seniors, Ms. Frye explained.

The idea stemmed from a discussion with county Fire/Rescue Chief Darren Stevens and the success of an independent study course. This semester, four high school students take an EMT class three days a week through the emergency services department.

The proposal would bring an EMT instructor into the schools.

“Anything we can do to get more young people interested in volunteering and the potential to enter into a career workforce, whether it be here or surrounding jurisdictions,” would help, Mr. Stevens said.

The demand for medics nationwide will grow 15 percent in the next decade, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

“This is definitely training that will give students careers,” Ms. Frye said. “It’s the hope that this course will build a pipeline of future employees.”

The class would prepare students to earn EMT certification.

A starting firefighter/EMT in Fauquier earns $46,000 a year. The county last month hired 22 more first responders.

“Several hundred new firefighter/EMT positions in our region opened up,” Mr. Stevens said. “If we can better prepare our students to be more competitive for those positions, it’s to our advantage.

“I would anticipate hiring between 12 to 15 (more) over the next few years,” he added. “We always have a high demand for people to enter into our volunteer workforce.”

Fauquier high schools offer a fire science course, with six students enrolled this semester.

Administrators would use existing funds for the EMT course, according to Ms. Frye.

Adding the EMT class would require school board approval. The board also will consider these new courses:

• Physical/Occupational Therapy I at Kettle Run High School.

• Advanced French Literature and Culture.

• Arabic IV.

New High School Pilot Courses 2018 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Update: Sentencing slated April 16 on manslaughter

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Richard T. MacDonald called the victim’s father after seeing the body the next morning, according to his defense attorney.
This guy is quiet as a church mouse. He’s a guy that stays pretty much to himself. From people we’ve talked, nobody has said that there’s anything in his history or background that suggests aggression.
— Blair Howard, Warrenton defense attorney
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The man who pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting and stabbing death of a longtime friend near Warrenton last year faces sentencing in April.

Richard T. MacDonald pleaded guilty in Fauquier County Circuit Court to killing Larry Walker, 56, and one count using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Mr. MacDonald, 65, will be sentenced Monday, April 16.

A former Warrenton Safeway employee, he could get up to 10 years in prison for manslaughter and up to five years for the weapons charge.

Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Walker drank heavily the night before the Feb. 19, 2017, incident.

The killing took place in Mr. MacDonald’s home on Turkey Run Road, just southeast of town. Mr. MacDonald rented the house from the victim’s parents.

His mother, sister and brother, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, refused to discuss the case.

Warrenton resident George “Dink” Godfrey, who also attend the 10-minute hearing, declined comment.

Mr. Godfrey, who has known Mr. MacDonald for more than 40 years, will testify on his friend’s behalf during the sentencing hearing.

Warrenton lawyer Blair D. Howard, who represents Mr. MacDonald, said at least four “character” witnesses will testify.

The prosecution expects to call one or two people to testify against Mr. MacDonald during the hearing, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey Cook said.


Story published Tuesday, Feb. 13:


The defendant on Wednesday plans to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting and stabbing death of a longtime friend and neighbor near Warrenton about a year ago.

Richard T. MacDonald, 65, also will plead guilty to use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to documents filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

A former Warrenton Safeway employee, Mr. MacDonald could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for manslaughter and up to five years for the weapons charge in the killing of Larry Walker.

The killing took place in Mr. MacDonald’s home on Turkey Run Road, just southeast of town. Mr. MacDonald rented the house from the victim’s parents.

Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Walker, 56, drank heavily the night before the Feb. 19, 2017, incident, according to the prosecution’s three-page statement of facts.

A third man — Donald Busick — had joined them that evening but left before the killing.

“On at least once occasion, Mr. Walker pulled out his handgun and presented it to the group, though no one would be able to say later exactly what he intended other than to merely to brandish the weapon boastfully,” according to the prosecution.

Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fischer couldn’t be reached Tuesday morning for comment.

Based on Mr. MacDonald’s account, he and Mr. Walker got into an argument and tussled.

The arrest warrant states that Mr. MacDonald said “he was trying to get the victim to leave his residence when he became involved in a physical altercation with him.”

At some point, Mr. Walker produced a .38-caliber pistol, a shot got fired and he fell to the floor, according to court documents.

Mr. MacDonald told investigators he then shot Mr. Walker twice in the back.

He told investigators that Mr. Walker “was still moving prior to him shooting him twice,” according to the arrest warrant.

Medics pronounced Mr. Walker dead at the scene.

But the autopsy found that Mr. Walker suffered five gunshot wounds — one in the head, one in the neck and three in the back. The state medical examiner’s report also concludes that Mr. Walker got stabbed four times — producing three “gaping” wounds — and cut with a kitchen knife.

Mr. MacDonald recalls little about the details related to the shooting and stabbing, according to his Warrenton defense attorneys.

“Our guy’s recollection of events is paper-thin,” said attorney Blair D. Howard, who estimates he has handled “dozens” of homicide cases. “He admits he was intoxicated. But, he does remember (Mr. Walker) coming out and he remembers there’s a struggle over the gun.

“In the course of the struggle, the gun goes off. Next thing he knows, the guy’s down, he grabs the gun.”

Later that Sunday morning, Mr. MacDonald found the victim’s body on the kitchen floor, Mr. Howard said.

“He maintains he didn’t know (Mr. Walker) was dead,” the lawyer said. “What’s the first thing he does? He calls the guy’s father. He did the right thing . . . . Our guy isn’t trying to hide anything.”

At least four character witnesses will testify on behalf of Mr. MacDonald during the sentencing hearing, his lawyers said.

“This guy is quiet as a church mouse,” Mr. Howard said of his client, who has no criminal record. “He’s a guy that stays pretty much to himself. From people we’ve talked to, nobody has said that there’s anything in his history or background that suggests aggression.”

Mr. MacDonald has remained free on a $25,000 cash bond since last May. After he pleads guilty Wednesday, the bond will be revoked and he will be jailed pending the outcome of his sentencing hearing.

Authorities originally charged him with:

• Murder, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

• Use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, which carries a minimum three-year sentence.

• Two counts of firing a weapon in an occupied dwelling, each carrying up to a five- year sentence.

Best Bets: Paws to Read, Vint Hill health fair

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Contributed photo
Children ages five to 10 can read to therapy dogs at the library in Bealeton Saturday.
Rapidan Trout Unlimited hosts a fly fishing show at Highland School Saturday.
Fauquier entertainment this weekend includes a health and wellness fair with screenings, demonstrations and a blood drive. In Bealeton, children can read to therapy dogs at the library.

Other options include a fishing show, breakfast in Orlean and an after prom fundraiser at Liberty High School.

Health and Wellness Fair at Vint Hill
9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 17
4235 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

The Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department hosts a family health fair at the Vint Hill Community Center. The event features an American Red Cross Blood Drive beginning at 8:30 a.m., health screenings, demonstrations, children’s activities and giveaways. Free.
www.facebook.com/events




Rapidan Trout Unlimited Fishing Show
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17
597 Broadview Ave., Warrenton

This 30th annual fly-fishing show features tackle and equipment vendors, fishing guides, seminars, door prizes, art, rod raffles and more. Event held at Highland School. Adults, $5; children 11 and younger, free. Proceeds support local cold water conservation and education.
www.rapidantu.org

LHS After Prom fundraiser
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17
6300 Independence Ave., Bealeton

The Liberty High School After Prom committee hosts a fundraiser with more than 45 vendors, crafts and LuLaRoe clothing.
facebook.com/events

Paws to Read in Bealeton
10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 17
10877 Willow Drive North, Bealeton

Children ages five to 10 years old can read to trained and certified therapy dogs at the Bealeton branch of the Fauquier County Public Library. Parent or caregiver with signed permission slip must accompany children. Free.
fauquierlibrary.org

Country breakfast in Orlean
8 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 18
6838 Leeds Manor Road, Orlean

The Orlean Volunteer Fire Department hosts its monthly all-you-can-eat country breakfast at the fire hall. The menu includes scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, grits, home fries, fruit orange juice, coffee and tea.
Adults, $8; children eight and younger, $3.
www.ovfrd.org

Other options in and around Fauquier:

> Music at Orlean Market

> Historic house tours at Sky Meadows State Park

> Remington United Methodist Church ham dinner

> Liberty United Methodist Church supper

For more options, click here.

Guilty pleas in accidental shooting of 4-year-old

Posted Wednesday,
February 14, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Isaiah Marshall Davis, 26, and Destinie Rochelle Beach, 22, entered guilty pleas Tuesday in Fauquier County Circuit Court.
They admitted leaving a loaded gun in a parked car with three small children.

A Stephens City man and woman Tuesday pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the accidental shooting last fall of a 4-year-old girl in the back seat of the vehicle parked at Quarles Truck Stop in Opal. 
 
Isaiah Marshall Davis, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of “abuse and neglect” of a child younger than 18 — one that deals with “serious injury” and another that showed a “reckless disregard for human life.”

Convictions on those charges carry up to 10 and five years in prison, respectively.

Destinie Rochelle Beach, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of “abuse and neglect” of a child, demonstrating reckless disregard for human life.” Ms. Beach faces a potential five-year sentence.

Represented by different defense attorneys, Mr. Marshall and Ms. Beach entered their pleas during separate hearings in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Ms. Beach, free on a $5,000 bond, will be sentenced April 4. She has a prior conviction for shoplifting.

Mr. Davis, who has a lengthy criminal record, will be sentenced April 23. He remains in the county jail.

Traveling with three children from Winchester to Colonial Beach, they pulled into the truck stop on Sept. 8, according to sheriff’s investigators.

Mr. Marshall and Ms. Beach left the children “unsupervised and unrestrained” in the vehicle.

A 2-year-old boy picked up the gun and “accidentally discharged it,” hitting Ms. Beach’s 4-year-old daughter in the upper arm.

Ms. Beach and Mr. Davis returned to the vehicle and left Opal without getting medical treatment for the girl’s serious wound.

They drove to Westmoreland County, where a family member contacted authorities about the accidental shooting. The girl received treatment at an area trauma center and got released.

The other two children suffered no injury.

$79,300 embezzlement nets two years in state prison

Posted Tuesday,
February 13, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Margie S. Ryder’s theft and failure to make payroll deposits cost Warrenton Heating & Air Conditioning more than $240,000, according to the prosecution.
I’ve made no secret of my disdain for these crimes . . . . It seems to suggest no conscious at all.
— Judge Jeffrey W. Parker
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The judge Tuesday afternoon expressed no sympathy for a Linden woman whose crimes cost a small Warrenton business $240,000.

Margie Susan Ryder, 38, will spend two years in prison for embezzling $79,300 from Warrenton Heating & Air Conditioning during a 22-month period, beginning in April 2015.

But, in pronouncing the sentence, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker said Ms. Ryder’s damage far exceeded that amount.

“I’ve made no secret of my disdain for these crimes,” Judge Parker said in Fauquier County Circuit Court. “People who operate small businesses . . . deal on a firsthand basis with people who steal from them (in embezzlement cases).

“It seems to suggest no conscious at all.”

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey E. Cook asked for a tough sentence.

“What she was was a liar and a thief,” Ms. Cook said of the defendant, who pleaded guilty in December. “She had been stealing from him for years . . . back to 2011.”

Ms. Ryder, who worked full-time as a federal government employee making $74,000 a year, not only stole from business owner Philip Rutter. She failed to make tax and Social Security payments, resulting in huge penalties, according to the prosecutor.

Mr. Rutter, 71, had hoped to plan for retirement but instead had to secure a line of credit to pay the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration, Ms. Cook told the judge before sentencing.

“She not only stole from the business, she stole from the employees,” Ms. Cook added.

Mr. Rutter has four employees, he said Tuesday.

Ms. Ryder came to work part-time for the business in 2009, helping Mr. Rutter’s mother with bookkeeping. After the death of his mother in 2011, Ms. Ryder took over the company finances, Mr. Rutter said. “That’s when the trouble started.”

Supposedly paid $200 a week, she began taking twice that much. Her failure to make the tax and Social Security deposits kept the general ledger’s bottom line looking OK, said the business owner, who trusted her while he worked in the field.

When the company began getting late payment notices and letters from the IRS, Ms. Ryder blamed the federal bureaucracy and “computer problems.”

Ms. Cook said of the defendant: “She was doing everything she could to deceive Mr. Rutter . . . . She lied to him and tried to blame the IRS . . . .

“All the while, she was riding around on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that she bought in 2016 and a Ford pickup truck that she bought in 2016.”

But, the business owner last year went to his bank and began an investigation that produced the embezzlement charges.

In addition to the losses and penalties, Mr. Rutter also has spent more for an accountant and a lawyer to deal with the situation. But, his prospects for recovering any money from Ms. Ryder seem remote. She has filed for personal bankruptcy, according to the prosecutor.

Still, the judge ordered restitution of $79,300. An insurance company paid Mr. Rutter’s business $10,000 for the loss and will get that amount from restitution, if paid.

Judge Parker sentenced Ms. Ryder to 10 years in prison but suspended eight years and ordered probation after her release.

She said nothing before the judge pronounced the sentence. Defense attorney Mark Williams asked only that the judge consider Ms. Ryder’s lack of a prior criminal record and “health conditions . . . and a heart ailment.”

Judge Parker read a list of amounts owed the IRS: “$10,600, $10,957, $12,444, $13,375 . . . . It’s just staggering in my opinion.

“We know what these kind of numbers mean,” the judge added.

“I was pleased that she stepped up to the plate and admitted her guilt,” Mr. Rutter said outside the courtroom. “She had denied it before . . . .

“Uncle Sam is tearing me up. It wasn’t my money she stole; it was my employee’s money.”

Finally, he said: “I’m pleased.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 13, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Virginia Supreme Court revokes bail in murder case

Posted Tuesday,
February 13, 2018
Like 1 · 2 ·
Bernard C. Duse Jr., 76, had remained free on bond since Jan. 3. He will stand trial for murder in March.
The (circuit) court inexplicably stated that Duse had no history of violence, ignoring that he currently was under indictment for the execution-style murder of his work supervisor. Additionally, the court never discussed Duse’s long history of mental health disorders, his history of protracted litigation against former employers, or the evidence that former co-workers, supervisors, and a customer had reported fearing him.
— Virginia Supreme Court ruling
Duse Murder Case
• What: July 26 murder in parking lot of CVS pharmacy at 510 Blackwell Road, Warrenton.

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

• Defendant: Bernard C. Duse Jr., 76, of Alexandria.

• Charges: First-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of murder.

• Sentence: If convicted, Mr. Duse could be sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and a maximum three years for the weapon charge.

• Defense attorney: John F. Carroll, Fairfax.

• Prosecutor: Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher.

• Next: Jury trial scheduled March 19-23 in Fauquier County Circuit Court.
Virginia’s Supreme Court on Monday reversed a Fauquier County Circuit Court judge’s decision last month to grant bail to man a charged with first-degree murder of the Warrenton CVS store manager.

After a bond hearing on Jan. 3, Judge Jeffrey W. Parker approved the release of Bernard C. Duse Jr. on a $75,000 bond.

Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney James P. Fisher challenged that ruling to Virginia’s Court of Appeals, which affirmed it.

But the supreme court reversed that finding, agreeing with the commonwealth’s attorney that Judge Parker had “abused” the circuit’s “discretion” in granting Mr. Duse’s bail request.

Mr. Duse returned to jail Tuesday.

“The Commonwealth contends the circuit court abused its discretion for four reasons,” the supreme court’s nine-page opinion reads.

Agreeing with the prosecutor, the seven-member panel found that Judge Parker “abused” the circuit court’s “discretion” by:

• Applying “the doctrine of presumed innocence to a pre-trial bail hearing.

“By virtue of being indicted for first-degree murder, Duse is ‘presumed’ to be ‘an unreasonable danger to himself or the public’ and a flight risk. . . . Therefore, by applying the presumption of innocence, the circuit court utilized an erroneous legal standard to guide its consideration” of the applicable code factors, “and (the) decision regarding bail, premised on that consideration, was an abuse of discretion.”

• “Finding that the brutal and calculated circumstances of the murder were outweighed by the absence of ‘any specific threat’ or ‘immediate threat’ to any other individuals.”

Mr. Duse last July 26 allegedly murdered Rex Mack Olsen, 64, manager of the CVS store on Blackwell Road.

The attack took place at about 10:15 p.m. in the store’s parking lot, near a dumpster.

Execution-style, Mr. Duse twice shot Mr. Olsen of Culpeper — first in the back of the head and, after he fell to the ground, in the face, according to the prosecution.

• “Speculating that Duse was ‘unlikely’ to abscond because of his age.”

• “Wholly discounting and according no weight to Duse’s well-documented prior history of mental health disorders.”

If convicted of both charges, he could be sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder and a maximum three years for the felony weapon charge. 

Mr. Duse’s trial will take place March 19 to 23 in circuit court.

ORD 02-12-2018 Commonwealth of Virginia by Fauquier Now on Scribd




Warrenton man allegedly fled fatal crash scene

Posted Tuesday,
February 13, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·
Vincente Martir Vides Vasquez, 21, of Warrenton, faces charges of nvoluntary manslaughter, hit and run causing death and driving without a license in the Monday morning crash that killed another Warrenton man in Prince William County.
A Fauquier sheriff’s deputy Monday afternoon found a Warrenton man wanted in connection with a fatal early-morning crash in Prince William County.

Responding to a call from a citizen about a suspicious person walking and jogging on Blantyre Road north of Warrenton, Master Deputy Wesley Frost located the man walking near the intersection with Blackwell Road at approximately 1 p.m. Monday, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Earlier in the morning, Prince William County Police began searching for the driver of a vehicle who fled the scene of a fatal crash on James Madison Highway (Route 15) south of Haymarket.

The driver, passenger and the deceased all had a Warrenton address, Fauquier sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said.

“The individual Master Deputy Frost located matched the description of the driver Prince William Police were searching for,” Sgt. Hartman said.

After asking a series of questions, Deputy Frost detained Vincente Martir Vides Vasquez and notified Prince William police.

“The individual was then taken to the Fauquier County line and turned over to Prince William authorities,” Sgt. Hartman said.

Prince William police charged Mr. Vasquez, 21, of Jackson Street in Warrenton, with involuntary manslaughter, hit and run causing death and driving without a license.

Authorities said speed and alcohol may have contributed to the collision.

The crash killed Jose Nelvin Romero Maldonado, 38, of Warrenton, according to Prince William police. The front seat passenger was identified as a 30-year-old man of Warrenton

At 2:42 a.m. Monday, investigators responded to a single-vehicle crash on James Madison Highway near Thoroughfare Road.

A northbound 2001 Toyota 4-Runner had run off the road and rolled over, police said. Its driver fled before they arrived, according to police.

The crash ejected Mr. Maldonado, who wore no seatbelt, from the back seat passenger, according to authorities. He died at the scene.

A 30-year-old Warrenton man riding in the front passenger seat suffered minor injuries. He wore a seatbelt, police said.

A Prince William County police tracking dog and a Fairfax County Police helicopter joined the search for the driver.

Catlett, Calverton sewer costs soar to $10.9 million

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
The county will borrow $7.1 million and use cash reserves to fund the balance of the project, which will provide 308 connections.
Fauquier County government’s cost to build a wastewater treatment system for the villages of Catlett and Calverton has jumped dramatically.

The board of supervisors last week appropriated another $3.4 million for the project, which will provide just more than 300 connections for homes, businesses and public buildings in the two villages along Route 28 in eastern Fauquier.

With construction slated to begin this spring, the project will cost an estimated $10.9 million.

Five years ago, county officials estimated the cost at just more than $7 million.

But, that estimate failed to include land acquisition for drainfields, contingency funds for rock and unsuitable soils and system elements such as an emergency generator, County Administrator Paul McCulla told the supervisors last week.

The county recently hired construction management firm Downey & Scott to produce better estimates. The Vint Hill company also will manage the project for Fauquier.

Lynchburg-based English Construction Co. will build the system.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has approved a $7.1 million, low-interest loan to finance construction.

The supervisors agreed to use cash reserves to make up the difference.

Even with the higher cost, Fauquier eventually will recoup its investment through new development and higher real estate assessments, according to county officials. They project a $9.8-million increase in tax revenue over 20 years.

That projection includes $34 million worth of new real estate development in Catlett and Calverton.

“What this shows, to me, is that in the end, you’re gonna see the full cost of this project come back to you,” Mr. McCulla told the supervisors during a work session last Thursday afternoon.

The supervisors expressed frustration with the higher costs. But, they voted, 5-0, Thursday night to appropriate the additional funds.

Board members said they made a commitment to citizens and business owners in the area. For decades, poor soils and failing drainfields have plagued the area, thwarting new construction and suppressing sales of existing structures.

100-acre horse farm near The Plains sells for $3.5 M

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Photo/MRIS
Built in 2007, this home and 100 acres on Burrland Lane near The Plains last week sold for $3.5 million.
This post has been corrected. A previous version included a photo from another property.

A 100-acre horse farm near The Plains sold last week for $3.5 million.

The Burrland Lane property features a five-bedroom, seven-bath stone home built in 2007. The 8,500-square-foot house has four fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, a cinema room, pool room and wine cellar.

The property features an 18-stall barn, a two-stall barn with an apartment, 14 paddocks and an outdoor riding ring.

North of The Plains, the property went on the market in 2010 with an asking price of $8.5 million, according to Zillow.com.

But, the lender foreclosed on the property before putting back on the market in December, with an asking price of $2.8 million. It drew six offers, and bids drove the price up, according to Long & Foster Realtor Alexandra Lohr, who represented both the buyer and the seller.

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds a conservation easement on the land, according to county real estate records.

The Scott District sale tops the most recent list of Fauquier real estate transactions.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Feb. 5-9, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Hermanson Homes Inc. to M.D. Russell Construction Inc., 4.12 acres, Sillamon Road, Goldvein, $58,000.

R. Carl and Carolyn G. Faller to Hilaria R. Guerrero and Daniel G. Hernandez, 1 acre, 12221 Baines Corner Road, near Bealeton, $175,000.

Linda Fling to Ryan M. and Lindsey K. Riegel, 1.31 acres, Lot 22, Poplar Grove Subdivision, 8195 Poplar Grove Drive, near Warrenton, $429,900.


Center District

Bridget M. Henry to Paul E. and Tiffany L. Black, 1.47 acres, $195,000, North and High streets, Warrenton, $195,000.

Karen Michelle Calderon to Gerardo and Daysi P. Rubinos, Lot 66, Section 2, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 478 Estate Ave., $389,000.

Alireza and Denise Afshari to Alex K. and Bonnie R. Jeffries, Lot 3, Mews at Menlough Subdivision, 14 Quarterpole Court, Warrenton, $285,000.

Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier to VKM Holdings LLC, 1 acre, 169 Keith St., $319,794, assumption of deed of trust.


Lee District

Danforth-Remington LLC, John Maestri as member, to NVR Inc., Lots 26 and 71, Phase 3, Rappahannock Landing Subdivision, Remington, $159,120.

Joseph P. and Emily J. Decker to Valerie Huffman, Lot 48, Section 1, Phase 2, Lee’s Glen Subdivision, 11701 Battle Ridge Drive, near Remington, $250,000.

Bobby G. Summers Jr. to Bradlee E. Eiler, 0.45 acre, 199 N. Rappahannock St., Remington, $341,500.

Isidore R. Madore to David Enger, 5 acres, Lot 3, Deerfield Estates Subdivision, 5363 Providence Lane, Sumerduck, $385,000.

David L. Wind and Cari Little to Teresa M. Weaver and Elizabeth A. Williamson, 6,000 square feet, Lot 4, Remington North Subdivision, 11877 Poland Court, Remington, $286,000.


Marshall District

Whiting Industrial LLC, Glenn F. Miller as managing partner, to Lost Patrol LLC, 23,649 square feet, Lot 2-F, Whiting Court Land Condominium, Whiting Road, Marshall, $255,000.

Gavin D. Moyland and Terri S. Brooks to Michelle Hamilton, Lot 11, Section C, Marshall Townhouses, 8613 Colston Court, Marshall, $174,000.

Michael P. Conwell to Andrew D. Devolder and Stephanie R. Rickabaugh, 11.08 acres, 7025 Owl Lane, near Marshall, $680,000.


Scott District

NVR Inc. to Julie E. and Bruce E. Baldwin II, Lot 31, Phase 10-C, Brookside Subdivision, 6855 Lake Anne Court, near Warrenton, $581,075.

Mark D. and Amandq J. Remily to Sarah and John Letos Jr., Lot 38, Section 1, Addition to Marstella Estates Subdivision, 7326 Stuart Circle, near Warrenton, $417,000.

U.S. Bank NA, trustee, to Joseph and Stephanie Spytek, 100.5 acres, 2525 Burrland Lane, near the Plains, $3,500,000.

James N. Hylton and others, by special commissioner, to Forrest R. Surprenant, 1.05 acre, 7258 Baldwin Ridge Road, near Warrenton, $260,000.

John W. and Nancy A. Reber to Donald W. Armold and Victoria Taylor, 7.81 acres, Lot 6, Phase 1, Steeplechase Woods Subdivision, 4584 Canter Lane, near Warrenton, $683,000.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

School board seeks citizen input on budget tonight

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 3 ·
Fauquier’s school board will hold a public hearing for citizen comment on the proposed fiscal 2019 budget tonight, Monday, Feb. 12.

The public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. at Fauquier High School. The board start its regular meeting at 6 p.m.

Last month, Superintendent David Jeck presented his proposed budget that calls for $6 million more in county funding for fiscal 2019, which starts July 1.

Dr. Jeck’s plan totals $144.5 million. That represents an increase of $7.1 million or 5.2 percent from this year.

The proposed budget includes:

• $3.26 million for 3-percent raises for all 1,800 school system employees.

• $1 million more for building improvements/maintenance, buses and a security specialist.

• $687,000 to fund 10 new positions and two existing positions, with state funds.

• $342,000 for technology to increase Internet bandwidth and to replace computers and phones.

• $50,000 for teacher training and development and tuition reimbursements, covered through state funds.

County Administrator McCulla will present his proposed budget — including recommended school funding — to the board of supervisors Wednesday, Feb. 14. 

After a series of work sessions and its own public hearing, the board of supervisors plans to adopt the county budget March 22. 

School Board Meeting 21218 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

County supervisors approve sale of “surplus” real estate

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
This 3.5-acre parcel in Bealeton, assessed for tax purposes at $619,500, lies across Route 28 from Grace Miller Elementary School.
Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday agreed to sell eight “surplus” county-owned properties that could produce $2 million or more.

The parcels — two of which include single-family homes — total about 35 acres.

A real estate firm will be hired to market the properties, County Administrator Paul McCulla told the supervisors. The board would have to approve any sales contracts.

The parcels include:

• A 3.5-acre parcel on Route 28 across from Grace Miller Elementary School at Bealeton. The lot has “Planned Residential Development” zoning. Valued for tax purposes at $619,500, the lot initially had been planned for a new fire station. However, since then a fire and rescue station has been planned at the nearby Mintbrook mixed-use community. 

• A 3.9-acre lot on Shepherdstown Road at Vint Hill. The property has agricultural zoning. For tax purposes, the county values it at $73,600.

• Two lots on Crawleys Dam Road near Goldvein. Both parcels have agricultural zoning. For tax purposes, the county values the 2.1-acre lot at $94,000 and the 1.24-acre lot at $83,000. 

• A 22.8-acre lot at Ritchie and Elk Run roads near Midland. The lot has agricultural zoning. For tax purposes, the county values it at $137,000.

• A single-family home on one acre at 4355 Lake Brittle Road near New Baltimore. The property has agricultural zoning. For tax purposes, the county values the property at $278,500.

• A seven-tenths of an acre portion of a 2-acre parcel on Keith Street in Warrenton, across from the town cemetery. The property has “Public-Semi-Public” zoning. For tax purposes, that portion of the lot could be valued at about $600,000. 

• A single-family home on a half-acre at 7252 Fifth St. in Remington. The property has residential zoning. For tax purposes, the county values it at $152,100.

— Don Del Rosso

Greg Schumacher running for GOP chairmanship

Posted Monday,
February 12, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

Changing the conversation about drug addiction

Posted Saturday,
February 10, 2018
Like 0 · 9 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Fauquier native Ron Sanchez describes the need for a greater range of addiction treatment services during the Warrenton Planning Commission public hearing in November.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Calls came late at night several times from his hospital bed.

The first time, Mick told us he awaited a liver transplant — an unlikely prospect.

In subsequent talks, we recalled the good times and thanked one another.

He had little time left.

An addict, Mick had exhausted a long string of second chances. He ranked ahead of no one on the transplant list.

Over the last decade, he had recovered from the ravages of drug and alcohol abuse that almost killed a country boy in New York. Returning to Southwest Virginia, he had done great work for the weekly newspaper group in Wytheville.

Our friendship grew from Virginia Press Association conventions and resulted in his move to Warrenton to work with us for a couple of years. A talented musician, voracious reader and wonderful conversationalist, Mick grew professionally here. He had character.

He was a character.

Oh, he partied hard, particularly with his friend, George Dickel, and maintained a couple-pack-a-day habit. I watched him at a campout take a shot and fire up a cigarette at first light. But, he performed well on the job, earning his way to The Roanoke Times — a long-term goal that we helped him achieve.

Eventually, his leash grew longer in Roanoke. Writing great stories that other reporters overlooked and trusted to no longer come to the newsroom every day, Mick worked from home, covering an outlying county where he and his wife bought a house.

But, the demon returned. Eventually, crack cocaine and other drugs consumed his job, his musical instruments, his home and much more.

In the last late-night call, Mick said goodbye.

Lots of his many friends had tried to help. He spent time in residential treatment and in a program that included a call-center job.

But addiction won. Mick died in April 2009, leaving his wife, their dogs and hundreds of heartbroken people he touched along a too-short journey.

Addiction sooner or later affects most of us.

Ellen’s goddaughter two years ago died of an overdose at age 26. We’ve watched others struggle, as almost every family has at least one member fighting some substance for his or her life.

But, our conversations have changed over the last couple of years. Death as an experience, not an abstract statistic, will do that.

In almost 40 years of public hearings, I’d never covered one with the raw emotional power of the Warrenton Planning Commission deliberations on Tuesday night, November 21.

During the packed public hearing in Town Hall, mothers matter-of-factly told of children lost. Denial, lies, theft and bad friends played roles in death spirals that family members often helplessly saw coming.

Addicts shared intimate details of their struggles and ongoing recovery.

They came across as calm and credible — people from all walks of life, all levels of education, all neighborhoods.

Business and community leaders stepped to the lectern, adding their support for the McShin Foundation’s application to start a residential, peer-to-per recovery program in downtown Warrenton.

Obviously moved, the planning commission supported the proposal, which the town council in January rejected.

Setting aside whatever one thinks about that decision, the testimony and deliberations have helped foster a greater understanding of and concern about addiction in our community.

I make no claim of expertise. I know only what I’ve seen.

The concoctions of heroin, Fentanyl and other substances people inhale or inject grow more dangerous. Yet, reported overdoses here continue to rise.

Most of us cannot fathom what makes a human being jab a syringe of potential death into her arm or between his toes.

But, struggling to understand, we continue to listen and to empathize.

That saves lives, one can surmise from the dramatic decline in Fauquier overdose deaths last year.

From the White House to the kitchen table, we acknowledge the complexity of addiction.

Its ravages probably will continue as long as the human species survives. But, we must deal with the challenges of our time here.

I wish Mick could join this conversation. He’d appreciate the honesty and the genuine desire to help young people, in particular, make careful choices.

Blaming no one else, Mick would say — as he told us — that he took responsibility for life and his death.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Proffer relief complicates proposal for data center

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 3 ·
This conceptual illustration shows the completed data center, which would generate far more tax revenue than the $2.7 million cash proffers the county would get from a Bealeton subdivision.
We not only believe it is a bad deal for the county, but we are concerned about the perception that it creates.
— Julie Bolthouse, Piedmont Environmental Council representative
Data Center Project
• What: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval from county board of supervisors for data center campus.

• Where: 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road, just northeast of Remington.

• Property owners: Bill and Bob Springer of Warrenton; VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide power to project.

• Under roof: 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Applications: Request to rezone from residential to “Business Park;” site has approval for 199 home lots and to eliminate $2.7 million in cash proffers for a separate, 197-lot subdivision rezoned in 2003. 

• Schedule: Feb. 15 county planning commission work session; an advisory panel to the supervisors, the commission will conduct a Feb. 27 public hearing; supervisors, which has final authority, expects to conduct March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Marshall District supervisor worries that a proposed revenue trade-off related to the data center project near Remington could establish a dangerous standard.

“I’m struggling with this,” Mary Leigh McDaniel, an accountant, said during a Thursday work session on the project. “We want and need economic development . . . . But, I am concerned about precedent.”

Fauquier residents Bob and Bill Springer and their partner GGFS/Foxhaven LLC of Alexandria own the proposed 234-acre data center site along Lucky Hill Road just northeast of Remington.

They also own an undeveloped, 197-lot subdivision called Fox Haven at Route 28 and Schoolhouse Road near Bealeton.

Rezoned from agriculture to residential use in 2003, Fox Haven requires the developer to pay Fauquier $2.7 million in cash “proffers” to help pay for public services the new homes would demand.

The landowners contend the proposed, billion-dollar-plus Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping the cash proffer tied to Fox Haven, which lies about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

Proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” according the application. “While the two related rezoning requests are required to be processed separately, they are essentially a joint rezoning application with each being dependent upon the other.”

Eliminating the Fox Haven cash proffers of $14,700 per home would make the subdivision lots more marketable, Bob Springer said in an interview Thursday.

Meanwhile, the proposed data center site has zoning for 199 single-family homes.

Rezoning that property to “Business Park” use would eliminate millions of dollars in public service costs those homes would demand, according to the county planning staff.

And, should the data center get constructed as proposed, it would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, the county analysis found.

That revenue would far exceed the loss of the $2.7 million Fox Haven proffers, Mr. Springer said.

“I don’t know that’s a bad precedent,” he added.

But Ms. McDaniel fears that if the board approves the Fox Haven amendment, other landowners will expect the same treatment under similar circumstances.

“And how do you say no? You can’t. You can have it for this, but maybe not for the other one,” she said Thursday. “But, I would really like to see the economic development that this brings. I’ve been challenged on this one.”

He understands why the supervisors might be “skeptical” about the proffer proposal, Mr. Springer said.

“They want to make sure the county gets a good deal,” he said. “I don’t blame them. That’s their job.

“This is in the best interest of the county. The way my brain works, it’s cut and dried. Obviously, others view it in a different way.”

The Warrenton-based Piedmont Environmental Council suggested the unusual proffer proposal sends the wrong message.

“We not only believe it is a bad deal for the county, but we are concerned about the perception that it creates,” PEC staff member Julie Bolthouse wrote in a Feb. 6 letter to the board of supervisors. “To the average citizen, it is perceived as blackmail at best or as a pay-to-play scheme at worst.”

Mr. Springer declined to comment on the PEC letter.

Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run) asked if the $2.7-million cash proffer could be incrementally extinguished as the data center developed.

That would require the applicant’s consent, County Attorney Kevin Burke told the board.

But the Springers and their partner have rejected the idea of tying proffer relief to a project that might never get built or completed as planned. They would sell the property to Point One Holdings Inc.

As part of the Fox Haven rezoning amendment request, the landowners also seek approval to construct up to 66 homes per year. The 2003 rezoning limited construction to 33 houses per year. 

The first of six proposed data center buildings — ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet — would represent a $250-million to $270-million investment, according to Point One.

The data center project, which could take five to seven years to complete, would create up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 180 permanent, “highly skilled and well-paid, full-time jobs,” the application states. 

An advisory panel to the supervisors, the county planning commission will conduct a Feb. 15 work session and Feb. 27 public hearing on the data center rezoning application

The supervisors plan to conduct a March 8 public hearing on the data center application. The application to amend Fox Haven’s proffer agreement requires a public hearing before the supervisors, who will decide the matter. That hearing also could take place March 8.

The planning commission has no role in the proposed changes to the 2003 proffers.

Application SOJ FoxHaven 1stSub (3) by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Application documents filed with county:

Application SOJ RemTechPark 1stSub by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Application ConceptRenderings RemTechPark 1stSub by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Application ProfferStatement RemTechPark 1stSub by Fauquier Now on Scribd

New grants for “creative” outdoor projects available

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Four decades of Big Macs

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 3 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
With its replacement rising, only rubble remains of the McDonald’s that opened in Warrenton on Jan. 30, 1971.
47
Years the old McDonald’s restaurant stood at 351 Broadview Ave. in Warrenton before getting demolished this week. The popular fast-food eatery opened Jan. 30, 1971.

A smaller, 4,796-square-foot McDonald’s should open there Monday, March 19.

The new restaurant will retain two entrances/exits on Broadview Avenue and one on Roebling Street. It will feature two drive-thru lanes, 52 parking spaces and a new play place.


22
The number of bedrooms in the mansion at North Wales, a 1,471-acre estate west of Warrenton.

The 38500-square-foot home also has 13 full and three half-baths.

On the real estate since last spring, North Wales has an asking price of $33 million.


6.8 million
Gallons of water Warrenton’s four carwashes used last year. That equates to an average 570,000 gallons per month.

Together, White Horse Auto Wash, Dr. Car Wash, Warrenton Car Wash and the Exxon Circle K carwash last year paid the town $97,900 for water.


1,659
Students with disabilities enrolled in Fauquier County Public Schools during the 2017-18 term — up 31 percent from seven years early.

During the 2011-12 term, students with disabilities totaled 1,268.

In his proposed fiscal 2019 budget, Superintendent David Jeck asked for two additional special education teachers to improve instruction for students with disabilities and to continue to meet state and federal requirements. If approved, the two full-time positions would cost $155,914.


$2,790
Cost of furnishing a firefighter with protective clothing and gear, including:
• Coat — $1,250.
• Hood — $35.
• Pants — $1,050.
• Boots — $360.
• Helmet — $250.
• Gloves — $95.

Big Picture: Tanker has plenty of room to spare

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Harry’s restaurant aiming to expand Airlie’s appeal

Posted Friday,
February 9, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·
Photo/Cassandra Brown
Airlie spent more than $750,000 to renovate the space for Harry’s.
Airlie Executive Director Chuck Smith and Chef Duane DuPrey.
Although on the ground floor of Airlie House, Harry’s has a wall of windows facing the lake.
Bartender Alyssa Dietrich pours one of the craft beers on tap.
We needed a fresh approach to our customer base. We wanted to be an option for our local clientele in Warrenton. We felt like they needed another place to go.
— Airlie Executive Director Chuck Smith
Harry’s
• What: Restaurant serving burgers, flat bread, oysters, salads and other items, with most produce and meat from Airlie’s farm.

• Where: 6809 Airlie Road, Warrenton; ground floor of Airlie House.

• Entrees: $10 to $25.

• Beverages: Craft beers, wine and full bar.

• Employees: 30 full- and part-time.

• Space: 1,500 square feet with room for about 90 people.

• Hours: 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday to Sunday; 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

• Phone: 540-428-7156

• Facebook: Click here

• Website: Click here

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

If his plan works, Airlie’s new restaurant will draw more local customers to the conference center just north of Warrenton.

Executive Director Chuck Smith led development of Harry’s, the new eatery on Airlie House’s lower level, with a wall of windows facing a lake.

Open since early December, Harry’s features meat and produce grown at Airlie Berkshire Farm on the 300-acre property.

“We needed a fresh approach to our customer base,” Mr. Smith said. “We wanted to be an option for our local clientele in Warrenton. We felt like they needed another place to go.”

The 1,500-square-foot space resembles a winery with decorative barrels overhead and extensive wood and stonework. Formerly a conference room, the space underwent about seven months of renovations last year. Airlie spent more than $750,000 on the project, including two restrooms and new kitchen equipment.

With a casual atmosphere, cozy booths and lots of natural light, the restaurant can seat 90 people. It also has a patio facing the lake.

The menu features black Angus beef, raised on the property.

“We have control of the product I think that nobody else has,” Mr. Smith said. “We know what they’ve eaten, how they’ve lived, how we’ve treated them and how they were harvested.”

Airlie’s staff picked about 50,000 pounds of vegetables from its 20-acre production garden planted in 2017. This year’s crop, starting in April, will supply fresh vegetables for the restaurant.

American University received Airlie as a donation in 2016 and has since invested millions of dollars to improve the campus.

“Part of the reason we went back to farming is because we believe there’s a heritage to this place,” Mr. Smith said. “We wanted to pay homage to the heritage by reintroducing cattle and row crops.”

The new restaurant’s name pays homage to Harry Groome, a wealthy and influential Fauquier County citizen who built Airlie House 119 years ago.

“What was started in 1899, we are trying to build upon,” Mr. Smith said. “Have some good beer on tap, amazing food you’ll talk about to all your friends and a customer service experience that will exceed your expectations.”

Warrenton banker Amelia Stansell has visited Harry’s about seven times since in opened.

“It’s something different,” Ms. Stansell said. “They have a good menu. The portions are huge for the price. It’s an easy drive from town.”

Harry’s also offers carry-out and plans to host several special events.

In 2014, Airlie opened the Garden Bistro, a fancier restaurant, to the public, but it lasted a couple of years. Harry’s presents a more relaxed atmosphere.

“I think what we are going for is a place where people can come have a drink or a beer, but also have the most amazing food they’ve had in the county,” Mr. Smith said. “I don’t want people to ever worry about putting on a tie to come eat really, really good food.”

Sheila Young from Gainesville visited recently for lunch with two friends.

“They have a great variety, lots to choose from,” Ms. Young said.

The best-selling menu items so far include the heritage beef chili and crab and sweet corn hush puppies, according to Chef Duane DuPrey.

“Harry’s kitchen is at about 95 percent from scratch,” Mr. DuPrey said. “The only things we are not producing are cheeses and breads.”

The menu routinely will change during peak growing season when about 80 percent of produce will come from the farm.

“The chef will be out there in the summer picking the tomatoes he wants to use,” Mr. Smith said.

In the winter months, the kitchen will use pickled and preserved vegetables from the garden and purchase what it needs to meet demand.

“We’re in our slow season, and that gives us the opportunity to refine what we want to be,” Mr. Smith said. “When we hit our peak season in terms of the highest occupancy rates for groups at Airlie, it matches our growing season.”

He added, “We are going to keep changing things up until it’s the right mix of what people want and what we’re good at.”

Toni and Chris Sauder from Warrenton stopped by Harry’s for lunch for the first time last week.

“I happened to see them on Facebook,” Mrs. Sauder said. “It has pretty views, good craftsmanship, décor.”

“The service is great,” her husband added.

Steak Au Poivre a tasty, dramatic Valentine’s dinner

Posted Thursday,
February 8, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Photos/Ellen Fox Emerson
Flaming Cognac adds drama and intensifies the steak’s flavor.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might plan a romantic dinner for two.

A wonderful, flambé dish recipe created in Paris (the city of love), Steak Au Poivre provides a dramatic, tasty option. The dazzling flambé technique involves a splash of liquor lit with a match. But, be careful, because it creates a large flame! It wanes as the alcohol burns off, leaving a definite added flavor and a memorable experience.

Tableside flambé dishes became quite popular in the late 1960s. Those dishes included desserts such as Bananas Foster, Crepes Suzette and Cherries Jubilee, along with entrées Steak Au Poivre and Steak Diane.

Earlier the same decade, Julia Child earned fame as she introduced French cuisine to much of America.

My mother was a true fan of Julia Child, her cookbooks and television show, The French Chef. My siblings and I all share the same passion for cooking that our mother had instilled. And, we all have the same copies of Julia’s books.

A recipe for Steak Au Poivre appeared in her first book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, published in 1961.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Julia Child’s. While this recipe employs flambé, she preferred less drama. In her recipe, Julia uses Cognac but cooks it down rather than lighting liqueur.

Steak Au Poivre

2 tablespoons peppercorns, crushed
1½ pounds strip steak, cut ¾-inch thick
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons sweet cream butter, unsalted
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup Cognac (or Bourbon)
½ cup beef broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Pat the steaks dry. Season them on both sides with salt and then press the steaks down on crushed peppercorns on both sides for pepper coating. Wrap the steaks and let stand from half hour up to 2 hours before cooking.

Heat oil with one tablespoon of butter over medium high heat in a skillet until butter begins to bubble. Add the steaks and sauté for 3 minutes then turn the steak and sauté for additional 3 minutes (lower heat if cooking too fast). A nice crust will form on both sides. Remove the steaks to a heated plate. At this point the meat will be rare to medium rare.

Drain the fat from the pan and add the remaining butter and shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat, stand back, add the Cognac and carefully light the alcohol with a long match. (If using a gas stove, it might self-ignite. But if using an electric stove, and the cognac doesn’t light, that’s okay. It will still cook off). Gently shake the pan until the flames go out.

Return pan to medium-high heat and boil for 2 minutes while scraping bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth and cook another 3 to 5 minutes. When it has cooked down, add cream and cook another 2 minutes. Check seasonings.

Return the steaks to the pan, spoon the sauce over them and serve.

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

For much of Fauquier, this represents “the last mile”

Posted Thursday,
February 8, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

Q&A: Helping people make their “worst day” better

Posted Thursday,
February 8, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Chief Jason Golden oversees a $563,332 annual budget and 129 members, including 94 who run calls, at the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.
I have to answer for everything great we do. And, gosh forbid, if we make a mistake I have to answer for that, too.
Jason Golden
• Age: 35

• Home: Warrenton

• Work: IT specialist, U.S. Justice Department, 2009-present; network analyst, Fauquier County, 2002-08.

• Volunteerism: Joined Warrenton's Company 1 in 1998; elected chief, 2016; previously served as assistant chief, captain and lieutenant.

• Family: Wife Ruth; children, Hannah, 10; Luke, 5.

• Education: Fauquier High School, 2001.

• Hobbies: Playing video games, traveling to warm places with family.


By The Numbers


$1.2 million
Cost of Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.’s 100-foot “tower” truck, which will arrive at the station in March.


$563,332
Company’s fiscal 2018 budget.


4,599
Calls volunteers and career firefighters and medics stationed at the fire company building and old rescue squad building, both on West Shirley Avenue, responded to last year.


2006
Year in which the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co. and Warrenton Volunteer Rescue Co. merged.


95
Age of company’s oldest member — The Rev. J. Richard “Dick” Winter.


94
Company members who run calls, including 67 men and 27 women.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

On a lark, the Fauquier High student accepted an offer to do a ride-along with the Warrenton Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Jason Golden climbed into the ambulance at age 17.

While he had no idea what to expect of the 1998 experience, it proved exciting and, more importantly, gave him a greater sense of purpose.

The work allows volunteers to help make a person’s potentially “worst day” better, says Mr. Golden, the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.’s 35-year-old chief.

“This is a job where you make a meaningful impact.”

Mr. Golden steadily climbed the Company 1 leadership ladder, attaining the ranks of lieutenant and captain within his first dozen years with the organization.

In 2011, volunteers elected him assistant chief, a post he held for five years. In 2016, they elected him chief to a two year-term.

As chief, Mr. Golden oversees a $563,332 annual budget and 129 members, including 94 who run calls.

The company’s volunteers and career fire/rescue workers stationed at the fire house and the former rescue building — across from each other on West Shirley Avenue — last year handled 4,599 calls.

For various reasons — “changing society” and time-consuming training requirements, for example — recruiting volunteers remains one of the countywide system’s biggest challenges, says Chief Golden, an IT specialist with the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.

But he believes education and hands-on opportunities can change that.

Exposing young people to public safety opportunities — particularly through the county’s high schools — will help boost Fauquier’s volunteer and professional fire/rescue ranks, Chief Golden says.

He speaks from personal experience.

At Fauquier High, Mr. Golden took fire science classes — still available — and joined the school’s student-staffed “Green Team.”

“We were kind of like the first pre-emptive responders,” he says of the group. “We would show up and stabilize an illness or if somebody broke a leg and make sure they were at a basic level of care until the ambulance showed up.”

If not for that, the fire science classes and the ride-along 20 years ago, Mr. Golden doubts he would have become a volunteer.

“I think that was life-changing for me. I don’t think, on my own accord, I would have done this.”

> Video at bottom of story

A married commuter with two young children, Chief Golden volunteers just about every weekend, typically from about 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Sunday.

Depending on the time of the year, he also spends two to six hours a week at town and county government meetings.

What does his wife Ruth think about his time away from family on weekends and week nights?

A company member who no longer runs calls, Mrs. Golden understands the importance of volunteering and supports him, the chief says.

“It’s family first, then the fire company,” says Chief Golden, careful to strike a balance. “I’m super fortunate. Like a lot of the people we have here, we come from families that are involved or have relatives that are in public safety. So it’s a known quantity.”

• How did you get started as a volunteer?
I had a friend in high school. It was like, “Hey, man, you should come do a ride-along. I run at the (Warrenton) rescue squad.” OK, sounds cool. Great. Did one shift. That’s all it took. Hooked.

• Why do you volunteer?
I love it. There are only a few other callings that are like this — serving your county, serving your community.

This is a job where you make a meaningful impact. People call you on their worst day. And you show up to do everything you can to make that not such a worst day. We can’t fix everything. But we can sure make it better, or at least stop the problem from being worse.

• What do you like best about the job?
Same thing. Number one is the impact. We get to turn that bad day into a better day.

Outside of that, it is fun. There’s a little bit of an adrenalin rush. I’ve been doing it for so many years now, that’s faded.

• What do you least like about the job?
The outcomes we can’t change — when we run a call and we can’t make that impact change, when we can’t make that situation better or right. That’s probably the toughest part of the job.

• Most dangerous call you’ve made?
I don’t think I have one that stands out. You start running so many calls, they start to fade.

I’m more fearful of us on the highway than I am of us running into a burning building, because at least in a burning building the only variables we have to worry about are the fire, the progression of the fire, what it’s done to the building and the people. Are there victims? And our people.

When you go on the highway, you’re at the mercy of all those drivers. We have a lot of really good people that see us, pull over and get all the way off the road; we have others that are oblivious.

• How do you deal with the trauma related to calls involving injuries or death of people you’re trying to help?
There’s separation. Do I feel badly that we weren’t able to affect that save? Sure. It really comes down to variables in that situation. When the variables in the situation say there wasn’t anything we could do and everything we did was all we could do, I have comfort with that.

• Most common calls?
EMS calls. I would say that’s the majority of our responses — anything from illnesses to diabetic emergencies, unconscious persons.

• Drug overdoses?
We do run drug overdoses. They don’t always get dispatched as that, because it depends on that initial information we get. Often it’s an unconscious person, which can lead into an overdose, unless the call is very specific.

• What’s the biggest hurdle for recruiting volunteers?
The biggest I’ve seen over the years is some people don’t realize the level of commitment. It isn’t just sign up and immediately doing it. There’s hundreds of hours of certification involved.

• What qualities make a successful volunteer?
The drive to want to do it, is what makes or breaks a volunteer; professionalism; dedication, empathy, being compassionate.

• What does a chief do?
Everything. I play mom and dad. At the end of the day, the fire chief is responsible for every aspect — operationally, administratively. It’s kind of shared. I’m considered the CEO. But we also have a president (Jim Farkus).

I have to answer for everything great we do. And, gosh forbid, if we make a mistake I have to answer for that, too. We’ve been very lucky that we don’t make mistakes. If we do, they’re very nominal and minor. We’re not perfect by any means; we’re all human.





Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 8, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Throwback Thursday: Mosby letters for sale

Posted Thursday,
February 8, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
February 1993 — Bernice Pearson looks over the 40 letters from Mosby she will sell at the Auction Barn in Catlett.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of Feb. 12, 1993


Mosby post-Civil War letters for sale

Forty-four letters from Confederate Gen. John S. Mosby will go on the auction block Saturday, Feb. 20, in Catlett.

Auctioneer Bernice Pearson received the letters, written after the Civil War, in the mail from a woman in North Carolina.

“I had no idea they were coming or who they were from. Earthshaking. I mean earthshaking,” said Mrs. Pearson, who operates the Auction Barn in Catlett with her husband “Flash.”

Mosby, a Warrentonian known as the “Grey Ghost,” wrote the letters to his friends, Capt. Sam Champion of Staunton and Judge James Keith of Richmond. The North Carolina owner has 200 of those letters.





Black History Month seeks to raise appreciation for diversity

Conway Porter believes race relations in the county reached a pivotal point last May when someone painted “KKK All the Way” on the Falcon Rock at Fauquier High School.

Because of the ensuing student unrest and racial tension, “there is a heightened awareness that something needs to be done,” said Porter, president of the Fauquier chapter of the NAACP.

Increasing that awareness is among the goals of the programs and lectures commemorating Black History Month throughout the county in February.

“I would hope to see people get a greater appreciation for black history, both in the African-American community and for all citizens of the county,” Porter said.


Allen, Williams woo Fauquier Republicans

Republican Earle Williams thinks he can pack the political wallop needed to beat Democrat Mary Sue Terry in November’s gubernatorial election.

Fellow Republican George Allen also believes he has what it will take to deliver the knockout punch to Ms. Terry on Election Day.

Williams, a Northern Virginia businessman and GOP activist, and Allen, a Charlottesville lawyer, former state delegate and congressman, pitched their cases Sunday night to the Fauquier County Republican Committee after a dinner meeting at Airlie House just north of Warrenton.


Main Street wine festival permit denied

Plans for a big July 17 wine festival on Warrenton’s Main Street fell as flat as a two-day-old glass of champagne Tuesday night.

The town council voted, 4-3, to deny Middleburg promoter Ernest “Bud” Hufnagel a permit for the festival, which had been intensely debated for a month.

“I do not think town property is the proper place for it,” Councilwoman Kathryn Carter said. “We do owe some consideration to our citizens who oppose alcohol or who have lost loved ones to alcohol-related accidents.”

But, most downtown merchants and several councilmen argued the event would be anything but a drunken brawl. And, it would attract as many as 10,000 people — a coup for a town bent on improving its tourist business.


School board firmly seeks 18 percent more money

Fauquier’s school board Monday approved the largest budget request in county history.

The $53.4-million proposal for 1993-94 is $9.3 million more than this year — an 18-percent increase.

Full funding of the request would require $6.3 million in new county revenue, potentially raising the real estate tax rate 21 cents, from 93 cents to $1.14 per $100 assessed value.



159 apply for town economic director

The Town of Warrenton could have its first economic development director — chosen from 159 applicants — by April.

“I’m really pleased with the quality of the applicants,” Town Manager John Anzivino said. “It’s going to make it very difficult to pick someone.”

The job will pay $40,000 to $63,000 a year, according to the position description. “But, we will be hiring someone at or near entry level,” Anzivino said.

The town council budgeted for the new department — to help create jobs and bolster the tax base — last July. Based on a consultant’s report, the council decided in December to hire its own director, rather than using an independent contractor.


Advertisement

60-Percent Savings . . .

on men’s & women’s fashions
30 to 50 percent off all Timberland shoes

President’s Day Sale, Monday, February 15th
All Sales Final • Credit Cards Accepted
Free Parking Behind the Store!

The Stable Door
Uptown in Old Town
11 Main Street, Warrenton

Boys & Girls Club gets relief from $1.5-million debt

Posted Wednesday,
February 7, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
File Photo
The Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier in early 2010 purchased the building at 169 Keith St. for $1.8 million but never came up with the funds to address that debt.
If you don’t do this, and you throw away 10 years of work, you’re back into a school setting. It’s a pretty easy choice.
— Mike Forsten, VKM Holdings LLC principal
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The local Boys & Girls Club finally has relief from crushing debt that hamstrung fundraising efforts for most of the last decade.

VKM Holdings LLC of Warrenton recently agreed to take back the Keith Street building the club purchased for $1.8 million in early 2010.

The club has signed a three-year lease for the 15,000-square-foot structure at $3,200 a month, Executive Director Lynne Richman Bell said Wednesday.

That actually will cost about $1,000 more than the club’s monthly payment on the first of two mortgages, Ms. Bell said. The club had continued to pay down its first mortgage, with a balance of about $425,000, due a consortium of The Fauquier Bank, Oak View National Bank and Union Bank & Trust.

But, for years the club had made no payment on the second mortgage for $1.1 million that it owed VKM, headed by local real estate developer and health club owner Mike Forsten.

“They’ve been very patient and very understanding,” Ms. Bell said of VKM, which includes Valerie Story and Kim Forsten, Mike’s wife.

But, the debt “really took us off mission,” the club director said.

It also prevented the club from receiving grants from some foundations and donations from some private citizens, she added.

“Eighty percent of our operating fund comes from philanthropy,” Ms. Bell explained. “Donors want to make contributions to provide services to kids, not to retire debt.”

Despite a number of initiatives over the last five years, the club never found a way to address the issue. Country Chevrolet President Andy Budd last year donated $10,000 a month to the club to help it get back on track, and others, including Steve and Reta Rodgers, also made significant donations.

The club has an annual budget of almost $500,000 and 15 employees, two of them full-time, Ms. Bell said.

Under the new arrangement, VKM assumed responsibility for the bank mortgage and released the club “from all financial obligation in the form of debt,” she explained.

“The bottom line is it was kind of like being ‘house poor’,” Mr. Forsten said Wednesday. “There were a number of grants they weren’t able to get because of the status of the debt.”

He added: “If you don’t do this, and you throw away 10 years of work, you’re back into a school setting,” where the club started. “It’s a pretty easy choice.”

Mr. and Mrs. Forsten built the Keith Street structure for their Old Town Athletic Club, which moved to Walker Drive in 2009. They sold the structure to the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier and held the note for most of that purchase.

“We were charged by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the PATH Foundation to develop a plan to eradicate the debt on the building as part of the terms of their . . . grants awarded to us this year,” club board Chairman John Nettles said. “The debt had to be addressed . . . .

“Mike Forsten and I met over a period of months to talk about options,” Mr. Nettles added. “He understood our position and was willing to help find a solution.”

A Nov. 21 meeting included representatives of the club, VKM and the three banks.

“Each of the bank leaders understood our purpose and was willing to participate,” Ms. Bell said. “It could not have been a more open-minded and solution-focused meeting.”

The club has 500 members who participate in a range of programs during different parts of the year in Warrenton and at Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton. Daily participation averages 150, according to Ms. Bell.

“We’re looking at expanding,” she said. “We’re talking with schools and parks and recreation about Marshall. That’s the focus: Serving more kids.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
February 7, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

How many books do you read on average a year?

Posted Wednesday,
February 7, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Danielle Tapscott named Fauquier assistant principal

Posted Wednesday,
February 7, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

First “community read” will feature “Thunder Dog”

Posted Wednesday,
February 7, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Contributed Photos
Blind since birth, Michael Hingson descended 78 floors with his guide dog Roselle to escape the World Trade Center after terrorists flew an airliner into the building on Sept. 11, 2001.
The 256-page book, published in August 2012.
The county library staff wants everyone in Fauquier to read the same book — the story of a blind man and his dog who survived the World Trade Center terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
 
The library has selected Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson for the 2018 Fauquier Community Read. It will mark the local library’s first “community read.”

The campaign will include “An Evening with Michael Hingson” on Wednesday, April 11, at Highland School’s Rice Theater in Warrenton. The author will discuss Thunder Dog, answer questions and sign copies of his book during the free program.

The library has hundreds of copies of Thunder Dog in print, e-Book and e-Audio formats, along with kits for reading groups. The library also has placed copies of the book at other locations throughout the county.

> POLL: How many books do you read a year?

“The library is excited to host the county’s first community read,” library Director Maria Del Rosso said. “Thunder Dog is a compelling story about bravery and diversity. The selection committee made up of library staff and community volunteers feels confident the book will appeal to readers of all ages.”

Published in 2012, the 256-page book tells the story of Mr. Hingson, blind since birth, who escaped with his guide dog Roselle from the World Trade Center on 9/11. Thunder Dog details how the two descended 78 floors and helped others remain calm during the escape.

Additional programs that address themes raised in Thunder Dog will take place in March and April. They will include book club discussions and programs for teens and younger children.

“In the spirit of a community read, individuals are encouraged to pick up a copy of the book, read it and then pass it along to another reader so that they too can participate,” Mrs. Del Rosso said.

To register for Mr. Hingson’s 7 p.m. appearance April 11 in Warrenton, call 540-422-8532 or visit www.fauquierlibrary.org.

Cocaine and heroin seized after traffic stop in Opal

Posted Tuesday,
February 6, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Deputies arrested aul Antonio Flores, 28, of Sumerduck, and Gary Dell Seamon Jr., 50, of Culpeper, on drug charges Saturday night at Opal.
Deputies seized 34 grams of cocaine and 11 grams of heroin after a Saturday night traffic stop in Opal, according to the Fauquier sheriff’s office.

“Corporal Andrew McCauley observed a 2014 Chevrolet pickup cross the center line several times on Opal Road” around 9:50 p.m. Feb. 3, Sgt. James Hartman said in a press release.

The pickup “turned into the Opal McDonald’s parking lot,” after Cpl. McCauley activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and siren, according to Sgt. Hartman.

Master Deputy James Arrington and his drug-sniffing dog Bane arrived quickly.

The dog “conducted a free-air sniff of the truck and a subsequent search led to the discovery” of the cocaine and heroin, along with “suspected opioid pills,” Sgt. Hartman said.

The deputies charged:

• Raul Antonio Flores, 28, of Sumerduck, with possession and intent to distribute cocaine and heroin. Mr. Flores drove the truck.

• Gary Dell Seamon Jr., 50, of Culpeper, with possession of a controlled substance. The deputies also served Mr. Seamon with an outstanding Culpeper arrest warrant.

At the time of the arrest, Mr. Flores was held on a $25,000 secured bond and Mr. Seamon on a $5,000 secured bond, according to Sgt. Hartman.

Broadband prospect out; county considers ‘Plan B’

Posted Tuesday,
February 6, 2018
Like 0 · 10 ·
FTS Fiber of Monkton, Md., last year proposed to build a 129-mile fiber optic network that would reach the far corners of Fauquier.
What our constituents want right now — particularly those constituents who are in unserved and underserved areas — they want broadband.
— Supervisor Rick Gerhardt
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Cedar Run District supervisor had hoped that by now construction would begin on a fiber optic network to extend broadband internet service throughout rural Fauquier.

But the county’s only prospect to build that system — Maryland-based Freedom Telecom Services Inc., doing business as FTS Fiber — last fall underwent a “restructuring” that cast doubt on its ability to get the job done, Supervisor Rick Gerhardt said.

The company’s reorganization involved the resignation of CEO Brett Hill and the December sale of the fiber optic network — worth an estimated $20 million — it built for Kent County, Md.

Because no other company submitted a proposal to build Fauquier’s fiber network, the board of supervisors Thursday probably will cancel the project.

And because of uncertainty about FTS, the board plans to withdraw its acceptance of the company’s proposal to construct a 129-mile fiber optic cable network here.

Those decisions represent a big setback for Mr. Gerhardt, who with the county staff, has spent almost two years studying how to provide broadband to Fauquier’s “unserved and underserved” areas.

But the freshman supervisor believes his “Plan B,” which would involve cash incentives to wireless providers, might soon make broadband available to more Fauquier residents.

Mr. Gerhardt first grew concerned about FTS late last year.

“I started seeing things that were being said, articles from Kent County, etcetera,” he explained.

The Kent County News in October reported that some citizens said construction of the network there had stopped and that “rumors are that FTS is bankrupt and that employees are being asked to return equipment.”

Construction resumed, but FTS sold the incomplete 110-mile network to Kent FOS, a startup company.

FTS Chief Commercial Officer Adam Noll and Mr. Hill, the company’s former CEO, failed to return phone messages seeking comment.

Dee-Anna Sobczak, chief executive of Kent FOS, declined to discuss details of her company’s deal to buy the Kent County network.

Calling the FTS turn of events a “kick in the teeth” and “a gut punch,” Mr. Gerhardt said: “I thought we were on the right track here. This was a pretty big disappointment for me.”

Mr. Gerhardt, Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) and Deputy County Administrator Katie Heritage in January 2017 visited Kent County to hear about the broadband network FTS would build there.

They came away impressed.

“We were very encouraged,” Mr. Gerhardt recalled. “It was a great concept, and it was working.”

Kent County’s system represented a model he believed FTS could replicate in Fauquier.

Under FTS’s proposal, the company would run 129 miles of fiber optic cable throughout Fauquier — from Goldvein to Upperville and Remington to Catlett.

> Document at bottom of story

The network would have connected schools, libraries, fire/rescue stations and other public buildings directly to the cable. FTS would have sold network access to “last-mile” providers to serve homes and businesses throughout Fauquier.

The county’s capital improvements plan includes $20 million to build a countywide fiber optic network — money that would be spent, as needed, on a system generating enough revenue to cover Fauquier’s investment.

But because of doubts about the FTS proposal, lack of response from companies willing to build the network and Fauquier’s fiscal 2019 budget demands, all or some of the $20 million reserved for broadband might get pulled from the county’s construction plan, Mr. Gerhardt said.

“I just don’t know when it all shakes out whether the other board members are going to have the stomach to make that type of investment, given what we’re looking from a budgetary perspective this go round,” he added.

Fauquier’s broadband consultant, Design Nine Inc. of Blacksburg in 2016 estimated it could cost $19.7 million to build a network to serve almost the entire county.

To restart the process, somehow attracting companies that would install a fiber optic network, would take too long and again might prove fruitless, Mr. Gerhardt said.

“We spent a year looking at this infrastructure, only to come to this conclusion, based on things completely out of our control,” he said. “What our constituents want right now — particularly those constituents who are in unserved and underserved areas — they want broadband.”

He believes “the quickest way” to accomplish that would be to “incentivize” wireless internet service providers using existing fiber, telecommunication towers and other technology to make “the last-mile” broadband connections to homes and businesses.

“We gotta go to ‘Plan B’,” Mr. Gerhardt said of that approach.

The Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology has agreed to help the county create such a plan, which could be completed in four six to weeks or sooner, Mr. Gerhardt said.

“I fully expect it to look something like: ‘We have this pot of money we’re willing to throw at you as a subsidy . . . . Give us a proposal on what you can do and how many people it’s going to affect’.”

That “pot of money” would include county and Warrenton-based PATH Foundation funds, said Mr. Gerhardt, who serves on the nonprofit’s board.

“They already have $100,000 in their budget for broadband for 2018,” said Mr. Gerhardt, chairman of PATH. “Along with them, we’re going to try to come up with a solution, financially anyway.

“I can assume they will follow our lead. I’ve had conversations that clearly lead me to believe that.”

“If the county proposes a cost-sharing, dollar-for-dollar match approach to funding that would incentivize providers to improve broadband services for local residents, we would look at such a proposal very favorably,” PATH Foundation President and CEO Christy Connolly wrote in an email.

Internet access “is important” to health, education, “home businesses” and telecommuters, Ms. Connolly added. “Like our county government, the PATH Foundation is committed to helping with this major countywide infrastructure need.”

An incentive plan would include “controls” over money given to companies selected to provide wireless service, Mr. Gerhardt said.

“Obviously, we’re not going to just say, ‘Here’s a $500,000 check. Do what you want with it.’ There will be controls put in place whereby we know exactly how it’s being spent and that it is in fact being spent.”

He wants the county to advertise the project for competitive bids by April.

“My goal is sometime before the end” of the first quarter this year, “which is a bold goal.”

When could wireless companies chosen to participate in an incentive project begin providing additional broadband internet service?

“That’s a question for them, not for me,” Mr. Gerhardt replied.

Ultimately, he considers a fiber optic cable network critical to Fauquier’s future.

But, “frankly, at this point, who knows what we’ll do with the infrastructure,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “In my personal opinion, you still need the infrastructure to support commerce in this county, to bring additional commerce in this county — whether it’s data centers, whether its cell towers, whether its wireless internet service providers.”

FTS Fiber - Fauquier County Proposal Final - Public Copy_Redacted by Fauquier Now on Scribd



Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
February 6, 2018
Like 1 · 0 ·

Faces of Fauquier: Hard work routine for goldsmith

Posted Tuesday,
February 6, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Photo/Cassandra Brown
Jim Driver grew up working with horses but learned jewelry repair after his father said, “You have to learn a trade.”
That’s the best way to learn the trade is sitting by someone that’s older. They know more tricks. There are a lot of tricks in doing jewelry repair work.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Bent over a workbench with torch in hand, he focuses on repairing a silver ring.

Jim Driver fixes and restores all types of jewelry in the back room of Warrenton Jewelers & Gifts.

A goldsmith for 43 years, Mr. Driver prefers precious, glittery gold, but he works frequently with silver, the more popular metal these days.

He likes gold because, “you can melt it down and reshape it. If you don’t like it, you can melt it down and start over.”

As a jeweler, Mr. Driver restores pieces, sets stones and resizes rings, among other tasks.

He grew up in the business. His dad worked as a watchmaker and manager of Ketterman’s Jewelers in Vienna more than 40 years. His maternal great grandfather and great uncles owned jewelry stores in Nebraska.

“I grew up in Fairfax. Education-wise, I had no desire to go to college,” Mr. Driver said. “I worked on a horse farm. After awhile my dad said, ‘You have to learn a trade.’

“I went to trade school once a week. Everybody else was working in copper. I brought in regular repair work from Fairfax Jewelers,” where he apprenticed.

Mr. Driver learned to go the extra mile with his work at a young age when he got a job at the high-end jewelry store, Bailey Banks & Biddle in Tysons Corner.

“I sat next to a master goldsmith. I learned a lot. That’s the best way to learn the trade is sitting by someone that’s older. They know more tricks. There are a lot of tricks in doing jewelry repair work.

“I do it out of pride. I get more pleasure out of doing it right the first time,” he added.

For about 33 years, he did repair work as a contractor for high-end chain jewelers and family-owned shops in Northern Virginia.

The fast-paced work gave him 30 to 50 jewelry repair jobs a day.

“I only took like three vacations in 33 years,” Mr. Driver said.

Looking for a slower pace, he and his wife Erin opened their own business, Warrenton Jewelers & Gifts in 2008.

Originally close to Sears in the Warrenton Village shopping center, they moved the store to the North Rock plaza near Harris Teeter three years ago.

“Being in the jewelry business with my dad, I had all the connections with vendors. We filled up the store in a month,” Mr. Driver said. “When you do good work, the work speaks for itself. The only way I got all the stores was the work was done on time, and it was good.”

Today he does repair work for Warrenton Jewelers, which he co-owns, Carter & Spence in Old Town and shops in Front Royal and Winchester.

In part, he got his work ethic from caring for horses, starting at age 9. Breeding, raising and racing Thoroughbreds remains one of his passions.

He and his wife moved to Warrenton about 20 years ago for the horse culture.

• Age
62

• Home
Broad Run

• Work
Goldsmith and co-owner of Warrenton Jewelers & Gifts, 2008 to present; contracts with Carter & Spence in Warrenton and jewelry stores in Front Royal and Winchester; Driver’s Jewelry Repair, 1984-2008; Ketterman’s Jewelers, 17 years; Bailey Banks & Biddle, five years; apprentice at Fairfax Jewelers, about three years.

• Why do you do the job?
Even after 43 years, I’ll come across something different. I always enjoy restoration of old jewelry. I get more pleasure out of doing it right. I needed to learn a trade and make a living. I enjoy making something look new again. I like to see people when they pick up the work, they are happy and smiling. At Christmas time, when I worked 12-14 hour days, you knew you were doing people’s presents and had to get them done.

• Family
Wife, Erin; children, Amanda, Jamie and Kendell; parents, Wayne and Eileen.

• Education
Trade school, B&C Jewelers in Alexandria, 1978-79; Robinson High School, 1974.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
20 years.

• Why do you live here?
Horses. Quiet. Your neighbor is a couple blocks away.

• How do you describe this county?
Quiet, simple. I live six miles from the store instead of spending three hours in traffic.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Nothing. Hopefully it will stay like it is. Keep it quiet. It’s still country, farms.

• What do you do for fun?
Raise horses.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
The mountains. I love to take old Route 17. I take the back roads every time, Route 55 to 17. I’ll drive that before I take Interstate 66.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope it’s still the same. Hopefully I’ll still be here.

• Favorite TV show?
I like to watch the History Channel. We watch a lot of Netflix — “Boardwalk Empire.”

• Favorite movie?
I don’t have one.

• Favorite book?
I like to read my horse magazines.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Virginia Beach.

• Favorite food?
Steak and a baked potato.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Work when the other man is sleeping.” My dad’s boss told me that. That’s how you get ahead. I’ve been doing it ever since.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad’s boss, Richard Ketterman of Kettermans Jewelers. He had jewelry stores and racehorses. He was like my second father. I worked on his farm growing up.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
Buy a nice, good horse farm and horses. Pay off bills like everybody else. You could retire with that kind of money. Help my kids.

Suggest a profile candidate
Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at cbrown@fauquiernow.com, Don Del Rosso at don@fauquiernow.com or Editor Lou Emerson at LKE@FauquierNow.com.

Carter Nevill announces candidacy for mayor

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 5 ·
Carter Nevill serves on the Warrenton Architectural Review board and on Experience Old Town Warrenton.
2018 Town Election
> Mayor
• Carter Nevill

> At-large council seats
• Linda “Sunny” Reynolds

* Top two vote getters will win.

> Election
Tuesday, May 1

> Terms
4 years, starting July 1

> Candidate filing deadline
Tuesday, March 6
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A month before the filing deadline, a downtown merchant announced Monday that he will run for mayor.

Carter Nevill became the first candidate for the position in the May 1 election.

If elected, Mr. Nevill, 48, would succeed Mayor Powell Duggan, who will step down June 30 after one four-year term.

Warrenton will also elect two at-large council members in May. Those elected will earn four-year terms that start July 1.

Councilman Linda “Sunny” Reynolds last month announced that she will seek re-election. Councilman Sean Polster has not indicated whether he will run again.

Potential candidates must file petitions, with the signatures of at least 125 registered town voters, by March 6 to get on the ballot.

“I’ve spent the last couple of years caring a lot,” Mr. Nevill said. “Everything I did, whether I did it for our business or for volunteering on the boards I serve on was towards the goal of making Warrenton a more successful place for business and a better place to live.

“There’s only so long you can sit on the sidelines and point fingers, and if I care that much, it’s about time to step up and offer my chance to serve and be a part of the solution,” he added.

Mr. Nevill serves as chairman of Warrenton’s Architectural Review Board. He joined the board in 2014, and the town council reappointed him in December.

The ARB reviews applications for construction, renovation and demolition in the town historic district. Those projects require certificates of appropriateness from the ARB, whose purview includes design, materials, signs and other exterior features.

“The service on the ARB has been instrumental,” Mr. Nevill said.
“Developing relationships in the planning department, understanding and appreciating the amount of work and dedication of staff.

“We are here at the pleasure of our citizens and we should be customer service oriented in everything that we do.”

Although he considered running for an at-large council position, Mr. Nevill ultimately decided to run for mayor, a largely ceremonial position. The mayor runs council meetings, makes committee appointments and represents the town at a range of events. But, the mayor votes only when the seven-member council deadlocks.

“My first and foremost responsibility is to make sure our business (Carter & Spence) succeeds,” Mr. Nevill said. “The role of mayor provided a better fit for me to serve as the public face of our business.”

He sees the role of mayor as “an ambassador — building strong relationships with council members, fostering sense of unity. Where there is tension, finesse it to a positive end.”

Ultimately, Mr. Nevill decided to run because no one else had expressed interest.

“It’s too important for the town not to have someone with experience to step up. We’re a month away for the filing deadline,” he said.

Mr. Nevill also serves as a board member of Experience Old Town Warrenton and the Friends of the Warrenton Cemetery.

The co-owner of Carter & Spence jewelry and gift shop on Main Street since 2004, Mr. Nevill believes his expertise in being a small business owner makes him a stronger candidate.

If elected, he hopes to focus on Warrenton’s economic development.

“As I work to sell Warrenton to businesses, I can speak from a firsthand experience,” Mr. Nevill said. “I was born here. My parents owned a business on Main Street. I’ve watched the growth and evolution of Warrenton.”

He hopes to promote Warrenton by “getting out there and courting the businesses, pursing them . . . and speaking with commercial real estate businesses. We have to form a coalition with our property owners. We can’t afford passivity in our business districts. Work with economic development. We need to brand Warrenton more dynamically.

“What’s good for Warrenton is good for the county as a whole,” Mr. Nevill added. “From a tourism aspect, we are one of the first destinations for people heading outside of the gridlock.”

In the near future, he thinks Warrenton should focus on “fiscal health and fiduciary responsibility. We cannot look for quick fix solutions. We need to carefully plan where we spend money and look at the long term. The responsibility of spending taxpayer money requires careful thought.”

Water and sewer capacity also ranks as a top priority.

“We have growth coming, and we have to plan for what Warrenton will be 20 years from now,” he said.

Bob Rust, owner of White Horse Auto Wash in Warrenton, supports Mr. Nevill.

“I think he’s a very thorough person,” Mr. Rust said. “I think he has some great thoughts on the vision for Old town Warrenton. He has business experience, which I think is helpful to run the town and empathize with people who are in the town.

“He’s smart. He analyses the issues thoroughly.”

Mr. Nevill plans to talk to voters at campaign events, homeowners’ association meetings, community organizations and during his work.

He will launch a campaign Facebook page soon.

Town council members earn $400 a month and the mayor gets $800 a month. Warrenton’s elected officials also qualify for the same town health insurance coverage that municipal employees receive.

How much attention do you pay to local government?

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Young marksmen earn NRA Distinguished Expert status

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Fauquier County real estate transfers Jan. 29-Feb. 2

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2018:


Cedar Run District

Janet M. Meiburger and Peer A. Barthelson, bankruptcy trustees, to John Bourque, 6.69 acres, Rt. 801 (Green Meadows Road), near Warrenton, $135,000.

John K. Foley and Jeffrey A. Foley, successor trustees, to Tracy L. Melvin, 6.11 acres, Sowego Road, near Catlett, $140,000.

Fauquier Housing Group to Donna F. Beebe, 25.4 aces, Lot 7-B, South Creedmore Hunt Subdivision, Old Auburn Road, $225.

Fauquier Housing Group to John B. and Kara Thorpe, 9.91 acres, Lot 7-A, South Creedmore Hunt Subdivision, Old Auburn Road, $175,000.

Copper Fox Investments LLC, George Scheulen as managing member, to Jonathan A. Spangenberg, 9.44 acres, 10268 Copper Fox Lane, Midland, $290,000.


Center District

Thelma S. Godfrey to Andrey Solntsev, Lot 9 and half of Lot 10, Block E, Bartenstein Subdivision, 183 Elm St., Warrenton, $235,000.

Mill Pond Investments LLC, Thomas J. Ross II as manager, to County of Fauquier, 0.19 acre and 0.3 acre, 30 John Marshall St., Warrenton, $650,000.


Lee District

Taher Rastad to Henry P. Perex and Erika R. Garcia, Lot 36, Phase 2-A, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 6186 Library Lane, Bealeton, $245,000.

Aracely J. Contreras to Amber Wills, Lot 72, Section B, Edgewood East Subdivision, 6876 Maplewood Drive, Bealeton, $256,200.

Danforth-Remington LLC, John Maestri as member, to NVR Inc., Lots 32, 33, 66 and 67, Phase 3, Remington Landing Subdivision, Remington, $318,240.

Mintbrook Developers LLC, Russell Marks as manager, to NVR Inc., Lots 132 and 133, Phase A, Section 3-A, Mintbrook Subdivision, 7600 and 7602 Hancock St., Bealeton, $175,830.

Elliott R. Foster to Joanne D. Irby, Unit 207, Building 1, Phase 1, Waverly Station at Bealeton Condominiums, 6185 Willow Place, Bealeton, $180,000.


Marshall District

Ruth H. Lhommedieu to James A. and Dana D. Whitt, 43.32 acres, Rt. 211, west of Warrenton, $400,000.

Marilyn and Leslie Cheek III to John J. Gerring and Emily P. Deck, 1 acre, 9341 Lees Ridge Road, about three miles south of Warrenton, $303,000.

Danny L. and Patricia R. Payne to Steven M. and Christine C. Sinclair, 11.3 acres, 9014 Turnbull Road, west of Warrenton, $578,000.

Stable Storage LLC, Patrick J. Kearney as manager, to Stable Rental Properties LLC, 6.29 acres and 1 acre, 8131 and 8135 E. Main St., Marshall, $3,700,000.

SFC Properties LLC to Lost Corner Farm LLC, 50.12 acres, Lot 2, Cattins Run South Subdivision, Longview Lane, Delaplane, $675,000.

Brian G. Kerchner and Christina L. Vanpatten to James D. Lerud Jr. and Allison R. Thistle, 18.96 acres, 8377 Beech Lane, near Warrenton, $780,000.

David S. Yoho to John F. and Alexandra J. Alderman, Joshua A. Drobnyk and Robyn M. Swanson, 20 acres, 11118 Spring Valley Lane, Delaplane, $887,000.



Scott District


Kimberly S. and Thomas H. Carter Sr. to Kelly L. and Thomas H. Carter Jr., Lot 26, Phase 2, Emerald Oaks Subdivision, 7115 Kelly Road, near New Baltimore, $505,000.

NVR Inc. to Richard and Holly Spagnolo, Lot 38, Phase 10-C, Brookside Subdivision, 6860 Lake Anne Court, near Warrenton, $480,650.

NVR Inc. to Teddy Suphanchaikul, Lot 35, Phase 10-C, Brookside Subdivision, 6870 Lake Anne Court, near Warrenton, $625,863.

Shawn M. Murphy to Joseph M. Baron, 0.85 acre, Lot 6, Lakeview Trace Subdivision, 6951 Meaghan Lane, near Warrenton, $395,000.

Smith Atoka LLC, Michael A. Smith as manager, to Atoka House LLC, 50 acres, 1641 Lake Farm road, near Upperville, $1,750,000.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Jeffrey S. Campbell, Lot 12-77, Phase 13-C, Brookside Subdivision, 3626 Dockside Drive, near Warrenton, $762,053.

NVR Inc. to Shannon and Holly Ferguson, Lot 32, Phase 14-C, Brookside Subdivision, 6007 Sunflower Court, near Warrenton, $652,778.

Alletta M. Cooper to Joan L. Romett, trustee, 13.55 acres, 3516 Landmark Road, near The Plains, $925,000.

Moral and financial reasons for Medicaid expansion

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

Conservation easements here total 2,541 acres in ’17

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The Piedmont Environmental Council’s map depicts 2017 easements in orange and previous easements in green.
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds easements on most of the protected land in Fauquier.
Fauquier County landowners placed another 2,541 acres under permanent conservation easements last year, according to the Warrenton-based Piedmont Environmental Council.

That brings the county’s total easements on private land to 104,873 acres, the most for any Virginia jurisdiction. The total represents about one-quarter of Fauquier.

“Conservation easements help protect our local food supply, secure sources of water for the future, provide areas for wildlife habitat and preserve important historic and cultural sites,” PEC President Chris Miller said. “People love the rural character of the region and protecting the land is a way for them to take action and ensure that future generations will enjoy the same benefits.”

PEC holds some easements and helps landowners navigate the technical aspects of the preservation tool, which has significant potential tax benefits for participants.

The nonprofit organization’s annual tally of easements puts the total at 401,200 acres the nine counties it serves: Fauquier, Albemarle, Clarke, Culpeper, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock.

The total includes 6,237 acres added in 2017. Land trusts and public agencies, including the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors, hold the voluntary easements that control future use of the property, including construction of homes and farm structures.

Easement holders conduct annual inspections to ensure compliance, protecting natural, scenic and cultural resources.

“The success of conservation in the Piedmont reflects the appreciation hundreds of families and other landowners have for this region, which is demonstrated through a true commitment to the long-term protection of the resources that make this a special place,” PEC Director of Conservation Michael said. “Fortunately, through programs like Virginia’s Land Preservation Tax Credit, there is a set of financial incentives that make it possible for landowners across the state to act on their love of the land through the donation of a conservation easement.”  

Fauquier’s Purchase of Development Rights program provides an option for landowners who want to protect their farm properties. Under the program, the county pays owners $25,000 per potential home building lot extinguished on farmland. A committee scores each application, based on its agricultural value.

“It was a good year; we protected approximately 1,200 acres,” said said Ray Pickering, the county’s director of agricultural development. “The farmers’ interest continues to be there, as we had more applications than dollars available last year, and we’re about to approve three more applications soon.”

The Messick family last year conserved the 308 acres of farmland between Bealeton and Midland. The property includes Messick’s Farm Market on Route 28.

“It’s a good one that adjoins the Bealeton Service District,” Mr. Pickering said. “This was the family’s second PDR project with us. They did another one down by Remington a few years ago.”

The conservation easements added in 2017:

• 775 acres in Albemarle for a total of 99,574.

• 308 acres in Clarke for a total of 25,247.

• 317 acres in Culpeper for a total of 18,917.

• 2,541 in Fauquier for a total of 104,873.

• None in Greene, which has a total of 10,448 acres.

• 1,174 in Loudoun for a total of 57,549.

• 126 acres in Madison for a total of 15,887.

• 669 in Orange for a total of 35,961.

• 327 in Rappahannock for a total of 32,744.

Library good for learning, business and economy

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·

Owners link data center fate to undeveloped subdivision

Posted Monday,
February 5, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
The landowners contend tax revenue from the proposed data centers near Remington would move than cover the loss of $2.7 million proffered for rezoning of a 197-lot subdivision near Bealeton.
Data Center Project
• What: Alberta, Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. seeks rezoning approval from county board of supervisors for data center campus.

• Where: 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road, just northeast of Remington.

• Property owners: Bill and Bob Springer of Warrenton; VCA LLC of Alexandria.

• Proposed buildings: 6, plus an onsite substation to provide power to project.

• Under roof: 1.8 million square feet square feet, with data center structures ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet.

• Estimated investment: $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

• Employment: 120 to 180 permanent, full-time jobs; 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs.

• Applications: Request to rezone from residential to “Business Park;” site has approval for 199 home lots and to eliminate $2.7 million in cash proffers for a separate, 197-lot subdivision rezoned in 2003.

• Schedule: Feb. 8 board of supervisors’ work session; Feb. 15 county planning commission work session; an advisory panel to the supervisors, the commission will conduct a Feb. 27 public hearing; supervisors, which has final authority, expects to conduct March 8 public hearing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

To make a proposed data center project near Remington work financially, the landowners insist that a $2.7-million cash proffer tied to an undeveloped subdivision near Bealeton must be eliminated.

Fauquier residents and brothers Bill and Bob Springer and GGFS/Foxhaven LLC of Alexandria own the data center and subdivision properties.

Canada-based Point One Holdings Inc. wants to construct up to six data-center structures, totaling a maximum 1.8 million square feet of space. That would require county board of supervisors’ approval to rezone 234 acres along Lucky Hill Road from residential to “Business Park.”

When the supervisors rezoned the Bealeton subdivision site near Route 28 and Schoolhouse Road in 2003, the landowners agreed to proffer $2.7 million to help pay for public services demanded by the new development.

The Springers and their partner want to amend the 197-lot Fox Haven subdivision agreement to remove that proffer condition.

The data center and Fox Haven requests require public hearings and supervisors’ approval.

The landowners contend the proposed, billion dollar-plus Remington Technology Park’s success depends on the supervisors’ dropping the cash proffer tied to the Fox Haven subdivision site, which lies about a mile and a half north of the data center property.

Proposed changes to the Fox Haven proffers “allow for the sale of the” data center property “at a price which makes the industrial project economically feasible,” according the application. “While the two related rezoning requests are required to be processed separately, they are essentially a joint rezoning application with each being dependent upon the other.”

The supervisors, who have final authority, will discuss the novel proposal Thursday, Feb. 8.

Rezoning the proposed data center property to “Business Park” use would eliminate 199 home lots and thus eventually save Fauquier millions of dollars in public service costs generated by those residences, according to the landowners.

At the same time, the proposed data center project ultimately would produce millions in revenue for Fauquier, they note.

That revenue would offset the loss of subdivision’s $2.7 million cash proffer, according to the Fox Haven rezoning amendment application.

A real estate development company, Point One estimated the Remington Technology investment at $1.4 to $1.6 billion.

As part of the Fox Haven rezoning amendment request, the landowners also seek approval to construct up to 66 homes per year; the 2003 rezoning limited construction to 33 houses per year.

> Document at bottom of story

That cap “severely hampers the ability of a builder to generate sales sufficient to justify the sales/construction infrastructure for a profitable home sales operation,” the application reads. “Most builders require sales in the range of 5 to 6 units/month to cover their fixed costs.

“The requested limit of 66-unit sales per year would allow for an economically viable development operation and is consistent with those proffered for other similarly-sized projects in the county.”

The first of six proposed data center buildings — ranging from 240,000 to 310,000 square feet — would represent a $250-million to $270-million investment, according to Point One.

The data center project, which could take five to seven years to complete, would create up to 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs and 180 permanent, “highly skilled and well-paid, full-time jobs,” the company’s application states.

An advisory panel to the supervisors, the county planning commission will conduct a Feb. 15 work session and Feb. 27 public hearing on the data center proposal.

The supervisors plan to conduct a March 8 public hearing on the project. The application to amend Fox Haven’s proffer agreement requires a public hearing only before the supervisors, who will decide the matter. That hearing also could take place March 8.

Application SOJ FoxHaven 1stSub (3) by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Of woodchucks, soaring electric bills and 2 Phils

Posted Friday,
February 2, 2018
Like 1 · 3 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
As the fuel cell shrinks to its last full rack, we worry about having enough to reach spring.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

It grows tiresome about this time each winter.

The constant toting of firewood and shoveling of ashes from woodstoves and fireplaces begins to lose its charm just as silly men in top hats yank that fat rodent from his hole in rural Pennsylvania to face a crowd of cameras and drunks.

Of course, Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Those powerful TV lights would produce shadows in a blinding snowstorm. We must assume clammy, cold conditions will envelop our patch of the planet until at least mid-March, global warming not withstanding.

So, we nervously scan the woodpile, aka the Hillbilly Fuel Cell. Will it last until spring?

None of this came naturally.

I grew up in town, in a small house with a “Franklin stove” that provided ambiance in my parents’ den but did little to hold down the fuel oil bill. My life changed a couple years out of college. Gonzo the dog and I moved into a 14-by-21-foot, one-room cinderblock cabin on a lake in Fort Valley, tucked between the ridges of eastern Shenandoah County.

The place had a flue in the back wall, single-pane windows and no insulation. As a naïve 24-year-old, I purchased my first woodstove for 129 bucks from the hardware store in Edinburg. Thus began an adulthood of cutting, splitting, stacking and schlepping dense chunks of cellulose for heat.

In the 37 years since, I’ve owned five more woodstoves and at least as many chainsaws. The cliché about firewood heating you twice — once when you harvest it and again when you burn it — rings true.

When Dominion Energy’s monthly bill drops our jaws, as it did last month, we take solace in the belief that without firewood, our electricity costs would soar much higher. Another wheelbarrow full, another couple kilowatt hours saved.

The annual firewood cycle consumes a significant chunk of my free time. In coming weeks, a handful of friends will begin to frequent our place to harvest next winter’s fuel.

Walking through the woods, I play god (with a small “g”), deciding who lives and who dies — at least when it comes to ash, oak, hickory and locust trees. The forest needs thinning and we need firewood.

So, with a can of spray paint in hand, I try to make intelligent decisions about giving space to the promising up-and-comers while taking the diseased and damaged. Our crew of desk jockeys has a perverse appetite for physical labor and the fruits thereof, even though we struggle to walk normally for several days after a weekend of this foolishness.

About half the 10-cord harvest will stay with us. The balance will go to sharecroppers’ woodpiles in Fredericksburg, Luray and Warrenton. By late April, we want to get out of the woods, leaving that territory to the snakes, ticks and thorns.

Over the years, we’ve tried to get safer and smarter. The equipment has improved a bit, and we’ve avoided disaster, despite a couple of close calls.

Fred’s attempt to cut off his foot decades ago, while working at home alone, provided a cautionary tale. It also produced Ellen’s Rule: No use of a chainsaw without someone else present.

Greg’s thick leather glove absorbed most of the damage a few years ago when the log splitter wedge caught his thumb during a two-man operation — never the way to operate that hunk of steel, of course.

Fred and I these days also wear chaps and logging helmets with face shields and built-in ear muffs.

Perhaps my greatest lesson in chainsaw operation came in October 1986. We’d gathered at the maternal family home place in a still-rural part of Spotsylvania for the weekend. My Uncle Phil, a well-known Richmond oral surgeon, always fancied himself as a country boy, having spent childhood summers on his uncle’s farm just up the road.

Uncle Phil decided a towering oak needed to come down. Tall and straight, it looked like an easy tree to drop as he began notching the base with his Poulan chainsaw. But, as he made the back cut, a strong gust of wind hit the top of the tree about 100 feet up.

It pushed the huge oak in the opposite direction, down the embankment, onto big electrical lines along Courthouse Road (Route 208).

From above, I watched two huge utility poles literally pop out of the ground.

Did I mention this took place just before the sixth game of the 1986 World Series — the one in which Billy Buckner booted an easy grounder to continue the Red Sox jinx with a 6-5 loss to the Mets?

The power company soon showed up and the embarrassment grew.

Uncle Phil, by then nearing retirement, visited the country store in Snell several years later.

The clerk looked at him and said: “You’re that Peters boy, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am.”

After a pause, the man added: “Cut down any trees lately?”

The story had spread widely among several thousand people in southern and western Spotsylvania who had missed Buckner’s Boot because of the widespread blackout.

So, every time I size up a tree to drop, I think about my late Uncle Phil, the wind and that day at Tenby Cottage.

At 61, I also wonder how much longer this can or should continue. Another decade seems reasonable to my hard head.

More frequently, however, this thought pops into my noggin and out of my mouth as two-cycle engines belch blue smoke and grandfathers around me strain to move big logs:

“I wonder what the smart people are doing today?”

The foolhardy among us keep cutting and splitting.

But, those TV ads for the Florida Keys look even more enticing this week.

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Funding for PATH interns

Posted Friday,
February 2, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Contributed Photo
The PATH Foundation interns last summer, from left (front row): Allie Zaleski, Hannah Michnya, Shelby Thornhill and Emily Berg; (back row): Caroline Kessler, Anna Ritter, Zachary Harris, Ward Van de Water and Jessica Cannon.
$19,793
The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation’s cost to fund nine summer internships last year.

PATH received 28 applications for the positions, which paid $12.50 to $14.50 per hour.

Logging 25 hours a week, the interns worked for nine Fauquier-based organizations and local government agencies, ranging from PATH and the Fauquier Free Clinic to the Town of Warrenton and Fauquier Reaches for Excellence in School Health.

The interns also participated in weekly leadership and group activities that the foundation organized.

Candidates must apply by March 9 for this summer’s PATH internships.


9.4 percent
Of people younger than 65 who live in Fauquier lack health insurance, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau survey, conducted in 2015.

That represents about 6,400 people here.

Statewide, 10.7 percent have no health insurance, compared to 11.7 percent nationwide, according to the survey.


$17.2 million
Fauquier County Public Schools Superintendent David Jeck’s projected cost for employee health insurance premiums in fiscal 2019. Up 8 percent from this year, that represents 11.9 percent of Dr. Jeck’s total proposed operating budget for next year.

The school system this year will spend an estimated $15.8 million for health insurance.

The system’s 1,750 permanent, full-time and part-time school employees who work at least 20 hours a week qualify for coverage.


$324,978
Cost of six fully-equipped 2017 Ford Interceptor SUVs for the Warrenton Police Department. Newly purchased, four marked SUVs cost $57,988 each and two unmarked vehicles ran $46,513 each.

The town police department also has 23 marked and seven unmarked cruisers.


12.5 percent
The potential meals tax increase Warrenton’s town manager floated this week in a fiscal 2019 budget preview for the council.

That would add a half-penny to the town’s 4-cent tax for each $1 spent on prepared food and beverages.

If approved in June, the meals tax hike would generate about $312,000 more revenue for the town. 

For fiscal 2018, the town anticipates collecting $2.5 million from meals taxes.

The Town of Culpeper has a 6-percent meals tax, compared to 4 percent in Manassas and Front Royal and 3.5 percent in Leesburg.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
February 2, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Featured student artwork: “Reach for the Stars”

Posted Friday,
February 2, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Work-release inmate arrested on “pot” charge

Posted Friday,
February 2, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Trevor Staebler in the county jail “dormitory,” where he helped save a fellow inmate who had overdosed on heroin in August 2016.
Any time something like this happens, we always want to be able to evaluate the program to see if there’s anything that can be done.
— Sheriff Bob Mosier
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Fauquier county jail work-release inmate got arrested last week for possession of and intent to sell about an ounce of marijuana in Warrenton.

If convicted of the felony charge, Trevor John Staebler could face up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Details about the Thursday, Jan. 25, arrest of Mr. Staebler, including the location, remain unclear.

But when arrested, the inmate had 30 grams of marijuana, which he apparently expected to sell “someone,” according to court records.

His confiscated cell phone included “conversations . . . in which Staebler discussed the sale of marijuana, specifically an ounce for $250,” according the arrest warrant filed by state police Special Agent J.M. Jeanty.

At the time of his arrest last week, Mr. Staebler, 27, worked as a landscaper for a Linden-based company, according to the sheriff’s office.

The work-release program allows inmates to maintain jobs during the day and return to the jail for the night. Upon their return, they get strip-searched and randomly tested for drugs.

All work-release inmates get tested for drugs once a month.

Convicted of breaking and entering, grand larceny and possession of drug paraphernalia, Mr. Staebler has been in jail since January 2015.

He had been scheduled for release on March 9.

Work-release inmates wear GPS bracelets that allow the sheriff’s office to track their movements, explained Capt. Mark Lavoie, who manages the jail.

Deputies also conduct random spot checks to ensure inmates “are where they’re supposed to be,” report to work on time and perform duties to their employers’ satisfaction, Capt. Lavoie added.

After 29 years at the jail, “you can never predict” which inmates will violate work-release program rules, the captain said.

Inmates qualify for the work-release program partly based on “good behavior” and their “performance” as trusties — positions that allow them to work in the jail or off-site, maintaining county buildings and grounds or at the county landfill and for the Fauquier County Water and Sanitation Authority.

Inmates convicted of violent or sex crimes cannot participate in those programs.

Paid $3 per day, trusties often transfer to the work-release program.

“It’s fairly rare, but it does happen occasionally,” Capt. Lavoie said of work-release program violations.

The last known serious violation occurred in August 2016, when inmate Troy Best overdosed on heroin in the 50 W. Lee St. jail after injecting the opiate while out for work.

Two inmates, including Mr. Staebler, helped save Mr. Best’s life.

The sheriff’s office transferred Mr. Best, 30, to the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center in Winchester for the remainder of his five-month sentence.

The regional jail released Mr. Best on Sept. 12. Three days later, he died at Inova Fairfax Hospital of a heroin overdose, according to his mother.

“We keep a close eye on inmates that are part of the work-release program,” Sheriff Bob Mosier said.

Despite electronic monitoring and surprise job-site inspections, deputies occasionally find work-release inmates violate the program, Sheriff Bob Mosier said.

But, “any time something like this happens, we always want to be able to evaluate the program to see if there’s anything that can be done” to improve it, Sheriff Mosier added.

Mr. Staebler will appear Wednesday, March 7, in Fauquier General District Court to face the marijuana charge.

Narcan routinely saving Fauquier opioid users

Posted Thursday,
February 1, 2018
Like 0 · 1 ·
Narcan nasal spray costs an average of $144 without insurance at seven Fauquier pharmacies surveyed recently.
First responders in Fauquier also sometimes use Naloxone, administered by syringe or IV. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made the antidote publicly available in 2015.
Anytime you save someone, that’s a good thing.
— Sheriff’s Deputy 1st Class Aaron Vescovi
By Bennett Wise
FauquierNow Intern

Everybody agrees the powerful antidote to heroin and other opioid overdoses saves lives in Fauquier County.

First responders administered Narcan nasal spray or its active ingredient Naloxone 198 times last year in Fauquier, according fire/rescue and law enforcement authorities.

Nobody knows how often the antidote got administered by civilians.

While the number of overdoses increased in Fauquier last year, deaths attributed to drug use plummeted two-thirds. Drugs killed eight people in the county last year, compared to 22 in 2016, according to law enforcement officials.

Increased awareness, education and support groups may have helped reduce the number of deaths, Warrenton Police Chief Louis Battle said. But, Chief Battle and others also point to greater availability and training in the use of Narcan as potential factors in the dramatic decline of fatal overdoses.

“I can only imagine Narcan is the most important factor, because overdoses haven’t declined,” Mental Health Association of Fauquier County Executive Director Sallie Morgan said.

Reported drug overdoses rose 50 percent in Fauquier to 141 last year.

In November 2015, the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved Narcan for public distribution. Four months later, the first Naloxone-based nasal spray hit the market.

In the spring of 2016, the Fauquier sheriff’s office and Warrenton Police Department became among the first in Virginia to train and equip officers with Narcan. Almost immediately, they began saving lives in overdose cases.

Narcan, a nasal spray that contains Naloxone, reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. The antidote essentially gets between the drug and receptors in the brain. A dose of Naloxone prevents overdose symptoms for up to 45 minutes. But, opioids can stay in the bloodstream for several hours. Once the antidote wears off, the overdose symptoms may return.

When responding to suspected opioid overdoes, medics and police officers look for signs including:

• Blue or purple lips and fingertips.

• Shrinking pupils.

• Unconsciousness.

• Respiratory depression (slow or ineffective breathing).

Sometimes it requires another dose; Narcan doesn’t always work. First responders sometimes administer Narcan in cases that present themselves as overdoses but turn out to be something else. That use has no ill effect.

The antidote dates to 1971, but as the national opioid crisis has intensified, its use has grown far more common. And since mid-2015, Virginia has allowed its sale over the counter, without a prescription. Seven Fauquier pharmacies surveyed recently carry the antidote.

Without a prescription, those pharmacies charge an average of $144 for the Narcan spray, versus $36.36 for the Naloxone injection. Medics also administer it via IV.

Physicians often prescribe Naloxone in conjunction with pain medication in case a patient overdoses.

But, the over-the-counter cost can be daunting.

Travis Hale at the Remington Drug Co. said that because of the price his pharmacy fills “less than 40 percent of prescriptions for Narcan” its customers receive.

Insurance often covers the cost of a Narcan prescription, typically with a $20 to $40 patient copayment.

Some suggest that easy access to the lifesaving antidote can give illegal users a false sense of security.

Addicts can “use it as a crutch,” said a Fauquier sheriff’s undercover narcotics detective. “It perpetuates the problem.”

An addict might overdose and get Narcan “three, four or five times,” he added. “It could be higher, but we don’t know because of the easy access to Narcan.”

A physician who practices in the Fauquier Hospital emergency room acknowledges pros and cons of the antidote.

“Will it make people more careless? It’s possible,” Dr. Michael Jenks said. “But, I would rather save lives and send people to rehab than see them die.”

Some who use heroin or other opioids reject Narcan.

“Sometimes addicts, when we bring them back, say, ‘No Narcan,’ because it ruins their high,” sheriff’s Deputy 1st Class Aaron Vescovi said.

“But, anytime you save someone, that’s a good thing,” Deputy Vescovi added.

“It’s a lifesaving drug . . . but addicts will use anything as a safety net,” said Chris Connell, who manages the McShin Foundation’s peer-to-peer addiction recovery counseling program in Warrenton.

A recovering addict in McShin’s program, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she didn’t know about Narcan’s easy availability at pharmacies. The 15-year addict has received Narcan twice from first responders.

“Had I known about it, that’s exactly why I would have bought it,” she said.

To save lives, Ms. Connell recommends any family with a legal or illegal opiate user “have at least one dose of Narcan in their house.

“Every person needs to be trained; you never know when you will come across someone overdosing.”

140-foot cell tower proposed in Warrenton

Posted Thursday,
February 1, 2018
Like 0 · 2 ·
Google Maps
The proposed monopole would stand on Carter Equipment’s 6.2-acre property at 721 Industrial Road in Warrenton.
This photo illustration depicts the proposed power as it would appear from the Eastern Bypass.
Warrenton Tower Proposal

• What:
140 monopole with 60-by-60-foot equipment compound on 6.2 acres.

• Where: 721 Industrial Road, Warrenton.

• Zoned: Industrial.

• Property owner: Carter Machinery Company Inc.

• Applicant: Capital Telecommunication Holdings LLC

• Carrier: Verizon Wireless.

• Tower: Would provide 4G LTE coverage and capacity relief; space for three additional future carriers.

• Needs: Special use permit from town council.

• Next: Company must address town staff before application goes to town planning commission.
A New Jersey telecommunications company wants to build a 140-foot monopole tower in Warrenton.

Capital Telecommunication Holdings LLC has submitted a special use permit application to put the tower on 6.2 acres off Industrial Road near the Warrenton Branch Greenway and the Eastern Bypass. Carter Equipment owns the property.

Under the town’s zoning ordinance, towers exceeding 125 feet must have special use permits, which require town council approval.

The tower would have 12 Verizon Wireless antennae for phone and data service, with the space to accommodate up to three more carriers.

The tower would “provide reliable 4G LTE coverage and capacity relief to the Town of Warrenton, including heavily traveled portion of the Eastern Bypass, James Madison Highway and Falmouth Street, Shirley Avenue, Meetze Road, Lees Ridge Road, Alwington Road and the adjoining areas extending approximately 0.5 to 1 miles in all directions,” the application says.

It would “provide in-building coverage to residential, educational, commercial and industrial uses in the area . . . and provide wireless traffic offloading from the exiting adjacent Verizon Wireless base stations.”

Existing Verizon antennas in and near Warrenton include:

• The town water tower off North Fourth Street in Old Town.

• The radio station tower off Lover’s Lane, south of town.

• A monopole off Route 211, just west of Warrenton.

The town’s planning staff has expressed concerns about tower height, location and lack of proposed concealment.

Capital Telecommunication Holdings must resubmit an application, responding to those concerns, before the application goes to the town planning commission.

The commission will make a recommendation for approval or denial to the town council.

— Cassandra Brown

Throwback Thursday: New center for The Plains

Posted Thursday,
February 1, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
1993: Grace Episcopal Church will renovate this recently-donated house in The Plains for a community center, named to honor former Mayor J. Page Turner.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of Feb. 5, 1993

The Plains gets a community center

The Plains has a new community center — in the rough.

Andrea Currier-Squires last week donated a two-story Main Street house to Grace Episcopal Church, which will renovate it for community use. The center will be named for J. Page Turner, a former mayor who died at age 70 in September.

“Page Turner had the kind of public spirit that can restore this house and have it serve as a centerpiece of the community,” Ms. Currier-Squires said.

Tentative plans call for the center host community meetings. “Also under consideration is a proposal to move The Plains Public Library, now housed in the town’s former one-room jail, to larger space in the Turner House,” said the Rev. Zachary Fleetwood, rector of Grace Church.





Board reduces dumpster hours, saves $150,000

Fiddling with one of Fauquier’s most popular public services, the board of supervisors this week agreed to cut operating hours at the county’s drop-off dump sites.

While the supervisors voted, 3-2, to keep all five container sites open, they also decided Tuesday to trim operations to 36 hours a week — less than half the current schedule.

The sites have been open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. The new hours will take effect April 1.


Contract with county wins fire/rescue approval

A proposed contract with county government, resulting from the 1989 Catlett fire truck-train accident, should guarantee Fauquier fire and rescue volunteers more legal protection and consistent funding.

Despite providing emergency care and aid, local volunteers never had a contract that spelled out exactly what the county expected from them and vice-versa.

The supervisors will discuss the agreement next month. All 13 fire and rescue companies have approved it.

By agreeing to the contract, County Attorney Paul McCulla said the companies keep their separate identities but can use sovereign immunity as a defense against lawsuits alleging negligence in responding to emergencies.

After the September 1989 collision of an Amtrak passenger train and a Catlett fire truck, Fauquier officials claimed the volunteers were not covered by the county’s insurance. In that accident, two Catlett firemen died, 81 people were injured and a slew of lawsuits followed.

The county also attempted to distance itself from the company, emphasizing its claim that the fire company is “a separate, incorporated private entity.”


Library to close for renovations

To accommodate its renovation, the Fauquier County Public Library in Warrenton will close temporarily Feb. 15.

The Children’s Room will move to the lower level and reopen Feb. 24. The adult section will remain closed until mid-March.

Once completed, the project will double the library’s overall useable space to 16,000 square feet.

The branch library in the Bealeton Village Shopping Center will be open as usual through the main library’s renovation.


Physician James Dellinger dies

Dr. James Lyle “Doc” Dellinger, 71, died January 22, 1993, at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore.

Dr. Dellinger practiced medicine in Warrenton from 1948 until 1986.

After working with another physician, he established his own practice here in 1949. Dr. Robert W. Iden joined the practice in 1958, and together they built the Fauquier Professional Building at Culpeper Street and Shirley Avenue in 1963. During much of his practice, Dr. Dellinger also served as the Fauquier County coroner.


Advertisement
Realtors Gloria Beahm & Charles Ebbets Honored

Rainbow-V.I.P. Real Estate congratulates:

• Gloria Beahm, Top Producer Agent of the year

• Charles Ebbets, Most Improved Agent

The Real Estate Center
211 Broadview Avenue, Warrenton

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
February 1, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Who will win Super Bowl 52 on Sunday night in Minneapolis?

Posted Thursday,
February 1, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·

Ruffin gets 15-year sentence for restaurant robbery

Posted Wednesday,
January 31, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Roderick O. Ruffin Jr. pleaded guilty to two charges stemming from his robbery of The Great Wall restaurant in Bealeton. The prosecution dropped four other counts.
We think it’s appropriate. He’s going to serve 15 years in prison and has 50 years hanging over his head. That’s significant.
— Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey E. Cook
Ruffin Robbery Case
• What: Robbery of The Great Wall Chinese restaurant in the Bealeton Village shopping center on Sept. 5, 2015.

• Victim: Daou Ou Chen, 45, restaurant owner.

• Defendant: Roderic Odyseuss Ruffin Jr., 27, of Chesapeake.

• Conviction: Mr. Ruffin Wednesday, Jan. 31, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

• Sentence: 50 years, with 35 years suspended; imposed by the judge Wednesday, Jan. 31.

• Defense attorneys: Deputy Public Defender Kevin J. Gerrity and Assistant Public Defender Catherine Carre.

• Prosecutor: Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey E. Cook.

• Judge: Herman A. Whisenant Jr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A Chesapeake man Wednesday morning pleaded guilty to two felonies related to the September 2015 armed robbery of a Chinese restaurant in Bealeton.

Roderic O. Ruffin Jr. entered “Alford pleas” during a 10-minute hearing in Fauquier County Circuit Court. Under such a plea, the defendant asserts innocence but acknowledges enough evidence to support a conviction. 

Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. sentenced Mr. Ruffin to 50 years in prison, with 35 years suspended.

He received 12 years for armed robbery and three years for use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The armed robbery charge carries a penalty of five years to life in prison.

During the robbery of The Great Wall, Mr. Ruffin, 27, repeatedly stuck restaurant owner Daou Ou Chen in the head with a Winchester rifle.

Wearing a mask and a hat, Mr. Ruffin ran from the restaurant through its back door to a black sedan, where his now-estranged girlfriend waited.

Blood streaming from deep gashes to his head, Mr. Chen followed Mr. Ruffin, firing five shots with his handgun as the robber fled.

Mr. Ruffin, whose extensive criminal record includes a robbery conviction, on Wednesday declined a chance to address the court moments before his sentencing.

Mr. Chen, who attended the hearing, believes Mr. Ruffin should serve more than 20 years.

“I feel it’s quite light,” the restaurant owner said, through an interpreter, of the 15-year sentence. “When this happened, the whole county was shaken” by the robbery of his and other area businesses.

Two-and-a-half years after the incident, he still has memory and concentration problems, Mr. Chen said.

The judge also ordered Mr. Ruffin to make $2,196 in restitution to Mr. Chen for medical expenses and damage to the restaurant.

James Ruffin, the defendant’s grandfather, also attended Wednesday’s hearing.

“A lot of stuff I didn’t agree with,” said James Ruffin, 71, a retired heavy equipment operator who lives in Midland. “That’s the way the system goes.”

“We think it’s appropriate,” Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jamey E. Cook, who prosecuted the case, said of the sentence. “He’s going to serve 15 years in prison and has 50 years hanging over his head,” should Mr. Ruffin violate probation after completing his sentence. “That’s significant.”

Deputy Public Defender Kevin J. Gerrity — Mr. Ruffin’s third lawyer to handle the case — declined to comment.

The Ruffin case has a long and complicated history.

Mr. Ruffin faced six felony charges — five related to the Chinese restaurant crime and a weapon count that figured into the robbery case.

As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution dropped four of the six charges.

Mr. Ruffin’s guilty plea cancelled three jury trials set in February to hear the matter.

He originally wanted to take his case to a circuit court jury.

But, the day before his Oct. 25, 2016, trial, Mr. Ruffin decided to plead guilty to fewer charges. Mr. Ruffin said he couldn’t contact witnesses who would have testified to his innocence.

On Oct. 26, 2016, he entered his first “Alford” plea to armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

His original defense attorney, T. Brooke Howard II of Warrenton, negotiated the plea deal with Ms. Cook.

Judge Whisenant had scheduled sentencing for last March 20. But by then, Mr. Ruffin — apparently dissatisfied with the plea and Mr. Howard — had hired another attorney to represent him.

Three days before sentencing, Mr. Ruffin’s new lawyer, Mark D. Henshaw of Manassas, filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, which would enable his client to get a jury trial.

After an 84-minute hearing last April 27, Judge Whisenant granted that motion.

Judges rarely allow defendants to withdraw guilty pleas.

Mr. Henshaw argued that Mr. Ruffin should get a jury trial because he could have mounted a “reasonable defense” and because he entered the guilty plea “unadvisedly,” based on erroneous sentencing information provided by Mr. Howard.

Judge Whisenant apparently agreed.

In November, the court granted Mr. Henshaw’s request to withdraw as Mr. Ruffin’s attorney. Around that time, Mr. Gerrity’s office took over the case.


Weekend best bets: “Deathtrap,” story time

Posted Wednesday,
January 31, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Photo/Facebook
Children and parents gather for story time at the library in Warrenton last year. This Saturday the Warrenton and Bealeton branches host a special family story time and craft event.
Shawn Cox and Michael Bertone star in “Deathtrap” at the community theatre Friday through Sunday.
Topping this weekend’s entertainment, the Warrenton and Bealeton library branches will host a special, free story time with crafts on Saturday.

Other options include the thriller play “Deathtrap” at the community theatre and two local fundraisers.

McMahon’s trivia night fundraiser
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2
380 Broadview Ave., Warrenton

McMahon’s Irish Pub hosts a trivia night followed by classic rock from the band Sonic Suds. $5 cover charge benefits St. John’s School.
www.mcmahonsirishpub.com




“Deathtrap” at Fauquier community theatre
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4
4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton

The Fauquier community theatre presents the thriller, “Deathtrap.” Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers overcomes a string of failures when he collaborates with a student who has written a potential hit. Suspense and plot twists abound. Rated PG-13 due to adult themes. Tickets available online or by calling 540-349-8760. Adults, $17; students and seniors 60+, $15.
fctstage.org/deathtrap

Family story time and crafts at the library
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3
Bealeton branch, 10877 Willow Drive North
Warrenton branch, 11 Winchester St.

The Warrenton and Bealeton branches of the Fauquier library kick off “Take Your Child to the Library Week” with family story time and crafts. Free.
fauquierlibrary.org/calendar

Spaghetti dinner benefit
3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3
4416 Broad Run Church Road, Warrenton

C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School near New Baltimore will host a spaghetti dinner to benefit the Leigh family and fifth-grader Noah Leigh who has cancer. The menu includes spaghetti, salad, breadsticks and bake sale items. Tickets available at the door and pre-sale at the elementary school. Adults, $10; children ages 4 to 10, $5; children ages 3 and younger, free. RSVP requested.
www.facebook.com/events


Other options in and around Fauquier:

> Monte Carlo Night fundraiser in Haymarket

> Art exhibit in Middleburg

> Zen meditation in Delaplane

For more events, click here.

Overdose deaths here drop dramatically in 2017, but ...

Posted Wednesday,
January 31, 2018
Like 0 · 13 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
A Warrenton candlelight vigil for those lost to overdoses in October 2016 — the year in which Fauquier set a record with 22 drug deaths.
We’ve tried to make the police department a place where you can come for help. That’s a big change. Everybody’s opening their doors. It’s not just a law enforcement problem.
— Warrenton Police Chief Louis Battle
Fauquier Overdoses
141
in 2017

94
in 2016

80
in 2015

96
in 2014

82
in 2013

Source: Fauquier County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management, based on incidents dispatched as overdoses.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The number of drug overdose deaths in Fauquier plummeted by two-thirds last year.

Drugs killed eight people here in 2017, according to law enforcement authorities.

A year earlier, Fauquier set a grim record, with 22 lives lost to overdoses.

But, even as deaths declined in 2017, the number of overdose cases continued to rise.

Fauquier medics responded to a record 141 overdoses last year, according to county Fire/Rescue Chief Darren Stevens.

That represents a 50-percent increase from 94 overdoses in 2016.

“I think those statistics are good news and bad news,” said John Waldeck, a retired clinical services manager who volunteers with the Mental Health Association of Fauquier County. “Fewer people are dying; that’s good news.

“But, some have a warped way of looking at this. Some people don’t think they’re going to die because they use heroin or (other) opioids,” Mr. Waldeck added. “There’s a lot of people addicted to opioids. It’s not going to go away.”

His department’s statistics fail to include all overdoses, Chief Stevens cautioned. Some cases get reported and dispatched as “difficulty breathing” or “unconscious person.” In such instances, HIPAA — a federal privacy law — prevents medics from reporting patient information to police, according to the chief.

Many point to the opioid antidote Narcan and its active ingredient Naloxone as a reason for the steep decline in overdose deaths here.

“The really big thing is Narcan, the way it saves lives and gives them another chance,” county mental health association Executive Director Sallie Morgan said. “But, it doesn’t really solve the problem.”

Warrenton Police Chief Louis Battle said: “Have the deaths gone down just because of Narcan? Who knows?”

> Narcan routinely saving Fauquier opioid users

Chief Battle pointed to a range of initiatives his department and other community organizations have started in response to the dramatic spike in heroin and other opioid abuse.

“Did deaths drop because of those efforts?” the chief continued. “You can’t be sure, but you make the assumption that it helps. You try anything and everything and hope it has effect.”

Town police investigated just one fatal overdose case last year, compared with six in 2016.

Chief Battle’s department has joined forces with churches and survivors’ organizations to spread the word about the dangers of opioids, including combinations of heroin and synthetic drugs that can kill very quickly.

He credits the department’s volunteer chaplain, Wally Smith, for connecting with addicts and their families in ways few law enforcement officers can. Mr. Smith and his wife lost their 31-year-old son to an overdose in 2016. They have dedicated themselves to helping others avoid the same pain.

Unlike some past illegal drug use trends, opioid abuse cuts across socioeconomic divides, according to local law enforcement officials.

“I’ve been in million-dollar homes” to investigate overdoses, said Lt. Sean Healy, a detective with 19 years of experience in the county sheriff’s office.

“I don’t see a problem in a particular area,” agreed an undercover narcotics investigator, one of five in the sheriff’s office. “It’s widespread.”

Abuse often starts with prescription pain pills, found in thousands of family medicine cabinets throughout Fauquier. But, when the pills run out, addicts often turn to heroin for a cheaper fix.

Still, as resistance to opioids increases, an addict will spend as much as $100 a day on heroin to support his or her habit, Lt. Healy said.

He and other other sheriff’s investigators believe heroin reaches Fauquier primarily from Baltimore. They occasionally bust a major distribution network, but heroin typically comes from addicts who sell the drug on a smaller scale to support their habits, the detectives said.

Attitudes and awareness about addiction over the last couple of years have changed significantly in Fauquier, according to those who address the problem on a daily basis. At public events, including recent hearings on a proposed residential treatment center in Warrenton, addicts and family members have talked in painful detail about their struggles.

Law enforcement typically focuses first on a user’s health, then on a criminal investigation.

He frequently talks with drug users who have overdosed, said Warrenton Lt. Steve Dodson, a 12-year veteran of the department. An addict often will provide details about the drugs he or she used and what happened, Lt. Dodson added.

But, when an officer asks about the source of the drugs, the conversation stops, he said.

Still, county and town officers continue to investigate and place criminal charges when they can. But, drugs frequently get flushed before police arrive or they can’t establish ownership, Lt. Healy said.

Additionally, a relatively new “Good Samaritan” law grants immunity to those reporting overdoses.

Assigned to the Patrol Division, Deputy 1st Class Aaron Vescovi has administered Narcan a half-dozen times since the sheriff’s office began using the antidote in March 2016.

“I think any time you can save a life, it’s a good thing,” Deputy Vescovi said. “It’s not up to us to judge.”

Until the spring of 2016, local officers — often first on the scene — had to wait for highly-trained medics to administer the antidote. Last year, Warrenton police administered Narcan 19 times and sheriff’s deputies used it 21 times.

Fauquier career and volunteer medics administered 158 doses.

In several cases, local first responders have used Narcan more than once to save the same addicts.

“We see the same people over and over,” Lt. Healy said.

That speaks to the depth of addiction and the concern about how pervasive the crisis has become.

Fauquier needs a far broader range of treatment for addicts, according to Mr. Waldeck.

“In the past, almost all substance abuse treatment was short term,” with quick detox and month-long stays in residential programs, he said.

“Now, it’s at least 18 months of treatment for a 50-50 chance of sobriety,” Mr. Waldeck said. “And, the recommendation is for at least five years of solid treatment.”

That can include combinations of in-patient and peer-to-peer programs, he explained.

Ms. Morgan noted that Fauquier has only two physicians licensed to administer Methadone and Suboxone, opioids carefully prescribed and controlled to manage addiction. And, those physicians can care for a limited number of addicts, she said.

“We need to expand different approaches to treatment,” the mental health association leader suggested. Physician-controlled medication can “give people the opportunity to function . . . .

“But a lot of people don’t have access to different forms of treatment,” Ms. Morgan said. “So, we still have a long way to go.”

She and others, however, said the community has demonstrated “a willingness to work together,” with “more than 25 groups” addressing the problem.

The PATH Foundation’s help, including its sponsorship of former addict and basketball star Chris Herren’s presentations at local high school’s, has accelerated the effort to reach young people.

But, Mr. Waldeck said the campaign must grow more robust.

The most recent PRIDE survey of local teen habits suggested that first use of alcohol or other drugs often occurs at age 13. And, opioid use among high school seniors in the community has spiked, according to the 2015 survey.

“If kids start using at 13, seventy-five percent of them will be addicted by 18,” Mr. Waldeck said. “And, when you use drugs at that age, it changes the brain pattern.”

Early use and genetic proclivity to addiction rank as the greatest threat to teens, he added.

“We need to start education efforts in fourth and fifth grades to push back the time of first use,” Mr. Waldeck said. “If we push it back to 10th grade, that lowers the addiction rate 30 percent.”

He also cited the community’s rallying as a critical factor.

“I had never seen this happen in 40 years in this community,” Mr. Waldeck said. “At almost every meeting, law enforcement is at the table as an active player.”

Warrenton Chief Battle acknowledged a new approach.

“We’ve tried to make the police department a place where you can come for help,” he said. “That’s a big change. Everybody’s opening their doors. It’s not just a law enforcement problem.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
January 31, 2018
Like 0 · 0 ·
Member comments
To comment, please log in or register.
Facebook comments
« Share this page
Get email news alerts delivered to your inbox.
Get e-mail news alerts
delivered to your inbox.
Enter your e-mail address
Ellen’s Kitchen and Garden » Most Recent
Thursday, February 22
Like 0 · 0 ·
Monday, January 29
Like 1 · 0 ·
Friday, December 8
Like 0 · 0 ·
Wednesday, November 29
Like 4 · 0 ·
Wednesday, November 15
Like 1 · 0 ·
More »
© Copyright 2011-2018

50 Culpeper Street, Suite 3
Warrenton, Virginia 20187
540.359.6574
Crime Log
Obituaries
Business
Add Your News
The Big Picture
Ellen’s Kitchen
and Garden

Features
Real Estate
For Sale
Employment
Automotive
Announcements
Legal Notices
Post an Ad
Advertise
Terms of Service