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January 9, 2021

Five Fauquier factoids: Birds counted at Clifton

Clifton Institute’s bird county (Photo by Kurt Gaskill) and Eli, the first baby born this year at Fauquier Hospital, with his parents Abraham and Jennifer (Fauquier Hospital Photo).

The number of species that volunteers spotted during the Clifton Institute’s 21st annual Christmas Bird Count.

The Dec. 20 activity took place in an area 15 miles in diameter that includes the non-profit educational center’s 900-acre wildlife sanctuary north of Warrenton.

Fifty-two volunteers participated the 2020 recording-setting count, Clifton Institute Education Associate Alison Zak said. They established the previous record count of 98 birds in 2018.

The 2020 total includes two new species — the Palm Warbler and the House Wren.

“That’s just really kind of uncommon and exciting, because it’s so rare,” Ms. Zak said of those sightings.

For 120 years, community volunteers throughout the Northern Hemisphere have performed the annual bird census, collecting scientific data often used for conservation biology purposes.

The National Audubon Society administers the popular program.


Babies came into the world at Fauquier Hospital last year — an average of just more than one birth per day.

The local hospital started 2021 with a much faster birthrate.

On Friday, Jan. 1, the hospital and its staff helped families with three birth births:

• Eli at 7:03 a.m.

• Amelia at 11:09 a.m.

• Theresa at 7:17 p.m.


The number of murder cases that Warrenton defense attorney Mark B. Williams has handled during his 30-year legal career.

The total includes first-degree murder and two related charges that his client Melody Glascock, 55, faces in last June’s stabbing death of Kelly Gray, 40, in a Bealeton apartment. Beginning June 14, Ms. Glascock will get up to a seven-day jury trial in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

In the 20 previous murder cases, juries acquitted one defendant and convicted eight, according to Mr. Williams said.

Seven clients pleaded guilty, the attorney said.

Juries convicted two defendants of voluntary manslaughter and two pleaded guilty to robbery, added Mr. Williams 68.

“Having a reputation for handling serious cases” partly explains the sizeable number of clients charged with murder, the attorney said. “You can have a whole career in the law and not have one.”

$3.33 million

Total expenditures so far to purchase and renovate the former BB&T building at 21 Main St. as Warrenton’s new Town Hall.

With $492,852 in open purchase orders and other obligations, the anticipated total cost rises to $3.83 million, according to Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer.

Warrenton borrowed $4.1 million for the new Town Hall, leaving a balance of $380,931.

The town purchased the building for $2.2 million in November 2019. The new Town Hall opened in August of last year. Warrenton moved its municipal offices from 18 Court St.


“Mental health” incidents to which Fauquier County sheriff’s deputies responded in 2020.

Despite the pandemic, the total increased by just one from the year before.

Also last year, the sheriff’s office had 24,142 calls for service in all categories — an increase of 1.8 percent from the 23,707 in 2019.

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Thursday, January 21
Fauquier Health will use The Bistro to administer first shots to general public here on Monday — by appointment only
Thursday, January 21
Fauquier infections total 3,178 since pandemic started — up 21 Thursday, health department reports
Wednesday, January 20
“Fifth semester” and interactive virtual academy among possibilities for Fauquier County Public Schools
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