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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Steadily up, 603 new cases of COVID here this month

Posted Wednesday,
September 22, 2021
0 ·
Averaging 28.7 new COVID-19 cases per day this month, Fauquier has 31 more hospitalizations in September.
Vaccinations
62%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Sunday morning — a total of 44,176. Statewide, the rate stands at 68%.


54.4%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,766. Statewide, the rate stands at 58.8%.


72
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Sunday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier has 19 new COVID-19 cases and another hospitalized patient Wednesday morning, the Virginia Department of Health reported.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,250.

The total number of county patients hospitalized during the pandemic stands at 260.

So far this month, the county has 603 new cases — an average of 28.7 per day, 31 more hospitalizations and 4 additional deaths.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 5 new cases Wednesday morning.

But, the number of “active cases” in county schools declined by 10 compared to Tuesday morning. Those 49 cases include 36 among students and 13 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

The only school with a double-digit total, Fauquier High has 11 cases among students.

The school system has reported 309 active cases — 222 among students and 87 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

The schools had 259 students and 6 staff members in quarantine, as of Thursday, Sept. 16 ‚ the most recent report.

Virginia has 3,737 new cases since Tuesday morning, bringing the state total to 843,212 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,409 — up 45 since Tuesday morning. Fauquier fatalities remain at 76.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,166 infected patients in their beds Wednesday morning, down 45 since Tuesday. The state’s hospitals have housed 68,224 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,873 cases, up 38 from Tuesday.

Orange County, 3,145 cases, up 24.

Madison County, 864, up 14.

Rappahannock County, 499, up 4.

As of Wednesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 9.8 percent statewide and 11.7 percent in the health district.

Despite mandate, many state workers unvaccinated

Posted Wednesday,
September 22, 2021
0 ·
Virginia Mercury File Photo/Ned Oliver
Gov. Ralph Northam announces the COVID-19 requirement for state employees at an Aug. 5 press conference.
This program is helping to encourage vaccination and keep our valuable workforce safe. Again, we urge all Virginia localities and private businesses to follow our lead.
— Alena Yarmosky, governor’s spokeswoman
By Ned Oliver
The Virginia Mercury

Last month, Gov. Ralph Northam gave state employees a choice: get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19.

Many, it appears, have chosen testing.

While comprehensive figures aren’t available yet, a survey of some of the largest state agencies reveals employee vaccination rates range from just over 50 percent at the Department of Corrections to 87 percent at the Virginia Department of Health.

Other agencies, including the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia State Police, reported vaccination rates that roughly mirror the state’s overall vaccination rate of about 60 percent.

Northam wrote in his Aug. 5 executive directive that “vaccination is the only method to protect fully against the virus.” But unlike a similar order issued by President Joe Biden for the federal workforce, Gov. Northam’s directive did not actually require state employees to be vaccinated. Instead, it asked them to disclose their vaccination status and, if they are unvaccinated, submit to weekly testing at the state’s expense.

The directive does not require unvaccinated employees to request a formal exemption, but it does allow employees to opt out of the weekly testing if they lodge a religious rejection or have a medical reason — a step few state employees appear to have taken.

The testing required under the mandate has come at a cost to taxpayers.

The Department of Corrections, which is the largest state agency with about 11,000 employees and has implemented more stringent testing requirements of once-every-three-days for frontline employees, reported testing about 900 employees over a recent 24-hour period at a cost of about $14 per test. That works out to about $12,600 in one day.

State agencies have also been instructed that employee testing, which takes between 15 and 30 minutes, should be conducted on the clock, meaning unvaccinated employees are paid to take the tests. And in some cases, that means unvaccinated employees can earn overtime to take tests, though the state’s human resources guidance encourages supervisors to find time in employees’ regular schedules.

Procedures vary by department, but at the DOC, spokesman Benjamin Jarvela said some of the over-the-counter antigen tests the department administers are taken on site with the results verified by an observer. In other cases, employees are allowed to take the tests at home and report results on an honor system.

So far, the Department of Corrections appears to have one of the lowest vaccination rates among state agencies surveyed. The number of staff members vaccinated also compares poorly to the vaccination rate among prisoners, which sits at just under 70 percent.

DOC statistics show that even before the testing requirements were implemented on Sept. 1, COVID-19 infections among staff have outpaced those among prisoners for weeks, a reversal from the height of the pandemic. At last report, 120 staff members had “active cases” compared to 84 among prisoners.

The DOC’s numbers suggest its overall vaccination rate could improve in the coming weeks: The department reported 1,333 staff members are partially vaccinated.

While individual state agencies are tracking vaccination rates and testing results of employees, the state’s Department of Human Resource Management is still in the process of aggregating and compiling the data, said a spokeswoman for the department, Anne Waring.

The Mercury asked for vaccination statistics from the six largest state agencies: the Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Department of Corrections, Virginia State Police, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Health, and Virginia Department of Transportation. Together they employ nearly 30,000 of the roughly 120,000 state employees who are covered by the directive. Their combined vaccination rate is 63 percent, slightly above the state’s overall vaccination rate but below the 70 percent vaccination rate for people aged 18 and up.

Only one of the agencies, the Department of Motor Vehicles, has reported pursuing disciplinary action against an employee for refusing to disclose their vaccination status. “DMV is adhering to the Commonwealth’s Standards of Conduct and pursuing appropriate disciplinary action,” spokeswoman Jessica Cowardin said in an email.

Other agencies, like the liquor authority where 40 employees fall into the “refuse to disclose” category,” say they haven’t gotten to that stage yet. “To comply with the Executive Order, we have first focused on gathering information as it relates to an employee’s vaccination status,” said a spokeswoman for ABC, Valerie Hubbard. “In the next stage of the process, the authority will engage in the interactive process for those who refused to disclose or are unvaccinated to determine if an accommodation is needed.”

Public health experts said testing requirements can be a useful tool to reduce the spread of COVD-19, but that it shouldn’t be used as an alternative to vaccinations.

“That would be a mistake,” said Dr. Taison Bell, an infectious disease specialist at UVA. “You should definitely push as hard as you can to vaccinate. I would require vaccinations in congregate settings, in addition to doing testing. We know we have this variant that’s way more infectious than prior.”

Dr. Bell also questioned policies that allow employees to take tests off-site and self-report results. “I think the benefit of having the rapid test is you actually can do it on-site — you don’t have to rely on the honor system,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Northam, Alena Yarmosky, said in an email that the governor continues “to consider a range of options to boost vaccination.” But otherwise she framed the state’s approach a model the private sector should follow.

“This program is helping to encourage vaccination and keep our valuable workforce safe,” she said. “Again, we urge all Virginia localities and private businesses to follow our lead.”

Mercury reporter Kate Masters contributed to this story.

Oct. 2 sporting clay shoot benefits Boys & Girls Club

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·

Delaplane Church will host pop-up market Saturday

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·

Music teacher allegedly restrained girl, 7, with belt

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·
Arrested Monday night, Brendan Mitchell Henry, 23, of Herndon, posted a $2,0000 bond for his release.
Fauquier sheriff’s detectives on Monday charged a county elementary school music teacher with assault for allegedly restraining a 7-year-old female student with his belt.

Brendan Mitchell Henry, 23, of Herndon, faces charges of charges of assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor at H.M. Pearson Elementary School near Catlett on Wednesday, Sept. 15, Sgt. Steve Lewis said.

“Detectives with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, in conjunction with Child Protective Services and Fauquier County Public School officials, investigated an incident,” Sgt. Lewis wrote in a press release. “During the investigation, detectives learned a 7 year-old-female student was assaulted by Henry in class on September 15.

“Henry used his belt to restrain the student from being disruptive in the classroom. The student was not injured during this incident.”

Fauquier County Public Schools spokeswoman Tara Helkowski said, “Henry was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Mr. Henry joined the school system this year, Ms. Helkowski said.

Fairfax County police took Mr. Henry into custody “without incident” Monday night, Sgt. Lewis said. A Fairfax County magistrate conducted a bond hearing and released him on a $2,000 unsecured bond.

Dominion accelerates solar and storage buildout plans

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·
Dominion Energy File Photo
Dominion Energy’s 125-acre solar farm on 125 acres near Remington began operating in 2017.
By Sarah Vogelsong
The Virginia Mercury

A plan filed by Dominion Energy with state regulators last week for how it intends to comply with the Virginia Clean Economy Act, a 2020 law that will require the electric utility to be carbon-free by 2045, calls for an acceleration of the company’s deployment of solar and storage.

The company is proposing the development of more than double the storage and solar it submitted to the State Corporation Commission for approval last year. Plans call for more than a gigawatt of new renewable capacity, with 918 megawatts coming from new solar and 103 megawatts from new storage.

Last year’s plans, which were approved by regulators in May, outlined the development of about half a gigawatt of capacity. At the time, Dominion Energy president, chair and CEO Bob Blue told investors on a call that the 2021 proposal would “be larger in scale.”

In a Thursday release, Dominion Energy Virginia President Ed Baine called the current proposal “the largest expansion of solar and energy storage in Virginia history.”

In addition to outlining yearly targets for the percentage of Dominion’s and Appalachian Power’s energy portfolios that must come from renewables, the Virginia Clean Economy Act requires Dominion to propose 16.1 gigawatts of solar and onshore wind, 5.2 gigawatts of offshore wind and 2.7 gigawatts of energy storage projects by 2035.

The utility has tangled with some consumer protection and environmental groups over whether the law mandates that regulators approve the development of those amounts of renewables or whether it simply requires Dominion to propose them, leaving it up to regulators to evaluate whether projects are “reasonable and prudent.”

Under Dominion’s most recent proposal, ownership of the solar and storage sources would be divided between the utility and non-utility developers, with the latter owning 286 of the overall 1,021 megawatts.

The VCEA requires that 35 percent of new generating capacity be obtained by Dominion through contracts with non-utility owners, a provision intended to encourage the continued growth of the renewables industry in Virginia.

Among the Dominion-owned solar projects being proposed, the largest would be the 150 megawatt Walnut Solar project in King and Queen County, the 80 megawatt Piney Creek Solar project in Halifax County and the 80 megawatt Fountain Creek Solar project in Greensville County.

To meet another VCEA goal, last week’s filing also included 46 megawatts of distributed generation, nearly all of which would be acquired through power purchase agreements with other companies.

Combined, the projects will cost roughly $71 million. If the SCC approves all of them, Dominion estimates that the average residential customer will see his or her monthly bill increase by about $1.13.

22 new COVID-19 cases here, 1 more hospitalized

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·
So far in September, Fauquier has 584 new COVID-19 cases, 30 more hospitalizations and 4 additional deaths.
Vaccinations
62%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Sunday morning — a total of 44,176. Statewide, the rate stands at 68%.


54.4%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,766. Statewide, the rate stands at 58.8%.


72
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Sunday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier has 22 new COVID-19 cases and another hospitalized patient Tuesday morning, the Virginia Department of Health reported.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,231.

The total number of county patients hospitalized during the pandemic stands at 259.

So far this month, the county has 584 new cases — an average of 29.2 per day, 30 more hospitalizations and 4 additional deaths.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 7 new cases Tuesday morning.

But, the number of “active cases” in county schools declined by 20 compared to Monday morning. Those cases total 39 among students and 20 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

The only school with a double-digit total, Fauquier High has 11 cases among students.

The school system has reported 304 active cases — 218 among students and 86 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

The schools had 259 students and 6 staff members in quarantine, as of Thursday, Sept. 16 ‚ the most recent report.

Virginia has 3,335 new cases since Monday morning, bringing the state total to 839,475 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,364 — up 52 since Monday morning. Fauquier fatalities remain at 76.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,211 infected patients in their beds Tuesday morning, up 52 since Monday. The state’s hospitals have housed 68,090 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,835 cases, up 33 from Monday.

Orange County, 3,121 cases, up 19.

Madison County, 850, up 5.

Rappahannock County, 495, up 1.

As of Tuesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 9.8 percent statewide and 12 percent in the health district.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·

Stops Along the Way: The price of unlearned history

Posted Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Monday,
September 20, 2021
0 ·

54-acre farm near Goldvein sells for $1.25 million

Posted Monday,
September 20, 2021
0 ·
This 54-acre farm on Thompsons Mill Road near Goldvein sold for $1.25 million.
This home on 5 acres near The Plains sold for just more than $1 million.
A 54-acre farm near Goldvein sold recently for $1.25 million.

The updated three-bedroom house at Graystone Farm dates to 1830.

The Thompsons Mill Road property features an 8,000-square-foot workshop with an office, restroom and kitchen. The farm also has a 3-car garage with guest quarters for up to eight people, a barn, a large-equipment storage shed, a fenced paddock, a one-acre pond with dock and more than 20 acres of woods with trails and access to Deep Run Creek.

The property went on the market in May with an asking price of $1.35 million, according to Realtor.com.

Arthur Hemenway with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PennFed Realty represented the seller and Amada Johnson of Vylla Home represented the buyer.

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

That list also includes a two-bedroom house on 5 acres near The Plains that sold for just more than $1 million.

Built in 1979, the 1,970-square-foot stone house features an open floorplan and two bathrooms. The property has a two-bay garage, a pond and stream frontage.

Helen MacMahon of Sheridan-MacMahon represented the buyer and the seller.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Sept. 9-15, 2021:


Cedar Run District

96 Meeker LLC, Patrick A. Cloud as member, to Alejandro and Maria Vargas, 5 acres, 2102 Sowego Road, near Catlett, $650,000.

Trenis Inc. to Troy D. and Nikki L. Marshall, 2 acres and 0.7 acre, Catlett Road (Rt. 28), near Catlett, $350,000.

NVR Inc. to Taylor and Brandon McMahon, 0.58 acre, Lot 57, Phase 2, Warrenton Chase Subdivision, 7722 Warrenton Chase Drive, near Warrenton, $737,705.

Hector A. and Nora A. Garcia to Pete and Lorrie L. Robinson, 27,558 square feet, Lot 57, Section 2, Warrenton Village Subdivision, 7467 Suncrest Drive, near Warrenton, $450,000.

Alden E. and Nancy H. Cassell to RMH Builders LLC, 2.2 acres, Ensors Shop Road, near Midland, $120,000.

Kelly L. and Charles C. Evans Jr. to Caroline and George Flint, 1.3 acres, Lot 3, Fincham Division, 4214 Breezy Knoll Court, near Nokesville, $705,000.

Kim E. Shelly, Kevin M. Shelly and others to David and Ruth J. Mast, trustees, 19 acres, 6393 Stoney Road, near Midland, $400,000.

Michael B. Manuel to Matthew Johnson, 49 acres and 4.7 acres, 3179 Thompsons Mill Road, Goldvein, $1,250,000.


Center District

Roger K. and Kelley J. St. Clair to Dustin S. and Jennifer M. Budd, 0.24 acre, Lot 31, Phase 2, Ridges of Warrenton Subdivision, $595,000.

Ali Manwar to Kimberly and Demetrius J. Lumpkin, Lot 86, Section 2B, Olde Gold Cup Subdivision, $615,000.

Jackie A. Lewis to Christopher Dalziel, Unit 118, Phase 21, Villas at The Ridges Condominiums, 183 Amber Circle, Warrenton, $440,000.

Timothy and Amanda Livings to Vernon and Michelle Galando, Lot 68, Phase 1, Ridges of Warrenton Subdivision, 370 Singleton Circle, Warrenton, $550,000.

LRW Investments & Property Management LLC, Jamie and Jeffrey Weiss as members, to Robert T. and Shelby S. Seise, 5 acres, 6284 Blackwell Road, near Warrenton, $744,500.


Lee District

Patricia L. Reyes and Christian R. Alfaro to Juan P. Guevara, Lot 100, Phase 2-A, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 10853 Krystal Court, Bealeton, $320,000.

Michael G. Snell to Faustino C. Viera and Blanca H.C. Hernandez, 27,098 square feet, Lot 33, Section B2, Fox Meade Subdivision, 6645 Forbes Place East, Bealeton, $340,000.

Sandra J. Slaughter, Alvin L. Pinn and others to Glen Jenkins, 0.5 acre, Lot 16, Block B, Boyd M. Smith Subdivision, 12307 Piney Lane, near Remington, $50,000.

Patrick S. and Emily R. Richardson to Alexander Biondi, Lot 21, Phase 2-A, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 10849 Depot Drive, Bealeton, $323,000.

Sean S. and Rachel L. Dascher to Josue E. C. Molina and Erika I. Campos, Lot 1, Section A, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 6624 Oak Shade Road, near Bealeton, $385,000.

Deborah J. Thrower, Debra Pinn and others to Glen Jenkins 0.59 acre, near Remington, $10,000.

Kenneth C. Gardner to Isabella R. Castrano and Jorge R.P. Benavidez, Lot 4, Section 1, Meadfield Subdivision, 11216 Meadfield Drive, Bealeton, $348,200.


Marshall District

Jennifer E. Fournier and Edward P. Durning to Paul Serzan, 1.9 acres, 9260 Bell Haven Lane, near Marshall, $650,000.

Blue Hills Estates LLC, Devin T. Finan as trustee, to Lakeside Homes LLC, 40,000 square feet, Lot 2, Blue Hills Subdivision, Blue Hills Drive, off Springs Road, near Warrenton, $240,000.

Patricia A. Fletcher to Jayson K. and Laura M. Knapps, 5 acres, 8580 Wales Road, near Warrenton, $475,000.

Joseph D. and Helen C. Lechwar to Bettina Mahany, 1 acre, Lot 1, Section 1, Leeton Ridge Subdivision, 8477 Lees Ridge Road, near Warrenton $415,000.

John T. Deering to Margaret M. Carroll, 8592 Clifton St., Marshall, $299,000.


Scott District

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Ziyad Mutawy and Mary Barrow, 0.23 acre, Lot 14-A, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4858 Point Road, near Warrenton, $898,300.

Paul G. Edmundson to Stacy L.J. Blumenthal, trustee, 5 acres, Howdershell Place, 3037 Halfway Road, near The Plains, $1,050,000.

Ella R. Schmidt to Bruce C. Black, Lot 93-A, Land Bay G, Vint Hill Subdivision, 3668 Osborne Drive, near New Baltimore, $551,000.

Allan A. James to David A. and Stephanie L. Maddox 0.74 acre, Lot 2, Ida Briggs Subdivision, 65611 Briggs Road, near New Baltimore, $300,000.

Joseph L. and Carol A. Krofcheck to Xuan Vu and Long Le, 2 acres, Lot 30, Westervelt Subdivision, 4535 Den Haag Road, near New Baltimore, $860,000.

Rye T. Wood to Helen O. and Charles B. Cornwell Jr., 3.5 acres and 11 acres, 6653 Riley Road, near New Baltimore, $790,000.

Lawrence E. Gorman to AK Realty Investments LLC, 4.4 acres, Lot B, Nareena Estates Subdivision, 5344 Baldwin St., near Warrenton, $400,000.

RBRE Inc. to Patrick S. Dodds and Alan I. Aldave-Mendiolaza, Lot 1, Division of Coles Building Corp., 7320 Knightsbridge Lane, near Warrenton, $445,000.

Dawning G. Morton to Lacy P. Nelson and James W. Cockrill, 1 acre, Lot 17, Section 1, South Hill Estates Subdivision, 5238 Graystone Road, near Warrenton, $490,000.

Ashton R. and Sarah C. Snouffer to Sohrab Hamzehpour, 1.6 acres, 6946 Blantyre Road, near Warrenton, $311,000.

Library “Community Read” conversation set Oct. 6

Posted Monday,
September 20, 2021
0 ·
The author of 12 books, Steven Johnson will discuss “surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes” in the Fauquier County Public Library event Wednesday night, Oct. 6.
The Fauquier Public Library on Oct. 6 will host a virtual discussion with Steven Johnson, author of the bestselling book How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World.

The library’s third “Fauquier Community Read” event will begin at 7 p.m. that Wednesday.

Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes, How We Got to Now explores the history of innovation, tracing facets of modern life from their creation to their unintended consequences. The library expects How We Got to Now, a New York Times bestseller, to spark a community discussion that considers the future by exploring the past.

“Our conversation with Johnson promises a look at a world we generally take for granted with fresh eyes,” Library Director Maria Del Rosso said.

Mr. Johnson has written 12 books, including Enemy of All Mankind, Farsighted, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Ghost Map and his most recent release – Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer.

He is also the host and co-creator of the PBS/BBC series “How We Got to Now,” the podcast American Innovations and PBS/Nutopia series “Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer.”

Hundreds of copies of How We Got to Now are available at all library locations, as well as kits for book clubs. The book’s adaptation for young readers and the PBS/BBC series “How We Got to Now” are also available for checkout.

To register for the virtual conversation with the author, click here or call 540-422-8532.

The library has planned additional programs about topics from How We Got to Now, including a book club discussion and a STEAM program for tweens. For more information, pick up a program guide at any Fauquier Public Library location or click here.

All events are free and open to the public.

5 more Fauquier COVID-19 patients hospitalized

Posted Monday,
September 20, 2021
0 ·
Viiginia has 8,943 new COVID-19 cases and 70 additional deaths since Friday morning≥
Vaccinations
62%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Monday morning — a total of 44,176. Statewide, the rate stands at 68%.


54.4%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,766. Statewide, the rate stands at 58.8%.


72
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Sunday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier’s COVID-19 case total has risen 74 since Friday, with 5 more hospitalizations, the Virginia Department of Health on Monday morning.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,209.

The total number of county patients hospitalized during the pandemic stands at 258.

So far this month, the county has 562 new cases — an average of 29.5 per day, 29 more hospitalizations and 4 additional deaths.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 13 more cases Monday morning.

County schools have 79 “active cases,” with 53 among students and 26 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

Liberty High has 13 cases among students and 3 among its staff, while Fauquier High has 10 student cases.

The school system has reported 297 active cases — 212 among students and 85 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

The schools had 259 students and 6 staff members in quarantine, as of Thursday, Sept. 16 ‚ the most recent report.

Virginia has 8,943 new cases since Friday morning — and 2,377 more since Sunday, bringing the state total to 836,140 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,312 — up 70 since Friday morning. Fauquier fatalities remain at 76.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,158 infected patients in their beds Monday morning, up 55 since Sunday. The state’s hospitals have housed 67,911 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,802 cases, up 97 from Friday.

Orange County, 3,102 cases, up 65.

Madison County, 845, up 20.

Rappahannock County, 494, up 11.

As of Friday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 9.8 percent statewide — declining, and 11.9 percent in the health district — rising.

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: County grows more diverse

Posted Friday,
September 17, 2021
0 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The county’s Hispanic or Latino population has grown to 10.7 percent, according to the 2020 Census. Here, representatives of Cortes Landscaping take part in the 2019 Marshall Christmas Parade.
8.8 percent

Of Fauquier residents selected “2 or more races” in reporting their ethnicity for the 2020 U.S. Census.

A decade ago, only 2.4 percent of county residents made that selection.

Fauquier’s population has grown more diverse, with 77.6 percent (56,660) reporting their race as White versus 85.3 percent a decade earlier.

The county’s Hispanic or Latino population of 7,793 has grown to 10.7 — up from 6.4 percent in 2010.

Fauquier’s total population of 72,972 increased 11.9 percent from a decade earlier, according to the 2020 Census.


239

Of Fauquier County’s 54,573 registered voters live overseas.

Another 439 serve in the military.

Voters in those two categories typically vote by mail.

Fauquier has 20 voting precincts, with Vint Hill having the most registered voters, 4,839, and Kettle Run having the fewest, 1,323.


110

Exhibitors will take part in the 42nd Old Town Warrenton Spring Into Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18.

The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce has sold booth space to artists, businesses, crafters, community organizations, churches, schools and food vendors.

The festival, which often attracts 30,000 visitors, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


105

Fauquier public high schools students received AP honors from The College Board in 2020-21.

Four students earned AP Capstone Diplomas: Emma K. Chesley of Fauquier High and Kettle Run’s Eva M. Pastor, Emma L. Smith and Peter J. Tessier.

Twenty-four county students earned AP Scholars with Distinction honors, based on Advanced Placement exams.

Click here for a list of all the Fauquier, Liberty and Kettle Run students who earned AP honors.

“Considering the challenges presented by the global pandemic, our students showed up for AP honors, as usual,” county Advanced Studies and Fine Arts Supervisor Ladona Gorham said.

Secondary English Supervisor Steve Payne added: “Students in the AP Seminar and Research sequence continue to excel on their assessments. The research, collaboration, and presentation skills developed by these new courses help make students future ready.”


$260,000

The Town of Warrenton’s remaining balance from $1.7 million it received in federal CARES Act funding last year to cope with the pandemic.

That money will get applied to public safety salaries between now and year’s end, which it must be spent or returned.

Personnel costs account for 49 percent of the town’s expenditures under the program.

The town had devoted 18 percent of the funding to technology upgrades, 13 percent to hygiene and 12 percent to engineering controls.

The federal funds have paid for everything from touchless entry equipment for town buildings to individual training dummies for lifeguards at the WARF and the parklets along Main Street.

Warrenton will receive another $10.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Localities can use the funds for response to the COVID-19 pandemic or its negative economic impacts, supplemental or premium pay to essential workers, to provide government services cut or reduced because of revenue reduction resulting from the pandemic and/or to make capital investments in water, sewer and/or broadband infrastructure.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Friday,
September 17, 2021
0 ·

County has 38 new COVID cases and 76th death

Posted Friday,
September 17, 2021
0 ·
So far this month, Fauquier has 488 new COVID-19 cases, 24 more hospitalizations and 4 deaths.
Vaccinations
60.9%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Friday morning — a total of 43,368. Statewide, the rate stands at 66.5%.


54.8%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 39,033. Statewide, the rate stands at 59.4%.


275
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Thursday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
The Virginia Department of Health on Friday morning reported 38 new COVID-19 cases in Fauquier County and another death attributed to the virus.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,135, with 76 deaths.

The total number of county patients hospitalized during the pandemic also rose by 1 Friday to 252.

So far this month, the county has 488 new cases — an average of 28.7 per day, 24 more hospitalizations and 4 additional deaths.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 8 more cases Friday morning.

County schools have 67 “active cases,” with 44 among students and 23 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High has a double-digit total, with 11 cases among students and 3 among its staff.

The school system has reported 284 active cases — 202 among students and 82 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

The schools had 259 students and 6 staff members in quarantine, as of Thursday, Sept. 16. Those totals dropped 25 and 2, respectively, from a week earlier.

Virginia has 4,212 new cases Friday morning, bringing the state total to 827,197 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,242 — up 35 Friday morning.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,174 infected patients in their beds Friday morning, up 30 since Thursday. The state’s hospitals have housed 67,620 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,705 cases, up 32 from Thursday.

Orange County, 3,037 cases, up 38, and the 45th death.

Madison County, 825, up 5.

Rappahannock County, 483, unchanged.

As of Friday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.1 percent statewide — declining, and 10.8 percent in the health district — up slightly.

How do you rate the security of your personal information online?

Posted Friday,
September 17, 2021
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Judge jails alleged domestic violence victim for pot use

Posted Friday,
September 17, 2021
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File Photo/Don Del Rosso
The General Assembly in 2019 appointed James P. Fisher, formerly Fauquier's chief prosecutor, to an eight-year term on the circuit court bench.
She did not admit to doing any illegal activity nor did she admit to being under the influence in the courtroom. There was no slurring of her words, nothing that indicated that she had taken some sort of intoxicant that affected her speech or muscular movement.
— Tom Plofchan, attorney
By Ned Oliver
The Virginia Mercury

A judge in Loudoun County interrupted the testimony of the alleged victim in a felony domestic violence trial last week to question her drug use, sentencing her to 10 days in jail for contempt of court after she said she had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

She was then “physically removed from the witness stand by multiple deputies,” according to a brief filed by the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, which supports the woman’s motion to vacate the contempt charge lodged by Circuit Court Judge James P. Fisher, Fauquier’s former chief prosecutor.

The woman, who prosecutors say did not appear intoxicated, served two days in jail before she was released on $1,000 bond, according to court records.

“In the middle of a difficult (cross examination), she was detained, interrogated, arrested and removed from the courtroom,” wrote Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elena Ventura, who argued the woman was “not treated with the respect, sensitivity or dignity required by law.”

Marijuana is now legal in Virginia and prosecutors wrote in their brief that their witness was just anxious and nervous during the approximately hour and a half of testimony she provided against her partner, who was found guilty twice before of abusing her. They said Judge Fisher’s inquiry followed “intense and assertive (defense) questioning focused on drug-addiction and infidelity.”

Prosecutors also wrote that Judge Fisher refused to hear from detectives who had interacted with her before the trial, who they said would have testified her “behaviors were consistent with all prior interactions and that she exhibited no signs of intoxication prior to her testimony.”

But the biggest issue, the commonwealth’s attorneys office said, was that Judge Fisher’s actions “may create a chilling effect surrounding victim willingness to testify in cases of domestic violence, an area of law already replete with victims recanting and/or refusing to cooperate, due to the extensive trauma domestic violence victims experience through the cycle of power and control, especially in cases where victims have mental health concerns, as … in the case at bar.”

Judge Fisher, the former commonwealth’s attorney of Fauquier and onetime chair of the county’s Republican committee, was appointed by the General Assembly to an eight-year term in 2019. Efforts to reach his office were unsuccessful and judges in Virginia rarely comment on proceedings.

It is not the first time Judge Fisher has jailed someone in his courtroom for contempt — a step that legal observers say is unusual in Virginia.

Judge Fisher had divorce lawyer Rachel Virk jailed overnight in January 2020 after finding her in contempt of court during a hearing in which she pressed him to clarify a ruling. The Virginia Court of Appeals dismissed her appeal of the charge on a technicality, finding that because the order jailing her was signed by the clerk of court rather than the judge, there was no jurisdiction to contest it. Ms. Virk has since filed a lawsuit against the clerk of court and sheriff, which is still pending.

Under Virginia’s summary contempt statute, a judge can immediately fine someone up to $250 and jail them for a maximum of 10 days for misbehavior, violence, threats of violence or “vile, contemptuous, or insulting language” in court.

In last week’s domestic abuse trial, the witness’ lawyers say her actions did not meet that standard. The Mercury is not identifying her because she is an alleged domestic violence victim and has not given permission to use her name.

“She did not admit to doing any illegal activity nor did she admit to being under the influence in the courtroom,” said Tom Plofchan, a Loudoun attorney who is representing her with Ryan Campbell. “There was no slurring of her words, nothing that indicated that she had taken some sort of intoxicant that affected her speech or muscular movement.”

Mr. Plofchan also questioned the timeline, noting it was an afternoon trial and there was no inquiry as to when in the morning she had used marijuana and how much she had taken.

Both parties also took issue with the way Judge Fisher questioned the witness, noting she was never advised of her constitutional and Miranda rights and that the “independent investigation” he conducted by asking her about her drug use is barred by judicial canon.

A hearing on the motion to vacate the contempt charge is scheduled for next week.

The case has not gone unnoticed by lawmakers from the region, who called Judge Fisher’s decision to jail a domestic abuse victim troubling.

“Just in general when dealing with domestic violence victims, there’s a history of not treating the victim with respect and dignity and we’re supposed to be protecting them first,” said Sen. Jennifer Boysko, a Democrat who represents parts of Loudoun.

Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax), an attorney, questioned whether the witness would have been treated the same way if she had said she had a beer that morning instead.

“When we passed the marijuana legalization statute, one of the things we tried to do was ensure marijuana would be treated the same as alcohol,” Sen. Surovell said. “I think it’s important going forward that everybody remember that marijuana possession and consumption is now legal.”

The case has also garnered attention from marijuana reform advocates, who called the case emblematic of the stigmatization cannabis users continue to face.

“In 2020, Virginia ended the practice of jailing individuals for using cannabis, and in 2021 made such use explicitly legal for those age 21 and older,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. “Yet, these changes in code do not facilitate an immediate end to the stigmatization faced by those who choose to consume cannabis, many of whom will continue to be singled out for discrimination by those still wedded to longstanding stereotypes.”

Ray B. Boley

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
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Best Bets: 42nd Old Town festival, nature exploration

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
0 ·
Clockwise from left: Twilight Polo closes its season Saturday night at Great Meadow; the 42nd Old Town Warrenton Spring into Fall Festival will draw thousands to Main Street, and bluegrass band Blue Ridge Thunder will perform Saturday at the Northern Fauquier Community Park.
The weekend offers a variety of entertainment options around Fauquier, including the annual Old Town Warrenton Festival, Marshall Day, “Jesus Christ Superstar” on the community theatre stage, outdoor activities, concerts and the season finale of Twilight Polo at Great Meadow.


“Jesus Christ Superstar”
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17-18
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19
Fauquier Community Theatre
4225 Aiken Drive, Vint Hill


The theatre has opened its 2021-22 season with the rock opera based on the last week of Jesus’ life. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar debuted 50 years ago. Tickets are $18 for students, $20 for seniors and $22 for adults. Audience members must wear masks and seating will be limited.


Old Town Warrenton Spring into Fall Festival
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Downtown Warrenton


The 42nd annual festival, sponsored by the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, will feature 110 exhibitors — artisans, crafters, businesses, community organizations, vendors and food stands. Free admission.


Forest Bathing Walk
9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Sky Meadows State Park
11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane


A certified nature and forest therapy guide will lead the hike, designed to “deepen our connection with the natural world in a way that supports overall health and wellness.” Fee: $45. The park also will host Mount Bleak house tours and a farmers’ market Saturday.


Marshall Day
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Marshall Community Center
4133 Rectortown Road, Marsha
ll

Hosted by the Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department, with sponsorships from businesses and organizations, the event will feature children’s activities, food and family fun. Free


Walk with a Naturalist
1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton


The 900-acre preserve will host the hike along its trails with the simple goals of exploration and observation. Free with reservation required at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Big Bad BBQ Brawl and Farmers’ Market
2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Remington Community Garden
150 W. Bowen St., Remington


$5 gives you a sample of all barbecue entries and a vote in the contest, with winner announced at 5 p.m. Musical entertainment: Mandalele from 2 to 4 p.m. and Josh Lowe from 5 to 7 p.m.


Patsy and The Country Classics
6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Marshall Community Center
4133 Rectortown Road, Marshall


Flatbeds and Tailfins will host the “tribute to real country music.” Doors open at 5 p.m. Snacks and bottle water for sale. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door, free for children 3 and younger.


Bluegrass at The Dell: Blue Ridge Thunder
4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19
Northern Fauquier Community Park Amphitheatre
4155 Monroe Parkway, Marshall


Flatbeds and Tailfins will host the outdoor concert. Amphitheatre gate opens at 3 p.m. Snacks and bottle water for sale. Tickets: $15 at the gate, free for children 3 and younger.



Twilight Polo
Gates open 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains


The season finale, with three matches starting at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tailgating and children’s games. “Cars & Cigars” theme, with classic vehicle show. VIP options available. Car pass: $25 in advance, $30 (cash) at gate.


Other options


Warrenton Farmers Market
8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 18
21 Main St., Warrenton

Click here for more information.


Farmers Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19
Archwood Green Barns
4557 Old Tavern Road, The Plains.

Click here for more information.


The Flying Circus Airshow
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12
5114 Ritchie Road, Bealeton

Click here for more information.


Click here for calendar of events.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier COVID-19 cases total 6,097, up 44 today

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
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The Virginia Department of Health reported 4,181 new COVID-19 cases and 37 more deaths Thursday morning.
Vaccinations
60.8%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Thursday morning — a total of 43,319. Statewide, the rate stands at 65.7%.


54.5%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,786. Statewide, the rate stands at 58.3%.


144
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Wednesday


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
The Virginia Department of Health on Thursday morning reported 44 new COVID-19 cases in Fauquier County and another hospitalized patient here.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,097, with 252 hospitalizations.

So far this month, the county has 450 new cases — an average of 28 per day, 23 more hospitalizations and 3 additional deaths.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 3 more cases Thursday morning.

County schools have 60 “active cases,” with 38 among students and 22 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High has a double-digit total, with 11 cases among students and 3 among its staff.

The school system has reported 276 active cases — 196 among students and 80 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

The schools had 284 students and 8 staff members in quarantine, as of Thursday, Sept. 9, the most recent report of those numbers.

Virginia has 4,181 new cases Thursday morning, bringing the state total to 822,985 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,207 — up 37 Thursday morning. Fauquier’s total deaths remain at 75.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,144 infected patients in their beds Thursday morning, down 11 since Wednesday. The state’s hospitals have housed 67,467 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,673 cases, up 41 from Wednesday.

Orange County, 2,999 cases, up 33.

Madison County, 820, up 15.

Rappahannock County, 483, up 3.

As of Thursday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.6 percent statewide and 10.7 percent in the health district — both up slightly.

Will you watch tonight’s debate between gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin?

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
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Va. redistricting panel will ignore incumbents’ homes

Posted Thursday,
September 16, 2021
0 ·
Virginia Mercury File Photo/Ned Oliver
The Virginia Redistricting Commission plans to release its maps early next month.
I’d rather be on the side that I’m trying to protect the Voting Rights Act and the protection of minorities.
— James Abrenio, Democratic citizen commissioner
By Graham Moomaw
The Virginia Mercury

The Virginia Redistricting Commission voted Wednesday to formally instruct its map-drawers not to look at political data or information showing where incumbents live as they draw new General Assembly and congressional districts.

The bipartisan panel’s unanimous vote represents a formal commitment to the fairer process voters envisioned when they approved the commission last year. It’s also something of a gamble, resting on hopes that General Assembly members will vote for neutral maps even if they jeopardize the careers of individual legislators.

The ramifications of that approach were already on display in draft maps drawn for Northern Virginia that paired multiple Democratic incumbents in the same district and created some open districts with no incumbent at all. Incumbent pairing occurred in drafts drawn by both Democratic and Republican consultants, but the Democratic consulting team later acknowledged it had looked at incumbency to make tweaks to its original proposal.

To address the issue as it prepares to take up draft General Assembly maps for the entire state early next week, the commission adopted these to its map-drawers:

• You may not consider political data, including election results or incumbent addresses, while drawing your maps.

• You must clearly disclose on your maps every district where, prior to receiving this direction, you considered any political data in the mapdrawing process.

The commission itself is not expecting to look at political and incumbency data until later in the process, a step consultants have said is necessary to ensure the final proposal isn’t unduly tilted to one party and doesn’t have a disparate impact on minority incumbents.

The commission also approved guidance for map-drawers on preserving communities of interest — defined as “a neighborhood or any geographically defined group of people living in an area who share similar social, cultural, and economic interests” — and the boundaries of cities, counties and towns.

The group had debated prioritizing county lines over cities, the idea being that counties are more permanent fixtures of Virginia geography while cities are created through charters and are occasionally dissolved into counties. The commission ultimately decided to treat counties and cities the same, while making preservation of towns, which fall entirely within counties, a lower priority.

Re-upping a contentious legal and political issue from earlier in the week, the commission again debated the extent to which race should factor into map-drawing decisions.

To adhere to the Voting Rights Act, the commission’s Democratic attorneys had suggested instructing map-drawers to seek out every possible opportunity to draw districts where a coalition of racial minorities could elect a candidate of their choice without any one group making up more than 50 percent of a district’s voters. Republican lawyers said those districts were permissible but argued that an instruction to draw as many as possible could run afoul of constitutional provisions against making race the deciding factor.

Though the commission’s discussions focused largely on dueling legal theories, the decision has clear partisan ramifications due to the expectation that majority-minority districts would naturally favor Democrats. When it came time to vote, the commission deadlocked in an 8-8, party-line vote, meaning map-drawers will get no additional guidance on how to handle racial demographics.

Democratic commissioners said the directive was in line with redistricting criteria already laid out in state law and the constitutional amendment creating the commission, both of which indicate a clear preference toward districts that give racial and ethnic communities a chance to pick their own representatives.

“I’d rather be on the side that I’m trying to protect the Voting Rights Act and the protection of minorities,” said Democratic citizen commissioner James Abrenio.

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) hinted the issue could be a dealbreaker for House Democrats, most of whom opposed creating the commission.

“I know from the House caucus perspective this was a very important issue,” Del. Simon said.

Because existing law already stresses the importance of minority representation, Republicans said, there was no need to issue another racial instruction that GOP lawyers warned could amount to a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Majority-minority districts can and will occur, they said, without a deliberate effort to create them wherever possible.

“We don’t need an add-on here because organically it’s being done,” said Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin).

Republican co-chair Mackenzie Babichenko stressed that circuit courts have weighed in differently on how race can and can’t be used in redistricting, and the ultimate resolution will likely come from the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Legally, there are two just diametrically opposed opinions,” Ms. Babichenko. “And that will not be resolved.”

Race-based gerrymandering was the main problem that emerged after Virginia’s 2011 redistricting decision, with federal courts throwing out portions of the state’s congressional and House of Delegates maps following lengthy legal battles. In both cases, judges ruled the General Assembly improperly prioritized race to pack African-American voters into a few chosen districts, diluting their political strength in adjacent districts.

Republicans argued they used the racial targets in an effort to comply with the Voting Rights Act, which also prevents states from diluting the Black vote by spreading Black voters across too many districts.

Virginia Republicans took the legal fight over the House of Delegates lines all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the court dismissed their appeal on technical grounds in 2019, without issuing a substantive ruling laying out clear guidelines for how states should consider race in redistricting.

The commission is hoping to avoid legal trouble by relying on an expert analysis of racial voting patterns. On Wednesday, the body also voted to spend up to $50,000 to gather more political data on recent Virginia primaries involving candidates of color, information that will give the body more insight into how minority communities vote when given a choice between candidates of different races within the same party.

The commission is expected to finalize its General Assembly maps by early next month. The proposal will then go the legislature for an up-or-down vote.

If commission proposals fail twice, the Supreme Court of Virginia would draw the new districts.

“Disappointing” lawsuit threatens rural broadband

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Lawrence C. Shumaker

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Martha E. Janoskie

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Free “Preserving Your Bounty” workshop Sept. 21

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Run For Your Life 5k Saturday near Rixeyville

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Keyser Road near Hume closing for bridge repairs

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Donald W. Bright

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·

Legal challenge slows Va. rural broadband plan

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·
Photo/REC
A Rappahannock Electric Cooperative lineman strings fiber optic cable.
This is a corporate greed issue. We can’t get so caught up with progress that we allow the government to start to trample over property owners.
— John Grano, who filed a lawsuit challenging the plan to run fiber optic cable across his property without compensation
By Ned Oliver
The Virginia Mercury

Supporters call it a commonsense way to get broadband internet into more homes in rural Virginia. A Culpeper County couple calls it an unconstitutional infringement on their property rights.

The fight, which has already halted an $600-million broadband expansion project, does not appear to be going away anytime soon.

At issue is a 2020 law allowing electric and communications utilities to string fiber along their existing poles, lines and conduit — an extensive network of infrastructure that already cuts through the far-flung mountains, fields and woodlands where the state is hoping to get residents and businesses hooked up to high speed internet by 2024.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors last week approved a $64-million plan to wire this county as part of that project.

The legislation allows the utility companies to sidestep the trouble and expense of negotiating with property owners along the routes, who otherwise would be entitled to compensation for the additional use of their property, even if it’s just a new strand of wire on a pole that’s been there for decades.

The law passed with near unanimous, bipartisan support, but when the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative attempted to invoke the provisions, it got hit with a lawsuit by the owners of a farm in Culpeper County, John and Cynthia Grano.

The land, where the couple raises horses and cattle, is bisected by two electric transmission lines and one local distribution line. It is also home to one electric substation.

“This is a corporate greed issue,” said John Grano in a phone interview, arguing utilities are taking advantage of widespread support for broadband expansion to eliminate a business cost at the expense of landowners. “We can’t get so caught up with progress that we allow the government to start to trample over property owners.”

Mr. Grano said he was open to negotiating a fair price with the cooperative when they approached him last year offering $5,000. But he said the talks ended when the company noted that under the new law, they would not have to offer him any compensation when it went into effect in July.

The cooperative, which unsuccessfully sought to have the case dismissed in federal court, did not respond to an email seeking comment. But in a news release earlier this year, REC said the lawsuit had prompted it to drop plans for what the cooperative described as an $600-million residential broadband initiative.

“The inability for REC to use its existing rights-of-way (easements) would dramatically impact the planned broadband project’s financial feasibility,” the member-owned cooperative wrote. “This federal lawsuit illustrates the need for policymakers and courts to provide clarification of the laws and policies needed in order for cooperatives and others to be able to facilitate solutions that will bridge the digital divide.”

Attorney General Mark Herring announced late last year he was intervening in the case to defend the state law, describing internet access as a basic need that’s only grown more important amid the pandemic.

“Transitioning to an almost exclusively online lifestyle has really highlighted just how critical rural broadband access is,” Mr. Herring said in a statement. “This is why I’m fighting to defend this important policy in court, because we need to make rural broadband access a top priority throughout the commonwealth.”

But the efforts of the state and the electrical cooperative to bat down the lawsuit have so far been unsuccessful.

The cooperative had argued that because it never actually installed the fiber, exercising its rights under the law, that the Granos had suffered no harm and the case should be dismissed.

Federal District Judge Norman Moon disagreed in a ruling last month, writing that “When the law became effective, the Granos suffered an impairment to their contractual rights under their 1989 easement agreement with REC.

“Whether REC exercised the right conferred upon it under the statute is beside the point. Significant in this case, is that, as alleged in the complaint, the law stripped the Granos of a paramount property right, altered their contractual agreement with REC, and failed to provide adequate post-deprivation remedies.”

The case is advancing and Granos’ lawyers at the Norfolk firm Waldo & Lyle, which described the new state law as an “unconstitutional broadband boondoggle,” say they hope it will be heard by the end of the year.

“The Fifth Amendment says the government can’t take property without just compensation,” said Joshua Baker, a lawyer with the firm. “To them it’s a constitutional principle to the right to private property.”

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, meanwhile, has framed its plans as a benefit to the entire community.

How much of a setback the legal challenge presents to the state’s goal of achieving universal broadband coverage by 2024 remains to be seen. Gov. Ralph Northam’s broadband czar, Evan Feinman, declined to comment on the lawsuit, called utilities “incredibly important partners” in the state’s plans.

“We certainly can’t get the job done without the electric coops, so anything that makes their job harder is just going to slow down and make more expensive the goal of universal broadband connectivity,” he said.

For his part, Mr. Grano, a newspaper editor who has long telecommuted, said he too recognizes the importance of broadband expansion. He says he just doesn’t want to lose any of his property rights in the process.

The problem of slow internet speeds, however, became less urgent for him recently. He says he signed up for high-speed satellite internet through Elon Musk’s Starlink.

“I need broadband, but I think I got it now,” he said. “I think Elon Musk solved my problem. And he didn’t take anything from me.”

County has 31 new COVID cases, 2 more hospitalized

Posted Wednesday,
September 15, 2021
0 ·
Fauquier County has averaged 34 new COVID-19 cases per day over the last week.
Vaccinations
60.7%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Wednesday morning — a total of 43,242. Statewide, the rate stands at 65.6%.


54.4%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,713. Statewide, the rate stands at 58.1%.


106
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Tuesday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier on Wednesday morning has 31 new COVID-19 cases and 2 more hospitalized patients, the Virginia Department of Health reported.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier cases total 6,053, with 251 hospitalizations.

The county has averaged 34 new cases per day since last Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 5 more cases Wednesday morning.

County schools have 56 “active cases,” with 37 among students and 19 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High has a double-digit total, with 11 cases among students and 3 among its staff.

The school system has reported 273 active cases — 195 among students and 78 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

As of Thursday, Sept. 9, the schools had 284 students and 8 staff members in quarantine.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 4,066 more cases Wednesday morning, bringing the state total to 818,804 since the pandemic started.

The state’s deaths attributed to the virus total 12,170 — up 52 Wednesday morning. Fauquier’s total deaths remain at 75.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,155 infected patients in their beds Wednesday morning, up 38 since Tuesday. The state’s hospitals have housed 67,355 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,632 cases, up 12 from Tuesday.

Orange County, 2,966 cases, up 21.

Madison County, 805, up 6.

Rappahannock County, 480, up 4.

As of Wednesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.5 percent statewide, down slightly, and 10.6 percent in the health district, rising.

Regina Caporuscio

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

Our nation must honor Social Security promises

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

Frederick J. Green

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

How do you plan to cast your ballot in this year’s election?

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

Stops Along the Way: Lessons from a Texas diner

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

James S. Gulick Jr.

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·

Redistricting panel scraps region-by-region approach

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·
Virginia Mercury File Photo/Ned Oliver
Virginia Redistricting Commission Co-chairwomen Greta Harris and Mackenzie Babichenko.
We have been building the plane as we’re flying it here. We know that there will be changes and improvements along the way.
— Greta Harris, Virginia Redistricting Commission co-chairwoman
By Graham Moomaw
The Virginia Mercury

After giving the public a glimpse of draft maps for Northern Virginia, the new Virginia Redistricting Commission is dropping its region-by-region approach in favor of statewide proposals expected to be unveiled next week.

The commission’s co-chairs announced the procedural change over the weekend and said at a meeting Monday that the chief concern is a lack of time.

“We were concerned around the timing that is statutorily laid out for us, that we were not going to be able to get through the large swathe of land that makes up the Commonwealth of Virginia in the way we were doing it by regions,” said Greta Harris, the body’s Democratic co-chair. “And because when you do one region it has ripple effects to adjacent regions. After counsel consultation, we’ve decided to try something different.”

Under the new plan, the commission’s teams of Democratic and Republican consultants will prepare comprehensive draft maps for the House of Delegates and state Senate, which are expected to be presented Monday, Sept. 20. The commission hopes to vote on final maps by Oct. 10.

With no new regional drafts to review Monday, the commission spent most of its time discussing what kind of instructions to give the map-drawers. The meeting ended with little additional clarity on how the commission plans to handle difficult questions of racial representation, political equality and deference to incumbents.

The agenda for Monday’s meeting indicated the commission would be taking votes on those topics, but almost everything was pushed off for future discussion. The commission will reconvene Wednesday.

The group spent almost two hours Monday discussing the finer points of how the federal Voting Rights Act applies to redistricting. The law was designed largely to preserve Black political power, but the commission got conflicting advice from its partisan lawyers on what it should mean in the map-drawing process.

Democratic lawyer J. Gerald Hebert encouraged the commission to try to create districts that allow racial minorities to elect candidates of their choice wherever possible, either by including enough Black voters or by drawing districts to create a sufficient “coalition” of minority voting blocs.

Republican attorney Brian Tyson told the commission it wasn’t required to do so, and suggested legal trouble could follow if map-drawers were given an explicit directive to prioritize race above other redistricting criteria like compactness and keeping cities, counties and towns together.

Two different motions on the subject — one instructing map-drawers they must seize opportunities to create districts favorable to racial minorities and the other telling map-drawers they are able to do so but not required to — failed after falling short of majority votes.

“So we’re right at the beginning again, with no additional guidance to the map-drawers at this point,” Ms. Harris said.

The issue of where race and ethnicity should rank in the hierarchy of priorities re-emerged when the commission opened the floor to public feedback.

Paul Berry, the chairman of the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, said draft maps for Northern Virginia overlook the needs of Latino communities in the region by splitting neighborhoods and potentially jeopardizing the careers of Latino incumbents.

Mr. Berry didn’t name specific legislators. But both draft maps draw two members of the Virginia Latino Caucus, Dels. Alfonzo Lopez and Patrick Hope, both Democrats from Arlington County, into the same district, according to analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project. Mr. Berry also said some draft maps split Arlington’s Columbia Pike community and the town of Herndon in Fairfax County, areas with strong Hispanic populations.

“The Latino community has been diluted in a number of places, unfortunately, with the current draft maps,” said Mr. Berry, who specified he was speaking only in his personal capacity and not for the state’s Latino board.

Leaders of the redistricting commission have repeatedly stressed that the draft maps are not final. The commission, redrawing the state’s political districts for the first time after being approved by voters last year, is also sorting through public comments before voting on any proposals.

“We have been building the plane as we’re flying it here,” Ms. Harris said. “We know that there will be changes and improvements along the way.”

2 new COVID-19 deaths, 5 more hospitalizations here

Posted Tuesday,
September 14, 2021
0 ·
As of Monday, 38,667 Fauquier residents had completed COVID-19 vaccination, representing 58 percent of the county population.
Vaccinations
60.6%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Tuesday — a total of 43,179. Statewide, the rate stands at 65.5%.


54.3%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,667. Statewide, the rate stands at 58%.


84
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Monday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 2 new Fauquier deaths attributed to COVID-19 and 5 more hospitalized patients Tuesday morning.

Since the pandemic started, Fauquier deaths total 75, with 249 hospitalizations.

The county has 28 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,022.

Fauquier County Public Schools reported 9 new cases Tuesday morning.

The school system has 65 “active cases,” with 41 among students and 24 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High has a double-digit total, with 11 cases among students and 6 among its staff.

The school system has reported 268 active cases — 192 among students and 76 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

As of Thursday, Sept. 9, the schools had 284 students and 8 staff members in quarantine.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 3,659 more cases Tuesday morning, bringing the state total to 814,738 since the pandemic started.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,117 infected patients in their beds Tuesday morning, up 14 since Monday. The state’s hospitals have housed 67,107 infected patients since the pandemic started.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,620 cases, up 44 from Monday.

Orange County, 2,945 cases, up 19, and its 44th death.

Madison County, 799, up 8.

Rappahannock County, 476, up 2.

As of Tuesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.8 percent statewide, down slightly, and 9.9 percent in the health district, rising.

Anna Lee Post

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·

Robert A. Potts

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·

Virginia “March for Life” Saturday in Richmond

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·

Marshall home on 16.6 acres sells for $1.3 million

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·
Google Earth
This house on 16.6 acres near Marshall sold recently for $1.3 million.
A four-bedroom home on 16.6 acres near Marshall sold recently for $1.3 million.

Built along Ramey Road in 2006, the 4,200-square-foot house has four full bathrooms, a fireplace and a stucco exterior.

Also recently:

• 202 acres on Turner Mountain near The Plains sold for $1.6 million. The Virginia Outdoors Foundation holds conservation easements on the three parcels.

• A 12,000-square-foot commercial building on an acre at Vint Hill sold for $1 million.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Sept. 1-8, 2021:


Cedar Run District

Robert B. and Deborah A. Jarrell to Claudia M. Fuentes, 11.6 acres, 7331 Greenwich Road, near Nokesville, $490,000.

Rachel A. and George N. Williams Jr. to Joseph P. Kelly III and Nadia C. Barry, 9.9 acre, 7149 Steven Court, near Nokesville, $755,000.

Adelaida A. Valdez to Sheila M. and Lonnie L. Finley Jr., trustees, 5 acres, Sowego Road, near Catlett, $815,000.Joan Cephas to Caliber Homebuilder Inc., 1.5 acres, Meetze Road, near Warrenton, $125,000.

Malcolm D. and Nancey J. Tolliver to Madisyn T. Palmer and Justin W. Doyle, 4.8 acres, 10502 Shenandoah Path, Catlett, $350,000.

Mark A. and Jill M. Metz to Christopher M. and Christine M. Sharon, 11.3 acres, 2301 Soaring Eagle Road, Midland, $660,000.

Linda L. and Shawn C. Hyson to Justin J. and Jennifer G. Scrivener, 8.8 acres, 11373 Eskridges Lane, Catlett, $675,000.

David and Janet L. Thomas to Heather M. Nelson, 1 acre, Lot 6-B, Woodside Village Subdivision, 7494 Ali Lane, near Nokesville, $425,000.


Center District

Tabatha E. Lovelace to Stacey Irwin, Townhouse 84, Phase 3, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 51 Morton Ridge, Warrenton, $325,000.

David Phifer to Kylenn and Amanda L. Criste, Lot 35, Edgemont Subdivision, 213 Autumn Wind Court, Warrenton, $650,000.

Jessica and Neil Brandt to Rebecca A. Hurrt, Lot 9, Phase 1, Ridges of Warrenton Subdivision, 210 Cannon Way, Warrenton, $670,000.

James F. Loving to Alfred V. Coleman III, Lot 1, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 6454 Goochland St., Warrenton, $500,000.

Nancy G. Koch to Brian McGee, 0.7 acre, Lot 101, Phase 3, Ivy Hill Subdivision, 7138 Ivy Hill Drive, near Warrenton, $500,000.

Janelle J. Downes to Robert G. Leonard, Lot 59, Phase 2, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 114 Dorset Lane, Warrenton, $355,000.

Keith Palmer to LRW Investments & Property Management LLC, 0.53 acre, Lot 177, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 7314 Westmoreland Drive, near Warrenton, $337,500.


Lee District

Donald A. Shiflett and Rose A. Vannoy to Mario M. Alberti, 1.9 acres, Lot 3, Tanglewood Estates, 14030 Silver Hill Road, Sumerduck, $320,000.

Jacquelynn A. Hale to Taffae M. Cadeau, 2 acres, Sumerduck Road, near Remington, $80,000.

Dorothea E. Stevens to Caludio P. and Maria S. Ammatuna, 15,168 square feet, 320 N. Franklin St., $400,000.

Casey E. Stanley and Ashleigh M. Price to Charles Alex and Ariel Pattee, Lot 116, Phase A, Section 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 6524 Lafayette Ave., Bealeton, $355,000.

Jeshayra R. Rexach to Stephanie A. Davis, 1 acre, Lot 3, Miller Woods-West Subdivision, 11055 Ransom Lane, Bealeton, $450,000.

Cindy L. and Donn F. Sachs to Carl J. Hauser Jr., 2.2 acres, Lot 5, Liberty Oaks Subdivision, 6247 Liberty Road, near Bealeton, $390,000.

Deborah H. Elam, trustee, to Abigail P. and Stanley L. Heaney Jr., 3 acres, 11850 Freemans Ford Road, Remington, $375,000.

Sugarland Properties LLC, trustee, James W. Hilldrup as manager, to Emma H. V. Desosa, 0.19 acre, 311 W. Washington St., Remington, $285,000.

Mary L. Robinson and Cynthia Martin to Eland LLC, 2 acres, 13845 Union Church Road, Sumerduck, $225,000.

Kaitlyn Faile and Katherine Cornwell to George Boakye, Unit 9, Phase 3, Waverly Station Condominiums, 8631 Bud Court, Bealeton, $310,000.


Marshall District

Joan M. Payne to Irene A. and Preston L. Wines, Kelly M. Markley and Jamie R. Hylton, trustees, 16.6 acres, 10463 Ramey Road, near Marshall, $1,300,000.

Rex VA 12 LLC, Deborah L. Moody as manager, to Andreas Tapia, 1.5 acres, 7430 Keith Road, near Warrenton, $390,000.

Eric W. and Sara Steakley to Todd J. Schneider, 5 acres, 5821 Vine Lane, Linden, $519,000.

Rebecca M. Enoch to Robert S. and Selina S. McPherson, 4.2 acres, 8267 E. Main St., Marshall, $750,000.

Calvert Avenue LLC, Wayne E. Hauter as manager, to Wangouy Zhang, 8.2 acres, 6891 Wilson Road, near Marshall, $625,000.


Scott District

Turner Property Ventures-Turner Mountain LLC, Charles G. Turner III as manager, to Brian C. and Amy L. Thomas, 57.9 acres, 36.8 acres and 107.4 acres, off Turner Mountain Road, near The Plains, $1,600,000.

Kenneth D. and Debra J. Munson to Shannon L. Thompson, Lot 59, Phase 13-B, Brookside Subdivision, 7147 Lake Drive, near Warrenton, $949,900.

PFD LLC to New Caprica LLC, 1 acre, 4228 Aiken Drive, Vint Hill, $1,000,000.

Julie C. and J. Chad Melton to Gordon S. and Ruth E. Cruickshank, 2 acres, Lot 48, Phase 2, Snow Hill Subdivision, 5842 William Drive, near Warrenton, $820,500.

Active COVID-19 cases drop significantly in schools

Posted Monday,
September 13, 2021
0 ·
Virginia has 9,252 new COVID-19 cases and 53 more deaths since Friday, the health department reports.
Vaccinations
60.5%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Sunday — a total of 43,098. Statewide, the rate stands at 65.5%.


54.2%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,580. Statewide, the rate stands at 57.9%.


229
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents Saturday and Sunday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County Public Schools on Monday reported a significant drop in “active” COVID-19 cases — to 63 versus 118 on Friday.

But, the county has 90 more cases since Friday, the Virginia Department of Health reported.

Fauquier has 5,994 total cases since the pandemic started.

Total Fauquier hospitalizations stand at 244, up 1 since Friday.

Fauquier schools
define “active cases” as those reported in the last 10 days.

Liberty High has 11 active cases among students and 6 among staff members. No other county school has cases in double digits.

The school system has reported 259 active cases — 185 among students and 74 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

As of Thursday, Sept. 9, the schools had 284 students and 8 staff members in quarantine.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Virginia has another 2,303 cases Monday morning versus Sunday, bringing the pandemic total to 811,079. The number of cases statewide has risen 9,252 since Friday.

The health department Friday morning reported 53 more deaths statewide since Friday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 12,089 since the pandemic started. Fauquier’s death toll remains at 73.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,103 infected patients in their beds Monday morning, down 47 from Friday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 66,889 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,576 cases, up 57 from Friday.

Orange County, 2,926 cases, up 54.

Madison County, 791, up 17.

Rappahannock County, 474, up 4.

As of Monday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.9 percent statewide and 9.4 percent in the health district, both rising.

Yvonne E. McFarlane

Posted Saturday,
September 11, 2021
0 ·

Ruth P. Thornley

Posted Saturday,
September 11, 2021
0 ·

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Household income rank

Posted Friday,
September 10, 2021
0 ·
Fauquier’s median household income ranks 9th among 133 Virginia cities and counties.
9th

Fauquier’s rank in median household income among Virginia’s 133 cities and counties.

At $100,783, Fauquier ranks just behind Alexandria at $100,939.

Loudoun has Virginia’s highest median household income at $142,299, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2015-19.

Northern Virginia communities occupy all the spots above Fauquier, including neighboring Stafford at $111,108 and Prince William at $107,132.

The statewide median household income: $74,222.


8

Bridges cross the Rappahannock River, linking Fauquier to Culpeper and Rappahannock counties at:

• Tapps Ford (near Orlean).

• Waterloo.

• Route 211 near Clevenger’s Corner.

• Lakota.

• Fauquier Springs.

• Remington with two spans.

• Kelly’s Ford.


101

People have graduated from Leadership Fauquier since the program’s founding in 2016.

The nonprofit organization offers a nine-month program that provides in-depth introductions to the county’s government, healthcare, education, charitable, public safety and business sectors, along with leadership training.

Each class meets once a month, starting in September.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leadership Fauquier had no class last year.


60

The number of Fauquier County Public Library events scheduled in September and October.

They include book club discussions, English-as-a-second-language classes (offered by a regional organization), library board meetings and other events.

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, the library will host its third Community Read event, a virtual discussion with Steven Johnson, author of How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World.



$7.5 million

The total unspent funds from the Fauquier County Public Schools operating budget for fiscal 2021, which ended June 30.

That represents 5 percent of the school system’s $151.9-million budget last year.

The school administration plans to use $2 million for the Cedar Lee Middle expansion and renovation, $2.7 million for 5-percent salary increases this year, $1 million toward the planned Taylor Middle project the balance for smaller expenditures, including bus purchases.

Fauquier COVID-19 cases total 5,904, up 36 Friday

Posted Friday,
September 10, 2021
0 ·
The school system reported 23 more cases Friday, but the number of students and staff members in quarantine has dropped significantly since last week.
Vaccinations
60.4%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Thursday — a total of 42,989. Statewide, the rate stands at 65.1%.


54%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,454. Statewide, the rate stands at 57.7%.


113
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents on Thursday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County has 36 new COVID-19 cases, the Virginia Department of Health reported Friday morning.

Since the pandemic started, cases here total 5,904.

Total Fauquier hospitalizations remain at 243, with 73 deaths.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 118 “active cases” Friday — up 23 from Thursday. They include 73 among students and 45 among staff members.

County schools define “active cases” as those reported in the last 10 days.

Liberty High has 22 active cases among students and 7 among staff members. Grace Miller and Mary Walter elementary schools also have case totals in double digits.

The school system has reported 259 active cases — 185 among students and 74 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

But, the number of quarantined students dropped to 284 on Thursday, versus 443 a week earlier. The number of quarantined staff members has dropped to 8 compared with 17 a week earlier.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Virginia has another 4,479 cases Friday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 801,827.

The health department Friday morning reported 26 more deaths statewide since Thursday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 12,036 since the pandemic started.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,150 infected patients in their beds Friday morning, down 26 from Thursday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 66,354 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,519 cases, up 36 from Thursday.

Orange County, 2,872 cases, up 16.

Madison County, 774, up 4.

Rappahannock County, 470, up 4th.

As of Friday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10 percent statewide, rising, and 8.8 percent in the health district, down slightly.

County OKs $64-million fiber optic broadband plan

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·
The proposed network would make fiber-to-home service available to the county’s most remote areas.
All Points Broadband plans to install 705 miles of fiber optic cable to serve Northern and Southern Fauquier.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to think big . . . to finally address the digital divide.
— All Points Broadband CEO Jimmy Carr
Broadband Plan
• What: 705-mile fiber optic network connecting underserved areas of Fauquier, which include 10,500 homes and businesses.

• Partners: All Points Broadband, Dominion Energy, Fauquier County and Rappahannock Electrical Cooperative.

• Total cost: $64 million.

• Funding: $38.8 million from All Points, $14.7 from state, $10.5 million from county.

• Timeline: Network construction finished in early 2024, assuming state grant approval.

• Service provider: Leesburg-based All Points.

• Installation cost: $199.

• Monthly charge: $59.99 for 50-Mbps to $119.99 for 1-Gbps.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After five, often-frustrating years of seeking a solution, Fauquier’s supervisors Thursday approved a $64-million plan that would make fiber optic broadband internet service available to the county’s underserved areas.

Also functioning as the five-member Fauquier County Broadband Authority board, the supervisors agreed to commit $10.5 million to the project’s cost.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to think big . . . to finally address the digital divide,” All Points Broadband CEO Jimmy Carr told the board.

State and federal grants would fund up to 37 percent of the project’s costs.

His Leesburg-based company would build a 705-mile fiber optic network, extending service availability to 10,500 homes and businesses, Mr. Carr explained.

Partnering with Dominion Energy and Rappahannock Electrical Cooperative to run fiber on their utility poles, All Points has pledged $38.8 million toward building the network.

The company then would charge $59.99 to $199.99 a month to customers, depending upon which of four plans they choose. The basic plan would provide “symmetrical” 50-megabit-per-second download and upload service. The top plan would deliver 1-gigabit (1,000-Mbps) service up and down.

The project will depend upon winning a $14.7-million Virginia Telecommunication Initiative grant. Virginia recently budgeted $700 million — atop $50 million already planned in 2022 — to fund broadband expansion to “unserved” and “underserved” areas of the state.

The county should know by year’s end whether the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development approves its grant application.

To qualify for state funding, an area must lack service with speeds of at least 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.

American Rescue Plan funds, which the county plans to use for all or part of its share, can apply to projects in areas that lack “wired” service delivering those minimum speeds. So, even rural parts of Fauquier that have wireless broadband would qualify.

All Points initially would not run fiber cable in areas that have high-speed wired service, including Warrenton, Bealeton and New Baltimore.

The Fauquier network could begin providing service by early 2024, according to Mr. Carr.

“You’re taking on a lot,” said Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District), the broadband authority chairman, questioning All Points’ ability to wire dozens of communities in four states. “I assume you have the resources and manpower to get it done.”

Mr. Carr replied: “There is a tremendous amount of pressure on the supply chain. Our strategy is to be the biggest buyer in the room.”

All Points has a commitment from South Carolina-based AFL Global to provide all the fiber needed for its projects, he said.

“It’s the same with labor,” Mr. Carr added. “We work with guys who pay their people more.”

New York-based Searchlight Capital Partners, a $9-billion private equity firm, recently announced a multimillion-dollar investment in All Points to help fund the Leesburg company’s aggressive expansion.

Searchlight in second quarter of this year invested $1.5 billion in fiber network construction across the U.S., according to Mr. Carr.

The two electric companies involved with the Fauquier project also ensure success, Mr. Carr said.

“REC’s construction is well under way” to connect its facilities with fiber, he said. “Dominion is a large organization, and when they put their mind to something, they get it done.”

The electricity providers’ push to improve their systems with technology, combined with new state and federal funding, make running fiber to lower-density areas possible.

“We’re never gonna see an opportunity like this again,” Mr. Gerhardt said.

Although “fully supportive” of the project, Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District), who represents the county’s most-densely-populated area, raised the issue of equity for the parts of Fauquier ineligible for All Point’s planned network.

The company promises levels of service at prices unavailable in the county’s most densely-populated areas, he noted. “We have to be sensitive to that. We’re spending $6,000 per house” to wire outlying areas.

“This will be a great change for businesses that operate from homes,” Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall District) said. “For as long as I’ve been a supervisor, people haven’t had that.”

Mr. Carr suggested that Comcast, Verizon and other providers probably will respond to competition in the area with better prices and service options. All Points eventually could run fiber at its own expense in areas ineligible for government-supported infrastructure, he added.

For individual customers, All Points will run fiber up to 500 feet to homes from distribution lines as part of its $199 installation fee. Beyond that, customers would pay $1.20 per foot.

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

“Social engineering” letter full of old inaccuracies

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·

Claudette Holloman

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·

Best Bets: “J.C. Superstar” and Hume Day Festival

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·
Clockwise from top left: Fauquier Community Theatre rehearsal for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” jousting at Hume Day and Dogs’ Day at Vint Hill pool.
The weekend again offers a variety of entertaining options around Fauquier County, including the community theatre’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar and the annual Hume Day Festival with its jousting tournament.

Other options include accomplished guitarists performing in Warrenton, the monthly farmers market in Marshall and “Dogs’ Day” at the Vint Hill public pool.


Marshall Farmers Market and 2nd Friday
4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10
H&H Auto Garage parking lot
8382 W. Main St., Marshall


Artists, crafters, farmers and other vendors participate in the monthly event. Village shops open late. Sponsored by Marshall Moving Forward.


“Jesus Christ Superstar”
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10-11
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12
Fauquier Community Theatre
4225 Aiken Drive, Vint Hill


The theatre will open its 2021-22 season with a six-performance run of the rock opera based on the last week of Jesus’ life. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar debuted 50 years ago. Tickets are $18 for students, $20 for seniors and $22 for adults. Audience members must wear masks and seating will be limited.


Phil Hunt & Eddie Estes
8 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10
Gloria Faye Dingus Center for the Arts
92 Main St., Warrenton


The finger-style guitarists have shared the stage with top musicians in Nashville. Their shows combine songs, stories and spontaneous laughter. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m., with refreshments and light snacks available. Tickets: $20 and free for children 12 and younger with parents.


Support Our Troops Day
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
Sherbeyn Farm
13199 Elk Run Road, Bealeton


Sheriff’s office will K-9 and drone demonstrations, military vehicles, games, contests and food. Cow Pie Bingo will raise funds to support veterans and first responders. The Harold J. Davis American Legion Post 247 at Remington will serve as the official sponsor. Free admission.


Hume Day Festival
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
Leeds Ruritan Park
12032 Hume Road, Hume


The annual community festival will feature food (Marriott Ranch barbecue), artists, crafters, other vendors, children’s games and jousting, the ancient sport in which competitors on horseback attempt spear a series of rings, 1-3/4 inches in diameter, with lances. The youth jousting tournament will take place from 2 to 3 p.m., with the adult competition running from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Free admission.


Dogs’ Day Pool Party
1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
Larry Weeks Community Pool
4248 Bludau Drive, Vint Hill


Canines take over as the pool prepares to close for the season. No humans can get in the water with dogs, which must be on leashes 6-feet or shorter when entering and exiting the pool. Current vaccination and county license tags required. No aggressive dogs. Handlers must be 16 or older. Fee: $7.


Twilight Polo
Gates open 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains


Three matches starting at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tailgating and children’s games. “Celebrate the Decades” throwback theme with DJ and dancing. VIP options available. Car pass: $25 in advance, $30 (cash) at gate.


Other options


Warrenton Farmers Market
8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 28
21 Main St., Warrenton

Click here for more information.


Farmers Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29
Archwood Green Barns
4557 Old Tavern Road, The Plains.

Click here for more information.


NSLM Polo Classic
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains

Click here for more information.



NOTE: No Flying Circus Airshow this weekend.


Click here for calendar of events.

Fauquier has 61 more COVID-19 cases, 73rd death

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·
The new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday in Fauquier rank as the highest one-day total since Jan. 25.
Vaccinations
60.3%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Wednesday — a total of 42,923. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.9%.


53.9%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,397. Statewide, the rate stands at 57.5%.


193
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents on Wednesday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County has 61 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more hospitalized patients and another death attributed to the virus, the Virginia Department of Health reported Thursday morning.

Since the pandemic started, cases here total 5,868, with 243 hospitalizations and 73 deaths.

The 61 new Fauquier cases rank as the highest one-day total since Jan. 25, when the health department reported 65 here.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 95 “active cases” Thursday — up 8 from Wednesday. They include 61 among students and 34 among staff members.

County schools define “active cases” as those reported in the last 10 days.

Liberty High has 19 active cases among students and 5 among staff members. Taylor Middle School has 6 active cases among staff members and 4 among students.

The school system has reported 236 active cases — 173 among students and 63 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

County schools had 443 students and 17 staff members in quarantine as of the most recent update Thursday, Sept. 2.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

Virginia has another 3,952 cases Wednesday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 797,348.

The health department Thursday morning reported 33 more deaths statewide since Wednesday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 12,010 since the pandemic started.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,176 infected patients in their beds Thursday morning, up 15 from Wednesday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 66,177 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,483 cases, up 42 from Wednesday.

Orange County, 2,856 cases, up 63.

Madison County, 770, up 18.

Rappahannock County, 466, up 5, and its third death.

As of Thursday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10 percent statewide and 9 percent in the health district, both unchanged.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·

Attention deficit disorder two decades after 9/11

Posted Thursday,
September 9, 2021
0 ·

Biz Buzz: Oak View bank promotes Corbett, Eckert

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
0 ·
Christine Corbett and Brittany Eckert of Oak View National Bank.
Doug Parsons will start Oct. 4 as Fauquier’s new economic development director.
Warrenton-based Oak View National Bank recently announced the promotion of two staff members.

Christine Corbett has been promoted to senior vice president and will continue in her role as director of human resources.

Mrs. Corbett has more than 20 years of experience in human resources. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at human resources from of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from HRCI and a payroll certification from APA. A Leadership Fauquier graduate, Ms. Corbett is active with the Society for Human Resource Management and the Virginia Bankers Association.

Brittany Eckert has been promoted to vice president and controller.

Mrs. Eckert has been a member of the Oak View accounting department for 11 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in international business from Virginia Tech and an accounting certificate from Liberty University. She serves on the Fauquier SPCA Board of Directors.

“As the bank has navigated through essential strategic projects and several key retirements, we have been provided space to evaluate our organizational structure and utilize the talents of our team for greatest effectiveness moving forward,” Chairman and CEO Michael Ewing said. “We believe the changes will assist us with managing our current growth in the community and position us well for the future.”

Founded in 2009, Oak View has bank offices in Warrenton, Marshall and Culpeper and a loan production office in Washington, Va.


Development director hired

Fauquier County has hired a new economic development director a year after his predecessor resigned.

Douglas Parsons will start Monday, Oct. 4, at a salary of $115,000, County Administrator Paul McCulla announced Friday.

Mr. Parsons since May 2019 has worked as executive director of the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority.

“Fauquier County is a very progressive and growing county, with a lot of assets to work with, such as a strong workforce, some good sites and a cohesive approach — all attractive from an economic development standpoint,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s an opportunity I appreciate greatly.”

Mr. Parsons, 54, of Rippon, W.Va., previously worked as a project manager for the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, as Leesburg’s business development director and as economic development director for Lewis County, W.Va. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and advertising from West Virginia University in 1989.

“Doug is eminently qualified for this position and we believe his experience will help the county continue to assist our existing businesses while attracting new business to the county,” Mr. McCulla said. “I look forward to working with him to implement the board of supervisors’ vision for economic development for Fauquier County.”

The Front Royal-Warren EDA hired him to replace Jennifer R. McDonald, who resigned in late 2018 after allegations that she had embezzled millions from the authority. Ms. McDonald pleaded not guilty to charges in a 34-count federal indictment.

Mr. Parsons will succeed Miles Friedman, who resigned in August 2020 after seven years in the position.


Fauquier Health Wellness Center certified

The Fauquier Health Wellness Center in Warrenton has earned certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

The certification recognizes the center’s commitment to improving the quality of life of patients by enhancing standards of care.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs patients recover and live healthier after heart attacks or surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory problems. Both programs include exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.

To earn accreditation, the wellness center at 419 Holiday Court had to provide extensive documentation of the cardiovascular/pulmonary rehabilitation program’s practices. The certification is the only peer-review accreditation process that reviews individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed by AACVPR and other related professional societies. Each application is reviewed by the Program Certification Committee, and the AACVPR Board of Directors awards certification.

In 2018, AACVPR moved to an outcomes-based process with performance measurements that represent more meaningful outcomes. The certification is valid for three years.

Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management.


10th Fauquier Valor Awards Sept. 23

The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce will host its 10th annual Valor Awards dinner to honor local first responders on Thursday, Sept. 23.

The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at Fauquier Springs Country Club.

Tickets are $50 per person, with sponsorship opportunities available.

The awards honor members of the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office, Warrenton Police Department, Fauquier County Fire & Rescue and Area 12 of the Virginia State Police “who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep our community safe” in the last year.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
0 ·

10 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more hospitalization here

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
0 ·
Virginia hospitals reported an additional 149 COVID-19 patients in their beds Wednesday morning.
Vaccinations
60.2%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Wednesday — a total of 42,854. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.8%.


53.8%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,328. Statewide, the rate stands at 57.4%.


58
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents since Tuesday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County has 10 new COVID-19 cases and another hospitalized patient, the Virginia Department of Health reported Wednesday morning.

Since the pandemic started, cases here total 5,807, with 239 hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 87 “active cases” Wednesday — up 11 from Tuesday. They include 56 among students and 31 among staff members.

County schools define “active cases” as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High, with 15 among students and 4 among staff members, has active cases in double digits.

The school system has reported 228 active cases — 168 among students and 60 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

County schools had 443 students and 17 staff members in quarantine as of last Thursday, Sept. 2.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

The state has another 4,479 cases Wednesday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 793,396.

The health department Wednesday morning reported 30 more deaths statewide since Tuesday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 11,977 since the pandemic started. Fauquier deaths remain at 72.

Virginia hospitals reported 2,161 infected patients in their beds Wednesday morning, up 149 from Tuesday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 65,955 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,411 cases, up 3 from Tuesday.

Orange County, 2,793 cases, up 10.

Madison County, 752, up 6.

Rappahannock County, 461, unchanged.

As of Wednesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10 percent statewide and 9 percent in the health district, down slightly.

Antoinette G. Sandwick

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
0 ·

Do you agree with the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue from Monument Avenue in Richmond?

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
0 ·

“Support Our Troops Day” Sept. 11 near Morrisville

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
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Stops Along the Way: Finding the sweet spot

Posted Wednesday,
September 8, 2021
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Barbara B. Hopkins

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
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Yes, we can prevent cancer and other chronic diseases

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
0 ·

40-acre Opal horse farm sells for $1.95 million

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
0 ·
This horse farm west of Opal sold for $1.95 million.
A 40-acre horse farm near Opal sold recently for $1.95 million.

Built in 1994, the 5,600-square-foot main house features a stucco exterior, four bedrooms, 4-1/2 bathrooms, tray ceilings, custom molding and hardwood floors.

The farm on Routts Hill Road has two garages, an apartment, two barns, paddocks, run-in sheds, a 140-by-240-foot arena and a 1-1/2-acre pond.

The Cedar Run District property went on the market in June with an asking price of $2.2 million, according to Realtor.com.

Daryl Stout of Weichert Realtors in Front Royal represented the seller and Susie Ashcom of Thomas and Talbot Estate Properties in Middleburg represented the buyer.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Aug. 26-31, 2021:


Cedar Run District

Larry S. and Luci K. Rigsby to Jeremy and Michelle Bailey, 2.6 acres, 11377 Elk Run Road, Catlett, $450,000.

Karen E. and Mary K. Dalfrey to Saint Andrew K. and Danielle C. Phillips, 4.7 acres, 1375 Rochelles Way, Catlett, $915,000.

Cynthia M. Huston to Tanya K. and Lawrence D. Tannenbaum, Lot 40, Phase 2, Woods at Warrenton Subdivision, 6288 Redwinged Blackburn Drive, near Warrenton, $727,000.

Millfield IV LLC, John M. Adams as chief operating officer, to Aaron D. and Grace E. Carlson, Lot 28, Phase 4, Millfield Subdivision, 6445 Horn Lane, near Warrenton, $562,250.

Patricia M. and Howard M. Brundage Jr. to William Z. and Alyssa K. Berneburg, Lot 53, Section 2, Warrenton Village Subdivision, 7485 Suncrest Drive, near Warrenton, $279,000.

Millfield IV LLC, John M. Adams as chief operating officer, to Marcus B. and Nicole G. Finlinson, Lot 29, Phase 4, Millfield Subdivision, 8165 Major Watters Court, near Warrenton, $551,800.


Center District

Celeste and Russell Wetzel to Brandon K. Sutton, Lot 199, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 6461 Lancaster Drive, near Warrenton, $415,000.

Christopher and Megan Baker to Roland and Sarah G. Nunez, Lot 31, Section 1, Menlough Subdivision, 116 English Chase Lane, Warrenton, $570,00.

Paul D. and Pamela Y. Scott to Amy S. Granger, Unit 39, Phase 4, Villas at The Ridges Condominiums, 312 Amber Circle, Warrenton, $400,000.

Dustin S. and Jennifer M. Budd to Devin and Ashleigh Cooper, 0.55 acre, Lot 439, Second Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 7185 Surry Court near Warrenton, $485,000.

Tontra P. and James L. Lowe to Alberto Descalzo III and Jenny Le, Lot 6, Edgemont Subdivision, 338 Hidden Creek Lane, Warrenton, $660,000.

FCP Holdings LLC, Robert Griffin and Daniel Klueger as members, to Stephen S. and Dana K. Wright, Townhouse 6-B, Phase 1, Leeds Square Subdivision, 169-B Leeds Court West, Warrenton, $194,000.


Lee District

Bradlee E. Eiler to Daisy Olivia and Pamela A. Molina, 0.45 acre, 199 N. Rappahannock St., Remington, $400,000.

Candace N. Dodson to Leslie T. Lanier, 3 acres, 14216 Royalls Mill Road, Sumerduck, $330,000.

Kimberly A. Pumphrey to Kyle Burton and Molly Kopera, Lot 6, Neighborhood B, Phase 1, Mintbrook Subdivision, 11819 Hall St., Bealeton, $330,000.

NVR Inc. to John R. and Krystyna Toczylowski, Lot 37, Neighborhood B, Phase 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, 56165 Penn St., Bealeton, $309,660.

Derrick and Amanda Coppage to Megan E. Anderson, Lot 15, Section 1, Phase 2, Lee’s Glen Subdivision, 11688 Battle Ridge Drive, near Remington, $300,000.

Christopher A. and Suzanne B. Bowers to Matthew Burns and Charlotte Denakas, 2.2 acres, Lot 3-R, West Branch Estates Subdivision, 4544 Hurst Drive, Bealeton, $425,000.

Robert M. Wargo to Trigon Homes LLC, 1.5 acres, 11854 Lucky Hill Road, near Remington, $85,000.

Sondra J. McTarnaghan to Amber Castles and Brandon Firaben, Condominium 55-A, Phase 8, Cedars of Warre3notn, 203-A Fernwood Place, Warrenton, $245,000.

James J. and Sarah L. Freidah to Anne C. Winter, 40.9 acres, Lot C, English Meadows Farms Subdivision, 9977 Routts Hill Road, near Warrenton, $1,950,000.

Scott E. Strayer to William Kornicker, 6.5 acres, Mount Ephraim Road, Sumerduck, $160,000.


Marshall District

Carolyn L. Colbert, Sterling R. Smith Sr. and others to Halemah Wa Bess LLC, Lot 7, Section 2, Mauzy Square Subdivision, 8322 Mauzy Square, Marshall, $112,000.

Scott L. and Anna M. Quartuccio to Bobbie M. Crafts, 9.7 acres, 8421 Harts Mill Road, near Warrenton, $788,000.

William C. and Avery S. Hughes to Britany N. Nicely and Derenik E. Vartanyan, 10.1 acres, Lot 11, Cresthill Woods Subdivision, 7171 Crest River Lane, near Amissville, $535,000.

Miguel Flores and Leticia Correa to Alice R. Lloyd, Unit 16, Section B, Marshall Townhouses, 8601 Ashby Court, Marshall, $225,000.

Mary K. and Robert H. Tarr to Susan A. Mork, 2 acres, Lot 1, Payne Division, 6760 John Barton Payne Road, Orlean, $799,000.


Scott District

Marvin F. Freeman III and Monica M. Constantine to Craig H. and Faith Gfeller, 1.3 acres, Lot 256, Hunton Wood Subdivision, 5848 Hunton Wood Drive, near Broad Run, $750,000.

Frederick G. and Ellen T. Reed, trustees, to John R. and Elizabeth T. Lange, 0.36 acre, 6499 Main St., The Plains, $505,000.

Cynthia H. and Brent Carter, trustees, to Kaloyan and Mariya G. Dimitrova, Lot 11, Jamison’s Woods Subdivision, 5878 Chittenden Drive, near Warrenton, $770,000.

Warrenton Investments Inc. to Tyler J. and Sarah A. Ross, 2 acres, Lot 19, Westervelt Subdivision, 6026 Finchingfield Road, near Warrenton, $645,000.

David and Karen Lang to Jefferey and Kathy Brown, 2 acres and 0.19 acre, 7041 Wintergreen Court, near Warrenton, $765,000.

Schools’ COVID-19 case total down significantly

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
0 ·
The Virginia Department of Health reports that 42,820 Fauquier residents — representing 60.1 percent of the county population — have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccinations
60.1%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Tuesday — a total of 42,820. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.8%.


53.8%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 38,301. Statewide, the rate stands at 57.3%.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Fauquier County Public Schools has dropped significantly since Friday.

The school system Tuesday morning reported 76 “active cases” — down 75 from Friday’s total of 161. The active cases include 46 among students and 30 among staff members.

County schools define “active cases” as those reported in the last 10 days.

Only Liberty High, with 15, has active cases in double digits.

The school system has reported 217 active cases — 158 among students and 59 among staff members — since the fall semester started Aug. 11.

County schools had 443 students and 17 staff members in quarantine as of last Thursday, Sept. 2.

Fauquier County cases during the pandemic total 5,797 as of Tuesday morning, up 66 from Friday, when Virginia Department of Health last updated its statistics for localities.

During the pandemic, hospitalizations of infected Fauquier residents total 238 with 72 deaths — both figures unchanged.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

The state has another 2,007 cases Tuesday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 788,917.

The health department Tuesday morning reported 18 more deaths statewide since Monday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 11,947 since the pandemic started.

Virginia hospitals reported 1,981 infected patients in their beds Monday morning, up 81 from Friday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 65,128 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,408 cases, up 56 from Friday.

Orange County, 2,783 cases, up 51 from Friday.

Madison County, 746, up 17 from Friday.

Rappahannock County, 461, up 6 from Friday.

As of Tuesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10 percent statewide and 9.2 percent in the health district, both down slightly.

Women’s rights on Virginia ballot this November

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
0 ·

Social engineering replaces education in our schools

Posted Tuesday,
September 7, 2021
0 ·

Sept. 25 golf tournament battles childhood leukemia

Posted Monday,
September 6, 2021
0 ·

Gladys J. Croson

Posted Monday,
September 6, 2021
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Jane E. Thomas

Posted Sunday,
September 5, 2021
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Ronald C. “Ronny” Payne

Posted Sunday,
September 5, 2021
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Willard H. Scott Jr.

Posted Saturday,
September 4, 2021
0 ·

Ellen Carroll Smith

Posted Saturday,
September 4, 2021
0 ·

5 Friday Fauquier factoids: Prices of used vehicles

Posted Friday,
September 3, 2021
0 ·
Clockwise from top left: A $6,901 used car, Virginia tests, proposed Midland asphalt mixing plant and local Ruritans.
$9,486

Average price of the least expensive used vehicle for sale Friday at the five manufacturer dealerships in Warrenton, according to their websites.

The least expensive vehicle in each dealership’s inventory:

• $6,901 — a 2006 Chrysler 300C with 126,163 miles at Lindsay Buick GMC.

• $7,495 — a 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES SUV with 102,601 miles at Sheehy Ford.

• $7,535 — a 2012 Scion xB Base with 148,087 miles at Warrenton Toyota.

• $11,999 — a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LT with 90,043 miles at Country Chevrolet.

• $13,500 — a 2016 Dodge Journey AWD with 86,577 miles, and 2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD with 126,294 miles.


51 percent

Of Fauquier County Public Schools students passed Virginia Standards of Learning mathematics tests in 2020-21.

That represents a decline of 18 percentage points from 2018-19, when Virginia last conducted the tests, required by federal law.

In Fauquier, 68 percent of students passed English/reading tests, down 9 percent.

In science, 58 percent of county students passed the SOL tests, down 14 percent.

The county scores mirror those in the region and across Virginia, where the pandemic first closed schools, then prompted a shift to virtual learning. No SOL tests took place in 2019-20.

The recent results will not count in school accreditation.

“What matters now is where we go from here, and we will use the data from the SOLs to identify the unique needs of every learner as our schools resume in-person instruction for all students,” Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said.


6

Ruritan Clubs in Fauquier County.

Founded May 21, 1928, in Holland, Va., Ruritan National has grown to more than 900 local clubs with about 25,000 members.

With the slogan of “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community,” Ruritan Clubs focus on volunteerism, local projects and programs that support scholarships, scout groups and other efforts for young people.

The Fauquier clubs:

Bealeton Remington

• Catlett-Calverton-Casanova

Leeds

Marshall

Sumerduck

Warrenton


$10 million

The amount Pennsylvania-based Allen Myers Inc. proposes to invest in a new asphalt mixing plant on Midland Road near the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.

The company has a contract to buy 17.6 acres at 5003 Midland Road.

The project requires a special exception permit, but the county planning commission last month voted, 4-0, to recommend the board of supervisors deny it. The commission cited concerns about the potential 442 heavy truck trips per day on the narrow road.

The board of supervisors will conduct a public hearing and potentially vote on the application Thursday night, Sept. 9.


37,009

Fauquier County’s civilian labor force, according to the most recent Virginia Employment Commission report.

The county unemployment rate stood at 3.1 percent in July, with VEC reporting 1,148 jobless people.

The national and state unemployment rates stood at 5.7 and 4.1 percent, respectively.







Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Friday,
September 3, 2021
0 ·

7 more county COVID-19 patients in hospital beds

Posted Friday,
September 3, 2021
0 ·
Fauquier public schools reported 161 “active cases” Friday morning, up 5.
Vaccinations
59.7%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Thursday — a total of 42,551. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.3%.


53.3%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 37,963. Statewide, the rate stands at 56.9%.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County has 7 more COVID-19 patients in hospital beds and 32 new cases Friday morning, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

During the pandemic, hospitalizations of infected Fauquier residents total 238. That total has increased by 20 since Friday, Aug. 25.

The county cases to 5,731 since the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 161 “active cases” Friday morning — up 5 from Thursday. The total includes 116 cases among students and 45 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

The school system has reported 203 new cases, up 7 from Thursday, since classes resumed Aug. 11 — with 151 among students and 52 among staff members.

As of Friday, county schools had 443 students and 11 staff members in quarantine — down from 565 and 28 a week earlier.

Liberty High has the most active cases as of Friday, with 29 among students and 2 staff members who recently tested positive. Three other county schools have active case counts in double figures.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

The state has another 4,072 cases Friday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 778,167.

The health department Friday morning reported 20 more deaths statewide since Thursday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 11,899 since the pandemic started. Fauquier’s deaths attributed to COVID-19 remain unchanged at 72.

Virginia hospitals reported 1,892 infected patients in their beds Friday morning, up 10 from Thursday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 64,844 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,352 cases, up 34 from Thursday.

Orange County, 2,732 cases, up 18.

Madison County, 729, up 16.

Rappahannock County, 455, up 2.

As of Friday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.2 percent statewide, down slightly, and 9.4 percent in the health district, rising.

Va. electric co-op board elections undemocratic

Posted Friday,
September 3, 2021
0 ·

Robert J. “Bob” Faurot

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
0 ·

Concrete truck rear-ends school bus in Bealeton

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
0 ·
Photo/Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office
The truck driver faces a reckless driving charge after hitting a Fauquier school bus at 8:25 a.m. Thursday.
A concrete truck rear-ended a Fauquier school bus Thursday morning in Bealeton, sending four students and the bus driver to the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

The accident took place at 8:25 a.m. in the 6100 block Catlett Road, Sgt. Steve Lewis said.

Those taken to Fauquier Hospital as a “precaution” suffered “minor” injuries, Sgt. Lewis said Thursday afternoon.

A sheriff’s deputy charged the truck driver, Eric Fredrick Allen of Manassas, with reckless driving and an expired state inspection.

Parents of students on the bus quickly received notification of the accident, school system spokeswoman Tara Helkowski said.

“Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for our students, whether in our schools or on one of our school buses,” Ms. Helkowski added.

The Virginia State Police Commercial Motor Carrier Unit assisted with a roadside inspection of the concrete truck.

“Please remember, school is back in session,” Sgt. Lewis said. “Pay attention to all traffic laws, speed zones, and school zones, and let’s educate each other to make sure these types of crashes are avoided on the roadways.”

Best Bets: Scottish Games and farmers markets

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
0 ·
Clockwise from top left: Virginia Scottish Games at Great Meadow, Maddi Mae at Remington Farmers Market and Warrenton Horse Show through Sunday.
With cooler, calmer, sunny weather, the Labor Day weekend offers a variety of outdoor activities all over Fauquier County.

The 122nd Warrenton Horse Show runs through Sunday, while the annual Virginia Scottish Games take place at Great Meadow.

The Warrenton Farmers Market on Saturday will host “Kids Day,” including young entrepreneurs, and the Remington Farmers Market later that day will feature music by Maddi Mae.


Warrenton Horse Show
8 a.m. until daily through Sunday, Sept. 5
60 E. Shirley Ave., Warrenton


The 122nd show features competitors of all ages from up and down the East Coast. Vendors, concessions and online auction. Tickets: $10 Saturday and Sunday, free weekdays.


Cougar 5k and Fun Run
9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
Kettle Run High School
7403 Academic Ave., Nokesville


The Kettle Run Football Boosters will host the event. Raffle with a variety of prizes. Cost: $35 for 5k, $20 for fun run. Click here to register online. For more info, email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Virginia Scottish Games
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 4-5
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains


The annual event features athletic competitions, a British car and motorcycle show, children’s games, piping and drumming, a fiddle competition, bands, Scottish dog competitions and demonstrations, food and beverages. Tickets: $5 to $30.


Remington Farmers Market
4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
Remington Community Garden
150 W. Bowen St.


Vendors, food from Buffalo Wild Wings and musical performance by Maddi Mae from 5 to 7 p.m. Free.
> Video at bottom of story.


Nature Club
1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
The Clifton Institute
6712 Blantyre Road, Warrenton


Youth (Grades 6-12) will explore the 900-acre preserve’s field station and learn about local plants and animals. Tickets: $10 (or $8 for Friends of Clifton).


Astronomy for Everyone
7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
Sky Meadows State Park
11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane


The event begins with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then NASA Jet Propulsion Lab Ambassadors present the latest news in astronomy, followed by exploration of the night sky with the members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. Parking fee: $10. The park on Saturday also will host a farm market, Explorer Outpost, Mount Bleak house tours and Settle’s Kettle, a demonstration of 19th-century cooking methods.


Twilight Polo
Gates open 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains


Three matches starting at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tailgating and children’s games. “Wear Your Whites” theme with DJ and dancing. VIP options available. Car pass: $25 in advance, $30 (cash) at gate.


Other options


Warrenton Farmers Market
8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 28
21 Main St., Warrenton

Click here for more information.


Farmers Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29
Archwood Green Barns
4557 Old Tavern Road, The Plains.

Click here for more information.


Sunday Polo
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5
Great Meadow
5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains

Click here for more information.


The Flying Circus Airshow
2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5
5114 Ritchie Road, Bealeton

Click here for more information.


Click here for calendar of events.

If forced to choose, would you prefer indoor plumbing or electronic devices?

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
0 ·

19 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more hospitalizations here

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
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Fauquier County and the state have averaged 31 and 2,778 new COVID-19 cases per day, respectively, over the last week.
Vaccinations
59.7%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Wednesday — a total of 42,449. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.1%.


53.2%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 37,881. Statewide, the rate stands at 56.8%.


78
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents since Tuesday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
The Virginia Department of Health reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in Fauquier County and two more hospitalized patients Thursday morning.

That brings the county total cases to 5,699 since the pandemic started.

During the pandemic, Fauquier’s hospitalizations of infected patients total 231. That total has increased by 11 since Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 156 “active cases” Thursday morning — up 12 from Wednesday. The total includes 111 cases among students and 45 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

The school system has reported 196 new cases, up 22 from Wednesday, since classes resumed Aug. 11 — with 146 among students and 50 among staff members.

As Thursday, county schools had 443 students and 11 staff members in quarantine — down from 565 and 28 a week earlier.

Liberty High has the most active cases as of Thursday, with 29 among students and 2 staff members who recently tested positive. Mary Walter Elementary at Morrisville has 17 active cases among students and 4 among its staff. Grace Miller Elementary and Cedar Lee Middle School have 19 and 11 active cases, respectively.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

The state has another 4,255 cases Thursday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 774,097.

The health department Thursday morning reported 18 more deaths statewide since Wednesday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 11,879 since the pandemic started. Fauquier’s deaths attributed to COVID-19 remain unchanged at 72 deaths.

Virginia hospitals reported 1,882 infected patients in their beds Thursday morning, up 114 from Wednesday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 64,432 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,318 cases, up 57 from Wednesday, and 2 more hospitalizations.

Orange County, 2,714 cases, up 26, and 3 more hospitalizations.

Madison County, 713, up 7.

Rappahannock County, 453, up 6.

As of Thursday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.4 percent statewide, unchanged, and 9.4 percent in the health district, both rising.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
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Virginia seeking to recover lost gasoline tax revenue

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
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Stock Photo
State officials project almost 975,000 vehicles that use little or no gasoline could be eligible for the program when it launches in 2022.
Some of the options out there do have a device that is plugged into your car’s data port and keeps track of when and where you drive but it doesn’t share that informatio. It’s sort of a tracking device, but it doesn’t share the data.
— Jonathan Gifford, Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy at George Mason University director
By Graham Moomaw
The Virginia Mercury

A year out from Virginia’s planned launch of an opt-in system that would charge drivers of electric and fuel-efficient vehicles based on how many miles they travel instead of a higher fixed fee, a state work group is hammering out more details on how the program could work.

State officials project almost 975,000 vehicles could be eligible for the program when it launches in 2022, but the details of its implementation could determine how many Virginians decide its worth trying to potentially save money.

With more drivers in cars that use less gas than earlier models or no gas at all, policymakers in Virginia and elsewhere have been looking for road funding solutions to make up for lost fuel-tax revenues.

The goal for the revamped funding system, which also includes a higher gas tax rate and lower baseline vehicle registration fees, is to make sure drivers contribute their fair share to the costs of maintaining the roads they use, without discouraging the adoption of more environmentally-friendly vehicles that can help slow the impacts of climate change.

The mileage-based program will be optional, but some envision the technology as a potential replacement for gas taxes in the increasingly electrified future. The Department of Motor Vehicles solicited bids earlier this year from contractors who offer the technology and could award the project in the next few months.

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly approved a highway use fee for electric vehicles and vehicles with a combined fuel economy of at least 25 miles per gallon. That fee, assessed when vehicles are registered, is designed to ensure drivers of electric and fuel-efficient vehicles pay 85 percent of what a less fuel-efficient vehicle might contribute in gas and diesel taxes per year.

When the new fee system was implemented last year, that worked out to $109 for electric vehicles and about $19 for a typical fuel-efficient vehicle, based on the 11,600 miles the average passenger vehicle travels per year in Virginia.

But that broad math also creates fairness issues, and that’s where the per-mile system comes in. Proponents say a more precise, mileage-based fee would eliminate some of the guesswork and be a more attractive option for people who don’t drive as much.

“While the program is expected to enroll a relatively small number of participants at its inception, the knowledge gained from implementation will be valuable if the program is later expanded to cover more vehicles,” the work group said in an interim progress report last month.

State law caps the amount participants in the program would have to pay, preventing the variable fee from going over the flat fee other drivers are charged.

One challenge may be convincing drivers there’s a benefit to installing a mileage tracking system in their vehicles and easing any privacy concerns about the device creating a data trail showing where they’ve been. The state work group recommends giving users the option of using either a GPS or non-GPS tracking system and shoring up data protection laws to safeguard any location-based information, similar to an existing law that shields information on vehicles passing through tolls.

“Legislation passed to protect this data can be tailored to address when and how the information can be shared and used and can increase customer confidence that personal information is protected,” the interim report says. “Confidence in the protection of the data generated may enhance customer willingness to participate in the program.”

Jonathan Gifford, director of the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy at George Mason University, said the privacy issue is “a live one” but he thinks it can be resolved by giving users options about how their mileage is tracked and what happens to their data.

“Some of the options out there do have a device that is plugged into your car’s data port and keeps track of when and where you drive but it doesn’t share that information,” he said. “It’s sort of a tracking device, but it doesn’t share the data.”

Another potential sticking point that will need to be worked through, Dr. Gifford said, is figuring out how to handle out-of-state drivers using Virginia roads and interoperability with similar programs that may come online in other states. Because vehicles put wear and tear on roads outside their home state, some proponents of mileage-based user fees have suggested national or regional programs that work across state lines.

Mr. Gifford drew a comparison to EZ-Pass, the electronic toll-collection system that started in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1990. The program now operates in 19 states, according to its website, with more than 27 million accounts.

“It was able to be stood up pretty quickly and start generating social benefits,” Mr. Gifford said.

The Virginia work group has been in contact with officials in Oregon and Utah to discuss similar programs in their states, according to the interim report.

The group’s final report on how the program could work is due in December.

Free dental event delayed because of COVID-19 surge

Posted Thursday,
September 2, 2021
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File Photo/Virginia Dental Association Foundation
The first Piedmont Smiles offered free dental treatments to eligible adults in Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange counties.
While we are disappointed that we had to make this change, it ultimately is the right call for the safety of everyone involved. A large-scale gathering carries a lot of risk.
— Fauquier Free Clinic Director Rob Marino
The “spread of COVID-19 in Virginia” has prompted postponement of a free dental clinic planned Oct. 2 in Warrenton.

“Piedmont Smiles” tentatively will take place next fall, according to Fauquier Free Clinic Director Rob Marino, who citied the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission in the region.

“While we are disappointed that we had to make this change, it ultimately is the right call for the safety of everyone involved,” Mr. Marino said. “A large-scale gathering carries a lot of risk.

“Our leadership team and our partners at the dental schools felt that the time was not yet right for this. The community needs more time to get everyone vaccinated against COVID so that we can gather safely and protect our patients and volunteers. When we do this, we want it to be a big event that makes a significant and positive impact.”

The free clinic continues working to provide dental treatment to patients that had pre-registered for Piedmont Smiles by Aug. 31, Mr. Marino said.

“We are doing all that we can to help those patients in need who have already registered for the event and will be reaching out to them directly to schedule appointments as they are available,” he explained. “Unfortunately, our capacity will be greatly reduced, but we look forward to helping more people in 2022.”

Lynn Lauritzen of the PATH Volunteer Hub expressed thanks to more than 200 people who had volunteered to help at the event.

“Local lay people, nurses, doctors and dental professionals clearly see the value in providing dental care to everyone who needs it,” Ms. Lauritzen said. “We had a huge response when we asked for help and we’re very thankful for their willingness to help the community. We hope we can continue their involvement again next year.”

The event at Fauquier High School would have provided cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery and endodontic services to eligible adults from Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange.

For more than three million uninsured adults in Virginia, accessible and affordable dental care remains difficult to receive, Mr. Marino said. The Fauquier Free Clinic has expanded its dental services in recent years.

Patients who had not pre-registered for Piedmont Smiles can contact the Fauquier Free Clinic at 540-347-0394, the Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic in Orange at 540-661-0008, or email PATH Community Link at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to explore options for care.

A date for the 2022 event has yet to be determined.

Real Men Wear Pink set help battle breast cancer

Posted Wednesday,
September 1, 2021
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Children and COVID-19 topic of Sept. 8 forum

Posted Wednesday,
September 1, 2021
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Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Wednesday,
September 1, 2021
0 ·

COVID hospitalizations here increase by 9 in a week

Posted Wednesday,
September 1, 2021
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Fauquier County Public Schools have 138 “active cases” — those reported in the last 10 days — and a total of 178 since classes started Aug. 11.
Vaccinations
59.7%
of Fauquier citizens have received at least one dose as of Wednesday — a total of 42,485. Statewide, the rate stands at 64.1%.


53.2%
of county residents have completed vaccination — a total of 37,881. Statewide, the rate stands at 56.8%.


78
new doses of vaccine administered to Fauquier residents since Tuesday.


Getting the vaccine

Everyone 12 and older in Virginia qualifies for COVID-19 vaccination. All who have received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine will be eligible for a booster, starting Sept. 20.

Medical offices and pharmacies offer the vaccines free of charge. The health department also has walk-in clinics, with no appointment needed.

Click here for more information or call 877-829-4682.
Fauquier County has 33 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday morning and two more hospitalized patients, the Virginia Department of Health.

That brings the county total cases to 5,680 since the pandemic started.

During the pandemic, Fauquier’s hospitalizations of infected patients total 229 — up 2 from Tuesday. That total has increased by 9 since Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Meanwhile, Fauquier County Public Schools reported 138 “active cases” Wednesday morning — up 6 from Tuesday. The total includes 102 cases among students and 36 among staff members.

The school system defines active cases as those reported in the last 10 days.

The school system has reported 178 new cases since classes resumed Aug. 11 — with 134 among students and 41 among staff members.

As of last Thursday, the most recent update, county schools had 565 students and 11 staff members in quarantine.

Liberty High has the most active cases as of Wednesday, with 28 among students and 2 staff members who recently tested positive. Neighboring Grace Miller Elementary has 16 active cases among students and 3 among its staff. Mary Walter Elementary and Cedar Lee Middle School have 17 and 11 active cases, respectively.

The county continues to trail the state in the percentage of residents vaccinated. (See box.)

The state has another 3,407 cases Wednesday morning, bringing the pandemic total to 769,842.

The health department Wednesday morning reported 19 more deaths statewide since Tuesday, bringing Virginia’s total fatalities to 11,861 since the pandemic started. Fauquier’s deaths attributed to COVID-19 remain unchanged at 72 deaths.

Virginia hospitals reported 1,768 infected patients in their beds Wednesday morning, unchanged 68 from Tuesday. Since the pandemic started, the state’s hospitals have housed 64,048 infected patients.

Elsewhere in the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District:

Culpeper County has 5,261 cases, up 35 from Tuesday.

Orange County, 2,688 cases, up 23.

Madison County, 706, unchanged.

Rappahannock County, 447, up 1.

As of Wednesday morning, the rate of positive PCR tests over the last week stood at 10.3 percent statewide, unchanged, and 8.6 percent in the health district, both rising.

How long should expanded outdoor dining continue in downtown Warrenton?

Posted Tuesday,
August 31, 2021
0 ·

122nd Warrenton Horse Show runs through Sunday

Posted Tuesday,
August 31, 2021
0 ·
Photo/Warrenton Horse Show Association
The show has earned the United States Equestrian Federation’s designation as a “Heritage Competition.”
The Warrenton Horse Show is one of the oldest equestrian exhibitions of its kind in the United States.
— United States Equestrian Federation CEO John Long
Warrenton Horse Show
• When: Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 1-5; gates open at 8 a.m. daily.

• Where: 60 East Shirley Ave., Warrenton

• Features: Horses and riders from up and down the East Coast.

• Also: Beer tent, food stand, online auction and clothing, gift and tack shops.

• Admission: Free Wednesday-Friday; $10 per person Saturday-Sunday, free for children younger than 12.

• Proceeds: Benefit Fauquier SPCA, Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co., Fauquier Free Clinic, Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.

• Website: warrentonhorseshow.com

• Phone: 540-347-9442
UPDATE: Because of the approaching storm, the show has cancelled the breeding classes scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 1, along with schooling.

The organizers hope for better weather Thursday, Sept. 2.


The 122nd Warrenton Horse Show, a Labor Day weekend tradition, will open Wednesday morning and run through Sunday night.

Attracting riders of all ages, the show has taken place on the historic grounds at 60 E. Shirley Ave. since 1899. But, the sponsors cancelled last year’s event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top professionals also compete in the show, which has earned the United States Equestrian Federation’s designation as a “Heritage Competition.”

“The Warrenton Horse Show is one of the oldest equestrian exhibitions of its kind in the United States,” USEF Chief Executive Officer John Long said. “With its long tenure and many charitable contributions, both national and local, the show exemplifies everything the USEF looks for when designating a Heritage Competition.”

Admission is $10 Saturday and Sunday but free Wednesday through Friday.

Show highlights include the $5,000 Warrenton Toyota & Miller Toyota Hunter Classic at 7 p.m. Saturday and the William G. Miller Tailgate Competition for spectators at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Event proceeds this year will support the Fauquier SPCA, Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co., Fauquier Free Clinic and the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation.

Entry fees, admissions, concessions and an online auction raise funds for the Warrenton Horse Show Association and the local charities it supports. The association owns and maintains the 8.6-acre show grounds.

> Schedule begins on Page 4:

2021 Warrenton Horse Show P... by Fauquier Now


GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner set Friday, Sept. 10

Posted Tuesday,
August 31, 2021
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office daily activity report

Posted Tuesday,
August 31, 2021
0 ·
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