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Ellen’s Kitchen & Garden

Supervisors likely to back 2nd Amendment resolution

Posted Friday,
December 6, 2019
10 ·
Stock Photo
Fauquier’s draft resolution stops short of calling county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”
We know these resolutions of sanctuary counties aren’t binding. Both the U.S. and state Constitutions are our sanctuary.
— Supervisor Chris Butler
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Re-affirming its support of the Second Amendment, Fauquier’s board of supervisors next week probably will adopt a resolution urging state lawmakers to back a series of gun safety measures.

But, the two-page draft document stops short of designating the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

“We know these resolutions of sanctuary counties aren’t binding,” supervisors’ Chairman Chris Butler (Lee District) explained in a text. “Both the U.S. and state Constitutions are our sanctuary.”

Elected to four-year terms, Virginia sheriffs take an oath of office to “support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia” and “faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon” them.

While the Second Amendment sanctuary designation carries no legal authority, proponents say it seeks to send a message government would do nothing that might erode the constitutional right to bear arms.

As of Thursday, 41 Virginia localities — including neighboring Culpeper and Rappahannock counties — had approved Second Amendment sanctuary or similar resolutions.

Such measures also deliver a warning to Democrats that any infringements on gun rights wont’ be tolerated, according to backers.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) supports stricter gun laws, which the 2020 General Assembly will consider when it convenes Wednesday, Jan. 8.

On Nov. 5, Democrats won majorities in both the 100-member Virginia House of Delegates and 40-member Senate. Not since 1993 has the party controlled state government.

The Fauquier resolution attempts to assure county residents that “we are listening — that we support their Constitutional rights and that we’d like to see our (statehouse) delegation take a common-sense approach to removing guns from criminals, help us fund mental health services and firearms education,” Mr. Butler added.

The supervisors will consider the proposed resolution on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 10 Hotel St. in Warrenton.

It specifically recommends:

• Additional state funds “for firearms education in schools and firearms safety education” throughout Virginia.

• “Waiving sales tax on gun safes and gun safety locks to help promote such safe gun handling practices.”

• “Strong penalties for adults” who “allow unsafe access to firearms by children.”

• More state funds “for mental health screening and service” throughout Virginia.

The proposed resolution adds that language to Fauquier’s list of priorities for the Virginia General Assembly that the supervisors approved on Nov. 14.

The list includes Fauquier’s Second-Amendment position: “Fauquier County strongly opposes any legislative attempts to undermine or limit legal and Constitutional gun ownership in the County and Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Mr. Butler expects a big turnout at Thursday’s meeting.

“Counties around us have had 400-plus” people attend meetings that involve discussion of Second Amendment resolutions, the supervisor said. “I expect the same.”

The supervisors’ Thursday meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.

The board won’t conduct a public hearing on the proposed resolution. But, the board sets aside time during its meeting to allow citizens to comment on other topics.

That opportunity will take place at the end of the meeting, Mr. Butler said.

“I’ll also have a sign-up sheet and will ask Fauquier residents to speak first,” he added.

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

Proposed Fauquier Second Am... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

5 Friday Fauquier Factoids: Police station solar panels

Posted Friday,
December 6, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Some of the 312 solar panels recently installed on Warrenton’s police station.
Part of the 15-ton Messico’s Farm strawberry harvest has gone into production of a new wine.

Solar panels recently got installed on the Warrenton Police Department roof along Carriage House Lane.

The town paid Sigora Solar of Charlottesville $191,936 for installation and the panels, inverters and related equipment to generate and distribute electricity. The police station’s monthly electric bills run $900 to $1,500 a month, depending on the weather.

The solar arrays should pay for themselves in 11 or 12 years. The panels have a 25-year life expectancy.


Concealed handgun permit applications the Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office received from January through November.

In 2018, Fauquier residents submitted 1,534 concealed handgun permit applications. That represents the greatest number of permit applications the office has received in a single year since 2014.

From 2014 to 2018, the clerk’s office got about 6,665 such applications.

The office charges a $50 per application processing fee. Permits expire after five years.

Any citizen 21 or older may apply for a concealed carry permit. State law requires each applicant to provide “Documentation of Proof of Handgun Competency,” generally firearms safety training.


Pounds of strawberries Messick’s Farm near Midland harvested this year.

The family, which milks about 250 cows, cultivates six acres of berries — a portion which supports a pick-your-own operation.

The farm also uses strawberries to flavor ice cream, pies, preserves and toppings that get sold at Messick’s Farm Market along Route 28 near Bealeton.

For the first time, the farm this year diverted about 2,000 pounds of the fruit for making wine.

Magnolia Vineyards of Rappahannock County has produced about 1,100 bottles of Prairie View strawberry wine, Jimmy Messick said.

Available at the farm market, the wine costs $18.99 per bottle. To launch the new product, the market will host a free tasting on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m.


The number of buildings, structures and objects inventoried in Warrenton’s National Historic District.

Warrenton this year paid the Norfolk-based Commonwealth Preservation Group $47,793 to survey the town’s historic district. A Virginia Department of Historic Resources reimbursed the town for half of that cost.

The survey increased the inventoried resources in the district by 57 percent to 506. The work provides details about each resource.


Total employees at Smith-Midland Corp. in Southern Fauquier.

Founded in 1960, the Midland-based precast concrete company has another 50 employees at plants in South Carolina and North Carolina, where it just opened a new, $3-million manufacturing facility.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
December 6, 2019
0 ·

Va. commission wants 98 Jim Crow-era laws repealed

Posted Friday,
December 6, 2019
4 ·
Photo/Virginia Mercury
The header of legislation proposed 95 years ago in the Virginia General Assembly.
Virginia has been working on this for decades now, and we were sort of trying to piecemeal it with legislation.
— Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico)
By Ned Oliver
The Virginia Mercury

Gov. Ralph Northam asked state lawmakers Thursday to repeal 98 racist, Jim Crow-era laws that are still on the books in Virginia — legislation that charted the state’s policy of Massive Resistance to school desegregation, mandated segregated public transportation and blocked minorities from voting.

The legislation was identified by a commission Gov. Northam appointed in June as part of his efforts to make amends after a racist photo was found on his medical school yearbook page. The group formally presented their recommendations in a report released Thursday.

The 2020 Virginia General Assembly will convene Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Richmond.

“It’s important to get this out of the code,” the governor said. “It’s also important to enlighten Virginia of our past so we don’t go back there.”

The commission members said in their report that most of the pieces of legislation they identified are outdated and have been invalidated by court rulings, but that they believe “such vestiges of Virginia’s segregationist past should no longer have official status.”

The laws targeted for repeal address many key areas of public life, including voting (“Implementation of the State poll-tax”), housing (“An act to provide designation of segregation districts for residence)”, health (“The Board shall provide separate sanatoria for white people and colored people”) and public transportation (“Require a separation of white and colored passengers on cars operated by electricity”).

Nearly half of the recommendations address education, an area where Virginia took an especially forceful stand against civil rights when it refused to comply with a Supreme Court ruling mandated the desegregation of public schools and instead adopted its posture of Massive Resistance.

The state legislative framework that advanced that policy is still on the books – laws that allowed the closure of public schools rather than integration, provided state-funded tuition for students to attend the white-only private academies set up in their place and blocked local governments that wanted to integrate their school systems from doing so.

Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico), chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, said he appreciated Gov. Northam’s work, which was inspired by legislation backed by the black caucus earlier this year to remove Jim Crow-era wage laws that allowed businesses to pay workers in jobs predominantly held by African Americans less than minimum wage.

“A lot of people thought this was something the Black Caucus took to the governor,” Del. Bagby said. “No, the governor took it to the Black Caucus. Virginia has been working on this for decades now, and we were sort of trying to piecemeal it with legislation . . . . So I just want to say thank you to all of you for leading the way in this effort.”

The panel Gov. Northam appointed, which was led by Cynthia Hudson, the chief deputy Attorney General of Virginia, said it doesn’t consider its work complete.

They decided not to make recommendations on legislation addressing Confederate pensions and memorials, writing that the “Commission understands the sensitive nature of this topic both in terms of its complexity and its historical legacy, and seeks to be appropriately mindful of the history of this era while also acknowledging the state’s role in funding Confederate memorials, monuments, and public benefits.”

They note that lawmakers have already said they plan to put forward legislation that would end the state’s prohibition on removing Confederate memorials.

The commission also suggested that its charge be expanded to include not just explicitly discriminatory laws, but “but also those that are either race-neutral descendants of explicitly racist legislative ancestors, or that, in practice, have the effect of perpetuating discrimination and racial inequities.”

“Comparing the rates of home ownership, educational achievement, negative health outcomes, criminal justice involvement, and professional and financial stability for nonwhite and white Virginians makes it painfully clear that Virginia is a long way from true racial equity,” they wrote.

An independent, nonprofit online news organization, Virginia Mercury covers state government and policy.

Fulfilled, Sky Meadows State Park manager retiring

Posted Thursday,
December 5, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Growing up in Charlottesville, Sky Meadows State Park Manager Tim Skinner and his siblings “spent all of our time out in the woods or getting crayfish and salamanders in the stream and box turtles. That was our playground.”
Every day is a different sunrise, a different stream level revealing different rocks, different rain patterns. It’s just an amazing, amazing place.
— Sky Meadows State Park Manager Tim Skinner
Timothy Lyle Skinner
• Age: 64

• Home: Near Winchester

• Work: Manager, Sky Meadows State Park, 2004 to Dec. 31; business/marketing manager, Virginia State Parks, Richmond, 1995-2004; regional manager, Virginia State Parks, Richmond, 1986-95; various positions in state parks system, 1982-86.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, communications, Virginia Tech, 1981; Lane High School, Charlottesville, 1973.

• Family: Wife, Kira; four children; two grandchildren

• Hobbies: Woodworking, gardening, traveling and tinkering.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A summer job at a state park on the Northern Neck convinced the Charlottesville teen that he wanted to make a career of sharing his passion for nature with others.

On a Friday night in June 1973, Tim Skinner graduated from Lane High School. The next day, the 18-year-old lit out for Westmoreland State Park near Montross.

“I got up at 5 in the morning and got in this old, beat-up Comet that belonged to the man I was going to work for and drove (to the park) and worked for him all summer. He was the park’s concessionaire, and I was a lifeguard on the beach there.”

But evenings there could be dull, said Mr. Skinner, 64, whose retirement as manager of the Sky Meadows State Park near Paris in Northern Fauquier takes effect Jan. 1.

“So, I started hanging out with the park interpreter, helping him do his evening programs,” he recalled. “And, I just kind of fell in love with the whole process of teaching people through entertainment.

“That’s when it clicked with me — that I wanted to go into the parks and help people learn more and appreciate natural and cultural resources.”

He developed a love of the outdoors at an early age, said Mr. Skinner, whose family’s ranch-style home on a small lot in Charlottesville, backed up to dense woodland in adjoining Albemarle County.

“It was nothing but forest behind us,” he said. “My brother, sister and I — we spent all of our time out in the woods or getting crayfish and salamanders in the stream and box turtles. That was our playground.”

His parents always sought ways — including plenty of family camping trips — to give their children a dose of nature.

“My father and brother and I spent a lot of time fishing, wading in the James (River), the North Anna River and other places.”

Mr. Skinner has worked as an hourly or full-time employee in at least a dozen state parks since he graduated from high school.

In 2004, he became manager of the 1,862-acre Sky Meadows State Park.

Before taking that job, Mr. Skinner served in the state parks’ central offices in Richmond for about 19 years — first as a regional manager and then as a business and marketing manager.

But, itching to return to “the field,” he applied for and got the Sky Meadows post.

“They wanted someone seasoned to come here,” said Mr. Skinner, the park's fourth manager. “And, I was anxious to get back into the field operations and out of the business end of things. So, it was kind of a win-win for all of us.”

The late philanthropist Paul Mellon of Upperville donated 1,594 acres straddling Route 17 for the park, which opened in 1983.

In deeds that transferred the land to the state, Mr. Mellon stipulated that the park would “preserve” the property’s “pastoral landscape,” include a “wildlife sanctuary” and provide “passive” and “dispersed” recreation opportunities, Mr. Skinner said.

In 1980s, the state acquired 268 acres along the park’s western edge that includes about 2.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Besides hike-in camping and assorted programs, the park has 22 miles of hiking, 10.5 miles of bridle and nine miles of bike trails. Last year, it had 220,000 visitors.

A big part of his job has entailed updating and implementing the park’s master, resource management and “visitor experience” plans, Mr. Skinner said.

Within that context, a “vision to show where the park can go and what it can embrace” emerges. “I just loved creating a better space for people to come in contact with the natural and cultural resources . . . . The park’s about man’s interface with pastoral landscape forms and the natural world.”

He also seems to have thrived on the people aspects of the job.

“Mentoring and growing staff in the profession,” Mr. Skinner said. “Contact with the public and lights go on and people just finding their own space.”

During his tenure at Sky Meadows, the park has installed:

• Fencing — in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Corrections and using inmate labor —  to keep cattle out of park waterways. The effort earned the park a John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District award in 2010.

(Under an agreement with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, supervised nonviolent inmates tend up to 250 head of beef cattle at the park and help with the property’s basic maintenance. Cattle auction proceeds get used to purchase processed meat ultimately served to inmates.)

• Wildflower plots that support bees and monarch butterflies.

• An American chestnut tree orchard.

• A pick-your-own pumpkin patch.

• A children’s discovery area.

• A natural outdoor lab.

Under Mr. Skinner’s watch, the park also established an apiary. The park’s gift shop sells honey produced by bees that also pollinate flowers. Revenue from honey sales helps support the beekeeping operation.

The park also keeps a small flock of chickens that roam the historic building area and “greet” visitors. In cooperation with The Friends of Sky Meadows, it sells eggs and uses the revenue to buy chicken feed and related supplies.

After all of his years at Sky Meadows, the veteran manager still marvels at the park’s diversity.

“Every day is a different sunrise, a different stream level revealing different rocks, different rain patterns. It’s just an amazing, amazing place.”

With five full-time and about 18 part-time workers, the park’s 2020 budget — excluding salaries — totals $328,000. Mostly through parking, camping and gift shop fees, the park last year generated $228,832 in revenue.

“We often use the analogy that park managers are like small town or city managers,” Mr. Skinner said of his duties. “We’ve got law enforcement officers; we’ve got education; we’ve got infrastructure.”

Tracy Reitnauer heads the Friends of Sky Meadows State Park, a volunteer group that supports the place, and has worked with Mr. Skinner for nine years.

“He’s done an amazing job with the park as far as the trails,” said Ms. Reitnauer. “He created the picnic area. It was his driving force behind the children’s play area . . . . It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes.”

The Warren County resident added: “Tim’s a very nice person. He has a lot on his plate. I never saw him in a bad mood. He was always available if you needed to talk to him or see him.”

He leaves the job fulfilled, Mr. Skinner said.

“People ask, ‘Is it bittersweet?’ No. I feel very fortunate in that I think I personally completed what I wanted to do in parks. It’s time to go.”

In retirement, he plans to remain involved in conservation efforts, spend more time with family and pursue hobbies.

“I love to tinker and I love to refinish furniture. Fix up some old thing — cane the seat of a chair.”

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

Throwback Thursday: Sex education here to stay

Posted Thursday,
December 5, 2019
0 ·
1994 — Warrenton Middle School physical education teachers Jill Poe and Doug Helkowski lead an exercise on dealing with peer pressure during a sixth-grade Family Life Education class.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of December 9, 1994

Sex ed here to stay

Fauquier’s school board plans to keep its sex education program, even if the General Assembly passes legislation to make it optional.

A governor-appointed commission last month suggested changing state law to permit local boards to decide whether to teach “Family Life Education.”

“We’re returning the responsibility for educational to all groups involved — parents, taxpayers and pupils and students,” said Del. Jay Katzen (R-Markham), who served on the commission.

Existing Virginia law requires local school systems to teach sex education, which parents can choose to forego for religious or personal reasons.

In interviews this week, all five Fauquier school board members said they would retain the FLE program.

Retailers fight sticky fingers

Michael Kitt takes shoplifting personally — very personally.

The owner of the Radio Shack in Warrenton Center has put life and limb at risk to retrieve what rightly belongs to him, and he seems willing to do it again at the drop of a hat.

During the Christmas shopping rush, Kitt and many other local merchants bring a little more intensity to the task of thwarting crooks who try to slip out doors with stolen merchandise under coats, in deep pockets or tucked in baby strollers.

They hire more staff, remind employees to look for telltale signs, monitor cameras and two-way mirrors and hire plain clothed detectives.

In 1992, law enforcement officers made 109 shoplifting arrests for items worth $6,433. The totals last year dropped to 94 arrests for stolen items worth $2,271.

In the spring, Kitt flung himself on the hood of a shoplifter’s car as it sped from the shopping center parking lot. He rolled off the car, however, and the crook got away with a $250 VCR.

County OKs airport lease renewal

Fauquier’s supervisors Tuesday extended the county’s lease and operating agreement with the company that runs the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport near Midland.

Under the agreement, Tracey Corp. of Midland will manage and operate the 122-acre airport on Route 610 through 2001.

The company pays Fauquier $12,000 in annual rent, 2 cents per gallon of fuel sales and 2 percent of the airport’s gross income.

Local USDA office avoids budget axe

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will spare its Warrenton office from deep cuts announced Tuesday.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy announced plans to close 57 of 111 USDA offices in Virginia and 1,274 nationwide.

“As far as I know right now, we will not be closing,” said Charles B. DeBord, executive director of the Warrenton office. “But, they may be bringing more offices here to Warrenton with consolidation.”

Nearby USDA offices slated to close are in Berryville, Madison, Manassas, Stafford, Front Royal and Washington, Va.

Supervisors say no to Remington annexation

Citing overwhelming opposition to the proposal, Fauquier’s supervisors Tuesday rejected the Town of Remington’s bid to annex 570 acres.

The town wanted to expand to include the Perrowville and Wankoma Village neighborhoods, along with the planned 108-home Lee’s Glen Subdivision.

Opponents dominated a Nov. 17 public hearing on the plan.

Getting the message, the supervisors voted, 4-0, to kill the annexation bid. Supervisor Wilbur Burton (Cedar Run District) missed Tuesday’s meeting.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
December 5, 2019
0 ·

Based here, environmental group gets $1-million gift

Posted Thursday,
December 5, 2019
0 ·

Legislative preview slated Dec. 12 in Warrenton

Posted Thursday,
December 5, 2019
1 ·

U-2 pilot elected chairman of Cold War Museum board

Posted Wednesday,
December 4, 2019
0 ·

Best Bets: Three parades, youth orchestra concert

Posted Wednesday,
December 4, 2019
0 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Santa in last year’s Marshall Christmas Parade. This year’s local parades will take place Friday night in Warrenton, Saturday morning in Marshall and Saturday afternoon in Bealeton.
The Fauquier Youth Orchestra will perform a concert Saturday afternoon at Gloria’s in Warrenton.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical” continues this weekend on the Fauquier Community Theatre stage at Vint Hill.
Christmas is Coming
Warrenton Chorale concerts
7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Dec. 5-6
3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Warrenton United Methodist Church
341 Church St.

The 72-singer chorale will mark its 66th year with a mix of Christmas classics and contemporary pieces. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students in grades K-12.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical”
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7
2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8
Fauquier Community Theatre
4225 Aiken Road, Vint Hill

The community theatre continues its three-weekend run of the timeless comedy, a childhood classic adapted as a musical in 1976. “This show is a perfect Christmas family event, where we are reminded to be more generous, not with our wallets, but with our hearts,” FCT says in its publicity materials . . . . The show is light-hearted and funny, yet teaches valuable lessons about empathy, generosity, compassion and love.” The musical closes with the song, “Let There Be Joy.” Tickets are $18 for students, $20 for seniors and $22 for adults. For more information or to reserve seating, visit or call 540-349-8760.

Warrenton Christmas Parade
6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6
Main Street

Eighty-four entries will take part in the annual procession from Fifth Street to Chestnut Street, with Santa bringing up the rear. Red Truck Bakery owner Brian Noyes will serve as the parade grand marshal. At the parade’s conclusion, Mayor Carter Nevill will light the Christmas tree on the old courthouse portico. A fireworks display will follow. Then, GumDrop Square — where children can visit with Santa and buy $2 gifts for family members and friends — will open.

Marshall Christmas Parade
11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Main Street

The Marshall Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department will serve breakfast at the firehouse on Rectortown Road from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Santa will be there to talk with children and to pose for photos. An hour later, he will join the annual parade down Main Street.

Bealeton Christmas Parade
1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Willow, Station and Village Center drives

Local businesses, churches, organizations and schools will have parade entries that circle a large block and return to the Bealeton Village Shopping Center, where a holiday festival will feature exhibitors.

Fauquier County Youth Orchestra
December Concert

3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Gloria’s Listening Room
92 Main St., Warrenton

The concert will include student soloist Tazreen Hassan performing the Mozart Violin Concerto No.5. Tickets: $10.

“The Nutcracker”
2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8
Fauquier High School
705 Waterloo Road, Warrenton

The Lasley Centre for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with the Centre Performing Arts Co., will present its seventh annual full-length production of The Nutcracker. The performances will include American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Corey Sterns alongside Orlando Ballet and Lasley alumna Julia Carlson. Tickets: $30 at the door.

The Keel Brothers
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7
Gloria’s Listening Room
92 Main St., Warrenton

Acclaimed flat-picking guitarist Larry Keel returns to his home county to perform with older brother Gary, who taught him to play at age 7. A two-time Telluride Bluegrass Festival flatpicking champion, Larry Keel has released 15 albums, has headlined at Carnegie Hall and has performed with many of the world’s best musicians. He was a founding member of Magraw Gap in 1990 with local musicians Danny Knicely and Will Lee. The Larry Keel Experience, which tours nationally, includes his wife Jenny Keel on upright base and Jared Pool on mandolin. Tickets $25; free for children 12 and under with adults.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors”
Shakespeare Opera Theatre
7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7
4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8
Grace Episcopal Church
6507 Main St., The Plains

Composed for CBS television in 1951, the heartwarming tale became an instant Christmas classic. The Shakespeare Opera Theatre’s Orchestra and Singers will present this meaningful story of overcoming hardship, seeking redemption and the true meaning of Christmas. The determination of three wise men from the East, a young boy, and his mother, make this one-act opera a thoughtful treat for the entire family. Christmas treats and crafts featuring the three wise men are provided for kids an hour before each Saturday performance. The performances will continue next weekend. Tickets: $35 to $55.

Other options

> Holiday House Tours at Sky Meadows State Park

> Santa at the Caboose on Saturday afternoon in Warrenton

> Ryan Jewell on Saturday at Wort Hog Brewing

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
December 4, 2019
0 ·

No charge placed in fatal Warrenton bike accident

Posted Tuesday,
December 3, 2019
3 ·
His work with the CIA recently had brought Michigan native Blake Rohrbough, 25, to Virginia, according to his obituary.
They weren’t offended charges weren’t being brought. They didn’t make any dramatic statement.
— Interim Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott C. Hook
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

No charges will be filed against the driver in a June collision that killed a 25-year-old bicyclist in Warrenton, Fauquier’s interim commonwealth’s attorney said Tuesday afternoon.

“After careful review of the statements of the witnesses, including the direct observer, the Crash Team Report prepared by the Virginia State Police, the incident report by the Warrenton Police Department and the relevant sections of the Code of Virginia, this office has declined to bring criminal charges in this matter,” Scott C. Hook said in three-paragraph press release.

Driving a 2014 BMW, Jacob Crochet-Doré of Rappahannock County collided with cyclist Blake C. Rohrbough on Friday, June 21, at Alexandria Pike and Horner Street.

Warrenton police responded to the deadly accident at 6:36 p.m.

“A Fauquier County Sheriff’s Deputy was on the scene attempting to perform CPR on the cyclist,” Mr. Hook wrote. “Warrenton Company 1 also arrived on the scene and took over medical services.”

In consultation with a physician at Fauquier Hospital, first responders pronounced Mr. Rohrbough, who wore no helmet, dead at the scene at 6:52 p.m.

In a press release the day after the June 21 accident, Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer said the “preliminary investigation revealed that the car was making a left turn from Alexandria Pike onto Horner Street.

“The bicyclist was traveling north on Alexandria Pike” when the collision occurred at the intersection, Ms. Schaeffer wrote.

The accident took place 165 days ago. For several reasons, the investigation proved more time-consuming than expected, Mr. Hook suggested in a phone interview.

“I think they wanted to go through all the records,” the chief prosecutor said when asked why it took about five months to complete the investigation. “The crash report was the last piece.”

Obtaining cell phone records caused the biggest delay, Mr. Hook added.

In October 2018, Mr. Rohrbough moved to Virginia “to pursue a career as an officer with the CIA,” according to an obituary in the Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle. “He was eagerly looking forward to his upcoming assignment overseas.”

The prosecutor about two weeks ago spoke by phone with Mr. Rohrbough’s parents about the decision not to charge Mr. Crochet-Dore.

He explained the investigation process and the findings to them, Mr. Hook said.

“They weren’t offended charges weren’t being brought,” he said. “They didn’t make any dramatic statement.”

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

6 “Living Christmas Tree” concerts next week

Posted Tuesday,
December 3, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
December 3, 2019
0 ·

Opal Rt. 29 lanes to close this week for paving

Posted Tuesday,
December 3, 2019
0 ·

Warrenton Chorale presents “Christmas is Coming”

Posted Monday,
December 2, 2019
0 ·

“Derogatory” Fauquier stream gets new name

Posted Monday,
December 2, 2019
3 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Chris and Amanda Baity successfully petitioned a federal agency to change the name of the creek that runs through their 33 acres in Southern Fauquier.
The small creek, a tributary of Town Run, flows for about three miles in southeastern Fauquier, near Quantico Marine Base.
I didn’t want to develop a property that was going to be the headquarters for our nonprofit that had a derogatory name associated with it.
— Semper K9 Assistance Dogs Operations Director Amanda Baity
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Woodbridge couple liked everything about the 33-acre wooded parcel southeast of Catlett — except for the name of the stream that cuts through it.

“I didn’t want to develop a property that was going to be the headquarters for our nonprofit that had a derogatory name associated with it,” explained Amanda Baity, operations director of Semper K9 Assistance Dogs.

A long stretch of the approximately three-mile-long Negro Run — a tributary of Town Run — flows through their property, Mrs. Baity said.

Headed by her husband Chris, a Marine veteran, Semper K9 takes mostly rescue canines and trains them as service dogs for disabled military members at no cost to the veterans.

During his 8-1/2 years in the Marines, Mr. Baity served as a “military working dog handler.” As of last week, Semper K9 had about 18 dogs in training.

The Baitys bought the nonprofit’s training site along Brent Town Road in August 2017.

They acquired the undeveloped lot and committed to change Negro Run’s name as quickly as possible. That fall, the couple applied to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to do just that.

“It was one of the first things I did after we purchased the property,” Mrs. Baity said.

Two years later, the USBGN board approved the couple’s request to rename the stream Courage Creek.

“There were a lot of layers, a lot of back and forth,” Mrs. Baity said of the review process.

Picking a name that would pass muster with the board proved more involved than the Baitys had anticipated.

“It was one of the challenges I was having, because (the USBGN) prefers that you pick something that ties it to the original name,” Mrs. Baity said. “I told them that I didn’t know of anything that would make sense that would tie back to the original name, because the original (N-word) was even more offensive than the current name.”

Mrs. Baity had hoped her research would reveal some African-American connection with the stream that could be incorporated into a new name.

But, “I couldn’t really find anything definitive,” she said. “The Virginia State Library has said that they were able to find things. And, of course, they have access to much more records than I do.”

In the end, the Baitys came up with several potential names, including Courage Creek, which:

• Acknowledges “enslaved” blacks who might have lived near the stream.

• Includes one of the Marines Corps’ three key values — “honor, courage and commitment.”

• Refers to the disabled service men and women whom the nonprofit helps.

“If enslaved individuals had inhabited the area or were in the area, their courage to make it through such harsh conditions should be recognized,” Mrs. Baity said. “Our organization is about enhancing the quality of life.

“We work with veterans of all races and all special orientations — from such diverse backgrounds of culture, religions, races, sexual orientation — and we are not about offending anyone.”

The couple asked a Facebook group of about 150 Semper K9 volunteers to vote for one of several possible names.

Overwhelmingly, they chose Courage Creek, Mrs. Baity said.

During its Aug. 7 meeting, the USBGN board discussed the proposed change and Negro Run’s history.

The meeting’s minutes state that 1943 United States Geological Survey and 1944 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ maps label the stream with the “N”-word. In 1953, a USGS map showed it as Negro Run.

Although the stream’s name origin remains undetermined, the Virginia Board on Geographic Names believes “it is very possible that it was named by French Huguenot settlers,” according to the meeting’s minutes. “And it should be noted that there were planters, members of the middle class, free African-Americans and slaves living in the Negro Run vicinity in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

“(We) think a name more meaningful (than Courage Creek) to the locality and to Fauquier County’s history is needed.”

The VABGN asked the Fauquier board of supervisors “for its opinion but received no response,” the minutes state. The state board’s staff concluded that meant the county had “no objection” to the proposed change.

The staff also contacted the Fauquier County Historical Society, the Fauquier Heritage and Preservation Foundation Inc. and the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County about the proposed name change.

“The county historical society responded that although they understood that the name is offensive to many people, they do not support the proposed change, citing the name’s use for almost 300 years and the loss of proper context and knowledge of this historical name if the name were to be changed,” according to the meeting minutes.

At its Sept. 12 meeting, the USBGN voted, 15-1, to approve renaming the stream Courage Creek. One board member abstained.

The board member who opposed the change cited the VABGN recommendation and “concerns that a name that better reflected local African-American history could have been proposed.”

The VABGN “probably did” contact the Afro-American Historical Association of Fauquier County, President Karen Hughes White said.

“We often get things from different places wanting comment,” Ms. White said. “And we don’t routinely do a lot of that simply because we don’t have adequate staffing to meet the needs of different queries such as that.”

What does she think of the stream’s name change to Courage Creek?

“I think any time you can remove negative imagery, then that’s good thing.”

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

Faces of Fauquier: She sees the potential in everyone

Posted Monday,
December 2, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
CEO Lynne Richman Bell talks in the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier’s new cafe with Serenity Lauderdale, Jordyn Rivera and Miyah Jolley.
Now, there’s a greater understanding and belief in what we do. That’s something we share every day.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Growing up in the middle of Texas, the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier chief executive had entirely different plans for her career.

“I wanted to be a professional singer and a rider,” Lynne Richman Bell explained.

She rode Western saddle, then dressage horses and started taking voice lessons in middle school before earning a bachelor’s degree in music, with an emphasis on opera.

But, Ms. Bell’s life has taken her all over the country and has made her resume diverse. Her first marriage decades ago led to jobs in education, from Maine to Middleburg to Midland. She later worked for two local companies in the construction industry.

In April 2014, she accepted the top job with the local Boys & Girls Club, struggling with crippling debt for its $1.8-million purchase of a former fitness club building on Warrenton’s Keith Street four years earlier.

“The first year I was there, I wrote a plan to close it, as well as to save it,” Ms. Bell said of the club.

The organization couldn’t possibly pay off its mortgage and had trouble attracting enough financial support to maintain its after-school and summer programs for children. The club’s leaders focused on the members, ages 6 through 16, but its governance and financial management needed overhaul.

Gradually, the board and Ms. Bell, built “capacity,” with help from the national organization, other clubs in Virginia, the Warrenton-based PATH Foundation, community volunteers and the building’s original owners. VKM Holdings LLC of Warrenton early last year agreed to take back the building and lease it to the club for $3,200 a month.

The club also raised dues to $100 a month, with scholarships available to families that can’t afford that.

With a focus on helping members prepare for the workforce, as well as the responsibilities of citizenship, the club “is here to stay,” said Ms. Bell, 54.

For her work at the club and other community involvement, the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce last month named Ms. Bell its “Business Person of the Year.”

Ms. Bell joked: “My middle name, I hear, is ‘spoon,’ because I stir the pot. It’s all well intentioned.”

Indeed, she speaks her mind. In 2014, she testified at a school board hearing about an effort to ban a controversial novel, “Two Boys Kissing,” from the Fauquier High library.

Describing herself as “a conservative,” Ms. Bell said she didn’t want to ban the novel, but parents should have the opportunity to determine what books would be appropriate for their children and that warning labels would help. The book remained at FHS.

A role model, her paternal grandmother “would roll over in her grave if they ever talked about censorship,” Ms. Bell said. But, they engaged in deep discussion and “together we read everything . . . . I spent six weeks with her every summer. She was thoughtful, pragmatic, an amazing thinker.

“Not every kid has that.”

So, even if you disagree with her, Ms. Bell wants to understand your position. And, she wants you to understand hers.

“Curiosity” remains fundamental, she said. “No one person has all the answers.”

In the course of her work, Ms. Bell spends a great deal of time on strategy and planning for the Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier, which will have an operating budget of $620,000 next year — up $40,000 from 2019. The organization has four full-time employees and 10 part-timers during the school year. That number doubles in the summer.

The club, which hosts about 100 of its more than 300 members on an average day, has developed a range of activities, including the relatively new “Girls Who Code” program that won national attention alongside clubs from Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Ms. Bell often talks about “the capacity for greatness in people.”

She sees that in the club’s members, many from low-income families and some from more affluent households that face other challenges, including parents with long commutes.

Among 18 Boys & Girls Clubs in Virginia, Fauquier’s serves the “most affluent” community, but it also has “some of the highest needs,” Ms. Bell said.

“Now, there’s a greater understanding and belief in what we do,” she added. “That’s something we share every day.”

• Age

• Home

• Work and experience
Chief executive officer, Boys & Girls Club of Fauquier, April 2014 to present; business development officer, Dominion Construction Group, Warrenton, 2013-14; business development/administration, Dominion Septic Inc., Goldvein, 2011-13; head of school, Midland Christian Academy, 2002-10; director of residences, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, 1999-2001.

• Why do you do the job?
For me, its about progress . . . seeing the kids evolve from Point A to Point B, seeing the organization evolve.

• Family
Husband Tony, two cats and two horses.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, music (opera) and English, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, 1988; San Angelo Central High School, 1983.

• Organizations
Co-chairman, Fauquier Chamber of Commerce Economic Development/Legislative Committee; chairman, Boys & Girls Clubs of Virginia Rural Club Task Force; former president, Southern Fauquier Business Owners Association; Balanced Growth Alliance.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Eight years, since September 2011.

• Why do you live here?
I really think Fauquier could set the standard for how communities evolve. I really appreciate the diversity of its citizens.

• How do you describe this county?
We’ve been such a divided county, North and South. But, we’re all one county. We all value the quality of life here. That’s what people want.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
People make more of our differences, but it could be about how that translates into solutions.

• What do you do for fun?
I like to ride (horses). I like to hike. I like to sing. I like to be outdoors.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I think coming up Route 17 and you suddenly can see the mountains (from the Morrisville area). That’s one of my favorite views. I also really like the feel of historic downtown Warrenton.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think there are great opportunities. I’m seeing it in Warrenton because of the really intentional way of looking at healthy collaboration and how that translates into zoning and development. I appreciate that we’ll see a more robust economy. Remington also has great potential . . . .

Give people places to go and things to do. I’d love to see a performing arts center (in Warrenton).

• Favorite TV show?

• Favorite book?
“The Shack” by William P. Young

• Favorite vacation spot?
My family’s cabin in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, near Watkins Glen.

• Favorite food?
I love food . . . new Mexican and Italian.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Toni Lynn Chinoy, an executive coach. She helped me when I was having difficulty reaching consensus with someone. She said, always be curious. Add curiosity to every conversation. When you cease to be curious, you are righteous.

• Who’s your hero and why?
Thomas Jefferson. He was so methodical. He understood they had to develop a public education system first . . . . He was fallible but such strategic thinker.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery?
I would build myself a healthy retirement and I would build a Boys & Girls Club building, with a succession plan for training and development.

Local “2nd Amendment sanctuary” votes premature

Posted Monday,
December 2, 2019
68 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
December 2, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier County real estate transfers Nov. 21-27

Posted Sunday,
December 1, 2019
0 ·
The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Nov. 21-27, 2019:

Cedar Run District

Elaine C. Bond to Howard L. Sanford and Wayne C. True, 18.71 acres and 80.4 acres, 2481 Tenerife Road, Catlett, $690,000.

Jack C. and Carol A. Thompson to Caliber Homebuilder Inc., 10.59 acres, Lot 39, Blackwood Forest Subdivision, off Rt. 634, near Morrisville, $130,000.

Cathie L. Nocero and Antonio D. Javonillo to Scott E. and Mandy J. Pedrick, 11.66 acres, Lot 43, Blackwood Forest Subdivision, 3543 Gold Rush Lane, near Goldvein, $645,000.

Sterling Valley LLC, Brian Cohn as member, to Caliber Homebuilder Inc., 10.52 acres, Lot 1-B, Elmore Lane, off Dumfries Road, near Warrenton, $230,000.

Gerald D. Brooks Jr. to Alexandra and Sean Peyton, 10 acres, Lot 4, Hensley Division, 4196 Brookfield Drive, Catlett, $455,000.

Barbara F. Korich, trustee, to William A. Stewart IV and Emily A. McKinnis, 2.25 acres, 12764 Elk Run Road, Midland, $185,000.

Wilmer Bender to Susana Medina, Arturo A. Martinez and Erika M. Paredes, 9.34 acres, 10307 Bristersburg Road, Catlett, $425,000.

Center District

Branch Banking & Trust Co. to Town of Warrenton, 1.25 acres, five parcels, 21 Main St., Warrenton, $2,200,000.

Rory F. and Ellie A. Kay to Anna J. White, 0.81 acre, Lot 79, Phase 3, Ivy Hill Subdivision, 7136 Manor House Drive, near Warrenton, $459,000.

Joseph Volpe III to Carole Hertz, Lot F-21, Phase 3, North Rock Subdivision, 184 North View Circle, Warrenton, $374,000.

Kevin E. Piper to Atkins Construction Group LLC, 0.66 acre, 165 Green St., Warrenton, $315,000.

Joel N. and Camille C. Myers to Maria V. Minton and Natalie H. Jones, Lot 111, Bethel Academy Subdivision, 6451 Cannon Drive, near Warrenton, $340,000.

Lars E. and Melanie M. Schvartz to Muna S. Alzoubi, Lot 33, Phase 2, The Reserve at Moorhead Subdivision, 295 Preston Drive, Warrenton $484,900.

Thomas C. and Lynn P. Webb to Candace H. Appleton, Condo Unit 7, Phase 1, Cedars of Warrenton, 716-A Cedar Crest Drive, Warrenton, $205,000.

Sean P. LaChance and Megan L. Miloser to Lee M. and Noelle M. Bacon, Lot 39, Monroe Estates615 Galina Way, Warrenton, $480,000.

Lee District

Daniel D. and Loretta Adkins to Karen E. Mielguj, 5.32 acres, 11022 St. Paul’s Road, near Remington, $422,000.

Alexandra Plott to Brian L. Wells, Unit L, Building 4, Cedar Lee Condominiums, 11235 Torrie Way, Bealeton, $155,000.

Courtney M. Brown to Brennan M. Shepherd, Lot 216, Section Q, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 6726 Huntland Drive, Bealeton, $255,000.

Christine M. and Thomas L. Walker II to Cathie L. Nocero and Antonio D. Javonillo, 1.4 acres, 13877 Union Church Road, Sumerduck, $405,000.

Christopher and Paige Bast to Glendon J. and Melissa A. Schrock, Lot 33, Phase 2-A, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 6180 Library Lane, Bealeton, $264,500.

Marshall District

Adam S. Plack and Ryann T. Davis to Thomas S. and Elizabeth M. Jewett, 5 acres, 8478 Springs Road, near Warrenton, $810,000.

James R. and Heather L. Schram to Ryan E. and Laura S. Hammond, 11.22 acres, Lot 6, Cooper Communities Division, 9722 Foxville Road, near Warrenton, $780,000.

Virginia C. Cassiano to Ruth E.B. Williamson and Raymond A. Brow, 5.21 acres, Lot A, Conde Farms Subdivision, 6721 Springhouse Lane, near Marshall, $275,000.

11555 Hereford Court LLC, H. Todd Flemming as manager, to Thomas A. and Jennifer L. Bell, Lot 6, Section 2, Ridges in Hume Subdivision, 11555 Hereford Court, Hume, $745,000.

Independence Realty LLC, Stanley P. Dull as sole member, to Thomas C. and Jeanetta R. Parker, 20.32 acres, 6157 Wilson Road, near Marshall, $459,000.

Caroline J. and Carl B. Cox Jr. to John and Kristil S. Sahlin, 5.42 acres and 5.02 aces, 7434 Wilson Road, near Warrenton, $695,000.

John W. and Susan A. Douglass to Steven and Natasha Bremmerman, 39.89 acres, 14249 Hume Road, near Hume, $850,000.

Kenneth T. and Deborah A. Wilber and Sean T. and Christopher R. Krutchen, by substitute trustee, to Dobre Investments LLC, 11.22 acres, Lot 8, Hager Division, 7964 Bailey’s Joy Lane, near Warrenton, $432,324, foreclosure.

Scott District

Robert C. and Kitty D. Fallows to Silvo J. and Diana Solis, Lot 4, Phase 1, Snow Hill Subdivision, 5709 Greenview Lane, Warrenton, $525,000.

Kara M. Whitehead to Robin A. Holzer, 1.54 acres, Lot 1, Campbell Estates Subdivision, 4161 Campbell Estates Lane, The Plains, $575,000.

NVR Inc. to David M. and Rachel Kilpatrick, Lot 53, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 4824 Point Road, near Warrenton, $550,005.

Lisa E. Paul to John M. and Nicole Mountjoy, Lot 54, Land Bay F, Vint Hill Subdivision, 6811 Sholes Court, near Warrenton, $555,000.

The Clifton Institute Inc. to John W. and Diane E. Kitchen, 14.86 acres, Lot 5, Mountain Pleasant Estates Subdivision, Pignut Mountain Drive, near Warrenton, $185,000.

Michael L. and Nichole M. Brown to Brian J. and Kerry E. Good, Lot 65, Phase 8-D, Brookside Subdivision, 6590 Wellspring Court, near Warrenton, $665,000.

Independence Realty LLC, Stanley P. Dull as manager, to Lisa Paul, 1.44 acres, Lot 2, Section 7, Broken Hills Estates Subdivision, 7086 Shepherdstown Road, near Warrenton, $432,000.

Thomas D. and Christina K. Hurley, trustees, to Joan E. and Charles W. Harman, Lot 29, Phase 13-A, Brookside Subdivision, 2204 Pump House Court, near Warrenton, $539,900.

Randy T. Rhodes to Matthew M. and Jessica Haraszkiewicz, Lot 29, Phase 2, Emerald Oaks Subdivision, 7079 Kelly Road, near New Baltimore, $482,000.

5 Friday Fauquier Factoids: Scout Christmas trees

Posted Friday,
November 29, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Five local Boy Scout troops opened their Christmas tree lot Friday in Warrenton.

Evergreen trees local Boy Scouts purchased for their Christmas tree lot that opened Friday next to Rankins Hardware in the Warrenton Village Center.

Boy Scout Troops 10, 161, 175, 180 and 1171 will man the lot seven days a week until they sell out or Dec. 23.

They offer Concolor, Douglas and Frazier firs, along with Scotch pines. Prices range from $35 to $90, depending upon height.

Proceeds support Boy Scout summer camp and other outdoor activities.

Local scouts started selling Christmas trees in the 1960s.


Thanksgiving meals that Community Touch Inc. distributed to needy Fauquier residents in the past week, according to Dr. T. Tyronne Champion.

The meals fed about 300 people, said Dr. Champion, the nonprofit’s co-founder and executive director.

Most of the recipients picked up the boxed meals on Saturday at the Bealeton organization’s food pantry at 10499 Jericho Road.

Each meal included a turkey, corn bread, yams, canned green beans, corn and fruit, stuffing, cranberry sauce, macaroni-and-cheese mix and pumpkin pie mix.

The Gainesville Wegmans donated the turkeys. Proceeds from a recent fundraiser called “Gospel Food Fest” hosted by six local churches paid for the other meal items.

“We’re grateful to feed the hungry and give them a joyful Thanksgiving,” Dr. Champion said of the group effort.

Established in 2001, Community Touch provides transitional housing, food, clothing and furniture for the county’s poor.


Fauquier County’s bear “harvest” in 2018-19, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Statewide, hunters killed and checked in 2,715 — the second highest total ever.

The top five counties for bears checked last winter:

• Rockingham, 177

• Augusta 121

• Rockbridge, 106

• Madison, 102

• Bath, 98

Virginia has an estimate 17,000 black bears, at the state regulates the hunting season to keep the population in check and health.

This hunting season will continue through Jan. 4.


The cost to conduct Fauquier’s Nov. 5 general election, according to General Registrar Alex Ables.

Of that amount, salaries of approximately 200 poll workers totaled $22,576, Mr. Ables said. The workers staff the county’s 20 polling places and the central absentee precinct in Warrenton.

Logging often 16-hour days, precinct chiefs, assistant chiefs and regular workers earn $200, $150 and $125, respectively.

His office ordered 36,900 paper ballots, which cost $8,931, Mr. Ables said. Fauquier County taxpayers cover election costs.

Of 51,002 voters, 23,477 participated in person or by absentee ballot in the Nov. 5 election. That means 46.03 percent of Fauquier’s voters cast ballots.


Total sales of Tito’s Handmade Vodka at Fauquier’s three state liquor stores in fiscal 2019.

The second- and third-best sellers at ABC stores in Bealeton, Marshall and Warrenton last year:

• Jack Daniel’s 7 Black at $306,351.

• Jim Beam at $293,019.

Statewide liquor sales topped $1 billion for the first time in fiscal 2019, which ended June 30.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, which owns and operates about 380 liquor states and which regulates all alcohol sales in the commonwealth, will transfer $499.5 million in revenue from fiscal 2019 to the state general fund.

Details about sales for each store will be available when the agency publishes its annual report next year.

“Stuff the Ambulance” postponed until Dec. 7

Posted Friday,
November 29, 2019
0 ·

Throwback Thursday: 1st black school board member

Posted Thursday,
November 28, 2019
0 ·
November 1994 — New Center District school board member John Williams chats with his grandson, seventh-grader Tyree Williams, during a visit to Warrenton Middle School.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of December 2, 1994

First black school board member tackles duties with vigor

None of his three children attended the all-black high school in Warrenton

But, for five years, John Williams served as president of Taylor High School’s parent-teacher organization. From 1959 to ’63, he went to a lot of school board meetings with one request: to fix a drinking fountain that ran hot water.

But the all-white, all-male school board “never did anything about it,” laments Williams, who in June became the first African-American member of Fauquier’s school board.

“I had to keep bringing that problem before the school board,” Williams says of the old water fountain. “Maybe that’s why I ran.”

The board of supervisors selected Williams among three candidates to fill the Center District seat. (Gary Watson decided not to seek reappointment so he could devote more time to his printing business.)

Instead of playing it safe and spending his first few months watching and waiting, Williams dove right into his new job, visiting schools and returning phone calls like a veteran.

“He seems to be very interested and enthusiastic about being places and doing things,” fellow board member Mary Charles Ashby (Scott District) says. “It helps a lot to get to know people in the system. I think it’s more important to be there (in the schools) . . . than to attend nine million meetings a week.”

Supervisors plan to hold the line on taxes in 1995-96

Board members call it a demand for fiscal responsibility.

Skeptics call it election-year politics.

Whatever the case, the Fauquier supervisors appear dead set against increasing real estate and personal property taxes next year.

As they prepare for another winter and spring of budget deliberations, board members hope to limit spending in fiscal 1996, which will start July 1, to avoid another tax increase.

Fauquier levies a real estate tax of $1.03 per $100 assessed value and a personal property tax (primarily on vehicles) of $4.90 per $100 assessed value.

The real estate tax rate has risen from 83 cents in 1990. Personal property taxes have risen 22 percent since 1991, when the levy stood at $4.

Dennis to resign as PEC president

The president of the Warrenton-based Piedmont Environmental Council plans to pack it in after 14 years on the job.

Robert T. Dennis this week said he expects to leave the post “sometime between now and April 1996.”

“There’s no schedule, there’s not date,” the 58-year-old Rappahannock County resident said. “It’s up to the board of directors.”

Dennis believes PEC “will be going through some changes and it’s probably a good time to be thinking about a change at the top.”

The board will set up a search committee in January, he said.

New hobby shop opens

The new Warrenton shop sells a pair of giant magnolia trees for just $2.80.

Or, investors can buy Madeline’s Deli — lock, stock, barrel and building for a mere $5.55.

It’s a small world at TSG Hobbies in Warrenton Center, where owner Tony Tripi offers hundreds of model railroad items, including trees and the deli in HO (1/87th) scale.

Tripi also caters to stamp collectors, model builders, game players and students tackling science projects.

The new retailer, who took early retirement last spring after 25 years as an electrical engineer with IBM, spent months pondering, researching and writing his business plan before taking the plunge.

Liberty’s first athletic trainer

She’s young, pretty and in great shape from daily workouts. In any other profession, her good looks probably would work to her advantage.

But, when Liberty athletic trainer Lisa Lindblad wants adolescent boys or burly football coaches to take her advice, she has to act twice as tough.

“It’s sad when you have to prove yourself. It’s hard to be a new trainer, but also being young and a woman . . . . But, you just have to do it. I’ve had to show the students, the parents, the coaches that I can handle,” the 26-year-old says in a serious tone.

During the Eagles’ first football season, Lindblad made it clear that she would be no pushover.

“It didn’t take them very long to figure out they were dealing with her as a trainer and that’s it,” LHS Activities Director Jerry Carter says.

Local legislator encourages 2nd Amendment sanctuary

Posted Wednesday,
November 27, 2019
18 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
November 27, 2019
0 ·

The holidays often intensify mental health challenges

Posted Wednesday,
November 27, 2019
0 ·

Catlett man allegedly murdered 2 in Woodbridge

Posted Tuesday,
November 26, 2019
3 ·
Authorities arrested Abner Molina-Rodriguez, 22, without incident in Fauquier.
A Catlett man faces two murder charges for allegedly shooting and killing two men in Prince William County this summer.

Fauquier sheriff’s deputies and Prince William police last Friday arrested Abner Jose Molina-Rodriguez, 22, of 11411 Eskridges Lane.

The morning of June 22, a Woodbridge resident discovered the bodies of Milton Beltran Lopez, 40, and Jario Geremeas Mayorga, 39, in the woods behind two businesses near Featherstone and Blackburg roads, according to Prince William police.

Both men, who lived in Woodbridge, died of gunshot wounds, the state medical examiner’s office determined.

“The two men were identified as local residents known to frequent area businesses near the location where their bodies were discovered,” Prince William police said in a press release. “Both men were last seen alive the evening prior on June 21.”

The county police offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest.

The FBI joined the investigation and the reward rose to $20,000 as the murders remained unsolved for months.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Homicide Unit identified a suspect sought in connection to the double murder,” Prince William police said. “The investigation revealed that the accused (Mr. Molina-Rodriguez) met up with one of the victims, Milton Beltran Lopez, in a wooded area behind a nearby business. At the time, Lopez was in the company of the second victim, Jairo Geremeas Mayorga. During the encounter, an altercation occurred and both victims were fatally shot.”

Authorities arrested Mr. Molina-Rodriguez without incident on Nov. 22. He remains in jail without bond.

“Five over 5” award nominations due by Dec. 15

Posted Tuesday,
November 26, 2019
1 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
November 26, 2019
0 ·

New state police office slated for July completion

Posted Tuesday,
November 26, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Project Manager Brett Koester says: “For the most part, the weather’s been good. And, we’ve made good progress.”
The new state police office just south of Warrenton will resemble this one built recently in South Hill.
The new Virginia State Police office will stand on an acre along Bingham Road, next to Lord Fairfax Community College south of Warrenton.
You’ll see the building erected in the next three to four weeks.
— Project Manager Brett Koester
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

After a two-year funding delay, construction workers recently broke ground on the new Virginia State Police headquarters next to Lord Fairfax Community College campus just south of Warrenton.

Weather permitting, the one-story, 3,200-square-foot structure should be completed in July, according to Flint, Mich.-based general contractor Sorensen Gross Co.

“There’s been a couple of rain days,” Sorensen Gross Project Manager Brett Koester said Monday. “For the most part, the weather’s been good. And, we’ve made good progress.”

Site work for the $1.3 million project began Nov. 7.

With the structure’s footers and partial block wall in place, “we’re making a push to get the ground works installed, which is all the utilities that need to come in under the (concrete) slab,” Mr. Koester said.

The project manager added: “That’s a milestone. Then, the building can be erected . . . . You’ll see the building erected in the next three to four weeks.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s project review system contributed to the project’s delay, State Police Sgt. Brent Coffey said.

“The process to set the funding took a long time,” Sgt. Coffey explained.

Donated by the college to the state police, the new headquarters’ approximately one-acre building site lies in the southwestern portion of the 50-acre LFCC campus.

For 24 years, troopers and support staff have occupied the 2,100-square-foot, one-story brick building at 455 E. Shirley Ave.

That building previously housed the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Warrenton Residency office. VDOT occupies an adjacent, 11,220-square-foot building at East Shirley Avenue and Falmouth Street.

With brick and composite siding, the new office will house 17 sworn officers and a civilian employee who serve Fauquier and Rappahannock counties.

It will resemble the state police headquarters at South Hill, about 60 miles southwest of Petersburg.

Accessed by Bingham Road, which serves the county landfill, the site will include 18 parking spaces.

Besides more and modern space, the “Area 12” building will feature upgraded phone and internet service and put uniform and investigative personnel assigned to the region under one roof.

After the state police vacates its East Shirley Avenue quarters, VDOT will regain ownership of the property, Communications Coordinator Will Merritt said in an email.

“In 1995, VDOT issued a Temporary Transfer Agreement to (the Virginia State Police) to allow the state agency to occupy and assume maintenance costs of the building,” Mr. Merritt wrote. “The agreement will be terminated when VSP vacates the building and it will become VDOT property again. Future use of the building is to be determined.” 

For tax purposes, Fauquier has valued the East Shirley Avenue building and 0.62-acre site, which includes a parking lot and a small shed, at $343,000.

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

The Plains home, 58 acres sell for $3.33 million

Posted Monday,
November 25, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Thomas & Talbot Real Estate
Old Denton, on 58 acres near The Plains, sold last week for $3.33 million.
Inglewood, a 305-acre property with rebuilt log cabin near Delaplane, sold for $1.8 million.
A 19th century home on 58 acres near The Plains sold last week for $3.33 million.

Built circa 1860, Old Denton features 12-foot ceilings, intricate woodwork, pine floors, a chef’s kitchen, six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

The property on Young Road also has a 150-by-250-foot riding arena, a u-shaped stable, a tenant house, a guest house, a two-car garage, a machine shop with office, run-in sheds and a pond.

John Coles of Thomas & Talbot Real Estate in Middleburg represented both the buyer and the seller, according to Listed for sale Nov. 2, the property had an asking price of $3.5 million.

In Scott District, Old Denton last sole in 2006 for $3.1 million, according to county real estate records.

Also last week, a log house on 305 acres near Delaplane sold for $1.8 million.

Inglewood features at circa 1850s log and frame house moved to and rebuilt on the property. It has three bedrooms, two baths and a stone fireplace.

The property, part of it in conservation easement, has a large pond and several streams.

In Marshall District, Inglewood went on the market in June 2018 with an asking price of $2.6 million, according to

Paul MacMahon with of Sheridan-MacMahon Ltd. in Middleburg represented the seller. Christie Weiss of TTR Sotheby's International Realty represented the buyer.

Two additional Fauquier properties sold for more than $1 million last week:

• The former hardware building, which houses Robin’s Nest Antiques and Marshall Mercantile on Marshall’s Main Street.

• A modern, four-bedroom home on five acres off Hopewell Road near The Plains.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Nov. 14-20, 2019:

Cedar Run District

Antoinette B. Buchanan to Kellie M. and Jeffrey W. Stover, 5.56 aces, Lot 1-A, Benner Division, 7744 Frytown Road, near Warrenton, $637,500.

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC to Aran Capital Partners LLC, 2 acres, Lot 3, Cox Division, 8069 Greenwich Road, near Catlett, $292,600.

Robert M. Heflin to Erika and Ramon Perez Jr., 4.18 aces and one-half interest, 0.34 acre, 4000 Log Cabin Road, near Catlett, $558,500.

Center District

Fauquier Habitat for Humanity Inc. to Gwendolyn R. Miller, 0.1 acre, Lot 9, Sterling Court Subdivision, 124 Flikeid Lane, Warrenton, $220,000.

Catherine I. Rawley to John Asaro Jr., Lot 7, Moser Subdivision, 80 Frazier Road, Warrenton, $245,000.

George P. and Lori A. Sardineer to Kevin S. and Rebekah L. Singleton, Lot 2, King’s Gate Subdivision, Warrenton, 167 Royal Court, Warrenton, $389,000.

Chantal A. Kastorff and Paula Elisabeth, trustee, to Christopher J. Abraham, Lot 64, Section 1, Phase 1C, Menlough Subdivision, 101 English Chase Lane, Warrenton, $440,000.

Ronnie W. and Glenda L. Smith to Gabriel C. Roman and Sandra I.R. Ruiz, Unit 48, Hillside Townes Subdivision, 104 Aviary St., Warrenton, $269,900.

WVFC Land Co. LLC to Foxville LLC, 0.35 ace, Lot 16-A, Moffett Subdivision, 159 Moffett Ave., Warrenton, $369,000.

William T. Miller to Sherrie J. W. Miller, Lot 19, Bock B, Broadview Acres Subdivision, 274 Norfolk Drive, Warrenton, $374,400.

Lee District

Christopher L. Leatherman to Shirley M. and Santiago D. Gonzales, Lot 67, Phase 2-B, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 11102 North Windsor Court, Bealeton, $380,000.

Amy L. Scolforo to Sophia D. Turonis, Lot 64, Section B, Edgewood East Subdivision, 6859 Maplewood Drive, Bealeton, $266,000.

Rhonda L. Rosenberger to Wendy Coleman, trustee, 3.68 acres, 10351 Fayettesville Road, near Opal, $316,900.

Harry E. and Jane A. Schaidt to Mauricio R. Palencia, Lot 70, Section C, Fox Meade Subdivision, 11155 Crest Lane, Bealeton, $285,000.

Marshall District

William J. and Sharon J. Clinton to Michael D. and Andrea T. Young, 203.69 aces, 10562 Josiah Adams Place, near Delaplane, $1,250,000.

William John Clinton IR to Michael D. and Andrea T. Young, 102.17 acres, 105662 Josiah Adams Place, near Delaplane, $550,000.

DTR Properties LLC, Robin Converse as managing member, SNR Properties LLC, 11,662, square feet, 8371 Main St., Marshall, $1,089,500.

RY-BR Inc. to Thanh Cao-Dac, 5.26 acres, Lot 12, Appalachian Estates Subdivision, $40,000.

Corey and Heather Pitts to William L. Reggig Jr., 10 aces, Lot 7, North Red Oak Subdivision, 36738 North Red Oak Lane, near Delaplane, $400,000.

Henry L. Fletcher Trust to Joseph B. and Katherine D. Saffer, 16.39 aces, Rt. 802, near Fauquier Springs, partly in Culpeper County, $968,408.

Scott District

E. Rigg Wagner, Susan E. Wagner and Justine Pursell to Randy A. and Brooke S. Flores, 1.25 acres, 7255 Baldwin Ridge Road, near Warrenton, $350,000.

Independence Realty LLC, Stanley P. Dull as member, to Bethany Andersen, 1.65 aces, 6604 Gray’s Mill Road, near New Baltimore, $543,500.

Lakeside Homes LLC, Devin T. Finan as managing member, to Richard and Laura Stockwell, 0.23 acre, Lot 28-A, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, 4841 Point Road, near Warrenton, $649,000.

Fauquier Lakes LP to Lakeside Homes LLC, 0.22 acre, Lot 10-A, Phase 11-B, Brookside Subdivision, near Warrenton, $187,500.

Thomas Larsen to Sherry U. Steffey, Lot 6, Misty Run Estates Subdivision, 5852 Newbury St., near Warrenton, $570,000.

Old Denton LLC to Henry G. Stutzman, trustee, 58.22 acres, Lot B, Young Division, 7064Young Road, near The Plains, $3,337,000.

Daniel J. and Lauren M. Mayer to Scott McGleish, 5 acres, 5153 Hopewell Road, near The Plains, $1,050,000.

Anita M. and Mark R. Parris to Leslie Wallington, 5.6 aces, Lot 5, Springdale Subdivision, 7289 Greenbrier Road, near Warrenton, $377,000.

Bobby R. Kerns to Kyle and Marie Kratzer, 0.7 acre, Lot 4, Warren Woods Subdivision, 5168 South Hill Drive, near Warrenton, $379,900.

Catherine F. Adams to JBA White Hall LLC, one-half interest, 4.12 aces, Old Tavern Road, near The Plains, $110,000.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
November 25, 2019
0 ·

Town closes $2.2-million purchase of former bank

Posted Monday,
November 25, 2019
0 ·
File Photos/Lawrence Emerson
By next Christmas, Warrenton could move Town Hall to the former bank building at 21 Main St.
The municipal staff has outgrown the former bank building that has served as Warrenton’s Town Hall since the 1970s.
Warrenton’s new Town Hall could open on Main Street by this time next year.

The town on Thursday, Nov. 21, completed its $2.2-million purchase of the former BB&T bank at 21 Main St.

The North Carolina-based bank ceased operations there July 27 last and put the 30,000-square-foot building on the market for $3.5 million.

Private investors and Fauquier’s board of supervisors considered buying the building and its parking lot, which sit on 1.25 acres along Main, First and Horner streets.

The county late last year offered $2.5 million, and BB&T countered, lowering its price to $3.3 million. But the supervisors walked away.

Warrenton officials in the spring opened negotiations with a $2-million offer.

After continued negotiations, the bank in July accepted a $2.3-million offer from the bank. But, BB&T this fall lowered the purchase price another $100,000 after the town’s research found asbestos and subpar computer networking in the building.

Warrenton officials will finalize blueprints and hire contracts for renovations early next year, Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer said.

The town council on Nov. 12 agreed to borrow up to $4.1 million from BB&T to finance the building’s purchase and renovations. The town will pay annual interest of 2.74 percent on the loan, which has a 20-year term.

Capital One, The Fauquier Bank, First Internet Bank and Sterling Bank also submitted proposals, with interest rates ranging from 2.72 to 3.25 percent.

> Document at bottom of story

Because of flexibility, the town’s consultants from Richmond-based Davenport & Co. recommended the BB&T proposal. Warrenton could pay off the BB&T loan without penalty after 10 years.

But, Councilmen Sean Polster (At-large) and Jerry Wood (Ward 1) objected to the “optics” of borrowing the money from BB&T, which agreed to lower the purchase price.

Mr. Polster and Mr. Wood dissented in the 4-2 vote to accept the BB&T financing proposals.

Kevin Carter (Ward 5), who serves on The Fauquier Bank board of directors, abstained.

When renovated, the 21 Main St. building will allow Warrenton to consolidate town government in one place. The town rents space for some employees.

The building last summer ceased to house a financial institution after 108 years

The Peoples National Bank of Warrenton opened on Main Street in 1910. The bank replaced that structure in 1929 and expanded it 26 years later. A 1987 addition roughly doubled the building’s size.

In 1994, Peoples merged with Winchester-based F&M Bank. Eight years later BB&T acquired F&M.

BB&T in 2004 built a large, modern office at 236 W. Lee Highway in Warrenton.

It remains uncertain what will happen to the old Town Hall at 18 Court St.

In the early 1990s, Warrenton planned to build a new Town Hall and to donate the old building for a community arts center.

But, those plans changed and the town continued to operate there.

Businessman Edward L. Stevenson in 1973 donated the former Fauquier National Bank headquarters to Warrenton for its municipal offices. But, the 1925 building’s 9,250 square feet of usable office space and inefficient design have failed to keep up with the town’s needs, according to Warrenton officials.

Town Hall Financing RFP Res... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

First responders rescue two from townhouse fire

Posted Monday,
November 25, 2019
2 ·
Photo/Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.
Firefighters from Warrenton, New Baltimore, Orlean, Marshall and Fauquier Fire/Rescue responded at the 11:58 p.m. Sunday to the blaze in the 400 block of Ridge Court.
Fauquier firefighter/medics early Monday morning rescued two people trapped on the second floor of a townhouse on fire in Warrenton.

The Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co., along with units from New Baltimore, Orlean, Marshall and Fauquier fire/rescue responded to the dispatch at 11:58 p.m. Sunday for the in the 400 block of Ridge Court.

As firefighters set up and searched the home in Bear Wallow Knolls, Fauquier career first-responders helped two people escape through second-story windows and down ladders at the back of the townhouse, according to Warrenton Fire Chief Jason Koglin.

“The fire was quickly extinguished and the interior searches proved negative on all floors,” Chief Koglin said. “The occupants were evaluated by EMS and denied transport and further evaluation at the hospital.

“The home had working smoke detectors which alerted the occupants. There were no injuries to civilians or fire service personnel.”

5 Friday Fauquier Factoids: Yule parade participants

Posted Friday,
November 22, 2019
2 ·
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
The Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co.’s antique truck in last year’s Christmas parade.

Entries will participate in the annual Warrenton Christmas Parade on Friday Night, Dec. 6.

All three county high school bands — Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty — will march down Main Street, along with entries from local businesses, churches, organizations and schools. While the Warrenton parade will accept no more entries this year, those in two other Fauquier communities still have opportunities:

Marshall Christmas Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

Bealeton Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

$1 million

Cost to replace lights for seven ballfields at Cedar Lee, Coleman and Warrenton middle schools and Vint Hill. Involving 40 poles, work will begin in the spring.
Oskaloosa, Iowa-based MUSCO Lighting put the new lighting and installation costs at $829,500.
LED “dark-sky compliant lights” will “greatly reduce the glow” produced, according to the Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department.
It will cost $226,215 to remove and dispose of the old lights, according to Manassas-based Electric by J&J LLC.


Red beans-and-rice meals that Feed Fauquier volunteers packed for the needy at the Warrenton Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Organized by Cornerstone Baptist Church, the annual event supplies mostly local food banks with meals for the coming year. Partners include Community Touch, Fauquier Community Food Bank, the Weekend Power Pack program and Fauquier Community Food Distribtuiton.
Of the meals packed, 50,264 will go to Fauquier residents and 10,000 to The Bahamas, according to the church.
Over the past six years, about 2,000 volunteers have packed a total 320,000 meals, Pastor Mike Poff said in an email. The Oct. 12 event drew 367 volunteers, Pastor Poff said.
Since its inception, the annual event has raised $75,500 to purchase food for the meals.


The number of electric vehicle charging stations available to the public in Fauquier.

Warrenton on Thursday added the newest, a two-outlet Tesla station in the public parking lot at 85 Horner St., across from the Piedmont Environmental Council office.

Tesla paid for the new charging station, connected to the same circuit that powers town streetlights in the area. Electronic vehicle owners may use it without charge. Those who own other EV brands will need adapters, however.

Other EV charger locations in Fauquier include Airlie, Field & Main in Marshall, Poplar Springs at Casanova, Mapco in Opal, Powers Farm & Brewery near Casanova, Pearmund Cellars near Broad Run and The Local Taste in Upperville.

Fauquier residents own 84 Teslas registered in the county — up from 43 a year ago, according to Commissioner of Revenue Ross D’Urso. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles does not, however, make it possible to identify electric vehicles from other brands, Mr. D’Urso said.


Job candidates met with Fauquier County Public Schools human resources representatives at 12 recruiting events between Sept. 6 and Nov. 4.

The school system recruits year-round for educators, bus drivers, food service employees and other staffers.

This fall’s recruiting has included job fairs at Radford University, Longwood University, Virginia State University, Slippery Rock University, the University of Delaware and Pennsylvania State University.

New Warrenton Baptist pastor “God’s UPS man”

Posted Friday,
November 22, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
“I get paid to plagiarize. That Bible’s good stuff,” says W. Michael Bradley, Warrenton Baptist Church’s new senior pastor.
W. Michael Bradley
• Age: 60

• Work: Senior pastor, Warrenton Baptist Church, starting Nov. 18

• Experience: Senior pastor, Parkwood Baptist, Annandale, 2007-19; associate pastor, First Baptist, Woodbridge, 2001-07; senior pastor, Sunset Hills Baptist, Alexandria, 1991-2001; minister of evangelism and youth, First Baptist, Alexandria, 1986-91; minister of youth, Mt. Washington (Ky.) United Methodist, 1983-86; minister of education and youth, Calvary Hill Baptist, Fairfax, 1982-83; minister of youth, National Gardens Baptist, Falls Church, 1978-82.

• Education: Master’s degree and doctoral work, divinity, Southern Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.; bachelor’s, psychology, George Mason University; Annandale High School, 1977.

• Family: Wife of 37 years, Lois; four children; two grandchildren.

• Hobbies: Biking, kayaking, other outdoor activities and playing guitar.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Warrenton Baptist Church’s new senior pastor calls himself “weird” and admits that religion can seem boring to some people.

But, W. Michael “Mike” Bradley settled on his life’s work 43 years ago at a revival in rural Indiana. At 60 and starting at his seventh church, Rev. Bradley has no plan to slow down, however. He relishes the job.

“I’m not an office guy,” he says. “I’m more hands-on . . . . I like one-on-one contact.”

Coming from Parkwood Baptist in Annandale, Rev. Bradley already has spent a lot of time in Warrenton, walking the streets, meeting Mayor Carter Nevill and the staff at Deja Brew, which he frequents.

The trim, former marathon runner seems to move even as he sits in his new office, its bookshelves still empty last week.

“My job is not to bring people to Warrenton Baptist Church,” he says during a 90-minute conversation. “I told you, I’m weird. That’s a decision between you and God (in terms of selecting a place of worship). I don’t care were you go (to church), as long as you go.

“Warrenton Baptist is gonna grow . . . . Jesus is a people magnet. My job as a pastor is not to bring people to church, but to lift up Christ.

“I can’t wait. I’m on the edge of my seat.”

Although not looking for a move from Parkwood, where he had served since April 2007, Rev. Bradley says his excitement grew when he first came out to have dinner with some Warrenton Baptist leaders in August.

The 170-year-old Main Street church continued to search for a successor to Jay Lawson, the beloved pastor who retired in February after 19 years here.

Rev. Bradley liked what he learned the about the 800-member, “mission-minded” church that for decades has worked in rural Haiti as well as its local community. The Warrenton Baptist Tiny Tots preschool underscored its commitment to children. The plan for a community center added to WBC’s appeal.

“I started talking to them and I got really excited.”

By the time he and his wife Lois came back for a second interview, the discussions had grown quite serious.

The church invited him to preach in late October — essentially the final audition. Rev. Bradley got a standing ovation and an overwhelming secret-ballot vote from the congregation, offering him the position.

He conducted his last services Sunday, Nov. 17, at Parkwood and started the next day at Warrenton Baptist, where he will lead his first services as the new pastor this Sunday, Nov. 24.

Rev. Bradley says his sermons typically run 30 minutes.

Weaving the Gospel and modern life together, he stresses the “Four P’s” — presence, preparation, prayer and purpose.

“I’m a simple guy. I like alliteration.”

He variously describes himself as “God’s UPS man . . . like a physician’s assistant . . . . I get paid to plagiarize. That Bible’s good stuff.”

At its essence, he describes the message as “love God; love other people.”

Growing up in Elkhart, Ind., where farming and RV manufacturing dominate, Rev. Bradley knew at an early age that he wanted to go to college and to help people, probably as a counselor. “A good kid,” he grew up in a “strongly-Christian” family.

But at a revival, the 17-year-old suddenly saw his path.

“Something was pulling me,” he says. “There were probably 300 people there . . . . The preacher suddenly said, ‘Someone here tonight is feeling the call to become a full-time minister.’ I knew 100 percent that he was talking to me.

“I’ve never, ever looked back.”

He moved to Northern Virginia, graduated from Annandale High School in 1977 and then from George Mason University before earning a master’s degree in divinity at Southern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. But, right after high school, he started as a youth minister in Falls Church.

He has pastored primarily in large, urban/suburban churches. That makes Warrenton an exciting, challenging change, he says.

Rev. Bradley ranks involving young people in all aspects of the church among his priorities.

“God wants for everyone an abundant life,” he says, describing his role as helping “people realize they are part of God’s purpose.

“I’m a personal pastor. What can I do for you? It’s about relationships.”

He adds: “God’s getting ready to let loose in Warrenton . . . . I’m just happy to be a part of what’s already happening.”

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

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
November 22, 2019
0 ·

“Second Amendment sanctuary” status mulled

Posted Thursday,
November 21, 2019
91 ·
Seven Virginia county boards this month have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions, which have no legally binding effect.
I’m all for lawful gun ownership. I have a concealed carry permit. But, part of me is, we’re the board of supervisors. We don’t enforce laws.
— Supervisor Rick Gerhardt
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Lee District supervisor has “mixed emotions” over whether Fauquier should join a growing number of Virginia counties that have designated themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”

While the designation carries no legal authority, proponents say it sends a message that local government would do nothing that might erode the constitutional right to bear arms.

Fresh off Nov. 5 elections that will give them majorities in the Virginia House and Senate, Democrats already have filed or discussed legislation that would:

• Make it easier to confiscate guns from those considered threats to themselves or others — so-called “red flag laws.”

• Expand background checks of purchasers in all firearms transfers, including private party sales and those at gun shows.

• Ban high-capacity ammunition magazines. Some also want to ban the sale of “assault weapons” and “bump stocks” that increase the rate at which a weapon will fire.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) supports tougher gun laws, which the 2020 General Assembly will consider when it convenes Wednesday, Jan. 8.

So far, Appomattox, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte and Pittsylvania counties have adopted Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions, according to The Roanoke Times. Supervisors in Amherst and Franklin counties will consider following suit.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about it, because the sheriff and the commonwealth’s attorney are the constitutional officers that enforce the law, not the board of supervisors,” Lee District Supervisor Chris Butler said.

Sheriff Bob Mosier declined to comment Thursday afternoon on whether the supervisors should designate Fauquier a Second Amendment sanctuary.

"That’s going to be up to the board of supervisors,” Sheriff Mosier said. “I support the Second Amendment of the Constitution. I have a constitutional oath as sheriff.”

While he remains uncertain whether a resolution would be “worth the paper it’s written on,” Mr. Butler believes the board “needs to send a message to Richmond that we don’t support any laws that infringe on Second Amendment rights.”

The board on Nov. 14 added that position to its priorities for the General Assembly: “Fauquier County strongly opposes any legislative attempts to undermine or limit legal and Constitutional gun ownership in the County and Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The supervisors will meet Thursday, Dec. 12, when they might consider a “draft” resolution to affirm the board’s “intent to uphold the constitutional rights afforded our citizens . . . and declares its intent to oppose all those who attempt to infringe on those rights.”

But, the one-page resolution makes no reference to Fauquier as a Second Amendment sanctuary.

As of Wednesday, Mr. Butler had received five emails on the matter — four from residents who believe the board should designate Fauquier as such a sanctuary and one who opposes it.

“We haven’t discussed as a board” what action, if any, it should take on the issue, said the supervisors' chairman, a gun owner and “strong” Second Amendment backer. “And that’s something we probably need to do, especially if we continue to hear from constituents, between now and December 12.”

He has gotten emails that included resolutions from other counties, Mr. Butler said.

“I’m sending them to (Deputy County Attorney Tracy A. Gallehr) and letting her slice and dice them and then circle back to us,” he said.

In the end, any formal statement by the board could be a resolution indicating that “we don’t support any infringement upon lawful gun ownership,” Mr. Butler added.

Supervisors Mary Leigh McDaniel (Marshall) and Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run) said they want to learn more about the sanctuary concept before commenting.

But, Mr. Gerhardt questioned the practical effects of sanctuary status.

“I’m all for lawful gun ownership,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “I have a concealed carry permit. But, part of me is, we’re the board of supervisors. We don’t enforce laws. Really, this is more focused on the sheriff, who’s going to be tasked with enforcing” new gun laws.

Despite uncertainty about the sanctuary concept, the Cedar Run supervisor wants it understood that he respects the Second Amendment and backs “lawful gun ownership.”

While Ms. McDaniel has “no positon at this point” on whether the board should designate Fauquier a Second Amendment sanctuary, she believes it would provide no benefit to the county.

As of Thursday, she had received a phone call and an email supporting Fauquier’s designation as a Second Amendment sanctuary, Ms. McDaniel said.

“I thanked them for taking the time to comment and said we’re just listening to what people are saying at this point,” the supervisor said she told the caller. “He said, ‘Thank you’.”

Mr. Butler, a hunter who also has a permit to carry a concealed gun, understands why some worry about potentially stricter gun laws.

“Fauquier’s a big hunting community,” the supervisor said. “We’ve got a nice sporting clay range in Remington where folks enjoy being able to shoot firearms. We’ve got a nice shooting range at (the Chester F. Phelps Wildlife Management Area) in Sumerduck. So firearms are kind of a way of life here.”

While “folks are concerned” about preserving gun rights, Mr. Butler stressed that the General Assembly has taken no action to change any laws.

“You’ve got some proposed bills that folks are coming out with,” he said. “I just think it’s a little quick to get on any bandwagon until we know where the wagon’s going.”

Supervisors Chris Granger (Center District) and Holder Trumbo (Scott) couldn’t be reached for comment.

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

> After Democratic victories, rural Virginia counties rush to declare themselves gun sanctuaries

Second Amendment Draft Reso... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Throwback Thursday: Chamber honors Tiffany

Posted Thursday,
November 21, 2019
0 ·
1994: Fauquier Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year C. Hunton Tiffany.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of November 25, 1994

Chamber names Tiffany “Business Person of the Year”

The conservative, small town banker loves to surprise people.

After a holiday dinner with friends, he hides behind a Christmas tree and launches into a robust version of O Tannenbaum that soon has a group of strangers singing together in the hotel lobby.

For Halloween, he puts away the pinstripes and comes to work as a Wild West gunslinger.

After spending the week plotting The Fauquier Bank’s future, Currell Hunton Tiffany shows up on an occasional Saturday to work as a teller. It allows him to stay in touch with the bank’s customers, says Tiffany, TFB’s president since 1982.

But, the 55-year-old Tiffany also has been extremely predictable — if something important happens in Fauquier County, he often has a hand in it.

For his contributions and professional achievements, the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce last week named Tiffany its eighth “Business Person of the Year.”

Ledgerton named interim county treasurer

She already knows the ins and outs of the county treasurer’s office, from boiling down complicated tax codes to dealing with irate customers.

So, Elizabeth Ledgerton expects a smooth transition when she takes over as Fauquier’s treasurer Dec. 19.

A three-judge panel of the 20th Judicial Circuit last week appointed the 45-year-old Marshall resident to replace Bitsy Lineweaver, who expects to step down next month with a year remaining on her four-year term.

Ms. Lineweaver has accepted a job with Multi-One Financial Services, a Chesapeake-based corporation that assists individuals in paying health care bills.

Ms. Ledgerton has served as deputy treasurer since July 1992.

Street sign installation to begin

The Commonwealth Transportation Board has awarded a contract to install 2,278 street signs in Fauquier County.

Koman Signs of Richmond won the $297,000 job that will begin early next year.

The signs are a critical part of the county’s conversion to a 911 emergency dispatching system.

Opponents dominate Remington annexation hearing

About 75 people — most of them opponents — attended last week’s public hearing on the Remington Town Council’s plan to annex 570 acres.

The proposed boundary adjustment would incorporate the residential communities of Perrowville, Wankoma Village and the planned 108-home Lee’s Glen subdivision north of town.

The expansion would increase the town’s population from 507 to 868 and add more than $60,000 in annual revenue to Remington coffers.

Though the town council unanimously endorsed it, the plan stands little chance with the county board of supervisors after 34 of 36 speakers at last Thursday’s hearing opposed it.

Ruritans honor Carl Bailey

The Catlett-Calverton-Casanova Ruritan Club Environmental Committee presented the Walter B. Nourse Trophy to Carl Bailey of Midland at the Nov. 10 meeting.

The Ruritans honored Bailey for his community work. He, along with Ernest Lee Childs and others, was instrumental in forming the CCC Little League, which supports eight baseball and two softball teams.

Bailey, president of the league and a member of the county parks board, helped build the first baseball field at H.M. Pearson Elementary School. He has coached for more than 30 years and has been quoted as saying the CCC league would not turn away any child who wants to play.

Falcons six yards short in regional

Spotsylvania upset Fauquier, 27-21, in the first round of the regional football playoffs last Friday.

With the game tied at 21 at the end of regulation, Spotsylvania got the ball first, with four downs to score from the Fauquier 10-yard-line. The Knights scored on their first play but missed the extra point.

After a penalty and three rushing attempts, the Falcons faced a fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line. Fauquier’s season ended when star running back B.J. Thornley took a pitch, rolled left and heaved a pass to fullback Lee Green. It fell short. The Falcons finished 9-2.

Soil and water conservation partners receive recognition

Posted Thursday,
November 21, 2019
0 ·
Contributed Photos
Edwin F. Gulick Conservation Educator Award winner O.B. Messick & Sons of Midland has hosted more than 5,000 local students at Conservation Field Days since 1995.
Cattle on Smitten Farms near The Plains, where conservation efforts include nutrient management, cover crops, long-term vegetative cover on cropland, continuous no-till, precision ag, prescribed grazing and forested buffers.
The John Marshall Soil & Water Conservation District recently honored Fauquier landowners and organizations for their contributions to stop soil erosion and improve water quality.

Founded in 1966, the agency has worked with farmers to protect hundreds of miles of Fauquier streams. Over the last three decades, it has paid more than $9 million in “cost share” reimbursements for fencing, alternative water systems, hardened stream crossings and other improvements. JMSWCD also conducts extensive educational programs with county schools, manages tree-planting campaigns, helps homeowners repair damaged septic systems, monitors water quality and provides other technical assistance.

The district staff presented held its annual awards during a Nov. 13 luncheon at the John Barton Payne Community Hall in Warrenton. The recipients:

• Edwin F. Gulick Conservation Educator Award to O.B. Messick & Sons.

The Messicks in 1995 began hosting Conservation Field Days on their Midland property for Fauquier County students. Since then, they have hosted a total of 29 field day events with students from three middle schools, two elementary schools, two private schools and various homeschool groups.

These conservation field days introduce students to agriculture and natural resource conservation. Students rotate to different stations, which may include Dairy Operations, Farm Management, Insects, Forestry, Water/Watersheds, Nutrient Management, Soils and Composting.

Over the past 24 years, the Messicks have welcomed 5,255 students, teachers and chaperones to their farm, providing education in agriculture, natural resources and conservation.

• Conservation Partner Award to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Rappahannock Work Area.

Area foresters serve as technical service providers to the full slate of forestry practices in the Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program, which JMSWCD administers, and NRCS Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program practices.

The Rappahannock area team is also a key partner for riparian buffer plantings that are installed after stream exclusion practices, including those conducted with community organizations and schools. In the past seven years, the area team has assisted the John Marshall district and more than 1,000 volunteers with planting 65.8 acres of riparian buffer.

Foresters also complete planting plans, store seedlings and other supplies, provide planting instruction and logistical support during community planting events. The forestry team assists with the district’s Conservation Field Days and on average, reach about 750 students just in their work with JMSWCD.

• Conservation Farm Award to Virginia Farms LLC.

Virginia Farms, just west of Delaplane, includes 1,200 acres with about 400 head of cattle. Over the last 10 years, the Chester family in partnership with their tenant farmer Virginia Beef Corp., has completed four separate grazing land protection practices which in total have protected over 25,600 linear feet (4.8 miles) of stream bank in the Goose Creek Watershed. These efforts have created more than 120 acres of riparian buffer.

The farm plans to complete another project in fiscal 2020 and another in fiscal 2021 on 485 acres of pasture. Once complete, the projects will protect an additional 20,000 feet (3.8 miles) of stream bank and create an additional 53 acres of riparian buffer. It will constitute one of the largest individual livestock stream exclusion efforts completed in the Fauquier County portion of the Goose Creek Watershed.

• Clean Water Farm Award to Ann Backer and Smitten Farm.

Smitten Farm, near The Plains, is comprised of two 800-acre farms, Smitten and Salem. Once a traditional row-crop farm, it has transitioned mainly to a permanent grass operation for hay and straw with very little acreage in row crops today.

The operation’s conservation ethic began when the late Bill Backer witnessed the area becoming more and more developed. Mr. Backer saw a need not only for open space, but contiguous open space. Conservation practices implemented on the farm include nutrient management, cover crops, long-term vegetative cover on cropland, continuous no-till, precision ag, prescribed grazing and forested buffers, of which there are more than 170 acres.

Animals are excluded from all but 10 percent of streams on the property. The remaining area is being addressed through conservation planning efforts. Horse manure is traded to local mushroom producers and used in the growing process. The mushroom compost returns the farm to be used in poor production areas.

• Special Recognition Letter to Sarah Costella and Alexandra Avery.

The district also recognized Sarah Castella and Alex Avery of the Farm Service Agency for their outstanding efforts with their consistently prompt, professional assistance in initiating the conservation planning process with accurate farm maps, as well as their ongoing promotion of programs and services that benefit the agricultural community. Their willingness to readily assist the district helps ensure schedules are met.

The information provided is critical to generating accurate watershed location information and avoiding the duplication of services.

2019 John Marshall SWCD Awa... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fire/Rescue Chief Stevens “a lifelong good scout”

Posted Thursday,
November 21, 2019
0 ·
Photos/Lawrence Emerson
County Administrator Paul McCulla praised Good Scout Award recipient Darren Stevens (above) for his humility and commitment to the community.
The award also honors the memory of Roland Tapscott, a community leader, county planning commissioner and one of the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marines during World War II.
It’s when you find yourself possibly looking at the end of your life you realize that how important the decisions are that you made in the beginning. I am thankful scouting gave me the solid footing to choose wisely.
— Darren Stevens
Fauquier’s fire/rescue chief lives “as a shining example of the three parts of the Boy Scout Oath,” County Administrator Paul McCulla said.

Chief Darren Stevens received the 2019 Roland Tapscott Good Scout Award at Fauquier Springs Country Club on Thursday morning.

Fulfilling his duty to God and country, to other people and to self, Chief Stevens routinely helps others, including Boys & Girls Club members “without any request or recognition,” Mr. McCulla said. “He does his thing and he’s gone.”

The county administrator called the chief, a 23-year veteran of Fauquier’s emergency services department, “the epitome of a lifelong good scout.”

The National Area Council Boy Scouts of America presented the annual Fauquier award named for the late Roland Tapscott, a community leader and one of the first African-American men to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.

A U.S. Army veteran and former Fauquier sheriff’s deputy, Chief Stevens delivered these remarks, which include reference to his successful battle against cancer this year:

I would like to take a moment to thank the Good Scout Committee for honoring me with this award. Thank you to everyone here that took the time from your busy schedule to share in this event and, of course, all of those that stood beside me and contributed in their own way along my journey.

Any success that I have is because I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible family, friends and coworkers. And for that, I am both thankful and humbled this morning.

The scouting way has been a part of my life since 1970 when I first entered Scout Pack 3265 in Albee, Michigan. I grew up in a very rural farming community and where all Cub Scouting was led by den mothers. Once a week, we could wear our uniform to school and we all rode the same bus to our den mom’s house where she would have a lesson, a small project for us to tackle and then she would force feed us sandwiches and sugary snacks before sending us home with our parents.

Soon I was a Webelo Scout and then finally a Boy Scout. I had risen to the rank of Life Scout and had my eye on the Eagle Scout prize when I was stricken by two common Boy Scout ailments: girls and cars.

While my youth scouting days had come to a close, the most important lessons stayed with me through adulthood. I was blessed to later become an adult scout as both my sons moved through the ranks. My fondest memories as both child and adult are sitting around the campfire and enjoying outdoor cooking. I strongly believe that there is no meal that cannot be improved upon by the application of open flame and cast iron.

While Robert Fulghum wrote about his experience in kindergarten, I think that everything I needed to know in life, I learned in Cub Scouts.

Those weekly meetings served as the foundation of my character development model that still serves me well today, and I would like to share a few of those key points with you this morning.

Always be kind. Encourage one another and build each other up. As you progress through the ranks, you learn that it’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.

Always share. It doesn’t matter if toys or knowledge. Be grateful for what you have and readily share it with others.

Always tell the truth. If you tell a lie just once, then all your truths become questionable.

Always be a good citizen. Take the time to help others and find a way to serve your community.

Always be willing to bite off more than you can chew, and then keep chewing. I’d rather choke on success than than nibble on mediocrity.

Always aim for the bulls eye. Start each day with your sights on the center of the target. You wont always hit it, but I guaranty you will miss 100 percent of the times you don’t try.

And lastly, always do a good turn daily. It can be as simple as holding the door, raking some leaves or shoveling a walk for a neighbor. Each night, when you lie down, ask yourself, what was my good deed today?

What am I doing to make my world a better place?

2019 has been a challenging year for me; Redskins fans would probably call it a “rebuilding year.”

I would be remiss to stand in front of you today without taking a moment to stress the importance of living your best life to its fullest each day. You simply don’t know what is lurking around the corner.

On a house fire, a good fire officer can usually predict how it is going to turn out by the strategic actions performed in the first five minutes. Life is no different

It’s when you find yourself possibly looking at the end of your life you realize that how important the decisions are that you made in the beginning. I am thankful scouting gave me the solid footing to choose wisely.

While I have faith in God’s plan for me, this past year showed me that it is most likely not in a straight line. I feel truly blessed to be standing here today; that in itself is a victory. I look forward to joining this remarkable group of alumni next year as we celebrate the 2020 Good Scout.

Thank you and God bless.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
November 21, 2019
0 ·

Master Gardener course registration has opened

Posted Wednesday,
November 20, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
November 20, 2019
0 ·

Sheriff’s office receives newest cruiser, a 1966 Ford

Posted Tuesday,
November 19, 2019
1 ·
It’s a great community relations tool to engage the public, especially kids.
— Sheriff Bob Mosier
It resembled a scene straight out of The Andy Griffith Show.

About 50 people crowded around a brown 1966 Ford Galaxie parked in front of Fauquier’s 139-year-old courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

The car, a replica of the first sheriff’s office cruiser, officially joined the 150-vehicle fleet.

“It’s a great community relations tool to engage the public, especially kids,” Sheriff Bob Mosier said.

> Video at bottom of story

The ceremony resembled one on the same spot, where the late Mr. and Mrs. Fredrik Wachmeister donated a 1965 Ford Custom to the sheriff’s office in March of that year.

Before that, Sheriff Sam Hall and his deputies used their personal vehicles and received mileage reimbursements.

Soon after taking office in 2016, Sheriff Bob Mosier ran across a newspaper clipping about the original cruiser donation “and decided we should try to find one and restore it,” Sgt. James Hartman said.

Several car-savvy members of the sheriff’s staff — Lt. Mark Jones, School Security Officer Jeff Crane and Sgt. Hartman — took up the challenge.

“We probably looked for a couple months,” Officer Crane said Tuesday. “We wanted a ’65, but most of them were too far gone or too expensive.”

Then, in October 2017, he found on Craigslist the burnt orange Ford Galaxie in Huntersville, N.C., north of Charlotte.

“This is a ’66, but there’s not a whole lot of difference,” Officer Crane said.

Manufactured in Norfolk, the car had 177,000 miles on the odometer but remained in decent shape. He and Sgt. Hartman borrowed a one-ton pickup truck and a trailer for the six-hour drive. They came home with the project car.

Sheriff Mosier had arranged for the Fauquier Historical Society to take ownership and to accept donations for the car’s restoration.

Fauquier resident Jim Walker, who owns Classic Automotive in Manassas, agreed to do the body work. Mr. Walker’s crew stripped the car before sanding and painting it in the official brown and tan colors of the day.

Officer Crane scoured the internet for parts — pieces of chrome trim, lettering, light lenses and the greatest find, the roof light and siren.

“It took me a good six months to locate one in pristine condition,” he said. “The unit is a Federal WLRG . . . from Rescue Market in Elyria Ohio. It is re-chromed and like new.”

The siren cost $1,000.

Altogether at market prices, the old Ford’s purchase and restoration would cost about $35,000, according to Officer Crane. But, donations covered everything.

Arthur Digges, who owns vehicle repair shop in Morrisville, worked on the car’s 265-hp V-8 engine, Cruise-O-Matic three-speed transmission and other mechanical systems on and off for about a year.

Finally, the car went to Danny’s Custom Upholstery in Charlottesville for a new interior.

The cruiser has a new, authentic rubber floor liner, but the two-tone seats exceed those of a ’65 police cruiser.

The car has no “cage” separating the back seat from the front. But, it does have a vintage Motorola two-way radio that works on a low-band frequency that the sheriff’s office still maintains.

The vehicle will make its ceremonial debut Friday night, Dec. 6, leading the Warrenton Christmas parade. The following day, it will take part in the Marshall and Bealeton parades.

166-home New Baltimore plan back before panel

Posted Tuesday,
November 19, 2019
2 ·
Transferring density from other property, the proposal would more than double the number of Broad Run Estates lots at Broad Run Church and Riley roads near New Baltimore.
They said I proffered too much. I won’t know what the number is going to be (until meeting with the county staff).
— Planning consultant Chuck Floyd
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A controversial proposal to create a 166-home subdivision near New Baltimore probably will return to Fauquier’s planning commission for a vote next month.

Lakeside Homes LLC seeks rezoning of 112.5 acres at Broad Church and Riley roads from one to four homes per acre.

In September — after a nearly 60-minute public hearing — the commission postponed a vote on the Broad Run Estates’ project for up to 90 days and further study.

The five-member commission next meets Dec. 19. It serves as an advisory panel to the board of supervisors, which has final authority.

Land planning consultant Chuck Floyd, who represents the applicant, wants the commission to forward the project to the supervisors after the December public hearing.

Under that scenario, the supervisors could conduct a Jan. 17 public hearing on the project.

“That’s the hope,” Mr. Floyd said.

The Broad Run Estates proposal would use density from four parcels to create the 166-lot subdivision.

Effectively through the “transfer” of potential home lots, the innovative concept would allow the preservation of most of the undeveloped 73.3-acre Ringwood Farm property along Rogues Road, just outside the New Baltimore Service District.

Ringwood Farm has a maximum 62 potential home lots.

The applicant originally wanted to retain three home lots on Ringwood Farm.

But in an Oct. 7 revision to its application, Lakeside Homes would cut that number to one lot. The balance of the property would be placed under a conservation easement, prohibiting its further subdivision, according to the application.

> Document at bottom of story

The Broad Run Estates site has a “by-right” density of 148 homes.

To help offset the public service impacts of the 18 homes sought in excess of the by-right total, Lakeside Homes LLC has pledged to give Fauquier $664,000, according to the revised application.

That equates to $36,888 for each of the additional lots, the application states.

But, “this proffer would be paid on a per unit basis for each of the (166) units to be constructed at Broad Run Estates, which equates to a $4,000 proffer per lot,” application reads.

The revised application also notes that the $644,888 contribution “exceeds the county’s Capital Facility Impact’s Model for the development of the project.”

But, Mr. Floyd said he recently learned from the county’s community development department staff that a project’s proffers can’t surpass contributions specified by the impact model.

“They said I proffered too much,” Mr. Floyd said. “I won’t know what the number is going to be” until meeting with staff.

So, in an unusual twist, an overly generous applicant will give Fauquier less money than initially offered to ease the effects of new development on public services.

Twenty-four people — all but a couple of them area residents — spoke during the planning commission’s Sept. 19 public hearing on the Broad Run Estates proposal.

Seventeen opposed the project, six supported it, including Mr. Floyd, and one seemed to express no opinion.

Opponents voiced concerns about the project’s potentially negative effects on schools, roads, the existing residential and rural character of the area, the water supply, the environment and taxes.

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

Revised Application SOJ 3rd... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Presbyterian preschool program marks 10th year

Posted Tuesday,
November 19, 2019
0 ·

Sheriff’s office investigates “disturbing” student video

Posted Tuesday,
November 19, 2019
7 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
November 19, 2019
0 ·

Faces of Fauquier: She works to build community

Posted Monday,
November 18, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Earsaline Anderson has worked to prepare a historical marker, slated for dedication Saturday, at the site of the former Rosenwald School at Rectortown.
I was taught by my father if you can, make a difference to a cause, be heard. Go forward and express your concerns.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

At home, church and school, the Rectortown native got drilled on the importance of community.

“You were taught to belong, to give back,” recalled Earsaline Anderson, 74.

Taking that lesson to heart, the teenager headed Sunday school classes at Mount Olive Baptist Church near Rectortown, twice served as class president in the 1960s at the then blacks-only W.C. Taylor High School in Warrenton, participated in at least two school clubs, joined the yearbook committee and, because of hard work and book smarts, made the honor society.

“I wasn’t shy,” said Mrs. Anderson, laughing.

The retired federal government worker seems as eager as ever to volunteer.

In her free time, Mrs. Anderson serves as Mount Olive Baptist’s clerk and, on behalf of the Afro-American Historic Association of Fauquier, monitors deliberations related to the planned renovation and expansion of one of two middle schools in the county seat — Taylor or Warrenton.

The other school would get repurposed.

The 1964 Taylor High graduate, who lives just outside of Warrenton, would like the structure to continue to operate as a school.

“That’s my preference,” said Mrs. Anderson, who also oversees a memorial fund that supports Taylor Middle School and alumni efforts.

But the project that today occupies much of her time entails a marker to commemorate the blacks-only Rosenwald School that stood on the Claude Thompson Elementary School campus near Rectortown.

The marker’s unveiling and dedication ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, in Thompson elementary. A reception will follow the event at the school.

Fronting Rectortown Road, the marker will be installed in the spring several hundred yards from the site of the long-gone structure.

The marker recognizes the two men — Julies Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington — who partnered with communities mostly in South to help build the schools.

Mr. Rosenwald became a part owner and president of Sears Roebuck Co. A prominent philanthropist, Mr. Washington served as president of the Tuskegee Institute — a historically black university in Alabama.

The Rosenwald Schools sought to offset persistent underfunding of public education for African-American children in the South before desegregation. The effort built 382 schools in Virginia between 1917 and 1932.

The Rectortown marker also includes a brief history of the three-room school, which housed 50 to 60 students, grades one through seven, Mrs. Anderson said.

Known as Rectortown No. 12 School, it opened in 1924 and closed 39 years later, according to the former Rectortown school student, who developed the marker’s text and recruited speakers for Saturday’s dedication.

Fauquier had eight Rosenwald schools. In August, a marker acknowledging them got unveiled and dedicated at Warrenton’s Eva Walker Park.

The Florida-based Jewish American Society of Historic Preservation funded the Warrenton and Rectortown markers, which cost $3,500 and $1,750, respectively.

Mrs. Anderson has only fond memories of her Rectortown school days.

“Everyone was of a caring nature,” she said. “We didn’t have bullying and all of that going on in school. Everybody came to school with the desire to learn.

“I knew that I was getting the best — that I could go somewhere with my education. We all did. I never felt negative about it at all.”

• Age

• Home 
Near Warrenton

• Work
Federal government worker, information technology manager, 1973-2014; teacher’s aide/secretary, Fauquier County Public Schools, 1965-73.

• Why do you volunteer?
I was taught by my father if you can, make a difference to a cause, be heard. Go forward and express your concerns. The community needs to be aware of what’s going on. If you’re silent, the message won’t be delivered.

If you wait for someone else, it may not happen. There are times when you need to move or react.

• Family
Husband Richard, 76; daughter, Penny Anderson-Walton, 57

• Education
Records management certificate, University of Maryland, 2001; attended Northern Virginia Community College, taking business management courses, 1987-92; W.C. Taylor High School, 1964.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Clerk, Mount Olive Baptist Church, Rectortown; chairwoman, Hazzard-Johnson Memorial Fund, which supports W.C. Taylor High School and its alumni.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
73 years.

• Why do you live here? 
I’m around family. That’s a big factor. I want to give back to the community and the church.

I love the city. But, my husband loves Warrenton. So, I compromised.

• How do you describe this county? 
There’s a lot to be offered. You’re in a rural area, but you’re close enough to the city that you can have both experiences.

Families are self-sufficient. There’s a caring atmosphere — “I’m my brother’s keeper.” You know your neighbors. There’s unity within the neighborhood. There’s a bond within the neighborhood.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
There needs to be something for the young people, the students, to be involved in — a roller skating rink, ice skating rink, a movie theater.

They have Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts. But what else is there to meet the needs or give them additional talents and trades?

There’s too much idle time, especially when school lets out. During summer, there’s nothing for them to do.

• What do you do for fun? 
Flower gardening, reading, walking. I like to go to movies, shop — but not for clothing. Sometimes you’re out there looking for antiques.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I have two: My church and Taylor (Middle School). They always bring back fond memories. And, there’s the comradery.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
More development. Not so much (single-family) houses. Maybe townhouses, apartments meeting the needs of the millennials.

I see some sort of transit — maybe a bus system — just to get from one place to another. And, that’s a good thing. Everybody’s not going to want to own a car.

I’m hoping to see more stores. I think there’s going to be more things for physical fitness. I’m hoping there will be some kind of employment — that people won’t have to leave the area to work.

• Favorite TV show?
“Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise.”

• Favorite movie? 
“Black Panther.”

• Favorite book?
“Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly.

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Myrtle Beach. S.C.

• Favorite food? 
Lemon meringue pie.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
Wilhelmina Smith, deceased Mount Olive Baptist Church clerk. She told me to always listen before speaking and to tell the truth. If you don’t have the exact facts, don’t ad lib.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My dad. He told us we could be whatever we want to be in life and he would support that. He was always a giving person. He gave sound advice and he was dependable. If he said he was going to do something, he did it.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
I would get a lawyer and an accountant, first. I would spend it wisely. The church would be one of the first I would give to. And I’d give to my school — Taylor.

Have a suggestion?
Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? Email Don Del Rosso at or Lou Emerson at

Remington volunteers prep 116 bicycles for children

Posted Monday,
November 18, 2019
0 ·
We’re blessed with wonderful people around here. Hats off to everybody who contributed and helped.
— RVFRD President Steve Wright
The Remington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s annual bicycle drive for Christmas has grown dramatically.

The volunteers — including Bealeton-Remington Ruritan Club members and local citizens — on Sunday assembled 116 new bikes that will get donated to Fauquier Toys for Tots on Dec. 8.

The firefighter/medics started their bicycle drive in 2017, when they donated 24. Last year, the total rose to 54.

“This year (Lee District Supervisor) Chris Butler challenged us to do 100,” RVFRD President Steve Wright said.

Thanks to donations totaling about $6,000 from 45 households and 13 businesses or organizations, this year’s drive exceeded the goal.

It took just more than two hours for 22 volunteers to assemble the bikes, purchased at discounted prices from the Warrenton Walmart, Mr. Wright said.

“We’re blessed with wonderful people around here,” he said. “Hats off to everybody who contributed and helped.”

The Remington volunteers also will collect toys for Christmas during their annual “Santa Run and Stuff the Ambulance Campaign” from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1. Click here for the route.

The, the volunteers will host Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 8. Each donated new toy will earn a free breakfast.

Later that day, RVFRD volunteers will deliver the bikes and other donated gifts to the Toys for Tots headquarters in Warrenton.

For more information, check the department’s Facebook page.

Marshall home, 50 acres sell for $1.69 million

Posted Monday,
November 18, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Thomas & Talbot Real Estate
“Drakelen,” on 50 acres east of Marshall, sold last week for $1.69 million.
A home on 50 acres near Marshall sold last week for $1.69 million.

Built in 2005, “Drakelen” has three bedrooms, 4-1/2 baths, a two-story central area that includes the dining room, library and formal living room, a gourmet kitchen, an exercise room, a media room, two wet bars and a garage with apartment.

The property on Whiting Road includes a one-acre pond and fenced pastures.

Cricket Bedford of Thomas & Talbot Real Estate in Middleburg represented the seller. John Coles of the same agency represented the seller.

The property went on the market at $2.1 million in September 2018, according to The price dropped to $1.85 million in April.

Also last week, a 15,000-square-foot office building near New Baltimore sold for more than $1 million.

Built in 1988, the two-story Mosby Building stands on 0.69 acre at 5306 Lee Highway.

It last sold for $775,000 in 2001, according to county real estate records.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these land transfers Nov. 7-12, 2019:

Cedar Run District

Charles A. Mason III to Azad M. Aref, Sijah Z. Aljissani and Deear A. Aref, 0.58 acre, Lot 4, Harder Terrace Subdivision, 7780 Millfield Drive, near Warrenton, $400,000.

CWRS LLC to General Excavation Land Trust, 5.22 aces, 9757 Rider Road, near Opal, $100,000.

BMDD Investment LLC, Dennis F. Passmore, Brian Passmore and Drew Talarico as members, to Curtis M. LaClair, 0.92 acre, 9485 James Madison Highway, near Opal, $245,000.

David J. King to Rockwood Homes Inc., 1.62 acres, Lot 1-A, Renaissance Woods Subdivision, Greenwood Way, near Nokesville, $125,000.

Cynthia L. Kestner to Lorena Y.R. Ayala and Carlos M.S. Martinez, 0.72 acre, 10583 Rogues Road, Midland, $265,000.

Lloyd A. Jenkins Jr., Joseph R. Jenkins and Teresa A. Rogers to William F. and Maureen C. Tanner, 1.01 acres, 3284 Courtney School Road, Midland, $400,000.

Center District

Haley Furr to Theresa J. and Davyn Sykes, Lot 333, Addition to Warrenton Lakes Subdivision, 7249 King William St., near Warrenton, $390,000.

Thomas F. Mason III, L. Hardy Mason and Adelaide B. Mason to Fauquier Hunt Properties LLC, 1,584 square feet, 15 N. First St., Warrenton, $201,500.

Kelly D. Gilliam to Heather L. Hash, 2,200 square feet, Lot 2, Madison Square Subdivision, 424 Falmouth St., Warrenton, $359,999.

Kelly F. Shaw, Patrick G. Flanagan and Teresa R. Flanagan to Kelly D. Gilliam, 15,662 square feet, 284 Falmouth St., Warrenton, $425,000.

Lee District

James S. Lee, by substitute trustee, to Windy Oak Investments LLC, 1.09 acre, Lot 3, Blakely Weaver Division, 6560 Weaver Lane, Bealeton, $78,402, foreclosure.

David S. Wilkerson II to Eland LLC, Lot 9, Tanglewood Estates Subdivision, 14070 Silver Hill Road, Sumerduck, $200,000.

Erica E. Mason and Lee W. Hertel to Angela C. Miller, 11,914 square feet, Lot 4, Section A, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 6261 Winston Place West, Bealeton, $261,000.

Deidre M. Mays to Ashley N. and Raymond Wood Jr., Townhouse 58, Phase 4, Bealeton Station Subdivision, 6191 Newton Lane, Bealeton, $260,000.

Constance B. Moore to Thomas L. and Dawna M. Taylor, Lot 34, Phase A, Section 2, Mintbrook Subdivision, $412,500.

Marshall District

Inga B. Janke to Linda J. Glass, 1.33 acres, 8634 Lees Ridge Road, near Warrenton, $370,000.

Larry D. and Sandra K. Payne to Adam Grubbs, 5.61 acres, Lot 6, Mills Subdivision, 11704 Crest Hill Road, near Hume, $379,000.

ARV Holdings LLC, Ashley Leigh as manager, to Bonnie L. Letourneau, Unit 9, Section D, Marshall Townhouses, 4519 Appledale Court, Marshall, $202,000.

Ballard M. Green and Ricky T. Green to Wesley B. and Allison V. Gallagher, 10.17 acres, 11000 Soldiers Rest Lane, near Marshall, $319,900.

Frederick D. Anderson, Phoebe M. Brackett and Anthony K. Anderson to Wykham View Stables LLC 10 acres, 4418 Molsons Ridge Road, near Marshall, $285,000.

Wayne D. and Donna L. Shetley to Rene H. S. Ruiz and Agne Gulbinaite, 5.15 acres, 3301 Fiery Run Road, near Linden, $250,000.

Marian A.M. Houck and Janet H. Ridgely to Bruce Buchanan, 0.51 ace, Lot 9, Piedmont Heights Subdivision, 4058 Rectortown Road, near Marshall, $230,000.

Hideaway House LLC to Haley Riley, Lot 7, Beatty Subdivision, 8561 Anderson Ave., Marshall, $309,000.

Douglas and Joann Monteleone to Roger L. Duron and Sara G. P. Aguilar, 7.41 acres, 9756 Lees Mill Road, near Opal, $465,000.

Robert G. and Linda L. Donnelly, by substitute trustee, to Fifth Third Bank, 10.24 acres, Lot 4, Runnymeade Farm Subdivision, 10408 Royston Lane, Marshall, $514,250, foreclosure.

Lennie E. Lauh, trustee, to Richard and Michele Powers, 50 acres, 3456 Whiting Road, Marshall, $1,690,000.

Scott District

Francis W. and Lorna E. Cullison to Patrick and Christine Hartley, 1.05 acres, Lot 8, Buckland Oaks Subdivision, 6422 White Oak Lane, near Broad Run, $468,000.

NVR Inc. to Vanessa and Warren Kmetz Jr., Lot 63, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 5174 Island Court, near Warrenton, $650,340.

Laura C. and Sidney W. Stevenson III to Evan G. and Maria A. Clower, 15.84 acres, 5079 Claston Court, near Warrenton, $726,000.

NVR Inc. to Tripura R. Shrestha, Lot 58, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 5179 Island Court, near Warrenton, $563,415.

Thomas M. and Linda N. Stevens to Cornerstone Missions Inc., 30,070 square feet, 5306 Lee Highway, near New Baltimore, $1,066,000.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
November 18, 2019
0 ·

5 Friday Fauquier Factoids: Town decorations go up

Posted Friday,
November 15, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Warrenton Department of Public Works employee Jacob Olinger hangs a wreath on Second Street. The three-man crew installed 18 wreaths Thursday, along with wrapping light posts with garland and installing lights in Main Street trees.

Artificial evergreen wreaths with red bows went up on utility poles in downtown Warrenton this week.

Town Public Works Department employees also wrapped downtown light posts with garland and put lights in trees along Main Street to prepare for Christmas.

The Warrenton Christmas Parade will take place Friday night, Dec. 6. GumDrop Square and other holiday activities typically start the same night.


The average sales price of 345 Fauquier residential properties that changed hands in the third quarter of this year.

The number of homes sold rose 19.4 percent and the average sale price increased 5.9 percent, compared with the same period last year, according to the Greater Piedmont Realtors.

The average time on the market fell 2 days to 49 for the three-month period that ended Sept. 30.

“After stabilizing and expanding for much of the past year, the supply of active listings in Fauquier County has started to shrink again,” the report says. “There were 386 active listings on the market at the end of the 3rd quarter in the county, 28 fewer active listings than last year, representing a 7-percent decline.”


Raised last Sunday by the eighth annual Bodies in Motion event in Warrenton.

Including money generated Nov. 10, the event since its inception has raised $270,000 for charities and nonprofits in Fauquier and the surrounding area.

The race’s 295 runners and walkers logged 1,074 miles Sunday. The 5-k and 10-k event had 109 business sponsors, plus 30 organizations that provided goods and services to support the race.

The Foundation of Blue Ridge Orthopedics on Dec. 4 will present checks to nonprofit organizations.

51,250 pounds

The Fauquier Education Farm’s total produce harvest for 2019 — down 7.3 percent from last year.

In 2018, it harvested 55,024 pounds of vegetables and fruit.

“The biggest challenge this year was the deer,” education farm Executive Director Jim Hankins said of this year’s production dip. “They caused far more damage than during any other season.”

Established in 2010, the nonprofit operation donates its entire harvest to food banks in Fauquier, Rappahannock and Prince William counties, along with two assistance programs in Culpeper County.
The farm has about seven acres under cultivation along Meetze Road southeast of Warrenton.


The number of “substance abuse disorder services” that Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services provided for Fauquier cases in fiscal 2019.

That total included 73 outpatient services, 38 intensive residential services at the Boxwood Recovery Center in Culpeper, 28 highly-intensive residential services (medically-managed withdrawal/detox) and and 17 cases of medication-assisted treatment, RRCS Executive Director Jim LaGraffe told Fauquier’s board of supervisors this week.

The RRCS provides a range of behavioral health, development disability, substance abuse disorder and aging services to Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison and Orange counties.

Fauquier County this year will provide $462,000 to support the RRCS work.

> Full report below

FY2020 Fauquier BOS Presena... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

County supervisors give sheriff’s dogs their due

Posted Friday,
November 15, 2019
0 ·
These dogs . . . do a lot for search and rescue, for children, for the elderly, for finding suspects, for finding drugs. They work pretty hard for us.
— Supervisor Chris Butler
The board of supervisors Thursday night honored Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office members who work without pay, health insurance or retirement benefits.

But, the sheriff’s K-9 Unit, which tackles a range of challenges, played major roles in two criminal investigations last week.

That prompted board Chairman Chris Butler (Lee District), a former sheriff’s deputy, to quickly organize this week’s recognition.

The five dogs and their handlers often go into situations without knowing about whether suspects have weapons or where they might hide, Mr. Butler said.

“These dogs . . . do a lot for search and rescue, for children, for the elderly, for finding suspects, for finding drugs,” he said. “They work pretty hard for us.”

Two of the dogs — a bloodhound and a German shorthaired pointer — and their handlers, along with other sheriff’s office members, attended the board’s monthly meeting.

Because of the risks, the unit’s “biters” — three shepherds — did not attend.

The K-9 Unit includes:

• Master Deputy Sheriff James Arrington and “Bane,” a German shepherd.

• Detective Brian Colbert and “Hank,” a German shepherd.

• MDS Will Harner and “Ladee,” the German shorthaired pointer.

• Deputy Joey House and “Ducco,” a Dutch shepherd.

• MDS Chris Snyder and “Katie,” the bloodhound.

Their specialties include tracking, detecting drugs and explosives and apprehending suspects.

The night of Nov. 5, Katie and Deputy Snyder tracked the Walmart shooting suspects after their vehicle wrecked and they fled into the woods near Midland. Bane and MDS Arrington caught two of the suspects.

Early the morning of Nov. 8, Hank and Det. Colbert caught a suspect who escaped a Remington home during a drug raid, near Mr. Butler’s home.

When the supervisors and audience stood to applaud the unit Thursday night, bloodhound Katie had a few things to say. You can watch the video here, clicking on “Recognition of the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit.”

Fauquier K-9 Unit by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
November 15, 2019
0 ·

Warrenton teen’s murder case goes to grand jury

Posted Thursday,
November 14, 2019
1 ·
A Fauquier County Circuit Court grand jury on Nov. 25 will consider indictments of Daniel M. “Rudeboy” Farmer II of Nokesville and Lucretia Ann Robinson of Manassas in the Aug. 26 murder of an 18-year-old Warrenton man.
The defense did gather valuable information regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the events in question.
— Defense attorney Robert V. Bryan Jr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Taking the next step in a brutal murder case, a Fauquier grand jury soon will decide whether to indict three defendants in the shooting death of an 18-year-old man outside of his family’s home near Warrenton.

Lincoln L. Williams Jr. died at Fauquier Hospital of a gunshot to the face Aug. 26 at 11:40 p.m. — almost an hour after the incident.

The shooting took place at 5042 Old Auburn Road, about five miles east of town.

On Thursday afternoon, two of the defendants — Daniel M. “Rudeboy” Farmer II of Nokesville and Lucretia Ann Robinson of Manassas — briefly appeared in Fauquier General District Court for preliminary hearings.

Mr. Farmer, 23, faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with victim’s death.

Ms. Robinson, 54, who faces a conspiracy charge to commit robbery in connection with Mr. Williams’ death, waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

Her defense attorney, Jessica Clay of Gainesville, declined to say why her client did so.

Typically, a decision to skip the preliminary hearing indicates a defendant wants to enter a guilty plea in exchange for leniency.

Ms. Clay refused to say if such conversations have taken place with the commonwealth’s attorney office.

“I’m not at liberty to discuss that,” she said.

Mr. Farmer’s preliminary hearing lasted about 15 minutes.

Two witnesses — Fauquier sheriff’s Detective John Thorpe and Master Deputy James Arrington — testified.

Det. Thorpe told the judge Mr. Farmer admitted that he and Mr. Ellis arrived at the victim’s home together the night of the shooting.

Mr. Farmer also said the two went to the victim’s home to obtain a half-ounce of cocaine, the detective recalled.

Under questioning by Mr. Ellis’ defense attorney, Robert V. Bryan Jr. of Fairfax, the detective testified about the circumstances under which deputies questioned and arrested his client.

Deputies advised Mr. Farmer that he had the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present when questioned, Det. Thorpe told the court.

“The defense gathered valuable information regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the events in question,” Mr. Bryan said after the hearing.

The first to arrive at the Williams’ home the night of the shooting, Deputy Arrington described the scene.

A “trail of blood” outside the home led the deputy to the family’s living room, where he found Mr. Williams.

Still conscious, the young man appeared to have a “bullet hole at to the top” of his “brow,” Deputy Arrington said.

He immediately administered CPR to Mr. Williams, he said. Paramedics arrived minutes later and took the victim to Fauquier Hospital.

Judge J. Gregory Ashwell ultimately found probable cause that Mr. Farmer and Ms. Robinson committed the felonies.

The third defendant — Myison Iaeene Ellis, 38, of Waynesboro — faces charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit robbery in the victim’s shooting death.

In a general district court preliminary hearing Thursday, Nov. 7, Karen Farmer implicated Mr. Ellis — her boyfriend — as the shooter.

Ms. Farmer testified that her brother — defendant Daniel M. “Rudeboy” Farmer II — told her that Mr. Ellis “shot at” the victim outside of his home the night of the incident.

Judge Ashwell found probable cause that Mr. Ellis had committed the crimes as charged.

The grand jury on Nov. 25 will decide whether to indict the three defendants.

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

Throwback Thursday: Airport boom predicted

Posted Thursday,
November 14, 2019
1 ·
November 1994: Brandon Smarr fuels a plane at the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of November 18, 1994

Airport future bright, officials believe

The county supervisors this week gave a major boost to the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport when it endorsed a funding formula to provide public utilities in service districts.

That means industrial land around the airport, in the Midland Service District, finally would get the water and sewer to develop as zoned.

The proposed funding formula — subject to a public hearing — would assess a special 3-cent real estate tax to all landowners in the service districts, except Warrenton and Remington.

“You’ll see utilities (at the airport) in 20 months to two years,” Supervisor David Mangum (Lee District) predicted.

The county bought the airport in October 1991 as part of a bankruptcy settlement.

“It was a hole,” with cracked runways, decaying hangars and damaged underground tanks, Mangum said. “It was terrible, miserable. And now it’s very attractive.”

Panel recommends $25,000 for starting teachers

The school board last year took a step in helping beginning teachers.

The county raised their salaries to $23,420, up from $22,220.

But a citizens group wants to do more. Composed of citizens, teachers, school board members and county supervisors, the 21-member group this week suggested starting instructors should earn $25,000. It also wants to give newer instructors higher percentage raises than veteran teachers.

“We have outstanding teachers here, we just need to keep them,” Teacher Compensation Task Force Chairman Mark Riley told the school board Monday.

High schools searched for drugs

Sheriff’s deputies held an unannounced search of Liberty High School at 7:54 a.m. Wednesday.

They followed up with a search of Fauquier High at 9:15 a.m.

Fifteen officers from Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties, the state police and U.S. Customs used dogs to search for “illegal contraband, drugs and weapons,” Sheriff Joe Higgs said.

At Liberty, officers searched three lockers but found nothing illegal, sheriff’s Maj. Warren Jenkins aid.

They searched four lockers and a car at Fauquier a found a quarter-ounce of marijuana outside a classroom window. Jenkins said an investigation is underway to identify the owner.

“This serves a message that from time to time, we’re going to search cars and lockers,” FHS Principal Roger Sites said of the 90-minute operation.

Retail group split on Walmart rezoning

Greater Warrenton Business Alliance members remain divided about whether the town should rezone property for a huge Walmart store.

The group, composed primarily of retailers, recently polled members on their opinions about Walmart. Stewart Lindsey, chairman of the committee that conducted the survey, gave members the results Wednesday:

• 72 oppose Walmart.

• 76 support it.

• 17 have no opinion.

The 170-member alliance probably will take no position on Walmart but will concentrate on providing information, President Michael Kitt said.

Hype outshines first Fauquier-Liberty game

Fans from Paris to Goldvein flocked to Warrenton last Friday for the inaugural pigskin game between Fauquier and brand-new Liberty.

The four quarters of the game paled in comparison to the surrounding hype. Trophies and plaques — even a big 50/50 drawing — promoted the game that was nothing more than a lopsided blowout.

Liberty’s young team managed just 78 yards of total offense and crumbled in the face of Fauquier’s experience, 27-0. The Falcons (9-1) will face Spotsylvania in the first round of the regional playoffs. The Eagles finished their first season 3-7.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
November 14, 2019
0 ·

A plea deal seems probable in “puppy mill” case

Posted Wednesday,
November 13, 2019
1 ·
Vernine and Barton Gipstein face indictment Nov. 25 in Fauquier County Circuit Court.
Just as my client (Vernine Gipstein) voluntarily surrendered the animals at issue, she also voluntarily waived her right to a preliminary hearing today. We look forward to being in Fauquier Circuit Court on Nov. 25 to receive the grand jury’s decision.
— Defense attorney Brooke Howard
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Signs point to a plea agreement with a couple who allegedly operated a “puppy mill” near Midland.

Fauquier County Animal Control deputies on Sept. 11 seized 80 dogs from the Folly Court home of Vernine Barbara Gipstein and Barton Mannes Gipstein.

Ms. Gipstein, 69, and Mr. Gipstein, 75, face one count of felony animal cruelty each.

But the commonwealth’s attorney dropped a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge against Ms. Gipstein in Fauquier General District Court on Wednesday afternoon.

During their brief Nov. 13 court appearance, the Gipsteins waived preliminary hearings on the felony charges before Judge J. Gregory Ashwell.

The prosecution’s decision to drop charges and a defendant’s choice to skip the preliminary hearing phase of a case typically signal an interest in pursuing a plea agreement.

A guilty plea agreement could involve reduced and/or amended charges to soften a sentence.

Animal cruelty carries a penalty of one to five years in prison per count.

A preliminary hearing allows a general district court judge to determine whether probable cause exists to certify criminal charges to a circuit court grand jury.

Waiving a preliminary hearing has no bearing on defendants’ guilt or innocence. But, it does acknowledge that probable cause exists for charges filed.

Brooke Howard represents Ms. Gipstein. Ryan Huttar represents Mr. Gipstein.

Both Warrenton attorneys declined to discuss their respective clients’ reasons for waiving the preliminary hearings.

But, Mr. Howard said after Wednesday’s hearing: “Just as my client voluntarily surrendered the animals at issue, she also voluntarily waived her right to a preliminary hearing today. We look forward to being in Fauquier circuit court on Nov. 25 to receive the grand jury’s decision.”

A grand jury decides whether to indict defendants on one or all charges. If indicted, defendants’ options include seeking a jury or bench trial, a plea agreement or dismissal of charges.

Sheriff’s deputies on Sept. 11 executed a search warrant of the Gipstiens’ home “after receiving an anonymous tip” and seized “a large number of dogs in poor condition,” Sgt. James Hartman said in a press release.
The tip came “from someone who had come into contact with the facility,” Sgt. Hartman added. “The person was shown a dog to purchase and alleged the dog was noticeably not well cared for and had fleas. The information alleged the facility was breeding and dealing in Wheaten Terriers.” 
While Ms. Gipstein, who owns the kennel, “would not grant full access to the property to determine the welfare of the dogs,” Sgt. Hartman said, “deputies observed numerous dogs and other things that led them to believe the dogs were not being properly cared for. The investigation also determined the facility was not properly licensed. 
“Deputies returned to the property a few days later at an agreed-upon time to further the investigation. When they arrived, they encountered Gipstein blocking the driveway. During the investigation Gipstein was unable to produce proper paperwork she allegedly had regarding the dogs and facility.” 
Animal Control Deputy Marisa Efaw continued to investigate and obtained a search warrant, executed that afternoon.

“Deputies discovered many dogs in poor condition, in extremely unsanitary conditions and most had no access to water,” Sgt. Hartman said. “Eighty dogs were seized as a result of the search warrant.  Many of the terriers were in poor health with matted, tangled fur. One terrier was found to have an exposed femur on one leg.” 
Deputies took the dogs to the Fauquier SPCA shelter near Casanova.
Ms. Gipstein remains free on a $3,000 unsecured bond; Mr. Gipstein remains free on a $2,500 unsecured bond.

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

Missing person found safe Wednesday morning

Posted Wednesday,
November 13, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
November 13, 2019
0 ·

Stigma still stymies some efforts in opioid battle

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
0 ·
Photos/Kenneth Garrett
“I felt very bad for the addicts sitting in that room, having to listen to what people thought of them,” Moira Satre says of a Warrenton Town Council meeting last year. “It brought tears to my eyes.” A former nurse whose son died of an overdose, Ms. Satre founded Come as You Are (CAYA), a nonprofit coalition that has compiled a comprehensive list of resources, treatment options and support groups.
“You suffer alone. You grieve alone,” says Culpeper librarian Dee Fleming, who lost her son to an overdose. Ms. Fleming has taken up the cause of getting local businesses to include the anti-overdose drug naloxone — widely known as Narcan — in their first-aid kits. She also advocates for clean-needle exchange programs.
The idea is so ingrained in our culture that a person makes a choice to become addicted,” said . “But, the research being done on brain development is showing how far that ‘choice’ someone makes when they’re 20 may have been predetermined by something that happened when they were 3 or 4 years old.”
— Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Executive Director Jim LaGraffe
About This Series
Jointly produced by two independent, nonprofit civic news organizations, the Piedmont Journalism Foundation and Foothills Forum, “Opioid Ripples” examines the addiction epidemic from a variety of perspectives.

The series covers the challenges and potential solutions in Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock and Prince William counties.

The Warrenton-based PATH Foundation provided a grant for this series.

The participating news organizations seek to increase in-depth coverage and public discussion of issues in their communities.

Part 1: The crisis has touched everyone

> Part 2: Addiction recovery slow and painful

> Part 3: Tactics evolve in battle against opioid abuse

Key findings of this series
> Click here

What do you think?
Let us know what you think of this regional reporting project. Send feedback to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Last of 4 parts

By Randy Rieland
Piedmont Journalism Foundation

Her cry captured a crisis. 

“I’m a heroin addict. Nobody cares. Nobody cares!”

Amanda Lambert watched the slight young woman screaming in anger and despair near the front steps of the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center. She couldn’t look away.

“She was maybe 90 pounds soaking wet,” recalled Maj. Lambert, director of support services at the jail. “My heart melted for her. I don’t know why. I’d never seen her before.”

The shouting continued after Ms. Lambert led the 23-year-old woman into a room at the jail.

“I’m a heroin addict,” she raged. “You don’t care about me. No one gives a s---.”

Her distress was so intense she was put in restraints to prevent her from hurting herself.

Maj. Lambert spent two hours talking with the woman, then showed up in court the next day and sat next to her during arraignment on a disorderly conduct charge. The judge released her, but Maj. Lambert managed to keep her at the jail until she could meet with Katrina King, one of the jail’s “peer navigators” who helps addicts get into treatment.

Within a day, the woman was on her way to a treatment center in Florida. Maj. Lambert said she has been clean about a year and recently has returned to the area.

“It’s one of our favorite success stories,” Mr. Lambert said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that if we hadn’t intervened, she would have gone back out and overdosed and died.”

It’s a feel-good story, but one that also lays bare a dark corner of the opioid crisis: the stigma of addiction. In this case, it’s reflected in the shame and hopelessness of a woman who sees herself as a social pariah with no expectation of help in regaining control of her life. But stigma also plays out in community resistance to recovery housing, doctors’ reluctance to take on patients needing substance abuse treatment and the persistence of the notion that helping addicts indulges them. 

“There’s definitely still a stigma,” said Judge Melissa Cupp, who handles foster care and custody cases in Fauquier and Rappahannock counties. “People conjure up the image of a drug addict, but that’s often not who it is. If you met them at the library, you would have no idea of what had happened to them.”

The perception of substance abuse as a moral failing, rather than a medical issue, remains a stubborn stereotype. Research this year by The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 58 percent of those surveyed believed opioid addiction was something people brought on themselves. 

But, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that 50 to 60 percent of addiction results from genetics. In fact, the children of addicts are eight times more likely to develop an addiction. Factors such as chaotic home environment or early childhood trauma also can play a role. 

“The idea is so ingrained in our culture that a person makes a choice to become addicted,” said Jim LaGraffe, executive director of Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services. “But, the research being done on brain development is showing how far that ‘choice’ someone makes when they’re 20 may have been predetermined by something that happened when they were 3 or 4 years old.”

Moreover, the seeds of the opioid epidemic were planted when doctors nationwide began increasing prescriptions of the painkillers in the 1990s, while the pharmaceutical companies underestimated their addictiveness. The companies aggressively marketed opioids even as overdoses and deaths rose dramatically after 1999.

Another notable statistic of the epidemic is that 80 percent of heroin users started on painkillers, according to research at Washington University in St. Louis. Many used opioid medications recreationally, but for some the first exposure came through drugs prescribed for an injury.

“How do you change the stigma? It’s not easy,” Mr. LaGraffe said. “We had ‘Just say no’ and the ‘War on drugs.’ It’s been treated as a criminal, and not a medical, issue. And it’s seen as personal failure, not that there may have been a lot of other things that led you to this point.”

“You grieve alone”

So, addiction remains largely a private struggle, and one reason such a small percentage of addicts seek treatment — estimated as low as 10 percent. Getting treatment would require going public and risking the potential consequences of losing a job, being spurned and facing judgment from a doctor. 

“Stigma is prevalent not only on a personal level from family and friends, but also on a professional level, and that hinders people from seeking treatment because they feel they will be shamed,” said Carol Levine, a researcher for the nonprofit United Hospital Fund, who with Suzanne Brundage, co-authored a report titled “The Ripple Effect: The Impact of the Opioid Epidemic on Children and Families.”

“What happens is that people internalize it, so it’s not just what others think about you. It’s what you start to think about yourself,” Ms. Levine said. “Everyone is telling you that this is your fault.

“Then there’s the impact on the kids. They often don’t want to tell other adults about what’s going on in their family. They’re afraid they’ll be taken away from their parents or separated from their siblings.”

The stigma casts a wide shadow, extending beyond users to their families. And it can persist even after the person fighting addiction has died.

After Culpeper librarian Dee Fleming’s son Joe overdosed on cocaine and fentanyl, a man whose daughter had died in a car accident stopped by the library to offer condolences. At one point, he said, “Doing drugs is a pretty stupid thing to do. I think this is nature’s way of weeding out the weak ones.”

Ms. Fleming was stunned.

“I read comments like that online all the time,” she said. “But, when I heard it to my face, I thought, ‘This is what parents like me hear.’ We don’t get the casseroles brought to your door or the cards. You suffer alone. You grieve alone.” 

Harm reduction

Since Joe’s death, Ms. Fleming has taken up the cause of getting local businesses to include the anti-overdose drug naloxone — widely known as Narcan — in their first-aid kits. She also has become a believer in clean-needle exchange programs, as many pill takers switch to using syringes. 

“I never thought I’d say that,” she conceded. But then a friend of her son’s stopped by her house. He was dating an active addict, who had learned she was positive for hepatitis C. He said he wasn’t injecting drugs, but had contracted hepatitis C from her.

“Hearing that story about how it was affecting people who aren’t even using changed my mind,” Ms. Fleming said.

Both the use of Narcan and clean-needle exchange programs are components of “harm reduction.” That public health strategy acknowledges drug use but focuses on minimizing its harmful effects. Critics say it implicitly condones substance abuse, and they feel more comfortable with treatment based on abstinence.

Stigma, not surprisingly, is at the heart of that debate, too. Harm-reduction proponents point out that not long ago government and law enforcement officials generally opposed increasing the availability of Narcan because they objected to the costs — financial and social — of saving drug users who would likely use opioids again. But as the opioid death rate has risen, opposition has waned. In fact, Narcan has become a standard tool that many police officers and sheriff’s deputies in Virginia’s Piedmont carry. REVIVE!, a free training program on proper use of Narcan, is now offered to the public.

A similar shift in attitude is occurring with medication-assisted treatment (MAT), in which medications that reduce cravings — along with behavioral therapy — are used to treat opioid addiction. In a field where the treatment model has long been built around abstinence, MAT has been disparaged as essentially replacing one drug with another. But a 2016 report from the U.S. Surgeon General described it as a “highly effective treatment option.”

That aligns with the belief that addiction is more a medical than a moral condition.

“With opioid use, the brain is bathed in a high level of dopamine and things are not the same anymore,” said Alta DaRoo, a board-certified addiction physician in the SaVida Health office in Culpeper. “That’s very similar to when somebody makes horrible diet choices and they become obese, or they develop hypertension or diabetes.

“We give them medication because we recognize those as medical conditions. I hope we can convince people in the general public that addiction is a disease process.” 

Reducing cravings “keeps them alive and allows them to function,” said Ryan Banks, clinical services director of Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services. “I’d like people to understand that we shouldn’t be judging people because they’re staying on Suboxone or methadone if that’s what is going to allow them to be successful in their lives.”

MAT had made inroads is in prisons and jails, which have become the front line in the opioid crisis. Research has found that users who have been incarcerated are at their highest risk of suffering a fatal overdose in the weeks after their release. More jails, including the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center, have set up programs where recovering users can be treated with medication, particularly Vivitrol, generally prescribed when an inmate is leaving jail because it prevents them from getting high if they use an opioid.

Since this summer, recently released inmates in Prince William County have been able to access MAT in a mobile unit that parks near the county health department in Manassas every Wednesday. They’re tested and provided with Suboxone, but also are given help to get into long-term treatment and therapy programs. Yet, some who have taken advantage of the service admit that they’re wary about doing so.

“They feel there’s a stigma with them going into that van,” said Maj. Lambert. “They’re afraid police officers and parole officers are going to see them. The staff in the unit has had to work very hard to convince them that the stigma is going away and everyone is on board with this.”

Needle exchange support lags

But another harm-reduction element — clean-needle exchange programs — hasn’t made much progress in the Piedmont, or in most of the state, for that matter. In 2017, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law permitting cities and counties to set up programs where people could trade in used syringes for clean ones. The impetus was a dramatic spike in new hepatitis C cases, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds. The number was 2-1/2 times higher in 2017 than in 2011, a direct result of drug users sharing needles. 

The shift to needle use is reflected in overdose deaths. Prescription opioids were the leading cause of overdose deaths in Virginia until 2015, when deaths from both heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, went ahead, according to state health officials.

The state Department of Health authorized needle exchanges in 55 communities where the rise in hepatitis C cases has been particularly alarming, including three in this region — Fauquier, Culpeper and Orange counties. Overall, the rate of hepatitis C in the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District (Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock) jumped 330 percent for that age group between 2013 and 2017. 

So far, however, only three communities in the state have functioning needle exchange programs — the City of Richmond and Wise and Smyth counties in Southwest Virginia — while Roanoke is about to launch one. The reason for the slow response is that the legislation requires local governments and law enforcement agencies to sign off on opening a needle exchange, and they’ve largely resisted.

April Achter, population health coordinator for the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District, has spent months making the case for needle exchanges to local officials. Ms. Achter cited research showing that providing clean needles doesn’t increase drug use and studies concluding that people who use exchanges are more likely to eventually seek treatment. She shared the estimated cost of treating hepatitis C — about $200,000 per patient — and noted that outbreaks are often followed by an upsurge in HIV cases. Ms. Achter also pointed out that exchanges reduce the risk of the public’s exposure to discarded dirty needles. 

She acknowledged that it can be a hard sell. “When it comes to programs like needle exchange, the stigma puts a higher burden on us to provide more education,” she said. “We’re looking at it from a medical perspective. My role is not one of judgment, my role is one of protecting the public health.”

But Ms. Achter’s lobbying was unsuccessful. In August, the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Task Force, composed of Piedmont law enforcement officers, rejected a needle exchange. But several members say the reason is legal not moral. Under state law, possessing a syringe containing narcotics residue is illegal. 

“They’re asking law enforcement to turn their heads because of what they feel is a greater cause,” Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins said. “Absolutely, we’re in favor of reducing hepatitis C and HIV. But, dirty needles are against the law in Virginia. Law enforcement is saying it’s not our role to turn our heads.”

Fauquier Sheriff Bob Mosier agreed. “I understand that this is part of the mission of the Department of Health. But if we observe a violation of the law, we need to take appropriate action. The state legislature needs to be involved. If they can change the law, it wouldn’t put law enforcement in an awkward position.” 

“It’s hard to hate up close”

Recovery is a slow and tortuous process, whether it’s for a person climbing the biggest hill of their lives or a shaken community trying to find a way forward. There is no magic remedy, no straight-line cure. And stigma, a tenacious toxin, lingers. 

But it matters that many of the victims of addiction are familiar, rather than faceless stereotypes from a distant, different place. As Jan Brown, founder and co-director of SpiritWorks in Williamsburg, put it, “It’s hard to hate up close.”

Moira Satre offered a more poignant perspective. “The minute it touches you, it changes everything,”  

Ms. Satre is a former registered nurse whose son, Bobby, died of a heroin overdose in 2015 at 31. She subsequently launched Come as You Are (CAYA), a nonprofit coalition that has compiled a comprehensive list of resources, treatment options and support groups. 

When you ask her about stigma, Ms. Satre brings up a Warrenton Town Council meeting last year when a proposal by the McShin Foundation to open a residential sobriety facility in the central business district was discussed. Several recovering addicts and parents of adult children who died of drug overdoses spoke in support of the plan. But opponents argued that having recovering addicts in the neighborhood would drive down property values. The plan was rejected.

“The things people said were really hurtful,” Ms. Satre said. “I felt very bad for the addicts sitting in that room, having to listen to what people thought of them. It brought tears to my eyes.”

At that same meeting, former Warrenton Mayor Powell Duggan spoke publicly for the first time about the death of his son, Dan, who overdosed at 38 in 2015. Mr. Duggan remembers it as something of a watershed moment because it motivated people to become more engaged in responding to the epidemic.

“Dan, he didn’t want others to know about his addiction,” he said. “He kept it private. I wanted to respect that. That’s why it took until that meeting for me to say something. But I thought the time had come to see if other people could be helped.” 

Finding hope

It’s that kind of gesture that makes those tackling the opioid epidemic more hopeful, despite the challenges most rural communities face in providing critical services, from mental health care to treatment facilities and sober housing to public transportation.

“What makes me optimistic is that I know recovery is possible,” said SpiritWorks’ Ms. Brown. “People are getting better and staying well and being productive citizens. If we can bring the same resources to everyone in a community, everyone can have the same results.

Others point to the promise of a new, more open-minded generation of doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers.

“These kids are ready to tackle this, they’re prepared to integrate it into primary care, and they’re not shy about talking about stigma and fear in the way that older generations are,” said Jodi Manz, the state’s assistant secretary of health and human services.

Small but meaningful breakthroughs are occurring. At Fauquier County’s jail, staff members now join in celebrating inmates’ sobriety milestones. At the Prince William Adult Detention Center, peer navigators — some who themselves were once incarcerated there — now play a pivotal role in getting inmates into treatment.

“We didn’t know how the staff was going to respond to working alongside former inmates,” Maj. Lambert conceded. “I mean, they’ve been told they can’t have relationships with these people. They’re bad people, right? It was a difficult culture change.

“But I’ve found that using peer navigators is the key. That’s the missing link in connecting with people brought in here.” 

But Maj. Lambert doesn’t delude herself about how much work needs to be done, how hard it is to change a mindset about addiction that’s so deeply embedded. 

“We’ve made great strides. But we don’t want to be setting people up for failure,” she said. “We want to be able to say, ‘Here’s your services. Here’s your treatment. Here’s your driver’s license back to help you get a job and support your family.’ Unless we wrap that all up, nothing will change.

“We’ve taken on a 1,000-piece puzzle. Slowly, we’re putting it together.”

Buchanan’s FHS remarks prompt official apology

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
33 ·
Angela “Bay” Buchanan spoke to Fauquier High School students Monday.
I completely understand your concerns and I apologize . . . . The intent of this assembly was student leadership and community service and our speaker used several inappropriate references and personal experiences. I do not approve or condone these actions and believe they were inappropriate for our students.
— Principal Kraig Kelican
The school board and administrators Tuesday apologized for remarks that former U.S. Treasurer Angela “Bay” Buchanan, a conservative political commentator, made during a Veterans Day assembly with the student body at Fauquier High.

A barrage of complaints from students and parents followed Ms. Buchanan’s remarks about abortion and feminism.

Young Americans for Freedom sponsored her half-hour speech Monday morning in the FHS gym.

> Video at bottom of story

At 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, the school system issued a statement that reads in part:

“During an assembly at Fauquier High School yesterday, the invited speaker, Bay Buchanan, former Secretary of the Treasury, made several highly partisan and politically controversial comments to students and staff. Although Ms. Buchanan was requested to speak on the many aspects of leadership and civic responsibility, she chose to go “off script” and made comments that made many feel uncomfortable and, in some cases, angry . . . .

“This event was not a Veteran’s Day assembly. The goal of the assembly was to encourage students to become young leaders and to find ways to give back to their community. Due to scheduling issues, the speaker was only available on November 11. The intent was to provide a message that was positive and appropriate for all. Moving forward, Fauquier County Public Schools will ensure that guest speakers adhere to School Board Policies. We offer our sincerest apologies for the outcome of this assembly and its impact on some of our students.”

Principal Kraig Kelican began apologizing Monday afternoon, saying:

“I can only apologize for the results of this assembly this morning. The intent of the assembly was to encourage leadership among our students and to have them become involved in their community.

“I wanted a positive message to be brought forth and leave our students with a good feeling. My belief was that the message was to be sincere and appropriate for all. That did not happen and I wish it were a positive event.

“I am deeply sorry for the outcome of this event and will make every effort to avoid any such issues in the future.”

Tuesday night, Mr. Kelican sent this email to parents who had complained:

“I completely understand your concerns and I apologize for the events of Nov. 11.  The intent of this assembly was student leadership and community service and our speaker used several inappropriate references and personal experiences.  I do not approve or condone these actions and believe they were inappropriate for our students. I am happy to meet with our students to discuss their concerns and will take all necessary actions to prevent similar situations from occurring.  Again, my apologies for this unfortunate event.”

The school system statement:

Letter to FHS Community 11.... by Fauquier Now on Scribd

Nonprofit soon will own county’s only newspaper

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
1 ·
The Piedmont Journalism Foundation plans no immediate changes in the newspaper’s operation or staffing, according to President “Bo” Jones, former publisher of The Washington Post.
The goal here is to get information to people who live in the county . . . and to keep that up.
— Piedmont Journalism Foundation President Boisfeuillet “Bo” Jones Jr.
Newspaper Owners
1905Thomas Frank of Warrenton founds The Fauquier Democrat.

1936Hubert Phipps of The Plains buys the newspaper and three years later builds new office at 39 Culpeper St.

1974 Arthur W. “Nick” Arundel of The Plains buys “The Democrat” and over the next decade expands his company to 17 Northern Virginia newspapers.

2013 — Two years after his father’s death, Peter Arundel of McLean buys out other family members’ interest in newspaper.

2013 — Newspaper office building sold to real estate investors.

2014 — Dropping “Democrat,” name changes to The Fauquier Times.

2016 — Newspaper sold to Piedmont Media LLC, which George Thompson of Marshall and other local investors formed.

2019Piedmont Journalism Foundation takes ownership for $1,000.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In a last-ditch effort to save the county’s only newspaper, the owners of The Fauquier Times essentially have agreed to give the weekly to a journalism foundation based in The Plains.

Founded last year, the Piedmont Journalism Foundation will pay Piedmont Media LLC $1,000 for The Fauquier Times, The Prince William Times, a group of specialty magazines and the company’s websites, according two sources.

Over just more than three years, investors put approximately $2 million into the newspaper company, according to sources.

Landon Butler, who helped manage Piedmont Media and headed its board, declined to discuss the details of the deal or the company’s financials.

But, the managers and a majority of its shareholders agreed that it would be in the company’s and the community’s best interest to transfer the publications to the nonprofit, Mr. Butler said.

Some newspapers large and small across the country have shifted from “profit” to “nonprofit” models and have done so with apparent success, he suggested.

Mr. Butler, who worked for President Jimmy Carter and headed a real estate investment firm, expressed confidence in the foundation.

“I think it’s going to be good,” said the Rectortown resident, who spoke about financial and other challenges facing traditional media companies in the internet age.

Piedmont Media’s nonprofit status would allow the “community” to help support the company through tax-deductible contributions, Mr. Butler said.

Transfer of Piedmont Media to the nonprofit will take place in the “next few days,” Piedmont Journalism Foundation President Boisfeuillet “Bo” Jones Jr. said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

Discussions between the foundation and media company started a few months ago, said Mr. Jones, who worked for 32 years at The Washington Post Co., serving as the newspaper’s publisher and CEO and vice chairman of the parent company

The ability to accept tax-deductible contributions could produce a new and sustained infusion of cash, he suggested.

“It’s way to generate revenue for a paper or media group beyond what it can raise” through advertising and circulation income, Mr. Jones said.

Piedmont Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the foundation, the Markham resident said.

In the “foreseeable” future, he anticipates no changes at the company, whose existing staff will continue to oversee day-to-day operations, Mr. Jones said.

“We’re a small organization,” he said of the foundation. “For us, it’s a matter of Piedmont Media figuring out what they want to do.”

The foundation’s three-member board includes Mr. Jones, attorney Georgia Herbert who lives near The Plains and Jessica Matthews, a former think tank executive. The organization has no staff. Mr. Jones declined to discuss its finances.

“They’re going to keep their organization the way it is,” he said of Piedmont Media. “They’re going to keep their own board.”

The foundation will support the company and local journalism, explained Mr. Jones, noting it funded and provided at no cost to Piedmont Media in-depth stories on rural broadband and the opioid crisis.

The foundation also shared the opioid crises series with Fauquier Now.

And, it will continue to “supplement” local media coverage with “in-depth” journalism, Mr. Jones said.

“The goal here is to get information to people who live in the county . . . and to keep that up,” he said.

Many of the company’s approximately 45 stockholders, who put millions into the company’s 2016 purchase and operation, first learned about the transaction last week.

Warrenton resident Les Cheek, who bought 15 shares at $1,000 apiece, got the news in a phone call last Thursday from Piedmont Media LLC board member Trevor Potter.

In a 15-minute conversation, Mr. Potter summarized a single-spaced, 7-1/2-page memo that explained the reasons for effectively giving the company to the foundation and the financial problems that plague it, Mr. Cheeks said.

Mr. Potter told him that all investors would receive by mail a packet of a one-page cover letter, the memo and two “consent” documents that required the signatures of shareholders who backed the transaction, he said.

Depending on circumstances, he and other investors will have an opportunity to write off “capital” losses related to investments in Piedmont Media on federal and state tax returns, Mr. Cheek said.

“Most of” the memo “consisted of what we all know, which is the headwinds for print journalism are very strong in a negative direction,” he said. “And, that basically the investors and managers had basically exhausted their capacity to raise any more funds for the paper in its current business model.”

The memo also refers to the national decline in newspaper advertising revenue, dropping from $50 billion in 2000 to $14 billion today, he said.

The document included no details about the media company’s cash flow and expenses, he said.

But, it does refer to the company’s efforts to reduce substantial losses.

During the first six months of 2018, the company lost $201,893, Mr. Cheek said the memo states. For the same period this year, it lost $22,000, according to the memo.

“The one thing that stands out” about the memo “was the absence of financials. But, I think the narrative itself makes it clear that the paper is not just between a rock and a hard place, but essentially on the verge of going under” without the company’s transfer to the nonprofit.

Despite cost-cutting moves, “the paper remains in a precarious financial condition, almost literally operating week to week based on the management of receivables,” according to the memo.

More than three years ago, George R. Thompson, who lives near Marshall, organized, helped fund and recruited investors to purchase the publications from Peter Arundel for $1.2 million. The group subsequently invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in computers, software, a phone system, new staff positions and other areas.

The late Arthur W. “Nick” Arundel bought The Fauquier Democrat in 1974. In the 1990s, Mr. Arundel changed the newspaper’s name to The Fauquier Times-Democrat, to bring it into alignment with his group that once included 17 publications. Two years after Mr. Arundel’s death in 2010, his eldest son Peter bought out other family members’ ownership interests.

When Mr. Thompson’s investment group purchased The Fauquier Times in the summer of 2016, the paper’s circulation stood at 9,400. Today, it stands at about 8,400.

Mr. Thompson refused to comment on the Piedmont Media’s ownership transfer to the foundation.

Investors helped purchase the company from the Arundels with the best intentions, Mr. Cheek said.

“If you were to ask 75 percent or 80 percent of those who originally backed (the purchase) why they did it, they would all tell you that it was absolutely vital to have a local newspaper for the sake of keeping tabs on what government was doing and to keep people in the community informed of what was going on,” Mr. Cheek added.

He “would have loved to have” realized a big profit on his investment, John Richardson of Delaplane said.

But, “I didn’t invest on that assumption,” said Mr. Richardson, who declined to say how much money he put into the company.

“The effort was to preserve a newspaper devoted to Fauquier County and improve it.”

What does he think about the quality of journalism produced during Piedmont Media’s three-year ownership of The Fauquier Times?

“I think there was some improvement,” Mr. Richardson said. “I think there could have been more. There can always be improvement. And, different people are going to have different ideas as to how things ought to be improved.”

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

Bob Lee and Hope Porter honored for conservation

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
0 ·

PATH Foundation installs three new board members

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
0 ·

A year later, authorities seek leads in double murder

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
1 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
0 ·

Habitat buys 9 Haiti St. dwellings for $778,000

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Google Earth
With a $1-million PATH Foundation grant, Fauquier Habitat for Humanity purchased five properties, slated for rehabilitation as part of its ongoing work in Warrenton’s Haiti Street neighborhood.
Fauquier Habitat for Humanity recently paid $778,000 for five rental properties, with nine living spaces, on Haiti and Horner streets in Warrenton.

The PATH Foundation provided a grant of more than $1 million for the purchase and rehabilitation of the properties.

“Availability of affordable housing in our area is a real issue, and it is challenging to find ways to chip away at the problem,” PATH President Christy Connolly said. “We believe that the Fauquier Habitat effort is very strong because of its extensive planning and partnership with neighborhood residents, the Town of Warrenton and other regional and national organizations with proven success in these efforts.”

Working with residents, other organizations and volunteers, Habitat started the Haiti Neighborhood Revitalization initiative three years ago.

The newest purchases bring the organization’s ownership to 11 properties, with 20 housing units, in the neighborhood.

Fauquier Habitat Executive Director Darryl Neher added, “Fauquier Habitat values the

“What’s next is a strategic-planning process to help us identify how to best utilize the properties in pursuit of fulfilling our mission to ensure everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to live,” Fauquier Habitat Executive Director Darryl Neher said. “The planning process will allow residents of the neighborhood, Fauquier Habitat staff, town officials, architect Jim Hricko, representatives from HD Advisors, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Virginia Community Development Corporation and other interested community partners to determine possibilities for the neighborhood.

“This significant process is expected to take six to 12 months.
Kirsten Dueck, PATH Foundation senior program officer, has worked on the effort since it was first envisioned three years ago.  “We continue to be impressed with Fauquier Habitat’s efforts to collaborate with neighbors, community members and experienced organizations to make certain this revitalization program is approached thoughtfully.  The PATH Foundation’s grant provides for the purchase of the properties, but also for hiring essential project staff to shepherd the process.”
She added, “It has been incredibly special to be part of a group of people truly committed to honoring the Haiti Street neighborhood history and to working together toward its healthy and vibrant future.”

Carolina Gomez-Navarette, who has helped plan the project as a Fauquier Habitat board member and Habitat homeowner on Haiti St., said: “I am thankful for PATH’s generosity and for God putting me on this path with Habitat. Sometimes I cannot believe I am part of this work to make our community better.”
The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2019:

Cedar Run District

Argent Development LLC, Robert M. Iten IV as sole member, and Surrey House LLC, William H. Farley as managing member, to Daniel A. and Clarissa N. Barrett, 2.81 acres, 7699 Kennedy Road, near Vint Hill, $449,900.

FFC Properties LLC, Brian Fowler as sole member, to Donald J. Kiefer, 5.78 acres, 4165 Christopher Way, near Vint Hill, $560,000.

James R. and Maria W. Vansplunder to Michael W. and Kathy J. Beach, 1.5 acres, 12562 Bristersburg Road, near Midland, $425,000.

Kenneth C. and Janet K. Malamphy to Stuart R. and Cindy M. Seal, 5.07 acres, 12677 Marsh Road, near Morrisville, $399,900.

Windy Oak Investments LLC, William H. Farley as managing member, to James and Karin Frank, 8.01 acres, 12721 Bristersburg Road, near Midland, $460,000.

Rockwood Homes Inc. to Justin M. and Katherine I. Perry, 6.81 acres, 7273 Rockwood Road, near Midland, $574,921.

Benjamin M. Houser and Mark S. Houser to Laurice and Michael P. Maher, 1.57 acres, Lot A, Low Pond Subdivision, 8770 Low Pond Drive, near Warrenton, $400,000.

Center District

Eva C. Harris to Fauquier Habitat for Humanity, Lot, 84-86-88 Haiti St.; lot, 130-132-134 Haiti St.; 0.21 acre, 97 Horner St.; 5,446 square feet, 107 Haiti St.; 7,696 square feet, Haiti St., and 7,696 Haiti St., Warrenton, $778,600.

Darin A. Anderson to Steven D. and Kimberley W. Ainsworth, Unit 14, Phase 14, Villas at The Ridges Condominiums, 160 Ruby Court, Warrenton, $364,000.

Teresa A. Bowles and Tina N. Culver to 7 Main Street LLC, 3,393 square feet, 7 Main St., Warrenton, $1,300,000.

Anthony J. and Holly M. Tedeschi to Matthew and Josephine Shoaf, Lot 143, Section 2D, Olde Gold Cup Subdivision, 810 Rayquick Court, Warrenton, $469,900.

David P. and Cynthia L. Maida to Craig L. and Carol S. Andrews, Unit 20, Phase 13, Villas at The Ridges Condominiums, 165 Lapis Court, Warrenton, $350,000.

Renee A. Davis to Jessica J. Asaro, Townhouse 5, Kingsbridge Court Subdivision, 13 Kingsbridge Court, Warrenton, $235,000.

Stewart V. and Susan A. Nell to David E. and Rhya Daubert, Lot 62, Section 2, Oak Springs Subdivision, 727 Arbor Court, Warrenton, $306,000.

Laurice and Michael Maher III to Ida M. Hackett, Lot 61, Phase 2, Highlands of Warrenton Subdivision, 110 Dorset Lane, Warrenton, $309,000.

Lee District

Joshua C. and Jennifer L. Bott to Oscar D. Munoz and Carlos Portillo, 0.27 acre, Lot 11, Remington Ridge Subdivision, 12250 Short St., Remington, $251,250.

Jason M. P. Tancara to Robert and Lisa Stanley, Lot 178, Phase 2, Section E, Edgewood East Subdivision, 11381 Falling Creek Drive, Bealeton, $420,000.

Howard D. Pond to James D. and Sarah Morris, Unit J, Building 4, Cedar Lee Condominiums, 11235 Torrie Way, Bealeton, $140,500.

Nicholas A. Hanzivasilis to Aaron Brown, Unit A, Building 2, Cedar Lee Condominiums, 11238 Torrie Way, Bealeton, $145,000.

CC Properties LLC, Charles C. Johnson and Miller Attkisson as members, to Baltazar D. Hernandez to Maris F.S. Roman, 2 acres, 13184 South River Road, Sumerduck, $410,000.

Brian S. and Amanda P. Murphy to Marlenis Rubio and Veronica B.C. Guevara, 0.92 acre, 10742 James Madison Highway, near Opal, $287,000.

Carter D. and Tiffany K. Layne to Courtney Romesberg and Ashley Cornwell, Lot 49-A, Section B3, Edgewood East Subdivision, 6899 Maplewood Drive, Bealeton, $310,000.

Marshall District

Imperial Holdings of Virginia LLC, Frank Mangano as manager, to Chase R. Ryan, Lot 35, Section 1, Silver Cup Subdivision, 7463 Silver Cup Drive, near Warrenton, $552,500.

Conrad and Galit G. Holtslag to Lorens O. Gregorio, 0.81 acre, 9031 Turnbull Road, near Warrenton, $192,000.

John W. and Kathleen B. Lindquist, trustees, to Alexandra Woodson, 1.1 acres, Lot 3, Section 2, Fauquier White Sulphur Springs Subdivision, 9276 Tournament Drive, near Warrenton, $535,000.

Mitchell Berliner and Debra J. Moser to Caroline W. Harrell-Cramer, 25 aces, Putnam’s Mill Road, near Orlean, $190,000.

Robert C. and Linda M. Thomson, trustees, to Anthony J. and Holly M. Tedeschi, 7.31 acres, Lot 1, Waterloo Farms Subdivision, 9147 Hyde Lane, near Warrenton, $677,750.

Carole Edwards and Ernest A. Fewell to Jessica R. Thomas, 1.39 acres, Lot 9, Woodley Heights Subdivision, 7019 Woodley Heights Drive, near Warrenton, $310,000.

Scott District

Richard K. and Annette M. Wingo to John M. and Wanda L. Kasel, trustees, Lot 96, Phase 6, Brookside Subdivision, 4490 Corral Road, near Warrenton, $605,000.

Mara Desmedt to Shaun R. McNamara, Lot 28, Block A, Rock Springs Subdivision, near Warrenton, $389,000.

Danny M. Loftin, trustee, to Christopher K. Perkins, 1.93 acres, Lot 1, Green View Subdivision, 6405 View Court, Broad Run, $490,000.

Carl J. Rafter to Christophe Chow, Lot 6, Grant Division, 7225 John Marshall Highway, near The Plains, $339,500.

Richard R. and Peggy G. Tolbert to James S. and Sherry D. Walsh, trustees, Lot 79, Section 2, Phase 1, Lake Whippoorwill Subdivision, 5952 Whippoorwill Drive, near Warrenton, $530,000.

Jesus T. Nieves and Ginette Tellado to Jason C. and Michelle Foote, 10.96 acres, Lot 5-A, Auburn Church Subdivision, 4435 Redturn Lane, near Warrenton, $625,000.

Jason C. and Michele Foote to Erik and Michelle Kersteter, Lot 166, Phase 8-F, Brookside Subdivision, 3129 Lake Wesley Court, near Warrenton, $540,000.

Top issues facing new Fauquier school board

Posted Tuesday,
November 12, 2019
2 ·

Girlfriend implicates man charged in teen’s murder

Posted Monday,
November 11, 2019
1 ·
The prosecution charges that Myison Iaeene Ellis, 38, of Waynesboro, fired the shot that killed 18-year-old Lincoln L. Williams Jr.
‘Don’t let me die’. That’s the last thing he said, before he f_ _ _ _ing died.
— Lincoln L. Williams Sr.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The Waynesboro man sat passively in Fauquier County General District Court last week as his girlfriend implicated him in the August murder of an 18-year-old Warrenton man.

Myison Iaeene Ellis, 38, faces felony charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit or attempt to commit robbery in the shooting death of Lincoln L. Williams Jr.

The shooting took place Aug. 26 outside Mr. Williams’ house at 5042 Old Auburn Road, about five miles east of town. He died in Fauquier Hospital at 11:40 p.m. of a close-range gunshot in the face — almost an hour after the incident.

Karen Farmer — Mr. Ellis’ girlfriend — testified Thursday that he admitted visiting Mr. Williams at his family’s home the night of the shooting.

“Myison said he shot at ‘Whiteboy’ ” — the victim’s nickname, recalled Ms. Farmer, a prosecution witness in the case.

Ms. Farmer’s brother — Daniel M. “Rudeboy” Farmer II, 23, of Nokesville — also faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery in connection with victim’s death.

Mr. Farmer on Thursday, Nov. 14, will appear in general district court for a preliminary hearing on those charges.

Her brother talked about “setting up” the victim to get “money” from him, Ms. Farmer said.

The prosecution argued that Mr. Farmer recruited Mr. Ellis — the two met at a party — to help him rob the victim and that Mr. Ellis ultimately pulled the trigger.

A third defendant — Lucretia Ann Robison, 54, of Manassas — faces a conspiracy charge to commit robbery in connection with Mr. Williams’ death. Ms. Robinson on Thursday, Nov. 14, will appear in General District court for a preliminary hearing on the charge.

The victim’s father — Lincoln L. Williams Sr. — also testified Thursday during the 45-minute hearing.

Mr. Ellis’ lawyer called the father to testify, believing that he would incriminate Mr. Farmer as the killer.

After the shooting, the son entered the family’s home.

Mr. Williams Sr., who called 9-1-1, told the court he first encountered his bloodied son in a hallway.

The father said he asked his son who had attacked him.

The teenager held up two fingers and said, “Rudeboy,” according to his father, using Mr. Farmer’s nickname.

In making the gesture, the prosecution believes Lincoln Williams Jr. intended to indicate that Rudeboy and a second person were responsible for the shooting.

Taken together, testimony by Ms. Farmer and Lincoln Williams Sr. prove that Mr. Ellis murdered the young man, according to the prosecution.

But Mr. Ellis’ lawyer — Jessica Sherman-Stoltz — insisted that Ms. Farmer lacked “credibility” because she has an interest in “protecting her brother” against a charge that he fired the shot that killed the young man.

Ms. Sherman-Stoltz also took exception to the prosecution’s case because it offered no physical evidence that fingered her client as the killer.

After weighing the testimony, Judge J. Gregory Ashwell found probable cause to forward the case to a Fauquier grand jury to determine whether Mr. Ellis should be indicted on the charges. The circuit court grand jury next meets Nov. 25.

A planned drug deal apparently preceded the shooting. The victim told his father that he “would travel” to the Warrenton Walmart “to sell drugs,” according to Mr. Farmer’s arrest warrant.

But, the transaction may not have occurred.

Store video shows Lincoln Jr. leaving the Warrenton Walmart at about 10:24 p.m. on the night he died, according to court documents.

On the witness stand, the father struggled to repeat his son’s final words at the family’s home, before medics arrived and took the young man to Fauquier Hospital.

“‘Don’t let me die,’” the father told the court. “That’s the last thing he said, before he f_ _ _ _ing died.”

Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott C. Hook and Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Abigail J. Owens presented the prosecution’s case.

“We’re confident we have the man who pulled the trigger,” Mr. Hook said.

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

Community expresses thanks to those who served

Posted Monday,
November 11, 2019
0 ·
Local citizens and veterans gather Monday morning for the annual ceremony at the Fauquier Veterans Memorial on Hospital Hill in Warrenton.
Fauquier citizens paid tribute to those who’ve served in the military at Monday morning’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Hospital Hill in Warrenton.

Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Spotsylvania), who represents part of Fauquier in the Virginia General Assembly, delivered the keynote address. All veterans deserve our admiration and appreciation for their service, said Mr. Cole, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserve.

The Kettle Run High School Band provided patriotic music. Liberty High School’s JROTC provided the color guard and the 21-gun salute.

The ceremony takes place each year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a tradition that dates to the end of World War I.

The Fauquier Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 1993, bears the names of all county men and women who died in service to the nation since 1990.

Methamphetamine, heroin seized in Remington raid

Posted Friday,
November 8, 2019
2 ·
Video/Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.
Video depicts officers moving in on Remington home early Friday and suspect fleeing at rear.
Police arrested four Remington residents on narcotics charges after a predawn raid of a house north of town Friday.

“A narcotics investigation by the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Taskforce led to the execution of a search warrant,” sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman said. “The search warrant was the result of an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine in the area.”
As task force members and Fauquier sheriff’s deputies arrived at the house in the 11000 block of James Madison Street, “one suspect jumped from a window and fled on foot,” Sgt. Hartman said. “That suspect, identified as Anthony Poole, was captured a short time later with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office Unmanned Aerial Systems Unit and K-9 Hank.” 
Officers charged:
• Anthony Poole, 28, of Remington, with possession of methamphetamine and a third or subsequent offence of distribution of methamphetamine.
• Robert Logue, 33, of Remington, with possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine. 
• Rebecca Bishop, 39, of Remington, with possession of methamphetamine.
• Kenneth Macafee, 29, of Remington, with possession of methamphetamine.
More information will be available after the suspects go through arrest processing.
“Sheriff (Bob) Mosier praised the efforts of the Blue Ridge Narcotics and Gang Taskforce for their continued efforts to help combat narcotics distribution in Fauquier County,” Sgt. Hartman added. 

5 Friday Fauquier Factoids: Webert’s election history

Posted Friday,
November 8, 2019
1 ·
In each of his four contested elections, including Tuesday’s, Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall) has received more than 60 percent of the vote.
63.4 percent

Average vote total for Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall) in his four contested elections since 2011.

Mr. Webert, who represents most of Fauquier in the Virginia House of Delegates, received:

• 60.3 percent of the vote in this year’s contest with Laura Galante (D).

• 60.4 percent in 2017, when he faced Tristan Shields (D) and Will King (I).

• 63.3 percent in 2013, when Colin Harris (D) challenged him.

• 69.6 percent in 2011, when he and Bob Zwick (D) ran in the newly-configured district, which includes 11 of Fauquier’s 20 precincts, all of Rappahannock and portions of Culpeper and Warren counties.

Mr. Webert ran unopposed in 2015.

49.56 percent

Voter turnout in the Kettle Run precinct for Tuesday’s election — the best among Fauquier’s 20 polling places.

Rounding out the county’s top five precincts for voter participation Tuesday:

Broad Run, 48.13 percent.

Leeds, 47.97 percent.

New Baltimore, 46.65 percent.

Vint Hill, 46.11 percent.

Countywide, turnout hit 46.03 percent, as 23,477 county citizens cast ballots. Fauquier had 51,002 voters eligible to participate in this week’s election.


County government employees so far have attended a mandatory class called “Until Help Arrives.”

That represents 59 percent of the county’s 752 workers.

Provided by Fauquier’s emergency services department, the training equips participants with the ability to “recognize violent activities, respond safely, provide immediate rescue tactics to the injured and report them to 9-1-1 efficiently” until first responders arrive at the scene, according to the agency.

The department also offers the free class to the public. To date, 34 residents have completed it.

The training sessions will be conducted on Saturday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Feb. 8, at Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton. Because of limited space, the department requests that participants register for the class. To register for the class, click here.

For more information, call 540-422-8803 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


State money Fauquier will receive from the sale of “Animal Friendly” license plates in fiscal 2019 for the sterilization of cats and dogs.

Because the county has no sterilization program, the board of supervisors plans to donate the money to the Fauquier SPCA to perform the procedures.

Under the Virginia Motor Vehicles Department’s program, local governments receive a portion of the revenue generated through the sale of the special license plates.

“After the first 1,000 sets of plates are sold, $15 of each fee is made available to the locality in which the vehicle is registered” to sterilize cats and dogs, according to the state agency.

$128.1 million

Total state income that Fauquier County individuals paid in 2016, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation’s annual report for fiscal 2018 — the most recent available.

Net taxable income here totaled $2.37 billion, with most paying 5.75 percent to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Fauquier residents filed 32,245 state income tax returns in 2016:

• 16,755 individually.

• 14,522 jointly as married couples.

• 938 married and separately.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Friday,
November 8, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Health receives an “A” for patient safety

Posted Friday,
November 8, 2019
0 ·

Local couple purchases downtown flower shop

Posted Thursday,
November 7, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Tina Culver and her mother Teresa Bowles will continue to work with new owner Virginia Gerrish (center).
Two decades ago, Ms. Bowles built an addiction that doubled the building’s size.
Longtime customer Phyllis Teague talks with Ms. Gerrish during a visit to the shop Wednesday.
We were looking for some kind of family business to get involved in. And, this became available. For us, it just felt right.
— New owner Virginia Gerrish
Designs by Teresa
• What: Flower and gift shop

• Where: 7 Main St., Warrenton

• Owner: Virginia Gerrish

• Established: 1986

• Employees: 5, including Mrs. Gerrish

• Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to noon Saturday

• Phone: 540-347-4762

• Website:

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

Under the same ownership for 33 years, the downtown Warrenton flower and gift shop Designs by Teresa changed hands last week.

Teresa Bowles on Oct. 31 sold the 7 Main St. building and .08-acre lot that contain the business to Virginia and Dave Gerrish of Warrenton for $1.3 million.

Ms. Bowles and the Gerrishes declined to say if the real estate sale price includes the value of the business. For tax purposes, the county assessed the Old Town property at $654,700. Ms. Bowles listed it at $1.6 million.

The couple first considered buying the business and property about two months ago, Mrs. Gerrish said.

For several reasons, the opportunity seemed like a good fit, she said.

“We were looking for some kind of family business to get involved in,” she explained. “And, this became available. For us, it just felt right. I’m a high-energy person — always volunteering and helping. This is a good way to channel my energy.”

Their decision to acquire Designs by Teresa also would ensure that a family-owned business remained just that, Mrs. Gerrish said.

To the educated and trained preservationist, the 1890s Italianate structure held special appeal, she said.

“We love the building and live in an old house on High Street,” explained Mrs. Gerrish, who earned a bachelor’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Mary Washington and serves on the town and county architectural review boards.

The approximately 7,000-square-foot brick-and-stucco structure also represents a “good investment,” she said.

Mrs. Gerrish anticipates no big changes for Designs by Teresa.

“For now, we’re going to keep everything the same — same service, same quality of service, same employees.”

Both Ms. Bowles, who founded the business in 1986, and her daughter Tina Culver will continue to work at the shop at their pleasure, the new owner said.

“Tina is staying on indefinitely,” Mrs. Gerrish said. “The same thing with Teresa; she can stay as long as she likes.”

While Mrs. Gerrish owned an import business in the 1990s, Designs by Teresa represents her first retail venture.

“I have just jumped in,” the former Air Force technical sergeant said. “I have never done this. Fortunately, I have an amazing staff. Everybody here can do everything.”

A financial advisor and senior vice president with Wells Fargo Advisors, Mr. Gerrish, 74, head’s the company’s Warrenton branch at 70 Main St.

Within the next six months or so, Mrs. Gerrish hopes to launch the business’s new website, which she believes will strengthen internet sales.

“We’re going to modernize a few things on the business side of the house,” she said.

Besides flowers and plants, the shop carries fountains and other garden items, custom silk flower arrangements, statues and gift baskets.

Mrs. Gerrish plans to expand the shop’s gift selection. A beekeeper, she also may offer supplies and items related to the hobby.

Any changes will be “slow and subtle,” she stressed.

“It’s still going to remain flowers and gifts,” Mrs. Gerrish said of the shop. “Right now, my focus is learning the business. I don’t ever want to compromise the high quality of the work.”

A Designs by Teresa customer for 23 years, Phyllis Teague learned Wednesday about the shift in ownership.

“I’m delighted that the mainstay on Main Street will be here,” Mrs. Teague, a retired school teacher, said in an interview at the shop. “This is such a solid business and focal point of our town. And, I’m thrilled it’s going to continue as a flower shop.”

Carter Nevill, co-owns Carter & Spence, a jewelry and gift shop at 41 Main St.

“I’m thrilled it will continue as a long-standing business on Main Street,” Mayor Nevill said of the deal. “It’s purchased by someone with deep roots, a passion for historical preservation and Old Town.”

Ms. Bowles established business in 1986, initially operating it from a Culpeper Street storefront.

In 1994, she bought the 7 Main St. building and soon moved the business there.

More than doubling the structure's size, Ms. Bowles in 1999 constructed a three-story addition to include a two-bedroom apartment, office space and two-vehicle garage.

She listed the property for sale about 15 months ago. Two potential buyers had expressed interest in it, provided she would continue to run the flower shop and lease space from them.

Those discussions went nowhere, because she wanted out of the business.

Explaining her decision to retire, Ms. Bowles said: “When you do something for 51 years, don’t you think you get tired of it? I’m a little worn out.”

What will she do with her extra spare time?

“Anything I like. I’m going somewhere when my friends want to go somewhere, have lunch with my buddies and stay in my pajamas until 1 o’clock, if I want.”

Warrenton has two other florists — Village Flowers at 81 Main St. and The Warrenton Florist at 276 Broadview Ave.

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

Throwback Thursday: Yes to elected school board

Posted Thursday,
November 7, 2019
1 ·
November 1994: Eric Rizer — with sons Alexander, 4, and Nicholas, 2 — studies sample ballot Tuesday at the polls in Marshall.
25 Years Ago
From The Fauquier Citizen edition of November 11, 1994

Voters overwhelmingly OK school board elections

Seventy-six percent of Fauquier voters (10,922 to 3,429) decided Tuesday the county’s public education system would be better served if citizens directly chose their school board representatives.

For the first time, Fauquier voters will have a chance to elect their school board in November 1995.

As of Tuesday, 101 jurisdictions in Virginia had decided to choose school boards at the ballot box.

Dozens of Fauquier voters interviewed on Election Day said the new method will help break up Fauquier’s entrenched good-old-boy network.

“I think sometimes appointed positions are favors,” Warrenton resident Susan Lauer said after voting at the Warren Green Building. “They (appointees) have done a favor for the job.”

In recent years, the county supervisors have appointed school board members. Previously, a court-appointed School Board Selection Committee had that responsibility.

Vint Hill’s future topic next week

The Vint Hill task force consulting team next week will unveil the first phase of its findings about economic redevelopment potential of the 700-acre Army base near New Baltimore.

The public meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the base movie theater.

During phase one, the consulting team headed by Dewberry and Davis of Northern Virginia focused on information gathering. Among other things, the inch-thick report addresses socio-economic, land-use, infrastructure and recreational issues.

Tuesday’s meeting will allow about 90 minutes for public comment.

29 seek appointment as treasurer

The long list of applicants seeking the job as the county’s interim treasurer includes some familiar names, former County Administrator Steve Crosby among them.

Crosby, who served 11 years as administrator before resigning, is among 29 Fauquier residents who want to complete the remaining year of Republican Bitsy Lineweaver’s four-year term, which will expire Dec. 31, 1995.

Ms. Lineweaver plans to step down next month to accept a job with Multi-One Financial Services in Chesapeake.

A three-judge panel will begin interviewing applicants Nov. 16. The treasurer’s job has a starting salary of $45,187. An elected official, the treasurer oversees 12 employees and a $426,000 annual budget.

Instincts help Ribbons boom

It must take careful analysis and projections to maintain one of Fauquier County’s fastest-growing retailers.

Sitting amid boxes stacked 10 feet high in her cramped “office,” Ribbons Inc. founder and owner Carolyn Hanes laughs.

“I’m a stomach person; I go a lot on instincts,” Ms. Hanes says. “I’ve also been very, very lucky.”

Ribbons experienced a 44-percent gross sales increase from 1992 to ’93. This year should be the best ever for the Hallmark card and gift store in Warrenton’s Oak Springs Plaza, according to Ms. Hanes.

The growth prompted her and husband Scott Schaeffer to sign a 10-year lease for another 1,400 square feet in the busy shopping center. Ribbons has expanded for the second time since 1992 to occupy 4,500 square feet, taking adjacent space that previously housed an ice cream shop.

Exporting trash a possibility

If a four-member citizens’ committee can recommend an environmentally-sound, cost-effective alternative, Fauquier might never bury a single piece of trash at Corral Farm.

In April 1993, the county supervisors paid $2.6 million for the 235-acre farm just south of Warrenton. The plan calls for a new landfill on 122 acres there.

But, before the county builds a new landfill, it again will consider alternatives, including construction of a transfer station, from which Fauquier would ship its trash elsewhere.

The estimated costs, however, favor the landfill option. It would cost $1.9 million a year — or $46 per ton — to operate, according county officials. A transfer station would run up to $3.2 million a year, or $76 per ton.

Miscellaneous for Sale

10-foot satellite dish

General Instruments 271R Receiver-Video Cipher II with remote. Two years old. $1,600. 703-636-xxxx.

73 flags planted in advance of Veterans Day ceremony

Posted Thursday,
November 7, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Thursday,
November 7, 2019
0 ·

Walmart shooting allegedly started with drug deal

Posted Wednesday,
November 6, 2019
8 ·
Deonte Tyrone Clayton-Warren, 18, and Jordan McKinley Washington, 20, both of Stafford, face four felony charges each. Authorities also charged two Fredericksburg boys, 16 and 17, respectively.
Counterfeit U.S. currency was shown and an argument ensued.
— Arrest warrant
The shooting in the Warrenton Walmart parking lot Tuesday night resulted from a drug purchase gone awry, according to arrest documents.

Two Stafford County men and two teenagers allegedly tried to buy marijuana with fake money from three people in a red Scion coupe.

“Counterfeit U.S. currency was shown and an argument ensued,” an arrest warrant says. “Deonte Warren admitted that he shot into the vehicle of Kenneth Halsey, which was also occupied by Carli Wood.

“Both Wood and Halsey were struck by the bullet fired.”

A third person in the Scion suffered no injury.

The suspects — two Stafford County men and two teenagers — fled in a white Acura sedan, which crashed about 30 minutes later near Midland as an intense manhunt focused on Southern Fauquier, according to sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman.

Police arrested two suspects around 7 p.m. and captured the other two, who fled the accident scene at Elk Run and Ritchie roads, just after midnight, Sgt. Hartman said.

A single pistol shot hit both victims — Mr. Halsey, 20, of Warrenton, and Ms. Wood, 18, of Front Royal — as they sat in the car about 50 yards from Walmart’s north entrance.

After the shooting, they drove to the adjacent Home Depot parking lot and called 911, according to Sgt. Hartman.

They received treatment for non-life-threatening wounds at Fauquier Hospital soon after the shooting at 5:15 p.m.

“The investigation revealed one of the adults, Deonte Tyrone Clayton-Warren, shot the victims . . . with a gun that allegedly belonged to the other adult, Jordan McKinley Washington,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release Wednesday morning. “It is further alleged Clayton-Warren, Washington and the two juveniles travelled from the Stafford/Fredericksburg area to purchase narcotics.”

Sheriff’s deputies charged each of these suspects with four felonies apiece:

• Deonte Tyrone Clayton-Warren, 18, of Stafford.

• Jordan McKinley Washington, 20, of Stafford.

• A 16-year-old male, of Fredericksburg.

• A 17-year-old male, of Fredericksburg.

Each faces two counts of felony malicious wounding, a count of felony shooting into an occupied vehicle and a felony count of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

Mr. Clayton-Warren and Mr. Washington made brief appearances by video link in Fauquier County General District Court on Wednesday morning. Both remain in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center without bond.

They will next appear in court on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

The two teenage suspects remain at a regional juvenile detention center.

Travelling on Ritchie Road, the Acura sedan ran the stop sign and collided with a Buick travelling south on Elk Run Road, according to Sgt. Hartman.

The manhunt included a Fairfax County police helicopter, tracking dogs, drones and officers from neighboring counties.

Two TV news helicopters from Washington also hovered over the Walmart and later the Midland crash scene Tuesday night.

The police helicopter crew found the four suspects “lying in the woods south of the crash location” around 7 p.m.

“As law enforcement approached the area, two suspects fled,” Sgt. Hartman said. Officers “took one suspect into custody at approximately 7:15 p.m. and another suspect was located and taken into custody a short time later.

“The two remaining suspects were located just after midnight in the 11500 block of Elk Run Road, north of the crash scene.”

He added: “The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office would like to recognize and thank the citizens in and around the search area for their patience, cooperation and assistance. Sheriff (Bob) Mosier also extends sincere gratitude to the Warrenton Police Department, Virginia State Police, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and the Fairfax County Police Department for the assistance provided during the search for these suspects and for helping to bring this to a safe resolution for all involved.”

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Wednesday,
November 6, 2019
0 ·

All four suspects arrested after Walmart shooting

Posted Wednesday,
November 6, 2019
6 ·
Police by early Wednesday morning arrested all four suspects in a shooting that wounded two people Tuesday night in the Warrenton Walmart parking.

The four males — two adults and two juveniles — fled the shooting scene in a white Accura sedan just after 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Fauquier sheriff’s Sgt. James Hartman.

That car later crashed at Elk Run and Ritchie Roads near Midland as a huge manhunt — including two police helicopters, tracking dogs and drones, closed in on the suspects, Sgt. Hartman said.

Authorities quickly arrested two of the suspects and captured the other two around 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

Each faces two charges of malicious wounding and two firearms charges.

The victims — a 20-year-old man and 18-year-old woman — received treatment for non-life-threatening wounds Tuesday night at Fauquier Hospital, Sgt. Hartman said.

One of the suspects fired a handgun into a red Scion coupe around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The same shot apparently hit both suspects. The shooting took place in the Walmart parking lot, about 50 yards from the store’s north entrance.

“A male and female victim became engaged in a confrontation in the parking lot of Walmart,” Sgt. Hartman wrote in a press release. “While they were inside of a vehicle, they were shot.

“The victims drove next-door to Home Depot to call 911.”

Dozens of police officers responded to the two big-box stores at the southern edge of Warrenton.

State police and other agencies joined the manhunt, focused on Southern Fauquier.

Warrenton police investigators collected evidence in the Walmart parking lot, where broken glass from the driver’s side window of the Scion lay across the pavement.

Sheriff’s investigators collected evidence from the car parked on the north side of Home Depot.

The town police turned command of the investigation over to the sheriff’s office.

Eric Maybach easily elected commissioner of revenue

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
2 ·
Warrenton resident Eric Maybach (R) got 14,031 votes in the commissioner of revenue race.
Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel re-elected with 73 percent of vote.
School board member Suzanne Sloane (Scott District) re-elected with 34.5 percent of vote in three-way race.
Susan Pauling elected Center District school board member with 55.8 percent of vote.
Stephanie Litter-Reber, with 68.6 percent of the vote, defeats incumbent Donald Mason for Lee District school board seat.
Republican Eric Maybach cruised to victory in the Fauquier County race for commissioner of revenue Tuesday.

With 63.3 percent of the countywide vote, Mr. Maybach defeated independent candidate Angela Smith for the position that Ross D’Urso will leave next month after 29 years in office.

On a mild, sunny Election Day, 46.03 percent of Fauquier’s eligible voters cast ballots. Of 51,002 voters, 23,477 participated in person or by absentee ballot.

Marshall District Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel easily won a second term.

Scott District school board member Suzanne Sloane also won a second term in a very competitive three-way race.

In Lee District, challenger Stephanie Litter-Reber defeated school board incumbent Donald Mason.

In Center District, Susan Pauling defeated Rachel Bongiovi for the open school board seat. Brian Gorg will step down at year’s end after two terms.

Four county supervisors, two school board members, along with Fauquier’s commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer won without opponents in Tuesday’s election.

Meanwhile, Fauquier solidly supported Republican candidates — two incumbents and a challenger — in Virginia House of Delegates races. Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th/Upperville) also easily carried her home county.

Sen. Vogel had 64 percent of the districtwide vote, with 67 of 70 precincts reporting. She led Democratic challenger Ronnie Ross of Middleburg, 41,559 votes to 23,200.

Del. Michael Webert (R-18th/Marshall) defeated Democratic challenger Laura Galante, also of Marshall, 16,640 votes to 10,720. Del. Webber got 60.3 percent of the district’s vote.

Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st/Dale City) got 52.7 percent of the district vote to defeat Republican challenger D.J. Jordan of Woodbridge. Del Guzman got 14,621 votes to Mr. Jordan’s 13,114.

Del. Mark Cole (R-88th/Spotsylvania) got 55.67 percent of the district vote to defeat Democratic challenger Jessica Foster of Remington. Del. Cole got 15,142 votes to Ms. Foster’s 12,008.

Statewide Democrats took from Republicans control of both the 100-member House of Delegates and the 40-member Virginia Senate, according to projections just after 9 p.m. But, vote counting across the commonwealth could continue a couple more hours.

Unofficial Fauquier County vote totals
Contested races

Commissioner of Revenue
Eric Maybach (R) — 14,031 — 63.36%
Angela Smith (I) — 8,058 — 36.39%

Board of Supervisors/Marshall District
Mary Leigh McDaniel* (I) — 3,118 — 73.12%
Paul Petrauskas (I) — 1,116 — 26.17%

School Board
• Center District
Susan Pauling — 2,166 — 55.84%
Rachel Bongiovi — 1,696 — 43.72%

• Lee District
Stephanie Litter-Reber — 2,208 — 68.61%
Donald Mason* — 1,001 — 31.11%

• Scott District
Suzanne Sloane* — 1,866 — 34.5%
Mike Hammond — 1,825 — 33.75%
Shelly Norden — 1,694 — 31.32%

State Senate 27th District
Jill Vogel* — 15,048 — 64.42%
Ronnie Ross — 8,294 — 35.51%

Virginia House of Delegates
• 18th District
Michael Webert* (R) — 8,350 — 58.53%
Laura Galante (D) — 5,907 — 41.41%

• 31st District
D.J. Jordan (R) — 68.82%
Elizabeth Guzman* (D) — 1,983 — 31.02%

• 88th District
Mark Cole* (R) — 1,837 — 68.6%
Jessica Foster (D) — 835 — 31.18%

* Incumbent

Note — All four General Assembly districts include areas beyond Fauquier county.

Unchallenged Incumbents’ vote totals

Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook (R) — 19,281

Sheriff Bob Mosier (R) — 20,434

Treasurer Tanya Wilcox (R) — 19,988

Supervisor Rick Gerhardt (R-Cedar Run) — 4,116

Supervisor Chris Granger (R-Center) — 3,404

Supervisor Chris Butler (R-Lee) — 3,070

Supervisor Holder Trumbo (R-Scott) — 4,968

School board member Donna Grove (Cedar Run) — 3,237

School board member Duke Bland (Marshall) — 3,638

Feds admit radios interfere with garage door openers

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
8 ·
Photo/Google Earth
The Warrenton Training Center’s 346-acre Station B stands on View Tree Mountain at the northwest edge of town.
Some users of garage door openers have experienced varying levels of inoperability that has been attributed to interference caused by the (Warrenton Training Center’s) new radios.
— Warrenton Training Center
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

A top-secret and secure federal government facility just northwest of Warrenton admitted Tuesday that it may be responsible for crippling dozens of garage door openers in two nearby subdivisions.

More than 70 Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup Estates homeowners have reported that openers started to fail about two weeks ago, according to Betty Compton, Olde Gold Cup’s Neighborhood Watch group coordinator.

The disturbance has affected more than 60 of Olde Gold Cup’s 214 homeowners. About nine of Silver Cup Estates’ 55 homeowners complained of malfunctioning door openers.

Some pointed fingers at Warrenton Training Center Station B along Bear Wallow Road, suggesting its activities somehow have interfered with the use of their garage doors.

Rarely commenting on its activities, the training center addressed their concerns in a three-paragraph statement.

“To address homeland defense needs and comply with government direction that agencies use the electromagnetic spectrum more efficiently, the Department of Defense (DoD) is deploying new land mobile radios to installation across the country,” the statement reads.

The radios “operate in the same frequency range . . . as many unlicensed, low-powered garage door openers, which have operated in this range for years,” the training center said.

Authorized to use that frequency range for “several decades,” the defense department’s deployment of land mobile radios “is relatively new,” according to the training center.

As a result, “some users of garage door openers have experienced varying levels of inoperability that has been attributed to interference caused by the new radios.”

Garage door openers “operate as unlicensed devises, they must accept any interference from authorized spectrum users.”

The training center recently conducted a two-week test of its new radio system that apparently has coincided with the garage openers problems experienced by Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup Estates homeowners.

To appease affected homeowners, the training center as of Tuesday, Nov. 5, will suspend use of its radio system for 30 days.

That will give homeowners a chance to “update their equipment to operate within the RF (radio frequency) spectrum guidelines,” the training center said. “After the 30-day window, DoD will re-able the new radio system permanently.”

A training center public affairs representative, who provided only his first name, contacted Fauquier Now about the prepared statement.

In a phone call Tuesday afternoon, Brandon asked to FAX the statement to Fauquier Now.

Unable to accept FAX’s, Fauquier Now asked him to email the document. After Brandon rejected the offer, a Fauquier Now reporter agreed to meet him at the facility’s visitors center off Bear Wallow Road to receive the document.

During the brief meeting at the training center, Brandon and the facility’s “commander,” who identified himself as Mitch, refused to comment on the statement — after which they left the visitor center in a large, black SUV.

In interviews last week, two Olde Gold Cup residents plagued by failing openers said they believe someone should compensate them for losses related to replacing their devices and/or systems.

The training center statement made no reference offsetting neighbors’ costs.

The Olde Gold Cup homeowners’ association will meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Warrenton Police Department at 333 Carriage House Lane. A police department member will attend. The training center will not send at representative, Mitch said.

The Department of Defense in 2005 first acknowledged radio interference with garage door openers elsewhere.

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

Faces of Fauquier: FHS grad helps build “cool stuff”

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
“I grew up as a kid visiting job sites, climbing on equipment,” says Gerald “Tripper” Henson, who followed his father’s footsteps into the construction industry.
I know a lot of people in this area have long commutes, because they’re traveling into the city. And I like to think that I helped them get home to their families a little bit quicker and safer.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The construction project manager knew at an early age that he probably would follow in his father’s footsteps.

Gerald L. “Tripper” Henson III’s dad had a long career as a contractor, developer and owner of a roadway striping and signage company.

“I grew up as a kid visiting job sites, climbing on equipment,” recalled Mr. Henson, 31, who lives near Warrenton and works for Lorton-based Shirley Contracting Co. “Dad was very involved, obviously, and it was just natural for me” to do the same kind of work.

Laughing, he added: “I really didn’t know any different. I often say I don’t know what else I’d be any good at.”

In the summer of 2010, Mr. Henson landed an internship with Shirley Contracting.

A year later — after earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech — he joined the company as a project engineer.

In short order, the 2006 Fauquier High School graduate got promoted to assistant project and then project manager.

Mr. Henson oversees the $26.9-million Warrenton interchange project and up to 50 Shirley workers and subcontractors.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board in 2018 awarded the $19.6-million construction contract to Shirley and Fairfax engineering firm Dewberry Inc.

One to two months ahead of schedule, the project could be completed between next fall and winter, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Just north of Lord Fairfax Community College, it will replace a busy intersection and improve safety and traffic flow, VDOT officials said.

In his eight years with Shirley Contracting, Mr. Henson has managed or helped manage four big jobs.

He uses words such as “cool” and “neat” when talking about the Warrenton interchange job — his second and biggest as project manager — the work he has completed and contracts in the pipeline.

“We build some really cool stuff,” Mr. Henson said. “We do some really neat things that I think a lot of the traveling public really appreciates.”

While bridges and roadwork represent Shirley’s “bread and butter,” the company does site development and utility work, he said.

He also will manage the construction of a planned D.C. United soccer training facility in Loudoun.

“Every day is different. You never know what’s going to come up. It makes it interesting. The challenge is worth the satisfaction at the end of the day. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Right.”

Mr. Henson lived in Prince William County until age 5, when his family moved to Fauquier.

Like his father, he took to sports, playing travel baseball and outfield for Fauquier High’s varsity team.

“Dad was very involved in youth sports.”

For many years, his father served as president of the Fauquier Babe Ruth League and spent countless hours building, grading and maintaining ballfields in the county, Mr. Henson said.

In 2014, his father, Gerald L. “Gerry” Henson Jr., died at age 58 of a heart attack.

That year, the family established the Gerry Henson Memorial Foundation, which supports youth sports in the county and provides scholarships to FHS seniors who will attend Virginia Tech and Bridgewater College, Mr. Henson said.

Henson family members have graduated from both schools.

The foundation’s annual golf tournament at Fauquier Springs Country Club clears $10,000 to $16,000, which funds scholarships, Mr. Henson said.

The foundation plans to make “a substantial contribution to some youth sports organization” in Fauquier and perhaps help pay for batting cages, upgrade fields and construct concession stands at the county’s Central Sports Complex along Meetze Road just south of Warrenton, he said.

• Age

• Home 
Near Warrenton

• Work
Project manager, Shirley Contracting Co. LLC, Lorton, 2011-present.

• Why do you do the job?
I take great pride in driving down the road and saying I had a hand in building some really cool projects. I know a lot of people in this area have long commutes, because they’re traveling into the city. And I like to think that I helped them get home to their families a little bit quicker and safer.

• Family
Wife, Tara, 30.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, civil engineering, Virginia Tech, 2011; Fauquier High School, 2006.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Twenty-six years.

• Why do you live here? 
I enjoy the rural setting with access, if needed, to the larger city life. I enjoy being able to go to Home Depot or Walmart or the grocery store and run into somebody I know.

• How do you describe this county? 
Very tight-knit community. Some of my best friends to this day are the same best friends I had when I moved here in the first grade.

I love the friendly nature of everybody here. I’m a pull-into-the-neighborhood (person), you wave at everybody walking down the street. You don’t see that in other counties. It’s a very welcoming and engaging community.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I really wish that there were more things for the youth to do. I love that the Central Sports Complex is finally getting built and really hope here soon that the southern end of the county is right behind it.

I remember growing up as a kid, being super into baseball and not really having the facilities in the county that a bunch of neighboring counties — Prince William and Loudoun — have.

• What do you do for fun? 
I do a lot of golfing. I enjoy the outdoors. Fall weekends I spend a lot of time in Blacksburg. I’m a big college football fan. So my wife and I and friends go to a lot of games at Virginia Tech, as well as travel to some premier away games.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Fauquier Springs Country Club, specifically Hole 15. That was a special one to Dad. So, we kind of always joke that that was his least-favorite hole. After Dad’s passing, it got the nickname of “Henson’s Hill.”

There’s a little hill at the bottom that Dad always thought he could make it to the green but always ended up short. And, all his buddies always teased him about it. It brings back memories of him.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I know a lot of people like to say it’s going to blow up, like the next Gainesville. But, I see it being a lot the same. Sure, more people moving this way, more building, more homes. That’s inevitable.

• Favorite TV show?
“College Game Day.”

• Favorite movie?
“Major League.”

• Favorite book?
“Every Day I Fight: Making a Difference, Kicking Cancer’s A_ _” by Stuart Scott.

• Favorite vacation spot? 
Kiawah Island, S.C.

• Favorite food? 

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
I can’t remember one person but everybody somewhere along the line said treat people the way you want to be treated. I try to put myself in other people’s shoes.

• Who’s your hero and why?
Dad. He did a lot for folks that most of them didn’t even realize — the countless hours of volunteering and giving back to facilities in the county, working at Fauquier High School on the fields. And, he never expected anything in return.

I always say he wanted the next group of kids or citizens to have it better than we had it.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
The first thing I’d do is pay off debt. I’d love to do something within the community specific to youth sports in Dad’s memory — whether that’s build a field that becomes Gerry Henson Memorial Field, somehow use that money to recognize all that he did during his time.

And, maybe upgrade my Virginia Tech football tickets.

Have a suggestion?
Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? Email Don Del Rosso at or Lou Emerson at

Montpelier CEO to join staff of Piedmont Environmental

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
0 ·

Mental health forum Monday in The Plains

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
0 ·

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
0 ·

51,000 Fauquier citizens eligible for this election

Posted Tuesday,
November 5, 2019
0 ·
Nov. 5 Election
• When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

• Where: 20 polling places in Fauquier.

• On the ballot: County supervisors, county school board, county constitutional offices — commissioner of revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer, state legislators and John Marshall Soil and Water conservation board seats.

• More information: Fauquier County voter registrar’s office and Virginia Department of Elections.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Hundreds of commuters and other early risers waited quietly, before dawn today, in lines outside 20 schools, churches and community halls as Fauquier’s sharply-run Election Day machine came to life.

At the Courthouse Precinct, five election officials and two high school pages greeted a dozen voters when the Warrenton Presbyterian Church doors opened at 6 a.m.

Other voters quickly followed as Precinct Chief Election Official Jeff Michel and his crew checked them in with iPads. The first group of voters scattered to Northern Virginia, local jobs and diners within 10 minutes.

From Delaplane to Morrisville and Remington to New Baltimore, it will ebb and flow until the polls close at 7 p.m.

The county has 51,002 registered voters. More than 1,909 of them applied for absentee ballots.

Thousands of Fauquier citizens will elect the next county board of supervisors and school board.

The ballot also includes the contested commissioner of revenue race and the unopposed Fauquier commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer.

With all 140 seats in a closely divided Virginia General Assembly on ballots today, Fauquier voters will help elect a state senator and three delegates.

19th-century Upperville home sells for $1.57 million

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
0 ·
Photo/Thomas & Talbot Real Estate
Alston House, on Delaplane Grade Road in Upperville, sold for $1.57 million.
A circa 1832 Greek revival house on 2.18 acres in Upperville sold last week for $1.57 million.

Alston House has four bedrooms, 4-1/2 baths, 10-foot ceilings, original pine floors, extensive custom woodwork and seven working fireplaces. The property has a 3,000-square-foot pool house with a heated pool and a detached two-car garage.

Crickett Bedford of Thomas & Talbot Real Estate in Middleburg represented the seller. Rebecca Poston, also with Thomas & Talbot, represented the buyer.

The property sold for the full asking price.

The Marshall District transaction tops the most recent Fauquier property sales.

The Fauquier County Circuit Court clerk’s office recorded these real estate transfers Oct. 24-30, 2019:

Cedar Run District

William D. Peters to Pakorn Sudkasam, 10.1 acres, Easkridges Lane, near Catlett, $135,000.

Deborah L. Price, Jean M. Whitfield and others to Rimer F.A. Arancibia, 0.68 acre, 5160 Catlett Road, near Midland, $240,000.

Wilmer J. and Mahlon J. Bender to Joseph and Andrea Horton, 99.09 aces, Burwell Road, Catlett, $357,000.

Rockwood Homes Inc. to Steven M. and Anna M. Sites, 2.74 acres, 7259 Rockwood Road, Midland, $598,783.

Peggy W. and Aubrey L. Cockrill, trustees, to Edward L. and Rosemary S. Hendrickson, 5.93 acres, 19.95 acres and 20 acres, 3317 Midland Road, near Elk Run, $564,000.

Katherine B. and David F. Snead Sr. to Vernon L. Hall III, Lot 42, Phase 3, Green Meadows Subdivision, 6658 Clarke’s Meadow Drive, Bealeton, $325,000.

Jean L. Nickens to Franco Traverso and Samantha Bendigo, 2.01 acres, 7706 Greenwich Road, near Nokesville, $227,000.

Center District

E. Margaret Ferguson to Mary A. Leary, Lot 21, Section A, Bartenstein Subdivision, 194 Garden St., Warrenton, $295,000.

John E. Perfili to Christina M. Konoza, Lot 15, W.U. Parkinson Division, 168 Sterling Court, Warrenton, $364,900.

J. Marshall and Ashley R. Barber to Sylvia D. Carlton, Lot 31, Brookshire Manor Subdivision, 430 Devon Drive, Warrenton, $385,000.

Randall M. Smith Jr. and Jennifer Kingman to E. Rigg and Susan E. Wagner, Lot 68, Bear Wallow Knolls Subdivision, 439 Denning Court, Warrenton, $252,900.

JAC of Warrenton LLC, A. William Chipman III as managing member, to Southstar Commercial Properties LLC, Unit 105, Walker Business Park, Warrenton, $285,000.

Timothy H. Penn, trustee, to Andrew J. Leary, Lot 66, Section 2, Oak Springs Subdivision, 719 Arbor Court, Warrenton, $310,000.

Lee District

Elizabeth J.W. Welch to Christina M. Burchett, Lot 8, Phase 1, Wankoma Village Subdivision, 182 Wankoma Drive, Remington, $170,000.

Leeanne D. Roberts to Benjamin R. and Elizabeth J.W. Welch, 2.26 acres, Lot 23, Wivenhoe Park Subdivision, 14389 Snake Castle Road, Sumerduck, $300,000.

GMC Enterprises of Virginia LLC, Gary M. Canard as managing member, to James R. and Renee C. Chagnon, Lot 30, Section D, Meadowbrooke Subdivision, 10740 Blake Lane, Bealeton, $321,000.

Gerald W. and Carolyn J. Moore to Alice B. and Augustus L. Middleton III, 19.89 acres, 11152 Beales Branch Lane, near Remington, $662,500.

Bradford M. and Erin E. Mullins to Ricky A. Spraggs Jr. and Ashley K, Hardy, 4.54 acres, 7627 Botha Road, near Bealeton, $372,000.

Marshall District

Connie L. and Jackie L. Walton to Paul Amato and Margaret M. Cassidy, 10 acres, 9626 Sherburne Farm Road, near Marshall, $750,000.

Patrick and Gretchen Kelsey to John E. Perfili and Hope S. Salak, 84,400 square feet, Lot 11, Gold Cup Estates Subdivision, 7392 Bear Wallow Drive, near Warrenton, $467,000.

Victoria J. and Harry V. Bortz III to Gerard P. and Melinda B. Melia and Adam J. and Andrea J. Melia, 1.43 acres, Lot 24, Section 2, Edgehill Subdivision, 7311 Ridgedale Drive, near Warrenton, $430,000.

Robert B. Semple Jr., Lloyd A. Semple and others to Vanessa Sandin, trustee, 188.9 acres, 3822 Carrington Road, and 99.42 acres, Sage Road, near Delaplane, $1,000,000.

Jill L. Davis, trustee, to Anne Rowland, 1.58 acres and 0.6 acre, 1129 and 1131 Delaplane Grade Road, Upperville, $1,575,000.

Gary L. Wink, trustee, to Randi L. and Brian C. Wines, 10 acres, Lot 47, Fleetwood Farms Subdivision, 4063 Rolling Hills Drive, near Delaplane, $435,000.

Jacob L. Sutphin to Philip A. and Taunie E. Lemieux, 0.79 acre, Lot 5, Brooks Cluster Subdivision, 9334 Brooks Cluster Circle, Upperville, $289,000.

Layne and Jennifer Whelchel to Jacob L. and Laura Sutphin, Lot 4, Mountain Shade Subdivision, 8411 Eldorado Drive, near Marshall, $396,000.

NVP Inc. to Michael T. and Christy J. Munley, Lot 15, Stone Crest Subdivision, 9022 Stone Crest Drive, near Warrenton, $515,705.

Jefferson Holdings LLC, Jawad N. Sarsour as manager, to Jose A. Acosta, Maria A. Juarez and Mirna S. Del Cid, Unit 20, Section A, Marshall Townhouses, 8585 Pellam Court, Marshall, $200,001.

Federico and Rosa Tersoglio to Christopher E. Dunton and Convier M. Bactad, Lot 7, Section 2, Silver Cup Subdivision, 7328 Iron Bit Drive, near Warrenton, $580,000.

Christopher A. Watson to Matthew S. Chupp, Unit 37, Section D, Marshall Townhouses, 8597 Harrison Court, Marshall, $190,000.

Ernest K. Hibbitts Jr., Rebecca A. Newman and others to Federico J. and Rosa I. C. Tersoglio, Lot 23, Stonelea Estates Subdivision, 7485 Admiral Nelson Drive, near Warrenton, $474,900.

Scott District

NVR Inc. to Samuel and Karen M. Ntiros, Lot 105, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7478 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $638,435.

Kevin C. and Cheryl M. Karnes to Quinton G. Doe, 25,201 square feet, Lot 13, Section 1, Mosby Woods Subdivision, 5644 Raider Drive, near Warrenton, $265,200.

NVR Inc. to Courtney R. and Gregory O. Davis, Lot 57, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 5175 Island Court, near Warrenton, $641,915.

Gary and Heather Newell to Patrick and Tamara Scott, 1.38 acres, Lot 87-A, Phase 6, Brookside Subdivision, 4430 Corral Road, near Warrenton, $805,000.

Rex S. Cooper to So Far Farm LLC, Unit B, Piedmont Condominiums, 6799 Kennedy Road, Vint Hill, $475,000.

Kevin J. and Stacy G. Hockenbury to Thomas K. Price, 0.57 acre, Lot 10, Lakewood Subdivision, 4397 Lakewood Drive, near Warrenton, $430,000.

NVR Inc. to Patrick and April Heard, Lot 66, Phase 11-C, Brookside Subdivision, 5168 Island Court, near Warrenton, $499,990.

NVR Inc. to Rachel and Michael Regal, Lot 95, Phase 11-D, Brookside Subdivision, 7479 Lake Willow Court, near Warrenton, $687,140.

Civic duty moves veteran Remington poll worker

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
1 ·
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Veteran election official Susan Webster taught 35 years at Margaret M. Pierce Elementary School, which serves as the Remington Precinct polling place.
I do it because I care about what’s going on in the country and the local elections. I want to participate in the process.
— Remington Precinct Chief Susan Webster
Susan Webster
• Age: 71

• Home: Remington

• Election Day poll worker: Precinct chief, Remington polling place, 2013-present; assistant chief, Remington polling place, 2008-13; regular poll worker, Remington polling place, 2005-08.

• Education: Master’s degree, education, George Mason University, 1997; bachelor’s degree, early childhood education, Radford College, 1970; Thomas Edison High School, Alexandria, 1966.

• Family: Husband, Larry; 1 child from previous marriage; 2 grandchildren.

• Hobbies: Knitting; flower and vegetable gardening; crossword, jigsaw and Sudoku puzzles.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The long hours as a poll worker really never have bothered the Remington woman.

On Election Day for the last 14 years, Susan Webster has gotten up at 4 a.m. to arrive an hour later at the town’s polling place to help set up voting machines, open check-in stations, place signs and perform other related duties.

Depending on the offices up for grabs, the number of contests and turnout, she and the other paid poll workers sometimes didn’t get home until 8 p.m. or later, explained Mrs. Webster, the Remington precinct chief.

She considers the work a civic duty.

“I do it because I care about what’s going on in the country and the local elections,” said the retired M.M. Pierce Elementary School teacher. “I want to participate in the process. I want to give back. And that’s one way I can participate, other than voting.”

On Tuesday’s crowded ballot, Remington precinct voters will help elect a Lee District supervisor and school board member, commissioner of revenue, sheriff, treasurer and a state senator and delegate.

M.M. Pierce Elementary at 12074 James Madison St. serves as the Remington polling place for all elections, except municipal contests. Town Hall at 105 E. Main St. houses the polling place for mayoral and town council elections.

Polls across Fauquier will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Nov. 5. The Remington precinct has 3,120 registered voters and the county 51,002 voters.

As precinct chief, Mrs. Webster delivers ballots and supplies to the polling place, oversees a staff of six, assigns duties and coordinates work flow.

“There’s a lot to do,” said Mrs. Webster, who taught at Pierce from 1970 to 2005.

The veteran poll worker has witnessed a fair amount of change during her time at the Remington precinct.

Big Election Day changes relate to technology, including touch-screen voting machines and computer laptops and then iPads to more easily confirm residents’ voting status, Mrs. Webster noted.

With the recent elimination of the touch-screen option, all voters must use paper ballots — a move that Mrs. Webster supported.

“I think it’s really important to have a written record,” she said.

Her 15 years on the job largely have been trouble-free, according to Mrs. Webster.

Occasionally, voters mistakenly attempt to vote at the Remington poll.

Or, “you get people who come in and they haven’t voted in seven years,” Mrs. Webster said. “Well, their names are taken off the list and they can’t vote. They have to re-register. Things happen.”

But, she added: “I haven’t had anybody get angry or have to call the police or any of that stuff.”

To the contrary, voters seem grateful for poll workers’ efforts, Mrs. Webster said.

“People appreciate you. When I’m there, they say, ‘Thank you for doing this’.”

Hungry to involve more people in the process, Mrs. Webster turns compliments into recruitment opportunities.

“If they say ‘Thank you,’ I say, ‘Well, are you interested in doing it?’ They’re not. It’s giving up 14, 15 hours of the day.”

Poll chiefs, assistant chiefs and regular poll workers at Fauquier’s 20 precincts earn $200, $150 and $125, respectively, for a day’s work.

Their pay has remained unchanged since 2003, according to General Registrar Alex Ables.

“I think there should be an increase,” Mrs. Webster said. “I’ve been saying that for a long time. Basically, it’s a volunteer position at that amount of money.”

Poll staff salaries might be bumped to $250 for chiefs, $225 for assistant chiefs and $150 for regular workers, she suggested.

On Election Day, Mrs. Webster also supervises four high school students who volunteer as precinct pages.

Among other things, pages help count ballots and hand out “I Voted” stickers, she said.

“They get to see what goes on — the back and forth of an election,” Mrs. Webster said. “It gets them involved in being willing to vote.

“It’s all about citizenship. It’s all about participating in the process and understanding it better.”

The work suits her for all sorts of reasons, she said.

“I think it’s really cool that parents are encouraging their kids to vote,” said Mrs. Webster, smiling. “We make a really big deal over the first time. We’ll yell, ‘First-time voter!’ and applaud and embarrass them.”

The job also allows her to catch up with old friends.

“One of the things I like best about the work is I get to see people in the surrounding area that I’ve known for years and years and years — the parents and my former students who come into vote,” Mrs. Webster said.

Born in Washington, D.C., she lived there until age 13 when her family moved to Alexandria.

The second of four children, she earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Radford College in 1970.

That year, she accepted a teaching job at Remington Elementary School — later renamed M.M. Pierce Elementary after a former principal. In her first year, she earned $6,800.

Mrs. Webster has no plans anytime to give up her Election Day job.

“The only way you can change things is to vote and participate.”

Remington Poll Assistant Chief Sharon Lee described Mrs. Webster as a skilled problem-solver.

“She cares about making sure the voters get taken care of properly and given every possible chance to vote,” Mrs. Lee said. “Sometimes you have to say no, which is not easy. Susan’s got the guts to say no when she’s explored every avenue and there’s no other avenue left.”

Mr. Ables called her a “trooper — a fixture around the Remington area.”

Deputy Registrar Diana Dutton added: “We’re glad to have her.”

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

8th Bodies in Motion Sunday in Warrenton

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
0 ·

Q&As: Cole and Foster vie for 88th Va. House seat

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
0 ·
Mark L. Cole and Jessica Foster.
Nov. 5 Election
• When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

• Where: 21 polling places in Fauquier.

• On the ballot: County supervisors, county school board, county constitutional offices — commissioner of revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer, state legislators and John Marshall Soil and Water conservation board seats.

• More information: Fauquier County voter registrar’s office and Virginia Department of Elections.
The incumbent from Spotsylvania County faces a challenger from Remington in the election for the Virginia House of Delegates 88th District seat, which represents part of Fauquier.

The 88th includes the Lois, Morrisville and Remington precincts in Fauquier and parts of Fredericksburg and Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

Republican incumbent Mark L. Cole faces Democratic challenger Jessica. Mr. Cole of Spotsylvania has represented the district since 2002.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Mr. Cole.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Ms. Foster.

The winner in January will begin a two-year term in the House, which has 100 members.

FauquierNow will publish questionnaires that all candidates for contested county and state legislative offices (representing Fauquier) completed.

Q&As: Guzman, Jordan vie for 31st Va. House seat

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
0 ·
Elizabeth Guzman and D.J. Jordan.
Nov. 5 Election
• When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

• Where: 21 polling places in Fauquier.

• On the ballot: County supervisors, county school board, county constitutional offices — commissioner of revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer, state legislators and John Marshall Soil and Water conservation board seats.

• More information: Fauquier County voter registrar’s office and Virginia Department of Elections.
Two Prince William County residents seek election to the Virginia House of Delegates 31st District seat, which represents much of Fauquier.

The 31st includes the Casanova, Catlett, Kettle Run, New Baltimore and Vint Hill precincts in Fauquier and much of Prince William County.

Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Guzman faces Republican challenger D.J. Jordan. Ms. Guzman defeated eight-term incumbent Scott Lingamfelter (R) in the 2017 election.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Ms. Guzman.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Mr. Jordan.

The winner in January will begin a two-year term in the House, which has 100 members.

FauquierNow will publish questionnaires that all candidates for contested county and state legislative offices (representing Fauquier) completed.

Fauquier Sheriff’s Office Daily Activity Report

Posted Monday,
November 4, 2019
0 ·

Q&As: Bongiovi, Pauling vie for Center school board seat

Posted Sunday,
November 3, 2019
0 ·
Rachael Bongiovi and Susan Pauling.
Nov. 5 Election
• When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5.

• Where: 21 polling places in Fauquier.

• On the ballot: County supervisors, county school board, county constitutional offices — commissioner of revenue, commonwealth’s attorney, sheriff and treasurer, state legislators and John Marshall Soil and Water conservation board seats.

• More information: Fauquier County voter registrar’s office and Virginia Department of Elections.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Two Warrenton residents with experience in mental health work seek election to the Center District seat on the Fauquier County School Board.

Susan Pauling, a PTO leader, and Rachel Bongiovi, a mental health professional, campaign to succeed Brian Gorg, who will step down after two four-year terms on the school board.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Ms. Bongiovi.

> Click here to read the Q&A with Ms. Pauling.

FauquierNow will publish questionnaires that all candidates for contested county and state legislative offices (representing Fauquier) completed.

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